Horoscopes | Week of April 5-11, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): There's a potentially misleading 'obviousness' in your thinking, as if certain processes ought to proceed smoothly according to some innate law of nature perfectly in line with your intentions. Alas, Aries, it isn't obvious (at least not to those of us outside your mind) that it should happen any particular way. Even if it really were as simple as you're conceiving of it (and that presupposition asks us to have complete unquestioned faith in your vision, which is hard for any critical thinker to automatically grant), that doesn't mean everybody else in the world is willing to act with such simplified directness. We have our questions, our doubts, our own self-protective need to kick the tires for ourselves and determine from our own logic and/or instinct that what you're seeing really is how you claim it to be. When I say it's 'back to the drawing-board' for you, then, it mustn't be seen as an excessive step, an unnecessary delay. Part of the natural process does entail being as detailed and conscientious as possible. Though some or all of what's involved may appear stupendously obvious to you, go through the requisite motions as if it were not. Then, you can't help but cover all the bases… even those that are essentially invisible to you, due to premature assumptions.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Earth element in full effect, yo. A prime time to center into yourself, Taurus, and stand proudly in the innate qualities of who you are. Not the type to dissolve into wishful fairy-tales about everything that could happen, are you? Not simply satisfied by the jabbering head with the balloon full of hot air, nor should you be. You're at your best without apologies for your sometimes-well-deserved 'stick in the mud' reputation. A well-positioned stick will support the roof over everyone else's heads, don't you know. And a big heavy rock may indeed be hard to budge… but once the momentum picks up, there's just no stopping it. You are the rock, my friend, and though I understand it can sometimes feel like a thankless job—all that reliability and consistency, the hassles of bringing up the rear so that no child is left behind and the bill is adequately paid (with enough for a handsome tip)—this is not one of those times. Thank your lucky stars you are the one with the capacity to deal… wait, scratch that, wrong elemental metaphor. It's earth that's got your back. Bend down, and kiss the ground in gratitude. You know where you stand.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Oh, Gemini, you of the great reliance on people… I truly wish there existed some magical practice that those folks in your life, whether close pals or peripheral community-members, could carry out which, in the quick flourish of a wand's wave, would soothe your tormented soul. But there are no dice loaded enough in this seemingly unjust universe to turn those snake-eyes into a winning seven or eleven. Does this mean you resign yourself to walking away from the table empty-handed? Perhaps for a moment… as long as, at the same time you self-lovingly lick your raw wounds and justifiably utter 'woe is me' under your breath, you are sufficiently far-sighted to acknowledge you haven't lost the big battle, the entire farm, everything. Nobody else can 'fix' this disappointment right quick, to be sure. They can listen to you pour out your heart (and if you ask them to, they will), but don't put them in the position of having to muster usable advice (which would merely be an exercise in telling you whatever they imagine would make you feel hopeful, whether or not it's practically applicable). Clearer next-steps will appear only once you've more fully digested the one you've currently on.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I'm somewhat suspicious (and rightfully so) of what's going on with Pluto stationing (i.e., standing still) in your relationship house (the 7th) this week, Cancer. It reeks of a psychological deepening in your understanding of a certain one-on-one coupling, or of your general behavior in how you couple… which could be precipitated by the unmistakable emergence of an uncomfortable dimension in a dynamic that, up until now, hasn't been quite so pronounced. I hope you are courageous enough in your pursuit of life-wisdom to walk toward this understanding, rather than pull the covers over your head or defiantly insist on seeing only the best. Your most promising response to any Pluto-station manifestations will involve relying on your pals or teammates… both for listening to their varied takes on the matter (because, even if you walk away with one useful sentence or sentiment, it'll all be worth it) and for voicing your own myriad conflicting feelings (which will be far less confusing if you force yourself to talk 'em out, instead of letting 'em run wild through your interior). The present emphasis on earth signs in your social houses indicates that connecting and communicating will be what provides you the most stabilizing effects.


LEO (July 23-August 22): In a sequel to last week's feature, let me apply a light layer of snark-love by pointing out: You can rant and rave and kick your little heels all you want, Leo, but that's not going to change the landscape of reality you're now gazing at. Does that mean you have no right to be upset? Feel however you feel, ain't none of my business. But if you think that expressing those feelings with enough chutzpah is the right kind of effort to flip those displeasing facts into pleasing ones, you're dreaming. Okay, that's that. Now, the good news in all of this is that you're definitely not lacking the pragmatic acuity necessary to address whatever dissatisfying situation is grating on your nerves. As long as you calmly tackle it step by step, with the patience to accept that this could take a little while, you will progress beyond this gridlock. This is the basic formula of expending effort smartly, with focus, over time, inevitably leading to results. Any adolescent attempt to short-circuit this reliable process, as if a coquettish grin to the doorman will whisk you from this riff-raff and straight to the VIP area, is simply a waste… a waste of perfectly good effort that could have been expended more smartly, with focus, over time.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Just when you thought Saturn had finally left you alone, he retrogradistically reappears in your sign on Wednesday (Apr 7) for a 4-month postscript to his recent two-plus year visit to Virgo. It doesn't take a master astrologer to interpret this as an indicator of some last-minute unfinished business in your redefinition of self which transpired, more or less, from late '07 through late '09. The profoundly pressing need for you to unapologetically embrace what you determine to be the most rightful expression of your authenticity—as opposed to obeying standards and strictures laid down by others, who may themselves possess inherited and altogether illogical reasons for having laid 'em down to begin—is reasserting its refusal to be ignored. With 9th-house Venus and Mercury presently in trine to a stationary Pluto, you're being called to put the weight of passion behind whatever line in the ethical sand you must draw, if you want to live as the person you claim to be. Insist on this non-negotiable rigidity only if it rids you of an excuse to withhold your truest expression—and definitely don't if instead it imposes another one on you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I'm willing to entertain the possibility that, under all the pressure (from the other person? from the universe? from yours truly, the astrologer?) to directly disclose your true intents or desires, you are no longer feeling as convinced of what they are as you previously imagined. Are you simply too scared of the unavoidably tense 'moment of truth'? Have you changed your position midstream, due to the response you appear to be getting or the discontentment your initial advances have stirred? Or has it merely taken you this long to realize, deep down inside, you don't want what your na´ve self originally tried to sway you toward? Well, if you aren't sure which of these (if any) is the real answer, Libra, then I certainly don't. But it seems reasonable, under such circumstances, to return to the proverbial drawing-board inside your heart… and chew a bit more on what's behind any hesitancy. Of course, it's just as possible that you have attained your clarity, you did disclose your truth, and you're now suffering a typical case of buyer's-remorse second thoughts. If that's where you are, let me remind you: Just because you're 'clear' doesn't mean you won't still have emotional consequences to wade through, though that's no excuse for backsliding.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Be extremely deliberate with where you place your emphasis, Scorpio. If you want 'em to take your message to serious heart, stress the appropriate syllables… and if you're really just joking around (or surreptitiously testing the waters, without revealing a commitment either way), then be sure to consciously attend to conveying a casual tone. Otherwise, if you're haphazardly 'leaky' with the contents of your current emotional state, people will get the wrong idea. Even the most offhand words carry power, and especially now, with Mercury in your 7th being beefed up by a standing-still Pluto in the communication zone (the solar 3rd). Therefore, if you want to turn any perfunctory exchange into a heartfelt interpersonal connection, all you've got to do is look 'em straight in the eyes and speak with a reverence for the potent magic inherent in outward articulation. Forgive me for stating the self-evident, though: This also means that, if you intend to use your words to gain the upper hand and/or poke someone where it hurts, please be aware you're presently wielding a particularly dangerous weapon. (It's your call whether the circumstances warrant 'the nuclear option'.)


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Refamiliarize yourself with last week's edition. The advice contained therein is important enough to be said again, Sagittarius… because that's how sure I am of the benefits of your not giving into pessimistic grumblings about what else still has to be done. You really aren't slipping backward into a quicksand sinkhole of 'never getting anywhere'. This is a much more modest—and fairly brief-lived—re-securing of the appropriate locks, stocks and barrels. Much progress has already been made, and this little snag will not leave you regressing to square-one, but merely sealing the deal. So please don't imagine this temporary turn-around, which appears to have the car headed back to the garage, means that The Big Trip (what is it, anyway?) is off. Instead, think of it like this: You made it out of the neighborhood and toward the freeway entrance, before realizing you perhaps forgot to bring your most comfortable hiking boots and/or might've neglected to turn off the stove prior to departure. You don't let those missing provisions or nagging worries get you down. You consent to quickly return, grab the boots and/or turn off the stove, and continue on your merry way. And if it turns out you had the boots all along, and the stove wasn't even on in the first place… nothing's really lost, while much greater peace of mind has been gained.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): 'Allow me to reiterate myself, since I may have downplayed the enormity of my moral stakes in the matter. I will not play by the proverbial rules any longer, if I suspect those "rules" to be corrupt or inconsistently enforced. I will morph before your very eyes… from somebody always unduly expected to provide a predictably reliable response, into an individual who's come to realize that, at this busy intersection where multiple highways of destiny meet, doing what's expected one too many times may only hasten the sucking-dry of our souls. I have not forever shirked my love for governing structures, silly. I need them, to keep my posture straight and my aspirations properly high. It's just that all this was first built under radically different circumstances, according to methods no longer considered "best practices" and just as likely to fail contemporary safety codes. We must demolish and rebuild, block by block, or risk a total collapse. I still believe in the staying-power of humanity's best efforts—but only if we consciously agree to tinker with the formula and remodel what's outdated before those beams beyond their expiration dates begin to crumble.'


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Don't let Mars lead you astray this week, Aquarius. Yes, he's still poking around in your relationship house, driving you (consciously or not) to stir up interpersonal shit… when, in fact, the bulk of the other astro-action has you reinforcing your need to disentangle, to solitarily mull over which conclusions to draw from recent shifts in your social landscape, and to hammer out a truce with a private demon of your own making who constantly threatens to pervade your consciousness with groundless negativity. No wonder why it might seem (consciously or not) easier, and thus more desirable, to merely instigate a confrontation with someone else—it gets you a kind of cathartic release, but without having to face what's really behind your grimace. Please see this situation as more about you than about you-and-them. You'll actually make some headway in alleviating future outbreaks of this same complex if, rather than pointing out what you think they're doing wrong, you contemplate why you think that. Are you reading too much into what they haven't said or done? Are you projecting you own self-judgments onto them (as if they're the ones whose standards you feel you're not living up to)? Are you assuming the worst? Look inward first.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You may find there's some heavy-ass shit going around your friend group—or isolated to the stormcloud that's apparently following one certain person everywhere he/she goes—but that's no excuse to let it adversely affect you, Pisces. As if perfectly on time (just like everything astrology-related), Saturn has retrograded back into your one-on-one relationship house (the 7th) for a few months… essentially to remind you that basic interpersonal boundaries are a necessity, particularly in this day-and-age when it's always far too easy to find one negative influence on one's mood or another. It doesn't make you a bad friend, if you refuse to ride shotgun alongside someone who's recklessly driving around with a gnarly case of the 'everything sucks'. And if you want to be a good friend, invite the troubled one (or 'troublemaker', as the case may be) to meet you on some neutral ground (so they feel less comfortable hogging all the psychic space)… and agree to listen to their tale, while quietly committing to do so without hysterical reactions or excessive willingness to try to 'fix' everything. You're actually doing 'em a favor by not joining along for this pity party. Two sad-sacks are merely twice as sad.