Horoscopes | Week of April 3-9, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Remember last week's message, Aries? That retrograde Venus I'd been discussing has indeed re-disappeared into the misty neverland of your 12th, leaving you somewhat tone-deaf to what sort of receptions you'll be getting from the world around you. That shouldn't cause you too much difficulty as long as you stay consistent with the priorities you've already identified, the principles by which you're carrying them out, and the overall purpose that inspires you to keep on going. By making no sharp turns or surprise jerks, you will be far less likely to elicit any sort of response you aren't accustomed to receiving… and so this temporary tone-deafness won't really impact you, in the same way long-distance drivers travelling miles down a straight-arrow highway can get away with periodically looking elsewhere than the road as long as they hold the wheel steady. If you are steadily advancing toward some tangibly self-supportive purpose, one priority at a time—and you've been pretty transparent about this as a driving motive—you ought to be able to keep cruising along without inadvertently setting off any silent-alarms.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Just as you're regaining your capacity for clear and accurate self-expression, Taurus, the very planet which is granting you that expressive recovery—Mercury, of course—will be flipping retrograde in your sign at the tail-end of the week (on Sun Apr 9). Though some astrologers might caution you against trying to convey your thoughts before this Merc-rx has even officially begun, I'm taking a different interpretive tack. As Mercury slows to its apparent standstill, its nearly-stationary bearing will generally draw more emphasis to its goings-on… which means these fateful days leading up to the retrograde can actually cause your communications to carry more weight (particularly if you aren't being flippant but raising issues you've already thought through at length). A Mars-Pluto trine from your 1st to your 9th reaffirms the strength-of-principle with which you'll assert your sense of what's right. Just don't count on this being your conclusive statement, or putting the whole thing to bed once and for all. Certain teammates or players could be somewhat freaked out by the complexity of the matter-at-hand and/or the intensity with which you're coming down on one side over another. How will you contend with that in the weeks to come, I wonder?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Sorry to say, but you do not know what you're presently saying or doing with as much precision as you may believe, Gemini… and with ruler Mercury headed retrograde at week's-end in your already-enigmatic 12th house, that situation won't be getting any better in the very near future. However, if you can effectively come to terms with this reality, it needn't pose too huge a problem for you. In fact, it could feel rather freeing, insofar as no decisive declarations or ardent action-plans need be confidently made in the immediate short-term. You'd be sensible to spend a few moments here, then, acknowledging the irresolvable indeterminacy of what's going to happen after you pass through this limbolike waystation… and giving yourself a chance to let the recent everythingness sink its way into your being, while giving the other participant(s) their chance to do whatever they're going to do and, in the process, to show you their cards. This last bit is critical to why I'm recommending a wait-and-see approach right now: With Saturn stationing in your 7th while squaring a retrograde Venus, you're expected to be reflecting on whether any particular current relationship(s) is or isn't suitable for where you are—before you automatically dip and sway to meet them wherever they may be.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Flow in sync with the day-in-day-out grind, Cancer. Even though it's becoming increasingly undeniable that certain friends, colleagues, or community-members do not appropriately represent what you believe your shared endeavor or common bond is ultimately about—or, more than that, they're full-on resistant or hostile to how your outlook necessarily frames your particular approach—you aren't at liberty to just cease the existing drill, in order to altogether engross yourself in confronting this bubbling stew of contentiousness. But you'll only turn up the heat more should you get caught whispering about possible adversaries behind their backs or attempting to recruit neutral bystanders to your side. With Mercury preparing to retrograde on Sunday (Apr 9) in your house of social-group dynamics (the solar 11th), improper or unbecoming words which leave your mouth could end up circulating beyond the ears they were originally intended for… and popping back up again in the most awkward of circumstantial contexts. If you must involve yourself this week, address your concern head-on with the person(s)-in-question, knowing it'll be likelier than not to intensify before authentic resolution's possible.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Even if you're pretty damn sure about where you're headed, Leo, you must still play by whichever institutional rules and/or proper protocols continue to govern the outside-world context you currently occupy. Just as we discussed last week, the present accentuation of your solar 10th by both an arousing Mars and a soon-to-be-retrograde Mercury exposes your every behavior to the bright lights of centerstage—including any inciteful actions, untimely words, or unwise challenges to authority. To prevent any public mishaps, miscommunications, or unintended strife, you'll probably have to somewhat restrain yourself from the fullest-and-most-uncensored disclosure of your personal intentions and/or desires… instead playing this more craftily, chess-master-style, with recognition of how your present status is only unfolding one move at a time and always in response to the other prime player's most-recent move. If you don't curtail any self-driven urgency in order to properly waltz your next steps as your partner, the rhythm, and the dance itself anticipates, you could throw the whole thing off its beat.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Please don't climb atop any high horses, Virgo, just because you're growing more and more convinced you've really got a coherent, inarguable point to prove. I want to simultaneously (1) affirm that, yes, you are reaching a motivating clarity about just which virtues you're fighting on behalf of, and (2) caution you against supposing everyone ought to value them at the same standard of rightfulness as you do. While these ideals you cherish naturally contribute to defining you, they decidedly don't define any folks with contrasting belief-inclinations (or perhaps no articulated beliefs at all) as any less 'upstanding or 'noble' as you—just different. A lucid worldview may help you more easily draw your own conclusions out of ambiguous or multifaceted situations, but it can never serve as an objective truth, universally applicable to all people in a variety of circumstances. As far as bringing your increasingly seamless framework into any ongoing relationship discussions, then, you shouldn't be trying to convince anyone else you're flatly right… but instead feeling out how aligned your respective outlooks on life are (or aren't).


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): A great method for staying with the mind-boggling intricacies of everything being interconnected with everything else, Libra, is simply to describe your current situation with as much explanatory detail, internal contradiction, and mixed emotion as it legitimately warrants. Leave the 'what should we do about it?' part to the side for now, until the 'it' has been more fully fleshed out from multiple angles. Does that mean you aren't already leaning towards one certain culminating deed that'd resolve this seeming stalemate? You probably couldn't stop yourself. But don't suddenly try to 'push things forward' at a time when your ruler Venus is still retrograde and Mercury's joining the backwards-facing planet parade, too. I refer to this so-called stalemate as 'seeming' because, after all, you are making progress; it's just appropriately slow due to all the moving parts at play. Besides, big assertive actions you take this week might hold too much of a psychological wallop, laden with strong feelings you've been carrying about lots of other issues and items that aren't immediately relevant to what's happening here and now.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Though in last week's edition I hyped the 'communicative mojo' you can welcome now that Mercury's in your 7th, Scorpio, I don't want to give you the misleading impression that this planet-shift alone will be enough to pacify any lingering interpersonal tensions. It surely will not. It simply enables you to better articulate your side of the story for maximum relational impact… and if there are parts of that story which stir in you anger, defensiveness, and/or spite, those will come through loud and clear, too. With Mars and Pluto in collusive cahoots this week, your passion and determination to be heard and respected (if not obeyed) cannot be contained—even if you kid yourself into thinking you're being sly—but will infuse your every word and deed. Please be aware of this tremendous power, as you could instinctively go for the proverbial jugular if that's what'll cinch the win… only to face, over the coming Mercury-retrograde weeks, unpleasant ramifications from having ambled too far into the other person's off-limits zone. Especially watch yourself in contexts where your livelihood is at stake; this is not the life-sector in which to indulge romantic thinking.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): With Saturn essentially standing still all week in your solar 1st, Sagittarius, this is an appropriate moment to pause and check in on how well you're doing with this ongoing Saturn-in-Sagittarius responsibility to actively invest effort in becoming your best self. To step back and review, this phase of Saturn traveling through your home-sign (late '14 through late '17) is all about whipping yourself into tip-top shape… to ensure you aren't wasting time on participations you find lackluster or lifeless… to make the most of each and every opportunity to test your chops, evolve in engaging new directions, and continue blossoming into fullest bloom… and, at the same time, to not be careless, sloppy, or short-sighted in handling all the functional business that'll make or break the sustainability of such an inspiring existence. So, how are you doing with all that? Since I know that's quite a compound question, let me give you a way to slice-and-dice it into smaller pieces: Are there any efforts, chores, or habits you're presently engrossed in which don't seem to contribute to this vision, put your energies to good use, or suit your best shaped-up-by-Saturn self? You might want to start rethinking the value of these rote investments.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): As a proud, passionate, and forthright Mars in your 5th trines the ever-pungent-and-powerful Pluto in your 1st this week, Capricorn, I must issue another of those periodic Pluto-in-Capricorn-era warnings about how tough and tenacious you may read to others, in every deed you do, whether you mean to or not. You may not realize how intently you're currently fixated on those projects, pleasures, and purposes which immediately interest you… and while that self-focus (hell, by its very definition) doesn't have anything to do with anybody else, it'll be way too easy under this astrology for certain other people (especially those struggling to develop their own driving passions, hungry for your attention, and/or in a weird one-sided competition with you) to take it personally and/or draw inaccurate conclusions about your character. Don't take the bait. Your week's other big astrological news is the stationing of your ruler Saturn in your 12th while it squares a still-retrograde Venus: This tells me you'll need to be on top of your game when it comes to not succumbing to the befuddling influence of shit that's not yours. Keep doing you, boo—even if you must actively keep away from potential problem-people in the process.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Multiple astro-signals currently point you, Aquarius, toward a largely internally-focused process of heightened emotional activity, unrest, or tumult… directly leading, if you're willing to go 'all in', to an evolutionary breakthrough or catharsis which would greatly release you from that sense of being beholden to certain inherited self-restrictions. By 'all in', I mean that when you notice an unsettling or upsetting feeling rising in you—symptoms include: criticizing yourself for being in a particular mood, refusing to give yourself a break, saying things to yourself that sound just like something your parent(s) used to say—don't dialogue with it at its most superficial level, but probe deeper beneath it with reasonable questions and challenges until you get to the bottom of it. Where did this restrictive self-treatment come from? How did it start? What former fright (real or imagined) was it intended to protect you from? This last bit is important to consider, especially so as not to reductively demonize your past or anyone from it. Even assuming there was some well-intended root-reason you were trained to hold yourself back, that's now decidedly old news. You can 'protect' yourself just fine without the self-flagellation.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): With a still-retrograde Venus back in your sign again, Pisces, don't be too flabbergasted at any uptick in appreciative treatment, fawning admiration, and/or amorous hunger being aimed in your direction—and not necessarily from the most familiar or expected sources. Hmmm, how interesting is probably a best first-response to invite your consciousness to quietly adopt, rather than denying the obvious existence of this attention ('really? ME?') or too rashly receiving it in its fullness (as well as any invisible strings which come along with it). On this latter note, let me add that a significant piece to your process of discerning whether this offer, opening, or interest is something you'd genuinely wish to explore further ought to involve determining if it'll support you in your ongoing Saturn-in-the-10th challenge to claw yourself ever closer to fulfilling your primary driving life-ambition(s)… or if it's likelier to distract you from this imperative self-structuring work. No need to have any definitive discernments quite yet, though posing a few pointed questions centering on your own imminent goals and intentions should yield you some telling food for thought.