Horoscopes | Week of May 3-9, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Taking the 'I can do whatever the hell I want to do, I make my own decisions, and I don't care what you or anybody else has to say about it!' approach would be terribly short-sighted, Aries. While it is true that you (like every other adult person, except maybe the incarcerated and institutionalized) reserve the right to independently call all the shots in your life, each self-suiting choice comes with a corresponding interpersonal benefit or cost. (See also: Last week's horoscope.) Don't underestimate the power of generally being likable—and of actually being liked by specific individuals—as a means of making everything else infinitely easier for you. Your ongoing 2nd/5th-house tensions are all about balancing what you want to do with what's most practically supportive of your earthly stability. The statement your ego screams to make is probably not the same behavior best suited to solidifying your material-resource base. With a turbulent (though fertile) next-chapter ahead, you need to bank as much solidity as possible.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You needn't make a federal case out of declaring your best self-sustaining plans to the entire world. Not only might they not care as much as you'd hope, there isn't really much of anything to be gained with such dramatic announcements… expect, maybe, your envious or threatened pals' insincere congratulations (and unspoken snideness just below the surface). Incidentally, that doesn't make them 'bad people', Taurus—it's just that the kind of emotional enthusiasm you draw from cementing your own personal intentions isn't necessarily made for sharing. Too outward a display of pride in yourself, at this particular astro-moment, could too easily be interpreted wrongly… and then, when you don't get the response you most wanted, you end up with hurt feelings that'll threaten to overtake the enthusiasm you started out with. Safeguard the fledgling flames of your excitement like the first sparks of a campfire struggling to stay alit under challenging crosswinds. Don't let anyone inadvertently blow out your candle.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Think of Venus, still in Gemini through May 19, as your 'cruise control'. Will having her on board magically eliminate the bumps in the road or alleviate your need to defensively navigate around the crazed antics of other drivers? Of course not. However, just knowing she can conveniently help keep the vehicle moving forward during those moments when you'd rather not expend the energy to press the pedal to the metal—and that those around you won't necessarily know you're putting in less effort to get the same results—will hopefully provide some much-needed relief. Venus's pleasant sextile to 3rd-house Mars also adds some of that cruise-control effect to your social interactions, allowing you to reliably keep the conversations moving forward, too… and to steer them wherever best serves you, without that sleight-of-mouth trick appearing too obvious. Venus won't solve your problems, but she'll foster copious (though subtle) chances to momentarily ease your sense of burden, while simultaneously holding other folks just where you want 'em.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Be very suspicious, Cancer, of other people's suspicions… of their efforts (conscious or not) to instill doubt in you, to question you too aggressively on what you have decided is in your own best interests, and/or to play right into anxieties or paranoias you already possess. At this point, with Venus providing support to Mars from your solar 12th, you need all the positive thinking you can get. Some reassuring sign that your self-determined track is the 'right' one (regardless of what anybody else may presently be saying) is on its way… say, two-to-four weeks down the pipeline. But how strongly you either (1) encourage its juiciest manifestation by actively investing in the belief that what I'm saying is true or (2) disinvite its arrival by wallpapering over the entryway with unwelcoming negative messages will indeed impact what happens next. With that knowledge, it behooves you to seek out those interpersonal influences that best boost belief in your triumphant self-sufficiency—and to limit those with the opposite effect.


LEO (July 23-August 22): While Mercury is still retrograde, why not give another go to whatever career-related or public-world endeavors previously sputtered or stalled? The month-or-so difference between then and now could make a huge difference, Leo. Of course, there's still the possibility it's your 'strong personality' (read: Mars remains in your sign, gosh darn it) creating an unpleasant rub with a relevant VIP or rousing your defiant refusal to accept certain circumstances not likely to change any time soon. To be sure, if you choose to revisit this endeavor, a double-dosage of self-administered modesty is indeed in order. Also, it wouldn't hurt to take advantage of Venus in your solar 11th and invite a colleague(s) to carry out a large part of your bidding… if indeed your desired role is intertwined with the goals and efforts of these individuals. And if there aren't other allies involved, and it's all on you to make it happen (or not)? Well, that fact may explain why your progress has been so slow-going: You need collaborators.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You're entering the final stretch of Mars's epic 8-month transit through your solar 12th, Virgo… during which nearly every stab at nailing the bullseye was impeded upon by the sense you'd first been blindfolded, then spun around in circles, Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey style. You were lucky if you landed a few hits anywhere near the target. It would also make sense if you've merely wandered aimlessly around, variably more or less 'on task' based upon your mood any day (though you're probably pretty tired and nauseous from those dizzying loops). You will finally be able to start connecting the proverbial 'Tails' with 'Donkeys', for measurable results, once Mars makes it to Virgo on June 7—and hopefully to make up for much seemingly 'lost' time over the succeeding couple months. For now, you might quietly consider how much of this recent befuddlement has been due to you spinning blindly in place… or whether, in fact, the target itself has also been moving.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't bite the hand of the friend who's trying to feed your famished soul by pushing you toward the edge of the ledge. You may find yourself tempted to project your anxieties about moving forward, Libra, onto the folks who are unilaterally urging you onward… when in fact the conflict is within you, and the 'pressure' you're feeling from them is really just a case of their putting a discernible voice to an instinctive truth you already know. Instead of taking their urgings as a judgment against you or another sort of personal affront, use the tension as an opportunity to talk out your contradictory notions on the topic. Let them play 'devil's advocate', without mistaking 'em for an actual devil. While you're likely to get heated or otherwise 'worked up' in the discussion (and rightfully so, considering the importance at hand), remember not to aim it aggressively at individuals who merely have your best interests at heart.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You do know how to win somebody's affections, right? I believe you do, Scorpio… when you sincerely put your full energies into it, with authentic care rather than merely to manipulate the situation. So before you bitch about how a certain someone (whether an actual individual with the power to make-or-break you or an intimidating figment of your imagination) is blocking the road to your happiness, put your fighting attitude in check and reconfigure your notion of this person. He/she is just like any other human being, after all, with the same emotional complexes and insecurities and desire to be liked—and your relative ability in wooing this person is based on how smartly you play to their humanity, balancing a genuine interest in 'getting to know them' (because the surest way to someone's heart is to show interest in 'em) with a moderated show of self-assuredness (so you don't come off like a know-it-all). Your knack for interpersonal connection is a professional skill not to be overlooked.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Now I'd like to present the shinier, happier rewrite of last week's horoscope… wherein I reinterpret the potential of being pulled off-course by someone else's gravitational force in a more positive light, thanks to Venus's flattering emanations from your relationship house (the 7th). What qualifies as a disconcerting 'distraction' in one context, Sagittarius, may prove to be a more welcome opportunity to let yourself be carried far away from that repository of relentless responsibility, on the wings of a certain intriguing individual's breath-of-fresh-air outlook on life. Yes, it's now just as likely you'll be interrupted by somebody you'd want to be interrupted by. And obviously, if departing on detours that infuse you with inspiring glimpses of a different sort of everyday existence (like the one this person-of-interest lives) will leave you feeling refreshed, by all means, enjoy. However, just because this 'distraction' is welcome, that doesn't mean it completely excuses you from those duties you're being distracted from. (Damn that recurring theme of responsibility.)


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Should you find yourself hellbent on solving problems 'once and for all', please direct your diagnostic investigations toward those predicaments you can address by yourself… as opposed to those that, due to the fact that other folks also have their fingers in the pie, would ultimately require personality standoffs more than methodological revisions. I mention this, Capricorn, because Venus is presently lightening the load in your 6th house (the 'task-list' zone of the solar chart), promising an easier go of any efforts intended to diversify how you get the job done, for efficiency's sake. In other words, independent work situations are where the lower-hanging fruit awaits your harvest. Yet, if you must partake in the 'interpersonal' brand of problem-solving, go for it whole-hog: Don't back down on behalf of tentative ceasefires or superficial settlements. If you really want to solve the problem once and for all, keep on going until full resolution, of one sort or another, is attained.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I wish I could report the heightened prospects for interpersonal tension had finally gone away, Aquarius, but that hasn't yet come to pass … and surely won't this week, with that stubborn 7th-house Mars, the main source of relational conflict, squaring the Sun. The astro-weather continues to color your thinking with strong emotions, such that your instincts and attitudes toward certain individuals may be rather 'irrational' (in the sense of you not understanding the full breadth of why you're feeling that way towards 'em, only that your feelings are obviously speaking up for some important reason). However, thanks to Venus's recent arrival in your 5th (where we pleasurably cavort) to sweeten Mars's soup, this 'interpersonal tension' also holds the promise of playing out through flirtation or romantic attraction. ('Tension', after all, creates an electrifying charge.) And those 'irrational' instincts could deliver you into the loving arms of an unexpected partner-in-crime (for a few hours or much longer)… if you're willing to trust your emotions and just enjoy yourself.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Turn down the volume on all that noise, and take it easy. While there's plenty of action going down in your social circles, your likely reaction to it all is probably somewhat take-it-or-leave-it. In that case, Pisces, be aware of when your participation veers away from what's legitimately 'taking it easy'… not because anything bad will necessarily come of it, but so you don't strain or stress or inconvenience yourself in any way at all over stuff that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of your life. As tempting as gossip and drama and interpersonal intrigue may be (and, oh, they are), you just might find that, these days, you get a hell-of-a-lot more actual joy from sitting quietly with a book, fixing yourself a lovely meal, gazing out the back window at the trees and birds, and generally stealing a few moments of quiet bliss. It's your choice, obviously, how to occupy yourself. I just don't want you to forget that it is a choice.