by Eric Francis
ARIES — It’s helpful to treat every day and every opportunity as a new start. Old habits and outmoded values only have power because we give it to them, often by tuning them out and refusing to be conscious of our motives. Many of these are inherited from our immediate ancestors, which is something to be aware of on a day-to-day basis. It may seem a little strange walking around thinking, “what would my great-grandmother do in this situation?” particularly when she was your age. That is, however, the question to ask and to ask meaningfully. If you give yourself a few points of orientation on the past, it will be easier to find yourself in the present. Meanwhile, be aware of the temperature and pointedness of your words. Mars remains in Gemini, and with that going on, it’s possible for you to come off a little more harsh and driven than you may feel inside. Know your priorities. Know that you don’t have to argue for them, defend them or even talk about them. You only need to be true to yourself.
TAURUS — The recent New Moon in your birth sign took place on the backbone of the fixed signs, right at the midpoint of Taurus. This placement suggests strongly that no matter what doubts you may have about the world and about existence, you have faith in yourself. You might need to find it. You might need to remind yourself of it. Faith in yourself means being present for your feelings, your desires and your needs, rather than denying them in any form. That will lead to being present for your ability to see your options and make decisions. Think of it this way: You don’t need to find your power, your love or your truth. Rather, look for the blocks to your awareness of their presence, and focus on removing those obstacles. It will help if you don’t put new ones in your way. This is one of the most important life skills of all. It can take training to know when you’re doing it (for example, spotting thought forms such as, “Unless that happens, this cannot happen”). Stop and trace your logic. Mars in Gemini says you may be seeing one option when there are really two, or seeing two when there are really many.
GEMINI — Mars in your sign is aligned with Jupiter, Eris and Pluto today, opening awareness of some opportunities that were present all along. You may suddenly have the feeling that you’re able to connect. It’s possible that you’ve discovered a way to connect with your strength in the face of what has, at times, felt like overwhelming power, or some influence you cannot get away from. The first issue to address is the extent to which your belief upholds its supposed potency. The second is to notice the ways you tend to hand over your power and influence over your life; then stay aware enough before it happens to not do it. There exists a question of whether you think you have to negotiate for what is already yours, or for the right to want what you want. While other people are in the equation, the content of your thoughts, and your basis for decision, is your business. The challenge you face is not letting anyone blow you off course, and that means being in accord with yourself first, and with other people second. To some degree both are necessary, though there is an order of operations.
CANCER — You are stepping out in the world. This is a big time in your life, potentially a brilliant time, for that reason. You are being summoned to distinguish yourself, and to exercise a level of freedom, that you’re unlikely to have ever experienced before. (You may, however, know something about this if you were born between 1935 and 1942, though current developments are a pattern all their own.) This transit will gradually shift the way you live, and how you relate to the world. At times, it will be anything but gradual; there will be days when you will wake up and feel like another person, as you make choices different from any kind you’ve ever made. How you present yourself to whatever you think of as your “community” or your “public” is one of the main frontiers of this experience. One vitally important factor is that you do what you can to shift these concepts away from the online environment and into the physical one. This will take some discipline, as to some extent all of this digital involvement and exposure have made us aliens to actual physical space and existence.
LEO — If you had to choose any role for yourself, what would it be? That’s another way of asking, who do you want to be — rather than what do you want to do? Don’t worry if you don’t know how to be that person or be in that role. For now, work with your desires and your intentions. You will discover a sense of freedom in doing this, and that is the freedom to explore and to exercise. Remember, it starts in consciousness, and then expands to your choices. Sometimes you will be the one who takes initiative; other times, you will be presented with an option, or with a situation, to which you must respond in some way. Most definitely interpose a delay if you can, by which I mean take your time taking action; not forever, just enough to be close to your deliberation process. Move slowly enough to observe your thoughts and consciously take the available facts on board. Even if you find yourself having to move more quickly than you would like, still work with this process as best you can. Stay fully involved in your own decisions.
VIRGO — I propose that it’s time to take a close look at the issue of “belief.” This seems like the most garden-variety thing, like breathing. But when you start taking yoga classes, you begin to figure out how much you have to learn about air going in and out of your lungs. Something similar is true of belief, which is a kind of invisible issue. The problem as I see it is that belief, for most people in most situations, is used as the sole arbiter of truth. As such, it’s a terrible device or tool. Belief measures nothing except whether you’re persuaded, which generally means guided by some external factor that you accept as true. What this typically does is suspend the search for truth rather than foster it. You are unlikely to challenge what you believe, especially if you want it to be true. So the first step in this process would be to identify what you accept on the basis of belief, and then challenge it. You could start anywhere. What is most critical to the process is knowing when you are believing, and when you are doing something else.
LIBRA — Life is holding up quite a mirror for you lately. You may like some of what you see, you may not like some of what you see, and you may be totally confused by some of what you see. Ideally, you will step back and observe, as if you’re watching a movie. Do what you can to avoid getting overly involved in any drama, and even if you do, make sure you’re in contact with the part of yourself that some spiritual traditions call “the observer.” Watch yourself while you’re doing whatever else you’re doing. Listen to your thoughts as they go by. You are currently undergoing a shift in your approach to relationships, and there are some things you’ll need to let go of in order to allow in some new approaches to life. You might watch for the thing that’s the most difficult to observe: your expectations. This includes both of yourself and of others; these thoughts and behavioral patterns tend to disappear into the mists, though they also tend to run your life — and are currently being shocked into awareness. This may come in the form of disruptions to the normal flow of events, which will provide you with opportunities to discover how things got that way, and to explore how you want them to be.
SCORPIO — It’s crucial that you make a point of seeing all sides of any issue or situation, and then come up with a few more possible viewpoints. This is not a specialty of the human race, and it’s not one of your strong suits. However, it will serve as a real asset if you can get it going. Seeing other viewpoints means suspending your skepticism about whether they are right or wrong, and accepting things for the sake of discussion. You may feel that if you take someone’s point of view on board, and really consider it, you will become an automatic convert. This, I observe, is one of the main reasons people have for not even considering one another’s views. But you will not be swallowed by an opinion or perspective merely for treating it thoughtfully. Anyway, this is not about ideas as much as the people you care about. Ideas are irrelevant compared to people, though by being a careful listener, you show your respect. It’s fair to ask questions, and to inquire how people arrived at a certain belief or conclusion, but be gentle. Your temperature is running hot these days.
SAGITTARIUS — This week, Mars makes an opposition to Jupiter in your birth sign (or ascendant, if you’re Sagittarius rising). You might think every idea that comes your way is designed as a challenge to what you believe. What if that is true? What if everything you learn disrupts what you previously knew? Jupiter retrograde in your sign is an indicator that you might be clinging to your beliefs, or your notion of reality, and may be closed off to new information. If that is true, then you’re likely to experience nearly anything as an unwelcome challenge. If you’re feeling that way, it’s time to lighten up and remember your sense of humor. If you’re interested in discovering the truth about anything, you need a gentle touch, and a generous helping of curiosity. Some of your best observations will come from considering odd or awkward points of view, and you will learn the most from people you disagree with. Beware of looking for facts that only support your opinions. Take the opposite approach: listen the most carefully to what challenges you.
CAPRICORN — All three planets working their way through your sign are in retrograde motion, which suggests you’re getting some relief from the pressure you’ve been under lately. Saturday’s New Moon (May 4) has also opened up a vent that is allowing you to blow off some steam and take life (and yourself) a little less seriously. You have a way of getting lost in your own woods, and you could find your way out by being a little more pleasure-seeking and a lot less perfection-seeking. One of the deepest purposes of Capricorn in the world is learning humility. That doesn’t mean accepting inferiority; it means moist (humility comes from the same word root as humid). To be fair, Saturn and Pluto in your sign are a little bit dry. Along the “hum” train of thought, we could add humor. That does not mean sarcasm; humor is about feeling safe. Once you can laugh, you are signaling to yourself that the danger from your environment is gone. So you might use that as a metric for how safe you feel, in whatever contest you happen to be in. There will come a time when, with any luck at all, you decide, “I was so much older then; I’m younger than that now.”
AQUARIUS — Your creative and sexual enterprises are likely to go against the grain of the culture, and to challenge accepted wisdom. That’s not so hard these days, since the grain of the culture consists mostly of splinters, and accepted wisdom is like drinking a Coors Light that was left out all night. However, the idea is to have fun rather than to piss people off. Sure, some people may find you annoying, though I suggest you make a point of being kind to your friends. Focus on your artwork, whatever that means to you, whether it’s building ships in bottles, gardening, tap dancing or learning the cello at age 77. Whatever you do, notice inside when you feel like you’re violating some rule or policy — that’s the place you want to go; that’s where to invest your energy. As you test what seems to govern society, you will need to come up with your own codes that you live by. Your actual ethics are your responsibility and yours alone. You take the risks; you get the benefits of the results, or address the consequences.
PISCES — Many changes on the home front are facilitating progress in ways that will prove to be helpful and profitable. Focus your energy within your four walls. Mars in the domestic region of your chart is providing you with plenty of energy to make the adjustments you need to make. Doing this will liberate energy that will serve you professionally, so really dig into your domestic situation and make it work for you, particularly paying attention to physical space as one of your most valuable assets. Keep a close eye on your cash flow, and look for new opportunities to bring in more income — they are there, though they, too, will come from the results of effort, focus and discipline. In many different ways, you’re being challenged to be the master of your environment, your image, your personal space and the way that you relate to people. You may be feeling more hard-edged than usual, which is a useful posture for you to learn. Make sure people know exactly what you mean when you have something to say. There is no room for misunderstanding now.