Horoscopes | Week of September 8-14, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You could drive yourself crazy, Aries, attempting to painstakingly finesse every last little detail of a duty, project, or process… when, no matter how careful you are, there will still remain certain features or facets that resist your attempts at control. Though this might sound like good cause to let up on your expectations of complete mastery, I must also warn you of the likelihood that you wouldn't even notice what hasn't been reliably handled (because, of course, it can't be) without my having issued this warning and, as a result, your having realized the likelihood of such a likelihood. It's your job, therefore, to neither be perfect nor strive for perfection… but instead to sell an understanding of the necessary incompleteness of this job-well-done, first to yourself and then to other important stakeholders, so that everyone is on the same page. A 'job well done' doesn't mean—can never mean—a job that addresses every last variable and eliminates every possible cause-for-concern. Aside from the tangible specifications any level of responsibility might demand, we must simultaneously recognize each other's implicit fallibility. Our individual inaccessibility to the grand mystical plan supposedly underlying this unruly jungle. Our shared humanness. Your diligence in taking the time to adequately and thoroughly communicate, one to one, about the interpersonal issues at play in your efforts to together meet this responsibility is at least as important as the details of this task-at-hand. And any ugly replies you get, in the course of such communications, are more about the relational power-dynamics than the superficial specifics.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Problems will be better solved, and questions better answered, by remembering to actively solicit the opinions of other people who are also involved and/or impacted by whatever decisions you come to. Though you may legitimately have definite preferences on how you'd like to see it all happen, whether for creative or philosophic reasons, you risk soiling others' goodwill towards you if you neglect to consider the wider influence of these supposedly 'personal' choices, Taurus. You could fool yourself into believing your ideas are merely the obvious result of putting your practical logic to the test, as if any conclusion other than the one you arrived at would automatically be less practical or logical, by virtue of… of what? of having come from somebody else? of being different than what you'd originally wanted? If you are sincerely interested in what makes the most practical sense, then it seems objectively shrewd to integrate as much feedback from other players who possess real-life experience in the field, rather than designing a plan based essentially on aesthetic appeal or ideological idealism. And just in case you think this horoscope somehow applies only in serious organizational or community-oriented contexts, guess again: Without taking care, you might easily drown out the desires of friends by insisting you don a specific style, dine on certain cuisine, party at a particular bar, or otherwise impose a proclivity on the whole group, just because you're willing to be louder or more strong-willed about it. You'd probably triumph in such situations, especially if nobody wants to fight you on it. I'd be more concerned about the impressions being formed of you behind your back.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): There's a somewhat hazardous potential for you, Gemini, to become so wholly caught up in a compelling personal narrative of your own making, you neglect to recall that other folks (including, perhaps, one especially influential character) may be waiting on you to fulfill your role in some other script with a much wider audience. You do not have the luxury of immersing yourself entirely in any single engagement (or should I say 'compulsion'?)… certainly not at the expense of (you know exactly where I'm going with this) your work responsibilities and/or other pressing items of practical significance. I will grant you, however, your ability to talk your way out of any hot-water you might find yourself sinking into remains superb—if, that is, you don't portray an unapologetic self-importance, instead giving off the unflattering impression you believe yourself completely justified in diverting all your attention to this personal matter, no matter the cost to other projects or purposes which remain important to the very person(s) to whom you're defending your choice. If you expect anyone to forgive your subjective concerns having colonized your concentration, you must at least express you're also legitimately concerned about any balls you might've dropped… and/or invest some earnest effort to remedy the goof, either with your own hands or by asking for help from somebody else. Otherwise, your temporary blindness to the professional and/or external-world effects of your current preoccupying engrossment could lead a certain critical player to start doubting your commitment.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): While I recommend continuing to aim for proactively communicating as little of substance as possible for the time being, Cancer, that advice ceases to apply the very moment a casually agreeable interaction veers into the potentially contested territory where your silence could imply tacit agreement on a matter-of-principle you don't, in fact, agree with them about. Even if you aren't exactly sure of your beliefs on that certain issue, the cropping-up of any 'funny feelings' inside you as another person bloviates, proselytizes, or expresses an ignorant tone-deafness to important nuances should be enough of a clue that there's a problem. Though this isn't admittedly your best moment to comprehensively externalize a clear analysis of where your thoughts diverge from theirs (and/or why they're totally missing how clueless, misguided, or offensive what they just said actually is), you also cannot, for clarity's sake, allow your integrity to be jeopardized by not speaking up. Should you face such an encounter, try your best to share your disagreement with simple, polite statements such as, 'I just see it differently'—and, if asked to explain further, to back up your position with first-person narratives about whatever personal experiences led you to your conclusion (rather than 'facts' or morality pronouncements). Hopefully, that will be enough… unless they back you into a corner.


LEO (July 23-August 22): What is unequivocally clear to you, my dear Leo, may not be quite as self-evident to the other person. What's an innocent remark on your part could hit a sensitive nerve in somebody else. And what seems like a totally fair arrangement, at least to your thinking, might accidentally symbolize your sheer disregard for their distinct interests in this case. None of these examples—or the countless others which would illustrate that differences between you and another party may be greater than you presently realize—are necessarily egregious wrongdoings in themselves, since we are all imperfect beings who don't always see our fellow imperfect-beings in the most accurate light possible, and, in many cases, we only discover our oversights or offenses once we are called out on them by the individual we've inadvertently wronged. It's what happens after the calling-out, whether it's a humble receiving of difficult feedback (i.e., listening to their truth about the situation) or a defensive insistence that 'I meant no harm' (i.e., reiterating our truth about the situation), that determines who's really doing someone wrong. Please remember this during any heightened instance where you're confronted with another person's odd, disproportionate, and/or indecipherable reaction to something you thought was fairly cut-and-dry and certainly didn't warrant such a response. You don't know what you don't know, until you let someone spell it out for you—and until you take it in.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As circumstances continue tipping to your advantage (finally!), courtesy of Venus's presence in your zodiacal home, you should probably watch out that you not carry it too far… and start inadvertently overshadowing your partner or companion with your agenda (which would be so easy to do, considering how flowingly it's now manifesting) or taking it upon yourself to actively 'look out' for them (when perhaps they haven't actually asked you to, and/or your methods for doing so are more about your interests than theirs). At such a powerful point in your ongoing process of better asserting your preferences, Virgo, you also face Venus's opposition to Neptune-in-your-7th—an influence which often clouds our vision of who the other party in an important relationship actually is, how they're feeling, what they're telling us, and/or what they want. Under such astrology, we see another person as we wish them to be or as we fear they are. We go overboard in trying to help them be their best self, and/or we totally erase their distinguishing traits, filling in the blanks with our expectations or projections. Should you, therefore, find yourself in interpersonal exchanges where you're so clearly getting your needs fulfilled and/or are otherwise happy as a clam about how smoothly everything's going, I recommend doing a bit of devil's-advocate self-assessment… and actively reflecting on whether that self-serving bliss may be coming at a cost to someone else's visibility, acknowledgment, or satisfaction. Can't hurt, by the way, to continually check in with them about this, if you're indeed concerned.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): With Mercury-in-your-1st in a rumble against Uranus and Pluto this week, Libra, your words may unwittingly (or, on the other hand, quite knowingly) set off a larger storm of reactions and retaliations that threatens to unsettle a relationship and/or churn up a clump of disconcerting emotions inside you. Based on the astrology, though, I'm not sure it ought to be any other way. As we discussed last week, there's a fruitful revelatory process likely to unfold through actively exchanging communications in open-ended dialogue. But please note that we're conceiving of this as a process, not focusing too decidedly on presumed and/or desired outcomes: With Venus fogged in at the 12th-house limbo-station, you cannot expect to witness reassuring signs that a conversation is going where you want it to go and/or where it will best serve your interests, though it may indeed be headed that way (especially if you've invested a sincere intent for attaining mutual understanding, not just a smoothing-over coat of varnish). You therefore must focus simply on doing your best, striving to be as straightforwardly self-confessional as possible… wisely knowing this is all you can really control. To decrease the potential you'll be met with jarring character-attacks, please try to steer clear of stereotypically Libran traps like indirect message-spinning or passive-aggressive other-person-centeredness. Other than that, should any surprising and/or upsetting results emerge from your attempt at reasonable discussion, you'll at least gain some valuable emotional information about what you've involved yourself in. All the while, I ought to mention, you mustn't set your everyday duties aside to indulge only this drama.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Late in the upcoming week (on Sat Sep 13), Mars will complete his monumental seven-week trip through your sign… and you ought to be able to look back and see the very clear-cut shift which has occurred in your life, Scorpio, since the end of July. I suspect you have taken one huge step or a series of smaller actions during these weeks, in direct support of manifesting intentions and/or eradicating displeasures, such that you're no longer experiencing the 'stuck' feeling which characterized the first half of your 2014—or else you've painfully hit up against increasingly severe consequences, mainly associated with feeling less and less 'like yourself', as a result of refusing to act on your own behalf. In any event, I urge you take full advantage of these last days with Mars on your side (until January 2016, that is) by making at least one more noteworthy move to un-stick a part of you that still needs loosening up. But this move shouldn't be one you use to 'make a statement', at least not to anybody other than yourself (and/or your version of the Divine Overseer). It ought to be something you'd do to honor your own self-consuming fascinations, predilections, or desires… a pleasure in itself, something that gets your energies coursing strongly, an inspiring signal of that which you seek more of in your future, the whipped-cream-and-cherry to cap off a rather remarkable couple months. If you've unfortunately disappointed yourself lately, this is your moment to (1) let yourself off the hook and (2) firmly commit to never permitting that particular disservice-to-self to happen again.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Please remind yourself that professional (or public-world) 'success' comes in different types, Sagittarius… and that reaping the impressive titles, the big salaries, and/or the immense amounts of responsibility (or whatever version of these outer trappings applies to your particular situation) may not always be what'll provide you a true sense of personal satisfaction. We may achieve great feats and still not feel successful. We might confidently know we've succeeded at meeting certain concrete goals, yet must admit, if we're being honest, they've not led us to the internal emotional experience we'd expected or hoped for. Or perhaps we forgot to even ask ourselves, through inward reflection, whether or not we believe our ongoing efforts have yielded success. This is an excellent moment for forcing yourself to notice the subtler sensations which arise inside you, as you receive this opportunity or that acknowledgement-of-your-hard-work… mainly because, under this 10th-house-Venus's opposition to Neptune, you're likelier than usual to embrace any and every token of external advantage, without pausing to check in with yourself about whether accepting it makes you happy, proud, anxious, overwhelmed, angry, or put upon. Maybe you don't even know? There's no need, therefore, to hurriedly respond or collect. With Mars entering your sign this weekend, next week will be a whole different animal anyhow.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Beware of the gambles involved in jumping to swift conclusions, Capricorn… particularly if you're in a public or career-related setting, where your knack for craftily downplaying the validity of alternative perspectives will appear more like a haughty case of kneejerk sour-grapes than an authentic reflection on possibilities. Too confident a reliance on what you've already predetermined to be correct, right in the face of those who wish you to engage in a lengthier discussion (regardless of outcome) on this actually-not-already-determined issue, could easily be perceived (correctly or not) as a symptom of your insecurity about what might emerge if that discussion were to happen. So if you aren't insecure that further conversation will somehow make you look bad—because you also aren't insecure about the potential of broadening your thinking on this matter, and maybe even changing your beliefs about what's 'correct'—then I strongly suggest going out of your way to encourage continuing talks. In fact, I'd even recommend not trying too hard to control the flow of that discussion: After all, what you might call 'focusing on the topic' would, to somebody else's mind, seem a lot like 'silencing the dissent' or 'imposing limits'. Let the whole damn thing meander a bit, if that's what it'll take to demonstrate the efficacy of your conclusions does not rely on your monopolizing the marketplace of ideas. Remember, there's no need for swiftness on this.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Under the current astrology, Aquarius, you're better situated than usual to tolerate a considerable amount of psychological intensity, conflicted feelings and/or relational uncertainty. To do so most adeptly, alas, you have little choice but to accept that you don't know (1) where this particular situation is ultimately leading, (2) how long it'll take before you get a clearer idea of that direction, and (3) what illuminating developments will occur between now and then. Though this common-sense insight should be fairly obvious, you're coming at this hornet's-nest with a peculiarly impatient drive to nail down the most significant life-questions at stake… likely so you can reduce the complexities to a point where you can more easily discern the black from the white, competently make a judgment call, and confidently move on to some next chapter (where, presumably, these unsettled emotions no longer hold daily sway over you). Let me counter that drive with this encouragement: Don't rush to judgment, or you'll be inviting a curveball from left-field to land at your feet, spurring enough of a response in you to spotlight whatever angle or consideration your reasonable mind cannot presently identify or process. Your feelings are still feeding you important subjective data. Without honoring that it takes them time to thoroughly fill you in, you might hastily sell out your own interests just to 'get this thing done already'.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): For the most part, folks are responding extra-favorably towards you these days, Pisces, thanks to Venus working her way through your one-on-one relationship house (the solar 7th). In fact, the vibe you're presently putting out (whether intended or not) sets you apart from the crowd more distinctly than usual, heightening your magnetism to the point where certain individuals may find themselves powerfully drawn to you… though they might not be able to clearly identify why. Therein lies the risk: of attracting a new friend and/or romantic prospect who doesn't see you especially accurately. At the same time, Venus's opposition to Neptune-in-your-1st suggests that you might also be guilty of feeding this dynamic, should you willingly take on their projections, choose not to correct their misperceptions, and/or go so totally freely with their flow that your own personality-specifics recede from the scene. I encourage you not to avoid the passing awkwardness which will likely transpire when you, carefully but politely, clarify their understanding of you; Venus will even help you make those uncomfortable conversational moments a bit easier. And if, for some reason of theirs, they take unkindly to your elucidating interjection? Better to dissolve their illusions about you now, before this goes any further.