Horoscopes | Week of September 1-7, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A purposeful backing-away from any thorny and/or overly theatricalized situations during this week ahead, Aries, is definitely your key to getting back into productive mode. Though you're at a point where recommitting to the next significant phase of career-and/or-reputation-building work is heavily favored, you can easily find excuses to shirk this opportunity on behalf of preserving your honor, getting your 'final' say (again), or laughing scornfully from the front-row of the sidelines as someone else gets their comeuppance… any of which aren't really justifiable reasons to take your eye off the big ball, and obviously suggest you're refusing to step back from the drama. In fact, if you actually do want to defuse the brouhaha and reground yourself in your much-more-important goals, I advise proactively making nice with whoever you might be at odds with—not the same thing, incidentally, as 'making peace'. You don't have to apologize for things you're not sorry about, accept responsibility where it's not due, or even go into any of the lingering specifics of who said or did what… but merely demonstrate a pleasant non-committal civility, with kind compliments unrelated to anything controversial and/or small-talk which innocently shows you're not letting that unmentioned hot-button keep you from everything else on your plate.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Right now, who you want to be, Taurus, is somebody who stands for something… who uses your limited life-span in a way that feels like it matters… who takes as full advantage of the chance to survey other lands and cultures and concepts, to not only touch lives but to be touched by the lives of others, as you possibly can. This is an important moment to proudly acknowledge that drift, instead of convincing yourself (or letting anyone else convince you) that such 'lofty' or 'self-important' concerns ought to be downplayed or devalued. Under this astrology, you're presently encouraged to up your gleeful participation in leisure-time adventures, romantic explorations, and/or creative quests… but only as long as you're an instrumental player in steering their direction, so that whatever specific sort of glee-inspiring activity you choose will also increase your exposure to ideas and experiences you find most meaningfully interesting. Because 'spare time' is a scarce commodity, you mustn't waste a precious drop of it on space-filler pursuits which feel superficial or pointless. You may, however, need to hold your time-management brain to its highest standards: Once you further immerse yourself in the excitement, you'll be hunting for ways to reorganize your responsibilities to make even more space for it.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Be somewhat skeptical of yourself, Gemini, if you feel any urgent need to present yourself as a happy-go-lucky guy or gal, to backpedal from any sad or somber impressions you might've made in someone else's eyes, and/or to convince 'em you're able to shrug off every bit of weirdness without letting it affect your mood. Haven't we all been trained to doubt thou who doth protest too much? While it's not unfair to claim happiness as a general personality-trait or to point out your capacity to often turn the other cheek, the active outward defense of such a self-characterization isn't presently a terribly productive exercise. It would not be an untrue story, merely an incomplete one… intended to manage your image and/or make other people comfortable enough that they don't probe into the other storylines you'd prefer not to publicly explore any further. And all the while, you'd actually find greater peace by simply not putting yourself on the spot, in moments when you feel you must defend (or even explain) why you're behaving in a conflicted or downbeat manner. Fight the urge to 'put on a happy face' whenever it stirs a sense of duty or obligation. Stay at home, and treat yourself to the paradise of silent self-supportive solace, trashy-TV or juicy-novel and all.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Massage the rapport, but without actually speaking much of substance. Be present-and-accounted-for, yet unremarkably nonchalant. This advice represents a marked shift for you, Cancer, though not exactly a full abandonment of the self-focus I've been endorsing. The act of playing it safely neutral and unobtrusive is still about protecting your interests… and also shrewdly recognizing that a palpable emotionality is starting to interject itself into your cerebral landscape, increasing the likelihood that anything you say will sound more tentative, moody, or conflicted than your sincere thoughts on the matter would sound at another time. Once you put this more-vulnerable voice out there, of course, those who'd seek to talk you into seeing it their way and/or undermine your resolve will have fodder to fuel their doubt-inspiring suggestions. And all this, based not on genuine doubt on your part, but as an adverse side-effect of some passing tide of feeling. So, you can most successfully look out for your numero-uno (that is, you) by guarding yourself against unconsciously externalizing an invitation for others to intrude upon your exceedingly subjective internal dialogue. Let everyone else externalize, while you smile and nod and look pretty.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Neither of us wants any recent advantages or advances you enjoyed to become mere glints from your past, getting smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirror as life's ceaseless engine drives you ever further onward. Once you receive something good and wish to secure its enduring legacy, Leo, you must devote active guardianship efforts intentionally designed to keep it safe. You've got to work to prolong the lifetime of this latest stroke of serendipity, carving out a regular slot in your routine (if not daily, then a few times a week) for some new task or tenet-of-habit that consistently reaffirms a decision made, builds upon these early foundational stages, and/or invests a chunk of the proceeds back into whatever will produce even more. Think of it as purposely marrying your future to this especially appealing glimpse of your present: Rather than expecting this moment's 'trophy-wife' to stick around past the point of gathering well-wishes and opening gifts, you must provide an enticing environment in which it would continue choosing, at each successive step, to share your life with you. Creating such a stable vessel for your ongoing success is a step-by-step affair, requiring persistent attention. You're likely to soon realize this more acutely, as your eagerness to share news of a recent advantage-or-advance with all your people threatens to distract you from your timely need to work to nail it down.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Venus's return to your sign later this week (on Fri Sep 5), Virgo, only further contributes to the trend of enhanced self-assuredness that's been gradually unfurling itself in recent weeks. While you're hopefully continuing to refrain from taking easy potshots at those whose personality-traits drive you friggin' crazy, it is totally acceptable—and encouraged—to actively promote what you specifically want to gain from a given situation, without pandering or self-sacrifice. With Venus on your side, you're actually likelier to get what you want given to you… not by being aggressively demanding, but simply by confidently describing why satisfying your vision is clearly the best way to go, then smiling at 'em with that knowledgeable glint in your eyes and allowing them to happily grant you the desired goods. This isn't merely about the circumstances immediately at hand, by the way, but also serves as a subtly significant step in a longer-term strengthening of your capacity to unapologetically pursue your preferences, for no 'rational reason' other than that's what you'd prefer. My only caution: Be sure you yourself aren't unconsciously holding conflicting desires (i.e., one that's practical, one for shits-and-giggle), and thus impinging on one to chase the other.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You may likely find you suddenly have a lot to say, Libra… whether it's that you've held your tongue for long enough, needed until now to formulate the right words, and/or finally spy an opening where before the space had been filled by everyone else's opinions. Such an expressive impulse would be due to Mercury's arrival to your sign early this week, spurring you to decamp from the safe-house inside your head and coax your cogitations onto the wild fields outside. This shift doesn't automatically imply, however, you've now managed to gather the calmest, coolest, or most objective handle on this matter—only, simply, that you're ready to talk. And that's okay. Who ever said people must have every last bit of their emotionally-unsettled shit figured out prior to initiating a discussion about it? In fact, in this case, it might be preferable to use the conversational process as a means for uncovering subjective biases or emotional blindspots in your thinking which, if you instead stayed to yourself and kept chewing on the same few sentiments over and over again, would otherwise continue to restrict your understanding to its boxed-in limits. That said, you can't confidently know the outcome of whatever interactions you initiate at this juncture… though it's safe to assume your feelings will show up strongly.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Though you remain self-determinedly energized and well-positioned to further exploit continuing outside-world advantages, this probably isn't your best time for lengthy, intricate, and/or nuanced conversations, Scorpio. The more you engage in back-and-forth talks, whether of an explanatory nature or in negotiating an agreement, the likelier your words will unwittingly slide askew to your intended aim or meaning… and threaten to hook you into someone else's mistaken understanding about what you want or where you stand, a tangle you'll have to get yourself out of later, to everyone's distress. Of course, you may struggle not to insert yourself so decidedly into the discussion, considering how much information (some of it potentially quite provocative or juicy) will be flying around in the air. Please trust it'll be so much better if you use this opportunity to unassumingly collect the information for future deployment—once further developments have verified these facts beyond the shadow of doubt, or revealed an illuminating angle currently not visible—rather than jumping in and muddying the scene with imprecise phrasings or hasty conclusions. Stay in the mix, though, listening to all parties' takes… without unduly leaping to either the attack or the defense of any single one, at least for right now.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Concentrate on carefully making plans to collect upon professional (and/or public-world) opportunities now being handed to you or just hinted about, Sagittarius. Be precise, discreet, and data-driven in both how you evaluate any given offer and how you communicate your questions or concerns with the other stake-holders. You will gain credibility by presuming nothing, and by explicitly fleshing out details which might otherwise be easily treated as obvious givens, building confidence in you among those who'll be impressed at your thoroughness. At this juncture, enthusiasm is no substitute for diligent engineering. In fact, please take special cautions should you find yourself swept up in a snowballing exchange of collective excitement, with peers or colleagues adding more and more aspects to the already-ambitious scope of your next-steps… and with you expected to second their thoughts and zealously sign on for a larger commitment than you'd counted on. If you brashly ride that team-spirit wave without any hesitations, you could later discover that your interests (particularly those of economic nature) have gotten lost in the shuffle—and, I'm sorry but, wasn't the whole purpose for you to take advantage of your present opportunities, to serve your own interests? Play any such group-minded conversations diplomatically, agreeing to nothing other than 'yes, we're all excited!'


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You're on deck to soon make your public statement of conviction, commitment, and/or clarification, Capricorn… and though you are probably pretty damn ready to do it, on the basis of passion alone, you'll also want to be as philosophically clean as you possibly can. What this entails is striving to be impeccable in aligning what you say with your overarching life-beliefs, such that if and when you are questioned about any sensitive sore-spots or unobvious motives, you will be able to honestly respond with a clean conscience. Expect to be challenged or doubted, not in order to defensively build up a galled antagonism (which would detrimentally inject a threatened or haughty tone a la 'how dare they!'), but to preemptively consider which grounds they might challenge or doubt you on, so you may thoughtfully work out the possible inconsistencies for yourself in advance. This serves to both fortify your internal ideological coherence and to better equip you for the resulting interactions. You won't, alas, want to address challenges or doubts from others by diverting the conversation into irrelevant territory, challenging anyone's character, or acting like you don't have time for 'this crap'. Keep an ethical steadiness, and your point (if it's a valid one) should make itself.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Moving forward in intense personal and/or professional partnerships, Aquarius, it'll be hard to stay truly 'clean' (in terms of psychological authenticity) without a willingness to dirty your hands by unpacking all the details (some of which may be disagreeable or unsavory) of certain ongoing dynamics. This isn't a punishing sentence, though, but a hopefully heartening chance to sweep away some stray psychic dust that's been hanging around the less-well-lit corners of this arrangement. Though it might feel like you're pettily making much ado about relatively minor inequities, idiosyncrasies, or infractions, you also can't ignore the fact that you're still thinking about them… and as long as they stubbornly take up space in your awareness, they're also taking up space in the relationship. Perhaps the scariest part about this exercise, if we want to be honest, is that neither of us is completely certain we understand exactly why such a seemingly small thing has gotten so deeply under your skin. There's the level at which you can maybe articulate how this was 'wrong' according to your consciously-lived principles; but underneath, there's another level where this has tapped into a primal sense of fear, threat, or mistrust that isn't as easily encapsulated. Only through starting the conversation, in a spirit of earnest inquiry, will you learn more about that deeper level. Just don't forget you're still learning too… and therefore not yet the bearer of the total truth.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): For your purposes, Pisces, I really like this current astrology for building bridges between (1) your main squeeze and/or some other special someone in your life and (2) your larger circle of friends, your comrades in the causes, and/or another social allegiance or identification you find important to your sense of community-belonging. Likewise, you can also use it to step closer to a particular individual within your wider network who, though you share many common pals and/or a guiding life-philosophy, have not yet connected one-on-one as you'd imagined you would. A third productive possibility: helping clear up a small-though-no-less-significant fact or nuance that a certain somebody has gotten wrong about you, not in a punitive tone but with proactive informational positivity. None of these suggestions, incidentally, necessarily implies there's any wrong within a specific relationship (is there? that's for you to say)… only that you presently have an unassuming chance to improve the level of understanding between you, based upon directly exposing the other person to more illustrative details about how you define yourself in the world. There needn't be shoving anything in anyone's face or forcing them to 'get it'—just a gentle but genuine offering made to clarify your stake in the relationship.