Horoscopes | Week of September 24-30, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You Aries types tend to be more of the externalizing variety, in that you're far less likely to sit around the house and moon over what life might be like than to just jump out the front door and live it. But no matter what sun-sign one is, we all have our moments when we need a rest from the rat-race. Don't kid yourself into thinking you must present a compelling reason why it's time for a breather—like this or that project is stressing the hell out of you, or you're screamin' mad at someone and need the break to calm thyself. Listening to the quiet inner request made to one's self is enough. With your ruler Mars heading down to the private self-care oasis of the 4th house, you may do quite well to kick it at home (if not now, then certainly for a few good chunks over these coming months) and find some decompressing pursuits that allow you to let your hair down. Often, we only hit upon the deepest tidbits of self-knowledge once we stop doing long enough to just be. When, Aries, is the last time you paused to just be? If you're not quite there yet and still have far too much energy to consider sitting still for a spell, then work toward it. Here's an idea: Do something special for your home environment, to provide an additional tempting incentive to make yourself want to stay home. I don't care what it is. Maybe you need a new couch or some soft-and-luxurious bedding. Maybe you want to get going on some long-put-off project, like putting all your photos in an album or diving into a self-discovery workbook that has you conducting creativity-inspiring activities in your journal every night. Or maybe it's (gasp!) a new video-game machine. The point is… it's up to you what special deal you can make with yourself to slow down and get reacquainted with your private side, in intimate space, alone. This is an important part of your next few months.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Better to leave yourself an out than get pinned into a corner. You're needing to put your own pleasure and entertainment above insincere commitments or false insinuations intended to appease those who want something you're not sure you want to give 'em. You'll more likely have a blast keeping all the possibilities open, spinning like plates on sticks on an acrobat's open palms… and not jumping too quickly into serious business, unless you've already been on that path for a long long time and harbor not a single doubt. It would be easy enough to rule out the no-brainers with a few pointed questions—but hopefully you won't do so without first sampling the goods, enough so that you won't be left wondering. All of this, though, only works to your advantage as long as your intentions are above board. That is, no promising anyone the world when all you should be giving 'em is a picture-postcard souvenir of one small parcel of it. Get out and about, and stop treating everybody else's perceptions of you (real? not likely) as the end-all-be-all issue that turns you too self-conscious and withdraws you from the playing field. The challenge is to treat your own fun time as the most important thing, handling it as you would any other essential responsibility. (You're rarely one to shirk your responsibilities, are you?) This mustn't be optional. Make it easier on yourself, though. Cover your butt appropriately, and forego the artificial devices that make you feel guilty through unnecessary entanglements with other people you aren't even that moved by. Think breezy, casual… and clean.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This is an excellent time for sorting (1) that which you are confidently sure about being absolutely sure about from (2) sentiments you might express as an act of showboating, more for effect than out of conviction. And as for those thoughts that qualify under category (2), Gemini, I'd advise toning down the bombast… or perhaps leaving them unsaid altogether. Now's a moment best left to powerful declarations of feelings, should you have such things to share—or else for focusing on non-theatrical, self-contained processing of unresolved sentiments, through a lens of practicality. Whatever you speak straight from the heart will have maximum impact this week, which is only an advantage when the heart is clear about its truest values. That's because, of course, those people who are too weak to handle the truth will be scared away… and those who don't like it will be turned off. But isn't that ultimately for the best? Only if the heart insists on being heard because it's so unwavering in what it feels that it doesn't give a damn about the consequences. However, if the verdict is still out on what you know to be your heart's truth, then you'll probably want to start contemplating what the various ramifications would be, if you went on record with this or that expression of emotion. If you aren't clear, there's nothing wrong with taking a much-less-passionate and much-more-intellectual approach to figuring out what's ultimately best for you. Just don't flap your gums about it this week, when even tentative statements are likely to buckle you into a longer-standing scenario, should you be careless about what exactly you're getting off your chest.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you'll recall last week's horoscope, I equated any phantom frustrations and edginesses with the beginnings of a longer-term lesson for you about Mars. Well, Cancer, that lesson continues this week, now that Mars is entering your sign… and, where previously you might've felt yanked back and forth by energies and circumstances not so much within your control, now it's on you to direct the next doings and dealings. What is especially notable about this Mars action is how long he will be at your disposal (or is it 'messing with you'?)—for the rest of the year, and again from Mar 4 to May 9 08. (For some perspective, this is more than three times the length of Mars's average transit through a sign.) This, of course, is due to Mars's upcoming retrograde (Nov 15-Jan 30 08), which will impact you as dramatically as anybody. And to add even more drama to the pot, let's just say Mars is never at his happiest in Cancer. So, what this is all about, my dear, is self-assertion… without apology or too much overconsideration of everybody else's feelings, and without veering too inconsistently from the goalposts, despite how your emotions may peak or dip every which way based on what side of the bed you woke up on any given day. Haven't you had enough of passively accepting whatever shows up, and playing by other people's rules at each pivotal step? Thought so. Starting this week and extending over the coming months, it's time to step up to the plate or climb into the driver's seat or follow whichever metaphor you prefer that has you taking over the controls. While you're at it, let the world know you'll be making a few changes… not all at once this week, but over this Mars-dominated phase, step by step. Then, officially initiate the process of making 'em. This story's just beginning…


LEO (July 23-August 22): If any developments of the past week or two have still got your head spinning like you're possessed by a demon, don't let your lips unconsciously work on autopilot-behalf of the unruly beast within. Instead, sit out for a few lengthy instants, and conduct a self-administered at-home exorcism… to get that toxic crap out of your system. You'll be so proud of yourself later for taking the high road, though that may mean letting somebody off the hook who you don't necessarily think deserves it. Remember: You're not exonerating them of guilt, just because you choose to allow bygones to rule your roost. (You're doing it for yourself and your own inner peace, not for them, after all.) Help keep your mood from being too contaminated by unsupportive outside influences by hanging with the pals you know and trust the most, so their unquestionable love provides a nurturing psychic barrier. The mere presence of these folks will relieve any pressure on you to be somebody you're not, in addition to providing a grounding reality-check. True-blue friends such as these will embrace you, no matter if your messiest parts hang out, if you don't feel like doing your hair or making the effort to couch your phrasings in all the superficial social bullshit. You shouldn't have to explain every last thought, as if your very reputation depended on it. (Trust me, it doesn't.) You need to give yourself that break. If the companionship ain't going to be relaxing, reschedule.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Here's what you've got going for you right now, Virgo: Where others may hinder themselves by acting on impulse (and I'm sure you've seen enough evidence of that over the past few weeks), you've got the necessary restraint to plan your moves wisely. Keep that on the tip of your brain if you find yourself put on the spot, while others watch you like a hawk to try determining what's going on in your head. As nimbly as can be, get yourself out of that harsh floodlight. Defer to somebody else. Change the subject. Work some mind-control magic that has them forgetting what they're waiting for from you. And don whatever social camouflage is necessary to blend like the wallpaper in your aunt and uncle's house, the one you've looked a million times over the decades yet couldn't pick out of a lineup if pressed to. As we know from Saturn's looming presence over everything you're doing now, you must carefully mull over every single option that comes your way—including things that may seem small now, but which, should you pledge your approval (explicit or tacit) to, could come back to haunt you later. Think calmly and cautiously before agreeing to anything. It must fit into your long-term strategy, or it should probably be a no-go. All the while, nobody else needs to see the gears of your analytical wonderland operating on high gear. If you're playing your game well, they're liable to forget all about… wait, what?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): What will it take to 'hit the big time' (whatever that might mean to you)… to get that fat promotion, to wad your pockets full of cash, and/or to finally reach the level of outer-world respect or renown you quietly believe you deserve? I don't have the nuts-and-bolts answers to that question, Libra, but I do know this: It will take a game plan, not just a series of happy-go-lucky, fortunate-but-unrelated interactions with teammates and power-players who'd love to help you but may just as soon forget these exchanges ever happened. Use your strategic brain, coupled with your intuition, to sniff out and outline all the different ways in which you might insert yourself into the main scene, where the opportunities await—then, volunteer your assistance to those who'd just love to find a right-hand man or woman to shadow them as they excel. Most importantly, don't be so subtle and charming that they miss the point of why, in the end, you care about being involved so much. It's perfectly fine to reveal you're looking out for your own interests, at the same time you're genuinely interested in lending a helping hand. They'll probably be more suspicious if you don't come right out and say what you hope to get out of it, as nobody likes an undercover ass-kisser. As long as everybody will benefit from your gutsy moves, you might as well push a little harder than you have. It's your future achievements on the line.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): For the time being, all ideas are good ideas. They need to be put out, disseminated, exchanged, talked through, and left to simmer. All conversations are good conversations, especially if you haven't already decided how they're supposed to turn out… and instead allow the organic flow of interpersonal swapping to magically generate fresh insight, foresight, output and outgrowth. Limit attachment to being right (or to the guy or gal who bugs you being wrong). Emotion, in this context, keeps you from getting to the marrow of the bone. In the name of constructive feedback, tell them what you think about what they did… but without holding onto the judgment, so that you may take in the explanations and invite redemption upon them and you. No hastily trashing people, places or things. Ask difficult questions, and stick around when the answers become even more difficult. Unpack the complexity together, you and the entire squadron. Don't stop midway, perturbed that what I'm saying doesn't give you the facts, ma'am and sir, and forces you to ponder just exactly what I mean. Try on different interpretations, and follow them through to a take that teaches you something. Then, toss 'em out, and give it another shot. Take copious notes, and draw entertaining-though-highly-descriptive comic strips in the margins of your notebook. You'll be glad you did, when you can flip back through later on—say, in mid-November—and have reference points for how things have developed by then. Indeed, that is what you're doing: generating raw materials from the creative mind for further progress and production over the next month and a half. Mercury enters your sign this week, stimulating cerebral process. Only thing is… his retrograde is right around the corner, and will dare to screw with it all, should you cling too stubbornly.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If you think you've got the battle-lines drawn in clear, unambiguous terms and can accurately figure who stands for what and why… well, Sagittarius, you've got another thing coming. That's not a slam on you, by the way, since the framework with which you seemed to have 'figured it all out' was probably the best you could've done with the data at your disposal. But the terms of the disagreement are slipping into more contested territory, where it's harder to tell black from white, and you're caught in a zone further to the middle than you'd thought. If all's going according to astro-plan (if you believe there is one), you're beginning to see how you're acting more from emotion (as opposed to logic) than you might have guessed—and as feelings change with the moon's phases and the turning seasons, so too will your ideas on the matter that, ever so recently, you'd been terribly adamant about. Incidentally, that's totally fine. And there's absolutely no rush to resolve the complications to your mindset that are only midway to revealing themselves. You'll only get into trouble if somebody (and I think you know who one of the likeliest somebodies is) draws you back into a discussion, where you're expected to defend what you said days or weeks ago… leaving you to wonder how to reconcile it with the new information (which may simply be new feelings). If you're put on the spot with these questions why, it's perfectly okay to tell 'em, 'I don't know right now.' Go on, and confess the confusion. If nothing else, it buys you time.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): While you might kick off your week groovin' along with the steamroller-like force I described last week, that self-directed productiveness is threatened by the inconvenient existence of other people (or perhaps one certain individual), who may hold a legitimate desire to contribute their two-or-three cents to the matter. There's no doubt you're already entertaining some pretty sharp concepts for how to keep it all moving along… but unfortunately, Capricorn, you don't operate in a bubble of complete authority over every piece of the puzzle. Please don't overlook this reality when it's time to share your thoughts with the other(s) involved, whether in an attempt to get them on board with your approach or to offer 'innocent' and 'helpful' corrections to their methods. The last thing you'll want, if you can help it, is to sound like you're bossing anybody around—should that happen, your brilliant imaginings of the situations will only get overshadowed by the unpleasant tone, to the ultimate detriment of all parties involved. In fact, though this may strike your ears as silly (maybe even flatly untrue), the act of brokering cooperation and collaboration is at least as important as how quickly the whole shebang gets accomplished. Therefore, don't get all flustered by any slowdowns that results from having to factor in the other player(s), losing your patience instead of drawing on your enthusiasm to get 'em fired up. Instead, be very sweet when tossing your ideas into the mix—and just as sweet when everybody else does the same.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): What were thinking about before you dashed off to read your horoscope for the week? If it wasn't the work you have to get done, then you've already been wasting time for longer than the five minutes allotted to check your astro-forecast and get back to the job. This is a week for tackling the actual tasks, not spinning your wheels with more bits of brainstorming that, while useful to a point, won't save you from the actual blood-sweat-and-tears. (And for the record, you won't be able to strategize and vision every last detail while still ensconced in the cushy boardroom, waiting for someone to deliver lunch.) If you want to get serious—and Aquarius, I'm telling you, you do—then you are simply going to have to skip the partying and stick to handling the important business. (P.S. Don't take your case of the grumps out on those around you who get to play. We all have our moments like these, and you'll have more fun again real soon.) It would be a horrible waste of the planets' energies to sit back and gab on and on about all that you intend to accomplish… when, all the while, a fantastic moment for actually accomplishing it passes you by. Plus, without getting too sobering on you, I must warn that you'll have plenty of less efficient moments ahead over the coming months, so that when I tell you this is a time to get shit done, just listen and do it, okay? Keep your eyes on the work.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): After a rather heavy-duty last week (in which, if you followed my advice, you struggled with owning your power without making a public spectacle out of it), you're in a much better position to actually express yourself. With both Mercury and Mars moving into fellow water signs, the general drift of how events are transpiring and communications being transmitted is way more up your alley. But with the emotional tides seeming to calm down, is it really worth using this switch in balance to continue trudging through the same touchy territory (albeit without the cards stacked so defiantly against you)… just so you can get another 'last word' in, with hopes it'll hit that particular person somewhere that hurts? I say: Dispense with last week's business altogether, at least to the best of your ability. Do an about-face, and focus on repaying your valiant efforts at holding it together… with some good old-fashioned goof-off time. You'll have more than enough of a chance (more perhaps than you even want) to revisit the still-up-in-the-air dissatisfaction later, when first Mercury and then Mars hit their respective retrogrades and retrace the steps they treaded last week. In the meantime, spend this downshift by enjoying some off-the-beaten-path amusements, rather than settling for the same-ol' predictable bar or TV show. Once you come up with some kooky plan that gets your mind off its heavier considerations, enlist your sweetie or your best friend to join along in making it happen. You've got to take—or make—the fun times where you can get 'em.