Horoscopes | Week of April 17-23, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Everything I wrote in last week's edition continues to hold very true, Aries, through much of your week. But then, the astrology shifts rather markedly between Thursday and Friday (Apr 20-21), putting the still-retrograde Mercury back in your sign while catapulting your ruling provocateur Mars into your 3rd… and, quite abruptly, that 'grounding self-preservation' attitude I endorsed is likely to become too difficult to maintain and/or no longer quite as applicable, in light of the growing impulse to jump right in to any exchanges or interactions which spontaneously call out for your input. For the record, this Mercury-Mars combo (which persists beyond this week) is not soft, subtle, or sweet. Rather, it comes off with quite a bit of self-assertive moxie, brashness, and force. If you've got a personal stake in any conversation (or even just a wild hair up your ass that particular moment), however you choose to chime in will make an impact of some kind—though you might not be able to reliably control its specific tone. Is that a potential liability? I'll let you make that determination.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): As Mercury retrogrades back out of your sign (and back into your fogbank-like 12th house) over the course of the week, Taurus, you'll be under an even bigger risk of saying something which you'd later claim not to mean (though, if you said it, there must be a true feeling lurking in there somewhere) and/or which has the reverse effect of getting you deeper into a maelstrom you'd instead hoped to extricate yourself from. Under such astrology, a primary concern of yours should be to deliberately limit the extent to which you involve yourself in highly-emotionally-charged confabulations or confrontations, so as not to get any (more) mud on your hands. Likewise, as Mars shifts out of your 1st and into your 2nd, your 'attack' and/or 'defense' strategies should similarly shift… from survival-instinct protection of your self-image, and to a more practicality-driven preservation of your material interests. In other words, rather than fighting to win in anyone else's eyes, you instead ought to fight to secure and/or regain your own most solid footing.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You're finally emerging from that holding-chamber, Gemini, where I've recently urged you to stay despite how frustrating the delays and/or sense of isolation may have felt. An energetic reconfiguration (whether a sorting-out, letting-go, or more profound metamorphosis) has been occurring—yes, even if it seemed as if nothing was happening, it indeed was—and now, this week, you'll start showing back up in the world in your distinct, confident fullness. More specifically, Mars will be entering your sign on Friday (Apr 21), an influence that instills greater bodily vigor, stronger will, and the enterprising oomph to get things started up and/or going again. Of course it'll also add a palpable sharpness to your personality… with the potential to ruffle others' feathers and/or attract full-on conflict, if you aren't mindful that, like it or not, this is what you're wielding. (And even if you are mindful about it, you still may rub somebody wrong.) Mars stays in Gemini through the first week of June. This could be your most dynamic, productive, and/or purposefully self-driven period all year… provided you don't allow too aggressive or self-centered a posture to draw fruitless interpersonal strife your way.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Let me add a tempering element to last week's advice, Cancer, in which I insinuated that you needn't necessarily 'play nicely with others' if it threatens your sense of intact integrity. While that angle is still generally applicable, the astrology is palpably changing over the course of this week ahead… and, with Mars sliding into your unpredictable (and, at times, self-defeating) solar 12th and dragging a retrograde Mercury into its destabilizing vortex, your capacity to reliably hold your own in tense or antagonistic situations won't be quite as keen. In particular, be mindful not to utter any smug, crass, or petty comments which presume a like-minded comradeship with those who aren't in fact your best pals or lateral peers, but important characters whose impression of you is both critical to your success and subject to change based on your present behavior. The last thing you'd want is to sully your ethics-driven stance by coming off in a self-congratulatory way that unwittingly betrays your own self-claimed honorability.


LEO (July 23-August 22): There's no shame in 'going back to the drawing board', Leo, if you're starting to detect that a conceptual blindspot and/or glitch in the overriding premise will negatively impact the eventual quality of the final product. Actually, the greater shame would be to ignore your own detectors and to let such a fundamental question slide by unaddressed. Competent leadership, let me again remark upon, is about doing what's best for the project—not necessarily what's popular amongst the crowd or kindest to one's own pride. This is important to consider, in light of Mars migrating into your 11th, where it's liable to stir friction within a social group or team due to your inability or unwillingness to go congenially along with the consensus flow. Such social discord may, however, prove unavoidable (or even essential), should your goal-oriented conscience nudge you to shirk conventional wisdom on behalf of potentially better results. You mustn't fear upending others' impressions of you as a generally likable character if your being the 'squeaky wheel' is what's best for the project. On the other hand, please don't 'squeak' just to grab attention.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): At this point, you'll reap a more authentic and/or thorough outcome, Virgo, by turning back away for a moment from universalizing philosophies, hypothetical theories, and firm moral imperatives… and instead returning to a more up-close-and-personal engagement with your feelings. What might seem to produce the most natural interpersonal truce or (re)union, based in discussions of values or ideals, could in fact be missing an inconvenient element or exception that's key to your fullest emotional satisfaction. You mustn't talk yourself out of speaking up about it, just because it doesn't fit neatly into the ongoing discourse. It needs to come out now, or you'll likely regret it. The same rationale applies, of course, to any other person's subject-position in this process: Give them the room to express emotional reservations, second-thoughts, or late-in-the-game epiphanies (rather than, say, holding them to a concept they expressed earlier, as if any deviation would automatically void their whole argument). This is what your ruler Mercury's retrograding back into your 8th calls for.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): By the end of the week, Libra, I suspect you'll feel so ready to finally move beyond whatever snag, morass, or holding-pattern has kept you circling 'round this same spot for a little while now. Though you likely will begin to instinctively experience a powerful pull pointing you in the most-rightful direction through to the other side, that doesn't mean the corresponding discussions related to your moving in that direction are complete. In other words, while your own overarching decision-making process is starting to produce clearer answers, conversations with a certain individual (or individuals) about how your relational dynamic should, must, or will change as a result of making the decision remains in progress. Yet, the closer you inch towards resolving to go forward as you'd like, the less patience you'll have to continue communicating so diligently. After having come all this way, this would be an unfortunate moment to just let your end of the line drop, leaving the other player(s) to wonder where they stand and/or where you went. No matter the outcome, see the conversation through.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The bottom line matters. A lot. However you wish to define 'bottom line', Scorpio, go right ahead… but make sure it includes a realistic, commonsensical awareness of your ongoing security needs (material and/or otherwise), and how a wistful romantic vision or interpersonal power-play mustn't be allowed to negatively infringe upon your getting those needs met. If you're caught in circumstances causing you to feel increasingly dependent on someone else's involvement, approval, or (god forbid) arbitrary whims, you might understandably escalate the psychic force with which you nudge, needle, or (god forbid) bully them toward whatever action(s) you advocate. Does this serve your bottom line, though? Will behaving too aggressively and/or with an autonomy you're unentitled to ultimately jeopardize your sense of worldly security? Don't override these questions, please. It may be much harder (functionally and/or psychologically) to move ahead while navigating the somewhat self-stifling interdependence of this situation. Harder, in this case, will also probably pay off.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The intimate familial comforts, domestic bliss, and/or inner peace-and-quiet you'd probably really like to duck into, Sagittarius—perhaps now more than ever, considering any newfound sense of appreciation for such things—will not, unfortunately, absolve you from the ongoing demands of doing your best work. Relish these private joys when it's appropriate, of course; just don't shirk any duties in the process. Trust me, you will want to take advantage of this 6th-house emphasis while it lasts… and, as the week unfolds, the astro-emphasis is changing. By week's-end, retrograde Mercury will have slid back into your 5th, tempting your mind off of its productive focus and toward more explicit personal-life concerns (e.g., what or who you like, how you want it to go down). Maybe even more significantly, Mars will also have advanced into your 7th (the one-on-one relationship house), a move that'll likely increase your levels of interpersonal engagement, friction, and/or drama. Frankly put, where exactly you stand in relation to a certain someone and/or how you work out your differences with each other (or don't) is now becoming a much more actively prominent matter.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Having made your stylistic preferences or affection-inspiring desires known (whether by happenstance or design) over the course of these past couple weeks and/or in the early days of this one, Capricorn, there won't much else to do about them from the latter part of the week forward. Your challenge, in fact, is to not probe (whether directly, implicitly, or intuitively) into anyone else's psychic-field in an attempt to determine if their undisclosed wants and/or unclear interests align with where you are. Please leave well enough alone, not only out of respect for their discretion but also to spare yourself the subconscious scrambling effects of blurring your feelings with theirs. At this point, it'll be up to them to gravitate closer to, or farther away, from you in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, you're veering into a busier moment on the chores-and-tasks front, which ought to demand a major attention-shift away from less concretely constructive items… at the same time Merc-rx falls backwards into your 4th, favoring silent contemplations over dynamic externalized dialogue, another signal to let things be for now.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Please keep abreast of the interpersonal politics permeating your social sphere, community, or friend-group, Aquarius. It behooves you to remain shrewdly tactful in all your week's goings-on, even if you hold a strong viewpoint about one side's obvious merits over the other's and/or believe you can effectively broker a peace between the warring factions. You aren't presently in a good position to come off sounding as fair-minded as you ordinarily might: too much personal emotion temporarily bleeding into your tone, your phrasings, and/or your mode of analyzing the data. But these astro-tides are turning as the week progresses… and once the weekend arrives, you'll become better capable nonchalantly interjecting threads of personal opinion without it feeling so insistent or forceful. At the same time, the underlying emotion which threatened your ability to effectively communicate should begin to lighten (thanks to Mars moving from your 4th to your 5th), inspiring a renewed interest in having some real fun over the weeks ahead. You may then decide you're ready to weigh in on the scene's politics—or that you just don't care as much about what they're doing, once you start doing more of what makes you happy.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This week, a prominently aspected Saturn-in-your-10th is your critical signal, Pisces, to remind yourself what you've been working hardest to accomplish over the past couple years… and to make doubly sure nothing you're currently drawn to or headed towards is going to undermine or compete with that hard work. Even as you're weighing offers and/or considering potential alternatives with the most open-ended, noncommittal attitude, please notice anything that spontaneously emerges during the casual exchanges related to such possibilities which simply hits you weird. You may not know exactly why some cursory comment or offhand mention isn't sitting well with you, but it's likely to have something to do with an underlying incompatibility between whatever's now on the table and your own previously-existing goals. By the second half of the week, any nagging discomforts or odd annoyances may begin to take shape into a fuller emotional agitation—and that, despite its not-so-pleasantness, will help you better see what's feeling not-quite-right. Don't raise the topic yet; it's still cohering.