Horoscopes | Week of November 3-9, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Even if you actually wanted to ignore the giant pink elephant in the room, Aries—and, believe me, playing pretend at this point would essentially insult the intelligence of all involved parties—you still couldn't do a very believable job of acting carefree, unaffected, and/or without a driving agenda. This is nothing less than a shuffling of power… and the sooner you get on board with this forever-altered dynamic, the quicker you'll alleviate the tension otherwise likely to interject itself in only-slightly-veiled compensatory moves or bitchy remarks. 'Getting on board' doesn't mean you like the changes happening, of course: It just requires accepting those romanticized or yearned-for 'younger days' are decisively no more, and that you must grab greater responsibility for ensuring your personal ambitions don't fall dead in their tracks, particularly if particular changes-in-circumstance are making it harder to get your leg up. Maybe you do like these changes, but certain other opinionated parties feel they're receiving the shorter-end of this stick? That, too, is no undercurrent to avoid. You must find ways to rise to this leadership challenge, earnestly acknowledging this awkward reality and refusing to flinch when a take-charge attitude is obviously expected of you.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I hope you took last week's edition to heart, Taurus, because it's still essential for you to intentionally deploy an enticing persuasiveness in your efforts to 'spread the gospel'… if only because the developing Mars-Pluto conjunction in your 9th indicates that, otherwise, your (how shall we say this?) strong opinions are likely to hit your listener with the brunt of an iron fist. The good news is that your seriousness of purpose is so mighty and driving, you bear an intensified potential to definitively make your point and/or to competently orient the upcoming episodes of your life around the primacy of this valued commitment. (In other words, I wouldn't want to try to argue you into rethinking your priorities or changing directions.) But will it end up as personally rewarding to be on the side of 'what really matters', if you're either all alone there or accompanied by dubious companions who just 'went along' because it was easier than voicing concern or saying no? The efficacy of your convictions does rest, to a large degree, on whether you are capable of spinning an appealing pitch. Too stubborn a hard-line on how you must or mustn't communicate key precepts, for instance, could futilely alienate folks who might enthusiastically buy what you're selling—if you came to terms with the fact that, yes, you do have to 'sell' it. Dispense with any resistance you might be harboring about having to put forth a compelling and engaging presentation, in order to win over their hearts.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): While I typically aim to avoid fear tactics whenever possible, I am however worried, Gemini, about what might happen if you don't stare the monster straight in the face… and defiantly demonstrate how you refuse to let a few spooky facial expressions, an intimidating stance, or a carefully-worded provocation keep you from contending, head-on, with the nuts and bolts of this situation. You cannot roll over and play dead, nor can you plaster on an insincere 'everything's cool' grin—not if you don't wish to cede your role in actively hammering out a mutual agreement, only to end up passively assenting to a deal that'd be far less advantageous than the one you could get by sticking with these tense talks. As emotionally triggering as these circumstances might be, this is no time to permit emotional declarations (whether of love or hatred, bliss or despair) to serve as your calling-card. You've got to think about what you can actually accomplish: the battles which are yours to win, the extra benefits or bargaining-chips you can eke out, your self-protective resistance to accepting their unfair and/or unkind remarks about you as 'evidence' of their superiority which will help you hold your own. This is a simple matter of securing as much as you can for yourself (provided your efforts are ethically above-board), cutting your losses when necessary, and, perhaps most importantly, letting your past thoroughly go by advancing toward a future where you won't accumulate such feelings of powerlessness.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Just so we're totally clear, you don't really have much of a leg to stand on, as far as your complaints about a certain someone are concerned, if you haven't given them an abundantly clear understanding of what they could actually do to please you, Cancer. If any interpersonal gripe presently exists, that's because either (1) you've been cagey, cryptic, confusing, or otherwise indirect in your efforts to assert your desires, impeding the other person's ability to effectively respond, and/or (2) the other person lacks the capability or interest to respond in a manner that'll make you happy. Though the specifics of your scenario may vary slightly, there really aren't any other basic underlying themes: Either they don't know what you want, or they're unwilling and/or unable to give it to you. By accepting that awareness, your next step becomes that much simpler. If you're not being properly understood, you must up both the volume and the detail-level of your feedback. (If you fear that 'repeating yourself' will only anger them, that's it's own flashing neon warning-sign.) If they won't or can't meet your wants, you must face the reality of this relationship's increasingly diminishing returns… and perhaps start engineering your exit. On the other hand, if you're generally content with your current interpersonal standing, I suggest actively cultivating more ambitious future plans which could be successfully nurtured and supported atop the solid foundation you two have built.


LEO (July 23-August 22): In your world at the moment, Leo, words are especially cheap… so, right off the bat, you should be immediately suspicious of any impulse to pause in making concrete progress, in order to immediately discuss something that's been emotionally bothering you or talk out guiding premises which should already be fairly self-explanatory. If you're rapt in conversation, then, by logical extension, you're not absorbed in productive efforts. And before you try to argue the case that conversation can be a productive effort—which, of course, is true, and also a nifty loophole to exploit when you clearly have other pressing items that'd benefit from more prompt attention—please reserve the defensive attitude and admit you really do need to invest yourself in getting your shit done. As far as any emotional bothers are concerned, let me suggest it'll be just as practically useful to soldier through the initial reluctance to stay on task when you're 'feeling like this' as it would to set aside precious work-hours for dissecting every last nook-and-cranny of your upset. In fact, staying productively busy will have the double-advantage of (1) getting your mind off the upsetting circumstances and (2) counteracting the bad feelings with that gratifying sense of accomplishment. (Talking it out, meanwhile, will ensure you stay focused on the very thing that's bothering you.) If you do need the solace of a supportive exchange with a close friend, plan your check-in for after your workday is done, once you're home and undeniably free to put your emotional state first.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): It just wouldn't be right, Virgo, to deny what's the object(s) of your desires. While a flat acknowledgment provides no guarantee you will succeed in fulfilling those desires, it goes far in warding off the unattractive behaviors which you're likely to display if you operate from a self-repudiation model. Part of what makes such sheer unadulterated desire so potentially rankling is how it short-circuits the logic-chain of your thinking, inserting a raw urge before you can properly consider whether it's a reasonable aim or practically attainable, forcing you to therefore prioritize 'meeting desire' over other easier-to-classify-and-control considerations… and disrupting the whole organizational strategy. Yet, as we covered last week, you not only want what you want, but it's grown increasingly impossible to conceal that want. And so, instead of trying to cram your scrambled focus back onto some soullessly orderly catalog of what you should 'want' to do (because it would meet all the specifications you've drafted for that tall order of 'the person I [should] want to be'), leave the crooked edges of this slapdash pattern all f'ed up and live with it. Dare I whisper to you what I really think is going on? You're not afraid to admit your desires, as much as you're freaked out about the imminent possibility of actually getting what you want. How much of everything else might then need responsive reconfiguration?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The worst trip you could pull on yourself if rage, grief, or some undifferentiated glob of emotion rises up in you, Libra, would be to push it away. I know you're probably pretty damn good at that whole pushing-it-away routine by now. I mean, hey, isn't that a fundamental tenet of how you were taught to greet the alarming intrusion of a renegade feeling, one which would otherwise threaten your ability to behave politely or provide a reasoned response? If that's the case, then, well, fuck!, it would be an act of emancipatory disobedience just to allow your mood to remain demonstrably unprettified… to give it plenty of room to transmit the un-'reasoned' message it showed up to deliver, and to give yourself the opportunity to, steadily over time, put together a therapeutic strategy for remedying any situational contributing-factors. To dare yourself to feel whatever friggin' way you feel at a given moment—whether or not it makes sense to you, whether or not it disrupts plans, whether or not it thwarts your capacity to conform to behavioral expectations, and whether or not it startles or surprises or disappoints anybody else—is a huge victory in itself. You'll continue building emotional authenticity, simultaneously coming to better appreciate those high-points when you are legitimately blissfully happy (rather than merely playing at it to keep others off your back). In that spirit, fuck the fake smiles and the 'fine, thank you's. Brood as you so desire.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Venus's square to Jupiter from your sign this week, Scorpio, suggests the likelihood that things going pretty well for you could strike others as too close an encounter with your blindness to these advantages of yours. So, first off, I'd encourage you not to unconsciously undervalue the currently favorable state of your affairs, since I'm sure the last impression you'd want to create for yourself is an ungrateful one. I'd follow up that piece of advice with a corresponding suggestion to be mindful about how you express your gripes and grievances, both the content of the complaints you voice and the audience to whom you voice them. What may feel like a legitimately vexing problem to you, in the exaggerated context of it having just gotten under your skin, could sound like a friggin' luxury to those who'd happily swap their life-and-death worries for your disproportionate (at least to their perception) upset. This is less a case of me telling you your problems aren't 'real', by the way… and more a simple reminder that, under this astrology, you might wish to lead with your empathetic awareness rather than accidentally step in a heaping pile of your-head-up-your-own-ass. In situations where you feel you must discuss what's causing you stress or angst, therefore, please talk about the actual problem-at-hand: Once you lapse into self-aggrandizing stories of woe, lamenting how 'this always happens to me' (or, worse, how 'unfair' the world is), you've turned your sensitive ego into the 'problem'… and lost potential sympathizers.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Though general excitement is generally encouraged, Sagittarius, I warn you not to affix too many certain-seeming specifics to the vibrational whir you're experiencing. Truth be told, you don't legitimately understand why you're generally excited—and here's one clue: it's not what would be the most obvious reason—and therefore any energy spent to explain an unformed or incomplete understanding would logically be wasted. From another angle, I wouldn't expend much time worrying about what you can't quite see, especially if it's just so you might question what actually feels mostly pretty good (if not slightly anxiety-provoking, in the way excitement about an unknown commodity often is). Don't sidetrack your mood with inquiries about whether you ought to trust the mood you're in. (That's some 'How Not To Look a Gift-Horse in the Mouth 101' advice right there.) If you need someplace to concentrate your attentions, then, might I suggest returning them to the ever-pressing task of mastering your cashflow? By taking on some strategic longer-term financial analysis under this current astrology, you actually have the chance to greenlight an ambitious future expenditure based on a data-centered budgetary plan. Never thought you could afford that? It's all a question of prioritizing its worth above other trifling expenses you won't miss once you cut 'em off.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): As Mars now applies to conjoin Pluto in your sign (exact next Mon Nov 10), Capricorn, you've arrived to one more critical life-juncture where some unambiguous action on your part—no matter how unpopular, off-putting, or potentially estranging such an action might be—is clearly expected of you. You, and only you, are the deciding factor in whether you'll go bravely forward on the strength of your self-determination, willing to greet the due consequences of all sorts with a steeled conscience, knowing you will rise or fall on the audacity of your own efforts… or whether you'll just cling to your self-justifying list of others' wrongdoings toward you (even though they may well be 'wrong'), providing a watertight story that definitively explains why you're still falling short, absolving yourself, perhaps, but feeding dangerous levels of fury and resentment all the while. You can at once be a legitimate victim of circumstance and a hero who takes responsibility for the current state of your life. I can see how your resolve has lately been tested, with one more stinging reminder of how far you can carry yourself and still find the familiar jail-wardens trying to tempt you back into your cage. But you can outsmart this recurrence of your formerly-disempowered ghost self once you realize nothing's really any different than it was at each and every single step you took to define yourself as somebody other than who you were initially indoctrinated to become. The bait is always there. The cage always anticipates your resigned retreat. And you must always choose to define your own fate in the face of all that, some decisive defining acts requiring just a bit more chutzpah than others.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Not a single external obstruction or obstacle, extenuating condition, or obvious target-of-blame is the real thwarter to your immediate advance, Aquarius. Appearances may imply otherwise, but we all know how easily our eyes can play tricks on us, especially as our minds work overtime to complete this as-yet-unwritten story with whatever epic plot-twists we imagine to be logical progressions. Whatever character, setting, or dramatic situation you may presently ache to curse or crush, due to its inconvenient placement smack in the center of your charted path, must not be prematurely assessed as a symbol of doom or otherwise slated for destruction. This very foil or foe could well end up as a pivotal lever-point, to be used in conjunction with other still-undetermined tools, to actually un-wedge yourself from this stuck-in-a-corner posture. Yes, that maybe-misidentified 'thorn in your side' could well become an integral part of rescuing you from that thorn-in-your-side feeling. So don't needlessly turn a 'complicating consideration' into an 'enemy'. Rather, this is merely the trickiest angle of the puzzle, without which you might hastily form falsely simplistic solutions to not-well-understood problems. It's that trickiest part, though, which forces the creative mind out on a limb… a place where we must befriend ideas or experiences that previously would've sent us running for the hills, only here we have no such freedom and must consider everything.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): While I've generally encouraged you to think 'bold moves' and get outside 'the same old thing', Pisces, a streak of presently-exaggerated idealism could put you at odds with certain folks who may feel you're not sufficiently addressing important practical details. It's actually been rather critical to your creative process to not allow anxieties about how you'll ever figure out all the steps required for manifesting your vision to inhibit the very formation of the vision itself, so I don't want you to fear you've somehow skipped a crucial step or otherwise missed your boat. But at a certain point in the developmental cycle, ideal visions must be integrated with logistical reality. Whether or not you've already totally reached that point in your own conception of this project or purpose, you'll still want to accept the truth that certain aspects of your vision remain vague or indeterminate. This acceptance will help you contain any frustrations which could flare up, should an uncompassionate critic or competitive friend point out what you haven't yet thought through or adequately addressed. Regardless of their motives, they'll be feeding you very applicable information… which you can smartly file away for the time when you feel ready to constructively engage it, as long as you don't get wrapped up in their potentially unflattering (and unfair, I might add) implications about your overall capabilities.