Horoscopes | Week of September 28-October 4, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): There's at least one level on which your current reality is operating, Aries, that you don't understand. Pause, and come to terms with that possibly unsettling observation. This is not a factor of you having missed a step, committed a violation, or swallowed some big bite of misinformation. And furthermore, there's nothing you could or should do (and by 'do', I mean taking any active step to attempt to alter your relation to this current reality) to gain an understanding you don't have—other than to come to terms with your inability to identify the missing piece and, subsequently, to realize this means you can't possibly assert full control over what's happening. For instance, you might masterfully attend to whatever practical tasks are presently at hand, taking care of everything just as you're supposed to… and yet, the results your efforts yield just don't seem quite right. Or you could painstakingly communicate your perspective on an important issue to a fellow stakeholder, and see them nod their head in apparent agreement without their offering a single oppositional sentiment… but still you sense they aren't convinced, and you have no idea why. This is par for the course under your current astrology, and, as such, is temporary. So, do what you've got to do, handle your end of things, and leave the rest to God, faith, the unknown, or what-have-you.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Though you may be efficaciously on top of everything you're trying to accomplish (or at least you're giving it one hell of a shot), the present success of your efforts remains partly at the whim of larger social trends, Taurus. You unfortunately can't do anything about the unfocused, uncooperative, and/or enigmatically rogue attitudes of certain colleagues, co-workers, community-members, or popular-opinion-at-large… though their influence will likely impact the quality or rate of the results you're presently producing. And just in case you get the idea this elusive social influence is strictly relegated to your work zone, please think again: A similar effect is just as likely in your leisure life, too. Your attempts to rally enthusiasm for a play-time activity, organize a get-together, go on a date, or have lots of fun in the particular manner you would most prefer hold a likelier-than-usual chance of falling disappointingly short or being curiously hijacked by other-people currents beyond your grasp to steer. Turns out, no matter how competent a handle or strong a will you may have, you are only one person—and thus no match for groupings (whether intentional or circumstantial) that pull others' attentions elsewhere. Don't get too flustered or flummoxed by this, though. It's thankfully a passing condition.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): What's your real goal, Gemini? I'm not talking about the immediate upshot you may hope to reap from whatever engrossing dramas, entertaining exploits, or upsetting-the-heck-out-of-you difficulties have most recently dominated your attention. Please think big… long-term… purpose in this world… what you're meant to contribute to make this dimension a better place. I'm asking you to look beyond whatever emotional preoccupations might presently be riling you up or otherwise consuming you, so you don't allow a short-sighted overemphasis on the here-and-now—especially if it demands you invest lots of arduous energy in a relationship or collaborative partnership, to the point where it threatens to overrun everything else—to leave you forgetting about what you're striving to achieve in life over a lengthier time-frame. Though the relatively more spacious time-scope of this larger goal may seem to grant you greater leeway to diddle, dawdle, and procrastinate in your ongoing pursuit of it (because, hey, you've got your whole life to deal with that!), your continuing to prioritize other matters of ultimately less import is a series of small choices which could eventually add up to big disappointment. In the months to come, the question of this tradeoff—interpersonal intrigue vs. personal achievement—becomes increasingly critical to mindfully address.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Even if you aren't sure exactly what to say and/or don't really feel like saying much of anything, Cancer, you may find yourself in a situation this week which requires you speak up, in some fashion or another, on principle. You'll know you're in such a scene if another person's unsavory behaviors, improper biases, or incorrect ideas end up flagrantly flapping in your face, leaving you somewhat anxious about whether you can continue to respect this person (if you ever did) following their display… and whether their out-of-sync-with-your-values posturing will reflect poorly on you by association. As far as this second count is concerned, even if nobody else is around to witness you giving someone a free pass on their problematic conduct, you'd likely walk away from the whole thing feeling bad about yourself if indeed you forgo your chance to 'do what's right' from your perspective. Be aware, though, your first instinct might be to smooth it all over, to change the topic to something less contentious, to spare everybody the discomfort of that awkward moment as soon as possible. Such a response will not do the trick. Is it really more important to slink yourself out of discomfort, leaving this now-unrespectable character believing you're in tacit agreement, than to stand up for what you really believe?


LEO (July 23-August 22): 'Keeping things light' may be a most enjoyable and socially appealing intention, Leo, but it does you a massive disservice if it sways you not to address what's really going on under the glossy surface. Though you may wish to share some pleasant narrative about your latest developments, in a move to foster congenial rapport with the other player(s), that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be able to play congenially along… especially if your narrative inadvertently rubs up against a sensitive trigger of theirs, disregards some relevant stake they may personally hold in what you're discussing, and/or raises issues so far removed from their experience that they can't help but wonder who the hell you think you're talking to. Should you stir any such undesirable reactions (which, incidentally, may or may not be immediately apparent or obvious to you), I'm nearly certain you wouldn't have intended to insult, injure, or inflame anybody. I'm sure you'd feel really bad about it too, though I must remind you Mercury's still retrograde and so your best attempts at backpedaling could get you into worse trouble. If you get called out, take it like a champ; listen closely, and apologize if necessary. Better yet, consider the many significant differences between you and your listeners before regaling them with tales, gauging what's appropriate based on who specifically they are.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This week, you should probably keep yourself acutely alert to the potentially dubious or bedeviling role a certain significant someone (and/or other people in general) could play, Virgo, in subtly thwarting or muddling your forward moves. That's not to say it'd be their fault, though, if such a scenario comes to pass. Rather, it's the manner in which you choose to involve or exclude them that would cause you problems, whether due to your having gone too far to accommodate their perceived needs (at the expense of retaining your clear focus on initiatives and endeavors which serve your bottom line) or having totally ignored their input (though they too will be impacted by whatever you're up to) in your blinding fervor to advance. You'll neither want to impede your fullest capabilities on behalf of someone else, nor overlook their participation if it's indeed necessary. While you may be typically more prone to sacrifice or short-sell yourself in order to dutifully serve as doting companion (though, likely, not without accumulating some quiet resentments), under this astrology, with both Mars and Jupiter in your 1st, you're actually vulnerable to overcompensating for all those watch-and-wait months, so uncompromisingly ready as you are for your turn to run the show. Strive, then, for a realistic attitude toward the proverbial 'other person': No kowtowing, no bulldozing.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): But will it work, Libra? And how? Those are the million-dollar questions at the moment… and yet, oddly, ones you're apt to overlook in the midst of this Mercury-retrograde in your sign brushing uneasily against Neptune-in-your-6th. The good news is your mind ought to be overflowing with ideas (new, borrowed, revised, resurrected), at least a few of which are likely to pan out. Hopefully, that ought to ease your overactive anxieties from falsely assuming you must choose which direction to take this right away, before you've had a chance to play around with the options in a materially real manner… to see which of them actually work, and how they would. Any pressure or urgency is coming more from inside you than you might realize, an emotional terror-response which would have you believe a firm final decision will signify how 'in charge' of the situation you are. Don't rush yourself down one road over another, just because you're feeling stressed. (Hello? Mercury is retrograde in your sign!) With Mars still in your 12th and opposing Neptune, you frankly wouldn't quite know exactly what you'd be doing anyhow. Face it: You're still in the concept stage. Definitive actions would be most wisely begun (gulp) around the second week of November.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Right now, Scorpio, the biggest risk to your material (and/or reputational) security is your potential to indulge a certain ego-blindness... one which, if unexamined or allowed to prosper unfettered, would have you believe you're fighting on behalf of 'everyone' (i.e., whoever, in the relevant context, represents the group, the community, or society-at-large) when it's really a matter of personal desire. There is nothing wrong with pursuing desires, naturally, as long as you (1) know that's what you're doing and (2) don't publicly disavow that fact, in order to profess a more purely altruistic or team-minded motive. The continuing 12th-house funny-business in your solar chart (including a Mercury retrograde, don't forget) keeps your communicative abilities in questionable territory… most specifically when you think you're being considerate or diplomatic, but instead you end up inadvertently exposing a veiled self-interest, a subtle manipulation, or a horrifying vast blind-spot. Pragmatically speaking, patient restraint and listening-more-than-talking remain your most lucrative strategies at the moment.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Why can it be so damn difficult to get you Sagittarians to slow down long enough to check in with your own subtler, deeper, quieter feelings? I suspect it relates to your wide-eyed yearning to make the absolute most of your precious life-span… and to, therefore, not 'waste time' on such humble, subjective affairs. But during these many years hosting Neptune in your solar 4th (a stretch which began in 2011 and extends another decade), you remain under periodic risk of unconsciously taking steps and/or making agreements which go against what would 'feel right' to you—if, that is, you took the self-reflective opportunity to check in with your feelings long enough to let their full complexity emerge. Of course, that would demand you turn inward for insight, rather than continuing to gaze longingly toward those farthest horizons, in search of awe-inspiring adventures and captivating characters somewhere out there. This is one of those weeks in which that 4th-house Neptune threatens to throw you for a loop… particularly if you should find yourself actively advancing a public conversation or collaborative effort without first checking in to see (1) if you're still feeling the same way about it as you did when you began the process, (2) if the emerging results aren't feeling quite as you'd hoped thus far, or (3) if anything at all just doesn't feel right, for one unidentifiable reason or another.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Though your impulse (a not-entirely-off-base one, I might add) may be to take an unambiguous stand for what's right—at least as far as you see it, Capricorn—such an approach would necessarily overshadow the possibility for a softer, gentler unfolding of a more nuanced conversation far likelier to expand minds and open hearts. Your own ferocity of conviction is your likeliest foe, insofar as you'd attempt to rule by iron-fisted virtue rather than interpersonally appealing persuasion. Put a different way, a somewhat impersonal and detached charm (a trait you can only legitimately fall back on if you sincerely wish to court others' good favor, not merely demonstrate your competence) will convey your case far better than drawing your line-in-the-sand and then shooting off one explanation or justification after another (no matter how reasonable they may be) until everyone else raises their hands in surrender. Trust me, you don't want to triumph by browbeating anyone, and/or by making them feel ignorant or small. Such victories are superficial and short-lived… and typically end up creating undercover enemies, no matter if they appear to comply as 'allies'.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): There needn't be an extended discussion of broader values, a lengthy revisiting of the mission statement, a soul-searching quest for further inspiration, or too much time-consuming concern for theories or philosophies… not at this moment at least, Aquarius. Well, let me amend that: You're free to do as much of that heady intellectualizing as you'd like—but only on your own time (by which I mean, during those leisure hours you're unconditionally free not to be focused on practicalities or work). Back here on the earthly plane, where bills await their handling and plans for satisfying all your own basic needs are supposedly being drawn up, your retreating to the ivory tower for rhetorical reflections or prophetic revisionings won't cut the mustard. Please don't make relatively straightforward matters (and, particularly, simple economic equations) more complicated than they need be, by turning assignments which should be dealt with independently into messy backs-and-forths with outside parties who (you should know by now) do not share your identical interests. While you might believe you're helping 'clean things up' by insistent on this dialogue likely to provoke one and/or the other of you, I'd propose you're just using this as a distraction from less lurid—but, in fact, far more pressing—items you're reluctant to face, for one reason or another.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Though last week's horoscope invited you to be not-so-nice, this week's edition is meant to rein back in any needlessly unkind tendencies or tactics on your part, Pisces… not in order to defend any other person from exposure to your gnarlier side (they can probably handle it better than you fear), but to spare you the aching regret likely to retroactively arise following having lost yourself in a disagreement gone too far. If you're overly focused on what someone else is up to, their offenses or insults, insufficiencies or ineptitudes, or all the ways in which they treat you unfairly, you'll too easily find your mind and your mouth jumping to unpleasant observations or antagonistic conclusions which don't serve any purposeful goal—other than, of course, vindictively rubbing their nose in their shortcomings or attempting to inflict pain some other way. An alternative possibility would leave you on the receiving end of such unkindness, in which case you must combat the sacrificial instinct to sit there and take it. In any event, please treat such potentially unpalatable encounters with a professional attitude: Don't say or do anything you wouldn't want an employer, a mentor, or a respected authority-figure to hear, see, or know about.