Aquarium Age 

For the week of April 22-28, 2009.

Idiosyncratic planetary patterns make daily life oddly disconnected. And while it is true, the pernicious winds of recent weeks have lost their bluster, foreboding about what lies ahead still has a tenacious hold on hearts, minds, and souls. The stamina to forge ahead on certain projects is there and readily accessible, but enthusiasm is measured, and there's a reticence to get too excited about the possibilities. But that's not all. To make matters worse, even though the next Mercury Retrograde phase of the year is still two weeks away, regular routines seem strangely out of sync — the Internet icon indicates you're online, but try as you might, you can't download the necessary information. And that frustration has the potential to sour moods and attitudes. There are two essential elements to navigating this next phase. The first is patience, with yourself, with others, and with the process of change itself. The second is faith, in you, in others, and especially in the notion that while these are troubled times, they are not more than we can handle.

A Mercury/Uranus sextile is at the heart of this week's erratic pulse. Normally, I would extol the virtues of this combination because it stimulates inventive ways of thinking. Period. And I'm still sticking to that interpretation. But neither Mercury nor Uranus is the most stable of planetary symbols (when they interact in any configuration, sentient nervous systems stretch and struggle to integrate the energy). And because this sextile comes at the end of several weeks of difficult Uranian interactions, we could feel more disconcerted by its presence than moved to innovative behavior. So don't be surprised if you find yourself testy and suspicious when someone suggests a new way of doing just about anything.

A Sun/Pluto trine does provide a deep well of strength, stamina, and the determination to move forward despite obstacles. The Sun is in Taurus, a Sign devoted to tangible, practical results. Pluto is in Capricorn, another Earth Sign that shares the same love of sensible, effective means and methods. Unfortunately, a Mars/Pluto square has the potential to turn this square into a propensity for sheer brute force. Please remember to be kind — we're all in need of respect and consideration.

But the problem with harnessing that down-to-earth potential is the ongoing Jupiter/Neptune conjunction. For while this conjunction supports altruistic dreams, it can just as easily diffuse the power of those ideals through excess — too much concentration in one area and not enough in another, for example. Or the squandering of energy on ideas that are illusory. Also be aware that this conjunction feeds addictive appetites as a way of coping with the stresses and strains of daily life. So if you're prone to satisfying your hunger through excessive use of drugs, alcohol, sex, or shopping — although not too many people are indulging that appetite — try to substitute healthy ways of managing the tension. Be creative — write, paint, pot, play music, or find other, healthy ways of spending your energy.

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

ARIES March 21-April 19

It's simply a good time for public recognition of your efforts, so don't shy away from the spotlight. Be proud of your accomplishments, but also remember to be humble, and several doors of opportunity will open.

TAURUS April 20-May 20

It's your time to lead, which means it's your time to inspire others by your example. Make your decisions wisely and you'll also inspire lasting loyalty and respect.

GEMINI May 21-June 21

Pay attention to your dreams, sleeping or waking, because hidden in those excursions are creative gems that you can make good use of now, or at some point in the not-so-distant future.

CANCER June 22-July 22

Embrace positive and productive interactions with significant others, personal or professional, and you'll be pleased at how easy it is to weave new plans. Just be sure to keep a realistic attitude about what's possible.

LEO July 23-August 22

You really must concentrate on your career this week, even if you're retired. The Sun is shining too brightly on professional endeavors to let this opportunity slip away.

VIRGO August 23-September 22

It's a good time to gather your internal resources, and then to allow this process to strengthen your sense of self. Use this phase to establish and maintain your equilibrium and the results will last.

LIBRA September 23-October 22

There could be squabbles with partners over needs — your needs versus theirs. I'm not suggesting codependence, but if you want to keep the peace, find the solid ground of compromise.

SCORPIO October 23-November 21

Listen closely. Powerful conversations with significant others, personal and professional, or with friends and family, deliver valuable information that could help you to transform a difficult situation.

SAGITTARIUS November 22-December 21

I'm not suggesting you give up your innate capacity for fun. But if you stay focused on specific projects, you'll make good, steady progress that will allow you a sense of accomplishment.

CAPRICORN December 22-January 19

You feel as if you have to choose between pursuing a creative outlet or dealing with practical matters at home. But if you prioritize your energy, you'll be able to find time for your responsibilities as well as your joy.

AQUARIUS January 20-February 18

Try not to let your frustration with the emotional issues of others tilt your internal equilibrium toward a brooding or futile attitude. Rather than become embroiled in the turmoil, find healthy ways of dealing with it.

PISCES February 19-March 20

While some of your intensity is diminishing, you still have a strong need to express yourself. Continue to be passionate, but also be aware that others may have a similar need, and when possible, listen compassionately.

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