Horoscopes | Week of April 25-May 1, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If we think of these wild Aries-energy-filled weeks as a long-distance race, during which you're wanting to keep the leader's pace (since you are the astrological favorite to win this invitational), then the week ahead would be your moment to jerk into overdrive… to squeeze in the next few lengths at sprint speed, to extend your lead and accentuate your confident dominance. Mars is moving toward a conjunction with Jupiter in your sign, an aspect that swells assertions-of-will to grander proportions, adding extra oomph to whatever you direct your efforts toward. If presumably life has already been driving you forward with notably exaggerated momentum, then Mars's positioning this week is like flipping on the jet-propulsion switch and defiantly leaving yesterday way in the dust. It seems fair to mention that, while you're consumed with doing your own thing, you might inadvertently annoy the peripheral players (whose lives don't revolve around 'your thing' and may therefore feel unacknowledged or put upon). I could tell you to tone yourself down on their behalf, but that doesn't strike me as the right solution. Well, at least smile at 'em on your madcap dash past.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): What may presently be the most exciting experience for you, Taurus, is the awareness that decisions and action-plans for your next big leap are starting to come together behind the scenes. (Are you consciously forming them, I wonder, or are they magically forming themselves out of circumstance and divine intervention?) With these emerging leanings comes an anticipatory optimism lying in wait, which you may only barely be expressing to the outside world, beyond the very subtle Mona Lisa smirk that turns your lips upward ever so slightly at the corners. Cherish these moments-before. While I wouldn't exactly classify your current state as 'peaceful', there is a way in which prompt outward responses from you are less in demand than they soon will be. Before your front-and-center presence becomes more insistently required, bask in the backstage invisibility.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The key to lightening up and having fun—possibilities that I strongly endorse for you at this time, Gemini—is to simply tag along on somebody else's good time. Before you even have a chance to reiterate to yourself all the reasons you 'shouldn't' be giddily giggling these days, stop the thought process dead in its tracks… and just agree to join in. (This advice is null and void, however, should you instead decide to organize the fun and invite a bunch of other folks. In that case, you've proven you're already doing well. Enjoy!) Meanwhile, if you are actively resisting others' goadings to attend the gathering or participate in the activity, you may be unnecessarily creating a wedge between you and the people you associate with. Their patience with your extended absence (and the excuses you produce to justify it) may be wearing thin. I repeat: You are not an island.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Now that Mercury is once again direct in your career/public-calling house (the solar 10th), this would be an apt time to correct any recent misconceptions, reaffirm any previously tentative assertions, and/or finally speak the thoughts that've been swirling around inside your head, with particular regards to what you're doing out there in the world. Whatever you put forth during these couple dynamic months, Cancer, is setting a powerful precedent for where your professional energies are likeliest to develop for years to come… and thus it's not a time for being bashful, setting dreams on the backburner, using logic to justify why 'it'll never work', or otherwise selling yourself short. The worst precedent you can presently set, after all, would be one of passive surrender to an increasingly stale situation. It's never easy to make a breathtakingly self-directed move away from the security of a 'sure thing' (which, these days, isn't as 'sure' as you think), toward something riskier but potentially more rewarding. Doing it now, however, is preferable to most other moments.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I'm initially moved to spin a horoscope full of the positive-thinking, law-of-attraction sort of language—e.g., it is your decision whether or not to be happy in life—that is both 'true' in a certain sense and an easy opening through which stern realists can shoot their merciless critiques of the weightlessness of new-agey belief systems. After all, harsh and tragic events happen all the time… and it's somewhat insincere to suggest that we as individuals are fully responsible for the type of experiences we draw to us, based solely on our subjective view of reality. And yet, Leo, there is something to be said for consciously choosing not to feed the inner cynic… to instead recognize that, once any first-reactions of anger or grief begin to subside, we can decide to redirect our mental and emotional energies into hope for the future and, as a result, help birth new experiences into being. If you haven't already gathered from past weeks' horoscopes, you're on the verge of such a life-expanding birth. Please focus on that, and not anything from your past that's already written and can't be altered no matter how dearly you wish it had been different.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): If you are embroiled in a heated internal 'should I, or shouldn't I?' debate over a supposedly guilty pleasure that you know you want to indulge in yet still fear any convoluting fallout from… well, Virgo, you're not going to find a chaste shoulder-hovering angel preaching boring obedience in this horoscope column. Though I couldn't possibly know why exactly such pleasure threatens to inspire guilt in you—and maybe you do have a perfectly sound rationale for holding yourself back from it—I must tell you that your current astrological forecast still smacks of 'go for it! (complications be damned!)' as opposed to 'keep your hands neatly folded in your lap'. A moderate sense of danger keeps the electrifying charge coursing through your body. While I'm well aware Virgos aren't often celebrated for willingly flirting with danger, here you are, staring a tantalizing 'danger' square in the face… and not running for the nearest shelter. Why not grab its face and give it a little come-hither kiss?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): There's a much-magnified potential for spectacular acts of assertion, defiance or instigation coming at you from a key character in your day-to-day life, Libra… just the sort of crude carrying-on that could possibly spook you, insofar as a direct response on your part will obviously seem warranted, though you may fear the 'wrong' one will only make this person act even crazier. But already upon considering if your sincerest first-reaction is apt to prove 'too much' for the other person, you have slipped into 'appeasement' mode—at the expense both of your genuine feeling about their spectacle and of an opportunity for them to learn about how their actions impact you. And in a certain sense, isn't that why this person has shown up at this phase of your journey: to spur you into being more directly self-explanatory, as an antidote to your historical pattern of quietly weaving and bobbing to accommodate someone else's self-centeredness?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It's better to be doing. The fantasy you may be harboring, Scorpio, that you'd be enjoying yourself more if you could kick the door shut, chug down a six-pack or your favorite consumable of escape, and dematerialize into nothingness is just that: a fantasy. The likelier reality, should you follow an exit-ramp off the autobahn of activity, would be a circuitous detour through the worst of your inner-saboteur's emotional self-manipulations: doubt, panic, brooding thoughts about the inevitable doom of the human experience. Not only anxiety-provoking, but fruitless. So just continue doing, both to keep yourself out of the dumps and to get a whole bunch accomplished. Nothing 'official' to work on? Take a walk or jog. Practice yoga. Clean out a room. Whatever it is, stay physical. The moment you curl up into a ball for any extended period of immobility, that's when the self-created demons start springing up to try to scare you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Something's gone horribly wrong, Sagittarius, if you're presently squirming beneath the weight of too many adult concerns… and not enough totally childish frivolity. There is no rule telling us that, once we 'grow up' (whatever that means), we're supposed to spend the rest of our days filling out papers, sending off payments, sitting at desks, and planning for the inevitable catastrophes of aging. In fact: Fuck that dreary thought. If a certain strain of bone-chilling adulthood has recently taken over your consciousness, then, you're in dire need of finger-paints, a bouncy rubber ball, a board game or some other tool of pure play. Though I suppose you probably can't turn your back on this absorbing adult situation altogether, you surely needn't chew on it during all the waking hours of your day. And when you're not, please, oh please, engage in some ridiculously non-duty-driven activity to powerfully counteract the seriousness and restore a certain balance. (P.S. It's easier to shift into childlike mode if you're making a mess and getting all dirty.)


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The determining factor in whether you're presently delighting in the world you've created for yourself, Capricorn, is how radically you've granted yourself independence from the myriad worries about living up to 'standards' that were detrimentally implanted in your psyche over the years. You've been given a chance to unlock the cage (of your own making, dare I point out) and step right out… though, as we know all too well, prisoners will often return to the warped safety of their own imprisonment rather than freely wander into the open-exposure of 'anything goes'. If, by now, you cannot trust your basic life-skills (which probably include a tremendous knack for rescuing yourself from those worst-case scenarios you most fear), you're unfortunately likely to stick within your meager self-allotted sliver of existence. But if you do trust yourself, my dear, dash away from the confining cell. Though you can always run back in if you need to, I doubt you'll want to return once out.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): It's better that you stay in communication—not even with any specific individual, but with the world at large—than that you concern yourself with communicating any particular viewpoint or significant data-bit. Portraying the strong-and-silent type (or any silent type at all) would be a mistake, Aquarius, mainly because opportunity is pretty likely to pass you right by if it can't follow your voice (spoken, written or otherwise expressed) as a means of locating you. Everyone is so wrapped up with their own bustling developments, they could unintentionally forget to consider you unless you've placed yourself in an obvious spot within their perceptive field. On the other hand, if you just happen to call or text or email or show up, by sheer impulse, you may fall right into a conversation or involvement that sets off a chain-reaction of incidentally advantageous effects. That said, be the week's blabbermouth. Let it be impossible to say that nobody heard from you.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Presently, Pisces, given the choice between preserving your trademark humility and talking yourself up more prominently (to yourself and/or to others), I'd go with the latter. While it's true that few people like the relentlessly pompous self-promoter, you're typically likelier to downplay what makes you great rather than shout it from the rooftops… and excessive modesty can actually work against any efforts made to achieve a challenging goal, boost your income level or garner yourself an increase in life-position. It's perfectly okay to know what you're good at, and to reflect an uncensored confidence in what that can bring you. Should you instead get stuck in repeating habitual self-deprecating scripts, others will (consciously or by psychic osmosis) begin to believe these same notions—and lower their expectations of you accordingly. Though you may naturally still hold some questions or doubts about yourself (as we all do), these mustn't be the first thoughts you allow to emanate from you. (Save 'em for private mooning sessions.) Start off by presuming you're capable and a good learner. That way, if you confront a situation where you aren't completely confident about what to do, you'll at least be willing and able to pick it up as you go… which is all any of us need expect from ourselves.