Horoscopes | Week of April 11-17, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Behave honorably while crossing through required checkpoints. Why get unnecessarily mouthy with individuals who, should they choose, could hassle and/or detain you over trumped-up issues? One deep bow of polite acknowledgment on your part, Aries, will show you aren't thinking only of yourself. (Or are you?) Be especially conscious of your presently amped-up potential to come off sounding overtly aggressive, though this may not be the tone you're consciously deploying. Short, snappy answers will only put 'em on the defensive. Others' curiosities could quickly turn to suspicions, should you emanate a desire to cut conversations off, assuming you needn't explain yourself to anybody. Rather than think of all this as a confrontation waiting to happen, conceive of such interactions as a dance—and, for a brief passing moment, let the other person lead. By doing so, you will be the one indirectly controlling the situation by allowing them to believe they are.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Time to catch up on any disregarded practicalities, Taurus, before returning to your temporary sensory-deprivation chamber. 'Disregarded practicalities' in a Taurus horoscope? Bizarre, right? Well, these aren't ordinary times, are they? I encourage to simultaneously (1) cut yourself some slack for having willfully chosen not to keep up your reliable attention to the must-dos and (2) respectfully take care of what's fallen through the cracks, so that your head stays above the waterline, over the coming week or two. While it may feel like more of an effort than ever to simply fulfill your normal set of duties, it's not like I'm telling you to aim for massive dramatic forward strides… just to prevent yourself from sinking. Your time to shine is still a few weeks away. Meanwhile, you're still receiving an exemption from the universe to remain relatively unassuming (even somewhat absent) for the time being. Your part of the deal: maintain your bare minimums of day-to-day responsibility.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You would like everything to work out how, exactly? Before you try to mold your answer to this not-the-slightest-bit-hypothetical question to fit what you imagine other stakeholders or context-sharers would want you to reply, think more deeply about what's most authentically true for you. Though your fate in actualizing the desired result remains inextricably tied to those network-members who'll help it happen that way, Gemini, you must be simultaneously able to articulate your unique take on the matter. Once you can do that, the other players will be that much better prepared to assist you with those steps they're suited for… or to kindly redirect your thinking to possibilities likelier to work. Practice describing your story—and what you'd like the next chapter to look like—in a coherent version that doesn't vacillate or veer based upon who you're talking to. From there, you'll be set up to take this story around to all the relevant peeps… and they'll have the clearest information to work with in supporting you.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): In a twist on the idiomatic call to 'work hard and play hard', Cancer, I offer you this timely revision: Keep putting yourself all the way out there, then strongly nurture yourself all the way on the inside. In other words, don't neglect the necessity of conscious at-home self-care as a non-negotiable counterbalance to continuing dynamism (i.e., action, attention, evolution, discontinuity) in your professional and/or public life. Set an appropriate boundary for how much worldly activity you can participate in before you must call it a day, return to your cushiony cocoon, and softly stroke yourself into the decompression zone. Should you push yourself beyond this point, your outside efforts (which, again, are so solidly favored at the moment) will begin to suffer, as a result of self-doubt that is really no more than emotional exhaustion. Perhaps you should skip the after-work-hours social obligations, scurry homeward, pour yourself a warming cup of tea, and get under the covers 'til the morning alarm kicks off another busy day's itinerary.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Don't read too much into nonchalant inquiries, clarifying requests for additional information, and/or casual offerings of alternative views or info-bytes. Don't mistakenly assume you're being challenged, Leo, simply because you're being sincerely engaged in conversation about your latest-and-greatest notions of what's coming next. Any resistance to talk out what's recently captured your intense interests is a revealing clue that you're (consciously or not) feeling somewhat insecure about some angle of your developing mindset. But just because you may lack pure-and-total confidence in this relatively new (or relatively newly-revealed) zeal you possess, that isn't an indication you're misguided or deluding yourself. In fact, calmly and willingly taking on such exchanges bears the potential to strengthen your case… if, that is, you absorb 'opposing' (if we need call it that) perspectives, talk them through, and integrate these 'holes in your thinking' into a fuller understanding. Arguing from a place of reactionary false-confidence, however, just makes you seem defensive and afraid.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): How far is too far? Now's a promising time to chew on this question… without freaking yourself out, Virgo, and presuming that, to even ask it, means you ought to be pulling back, wriggling away or otherwise disengaging. If I had to wager a guess, it's probably quite the right thing for you to remain here in this uncomfortable territory, beyond your typical boundaries of familiar complacency. But, just to double-check-in with yourself, you also want to ensure you've not sold your farm or other markers of self-stabilizing independence all the way down the river. Reserving sufficient goods as a 'backup plan' is not a bad idea… particularly if the possession of such a safety flotation-device (which you hopefully may never need to rely on) frees you up from anxiety, at least enough to allow you to continue risking predictable hyper-security for the edge-of-your-seat twists and turns that serve as perfect fodder for a life lived passionately well.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If things are developing too quickly (or in too one-sided a fashion) for your comfort in any interpersonal negotiation, relationship or collaboration, this is your best window of short-lived possibility in which to inject a momentarily moderating influence. That's not to say, Libra, things shouldn't be developing as they are, so please don't read this horoscope as a warning against the very circumstances you now find yourself in. Instead, I merely want you to have a chance to pause for contemplative thinking—in order to reassure yourself you haven't neglected to consider what's going on, with adequate care. It's more a 'restore the equilibrium' kind of moment rather than an 'oops, what the hell did I just do?' situation. Unless, upon the further consideration presently afforded you, you determine you've somehow fallen out of integrity with your own desires, due to persuasive 'act now!' directness a certain someone has pushed on you. In that case, here's your best opportunity to un-oops yourself.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Though you remain in the heat of a super-efficient phase of productive activity, Scorpio, you still must carve out time for emotionally-recharging stillness. 'Emotions? How are they relevant to the project at hand?' you might ask yourself… and therein lies the very crux of your attempt to disregard an underlying pull at your heart, just because you have shit to accomplish (and possibly aren't feeling especially accommodating of your moody self). But because you are a flesh-and-blood person, your emotions therefore are an integral part of whether you can maintain a momentum—or if your will to persist will secretly begin to crumble, merely because you need a day to regather your psychic center. Don't be a callous slave-driver. Small spurts of passive retreat will ultimately boost your earthly efficacy. Ignoring the understandable oscillations, on the other hand, sets you up for an epic internal battle… one which could see you undermining your efforts through excessive alcohol/drugs, binge-eating, sexual compulsiveness, or other reactionary overcompensations. (And the subsequent 'hangover' will worsen your mood.)


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): While this is unquestionably a prime time for pushing all envelopes, in order to remind yourself how great it feels to not contain your self-pleasing enthusiasms, I must point out one party-pooping possibility, Sagittarius. If you aren't treating certain key alliances respectfully—and by 'key', I most precisely refer to relationships that directly impact your money-making potential and/or your standing in the community where you seek to 'make a name for yourself'—then you could face some pushback from those who believe their toes are being trampled on. Hopefully, if this happens to be your case, you are doing so unintentionally (unless, of course, you're purposefully trying to define yourself in opposition to them, in which case you're probably doing a great job). If indeed you don't intend to jeopardize a connection or burn a bridge, this would be a good week for a gentle course-correction… ultimately an instructive practice in tempering without selling out, considering without kowtowing, demonstrating wider social awareness while still authentically expressing yourself.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): In pondering the present Capricorn predicament, my mind filled with the image of an underground rodent—say, a badger—who must periodically pop his head out of one of the many holes he's burrowed throughout the meadow, if he hopes to capture the goods he needs to continue leading a relatively satisfying subterranean existence. The reason for this image's appearance, I imagine, is that you currently need to be spending a lot of your energies in private-sphere self-restoration… at the same time your presence will be required at certain important outside-world appearances, events or commitments. Do not try to weasel—or badger—your way out of what's expected of you, Capricorn. You really only need to pop your head in for a limited span, reflecting as put-together and genuinely-interested a guise as you can sincerely muster. A certain consistency on your part is an essential element to your success in this role. Put in your face time; then, return to the burrow.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Here's a soft reminder to reconnect with the top two-or-three items on your life-priority list, just so the overwhelming impetus to follow every moment's whim on its terms doesn't divert you too far from what you ultimately consider most important. I realize this week's advice, Aquarius, is in contrast to other recent horoscopes (particularly this one), in that I had been emphatically stressing the benefit of throwing yourself all-in into whatever social exchange shows up, without prematurely judging its relevance to your self-established agendas… and now it seems I'm contradicting those sentiments? Not so fast into the black-white, either-or thinking, slugger. I still urge you to be in the social Now, appreciating whatever-and-whoever's in front of your face as if they matter as much as anything-or-anyone else (which, of course, they do). Just gently repeat to yourself exactly where your highest philosophic life-goals reside. Then whisper this knowledge into the wind, to encourage serendipity to deliver you chance crossings that subtly resonate with these particular themes of your choosing.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Now that I have incessantly drilled home message after message about 'getting real' and taking care of your own damn self before all else, it probably wouldn't do you too much harm to revisit whatever situation(s) involving others previously had you in its grip. My goal in serving up these heaping American-sized portions of tough-love, Pisces, is not to separate you from the involvements that leave you feeling deeply connected to others—but simply to habituate you to the notion of a healthy limit, beyond which you do yourself more harm than good by feeding the 'connected' feeling. I believe you're at an appropriate in-progress test-point for gleaning some interesting insight, should you dip one small toe back into those waters. Sharply witness your natural response to flirting with reconnection. The minute you feel yourself wanting to wade deeper (or to strip everything off and dive in headfirst), it's probably time to cut the 'test' short and get back to getting self-sufficiently real.