Horoscopes | Week of April 20-26, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Doing what's practically useful to you at the moment, Aries, likely involves a lot of warm pleasantries, agreeable small-talk, and maybe some acquiescent hand-holding. To go in too brashly or unsubtly toward what you want is to disregard the protocols of social waltzing, wherein you must first attain a rhythmically-aligning rapport before leading your partner around the room. Otherwise, you'll just trip over each other's out-of-sync feet… and both end up flat on the floor. As much as your mind may presently be 'all business' (and if it's not, I might gracefully add that perhaps it should be), you can't just dive straight in for the kill, gruffly or without appropriate nuance—or else your go-getter tunnel-vision could scare the living crap out of certain stakeholders (if not conjure a put-you-in-your-place smackdown from someone even more go-getter than you). Please feel into the social temperature before running slipshod toward the goalposts, asking about recent must-see movies or kids' soccer games or plans for the summer. Only after you've swapped niceties and attained a genuine personality connection (no matter how surfacey) should you move forward with the business-at-hand, having reduced your chances of spooking someone.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The ball is decidedly in your court this week, Taurus, on the occasion Mercury conjoining Mars in your sign. So, right off the bat, I'd be immediately suspicious if your current perspective has you on the defensive, in interpersonal-response mode, and/or unduly concerned with showing someone else up. If that's your mindset, then please take a moment to reset… and to consider whether your own most-critical set of priorities might be more effectively furthered by refocusing on yourself. You're presently wielding a lot of strength, marrying mental sharpness with sheer might, and I'd hate to see you wasting that on attacking other people's agendas, when you could instead use it to push yours way forward. The Mercury/Mars trine to Pluto-in-your-9th reminds you to stay connected with whichever principles, purposes, or passions are most integral to productively maximizing a meaningful contribution to the world. What really matters to you? Channel the energy-boon into that. Your current capacity to potently take charge is a valuable resource… but also one which can, quite easily, become hijacked by angry or aggressive impulses. If you're going to be seen as a fighter, let it be on behalf of something you deeply believe in.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The less you actually say or do—and the more peacefully and politely you just receive the good favor due you, Gemini, thanks to Venus—the likelier you'll keep yourself safe from intrusion, complication, or upset. Even with Venus still loyally embracing your squad, this week's Mercury-Mars 12th-house conjunction, feeding off of Pluto-in-your-8th, unfortunately makes me somewhat leery about what could happen to you if you're lax with protective self-care. 12th-house action such as this brings a risk of unconsciously drawing difficult circumstances which inadvertently catch us in collateral crossfire, confinement, or collusion with those who don't have our best interests at heart. Such undesirable effects usually arise as a result of wishful, escapist, or lackadaisical behavior which we convince ourselves is okay, though we may be willfully ignoring a healthful limit and/or refusing to accept an accurate view of the present reality. In this specific case, with Venus as a force of positive temptation, your risks are likeliest to center around taking a good thing too far, following a flow-of-events that might start out quite fortuitous before spiraling out of hand and/or getting too intimately involved in an interpersonal entanglement with deeper-reaching consequences than you're willing to acknowledge. You can avert such risks, however, by keeping a good head on your shoulders and properly heeding reasonable boundaries. If you have any question about what you're doing, ask a couple different friends what they think; their first reactions will give you a very clear reality-check.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It would be pretty hard to miss the signs pointing straight at any competitive colleagues, undermining associates, friends-turned-foes, or other subsets of your wider community who don't wish you the best, Cancer. First things first: This could be a temporary situation, caused by still-shifting circumstances making certain characters a bit nervous, mistrustful, or self-protective—or a symptom of a larger problem which may have been brewing for some time (whether you were totally unaware, in some degree of denial, or eyes wide open about it). If you aren't sure which type it qualifies as, I'd recommend proceeding as if it's a passing bump… rather than, say, going nuclear with your pushback and creating a far worse animosity than would've otherwise existed. All that said, I think it's just fine to not back down in the face of snide attitudes or unpleasant behavior. It's also just as fine if you decide you want to snip or snap or sneer if you feel it's a necessary facet of explaining, defending, or supporting yourself. But with Venus now largely inaccessible to you due to its 12th-house spot, you should have modest expectations about how effective or gratifying you'll feel the immediate results are. Focus, then, on the process of confidently holding your own if under attack or duress. The advantages you'll earn may be momentarily invisible, though no less profound.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This is an excellent moment to create a big splash with your career endeavors, on the world stage, and/or in front of those who you'd seek to impress, Leo. But don't for one moment fool yourself into believing you're being gentle, understated, or slick. Your motives will be written all over every move you make and utterance you offer… which actually isn't a problem at all, and, in fact, could end up serving your interests quite well (since these 'interests' would be so clear, they're likelier to be appropriately served), provided you operate with purposeful frankness and transparency. If there's presently a fight in you, I recommend fighting for improved quality-of-work issues—better processes, equipment, worker support and solidarity—rather than merely some superficial stylistic mark that perhaps pads your legacy but does little to actually boost effective output or caliber of results. Better yet if you can draw other teammates into your attention-grab, sharing your spotlight, publicly expressing admiration and gratitude… and, maybe most importantly of all, making an irresistible pitch for some shared vision that everyone else can get sincerely excited about because it serves their interests, too. Bear all this in mind as you maneuver through the lights, cameras, and action, and you'll have a winning formula for successful impact. Any unconscious grandstanding, on the other hand, could be disagreeably shut down by a power-player who's annoyed by your lack of awareness.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Piggybacking on your horoscopes from the past two weeks (found here and here), I'd like to hail the professional (and/or public-world) good favor now yours for the taking, Virgo, so long as you're actively, vocally and enthusiastically focused on what lies ahead. You can glide decidedly forward on the momentum of that anticipatory vibe in the air around you, if you can positively spell out a rightful direction for the organization, initiative, or endeavor to evolve into (and, implicitly, for yourself to evolve along with). For now, worry less about outlining the cold hard specifics of what must be done—and instead concentrate on imbuing the overarching guidepost or pillar-of-purpose with your unique creative fervor, demonstrating you possess the unwavering commitment to help birth something bigger, better, and/or more, all the way into concrete being. What you definitely won't want to do, alas, is to harp on whatever hasn't been working (even if we both know the existing problems have a lot to do with what drives you onward)… to catalog a long list of critiques or complaints (no matter how valid)… and/or to dwell too conspicuously on issues related to the past. By looking unreservedly ahead, you're indirectly (though no less persuasively) encouraging others to follow your sightline.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): More than almost anything, Libra, right now you need perseverance… and especially so if you are clear on the ideals or ethics which underscore your position. Even if you're standing on the obviously 'higher' ground—and though I'd argue you probably are, I must also point out that such judgments are subjective—you've still got to stand there long enough to demonstrate this all isn't just a game of tit for tat for tit-for-tat's sake, but a matter of personal virtue. It's not about winning some triumph over anyone, as much as securing a victory for 'What's Right' (at least in your book). Step back from the identifying specifics which tie certain other characters to this current circumstance, and look at the whole scene from the perspective of your own psychological history: how you've been previously wronged, how you were raised to handle conflict (with others and within yourself), how the pain and hurt you experienced have contributed to your developing certain values which are non-negotiable (or perhaps shouldbe, if you're properly protecting yourself emotionally). This is the vantage from which your stand will be strongest, grounded not simply in getting the outcome you want out of an interpersonal stalemate, but in a dedication to reserving your passion and power for only the most rightful investments.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You're likelier than hell to make your damn point, Scorpio… though you're also just as likely to hit 'em over the head with it in the process, which perhaps might be part of your intention. I'm not one to advocate violence (and that includes the verbal as much as the physical kind), so please know your words are packing a formidable punch, and carry on accordingly. This does not imply I believe you ought to back away from the truth, or even to dilute it to such palatable trace-amounts that all its uneasy details feel wholly innocuous. A truth can be 'brutal' without being brutally brandished like a weapon you'd use to force someone to take it. Laying the truth out there, smack dab in front of them so they couldn't possibly miss it, can be an act of great strength… and, if you can sit patiently and non-violently in that restive climate while they lurch or lash out or altogether struggle to respond, you could indeed gain yourself an upper-hand or leg-up. But you mustn't try to force them into response, debate, or confrontation, whether with bullying or far-subtler-and-shadier manipulations. The truth will relay its own disconcerting pressures upon those who'd otherwise seek to pretend it away—without your having to ratchet up your clamp or throw a left hook.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): When you're on the clock, Sagittarius—meaning: when you're supposed to be working on whichever critical or timely items your job, health, or another duty presently demand of you—please force yourself to stay in the present. Stick to that basic formula of (1) investing direct effort, (2) producing immediate results, and (3) making incremental progress which ought to keep you on track, should you simply follow the now-self-evident steps already laid out… and faithfully redirect your attention, meditation-practice-style, each and every time it naturally wanders to preoccupations or pipe-dreams not directly and immediately relevant to where you presently are. I admit this doesn't sound like the most fun attitude towards your workday to-dos. But let's call a spade a spade: Work isn't always 'fun'. (Often, it's anything but.) Yet, once you're off the clock, you can and should feel exceedingly free to project off into the future… to a time (whether imminent or far-off) when these presently-pressing items have already been successfully handled, when you're somewhere else (whether geographically and/or in terms of focus) and can chase even bigger visions, thanks to being able to reliably rest on the work you're doing now. With Venus-in-your-7th, these off-the-clock anticipations and imaginings will be even more fun if carried out with someone else to dream alongside with… because they'll happily nurture your excitement about the future, or perhaps even come along for the ride.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): One super-convenient method for warding off the weirdly intense reactions you might still be stirring in certain folks (as we discussed last week), Capricorn: Simply do something else. Because it's your self-assured poise and posture, reflected by how solidly you occupy space as your genuine self (rather than, say, teetering and tottering in a flighty attempt to portray yourself as somebody you're not), which is likeliest to trigger the anxious, uncomfortable, and insecure among those you encounter, your quickest and easiest way to shift the vibe in any scene, therefore, is by literally getting up, moving about, and lightly busying yourself with some casual task. For instance, if a tea-time conversation turns tense, just rise from your seat and start serving more snacks, clearing used dishes, and/or preparing a take-away treat for them to leave with when they go. If you're feeling yourself a target of nervous energy at a meeting or event, find a mundane or menial duty that requires handling… and handle it. (Warning: Be careful not to step on anyone's toes by presuming they 'need' help. Ask if you can assist first.) The more sturdy and immovable your stance, the higher your chance of being (mis?)perceived as menacing or arrogant.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Though one angle of your current astrological outlook hints at your being able to attract some fun times and/or someone fun to enjoy 'em with, Aquarius, there's another angle which suggests an internal consolidation of stubbornness, resistance, or rage that could accidentally leak out and spoil the fun, if you're not careful. You'll be most at risk if you're so out of touch with your feelings ('feelings? what's that?') that you aren't aware of whatever isn't presently sitting well inside… and/or if you mistakenly believe you can party and play your cares away. It's under these sort of disavowing circumstances that a seemingly friendly and warm-hearted individual suddenly turns into a mean and angry monster, thanks to a cryptic comment, shady-seeming side-eye glance, or harmless joke which happens to hit a funny nerve. Yet, as long as you welcome an emotionally sophisticated self-understanding which reserves room for you to be both outwardly fun-seeking and inwardly brooding (whether in fast-cycling alternations or at exactly the same time), you're far less likely to unconsciously get your own signals crossed… and end up ranting-and-raving when you thought you were supposed to be rockin'-and-rollin'. Let the fun moments be a nice counterbalance to plenty of private personal reflection—and not a substitute.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Allow me to kinda-sorta repeat the advice I dispensed last week, Pisces, but perhaps with a somewhat more frank flavor. You do not presently have the luxury of sitting out the discussions still circulating through your community, friend-group, or society-at-large—not as long as you hold a relevant stake and/or substantive opinion in this matter, not if you consider your life-experiences meaningful enough to voice, and not unless you wish to garner a reputation as somebody lacking the guts to stand on a particular side of the dividing fence. There's no denying a certain antagonism tints the present discourse, making it somewhat more difficult to attain the superficially respectful 'agreeing to disagree' which might provide you the psychic relief you typically prefer to feel, if you're going to dare to diverge from a pal, peer, or colleague in such a matter. So instead of looking for that feeling of relief from them (and then facing probable disappointment, due to others' inability or unwillingness to fulfill your yearning), please treat such exchanges more as a responsibility to determinedly ally yourself with the 'side' most fitting of your ideals: perhaps not easy, but nonetheless important. The relief is what you must create for yourself, before and after the exchanges, in your own private domain… as part-antidote, part-reward for meeting your communicative challenges.