Horoscopes | Week of May 5-11, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This is a week for consciously conceiving of potential 'tensions' more as chemistry than antagonism, Aries. The counterpoised yin/yang of a Venus-Mars opposition—especially when (1) the Venus is in your sign and (2) the Mars is still retrograde in your relationship house—is just as much an invitation to join together with a significant other (of one sort or another) based on your very-dissimilar-though-complementary energies as it is a threat of divergences playing disagreeably against each other. Difference, after all, definitely needn't be a bad thing…. anymore than an astrological opposition must portend a nasty showdown between competing foes. Friction, of the productive sort and in the proper dosage, is an unparalleled tool for generating creative momentum and/or spiritual growth. Please remember the fertile promise inherent to this sort of perspective, should you find yourself hitting up against a field of jarring difference with somebody: You can choose to make this work to everybody's advantage (and maybe even to everybody's pleasure) with the right attitude. Or you could get stuck in seeing this difference as a big brick wall… and, unfortunately, waste valuable energy futilely throwing yourself against it, over and over again.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Though you're once again back on your game (or at least hopefully well on your way), your smartest approach to regaining competent grasp over what's within your capacity to control is not the tried-and-true, take-it-or-leave-it, bullishly unyielding straightforwardness you're known for, Taurus. Under 7th-house Saturn oppositions, you must proceed by winning over the hearts-and-minds of each and every pertinent individual, on a case-by-case basis. A lot of diligent relational consideration and shrewd message-massaging is presently demanded of you… though you thankfully should possess both the right words and the necessary patience to successfully pull this off. What you won't want to do, however, is presume that a lack of visible feedback or concern from any pertinent individual means you can already count on their support and, therefore, needn't put in the effort to solicit it. This is not the time to judge your successes on the surface appearance of interpersonal dynamics, nor to communicate with anticipated allies in a manner tone-deaf to their subject-position. Practice good alliance-building behaviors without assuming anyone is 'already in the bag'.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): There's definitely an audience (as there always is), so though it may feel like a rich-and-relieving pleasure to freely gab about this, that, and the other to whomever's directly in front of you, Gemini, don't forget it's very likely that other people nearby are also listening… and potentially judging. This is not actually a problem—in fact, far from it—if and only if the things you're speaking so openly about are indeed public knowledge, relatively uncontroversial and/or basically positive, and legitimately your business to be discussing. However, if you're gossiping behind others' backs, offering uncomplimentary judgments you wouldn't tell the judged party to their face, and/or taking credit where it is not due, you might inadvertently cause a rip in the social fabric. The impressions that certain peers or allies may form of you, as a result of witnessing you flash some sort of unflattering 'true colors' in a manner they hadn't seen before, could end up creating a divide-in-solidarity where one previously didn't exist… leaving you to stand in whatever offending opinion or remark you so casually shot off, or else to attempt to explain your way out of. Please strive to be charmingly chit-chatty, then, without betraying confidences, undermining others' authority, or otherwise talking shit.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Let the Universe—and its fleshily-embodied emissaries, other people—shower you with the adoring affections and horizon-expanding opportunities it feels are cosmically due to you. Accept these blessings graciously, Cancer, rather than spoiling the joy these other people will experience in the act of giving-to-you by deflecting the praise, ignoring the obvious attention, questioning your worthiness, and/or forcing them to indulge your discomfort with being on the receiving end. The outside world is full of all sorts of individuals, in various levels of acquaintanceship with you from super-close contacts to utter strangers… many of whom sincerely wish to exchange goodwill vibes with you, whether as a passing smile or a blush-inducing compliment or a hot new job offer. And part of your mysterious role in this human drama is to allow this exchange to positively impact your emotional state. If you've been spending too much time around folks who seek a different sort of energy-exchange with you (i.e., one which they can use to control, bully, and/or guilt-trip you), please get back out into the world and circulate more actively amongst the ambassadors of goodwill. This would not be a selfish move, simply a self-confident investment in your thread of the social tapestry.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Please remain acutely aware of not assuming you can fairly represent anybody else's stake in a certain matter, Leo, just because you're dear friends or long-time colleagues or members of the same political-action committee. Though it's perfectly acceptable to use your own personal experiences to illustrate your point (one that is likely to appeal to those who really understand where you're coming from), it becomes problematic as soon as you lapse into the royal 'we', try too hard to artificially build unity, and/or talk over an ally's remarks with supposed solidarity (when, in fact, you're just talking over them). This advice I'm giving, incidentally, is a set of best-practices for leadership-by-example, a charge you're presently being asked by the planets to occupy… and one of its most golden tenets, for you to take in and absorb into fuller consciousness going forward, is to not take others' situations personally. In other words, it's not that you shouldn't speak with collective pronouns or outwardly voice solidarity because there's something wrong with you, or your choice or ability to do so. Rather, it's a self-safekeeping measure of social respect to accept that distinct individuals view reality through the distinctive lens of their history—and that, even with the purest of motives, you simply cannot see things how anyone else does.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): In a strange companion-piece to last week's horoscope, my advice to you this week, Virgo, is to beware of speaking out from both sides of your mouth. Though it remains important to foster respectful conversation and fairly consider all alternative viewpoints, it definitely doesn't serve your long-game to feign agreement where a fundamental difference exists or to offer multiple versions of a story based on who's asking for information (and which details will best appease them). Once you feel yourself trying to 'sell' a certain angle, withhold a critical distinction, and/or change your language so your truth sounds more palatable, you're already flirting with the bounds of full authenticity. (Just because you may be smart enough to officially stay on the correct end of the true/false dichotomy, that doesn't mean an act of watering-down on your part wouldn't be at least marginally deceptive.) If a legitimate deadlock exists at the moment, don't nervously bumble for an insincere settlement. Despite the uncomfortable feelings all around, let the standoff hang there a little while longer. Your own best-interests will thank you later.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): While the current astrology continues to point to questions about how much to give and to take, when to hold firm and to give in, and/or how exactly to balance unabashed self-interest with solicitous accommodation, it feels as if your tactics are due to shift, Libra. It's already been months of horoscope pep-talks intended to foster plain, assertive directness (as opposed to your stereotypically diplomatic dancing-around-topics), but now that your ruling lady Venus is headed into Aries (and thus your 7th, the solar relationship house), you may finally be getting this strange new approach really starting to work to your immediate advantage. Rather than playing into the convoluting befuddlement that often arises when you leave the other person to wonder what you really want out of a situation (and which quips, queries, and loaded-sounded statements are merely red-herrings, intended to throw them off your scent), you ought to consider behaving in a near-jarringly blunt manner about your desires. If you make short simple remarks about your top one-or-two priorities and your top one-or-two definite no-nos (a job which'll require you to pare down all your thoughts on the matter), you'll likely get surprisingly receptive responses. Turns out, when you openly and intently reduce the complexity of your expectations, it reserves the other person a lot of room to more comfortably fit themselves into a workable arrangement with you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If you don't stay on top of your game, Scorpio, it'll be way too easy to cause yourself unnecessary trouble by concentrating too intently on what somebody else is up to. Going out late the night before an important commitment, for instance, just because a person-of-interest is also in attendance is a recipe for a diminished quality of performance on your part once you stumble, exhausted, into the ring. And saying more than you'd ordinarily consider wise to say, due to your desire to get a rise (of one sort or another) out of a certain someone special, puts you at risk for sharply regretting the information you revealed, the feelings you expressed, and/or the sore-spot you poked at. Ditching your duties or disturbing your habits on another person's behalf may seem like a considerate and/or terribly-romantic gesture, but it mostly just disrupts your own rhythms… and with relatively little lasting payoff, insofar as your efforts to deliberately finesse the dynamics between two as you'd most like is concerned. Using your perceptive faculties to 'get into their head' is a surefire way of overlooking the concerns your own head ought to be filled with. That's why it feels like such an invigorating escape—and why it also threatens to unhinge you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Before you even know it, the slick conversational flow between you and a certain someone could lead you down a primrose-path of emotional self-denial. Put another way, Sagittarius, a lightning-fast exchanges of words might inspire you to hastily agree to something your heart just isn't into, to gloss over a private misgiving, or to forget to even consider how an offhand sentiment might actually make you feel. The excitement of clicking so effortlessly with somebody who shares a key social-allegiance, ideology, or interest is certainly worth enjoying… but, please, not at the subtle (and, if you let it go on, the increasingly less-and-less subtle) expense of your internal well-being, which, it turns out, demands more of a full-on interpersonal involvement than just common extracurricular pursuits or intellectual passions. What that 'more' entails, I'm afraid, isn't so obvious. For now, it'd be enough to just notice if, during those in-between moments when nobody's mouths are moving and a quiet bodily receptivity is temporarily attained, something just doesn't feel right. (Of course, on the same token, something could instead feel incredibly right.) Your current challenge requires tapping into what's underneath all those lively words.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): It's an excellent week for composing, revising, and then attending to that list of tangible to-dos vying for your nearly-undivided attention. Work concerns are definitely the best place to direct your mental focus at the present, Capricorn… though you mustn't allow any such practical preoccupations to cause you to zone out when a pal, neighbor, or fellow wo/man-on-the-street is trying to speak with you. Though so much organizational progress can be personally made when you invest your moments-of-independence with the diligent desire to 'straighten things out', in order so that you'll be able to move more smoothly forward a couple months from now, you've still got to balance your 'on-task' attitude with your basic social responsibility to others—which, need I remind you, is also a self-nurturing responsibility (though you love to conveniently overlook that fact when you're on task)—or else certain folks could get annoyed with you, putting those friendship-bonds at risk, maybe even without you being immediately aware of their pulling-back (since you're so on task, you hadn't paused to notice). Please, yes, deal with your work. And deal with other people, happily, too.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Though certain worldly responsibilities prevent you from being able to completely give in to those hiding-yourself-away urges, Aquarius, that's not to say you must abandon all hope for a few restorative moments. Like it or not, we live in the so-called 'real world'… which simply means we shouldn't hold out for those ideal occasions or golden opportunities when we can enact our dreams exactly as they appear in our mind's-eye, but instead must exploit those more modest little-openings to their fullest capacity whenever we can. Regularly compromising certain aspects of our purest vision, in order to savor a modest-but-still-magical bit of joy from the partial version we actually can manifest, is a valuable lesson in developing maturity—though it's important to discern which aspects can be compromised on without imperiling the whole purpose of the vision, and which must ultimately be seen as non-negotiables. Consider it an exercise in creative experimentation, then: You obviously have a present need to adequately feed your soul in whatever private manner best suits you, but you shouldn't do so with such an idealist's inflexibility that you willingly (and needlessly) gamble your standing in the 'certain worldly responsibilities' zone.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): At the moment, you're rather precariously prone to communicative confusion, Pisces, both in terms of how you express your truth to others and how you understand the truths others express to you. As far as this first possible scenario is concerned, you mustn't take overly confident stock in what you're feeling right now as the end-all-be-all final take on this matter, for it's quite likely that, as moods shift (and this week's Mercury-Neptune square passes by), your stance will change… which, for the record, doesn't make today's truth any less true today, but definitely threatens to create confusion among those to whom you might, over time, report a series of variable truths. And on the second front, you are just as likely to listen to others' words through the filter of however you're feeling about your relationship with them at the moment (i.e., hearing what you want to hear, hearing what you fear hearing)… which could cause upset later, when they later attempt to clarify your misperception and you refuse to accept you might've heard 'em wrong. Therefore, (1) don't choose this week to spill your guts or speak from your heart, if you want them to truly get where you're coming from, and (2) don't fix any still-shifting notions about where anybody else is coming from into stiff solidity based on this week's conversations.