Horoscopes | Week of October 19-25, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): At this particular juncture, it'd be far more worthwhile for you to just stay really busy with what you've already been working on, Aries, than to slow yourself down by belaboring the finer points of some abstract next-step concepting. You already know you're supposed to be working hard, if you want to maximize this reputation-building opportunity to showcase your sweat-labor capabilities. I cannot emphasize enough how loudly these productive deeds will speak… even potentially helping you win over the respect of tough-cookie higher-ups or intimidating figures who always saw you as an upstart, but now may finally view you as your own force-to-be-reckoned-with. But you won't pull off that triumph by kissing anyone's ass, telling 'em what (you think) they want to hear, and/or sugarcoating your take on the current situation so as to avoid setting off alarms. If you're going to deploy the people-pleasing rhetoric which temporarily comes easier to you than it ordinarily does (courtesy of Mercury-in-your-7th), don't use it to flatter or pander or deceive. Use your words to reassure others of your competence, both giving a straightforward analysis of the ins and outs and then demonstrating how you've got it handled—the one-two punch of a confident leader.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): There's not much ambiguity, Taurus, when it comes to that which makes you squeal in glee. One cannot fake spontaneous delight. Unless you're caught in some gratuitously indulgent set of mental machinations meant to conjure meta-level guilt-or-shame bullshit, you either like something or you don't. The food tastes good to you, or it doesn't. That's your sort of color, or else you don't respond favorably to it. Think I'm oversimplifying? Spend some time with a kid. Heck, they'll scream and cry because they want the blue balloon so badly that accepting the red balloon seems like an intolerable compromise. Why is the blue one so much better in the eyes of this kid (for whom the question of personal preferences is, moment to moment, such a driving one) than the red one? No 'reason' except for the most important reason of all, which is: 'I want that one.' Draw inspiration from this hypothetical child, please, under this present influence of both benefics conjunct in your solar 5th… and don't second-guess the actually-rather-unambiguous desire you now hold for one certain activity, amusement, affiliation, or admirer over another, especially if it makes you squeal in glee. If you collide with someone else's preferences in the pursuit of your own, you needn't step aside in acquiescence. Take your joy precisely as you wish; just don't be a childish brat about it.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The planets are definitely on your side, Gemini, should you feel called to proceed with any residential changes, moves, expansions, and/or aesthetic revamps… and especially so if such assertions of personal preference or desire will help re-empower you, in terms of your standing vis-a-vis other people and/or financial entities who hold some degree of sway over your possible life-choices. The feeling of assuredly looking out of your own emotional well-being often starts at home, the place where you must be able to find yourself some domain (even if your circumstances limit you to some small sacred space in the corner of the room) that's incontrovertibly yours, to do with as you wish, so you may expect it to serve as a necessary safe-base from which to confidently center your outer-world efforts. No matter any extenuating confines, you really still do possess a decent ability to improve your living situation—whether through modest self-nurturing gestures that'll yield incremental rewards you can enjoy every day, or with a much-more-major overhaul decision. Should discussions or negotiations be a requisite part of this plot, however, please don't get into any battles between proud egos, indulge in self-aggrandizing swagger, or justify your personal needs by indicting someone else. Direct any such feisty self-interest toward creating something special for yourself, not making a show for other people.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's more valuable that you hold space, bear witness, interact with, and actively listen to, Cancer, than forcefully nudge your exchanges toward any certain conclusion or outcome. If you're leading a conversation down a particular path or fixated on conveying a specific point, then you're necessarily not allowing it unfold organically…. and, therefore, possibly robbing yourself of all the unforeseen goodies likelier than usual, thanks to the current astrology, to emerge spontaneously from the interplay of social energies. Perhaps even more significant than that, you'll also be subtly exercising a covert manipulation, luring the other person straight to the topical landing-place you most want them to end up (and presumably, at the same time, away from those issues you'd prefer not to discuss), expecting them to instinctively obey your social clues in order to keep yourself as comfortable as possible. Personal comfort, alas, won't foster the emergence of serendipitous exchange; the predictable safety it creates undermines your ability to attract happy surprises. So while you always reserve the right to choose not to engage on topics which leave you feeling too vulnerable or exposed, that's not reason enough to move for preemptive control over the whole interaction. Be open to wherever it may go. Should you hit a rough spot, you can cross that bridge when you come to it… using in-the-moment honesty, rather than conversational coercion.


LEO (July 23-August 22): To accurately know your worth, Leo, is to be able to explicitly account for it with a categorical analysis of the specific utilitarian value you add to any project or program which employs your energy-investment. Though nothing I've alleged in my prior sentence should strike you as a startling revelation, I still feel moved to spell out the type of logic you must currently apply to your economic calculations if you want to score your best possible deal. Presenting a confident attitude and talking up how great you are in generalities simply won't do the trick. You've got to jockey and negotiate and market yourself using lots of descriptive details, metrics, testimonies, and examples… concrete elements you could point at, and then put a particular price-tag on. Any discussions divorced from continual direct reference to the actual work—not concepts or strategies, but tasks and results—are liable to backfire, mainly because those you'd be conferring with will be wise to the game, should you depend too much on sweet-talk over substantive content in trying to sell your case. In this situation, 'show me the money' is likeliest to prevail only if you unequivocally show them what you do.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Though my recent missives to you, dear Virgo, have sounded a bit like a broken-record echo of 'this is your time! make the most of it!', I will happily sing another verse of the same ditty this week, too… especially since the astro-activity once again highlighting your sign is now a conjunction of the two traditional benefics, Venus and Jupiter, in your 1st. Basically, this is one of the best aspects we ever get. It naturally orients you toward more easily and effectively receiving positive results from whatever initiatives and endeavors you express (though, to be totally fair, it could also inspire you to take blessings for granted, rest on past laurels, and/or think too highly of yourself). As if I haven't already said it enough times, allow me to reiterate what a waste of supreme astrological aid it would be if you didn't use this period to deliberately advance your pursuit of a prominent personal desire. While I cannot guarantee surefire success, you're likelier to emerge victorious now than at most any other time. (For the record, that doesn't mean everyone will necessarily be pleased for you… though acclimating to such apparent changes in this relational dynamic is also part of your 'progress'.) If you're going to give it a shot, you won't find a more opportune moment.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't confuse talk with action, Libra, during this moment when talk is favored but action is not. You should feel free to discuss what you're hoping or planning to do, especially when done in the spirit of getting yourself out of your own head and externalizing any lurking fears… which, presumably, the properly supportive listeners and co-conversationalists will help you deconstruct, deactivate, and diminish. (At the same time, it's possible somebody might surprise you with their response to your soul-baring share… in which case, I'd take it as more indicative of the current dynamic between you rather than some nonpartisan verdict on your own thinking.) However, this still isn't your time to proceed forward with the planned or hoped-for maneuvers. Your functional capacity to see the bigger-picture backdrop against which such maneuvers would be taken is temporarily impaired, increasing the likelihood of losing yourself in the details while overlooking a major contextual consideration. But as long as you aren't trying to 'be practical' by prematurely pushing your efforts ahead, you can hopefully relax your taskmaster-brain enough to allow your perspective to widen. In fact, widen it as far as it'll go: What's the 'highest spiritual mission' (or however you'd conceive of such metaphysical soul-motives) underscoring what you're about to do?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your friends and/or comrades are waiting around to help you, Scorpio, though they might not know it. They're sitting on a wealth of advice, encouragement, contacts and connections… though, to their mind, these aren't clearly identified as facets of collegial support you'd be fortunate to receive from them, as much as simply the meat-and-potatoes of what they do. In order for you to take proper advantage of the brilliant symbiosis which could propel you further and faster onward—for it's not merely that you'd potentially gain all this awesome knowledge and comfort, but also that they'd derive both the joy of giving guidance and ancillary inspiration from feeding off your enthusiasm—you have to ask them to participate alongside you. Nobody can read your mind in order to figure out how what comes as second-nature to them might be incredibly useful to you, at this juncture in your evolution. But once you've explicitly recruited them as allies, you then must let them lead you through their approaches, assumptions, and experiences… without interjecting any snarky criticisms, dismissive remarks, and/or competitive challenges, no matter how minor. This is not the time to press your ideas onto them, but rather to take theirs in, listening more than asserting or arguing.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The big outside-world bounty you're toiling to collect, Sagittarius, is currently yours for the taking… provided, of course, that you treat this quest with sober practicality, professionalism, and poise. We essentially touched on all of this last week and the prior, but it begs repeating due to the high stakes now on the line: A conjoined Venus-and-Jupiter is a winning pair to have in your solar 10th (the career/public-reputation house), especially when flanked by Mars and in trine to Pluto-in-your-money-sector (i.e., the 2nd). Without intent to offend, let me please point out this is a job we're talking about—even if it's untraditional, unpaid, a creative expression, a higher calling, or of some other categorization which might cause you to treat it with less collectedness, conscientiousness, and common sense. That means properly factoring in your own stylistic impulses, the opinions of knowledgeable peers, and the present inclinations of the marketplace… but not allowing any of these factors to become your sole determiner, isolated from the other concurrent considerations, a pragmatic amalgam of which will ultimately serve as your shrewdest strategy for covering all the bases. Your job is to take everything that's relevant into account, and make your calculations from that educated stance. Otherwise, you're essentially conducting this whole production as a whim, rather than important business.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): We all know a Capricorn feels their best when they know they can unflappably compose themselves just fine, thanks, no matter whether they might privately be behaving like a total mess. Especially now, when a relatively professional polish to all your outward communications continues to suit your current astrological spot, you're liable to spiral into a conspicuous and undermining self-consciousness if it seems you can't confidently strip a certain underlying anxiety from your mind. Well, let me help, Capricorn, by urging to put your eggs in this basket: Whatever's going on with you here and now will give way to another development, and then one after that, and so on… and such a perspective is intensely important to hold onto at the moment, as it can transform the current claustrophobic fears into reflective questions about your future (such as 'how will today's challenges provide me valuable insight to invest in tomorrow's aspirations?' or 'what bigger vision can I concentrate on following to get me beyond this place?' or 'how might I reorient the overall direction of my life so this never happens again?'). It's possible nothing needs to change in your life-circumstances except your mindset. Or perhaps your mindset already knows exactly what must change. Regardless, the critical part is knowing, in your heart of hearts, where you are now is not all there is.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Surrender to the intrusive interjections of other influences, implications, and/or institutional entities which are unavoidably impacting your ability to address your own business however you'd see fit, Aquarius. Any single string is tied to another, and that to others still. Pull on one, and the whole grid of several interconnected components starts wobbling to and fro. Should you deny this structuring of your current reality or defiantly resist accepting responsibility for how one move you make will necessarily affect another one in some other zone, you are setting yourself to face future consequences, born out of broken commitments and/or overlooked technicalities. Rather than cower in fear of setting off an explosive while tiptoeing through this minefield, I'd prefer you to simply understand this as an opportunity to practice successfully functioning within bounds, each step taken coupled with one more review of the conditions, another check-in with any other key players, and/or continued responsiveness to the latest variables. Your best support for staying on track: repeatedly referring to your guiding motive or mission-statement. Like any mantra, it reinforces your intention… which is a helpful focusing practice, at a moment when so much attention must be invested in this collaborative 'process' that it'd be easy to lose sight of its personal purpose.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't reductively judge any bumps-in-the-road you might be experiencing with a certain someone as a 'bad' thing, Pisces. Even in our most suitable and successful relationships, we must periodically endure growing pains if we wish for our connection to remain dynamically fulfilling (instead of, say, falling into a rut where nothing too startling or disruptive occurs, but which provides us ever-diminishing returns in terms of gratification or inspiration). And those 'pains' are often first identifiable as distressing disagreements which recur, hit sensitive spots in one and/or the other of you, and elude easy resolution. It's this encounter with a difference between you that seems maybe irresolvable which hopefully spurs you into searching beyond predictable patterns… in creative pursuit of new attitudes and behaviors that'll address everyone's divergent needs, or in brave willingness to consider that, perhaps, the chasm is too wide to bridge and the relationship may be reaching a stalemate. To be clear, though, it's you who we know for sure is going through these relationship-related growing pains. (From where I sit, I cannot determine if the other person's at a similar place or not.) As such, you mustn't freak out if your present interpersonal rhythms are unsettling, rocky, or riddled with conflict. Whether you'll be getting closer or drifting apart, staying together or going your separate ways, these bumps are part of your way forward.