Horoscopes | Week of May 5-11, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aren't you damn ready for a horoscope that tells you to quit stressing and just have a rockin' good time? Well, that's no trick opening-sentence, Aries… here is your celebratory 'scope, m'love! The occasion? Your ruler Mars has finally—finally!—departed your solar 4th house, the somewhat mopey domain of family roots and self-nurturing routines, where he's been poking at your private parts on-and-off since September. Starting Friday (May 9), he'll be among your fiery kin in Leo… and heatin' up your 5th, where all the fun goes down. As soon as this upcoming weekend, you'll begin to find yourself on the receiving end of much more attention… particularly the undeniably flattering variety that emanates effervescently from fond admirers (romantic or otherwise). You'll have plenty of upcoming chances to drench yourself in this fantastic-feeling juju. Only one warning for the week ahead: Be sure to fulfill any prior commitments made before your luck started to change, especially those involving your career or some other public role. Don't get too crazy if a supervisor or untrustworthy peer is nearby (perhaps watching you blow off certain duties?), or your reputation could suffer.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It's prime time for a little 'spring housecleaning' (yes, even you Southern Hemisphere folks—it doesn't have to literally be springtime!), not because the planets are punishing you with chores… but so that you'll make lots of room (in your home and your heart) for exciting new experiences to enter. You can take this advice literally, Taurus, and channel some tender loving care into the place you rest your head. Trust me on this, you'll immediately reap marvelous benefits. Tackle the cluttered cabinets. Weed the garden. Scrub the scum off the windows. Splurge (at last!) on that new mattress, a clean set of towels, a food processor, or the living-room centerpiece of your dreams. Anything that directly increases your sense of domestic bliss will qualify. Of course, in astrology, the 4th house (Mars's entry into which has inspired this week's horoscope) also symbolizes one's family of origin… so if the sheer gruntwork of housekeeping doesn't appeal, I suggest going the 'psychological growth' route and 'cleaning up' a family relationship or two. Rather than repeating the same tired conversation one more time, change things up. Blast their expectations by telling 'em something they don't already know about you. Then, watch as their outdated perceptions of you get washed away like scraps of old food long stuck to the insides of the oven.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Did you sit tight last week, like I advised? Well, now you may loosen up, Gemini, and get back to your unofficial job as 'town crier' (or was that 'gossipmonger'?). It's time to check in with all the friends, neighbors, siblings, cousins, store clerks, postal carriers and other assorted cast members on all their latest details. They need someone with an interested ear to ask them about themselves, and your social-butterfly self desperately craves the stimulation. As you become reacquainted with the ins and outs of everybody's lives, you'll be filled with delight at your belonging to such a lively community—a sense of social interconnectedness that is one of the Gemini's purest pleasures. This isn't some superficial gabfest or an exercise in appreciating the meaningless triflings of the human experience. For you, this need is deep… and the payoff far greater than the apparent sum of its parts. Besides, for the time being, reasserting your position as the Connector is a far more productive use of your mental energy than, say, trying to solve the puzzle of 'what's up' with those funny feelings you've recently experienced. (There's nothing to solve, really.)


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Gee whiz, it's been quite a memorable (or memorably flustering) several months, hasn't it? Regardless of whatever irritations, illustrations or instructions you were subject to during this period, you're now moving past the stage of 'initial shock'… and into a phase where you can get these newfound realizations or reaffirmations working for you in a real measurable way. That's right, Cancer, it's time to make your play for a bigger piece of the pie. I know we already discussed this a couple weeks back, when I goaded you to unabashedly ask for exactly what you want. Well, did you do it? If your answer is 'yes' but their answer was 'no', you should tackle this disappointment with the humble sincerity it warrants. Compile the list of your most valuable traits and skills… as well as another one that details where you may've fallen short. From there, start organizing your plan to try again later—or accept that you've been barking up the tree and begin searching for a more appropriate goal. (You might want to borrow a few friends' ears before drawing a negative conclusion, as it should be based on practical analysis, not fear or low self-esteem.) And if you never mustered the courage to actually go through with your statement of desire, you obviously need to work extra-hard to counteract old discouraging messages and pump yourself up. Your best bargaining tool, in all contexts, is a confident outlook.


LEO (July 23-August 22): No, you didn't drink one two many coffees this morning, Leo. It's just Mars hopping you up with a major adrenaline rush, as he moves into your sign later in the week, where he'll stay through Jul 1. For all the signs, this Mars ingress comes as a deep sigh of relief, coming on the tail end of way too many months of his awkward meanderings (some retrograde even) through Cancer, a zodiac region he's not terribly fond of. But for you Leos, there's an added bonus—this planet of initiative, individuation and all-over oomph leaves his 'hibernation' phase (i.e., the transit through the 12th) and reenters conscious life with a thirst for action (at long last!). Naturally, you may use this boost in physical energy however you'd like. Since you've been so damn patient over these past many months, I'm sure you have plenty of stuff you'd like to get back to, now that you're set to regain the vim and vigor necessary to start it up again. At this point, my only caveat is to urge you not to try to do everything in the first week or two of reestablished groove. There's no need to unnecessarily tax your system like a kid who burns through his unbridled excitement within the first hour at the amusement park, only to sink into cranky overtiredness by mid-afternoon and miss out on enjoying all the other rides, too. Zip along with all that extra pep, happy as a clam… but without that frantic sense of rushing to play catch-up.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Wrong. What does that even mean? I'm not sure I always understand it… and I urge you, Virgo, to swallow the 'short-term amnesia' pill and temporarily strike that word (and its cacophony of contestable meanings) from your personal dictionary. Such strict categorizations will fall somewhat short anyhow, in a week where too many things seem to reside in that pesky 'gray area' where it's hardly safe to assume it's a duck just because it walks and talks like one. Attempts to analyze the finer distinctions won't bring you any closer to what's 'right' either. Your only reliable guide is your own good intentions, which operate on a more emotional ('heart-centered') level than anything your brain can engineer… and which point you back to last week's horoscope, where ethics are paramount in maintaining respect for yourself. So, to be a bit clearer, there is one concept of 'wrong' that still holds water: going against what your heart knows is right. But in terms of everything else—the proper procedures, the perfect things to say, the seamless expression of 'what I meant to do along' (ha!)—you really shouldn't worry about upholding such arbitrary standards. (Besides, it'd be rather difficult to maintain that ideal this week, as I told you.) In fact, you should be willing to look like a bit of a fool in the 'decorum' department… while setting aside the self-judgment that would otherwise impair you from proceeding until you could become sure you'd be 'right'. From this safe perspective, you can't possibly go 'wrong' due to some silly little lack of foreknowledge.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If you're going to hide, don't do it by staying in your house by yourself. Instead, go for the 'disappear into the crowd' approach. As I'm sure you know, it's quite possible to fly under the radar while surrounded on all sides by masses of pals, peers, colleagues or total strangers. I'm piggybacking on last week's thoughts to reemphasize the importance of not isolating yourself from outside influences… even if you'd rather be in solitary confinement, and even though you might not be able to pinpoint exactly what good such 'influences' will do for you. On the purely 'energetic' level (the what?), you'll benefit from being subtly bombarded by an amalgam of diverse psychic vibes, biorhythms, palpable waves of emotion and ripples of auric exchange. (No, you don't have to know what any of those things are—I'm not sure I do.) I will reiterate this: The more you're alone, the likelier your inner pessimist will take over your internal dialogue, putting an 'everything sucks' spin on circumstances that aren't actually that bad. If nothing else, being in the middle of it all will provide plenty of distractions from your own nagging thoughts. Plus, your friends are much likelier to get in your face with their 'concern', if they notice your absence… making it easier to ditch their probing questions just by nonchalantly putting in your appearance. All the while, be sure to blend.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): With the benefit of Mars rolling into your solar 10th, you're entering a several-week window of opportunity in your career or other outer-world involvements… during which you're well-positioned to reach ever higher (should that be your desire) for ever more respect and authority in your field or setting. A brazen display of your true ambitions (i.e., the direction you really want to head) will show them just how serious you are. But, Scorpio, please don't overlook the value of friendly small-talk and other such gestures of social diplomacy and etiquette. Those gentle touches count for a lot, though the defiant little rascal in you may dismiss their importance under an unfair categorization of 'superficial bullshit'. While you may possess the skill and drive to succeed at just what's your aiming for, you also must reflect a certain pleasantness of character—otherwise, they won't feel good giving you the executive washroom key (because you don't 'deserve' it, personality-wise?) or spending their days in close association with you (because you're 'no fun' or 'too intimidating'?). And you know what else? They're not necessarily barking up the wrong tree. In other news: Don't neglect the one you love. Remember last week's scope? Let Venus inspire you to provide caring signs you aren't taking your sweetie for granted. You'll both enjoy it.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You're at risk of losing your motivation to continue the day-in-day-out 'drudgery' (must you think of it that way?), if you don't grasp tightly to a clear view on why you do what you do. Give yourself the pep talk you need, with plenty of loving reminders about that prize you've got your eye on. Congratulate yourself for all that you've already accomplished. Visualize a future (far off though it may be) that'll look so much closer to your ideal than your current situation. Then, do one better than all of these abstract 'feelgood' techniques: Actually start planning yourself some special reward, which you won't be able to enjoy right away but is at least within reasonable grasp. Perhaps you need a vacation on the calendar, so you have something to look forward to? A benchmark point in your longer-term work, which, once reached, buys you a certain liberty you mustn't take right now? A major splurge purchase that you'll permit yourself, once you diligently make it to the next milestone? Schedule it now, and let the excitement continue to build as it draws closer… while, all along the way, you're still chugging away at the daily 'grind' (must you think of it that way?).


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): YAre you really coming on too strong (as your critics, real or imaginary, would have us believe)… or is it their insecurities that are the actual problem? Rather than trying to untangle one of these possibilities from the other, Capricorn, address a more important question instead: Who cares? Even if you were to come to the (unlikely) conclusion that every last bit of tension between the two of you was the other person's doing (I repeat: unlikely), you still can't do anything to change their behavior. (And getting all worked up about it only gives them more ammunition, right?) So please don't focus on what's wrong (real or imaginary) with other people. There's always something we can do to rescue ourselves from a dodgy situation, no matter what anybody else is up to. In your case, you can certainly just walk away, if you feel you're never going to be seen for who you genuinely are (because they only see what they want to see?). Or you could just work on mellowing your own easily-offended and/or know-it-all tendencies… which may not magically resolve the weird dynamic, but will definitely help. Before you get bent out of shape, remember not to take it all so seriously. Everything needn't be so 'important'…


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): With Mars hitting your relationship zone (the 7th) for the next couple months, you could suddenly see a certain someone giving you a significantly larger chunk of his/her energy… while, at the same time, the potential for interpersonal spats also increases significantly. These are two sides of the same coin, Aquarius, which is that you are likely to become increasingly more assertive (consciously or not) with what you want in your one-on-one relationships… and the other person is likely to either (1) fulfill your asserted desires to a greater degree or (2) make you angrier due to where they don't 'live up' to your wants. Don't be overly suspicious of renewed efforts on their part, just because you may be holding onto resentment from their previous errors. Let this represent a whole new phase for you two, and be open to 'freshening up' your dynamic. But should you find this Mars transit manifest more through conflict than reinvigorated connection, you've got to own your part in it. No matter whose 'fault' it appears to be, it always takes two to tango. And with Mars forming an awkward angle with Pluto in your solar 12th, you might find yourself pointing fingers at them… when what you should be doing is examining what you can improve upon. Again: Let this be the start of something new.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Work will be as much fun as you make it… so I hope you're up for reveling in your must-dos, Pisces, since I'm sure you're only too well aware of that stack of important items which requires your immediate attention. No, this news is not a big downer. (Remember all those things about the job(s)-at-hand that you actually like?) No, these responsibilities should not be put off for another week or two. Perhaps your biggest challenge will be to remember it doesn't matter what anyone else tells you… at least in the sense of trying to convince you to downplay your pressing priorities or, worse, to jump on their bandwagon of bitching and moaning. Will they take the heat when you miss a deadline or flake out on a commitment? Thought not. And just because certain ultra-bummed-out folks won't stop whining and complaining, you shouldn't let yourself fall into their sinkhole of negativity. As long as you can get into your most fluid groove, you might forget the so-called chores you're plowing through were supposed to be a drag—and end up enjoying getting shit done.