Horoscopes | Week of May 4-10, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Perhaps if you just keep on reminding yourself you currently own a decided advantage in virtually any and every situation, thanks to this ultra-Aries moment we're all experiencing, it will provide you enough inspiration to avoid engaging in wasteful wars of words. Remember, Aries, you are far better equipped than the rest of us at grabbing the ball and running with it, a skill that's presently the handiest one to possess. So hopefully, when other folks frantically move to wrap you into nervous, unnecessarily verbose discussions about what you'd probably consider a minor detail (or plainly trivial crap), you will be able to muster compassion for their underlying anxiety, which is what's unconsciously motivating their drive to want to talk everything to death—rather than losing your shit on them from beneath an umbrella of 'having no friggin' time!' to deal with their nonsense. Yes, the act of conversational 'checking in' will feel like it's slowing you down. But it's an important step in the process, unless you expect to be able to pull off the entire thing with nobody else's participation or support (which is highly unlikely). And trust me, you'll waste far less time indulging in more discussion than you'd like than if you blow up, hurt their feelings, and be forced to indulge in the even more discussion required to then process the blowup and the hurt feelings.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Use your great strength of character to stay out of the crossfire altogether, rather than imagining it ought to be utilized for treading the steady course of publicly pronouncing your trademark pragmatism. For now, your down-to-earth sensibilities aren't likely to be as appreciated as perhaps they should… and it's not a good time to try schooling anyone. Headstrong self-determined defiance is a fairly trendy trait among many folks these days, so even offering the most casual (and smart) advice in this astrological firestorm isn't a worthwhile endeavor. It's best not to bother moving to control anything, least of all what other people are doing. For that matter, your own deeds aren't exactly easy to get a comfortable grip on either… at least in terms of confidently knowing which action will lead to which result. Leave the mystery be. I promise, Taurus, certain worries about whether you're going to know when to do what, once the pivotal time to make the decisive choice finally does arrive, will naturally turn obsolete as the coming weeks pass. Have faith in evolution to naturally select those opportunities likeliest to muster staying power. You actually need do very little, for the current moment, to push everything along. I suppose that, in itself, is the most frustrating part: In the absence of a practical step begging to be taken, your imagination can run away with itself in self-destructive ways. Therefore, keep it on a short leash.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Hold that thought. It just may be a good one, or not… but none of that matters quite yet. Just hold onto it, jot it down in your favorite spiral notebook, file it for the not-so-long-from-now future, and remain open to its evolution, devolution or demolition over the course of the next few weeks. If you'll refresh yourself with last week's words, Gemini, you'll be reminded that this week brings your ruling mischief-maker Mercury's standstill, and subsequent retrograde, in your sign… and all the possible mangled messages, distracting detours and gobsmacking glitches that often come with such an astro-event. In this context, patience may be the most virtuous virtue—at the same time it is in rather short supply. With the added Aries influence to stoke this smoldering situation into an out-and-out blaze, the most dangerous culprit of the week's Merc-retro madness is moving too quickly from one reaction to the next, without bothering to pause long enough to check in on the emotional-intuitive level to see if each reactive action actually feels right or not. Just trying anything, in the mad-dash hope that one of these desperate measures will work, is akin to pounding on every button of the keyboard in fast-motion as a means to get the overworked computer to break free of its freeze. The obvious result: simply compounding the problem. (Which is something you could easily figure out on your own, if not for the frenzy you may find yourself in.) Likewise, just because someone else is the one throwing out a million-and-one possible approaches to attempt, all in a single breath, doesn't make the overreaction any better an idea. Sometimes, we even foolishly believe that, as long as it was someone else's idea, we won't have to accept full responsibility when our heeding it leads to undesired ends. A foolish belief, to be sure.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I recommend you continue proceeding down the path your job or community involvement is directing you toward, taking each next step as it comes… even despite any suspicions beginning to emerge that, perhaps, this path could be a dead-end road. Whether this burgeoning hunch is merely about one certain detail, client or methodology, or whether what it's hinting at is on a much larger scale, it would be futile to act on it before further specifics become clearer. Indeed, if we glance back at last week's horoscope, we'll recall it's futile (or if not futile, then otherwise unwise) to even mention said suspicions—particularly with the added astro-knowledge of Mercury's oncoming retrograde (which lasts from this Thursday through the end of the month) mucking up the translation of your intuitions. I cannot confidently claim, Cancer, your hunch is wholly inaccurate. But I will say it could mean something markedly different than what, today, you might think it means. Keyword here is 'think', another thing entirely than the hunch itself, which is based in the action-word 'feel'. All you know for sure is that something doesn't feel quite right. Still, for the time being, there are motions and procedures you need to keep on with, regardless of whether, in the end, they will have proven inadequate, misdirected or for naught… at least according to certain estimations. My hunch, however, is that, even should some sort of 'dead-end' present itself a month or so down the road, nothing you're actively doing now (other than unnecessarily extra-cautiously hesitating) is likely to prove a waste of time.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I wish I had something radically new to report to you, Leo, but I suspect you'll find several familiar thematic traces strewn throughout this week's horoscope. The energy of productive responsibility ties your 2nd and 10th houses together—and, as the ones ruling your money situation and your career, this can be an altogether helpful interrelation. In other words, prioritizing the pressure to make healthful, conservative financial decisions over virtually all other issues will definitely help you experience a feeling of secure footing in your overall quest to 'make something of yourself' out in the world. If only there wasn't so much other astro-energy in the air, too… tempting you to 'not sweat the small stuff' and, instead, to line your attentions up behind the ideas and activities likelier to bring immediate thrills ('because you only live once and why not make the most of it, right?!?'). All those dazzling friends with their jet-setting adventures and personal-quest-for-meaning stories, their company could become nearly impossible to bear—even as they are precisely who you most want to spend your time with (as opposed to certain diligent colleagues or co-workers who, frustratingly, seem to actually thrive on the narrower focus of 'must complete task'). Really, all I can tell you is: Grrrr. You may have to live vicariously through them for the moment, unless you're genuinely ready to gamble with tomorrow's material/professional security.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): 'In a world gone crazy, I'm the sane one.' I'd guess this is the sort of sentiment you often comfort yourself with, Virgo… though, in fact, indulging this strain of belief too single-mindedly merely feeds an estrangement from other people (which is ultimately based upon unforgiving expectations). For the week ahead, however, it's not entirely inapplicable. Indeed, it may be an inspiring thought—but only if the so-called 'sanity' you proudly cling to is about remaining steadfastly focused on that which you've determined is most important for you, rather than issuing more universal criteria (whether spoken or silently implied) about what you deem 'sane' for any- and everyone else. Their relative position along the sanity spectrum really isn't your business to butt into, let alone to explicitly school them on. You've got your own shit to worry about, if you hope to tackle it sanely. The minute you begin examining others' methods, motivations or morals, you are actually lapsing out of a sane mind-frame… and smack into the middle of the very drama you've been claiming (for how many weeks or months now?) is what you're trying to move away from. If the world (or certain individuals living in it) is truly as crazy as you intuit it to be (and I can't necessarily argue with you there), it would therefore be quite crazy on your part to fix your attention on it. It's either the drama or the sane self-focus. One or the other. You can't expect to have it both ways at the same time… for wouldn't that be the textbook definition of totally insane?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Good strong interpersonal boundaries are your best bet for warding off hysteria gusting at you from a certain hot-headed individual who, in the heat of a seemingly menacing instant, appears unable (or unwilling) to slow down and think about the big picture. A refusal to get hot right along with 'em does not mean you don't care. On the contrary, Libra: Perhaps the kindest gift you can offer is to lovingly remain cool, not in a judgy way, but with oodles of compassion for why their particular individual personality is likelier to rush to conclusions than pause and consider options. Presuming this person isn't an outright adversary (and, if they are, shouldn't it be that much easier not to take on their overreaction?), you must remember how you do love 'em… perhaps for the very positive passion that comprises the inseparable flip-side of the less-flattering expression you're now witnessing. It is with such understanding you can best hold a boundary without coming off chilly or uncaring. You bear a backbone of reason that can soothe their charged-up furor. Deploy your sympathetic ears to hear 'em out (all the while silently emitting a vibe which opens up space for reflection rather than closes in like a cage). Eventually, if you don't play into the charge, they will calm down. Please do not fan the flames, neither by getting hysterical along with 'em nor by acting like such hysteria is beneath you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It wouldn't take much this week, Scorpio, for someone to, intentionally or not, pull you into an emotionally overloaded conversation that bears the potential to absorb large chunks of time and/or energy. As if Friday's annual full moon in your sign weren't enough to stoke your inner fierceness, Mercury also turns retrograde in your solar 8th, the house where our interpersonal relations veer into less polite territory (and a zone where you might, in a moment, too easily convince yourself that words are only words and don't matter nearly as much as they really do). I first thought to phrase this combined astro-effect as you being 'chomping at the bit for a fight', then reconsidered, since it's not an entirely fair assessment; it's more that you're in no mood to back down, should somebody commit a legitimate offense against you or voice an impassioned opinion with which you vehemently disagree. On general principle, I personally find no issue with any of this, lest you misread my description as an indictment against heated debate or raw self-protection. Well, almost no issue. Only one small one: Don't you have other stuff (namely, work) you should be focusing on? Don't you see how a large part of your readiness to go there is the incredible appeal of such interpersonal hullabaloo, especially when contrasted with boring ol' tasks and chores?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Your 'interpersonal gaffe' reflex is in full effect this week, due in no small part to Mercury somersaulting to retrograde-ness and the sizzling 5th-house lure to let loose and have a good time. But please don't interpret this as my saying you will have done anything wrong, Sagittarius, by letting the off-the-cuff remarks and faster-than-a-speeding-bullet one-liners roll off your tongue without a second thought. A joke only becomes a gaffe when it's received improperly… and it's just as genuinely likely that the ordinarily affable acquaintance to whom you direct a crack is simply being oversensitive than that you really said something totally harsh or inappropriate. And with this warning of others' hypersensitivity now having been tendered, it's up to you as to whether you want to make it your problem or not. You could surely let their grimaces roll off your back and, chances are, the entire awkward episode will have been forgotten within a week's time or so. Or you could engage them on their apparent misreading of your well-intentioned commentary or comedy… and, of course, risk getting into a futile debate about how sensitive is too sensitive. (Not especially useful.) One thing I'd highly advise against, however, is mouthing off to authorities or superiors, even when you imagine it to be a silly way to blow off steam (this definitely isn't the week)—unless, of course, you're rebelliously hunting for a reason to be disciplined or cut loose.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Despite certain inner instincts that could rise and fall throughout the week ahead, you really ought to aim to exude a marked stability. A Sun-Saturn trine through your 5th and 9th houses bespeaks of holding a solid (strict even) attention to details of ethical integrity… not in a self-righteous lording of superiority over others, but in sure-footed protection over those values which matter most to you, for your own moral well-being. In any moment, however, bursts of emotion may overwhelm your best sense of such protectionism, tricking you into thinking it's more important to vent your frustration than it is to keep treading the high road (for your own later satisfaction, not to show anyone else up). At times, this thought process is wholly valid; for this week, not so much. As planetary aspects always go, we're all under a similar influence (thank the double Mars-and-Venus-in-Aries influence plus Mercury turning retrograde) liable to turn people off the wall with short-sighted manic responses to situations that really just require a few deep breaths and a couple moments to reconsider. You, Capricorn, are one of the best-suited not to go loopy on us. Rather than fuel the fire already apt to blow some fuses, foster the level-headed calm you're capable of. You'll feel so much better about yourself once the mania deescalates.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): For all you Aquarians out there looking for the motivation to express yourselves, I advocate making the most of a wacky Mercury-switching-to-retrograde communicative week ahead. While Mercury retrograde gets a totally bad (and not wholly unwarranted) reputation for screwing up the wires when we attempt to convey a certain message a particular way, its inverted-transmission energy can be consciously hijacked to suit one's purposes—especially when used to liberate us from limiting mental patterns, such as the ones that serve as unforgiving internal critics to block us from being able to freely pour out our unfiltered life's-blood of true creative expression. Just as children rarely stop themselves mid-scribble or -pretend-play to inject a superegoically restraining correctiveness against scribbling with the wrong color or romping with an unacceptable imaginary friend (Virgo children excepted), you too still possess a stream of pure briliant self-spirited color, untainted until your inner editor gets its grubby red-pen-holding fingers all over it. During Merc-retro, however, this editor is working at far below its usual capacities, which is as potentially fruitful for getting your most authentic thoughts and ideas out from their confining storage slots as it is dangerous in the context of navigating touchy interpersonal issues. Concentrate, then, on self-focused activities where you're likeliest to bring joy to yourself, impressing yourself by that which you can do really well, once you get out of your own way. Steer clear of all serious heart-to-hearts with others, as the current astrology is likelier to turn such exchanges volatile.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Warning, Pisces: Thoughts that cross your head this week are particular prone to mood-destabilizing inaccuracy, based more in a passing feeling than the profound clarity you imagine they symbolize. Nothing wrong with emotional thinking, of course… as long as you know that's what it is. But sometimes, in the soaring gasp of a 'monumental epiphany', we think we've finally figured everything out, when in fact the big truth is one that's only truly true for an instant or two. And then, our mind clings to it far past its usefulness, leading us to utter dramatic declarations of what we will or won't do forevermore, which seems an invitation to disappoint ourselves in the not-too-distant future, once the mood shifts and we no longer desire to uphold the declared commitment. Those certain friends who serve as your 'bullshit detectors'—you know, the ones who you tend to avoid when you're thinking or doing something you're secretly aware you probably shouldn't be thinking or doing—need to be called upon the moment you start to lapse into this sort of explicit all-encompassing life-redefinition. That said, your amazing realization may indeed be just as amazing as you first feel it to be. Alas, you can't determine whether it actually will redefine you until you see whether it's still as monumentally epiphanic about four or five weeks from now. It does take some time (and more than one moment's awareness) for sincere redefinition.