Horoscopes | Week of April 18-24, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Hopefully, by the middle of the week, you will have passed through any stress-inducing 'checkpoints' with flying colors… and thusly will be back to zooming onward, Aries, as you continue taking advantage of this unbelievably vital energetic at your disposal. Venus joins the mix of astro-forces lined up in your sign (half the planets!), signifying you should finally begin glimpsing tangible payoffs to these last few months' wacky happenings. Even as you squeal with glee at the evidence, you mustn't lapse into resting on your laurels: This Aries-happy astrology is not done with you yet. In fact, I wouldn't be so startled to hear that, before the proverbial ink has even had a chance to dry in one situation, yet another act-fast opportunity in some other arena presents itself. Too much to juggle at the same time? you might wonder. No way, Jose. Not only can you handle it all, but you'll thrive by putting forth a 'the more, the merrier' embrace of all interesting possibilities that come your way. If you have to drop something later… well, you'll worry about that later.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): This week features a first primordial glimpse into your gradual reemergence from behind the 12th-house veil, as the Sun makes the move into your 1st house… a move which will, in weeks ahead, be repeated by Mars, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter. Be mindful, though, Taurus, that the rest of these planetary shifts won't occur 'til mid-May and beyond—and, until then, you're still in something of a holding-pattern (as I described a few weeks back), without full possession of your typical pragmatism. If you do little more than set a couple steps out into the 'real world' again, test the relative sturdiness of your footing, kiss the earth for still being there, and return to your safe-place… well, I think that should probably suffice. In the meantime, if you're properly making room for 'things to happen on their own' (as opposed to stressing about trying to control things and, as a result, standing in the way of organic progress), you should see at least one positive sign of a feared burden actually ironing itself out… and freeing you up in some noteworthy fashion.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): A hellish hassle, a private sadness, a shameful secret, or looming clouds of 'no one could possibly understand' self-separation—any of these, flipped on their head for the countervailing view, could comprise the makings of a coming-together or a movement, the grounds for feeling less alone than you have in quite some time, Gemini. The deciding factor is whether you'll risk your pride as someone who doesn't jolt or jar the surrounding listeners with too strong a personal tale, in order to unapologetically be who you actually are at this moment in time. Tell the tale, unadorned with qualifications or exceptions intended to spare others their discomfort. Your social skills are your life preserver. Where there is camaraderie and connectedness (no matter how much of a 'downer' the issue connecting you may seem), you will find the spark to reignite a fire in you that you've feared had been forever snuffed out.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Once you accept there's absolutely no shame in a glaringly public change-of-course, Cancer, you'll be freed up to speak or behave as a moment's instinct informs you that you should—without wasting a single worry on the futile trap of 'saving face'. Nobody will judge your supposed inconsistencies in the manner you most fear (probably because they are too busy reacting to the fluctuating circumstances in their life). If anything, staying frozen in place or too intent on advancing conclusions made a week or two earlier ('ancient history already!') is a likelier culprit for attracting disapproval, since anyone with at least one eye can see the world keeps rearranging itself every few hours. Ease your concern for appearances, and sharpen your alert responsiveness to when something goes from 'feeling right' to 'not feeling right' (and vice versa). Skip the step where you try to intelligently rationalize reasons why the feeling shifted. Dart wherever the 'right' energy reveals itself to be. If it moves again, so should you.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Are you experiencing the upswing in optimism, the awareness of a brighter future with more meaningful possibility which I'd expect from all this current 9th-house activity? I sure want that for you, Leo. Your zodiac tribe presently holds an extraordinary capacity for vision unrivalled by the other signs, which, if you so choose, can be used to guide the career (or public-life) expansion headed your way beginning in mid-2011. In other words, the enthusing fancies that have recently captivated your interest needn't be relegated to the relative hinterlands of 'extracurricular activity' or 'hobby'. They could instead occupy an increasingly larger segment of your life, providing you more of an immediate chance to feel like all your professional striving actually amounts to something you personally value as important. All it takes is courage and commitment. Alas, if 'optimism' is the furthest thing from your latest view of your situation… well, all I can say is: You're looking at it from a very limited perspective (or, as I was going to write, 'looking at it all wrong'). Who, or what, can help you really open your eyes?


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Assuming you have confirmed the existence of a 'backup plan', an action I recommended last week (but which was probably already on your radar, being a Virgo and all), you are now ideally positioned to remove the protective coating from whatever sharp protrusion of pointed truth has, up until now, been merely hinted at or alluded to. Rip off the cover, and let it stick out. Like inserting a needle into a vein, that first quick poke is where all the potential pain resides… and before you know it, the deed is done, and nobody can believe that that's all it took. Sure, Virgo, in that pivotal moment, someone could feel like s/he's about to pass out from the shock. A few deep breaths will swiftly restore the senses. This is a procedure necessary for relieving the pressure in you, which would otherwise continue building up… with worsening internal repercussions. In fact, afterward, you could feel lighter and more optimistic about the future than you can even remember—but you won't know until you bust through the surface-tension.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You've far enough along to consider the radical move of simply dropping your guard altogether, Libra. With your ruling lady Venus joining the parade of 7th-house planets jostling you into spontaneous interpersonal advance, the odds of any relationship-oriented risks playing out in your favor have improved even further. The developments that'll put the biggest smile on your face, I should add, are likely to transpire when a sudden surge of brash bravery overcomes you… and before you have a chance to convince yourself to weigh everything that's at stake, you've already made your instinctive need or desire unmistakably known. Venus's present conjunction with Uranus means she's happiest—and most apt to make you happy—when she facilitates radical independence in relationships (rather than, say, co-dependence). She'll deliver mutual benefit to two fully-whole-in-themselves individuals who come together because, simply put, they add to each other's already-self-defined lives. Anything 'needier', at this time, is a recipe for aggravation or resentment.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Keep the effort going, Scorpio. If you've been answering the call to fight ever onward, despite slowdowns or reversals or the destabilizing demands of too much multi-tasking, then you're due for some sort of abrupt breakthrough. Whether you discover you've gotten further than you'd previously been able to appreciate, or that one giant lingering still-to-do task is no longer necessary, or that having achieved a nice cruising momentum makes the whole thing seem far less menacing than before… whatever the case, I feel the equivalent of a giant breath of 'yes, I can do this!' being released from your proverbial exhaust pipe. Does that mean this overtime phase is tapering away into relative normalcy? Alas, no, not quite yet… though it should feel, by week's end, as if you have made it through a particularly sticky spot. About a month or so from now, you'll be situated to start enjoying yourself a bit more significantly—perhaps due to the pleasurable presence of a certain someone you're about to get to know a whole lot better.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Making your preferences flagrantly obvious only makes it likelier, Sagittarius, you'll land that which you prefer. (Simple logic, right?) Those who are put off by your brash overtness, need I point out, probably aren't the folks who'd be able to satisfy your wants in the end… and why beat around the bush, anyhow, when the getting's presently this good? I would gladly egg you on with another round of 'life's too short!' if I thought you weren't already innately aware of every moment's preciousness. But if it helps in the slightest: 'Life's too short to dick around! Snub your nose at the concept of "inhibitions"! Flash your pizzazz!' I can't beat this drum loudly enough if it'll ensure you 'get it all out now'… especially considering the good energy you stir up now will generate a rhythm that'll carry you into the months ahead, which also include an uptick in required day-to-day responsibility management. Before the increase in duty descends, take good care of your fun 'business'—and give those who want to 'do business' with you a chance to seal the deal.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): 'I deserve my private slice of heavenly peace, and I will wrestle you to the mat for it. I'll keep asserting my will, repeating my self-protective efforts as many times as it takes until those who are disrupting my harmony understand that I won't back down. I'm a cool, clean, merciless warrior, once I determine some adored aspect of my emotional sanity is being infringed upon by an intolerable invasion of my personal space. Maybe you haven't seen that side of me—the efficient Capricorn mercenary who kills with a single incisive shot—because I usually calculate that such combat is not worth my expenditure. I typically hesitate to wield my assertive weaponry in so flagrant a defense unless the dissatisfying circumstance truly causes me that much trouble. And as far as preserving this slice of humble private-life peace is concerned, we are approaching that point of no return. If pushed into a draw, I will fight to win. Now, don't you think it behooves all of our best interests for me to simply claim my rightful soul-refreshing sanctuary… before it gets ugly?'


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Contrary to all 'reason' (which might be telling you you're far too busy to squeeze in any more activity), Aquarius, you ought to add a few last-minute meet-ups with friends, peers or network members to your week's agenda… if only to increase the already-amplified chances that, just in the nick of time, a much-needed suggestion or solution will materialize from an unexpected source and divert the winds of change in a surprisingly different direction. That said, if we were to sit down and try to figure out which area of your life is likeliest to host such an advantageous deviation, from where and to where, our racked brains would probably come up with zilch. This is not the kind of abrupt shift that would appear as significant as it'd later prove. (You might not even know it's happening.) But you sure as hell won't experience its unique tilting effect if you keep to yourself, tightlipped and/or resisting interpersonal input. You won't likely turn your head in that angle unless somebody tells you, 'Hey, look, over there…!'


PISCES (February 19-March 20): In order to signal to the money gods that you're serious in your appeal to them to give you more (as opposed to merely paying lip service to the idea of financial increase), I suggest you set a powerful precedent: Do something that will immediately bring in a bit of extra spending cash, Pisces. We aren't talking about grand schemes for reinventing your whole professional self or creating your own mini-empire. We want relatively humble, quick-to-deploy, quick-to-show-returns sorts of activities—you start in the morning, and have a few new bills in your pocket by sundown. Throw an impromptu garage-sale. Bring clothes you no longer wear to the resell store, or old books to the used-book shop. Use craigslist or online sites as another marketplace. Roll your coins and exchange 'em for 'real' (i.e., paper) money. Take on one-day assignments. Collect on debts owed to you. Work some overtime. Follow any similar such pathways to a few more twenties. Don't worry about saving the day (or the world), as such heavy pressure inhibits the reaping-in. Simply acclimate the universe to providing you a larger share, fair compensation for your doing more to earn it.