Horoscopes | Week of April 29-May 5, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Chug along, inch by inch, nailing down the practicalities. Even if every miniscule advance feels as if it's requiring more persistent strain than it sensibly should, Aries, that doesn't mean you aren't getting somewhere. And no matter the considerable power of any obstructive or adversarial energies (potentially coming from those 'apparent oppositional forces' we detailed last week), you're still a pretty powerful soldier in your own right. You remain in the tightest segment of this bottlenecking passageway for a bit longer (say, another week or two), but it does loosen up a bit further ahead. For your own sanity, you must repeatedly return your attention to the basics you are trying to secure and solidify. At the same time, those who have critical feedback to provide or complaints to lodge will at least require you to register an respectful acknowledgment… and, for at least those few protracted moments, assign them your attention (instead of treating them like insignificant pests, even if you actually think of 'em as such). But don't let them totally rattle your concentration, which would only eat into more of your time and energy with futile frustrations that aren't legitimate calls-to-action and, therefore, are unproductive. You've already got your self-issued 'call-to-action'.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You remain in a pretty assertive mindset, Taurus, which buys you this excellent opportunity to make your desires very well known to all who encounter you. And now that great-communicator Mercury is joining the other personal planets in your sign, you've reached a point where explicit conversations about your intentions are, at last, favored as well. Throughout the week ahead, however, you are still under the effect of further Saturn-oppositions from your 7th (to both Mercury and Mars), which bespeaks of the continuing need to meet other people where they are (not always, unfortunately, where you wish them to be), even as you simultaneously hold firm with your non-negotiables. (Hint: Don't squander this holding-firm on 'little shit', which would only cheapen your image as a productive collaborator. Reserve your trademark stubbornness for the most important issues at stake, and they'll see just how serious you are.) This week is sort of like a final hurdle in this carnivalesque relay-race… and once you successfully clear it (again, with interpersonal conscientiousness), you'll be ready to shift into straight-on, straightforward marathon-running.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Before you bother attempting to focus your sights and instead end up shrieking, in surprise, 'Where the fuck am I?!?' I would like you to save your energy. There really is no good reason, Gemini, to rack your brain trying to get your bearings this week. You don't need to know what's what, as we covered last week. In fact, go ahead and write this week off… not because it's some kind of total bust (it may or may not be), but purely out of releasing any sense that purposefulness is called for. This quickly-fleeting moment is like those blank white pages at the end of a book. Nothing to read; a placeholder, perhaps, serving some ends which only the great publisher in a far-off corner office understands; an in-between space; an excuse for an imaginative child to doodle a daydream. Starting next Thursday (May 8) with Venus, your sign will welcome the arrival of a new planet each week over the course of the month, pointing to your gradual movement out of In-Betweenland… and into one fresh-start situation after another, allowing you more agency to navigate where you're headed than you've most recently had. Until then, leave everything alone. Your only assignment: Don't dig yourself into any holes, okay?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Be exceedingly alert, Cancer, to whatever is your most authentic attitude toward what the other members of your community, team, or friend-group are doing. Chances are, as we discussed last week, you will notice that your attitude may not neatly agree with the party-line. Yet, please also take note of any instances where you find your authenticity beginning to slip into something different, likely as a result of trying to ward off the taste of others' irritating discontent before it manifests into an unpleasant outward dynamic. Are you about sell out your own truth—which may be nothing more profound than simply what you truly want from the situation, though that is important enough—just to cater to the neediness you perceive among these peers? Is this a common behavior in you? And what, I wonder, is its cumulative effect? Though I've recently encouraged you to temper the tone of your divergences from the group, it's quite likely this tension has developed to a point where you can't just sit back and play nicely along while social currents pull you out to choppier waters… not, that is, if you want to be honestly you.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Cinch the proverbial corset on your costume, powder your face with a refresh-me-up, and get back out on stage, Leo. Regardless of whether you may still be privately harboring doubts about yourself, those who are watching you from the audience (including a few VIPs in the exclusive box seats) have nothing but avid interest in what you're about to unveil for them. Aligning yourself with the Great Universal Flow entails being willing to take decisive public action under appropriate celestial timing—such as the current lineup of 10th-house planets—rather than waiting until some imagined ideal moment when you are 100% confident, comfortable, and in complete control. You must show up (and I mean really show up) for the curtain call, even if, just a few minutes before the orchestra launches into the overture, your palms are sweaty and your stomach's in knots. Channel any nervousness into the happily manic hyping-up that'll produce a dazzling performance. You needn't be technically perfect (is anyone ever?), but you do need to give it your genuine best. Should you pull a difficult-diva routine and/or try to squirrel out of this pressing premiere date, you'd better believe some ravenous understudy is waiting in the wings for their big chance.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): If you feel strongly enough in your viewpoint that you actually want to try convincing someone else to see it your way (or to at least make a convincing case, regardless of outcome), then please don't hurry too quickly through the supporting conversation as if the conclusions you've drawn are self-evident. Unless you are a professor feeding exam-answers to a hall full of obedient first-year students who have untarnished faith that you are the authority, Virgo, you shouldn't expect to change hearts and minds by haughtily lecturing from your podium on high. You may indeed have answers, but if nobody's genuinely interested in discussing the questions pertinent to them, they will do you no good. So, your first step in any conversion strategy must involve fostering an open discussion—and you can't do that if you aren't open to discussing the ins and outs, with the humble awareness that you probably don't understand the other person's experiential history with this issue. Your most productive discussion may indeed meander through a series of clarifying details and/or seemingly tangential topics because that's what they need in order to process what you're professing. From this angle, 'changing hearts and minds' is an exercise in relationship-building more than a top-down pedagogical feat.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Give yourself over to the dark, the difficult, the complex and/or convoluted, Libra. This is the stuffs of life and death… the highs and lows, the transcendent thrills, the aching sorrows, the acute emotional experiences that remind us what it is to be human. If you're presently being deluged by the shadowier end of this spectrum, please do not allow yourself to sink to the level of hopeless despair. Perspective: It has not always been this way, and, therefore, it won't remain this way forever. We all require these moments periodically in order to understand, deep in our bones, the idea of contrast. Life-peaks mean nothing to us without our having risen from the lowest-lying canyons to reach them. If all you're capable of doing right now is firmly committing to your base-level survival, then that is enough. On the other hand, if you're flying high aloft the clouds of bliss, enjoy the ride… but please don't be foolish enough to toss away your safety gear, wishfully presuming you won't need it. What goes up will always come down again. And while we might as well invest in the vision that, at the right time, you'll be able to descend gradually into a safe landing, you still need to stay prepared in case of a more sudden drop in cabin pressure.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): No doubt about it, Scorpio, this gaggle of frustrated 7th-house planets is definitely putting you through the interpersonal ringer. Easy agreement, even with those you treasure and adore, is not the current vibe surrounding your relationships. How badly, though, do you need to be right? Is it a strong enough urge that you are willing to jeopardize the future of this charged connection, out of a refusal to 'back down'? Alternatively, we could approach this question from another angle: Can you mutually agree to disagree on a single point or certain lifestyle aspect, affording each other a healthy radius of independent freedom, and still sustain the connection? There are no obvious solutions here, in case you were sniffing around for a direction I might be leading you toward. You have to find the appropriate balance for you, so, in any close coupling(s), you can at once (1) feel secure that you are, for the most part, on the same page with each other and (2) not impose a claustrophobic need for incessant togetherness onto one another. Here's where you have to earnestly check in with yourself about whether you're trying too hard to control the situation between you two… at the potential expense of the other person ending up feeling manipulated and, therefore, mistrustful.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Another week, another horoscopic reminder to stay on task when it comes to your day-to-day work and/or any other projects presently showing great promise. Rededicate yourself to one more week's worth of a full-body effort to produce, to progress, and to push through the daily demands of due-diligence. Allow me to repeat the reason why this is so important: Not only do you have a lot of planetary horsepower at your temporary disposal for practical means, but remaining physically active and purposeful is a health-sustaining foil to the continuing threat of irrational mood-dips. There's no question you remain in an arm-wrestling match with your inner saboteur, making the process of convincing yourself not to buy into the self-critical garbage it's feeding you that much more irritating. That's why your best self-defense isn't a verbal argument at all; it's the simple act of shutting the fuck up and continuing to accomplish things, which serves as proof that you are worthy and wonderful. These astrological energies will start to soften their hard-line demands by mid-next-week… with a gradual reintroduction of pleasant interpersonal distractions, to keep your wandering mind more fully occupied and, consequently, off your case.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Despite everything I wrote to you last week about weighing self-gratification against fairness-to-others (which probably still requires some consideration), I can't help but encourage you to veer slightly more in the direction of pursuing whatever the hell makes you happy. While it's useful to reflect enough on your privilege relative to your friends or colleagues so you're not blind to their potential responses, you can't live a satisfying life by concentrating too much on assuaging others' discontent. In fact, with multiple 5th-house planets now moving into a supportive trine to Pluto in your 1st, I'm sure you're feeling pretty emboldened to make the personal most of any situation… and why the fuck not? These energies sure seem to be formally inviting you to intentionally put yourself at the unapologetic center of this week's decision-making—and not just out of some future-minded commitment to 'becoming your best self', but in order to choose whatever will bring you immediate joy, creative fulfillment, and/or positive flirtatious attention. In closing, yes, I suppose I should reiterate the possibility that certain social allegiances could suffer tension, as envious or disapproving others react to seeing you so unapologetically serve your own pleasure. Maybe it's because they've become too accustomed to you taking care of their needs first?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your worldly duties only seem to be ratcheting up their demands to a smother point, Aquarius, because you so badly need permission to concentrate on other things, too. Namely? How you might adjust a few poor emotional postures you habitually fall into when under legitimate stress, to pop yourself into new internal patterns which better support your weight, much like a chiropractor cracks your back to release the lopsided clench you've painfully held yourself in. The real-life scenarios you encounter, tackle and work to resolve in your career (or elsewhere in your public life) are not nearly as large problems as you make them into, whenever your inner narrator indulges that nausea-inducing blend of panic and overwhelm in the stories s/he tells. You work hard enough; you don't need the extra torture. In the week ahead, try your damnedest to counterbalance the worldly stress with simplicity, civility and silence... rather than worsening it with pointless exercises in scrutinizing everything potentially wrong with your life. Crack yourself back into place, with deep breaths and gentle stretches and soft soothing rubs.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): When we speak here about what's personally meaningful and/or ethically important to you, Pisces, I've been operating under perhaps too firm an assumption that you know what that is. Maybe you don't. Maybe it's presently in marked flux, attempting to recalibrate itself in light of recent life-changes (or a recently flared-up desire for life-changes). Maybe it was never fully developed in the first place, out of insecurity or confusion, and you're just now reaching a new plateau of confidence that affords you an improved chance to figure it out. But hopefully it's not something you're too quick to dismiss or avoid considering, since Saturn continues to insist you have work to do in this area of personal-values prioritization. To flesh out these big-picture priorities more thoughtfully, you needn't study philosophy books or enter into hardcore dialogue with your local clergy (though, if that sounds good, please go for it). Just start asking your pals or peers some conversation-deepening questions about their ideas on leading a meaningful life. They will tell you stories, share inner-conflicts, wax nostalgic on what they've learned… and give you plenty of meaty stuff to think about. Listen especially closely to those who are speaking concepts foreign to you.