Horoscopes | Week of April 22-28, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): First and foremost, Aries, please corral any exaggerated emotional responses to the tenacious presence of apparent oppositional forces who refuse to genially grant you a free pass to proceed uninterrupted. You won't catapult yourself through this next set of gates by ranting and raving and raising your voice to a menacing volume, especially if you foolishly expect this brutish treatment to soften the grip with which the other party is clutching the magic key. You've gone as far as you can go as a lone warrior. You have no other choice but to negotiate your further passage… a process which could involve you needing to honorably own up, if you forgot to consult with this affected party prior to having already lurched forward into their claimed territory and/or purposely circumnavigated in a willful dodge. Even you didn't do anything officially 'wrong', it may still behoove you to grant them an earnest acknowledgment of understanding where their looming objections might be coming from. This is a moment that calls for sucking up your pride, on behalf of whatever pragmatic compromises must be made (without sacrificing your integrity, of course) in order to get the job done. Before you give anybody a hard time, consider how hard a time they could give you, should they choose to retaliate.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Think twice, Taurus, before concluding that everything would be working out so much more perfectly if it weren't for a certain You-Know-Who inserting their troublesome opinions and/or shoving their need-to-be-involved hands in the pot. At another time, under less constrictive astrological weather, you'd probably consider that same stubborn someone a supportive presence, the relationship an invaluable asset to your overall package. Perhaps you can even feel that truth now, even as you desperately jones for a more unfettered freedom which would allow you to just take care of shit your way (because, after all this waiting and watching, you are pretty damn confident in the action-plan you've quietly put together). Don't hastily reject, then, this longer-view understanding of You-Know-Who's importance in your life, just because you're a bit impatient and/or not thrilled about having to 'check in' with anybody while surfing such a powerful independent streak. Honor their role, with the obligatory consideration; having their sign-off will help in the long run. And if that feels intolerable? This relationship has some serious problems to work out—and/or to extricate yourself from.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Persevere with the daily grind, but don't attempt huge stretches in any certain direction. Staying virtually in place, Gemini, has lessons of its own to dispense. To do so, though, you must keep up with the motions of healthy habit, much like one would need to continue making small movements with one's arms and legs in order to remain afloat in a body of water. Taking 'staying in place' to too escapist an extreme ultimately sinks you beneath the weight of too much food crammed into your stomach, too throbbing a hangover to overcome, or too hefty a pile of work you're avoiding in expectant wait for some mystical epiphany to land in your lap. Any outcrop of anxiety is merely a symptom that you're future-tripping again… and, in this astro-climate, that's a futile exercise in self-torture. This is the worst time to be worrying about any future beyond the end of today. The crystal ball is presently providing highly cloudy and unreliable readings, due to your hungry ego's overeager desire to advance to the next level already. Mellow out. Take a walk. Organize your office space. Pick a small project you can accomplish in the course of a week's spare moments. Should the crazy come knocking, acknowledge it with detached cordiality from behind your still-shut door… but refuse to let it in. Then, do something else productive.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Please notice the ways in which you would define yourself in contrast to everyone else, Cancer. What about the conventional group-mindset does not appeal to you? What makes you want to step aside from the crowd and holler, 'Hey, look over here! I'm not like them! I'm my own person!'? This is important information about which distinctive individualistic qualities you'd confidently claim in yourself, if you were setting out to express what makes you uniquely you… and there's something in this week's uncomfortable astrology that squeezes you into recognizing these characteristics. Yet, this isn't necessarily the time to proclaim your individuality and, in the process, seek to differentiate yourself so strongly from everyone else. On the contrary: You remain in a better position by cementing your sense of belonging, rather than emphasizing the ways in which you don't belong. So, at moments when your first instinct may be to flinch in distancing response to how a friend or colleague is collectively identifying you as 'cut from the same cloth', it's presently wiser to merely note your self-demarcated disagreement with this unifying sentiment… and, despite having to perhaps bite your tongue in self-censorship, to just go along with their flow. At the moment, it's more important that you can discern what is and isn't authentically you than to make a provocative team-rattling statement of it.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Tangible developments out there in the world are starting to provide you something solid to rely on, to invest your energies in, and/or to establish a new consistency with… but it remains your insides, Leo, that demand ongoing strengthening efforts. It would be too easy to over-identify your relative stability with whatever regular responsibilities are receiving your attention, as if having a 'good job' or 'a respectable position' or 'people who count on you' will automatically exempt you from having to behave responsibly once the workday is done and no one is watching what you're up to. To claim that managing your home-life and/or your emotional self-nurture routine somehow requires less due-diligence than upholding your public guise (perhaps because nobody else but you will suffer the consequences of bad behavior, or so you tell yourself?) signifies a rather underdeveloped relationship to self-care, don't you think? Everything else in your life depends on your feeling nourished enough to deservedly support it. So while the gettin' is so obviously good on the professional front, be sure to continue feeding yourself the inner affirmations necessary for solidly receiving this goodness. Otherwise, you'll just be going through the motions, collecting tokens of success only while the proverbial cameras are running—and privately worrying you're just a big fraud. You're only a 'fraud' if you believe yourself unworthy (which is decidedly different than, say, having a few things still to learn along the way).


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): While it's helpful to have an overarching perspective on what's presently most important to you (as well as a pretty firm commitment to prioritizing it over other less-central concerns), please be open to the likelihood that your focus may be somewhat hijacked by the immediate needs of other individuals invading your frame. This tug on your attentions, Virgo, ought not to pose too significant or lasting a threat to your being able to keep your self-selected priorities in mind… though, in the very short term, you could experience a maddening sense of thwarted purpose. Yet, it's functionally hard (not to mention ethically questionable) to ignore another human being who shows up desperate for assistance or support, merely to continue concentrating on something you might find more personally meaningful. Sincere-sounding justifications you could contrive, in defense of your stubbornly rejecting any outside interruption, will ultimately ring hollow to your own ears—mainly because (you know as well as I do) we sometimes must rise to the occasion of patiently being there on someone else's behalf. Regardless of how your days ahead unfold (and whether your best-laid plans end up diverted by unanticipated interjections), you're still wielding that newly clear idea of where you're heading… and if you aren't able to take that next step this week, there's always next week.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As much as you might like to devote every last ounce of energy to that one situation now absorbing so much psychic room in your life, Libra, you're simultaneously facing some reality-check of a wholly personal nature which expects you to heed its immediate demands. The reemergence of this pressing matter of self-serving importance—an overdue bill or other financial priority, a work project requiring overtime, some logistical practicality, etc.—reminds you that you cannot afford to take your eye off this ball. But hell, wouldn't you really rather lose yourself in the full-body excitement (or is it terror?) of whatever preoccupation seems to promise more immediate thrills than that same ol' mundane bullshit? Irksome though it may be, this is not an either/or proposition. If you're being sufficiently responsible for your own secure footing (and Saturn suggests you damn well better be!), you are simply not permitted to indulge fantasies of being magically delivered from this reality-check by some enchanting human drama, no matter how tantalizing or titillating. Whether you're single or coupled off, bored out of your mind or engrossed to the point of overstimulation, you remain on the hook for taking care of your personal business. The more sharply you're using any 'enchanting human drama' as an escape from this business, the less healthfully sustainable this involvement is now demonstrating itself to be.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): How, exactly, to show them all your very best… but without pretending to be somebody you're not? Here's a question ripe for experimental on-the-spot answering, Scorpio, under an astrological sky riddled with friction between (1) getting your interpersonal needs met and (2) expressing your uncompromised emotional reality. You are gifted with a remarkable ability to play to others' psychological drives, demonstrating an astute attentiveness to what makes them tick, which naturally builds intimacy and leaves them responding with keener interest and intensity. At the same time, you aren't always (how shall I say this?) the easiest person to get along… particularly if your own feelings of nervousness, fear or insecurity become activated by an awkward moment, an odd comment, or some gust of psychic wind blowing in from the back window. Please remember, however: That overt emotionality will not scare away those who genuinely adore you… who understand that, in fact, your sometimes-moody-and-brooding nature is an inalienable aspect of your unrivalled wisdom into the human condition, and who sincerely believe your companionship is worth the periodic hiccups. This week, you may be somewhat unable to fully quell a flared-up feeling that rises in you, exposing its unkempt splendor to whoever's spending time with you. Uncomfortable though it may be, you're giving 'em a very clear view of who you really are—and that'll aid you both in discerning the real relational potential between you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Be on guard against flashbacks, Sagittarius. Though reliving strident fears or traumatic responses from yesteryear can deliver quite a psychological punch, you can help neutralize the impact by defiantly staying grounded in the here-and-now. As we discussed last week, Saturn's presently testing your ability to protect your own psychic state: Can you claim power over your passing moods, preventing them from incorrectly interpreting your life-circumstances based on shadows from long-past disasters or mistakes you've already moved beyond? Divorced from these self-generated worries, the actual slate of items and initiatives currently in front of you are fairly straightforward and cut-and-dry. You put effort into handling them; they get handled; you move on to the next thing. Simple as that, really and truly. It's only when you start projecting into hypothetical possibilities, what-if scenarios and/or excessive concern for meta-level considerations (which, truth be told, needn't be resolved in order for you to continue making consistent progress on the physical plane) that you'll run into any sort of problem. In other words, stay fixedly close to the most basic equation for a productive day—and nip too much convoluted mental processing in the bud, to preserve a simplistic mindset. The slate of to-dos is plain as day, in black and white. What the hell else is there to think about, really?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Confronted with the palpable signifier of some powerful personal desire, Capricorn, you have every reason to wish to fulfill it. You're clear what you want. You've obviously earned a certain margin of self-gratification. Why in the hell would you sell yourself short? Well, the main mitigating factor in whether you can or should proceed with pleasing yourself (if indeed there is one) is all wrapped up with complicated questions of fairness: Who in your immediate community is not as freely able to suit their own interests in quite the same way, and what impact will it have on them for you to satisfyingly serve yourself? Will you flaunt whatever special capacity entitles you to a heaping helping of happiness, or will you downplay your joy in an attempt to make your privilege palatable to less fortunate comrades? Resolving this tension is not as easy as you might convince yourself, should you decide not to worry about anybody else and instead ignore the looming complications in favor of quick delight. You can pretend your actions are solely yours, without wider consequences, and slide in just under the line of 'acceptable behavior'. Still, nobody operates in a vacuum. And just how gratified will you be, if you can't freely express glee among those who'd otherwise be gleeful along with you, were they not sensing something not-quite-right about what you're up to?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Before you create too definitive a conceptual contrast between 'what everyone out there is expecting from you' and 'what you really want, just for yourself,' Aquarius, let me remind you that both these situations have been made from your own desires and designs. In other words, that sense of outside-world responsibility, which now seems to saddle your shoulders with near-unbearable heft, is also the flip-side fruit of successes you've built. And so, merely to complain about it—as if a passive victim of the adult-life you not only chose, but worked hard to create—is to both (1) eschew the credit you deserve for these efforts and (2) evade the now-timely call to make any necessary revisions to your position. You're likely experiencing some degree of restriction in how freely you can tend to a wholly personal need for emotional space, due to having boxed yourself in with important management-level duties that no one else can, at the moment, relieve you from. This cannot be immediately remedied, forcing you to bear this passing pinch like a champ. However, in the broader frame, this is a critical moment of realizing what you must compromise or give up, to persist in climbing further up the ladder… and/or considering whether you might need to rethink the finer emotional terms of this tradeoff.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As smoothly and beautifully as the conversational chitter-chatter may be flowing, Pisces, you mustn't allow any uncool (read: dishonest, offensive, prejudiced, malicious) statements to be offered by a conversational companion without honestly remarking on how uncool you find them to be. Likewise, you mustn't go quietly along with discussions that could leave neighbors or casual pals to misperceive your character. An onus definitely rests on you to ensure your stance on such issues is unambiguously clear. Unfortunately, what that means in practical terms is the possibility you might need to interrupt an otherwise perfectly-pleasant interaction with someone you might not even know all that well, in order to clarify the importance of a certain ethic you can't, in good conscience, let slide… which, in effect, could leave you looking like the 'difficult' one (though, in fact, it was the other person who unwisely presumed you'd silently excuse their ignorance). And gosh, that turns what you'd been hoping would be a simple occasion for shooting the shit into a situation calling for you to stand up for what you believe, doesn't it?!? Ultimately, it's not really that easy or fun to fraternize with folks who, beneath their perfunctory friendliness, aren't actually that friendly after all… at least not on issues that really matter to you.