Horoscopes | Week of April 25-May 1, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As long as your eye keeps returning to that far-off destination you've aimed yourself at (which isn't nearly as far away, perhaps, as it once seemed to be), Aries, you don't need to worry about scooting your butt over to it lickety-split. It's not going anywhere. You won't jeopardize your chance to successfully reach its golden door by proceeding at a responsible, or even cautious, pace. In fact, you probably shouldn't teleport yourself to this not-yet-ready-to-manifest future… not at least until you've squirreled away enough resources to support you on your journey (or at least engineered a concrete budgetary plan that accounts for the inherent risks). With Venus entering your house of earned-income on Friday (May 2) for a 3-week stay that coincides with Mercury's retrograde through the same zone, this certainly seems like the appropriate interval for getting your current economic circumstances ironed out—and, if possible, for banking any payouts due to you from services rendered, deals inked, and/or side-projects ripe for generating a few extra coins. Also not a bad moment for following up on previous conversations about potential raises, contracts, appraisals, or sale-prices; you might get a more favorable answer than the last go-around. Even though Mercury retrograde isn't thought to be an ideal time for finalizing new agreements, that logic doesn't necessarily apply when you're revisiting negotiations already underway.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The incontrovertibly best way to get a handle on any recent embroilments, affairs, or interpersonal jumbles, Taurus, is simply to concentrate on yourself for a while. I definitely don't mean obsessing about how to secure yourself the upper-hand in relation to them, though. That's still far too convoluting, and a surefire path to staying charged up and/or stressed out. Fairy-godmother Venus lands in your sign late this week (Fri Apr 29), sprinkling magical dust atop your every word and deed (through May 24), amplifying how warmly and agreeably folks are liable to respond to you. This benefic astro-influence should prove a great help, especially in light of Mercury simultaneously retrograding through Taurus (from this Thursday Apr 28 until May 22)… which is a likely indication that your mind is due to reconsider its latest conclusions, your communications may warrant a tactical shift, and/or you have some personal business to prudently revisit. Thanks to Venus's role in this Mercury-retrograde, your thoughtful willingness to intentionally slow down, regroup, choose your words carefully (or choose not to remark for the moment), and/or reexamine recent decisions or developments will almost surely benefit you. But if you instead continue to directly engage that potentially (or blatantly, as the case may be) high-drama situation, you may suffer the worst possible Mercury-retrograde consequence: saying more than you meant to, and irreparably harming someone, ruining the deal, and/or blowing your own cover in the process.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don't totally bow to impulses, enticements, pressures, or provocations which center on the specifics of your relationship life, Gemini. As exciting, alluring, intimidating, or infuriating as a certain interpersonal dynamic may presently feel, your overarching relation to that certain individual needn't be pinned down, parsed out, put in its place, or pursued at all costs right this very minute. Actually, at the moment, it could be quite hard to authoritatively discern exactly what's what with regards to any relationship as long as you feel under the gun, utterly engrossed, and/or unable to get an outside grip. Hear me clearly, please: This says absolutely nothing definitive about whether a given relationship is good or bad, healthy or toxic, supportive of your other life-goals or a threat to their realization—merely that you remain in a temporarily irresolvable uncertainty, with Mars currently sitting retrograde in your 7th and not moving all the way through until September. Meanwhile, the continuing action in your 12th (now including a Mercury retrograde and a visit from Venus) bespeaks of an increased emphasis on deliberate, contemplatively-minded retreat time… to reduce the psychic noise, to re-anchor yourself in your inner knowing, to strip away the inordinate influence anybody else has over figuring out what's best for you, and/or to reconnect with your version of spirit, the Divine, the universe, or what-not. If everything's about other people (or one particular one), you can't get straight.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As we discussed a few weeks back, Cancer, the pieces of work you've been overseeing do not exist in a self-referential vacuum. The relative productiveness of your efforts will be assessed not merely by the sheer volume of finished goods stacked atop your workstation, but also by whether they synergistically support the wider propositions of your team, group, or social milieu. Furthermore, if what you're working on doesn't fit the collective agenda (and/or the questionable motives of a particular faction within the greater whole), I wouldn't necessarily rush into a parting-of-ways, at least for another few weeks. Instead, dwelling on this compound question of whether any current allegiances or associations are hindering your own practical efficiency (or the healthy sense of bodily purpose which comes with it)—and/or whether you've inadvertently overlooked certain ally-loyalties or consensus-conventions in your overeager laboring—will do you plenty of personal good. After all, you want to stay solid with the folks who are 'your people' (not risk those relationships because you're barreling down a road that veers away from theirs), but you also want to keep your momentum rolling (not altogether halt until every last comrade has been consulted multiple times over). On both fronts, some slower-motion self-securing measures are probably in order.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you're wondering what's behind that angel-on-your-shoulder voice whispering its soft encouragement not to get crunk or turn this party way out, Leo, it's the current convergence of 10th-house factors asking you to tend extra-earnestly to your big-world responsibilities. It's not merely that a retrograde Mercury in your 10th signifies the heightened possibility of needing to reconfirm certain important professional details, readdress conversations with mentors or higher-ups which had previously left questions unanswered or assignments unclear, and/or generally watch your tongue in any context where you're being observed (and, therefore, judged). It's also that, thanks to Venus's simultaneous 10th-house appearance, you're liable to earn greater esteem and/or some concrete leg-up in your ongoing climb to the next-level as a direct result of how level-headedly you respond to stalled or shaky circumstances. More than anything, your outer-world obligations presently require steady, solid, persistent attention. Each day may bring something new, whether an apparent crisis that demands even-keeled practicality or an unexpected opportunity that you'll totally overlook if you're distracted. Sure, have as much damn fun as you want on your off-time… provided you don't go overboard, wind up hungover or sick or otherwise operating at a lesser capacity, and regrettably miss a chance to shine and/or save your own ass.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Beyond mere 'preferences, urges, or yearnings', Virgo, this now-narrowing pass you're gradually squeezing through is also very much about personal ethics. And what an ethically-oriented response or action-plan demands, above all else, is enough conscientious contemplation to ensure you're not letting a moment's feelings overrun your otherwise-reasonable guidelines for a life-wisely-led. That means being sufficiently ethically responsible—to other people, to yourself, to the principles at stake—to acknowledge when you are experiencing stronger, scarier, and/or more turbulent emotions than usual, and to postpone consequential dealings or decisions until after they calm down and sort themselves out. Certainty is a state of knowing that, even once your mood shifts or the wind starts blowing in a different direction, the conclusion you've drawn will continue to serve you in your various conditions. Because your moods are liable to remain volatile for a while longer and the wind is blowing any-and-every-which-way, ensuring you arrive at a reassuringly certain end-point will require a fair amount of patience… even if it mainly amounts to waiting for each change-in-emotional-state to transpire, checking back in to see where it fits within your integrity structure, and reassessing the overall direction. You're not stopping short; you're really thinking the big issues through.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): A slow slog through possibly-heavy-but-definitely-important issues is appropriate, Libra. Bowing to pressures related to pace-of-progress (whether self-imposed or from someone else) will only work against your best interests. Critical negotiations, collaborations, and/or reorientations take time to get just right. Why shouldn't you exercise your license to ask for the dialogue to be revisited, a previously-proffered answer to be re-explained, and/or ample enough psychic space for reaffirming your original calculations to be reserved? If a certain conversational branch begins to advance too quickly into a whole host of additional considerations you aren't yet prepared to address (or simply if you fear it might), plant your feet right where you are… and refuse to go any further until the already-in-the-process-of-being-worked-out situation at the center of your concerns is more clearly fleshed out. If that takes another three or four weeks—or, if the seriousness warrants it, another three or four months—then so be it. What others could snidely point to as you being 'stubborn' is, from your own more self-confident perspective, merely a case of protecting your current standing before taking a potentially momentous next-step.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Because, no matter your specific circumstances, you are not in this life alone, Scorpio, you needn't hurriedly empty your accounts, barter with the devil for your soul, or adopt other such drastic measures without first slowing down long enough to consult others about alternative options. Yes, I already gave you virtually identical counsel 'two weeks ago. Not only is it totally worthwhile for me to repeat myself for emphasis, but it's also worth your while to continue any such conversations which hadn't previously gone far enough and/or to check in again with folks you either already consulted or originally opted not to consult, for reasons you might now be reconsidering. In contrast to the last time we discussed this matter, the coming week's astrology features both rapport-smoother Venus's arrival to, and Mercury turning retrograde in, your relationship house (the 7th)… which means (1) you're likelier than before to be able to obtain a 'win-win' agreement in any one-on-one exchange and (2) you've been astrologically invited to reengage prior talks, reintroduce concepts, revise your thinking, and/or reverse the drift that certain relational dynamics had appeared to be taking. Devoting the extra time to such interpersonal considerations (for your benefit and for theirs) won't actually intensify any urgent questions or problems, even if it might feel that way. You'll just be properly covering your bases.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The present emphasis on your solar 6th house, Sagittarius, is elbowing you to ground yourself into a steadier, bit-by-bit rhythm over these next few weeks. That shouldn't come as too huge a surprise, in light of your last three weeks' horoscopes (here, here, and here), all of which have centered around balancing your latest energy-and-enthusiasm surges with sufficient practical-mindedness. This is your ideal astrological moment to rethink what hasn't been working at its maximal effectiveness or efficiency (rather than trying to forcibly cram it in or shove it ahead), repeat your preliminary maneuvers a few more times (to confirm your process will continue to produce reliable results over time, even as certain circumstances change), and/or to replenish your bodily resources so that you won't burn out later or sooner (because this is actually a marathon disguised as a series of sprints). Under these conditions, it may be wiser—and better for your overall progress—to sleep an extra few hours than to burn your candle at five or six different ends (and wonder why you keep burning your fingers). Stretches of sustained effort should be regularly interrupted with the requisite healthy-meal breaks (unless you want me to call the Labor Board on your ass). Drink lots of water. Breathe deeply. Treasure your fragile human vessel; if you treat it like a motorized machine, it'll break down.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Surely you can find ways to entertain, inspire, and/or enjoy yourself, Capricorn, while still honestly acknowledging to yourself that Mars's 12th-house retrograde is unquestionably causing an extended pause in your apparent outward progress…? Even with all the corresponding not-sure-what's-nexts, what's-it-all-means, and don't-take-the-baits, you've also got a lovely lineup of 5th-house planet-actors encouraging you to recharge yourself with an earthy dose of personal pleasure, poetry, and/or play. Instead of falling prey to too obsessive or agitating a concern for the future (whether immediate or long-term), you might consider falling back on familiar pursuits, pastimes, or partners-in-crime, taking a happy solace in previously-proven approaches to putting a smile on your face. Perhaps this 'pause' is an opportunity to remind yourself of something (or someone) you truly love, but which has recently taken a backseat to explorations of outerlands and/or exercises in abstract anticipatory longing? Or maybe you actually don't love it as much as you used to… though you'd never know it (and, as a result, might continue indulging in misguided nostalgia for something you don't even want anymore) unless you devoted some time to reacquainting yourself with it. Since you can't 'get anywhere else' at the moment, find delight in what's already here.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Though it's oh-so-easy to become feverishly wrapped up in the busily-populated world all around you (and with those who populate it), your world really starts and ends at home, Aquarius. I encourage you, then, to pointedly redirect a sizable chunk of your attention back towards your home base… whether that means sticking close to your place-of-residence and/or focusing on measures which might iron out any lingering wrinkles in that zone, reconnecting with your place-of-origin and/or the family-members who remind you where you came from, or reawakening to that inalienable self-nurturing sense of 'your home within'. The current astrology favors a few-weeks' worth of refreshening, reorganizing, readdressing, and/or revitalizing activities in this 4th-house realm (thanks, Mercury retrograde), with a promising outlook on how good it'll feel to get 'back to basics' (courtesy of Venus). In order to earnestly undertake such a homeward-bound focus, however, you must effectively convince yourself that a bit more private nesting-and-nourishing doesn't mean you're 'running away' from the ongoing fireworks out in the social mix, where contrasting opinions are heated and sides are being taken and any supposed passivity could be perceived as an unspoken decree. Fuck that level of outside expectation. If you aren't properly caring for yourself first, how could you effectively care about anyone else?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Be present for friends, relations, neighbors, and maybe even total strangers, Pisces, who need a sensitive soul like you who will listen, advise, support, reassure, and/or bear witness. You know how to do this really well. It's like second-nature to you… and as snug a behavior as wrapping yourself in a warm blanket and nestling in. That's because there is an immediate gratification which comes with genuinely connecting with another human being, even if for just a few minutes, when you know your presence is making a positive difference in someone else's life (and, as a result, in yours too). And it's also a simplifying pleasure, one which doesn't require you to strive, strategize, position, or compete—unlike certain other aspirational endeavors that continue to demand a lot of your self-developmental attentions. For the time being, more focus on your moment-to-moment social interactions will help reroute your one-track-mind away from constantly goading you onward toward that top-billing goal… and situate you back amongst the characters who comprise a more familiar context. You should still continue to regularly aim your sightline at the goalpost, of course, to indicate your longer-term intent remains fixed on the prize. Yet, leaning into the comfortable role of friend, relation, neighbor, or fellow human can assuage some of the pressure on you… while offering them some of your light.