Horoscopes | Week of April 7-13, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Believe it or not, your own interests will presently be best served by leaving lots of room for everyone nearby to bat around whatever their kooky or crazy (or maybe even potentially offensive) ideas may be… rather than, say, jumping down somebody's throat the moment they utter a foolish-sounding remark or not-well-thought-out opinion. This is not the same thing as adopting a relativistic attitude (i.e., 'there is no right or wrong') toward issues where you do believe there's a definitive right and wrong, Aries. Instead, it's all about how the debate—or, now that I think about it, let's say 'discussion'—goes down. If you sincerely believe in the righteousness of your viewpoint enough to want to fight for its dissemination, let me suggest that the current astrology favors you adopting a more circuitous, conversational attitude toward changing minds… one based on the supposition that this potentially 'misguided' individual-in-question simply has their own personal experiences which have shaped their viewpoints (rather than just an empty head or a dark heart), and that (gasp!) you both might have something to learn from each other. You needn't abandon the passion of your viewpoint, in order to form a tentative social affinity with a person who thinks differently. After all, minds are most effectively opened when individuals develop enough mutual fondness so they personally care about each other's opinions. Rather than feeding anyone's sense (whether yours or theirs) of being threatened by alternative viewpoints, I advise seeing this more as an ongoing dialogue… and a chance for everybody to learn and grow.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The more choppy, complicated, and/or confusing things seem to get, Taurus, please meet that trend with a countervailing simplicity. Reground yourself at regular intervals with whatever personal practices you can comfortably repeat, as a reminder you always retain the ability to reset the rhythms to suit your own bodily needs-and-wants. The more erratically what's demanded of you from the outside world continues to shift and slide, potentially flummoxing your sensibilities from moment to moment, please help neutralize the effect on your psychic well-being by earnestly treasuring ample amounts of alone-time. Any efforts you take to halt the external developments, or even to slow this rate of sudden change, will be unfortunately futile. Allow these pronounced advances of Fate to occur unimpeded, then. It's better for you to reserve your energy for behind-the-scenes processing… preparing your full being for the right occasion (i.e., a few weeks down the road) when its prudent action-plan, still in the midst of falling into place, is properly formed and ready for introduction. At this juncture of impulsive unfoldings and trigger-happy reactions, your innate competencies won't be utilized to their best. It's a crazy world out there: Hang tight, and lean on those you trust and adore.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Though you may instinctively love playing a sporty game of 'Devil's Advocate', Gemini, I'm not sure it presently serves your evolving needs to disturb any still-developing alliances, just to assert your mischievous touch over some issue you yourself aren't even entirely resolved about. Though we're now maneuvering some big bumps astrologically, you're also riding a moment of excellent professional and/or public-world potential. But to competently capitalize on it requires you to put your own playfully self-expressive (or should we call them 'shit-stirring'?) urges second to what best serves the whole team, organization, or cause. The impulse to crack jokes, raise exceptions, and/or otherwise complicate the collective conversation could get in the way of your efforts to build community, if only because it'll seem like too flagrantly distracting an attempt to draw attention to yourself. Though you may superficially 'mean well', I'd suggest there might also be a subtle self-sabotaging quality to such attention-grabs… as if you're expecting some problem to develop and thus unconsciously causing it with some 'innocent' self-focused mischief. To counteract these impulses, concentrate on serving as the facilitator of the group's brainstorms, investing sincere (and uncontroversial) energy in encouraging everyone to share ideas and feed off one another. Of course, it's a whole different story if you're trying to create a storm in a group you feel needs some shit kicked up, knowing full well it could irreversibly affect the dynamics forevermore…


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Though I could probably get away with just reprinting last week's horoscope due to its continuing timeliness (if, that is, my eager readers weren't always insisting on 'more! more! more!' every week), I'll go ahead and add the perhaps-obvious affirmation that riskily leaping toward new-and-exciting aspirations is supposed to feel this anxiety-provoking, Cancer. Anxiety and excitement are essentially of the same vibrational makeup… only anxiety takes our anticipation of the unknown farther into the territory of fear, under the auspices that we ought to be able to analytically foresee whatever could go wrong (though, if it's indeed 'the unknown', we can't legitimately hold ourselves responsible for 'knowing', can we?) and thus must rack our brains with future-tripping hypotheticals until every possibility (ahem) has been considered. That's wasted mental energy, of course. Staying on the 'excitement' side of the line, however, invites us to embrace the unfolding of unknowns with healthy curiosity about what we're about to learn (and, therefore, to not worry about knowing in advance). It's curiosity about the process, instead of fear about the end-result. Try your best to savor the excitement, without dipping too deeply into the anxiety. Should you start doubting yourself, imagine how a jury of diverse thinkers, educators, and/or clergy might wax philosophic about the state of your current crossroads… situating the debate away from certain personalities' manipulative tendencies, and firmly in the realm of ideals.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Your dreams are not to be defensively hoarded, Leo, as if an outward release of your imaginative sparks would mortally threaten them, due to encounters with other people's ideas and impressions. As I told you last week, all the responses you get from discussions about your future with those around you are golden… even, and maybe especially, the ones which force you to consider an inconvenient detail or glaring blind-spot your inner idealist would perhaps prefer not to. The astro-energies continue to promote lively exchanges of words—or, if this precious diversity of opinions isn't respected, argumentative battles between belief-systems—and it's largely up to you how far to stoke these flames. I don't, however, recommend trying to avoid such conversations altogether: That would essentially be a willful sacrifice of otherwise valuable information, which should be used to refine your vision and increase the likelihood your next big Life-Step is smashingly successful. Before allowing any lively exchange to devolve into an argumentative battle, then, you'd be wise to view the other party as a divine mouthpiece… a prescient voice expressing submerged psychic material from your own shadow that's begging for acknowledgment (or why else would these contrary suggestions get you so riled up, if they weren't touching on some deep trigger?). It's not, therefore, about the other person at all; it's about integrating your own unresolved stuff.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Messy though the process could likely prove, deals can presently be significantly revised, rewritten, and/or altogether rescinded to your great favor, Virgo... and perhaps even without causing the other party any undue costs or problems. Despite the undeniably jerky and jumpy astro-vibes now in circulation, you're also welcoming a lovely Venus-Neptune conjunction in your relationship house (the 7th), granting you a divinely-inspired easing of your ability to truly connect with nearly anybody in a one-on-one setting. And rather than treating these two strains of astrological influence as decidedly distinct, I recommend shamelessly using the interpersonal favorability to sweeten the tone of whatever necessarily awkward negotiations have now become too urgent to postpone any further. The timing isn't likely to get any better than this for finally breaking the surface-tension and putting words to that disruptive sentiment which, though neither of you ought to be totally floored by this logical conclusion, nonetheless will sound jarring to hear spoken aloud. Even if you intend to claim for yourself a certain advantage you feel you'd unfairly sacrificed in the prior arrangement, I still encourage you to strive for a truly mutual victory. Now, perhaps more than ever, you're positioned to get more of what you want and look out for the other party's needs at the same time. It'll require radical honesty on your part, though… and a willingness to relinquish any petty vengeful or self-righteous tendencies, on behalf of everybody's dignity.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This week's opposition between the Sun and that gumption-stirring Mars retrograde in your sign, Libra, puts you smack in the crosshairs of probable conflict. Whether you're actually fighting with another person or just caught in an internal back-and-forth about how much to give and to take, your main life-themes at the moment are almost certainly centered around questions of your outwardly self-serving assertiveness. Presumably, you're rightfully sensing that this is no time to squander the potential for decisive action, merely because you're hesitant to shock another person with your direct assertions (and, in the process, dramatically disrupt the prior dynamics between you). This is a time for shocking disruptions, after all. And though Librans are often renowned for avoiding head-on conflict at all costs (or at least slyly pinning responsibility for the conflict on the other person), this is also a time for you to fight for your right to determine your own destiny—no matter if it flies in the face of someone else's expectations. Of course, it's fair to point out that not every conflict is presently worth fighting. Under this astrology, it's just as likely that, if you're not paying attention, your anxiety about fighting one major conflict could get accidentally diverted into another context where you're more comfortable behaving contentiously… though this would be both a waste of energy and a needless implication of someone who's not as 'guilty' as you're making them out to be. Be practical about which conflicts to invest in.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): For your mental health alone, Scorpio, it's worth doing whatever you can to jazz up the rhythms of your everyday grind… enough so that you'll enjoy the thrilling sense of something exciting and new, but not so much that you're unable to constructively get a decent amount of shit accomplished. The more dutifully you attempt to perform like a compliant little worker-bee, the likelier you'll reach a volatile breaking-point and rebelliously overcompensate for your 'good behavior' in a potentially hazardous fashion. Your secret demon is just waiting for its perfect chance to rouse self-destructive suggestions from your subconscious underbelly—and if you force it to defer to protocols, it will push back. What your more decent-and-well-meaning self has going for it, as a countermeasure to these darker temptations: a heightening swell of romanticism (in the broadest sense of the word, not just with regards to love), which can hopefully inspire you to meet your real-world circumstances (even the frustrating ones) with the creative verve of someone who deeply believes we can make the world a better place, one innovative method or self-respecting practice at a time. Rather than bother trying to escape what's wrong with mundane day-to-day life through unhealthful (and, yes, potentially dangerous) means, why not seek to address it with vision and heart? You're plenty powerful to make a difference, starting with your own patterns.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Bring on the personal-self-expression breaches of social decorum, Sagittarius. Fuck the party line (as well as anyone who doesn't groove with a well-placed expletive)! Screw 'fitting in'! And forget altogether, for once, about holding your tongue! Why should you set your own pleasure-providing forthrightness aside, just to cater to certain characters who (if we're being totally unapologetically honest) you don't really like that much? The 'reasonable' voice amongst your friend-circle or colleague-caucus might try to convince you that your 'axe-to-grind' (which probably isn't the most accurate way of describing that instinctive urge to just not give a shit) is obnoxiously self-serving… and, therefore, not worth indulging, considering the waves it's likely to cause. But you and I both know that's hogwash: These 'waves' have been crashing aggravatingly against you for a while now, only under the surface where the 'reasonable' type can pretend they don't exist. All you'd be doing is calling out what's already happening. So why the hell not? Much good can come of this, as long as you're not seeking outside validation… and wisely recognize it's your inner peace that must be your motivating factor, with these external events merely your means to these private emotional ends.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If you don't want to blow a gasket or have one blown at you, Capricorn, you're probably going to want to find a less-charged conversational outlet for the emotional pressures building up inside you… and not attempt to work out this rush of raw unrefined emotion with anyone you're feeling especially unresolved about, triggered by, and/or passionately involved with at the moment. You're under an exaggerated potential for misdirecting your unsettledness, and consequently for stirring shit up in a situation which doesn't warrant the level of psychic-charge you're bringing to it. Because Pluto-in-your-1st is stationing while squaring off with Mercury/Uranus and Jupiter, you may not fully comprehend how potently your words will hit others' ears; one carelessly misdirected utterance could negatively impact your relationship with its recipient forevermore. That's why I strongly urge you to use as your sounding-board those pals who are wholly uninvolved with any circumstances presently causing you the slightest hint of emotional strife. I want you to be able to talk through that raw emotion freely and openly, without worrying about saying the wrong thing… and I think your surest bet for doing so requires choosing the right audience, context, and timing to decrease the chance of 'getting into it' with someone too personally invested in the outcome of your process.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your know-it-all tendencies could unfortunately get the best of you, Aquarius, if you're pointlessly insistent on furthering an agenda when one needn't be imposed, ironing out inconsistencies in someone else's off-the-cuff wonderings, and/or pushing for a final answer when minds haven't yet been made up. In your corner of this grand 'making-sense-of-the-world' enterprise, the possibilities are more open-ended, random and discontinuous than they've been in a long long time… and any efforts you take toward 'pinning things down' are both ill-timed and unproductively restraining. Leave the unordered fragments to flap in the wind. Otherwise, you're just indulging your compulsion to perpetuate the illusion that your exquisite intellect is a device sufficient for actually warding off impending loss. But being smart doesn't make you God, any more than convincing others you're 'right' will neutralize the strains in their ways-of-thinking which suggest you're simultaneously 'wrong'. (Confused yet? Good.) That said, you've still got your altruistic beliefs and some good ideas for how they might be expressed… which is more than enough, in the resource-department, to spur your continuing exchanges with the other cast-members about how the next scene should move the narrative along. This production is best conceived of as an improv workshop, not some rehearsed presentation of a pre-scripted classic.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I cannot urge you strongly enough, Pisces, not to take these weird goings-on at face value. What may appear to be quite a crunch, crash, or calamity could end up working out to your astounding advantage… but for that to happen, you'll have to refrain from any hasty first-responses which address this magical opportunity as some unmitigated disaster to be averted at all costs. You might actually make it more disastrous than need be by treating it as such, in a big-hearted but misdirected attempt to alleviate any disagreeable or outright contentious vibes stirred by whatever's happening. Like it or not, the vibes these days are somewhat disagreeable and contentious. Periods like these are natural phases in our collective evolution, and we'd be working against the celestial currents to understand them otherwise. If you're taking last week's advice to heart, you ought to be concentrating on moving your own self-supporting initiatives courageously forward… and, as I hinted at, there's a simultaneous potential for your actions to stir antagonism from those who (consciously or not) have benefitted from you not putting your own interests first. You Pisceans are in a unique position at the moment: You're both (1) the biggest recipient of the two benefics' (i.e., Venus and Jupiter) promising blessings, if you dare to accept them, and (2) a likely target of others' angry projections, should you take on their discontent as your own and allow them to hijack your focus. The angered ones would have you believe the 'calamity' interpretation; the 'astounding advantage' read is yours alone, to quietly cling to, for support.