Horoscopes | Week of May 9-15, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The one who legitimately wields command, Aries, most certainly does not needlessly gamble with those worldly-power-bestowing accomplishments which have already been banked, out of some unquenchable thirst for even more dynamic excitement. The only reason to do that would be because the actualized rewards themselves provide you very little satisfaction… especially when compared with the addictive thrill of pioneering another trek through the unknown, no map in hand, everything you own strapped on your back. In other words, for you to decide to dauntlessly venture ever onward right this very minute—though your 'onward' momentum is currently vacillating, the general rhythms spotty, and the informed warnings feverishly waving their red-flags—is to implicitly admit that you aren't particularly impressed with what you've thus far earned, you don't place a very high value on material security or solid-groundedness, and the perilous lure of 'something else' or 'something more' is still worth chasing even if it risks subverting an existing scenario you'd previously laid out for some other practical purpose. Or you could just momentarily revel in the fruits of your ongoing labors, at this astrologically-appropriate time for doing just that. If you can't find anything personally appealing to 'revel in', you probably need to pause and examine why that is.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You are the rock, the island, the garden of earthly delights, Taurus. You can open your arms as wide as they'll go, to welcome all those who wish to share moments and experiences and delicious treats with you… and they will come. You can simply be that consistent paragon of what-you-see-is-what-you-get, and everybody will instinctively know whether they want to procure a piece of that glorious vision upon which they gaze. And those who aren't into what you bring to the table? Let's just assume they'll naturally flock elsewhere. I had to stop short of adding a 'fuck 'em!' to that last sentiment, though, because bothering to exude too strong a negative attitude toward any of those not-for-yous will unfortunately serve as a beacon that actually attracts them into your sphere. In fact, any such assertive reachings-out with your personal energy to express either desire or distaste—for, in this context, they're two sides of the same coin: confronting others with a distinct verdict on your particular interest in them—will essentially open up a window of acute psychic engagement, after which point the vibe becomes far less soft, stable, and self-securing. Nothing need be that intense at the moment. Mix too much fire into the rock, and it becomes a volcano… and then you never know when it might blow.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Silence and solitude are presently two of your best friends, Gemini... though nobody is going to force you to hang out with them. I mean, it's not like there aren't actual other people also vying for your time. But though the flesh-and-blood humans are almost certain to provide a lot more dynamic engagement and entertainment, they might not be the ones likeliest to give you an earnest earful of unambiguous reality. When it comes to keeping a mutually compelling interpersonal flow, we're all prone to self-editing the topics we take up, measuring the potential impact of our words on our companion, and withholding certain admissions or opinions… all with the intent of spinning our own participation so it's likeliest to suit the impression we want someone else to form of us. Even when our intent is to jockey for the upper hand in a fight-to-the-finish with someone we don't wish well, we may conveniently leave out certain shades of the full-and-complete truth in order to make our case more starkly (and/or to cover any trace of our likely hypocrisy). If you're brave, tenacious, and spiritually self-determined enough to wisely seek that dose of enduring honesty about you and your path as an individual—'enduring' because it doesn't vary based on who's gotten under your skin this time—you need to quiet down, squirrel away, and listen. The currents of your personal truth continue to run along a familiar course.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Good outcomes seem likely, Cancer, should you use this Venus-blessed retrograde of Mercury through your 11th to reconnect with old friends, former colleagues, communities you used to frequent, and/or collectives which center around an issue or cause that's recently rekindled your interest. In addition to the obvious relational pleasures which would come from renewed contact with people you genuinely like but fell out of touch with, there's another potential benefit to draw from such reacquaintings: You can also reconnect with yourself, through these interpersonal reminders of the social-position you once occupied more commonly, consistently, and/or comfortably. Whether your busy life has kept you from hanging with those once-central characters as often as you'd like, or whether you consciously chose (for whatever reason) to separate from them, the person you now are is merely a better-evolved version of that same person you always were. Reminding yourself of that fact would be a very productive exercise right now. Trace that continuous line of true selfhood from the cherished pals, peers, and partners of your past—who may well prove to be just as cherished in the present, and maybe even beyond—to who you've become. It'll help you gain perspective, should you feel a bit lost, bored, and/or beaten down by the daily grind. You may be the same core-level person as always, but you haven't been doing this every day of your whole life… and you won't be doing it forever.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Don't shy away from your expected participation in the 'official' discourse, Leo, along with any important figure(s) charged with determining how your role in the whole endeavor is due to unfold. Unless you really don't care how the principal management of your professional position, public-sphere involvement, and/or obligation to the organization is handled—which would consequently indicate you aren't that interested in building a career, strengthening your grip on your actual work, or elevating your market-value—then you probably shouldn't bow out of these proceedings. Yes, I know that Mercury's still retrograde in your 10th… which is why I made sure to include the descriptor 'official' to emphasize the fact that you ought to communicate as if the entire transcript will be recorded verbatim in the 'official' annals. As soon as your mind starts to wander off from the predetermined subject-matter (even if it's because of a surge in creative enthusiasm, all jazz-improv-like), you need to take a deep breath and regain your diplomatic composure. Let me also add, by the way, that 'expected participation' in the discourse doesn't necessarily involve offering controversial opinions or provocative remarks... or, for that matter, any firm stance on anything at all. Just taking part, in itself, shows you do care—and such personal investment is what's ultimately rewarded.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Step away from the microscope, Virgo, or you're going to misinterpret everything else that's going on. At the moment, a dangerous devil is lurking in the details, threatening to convince you that entire life-defining successes or failures are predicated on how handily you attend to one certain aspect of your life… when, according to the consensus-reality we fall back on as 'objective', that's simply not the case. If you're so caught up in finagling, finessing, or figuring out this one nagging concern that you can't seem to fix your vision on anything else, let me suggest an exercise which could help. Get out of the house or the office, and take yourself to a mountaintop vista or the observation-deck of your local skyscraper. Look out at the aerial view, comprised of lots of little people leading their little lives, every one perhaps feeling as totally immersed in the everythingness of their latest life-trials-and-tribulations as you are yours. Or gaze up at the night sky, and imagine how each of those tiny dots of light is its own sun, many with planets orbiting around it, some with life-forms which may or may not resemble ours. This singular worry of yours is infinitesimally small in the grand scheme of the universe. Does that magically deem it unworthy of worrying about? Of course not. However, perhaps it'll put the many moving parts of your own universe-of-a-life into perspective; don't sequester yourself in one itsy-bitsy sector of it, when there's a whole galaxy to consider.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Your demonstrated tolerance for uncertainty, indeterminacy, and/or ambiguity in affairs just too important to treat casually, Libra, is presently helping you develop new levels of emotional wisdom. Good thing we can point to this, then, as another beneficial payoff from rallying yourself to bear with it… especially when there's perpetually an 'easy way out' you could fashion with a few simple words of smoothing-over, caving-in, or giving-up. We've covered this ground a lot recently (cases in point: last week and the week before that), sure, but more from the angle of relational power-plays and concrete self-interests. That's why I also wanted to emphasize the breadth of psychological understanding (both about yourself and the other party) you gain from sticking with these mixed feelings, unresolved questions, and/or incompatible possibilities long enough so that their most glaring contrasts collide with each other. Such a collision is the fuel for sincere catharsis, a breakthrough in emotional processing which comes out of embracing the full-spectrum of complicating feelings (rather than allowing certain streams to run beneath the surface without acknowledgment). And time is a necessary aid in effecting cathartic release: Stew in the in-it-ness until you know its dimensions, deeply and truly. The path-forward emerges from there.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If there's a certain something you haven't told a certain someone but suspect you probably should, this is actually a pretty decent week for coming clean. Though Mercury is indeed still retrograde in your relationship house (the 7th), it will conjoin Venus… an astro-indicator that proactively choosing to revisit prior conversations which didn't go far enough the first time around has a better-than-average chance of turning out well. In this context, the usual Merc-rx warnings against slips-of-the-tongue could work to your advantage, if your aim is to be frank and forthright about what's unambiguously the case, in the act of establishing or enhancing a healthy vibe between you. After all, if you're merely trying to authentically connect, nothing you 'accidentally' tell them is liable to work against that goal—unless, of course, you're also trying to hide a sentiment or detail that's key to understanding your current spot. Rather than lecture you on the problematics of attempting to strengthen a relationship while simultaneously practicing deception-by-omission (which I guess I sort of just did anyway), I'll simply point out that any baring-of-the-soul you carry out under concurrent threat of 'being found out' at the same time Mercury's retrograde is a real gamble. But then, why even invest in a relational dynamic built on partial insincerity?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Every time your attention drifts toward something you really hope to explore, investigate, experiment with, or experience at an undefined point in your future, Sagittarius, just jot down a few sentences about it in your notebook-of-brilliant-ideas… and then get back to whatever you were already doing. (Remember last week's edition?) Don't—I repeat don't—start readjusting yesterday's best-laid plans to immediately accommodate this abrupt branching-off of interests. You made those plans for a particular reason, and not so long ago that this reason doesn't still apply to your present life-circumstances. By shuffling around your day-to-day priorities based on a fledgling curiosity or just-now-emerging interest, at a moment when totally abandoning consistency or radically changing direction is decidedly not astrologically favored, you're likelier to create a mound of half-finished tasks and unfulfilled ambitions than a clear path to improved satisfaction. You don't have to stop what you're doing, in order to properly honor such instinctive hits about what you may wish to do next. Take note. Store the inspiration away in a safe place. Then, return to the ongoing activity you were engaged in when this latest insight crossed your consciousness. By waiting to enact any new addenda to the everyday checklist (while continuing to dutifully move through the items which have been there a while), you'll allow the corroborating function of time to help you determine whether this is a passing whim or a transformational calling.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Use this week to devote more conscious time and attention to your 'baby', Capricorn. For those of you who are parents, the literal offspring you've been charged with raising would certainly qualify as the number-one 'baby' on the list. Carve out an afternoon or two for extra-super quality togetherness with your young'un (even if they're not-so-young anymore)… and make it something goofy, giggly, and completely without any practical purpose (cleaning out their bedroom, for example, doesn't count). Beyond actual children, your 'baby' might also be that sport, art-form, or talent you've dedicated yourself to pursuing, not because it's some apparent highway to further high-achieverdom but simply because you feel vital, engrossed, and expressive while doing it. With Mercury retrograde conjoining Venus in your 5th, it's an especially apt moment for revisiting techniques, mediums, or creations which you haven't quite yet mastered to your liking… and for tweaking and toying around with 'em a little bit more, to see if a clearer or more confident avenue emerges. None of the counsel I'm dishing out this week, in case you haven't noticed, involves attaining any sort of finished product or conclusive result. It's all about being 'in the process' for its own sake… for pleasure, for experience, for genuine selfhood.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You can only be 'stuck' if you're trying to go somewhere other than where you are, Aquarius—and the current astrology is not-so-subtly encouraging you to stay put, at least for the time being. Rather than thinking of this oddly un-enterprising phase as an outright stall, I instead urge you to consider it as a self-strengthening moment during which you can effectively re-attain your inner equilibrium… provided you're looking into yourself for guidance on how to stabilize this ship, rather than hungrily outward at the whole host of inspiring role-models, triggering adversaries, laughably inept peers, and on-trend A-listers with whom you might compare and contrast yourself, though not a single one of them (nor their perceived successes or failures) has anything to do with what specifically nurtures your spirit. (We touched on this last week, too.) There could hardly be a better time to keep to yourself, not in desperate hiding but as a means of soul-supportive replenishment. Meanwhile, if you've been spinning on any unresolved business involving family members or housemates, you might want to revisit it now… not by forcefully pushing into whatever's been blocking your progress, but by simply reaffirming the mutual fondness that's already firmly in place. (You can get back to furthering the specifics of your agenda later.)


PISCES (February 19-March 20): What a superb week for reminding people you're fond of exactly why you're so fond of them, Pisces. Gestures of generosity, gratitude, or grace towards these recurring characters will reaffirm your solid place in each other's everyday existence. I especially encourage you to speak your affections and admirations to them in tangible specifics… not merely that you think they've been a good friend, for instance, but by explaining why a certain act of friendship they carried out meant so much to you. It is easy to dispense fawningly generalized niceties, after all—and at least as easy for the listener to dismiss them as 'just a nice thing to say'. But if you distinctly reference critical moments of connection, camaraderie, or support in your shared history as worthy of warmhearted mention, you'll more effectively make a point about their value to you that'll actually stay with them, an appreciative imprint on the relationship forevermore. Another way of approaching this affirmational advice: Put explicit voice to the sentiments we typically don't verbalize, which describe the power of affinities and bonds so omnipresent we often take them for granted. It'll not only feel wonderful for this common player to hear you laud their role in your life, it'll feel just as wonderful on your end to say such lovely things. Don't we all have enough stressors to freak out about? While no miraculous cure-all, this exercise in expressing fondness provides a nice foil.