Horoscopes | Week of May 19-25, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Remember how I hyped up your readiness to 'quit stressing and just have a rockin' good time' a couple weeks back? Well, it's worth repeating here… with the caveat that, despite all the happy-go-lucky attitude in the world, you may find yourself out of step with the folks around you who're majorly overdoing it on the drama front. That's right, Aries, your desire to have a simple no-strings-attached blast could turn into a surprising uphill battle, particularly when it comes to convincing pals or colleagues to take it down a couple notches and quit being so wound up. In fact, while you may only seek to perk up the vibe, they might take your efforts as a personal affront. Geez, just imagine if you actually were startin' some shit up! Please, oh please, resist sinking into their crabbiness. Dare you fight that fight they're fighting, their exaggerated moods are liable to contaminate you… and leave you forgetting the very place where we began this horoscope—that is, having a rockin' good time and leaving the stress behind. Get up and walk away, if you have to. But save your breath, and don't explain why. It's seriously not worth harshin' your gig over.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you can just make it through the first few days of the week (say, until late Wednesday), you'll be in a better headspace to deal with the pressing matters (budgets! schedules! procedures! plans!) that require your attending-to. Not that you especially want to deal with 'em right now… particularly when those proverbial 'Matters of the Heart' are liable to grab all your attention. Whether it's the bliss of a new romance, a recommitment to lasting love, a pressure to process more crap, a thirst for all-out war, or anything in between, the meat of interpersonal engagement will likely have you occupied as the week begins. And based upon how that 'engagement' transpires—considering Monday's full moon in your relationship house and a square from idealistically convoluting Neptune to ruler Venus in your sign—you'll either (1) feel super-inspired by the momentum it provided or (2) still too totally wrapped up in its deliciously or dastardly entangling knots to see straight. Yes, Taurus, it's possible things could become simply too much (good or bad), not allowing you enough of an out to get your shit done. Should that occur, well, go ahead and forgive yourself for temporarily dodging your duties. However, you'd better get to 'em next week, or else…


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Even if (for some baffling reason) you aren't able to make it past Monday night's (May 19) full moon without making a fool of yourself, there's still no need to be concerned. Over the course of the week, both the Sun and Venus will move into your sign, Gemini… giving you a decisive advantage when it comes to turning over a new page in the story, holding their interest, and/or furnishing them with whatever persona you feel would best suit their tastes. As for any potentially stressful topics you might be cornered into dealing with, you should feel free to use your humor to tread delicately—both acknowledging the 'something' that's there and showing 'em you're willing to let it all go, with a big relief-filled laugh at your own fumbles or ineptitudes. Likewise, with that smile planted firmly on your face, you'll be able to playfully push people's buttons without suffering any unfortunate payback. While you may faintly detect a countercurrent in the air, pulling certain people's moods down into heavier territory (though it's not really necessary to dwell on every possible angle of every single issue, is it?), you've got enough self-possessed desire for keeping things entertaining to compensate. When in doubt, crack another stupid joke.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Sit back, relax, and melt away into your fantastic journey to the La-De-Da Zone (otherwise known as 'The Land that Rational Logic Forgot'), knowing it's futile to bother referencing guidebooks or maps, hunting for landmarks you might hope to remember and follow back out like Hansel and Gretel's measly crumbs, or attempting to stay in control. Along the way, you may experience some turbulence—in the form of sudden desires to assert your independence, to prove you're not the overly protective safety monitor some folks think you to be, or to engage in behaviors so wacky they surprise even you. Since you aren't the one piloting this craft (despite all illusions to the contrary), you might as well let yourself off the hook for anything you suspect you're about to do. 'Carefree' is the sensation that undoubtedly feels most exhilarating at the moment, but (as I presume you already know) things as you're currently encountering them should not—must not—be expected to last. With that said, Cancer… before you add some definitive declaration to your outlandish acts, which could perhaps change the way a certain someone sees you forever (or at least quite a while), ask yourself: Are you really wanting the space you appear to be asking for, or is this just a passing rebellion?


LEO (July 23-August 22): Enjoy Venus's last few days in your career zone… but without necessarily doing anything that might come across as a 'last-ditch effort' or 'desperate maneuver'. Even with the Princess of Good Fortune shining through your solar 10th, Leo, you could become your own worst enemy, should you permit paranoid thoughts about what other people (or, more specifically, a certain person) is doing 'behind your back' (which is basically everything that's not occurring right under your nose) spur you to react in a suspicious manner. Nothing will draw the VIPs' uncomfortable stares more noticeably than you making a federal case out of this non-issue, like some Eddie Haskell with a guilty conscience who goes overboard in flaunting his supposed good behavior. So leave it alone (whether 'it' is real or conjured). Let the spotlight gently fade on this scene, and turn your chops elsewhere. After all, aren't there some pals you've been missing? Isn't it time to get back in touch, to put your social feelers out again and reconnect with folks you undeniably trust? The passing paranoia is merely an effect of your eagerness for some action to attach yourself to. Channel that energy into filling your social schedule, and don't stop making dates until your next-few-weeks' calendar is packed with fun times ahead.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Chalk this horoscope up as one more nail in the coffin of caring too much what other people think… at least that's my hope, Virgo. In case you haven't noticed, you're just starting to loosen up a bit. (Leave it to you Virgos to need a Saturn transit to get 'looser'.) And with that lovely Jupiter-Uranus sextile in your 5th and 7th houses, it appears that love or some other break-the-boring-mold form of folly, flirtation or full-body contact sport is beckoning you to ride its wild roller-coaster. But right as your miserly self-consciousness begins letting up on its chokehold, giving you more latitude and liberty to kick up your heels, you discover (GASP!) somebody whose opinion of you matters a lot (according to you, that is) has been (GASP!) observing your latest moves and (GASP!) knows that you like to party, too… and (GASP!) have your newly daring ways now soiled your pristine reputation? Have you risked their long-vied-for respect over a few Midori Sours and an impeccably screechy karaoke rendition of I Will Survive? ('GASP! Did I really choose that trite of a song?') Actually, no, you haven't done anything wrong… other than prove you really are human. So, unless you want to be known as the fuddy-duddy who's 'all business, all the time', then quit whining about that huge mistake you didn't really make—and take pride in occasionally being ridiculous.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): In case there was any question about this fact, let me be explicit: Nobody's ever really 'trapped' in life. Sure, we may become very very mired in the muddy crap that seems to stick to our shoes everywhere we try to walk. We might hit our heads against that same brick wall or glass ceiling until that big-ass bump gets bigger and bigger without the wall or ceiling budging a single inch. The most 'trapped' among us live in literal cages—prisons—and may never experience 'free movement' in the way the rest of us do. And yet always, there is some way out… though it could require significant course corrections, changes of heart, or acceptances of certain limitations, here and there. After all, couldn't we just take our shoes off and ford the warm mud in our brave barefeet? Couldn't we stop concentrating all our might on that one obstacle that seems impossible to budge… and just aim for something else? Couldn't a fresh perspective on everything we're capable of turn a jail sentence into an opportunity to learn about ourselves or touch others' lives in an act of inspirational magic? If you're challenged to see a 'way out' of some confining circumstance, Libra, you're just not thinking big enough. Perhaps you need a more radical solution, like going away for a while or pursuing something so dramatically new that it actually shocks your system. It'll only work, though, if it genuinely gets your juices flowing. It's got to be interesting too, right?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't be caught off-guard, should you encounter anyone who's quick to discount you—criticize you, even—for being too 'excitable'. They wouldn't be entirely off-base, after all, since another full moon in your sign (the second in a row) kicks off a week in which you just may feel (consciously or not) like a bit of an instigator. However, whether this so-called 'excitability' is a problem or not is another story altogether. And as I see it, it isn't. (A problem, that is.) Maybe they're so critical because whatever's 'exciting' you is something that just doesn't interest them very much. But there's nothing wrong with your enthusiasm, just because they may not share it. In fact, the very notion of being too 'this' or 'that' cuts to the heart of one of your defining traits, Scorpio: passion. You are currently occupying a Scorpio body on this planet for the explicit purpose of feeling deeply about whatever it is you feel deeply about. You have not incarnated so that you may temper the tone of your involvements to suit those nambier-pambier types who are scared off by your intensity. You are no shallow vessel. Yes, I know I've recently encouraged you to embrace the lighter side of life. That, of course, was a passing instructive (since I wouldn't expect you to keep that up indefinitely). Now, the situation is this: If they won't support your obvious passion, then they can screw off. Put to them this way, alas, they might sing a decidedly different tune.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In considering your week overall, Sagittarius, I'm getting the sense that you're due to tie up some loose ends and clear off your plate (or at least a nice portion of it)… so that you can, once again, make yourself available for some meaningful one-on-one exchanges with the guy(s) or girl(s) for whom you're holding a soft spot in your heart. You've been so damned good at looking after all your worldly worries lately, you've earned a few moments of leaving 'em all behind. Plus, your recent hoop-jumping and task-mastering has probably kept you too busy for much quality interpersonal time. Adopt this horoscope to refer to your spouse or boy/girlfriend, your best pal, your creative muse or anybody who usually expects a sizable chunk of your attention but hasn't been receiving his/her typical share. Now, you have a brief opening in which to create more space for that special individual (or two, maybe three). For this span of precious pause, all that's important is appreciating each other while you're together. Everything else will handle itself, sooner or later. And in case you got temporarily confused, let me be clear: This is not an obligation, but pure joy.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): A surge of restlessness is headed to your shores, almost as if to taunt you with all the stuff you want to do… when you really should be focused on everything you need to do. But just because I can describe the dilemma, Capricorn, that doesn't mean I know what exactly your bet for confronting it would be—that is, short of chaining yourself to your desk until the buzzer goes off and your official shift of 'maintaining responsibility' ends. It might be helpful to know that the itch is likely to get stronger as the week heads into next, if that added detail gives you a better idea of how to proceed. Does that mean you should try to squeeze in a bunch of work early in the week? Perhaps… though I'm not quite sure you'll be chomping at the bit on Monday morning to dive straight into it, seeing as both a full moon and a Venus-Neptune square could have you veering more toward whatever feels good. (Mounds of work? Usually not so much.) Better ideas would include: keeping multiple projects going at once, so that you can pick the one that most appeals in a given moment; dangling little rewards in front of your nose at regular intervals, so you have an incentive to go on; tackling the ideas that specifically require social interaction, giving you chances to be momentarily entertained by someone else; and getting lots of exercise to burn out the extra nervousness, in hopes it'll chill you out enough to better focus. These are mere suggestions. Please do whatever it'll take to corral your wandering attention span—or just live with it for this brief spell.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): That's right, my dear, take one or two more steps out from that shell you've recently become attached to, and expose yourself to the rays of sunlight. More fun than you've seen in a while (and hell, don't you need that right about now?) lurks just around the bend… but only if you can drown out the nagging sense that trouble also waits there, ready to leap straight at you, teeth bared, jaws unhinged, should you dare to depart the cave. Like a hypervigilant scaredy-cat who hisses in fear at the noise across the room caused by the creaky floorboard she herself just stepped upon, you needn't freak at every weird sound, funny look, or secretly-harbored thought of which you imagine you're the recipient or target. Those are phantoms, my skittish Aquarian. They aren't really there. (Or if they really are, they matter diddly-squat to your life.) Your jumpiness is a natural result of all the many unknowns currently impacting your life. But to project them onto shadows cast by the tree outside ('a monster's coming to get me!'), whispers from the next table over ('they're talking shit about me!'), or recent absences of loving friends ('they're mad at me, but I don't know why!') is an unnecessarily self-limiting miscalculation. Keep telling yourself everything's okay, while continuing to emerge back into open air. Once you get the hang of it again, those silly anxieties will fade away on their own.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If you feel torn between (1) continued enjoyment of all the exciting social events at your disposal and (2) a growing wish for more quiet time at home, you mustn't overstate the necessity of choosing one over the other. Ever heard of this concept they refer to as balance? (It gets a lot of press in the Self-Help and Inspirational Gift categories.) At this point in time, Pisces, a little bit from each column will do you well. Either too much gallivanting around or too much hiding out could easily turn you cranky. An excess of anything (and that includes nothing) is far likelier to trick your mind into its worst habits than regularly alternating between doing and not-doing will. With the full moon falling early in the week (Mon May 19), chances are the lust for some downtime will gently increase as the days progress. Plan that into your schedule, so you don't overbook—and, as a result, underdeliver by not being fully present. Yet, to escape from sight altogether will undoubtedly frustrate a certain someone (or someones) who's counting on quality moments with you. See, that's the other key to this puzzle: how to balance being there for others with reserving some for you. (There's that word again. Balance…)