Horoscopes | Week of April 20-26, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Without further ado, allow me to hype up your forthcoming week with playfully puffed-up language: This is the week you've been waiting for—and it's just a beginning! Not only is Venus back in your sign (and direct again), but so is Mars. And Mars is your ruling planet, snug as a bug in a rug when back home in Aries, and ready to take on the world with his fearless, bold, pioneering muscle. With these two working in conjunction to put you out in the front of the crowd, thus begins a tremendously dynamic period lasting through the end of May. Can we get a 'hurray!' please? If you've been following the horoscopic ups and downs in this-here column over these past few months, you will be well-acquainted with the 'funhouse' metaphor I've beaten into the ground. (Refamiliarize with its origins here.) The surreal out-of-control quality that went along with your protracted 'funhouse' visit is now over, thankfully (or maybe not-so-thankfully, since it sure served as a good pretext for sheer zaniness, eh?). In its place arises several weeks ahead of grabbing the bull by the horns and doing what you know you've got to do (but want to do, too, right?), what the previous weeks' surreality has inspired in you, and what you've been waiting for the right time to dive straight into. Dive! Here it is, my rowdy fireball… your time to bust forth, blazing the trail you won't let anyone stop you from blazing. Would you be surprised to hear that, once you get going, your status-quo circumstance vis--vis certain powerful players or stodgy institutions will no longer be able to contain your brilliant light? (And that they may very well become conspicuously angry about it?) Thought not.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In a world gone increasingly mad, isn't it nice to know that your calm pragmatic mind positions you to be the 'voice of reason'? Or would it mess with your sense of security to envision the same scenario from a different angle… that, in a world evolving at an increasingly mad pace, your stubbornly old-fashioned mind is falling behind the times? I cannot adequately discern for you which version of the story best fits your current status, Taurus, but I'd be willing to wager it's a blend of both. With both the Sun and Mercury in your sign, you're surely experiencing a renaissance of self, at least insofar as you can conceptualize where you may want to take things next—and where other folks are slipping off the rails, in terms of their relation to your reasoned-through ideals. However, Venus (direct again, yes!) and Mars are heading hand-in-hand into the murky between-worlds nowhereness of your 12th house, where they will stay through the end of May. (That's five weeks, if anybody's counting.) So while you may not mentally sync up with what others are up to (since their seemingly unconsidered actions might be a bit rash for your tastes), they are likely to keep on going… while you, clever and pragmatic though you might be, are likelier to feel somewhat lost when it comes to legitimately proceeding along the course you know is yours to tread. Don't let this 'lost' feeling get you down, make you angry, or turn you crazy. Mental clarity doesn't always immediately lead to clear action. In your current case, the concrete progress may not occur until June.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Whatever the state of particular portions of your life may currently be—and I'm perfectly aware that, in some cases, you may not even be able to accurately assess the state of said portions, let alone be terribly comfortable or satisfied with your involvements in them—there is still one aspect which is sure to bring you immediate joy, release and engagement. That aspect is: People. I know, that may be a really generic way of expressing it, or perhaps a sappy sentiment. Yet, with the astro-action dramatically shifting into your solar 11th (thanks, both Mars and back-to-her-senses Venus), I am confident you can counteract any bummer feelings you may be having about stuff that's seemingly eternally 'up in the air' by surrounding yourself with friends, throwing yourself into organizational participations or political actions, joining with folks who share a common vision so you're reminded what gets your idealistic side jazzed up, and generally keeping yourself busy with an active social life. The big neon-pink-with-purple-polka-dots elephant in the room is, not surprisingly, the fact that the psychological disarray associated with whatever circumstances are stubbornly refusing to settle themselves doesn't necessarily make you feel like hanging out with folks, shooting the shit, or pretending to be in a light-and-cheery mood when you're not. That's the rub, though. You have to push past the belief you wouldn't be sure what to even say to people when they ask how you are, knowing the act of just throwing yourself into the social fray will help move your mood… and you don't have to know, in advance, exactly how.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's time to make your presence known, Cancer, in as large a sphere as you can readily manage. Abstract notions about what you intend to, one day, accomplish will soon start to work against you… if you have no public-world initiatives to go along with 'em. You've got to put on the ceremonial garb, step out of the house, and walk down the street like you own the block. Goals reserved only for your ears, kept hidden away in your secret place (lest you try to make 'em happen and, gulp, not get it right the first time out on the track), will only serve to torture you past a certain point, reminding you what you haven't yet dared to attempt. And trust me, it's a torture far worse than giving it a good go and learning in the act from what doesn't happen quite as you'd hoped. Plus… who knows? you just might actually succeed. (I know: It's equally as scary a premise, no?) We writers are well aware of the trap of wishing ourselves to be 'writers', as if the contract from Simon & Schuster must first arrive (by Fed-Ex overnight early a.m. delivery, no less) before one can legitimately call one's self by that illustrious title, when in fact all that's really required is to actually write. Extend this writerly metaphor to whatever your yearned-for achievement may be. Then, realize: It matters less whether any other person bestows upon you the 'honor' of being allowed to do what you want to do, and much more that you just start doing it.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Actions that matter. Motions that make a difference. Stances in which you actually stand up and take a stand for something and, more importantly, for yourself… which involves literally getting up from where you've been waiting, wondering, loitering and limboing, and walking toward the bigger arena (whether or not certain people want to, or are able to, follow). Are you catching this drift, Leo, now that both Venus (thankfully direct again) and Mars are back in fire signs and ready to pump your self-possession back up to useful, meaningful proportions. Life is far too short to stifle your enthusiasms, merely to suit interpersonal situations that might've seemed all-consuming (but only because you let them consume all of you). No more, my dear… and by that, I don't necessarily mean 'no more' of such situations (though that's surely a possibility), but no more biding your time or downplaying your desires for something else greater or different than whatever's long grown stale. Feed those desires, honey. Permit yourself to yearn for travel beyond the fenced-off property line. Believe it or not, the largest challenge isn't contending with who or what you're leaving behind (because you've already done the bulk of that contending, correct?); it's keeping up with work demands, which require you to keep a steady output even while other parts of your life are in rapid transition. Do your work diligently, then visualize how much else there also is to sink your passions into.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You didn't sincerely think you were going to get out of it that easily, did you? Didn't think so. You know the score, Virgo, despite your wishful yearnings to the contrary—that whatever extenuating circumstances (which undoubtedly involve the maneuverings of a certain partner/ally/adversary) have had you tied up in knots over recent weeks are still (yes, still!) in the throes of untangling themselves. The less-encouraging news is it may get momentarily harsher and uglier and, as a result, require you to be that much stronger, braver and more direct in your approach to navigating it. Please don't resist this necessity; the freedom to explore your personal passions (rather than riding shotgun on someone else's epic journey) is at stake, and nothing less. But the vastly more-encouraging news (and it really is good) is I can almost virtually guarantee you'll reach a newly satisfying place in this seemingly never-ending struggle by the beginning of June. In fact, its seeming never-endedness will likely prove a mirage since the struggle may actually be over by then. Not without a good unflinching effort on your part, that is. My guarantee is null and void if, instead, you roll over and play doormat to the person who scares the living bejesus out of you because… why, exactly? they're louder or more emotionally erratic than you? because they'll make such a huge stinking headache out of the whole thing that you'd rather suck it up to shut 'em up? If you are thinking like that, you'd better get yourself a cerebral readjustment fast, my friend. If you want true ownership over your life, it often requires enduring a passing headache.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Okay, Libra, you've had your 6-week-long Venus-retrograde excuse to wonder about where you stand in relationship (remember: not just romantic, though that certainly qualifies) to one or more particular individuals, without exactly knowing for sure where your affections lie (or don't lie). But Venus is no longer retrograde, my darling… and now that she's heading back into your relationship house (the 7th) and being joined there by Mars (who's happy-as-hell and eager-as-a-beaver in Aries), the 'wondering' is over. Now, that doesn't mean you are expected to have The Answer (whatever that is) about precisely how you feel, where this is going, or what sort of help or personal growth you need to make it from here to 'the next step'—all of that is way too mental. However, you probably will need to actually move in one direction or another… not necessarily because you've figured anything out but because this interrelational motion is the only way to find out. The experience of spending more or less time with a certain someone, sharing further intimacies or pulling back from a situation that's hit its wall or gone too far, jumping all the way in or making some sort of clean break… these living lessons are how you'll learn what's right for you. If you think you can calculate the status of a relationship, which necessarily exists between two (or more) people, by reasoning it through inside your own solitary head, you're wrong.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Perhaps you'll recall this horoscope from last month, in which I implored you to get to work, keep working, and not stop for a good long while? (Or perhaps you'd like to forget that one?!?) Well, Scorp, that sort of headline is presently recurring: Until the end of next month, you are heading back into this type of mundane focus on plowing through the chores on your plate. That's right, honey—it's work, work and more work! But before you huff and puff, let me add this very important detail: This time around, you will be mad productive. You will burn through days of paperwork in a few jet-powered hours… and actually enjoy the whistling of your turbo-powered limbs as you toil. You will find yourself extra-motivated by the helpful push of celestial momentum blowing from behind you, eager to keep you goin' another lap or two because you nearly can't believe how fast you're going and how invigorating it feels to wield such steam. You may even discover a tough, tireless quality to your work-ethic you've always known you had but may've recently misplaced, due to any number of more supposedly entertaining detours. Wow! It's like you could cruise on at this pace for miles… indefinitely, even. Before you get ahead of yourself, please be aware that no human being is totally tireless, and you will need to come up for air, food and water, and a few zzzzs every once in a blue moon. And since you're going to be so pumped up to continue riding this wave as long as it'll have you moving mountains with one hand tied behind your back, you may not take kindly to the periodic (and necessary) interruption from someone dying to engage you in topics or travails you simply find petty or uninteresting. Try not to lash out too ferociously, though don't let 'em hijack your thrust.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): First, you're up. Then, you're down. It's been something of an emotional carnival ride recently… and not without reason either, Sagittarius, in case this opening description has immediately triggered any defensive reaction on your part. Because, let's be honest, you generally aren't the zodiac soul whose moods rise and fall based on a light breeze blowing in or a person glaring at you the 'wrong' way, are you? I think then, you're due for a very pleasant several weeks ahead, with the return of Venus (now moving forward again, yay!) into your house of elation (the 5th)… along with Mars, who is ready to spark up some hella good times and burn off any residual hangover from the feelings that may've weighed you down over the past month or two. Mars and Venus together in the 5th is a fantastic indicator that you'll be enjoying yourself more in these coming weeks than perhaps you have in the recent past. If there are children in your life (who you've maybe been missing, since your mind has been preoccupied with 'adult stuff'), you'll have the chance to spend more quality time with them… and I encourage you to take them on little adventures, and participate in the fun as if you were a playmate peer as well as parent or guardian. And if love is on the horizon in any way, shape or form (and perhaps you don't yet know that Cupid's waiting around the next blind turn, aiming an arrow with your name on it), give yourself the freedom to flirt with it, explore its possibilities, and see where it takes you. Even if the reason(s) you've been moody still isn't resolved to your liking, you must make space for the things—and people—you love to take center stage. The warmth from these experiences will help melt any leftover chill in your heart.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): When I talk about 'fighting for your own inner peace', as internally contradictory as that phrase may sound, I'm talking about a literal fight, Capricorn. We all know how your innards work, don't we? Harsh standards put upon one's self… perpetually striving to be ever 'better' at this and that, and quick to beat yourself up whenever you do anything 'wrong' (even if all this happens away from anyone else's view)… and hardly ever does the voice inside stop nagging about how things could be, if only you could fix and improve. Each Capricorn has his/her own version of this inner dialogue (it comes with the territory of being ruled by taskmaster Saturn), but it didn't magically show up there on its own. I've told you this before, but it begs repeating: Specific people and lived experiences planted those scripts in your head, and it is your duty to root them out. Only now, with ultimate-fighter Mars in Aries joining newly-direct Venus in your solar 4th, you're wielding the fiery wherewithal—as well as a long-past-fed-up 'over it' quality to the torture you put yourself through—that just might get you making real progress on this issue. But as I said, it is a fight. You must be willing to look the inner critic square in the eyes and bravely assert, 'What you are telling me about myself is bullshit! And I'm not going to listen to it anymore! I'm here to overthrow your reign of terror in my emotional sphere, so I can finally get some peace and quiet! And if you don't like it, I will seriously beat you to a bloody pulp [which, in this context, means arguing with every nitpick and putdown you subject yourself to with an equally defiant declaration of self-acceptance] until you shut your damn mouth!' Sure, eventually, you'll have to come back around to this same issue from a less violent, combative, reactionary place and deal with the deeper, softer layers. But first, you must bully the bully back… and you know as well as I do, your biggest bully is inside your head.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Stock up on your favorite (legal, non-toxic and not-too-self-destructively-habit-forming) stimulant now, my fine feathered Aquarian, because your social calendar is soon to be packed to its brim… and will remain so for the next several weeks. You can thank happily-direct-again Venus and her partner-in-crime Mars for the uptick in appointments, assignments, dates and dalliances, as they hopscotch together in your solar 3rd. The 3rd house is where we keep our network of necessary connections healthily flowing, by catching up with friends, acquaintances, neighbors, siblings, cousins and other local characters… where we update ourselves with the latest downloads, the freshest news and the tastiest gossip (hopefully without snideness or slander)… and where we happily share whatever thoughts cross the top of our head while we're catching up, updating others on whatever important and not-so-important stuff is occupying our days and nights. During Venus's retrograde last month, I made a point of stressing others' need for you to be socially 'around', pointing to the power you hold (whether you know it or not) to alter people's perspectives and shift their moods simply by chit-chatting with 'em. Only, back then, this may've felt more like a duty, since it likely conflicted with a counter-urge on your part to reserve much of your energy for more private pursuits. Now, however, you will be as into the avid socializing as they will be to welcome your presence. But there are a lot of folks to catch up with, update and inform… and only so many hours in a day. (Which explains my opening sentence, half-joke and half-counsel, about stocking up on stimulants.) Watch out, alas, for privately indulging in escapist activities at the end of these exhausting days, which you may convince yourself are essential for unwinding relief from nonstop externalizing. They will only exhaust you further, fueling an unhealthy cycle of energetic ups and downs.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I sincerely hope you took my words from two weeks ago to heart, Pisces… and that special window of opportunity still extends through the first half of this week, in case you still have some leap-of-faith, sudden-change-making risk-taking to take care of. And then, whether you jumped from the nest or were kicked out by the forces of nature, it is time for you to hit the ground running. You are to take care of yourself first, rather than worrying about other adults who need to take care of their own damn selves since, for the time being, you simply do not have the energy to spare. Your financial situation—and, undergirding that, your confidence in your ability to safeguard your own material security in the world—requires all your attention. And we're not talking about quiet self-enclosed contemplation of possible possibilities either. I'm talking pounding-the-pavement, trying-anything-to-get-it-bopping action. I'm talking self-serving action to boot, which is liable to mess with your sense of needing to 'look out for everyone' (though, let me tell you, you've spent lots of time doing that already and will do more of it in the future, but please not right now). When you're not taking immediate, not-going-to-wait-a-single-second-longer action, you need to be actively discussing what you're acting on with every friend and acquaintance you've got. All this, of course, without succumbing to the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron-inspired urge to disappear behind the secret door and lick your wounds. Yes, you crave private healing time, too… but everything at its proper moment, please.