Horoscopes | Week of April 18-24, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It would be very easy, under these current astro-circumstances, to invest total trust in your sharp instincts, Aries… and to therefore follow whatever impulse might immediately deliver that soaring feeling of liberation, unfettering you from wasting one drop more of your sweet time on shit that ultimately doesn't matter. But wait just a moment, please. A stationary Pluto in your 10th, squaring off against Venus and Uranus in your sign, once again warns of potentially irreversible pushback coming at you from responsibilities which don't allow you to so radically 'liberate' yourself from them, goals which require a steadier focus and firmer grip than that, and/or high-ranking authorities or other prominent figures who'd find your defiance or rejection of the 'accepted standards and practices' a mutinous or power-hungry act. Confronting such pushback may just be par for the course, depending on how serious you are about upturning the existing chain-of-command and/or intensifying your declaration of the right to self-sovereignty. However, if you don't really intend to rebel so fully against a guiding ambition, an organizing structure, and/or a person-in-charge, you probably ought to balance any moment's instinctive urge against the regular reminder to respect certain processes and pecking-orders… if only because you need 'em as a means to some greater end.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Beware of positing too overconfident a conception of what's ethically correct and/or what's inexcusably indecent, Taurus, lest you find yourself in a surprising situation where the principles of integrity don't line up quite so orderly… and you end up tripping over your own rigidly stated logic, meekly eating crow, and/or admitting that even you sometimes fall short of your own standards. If you absolutely must take a stand, please do so without the added imposition of judging, shaming, or condemning those who believe differently. It's enough simply to state what you believe, in positively defining terms, while skipping the parts where you emphasize how insistent you are on being proven the most scrupulous and/or sharply criticize anybody else. In fact, I'd advise leaving lots of room for exchanges to transpire quite differently than you expect, for angles you haven't yet examined to yield enlightening twists in understanding, and/or for you to acknowledge some spontaneous insight, peculiarity, or uncanny experience has raised issues which run counter to a cherished philosophy. You needn't grasp exactly how your worldview could be irrevocably broken open by allowing life's odd variables to shape you. Just hold enough perspectival humility to appreciate the not-knowing… and to save yourself from later recantations.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This week is riddled with temptations to hop on some collective train, follow friends' or colleagues' leads, go along with the crowd, and/or throw yourself totally into the wider movement, Gemini… which wouldn't be such an awful impulse if you didn't simultaneously face certain extenuating conditions that limit just how freely you could do so without also eliciting consequences that might not be worth it. Bluntly put, all potential participants are not equal. What might be easy-breezy and totally uncomplicated for someone else could involve a whole lot more hoops-to-jump-through, strings-that-bind, and one-thing-leading-to-another for you. Rail all you want about life not being fair, and I'll unhesitatingly agree with you. (Of course, you also possess abilities and assets others don't. But you won't see that if you're fixated on what they have that you don't.) This doesn't mean, however, you must altogether abstain from the group activity, event, or engagement—merely to measure your level of immersion against that more-serious commitment, obligation, or debt which mustn't be left hanging, wished away, or betrayed. Otherwise, what ought to feel like a wildly exuberant team-minded exploit could instead lead you down a road to all-too-familiar trouble.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Though a certain amount of speculative, self-starter-style daring will presently prove rather auspicious in your public-eye zone, Cancer, it mustn't be expressed in a way that could read as a direct threat or challenge to any relationship where the delicate balance-of-power would be thrown off by your moxie… unless, of course, you mean to make relational waves. Naturally, by purposely aiming to flip the script in an existing interpersonal dynamic while simultaneously springing ahead in your career position or outside-world involvement, you'll be bringing additional complexities and tangles into the situation. Or you may be unable to avoid such complications no matter what you do, if you're already entangled with somebody who isn't entirely on board with (or is actively hostile to) your efforts to further actualize your professional self. Whenever possible, ground your gutsy outward reachings in the day-to-day tasks, which will depersonalize the ramifications of what you're working on… and hopefully neutralize the possibility that you'll be lured into a relational showdown. If you must engage in a toe-to-toe encounter, conduct yourself as if a third-party is watching the whole thing go down—and evaluating whether or not you're being fair.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This current moment's most-electrifying inspirations must be integrated into your broader strategy for cultivating that certain achievement you aspire to realize, Leo, just as we talked about last week… or else you risk causing yourself real problems in the effective overseeing of your day-to-day duties. No, it probably isn't wise to drop all the balls or disrupt an otherwise health-and-sanity-supporting routine, to single-mindedly embrace whatever venturesome exploration or purposeful crusade presently symbolizes 'making the most out of life'. For the record, I do wholeheartedly advocate for each of us indeed making the most out of our lives. But sustaining a life long enough and robustly enough to make the most out of it demands faithful compliance with that set of non-negotiable 'rules' for surviving-and-thriving within the constraints of embodied physical reality—and flying by the seat of your pants, in order to chase a vision or ideal divorced from its essential ties to such rules, just won't cut it. You must actualize this grand quest over a period of time, without leaving a karmic trail of ducked obligations and bodily negligences in your wake due to unrealistic hopes. Otherwise, you'll end up having to come back around to clean up and/or heal whatever you were too eager to leave behind in the first place.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You mustn't pretend away certain self-evident preferences, urges, or yearnings, Virgo, just because you're eager to bust through an ongoing interpersonal stalemate, resolve a seemingly open-ended negotiation, and/or move things along toward a clearer resolution. Though you may believe you're 'doing the right thing' for both of you and/or for the situation-at-hand, there is no astrologically sound reason for you to compromise, qualify, or concede your desires at this particular moment… even if the uncertain, unsettling, and/or contested status of a certain partnership (whether with a spouse or sweetie, a creative or professional collaborator, or an institutional entity) feels like it might drive you fucking crazy if it doesn't get worked out right away. You actually can tolerate more of this up-in-the-air-ness, especially if your willingness to resist this premature giveaway of your own critical agency will ultimately yield you a more personally authentic, suitable, and/or gratifying outcome. In fact, the longer you can bear with these not-quite-sure-where-this-is-all-going feelings without rashly drawing the line one place or another, the better you'll get to know and understand one another's multiple methods, motives, and neuroses… and the less internally-conflicted a call you'll later be able to make.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As uncertain, unstable, and/or erratic as the vibes in your interpersonal life may this week prove to be, Libra—because a certain someone is behaving by inconsistent whim and/or pushing you too frantically toward their self-serving aims? because you're desperate to disrupt a discontenting relationship pattern and/or try something radically new together? because you're just at your damn wits'-end with everyone?—I urge you to keep a very tight handle on how you communicate. Your greatest success at navigating this evolutionary turmoil will come from faithfully staying on the topic-at-hand, properly pacing the conversational unfolding (rather than jumping ahead to hasty conclusions), and sticking with 'clean' confrontational tactics (as opposed to fighting 'dirty') so no regrettable misdeeds come back to bite you later. The biggest threat to your ability to heed this code-of-conduct? Confusing the specific interpersonal situation (and/or your feelings toward that person-in-question) with your larger emotional state (which might include certain ingrained stress-responses stemming from a past of trying to 'hold your own' with overbearing parents or partners), thus unconsciously making things more complicated or convoluted than they need to be. Deal with the actual person in front of you, not whatever self-concocted facsimile might be triggering your disproportionate or ill-fitting reaction.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Though the escalating itch to simply start doing things way differently makes a lot of sense (especially in light of the continuing advantageousness of revamping your everyday processes), please don't neglect to properly inform and/or seek input from those folks who are legitimately entitled to be included, Scorpio. In fact, the relative success—or distress—of your week ahead is largely predicated on how frankly, patiently, thoroughly, and unflinchingly you exchange ideas, opinions, and concerns with any- and everyone liable to be impacted by your drive to nimbly refine your routines for maximally self-satisfying efficiency. You mustn't just throw the cards up in the air and expect other people not to question the logic behind your deed, to suggest alternative methods for creating change more incrementally, and/or to express their doubt or displeasure with the 'mess' it appears to them you're making. Yes, it is their business, too, whether as affected colleagues or neighbors or friends-who-care. To ease any reactionary defenses, let me reassure you there's no question you have every right to organize your life's schedules and rhythms however you see fit. The sticky part merely involves how quickly and dramatically you switch things up… and, more importantly, whether you do your due-diligence in considerately communicating about all the relevant details and nuances with all the relevant parties.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): It's probably time to review the numbers, Sagittarius… though that may be the last thing you feel like doing these days. This tremendous wave of momentum you've been riding high atop, as invigorating as it is, has the frightening potential to carry you too far from familiar shores—and, because this is such a friggin' fun ride, you might not want to keep nervously looking back toward home-base, calculating distances traveled and miles-to-empty and bucks-in-pocket. But just as embarrassing as it can be to pile consumer desirables on the checkout counter and then discover you haven't enough room on your credit-card to cover this mountain-of-items, or just as menacing as it is to notice you've stayed on this train beyond the point where your ticket's still valid and now find you're hurtling through unauthorized territory, you won't want to eventually end up somewhere you can't afford to be, tail between your legs and/or screwed beyond belief. The good news, it seems, is that you're gaining a far clearer instinctive understanding of where your desires would carry you, if left completely to their own devices. The harder part now becomes how to moderate this thrilling rush so each footfall lands safely on solid ground, no twisted ankles or misjudged stretches… and so you'll have what you need when you get there.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Whenever Pluto is in the astrological headlines throughout its lengthy visit to your sign (2008-2024), Capricorn, I feel obliged to offer you warnings against the heightened potential for you to inadvertently trigger others' projections, insecurities, and/or defenses. Whenever this happens, your stubbornly recurring lesson is how to most honorably respond with neither pussyfootish pandering nor defensive hostility, owning any subtle part you might be playing in the dynamic (perhaps by way of unconscious smugness, intimidation, or insensitivity?) and hospitably stepping towards the other person (rather than intensifying the schism), with the hope of transforming a misperception into an opportunity for visceral honesty. This week certainly qualifies as one of those instances, with Pluto not only stationary but also squaring a conjoined Venus-and-Uranus-in-the-4th… which means you should heed that familiar warning (and tend to your recurrent lesson), all while also under the effect of a rebellious emotional streak that could inspire you not to give any fucks. Throw in the still-barely-moving Mars retrograde in your 12th, and you have a recipe for (1) being misperceived, (2) not giving a fuck, and then (3) unleashing reactively disproportionate anger or animosity from unpredictable sources. Of course, none of these worst-case scenarios could manifest—especially if you keep largely to yourself, enjoying the domestic realm and only the company of those who know you exceedingly well—but it's better to be forewarned than to go into this week's convergence-of-astro-factors blind.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): There's presently a weird attitudinal pendulum swinging between the extremes of (1) treating your social encounters too casually and (2) treating others with too much suspicion, Aquarius… and neither pole, by itself, should be seen as your most-correct action. This week, it's the first behavior which poses a bigger immediate threat, insofar as you taking conversational liberties you aren't entitled to (based on who a particular person is in relation to you) is apt to lead you down a road of sharp retorts, jarring disconnects, or other surprise reactions. Unless you intend to be provocative (and sincerely aren't worried about the resultant unpredictable fallout), you'll probably need to practice exceeding deliberateness in exactly who you share which opinions or information with, what tone you adopt, and/or which colloquialisms you use (or don't, as the case may be). At the same time, there's no reason to expect the worst of people, just because you shouldn't tell everybody everything. Your deepest fears about what could happen to you, believe it or not, are less directly related to the social-world reorientations now gradually occurring in your life… and more a general expression of the existential panic we all endure, whenever we come face-to-face with our profound lack of control. Though I can offer no tidy solution to all that, I can confidently say it'd be unwise to project it too intensely onto certain individuals whose incongruence with your life-path is messing with your self-assuredness.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Carving out an increasingly clearer path to solvency, self-sufficiency, and/or confident autonomy surely requires making certain unapologetically self-interested decisions, which can be hard enough for the typical Piscean to make (at least without feeling guilty or conflicted)… but what presently makes it harder is the likelihood that such decisions will resultantly slot you in a particular subject-position (in social-identity terms), polarize specific individuals (or types-of-individuals) against you due to what you now 'represent', and/or oblige you to turn away from ideologies, affiliations, or involvements which necessarily collide with what you must do for yourself. In trying to determine how much flagrant self-interest is too much and/or whether peer-driven concerns are significant enough to capitulate to, I'd refer back to your guiding professional and/or public-world aspirations (where, as we discussed last week, you presently face a 'make or break' crossroads) as the top evaluative criterion: Will defining myself separately be better for building my reputation in ways that'll support what I'm aiming to achieve, or would I help move myself toward my goal more effectively by bowing to the group politics? There is no singular 'right answer' to this compound question, by the way. Based on the particularities of your larger life-strivings, you must choose when and how much to stand out from the crowd, in order to smartly mark yourself as a valuable individual in your own right.