Lifestyle 02 April 2018
This is a great month to be reminded of the message that Spring brings to all of us — new beginnings.
We start the month with Mercury in retrograde in Aries. This reminds us that we need to take action towards creating closure, forgiveness, and the healing of old wounds or misunderstandings. It's also a great time to work on erasing debt and actually physically cleaning up your personal spaces. Get rid of things that you don't need. Pull up the dead plants and prepare your garden. You also must prepare your heart and your life just like a garden so the success and abundance can grow. On April 16th Mercury goes direct and is still in Aries barreling towards Uranus this month. You better be ready for your future because here it comes!
(March 21 - April 19)
“The mad scientist" … Happy Birthday Aries!
You are the first sign and get the zodiac year started. This is perfect, because you love anything new and different! This is a special spring for you with Mercury going direct in Aries on the 16th— and Uranus still hanging on in the Ram sign as well. What does this mean for you? You are the future right now. You will have glimpses of the trajectory of things. Let it simmer until April 16th, then start to write it down or talk about your ideas with trusted colleagues. Invent. Tinker. Plant things. Experiment. This is a creative time that will bear much fruit long into the future. There is more work than fun but it pays off.
April 29: Show your heart.
(April 20 - May 20)
“Peas and Carrots..."
I love that vintage Disney cartoon Ferdinand the Bull. Ferdinand is the epitome of Taurus— lazing around in a spring field of flowers. This is a perfect picture of you, except for one thing — you will have your laptop humming during this bucolic picnic. Taurus can be the laziest sign, as well as the hardest working sign, in the zodiac. This month, you — along with Capricorn — will be the latter version; cranking out the reports, art, spreadsheets, projects, or whatever you consider to be your work. Don't burn out or be too serious. Take breaks and stop to smell those roses.
April 25-26 : Spring clean and organize.
May 21- June 20
The first half of April you will probably be feeling the showers more than the flowers of spring. There are a lot of heavy influences right now, and your ruling planet Mercury is in retrograde in Aries until the 15th. You may feel down or depressed this month— which is very foreign territory to Geminis. This too shall pass. Exercise, creativity and meditation could be helpful for you. However, not thinking before you speak will not be helpful to you during this time. Your verbal governor is out of order until the 15th. Also, wear a helmet. I'm not joking. Mercury retrograde in Aries can make you more prone to head injuries!
April 27-28: Date night.
June 21- July 22
“I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray." - Prince
Ok so things are tough right now. You have Aries and Saturn squares all over your chart. Mercury is in retrograde in Aries and Mars is conjunct Saturn in Capricorn. Let's just stop counting the strikes against you, shall we? Whenever someone is swimming in this many challenging aspects, I always have them ask “WWPD?" (What Would Prince Do?).
Party like it's 1999 of course! Especially with Neptune in Pisces and Venus in Taurus. These lovelies are handing our Cancer friends love, fun and illusion on a silver platter. You're welcome.
April 12-13: Make your first batch of cotton candy at home…or anything else pink and lovely that you fancy.
July 23- August 22
Your love-life may be a little contentious this month. You may feel like you keep hitting stubborn brick walls with your partner. Work may seem sluggish. You have many plans for expansion but they are stalled because of loads of boring but necessary tasks. It's time to focus on what's flowing in your life. Ideas. Visions. Inventions. Dreamy vistas of future life paths are laying out before you. Watch, listen and be dazzled. After April 15th, you should write it all down, make a vision board or make a speech about it.
April 23-24: Dress up and make your entrance.
August 23- September 22
“I'm not sure which is worse, intense feeling or the absence of it." - Margaret Atwood
This month is very productive, intense and focused for you. Until April 15th, you feel as if you are bailing water out of your boat but it keeps filling up. After mid-month, you begin to see more traction. While most signs are reeling from the Saturn-Mars conjunction, you are riding this bull like a pro. You are exhausted and drained from the challenge…but isn't it amazing how well you are handling this ride? I'm betting on you this month for the win. Also, look up at least a couple of times to notice all of the people that are smitten with you and want to take you out.
April 10-11: Buy a magic set.
September 23- October 22.
“Don't fall through the ice!"
Libras have a reputation for being “shallow". This is true for some Librans, but for most— it is less about being shallow, and more about their propensity for staying in their heads and out of their emotions regarding stressful situations. Sometimes for the water signs or earth signs, it is hard to connect with our Libra friends because of this trait. The emotional and physical signs experience the world so differently. This month, a Libra's ability to not be dragged down into the mire of negative stress and emotion is a beautiful gift. Keep tap dancing on the surface dear Librans, the storm will pass.
April 19-20: Speak another language.
(October 23- November 21)
“The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn't be a farmer." - Will Rogers
You are still in serious work mode this month— and this spring it is even more intense.
Just like the farmer in April, you are breaking your back — preparing the soil, getting rid of the dead plants from last season and planting seeds. When you look up after all of this hard work what do you see? A big patch of lifeless mud. No worries. I guarantee this will be one of your best crops ever. Your money, career, assets, lifestyle and anything else that you desire is going to grow like crazy. Just be patient…and fertilize.
April 21-22: be good to your spouse.
November 22- December 21
“People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point." - George Carlin
Just like many of the other signs, there will be April showers for you this month, my dear Sagittarius. But never fear— things get brighter when Mercury in Aries leaves retrograde around the 15th. When you get your gift of gab back during the second half of the month, I suggest that you join the Cancers (see above) at their end of the world party and live it up! You could be the comedic entertainment. It's worth a try- I promise the food and drink will be spectacular …it's a Cancer's home.
April 19-20: dance by yourself.
(December 22- January 19)
“If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm." - Frank Lane
This is a particularly yucky Mercury in retrograde for you. Please wear a helmet, slow down, wear your seatbelt, don't lose your temper, etc. After April 15th, things get so much better — and not just because more than 50% of all Capricorns are accountants and tax season is finally over. The bigger reason is that so many huge transits are in your sign right now. It's extremely intense and wreaking havoc on so many. Not you, my sweet Capricorn. Climbing steadily in harsh conditions is your natural habitat. I said earlier that I'm betting on Virgo to win— but you have a great shot at the podium as well. Isn't it fun when the nerds get to be the cool kids for a little while?
April 25-26: win at your spin class without even trying.
(January 20- February 18)
“The happy sidekick."
I'm still telling you to lean into your humor this month my Aquarius friends. Just like Libra (see above) your strength during this intense transit time is your ability to skim the surface of emotions and not be plowed under by the negativity of others. Look for those Capricorn or Virgo colleagues and ask if they need help — or ask them to help you. Let others lead, and try to laugh a lot. After April 15th you will be able to command attention again.
April 27-28: paint your toes a crazy color. Oh wait- they already are a crazy color…you're an Aquarius.
(February 19- March 20)
“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work." - John Lubbock
Work and life are really good, it's just stressful! You internalize everything and make it emotional. Please “clean" your energy this month. Take salt baths. Make sure your get the workouts in. It's a lot to deal with right now, but none of it is bad for you. After April 15th, you will feel a big lift. The middle of the month will be great for your relationship and attraction. Take advice from those that you trust— you aren't seeing everything so clearly right now. Slow down and stop worrying.
April 2-4: good love.
Not too many years ago, my advice to political candidates would have been pretty simple: "Don't do or say anything stupid." But the last few elections have rendered that advice outdated.
When Barack Obama referred to his grandmother as a "typical white woman" during the 2008 campaign, for example, many people thought it would cost him the election -- and once upon a time, it probably would have. But his supporters were focused on the values and positions he professed, and they weren't going to let one unwise comment distract them. Candidate Obama didn't even get much pushback for saying, "We're five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." That statement should have given even his most ardent supporters pause, but it didn't. It was in line with everything Obama had previously said, and it was what his supporters wanted to hear.
2016: What rules?
Fast forward to 2016, and Donald Trump didn't just ignore traditional norms, he almost seemed to relish violating them. Who would have ever dreamed we'd elect a man who talked openly about grabbing women by the **** and who was constantly blasting out crazy-sounding Tweets? But Trump did get elected. Why? Some people believe it was because Americans finally felt like they had permission to show their bigotry. Others think Obama had pushed things so far to the left that right-wing voters were more interested in dragging public policy back toward the middle than in what Trump was Tweeting.
Another theory is that Trump's lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable behavior was deliberately designed to make Democrats feel comfortable campaigning on policies that were far further to the left than they ever would have attempted before. Why? Because they were sure America would never elect someone who acted like Trump. If that theory is right, and Democrats took the bait, Trump's "digital policies" served him well.
And although Trump's brash style drew the most handlines, he wasn't the only one who seemed to have forgotten the, "Don't do or say anything stupid," rule. Hillary Clinton also made news when she made a "basket of deplorables" comment at a private fundraiser, but it leaked out, and it dogged her for the rest of the election cycle.
And that's where we need to start our discussion. Now that all the old rules about candidate behavior have been blown away, do presidential candidates even need digital policies?
Yes, they do. More than ever, in my opinion. Let me tell you why.
Digital policies for 2020 and beyond
While the 2016 election tossed traditional rules about political campaigns to the trash heap, that doesn't mean you can do anything you want. Even if it's just for the sake of consistency, candidates need digital policies for their own campaigns, regardless of what anybody else is doing. Here are some important things to consider.
Align your digital policies with your campaign strategy
Aside from all the accompanying bells and whistles, why do you want to be president? What ideological beliefs are driving you? If you were to become president, what would you want your legacy to be? Once you've answered those questions honestly, you can develop your campaign strategy. Only then can you develop digital policies that are in alignment with the overall purpose -- the "Why?" -- of your campaign:
- If part of your campaign strategy, for example, is to position yourself as someone who's above the fray of the nastiness of modern politics, then one of your digital policies should be that your campaign will never post or share anything that attacks another candidate on a personal level. Attacks will be targeted only at the policy level.
- While it's not something I would recommend, if your campaign strategy is to depict the other side as "deplorables," then one of your digital policies should be to post and share every post, meme, image, etc. that supports your claim.
- If a central piece of your platform is that detaining would-be refugees at the border is inhumane, then your digital policies should state that you will never say, post, or share anything that contradicts that belief, even if Trump plans to relocate some of them to your own city. Complaining that such a move would put too big a strain on local resources -- even if true -- would be making an argument for the other side. Don't do it.
- Don't be too quick to share posts or Tweets from supporters. If it's a text post, read all of it to make sure there's not something in there that would reflect negatively on you. And examine images closely to make sure there's not a small detail that someone may notice.
- Decide what your campaign's voice and tone will be. When you send out emails asking for donations, will you address the recipient as "friend" and stress the urgency of donating so you can continue to fight for them? Or will you personalize each email and use a more low-key, collaborative approach?
Those are just a few examples. The takeaway is that your online behavior should always support your campaign strategy. While you could probably get away with posting or sharing something that seems mean or "unpresidential," posting something that contradicts who you say you are could be deadly to your campaign. Trust me on this -- if there are inconsistencies, Twitter will find them and broadcast them to the world. And you'll have to waste valuable time, resources, and public trust to explain those inconsistencies away.
Remember that the most common-sense digital policies still apply
The 2016 election didn't abolish all of the rules. Some still apply and should definitely be included in your digital policies:
- Claim every domain you can think of that a supporter might type into a search engine. Jeb Bush not claiming www.jebbush.com (the official campaign domain was www.jeb2016.com) was a rookie mistake, and he deserved to have his supporters redirected to Trump's site.
- Choose your campaign's Twitter handle wisely. It should be obvious, not clever or cutesy. In addition, consider creating accounts with possible variations of the Twitter handle you chose so that no one else can use them.
- Give the same care to selecting hashtags. When considering a hashtag, conduct a search to understand its current use -- it might not be what you think! When making up new hashtags, try to avoid anything that could be hijacked for a different purpose -- one that might end up embarrassing you.
- Make sure that anyone authorized to Tweet, post, etc., on your behalf has a copy of your digital policies and understands the reasons behind them. (People are more likely to follow a rule if they understand why it's important.)
- Decide what you'll do if you make an online faux pas that starts a firestorm. What's your emergency plan?
- Consider sending an email to supporters who sign up on your website, thanking them for their support and suggesting ways (based on digital policies) they can help your messaging efforts. If you let them know how they can best help you, most should be happy to comply. It's a small ask that could prevent you from having to publicly disavow an ardent supporter.
- Make sure you're compliant with all applicable regulations: campaign finance, accessibility, privacy, etc. Adopt a double opt-in policy, so that users who sign up for your newsletter or email list through your website have to confirm by clicking on a link in an email. (And make sure your email template provides an easy way for people to unsubscribe.)
- Few people thought 2016 would end the way it did. And there's no way to predict quite yet what forces will shape the 2020 election. Careful tracking of your messaging (likes, shares, comments, etc.) will tell you if you're on track or if public opinion has shifted yet again. If so, your messaging needs to shift with it. Ideally, one person should be responsible for monitoring reaction to the campaign's messaging and for raising a red flag if reactions aren't what was expected.
Thankfully, the world hasn't completely lost its marbles
Whatever the outcome of the election may be, candidates now face a situation where long-standing rules of behavior no longer apply. You now have to make your own rules -- your own digital policies. You can't make assumptions about what the voting public will or won't accept. You can't assume that "They'll never vote for someone who acts like that"; neither can you assume, "Oh, I can get away with that, too." So do it right from the beginning. Because in this election, I predict that sound digital policies combined with authenticity will be your best friend.