Horoscopes | Week of April 24-30, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A whole bunch of doing and doing and doing doesn't amount to very much… unless you also set your sights on making something out of all that action. That's the biggest problem with only worrying about lighting the fire—unless you tend to it with regular refueling and careful control, it'll burn itself out or consume everything in its path… and either way, you're left with nothing but sentimental char marks, a sad few or a whole destroyed forestful. Invest your next few weeks' energies toward creating a real and enduring testament to your gusto—perhaps monetary in nature—as a material indicator of how much you care about the people who matter most. Take inspiration in your love for your family (and friends-who-are-like-family), and pledge to show your respect for those aspects of your upbringing that make you proud to this day. The more emotionally invested you are in believing your actions display genuine nurturance to those you consider kin, the richer the profit. Material gifts are no substitute for love, but sometimes (especially if you've worked hard to earn them and/or pick them out) they are a convenient token of gratitude. This week, let your softer side run the show… because underneath the tough-guy/girl attitude, you're really a sweetie.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You can't escape where you came from, whether you run far and fast or lock the door and freeze it out. It is important to stand for yourself as an individual by picking and choosing the parts of your legacy you want to embrace and uphold, and which you want to draw strict separation from. In either case, though, it's still your legacy… like it or not. To understand where to go from your present position, it's extremely useful to examine not only your experience of the family, but also that of your siblings (or other sibling-like cousins or neighbors or childhood friends) who were also there. How does their reaction compare to yours? Where did they spin out of control or hold tight reins? What are they still mad about, and where have they welcomed forgiveness? How have their adult experiences mirrored yours, through eerie similarity and/or radical difference? If you're in a space where you can actually discuss these issues with your brother or sister, then go for it—the opportunity for learning stuff you never knew is high. If you must piece your answers together on your own, keep a non-judgmental stance on how they messed up—your own successes are the flip side of that same coin. When you decide who you want to be, you also decide who you don't want to be. Step forward in independence from that which formed you, without discrediting its perpetual presence in shades of familial inheritance. And if you're going to repeat patterns, at least be deliberate about it.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Would you believe me, Gemini, if I informed you that some things can't—and therefore shouldn't—be spoken of? It's not that they are taboo topics or juicy morsels of top-secret gossip, but rather, by their very nature, they elude verbal description. Sure, you can try to dance around these ethereal subtleties, throwing words at 'em like shooting BBs at the moon and hoping to hit it… though it doesn't do much good. Some of the world's greatest mysteries keep themselves unsolved by morphing shape or disintegrating into nothingness as soon as an observer enters the picture. (If you don't believe me, ask your favorite physicist.) And some of the most beautiful moments people can share with each other turn unsalvageably spoiled by drawing conversational attention to them. Certain participants might even deny they happened, dare you open your mouth and attempt to pin them into admitting they felt what you felt. What was heart-poundingly palpable disappears through the cracks of your nervous chit-chat. All that to say, don't fill the awkwardly precious in-betweens or suspiciously soft stillness with extra verbiage and risk its rapid dissolution (without a trace it ever existed!). It needn't be noted aloud to be enjoyed. Likewise, don't jeopardize your chance to be gazed upon in a highly complimentary light by blabbing about the very qualities you hope they'll notice. Goodwill needn't be courted nor coerced from the ones you want to want you. It, like silence, just is… unless you smother it with talk.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It would almost be enough to arm-wrestle you into promising that, sometime during the next four weeks, you will throw yourself into some team activity… any engagement, really, where a group of diverse people comes together behind a single cause or diversion of common interest. This commitment pays perfect deference to the week's New Moon in your 11th. But I said 'almost enough', Cancer, because you've got to do better than merely showing up. You've got to take a leadership role… or at least swear to embody a squeaky-wheel pluckiness, demanding that your otherwise courteous cohorts take note of what they're not doing as well as they could. Please remember, you've got Mars in your sign for another several weeks. If the others can't hear your feedback loud and clear (loud, especially), or if they don't take attentive note of your presence, you're not embracing Mars's feisty fire. It doesn't much matter if they agree with your actions—hell, it doesn't even matter if they like you. If they're not seriously attuned to the real reason you've bonded together, then find better allies. Start up a whole new thing yourself, damn it. Just stand your ground, not in isolation but with others around. If you're vehement, they'll follow.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's an interesting testing-ground hour for you, Leo, to see how well you can hold firm on your claim to what you deserve in the world—without permitting your bid to leak into areas of recognition you haven't yet earned. You must buy into a consistently high image of yourself but, lacking the smack of any off-putting superiority, remember you're just another faulty human being. Watch for the unintentional slippage of self-aggrandizement… because we all know that, once you get going, sometimes you can go a little too far. Control yourself, yet don't squelch yourself. A carefully-meted-out expression of your longer-ranging goals—minus the feverish crescendo to more and more, faster and louder—will hold their interest all the way through, and leave them eager to follow your progress over the coming months. Or, if you can't practice some restraint, you'll quickly tire them out with a monologue that sounds more screwy than seductive. You'd better know your stuff, if you're going to start spewing majestically. If you don't, it's okay to say, 'I'll think about it further, and get back to you.' No one wants a bullshit artist. The best news is, for those of you who have put in the requisite sweat and tears, your esteem is gently rising. For those who haven't, it's never too late to roll up your sleeves and start plowing.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): It's another week of babysitting your mouth, so that it doesn't spontaneously carry you into territory that's inappropriately heavy. If you simply must be intense about something, let it be how deeply and totally you love that certain someone… and not how annoyed you are that someone left the cap off the toothpaste or parked in your driveway without permission. The magic exit gate from yesterday's familial crap is watched over by the person standing next to you—either you agree to take him or her on today's terms and, hand in hand, skip through the escape hatch into wide open fields of joy… or you keep keeping tabs on the small shit (just like ma or pa or gramps or big bro did to you) and hold the patterns in place. By this point in a transformational couple of months, you know better than that. Deliberately choose to soar over the microscopic imperfections (in you, in him or her, in the world at large), and appreciate how lucky you are to be here with the companion(s) you've chosen, rather than back there back then. This month could be the start of fuller freedom than ever, if you open your eyes big enough to catch the wide-angle view of your life. It can be so much more—if you allow yourself to imagine the possibilities. Later, you can worry about how to get it done.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Lose yourself in the task at hand. As long as you know you're doing a good job right at this moment, nothing else matters. Your mind, of course, may start to play tricks on you… because it has no desire for you to relax its manic grip over your body's physical exertions toward work responsibilities, wellness habits or household maintenance items. You might second-guess yourself (a la 'Well, maybe if I did it this way instead of how I'm already doing it…') or worry about what will come next, busying your brain with thoughts that subtly undermine what you're tackling right now. They call it 'presence of mind' for a reason—to inspire you to pin the rascally obsessive thinking into your present experience, rather than letting it carry your head somewhere else (i.e., the past or the future) and create a split-consciousness conundrum. You can get 'carried away' later, once you're finished toiling at practical matters each day. Then, it'll be a captivating free-for-all, full of enough lively and imaginative conversation with your favorite people to satisfy the cerebral cravings. The treats of other people's entertaining stories, your own quickly-shifting mindsets, shiny distractions beckoning you from your peripheral vision, and fantasies about everything that could one day be real… all of these are added bonuses, for your off time and not while attending to your duties.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Interesting tensions bubble up from under the surface. Some might call 'em creative, productive, sexual or another similarly unmenacing label—not quite the same variety as, say, three weeks ago, when Mars and Pluto faced off in true power-struggle fashion. But Pluto (your ruling lord of the underworld) can't seem to leave us alone lately. And the relative wisdom with which you wield your power in relationship to peers and partners (by definition, your equals) continues to be a pressing issue. This week, watch for synchronistic parallels between (1) the way you handle personal (i.e., romantic or friendship) couplings and (2) how professional pairings prove themselves to flourish or falter. Whether we're talking business or pleasure, it all comes down to how you deal with people. You cannot escape the cosmic cause-and-effect chain by constructing artificial boundaries between the different sectors of your life. You will reap what you sow… though perhaps not within the confines of a single interpersonal dalliance. Navigate the interesting tensions with an eye to fairness for both parties. Take the liberty to posit a very high image of your self-worth, and expect to get what you want. But return the favor to the other party involved, who's worth just as much and has wants that are just as important to fulfill. Play it right, and this dynamic will turn hot, hot, hot…


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In light of last week's spontaneous arrival at a clearer truth—and I swear, even if you think you haven't figured it out, I'm sticking by my story that you have—you likely face a serious decision ahead of you over the coming month. Now, 'serious' doesn't have to mean 'difficult' or 'scary' or any of the other unfairly unpleasant terms you might correlate with it, Sagittarius. That's an error in thinking I attribute to the fact that your ruler is Jupiter, a planet all about expansion… and the planet behind serious decision-making is Saturn, who is king of contraction and restraint. To hit the marker of 'a meaningful existence' that ultimately compels you ahead, you usually seek experiences that open your eyes, broaden your horizons, and stimulate your quest for something more. But to actually maintain such an existence for any enduring span of time, you sometimes have to pick and choose where you aim your gaze; too much can, after all, be too much. That can entail arriving at certain ends-of-the-line and deciding, no, you won't continue pushing that envelope or hunting out brave new pathways around the fence. There's enough going on right here on the farm… without grabbing a flag and laying another claim on some far-off plot. What I'm saying, essentially, is that you've got to finish what's already been started—letting go of extraneous dreams, drawing boundaries with soul-sucking kin, postponing another trip around the world—if you ever hope to integrate it into the fabric of your being. Otherwise, your life is just about stimulus overload… which is titillating but not especially meaningful.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): 'What are they secretly thinking about me?' you may ask yourself… more often than perhaps you'd like to admit, and more based in imagined expectations (some horrific exaggeration of the critiques previously lodged at you by parents or childhood bullies) than any sort of reality. Who is this 'they', anyway? Obviously, there are useful core bits to untangle from the psychological complexes raised by this imaginary dialogue between (1) your worst fictional critics and either (2a) your meager attempts to defend your perfectly imperfect humanness, which you hardly even buy yourself or (2b) your brow-beaten oaths to try harder and do better. But damn, the whole production is a bit decadent, isn't it? One of your ruler Saturn's jobs, as he travels through your 8th house, is to keep the gothic self-indulgence in check. We've all got our dark shadows to acknowledge, yet there's also a limit to their usefulness… and once you reach it, you're doing nobody any good (least of all, you) by going to extremes. Bottom line: You go all the way with it because, on a certain level, it's kind of fun. An odd self-torturing type of fun, sure, but fun nonetheless. So, starting with this week's New Moon in your 5th—which squares off against Saturn—you're going to choose to have fun in different ways… through activities that (1) still allow you to dramatize, exaggerate and go really far, (2) express the creativity outward in release, rather than in increasingly smaller self-referential circles, and (3) permit no cruelly-intended judgments toward yourself or others. Furthermore, you're going to like it because I said so. And it doesn't matter who the hell sees you, what the hell they say to you or about you, or what they're secretly thinking—or more likely, not thinking. Have healthier fun, damn it. Is that clear?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You know your star is on the rise, eh? Well, Aquarius, as your self-image shifts toward one deserving of the accolades and accomplishments, your relationships will necessarily drift in their own new direction. You are not powerlessly at their whim, however… and you'll reveal an unsavory form of self-absorption, if you act as though you have no stake in how people will respond to you, other than 'just bein' myself'. Take a healthy chunk of time to step outside the exhilarating activity churning up your public life—and believe me, if you don't take the time, you won't find it—to reconnect with your roots, and the contributions made by your family and friends to nudge you along to where you are. Without being condescending, realize that not everybody is undergoing such vigorous outer evolvement… but all their lives, no matter how 'unexciting' they might seem in comparison, are just as important as yours. If you want their continued support, you'd best willingly and patiently pause to devote your emotional attention to their concerns… to listen intently to their stories, to laugh and cry with them, and to treat them as respectfully and caringly as you'd want to be treated yourself. The minute you behave too big for your britches, you'll discover just how lonely it is at the top. It's not a place you'll want to be if the ones you love are quietly grumbling up at you from below, quietly wishing to knock you down a peg or two, to remind you who you really are.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): There's this commercial from years ago appearing in my head, in which a woman is innocently moving through her day, while strange men she's never met before suddenly start showering her with flowers and candy and other amorous tokens of attention. She can't figure out why they've singled her out… until she realizes it's the perfume she's wearing, emitting a barely-there scent of seduction that pulls 'em in like ants to a picnic basket. This week, Pisces, your perfume is the fragrant flutter of Venus across your skin… and the oddly powerful effect you're having on those you contact is courtesy of a square to Pluto in your 10th. For some reason or another, they're moved by you. You mustn't play na´ve, as if the intrinsic, effervescent attractiveness you're dripping has absolutely escaped your awareness—I'm telling you right now, it has everything to do with you. This indicates you needn't try very hard to win their favor… so long as you send out nothing but the most optimistic, altruistic and affection-filled vibes. Every friendly smile, uplifting phrase or sincere compliment will be double-coated in gold stars and cosmic glitter dust. In other words, you're a walking love spell. But be wise in how you sport this power, for it simply cannot be used to slyly strong-arm folks into giving up what they want for what you want. Seduction slips easily into manipulation, if you're not careful… and then you'll wish you'd never messed with the lords of free will, once the intensity with which you 'move' them (in one manner or another) goes way way overboard.