Horoscopes | Week of April 23-29, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Use the week ahead to clear out any pent-up friction that may be resulting from self-directed challenges or threats on your part to an important person's authority and/or the generally-accepted 'this is just how things should be done' mindset. Get it all out on the table, just as I suggested last week, Aries. The 'power struggle' I'm assuming you'd prefer to avoid is far less likely to manifest into an actual conflict if you demonstrate your desire to just address the process-related hiccups as quickly and directly as possible. Please no devious attempts to entrap anyone, no fishing for information, no triangulational talking behind backs or other such subterfuge. Taking the roundabout, back-alley approach only shows that you are afraid… though I'm not entirely sure what there is to fear. You should already be embodying a pretty good awareness that your progressive methods are liable to stir a certain amount of discomfort, like all innovations do... and that your process necessarily includes having to 'sell' your advances to those who might be resistant to such change. Dialoguing with their resistance is just another part of the job, but needn't fuel a struggle.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): What 'just feels right' in terms of a reaction to, or decision about, a certain topic could surprise you in its contrast with what you'd have expected your most level-headed reasoning to yield. Are you willing to go off the proverbial map, then, and move in that right-feeling direction? It's terribly inconvenient that we can't always explain how we know what we know, Taurus; yet it's equally foolish to refuse to accept that knowledge on such grounds, as if to play ignorant, just because we aren't able to plainly show our math. And by the way, it's your life that's going to be greatly affected by whether you turn left or right at this juncture, so the only person who'd be demanding proof would be your inner number-cruncher (not some imagined panel of stubborn rationalists who would laugh any references to 'feeling' right out of the room)... and therefore it's you who gets to bend the criteria for 'proof' to your liking. If you need a bit more convincing, try a prolonged meditation on the specifics of the other alternative. Notice how that makes you feel, then compare this sensation with the original 'right' feeling. This is also valuable data to consider.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): There's certainly plenty you could contribute to the discussion, Gemini—reality-checks, controversies and provocations, first-person revelations of sensitive experiential material—which would surely make a memorable imprint on its tone. But I'm just not sure it makes much sense to weigh down the proceedings with such content at this time, though it would indeed add a sobering perspective to others' innocent-eyed ideas. You're at a stage where I'd prefer to see you containing this impulse to complicate situations based on a rehashing of what's already happened (and therefore may happen again)… and instead continue redirecting your focus outward, to the horizon up ahead where new input is beginning to accumulate, awaiting your notice. In the immediate context, however, all that's required for you to practice such 'containment' is to not pounce on any conversational prompts which might lead you to uncork that bottle of potent vapors. Give the safe impersonal replies to charged inquiries or expectant ellipses. It's okay if other participants intuit that something more comprehensive is not being said. You have the right to refrain from full disclosure.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Showing that you're aligned with whatever best supports the goals of the entire organization or endeavor—as opposed to what one commanding individual wants for his/her own gratification—will work wonders for your social allegiances in general, Cancer, even if it pisses off that one certain someone. Others who have kept a relative distance from you, out of suspicions arising from your relationship with the above-mentioned individual, will respect your display of principled independence… leading to their willingness to involve you in conversations you previously haven't been privy to. After all, it's hard to blend yourself in with the team as long as you're seen to possess a privileged position, an unfair advantage or undue influence. You'll also find surer footing in your relationship with this commanding individual, as you demonstrate an unwillingness to parrot his/her talking-points when they conflict with your own free thoughts on the matter. Your 'surer footing', of course, is liable to bring a shift in the dynamic between you two, as your assertions increasingly diverge from what this person has grown to expect from you. Should he/she become threatened by your rise, you mustn't knuckle under.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This is a good week to resituate yourself in the current workday-role you are charged with occupying, Leo… to do whatever's necessary to 'screw your head back on' more tightly and attentively than perhaps it's recently been. While you're at it, however, please dispense with any residual symptoms of a guilty conscience with regards to any recent inattentiveness—it doesn't matter that you may've been focused elsewhere for a time (nor does it matter what your reasons were) as long as you simply refocus on the matter at hand. Therefore, nip any defensive excuse-making in the bud before you find yourself running at the mouth to supervisors or colleagues who probably don't need to be subjected to your confessional thinking. (It will merely make them uncomfortable, rather than do anything positive for their perception of you.) If a ball has been dropped, just bend down and pick it back up, rather than announcing to everyone that you dropped it and then begging for their understanding. Be nonchalant, reasonable and results-oriented with your 'return'.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Pride's a tricky one to find the proper balance with, Virgo, since it can serve as either a useful confidence booster or a deadly sin, based on how it's wielded. In order for certain negotiations to finally bear their long-anticipated fruit, you must muster enough pride in the value of your observations and/or opinions to not back down when another party challenges a premise or won't settle for the offer on the table. Yet, 'not backing down' is not quite the same thing as altogether refusing to receive any contrary feedback—though the information contained therein provides crucial clues to how the ultimate mutually-agreed-upon success will be attained—because you are too proud to acknowledge that everybody's perspectives have blindspots. You should resist neither speaking up nor listening, due to either a deficiency or excess of pride… which is why this is such a tricky balance to strike. As such, enter the negotiations with eyes wide open, expecting the potential for talks to get tense but planning to still persist with them anyhow. That's how important it is to ensure your authentic passions are included in the final arrangement, though not indulged enough to drown out others' insightful outlooks.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): With as much or as little detail as you feel comfortable sharing, please be honest about any mixed, conflicted and/or complex feelings you're presently entertaining. There's no reason to pretend things are simpler than they are, Libra… not for your benefit, and certainly not for anyone else's. In fact, once you lay that down as the underlying premise, you'll hopefully feel free to participate in meandering, unfocused conversation with those whose opinions you trust the most—without any pressure to walk away with clear vision or firm resolve. Before you can attain such clarity or firmness, you need to mine each emotional facet for what's lurking behind it, so you better understand how one overlaps or collides with another… and, at this moment, such excavation will work better in interactive dialogue with others, rather than through hiding away and silently scouring your innards under a microscope's lens. Think of this like a mapmaking process: you are surveying the landscape, in advance of deciding where to build or plant what, and the task is made easier with the assistance of a second (or third) set of eyes. Too quick or tidy a result shouldn't be trusted.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Finally getting those certain logistical concerns resolved once and for all will likely involve some hand-holding, ego-stroking and mollycoddling, Scorpio, so please gather the requisite pocketfuls of interpersonal patience. You may need to spread the persuasive reassurances on pretty thick, potentially departing on lengthier-than-desired tangents about the personal lives of colleagues, just to ensure you reach the consensus necessary for moving forward. As wasteful of time, energy and personal dignity as you might believe this protracted conversational process to be, you'd be smart to smilingly swallow your complaints and engage in as much pandering as necessary… but without letting on even a tiny glimpse of the fact that this is what you're doing. (I trust in your ability to conceal such feelings.) Keep reminding yourself about how the ends will definitely justify the means as soon as this or that item can be checked off the 'in progress' list and moved to 'completed' status. As manager of this responsibility, use whatever catering-to-personalities skills are at your disposal.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Though last week's paean to free speech and its paramount importance to the Sagittarian soul should still read as inspiring as ever, I want to offer only the most subtle qualification. That is: Please be discerning in your awareness of the difference between (1) what you may want to say in the generally gleeful spirit of self-expression and (2) what you may want to say for a more specific self-serving purpose. Because these perspectives I'm differentiating between both refer back to you as the ultimate arbiter of value, that should affirm I'm not trying to retract my encouragement to speak freely. Yet, I don't want you to mistakenly conflate all free-speech utterances—the playful and the purposeful—as providing you the same personal advantages, since they don't. Whatever tack you take will generate a particular response in others' perceptions of you. So what, then, is the most important value to pursue in your communications: creative fulfillment or practical stability? Let me be clear that I do not rank one of these higher or lower than the other on some objective scale. This is about the current specifics of your life… and which area of activity is calling for more of your focus.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Answers you offer this week that have been long-awaited by others, are pulled out of you under duress and/or jump out of your mouth before you'd thought you were ready to put them out there, Capricorn, are unavoidably colored by your emotion. But before you thusly back away from them due to this quality, please listen to me when I tell you: Emotional content is not a problem. In fact, when you openly own the fact that what you're telling them is wholly subjective in this way, you claim an inscrutable authority otherwise inaccessible to you. Nobody can legitimately argue against you feeling a certain way. It's only when you presume to hold some universal truth on the matter—as if you have somehow managed to divorce your thinking from how it makes you feel—that such emotionality runs into problems. So don't be shy about expressing your first-person experience of whatever impact determining this 'answer' has had on you. Contrary to what you might fear, your emotion about this matter actually strengthens, not weakens, your response.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I will not censure you for trying to sniff out the less-kind undercurrents that aren't being spoken of, Aquarius, as you're listening to somebody else's seemingly innocuous words. But at the same time, I can't guarantee that what you're sniffing for does, in fact, exist. You are taking your own considerations so seriously at the present moment, you may be leaking a potentially excessive intensity into your projected presumptions about others' motives… which thus translates into you possessing a temporarily less reliable knack for interpreting what's really going on with them than you usually have. (Or put more bluntly: Your wariness may be a symptom of passing paranoia.) Rather than raking anyone into an inquisition about what this or that remark was supposed to mean, or any other such confrontations, it's probably best you just accept the likelihood that you're the one bringing all this extra baggage to the exchange. The doubts you're having about them are really doubts you're having about yourself. Concentrate on bolstering your own confidence, instead of sparring with anyone else.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't let anybody else (or your own self-effacing tendencies) try to convince you that you shouldn't want what you want because it's supposedly not what other (hypothetical and/or irrelevant) people in your position would or should want, Pisces. Your desires—for how to spend your money, for a particular type of work that fulfills you, for a sort of relationship arrangement that fits with your lifestyle choices—may look nothing like anybody else's and/or may run counter to what society (or certain of its louder and judgier members) expects from you, but who the hell cares? Diversity makes the world spin 'round with more vibrant color. If you have a fairly good sense of what's good for you, this is no time to subvert its pursuit, just because one person or another might have something snide or subtly unsupportive to say about it. Better yet, invite yourself to actually have an explanatory conversation with potential naysayers, in which you openly advocate for the 'different strokes for different folks' sentiment. Your willingness to not only buck the peer-pressure but to draw attention to it will only embolden your self-possession.