The Goddess of Love 

For the week of May 9-15, 2012.

We're under the influence this week, held in the sway of several powerful celestial forces, all of which manage to maintain the status quo: a consistent escalation of intensity that isn't ending anytime soon. (I know; just keep breathing, deeply.) Handling this acceleration is likely to challenge even the most conscious among us, especially over the course of the next few weeks as the stars emphasize partnerships of every denomination.

Relationship issues are seldom simply easy, even when they work well. Eventually, every true meeting of the heart is certain to bring up differences. Whether those differences are political, emotional, financial, cultural, or spiritual, figuring out a skillful way to resolve the tension always takes a moment or two. And that's the current task: Finding the cardio-resilience to make room for other, equally valid points of view. Unfortunately, in times of stress many of us tend to revert to our default settings, standard emotional responses that no longer serve yet seem like a safe bet because they've worked before. But given the current climate of transformation, those habituations could boomerang easily, especially if they override deeper, more authentic responses. Make every effort to stay conscious of where you might be reacting out of habit, and then do your best to move your response into present time.

Venus is at the epicenter of the intensity. The goddess of love and beauty still trines Saturn; she is in Gemini, the Sign of conversation, while Saturn, symbolizing knowledge born from experience, is in Libra, the Sign of relating. They are having a deep dialogue about alliances, which means many of us are also contemplating our personal and professional bonds. On May 15, Venus goes retrograde, and all week long, as she slows down in preparation for her "course correction," certain areas of life are likely to feel stalled. She's retrograde until June 27.

Venus Retrograde adds a deeper octave to the ongoing relationship discussion, and as she revisits her path, it would be wise to revisit your patterns. The actual review doesn't have to occur in person, but that being said, old lovers could get in touch — and they will definitely want to talk. The presence of Saturn will skew these exchanges toward the deep. Whether those tête-à-têtes will fan old embers or spark new flames is uncertain; what is clear, however, is that these dialogues provide opportunities for insightful intimacy. Gemini is also the Sign of siblings and cousins, which means several of these conversations could take place with family members.

And some of those Venus Retrograde conversations could be quite surprising. A solar eclipse on May 20 also occurs in Gemini; because eclipses always tend to reveal hidden knowledge, and because Gemini just loves dispensing data, some of us may be saying or hearing things we always suspected were true but could never prove.

The best news is the continuing Sun/Jupiter conjunction, which is spreading its light far and wide. As it does, it supports laughter as a potent curative for healing hearts. Let this exuberant relationship enhance your heart's resilience and keep you optimistic about your opportunities to transform.

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

ARIES Your capacity to manifest is potent, so be precise about what it is you want to bring into being, then focus all of your strength on actualizing your vision.

TAURUS Several opportunities exist for you to create a greater sense of safety and security. Take a strong stand on your own behalf, but lead with your brain rather than your brawn.

GEMINI The old way isn't working — that's just a fact. But if you're willing to turn the situation on its head by considering a new, radical perspective, you'll find an appropriate solution.

CANCER Each of your partners holds a key to your emotional health. So observe the company you keep, and you'll discover several significant pieces of your partnership puzzle.

LEO There are real opportunities to make strong financial strides toward your goals. Marshall that famous strength and courage and continue to do whatever it takes to make your dream a reality.

VIRGO Trust is your key word. Continue to believe in your choices, and nothing will interfere with your ability to find a win/win solution to each situation in need of resolution.

LIBRA It looks and feels like a financial problem, but it's really a crisis of value. Hold fast to your priorities, but also be willing to make adjustments when necessary.

SCORPIO You're talking — a lot — to friends and family and anyone who will listen, but also listen closely to what you choose to say. Give yourself permission to be candid, but also remember that your words will be transformative.

SAGITTARIUS There are opportunities for you to make tangible gains, but before you can make the most of this fertile terrain, you have to leave behind a pessimistic attitude that might inhibit your innate enthusiasm.

CAPRICORN Rather than worry about the outcome, trust in the process. Of course there will be obstacles — whenever we take a risk, romantic or creative, there are always challenges to overcome.

AQUARIUS Maintain your balance by continuing to apply a creative approach to every problem. It's not necessary to have a perfect response to each situation; all that's required is a thoughtful one.

PISCES Personal transformation is seldom easy, and it's been a long road from there to here. As you look back on the journey and review your choices, don't forget to acknowledge all the hard work you've put into the process.

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