Horoscopes | Week of May 21-27, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Entertain the possibilities and complicate the picture, did you? Well, then you should probably start sifting through it all, Aries, and putting your critical-thinking brain to work now. Believe me, Aries, this is the week to have the intelligent debates—yes, maybe even heated arguments, should they prove necessary—so you can determine how bright your ideas really are. And there is no better method for testing out the real-world efficacy of your own unique notions than inviting someone else to (try to) shoot holes in 'em. This may involve courting the very quarrels you evaded last week (or letting them carry over, were you unable to resist)… and all the better if it's with folks who desperately want to grab the upper hand from you. 'Bring it on!' you might announce, with a hint (or a heartier helping) of bravado in your voice. Keep reminding yourself that it's not about convincing anyone you're right, so you don't lose your patience and storm off mid-dialogue. This really is an information-gathering exercise, to find out what observations or objections you might glean from a potential adversary… which, in the end, will either strengthen your case or save you some dastardly backpedaling cleanup work later. It's better to know now. If you can sustain this admittedly self-serving outlook on your exchanges, you'll actually preserve the upper hand. How? Thanks to your secret weapon, of course: You don't actually care what they think. Remember this if you get caught up in a storm of words beyond the point where it's practically useful for you. Should that happen, distract 'em with off-topic tangents—then duck out.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It may take every ounce of strength you've got to fortify those boundaries… but it's high time to defend your chosen way of life against those well-meaning do-gooders (or maybe they don't even mean well) who assume their say is worthier than yours. Don't barb the wire on that fence, though, because this needn't get too far into the nitty-gritty, potentially injurious zone. You mustn't rely on emotion to make your arguments for you. Stay calm, and stick to constructive complaints. Otherwise, given the week's Mercury-Pluto opposition, the talk can rapidly veer into malicious or disrespectful territory—and lead you to say nasty stuff you'll regret. It needn't get all that messy. In fact, think of it more as a 'housecleaning'. What you'll be doing, Taurus, if you truly take this to heart, is creating livable solutions for eliminating the toxic influences on you… and thus removing psychological pressures that may hold you back from embracing your fullest freedom. Remember: You don't want to hurt anyone (no, really—you don't), just remove their bad vibes from impacting your decisions. Neither, however, need you convince 'em that you're justified in protecting yourself. This doesn't have to be a long-winded dialogue, after all. If you need to gab beyond the simple boundary-laying, call a friend who's removed from this dynamic. That's where you'll find your sympathetic ear… not from the one whose control over you you're trying to curb.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): We'll pick up where we left off last week… based on the notion that the relative ease or unrest in your life this week is a direct result of whether you heeded my previous warnings or not. Let's first assume you were a well-behaved Gemini who exercised some control over what you pledged, promised, publicized or proclaimed, knowing full well you were under the sway of a loose-lipped, boot-licking Mercury-Jupiter affair. If that was the case, then now you're in a fine position to move beyond 'tentative' and toward 'for sure'—not, however, without bouncing your developing thoughts off at least one key player in your life. Don't sell yourself short, though: Choose someone who will actually engage you, with probing questions and strong opinions of their own, to help you think things through. This step is an important part of doing your due diligence, and you'll be glad you completed it further on down the road. But if you didn't hold yourself back and instead ran your mouth without being careful about what you said to whom, it may already start coming back to haunt you this week. While the tales you told probably sounded reasonable enough (at least to your ears), chances are you missed something big. Don't worry, though—I'm sure your sweetie, your best friend or a not-so-nice adversary will have some uncomfortable inquiries or hard-to-listen-to observations to add. You can't avoid what's being raised, though it'll obviously complicate your case beyond what you'd previously considered. Take it like a champ, then go back to the drawing board.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Here's a week when your innate Cancerian instincts will serve you well, since external appearances won't automatically correspond with the real meat-and-potatoes going on underneath. And you might be one of the only folks to see past the convincing veneers. Under a Mercury-Pluto opposition apt to catalyze polarizing dialogues and debates, you can expect to encounter plenty of people eager to instigate bickering matches, whether directly with you or in your nearby vicinity. If you want to be wise about what you're hearing, don't take it at face value. Instead of focusing on the words they're snidely spitting, listen to your own intuition about what they're really saying. It ain't about what they think it's about, is it? Can't you smell the sadness and hurt emanating from behind their angry posturing? Once you've silently stripped him of his armor, you'll discover the emperor has on a much more delicate and revealing set of undergarments… enough to almost make you feel sorry for 'im. From this view, then, you might as well practice forgiveness. Opt completely out of such silly conflicts or pointless battles. Instead, be a caring Cancer and send good energy in the direction of those who are clearly disturbed. But you must refrain from outwardly sharing any of what you've psychically gleaned, no matter the temptation. This is your special knowledge to keep secret. It's your invisible exit strategy, to save you from unnecessary strife. Be internally philosophic about it. Thank the heavens above (or whoever lives there) for gifting you with this wordless wisdom about the human condition—it's the flipside to all that damned moodiness.


LEO (July 23-August 22): As the old declaration (subject to gender-equalizing revision) goes, all men and women are created equal. But lord knows, their individual experiences couldn't be more different. It's a good message to keep in the forefront of your head this week, Leo, if your support is sought by a confidante, comrade or community member. Most likely, he or she probably needs an ally more than, say, a know-it-all telling him/her what's the best action to take. And while your advice may indeed come from a genuinely loving place, your pal could hear it as preachy, harsh or totally missing the point. If that's the case, it's because there's a subtle power complex unfurling itself beneath the surface. Perhaps it's you, harmlessly drawing upon your own lived history in searching for words of solace (and overlooking details that distinguish his/her situation from yours?), which makes it seem like you're playing yourself off as 'more experienced' (and thus somehow better?). Perhaps it's the other person, uncomfortable with the idea that maybe you do know something he or she doesn't and, trying to save face or maintain control, turns the tables to make you look bad. Perhaps it's some convoluted mix. Who cares? Tap into your innate generosity, and give him/her the space to overreact—isn't he or she the one who's feeling sensitive in the first place. If you don't know what to say, just offer a big hug. And in the meantime, given the high risk of misconstruing your heartfelt motivations, you might want to get a little distance from those who haven't specifically requested your presence… simply for your own peace of mind.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): There is a way out of all the game-playing you're caught up in inside your head, in a desperate hope to find substantive answers to major life questions by scouring every microscopic detail for a clue. In addition to hosting a continued potential for you to drive yourself crazy trying to 'handle' or 'make sense', this week also happens to be a superb one for socializing—and in the process, you just might wind up with a fresh new outlook on your relationship life. If you are currently coupled, you'll do both of you a favor by getting out of the house together… perhaps on a dinner date with another couple you both like, or by spending an evening hanging with your other half's best buds. The togetherness will remind you, 'Wow, we really do enjoy each other's company a lot!' If you're single and looking, consider biting the 'aw, shucks, I couldn't' bullet, and ask a friend to fix you up. This potential person-of-interest is far less likely to be a dud, if someone you know and trust has vouched for him/her. By totally shifting gears away from the highly-charged emotional issues ('what am I doing with my life, anyway?') and toward light-hearted fun, you should be able to squelch the constant self-nagging instinct to analyze and reanalyze… at least for a little while. (Hey, I'm just being realistic. You are a Virgo, after all.) I guess if all else fails, you can always consume mind-numbing substances until you can't scrutinize yourself anymore. (Wait, did I just write that? That's right: I must be joking.)


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Similar dynamics to last week's continue to corrupt your attempts to communicate… only this week, the responses you'll get from those folks displeased by your overconfident audacity (or what they perceive as such) threaten to be more vicious or vile. Dare you overstep what they consider to be the bounds of fair play, they'll be right there to knock you back into place, to ensure you don't think you're better or worse than anyone else. Do you need that crap, Libra? Didn't think so. Therefore, I suggest you completely switch gears—away from interpersonal debate over apparently controversial issues, and toward championing some terrific innovations at work. With a Venus-Uranus trine across your two work-related houses (the 10th and the 6th, respectively), you have a chance to gain considerable favor on the job… by cutting through red tape, to show you can complete a task in half the usual time, with equally glorious (if not better) results. All it'll take on your part is a creative eye—and the guts to break tradition. And as long as you keep in mind whatever big-picture purpose ultimately governs those processes you're streamlining, you won't goof. Yet, should you opt to climb up on a soapbox and try selling your methods with celebratory rhetoric or pushy persuasion, you'll spoil your own highest potentials for success and recognition. Your ideas could get summarily dismissed, even mocked… whereas if you just showed 'em how smartly your new ways work, they'd see, with their own eyes, the undeniable results of your brilliance. Don't diatribe, just do.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your upcoming week requires you to reserve yourself quite a bit of freedom to move about the cabin, however you see fit. Bless those unfortunate souls who'd hazard to get in your way under such astro-influences… for if you're halted at just the wrong moment (or if you merely feel like you're being halted), that Scorpion stinger is liable to come out swinging and stinging. Try not to lose your patience with whoever's attempting to fence you in (or appears to be attempting such a thing)—they might not even realize what they're doing. One good tactic would be to tackle this need for personal space before it becomes a problem. I think of schoolchildren who, when they are about to begin a round of calisthenics, are instructed by their teacher to spread out arms'-length distance away from each other… and the little kiddies extend their little arms as far out as they will go, until they're sure their fingertips won't quite touch the next set of kiddie fingertips. Scorpio, you should probably take your arms'-length distance, too. And especially if you took up last week's suggestion to expose your vulnerabilities to an intimate friend or romantic squeeze, you might need room to reinstate a more comfortable distance. But alas, if you aren't able to avoid those intrusive or obstructive energies from someone else colliding with your own designs, your initial instinctive upset might launch you into a tirade of savagery incommensurate to their real or imagined transgressions. And once you hit 'em in a tender spot with those vicious words, you can't take it back. Give yourself a wide berth—and watch your barbed tongue.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Do you want to sound threatening? Let's start your weekly horoscopic musings on that question, Sagittarius, because the combination of Mercury-influencing aspects—most strikingly, an opposition to Pluto in your sign—heightens your likelihood of coming off aggressive or menacing. And this is the case whether or not that's an intentional tone. It's not altogether out-of-left-field to imagine your words hitting someone wrong… especially in light of recent horoscopes that already warned you of your current larger-than-life vibe. So if you and a certain individual (your honey? your right-hand man? your professional collaborator?) are having trouble seeing eye-to-eye, don't linger too dramatically over the disconnect. Simply put, maybe this isn't the best time to get your point across, or to try to grasp his/hers. What may be perfectly reasonable requests or revelations on either of your parts could unfortunately fall on unwelcoming ears. However, waiting a week or two would make all the difference… and magically eliminate the potential communication problems. In the meantime, your body's language isn't subject to the same misinterpretations as your mouth's. Thus, in situations where such language is appropriate, you should probably let your body do the talking. When it comes to platonic relationships, a small gift or other gesture of thoughtfulness will cut through your lurking differences, quickly demonstrating, no matter where you may stand on this or that issue, beneath it all is a deep fondness. And if it isn't platonic, a soft touch—or something much saucier—will say everything that needs saying and, in the process, defuse any tension.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I detect two simultaneous trends for your week, Capricorn, and your wisest strategy would be to exploit the best of each… without completely absorbing yourself into either one, at the expense of the other. First, when it comes to your work life—and by 'work', I mean not merely your paid employment but all the nuts-and-bolts stuff you have to do for attaining/maintaining your desired quality of life—you're primed to make certain breakthroughs. Basically, if you earnestly attend to the pragmatic questions upon which your day-to-day efforts rest (e.g., which step to take first, which method is most efficient, what habit must be broken or rebuilt), you'll liable to actually achieve some answers… workable solutions for laboring smart and strategic, to save you the squandered energy (and the avoidable headaches that come with it). I'm not saying it'll be easy to embrace these answers, which may require you to drop certain spoilings and sillinesses that you tend to enjoy, but at least you'll know what you should do. Second, when it comes to your personal life—and by that, I mean what you do for fun, leisure, relaxation, and to attain/maintain desired relationships—you've got Venus on your team, helping to draw interesting (and maybe even romantically appealing) folks to your yard. To spin it for optimal results, you'll want to flaunt your most unpredictable side. Whether it's a crazy outfit, an unusual backdrop or a controversial conversation-starter, give 'em a shock that'll make their jaws drop. Use zaniness to break the ice, and they'll line up to make your acquaintance. Each one, even the oddest characters, deserves his/her fair chance.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): While it's likely you have some good news (or a newly optimistic perspective on same-ol' situations) you may feel like shouting to the rooftops, a little restraint in that department will do you some good. Why would you want to stifle your celebratory speaking-out? Well, Aquarius, ordinarily you wouldn't—only in this astro-environment, where not everybody will be in the mood to hear your prattle on about what's great in your life. 'Jealous much?' is perhaps what you'd mutter under your breath about such wet-blanket sourpusses… and you might indeed be right, even as they're probably unaware of that (or some other) malevolent motive. But on the other hand, if that's the possible case, you'd display a kind-hearted sensitivity by refraining from externally extolling the strokes of your good fortune. Innocent as it may be, such self-expression could come off sounding like you're rubbing their noses in it. Look, I know it's unfair that I'm telling you not to share your excitement. It's just not the best astrological time for it, that's all. If you don't want to risk a thunderstorm in the middle of your parade, then reserve the fullest extent of your enthusiasm for your own private enjoyment. That way, nobody else has any say in it. By yourself (or with only your securest friend or two), celebrate your joy to your heart's content. Boast, even…


PISCES (February 19-March 20): There's still an emotional 'riled-up-ness' permeating your mindset… which, in case I didn't make this clear last week, is not such a bad thing. You are a water sign, after all, and there's lots of wisdom to be reaped from listening to your nonsensical—though, nonetheless, highly significant—feelings. This week, if you do choose to express exactly how you feel, there's a very good chance of provoking an important somebody to anger. (It's not just you. We've got quite a bit of that going around lately.) Now, is this a reason to stay quiet? Not necessarily, Pisces. It depends, I suppose, on the context… and what you hope to gain from putting it out there. For every grumpy tyrant who's liable to detest your backtalk and would probably prefer you just grinned and bore it, there's also some rebel-loving iconoclast you'll be turned on (perhaps in more ways than one) by your unrestricted gusto. You can't please everybody. Therefore, in determining when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, you should first do a little psychic detective work. (All that Piscean sensitivity is good for endeavors like that, don't you know.) Before spurting honest feedback all over the place, feel out the other person: Does he/she already seem disturbed (or a mere step away), or more open? Then you'll want to be quite deliberate (with yourself, at least) about your purposes. If it's a professional scenario and you're seeking to move up in esteem or power, you might not want to stream forth with a pile of emotional doodoo… especially if the other party will feel like you're trying to 'get something' from them. However, if you're wanting to 'get something' in a more friendly or outright amorous exchange, then showing your hand is probably the smartest strategy there is.