Horoscopes | Week of May 14-20, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Kudos for having held such a steady focus over these recent months, Aries. I know this sort of repetitious routine isn't usually your thing (nor, in the overall scheme of your life, should it be), yet this endeavor(s) you really care about is directly and profoundly benefiting from your diligent consistency. And now, even though your work is obviously not finished, you're being noticeably nudged by the planetary gods to lighten up a bit… to begin balancing this 'steady focus' with some much-needed distractions that have little-or-nothing to do with the 'endeavor(s) you really care about', to save your soul from burnout. You mustn't neglect to recognize that you can't sustain this productive pace much longer, not at least without some weightless screw-off time with pals, neighbors and/or family-members who'd love nothing more than to get you focused on them for a little while. Before you can even muster an excuse as to why you don't have time for such frivolity, let me interrupt: You need this, not only to blow off some steam but to give your mind a break from its dogged purposefulness, so it may clear out a stubborn clog or two and restore its clearer flow.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The increased volume at which you're projecting your message (though hopefully not just creating a bucket of ego-plumping noise to grate on others' nerves) ought to be directed toward some purpose, Taurus, or it's a waste of the free astrological amplification you're presently being gifted with. And though adhering closely to your intended purpose is your best bet for not veering into indulgent showboating territory, it doesn't mean you necessarily possess all the practical answers for how to actually further the agenda, beyond the words and toward constructive action. That's why you'd be smart to use the podium both as a booming megaphone for your intention-setting and as a brainstorming stimulus for others to extemporaneously toss out their suggestions. In fact, it's this latter element that holds the most immediate promise for profit-boosting: to inspire possible donors to chip in, to recruit an outreach team for spreading the word, to hire yourself out as someone whose confident abilities can be put to use for others' benefit too. Don't be so blinded by your own successful bombast that you lose sight of this other lucrative potential.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In any and all contexts, if given the choice between (1) 'yeah! why not? you only live once and I've never really tried that in quite this way before, so I might as well give it a shot (even if I haven't quite decided whether I'm totally "on board"), as long as I make sure to orchestrate my involvement so that I reserve myself an easy exit, with relatively few adverse consequences (just in case I should require a quick escape), because I totally possess the quick-wittedness to get myself in and out and still look good in front of the crowd (though, by this point in the game, I could really give a rat's-ass whether anybody approves of the thrill-seeking I've earned myself)' and (2) 'hmm, well, I'd better not, since I'm not altogether certain about it and I don't want to step on any toes or court controversy in any way (though, damn, I'm hungry for a bit of adventure), and what will So-and-So think? and will they get mad if I change my mind midway through? and it's been so long, anyway, maybe I've just outgrown that crazy way of being in the world, and besides, isn't there a new episode of Two and a Half Men on?'… I urge you to go with choice number (1), Gemini. This advice, by the way, applies with stunning power during the few weeks ahead, continues to be madly relevant over the coming few months, and remains a recurring theme well into 2013.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): According to the puzzle-book logic that characterizes the now-inaugurating period ahead, the Divine Powers that Be ('call 'em what you will or choose not to believe in 'em at all, they're still going to do what they do…') will be showing you two pictures of reality: (1) the one that exists right now, and (2) the one that will be in existence by, say, July. Your challenge, Cancer, will be to identify the seven (or is it eleven?) ways in which these two pictures are different—even though you are likely not to be the primary agent of these changes, and may not actually notice them occurring as they do. Will somebody move a vase off the table? rearrange the chairs? depart the scene altogether? Though these are metaphoric examples, the premise remains the same: Your main preoccupation during this exercise is about observing the changes that go on around you and/or affect your situation, as well as letting your philosophic and/or spiritual outlook on Existence (capital 'E') metamorphose as a result of these occurrences so that, on the other side of them, you will possess greater life-wisdom (and thus greater inner peace). A good way to kick off this divinely-inspired phase of direct-experience perspective-widening: Start discussions with members of your community or team about how they are seeing you change, right this very moment, right in front of their eyes.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Been hangin' with the same crowd long enough that you can anticipate what each character is liable to say or do before the laugh-track even kicks in? Been missin' a certain energy you used to experience when swapping one-liners with folks who knew 'the real you' inside and out? Been curious about what goes on with that group over there… the ones you've only exchanged a few innocuous smirks with across a crowded event-center, but who nonetheless have piqued your interest? It may be somewhat unclear, Leo, as to whether your cravings for novel company and/or reconnection with old friends are merely wistful wishes for something to change, or whether your allegiance to your latest supporting-cast has indeed grown stale. But guess what? It doesn't matter. Even if you end up recommitting yourself to the same damn peeps who, for the moment at least, are tiring you out, you should still feel free to spread your wings and experiment with socially aligning or realigning yourself elsewhere. Investigate who else is out there. The impulse to become newly acquainted with unfamiliar faces and/or wax nostalgic with those longtime pals who still show up in your dreams is definitely one to follow… with no expectation, just as exploration.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Tastefully mentioning the possibility that you aren't exactly limited to the public role you imagine yourself to occupy is not my way of cushioning some flaming indictment of your level of self-awareness, Virgo. I'm not questioning whether you know yourself well… as much as gently pushing on the functional image you may have of yourself, insofar as you as a full person are neatly equivalent to whatever occupation you've been identifying yourself with, in recent months or for a long long time now. We're all multi-dimensional beings, though many of us often find it more palatable to simply choose our most flattering angles and stick with those, rather than ever allow ourselves to be captured, impromptu, looking a bit goofy, untamed or off-our-best-game as we test-drive the alternatives. Tapping into the upcoming astrological growth-period for your career or outer-community position, however, necessarily involves coming to see yourself from one or more of these other angles… stretching into new areas of interest (even if you aren't yet 'skilled'), moonlighting as an artistically brave (maybe even transgressive) alter-ego, delegating away those items you could do with a blindfold and one arm tied behind your back (even when your replacement isn't likely to do 'em as well as you could). You are not merely what you've previously been slotted to be, by yourself or anybody else. You can be much more, if you try.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Would you just walk on by the scene of an ethical catastrophe, just to keep your hands clean and your clothing spotless and your reputation as a consummate diplomat intact, and allow the wrong thing to happen? I know, I know, Libra: Even using the word 'wrong' in this context makes the issue sound more cut-and-dry than you'd like to believe it is. Dare you issue a judgment on either side of that dividing fence? Well, you've got to start somewhere… and if you sincerely wish to engage with life's big questions on the level of ethics, which is ultimately how we assess whether the choices we make are meaningful to us (or merely another round of going-through-the-motions), I recommend not staying conciliatorily silent with those involved in such a breach. Make a statement. Express an opinion. Stand for something. Allow the passion of a belief-system to grab the reins of your communications away from the polite small-talker, so this valuable discussion can happen. But here's what: You might be missing a key angle in how you've formed your opinion. Your feelings on this topic could be irrational or short-sighted. Who knows? It's not just about schooling somebody else about their perceived blindspots, after all; it's your moral development, too, that benefits from talking out the issue. This is how the evolution of ideas happens.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): As long as we are clear that, for the next stretch of time, you will be twisted and tangled up in an interwoven jumble of repercussions and ramifications no matter what you do—unless, of course, you are operating in total isolation, as both rock and island, and I am quite sure this is not the case—you might as well just acknowledge how much you thrive on this every-day-brings-a-new-ripple type of full-contact engagement, and dispense with any futile bitching. Life is grabbing you by the tender-regions and will not let go, Scorpio, but simultaneously will not let you get bored. And trust me, boredom is a far worse hell than any turbulence you may experience over the coming weeks. It would be impossible to calculate, in advance of your participations, what the benefits and drawbacks of any involvement which enmeshes your professional, financial, romantic and/or psychological fate with someone else's. In fact, 'benefit' and 'drawback' are terms that already attempt to reduce the sophisticated complexity of meanings inherent to what's due to happen. Just give in to the hyperspastic interpenetration of your shared experiences into each other's lives. Please remember: You enjoy this.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You might want to brush up on your Venus-retrograde knowledge, Sagittarius, since this six-week carnival of interpersonal returns and/or reprises, tempting options to juggle and/or openings to maybe (or maybe not?) exploit, will be hitting your solar chart smack dab in the relationship zone (the 7th house). So what should already bring a pretty kooky preponderance of differently appealing partner-up possibilities to all of us, under Venus's magic, is liable to impact you Sagittarians with extra oomph. This is just the first among multiple astrological events jazzing up your one-on-one relationship life—there's also an eclipse in your 7th on Sunday (May 20), and your ruler Jupiter arrives in just a few more weeks—which leads me to the simple conclusion that personal growth, as well as an uptick in pure unadulterated fun, in this area of life is calling your name. If you're presently happy in your primary one-on-one connection(s), this is an invitation to build upon what's already working… just to keep the vibe fresh, the encounters interesting, and the dynamic hot. But if you're not happy, you are being given an amazing window of opportunity for trying something new. In stale situations, try surprising your other-half with a different attitude. The worst that can happen is you'll just accelerate a too-slow decline. If you're single, sample lots of different ways of meeting people (e.g., fix-ups by friends, singles mixers, a variety of online dating sites) and/or give someone who's 'not your type' a whole-hearted chance. Really, what have you got to lose… other than your dissatisfaction?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Were I to politely suggest that you not get too comfortable with your 'typical' day flowing according to any particular logic—that, perhaps, you might derive more satisfaction and an ampler output by taking on a secondary gig (which could ultimately end up as the primary one), swapping duties with a colleague on every third afternoon, scrambling your schedule around, and maybe even trying a totally new dietary regimen (six small meals instead of two too-big ones?)—would you be able to accept, Capricorn, this could be an incredibly enjoyable exercise in inviting creative disarray? The key to your being able to thrive in this rapidly shifting astro-environment, according to the suggestion I wove for you, is all about understanding that there's no 'wrong' way to do it. This is a radical solicitation to try new shit out, not to master any serious improvements. The Capricorn mind requires this caveat be made as clear as possible, in order to short-circuit any unfair expectations you might otherwise lay upon yourself, under the presumption you should know how to do something you've never done before. Write off the next couple months as an experimental period with regards to day-to-day routine, and you're sure to have a grand ol' time… !


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Discontentments which have cropped up in any area of your life are all symptoms of the same diagnosis: You just aren't doing things in that area with the style and panache that'll imprint them as uniquely yours. You may be tired, disillusioned with the state of the world, fearful of success, burdened by self-doubt, or any number of other psychologically descriptive colors… but the antidote for any and all of these, Aquarius, is still about adding some defining creative flourish to your work life or your relationship world, the manner in which you respond to prying family-members or problematic friends, or your overall outlook on each day that passes, such that it inspires you to smile. I don't want to underplay the seriousness with which discontentment can adversely impact you… and yet, on the other hand, I do. Make this whole damn existence much more of a playful experience. Invent new rules and alternate scenarios that cast you in the role of hero, wizard, adult-who-has-magically-become-stuck-in-a-child's-body, and/or wise old fool. Look your discontented self in the mirror, and laugh off the excessively indulgent frowning. This is a game you will win, as long as you continue re-crafting its frame so that you experience it like a winner does. Step back, as the grand magician-observer does, and marvel at the possibilities for entertaining yourself.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Shadows that hang over you from family conditions and/or complexes you inherited from prior generations of folks who unconsciously acted out behavioral patterns channeled from their ancestors need not keep you forever in their shade, Pisces. You can scan the annals for a different constitutional branch of the family tree to hang from for a while… and swing yourself from here to there, agile-monkey-style, for an alternative view of your lineage. For your own well-being, you must be able to differentiate between (1) caring deeply for the folks you come from and (2) replicating their involuntary conduct out of some confused notion of loyalty. Trust me, if these family-members' higher-selves could join us in the conversation right now, they would surely encourage you to separate from the ancestral stream of self-sabotaging choices… and to thrive as they were unable to, due to all the forces working against them, as a far more inspiring manner for loyally honoring their memory. (And any of them who wouldn't feel this way? They're the very ones who are so bitter about what cannot be changed, they hang around this dense dimension, haunting innocent bystanders with their unfulfilled pasts.) Having trouble getting a handle on which branch to grab next? Talk it out with your favorite sibling(s) or cousin(s)—they'll really get where you're coming from since they're of the same stock.