Horoscopes | Week of April 11-17, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Rather than rallying Venus's benefic influence to attempt to pull off something which almost surely wouldn't work if you didn't have Venus temporarily on your side, Aries, I'd instead recommend using it a bit more modestly… as an occasion to confidently reaffirm a directional decision that's already been made, to celebrate your purposeful commitment, to put a resounding flourish of passion atop it, so as to guarantee your intentions are patently known. Because you are on a relative high, we wouldn't want you to become so emboldened that you overreach in proportion or extent, opening up ventures or engagements which you'll later find increasingly difficult to maintain, tend to, or develop to their most-promising potential. That doesn't mean you can't keep an enthusiastic eye on these farther-out horizons, or even indicate your tentative general interest in certain ideals or visions which could legitimately amount to a concrete expression at some undefined future moment. But all of those additional ambitions, on top of what's already been put into motion, remain dreams at this point. Don't bite off more than you chew; it'll take you a while to digest everything already in your mouth.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Be especially on guard against being dragged into the mud by someone who believes (consciously or not) they'd nab the upper hand by sparking you to lose control, Taurus. That beginning-to-retrograde Mars in your 8th makes me a bit nervous, due to its potential to provoke in you defense-tactics or attack-strategies which cross a line you'll later wish you hadn't crossed (though, of course, there'd be no way to uncross it). For that matter, even if we're talking about an intensifying coming-together (rather than an adversarial splitting-apart), you should still watch out for getting more deeply into it than you're adequately prepared for… particularly if money, sex, and/or sensitive personal details are involved. This is a rather troublesome time to invest greater trust in someone, if you're doing so in one fail swoop of instant good-faith. You might start a gradual process of escalating inter-involvement, with the understanding that the next four months or so will reveal a lot more about where this could successfully go—or whether you'd be unwise to continue down this path—and you wouldn't want to expose yourself to great risk until you have more substantiation. Likewise, adopt the same gradual pace with any nascent separations: Don't take any emotion-driven steps that might work against your eventual capacity to emerge with what's duly yours in tow, even if that means passing up a chance to really let 'em have it right now.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As Mars appears to stand still and switch direction in your relationship house (the 7th), Gemini, I'd be on watch for strangely unsettling plot-twists, changes in desire (or in how that desire's expressed), tensions coming to a head, and/or antagonistic swells in your interpersonal realm. But whatever's blowing up or going down now mustn't be seen as the end-all-be-all of this story… at least insofar as any single flaring-up relational situation is merely a ripe learning-opportunity manifestation of your larger lesson in properly prioritizing which individuals (or 'types of individuals') merit which size and significance a role in your life, and how to go about effectively administering such self-designated priorities. In other words, how you handle this one will speak volumes about the relative health of your relational practices in general; this is no time for flippancy, duplicity, or avoidance. However, neither should you rush to offer any responses or reactive statements, just because they're acting out or you've noticed something in their behavior you strongly dislike. Instead, talk to uninvolved third-parties, both for their reassurances that you're not being unreasonable and their recommended techniques for how to eventually address this divide. With Mercury stuck in your 12th for a while longer (thanks to a retrograde beginning near month's-end), you are far from the ideal moment to actually broach the topic with the problematic figure.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): While I typically hate to include the sort of specific warnings liable to stir undue worry, I am moved to mention the increased possibility for accidents, injuries, or illnesses, Cancer, which could coincide with Mars's stationing in your solar 6th… most likely as an effect of pushing yourself too hard or too fast, forcing through things which seem pretty stuck, trying to use might over mind, and/or bowing to your temper. This particular tension could feel especially exasperating because this is otherwise an excellent time to harness your physical vim-and-vigor to an observable advantage in your career and/or public-sector life. But rather than bombard your body with too urgent, ambitious, or unrealistic an agenda of executables, strive instead for a rate and rhythm that's reasonable, sustainable, and properly aligned with your health-promoting practices. Another potential contributing-factor: your stubborn refusal to seek and/or act upon others' logistical advice (as we talked about last week), as if you're trying to flaunt your solitary fortitude to those who'd underestimate you. Such counsel-filled conversations will not only productively orient your interpersonal energies toward camaraderie (and thus away from competition); they'll provide momentary lags during which your energies can settle and steady, significantly slashing the chance that Mars will cause you problems.


LEO (July 23-August 22): There's rarely as accommodating a moment as this for doing exactly what you want to do, Leo, and allowing it to positively symbolize what you presently believe to be most important, honorable, and/or meaningful in your world. Yet, if we're being vigorously thoughtful about how you might marshal this advantage, we must acknowledge there are always multiple versions of 'what you want to do'—an immediate impulse vs. a longer-term goal, for example—and sometimes they're in a degree of conflict with one another. What you want to do right now (because it represents your worldview, aligns with your ideals, taps into your current creative interests, and/or simply seems the most appealing or fun) may not be the sort of activity which aligns with the public impression you need to build in striving to attain a firmer foothold in your ongoing professional (and/or community-based) pursuits. But once you take an action that impacts your outward reputation, you can't take it back again... and though it may promptly provide you some satisfaction or pleasure, it might also cause you a problem with certain narrow-minded keyholders or power-players whose opinions of you matter. Therefore, just make sure to factor in both short- and long-range desires when doing 'what you want to do'. With careful consideration (and politically-calculated communications), you shouldn't have to choose one at the complete expense of the other.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Please try your hardest not to let your emotions get the best of you this week, Virgo. Otherwise, you may be prone to making agreements, entering into arrangements, and/or deepening existing associations in a way that ultimately inhibits your future freedom. Just because another party appears willing and able (if not, perhaps, a little too eager) to help you handle an unfamiliar, emerging, and/or incomplete circumstance you're charged with overseeing, that doesn't mean it's in your own self-development interests to invite them so unequivocally into such an intimate role. You can rely on them for relational support and encouragement without full-on handing them partial control in a fleeting moment of upset, overwhelm, or over-it-ness… and then later recognizing that this handover robs you both of a ripe growth opportunity and the capacity to assert total stylistic authority. You might be temporarily stumbling through a minefield of self-doubt or confusion (i.e., crusty remnants of old self-defeating messages still strewn across the landscape, lurking in dangerous hiding-places), but your broader outlook is bigger, better, and more beautiful than all that. Don't be short-sighted about any single disheartening emotional hiccup; you are making strides.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Preserve a pleasant interpersonal flow the best you can, Libra, but stop short of consenting to any joint schemes or strategies which you'd be held to participating in a few months down the road. Though the present moment is teeming with socially-interactive, partnership-promoting astro-energies prone to pulling you into dynamic discussions about 'what we should do next', I've still got my vision fixed on Jupiter's arrival to your sign in September… an indicator that your own self-focused renaissance will be imminently expressing itself, and thus a potentially good reason not to prematurely sign on for any collaborative undertaking. By the way, I'm not saying the direction your current conversations are naturally taking you is necessarily in conflict with what'll be in your best interests six months or a year from now. Rather, we don't know yet. More conversation needs to happen. And during the course of that ongoing conversation, as more of your as-yet-undisclosed aspirations begin to arise, you'll get a much better idea of just how this other person's agenda dovetails with yours (or doesn't). The hardest part may be restraining your inner peacemaker from too swiftly reaching for whatever 'resolution' will curb the interpersonal pressures you're feeling… before all the pertinent considerations have fully emerged.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't freak out about money, Scorpio, if such a freak-out will provoke you to dash towards some emergency-bailout deed which might seem like it'll immediately plug a gushing hole, but could instead foil a longer-term fiscal plan and/or drain you of funds that had already been designated for other purposes. Before you accept or quit a job, sell off a precious asset, sign on for a loan, or agree to a lower-than-market-value rate just because you'll have instant cash, you probably should first talk to your closest friends, colleagues, or confidantes about what you're about to do. If you are this ready to shift into survival mode and make a different decision than you'd wanted and/or intended to make, you might as well be fiercely honest about your predicament with the folks likeliest to understand, to care, and to wish to help. What feels like an absolute 'do-or-die' when you're left to your own devices could instead start to sound downright manageable, after a sobering discussion of the ins and outs with someone who can calmly map out a few action-steps for you that'd downgrade the terror-level from 'most severe' to 'cautiously optimistic' in a reasonable time-span. You're totally capable of regaining a more competent grip on this—if you don't fall prey to panic and react like a threatened insurgent.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): With Mars appearing to stand still in your sign all week, Sagittarius, then kicking off its ten-week retrograde on Sunday (Apr 17), you could find yourself facing a palpable surge of impulsivity, irritability, impatience, and/or willful insistence. Please be careful with how you express this swell of Mars energy… mainly with an eye for avoiding any hasty jumps, prideful strikes, aggressive attitudes, and/or trigger-finger overreactions, so you don't later regret having let a moment's heatedness inspire you to pull a fast move you're unable to retract or remediate. Though there are plenty of reasons why you might currently feel as if you could happily proceed exactly as you want with great success, you are wielding an exaggerated amount of assertive oomph… and like anyone who might aim a powerful implement without fully understanding the heights of its firepower, you flirt with inadvertently causing collateral damage to innocent bystanders (and/or causing yourself harm due to the potential for forceful blowback) by not properly respecting the intensity you're working with. In other words, a little goes a long way. To keep yourself in check, repeatedly remind yourself of the longer-term goals and/or projects you're in the midst of realizing—and that they vitally require a gradual, step-by-step rollout.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Counteract any peculiar remarks and/or misleading insinuations with an unerring straightforwardness, Capricorn. This is a terrible time to be indirect, cryptic, cutesy, or obtuse. Even when deploying your trademark sarcasm, you'd better be damn sure everyone knows you're joking… and, as a result, be ultra-super-obvious with your punchline (which shouldn't, by the way, come at anybody else's expense). It's more effective to patiently repeat your same statements of purpose, preference, and/or desire in consistent language than to try to paint a more sophisticated, suggestive scene that leaves too many interpretational blanks for others to fill in (according to their wishes, fears, or projections, naturally). There are no conversational 'advances' for you to make, opinions to be persuasively argued, or minds that presently need you to open 'em—merely clarity, on issues or items you've felt this particular way about for some time already, begging to be (re)affirmed. The best you can do is be as explicit as possible about the situation as you see it… and hope this articulated transparency is enough to keep you out of others' suspicion-sparked crosshairs.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): More clearly defining yourself as a certain type of individual within the larger group, community, or society-at-large, Aquarius—a process that's presently transpiring, whether by active choice or circumstantial shakeout, over an extended length of time—doesn't mean you ought to take some dramatic self-differentiating step in full public view right at this immediate moment. We covered this ground last week, too, but I want to reemphasize that the proper ordering of action-items suggests you must first get surer within yourself about which associations leave you feeling most genuinely seen, heard, respected, and understood, and which raise your hackles of uncertainty, mistrust, incompatibility, or at-odds interests… and only after that should you take any visible steps to end an affiliation, close a door, issue a distancing statement, or (gulp) give an adversarial character a piece of your mind. Trust me, you haven't yet completed that former task (even though it may feel like you have): These next many Mars-retrograde weeks ahead will continue funneling you critical data about the other players, which could provide you the 'missing link' to support your case, reveal another sly conspirator is lurking behind the curtain, and/or open a new opportunity for you to take charge of a factional subset of loyalists. Can you linger here, in an unresolved social position, a while longer? Your shrewdest positioning depends on it.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I presume you already know, based upon many months' worth of recent horoscopes, that you remain at a 'make or break' crossroads juncture in your career (and/or outside-community) zone, Pisces…? My job this week, then, is to remind you that you aren't likely to make those strides you're eyeing in the course of any single show of competence, confidence, and/or courage. Since you'd probably like to achieve a level of recognition, responsibility, and/or reward that'll be yours to keep for longer than a few fleeting moments of luck or chance, then you must demonstratively earn it over a similarly prolonged period of time. However, it is possible to break your stride (and/or altogether shatter your chances) with a singularly erratic, aggressive, or reckless act—especially at a moment like this, with Mars stationing to retrograde motion at the pinnacle of your solar chart (i.e., in your 10th house). Therefore, should you encounter any challenging situations or unfriendly treatment in the professional and/or public-world realm, please don't overreact with a poorly-thought-through fix, an angry retort, or anything which might be regarded by the higher-ups as insubordination. Keep it together as long as you're being watched; then, vent your frustration to friends or loved ones on your off time. Incidentally, this doesn't imply you'll be waving a white flag of surrender and letting your 'foe' triumph… merely holding out for the bigger win.