Horoscopes | Week of May 16-22, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The bills are coming due, Aries. First and foremost, this statement may likely apply literally to you in terms of your present financial situation. Presuming you did whatever was necessary to keep your momentum going over the past couple months (perhaps including at least one act of faith-bankrolled-on-credit), you must now take care of what you left hanging in the money department—nailing down the funding, arranging adequate payment schedules, refining budgetary projections, investing short-term gains into longer-view nest eggs. This would be the absolute worst time to bury your head in the sand on this issue… or do you want all this promise of success to swirl down the drain due to bad bookkeeping? Beyond the explicitly economic necessities, you're also being asked to coordinate specific plans to evolve your latest undertaking from 'excitable beginning stage' to 'lasting involvement'. You can't run on the fumes of your enthusiasm forever. At some point, you've got to pull off at the service station, refill your tank and check your fluids; otherwise, you'll end up stranded at the side of the road, good ideas intact but no means of motoring onward.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): All of a sudden (or so it seems), everything's coming up Taurus. Based on the recent transfer of multiple planets out of your vague-and-elusive 12th and into your immediately-accessible 1st, I'd expect you're now experiencing a bursting-out and bubbling-over of renewed energy, initiative and availability to the outside world's calls for attention. No need to pinch yourself, my Taurean pal: This astro-climate change is real, and you should take total advantage of all it affords you. Notions you entertained months ago but never got around to actually enacting ought to be revisited. People you've fallen out of touch with should be contacted. The more stuff you get going during May, the more impressive the results you'll already be seeing by June and July. However, if you aren't experiencing any of what I'm describing (really? not even hints of it?), then I'm concerned you've unhealthily habituated yourself to the 'out-of-it-ness' that characterized your prior two months. At this point, you're just prolonging it—and escaping a reality that's not the same one you stepped away from earlier this year. Basically, you need to snap out of being out of it… right now.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Shelve the various personae you deploy to keep your name in the game. The one you ought to be wearing now, Gemini, doesn't usually get much public airtime. It's the self that sits quietly, hands raised to heaven, waiting to see which cards the Universe has dealt out for this next hand. No matter how good a player you may be, there's always a certain pre-determining fate in 'the luck of the draw'. Can't talk the deuces into becoming aces, even with the most persuasive routine. Now I'm not saying your next hand will suck—or, on the contrary, that it'll be an unbeatable winner—only that you have no strategy to hatch, no official reaction to rehearse or behind-the-scenes strings to pull. Take a deep breath, and let the process unfold as it will. Will the anticipation drive you bonkers? Quite likely. But at least, if you are passing this in-between span in relative retreat from the nosy questions and penetrating stares, you won't have to put on the diplomatic airs you may feel are necessary when explaining your present state to others. For the time being, there's really not much to say about it, is there?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Is idealism ever in short supply? One might falsely conclude so, if uncritically receptive to the bombardment of doom-and-gloom scenarios being manufactured on overdrive by the Fear Industry. But hopefully none of that has anything relevant to do with you, Cancer, as long as you continue believing that individuals can make a positive difference… particularly when they connect with others who believe the same thing. While your past two weeks' horoscopes [linked here and here] have been concerned with this last point—the importance of cementing alliances with folks that 'get' you—perhaps I didn't make it as abundantly clear, on the other hand, how detrimental it can be to associate too much with those self-described 'realists' who seem to get some malevolent pleasure from destroying others' promising visions for a different world. There is nothing more 'realistic' about settling for the status-quo (which, since nothing in life actually stays the same, is really a tacit vote for 'worsening') than bravely contending with what isn't working by daring to propose alternatives. Cling to your idealism unwaveringly, and safeguard it by surrounding yourself with fellow believers. The naysayers, meanwhile, can go 'say nay' somewhere far away from you.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Stand graciously in the sun. Lead by example, expressing the strength of personality that leaves nobody within view a reason to wonder who you might be. If you're assuming this conspicuous position appropriately, Leo, they will clearly grasp what you're trying to do… and even if they don't ultimately end up a 'fan' of yours, they'll have to respect how adeptly you can coherently concentrate your energies toward the particular goal-at-hand. Your willingness to be the 'public-face' and/or 'the mouthpiece' is, naturally, merely one component of a broader strategy that'll yield success here… and, yes, it's one you're exceptionally well-suited for. In the short-term, please note, it's just as important that you show up for duty every single day, and contribute your best efforts toward dotting all the logistical 'i's and crossing the social 't's (an at-times grueling list of small details that equals a job well done), so everyone sees that you're the real deal: You outwardly present yourself in a way that's in line with what you actually care about, and you're not just paying lip service.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I imagine you've learned a thing or two about integrity over the past two-to-three months… not to imply, of course, that you knew nothing about it before. On the contrary, Virgo: If anything, you'd been likelier to err on the side of excessive concern for 'doing the right thing' (which sometimes has the unfortunate side-effect of holding you back from doing much of anything) over unconsidered ethical recklessness (not exactly what you're known for). So for starters, one thing I hope you've learned is to cut yourself some slack whenever you're entering strange—and potentially contested—territory, and have little direct experience with navigating the uncharted lay-of-the-land according to any ethic at all. You try an approach. You get results. You probably goof at least once. You fiddle and tweak. You try again. Maybe you come to see how you would do it differently, now that you know what you know. Interpreted like this, all is well. What I hope you're also learning about integrity, as a result, is that the rules for what qualifies under its umbrella changes over time—and that, after the sort of changes you have just experienced, it's now time to reshape and re-solidify how you personally define it. Being your personal best, if you're staying up-to-date, now means something different.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): That pressing conundrum you're being charged with confronting now (yes, now) is bigger than just the immediate negotiation at hand. I'm telling you this not to add anxiety to your plate, Libra, but instead to help you reclaim a fuller understanding of why you're so worked up about this. You're bringing your whole history—which likely includes disappointing instances of having backed off from a fuller uncensored truth and/or what you really wanted, in order to keep things copacetic with others—to the interpretative table here, essentially casting your co-star in this drama in a potentially misleading role. In other words: They aren't 'all that'. You're probably acting more scared, defensive or pessimistic in relation to this person or institution than the reality dictates. And therefore, how you choose to play this out ultimately has more to do with making a statement to yourself than scoring a victory over anybody else. Hold your ground because you want to do yourself proud; let the other party accept or reject you on those terms.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The terrific trio of Taurus planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars) in your relationship house, Scorpio, tells me that either (1) you're taking much uncomplicated joy from basic one-on-one companionship, romantic or otherwise, or (2) you're being rather stubborn in your unyielding approach to a certain someone, and may need to back off from this single mode (i.e., yours) of understanding the situation. I wholeheartedly wish the former option for you, since you presently have a chance to regain a sense of masterful footing in life, through the touchstone-like influence of a particular individual whose loyalty to you doesn't vacillate (even though the circumstances in both your lives never seem to stop shifting). Nobody can ground you better than a person who's known you through multiple incarnations, loves you no matter what, and provides a predictable constancy you don't find many places. (This works in reverse, too: You can also ground yourself by similarly being there for someone close to you who needs the anchoring.) If, alas, it's the latter option playing out… well, let's just say you need to get out of your own head (and the mental projections you're unfairly putting on the other person) and start listening to them for a spell. While you're at it, unhook your tenacious grasp; you won't 'win' anyone over by clinging.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Grumbling about the extra chores and duties that keep adding themselves to the list demonstrates you're sort of missing the point, Sagittarius. You're not in charge of managing this stuff due to some perverse fluke—this industrious moment is merely the fair price to be paid for a stabler foundation in life, and isn't that what you wanted? If you don't hope to bolster your confidence on the level of what you can capably handle (and maybe earn an eventual increase in financial compensation as a result), then I suppose you can just thumb your nose at these potential building-blocks… but then, there's no complaining when you later can't secure yourself a pot to piss in, is there? Nor are you allowed to bemoan any worsening physical incapacities, if you refuse to take your diet-sleep-and-exercise habits with daily diligence. However, if you actually are on the path to thinking more highly of your practical skills, feeling better in your body and/or developing a firmer commitment to the enduring fight for more, you can readily model your worthiness during the remainder of this month… and get a lot accomplished in the meantime.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Since I began as an astrologer, one of my pet crusades has been to work towards actively undoing the unfairly dry reputation your sign has been saddled with. Rarely, for example, have I read mention in other astrologers' writings of the amazing sense of humor you Capricorns typically possess. (Usually they're too obsessed with detailing how every Capricorn is meant to be the sour CEO whose bloodthirsty ambitions come before all else.) But my experience with your goatish clan has repeatedly revealed this common thread of wry, sarcastic, often deadpan comedic brilliance running through y'all… a quality that helps you and others productively laugh off the pressures we place on ourselves, while still incisively acknowledging their sway over us. (You know what I'm talking about, right? Good.) The current gaggle of planets in your solar 5th, dear Cappie, tells me you're on deck to put this trait to very good use over the next couple weeks—both as a foil to everybody's pent-up-ness and as a way to outwardly demonstrate a certain comfort with yourself. There's no better method for expressing self-confidence than a willingness to shamelessly mock our own most annoying foibles, happily basking in our flawed humanity. (It actually shows strong character.)


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You must rebuild your inner emotional core to a refortified solidity, Aquarius, if you're feeling at all bashed-up or knocked-around by the events of March and April. No one can persist in such rampant exposure to so many grabbing hands and blabbing mouths without coming away a bit dirtier for wear. The 'dirt' I'm talking about here—more metaphysical in nature—is not so easily neutralized with a quick coating of antibacterial sanitizing gel. It worms its way into the cracks of our own already-existing worries, potentially exacerbating how unkindly we turn 'em back at us as weapons, fruitlessly doubting and blaming ourselves for unknowns we can't sincerely expect to have resolved. Such germy parasites would convince us they are speaking for us, when in fact we've merely picked up the negative self-talk from excessive social interaction like kids end up with headlice from playing together at recess. Close the proverbial bathroom door, and shower that scuzz off. While you might not buy into this causal chain I've described ('my grumpy mood is just my grumpy mood!'), I'd play by the 'better safe than sorry' rule. Disinfect thyself of foreign energy-imprints. It can only help get you back to a purer internal 'you'.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): We turn on the TV or surf the Net to keep ourselves entertained… and in this era of infinite media possibilities, should we begin to lose interest in the show we're watching or the webpage we're browsing, the simple push of a button is all that's required to move on to something else. I offer this, Pisces, as a metaphor for how to handle the myriad exchanges and interactions dealt to you this week. Not for a single extra wasteful moment need you remain occupied by any certain individual or situation; once you realize you're not into it, you should kindly bid your farewell and squirrel yourself right out. You hold the non-transferable right to participate only when you are genuinely engaged… and to bow out (politely, I'd hope) when you aren't. Don't get caught down the rabbit-hole of worrying about offending people, as if pretending to care what they're saying is somehow more 'compassionate' than saving both of you the time by cutting it short. We've all got things to do and people to see. Why suck up the precious moments with encounters that offer you nothing, leave you cold, or just plain bore you to tears?