Horoscopes | Week of May 28-June 3, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Responsibility would have you believe it is all that matters. It might move to guilt or shame you for not staying faithful to it every moment of every day (even though you know it loves to make melodramatic gestures in attempting to prove there is nobody else). Responsibility claims to require your undivided attention, Aries, hoping against all hope it does not discover your glances are wandering. Yet, like any pushy lover, responsibility worries—with good reason—that it can't keep you to itself through manipulation or duress. If it wants to preserve a healthy partnership, responsibility must allow you your personal space. It must give its blessings for you to make dates with the other characters in your life: distraction, frivolity, unproductiveness, mindless chatter. It must trust that you're in tune with what's best for you and the relationship… that you won't fall prey to too much temptation, yet will properly permit yourself some, in order to be reminded what else is out there by enjoying tasty tidbits of it, so you may then choose to continue down the road together, you and responsibility, with total willingness.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Recent shifts in how the astro-winds are now blowing make it more important to concentrate on practical goals rather than your purest self-expression. Thinking like an economist, whether or not your wallet is the primary concern, will help you out a bunch. Analyze the balance between what you are likely to gain on the tangible level, Taurus, and what you may have to sacrifice. And let's please be clear: There's always a sacrifice, of one kind or another. (It's just you sometimes don't notice because what you're 'sacrificing' doesn't really matter that much to you.) After a long stretch of being encouraged by the planets to gather every last bit of bounty you might desire, it's starting to become a better idea to reel yourself in just a tad—not out of self-suppression, but in a calculated moderation intended to reap you something you might not otherwise receive, had you been more concerned with 'freedom' than purpose. It's fair to add to this advice, by the way, you especially ought to apply this 'calculated moderation' bit to your spending. With Venus retrograde for another month, you're likelier than usual to experience buyer's-regret after blowing your wad on a purchase that's 'not all that'.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In case I have not made this clear in past weeks' horoscopes, let me reiterate: The most formidable enemy of an otherwise very advantageous astro-climate for Geminis is any broken-record script inside you that steels you to expect continuing heartache instead of novel joy. You probably have perfectly good reasons why your inner emotional guardian initially produced such a script: as a coping mechanism for surviving a difficult period, as a familial ensnarement to ensure you don't break the dazing patterns, as a self-protective method for anticipatorily heading off potential disappointment before it manifests. That's why you'll want to thank this story-loop for having kept you safe at an earlier point in history… as part of the process of bidding it adieu, and creating the beginning of a new plotline that will carve out a brave narrative departure. I use the word 'brave' purposely to honor the challenge in walking away from habitual pain, grief and/or dissatisfaction—and to inspire your most courageous acts of daring to claim authorship once again. Rarely, over the last many years, has your slate been so ready for cleaning and rewriting upon.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Postpone judgment. Refrain from committing yourself fully, preserving the necessary distance so that a certain escape-hatch or magic-portal remains accessible to you. Only, there's no obligation for you to openly report how up-for-grabs that final verdict still is, Cancer. The jury of your invisible internal peers convenes behind closed doors, leaving the press such little access that they must recycle old news-bulletin summaries with fresh verbiage, to make it sound like there have been further public developments when there have not. Nobody's opinions of your current status (other than, of course, your own) will benefit from a full transcript of the constantly-changing-minds' debates, devil's-advocate-style, of each point. But as long as you fear that others are watching, listening and, therefore, judging, you might try to put a surer face on the situation than is wholly precise… and still, the folks closest to you will sniff out something not being quite right. 'Up in the air', however, actually feels really good right now, as long as you're free from the pressures of anyone else's need to know. If you therefore must keep to yourself a bit more than usual, so be it. I bet you'll probably enjoy the hell out of your relative slipperiness.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I both want you to (1) thoroughly enjoy the entertaining exploration of new friends' companionship and (2) treat these 'new friends' with an appropriate level of intimacy and entrustment, considering they are still new friends. I don't mean to imply, Leo, there's necessarily anything fishy or full-on dangerous about the latest social influences in your life. Nor can I reassure you there isn't something untrustworthy about 'em. We just don't know, do we? So, instead of, say, lending money to a fantastic new pal or spilling a whole bunch of incredibly sensitive personal details to characters you know relatively little about, I'd suggest just keeping your encounters light and airy. Take ample time for the friendships to unfold organically, rather than speeding from zero to sixty in a few seconds flat, an act that could read desperate or desperately na´ve to someone who doesn't have your best interests at heart (though I'm not saying these folks don't, or do). Of course, these very people I'm encouraging you to be somewhat guarded and cautious with could end up becoming your new best friend(s)… but, please, not overnight. Just like with love affairs, 'too much too soon' is often a recipe for 'crash and burn'.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): After all these months of toning and flexing your assertive muscles, Virgo, you've hit a point where compromise—or at least fair consideration of alternatives to how you might tackle something, if it were just you, yourself and you inside the echo-chamber—is more noticeably being called for. Yet Mars is still in your sign… and now, as he squares off against an increasingly potent concentration of astro-activity in your public-world 10th house, he's liable to inspire defensive or cranky reactions to others' suggestions that you try a different method or strategy. Even if you eventually (as in: a couple months down the road) conclude that you'd already been doing it the best possible way all along, such suggestions deserve, at the very least, a good open-minded vetting. Not only might you discover an angle even you had missed, but the entire process of actively demonstrating a sincere willingness to engage with ideas you didn't come up with yourself (and might have previously dismissed outright) will leave you looking real good in the eyes of folks whose opinions definitely matter.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Even the best-laid ideologies can find themselves mortally threatened by an internal rebellious streak demanding you not behave as thoughtfully as you believe you ought to. Chalk it up to one more act of resistance from that damn Mars in Virgo, stuck in the unearthly vacuum-pak of your solar 12th since November '11, who's averse to any bold movements whatsoever. To be clear, Libra, these thoughtful beliefs you're presently cherishing do signal the direction I see you heading… and thus I urge you to preserve an untarnished optimism for what your not-so-distant future holds in store. (In fact, reassuring symptoms of this future's imminent unveiling have already begun to appear.) However, your actual initiative to take the real-world steps that acknowledge, yes, this is where I am already going, continues to inconsistently sputter and jerk, like an engine that needs a few good tries before it stays started. It could take another month or so, until Mars hits your sign in early July, for the motor to run reliably. For now, supportive faithful self-talk helps you remain ready for that moment.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The 'facts' in this case are more pliable than anybody arguing 'for' or 'against' would probably like to admit. Even attempting to resort to some objective consensus an unattached panel of fair-minded peers might reach, were they to be consulted as a tiebreaker, won't do you any good. The reason, Scorpio, is that a successful resolution will actually have very little to do with facts. Rather, the only reliable answer will be simply whatever you both mutually agree upon… even if it shirks convention, confounds your friends, and/or leaves you unsure about how to rationally justify it. (Here's a hint: Justification is totally unnecessary.) Yet, if you believe this explanation will make the process of attaining that mutually-satisfying agreement any easier, think again. Fact-based arguments are far more straightforward winners. In this case, which is so deeply dependent on harmonizing a variety of seemingly contradictory emotional realities of distinct individuals, you may not even be able to determine who actually is winning. That's a sure sign you're doing something right.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): A burgeoning romance and/or developing alliance holds the possibility of intensely impacting your life in a very personally pleasurable way, Sagittarius. But at the same time, your affiliation with this certain someone might not positively impact your public image and/or professional reputation in quite the same happy manner. This could simply be a factor of its appeal siphoning your energy away from the outer-world items or involvements that have dominated your scene in recent months, causing colleagues affected by your shifting attentions to get a little miffed: nothing you can't smooth over with a bit of devoted effort. Or the potential friction might have to do with the specifics of who this certain person actually is… whether they are too wild or unbridled to be able to adequately uphold appearances, too loose-lipped with information they ought to keep quiet about, and/or hiding something about themselves that could later embarrass you. Even in these potentially more problematic scenarios, however, you still hold the power to choose this deepening coupling anyway, despite the possible fallout. Maybe this person has appeared in your life to spur all this consideration of what matters more and less to you?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Pull back from strategy for a moment, and play it day by day. Fixating on far-out, big-picture concerns could leave you missing the on-the-ground, as-we-go mutations that are naturally occurring in the process… and without factoring in these very regular, up-to-date observations of what's actually going on, Capricorn, your strategizing will become increasingly out of touch with the real-live doing. You happen to know a lot about the overall direction this is all going; I will grant you that. Now, temporarily table that knowledge, and throw yourself into the everyday nitty-gritty of where it is at this very moment. Gather information laterally, rather than top-down. Join the ranks, and participate alongside those who are carrying out the impromptu innovations. Casually inquire into their thinking on the matter, without appearing as someone who believes s/he knows better. Pop into other establishments where similar endeavors are being worked on. How are they doing it differently? And are their people more or less contented? A methodology's success, in this context, is best evaluated by the people actually carrying it out.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Passions rise not only when we deeply adore something, but also—or maybe even more so—when something pushes our buttons in a deeply unsettling and/or titillating fashion. In fact, if we're being true to ourselves, Aquarius, we can most clearly identify the presence of passion whenever we're driven to behave in ways we might, in calmer moments, deem irrational or compulsive. You may notice me trying to hold a relative neutrality in assessing whether such passion is flatly good or bad. Descriptions like 'unsettling' or 'titillating', 'irrational' or 'compulsive'… these words do ride a fine line (despite how we have grown accustomed to certain judgmental implications being attached to them), pointing at psychological conditions that can feel, at once, amazingly enjoyable and somewhat threatening to our safety. And now, passion is calling you, my dear, in hopes you will find that ideal middle-ground riskiness, so you can tap into a sense of transgressive adventure without inviting actual danger in. Let this horoscope inspire you to dip yourself in, with one toe or halfway up your torso… while never forgetting to reserve yourself a clear, self-protective exit path should it start to boil over.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You may have to raise your voice in order for a certain someone to treat your request for a bit of breathing space, a room of your own, and/or a quiet night at home with the seriousness it deserves. I hope this doesn't amount to an out-and-out fight, Pisces… but you needn't shy away from one either, if your emotional needs are being deconstructed or analyzed by another person, in a tone intended to make you seem unreasonable. Who says wanting what you want must pass somebody else's litmus-test of reasonableness? It may be perfectly true that you ask for one thing one day, then change your tune to something different on the next, and it's these inconsistencies which are supposedly driving the other party crazy. Yet, feelings often really do shift with the winds (especially for a Piscean), and perhaps the only thing you're guilty of is honestly disclosing the reality of these shifting sands. If they're going to judge you on such grounds, then they'd better look more closely in the mirror: Unless they're some non-human entity, their needs likely change from day to day, too.