Horoscopes | Week of March 28-April 3, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): While you're likely continuing to bubble over with sizzling new ideas (and that keener-than-usual capacity to express them clearly and precisely), I must unfortunately temper my encouragement, Aries, with the caution that certain boss-figures, power-trippers, and official-types might interpret your innovative brainstorm-passions as a threat to their authority or position. This is, of course, a recurrent concern due to Pluto's long-term residence in your 10th, an astrological warning that you'll periodically elicit oddly defensive pushback from leaders, mentors, and higher-ups whenever they feel your just-dive-in-and-do-it attitude doesn't properly respect the existing guidelines, methods, and/or chain-of-command (or just makes them look bad because they haven't lately invested nearly as much creative attention as you now are). Be aware of this heightened potential to inadvertently grate on the nerves of those who don't want to embrace fresh outlooks or ingenious alternatives (for whatever self-serving reason of theirs it's not your job to comprehend)… and balance your own excitement against the practical need for professional (and/or public-world) self-protection. Come next week, once Venus enters your sign, you'll be less apt to irritate those with unexamined ego-sensitivity—and much better able to charm them with a warm grin.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Continue reserving that wide cushion of psychic space between your own mental machinations and everybody else in the world, Taurus. With enough separation from the prying questions, pushy commentaries, and irrelevant noise being kicked up by those who'd (consciously or not) seek to influence your process, you're far likelier than usual to stumble upon a stunningly enlightening realization, creative breakthrough, and/or connect-the-dots a-ha moment... if, that is, you freely permit yourself to become totally immersed in the self-exploration of it all. This mythic 'missing link' wants an opportunity to bust into your consciousness, and to joyously complicate a too-certain understanding you thought you held without qualification. Speaking aloud of this exploratory process to others, alas, spoils the scene; the magic depends on you radically keeping the faith in your own sensory experiences, and the sense you make of 'em. Should you duck the timely advice to leave your lips buttoned (at least until next week, when Mercury arrives to your sign), the 'stunning' awareness is apt to come in the form of a jarring read, a blade of sharp feedback from someone who seeks to hold up a not-so-flattering mirror up to your face and force you to look at what they claim to see in you. But what are their motives? Are their observations accurate, or merely meant to rattle your self-image?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's better to purposely reach out to anyone expecting to hear from you, Gemini—even if you aren't particularly enthused about having that particular conversation with that particular person right at this moment—than to attempt to altogether avoid them. Visibly illustrating that you aren't hiding is an important indicator of confidence in your position vis--vis them. Now, does that mean you must therefore have it out with them? No, it doesn't. In fact, you'll be in a stronger spot to postpone any potentially dicey discussion if you took the initial lead with getting in touch. (Should they have to hunt you down, on the other hand, you'll look pretty cowardly if you evade a certain topic and/or refuse to answer their direct questions.) Once you establish contact, then you can opt to broaden the terms of discourse, cleverly transmuting any I-said-you-said dichotomies (a framework where you're at greater risk of being called out for past inconsistencies) into a larger question of 'what fair people believe'. When you take it out of an intensely personal context and pose it as an issue which other outside parties would hold pertinent opinions about, you'll scramble their attack-plan… and, at the same time, emerge handsomely as an advocate-voice for bigger interests, all while extricating yourself (temporarily, at least) from a potentially sticky situation.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Be vocal in recounting the efforts you're devoting to your daily responsibilities, the challenges you're courageously confronting, and the progress you're ultimately making, Cancer. This is your best approach to proactively setting the tone of any relevant discussions, so as to preventively thwart anyone else from twisting the narrative to serve their possibly-not-so-supportive purposes. Though it's a lovely sentiment to believe that your dutiful labor will speak for itself, the current astrology suggests your profile would benefit from a bit more flagrant, self-revealing transparency in your publicly detailing your day-to-day grind. In order for it to ring as sincere sharing (rather than image-ready hype), I encourage you to openly discuss both your smoother victories and those humbling stumbling-blocks which have demanded ongoing attention. (After all, nobody trusts the veracity of first-person tales which solely hail successes, while conveniently leaving out any signs of struggle.) By admitting you've confronted a challenge or two, you'll actually convey a certain self-assuredness—for if there were something to be ashamed of, you wouldn't be so fast and free with the admission, right?—far more impressive than if you cowered in the corner, in fear that someone else might bring up what you'd hoped to conceal. Plus, if they see you're still working at it even after hitting a few snags, you'll demonstrate you've got the admirable grip of a survivor.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This is no time to be shy, Leo. We want to hear about your process of coming to terms with who you really are, and what you really want. Though there's likely more universal wisdom dwelling in the most-recent installment of your recounted journey than you might realize, please just tell your tale as a personal report… and stop short of trying to turn it into a moralizing gospel. Leave out the parts where you articulate the lessons you've learned in a way that imposes a certain meaning-structure onto others' interpretations; just describe what happened. Your storytelling abilities already come built in with a knack for inspiring your listeners, by mere virtue of how involved you are in the saga of your life's unfolding. Please don't forcibly attempt, therefore, to make yourself into the type of protagonist you imagine they'll want to root for. Be you… the one who, yes, sometimes makes a goof or three but nearly always leads with your heart. That person is far more lovable than any character you might create, in an effort to prove your point or craftily pull on our heartstrings. And who knows? If you just happen to mention whatever hasn't been your proudest element of this evolutionary leg, your generous vulnerability may well entice a grateful co-conspirator to help you out with that piece.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This is a ripe week for fundamentally shaking up the dynamics in any intimate romantic, professional, familial, or close-friend relationship, Virgo, by standing up for what your inner conscience demands and/or cannot tolerate. As scary as it might be to phrase your emotional non-negotiables in unambiguous terms, such communicative directness should be considered the most effective starting-point for effecting discernible change in how you behave towards one another. While the entire exchange may not transpire exactly as you'd hoped or imagined, you will have at least framed the central issue(s) in a manner that won't allow for the other party to believably claim not to understand what's concerning you (even if, at the same time, they aren't willing or able to grasp why it's so damn important to you). Contrary to what any unconstructively self-imposed guilt might report, you aren't causing anybody undue harm or hurt by addressing the awkward, off-limits, or unspeakable topic. You'd actually be showing great respect for the concept of transparent partnership by not staying silent. After all, if you didn't care about 'em, you wouldn't bother edging yourself out on that limb, in an earnest attempt at radical honesty… right?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If somehow the scenario I outlined in last week's edition turned out instead to leave you on the receiving end of someone else's 'critical disclosure of important emotional nuances', Libra, you have a couple different possibilities for presently-astrologically-appropriate response-strategies. Either (1) you can use the initiative they took as fuel for your fire, and be that much more unapologetically direct with your own disclosures, seeing as the surface-tension has already been broken, the topic broached, and the gloves taken off… or (2) you could spend the week ahead holding your response-impulses at bay (and holding that certain someone at arm's length), while you engineer a scheme for saying even more than you'd originally intended to, addressing the underlying roots of whatever dynamic's now come to a head (rather than merely describing the symptoms) and going for the full illusion-crushing, intimacy-building gusto, next week or beyond. The quicker former option will more easily play off of the current momentum, keeping the discussion actively going… but also leaves a greater threat of impulsively uttering poorly-thought-out word-bombs, meant to startle or harm more than to explain anything. The latter option, on the other hand, requires additional patience and forethought… yet, if the awkward core of this issue has been conveniently sidestepped until now, this extra attention could be precisely what's demanded, to nudge forward into the heart of this matter.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): However you may interpret this advice, Scorpio, your push to 'make more' would benefit from an efficiency-minded innovation or two in your processes. How might you cut time from certain practices without unwisely treating the important details too casually or carelessly? Unexamined routine could be the hindering reason behind your struggle to ramp up your productivity levels. Be brave about identifying those blocks of inattention, dawdle, and/or waste in your daily flow. A simple deal to not allow yourself that behavior until after a particular hour-of-the-day might bring a huge savings in dutiful concentration. Look also at those items you tend to attack first, not because they are the most immediately pressing or important, but so you can indulgently enjoy their relative ease while still telling yourself you're 'hard at work'. Consider starting with the more challenging to-dos instead… and see how that rearrangement impacts your momentum over the day's unfolding. The romantic in you doesn't want to have to choose between all the different activities vying for a slot in your schedule. I say, perhaps you don't have to choose—if you properly organize yourself to make the necessary room.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): It's totally okay to shock the shit out of folks with your latest statement-of-self-intent, Sagittarius, as long as you're not doing it solely for the pleasure of being contrary or contentious. Speaking your truth should be an act of identity expression and/or elucidation, not a gesture motivated by some mischievous desire to get a reaction. Naturally, I imagine you'd be curious about what types of reactions you might receive (as we discussed last week, you probably ought to know what 'your people' seem to think), but your anticipatory imaginings about these possibilities shouldn't be a contributing factor in sculpting your message. It's either your truth, or it's not. And if you're uncertain about making such a determination, I suggest considering whether this maybe-truth is likely to still be true a year or two from now—and if you feel like maybe it won't, then I wouldn't claim it as 'true' for the time being either. If you haven't yet made your mind up and/or are presently harboring mixed feelings, there's no need to force the issue one direction or the other. (That would be an inauthentically-timed decision, premature considering your admittedly-conflicted circumstances.) Your most shocking truth might indeed be that you aren't quite as sure as you've been insinuating.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): During your week ahead, Capricorn, it matters relatively little what anybody else is up to—unless they're really far up your ass on the home-front, leaving you no choice but to vocally insist upon a fair arm's-length (or two) distance from them—since you ought to be focused most closely on privately busting through your own emotional patterns. I suspect that whatever you're currently grappling with involves some habitual way in which you've held yourself back from what would likely feel tremendously freeing, in blind deference to an outdated message you had crammed down by your throat by a formative figure (parent? sibling? teacher?) who probably intended to keep you safe but instead repressed a part of you that now desperately needs liberation. This is your chance to reason with that internalized voice-of-repression, using the simple straight-line logic of 'as an adult, I can choose to do whatever I feel I want to do'. I understand it could be hard for you to accept this line-of-reasoning as convincing enough to neutralize the years of behavioral patterning you were put through. And yet, its very simplicity is its great liberatory power. Though there may be valid-sounding justifications for allowing 'proper protocol' to substitute for unconditional emotional authenticity, you're at a spot where your sensitive insides crave an official 'let-off-the-hook' from the Moral Authority… which, thankfully, is now fully owned-and-operated by you.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Because you're protecting a delicate self-awareness that what you bring to the table really is as valuable as you suspect (during your most confident moments, at least), even if it looks dreamy or impractical or too 'advanced' for certain unimaginative doubters, you might decide against bothering to engage anybody who isn't already a historically-authenticated ally or close-friend, Aquarius, in too provocative or unsettling a dialogue about 'what other people aren't openly saying'. You wouldn't want to unfairly catch the blame for stirring unpopular sentiments when you'd merely meant to describe what you're observing. Perhaps it's better to instead perform a bit of calculated conversational craziness, much as one might intentionally behave erratically when threatened so as to startle the potential threat into moving on to someone more predictably vulnerable, to throw 'em off your scent. Wacky rhetorical strategies—obscure jokes, self-mocking confessions, word play, trivia games, gossip about events no longer currently controversial—are an excellent self-defense mechanism. As long as you keep everybody on their toes with one curve-ball after another, they can't possibly notice how adeptly you're steering 'em away from the real existential puzzles you're immersed in working out.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Offer up your skills or services, Pisces, as a way of demonstrating your willingness to dive into this promising opportunity. Volunteer to give it a try, even if you don't currently possess a ton of experience… though I'd be transparent about that fact, pitching your eager interest in learning-and-growing as a more treasured asset than some cavalier I've-seen-it-all-before mark on a qualifications checklist. Sincere enthusiasm (coupled with a commitment to following-through) is often a more convincing sign of a trusty captain than some hardened expert who issues instructives with a been-there-done-that world-weariness. Not everyone would agree with my prior sentence's conclusion, please understand… especially those who are more methodologically conservative, risk-averse, and/or envious enough of an 'upstart ingenue' (like you?) who'd dare to stretch into new terrain (while they are meanwhile shivering in their boots, hoping to preserve a crusty status-quo?) that they might, consciously or not, seek to undermine your confidence. Such antagonistic characters could, of course, exist more intrusively in your own head than in real-life, masquerading as some 'voice of reason' telling you not to take the risk. Thank you, inner saboteur, but doing something new is the only way to figure out how to do something you haven't done before. Whether you soar with success or sputter while struggling, your way-forward will be unconditionally yours; it won't resemble anybody else's, nor should it.