Horoscopes | Week of May 11-17, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I propose you go one step further in the mustering of compassion for others (and their relentlessly reeling anxieties) I advocated last week… and actually, proactively, share some of your Aries mojo with the masses. While I'm well aware you've got plenty of your own concerns to concern yourself with, it'd be a true gift to humanity (or, at least, to the tribe of friends who comprise your particular slice of it) if you used your fiery ways to impetuously yank their obsessive attentions away from what's bringing 'em down and toward something you know will lift their spirits. Don't turn this advice into a heavy trip, Aries. Following my proposal could be as simple as spending an evening with a pal who's been melodramatically 'down in the dumps' (more so, perhaps, than his/her actual situation warrants, at least from your perspective) and boldly, by way of example, causing them to forget all about the pity party for a few hours. An added self-serving benefit to such interpersonal behavior: It'll force you to catch a breath, taking you temporarily away from the impassioned energy you'd otherwise expend, at too demanding a rate, on whatever's currently got you 110% involved. Social connection can be quite grounding and stabilizing.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Even knowing what you know (or think you know), which could well be more than one or more of the folks running the show, you may still have to sit on your hands and watch the whole thing go a different way than you'd prefer. If you must, Taurus, go ahead and offer your feedback to whichever stakeholders might possibly take your 'squeaky wheel' dissent into account—but do it once, clearly, without aggression or attachment, then step back. They will listen and heed, or they won't. In either event, you've done your part and can guiltlessly rest at night, taking genuine pride in the satisfaction of having expressed your opinion, whether or not it would prove popular. This solid act of positive self-expression will hopefully be enough to, for a moment at least, counteract a wider sense of personal powerlessness that goes along with Venus and Mars still muddling their way through your 12th house. A less helpful (and possibly quite disruptive) reaction to the same powerless feeling would be to keep on relentlessly pushing your agenda, getting louder and more forceful when it becomes apparent the consensus thinking is, for the moment at least, leaning the other direction. Pushing it hard doesn't help your case. Go on record, then let it be decided as it will. The broader currents are more powerful than your ability to steer the ship.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): My sincerest wish for you this week, Gemini, is that any self-imposed pressure to form the wisest decision among the many stray strains of thought competing for appreciation inside your brain, which you may have noticed building up over the past week or so, has given way to a renewed embrace of not making the decision yet. As if Mercury retrograde itself wasn't already a fairly inauspicious time for decisive judgment calls, Mercury will also reverse right out of your sign midweek… ending up back in the illusive ethers, blissful at moments though not terribly practical, of the solar 12th. This points to less racking of your brain and more experiential reaping of cosmic-coincidence signs. It is not currently necessary—or helpful—to try reasoning yourself a pathway through the scattered bits of insight, hoping to rearrange the pieces enough times that they'll begin to resemble a treasure map. You must proceed by feeling… which certainly seems to indicate not worrying about whether you'll make it home (wherever that is) in time for dinner (since you probably won't), but that there really isn't as much of a rush to arrive a certain place by a certain hour as you imagine there to be. Once again, I direct you back toward socializing with the friends you trust most. Only, in this version of the now-familiar advice, I also encourage you to voice your confusion—without expecting anyone else to have the answer either, though remaining open to the possibility someone might have another insightful bit.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Saturn's ongoing travels (since Sep 07) through your 3rd house has raised the bar on your need to take the extra time and effort in communicating—with words, in full detail, to the point where little unspoken ambiguity is left to read into. You Cancerians, with your unparalleled knack for transmitting information in other non-verbal ways, often fall short of making this effort… likely because you feel too much talking will belabor the point, when it seems like the other person 'gets' the essence of what you're trying to convey (and besides, isn't language totally inadequate?). What you gain in psychic connectedness through utilizing these other communicative techniques, you sometimes sacrifice in explicit clarity… with the potential for misunderstandings to crop back up at the most inopportune times, forcing you into conversations much more strained than they would've been, had they happened at the onset. Saturn goes direct this week, Cancer, indicating you are soon to be faced with a chance to demonstrate how far you've come on this issue over the past year and a half. For now, though, with Mercury still retrograde, you might start out by practicing. Be very verbally forthright with friends who are solid, to whom you could say too much or 'the wrong thing' without jeopardizing the relationship. Experiment with telling more rather than less. The warm-up will come in handy for more crucial demanding conversational situations coming down the pipe.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I could easily read this week's astrology as another friggin' reminder to keep careful watch over all financial- and career-related activities. But I'm going to shirk that trend, Leo, out of the kindness of my heart… and out of consideration for a certain individual in your life who'll get tremendous joy and support from you devoting your entirety (or as much of it as you can without totally ignoring financial- and career-related activities) to your connection with them. For someone who often receives an unfair rap for being totally self-consumed, you can sure be a loving spouse, partner or best friend. I see that quality in you, my dear, even if others miss it. And that very special somebody who, as we speak, would be thrilled to reap more of the rewards of your doting attentions… that person surely sees it, too. Yes, it would be easy to wag my finger at your itchier maneuvers to involve yourself with something (anything!) other than your material security and professional reputation—and as such, I do urge you not to treat these items lightly—but I'm going to let you off the hook and keep my wagging finger to myself. It's not just for you, though; it's also for the happy well-being of the person who presently gets to share your life with you. Now, go share.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): A trigged emotion of yours could get caught on a detail, tempting you to obsess on it… and leading you down into a whirlpool of that certain scenario running itself over and over in your head. This is a dead end, Virgo, not because you're silly to feel the emotion but because clutching onto the isolated story behind the emotion merely traps it in you. Emotions are not intended for clutching. They are messengers who, once their message has been delivered, have other places to go and other emotions to attend to. So, once you have determined that, yes, this certain scenario resulted in this particular emotion (and, duly noted, this cause-effect chain now holds data for later applicability), you really ought to move on to something else. Return your mind to a much larger concern—the overriding meaningful quest to which you've recently devoted your heart—and leave this much smaller item alone. And before you launch into why you're wholly justified in being as upset or confused or annoyed as you are, and how there are really are so many important dimensions to this issue you can't seem to leave alone… just cut it out. You may be unequivocably right about it (or not), but the insistence on focusing there does absolutely nothing useful for you past that point of initially receiving the message.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Take a gutsy unwavering stand for yourself, Libra, should you start to feel a familiar sense of victimization at the hands of someone who's tried to disempower you one too many times. Sure, Mercury is retrograde, carrying the tendency to eject one's words in a manner other than we'd ordinarily choose. That said, this just might provide the perfect inspirational backdrop for saying your truth more directly, and with less sugarcoating, than you normally might. You may or may not get any sustained significant results from it, in terms of actually altering this other person's attitudes or behaviors (since, no matter how superhero-like we're feeling that day, none of us bears the ability to change another person). Yet, that's not the real point, Libra. Don't underestimate how much idealistic idyll you can conjure for yourself, simply through the act of defiantly, unapologetically expressing what's really weighing on your heart. No need for trying to get control over your injured emotions in advance of speaking out either. Show 'em the hurt, without feeling any shame. This proud release is apt to generate a high you could ride for days.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't be hesitant or afraid of backtracking. Mercury is, after all, retrograde, which gives you fair astrological license to rewind the soundtrack of recent transpirings (heated? cut short? unsatisfying? ) between you and a certain someone. Rereading last week's missive, it's not unlikely you and/or this other person may've gotten carried away in a moment's emotions, saying things you didn't mean (or at least didn't mean to say) and/or losing the topic of supposed focus in an indiscriminate flood of heated irrelevancies or other knotty strings. It's not too late to time-travel back out of that sinkhole… and to, from a calmer and more rational mindset, readdress the actual nuts-and-bolts issue that perhaps became unhappily laden in swampy overflow. It also wouldn't hurt, if need be, for you to apologize—but be specific and precise about what the apology's for, so you're being above-board in only accepting responsibility for that which you actually feel sorry about. Even if some of this sounds a whole lot like 'eating crow', I'd rather you think about it as being strategic about maintaining necessary alliances. Is that too calculating? What a silly question to pose to a Scorpio.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Well, isn't that just swell? Just when things were perking up and seemingly de-problematizing, you're being nudged back toward reconsidering your approach to an already-attended-to work item, chore and/or bodily need. Oy! Must every step forward come with a corresponding half-hop back again? Bear with the Mercury-retrograde bummers, Sagittarius, without succumbing to a full-on relapse of the recently transcended grumps. This minor annoyance ought to be kept in perspective. Work is often contrasted with play precisely because it's not generally thought to be fun. So just because lots of other areas of life are lightening up and bringing the fun back in a big way (and if you're not experiencing that yet, perhaps you need to go on an explicit hunt for entertainment), that shouldn't leave you mistakenly assuming everything will now be a blast. Please temper your expectations accordingly. There's plenty of time in your week for both re-attending to incomplete, inconclusive or insufficient prior efforts and enjoying oodles of silly time-wasting frivolity. Just don't let either mind-frame dominate the scene, and you'll be functioning as smoothly as can be within an admittedly flummoxing moment of seeming repetitiveness.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): There remains a tension between (1) Venus and Mars poking away at highly subjective personal gripes and grievances, daring you to take some action that'll courageously put your own concerns at the front of the line (for once!) and (2) Saturn asking you for your ethical best, and consequently raining on the parade of what your impulsive side would love to say or do, if only you wouldn't feel bad about it later. So how to most properly negotiate this tension, Capricorn? The answer is not to. Leave both sides of it enough space to feel adequately valued… then, go blow off steam in a wholly different arena! Until the end of May, when Venus and Mars get out of pesky shit-stirring Aries (the sign on your solar 4th, home of your tenderest private triggers), this tension could be palpable—but it's nothing you can't handle, as long as you purposely give yourself plenty of off-time fun. While it may still be a less-opportune moment for actively asserting the pent-up frustration in maneuvers that'll affect other people too (and perhaps make them as mad as you've quietly been yourself), it is a great chance to work some of your comedic magic, channeling your unexpressed angst into an evening of revelry with folks (not the ones who've got your goat) who'll truly appreciate your unrivalled sense of sassy sarcastic wit.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Can I just reprint last week's horoscope and get back to planning tomorrow's dinner menu? I really wouldn't mind simply repeating the closing caution from your previous edition… namely, to please avoid any earnest interpersonal venting or processing sessions, due to the likelihood of spontaneous volatility erupting from supposedly 'innocent' remarks. The difference between last week and this is, due to Mercury drifting backward to your solar 4th, you're liable to inadvertently stumble upon unresolved emotional thoughts (whether about this certain person you're jonesing to confront or about something entirely unrelated but just as likely to work you into a tizzy) and suddenly find yourself frothing at the mouth. In other words, your mind won't be so clear. Not a problem, really, unless you imagine you can conduct yourself in a well-mannered fashion while trying to discuss an important issue… when, in fact, your tantrum or tears or tizzy may be lingering so close to the surface that you won't be able to control the leakage. And forget about being sly in your intimations, as if hinting at what's got you charged up is any better a way to handle it. It's not. Either talk your situation out with an entirely separate individual, a friend with whom you needn't worry about remaining composed, or sort it out privately (at least for the time being). Your chance to vent, confront or process is still ahead.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As a follow-up to last week's installment, Pisces, I want to encourage you to consciously agree to dwell in the no-man's-land of not knowing for a while longer. In other words, any final reckonings or decisive declarations ought to be left on the table for the time being, respectfully and without needing to grip to 'em tight. Once again, I repeat: This is not to assuredly say what you've been thinking is wrong. In fact, it may prove to be very right. Yet, with Mercury slipping retrograde-style back into your 3rd, I urge you to keep an open mind… and, rather than holding your recent revelatory insights inside, to please discuss them freely with friends and acquaintances. If you're honestly interested in discovering more angles to this issue, which could shed some light on a detail or two you've overlooked, I ask you to bravely take note of the responses you get from pals during these discussions—both what they say and what you sense isn't being said. I don't claim they will be any wiser on the subject than you are. But, even on the chance they vehemently disagree with your stance ('hopelessly romantic', they might call you), don't freeze out their feedback. Allow all opinions in, to stew and simmer for a bit.