Horoscopes | Week of March 30-April 5, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the thrill, buzz and/or bedlam of these past few Venus-retrograde-in-your-sign-influenced weeks, I'm sure you've had moments in which you truly came to realize, 'Anything really is possible!'—and, at other moments, probably tasted a very real sense of, 'Perhaps there really is such a thing as "too much"!' I'd expect nothing less, Aries. Now I'm here to bring a bit of reality-check back into your recent surreal existence: You are not invincible. Despite recurring surges that might lead you to conclude the contrary, you are not a tireless fireball who can continue zipping through the adventures without some physical bounds infringing themselves. Likewise, you do not currently possess the power to transcend all external authorities (i.e., the law, the chain of command, the necessary protocol required to secure certain important signatures or checkmarks). Because you're presently brimming over with an energy and aplomb that can liberate you from many stale situations and pump you full of faith in your ability to recreate entire segments of your life, that doesn't mean anything really is possible… if you don't respect either your own bodily restrictions or somebody else's ineluctable sovereignty over his/her dominion. Beware of the tricks your mind is apt to play on you, since you've now gotten this prolonged glimpse at how the world appears through a funhouse mirror. There are still some rules you must play by, for your own health and safety.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Part of what I was going for with last week's scope, Taurus, was an attempt to get you thinking less and acting more. That's not to say your general thought processes are somehow faulty… though, I think you'd agree, they may suffer from too rigid beliefs in certain things being 'right' and others 'wrong', and not necessarily due to you having reached these verdicts as a result of direct trial-and-error experience. Yes, it's true: A sizable portion of your judgments about what is acceptable or unacceptable—either for yourself personally (though you may tolerate it in others) or as a universal rule—has been bequeathed to you by mum-and-dad, those harsh Catholic-school teachers, the 'conventional wisdom', or prescriptive books and articles you've read over the years. Who says those judgments are correct, here in the present moment, for you in your life? As I write this, the current astro-trend is decidedly weighted toward action. Thought? Not so much. So swallow a few capsules of extra-strength faith, and take some action that challenges a long-entrenched belief you only believe because someone told you so or because you fear to believe otherwise. Think of it as a trial. While you're at it, grab your least risk-averse pal for a pep talk. This wild-and-crazy creature is in your life for a reason; embrace his/her inspiring friendship.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I'm not sure whether you'll take this horoscopic news as reassuring or disconcerting, but here goes: Your biggest obstruction in getting your energy and intention out there into the world, especially when it comes to pursuit of goals, is coming from inside you. That's right, Gemini, you aren't being thwarted by evil corporate conspiracies (at least not personally), held down by 'The Man' or helplessly victimized by forces beyond your control. Instead, I diagnose the problem as a lack of emotional focus. When I say 'emotional focus', I am talking about the need to obey what feels right to you… and to quit chasing roundabout methods to your own satisfaction, with the belief you could do this, that or the other, and the specifics wouldn't make a hill-o'-beans of difference. Guess what? They do. If it seems like you're 'not getting anywhere', perhaps you're trying to get to the wrong place? Just a thought. I don't have the right answer for you because I don't know what's going on inside you, my dear. But those tender sentiments do matter, though we all tell ourselves that different rules (other than regularly taking our emotional temperature and listening to what it's saying) apply when it comes to our career or public-life. Humbug. If you don't feel good about it, you can't expect much gratifying success to come from it, can you?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you're brave enough to really look, you'll perceive an eerie parallel or interrelation between the situations presenting themselves (or not) in your career or community-participation zone and the personal work you're engaged in (or not) in your relationship life. What's presently going on out there in the limelight of your public-world activities, as I'm sure you've noticed by now, demands you make snap decisions based upon what you (and only you) want out of a situation… and in doing so, there's also a likelihood you'll choose something that can fairly be described as self-centered. I'll also assume, since you're a loving and caring and supportive Cancerian, your pattern in relationships—and (this is a very key point) not just in romances—is to love and care and support the other person to the best of your ability, giving them virtually whatever they claim to need or want. This isn't really such a bad thing if the other person is doing the same for you… and by offering love and care and support, I mean they actively encourage you to choose what you want in life, even if it comes into conflict with their needs and wants. That sort of genuine support in a relationship is what you must strive for, Cancer. It does, however, require a commitment to working through such potential conflicts so that, in the end, both people can get as much of what they want—without holding the other person back. For right now, in romances and friendships, familial and professional relationships, surround yourself with folks who can offer the real McCoy. And those you aren't sure of? Push the envelope, and see where they fall.


LEO (July 23-August 22): My first instinct, Leo, is to tell you to keep your eyes on your own paper… and since we're presently dwelling in an environment where instincts are more trustworthy than too much painstakingly careful thought, I'm going to go with it. I don't assume, though, you're sitting in a proctored testing room trying to steal SAT answers from your neighbor. What I'm talking about more precisely is the burning temptation to concern yourself too greatly with what somebody else is doing (wrong? instead of you? not to your specifications?), when there's plenty of other stuff you can (and should) be taking care of for yourself that has absolutely nothing to do with anybody else. I'm under no delusion this excessive interest in the perpetually-contestable zone of 'issues that involve both of us'—or, alternatively, 'problematic situations that cannot be resolved on one's own'—only flows one way. It's just as likely somebody else is overly concerned with what you're doing, trying to do, or trying to avoid doing. And while you might legitimately claim that's not your fault, to even engage with the necessary drama that comes along with discussing whether or not it's their business to be worried about is already implicating yourself in partial responsibility. You know as well as I do what else you need to be spending your week doing, which likely involves the mundane, the practical and/or the money-oriented… and nobody need be pokin' their grubby fingers where they don't really belong.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As I discussed last week, there's really no question your sign is bearing the brunt of truly challenging astro-circumstances… and in a way that rightfully seems like much of it is out of your control, due to the deeds (or misdeeds) of other people. If you are managing to evade much negative fallout from this, Virgo, I have to conclude you've done a damn good job of surrounding yourself with only people who bear your best interests at heart. (Well done, though I'm not quite sure how you did it.) For the rest of you, alas, this week's opposition of Mars from your 'other people' house (the 7th) to Saturn, 2-year occupant in your sign sent to test your fortitude, does nothing to ease the strain. If anything, this Mars-Saturn transit may feel like your self-possession and/or composure is under direct attack from another person (or your idea of that other person and your relationship to 'em), only it's unclear whether you're just being paranoid or if, in fact, they really are attacking you. All I can say to this one is: Hold your ground. Work hard at 'doing the right thing' for you, even if it means taking their right hooks like a champ. The other alternative, of course, is for you to go on the attack in retaliation… or in what you think is retaliation, though, in the end, you might end up becoming the one who's totally combative and hostile. (Yikes.) I'll leave you with one possible silver-lining reading to your astro-situation: This onslaught of forceful-though-strained energy could play out in a different sort of interpersonal tension, more charged with sexuality than anger… and likelier to develop into something titillating than devolve into something ugly. (Well, for your sake, I can only hope.)


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Please don't be too surprised—or too irked—if the stuff you're trying to get done this week appears to be spinning its wheels, going nowhere fast, or screeching to a grinding halt. That's just the faceoff between Mars and Saturn, which points to a hidden-but-no-less-persuasive hesitance on your part to not continue pushing yourself. In other words, a wise-but-mysterious part of your subconscious has a hunch that what's best for your psychic health is to take a momentary break (rather than, say, bang your head against a rock unproductively). This only presents a problem, Libra, if you're too impatient to wait… or if you have an important deadline that must be met this week, in which case, be prepared for a hell of an effort (though it is possible, if not unpleasant, to meet it). Otherwise, pick it up again next week with a renewed fervor. And while you're in this unprogressive moment, turn your attentions elsewhere. A gentle combination of Sun, Mercury and Jupiter is framing a wonderful chance to pursue energizing, idealistic conversations with people you'd like to get to know better, because something about them perks your childlike curiosity. Should you find yourself in an opportunity to ask a fascinating person some fuller questions about how they got where they are and what makes 'em tick, please take it. You just might find, by the end of the exchange, a light inside you is burning brighter than it has in a while.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If you presently bear a certain responsibility to a team, an organization, a bunch of pals, or any group of individuals counting on you to do your part, then you'd damn well better live up to it, Scorpio… even this week, when I wouldn't put it past you to indulge in more than a little time-wasting frivolity, under the auspices of 'I can do whatever the heck I want!' (which I imagine is accompanied by a naughty little sticking-out of the tongue). Oh, I understand the allure of getting a bit of space from those people who seem like they're always needing something from you, as if they're somehow lost unless you're there to pick up the pieces and show 'em where they're supposed to go. It's enough to drive a guy or gal to… well, ditch out for a while and fuss with something else that has nothing to do with them. Honestly, though, this is a terrible week for such ditching, even though the urge to do so seems greater than ever. And even if you can justify a switch of focus toward more self-interested matters because they actually qualify as 'work', too, and therefore don't really qualify 'time-wasting frivolity', it still doesn't buy you an exemption from continuing to serve the group's needs. If you can believe this, dear, the pull toward your own interests and away from theirs will grow even stronger over the next couple weeks… so if you can sincerely hold out a bit longer, there will come a time when resistance truly is futile and you can grant yourself the weekend-leave pass then. Their appreciation for you sticking around (though it may be subtle or unconscious) will make a difference later.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): As avid a proponent of free expression as I am, Sagittarius, I'm also savvy enough to know there's a time and a place for everything. And while that renegade Venus-retrograde in your 5th continues to spark the desire to act on impulse, embrace what feels good in a moment, and generally blow off steam (since these days we've all got some extra steam to blow off), the picture is unfortunately more nuanced than that. At this same time, a stymieing Mars-Saturn opposition is crunching across your angular 4th/10th axis, which means there are very compelling reasons not to throw all caution to the wind—namely, practical-minded self-preservation. In other words, don't air your freest rendition of impulsive steam-blowing in any public arena where your reputation (particularly career-related) could be marred in the eyes of somebody who can either increase or decrease your relative sense of opportunity. From this perspective, consider the healthiest form of 'expressing yourself' as looking out for your future so that later, at a less dicey point in your professional development, you will be able to act more fully on impulse—with fewer potentially disruptive consequences. In the meantime, please note I did not tell you to keep your spontaneous feel-good urges at bay. Just let 'em out in more discreet contexts, at home or behind closed doors, for now.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Don't react hastily, should ridiculous clouds of other people's anger waft into your neck-o'-the-woods. Even the smallest offhand remark on your part (uttered in a droll cutting tone, no doubt, that you expect to go 'over their head') holds the power to make it worse. You are better than needing to fan the flames, aren't you, Capricorn? That's the ethical righteousness I want you to cling to… only not in any self-righteous manner. Your insistence on higher standards, rather, is about you doing your best to impress yous—and hasn't a damn thing to do with what's going on with them, let alone whether you are superior to them in any way. In fact, I can say with authority you are not superior to them. In this wacky kaleidoscope of humanity, each of us is on our own path, with our own lessons, and it would be presumptuous to compare our level of moral achievement with anybody else's. However, it is perfectly acceptable to draw the comparison with prior versions of your own self… to identify ways in which you have moved beyond earlier lapses in judgment (which might've led you toward uttering unnecessarily snarky remarks, under your breath or out in the open, to others who 'fall short' of your so-called standards). During the ongoing decade-and-a-half Pluto lesson you're just beginning to learn, you will stumble into a much better understanding of how to hold your power, knowledge and authority (which you possess in generous quantities)—without lording it over anybody else, whether to get your way or make a point or just make yourself feel better at another person's expense. Try working on it this week.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): This week, you're chairperson of the Optimism Committee. There I see you, Aquarius, with your enormous wide-toothed grin and your gold-star stickers to hand out to everyone who deserves one (which is everyone!), taking first position in the Positive Thinking Brigade so the rest of us need do little more than follow your lead to get some happy upbeat energy flowing through our systems. This is not, to be clear, an endorsement of simple-minded wishfulness. I do not expect you to treat other people's serious concerns carelessly, as if to insult them by belittling their worries with a minimizing 'it's no big deal'. On the contrary, my bright visionary: I picture you spiritedly offering suggestions and perspective-shifts, off the cuff, with no haughty presumptuousness that you know better (because you don't) and no pressure on them to adopt any of your ideas… merely to demonstrate, in an impromptu live-action concepting session, how many alternatives and opportunities there are to be hopeful about. In the process, no doubt, the free-flow of promising possibilities will soon go both ways. Their increasing confidence and excitement will soup yours up, too—which is probably a good thing, considering, even though we've bestowed upon you this hyper-optimistic duty to serve the rest of us, you may still notice a strange amorphous lurking of 'is a shoe about to drop?' that privately threatens to spoil your otherwise hyper-optimistic mindset. (Between you and me and the lamppost, you have work to do on bolstering your faith in the universe's ultimately wise workings. 'Tis just the beginning of that.)


PISCES (February 19-March 20): On the most basic Astrology 101 level, this week's Mars-Saturn opposition across your 1st and 7th houses bespeaks of your efforts to assert yourself or push ahead being thwarted by your approach to, or participation in, a seemingly inflexible relationship that appears to demand you do things 'by the book'. (None of this should come as any surprise to you, Pisces, especially if you've been keeping up with your weekly astro-scopes.) Mars, the planet of action and aggression and give-me-what-I-want-or-else, is currently showing up in such a stirring fashion in your life because he's personalizing the already-personal opposition of Saturn and Uranus across these same houses, which has been in effect since Sep 08 and continues into mid-2010. So whatever's happening now, my dear, is a magnified illustration of the overall struggle-to-juggle you find yourself in over this lengthier span of time. 'How far do I go in acceding to the limits this relationship (or my relation to my lack thereof) places on me… and how radically can I choose myself over anything (and anyone) else?' And what you do about it now is, therefore, much more significant than just the immediate this-week-and-next effects. You are essentially reconfiguring the balance of power you devote to (1) yourself as an individual vs. (2) yourself in relation to others, or a particular other. So what do you do about it? Make sure both sides of the balance are getting their fair shake. It's fair to warn you, by the way: Over the coming couple weeks, as Mars approaches conjunction with Uranus, your urge to rebel in favor of your own independence will increase.