Horoscopes | Week of November 14-20, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Beware of espousing overconfident opinions, Aries, at a time when the astrology suggests you're liable to overlook some x-factor variable you simply could not account for, even if you wanted to. This is not a criticism of your current thinking… except to the degree that any single human being, by the very nature of their own inescapably self-referencing subjectivity, is inherently limited in their capacity to comprehend the full picture. Therefore, I urge you to responsibly balance your passion for that particular perspective or rallying-cry you're all fired up about against a humility based in universe-level awareness of all the elusive mysteries, miracles, blank-spaces, and interdimensional energy-forces which also impact this observed reality you're attempting to describe. A confident willingness to acknowledge the partiality of your understanding—even as you may be just as confident about what you do know, when it's founded on your own direct experience—is quite an admirable quality in a teacher, mentor, or minister-of-wisdom. Such admirable role-models are acutely conscious of the fact they never stop learning from those around them… and their insightfulness is rooted in curiosity, receptivity, and wonder.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Lead by continuing to speak with raw candor, Taurus, just as we discussed last time… but please take care not to throw anyone under the bus, as if fingering blame is a critical part of the problem-solving process. Be especially careful, then, in how you discuss any other contributors and their contributions, since it's far likelier you'd unwittingly rile or insult with your pointed words than deliberately intend to attack or offend. The biggest hazards will arise when you make presumptions about other people's mindsets, describe the methods or motives you imagine they deployed without first inquiring into their actual experience, or otherwise claim to represent their interests. That's because you aren't as clear about what's going on with them as you might believe. However, if instead you talk in terms of general principles and practices, sprinkled with expressly-denoted first-person observations—and steer away from leaning on your solidarity with and/or separation from other team-factions or participants (whether genuine or merely perceived) in an effort to further your case—you should be able to avoid stepping on toes.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Thanks to your ruling mediator Mercury's current spot in your solar 7th (the one-on-one relationship house), Gemini, you're simultaneously (1) quite persuasive in your communicative tone toward those you'd seek to sway and (2) rather easily persuaded by arguments coming from individuals you'd want to please. Both sides of this same interactive coin innately favor the value of attaining, advancing, and/or appreciating a warm interpersonal rapport over the specific content of any particular message. That presents you an opportunity to astutely use this rapport-fostering capacity to intently promote your agenda to certain individuals, provided you aim your assertion straight at the heart of what you understand their concerns to be… speaking their language (rather than resorting to condescension or alienating rhetoric) in an effort to broaden their awareness of the interdependent impacts our actions have on each other's lives. On the other hand, it also creates a danger for you, should you go along with someone else's gossipy or provocative sentiments (because you don't want to cause a kerfuffle by disagreeing?) when such an affiliation could reflect poorly on you professionally, in the public marketplace of ideas, and/or in an authority-figure's eyes. In other words, don't just agree to agree.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's all about how to stack 'em up, get 'er done, and clear the slate, Cancer. At the moment, your mind's working at an efficient chore-completion pace… giving you a better-than-usual ability to slice through any undue attachments which might otherwise obstruct your practical progress, provided you're willing to trade past-rooted sentimentalities for future-facing excitements. That's not to imply this paring-down, processing-through, and/or pushing-forward is a totally pain-free procedure, at least if you're carrying it out thoroughly. Likelier than not, some of what you now must clean up holds symbolic resonance… reminiscences, perhaps, of bygone moments when you signed away your power, caved to pressures, acted against your own interests, and/or passively allowed a psychological scar to pardon self-defeating behavior. How could such a reencounter with some less-noble episode of your history not conjure resurrected emotions? Even as I encourage you to keep moving through these tasks, please don't block out these emotional emanations from your consciousness. Feeling their full weight, if only for a passing instant, is part of the purge. More than that, coming fully to terms with the fleeting recurrence of these emotions is your best safeguard against ever putting yourself back in that boat again.


LEO (July 23-August 22): In light of last week's horoscope centered on Mars poking around in your relationship house (the 7th), Leo, it remains to be seen whether the simultaneous expressive comfort now being felt by Mercury-in-your-5th will help you lucidly communicate exactly what you want from that certain someone—or if it'll leave you to dominate the conversation, and annoy the living crap out of the other person in the process. To keep yourself on the non-antagonistic side of that line, let me strongly encourage you to both (1) dispense with any presumptions about whether they think similarly to you, even if something they previously said or did might give you that impression, and (2) specifically ask them plenty of open-ended questions about their feelings, perspectives, and/or desires, remembering of course to listen (without much interruption) to what they tell you. This will pose a nice counterpoint to your frank opinions and forthright offerings, allowing you to use this Mars edge not only to assert your relational will but to draw theirs out, too. I repeat: Your displaying presumptuousness with regards to someone else's viewpoint poses your biggest threat of unintentionally inciting conflict.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): No, you don't have to tell them what they want to hear, Virgo, under the assumption that's the easiest way to get 'em to leave you alone. In fact, you don't have to tell them anything if you haven't yet determined your rightful response, don't have much to say at the moment, or just don't feel like engaging. After all, when your mind isn't presently occupied with lending analytic assistance to whatever earthly labors you're now executing, it really just craves a chance to disconnect from constant activity. Alas, you probably aren't looking forward to the possibility of having to announce this craving to someone who wants your attention at a time when you may not wish to give it… especially if it'll make you feel bad to disappoint them, just because you have your own feelings to attend to. But therein lies the problem: Being 'available' to others at the expense of advocating for yourself is just the sort of self-sacrificing interpersonal behavior you ought to be curtailing. It reinforces relational dynamics that leave you in the role of ever-present caretaker, throwing off the give/receive balance. If you want a healthy relationship with them, you'll speak truthfully about what you need, not pretend it away. Being real shows you really care.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): It's another excellent week for craftily interjecting your preferences, partialities, and personal preoccupations into any (or every) casual conversation, Libra. A socially astute and clever Mercury-in-your-3rd is receiving symbiotic encouragement from both Jupiter and Mars, each presently placed in houses related to self-assertion and -expression (the 1st and 5th, respectively)… a planetary blend that enables you to adopt more definite command over how your exchanges transpire, but still preserve that deft capacity for cool smooth congeniality. If you employ this influence to its maximal self-serving advantage, you'll be able to guide your interactions to the exact outcome you most want—and it won't even seem to the other party like you've asserted much control at all, though of course you did. Where this strategy is likeliest to backfire on you, I must mention, is in any functional discussions about work-tasks or other chores which need to get done. Fulfilling duties and meeting obligations is not a sector where mere 'preference' ought to come into play, unless it's strictly a matter of 'preferring' the methods which accomplish the job most effectively and efficiently. Don't slyly convince someone to do it 'your way' unless you've got a clear practical logic to back up your desire.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Pause at the door of whatever practical solution you've framed, Scorpio, before stepping all the way into it and declaring this to be the approach you've officially decided upon. Is there a problem with the analysis which led you to this particular approach? Not necessarily on the grounds that you misinterpreted the data, or that your proposed plan won't produce results which essentially address the issue or fix the problem. However, whether or not you genuinely like this idea or would take any personal pride in actualizing it is another question altogether… and, despite what your inner 'realist' (as it would wish to describe itself) might say, a not-inconsequential one. Don't therefore muzzle yourself when it comes to further suggestions you may have, which perhaps aren't indispensable to the potential success of your way-forward but are nonetheless inventive, inspiring, and/or add some incalculable value as far as you're concerned. You're not just a practicality-solving robot, but a human with creative instincts and desires and a distinctive touch all your own. If you set aside your humanity in order to endorse a purely economic or metrics-driven choice, don't be surprised if a reactive streak of defiant dissatisfaction starts scratching away at your conscience.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Remember that 'speeding-up' I mentioned in your prior edition, Sagittarius? I mostly described it with productive suggestions last time, but, due to Mercury in your sign applying to a Neptune square through much of the week, I now must add a caution: Please be mindful about not offering too hasty a response, proposal, or promise while you're still in the active midst of a fast-developing exchange with someone. In the heat of such a moment, you'll likely be operating from a high level of mental stimulation—a vibe which will only be further fired up by whomever you're interacting with, creating a dynamic synergy that feeds upon itself—but won't necessarily have sufficient time and psychic space to feel into whether the concepts and schemes being generated will actually promote your inner well-being. Not every good idea is a good idea for you. And that's not because of some intelligible flaw or failing in it either. Sometimes, for whatever reason (or no reason that can be reasonably identified or explained), we just know we shouldn't agree to something, associate ourselves with it, or actively participate in its realization. This type of knowing comes through most strongly, though, when we aren't in that critical moment… but can steal ourselves away for some private, quiet reflection.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Just let good things happen, Capricorn, rather than believing you must intervene by qualifying your deservedness with a declaration of modesty and/or correcting someone else's gesture of kindness on the grounds of some allegedly pragmatic consideration. Though purveyor-of-pleasant-things Venus continues its treasured visit through your sign, wrapping you in a glow of welcoming allure, the present position of messenger-god Mercury in your solar chart is pretty disadvantageous, both in the amorphous backstage-zone of your 12th and forming a befuddling square to Neptune. This suggests your communicative attempts to clarify, contend, or confess are likely to instead confuse, convolute, or cause self-complicating consequences which you'd do best to avoid altogether… while, if you simply reserved people copious space to behave however they feel moved to, without adding much commentary (beyond simple statements of gratitude and graciousness), events will almost certainly transpire in a way that benefits you. What's currently best for your interests, in other words, is not to outwardly claim to know what's best for your interests… but to be open to receiving happy flashes of promising possibilities which you could develop further, should you later wish.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The resounding edge currently in your cadence is best deployed toward advocating for everyone in your sphere, Aquarius… and, as a result, you'd be shrewd to utilize the appropriately inclusive terminology, rather than trying to deliver such a broad-based dispatch in the quirky language that's uniquely characteristic of you. Even when it comes to undeniably personal missions you're cultivating or battles you must fight, it still behooves you to articulate your statement-of-purpose as an extension of some larger campaign, not just an end in itself. The advances you're now making (or better be making, per last week's urgings) will have that much more power to arouse, impress, and/or inspire others in your life when you can explain yourself in a context they can directly relate to. And that will elicit more support for your latest actions from them, without you having to pointedly ask for it. Just make sure you don't go too overboard in stripping your own interests from the discourse, lest you neglect to acknowledge that you expect to earn certain self-serving advantages out of these efforts, too. Though you may sincerely care about everyone's welfare, you're no selfless saint.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Saying 'all the right things' does seem to be a pretty imperative part of your responsibilities at the moment, Pisces. For whatever reason specific to your current situation, you simply don't have the luxury of speaking freely off the cuff, as if you're representing only your personal opinions and nothing-or-nobody else. You'll have to be more diplomatic or politically shrewd than that. It's totally okay if you deliberately offer little content-of-substance in your public statements—not so little that you'd come off like you don't know what the fuck you're talking about, of course, but nothing too offbeat or divergent from the consensus-wisdom that you'd conspicuously set yourself apart from everyone else. This is a good week for meshing nicely with the other members of your pack, not seeking singularizing attention for your differences. This advice can be taken too far, however. If your relative indistinctness inadvertently causes an important opinion-shaper or institutional key-holder to get a very wrong idea about who you are, a misperception which could come back to bite you later (if, for instance, they'll be apt to expect something from you that you won't be comfortable providing), you should probably correct them… as shrewdly and diplomatically as you possibly can.