Horoscopes | Week of December 7-13, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Why diminish your chances for a satisfying outcome by going in for the quick, direct attack, Aries? Such a baldly unsubtle approach is too likely to startle the other party into an immediate firing-back, rather than giving them enough of a chance to mull over whether what you desire might also suit their interests… and, meanwhile, giving you an opportunity to more seductively sway their opinion, sweeten the pot, and/or speak to them in a way that shows you've considered their motives, too. If your attitude demonstrates you're merely trying to get something from them, you can expect them to react with an understandably self-serving and/or self-protective stance. They're apt to be 'on guard', and rightfully so. However, if you ostensibly approach this as a potential win-win situation (even though you may admittedly have a certain personal victory in mind), you'll be far less likely to trigger a defense-response in them… which buys you more time to gradually make your case, to offer tempting suggestions and cool reassurances, and to allow them the psychic spaciousness to gradually arrive at the desired decision, seemingly of their own accord (but with just the right amount of subtle nudging on your part).


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Don't stress yourself out to the point of exhaustion, insanity, or peril, Taurus, if your drive to fulfill certain responsibilities or obligations seems to be hitting up against unforeseen hitches, hindrances, or curveballs largely out of your control. With love-lover Venus now in your house of partnerships (the 7th), your better bet is to concentrate on the relational support you have (whether from a spouse, mate, best-pal, or collaborator) during such bumps-in-the-road, rather than insistently attempting to push forward at all costs (even as certain signs are perhaps pointing at a need to momentarily regroup) at the risk of your own well-being. There may be no perceptible 'reason' why this or that item on your present task-list isn't flowing as smoothly as you'd like… though, because any such glitches are coinciding with this interpersonally auspicious occasion, maybe you ought to treat it as an opportunity for consciously redirecting some of your attention to enjoying the companionship of (and/or, if it's needed, consolation from) those you value most. Outside the perturbing purview of you heroically trying to manage all this shit, you're just another human like the rest—one who, when under pressure, reaps a lot of positive benefit simply from staying connected to others.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Pitching a straightforward case for what you want, Gemini, is presently less likely to score you a favorable reception than making an appeal for what'll work best. Any directly-involved parties need to see you as a collaborative problem-solver, not merely someone single-mindedly seeking to satisfy your own hankerings… though, once you roll up your sleeves and start sincerely laboring to get the job done, you'll earn the right to steer the efforts toward your desired ends. Meanwhile, other observers, friends-in-common, loose affiliates, and/or hangers-on may not embrace your direct hands-on participation as you might've hoped, but could instead react weirdly and/or abrasively—not necessarily because you're doing anything 'wrong', as much as they're irked or insulted you dared to take these matters into your own hands at all. Should you have consulted any-and-everyone who might have a due say? Probably not… though, again, it all comes down to what'll get the job done best. This will prove less of a problem, therefore, if you're in the actual process of doing (which grants them less of a right to criticize or complain) rather than just talking about what you want to do. Even still, you can't please everybody when you're trying to keep it all moving ahead.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Out of due diligence, I cannot neglect to highlight another potentially disruptive Mars-in-your-4th aspect—this time, an opposition to Uranus—which could inspire in you acts of resistance, rebellion, or rage, Cancer, due to an internally-generated refusal to 'play along' with precedents, protocols, or pecking-orders that leave you feeling disempowered. Coming on the heels of last week's Mars-Pluto square, the astrology continues to churn a fair amount of emotional edginess and discontent… along with a likelier-than-usual impulse to expel that emotion too haphazardly, in a way which could unfortunately create professional (and/or public-world) turmoil if you aim it at the wrong person. As such, I must recommend taking care not to challenge the authority of a boss, official, or higher-up because you're feeling pissy or fed-up that day. (Perhaps throwing a fit in the privacy of your own home is a safer bet.) Yet, you're also hosting a lovely Venus trine to Neptune from your 5th, a heartening indicator that you could find a certain joy-filled escape from your inner worries by making the most of your leisure time, whether by immersing yourself in creative pursuits, inner-child play, flirtatious cavorting, and other such fun-and-games… provided, of course, you don't overstep your bounds of 'what's right' (and/or drink too much). Don't, therefore, convince yourself you ought to hide away from the world just because you were grumpy earlier that day.


LEO (July 23-August 22): What's a casual remark or innocuous chit-chat to you, Leo, could easily spark a startling outcry from somebody who finds your approach thoughtless, ignorant, or distasteful. And from where I sit, I cannot verifiably discern whether their perception is somewhat correct or totally off the mark… though, in either case, I'm pretty sure you'd be likelier to have accidentally stumbled into their high-minded crosshairs than to have purposely intended to stir a contentious debate. Where you may bear more responsibility is in whether you (deliberately or not) treated an important concern of theirs with too irreverent, clumsy, or lax an attitude. If that's the source of any social friction, please don't double-down on your presumptuous claim that 'it's not a big deal' when, to the other party, it clearly is. Rather, modestly accept this as an opportunity to learn more about the diversity of philosophic priorities which make other people tick. Even still, though, you probably shouldn't make a whole production of externalizing your learning process, essentially implicating someone else in a dialogue they may not wish to have. You're more apt to emerge with positive insight by stepping away and quietly connecting the dots on your own.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Feel your way to a better understanding of where that other person stands, Virgo, by spending some time shootin' the shit with them. You'll learn a lot more through prolonged social contact than by hurriedly flinging pointed questions their direction, then expecting them to fathom the thinking behind your questions and/or to feel unthreatened enough to frankly answer. Once word-maven Mercury leaves your 4th on late on Wednesday (Dec 9), you will have a much improved capacity to plainly express what you want (from this individual, the given situation, and/or life-at-large)… a knack which, to reiterate my point, can also help you conversationally draw out their statements-of-desire, but only if you adopt an easygoing tone and leisurely pace instead of hitting 'em over the head with your apparent surety and/or backing 'em into any corners. Too head-on a confrontation with your flagrant self-interests, however, and they're apt to become spooked—and should that happen, all bets will be off in terms of your ability to accurately anticipate their next reactive move. That's why the extra coddling, stroking, and finessing is worth your effort.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You've got one more week of Mars-in-your-1st threatening to cause you trouble if you assert yourself too strongly, Libra… this time due to an opposition from loose-cannon Uranus in your one-on-one relationship house (the 7th), which means the provoked party could respond in a manner you probably wouldn't expect from them. Are you sure it's necessarily the right time to direct your self-assertive impulses toward this interpersonal issue? If it can wait, I recommend doing so. You're likelier to get advantageous results by pushing forward a project—and especially one where progress will bring you greater self-confidence, a higher pay-grade, and/or a new-or-improved skill—than by pushing someone else's buttons. Besides, your prime moment for explaining, negotiating, and talking things out is now passing on (at least in the immediate sense)… giving way to a more internally-oriented focus on emotional self-analysis, recalculations, and next-step strategies. I mean, by this point, what haven't you already said? If you actually possess a concrete response to my intended-to-be-rhetorical question, then it might presently be wiser to ask yourself why you've been withholding this bit of information, rather than airing it now, under less-than-ideal astrological circumstances.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The combination of Mars-in-your-12th and Venus-in-your-1st (a mutual reception for those of you intermediate-level astrology-watchers) tells us you'd do better with a 'charm offensive'—that is, indirectly using charisma and likability to attract allies, advocates, or admirers—than by making any flagrant grabs or straight-on attacks, Scorpio. Your best attempts to actively pull strings from behind the curtain won't work as smoothly as they ordinarily would, due to logistical curve-balls or other wild-card factors which could unexpectedly expose your hidden machinations… and leave you looking, to the surprised eyes observing this exposure, guiltier than you actually are. On the other hand, if you refrain from trying to make any certain thing happen and instead focus on wooing others' good favor, you're likely to circumstantially benefit from their desire to assist, support, or please you. Even if what they offer isn't exactly what you initially had in mind, this isn't the moment to be overly finicky or look a gift-horse in the mouth: Graciously accept whatever's being offered (with as little overt commitment as you can possibly get away with), knowing you can worry later about whether it ultimately serves your longer-term interests. For now, it's all about receiving.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Before you throw down your shot into the group gauntlet, Sagittarius, you might want to consider whether it's ultimately in your best interests to bother… or if it would be more selfishly advisable to assume a more detached, free-to-be-you-and-me posture, to avoid standing at one far-pole or the other of this potentially divisive scene (as we discussed last week). Though you may gain an instant adrenaline rush and/or a self-satisfying seal of ethical approval from jumping to take that stand, it simultaneously steals your attention away from what you would be doing if left to your own devices. It's up to you, then, to resist the attractive pull of social engagement, tension, and drama… to separate enough from that interactive lure so you can focus on creative ventures which would positively and proactively define you (as opposed to reactively responding to wider discussions already happening, which essentially identifies you by what you're against). Your best attack toward those who harbor worldviews and/or posit strategies you strongly disagree with? Demonstrating how you've come up with something far more innovative, broad-minded, exciting… not by directly contrasting it with what anyone else is up to, but simply doing what you do.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You could become your own worst enemy this week, Capricorn, should you let an inner urge to defiantly detach yourself from a legacy, a connection to where you come from, and/or the panoply of various feelings related to your roots rattle your worldly concentration. Though ordinarily you can trust yourself to stay focused on your end-game aims, this week's Mars-Uranus opposition threatens to inspire a self-disobeying revolt… likely in response to an upset which has little to do with your actual career (or outside-life) responsibilities, but which could lead to reckless behavior that creates needless chaos or damage in that sector. Contrary to the unconscious logic motivating such reactive deeds, you won't be 'showing' anybody anything or teaching them a 'lesson' by resisting, refusing, or rejecting; you'd just be gambling with what you've worked to accomplish, to prove an obtuse 'point' no one else is going to grasp. Rather than causing yourself a problem due to a passing irritation or impatience, I strongly recommend relying on your trusted colleagues, pals, or teammates to keep the ship sailing smoothly onward, while you step away for a few. An important pillar of responsible authority is knowing when you're about to blow—and asking for the necessary help in covering your shit—so as to avoid the collateral fallout once the pieces start flying.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Ask not how your already-predetermined-solutions might save the world (based, of course, on your self-conceived notions of what a 'saved world' would look like), Aquarius… but instead ask how your already-given worldly advantages could help others' ideas come to some sustainable fruition. Even with the purest of intentions in your heart, your efforts to push a particular agenda (political, religious, or virtue-driven) could backfire in surprising ways if you attempt to attack a problem from 'on high'—mainly because those in the actual 'trenches' (i.e., living through the very circumstances you claim to want to correct) are liable to take offense to your in-theory-only fixes. Details or aspects of the issue which you might mistakenly believe are 'minor' or 'beside the real point' could in fact be critical to their experience of it… and if you aren't willing to respectfully listen and learn (even when the discussion seems to veer into irrelevancies, at least according to your judgment), you'd be essentially discounting the wisdom of those who actually know this shit (though, on first glance, it might not sound like 'wisdom'). Lead by empowering others, not telling 'em how they ought to live.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Being aware of what'll happen after this, Pisces—meaning both (1) understanding there will be a 'next chapter' and (2) allowing that perspective to steer you away from any 'nuclear' options, knowing you'd be exposed to the subsequent fallout for some time to come—promises to provide you a certain peace. Oftentimes, our most pessimistic (and thus potentially hazardous) emotional responses are due to our temporarily forgetting there's a vast world of possibilities beyond whatever unsettling or upsetting circumstance we currently find ourselves in. But as soon as we can manage to grab a bit of contextual distance, we're better able to talk ourselves through the emotions… hopefully before the emotions flood our senses to the point where they goad us into taking short-sighted actions, meant more to even a score or enact retribution than to help us sincerely move beyond. I share this framing not as an endorsement of you simply throwing in the towel, however, as if 'moving on' must mean handing every last advantage to the other party just to get 'em to leave you alone. On the contrary, I still stand by last week's encouragement to hold your own. This is more a matter of wisely choosing your tactics, with an eye toward avoiding any gross overreactions or dirty-tricks which you might have to answer for later.