Horoscopes | Week of September 7-13, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): While wholeheartedly accepting the looming influence of all those unknowable unknowns you're now unleashing in the process of following your heart, Aries, you can only reasonably respond to these rapidly-reorienting circumstances one day at a time. That which you cannot currently know must, therefore, not be unduly worried about. Nor should you wait until these uncertain conditions come into better focus, for there is pressing work which needs your attention right away. And so, even with certain question-marks showily flaunting their unsettled state, you still ought to begin actively re-attaining a steady consistency to your daily rhythms… carrying out all the diligent follow-up steps to whatever you've set into motion, dotting 'i's and crossing 't's, reestablishing regular workday habits, and getting back into your body, after this recent whirlwind of diversions and departures. Be somewhat careful, I should note, about how you handle any communications with important colleagues, clients, bosses, authority-figures, or those with whom you're angling for position: Attempts to insincerely sweet-talk, offer false reassurances, and/or throw 'em off your scent are liable to instead stir their suspicions about what you might be trying to hide. Your best antidote to this possibility? Directing the conversation to items you are more certain about.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Try your best not to react emotionally— i.e., irrationally, unproductively, with disproportionate dramatics—to potentially strained interactions which are, in all fairness, mainly about how things are going to get done, Taurus. Questions about best-practices, inefficient habits, methodological details, and/or economies-of-scale need not be imprecisely translated as personal criticisms, attacks, or attempts to overthrow your authority. Even if you have historically been responsible for tasks or processes which are now up for review (because a new character, additional information, better equipment, and/or a varying demand for the end-product presents an opportunity to improve upon what you're doing), an emerging call for procedural change doesn't mean you've been 'doing it wrong' up until now. (Let's just assume everybody involved believes you did the best job you possibly could.) For the sake of the work itself, it's important you release your personal attachment to how it was handled in the past… and be genuinely willing to participate in discussions about alternatives to the status-quo, even as you may ultimately have to re-learn parts of your job and/or get by, for the next several weeks, without a clearly-outlined routine to follow. (We all know how Taureans hate disruptions to the routine.) Otherwise, you'll make it harder to get the work done—and mark yourself as a stubborn-minded dinosaur, reactively resistant to inevitable evolution.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Reset your priorities from the inside out, Gemini. Don't just take marching-orders from those around you, who might obtrusively aim to infect your current perspective with a sense of urgency that really applies more to them than it does to you. Even in relation to any 'underling' role you now play (such as employee, apprentice, or student), you shouldn't allow the intensity of any demanding and/or time-sensitive assignments take over your entire point-of-view. It's your job to reaffirm your boundaries, by refusing to blurry the schedule-lines between 'at work' and 'at home'. No matter how critical a responsibility may be, it doesn't give those in charge a right to colonize your every waking moment. I'm willing to acknowledge there may be certain unusual or exceptional circumstances which compel you to sign over more of yourself than is psychologically comfortable. Yet, to factor in such exceptional circumstances into a sustainable (that is, not overwhelming or depleting) existence, you're probably entitled to your own self-supportive exception or two. If you're toiling long hours day after day, for instance, you ought to be able to snag yourself an extra mental-health day to break up the madness. I don't guarantee your any-and-every request for special consideration will be granted. However, it's perfectly acceptable to ask for what you need, showing you're willing to work with whatever burdens or restrictions are unavoidably in place, while still angling for some personal mercy.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Keep up the earnest efforts on the career-and-finance front, Cancer. This week's astrology definitely supports more daring acts of confident self-determination, in this ongoing process of productively shaking up your professional position and/or reinventing yourself in a way that frees you up to try new things. But as far as making sense of any corresponding emotional uncertainties, anxieties, and/or misgivings, please preserve a relatively low profile about what you're quietly batting around. The applying Mercury-Pluto square (an aspect which, for the record, will have a recurring influence on you over the coming month-and-a-half) suggests that conversations about how you're feeling are liable to draw out an oddly heavy and/or acrimonious tone from those you confide in... as if the other person is somehow put upon by your inconsistent responses or baseless concerns, they believe you ought to feel some other way than you do, and/or they feed your doubt or worry rather than reassure you. (Likelier than not, this person won't be aware that's what they're doing, so calling them out for it would be liable to backfire.) What we don't want is for you to intuitively pick up this unwelcoming energy from them before you've even said much—and, in an effort to spare their potential annoyance, end up glossing over the complexity of your emotional state and/or telling them half-truths or sunny-side stories, ultimately catering to their comfort rather than concentrating on fostering your own. That's why, at this juncture, lots of private journaling, reflection, relaxation, and/or prayer is probably a better way of processing your feelings than inviting in anyone who has a personal stake in you immediately 'feeling better'.


LEO (July 23-August 22): According to 1st-house Mars's trine to Uranus, you may still have one more abrupt and/or surprising assertion of autonomy, originality, and/or self-interest up your sleeve, Leo. With Venus once again direct (though staying in your sign for another full month), certain wonderings about who's genuinely impressed by your full-spectrum shine—and who may merely tolerate your 'grandstanding' because they want something from you, if they aren't wholly hostile to your unapologetic expressiveness—are starting to resolve themselves. With trustier comrades and supporters identified and actively in tow, then, you can hopefully now worry less about trying to win favor from those who aren't ever likely to actually favor you… and instead reclaim that energy for your self-directed (rather than other-person-centered) purposes, which may well include your latest dramatic declaration or conspicuous demonstration of intent. But though you may be feeling empowered, inspired, and invigorated by that central ideal driving you excitedly forward into action, you likely haven't yet engineered the step-by-step logistical scheme you'll need to follow, if you hope to turn this great concept into a viable way-of-life. You mustn't dismiss or spurn the how-to questions or to-do suggestions which naturally arise, therefore, in the act of sharing your excitement with others. Though your overall direction may be clear, you must admit you're still not sure how to best integrate this heightened call-to-new-action into your already-existing routine—at least not without dropping a ball or two. Discuss, discuss, discuss…


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): One more week, Virgo, equals one step closer to that greatly-anticipated spot from which you'll be able to confidently launch real-world actions that officially proclaim your grabbing-by-the-horns of this Jupiter-hyped good favor. Just so we're clear on the dates I'm looking ahead to: Self-assertive agent Mars hits your sign on Sep 24, followed by auspicious Venus's long-awaited arrival two weeks later on Oct 8. For the record, it's not until Mars shows up that I recommend earnestly initiating external efforts… and you should expect to begin receiving reassuring results and responses once Venus saunters in. Until then, though, you're sort of caught in that last narrow pass of the tunnel before you shoot out through the birth canal and bombastically announce your latest-and-greatest presence to the world. The magical advice from last week remains powerfully applicable in the meantime, especially in light of this coming weekend's solar eclipse new moon in your sign, a super-charged opportunity to ritually plant seeds of purpose for cultivating that which you seek to actualize over these next six months or so. This combination of (1) Jupiter in your sign and (2) a solar eclipse in your sign is a very potent one, with the capacity to open up new pathways of personal development on a level you haven't experienced in quite a while, if ever in your life. Don't pretend to be level-headed by banking practical plans on the existing landscape, then, when you ought to be far more excited about the palpable possibilities which haven't yet manifested, but will soon.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Just because you may feel as if you're miraculously regained your capacity to coherently articulate what's on your mind, Libra, that's not enough to guarantee whatever comes out of your mouth will ring with as reasonable or straightforward a tone as you might imagine. You've had a long stretch of comparative reserve leading up to this moment, during which time the vehemence and depth of your emotions have only intensified. As such, the full brunt of your still-whirring thoughts is waiting anxiously at the gate for its opening—and, if you're not careful, as soon as your lips start moving, a whole lot more force, fervor, or feeling than anyone expected is liable to come streaming out. If it's not fast-and-furious, it might be slow but scary; whatever the case, it could easily overwhelm, trigger, and/or stun the listener into a strange reaction. The astrological backdrop to all this is a Mercury-Pluto square across your 1st and 4th houses, which, you should know, will re-form twice more (thanks to Mercury's upcoming retrograde) between now and the second half of October. This tells us you won't be having the full-on conversation here and now, but merely beginning it... with the understanding that this process of finally externalizing what's been brewing inside will unfold over several weeks, and likely include at least one major change-of-heart, alternate reinterpretation, and/or revelation of further feelings. Don't, therefore, try to say everything right away. Simply lob the first provocation, and see what happens from there.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Please put stock in your actions speaking louder than your words, Scorpio, particularly when it comes to demonstrating confident leadership in career (or other public-world-related) contexts. Since you're already holding the ball, you can just go ahead and run it toward your designated goal-posts… rather than spending too much time boasting that you indeed have the ball and/or announcing plans for what you intend to do with the ball now that you've got it. Under this week's astrology, your outward communications are liable to be dripping with defensiveness, as if you're already anticipating a difficult exchange before you've even sussed out where the other person's coming from. And this is not necessarily a tendency you're apt to notice in advance, since Mercury's current 12th-house influence makes it harder than usual to reliably know how anything you say will be received by others' ears. (For instance, you could reveal a lot about the inner doubts or fears you're harboring, in the act of trying to convince someone how secure or unafraid you are.) To minimize the likelihood of inadvertently chit-chattering yourself into a corner, then, reserve your unconsciously defensive words for those circumstances which specifically warrant a defense: Continue advancing your own efforts as you see fit, and only pause to discuss if you're pointedly questioned or challenged… at which point, keep your remarks laser-focused on the relevant details, and avoid talking about attitudes, agendas, or personalities.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You're moving ahead, Sagittarius, that's for sure! Not only that, but more and more people are noticing your onward movement… and they've got their interested eyes peeled, to see what you ultimately make out of all this raw dedication and spirit. Therefore, this seems like an optimal time to recruit fellow enthusiasts, boosters, benefactors, and comrades-in-this-good-fight since your public prominence is high and your heart's burning with passion. While I won't wholly dispute this apparent advantage, I do have to point out that too much flagrant pandering to what you think your potential supporters want to hear is unfortunately likely to ring hollow—and, if you go so far as to disavow your own self-serving interest (as if to claim you're doing all of this purely out of your altruistic benevolence), you might even stir skepticism in those unwilling to swallow your saintly act hook-line-and-sinker. Speaking 'diplomatically' can veer dangerously close to deception if you conspicuously leave out any mention of what you hope to specifically gain from this exercise or endeavor, much like a politician can actually lose ground when their stump-speeches reek of cherry-picked rhetoric purposely contrived to appeal to that certain audience. Beware of being seen as someone trying to win votes by purposely obscuring your personal motives.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Watch for that edge in your voice, which unconsciously emerges, Capricorn, whenever you feel your time is being wasted, your intelligence insulted, and/or your expertise undercut by the need to pander to someone else's fragile ego. Odd though it may sound, you're much likelier to give off a uncomfortable disagreeability by trying too hard to seem agreeable… especially if it involves you mouthing hollow niceties or disingenuous assent when you actually have something weightier or more discordant on your mind. Though there's definitely a clear onus on you to abide by prevailing protocols and proper politeness, you can—and probably should—be honest and forthright should you feel a situation begs for your comment, correction, or concern. At least in such a case, nobody would be left to wonder what you're really thinking… whereas, in the absence of little more than an unconvincing smile or a non-committal shrug, you're apt to elicit their mistrust. However, though you may indeed possess more knowledge, experience, or relevant understanding than the other players (or perhaps you simply believe you do?), you should still treat them like their present position does entitle them to a certain level of esteem. Based on the astrology now unfolding, should you carelessly or brashly rub an important character the wrong way, you should expect to have to revisit this violation in the weeks to come, whether with some crow-eating backpedaling or a battle for dominance.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): With Mars-in-your-7th receiving further activation this week by trine from Uranus, Aquarius, you may be feeling understandably irritable, argumentative, or pissy toward your partner, close pals, and/or people at large… or outright disagreeable for no understandable reason at all. This could well be just a straw-that-breaks-the-camel's-back moment for you, capping off a protracted period of having held your tongue with a certain someone and/or in general—though, if we're being fair about it, you chose to hold your tongue for your own reasons—and, therefore, please be careful not to overreact to minor offenses or stumbling-blocks, in a misguided expression of exasperation that's about far more than the immediate situation-at-hand. Most importantly, when you do find yourself in a dynamic interaction which may be imbued with this Mars-in-the-7th pissiness, please hold yourself back from lapsing into a brash overconfident defense of your higher knowledge or ethical superiority. The more glaringly you point fingers at someone else's alleged ignorance or moral failing, the more guilty you become of demonizing the natural individualizing differences between you and them. When it comes to your annoyedness, you might have a real point… or you might just be in a grumpy mood. In either event, you're still no 'better a person' than they.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): In your most intimate relationship(s) and/or in situations where you and another person are jointly charged with overseeing a valuable asset or important responsibility, you do not have the luxury of avoiding the critical and/or challenging conversation, Pisces. You can't adequately address your end of things, as I'm sure you well know, without simultaneously engaging the other party in how they're managing their end… and this work has to get done. Therefore, you're just going to have to suck up your anxieties, self-protectively brace yourself for whatever reaction of theirs you most fear, and honorably enter this hornet's-nest of challenging negotiations. Your successfully tackling this essential interactive task is about more than just these immediate circumstances, or this particular individual or entity in question. It's also, actually, an auspicious chance to improve your overall manner of relational give-and-take… which, in situations such as this, actually demands you play less into the emotion-laden dynamics of contrasting one personality with another, and instead address the concrete specifics with a thick-skinned, businesslike detachment. Don't worry so much about whether this certain person will be mad or disappointed or hurt by your questions or explanations, or whether anyone else is liable to judge you for not handling it like they would. This matter has to be taken care of. It'll likely take several discussions, over a period of weeks… and you need to get started on it now.