Horoscopes | Week of April 27-May 3, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Against the backdrop of you accelerating your progress at record-level speeds over the weeks ahead (refresh your knowledge of this context here), this would be a prime time to (re-)address whatever relational strings may still attach you to now-limiting entrenchments. Surely you've felt this tension intensify recently, between (1) where you're currently zooming off to and (2) what or who, despite having at one point served a valuable role in providing structure or mentoring to your younger self, leaves you feeling held back. Astrologically, this tension is signified by Venus's square to Pluto from your sign… an aspect that, thanks to Venus's retrograde, has been in play three times in three months. Its first initial pang struck in early February, at which time I warned you of potential personality clashes that could last through, well, now. And this week, with the third and final pass of this Venus-Pluto square bringing it to a head, you'd do yourself a favor to clearly acknowledge—to yourself and any relevant players—exactly what's going on. Following this last culmination of strain, your scene then opens up to even more freedom, with fewer immediate knots to untangle while proceeding toward your natural destiny. Don't take the weaselly way, though, and think you can simply 'leave it all behind' without explicitly speaking to what exactly you're walking away from. Even if you can slice a certain person or organization out of your life fairly easily, you must at least look at the underlying power-dynamic qualities that make such a departure necessary… or they're apt to pop up again next year, in exaggerated form, after you thought they were ancient history.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The linear narrative structure of the novel you are reading—no, living—appears to have broken down in the passage you're now reaching, replaced by a segment of poetic nonsensicalness that relates to the story through motif, archetypal tone and obscured allusion only. Words don't make sense (as long as you're stuck on 'sense'), but they evoke sensation… which is not without its own brand of insight for you to glean, just as long as you don't ask too many specifying questions (because the responses you're likely to get will resemble cryptic spiritual riddles more than clarifying detail). For many of you Tauruses, this poeticism is liable to leave you a bit deflated, if, that is, you don't continually remind yourself to look around at everything as a poem, in which it's okay to lose yourself in the moment's images without retaining the precise phraseologies for regurgitating on some confining literary multiple-choice quiz created by your least imaginative English teacher. If you merely recall one especially buoyant phrase or gorgeous symbol from the whole enchilada, isn't that enough to satisfy the poem's duty? You needn't bother furrowing your brow at the wholly impractical applicability of this horoscope, purposely without discreet advice, just as you shouldn't resist the dreamlike muddlement of the days ahead of you, Taurus. Whenever you can't bear being out in public under the influence of such wonderland-like lyricism (or are you just going bonkers?), slip away behind whatever curtain will protect you from having to pull it together… for the time being, at least.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The best advice I can give you, on the eve of your ruling planet Mercury returning home to your sign on Thursday (Apr 30), is to please be patient with yourself… and not jump to a much-wished-for conclusion that, finally, you may have stumbled upon the savior of an answer that'll magically alleviate a long-standing conundrum. Huh? You'd maybe think having Mercury back in your court would indeed hasten such resolutions, permitting your mind the freedom to experiment it requires to pull fully-formed rabbits out of the hat of its unparalleled cleverness. Typically, yes, Gemini, this would be the case—except for the fact that, by next week, Mercury will have flipped its shit to retrograde motion and, by the week following, will have zipped back into the unintelligible 12th. Of course, that's not to say you must discard or discredit the brilliant 'answers' (if that's what these brainstorms ought to be called) you'll bump into this week and next; just take them as immediate instructives for getting from this station to the next, without unfairly pinning larger journeys onto their backs. The 'patience' part comes with an understanding that you've got a lot more to discover through lived experience, which may thankfully alter your mindset two or three or seven times between now and mid-June, when Mercury finally returns, refreshed and redirect, to your sign for its real answer-delivering visit. Who needs an answer all the time, anyway? Sure-footed answers are for know-it-alls. The real fun (if you've brave and patient enough) comes from leaving the question as open as possible for different interpretations, and granting yourself the room to explore it from different angles. Now get back to hangin' with your peeps, and quit worrying so much…


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you abruptly find yourself privy to information you probably shouldn't know, insight that pops into your head or heart not through traditional channels, or a gut feeling that makes no sense and probably couldn't be communicated to other relevant parties without major doubt being cast in your direction… well, Cancer, you just may be onto something that'll help you find greater clarity in a certain decision-making process (especially relating to your career or public reputation). Eventually, that is. For now, it's probably best to keep mum on whatever you've suddenly figured out—since you know as well as I do, should you attempt to articulate it aloud (either to yourself or someone else), it's bound to get mangled in the translation from instinct to intelligibility. However, you should feel free to act on this hunch, as long as you just groove along with the knowledge, rather than trying to explain (to yourself or anyone else) why exactly you're doing what you're doing. As Venus resolves her unfinished business with Pluto, endlessly complicating one relationship or another due to its long-term 7th-house home, you're still due to confront one more round of competitiveness, an undermining of your burgeoning expansion, or other examples of a lack of support from a certain someone (or your fantastical invention of what they might think, if you dared to put it out there)… whether it's openly being expressed or just simmering within what's not being said. Continue to set waves into motion, but without acting on the defensive need to make definitive declarations or belabor a contentious point.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I want to lead off with the caution I've already offered before… which is to remind you not to avoid diligent attention to the daily mundane work-and-health habits you must consistently maintain, in order to build a necessary bodily stability in your day-to-day life. And now, Leo, that concludes the sobering portion of this horoscope. The rest, my friend, is full of rousing encouragements to put the past behind you… to get really excited, instead, about a future that will be spontaneously opening up in fresh new directions over the next several weeks. You've got to adjust your eyes, though, twisting their lenses away from seeing everything in the same shades of expectation, in order to capture the wider-angle focus required to spot Opportunity loitering on the sidelines or far in the back, holding up a small sign with your name on it (misspelled, of course, to make it that much more perplexing an adventure), inviting you to hop in the jalopy and zoom away on a delightfully bumpy ride with a stranger in a strange land. There are so many ways in which you might consider ceding control of where this wild journey will take you—and if someone new to your life, wide-eyed or knowledgeable in areas you're relatively unfamiliar with, representing beliefs or values that inexplicably draw you elsewhere from what you've always blindly thought, this is a person to follow. Obeying the first sentence of this horoscope will ground you enough in the 'real world' so that exuberant freedom (and those folks who represent it) can be permitted to call all the other shots not in direct conflict with it.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): In the ongoing saga of extricating yourself from an oppressive interpersonal brouhaha that's kept you from pursuing your own radical creative life-affirming freedoms—and even in the case I've been reading your signs wrong and, instead, you're now audaciously immersing yourself in a passionate interpersonal climax of merged pleasure, profit and/or progress deeper than ever before—this is a banner week in the story's development. With Mars now along to strengthen her resolve in the 8th house of all-encompassing intensity, Venus faces her last of three squares to Pluto in the 5th, producing some sort of answer (for the foreseeable future, at least) for how to integrate what drives your particular individual appreciation of life's peculiar delights with your obligations to this interpersonal bond, whether it's oppressive or pleasurably passionate. The image which just popped into my head is that of 'Siamese twins', and of you as only one of 'em, who must decide to finally give in to the fact that, no matter what you do, you're still dragging around this other soul who's indivisibly connected to you… or if you just can't take it anymore and are willing to embrace the risks involved in the separation surgery. This is just a metaphor, so the 'surgical risk' is actually far less life-threatening (though it may not feel that way) than it would be in the actual conjoined-twin scenario. And plus, you've been dealing with this question for some time. Now's a good moment to simply make the snip—or, in the other case I outlined, surrender to the indivisibility and make the absolute most of it.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Following along last week's thread, I'm moved to say this, Libra: Any uncomfortable disconnects you're experiencing in a relationship, if it's maybe moving too fast or demanding more of you than you believe you're willing or able to presently give, may be more a clash within yourself rather than an actual conflict with the other person. Whether we're talking about love (or something like it), a colleague-like partnership or any other collaboration requiring both parties to unite in holy synergy, I detect remnants of your own hesitancy to get all the way into it still sticking around. This semi-reluctance (and I say 'semi-' because another part of you can't get involved fast enough!) is nothing new, if you've been riding the Venus-retrograde tilt-o-whirl for the past two months as I suspect you have. Only now, you're in the final throes of being able to legitimately resist the quickening thrust impelling you toward the relationship (or, if no specific coupling is now ripe for consumption, then at least toward a new concept of relationship). The only thing really holding you back from moving ahead into the 'togetherness' zone, of course, is a subterranean hangover of grief from that which, recently or long ago, you had to leave behind… and so why wouldn't you have some slight (or not-so-slight) fears about putting yourself back in a position that, at some point way down the road, could leave a similarly sad taste in your mouth? Why? Because, over and over again, it's better to have loved (or something like it, even platonic versions) and lost than to never have loved at all. (And you know I ain't makin' that shit up.)


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): For a slightly different angle on the current 6th-house action that had me reporting 'it's work, work and more work!' last week, I want us to concentrate on the health aspect of this astrology, Scorpio. I ask you to look at yourself as a fleshy blood-and-bones machine (albeit one with a lively consciousness) that will run only as functionally as you treat its moving parts—and is much surer to run down, hiccup or crash if you demand far too much labor from it without properly attending to its gears, its operating system, its power source. Forgive the mangled metaphor (am I a car? am I a computer?), since I'm sure you know exactly what I'm getting at. This would be a wise moment to evaluate what you're putting into your body, especially since you could easily find yourself so busy (satisfyingly, I hope) with the productive grunt work that you forget to eat until your blood-sugar is so low you grab the nearest fast-food crap and shove it down your gullet 'til you're sick. Or are you the type who toils away all day with a big jar of candy on your desk, with your unconscious fingers jamming themselves in and out for the next sugar high to last you until the crash ten minutes later? Do you burn the midnight oil with gallons of coffee, while forgetting to drink the requisite water needed to flush it back out of your system? Is your only method for decompressing post-stress-out a few shots of Cuervo and/or a sleeping pill? To be clear, I judge none of these practices (and in fact have engaged in one or more of them myself from time to time). In this fast-paced astro-climate, however, you may be quicker than usual to overlook even the barest requirements of physical well-being… until, that is, you burn out, fall over, over do, and then waste a lot of time in the recovery phase.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): It's officially your moment to transcend any leftover case of 'the grumps'. And if it requires a defiant thumbing-of-your-nose at supposedly 'very real problems' (involving perhaps the dwindling funds in your bank account and/or your confusion as to what to do about it, or maybe just a recent dip in the self-esteem level), so be it, Sagittarius. We've covered this ground here before in past weeks, but you're likelier to make some noteworthy progress on it from here onward: Don't ignore the 'very real problems', but don't let 'em take over your entire life. In honor of the crashed economy and the similar states so many other folks find themselves in, or to rededicate yourself to the lost art of coping through revelry, maybe you ought to dry your tears and throw a party on the cheap. Why pretend you're swimming in dough if you're not, when instead you might celebrate the fact that the financial-industry fat-cats may've made off with half the world's retirement funds… yet they cannot steal your groove? Even on the off chance we're all going to hell in a handbasket and this really is the end of the world (which it literally isn't, though it may be 'the end of the world as we know it'), don't you want to go out in style, bopping with your best buds, knocking back a few, with a broad smile on your face, surrounded by the things that make you happy?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Your home life needs you, Capricorn. The literal place where you lay your head down every night misses your loving attention. The piles of dishes, the dust bunnies and improvement projects, the weedy gardens and scummy toilets yearn for your fastidious care… not because you are 'bad' for having neglected them (if you have), but for the pure uncomplicated joy (yes, joy!) they bring you when you treat them like valuable players in your world. The other people sharing your space also wouldn't mind a bit more of your energy, so they know you acknowledge the value of their contributions—and the connection between their domestic well-being and your own. When they are happy, they are happy to do more of the things that make you happy, too. All in all, these items and issues come down to prioritizing your own comfort, pleasure, and ability to thrive… as a direct factor of having somewhere you enjoy being at the end of each day, an environment that inspires you, with housemates whose company supports this enjoyment and inspiration rather than undermines it. If a few modest household chores will hardly begin to address the 'bigger fish to fry' in terms of unsettledness or unpleasantness on the domestic sphere, it's time to heat the oil in the pan and get ready to fry. You cannot expect to keep on tackling this 'me in deep transformation' period in a home that leaves you feeling stuck, frustrated or out of control.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Raise your voice a few decibels… not into an abrasive yelling-and-screaming, but more so you can project the content of your latest ideas and novel notions, in order to reach a larger audience. What you're presently up to, Aquarius, even on the most seemingly navel-gazing level of personal interest, really should incorporate all sorts of other people into its fabric. When I ask you to raise your voice, then, it is not to do so through a rousing (though controllingly self-enclosed) monologue, but to foster discussion among you and your peeps and maybe even a few stragglers you wouldn't typically include in the 'your peeps' category. We know you can give a great speech; what you're even better at is facilitating conversation, leading with bursts of your own thoughts and feelings, then opening it up further with leading questions and engaged follow-ups. In case you haven't noticed yet, the latest astro-trends have been driving you increasingly outward, back into immersion in the throngs of individuals that comprise the world you live in (like it or not). As transiting Venus in your solar 3rd makes her last square (of three) to that 12th-house Pluto, here's to conquering that nagging worry you have no business participating, with such shameless honesty, in the outside world because you're too 'moody' or 'crazy' or 'clueless' or 'unable to relate'. Step out into the light, and you'll see there really aren't such actual monsters lurking in your shadows after all.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): To reiterate a trend that's become increasingly popular in recent Piscean horoscopes, let me introduce a term you should metaphorically tattoo across the top of one or both of your hands so as to never forget it. That term is self-reliance. This is a model for how you need to handle your own business, particularly in relation to economics and self-worth… and for how you should start treating certain other people when they show up on your doorstep with their legitimate dilemmas (or less legitimate 'tragedies') and expect you to drop everything to save their volatile asses one more time. As far as your personal concerns are concerned, there is simply no shortcut detour or easy-street expressway I can direct you to, which will exempt you from just doing what you need to do to take care of yourself—and I admit I'm working off the assumption (a fair one, in my book) that you, in fact, do know exactly what you need to do, and that most obstacles obstructing your doing stem from others' pushy opinions and your self-doubt-filled reactions to 'em. In terms of dedicating yourself to the task of bringing in what you need to comfortably get by, it's really a rather straightforward set of initiatives. It's the other people and their problems likelier, as per Piscean usual, to really get in your way… causing you to misappropriate psychic nurturance you need for yourself toward their ends. Not only is it more truly compassionate to teach someone to fish rather than merely give 'em pounds and pounds of delectable filets, but, at this juncture, it's not even really your job to do the teaching—unless, that is, all your business is already satisfactorily taken care of.