A Fertile Astral Garden 

For the week of April 25-May 1, 2012.

It's another week of planetary déjà vu, so don't be surprised if you feel as if you've been here (wherever that might be) before, or if you feel that you're reading the very same column you read nearly two months ago. Mars is moving forward, and as a result we're plowing through certain astral fields — again. But don't let the familiarities or similarities fool you into thinking that this repeat performance is exact. There are too many variations on the theme to make it the "same old same old." Pay careful attention to the details, as well as the differences, and use this time to make the necessary or desired course corrections. The skies provide a strong current of positive energy, and as we are pulled along, there are real opportunities to make tangible progress toward your goals. Just don't expect instantaneous results. This dynamic signature occurs in Earth Signs, which are notorious for taking the appropriate amount of time to get the job done right.

The source of this powerful yet familiar pattern is a Grand Trine between the Sun, in Taurus; Mars, in Virgo; and Pluto, in Capricorn. We experienced a similar configuration in early March, when the gorgeous Venus/Jupiter conjunction, in Taurus, also formed a trine to both Mars and Pluto. While this week's combination lacks the grace of Venus and the expansiveness of Jupiter, it is still extraordinarily vital, and has the potential to support whatever you are determined to bring into being. The planetary concentration in Earth Signs is the equivalent of a rich and fertile astral garden. The Sun and Mars provide the ambition, vigor, and determination to grow, and Pluto endows the entire bundle with the capacity to make exceptional efforts. You provide the seeds — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Make an extra effort to plant with a clear intention of what it is you want to grow. Also note: Pluto can tilt minds as well as hearts toward a ruthless attitude that wants success at any cost; the best way to avoid being sucked into a Plutonian vortex of fanaticism is to simultaneously cultivate a wholesome attitude toward the outcome.

As with any actual garden, those seeds will require careful tending: Sunlight, rain, and fertilizer are all necessary components for a successful harvest. So as you are planting your seeds, try to assess how much work will be necessary for your astral garden to grow. In some cases, all that's necessary is a strong and clear intention. In others, a bountiful harvest is dependent upon time and energy. And in cases of collaboration, success relies on a combination of factors, some known and others often surprising. Whatever your personal garden plan might be, try to include an openhearted patch that grows genuine compassion and concern for the well being of your fellow travelers.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.

ARIES Be authentic and direct about what you need to feel safe and secure, and don't be self-conscious if practical matters outweigh all others. Acknowledging your survival needs is the first step in getting those needs met.

TAURUS Your creative light only shines more brightly this week, and as you share your ideas, you're an inspiration to others. Encourage everyone you come into contact with to seize their creative moment, and that generosity of spirit will be returned to you many-fold.

GEMINI There are certain secrets, yours or others, that may need to be shared for the benefit of all concerned parties — but before you spill the beans, consider the consequences of your candor and how you will handle them.

CANCER The emphasis is still on conversations with significant others, specifically learning how to handle deep-seated issues of power and control. As you dialogue, try to keep in mind that the need to control is directly proportional to the ability to trust.

LEO Whether they are career-related or matters of the heart, continue to make the most of your opportunities to dial up a new perspective. Steer clear of negativity by keeping yourself aligned with a deep sense of gratitude, and you'll find the results to be amazing.

VIRGO You're definitely in the leadership position, and your only mission is to be a brilliant benevolent despot. Inspire your followers by your kind and compassionate example, and you will accomplish your goals.

LIBRA There's no need to rush your personal process. The "work" of the week is more internal than external, especially as you reflect on what it is you truly want to grow during this incredible fertile time.

SCORPIO Before you turn impulse into action, give yourself permission to digest and metabolize your intuition. I'm not suggesting you hold back; I'm simply advising you to deepen your self-awareness.

SAGITTARIUS There are no obvious obstacles to your direct forward motion, so be clear about where you want to go and why. Once you've prioritized your intention, devote yourself to your path.

CAPRICORN The procrastination period is behind you, and this is the perfect week to take charge of all those areas of life where you've put off dealing with "challenges" that seemed to have no solution.

AQUARIUS It's another week of feeling deeply settled and centered, inside and out. Take advantage of this opportunity and use it to identify and memorize the key elements of composure so you can replicate it at will.

PISCES The emphasis is still on conversations with significant others, especially dialogue devoted to figuring out how to meet individual needs, without resentment or a misplaced sense of sacrifice.

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