Horoscopes | Week of September 12-18, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You're likelier to remain calm (or as close to it as possible), Aries, if you are sharing the responsibility, challenge, knowledge, and/or experience with somebody else… especially if it's somebody you appreciate, enjoy, and/or believe in. Not only will this collaborative attitude help you feel far less alone in managing the load, but it taps directly into the favorable relationship astrology now available to you (both benefics in the 7th! as I described last week), providing you an easy opportunity to cultivate further blossoming in this dynamic between you and a central character. For obvious reasons, you get the play the part of gung-ho eager-beaver leader of the charge… keeping the fire lit under all participators' asses, making sure progress continues being made, reminding everyone why this whole thing matters so damn much. In return, please allow the other person to ask qualifying or specifying questions, double-check your work, address the annoying angles you've neglected to prioritize (either accidentally or willfully), and take on some of the peripheral communications which require a patient tone. In best-case scenarios, you'll both be pleasantly surprised at the electrifying productivity your teamwork creates. And in the worst cases? You forget they're on your team and needlessly antagonize your close ally, intentionally or not.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Stay rooted in the day-to-day, Taurus, where the harmoniously rhythmic meting-out of your effortful earthly energies promises to smooth off some of the rougher edges of your present situation. I cannot recall the last time I offered you Taureans a horoscope like this, which essentially amounts to advising you to keep yourself grounded. Who ever heard of an ungrounded Taurus? Yet, occasionally, such unrootings do occur… especially in an astro-environment such as this one, rattled by eclipses, befuddled by a Mercury retrograde, and fired up by a reactionary Mars-in-the-8th who'd like nothing more than to get into it with intimate partners, passionate collaborators, entangling love/hate frenemies, and/or contentious wielders of money or power. With Mars now receiving extra stimulation from Uranus in your 12th to bust out, knock things over, or shock the shit out of someone, you could easily short-circuit your usual risk-averse mindset… and choose to carry out some surprise maneuver which gets their blood boiling (because who likes to be caught so off-guard?), leading to even more surprises and all the convoluting aftermath that comes along. Talk about a major disruption to the harmonious rhythmic flow! If you've got to 'get into it', only do it insofar as it fits into your otherwise-grounding schedule. You won't want to waste your precious time.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When it comes to fun, flirtation, frivolity, and other such light-hearted leisure activities, you're in a great spot to blaze the trail, Gemini. So, please give whoever you've chosen to join you very clear indicators as to what's likeliest to make you grin, giggle, and guffaw. The best way to have an enjoyable week is to convivially direct people towards exactly how they can most effectively (and demonstrably) participate in a precious mutual-appreciation fest alongside you… rather than, say, expecting them to read between the lines of your inferences and implications, and then getting annoyed when they don't catch your hint and make other plans instead. Yet, as far as any less frivolous and more emotionally weighty matters are concerned, I wouldn't try to productively broach such a topic this week, while a retrograde Mercury is still moving through its tense square to Mars-in-your-7th. The main risk around attempts at sensitive communication involve the confusion and/or conflation of specific details or facts which really are significant to successfully conveying the story behind your feelings—though, once you're interacting with the other relevant person(s), one and/or the other of you could spontaneously contend it's the 'bigger picture' that really matters (because that would make everything much simpler, wouldn't it?) and end up flattening out critical complexities into a reductive version that doesn't do you justice. Hold off on the conversation, then, while you continue deciding which details or facts are important to your experience of this.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): An overcrammed work schedule, urgent deadlines, single-minded immersion in an all-consuming task, and a heightened impatience streak could all combine into a compound effect of interpersonal inattentiveness, Cancer, if you're not altogether present-and-accounted-for while you're trying to talk with someone. Mercury's continuing retrograde through your solar 3rd (a house where we fulfill our obligatory social participations) suggests goofs are likeliest to transpire whenever your mind is preoccupied somewhere other than where your body's presently located… mainly because such a split-sensibility would necessarily mean you aren't really focused on the person in front of you, leading to (1) impaired listening-skills on your part and then (2) a higher probability of responding improperly to what you didn't hear right in the first place. Even if you utter all the cursory acknowledgments a situation calls for, you may still exude an intangible sense of unavailability if, indeed, you haven't distinctly made yourself available—and no one likes being subtly rebuffed by an unavailable character. So, do what you're doing while you're doing it, be with whoever you're with while you're with them, and please don't muddle the two.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Do the dance, dear Leo, rather than storming the floor and stomping on the others' toes. There's a beautiful rhythmic cadence to 'lead, then follow; follow, then lead' that'll craft a seductive mood-setting tune, the perfect background music for sweet-talking any companion into syncing up with your groove. The more abrupt or sharp your endorsement of a particular suggestion or game-plan, the likelier you'll jolt the other person with your sudden expectation… and, as a result, trigger their instinctual self-protective distancing techniques into action, thus diminishing your chances of getting them on-board. However, with a stylish touch of figurative 'wining-and-dining' (i.e., the metaphoric contrast to a far-less-refined 'wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am' approach), you can handily win over friends, fans, and/or prospective flames. Dare I be so suggestive, but let's say you've got to ease it in to receive an accommodating welcome. Likewise, if you're seeking outside feedback on a practical item, it might behoove you not to come on with so much glaring self-interest (a la 'this is what I need from you'). Instead, make it more of a truly interactive conversation, where you're at least as curious about their state-of-affairs as you are about what they can do for yours.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): While last week's edition offered a caution against tainting your handling of practical business with undue emotion, Virgo, I want to follow up with the acknowledgment that, yes, you may in fact be in the midst of an emotional battle which warrants another autonomy-defending strike. So let's just be sure to properly discern one life-sector from another… and, if you're impelled to lash out as a means for ensuring your feelings are being respected, please direct your vehemence toward the correct person(s) in the appropriate setting. There'll be temptations to 'take the easy way out', which would amount to venting pent-up dissatisfaction at bad drivers, inept customer-service reps, or those 'safe' folks who are better accustomed to seeing this other revved-up side of you. But if such ventings merely release a puff of smoke-and-fire, without actually changing anything in those sticky psycho-dynamics with that certain someone who's really driving you up a wall, you're creating much ado about nothing. If you're going to pick a fight, only do so with the explicit aim of freeing yourself up from a feature of the actual interpersonal situation that's been squelching your emotional self-sovereignty.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I wasn't kidding at the end of last week's horoscope, Libra. No important discussions, please. You shouldn't need to rely on actual substance, though—at least not 'substance' about your life—to navigate through your week's social pleasantries with relative unremarkableness. Should you feel driven to inject a bit of conversational fire, do so by cracking jokes about generic 'other people' and their most exaggerated expressions of extreme behavior or belief… being very clear you're not talking about anyone specific (and leaving yourself an out, in case someone takes something personally and starts acting weird as a result). Or you could offer strong, passionate opinions about some frivolous strain of pop-culture, where ultimate meaningful significance is low. This advice is only intended for use if you crave some context in which to be outwardly rascally, though. Even still, there will be risk; I'm merely proposing the vehicle for mischief-release with the least amount of it. Of course, you can always fall safely back on demonstrations of overt interest in whatever they are saying, which would keep you off the discursive radar altogether. Odd though it may sound, this 'unremarkableness' would be another victory due to your present astrological favor. (Plenty of other folks would kill to enjoy such an unremarkable week.)


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Work towards personal progress on the goals you've set for yourself, Scorpio, without too frantically focusing on whether or not you're spying perceivable external results. When Venus is shrouded in the gauzy backstage curtains of your solar 12th, it's too easy to erroneously convince yourself that no promising developments are occurring… though they're merely incubating in a pre-manifest holding-tank, still growing their fledgling sprouts into enough of a life-form to survive the outside world. Even though Venus will emerge into your sign by late next week and bring you a short-term inflow of good favor, this aforementioned sentiment is worth reflecting on a bit longer: With greater benefic Jupiter also now in your 12th, but for an entire year rather than just a few fleeting weeks, you'll have to acclimate to this perceptual experience of wondering 'when all the good stuff's coming'. Over the months ahead, your biggest dose of evolutionary advancement will occur in that same screened-off back-area, as you gradually come to believe how much more is truly possible for you—but without the immediate evidence to prove it's really happening. Once Jupiter lands in your sign about a year from now, then the so-much-more will gain legitimizing visibility. Think of this week as a microcosm crash-course in working for the future, on faith.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): While this is a pretty fitting week to really put yourself out there, Sagittarius, I can't help but hark back to your prior horoscope… and remind you of the highly advantageous value of having your buddies, teammates, cheerleaders, and/or trusted voices-of-reason along for the show. Sure, with a hopped-up Mars in your sign and a retrograde 10th-house Mercury, I could easily issue the same warnings you've already heard. But where in all that advice to downplay, suppress, and pussyfoot resides any recognition of your divine role as fire-starter, shit-stirrer, and controversy-causer? I know I'm playing fast and loose with the astrology by kinda-sorta giving you permission to not be as exceedingly careful as perhaps you should. Yet, at the same time, I want to celebrate you for who you are… not try to convince you to hold everything about yourself back, in order to be 'better-behaved' (if not a tad boring). That said, I'm passing the baton to your trusty allies, cohorts, and compatriots. They can keep an eye on you, and help you determine the critical difference between purpose-driven roguery and pointless trouble. Take their word for it, therefore, if they tell you you're going 'too far' or being 'too much'… and please accept their remedial recommendations.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please let the pressure of 'keeping up appearances' serve as a safety-harness against any Mars-in-the-12th urges to carry out devilish deeds, escapist evasions, or supposedly stealthy retaliations, Capricorn. I'm not ordinarily one to advocate the perpetuation of an outward personal-image which doesn't accurately express the actual person lurking behind it, you must understand… so let's just say, then, I strongly encourage you to tap into the meticulously prudent, professional, no-seams-showing side of your personality (a genuine and often prominent part of you), as a means of holding all potentially ire-inducing players at a safe but polite distance. You actually do have a presently-enhanced capacity to charm and coax the trickiest suspects away from any uncomfortably close encounters with your quiet storm. In fact, throwing others off the scent of what your gears are really grinding over at the moment is an excellent strategy for reserving yourself ample psychic space to continue letting 'em grind. You're likeliest to 'strike' (whatever the least desirable expression of that might be) if you should feel cornered. Therefore, use your social appearance-keeping skills to prevent that from happening.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Socially, you may delight in behaving a bit more like a live wire, Aquarius, provided there's a certain internal logic (at least as far as you're making sense of it) to your provocative pokes and prods. If you feel moved to take the piss out of someone, then, let there be a point to it (and, no, wanting to make someone look bad just because you don't like them doesn't qualify). In fact, all you really have to do is offer a radical statement or two, based upon what you believe—without directly coming for anybody with a personal challenge—and leave them room to respond with wacky defenses, incoherent arguments, or insubstantial ire. Again, I reiterate this is not an invitation to simply 'be mean' to ideological opponents, troublemakers, or members of the other team. It's about presenting important concepts or a progressive viewpoint in some slyly goading fashion, inviting those who don't see things your way to jump into an exchange where, by virtue of your design, the 'trap' will prove to be their own undisciplined reactivity. Stay cool-and-collected in the land of ideas; there's no need to attack another soul for the person they are.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Presently, the fiercest way to claw yourself toward greater respect and/or recognition, Pisces, will involve a ready willingness to dwell in the not-knowing alongside other people or entities, each of you holding a certain piece of the puzzle but with nobody in full possession or total control. Though I won't pretend uncertainty doesn't provoke its lion's-share of anxiety, that may just be something you have to bear long enough for this association to yield dividends. In other words, what's most potentially fruitful for you necessarily involves staying in this hot kitchen with the other chef(s) carrying a 'secret ingredient' crucial to your attaining maximal joint success. (For the record, we could be talking professionally, financially, creatively, romantically, or psychologically.) That also means resisting the temptation to immediately simplify the situation, with some move which would reduce variables or limit your exposure, regaining you a larger share of independence. While such a move might likely quiet the swirling anxieties in the short-term, it'll also cut into and curtail the future lucrative potential hovering out there, not yet manifested but throbbing with promise. Can you hang with this, then, as the pot grows richer?