Horoscopes | Week of May 14-21, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Okay, enough constraining yourself, Aries… if, that is, you've been able to pull it off this long. It is now most definitely the time to let your personal forcefulness rip. Reason number one? Your ruling energizer Mars lands in your sign early on in the week, where he'll stay for nearly six weeks total, and favorably situates you in your ideal element. You'll now be far less likely to wonder how you're coming across… whether you're effectively connecting bat with ball to score another homerun, or are merely swinging at phantom pitches. It should soon become overwhelmingly clear that, given this power boost, you're just too darn strong to squelch. In fact, there's no use in bothering to play timid or tentative when asserting your preferences—with the newly rediscovered fervor you're oozing, you're liable to seem downright threatening to the faint-of-heart. (Perhaps they rightly sense that, were they to block your way, you might just push 'em out of there and keep right on going.) But this is only the beginning, not some final deadline for proclaiming your lasting resolve. It's more about entertaining big possibilities (which may or may not ever come to pass), pursuing other lines of thinking (just to make sure all bases are covered), and offering tentative suggestions (to solidify or squash over the coming couple weeks). At this point, then, the only thing worth fighting over is the right to ask questions, offer alternatives, and keep the conversations crisp and vital. So, in that light, should you encounter folks who are so damn smug about their positions that it makes you want to punch their lights out… just toss 'em a conceptual bomb or a different philosophical perspective that'll inevitably complicate their overly-simplified picture. Don't stick around to argue. Just keep right on going…


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A New Moon in your sign on Wednesday (May 16) makes this a wonderful week for some kind of a new start, to be sure. But in glancing at the rest of the astrological schematics, Taurus, I'd suggest that you commemorate this specific 'new start' by dedicating yourself to a month of looking inward. (Fun, I know.) Mars's entry into your solar 12th house just doesn't augur so well for clean-and-clear exterior motions… especially if you intend to rest on your cautious mode of checking twice before stepping out, since you can't guarantee that you'd spot the pitfalls and potholes with your usual reliability. Mars in the 12th usually indicates turning one's energies to less earthly issues—and more spiritual or meditative ones—in some sort of 'refreshing' seclusion that offers room to receive wisdom from the cosmos. (Not, as you can see, the most pragmatic stuff… though equally valuable nonetheless.) This is your chance to more fully explore where you've now been for a while: caught between junk from your past and confusion about your future. While no one can expect to resolve such heavy matters overnight, you've got to start somewhere, eh? The hardest part is getting distance from the coercive tendencies of others in your life, whether it's your nagging spouse, your controlling family members or your judgy friends. How can you possibly decide who you want to be, with all these strongly voiced (or just-as-strongly unspoken) opinions bearing down from those who claim to love you (even as they hint that their 'love' may come with conditions)? Stop running from what you were taught you should be, and stop following other people's ideas of who you are. Your new start begins with deciding to decide for yourself.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): With ruling communicator Mercury back at home in your sign, Gemini, it should seem like you've got the perfect phrase to win anyone over… and that goes double when it comes to your romantic partnership or other close one-on-one relations. Just because you dazzle 'em with your words, however, that doesn't make what you're saying wholly and completely true. Does that mean I think you're a liar? Heck, no… well, at least not on purpose. But if your main intention is to affirm or strengthen your connection with them, or to articulately vie for their consent, you could just be telling 'em what they want to hear. (And with Mercury's opposition to Jupiter in your 7th, you can probably do a rather swell job of it, too.) This method works wonders at grabbing somebody's attention and building a momentary rapport—and, at the same time, comes with its longer-term risks. For instance, will you later be expected to uphold some commitment you didn't even know you were making? Will you be called out for displaying behaviors that run counter to what you said you believed in? Will you be confronted by the two (or more) people to whom you offered two (or more) versions of the supposedly 'same' story? Hopefully, none of these less-than-ideal potentialities will come to pass… because you'll be careful not to let your people-pleasing motormouth get the best of you. Ways to protect yourself? Explicitly offer your feedback on important matters as 'tentative' or 'still thinking about it'. Look to participate in larger group discussions, rather than intense one-on-ones, making it harder for you to 'please' everyone. And most importantly, please oh please, don't try sweet-talking your boss or other career-related VIPs. It's highly likely to backfire.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Over the upcoming lunar month that's kicking off with this week's New Moon, you will be exposed to fantastic opportunities for getting ahead career-wise (and hopefully assisting you to stabilize your financial footing). These won't be so obvious to the critical analyst or the ambitious fortune-hunter, so there are no practical machinations you should be plotting. To take fullest advantage, your top priority should be lots of careful listening and observing. If you're doing this throughout your workdays, you'll quietly discover a million tiny chances to pick up stray pieces, mend broken procedures, put two and two together, and lend helping hands to folks who may be thisclose to cracking. Be forewarned: Few, if any, of these windows of circumstance will appear in the guise of a hugely significant 'big break', leading you to wonder whether what you contribute (or don't) will matter either way. Believe me, it will. When you recognize one of these small moments to insert your dutiful aid, simply respond on the spot… the quicker, the better. Don't, however, spend a bunch of mental energy on whether you have the 'official authority' to act on the spur of the moment. Don't second-guess yourself. And by all means, please don't flap your gums about how great what you've done is, as if anxious that nobody will notice unless you tell them to pay attention to you. (For most Cancerians, I know this wouldn't be your style. But still, I'm obliged to say it.) This is about quietly proving you're a star, through deeds not discussion. Adhere to this approach faithfully until the next New Moon (June 14), and you will have something to show for it. In fact, good results will probably begin to appear sooner than that… though that mustn't be an excuse not to follow all the way through.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Even with the world's best intentions, your off-the-cuff pronouncements could easily hit your friends or colleagues the wrong way. Why? Well, the astrological reasons would be (1) a Mercury-Jupiter opposition across your 11th/5th-house axis, which may add an unintentional exaggeratory bloat to your statements of self-expression, and (2) Mars's entry into your solar 9th, increasing the possibility these expressed convictions will hit other so hard as to sound almost fanatical. And how this is likeliest to cause you problems? If, when talking, you imagine you're representing everyone's presumed opinions… when in fact your words miss that mark. Instead, Leo, it's more probable that you've just revealed you're thinking more about yourself than anybody else. (Incidentally, few people like to be spoken on behalf of.) Now, I'm quite sure you wouldn't purposely try to pass off your beliefs as the accepted common wisdom. Still, that doesn't immediately exempt you from the potential to make accidental assumptions—which are bound to come back and bite you. The easiest solution? Be crystal clear that, whenever you are speaking up about something (even if it seems like a harmless non-issue, about which no one could possibly disagree… or so you think), you are speaking only for yourself. Then, follow up your comments with lots and lots of open-ended, conversation-generating questions that'll give others a chance to voice their thoughts, too. Maybe it'll seem a little strange or artificial to blatantly pose a bunch of such questions, as if you're conducting an interview. Make no mistake, though: People usually love to be asked for their opinions (especially when they think someone actually cares to listen. Not to mention the obvious—better safe than sorry.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Don't make too big a deal about your current career (or broader community) situation, Virgo… for where you are now is hardly the end-all-be-all of your lifetime accomplishments. As I told you recently, there's a very strong interrelation between (1) what's going on inside you and (2) how you're viewing the overall 'achievement' picture. If you were fearlessly fortunate enough to remove the internal psychological obstacle(s) that blocked potential opportunities from your clearest view, then maybe you've made a stride or two over these couple weeks. But do not be blindly charmed by this small victory, for it is not the answer to all your prayers… merely one step closer, with many more yet to go. (Is that a downer? Sorry.) On the other hand, if you're still stuck in a pessimistic mindset about what isn't happening, stop trying to convince yourself that this misery is all you can hope for. This present place you're in may not be ideal, but it's hardly your worst nightmare either. Either perspective I've just described is but a single glimpse into your life, which is (like everybody else's) a complex concoction of good and bad facets. So let's keep it all in perspective, rather than exaggerating the importance of this moment right here and overemphasizing one side of the coin or the other. Of course I understand that, as far as emotions are concerned, you can't always delimit the bounds of appropriately proportionate response—you may simply feel fantastic about it, or fantastically shitty. But if you're looking for sympathetic ears from the folks in your life who may be wearied from having 'heard it all before', or who might see your position more accurately and therefore not buy your dramatized rendition… you might not find 'em. Rather, you'll just annoy those forced to listen (again?!?!) to your boasting or bitching.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Watch where you step in your interpersonal maneuvers, Libra. Now that a strongly self-assertive and potentially combative Mars has moved into the relationship region of your solar chart (the 7th house), you're liable to poke and prod (perhaps even pummel and punch) the other person until he/she agrees to do it your way—though that agreement may be hard to achieve. And why should they cave? Are you certain you're not glossing over certain finer points that may be significant to your significant other (or some other significant someone)… just to rush to some quick resolution, which, under the circumstances, would hardly be a genuine resolution anyhow? If you really want to reach a true understanding, you cannot paint a realistic picture of the situation in such broad strokes. Not to overlook the fact that, thanks to Mercury in your 9th and opposing Jupiter, you may unwittingly slip into a tone of voice that sounds cocky or superior, as if you're so totally confident of being right. Who wouldn't want to fight against that? No matter what side you're coming from, it's impossible for you to sum up the matter in a few burning declarations and expect to leave it at that. At this point, no single declaration will be comprehensive enough to tie up all the loose ends. So if this is your final answer, my dear, you should probably review your work again, to see what's missing. Please be open to changing your mind, either completely or in small shades that add sophistication to the argument. You might end up with the same conclusion or not—we can't tell from here.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Every once in a while, the normally secretive-and-mysterious Scorpio comes out from behind his poker face and reveals his true colors. He is vulnerable, scared, internally conflicted like the rest of us… though we might never know it, given his core of psychological steel. He has confessions to make and questions to ask, pleasures of all varieties to share with his special somebodies, whether they're dream-lovers or ultra-close chums. Despite self-representations to the contrary, our Scorpio is neither rock nor island. He requires the security of intimate relationships as his solace and sanity… providing him the ideal counterbalance to working too hard or disappearing too completely into his own private world. What life-lessons would he learn, if left to such protective seclusion? What interactions would jab him in his deepest spots and, through those experiences, uncover more fundamental truths about our collective existential condition? Let's be honest: The Scorpio isn't here on earth, living this base and sloppy existence, merely to skim along the safe surfaces so he can return unchanged to his bed each night and repeat it all tomorrow. No, he needs the goods, baby. He needs other people… even if it's just to project his shit onto them, to provide an externalized target for his venom… let alone all the decadently devilish and devilishly delicious bonds he creates and destroys over his lifetime. And people who need people, as La Streisand so eloquently chirped, are the luckiest people in the world. Lucky Scorpio, it's his time again to soak in his attachments… to laugh, cry, yell and/or moan in the cherished presence of another flawed, mortal human being like him.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Well, we'd all better step aside and make room… since, with Mars toe-tapping his presence into your solar 5th, there'll be no mistaking you for a shy-and-quiet wallflower this week. Immediately upon arriving on any scene, Sagittarius, every lad and/or lassie within shouting distance will feel your presence imprinting itself on the proceedings. You will be noticed. And so, considering this powerful aura you're carrying around with you, we might expect that you won't immediately appeal to everybody. (Ring a bell? Read this scope from two weeks ago.) Yet, while you may ordinarily radiate a 'take me or leave me' pulse of passionately uncompromising selfhood, something about the week's Mercury-Jupiter opposition across your 7th/1st axis could have trying harder than usual to win over the naysayers. It's unusual for me to caution Sagittarians against talking out of both sides of your mouth… but I feel moved to do so now, to save you the time and energy not worth expending on attempts to convert the disinterested into fans. Still, it might be tough to resist the social challenge—and we all know how you love a healthy debate. Do you really want to be debating your own merits, though? Aren't you opening yourself up to a world of unnecessary criticism and contentiousness? Here's what I recommend: If you're rubbing someone funny, be responsive to the signs, and move on. Under this astro-outlook, there are sure to be plenty of other folks who are undeniably into you. Don't park yourself under the wrong tree, continuing to bark up a storm until you've woken all the neighbors. Simply head to a different part of the forest.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): What you wouldn't give for a vacuum-sealed isolation chamber, inside which the conventional rules of time don't apply, eh? Believe me, Capricorn, if you're not wishing for one of these now, you probably soon will be… if you hope to get anything done. To devote your brainpower to those pressing responsibilities that simply must be attended to, you may have to strap on a pair of blinders and a set of noise-canceling headphones and tune out all that's transpiring around you. During these next couple weeks, you'll be bombarded with a-thousand-and-one tempting diversions and off-topic tangents… all in the name of invisible forces that are driving you to ditch the practicalities. Don't take the bait. There's truly no escape from the duties laid out in front of you—duties to yourself to determine where best to devote your limited physical energies, so you remain healthy and organized and on-track. With such serious business requiring your undivided problem-solving attention, no wonder it sounds more fun to forge a doctor's note and dash off to the beach. You won't relieve the pressure by avoiding the work, though. If anything, delays will only stress you out more… leaving you dangling in the air, without conclusive concerns to concentrate on. The planets and I already granted you a week or two of officially sanctioned goof-off time in the recent past. For now, those days have come and gone. Get on task, and stay there.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): 'Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I, your ambassador to the colorful galaxy of Aquarius, have been appointed the "official spokesperson" for my own life… a life which is merely one person's model for negotiating the peaks and plateaus of this-here human experience. I haven't had it so easy. None of us has. Where one finds a blessing, someone else hits a pit of difficult on-the-job training. Privilege in one area breeds blindness in another… and we may stay blind, or ask each other to help us open our eyes up. In my "spokesperson" capacity, please let me tell you about this particular personal problem that's vexed me in recent times. Or let me divulge details of a more distant, painful past that held me back for a long while—before, that is, I found my unique angle for using it as motivational fodder to move beyond it. Sure, I could feed my natural insecurities (we've all got 'em) by refusing to talk openly, honestly and proudly about what I've been through. That just ain't my style, people. I have stories to share… not merely to set myself free from the silence of shame (and not just because I want the attention), but because I want to help inspire others who've suffered similar circumstances. We are all walking examples for how to ford the dangerous waters and make it to the other side mostly intact, if not better for the wear-and-tear. While it may be safer for me to reside in the world of theory and principle, I ultimately get so much more out of putting my real lived evidence on the line. (Plus, my astrologer tells me this approach is apt to snag me at least one sincere devotee in the process, so…)'


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I've spent many a recent horoscope on pressing you to grab the career bull by the horns… to recognize the huge expanse of opportunity that's yours for the taking, and to take the necessary risks to move defiantly from here to there, where the views are more spectacular and the pay is better. But obviously, outer-world achievement isn't all there is (though, I'll repeat again, this is the year for it). That said, at the same time you're making real-life waves, you must also heed the messages about your internal well-being… to make sure each step you take is matched by an emotional acknowledgment of the direction you're headed. And I want to make you aware that this particular moment, Pisces, is strongly influenced by fairy-tale thinking… in the sense that you're prone to prematurely extrapolating your current position all the way to the 'happily ever after' ending. That's not to say you won't get there eventually, but you ain't there yet. Wishing on a star is part of how we may change reality. The mundane-effort piece, though, requires far more patience and endurance. There's absolutely nothing wrong with letting your feelings get the best of your understanding—as long as you remember it's only one way of seeing things. While you're under this effect, however, I wouldn't get too involved in professional dialogue with those who bear some authority in your making-or-breaking the next notch. Your logic is highly susceptible to emotional sway. While you may think you're clear on where you stand (and can communicate it cleanly and matter-of-factly), don't kid yourself.