Horoscopes | Week of May 18-24, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Though your thoughts may be oriented toward handling the practical details required to get what you want, you needn't stress so much about pushing that particular agenda quite so aggressively. In fact, you probably don't need to be pushing much of anything… not with the lineup of 11th-house planets linking your easiest luck with what other people in your community are liable to do (or not do) for you, based upon how willing you are to hitch your car to their train. The truth is, Aries, that they probably possess a lot more firsthand experience and innate ability in some of the areas you're presently attempting to master—and as long as everybody is scratching each other's back (in authentic teamwork, rather than postures that obscure hidden motivations), you don't actually need to handle it all yourself. Part of this lesson, alas, includes a degree of humbling yourself, not because you aren't capable but so you might reserve your energies for those things only you can do, while happily and appreciatively accepting help from folks who could breeze through what would take you countless more hours and headaches. Before you start detailing the implementational initiatives you've created to obtain the solid foundation you're working toward, why not just discuss the goals in a more open-ended fashion with your friends, colleagues and like-minded individuals… and see what they recommend?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Duty does compel you to put on a pleasant, conciliatory game face whenever your public reputation is at stake… even while Mercury's continuing retrograde (now back in your sign) tempts you to state things as you see 'em, flatly, with little holding back. While I don't recommend being dishonest in any way, shape or form, Taurus, I do advise practicing discretion, insofar as thinking ahead to who else might catch wind of what you blurt out (not merely the person(s) you're directing your remarks at, but those who will later be informed about the type of 'smack' you're spreading). There are appropriate times and venues for airing your uncensored feelings—and at this time, virtually any venue other than your private home bears the potential to possess walls with ears and mouths, eager to pass along the sentiments you never intended to be broadcast that widely. I'm well aware that so many of the recent Taurean horoscopes have centered on restraint and appropriateness, avoidance and confusion… so please let me report it won't be like this forever. You're only a couple weeks away from getting the planets' reprieve from such stymieing circumstances. Don't blow it now with a poorly-timed, inappropriately-phrased and/or unnecessarily-expressed comment.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You're not necessarily being led down the path of rethinking because your original idea wasn't realistic. On the contrary. So much more is possible, we don't want you to merely get away with settling for whatever you were able to throw together on the spot. This is a time to let your imagination run free, Gemini. You're still several steps—and a few weeks—from needing to worry about implementation. So indulge the biggest dreams you can dream, for the time being. Even if you never reach that idealistic pinnacle in 'real life', you're at least orienting yourself toward those considerations that make your toes curl in anticipation of meaningful adventure. Protectively hold these hopes inside a safety bubble 'til the end of the month, and invite yourself to believe. If the only persisting result of this imaginative free-for-all is moving yourself closer to cornering the elusive knowledge of what really matters to you, and if you ultimately end up opting to return to something much more modest and not so far beyond where you've already been, you will still have gained something valuable. You'll have a clearer notion of what not settling would like, if and when you're ready and able to choose it uncompromisingly.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Being as intuitive with other people's feelings as you Cancerians can be is a thornier proposition than you may realize. While there can be obvious upsides to sensing what's up with somebody whose life is intertwined with yours (romantically, professionally, familially or otherwise), it also holds the potential to mislead you into assuming you know what they most need for their well-being. For instance, as close as you are, you may be privy to this other person's unconscious feelings… in perhaps a fuller fashion than they themselves are. Yet, perhaps it's also possible those feelings you've tapped into are but one strain among several contradictory batches of feelings that, until they're eventually sorted out more definitively at a later point, are more complex than your instincts are picking up. In another example, you might intend to help alleviate this person's angst by heading off potential conflict before it has a chance to manifest, maybe by doing something for them instead of giving them a choice to do it on their own or otherwise managing a situation in the name of showing them care. Though your intentions may be good, you could be inadvertently obstructing their need to process an issue or learn a lesson. We're all on our own roads to self-discovery, after all. The best help you can offer, next time you're moved to step in and take care, is to speak from your own experience and allow them the option of asking for your guidance and support.


LEO (July 23-August 22): How are the Mercury-retrograde goblins likeliest to gobble you up? Whenever you speak out publicly, and especially in a career-related setting, on behalf of other people, Leo. While you may have very good reasons to believe you and a close ally are essentially on the same page, the act of attempting to articulate exactly what's written on that page could mangle the commonality. Contrary to the feelings you two have previously shared (and still may, in fact, share), you really ought not to take liberties in representing their agenda for them. Let 'em take the responsibility for saying their piece, and you stick to saying yours. Otherwise, the powers that be (those decision-makers, audience members and/or juries of your peers) are apt to form incomplete judgments on the both of you that may later prove to irk one or the other of you, due to typical Merc-retro misunderstandings having been built into your public statements. While, at this juncture, it could feel strangely awkward to insist upon a distinction between you and your team-mate when, on the day-to-day basis, one hardly seems to exist, it's still important to be overtly clear whose words belong to whom. I would hate for you to create any unpleasantness in the relationship, accidentally upsetting another person when your main motivation was more to boost their efforts and esteem.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Let's think of this week's horoscope as the 'evil twin' of last week's, Virgo. Whereas the prior version included a warning against getting obsessively caught on a certain detail and repeating the minute dimensions of its story over in your head, this current edition concerns overlooking a certain detail and, consequently, unduly committing to an overreaching and generalizing tale that doesn't quite get at the entire ball-o'-wax. While to the casual listener it may sound like I'm merely flipping the whole thing around and proffering a seeming contradiction to last week's scope, it's actually much more like the same advice said in a different way. We cannot concentrate on everything at once, no matter how diligent an observer and analyzer we are. While fixating on one corner of experience and scouring its every millimeter for evidence to prove or disprove one hypothesis, we can't help but miss what's going on in the opposite corner, exposed to the backside of our busy head that's looking somewhere else. And to be clear, nobody is expecting you to catch every angle. The core of this week's horoscope, then, is a caution against jumping to conclusions regarding what's the main point of the story you're telling (yourself or others)… and whether the moral really does prove what you presently imagine it proves, or whether its eventual revelation will show something more, something still beyond your grasp because you've limited your digging to a certain context. It's not that you ought to be digging more—rather, it's that you should resist telling stories about 'what it all means' when the facts have yet to all come forth.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You are very good at saying exactly what you ought to say, Libra. But before you take this statement as a subtle dig against your innate appropriateness (which it isn't), let me turn it around into a context for offering you this week's horoscopic advice: What you really 'ought to say' is the uncensored, unadulterated, perhaps even 'ugly' at moments (or so you might imagine), but not the slightest bit shameful truth about what's going on in your life right now. This thread of counsel is nothing new, as evidenced by last week's near-identical version… only, in the current edition, I want to be clear that it's not just in order to be defiant and expressive, but because (at least for right now) it is the right thing to do. If indeed you do care about making other people feel comfortable and considered (and I believe that's true), you'll recognize that the confident courage you display in speaking on sensitive topics with the natural composure you possess will inspire others to treat such issues less ashamedly themselves. You will build bridges with folks who you'd probably never get to know so well (and might indeed continue to feel a need to tiptoe around, for fear of disappointing or offending them) had you persisted in maintaining your ordinary polite distance. This, incidentally, is also known as putting Mercury-retrograde's reversals of typical communication style to work for you. If you're scared, depressed, rage-filled, stuck in an unhappy relationship, financially fucked, or a victim of some unfortunate situation or another, talk about it for goodness's sake… and when I use that idiom 'for goodness's sake', I legitimately mean it. In the very act of deeply sharing with others in such tender territory, you'll already begin to see how much positive possibility exists in the core of what's typically thought of as 'negative'.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If you want to be completely honest (with yourself and me, if no one else), you must admit it's certainly possible you didn't hear what You-Know-Who said to you correctly. You might, in fact, be listening to the world—and to this certain someone, in particular—through a long echo-chamber tube that amplifies the manner in which every externally uttered word bounces off, again and again, the mirrored surfaces inside your head. You may be interpreting each bit and byte of data through an intensely subjective filter… which doesn't make any of what you understand wrong, as much as it creates the self-fulfilling manifestation of other people (and especially that one person) seeming to voice the very sentiments you expect them (out of anticipation or fear) to voice. If the glasses you're wearing are green, Scorpio, everyone will look green. Opt for purple, and suddenly they're all purple people-eaters. Therefore, if you continue engaging in this ongoing conversation, it may well behoove you to ask that certain person the same question a few different ways… and to listen as carefully as you can to every single thing they tell you, rather than get caught on a couple buzzwords that synch up with your hopes or worries and tune out the rest. (I'd almost even advise bringing a tape recorder, but that does seem likelier to stir suspicion than to ease the dialogue, don't you think?) Or, if you can live with this option, you might consider taking a break from trying to communicate with 'em (at least in any significant way) through the end of next week, the duration of Mercury's retrograde through your relationship house.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Watch your best efforts to tackle the tasks at hand (which, if memory serves me correctly, are tasks already having been tackled for some time already) give way to theoretically irrelevant conversations about trifling concerns, both yours and other people's. And observe your attention happily ceding itself to such fluffy filler. Notice how pleasurable it is not to worry for a moment or two or twenty-seven. Revel in the camaraderie you're fostering with those around you, friends and acquaintances and strangers alike, as you mischievously goof off, buying back some of your seemingly wasted time from the chores and institutions who are 'stealing' it from you in these harmlessly rebellious moments of willful distraction. Wonder, for just a moment, how much harm could possibly be being done, when we've already established that Mercury, retrograde and sluggish and tiresome in your house of the mundane and the routine (the solar 6th), isn't presently doing you any favors. Would it be so bad, Sagittarius, if you got very little accomplished this week? (This isn't entirely a rhetorical question… especially on the off chance the answer happens to be 'yes'.) Is it possible there could be a silver lining of personal meaning in the choice to succumb to non-essential socialities… namely, that you draw yourself closer to certain people (or, more properly, people in general) by swimming in the common-denominator trivia you share with folks from different backgrounds, with different 'important' interests, and connecting with them over something small and novel but still not legitimately irrelevant?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I don't want you to miss out on any potentially lucrative opportunities, just because of a bit (or more) of internal tension lingering from last week. The inner frustrations, whether unvented-but-constricting or voiced-then-regretted, are really a short-term drop in the bucket. A broader picture reveals a triple conjunction of Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron in your solar 2nd, the house that rules your personal finances and your sense of being able to solidly put your resources (monetary and otherwise) to work for you, unfurling itself for the remainder of '09. The catch to actually profiting from this hopeful opening, without falling prey to unrealistic wishfulness, is to work with the macro-level economic instability and its unique challenges… rather than, say, pretending you can function inside a bubble where the recession won't effect your best-laid plans. In any crisis, there are always also fantastic chances to put your skills to good use in a changing environment, investing your time or money or sweat-equity in inventive applications that would surely not have been created, had the belt never tightened. Step toward the reality of today's situation, instead of shielding your eyes from it. Engage with the painful insecurities and anxious fears you see all around you (and which perhaps you're also experiencing yourself), taking great faith in all that you've already earned in life (even if your wallet is presently emptier than you'd like). Human ingenuity is a marvelous thing, though often only rises to its fullest potential under challenging circumstances.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The planets are aligning in your sign in a most ultra-compassionate fashion, offering you mad cosmic props whenever you can open your heart beyond the level it ordinarily feels most comfy. (And for you Aquarians, it's sometimes far more open on the intellectual plane—to the idea of providing direct support to those who need it rather—than to literal crying-and-snot-dripping folks who'd want to sob their sob-story out all over your shoulder.) But with Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron coming together (pretty much for the remainder of '09) in Aquarius, your capacity for true emotional engagement is dramatically increasing… and, if nurtured, could ultimately leave you more a walker-of-the-talk than just a talker, on a lasting basis. Essentially, this involves you reaching out to hold a space for friends, loved ones and/or virtual strangers who desperately crave the intimacy of being deeply listened to… of being supported in their turbulent feelings, granted permission to feel 'em all the way without fear of judgment or imposition, and left knowing they were understood and loved and that, as far as you're concerned, everything will be okay. The only trait likely to obstruct your capability to do this effectively? Your instinct to suggest solutions or give counsel (as if you indeed know the 'right answer'), when it's really your presence itself—and nothing more—that is most valuable. Perhaps, in these situations, you're there more to learn than to 'teach'.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Setting the circumstances of your own life aside for a second (and those to whom you've hitched your life, such as your spouse/partner/crush), when it comes to the gist of others' life situations (and especially those you aren't very familiar with), you know stuff they might not know. You know stuff you're not quite sure how you know, or even if you want to know. Your kooky intuitiveness is operating at full-blast, as long as you aren't way too close to the particular person you're honing in on or terribly attached to certain outcomes in their experiential journey. Even your uncanny knowledge of facets of the broader social scene—politics, culture, entertainment—is feeding you psychic tidbits you're not necessarily asking for. Don't bother trying to harness any of this energy for specific purposes, however, Pisces. There will be a lot of room for error, the moment you attempt to grab any ego-satisfaction or power from what's flowing through. This particular brand of prophecy will work best by allowing yourself to bring forth what sounds a whole lot like babble (particularly on items and issues you don't really give much of a crap about)… though we all know some of the wisest words ever spoken sound stark raving mad to the rational minds, until they later expose their roundabout path to insight. I'm banking on the fact you generally don't mind coming off a bit bonkers, which is why I advise you to let your loony tongue run a bit wild when you feel moved to offer random thoughts and non-sequiturs during your day-to-day interactions. But again: 'Reading' your closest loved ones or your own situation will not produce the same resonant quality of otherworldly awareness.