Horoscopes | Week of April 10-16, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Before you indulge the surging emotions, trigger-finger reactions, or spoken-before-thinking blurt-outs that are presently in high supply, Aries, I urge you to first align with any self-preservation techniques based on understanding how your own broadest interests won't be served by a split-second defense or retaliation. That's right, sometimes it's better for your longer-term outlook to appear to toss the match to another player… letting a proposal or provocation slide so as not to dizzy yourself with external activity someone else has initiated, only to end up becoming thrown off the course you'd already carved out for yourself. That 'course' I just mentioned, by the way, includes all the steps recently taken toward squaring up your finances and/or stabilizing other earthly components of your life—and, if dutifully followed long enough for you to grow accustomed to its terrain, will lead you to a much more grounded and secure day-to-day existence. Are you really going to fuck with all that just because another person's pursuit of their agenda happens to cross your path in an enticing or aggravating way? Think about it.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you're a little edgy, sloppy, moody, and/or imprecise with your words this week, Taurus, the peeps who decidedly have your back should understand. (To be frank, though, it'll go a whole lot better if you don't directly aim your unruliness at those very people.) The present astrology alerts you to a likelihood of not having as much competent control over what happens around you as you might believe you have. Mars-in-the-1st does give the impression that, with enough force and will, you can move any mountain in your path. But a Mercury-retrograde-in-the-1st at the same time signals an unreliable grasp on whatever sentiments you're putting out there by instinct or impulse (which, of course, would be the exact type spurred by an inflamed Mars who wants its own way). None of this, for the record, would be anything less than perfectly ordinary human behavior. And still you are loved—by the ones who genuinely love you, of course—even when your grasp is unreliable, your words imprecise, and/or your mood not so fluffy and bright. Notice who you naturally feel is a comfortable companion in moments such as this, when you aren't as solid and stable a 'rock' as is typically assumed: This is Venus revealing the fruits of its retrograde to you.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As you arrive to each public outing and obligation this week, Gemini, please begin by leveling with yourself about how not all of you was available to show up. A sizable part of you simply refused to come along, stubbornly reserving its occasional right to burrow away into the pitch-black repose of nowheresville and wait out its shedding of dead soul-matter. Don't force that hibernating facet of your personality to make an appearance… not at such an in-between-scenes moment when its hair isn't done, its garb unsuitable for the outside world. Correspondingly, don't posture as if your attention is undivided or you've got your fullest wits about you. Go into everything knowing what the deal is, and act with the appropriate self-protectiveness. Plaster on the smile. Prep yourself for wherever the conversation's likeliest to head, and plan a few tidily-encapsulating tidings to offer. Treat nearly everybody (i.e., all but the most intimate and trust-abiding players) as if they are clients, customers, or commanding officers—with unerring respect, impersonal politeness, and professional cordiality. Anything less is just too plain risky. Use your private behind-the-scenes time, meanwhile, to observantly witness the soul-level sloughing-away: That outdated shit don't fit no more.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It remains more challenging than usual to remain diplomatic or politically cool, Cancer, while your house of social-group relations (the 11th) is hosting both Mars and a retrograde Mercury. But between you and me, I'm growing increasingly unsure of whether it's that important for you to 'play nicely with others' if it'll require you to passively sign off on someone else's improper attitude or problematic perspective... especially if letting this slide without remark will lead to results that negatively impact other members of your team, tribe, or society-at-large. Do the 'ends' of advocating for what's upright or fair for a certain swath of folks whose well-being you care about justify the 'means' of adopting a less discreet or conciliatory tone with any sore-thumb players blocking the way? That's your decision to make, of course. As Venus finally wraps up its retrograde in your 9th, the personal value of 'what's upright or fair' has become unmistakably obvious. While adeptly navigating social politics is a professional skill generally worth the effort, it's on you to determine when the ethical costs start to become too great to live with.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Be transparently willing to accept you can't know as much as you'd like, Leo, about how the next career-related and/or public-world steps should be taken… mainly because your most favorable results will come from collaborating with other players and, therefore, you'll necessarily lack full understanding. That is exactly how it should be, of course. The ongoing dialoguing exchange of one another's bright ideas and nagging questions and confessed desires will yield each development as you go along together. What won't work as well for you—and, in fact, might create friction with stakeholders or authority-figures and/or an embarrassing problem for yourself—would be any outward performance of overconfident certainty, as if you've 'got everything totally handled, thank you very much, don't worry about me'. Such splashy shows of so-called leadership are not the way that plans or projects involving other people are most successfully realized. Instead, they center you rather than the goal itself as the focal-point… which, more than anything, is an invitation for personality-driven distractions. If you feel you can't count on the folks you're supposed to be collaborating with, and therefore must take it all on yourself? That's knowledge to gradually act on in the weeks to come.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): What if the other person (an actual player or merely a proverbial one) is just as serious about 'doing the right thing' as you are, Virgo… and any differences between you are a matter of ethical nuance or diversity in thought? Last week's edition certainly suggested such a possibility. With Venus stationing back to direct motion in your relationship house (the 7th) after several weeks retrograde, this is that pregnant pivot-moment when you should begin to expect clarity on which individual(s), qualities they possess, and/or manner in which they interrelate you appreciate most—and which are showing they fall short. All the while, however, your ruler Mercury is now retrograde in your 9th, indicating the potential that too rigid a sense of moral correctness on your part can unintentionally lead to rhetorical despotism, blindspots in philosophic logic, or other lapses in consideration for the many different paths that all lead to a life honorably lived. If the relationship means enough, you'll want to spend the time to find which shades of grey work well in both your life-pictures. If the principle's that important, though, a certain someone may simply not be amenable and/or equipped to meeting it where you've drawn your line.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Keep showing up to this intricately interconnected matrix of intersecting concerns (all of which, as you well know, must be thoroughly dealt with), Libra, with the fairest expectation that you can only accomplish so much in a given day… and therefore, at the end of each day, there will still be plenty more left to handle. This is simply the state of your current reality, even if you're doing the world's absolutely best job ever. No, it shouldn't be any different. Complex circumstances warrant sustained attention… which, due to the corresponding length-of-time over which such an attending-to process necessarily unfolds, leaves us to endure periods (like this one) when everything seems disheveled, precarious, and/or relentlessly incomplete no matter what we do. In this current case, though, please also be mindful of the massive personal-growth stretch this set of tasks, trials, and come-to-jesuses represents. With Jupiter looking over your shoulder with its esteemed regard, you've got some benefic support with all this. Expect only what's reasonably realistic of yourself each day, acknowledging the gradual progress you're making.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Just a fair warning, Scorpio: With full-moon, multi-retrograde astro-weather in potent effect this week, you will be prone to exposing exactly how you feel about the other person in any interpersonal dalliances, dialogues, or disagreements… though these true sentiments may not be what you would've wished for them to have discovered, at least not right now and/or in this involuntary manner. In fact, the more cunningly you attempt to finagle a situation in hopes of eliciting a particular response from a certain someone, the likelier your hidden motives (normally so well-concealed) will leak all over, betraying the bait you've laid as being bait… and showing not only the cards you're holding, but the game-play tactics you use. Should such an unmasking inadvertently occur (or even if you're wondering whether it might've occurred, since the very nature of this possibility suggests you could be unaware), you'll probably need to curtail any anger, embarrassment, or regret that rises up. What's done is done. And at least everything will be out in the open. Not your usual modus operandi, I know, but it just might end up simplifying this whole relational process—and actually get you a result better than the one you'd been scheming for.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Piggybacking both on what I told you last week and the week before, Sagittarius, this is an unparalleled time for devoting additional effort to whichever task(s)-at-hand are demanding more than the usual attention, due to the now-obvious (and perhaps critical) need for a methodological overhaul, a reorganization of priorities, and/or a deep-clean. To become that leaner-and-sleeker machine I'm sure you'd want to be (so you can save enough time on the busywork shit to buy yourself more room for what really moves you), you must start by slowing down and getting more deeply into the nuts and bolts of what hasn't been functioning as smoothly as it could. In other words, you can't achieve the goal of greater efficiency without first trudging through the stage where nothing's performing like it's supposed to, everything's got to be dumped out on the floor, and there's a whole bunch of extra considerations to factor in. Though that can all be understandably exhausting, you currently possess the capacity needed to proceed. Don't resist doing what you must do. Doing this job well will, in fact, provide you much more powerful emotional self-satisfaction than you might realize.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): What if you 'just happened to mention' what you really want, Capricorn? Instead of engineering another serious discussion of important matters (which you, no doubt, have a particular outcome you'd wish to strategically angle for), you could just 'let it slip' in casual conversation. No pressure on yourself to speak that certain piece in 'just the right way'; no expectations of getting a particular response (or any at all) from the other person. Free expression of a rather clear-cut preference or desire, pure and unassuming, allowing whatever follows it to transpire organically: Why the hell not? If somebody displays offhand discomfort or distaste, at least you'll swiftly learn there's apparently an underlying lack of innate affinity between you—without any need for an actual standoff—and that's okay. Now you know. Just as likely, though, this extemporaneous approach (which, let's admit, is somewhat out of character for you) could elicit unexpected good favor from folks who appreciate this unbuttoned version of you. This advice, incidentally, is meant to get Mercury-and-Venus's dual retrogrades working to your advantage.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You can't fool me, Aquarius. Your astrology-textbook reputation for being fairly unemotional does not—could not possibly—apply all the time. And when you are experiencing a flare-up of feelings which you're not able to step back from, shake off, surgically excise, or rationalize away… well, the sheer frustration of not being able to do anything 'about' them (other than simply experience them) tends to make the whole situation that much more full-on. In case you hadn't guessed by now, this is one of those emotionally magnified moments in which you really shouldn't fight the tide or pretend it's not impacting your current course. At the same time, you are right where you ought to be. What's kickin' itself up inside you is bringing movement into the crustiest corners of emotional habit or presumption: an inescapable call to get current with yourself through acquiescing to these feelings, which hold an unambiguous message about what you need to do to take competent care of yourself. However, though unambiguous, this message isn't yet fully articulatable. You're only partly 'getting' it. Should you try to communicate its truth before the proper time, you're liable to sound confused, shifty, and/or not-quite-right.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Venus essentially standing still (or, to be precise, appearing to) in your sign all week, Pisces, indicates above all else that you are to gladly and appreciatively receive the advantages, accolades, affections, and other cool stuff which are coming to you. It is not your job to question whether or why you deserve them. However, when I say 'receive', I mean being gracious in acknowledging the gesture of someone wishing to offer you something… but I don't mean you must accept the offer if it'll then oblige you to offer them what you'd really rather not. (No, you don't owe anybody a parallel kindness in return for their giving you something you didn't ask for and/or don't want.) If you're able to effectively push away any self-denying impulses and sincerely receive what's come to you, only then can you truly see what's indeed available on this smorgasbord of choices—and begin to discern, based on fair consideration (not kneejerk repudiation) of these options-at-hand, what you actually really do want to accept. Getting in your own way, on the other hand, merely shuts down the potential for such self-valuing discernment.