Horoscopes | Week of April 28-May 4, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The main suggestion I have for you, in honor of Venus's arrival to your sign later this week, is to please refrain from making things harder on yourself than they need be. On the tail-end of a fiery few weeks, during which you probably found yourself pressed to say your part, release your pent-up desires, and/or fight for your piece, Aries, you're now at a spot where it behooves you to temper your fighting spirit—not because it's time to admit defeat (far from it, actually), but out of a sheer preservation of personal energies. The 'victory' you're seeking is not necessarily a victory over anybody else, so much as a victory in successfully attaining your own tangible aims… though I suspect the recent fieriness has, at times, warped your clearest awareness of this fact. As such, what's presently needed to continue along toward victorious ends is a shrewd calculation rather than any extraordinary show of fire-power. Letting certain disputed threads fly in the other person's favor might threaten your ego (at least as far as appearing 'weak' is concerned), but trying to secure every last one for your interests is, pragmatically speaking, not worth the effort. Easing up your grip on the lesser-critical facets allows you to better grab those bigger goodies soon to be flowing your way, courtesy of Venus.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): On the occasion of the solar eclipse new moon in your sign this Monday (Apr 28), you're being celestially invited to ritualize your official 'fresh start'. After weeks of essentially being benched on the sidelines, victim to others' wily curveballs, and/or necessarily embroiled in behind-the-scenes 'personal business', you are now ready to reemerge into the daylight and make your inimitable presence once again known to all who cross your path. There is powerful purpose deeply instilled in whichever moves you next make, so it's sincerely important that you make them count. Which, therefore, means: Don't allow your next move to be a defensive response to what somebody else is doing or has done. In fact, whatever your 'powerful purpose' is really ought to have nothing to do with anybody else, insofar as your personally-selected-and-carefully-chosen priorities shouldn't change too much based upon others' influence. That doesn't imply you need to block out their influence altogether, but neither need you involve yourself in proving your self-righteousness, flaunting your self-possession, or otherwise throwing your resolve in their face. All that would do, of course, is fuel a breakdown in your interpersonal communication… when what you really want to do is affirm your individual intent. It's mustn't be 'about' them because it's really about you.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you're sufficiently composed and self-contained to leave well enough alone, Gemini—rather than, say, insisting on uttering a last word and/or leaving behind your distinctive mark (for little purpose, really, other than a creative flourish)—you'll actually be able to capture quite a bit of underground information, unspoken wisdom, and/or sensitive material from allowing other players to (deliberately or inadvertently) flash you their private parts. But for them to feel comfortably off-guard enough to let you that far in, you must give off this distinctly detached 'hands-off' vibe, as if you neither want anything specific from the situation (even if you do) nor intend to react strongly in any direction should you indeed be exposed to some shock or surprise. With that in mind, consciously let up on your intent to move along these main-stage events through outwardly exercising your will or applying any agency. Instead, please allow the next set of developments to unfold organically, decidedly on their own and yet still under your watch. By your leaving well enough alone, others' motives will reveal themselves as never before… conspicuously exposing not only whatever lurking desires they've been trying to keep under wraps, but also whatever in their psychological makeup has led them to harbor such desires. This, however, is not an ideal moment to attempt to use what you discover—in part, perhaps, because the full discovery has yet to be made.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Sorry, Cancer, but we simply cannot allow you to skedaddle off to one side, recede into your shell, or shrink away from the glaring attention. Though the intermittent bouts of hysterical response to all this life-transforming change happening at one time are understandable, the astrology indicates that too much inward reflection (or is that 'compulsive over-analysis'?) merely feeds the emotional upset… while, on the other hand, lots of deliberate social interactivity helps you to move through any panic-surges. This is an excellent moment for relying on the friendship-bonds and peer-alliances you've built—beyond the usual comfort-zone dynamic of you offering them a warm meal or a soft place to rest, and toward a more radical level of your sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of your latest exploits with them, in full detailed disclosure. If you're being honest, you've had just too damn much hustle-and-bustle happening in your life lately to successfully pull off the whole 'I'm fine, thanks, and how are you?' deflection of the conversational lead… particularly if you actually care about intimacy and authenticity in your relationships. They will know you're withholding relevant personal material (and, perhaps, wonder what they did to make you so mistrustful or controlled), and you'll miss out on the chance to both vent your emotional stress and grow closer to somebody else.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Use this week to consciously reconnect with whatever life-spanning career goals (or other similarly important outer-world aims) have long been a central part of your self-development ambitions, Leo. Though this most recent chapter of ants-in-your-pants restlessness may well have inspired what seems like such a drastic left-turn in focus and/or interest-level that these familiar ambitions feel like quaint relics from days-now-gone-by, I'm not so sure you must wholly discard the old in order to celebrate the new. Even if your next chapter is due to include activities, adventures, and/or advancements that do not directly 'fit' into the ideas you've had of yourself and what you're to become over the years, I'll bet that, in the long long-run, these two superficially divergent strains of self-building will eventually reconvene into a coherent amalgam. So, just as I indicated last week, right at this pregnant chaos-before-the-big-leap precursor-moment when you're wondering just how much more of this same bloody day-in-day-out reality you can possibly take, your smartest approach will be to recommit to it… with a renewed mindfulness of its relevance to your overall life-trajectory. The desire to rush everything along is, in large part, spurred by emotional discomfort with what the here-and-now reminds you of—if, that is, you're only remembering the disappointment, the annoyance, and/or the anguish. Remember the driving purpose behind it, and you're likelier to catch a second wind.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The trick is to reaffirm your integrity (and certain non-negotiable tenets of the ethical self-satisfaction that comes along with it) without altogether shutting down the conversation or leaving any other participants feeling unheard or disrespected. While you may indeed be very clear about what you believe (and have no intention of veering away from), Virgo, that doesn't mean you've already thought through every last situational case-study, exception-to-the-rule, and/or potential grey-area which somebody else's life-experience necessarily brings to the table. So though you're clearly at a point where standing for something is far more favorable than flitting too wishy-washily around the marketplace of ideas, you mustn't take your stand so far down the path of dogmatic inflexibility that you full-on indict the person across from you, whether through articulated judgments or under-the-surface smugness. You might be completely right, in terms of having settled on guiding ideologies that support you in leading your version of a well-lived life… but that righteousness may hold little relevance to somebody with different goals, a different history, and/or different personality strengths and challenges. Hearing them out about how they've come to alternative conclusions needn't threaten your righteousness; in fact, it could instead help you work out some previously unacknowledged nuances to your thinking.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): While you're probably pretty familiar with the far extremes of keeping other people happy, diplomatically giving in, and other such concessional behaviors, Libra, you might be less accustomed to asking yourself: How firm is too firm? That is not an insinuation, by the way, that you should soften your approach or hand back over a key bargaining-chip. Rather, this week provides a backdrop for further refining the self-assertion skills you've been cultivating (or, perhaps, been forced to cultivate) in recent months. Holding firm in a productive fashion often requires the perseverance-of-character to stay in awkward or unpleasant situations—even when you could 'get it over with' much more quickly and easily by bowing to the pressure and/or giving 'em what they want—until a mutually satisfactory (though, admittedly, maybe not ideal) resolution has been struck. But it lapses into unproductive when you interpret 'holding firm' to imply a total lack of fair acknowledgment and regard of their position, and, thus, an unwillingness to budge from yours. Though such a refusal-to-budge doesn't sound like a Libran way-of-being, it's possible the recent upheavals could inspire you to overcompensate for prior perceptions that you're a pushover. With Venus headed in your 7th this week, though, you can hold firm without being unwilling-to-stretch or a total asshole.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Because even the most intuitive among us can't be expected to act as full-on mind-readers—especially with somebody so deep and multi-dimensional as you, dear Scorpio—you mustn't count on the key partner(s) in your life to instinctively 'get' what's going on with you. No, the supposedly obvious 'statement' you believe your behaviors are making is not delivering the message… not nearly as accurately or effectively as you'd probably wish it would. And no, it's not a sign that this other person is somehow 'wrong' for you, as friend or lover or confidante, as much as it is a symptom of how needlessly panicky you're liable to become if you substitute a self-referential inner-dialogue for the actual conversation you and this other person should be having. The present astrology affords you an excellent chance to hammer out the nitty-gritty details with this certain someone, so long as you're forthright about the overriding personal values which inform this situation (meaning: you speak from a high-minded perspective about what's important to you, without watering it down to cater to their comfort-zone) and willing to push through the likely awkward-pauses and momentarily-distressed-first-responses. I'm not claiming such conversations will run smoothly or quickly, by the way; that's my whole point. Yet, wishing that mutual understandings ought to arise magically—without the necessary work of thoroughly communicating all sides of the equation—is a setup for disappointment (or even disaster).


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The refocus on your day-to-day routine I brought up last week continues to gather enterprising momentum, Sagittarius—as long as you don't indulge much groundless fear and/or unreasonable hesitation about what might happen if you dare to rearrange the building-blocks of what's considered a 'productive' day. In order to ward off these ravenous demons, you must thoughtfully deconstruct their messages so their roots are exposed… for once you can untangle the words-and-sentiments from the kneejerk psychic charge they hold, you'll clearly see the underlying worry doesn't legitimately belong to you in your present incarnation. Whether your reluctance to shift a habit, delegate a duty, or altogether drop a commitment stems from a residual flashback of something which occurred when a younger version of you did a similar switch-up with far less care than you would with this one, or whether it's an inherited misgiving that someone else (consciously or not) implanted in your psyche, it is decidedly not of current up-to-the-minute relevance, but a deep-seated hangover from another time-and-place. Knowing that may not, in itself, prove sufficient for silencing the voice of doubt on the emotional level. However, on the practical level, it'll hopefully be enough validating incentive to continue shuffling your work commitments around, both to promote innovation and (repeat after me) make more time for fun.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Are we having fun yet, Capricorn? If not, then you are clearly letting the worldly aggravations related to the concept of 'your place in the world' get the best of you—at the unfortunate expense of appreciating that your current 'place' includes at least one relationship with a remarkable companion who feeds your silly side. Don't you dare launch into a complaint about what isn't working in your relationship life, which hyper-idealized partner hasn't shown up yet, or who doesn't live up to your expectations. That is a serious slap-in-the-face to whomever is, in fact, both presently available to you and a sheer delight to be with. Flip any narratives about what you're lacking on the interpersonal level into a story about how lucky you are to be connected with the folks you love most, and benefic Jupiter-in-your-7th just might reward you with a like-attracts-like increase in relational activity and affirmation. (I'm pretty sure, however, he won't respond too well to an ungracious devaluing of blessings that already exist.) Even if you are relatively picky when it comes to who you'll bother spending time with and/or investing energy in, you've still got plenty of options, both proven commodities and appealing new prospects. To tap into this potential, all you need to do is turn up the volume on your outwardly-expressed hilarity. Folks always want to be with the person who makes them laugh.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): This week inaugurates an extended pause (say, of a few-weeks' length) during which you'll likely remain socially busy and interpersonally connected… and yet not be actually 'getting anywhere' (whatever the heck that means) other than where that moment's exchange of company-and-companionship situates you. You needn't convince anybody of anything, nor allow yourself to be convinced. You ought not to harbor any urgent agendas, nor expect any important to decisions to be made (at least not externally). And it really doesn't matter whether you've secured the blessings of those around you, as a sort of 'proof' that you're headed down the right track, since you're not really 'headed' in a direct path toward any certain goal. Except, of course, that you are. Only, it's still futile to attempt to situate that goal, in relation to where you are at this time, on some map: There is no 'You are Here' sticker to help you find your bearings. But whether or not you can decipher the road-signs, feel the momentum, and/or anticipate an arrival someplace, you are 'getting somewhere'. Like some crazy-long transcontinental flight, you may be traversing miles of proverbial landscape, yet still experiencing it as many tedious hours of sitting your ass on a not-so-comfortable seat. Find the best possible posture for these conditions, then, and just hang tight.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Here's a hopefully helpful thought, Pisces, on staying sane in the face of seemingly relentless intensity bearing down from that one certain situation (and/or the certain person causing it): Go hang out with someone else. Switching up who you're keeping company with doesn't have to be some dramatic gesture of spitefully turning your back on that certain someone; it could be a simple matter of actively seeking variety in your social life. And it's not just 'variety' you may be seeking, of course, but also light-heartedness and casual fun… or maybe just something different to talk about, a topic that doesn't tie your insides in knots or leave you feeling put on the spot to offer some viewpoint of alleged importance. You'll know you're not doing yourself any favors if you've hardly seen any friends recently other than that certain individual-in-question (and/or that one other person who's ridden every bump and rough-patch of this crazy ride along with you). You need fresh air, honey. You need to widen your lens, so as to heighten your capacity for noticing all the little changes and developments and tidbits-of-news impacting the lives of those around you… to take you out of the confinement which naturally results from too obsessively occupying yourself with one topic or circumstance, and to resituate you into a context where other people's concerns (unrelated to your own) also get their due attention.