Horoscopes | Week of April 12-18, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): During this same week you're welcoming the annual new moon in your sign, Aries, you also have to contend with Mercury turning retrograde in your money house (the 2nd)… and remaining so for almost the entire duration of the lunar cycle. Hmmm. I read that as a clear indicator that this lunar month ahead (new moon to new moon) is all about tidying up the financial picture: organizing receipts, balancing checkbooks, making plans to deal with any outstanding debts to others and/or payments due you, and essentially ensuring you're properly prepared for the wild ride ahead. This is sort of an 'interim' moment, sandwiched between a fairly dynamic second-half of March and an even more dramatic, anything-can-happen June and July. Trust me, you'll have little opportunity for—and even less interest in—double-checking your assets and liabilities, filing paperwork or sitting on hold with the bank come late May. Start taking care of these mundane matters now.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Permit me to whisper a secret in your ear, Taurus, which could neutralize the reassuring message I delivered last week: Mercury goes retrograde in your sign, starting this Sunday (Apr 18) and lasting through May 11. How, then, could I have gotten away with ending your prior edition with a 'You know where you stand' sentiment? Well, it's because I believe you really do know where you stand on the big-picture important issues... which, by the way, doesn't mean you aren't allowed to explore alternatives, question the existing order of the steps, rethink the methods altogether and/or acknowledge you've been missing a key piece of data that, once received, might change a lot of things. It behooves you to be forthright about these potentials for shifts and slides in awareness—the pragmatist must be prepared for whatever reality brings, rather than stubbornly refusing to accept possibilities other than what's already 'been decided upon'. After all, it's not you as an individual who might need revision… merely some practice or belief you're engaged with.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I'm trying to think back to the last time I wrote you an unabashedly happy horoscope, Gemini… and to be honest, I'm having a little trouble remembering offhand when it was. So I feel it's pretty necessary, in light of this realization, to point out that easy-breezy good luck has not forever abandoned you (though it may recently have been in rather short supply). The fact that your ruling sense-maker Mercury is about to flip to retrograde motion (on Sun Apr 18) in your most-illogical-and-unclear 12th house surely doesn't help matters—especially if you're still banking on the possibility that, one day soon, you'll awaken with the magic answer to the question you can hardly articulate. Fat chance. No answers, just more questions. The sooner you can get on board with that temporary reality, the better. And as for that much-needed influence of astrological positivity? Venus hits your sign at the end of next week. While she won't provide solutions, she's apt to offer a fortunate silver-lining or three.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Let the people who think like you, hold similar goals and outlooks on life, and have your best interests at heart (but aren't so full-on up in your kool-aid that their selfish desires override any concern for you) carry you away from too microscopic a perspective. Because they aren't in it like you are, Cancer, they can see more. Please honor that, due to this circumstantial fact, these peeps are indeed able to safeguard that flame of visionary hope on your behalf... even when you might not know quite what to do or say, in order to airlift yourself to safer ground. And therefore, you really mustn't throw back at 'em retorts of the 'you just don't understand' variety—not only because they may understand more than you're giving 'em credit for, but because that'll push 'em away right when you most need a wider support system. If you can hardly bear to hear the feedback they have to offer, at least openly confess as much. That's better than dashing back inside your solitary shell.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Whatever you say in public, I'm obligated to tell you due to Mercury's impending retrograde (starting Sun Apr 18) in your 10th, the folks listening are very likely to hold you accountable for… though it's just as likely you possess a more nuanced (or even internally discordant) stance on the matter than your statements may suggest. I'm not sure, though, that this will ultimately prove a disadvantage for you, Leo. There's still plenty of reason to believe things on the public front (e.g., career achievement, community reputation, pursuit of worldly goals) are going relatively well—even if a few communicative snafus occur over the next few weeks. Perhaps, those 'snafus' may actually help you… by broaching uncomfortable topics you'd otherwise avoid like the plague, if you didn't 'accidentally' (or subconsciously) force them into discussion by putting your foot in your mouth. Whatever ends up coming out, don't try to push it back into invisibility. Once it's out, even if you didn't intend it to be, it's out.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): It's not a bad time to question your staunchness on certain issues… but not necessarily because you're misguided or plain wrong about 'em, Virgo. First, I want us to play back last week's installment from another angle. See, it is true, as I previously asserted, that Saturn's return to your sign asks you to reaffirm any 'lines in the ethical sand' your most authentic self calls for… which sure sounds an awful lot like 'staunchness'. Yet, such rigidity is beneficial only if it's used to ward off undue obedience to standards imposed upon you by strict family members, critical colleagues or impersonal societal messages—in other words, as a boundary against unhealthy influence. However, when it serves to separate you from people you want more closeness with and/or who encourage a broadening of perspective (such as eye-opening lovers, edgy friends or dynamic innovators), that same rigidity holds you back. When it comes to still-growing-and-developing relationships, ask yourself: Do you want to enhance the intimacy, or do you want to be 'right'?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Should a moment of panic strike, as a result of the psychological commitment you've made or are in the process of making (or know you ought to make), remind yourself why you've taken on such a challenge. While it may hurt to endure (or consider enduring) the necessary consequences of said commitment, Libra, don't whitewash those other consequences… you know, the ones that come with not moving forward on this. The only path out is to continue proceeding ahead. Despite fantasies to the contrary, any 'retreat' will not equal a return to some primordial bliss (from, say, before this situation got so complicated). Complications do not magically evaporate on their own. Should they momentary disappear, it'll really be a case of 'matter changing form'… but they will still exist. Choose the right complications to support your day-to-day well-being, and for your ongoing evolution. Anything else merely mires you in a stalemate squandering of energy.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I have filled many of this week's horoscopes with cautions and caveats regarding Mercury's latest retrograde, which begins on Sunday (Apr 18)… but I'm thinking your experience of it, Scorpio, could prove to be less annoying and more, er, interesting. I say this not only because it falls in your one-on-one relationship zone (the solar 7th), but also alongside a lovely interaction between the two 'benefics' Venus (also in your 7th) and Jupiter (in the 5th, where romance and flirtation and fun dwell). Therefore, I'm reading this as a promising potential for pleasurable, perhaps even amorous, exchanges with individuals that bring a contagious smile to your face. Mercury-retrograde's influence, sometimes thought to scramble our minds, can actually work for you… busting through your mysterious guarded veneer, leading you to say more than you ordinarily might, giving the other person an easier shot at getting to know you. As such, I urge you not to freak if you 'show your cards' too early or too totally. I'm not sure that's actually a problem.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): They are not mistakes, but opportunities to reconsider. They are not delays, but much-needed revisionary phases in the process. And you aren't merely repeating steps, but getting so much better at what you're doing, Sagittarius. I offer these descriptors in advance of Mercury retrograde (which kicks off on Sun Apr 18) beginning to demand even greater diligence in how you're managing your responsibilities. Broken record alert! It seems like you've heard this news before… only now, accepting its truth is becoming completely unavoidable and the more strongly you resist it, the worse the consequences could be. Your fiercest enemy over the coming few weeks is speed; rushing through something will ultimately cost you much more time than just doing it slowly and carefully from the start. Contrary to what this recent trend of humdrum horoscopes might lead you to believe, your future won't be indefinitely filled with bean-counting, paper-pushing and task-mastering. The real fun is yet to come. Just wait until both Jupiter and Uranus hit your solar 5th house in late-May/early-June…


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The fine art of chit-chat is not really as superficial as it might first seem. Who says that every utterance should possess some weight to it, anyway? Any distaste you may hold toward apparently meaningless twaddling and tweeting, Capricorn, could be something of a knee-jerk reaction… one which totally misses the actual meaning in so-called 'meaninglessness'. Exchanging featherweight niceties, secondhand stories, web-based trivia and other tabloid tidbits is not really about the information (or lack thereof) itself—it's about the act of interacting with other people in your frame of reference, many of whom you may have little 'substance' in common with, though you may enjoy each other's vibes quite a lot. The reciprocal swap of social energy is what matters. And as an added bonus, when you yield to eager participation on this unapologetic surface-level, you take some of the pressure off yourself to say 'the right thing'… which, with Mercury going retrograde in your house of self-expression (the 5th), would be well-timed.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): For your purposes, this latest Mercury retrograde (beginning this coming Sunday, Apr 18) is of the closet-cleaning, drawer-emptying, kitchen-scouring, backyard-weeding sort... an opportunity to tend to the home-front from a revisionary stance, so as to excise the excessive crap and/or put everything back where it ought to go, in order to quell the anxiety-provoking impact of any such disarray. Of course, you don't have to take this as literally as mop-and-bucket duty, Aquarius. This is about fostering rejuvenation in whatever space or context you typically retreat to for your private recharge. On the off chance you're somehow resistant to directing your energies to such personal concerns (if, for instance, you're so preoccupied with outward drama that you wouldn't instinctively choose to serve your inward interests), let me remind you of this horoscope from two weeks ago. Don't you recall how badly you need a 'scrub-down' somewhere in your life?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You are onto something big… but it surely won't continue to develop if you pretend to be somebody other than who you are, Pisces. So stop yourself before you apologize one more time for being too sensitive or shy, for moving too slowly or dreamily, or for doing it (whatever 'it' is) in a style different from everyone else's (or, more precisely, a certain know-it-all's) 'right way'. Although I cannot specify exactly how, I'm confident you will be rewarded for proudly maintaining and expressing your individuality… most likely, through the increasing number of honest and tender relationships you draw into your life, and by the way in which the shadier and less supportive folks begin to appear more blatantly shady and unsupportive. Please adopt this startlingly simple notion: The more you emit your purest authenticity of self, the easier it becomes to determine who sincerely embraces you—and who just can't accept you for who you are.