Truly Madly Deeply 

For the week of April 20-26, 2011.

The planets alter their alignment this week, and while the change in formation is significant — the Sun moves into Taurus today — the concentration of planets in Aries persists. Uranus, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter are still in the Sign of adventure, and tomorrow Venus replaces the Sun, which means even simple tasks will continue to play out as passionate expeditions. The heat of this aggregation has been so powerful for so long that it's a wonder some of us haven't suddenly burst into flame from the sheer intensity of trying to handle certain situations. So if you find yourself obsessing about a particular person, place, or thing, this would be a good week to step away from the vehicle. That's right: Surrender whatever is burning a hole in your psyche and hand over your need to control the outcome to whatever higher power works wonders in your life.

Several factors contribute to this week's intensity. First, Mercury Retrograde ends on April 23, early in the morning. It's okay to breathe a sigh of relief, but there are mitigating factors: (1) Mercury goes Direct in an exact opposition to Saturn. Saturn's presence restrains the enthusiasm of Mercury's forward motion. That restraint worked well when it opposed Mercury Retrograde because Saturn's natural reticence has the potential to keep Mercury focused on the details in need of review. Unfortunately, as Mercury goes Direct, it's going to want to blaze forward. "Not so fast," says Saturn, and before you know it, the retrograde feels as if it will last forever. (2) Especially because as Mercury goes Direct, it also forms an exact square to the Moon, in Capricorn. The Moon adds an element of drama (even in Capricorn), creating the perfect portal for an emotional meltdown. Please don't kick the dog or cuss the cable guy — they don't deserve your ire. Instead, take a deep breath and be realistic. Mercury Direct is not going to solve every problem. (3) Also be aware that the three-day retrograde rule applies: Mercury needs more than a moment to gather forward momentum, which means plans and projects will not instantly move at the speed of light. (4) Mercury continues its conjunction with Mars, meaning agitated minds continue to provoke premature action. Be patient; you will find the appropriate time to make your move over the course of the next several weeks.

The second contributor to the intensity is a Mars/Jupiter conjunction, a dynamic combination that provides visions of success, as well as the energy to turn those dreams into reality. Use the power of this conjunction to find creative solutions to problems in need of decisive action.

A Venus/Uranus conjunction adds a touch of razzle-dazzle to the week's already passionate signature. Be prepared to fall madly and deeply in love at a moment's notice, but don't expect that love to necessarily endure. When Venus and Uranus join forces, especially in the tempestuous, adventurous sign of Aries, strong urges for love-adventures tempt even the most staid among us into dalliances we might otherwise avoid. My motto for Uranus/Venus contacts is: Marry in haste, repent at leisure. I'm not suggesting you just say "no" to a good time or a wild ride. I'm just saying you shouldn't expect it to last.

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

ARIES If you can find the flexibility to look at the situation from an entirely different perspective, you will see just how much you could benefit from the arrangement.

TAURUS Try not to mistake your imagination for wishful thinking — your intuition has the potential for high-level insights. Pay attention to those musings; you might just be picking up on something that will bear fruit.

GEMINI The solution is synthesis, something you have a knack for. Give yourself enough time to blend all the different ingredients and elements, and eventually you will create harmony and balance.

CANCER The challenge is to find your objectivity and to stick to that perspective until you have assessed all aspects of the situation. Then you will be free to make the appropriate decision.

LEO Be bold, brave, and true to your innately courageous spirit, and you will ride the winds of success. Don't even consider failure, because there's no such thing when you are growing at the speed of light.

VIRGO Share your opinions even if significant others disagree. Remember, agreement is not the point. The relief of telling the truth is what you are after.

LIBRA I wish I could sing a different song, but even when the melody changes, my words remain the same: You're in a relationship intensive that requires rigorous self-awareness and a commitment to transformation.

SCORPIO Be optimistic about the outcome. Relief is on the way, especially if you are willing to put your personal anxiety aside so that you can work with others to create a more peaceful environment.

SAGITTARIUS Own your feelings and wear your heart on your sleeve. Being vulnerable won't make you weak; it makes you human, which makes you accessible to the humans you care about.

CAPRICORN Deep shifts at the bottom of your psychic pond continue to send ripples across the routines of daily life. Align with those currents and you'll make the necessary changes with ease.

AQUARIUS The ongoing conversation could transform into words of love, especially if you keep the dialogue soft and tender. Remember, love comes in a variety of expressions.

PISCES This week, it's a trust exercise: You're learning to trust yourself to make the right decisions about what you need to feel safe and secure. Embrace this process and you'll emerge with renewed confidence.

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