Horoscopes | Week of March 21-27, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You're now hovering, breath held and anticipation high, right above the dividing line between 'how it used to be' and an unapologetically bold-and-gutsy, self-determined future. This is it, Aries, just up ahead: the live-it, be-it moment. The astrological 'line' you've been eagerly waiting to cross, at least as I've defined it, is the arrival of your ruler Mars to your sign—a momentous occasion that occurs in the second part of next week. While first Jupiter and then Uranus crossing into Aries has been enough to cast an exciting vibe over your life, on and off for the past several months, it's the soon-to-be presence of Mars as dispositor (or planetary captain) of all these Aries planets that really ignites the fuse on this reinvention powder-keg. April and the first half of May comprise, without a doubt, your most advantageous period in a long while for wholly and completely dedicating yourself to the intentions and efforts that most truly embody your unique purpose in the world (at least whatever it is right now). And just because 'common practices' or 'reasonable people' or other institutionalized protocols may conflict with your fired-up attitude on how to best tackle you being you, that doesn't mean they are correct. Why wait to be accepted, approved or understood? Make up new rules as you go.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your life-altering breakthrough is presently germinating behind a veil of unintelligibility, as I did my best to describe last week in the least airy-fairy terms possible… but, despite any confusing appearances to the contrary, there is a breakthrough going on. Give it room to breathe itself into being, Taurus, one faint flutter at a time. Be sure you're reserving yourself ample moments for solitary reflection, meditation and unproductivity, if you want to help it along. Practice visualizing a benevolent hand of Fate gently guiding you down one of many forks in the road, as a comforting voice whispers, in providential knowing, 'This is the right way, my dear. Don't worry about why it is so, or what you're supposed to do as you get further along.' One thing not to do, however, is to rashly claim to totally understand the full significance of what a certain direction means for your future. Even if the vision, message or meditative insight seems to be so clear in its symbolism, hold your conclusion very gently… leaving open the possibility that multiple meanings are being conveyed simultaneously. No declarative pronouncements or decisive actions are on your immediate schedule.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): No matter if serious concerns may still weigh on your mind or a psychological hangover continues to cast its stubborn shadow over you, I urge you not to retreat back into an echo chamber where these energies will only bounce around and around, magnifying the feelings. Your release-valve remains active engagement with the world of peers who understand where you're coming from and/or consider you 'one of them', Gemini. I believe you, for the most part, can sense the liberatory pleasures that come from repeatedly 'leaving behind' your confining private situation, to enjoy a freer flow of different social inputs to positively influence your thinking and your mood. Yet I detect the subtle reemergence of an undertow that would just love to suck you back in, playing on your guilt and/or mournful reluctance… though, at this point, there's nothing new to deal with there (and therefore no justification for giving in). Stay out and about, interactive, participatory and communicative. This latest vortex will weaken shortly.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Precisely because you care, Cancer, you really mustn't avoid the call of increased public-eye participation. Since there's likely an opportunity for you to jump in, with a contribution that'd be instinctive on your part (but probably much more inelegant or bumpy if handled by another player), you shouldn't leave 'em hanging on account of ego-related insecurities. (Where's the time for catering to doubts?) When you know you've got a talent or ability that'll add a jolt of forward-moving progress where it's badly needed, you simply have to put it to immediate good use—even if you inadvertently step on toes and have to retroactively sort through personality-issue fallout. All the relational hiccups can be cleaned up after the fact, once you've thrown your active supportive assistance into the pot. You're being summoned to the plate, the podium, the head office. You are needed, in a pretty significant way. This is no time for overly mannered behavior. Take the dive... because it matters, and you care.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You mustn't get caught up in the little shit, Leo, which sure appears like it needs to get done a certain way on a certain timeline but which may, in fact, be inhibiting you from better long-term solutions. Don't be afraid to step back from the situation, to think about overriding life-goals and meaningful expenditures of purpose, not merely the next batch of rote tasks. Maybe it's wiser to step away altogether—for an extended regrouping or a fundamental departure. Is this the moment in which you ponder making the big switch? returning to school? moving overseas? setting out on the Great Adventure to 'find yourself'? I'm not saying it is; I'm not saying it isn't. Determining what's what is your job. But even if you decide to stay exactly where you are, continuing what you're doing because you've assessed it is the most purpose-driven avenue for dispatching your values, it ought to be because you asked the important questions and gave the answers sufficiently deep thought… not by programmed default.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): In maneuvering through this sticky spot, please beware of letting pride get the best of you. While it may appear it'd be easier to brusquely bank your wins and/or cut your losses, get yourself back into a more neatly-defined sphere, and essentially call it a day, that approach seems poorly timed. You've already sacrificed the clean demarcating lines, Virgo, in favor of heightened immersion in the disarray of interdependence… and what you may be temporarily missing in terms of analytic sanity, you're more than making up for in eventual psychological wisdom. (Yes, that really is a lucrative tradeoff.) So don't throw in the towel prematurely, just because you hit a rough patch and/or are forced to confront an uncomfortable truth about yourself. You needn't slink off by yourself to lick your wounds; do it right in front of their penetrating eyes. They'll learn something new about your inner psychological landscape (it's not as obvious as you think)—and perhaps even show you deeper compassion as a result of you exposing yourself. (Venus's good-news entry into your 7th at week's end certainly suggests as much.)


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't let 'em get away with thinking they already know what to expect from you, Libra. This is the moment to keep 'em on their toes… to throw 'em off your scent… to reveal how, sometimes, you aren't going to behave in the well-considered, even-keeled manner you've (justifiably?) garnered a reputation for. Shock the shit out of 'em. This probably ought to be done not purely for purposeless defiance (although perhaps that's a worthy 'purpose' in itself), but to intentionally unfetter yourself from constraints (self-imposed or otherwise) which aren't serving your own interpersonal self-interests . Of course, because we're talking about a continuing influx of 7th-house energies here, it's also possible the other person—your partner, a boss or co-worker, a family member or close friend, somebody significant—is the shit-shocker. Their latest self-serving, impulsive and/or seemingly insane conduct may be playing the role of 'unexpected'… in which case: Will you respond predictably to their escalating antics? Or will you try a refreshingly unusual response? After all, even if they're circumstantially acting it out, you're the one under the astro-pressure to relate differently.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Keep throwing yourself into the day-to-day productivity, without permitting supposedly innocuous (but potentially subtly venomous) murmurs or small comments hijack your attention. This is no time to squander a surge of spunky initiative on fanning the flames of essentially meaningless blather, Scorpio… which, should you foolishly focus on it, would only serve to reoccupy your mind with self-defeating thought circles. Why spend much effort on 'thinking' at all, when there's presently such obvious benefit from simply diving into the doing? And when you're done with the day's doings, spare yourself the headache of navigating unnecessarily loaded chit-chat—because So-and-So is twisting your words? misreading your motives? refusing to accept the polite put-off?—and just enjoy the quiet retreat of domestic bliss. Even in work-related scenarios, when you're merely trying to get shit accomplished while a colleague would seemingly prefer even more discussion about various hypothetical consequences, your efficient manner could be misinterpreted as a hostile shortness. Don't engage in processing such non-issues. Sidestep the drama, or it will sidetrack you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If you aren't currently consumed (or at least interested in, and on your way to, fuller consumption) with a pleasurable activity, creative project, or some other display of personal uniqueness that makes your heart sing with delight… well, Sagittarius, you are missing the boat (or should we call it a 'fun cruise') that the planets have sent for you. The 5th house, from which this astrological junket is being launched, rules (among other things): children, our inner child, and child-like play; flirtation, romance, and burgeoning love; artistic expression; and all leisurely pursuits that foster joy. So if one or more of the aforementioned items (or something that archetypally resembles it) isn't taking on an increasingly primary focus in your life, I can only imagine it's due to one of these reasons: (1) You're too worried about how such an involvement will impact others' reception of you… which seems a bit un-Sagittarian to me, but you never know. (2) You're too worried about the financial costs of such an involvement… in which case you need to be that much more creative (i.e., doing more with less), since monetary limits are not in themselves a good enough reason to starve yourself of good times. (3) You've simply gotten caught up in moment-to-moment trifles and trivialities, and you've neglected to do what you really want to do. Whatever the reason, alas, this isn't the sort of astrology to ignore—if, that is, you relish getting the biggest bang for your buck.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Concurrent with the fact that, thanks to Pluto's long-term presence in your sign, you're on a gradual path to ever-increasing empowerment, there comes a corresponding heightening in your responsibility to yourself to take appropriate care of the 'valuable goods' (i.e., you) so they remain in powerful standing. Put another way, Capricorn: As the intensity of what's expected of you (by yourself, others, and the world at large) grows, so too does the need to have an intensely relieving private life to help adequately unburden you. While you're incredibly adept at bearing the weight of worldly duties, you really shouldn't have to 'bear weight' in all zones of your existence. You shouldn't even have to consider pinching back reactions or playing diplomat at home, with the few intimates who get to see your other non-public face. Your emotional well-being demands you create special safe space for yourself, where you can vent the day's aggravations, raise your voice in exasperated release, and not think every last thing all the way through before letting it rip. Now, and in coming weeks, please take advantage of what's at your disposal for safe-space venting—or, if you feel you've got nothing, get cracking on resolving this looming disaster before you crack.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Should your altruistic side be wondering how best to share itself with the world, let me recommend a simple strategy of staying in touch with the people around you. While that may sound so basic that it'll almost seem 'not enough', please trust me, Aquarius: The cool-headed manner in which you provide offhand perspective to folks who may be too 'in it', or might otherwise be freaking out, can have a strongly fear-allaying effect on them. It's not that you treat potentially destabilizing situations too lightly… just that you naturally possess an intellectually visionary quality which permits you to see beyond immediate upset, for an angle on the future that isn't so unduly muddled by present emotional reactions. Be especially easy and unforced in your phrasings, qualifying anything that might possibly sound pedantic by owning it as a totally subjective (and not final) opinion. Chatting with you will diffuse their pent-up worries. Please don't fall prey to your own pent-up worries that it's wiser not to involve yourself, which is a false premise.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Following last week's unambiguous message to 'get real!', I received an email from a self-described 'distraught Pisces', in a decidedly frantic tone, asking me for 'real, implementable, pragmatic tips, for realizing the "getting real" advice you advocate'. Okay, then, Pisceans distraught and not, here goes: (1) In answer to the emailer's direct question of 'But how do you take care of yourself first?', my response is simple. Say no to other's people requests… especially if they conflict with something you need to get done, to stay on track with the goals you have for yourself. Does this mean your plans can't change? Of course not. But it does mean you can't push your own self-determined priorities off the day's to-do list, simply because someone else needs (or claims to need) you now. (2) Schedule your personally-identified non-negotiable activities first, making sure anything that earns you a paycheck, builds your bankable skills, and/or protects your investments (monetary and energetic) gets locked into a prime slot. Then you can volunteer your assistance to other people's endeavors, knowing in advance exactly how long you can help for. (2a) Run on time. Time, after all, is money. (3) Squirrel away all the dough you need to cover your fixed monthly expenses before volunteering to loan or give anybody else a single dime. This is not greedy, merely responsible. (4) Keep reminding yourself you're not being cold-hearted by learning to say no or placing time and/or money constraints on your generosity. You must secure your own oxygen mask before assisting those sitting nearby, if you hope to survive to enjoy the sight of them flourishing.