Horoscopes | Week of May 16-22, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): These energies now cresting, Aries, have unquestionably set you on a certain path. But, though that road certainly seems to be leading you toward a destination ripe with personal-development opportunities, explorations, and enlightenments, might it also be carrying you away from certain beloved characters, faithful relations, and/or self-affirming social-centers… perhaps without you meaning for that to happen, or even without you noticing? I say that less in an effort to dissuade you from continuing onward to that glittering beacon of transformational promise (as if I could, even if I wanted to), but more in the spirit of integration. You don't have to leave that much behind—and especially not the people with whom you have regular contact and conversation, in a manner that reliably situates you in this familiar setting you consider your own—in order to chase brighter horizons. You can both broaden your worldview and stay connected to your existing social-context, provided you aren't so utterly consumed by driving your pioneering advances forward that you neglect to dutifully follow up with pals and peers, too rashly dismiss their comments or curiosities, and/or act like you've altogether outgrown them… all of which are more-tempting-than-usual possibilities this week, though such temptations will subside next week.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I warmly encourage you to bask in whatever comes most easily (continuing the vibe I described last week), Taurus, during this last full week of Venus shining up your sign. By the middle of next week, Mercury (also in your sign) will have gone direct again and Venus slipped into your 2nd, meaning that will be your appropriate time to get more intently back to practical business. Until then, your most pressing responsibility remains to actively avert scenarios which invite mind-addling complexity, gut-wrenching intensity, uncontained passions and/or excessive psychic interpenetration into the self-suiting ease otherwise still available to you for this one more week. Only problem is, with the moon waxing to a weekend fullness further juiced up by a conjunction to retrograde-Mars-in-your-8th, your patience for being repeatedly poked in that raw spot by people or circumstances seemingly determined to get a rise out of you will be running very thin… and, in betrayal of your usual restraint, you just might let loose and let 'em have it. An alternative possibility: Sensing a chance to nail down a decision from someone, snag a better end of the deal, and/or up the relational stakes, you jump too quickly ahead into this transforming reality—before you've thoroughly read the fine print or confirmed their expectations are aligned with yours. Let the enthusiasm rise, sure, nothing wrong with that. But the moment it all starts feeling not-so-easy, back off for a moment or two.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If I could offer you just one piece of advice which might apply across any number of various contexts this week, Gemini, let it be this: Wait until next week before making any passion-driven moves that might alter the course of a given partnership, collaboration, or relational dynamic forever-after. I'm not saying your impulse to do that very thing—which only grows stronger as the week progresses, culminating in a full-moon, stationary-Mercury weekend—is necessarily misguided (though I would want you to first linger a bit longer on whether there's some cumbersome qualities to this involvement you might be willfully ignoring, potentially infringing on your everyday productivity or health-regimen). Rather, it's a simple matter of timing: After the full moon and Mercury's return to direct motion are said and done, benefic-babe Venus will head into your sign early next week (to stay through mid-June), immediately improving your potential for receiving favorable reactions to any interpersonally-oriented self-assertions. Why bother following astrology at all, if you won't heed the clear advantages of acting while under Venus's blessed watch (instead of Mercury-retrograde's distorted lens)? If you can make it through the weekend and into mid-next-week without doing anything crazily short-sighted, you'll have a better grip on getting what you really want.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don't overdo this week, Cancer, by working an unendurable schedule, pushing your body beyond its reasonable bounds, and/or ambitiously taking on an entire project without an in-depth understanding of what's involved or how long it's going to take. My umbrella caution for you: What you're observably 'getting done' is not the only thing that matters; therefore, it is not necessary for you to unduly champion 'constructive effort' above all other concerns. Consider the week ahead as something of a transition… into a month-long moment in which you more mindfully appreciate the counterbalancing experience of 'non-doing', as a foil for your admittedly-extra-busy past couple months and so you can better notice any newly-rising mood-sentiments which you perhaps haven't yet had the chance to feel into. Even while you need to remain a vital participant in any group discussions and/or dynamics which continue to impact your role, I see you thoroughly enjoying an intentional increase in nonproductive, communication-free, soul-nourishing, people-please-get-the-fuck-away-from-me down time during these coming weeks. It would suck, though, if your version of this ends up being a forced rather than chosen retreat, due to having run your engines down and/or exhausted yourself to the point of uselessness.


LEO (July 23-August 22): 'Because I want to' and 'I'm my own person' and 'you can't tell me what to do' may all be perfectly legitimate sentiments to describe your ultimate free-choice in determining how you will and won't express yourself, Leo… but such an uncompromisingly self-centering attitude would be a rotten match for this emotionally volatile astrology (which only escalates as we approach Saturday's full-moon peak). First, with Mercury stationing back to direct motion (on Sun May 22) in your 10th, it still behooves you to communicate as if your every word is being listened to (and judged) by a council of your mentors, bosses, and parent-figures—and, in light of that, it'd be horribly unbecoming, in terms of their perception of you, to come off too brashly devil-may-care. Second, you're actually shifting into a phase during which you'll want to position yourself as more group-minded, consensus-oriented, politically prudent, and open to following friends' or colleagues' leads (rather than insisting on forging your own way)… not because anybody's making you go along with the crowd, but because it's in your own best interests to cooperate, collaborate, and collude with folks who are essentially in your same boat, yet have diverse experience and expertise in tackling your shared concern from alternate angles. The more emphatically assertive, dominating, and egocentric you act now (even if embodying those qualities is not your intention, but merely a byproduct), however, the less likely your peers will be eager to offer their collaborative goodwill in the weeks to come.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Make it through this week without melting down (internally and/or aimed at an intimate companion or family member), Virgo, and you'll very likely start feeling a lot less reactive, contentious, and jumpy. In fact, a month-long window of gently-uplifted professional favor (and/or public-sector good-graces) opens up next week… an invitation to inquisitively investigate other possible extensions, proliferations, collaborations, side-gigs, detours, or concept-branches which might (or might not) lead to a freshening-up in what you do out in the world. But taking full advantage of that will require you to halt any one-track-minded, obsessive and/or compulsive fixations on any singularly thorny aspect of life which will otherwise blind you (as we discussed last week) to how much else isn't so problematic at all. Due to the upcoming week's full-moon-fueled climax of any emotional unsettledness that's recently been building up, you are definitely at risk of losing your cool—and, should you become too enflamed with self-righteous rage (whether justifiable or overblown), you could flood your senses with so much voltage that you burn yourself out, thus creating a self-imposed hindrance to your capacity for level-headedly exploring these burgeoning outside opportunities. Better, then, to self-protectively steal yourself away than to perilously and pridefully expose yourself to those meltdown pressures, as if trying to prove how tough you are.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You're getting much closer, Libra, to emerging out the other end of this protracted trudge through the sticky molasses… and with a much clearer concept of what the next 'right thing to do' (at least for you) would be. But please beware of inadvertently sliding back into conversations which seem to ignore conclusions already drawn and/or situations already worked through, as if it's effectively possible to feign nonchalance and pretend there isn't so much more going on than is being openly acknowledged. Such exchanges should be shrewdly recognized as potential slippery slopes, side-doors, or secret pathways to an unexpected loss of composure, position, and/or leverage. If your resolve hasn't yet been chipped away by head-on engagement, don't be lulled into false security… and end up incidentally taking on a different, seemingly unrelated discussion-topic, expressing contentious feedback or a cantankerous attitude about that, and then have the whole interaction circuitously loop back around to the very thing you weren't wanting to address (at least not in this way). Under this precarious, though thankfully fleeting, astro-influence, every offhand social transaction is an undercover threat to your keeping the big-picture, long-view, right-thing-to-do perspective in mind. Next week's a different story.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Even after 'coming clean' (or, if that doesn't quite describe it, 're-attaining a rapport' or 'playing nice with others'), Scorpio, there could still be a certain facet of this getting-back-on-the-same-page that just doesn't sit right with you. I can definitely see a tension brewing between (1) properly respecting an interpersonally healthy give-and-take and (2) unabashedly advocating for what's in your own best interests. Both are just as central to your overall satisfaction, by the way… though, most recently, the relational considerations have been more astrologically prominent. As the upcoming week advances, however, unapologetic self-interest will begin to rear its roaring voice—particularly if you've lately neglected to mention something you really need or want, downplayed your ongoing fight for greater worldly worth or compensation, and/or bargained away a chip you now wish you hadn't. Though acknowledging the timely return-swing of this pendulum back towards what you're getting out of this is insightful, I encourage you not to emotionally lash out, in reactive redress to having been too accommodating or conciliatory during a prior round. Keep it copacetic until next week, when you'll be better positioned to really dig into what else is going on.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The coming full moon (on Sat May 21) conjoins that mavericky Mars-retrograde in your sign, Sagittarius... making this a week in which you could feel your most impulsive, willful, self-assertive, independence-demanding emotions building towards a weekend crescendo. But whether you take some full-moon-inspired(-or-crazed?) action to generate an irreversible impact on your surroundings—and to simultaneously affect other key players who function in the same environment—is, naturally, your choice. Of course I'd be remiss in my job if I didn't point out that this full-moon activation of Mars's retrograde unruliness could foster some of the most impetuous, short-sighted, self-aggrandizing, interpersonally antagonistic impulses of this whole multi-month configuration. I will stop short of warning you against taking such actions, however, since I can't possibly know if your own specific life-circumstances require this strong an activation in order for you to un-stick yourself, combat a formidable foe, or quantum-leap to that other dimension. (Under this year's astrology, though, it would be hard to believe you aren't already actively asserting your will, albeit possibly with slower-than-desired results.) I will add this: Venus heads into your relationship house (the 7th) early next week, and whatever action you wish to take will likely garner a friendlier welcome from those most-greatly-impacted individuals after that happens.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Be on guard for an upsurge of that dishearteningly powerless feeling, Capricorn. This full-moon-exacerbated condition is temporary, thankfully… and in fact will ultimately give way, starting mid-next-week, to a more gratifying sense of actually being able to get some shit accomplished. But until then, you must ward off the intensifying sensation that you've been confined, against your will, to some circumstance you'd desperately like to bust free from at all costs. You're at greatest risk of unwittingly releasing the contents of some Pandora's-box of unforeseen fallout whenever you reach that pivotal point of 'fuck it! I can't take it anymore! I've got to do something!' because, once you're indulging that sort of thinking, your typical discernment skills are definitely not operating at their strategic best. For the record, you have every reason to presently wish for a steadier rhythm, smoother movement, and a clearer way forward… and, I promise you, it is coming. With Mars retrograding away from your 12th and back into your 11th later next week (which gets it out of that most unproductive 'house of self-undoing'), the worst of this perceived powerlessness may soon be behind you—if, that is, you can make it through to mid-next-week without blowing a gasket.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Stay in your own lane, Aquarius, and nobody's liable to get hurt. By that, I mean you'll want to follow the same line of thinking I've recently reiterated—to concern yourself less with actions directly predicated on whatever other people are doing, and instead take your marching papers from your internal commanding-officer—for at least this one more week. Due to the waxing-to-full moon's collusion with retrograde Mars-in-your-11th, you're under heightened danger of unleashing a can of whoop-ass all over that fair-weather friend, shifty colleague, disingenuous ally, and/or complete stranger who represents everything you can't stand about people these days. That's not to say your judgments about that person are totally off-the-mark (though their misconduct might not be quite as severe as you're making it out to be)… merely that, under this week's astrology, you may be too likely to shoot an excessive amount of ire towards a particular individual (or type-of-individual) who's undeservedly serving as an aggregate symbol of everybody and everything you're mad about right now. (At another time, you'd be better at pointedly calling someone out for their specific offense.) By the middle-to-end of next week, you'll be due for an uptick in general positivity, playfulness, and pleasure. If you can hold out 'til then, you might not be as mad (at the wrong person?) when you come across other human beings doing the shit they do.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Though you may feel extra-emboldened this week to grab for that larger slice of worldly respect, recognition, or rule, Pisces, it would be a terrible time to brashly undermine a higher-up's authority, challenge the powers-that-be, or quarrel with any sort of official. You're liable to miscalculate your potential to capably triumph in such a power-struggle, unaware as you'd likely be of certain nuances that the person or institution you're challenging will better understand… and/or to underestimate the severity of whatever pushback you'd receive, should you face defeat. It's shrewder to continue fighting the smaller (and, thus, easier-to-win) battles, one-by-one over time as you've been gradually doing, than go for the stunning all-in-one knockout shot. Besides, the extra-emboldening lust for freedom, autonomy, and/or acknowledgment that's arousing this fighting spirit is due to simmer down by the middle of next week… to be replaced by the awareness that you can buy yourself (at least partly) the same liberatory release on your own time, not by fruitlessly 'fighting' someone or something that, for now, has the advantage, but by momentarily investing more of yourself in domestic-realm initiatives where you wield more control. Because your ongoing ascent depends on this series of smaller winnable battles (and not one spectacular show of brute force), you must sustain your strength by treating yourself to a lot of self-nurturance on the home-front.