Horoscopes | Week of September 25-October 1, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If whatever you're working hard on involves carving out a conspicuous path to greater success, putting yourself more prominently in the spotlight, and/or gaining a stronger foothold in the organization, Aries, please be aware that certain critical players—namely, those who feel their authority, dominance, or pride may be in jeopardy as a result of your advancement or ascent—could balk or bristle at this evidence you're indeed making progress. I don't advise stopping what you're doing, just because a tender ego or undeserving fat-cat is personally menaced by your present uptick in purposeful productivity. I simply want you to be aware of this potential dynamic… and, as a result, to stay faithfully focused on the actual tasks themselves, rather than falling into some power struggle or personality-driven distraction. If cornered, I suggest doing what it takes to demonstrate respect for their position, and to only issue questions or challenges related directly to methods, operations, or results. Once Mercury moves into your 7th late this week, you might have a better shot of actually communicating with such individuals—if, of course, they're willing to see you as a peer, not merely an underling. Even then, though, you'd probably be better off letting your work speak for itself.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I don't see your present posture as especially nonchalant, demure, or self-effacing, Taurus… not with this continuing planetary potency rooted in your self-expressive 5th rousing you to proudly proclaim your stance. If there's an opinion, observation, or outlook you'd like to contribute to the public record—because you really care about how this whole thing goes down, eagerly wish to bring your unique voice to the discourse, and/or feel your participation is critical to the life you're creating for yourself—then please don't hesitate to let this sentiment be known. Meanwhile, trines from your 5th to Pluto-in-your-9th will add a fiercely philosophic or ethical note to your assertions, turning what might be described as your 'personal thoughts' into a full-on edict about 'right' and 'wrong' or 'high road' and 'low road'. Carrying yourself with such moral authority will ensure you exude a commanding confidence in this stance, likely to convincingly influence those already hospitable to your ideas. Yet, you could run into possible trouble with those you're already 'in bed with' (whether personally, professionally, financially, or emotionally) who may see the situation differently and/or disagree with your firm black-and-white analysis.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Big feelings are continuing to come up, Gemini… likely including a suddenly-more-acute awareness of how old emotional habits may have gotten you into a certain pickle (whether in an intimate relationship, a collaboration involving money or ownership, and/or a family-member dynamic) that now, as a result, feels quite onerous to try to see your way through. Let me reassure you that you can do this. That doesn't mean it'll be quick or easy, mind you. In fact, you might have to give something up to regain your autonomy and/or keep going forward. Consider that a lesson, then, in how much you're willing to do—the fear you'll face, the intensity you'll endure, the potential loss you'll suffer—in the process of growing from the experience while, nevertheless, moving on from the less-pleasant parts. The current moment's rising feelings are not, despite their appearance, an invitation to lash out or lurch ahead or blow the whole place up. They're your fuel for a future fight… a resource you should smartly accept in its fullest, then accumulate and arrange so that, once a better time for outward confrontation arrives, you'll be loaded with strength and purpose.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): A large part of learning to better honor your emotional needs, Cancer, involves fighting off the instinctive urge to speak accommodating words meant to soothe someone else's feelings… before you've taken the chance to discern whether that 'soothing' sentiment isn't just a superficial band-aid, concealing some reality in your heart that may indeed stir unsettledness or upset in them, should you unreservedly express it. At certain critical moments of relational self-determination, you cannot 'take care' of the other person if you want to be true to yourself. That may mean, therefore, not rushing in with the anxiety-ridden backpedal, the conciliatory follow-up, or the poor-you pandering—even when it leaves you momentarily wondering if you're a cruel unfeeling person. Please allow them room for their reactions, without indulging the drive to somehow contain or control it for your comfort. A little awkwardness never killed anyone. Being honest with somebody is ultimately more 'caring' than shielding them (for their 'own good'?) from what you really think.


LEO (July 23-August 22): What an excellent week to tighten your focus on what you yourself can immediately do, Leo, to improve your standing and/or augment your income—even if the gains are modest or the timing's not as fast as you'd like—without having to include anyone else as investor, guardian, or fully-immersed collaborator. While of course other people likely play a certain part in your material destiny, this is a moment in which your direct contributions of pragmatic-minded brainpower, crystal-clear intent, and sheer labor will prove far more functionally fruitful than trying to wow someone with your charming personality, following their advice to the letter, and/or expecting them to jump in and save your day. By taking the autonomous approach (at least for the time being), you have a chance to look closely at your own day-to-day work habits and rhythms… to see where there might be opportunities to double-down on productively promising processes, eliminate wasteful steps, and better organize your time so as to maximize your most profitable efforts. Such method analyses are best done independently, away from the eyes of those you might otherwise seek to impress, at the expense of being unflinchingly honest with yourself.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As we've already discussed, Virgo, the concentrated oomph of hosting both Mars and Venus in your sign—in combination with the opposing influence of Neptune-in-your-7th—presently positions you as both a force-to-be-reckoned-with and at heightened risk of either overpowering a certain someone or sheepishly kowtowing to them. To help you counteract either extreme of that risk, I advise not merely giving them cool informational dispatches, curt answers, or dispassionate descriptions… but going deeper into the creative vision, heartfelt affection, or devotional fervor which underscores whatever you're up to. They'll be less likely to feel railroaded if you include them in the love that's ultimately motivating you, allowing them to see how brightly you light up when you're truly inspired… which should make both you and the chance to share all this with you much more attractive. Likewise, if you fear you're under threat of forgoing your own interests on behalf of them, just start speaking out about your hopes and dreams and wishes from that same heart-centered place, without worrying about asking for anything specific from them. If such an honest glimpse of your inspiring ardor doesn't inspire them to bend in your direction, we might wonder why they don't seem to care.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If someone else springs an unexpected declaration, disclosure, or deed on you, Libra, it doesn't behoove you to spring back with a first-impulse reply. You may not immediately understand whether their latest departure might eventually prove fortuitous or otherwise fruitfully fateful in your life… though if this truly is a surprise, you're liable to initially react as if it's an unabashedly regrettable or ominous development, due to the consciousness-jolt alone. Feel your initial feelings, sure, but please don't jump to conclusions about what this ultimately means to you or rush into action so you may save face or appear strong. Think this thing all the way through. Even if, after copious analysis, you determine a firm or forceful response is indeed warranted, the present astrology doesn't favor you outwardly asserting your position right this very moment—particularly not in any unstudied, potentially destabilizing fashion. In fact, you should probably spend the next few weeks hatching your plan. First step: Start posing any clarifying questions (or revelatory set-ups?) once Mercury hits your sign on Friday (Sep 29).


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): To put your current spot into a broader perspective, Scorpio, please remember you're a mere couple weeks away from growth-promoting, horizon-broadening Jupiter arriving to your sign for the first time since 2006… ushering in a yearlong transit during which your moves to expand upon, extend beyond, or exceed what you've already been living will be auspiciously helped along. Though Jupiter's presence is no miraculous panacea for all that aggravates or ails you, it will create an environment riper for taking evolutionary leaps-of-faith, transcending previous limits, and becoming a fuller version of yourself. With that exciting news in your purview, then, you might as well let your peers or teammates serve the role of public mouthpiece for the group, fight any collective battles on your behalf, or otherwise attract the most conspicuous attention. You should feel free to chime in alongside them, echoing sentiments already voiced more loudly and clearly by others but not necessarily extrapolating further into new territory. You can stand in loyal solidarity without getting much blood on your hands—a smart move at a time when entangling yourself in everyone else's affairs could needlessly tarnish your own rapidly-approaching growth opportunity.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): My main aim with this week's horoscope is to keep encouraging you onward, Sagittarius, in this ever-evolving pursuit of your overriding professional aspirations, outside-community ambitions, or other looming life-goals. This simply continues a trend that's already been evident, as your 10th house remains lit up with astro-activity for another few weeks. As before, I advocate moves which have been prudently measured, previously proven to work, and/or driven by hard data, as opposed to zooming ahead merely on enthusiasm for a really-good-sounding idea. It's an especially powerful moment for working through any intricate negotiations or technicalities directly related to your income, worth, or sense of material security: If you can calmly present a well-considered case that makes financial sense for the larger organization and gives you more of what you want, you're likely to receive a heartening reply. Even your best possible results may end up unfolding incrementally, due to sustainability concerns or organizational due-process which can't just be overridden to hit your desired timeline. Your even-tempered endurance will signal to the decision-makers your deservedness.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I'd think it would come as no big shock, Capricorn, to learn that some people can be rather intimidated by you when you hold a firm personal boundary, assert an exceedingly clear-cut rationale for why you believe what you do, and refuse to let them off the hook if it'll require compromising your values or forgiving a grievous offense. I raise this recurrent topic now because Pluto is stationing direct in your sign once again, a likely indicator that another instance of you eliciting intense, antagonistic, or otherwise strange reactions from such folks may arise. With this warning, you hopefully won't get caught too off-guard… and can therefore respond most masterfully, whether in a prudent attempt to defuse their excessive emotion (which I recommend in most cases) or, if it's absolutely essential, a stronger-armed effort to put them in their place. Because stationary Pluto is making trines to both Mars and Venus in your 9th, your power to effect whatever result you seek will be rooted in the exacting manner with which you present your line of reasoning, removing personality-difference questions from the equation and ensuring you make it all about the ideas themselves.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your current capacity to tolerate an admittedly ample amount of discomfort, disagreement, distrust, and/or doubt about possible outcomes—without either ditching out too early or letting reactive emotion overpower your strategic mind—will play a large role in determining how successfully you can carve a path through this mire, Aquarius, with your interests intact, if not enhanced. The difference between whether (1) you're just burning off complicated or convoluted consequences from a colorful past or (2) you're glimpsing warning-signs of what may still be to come (if, that is, you continue to perpetuate the existing interpersonal dynamic) hinges on what you do now, here in the present. Before you can effectively leave behind any undesired circumstance, you must first sit in it, acknowledging how it ended up this way, accepting the emotional reality it spawned, and committing to discontinuing the patterns. If you don't properly do so but instead try to avoid or rush through the tough spots, this unlearned lesson may well be doomed to repeat itself later on. Yet, if you indulge the unconstructive urge to provoke, shame, retaliate, or avenge, you're just asking for more potentially harrowing engagement.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Be clear in your mind, Pisces, what constitutes a healthy and gratifying relationship… and continue inching toward its imminent manifestation or your just-as-imminent realization that it's not very likely to manifest with this individual. It's important for your own self-interest to know exactly what you're looking for from them in advance of being in a spot where their charms, persuasions, or come-hithers are apt to strongly color your thinking. Part of what makes you so wonderful is your capacity for understanding others' needs and wants, as well as the psychic imprints and injuries they carry from their past which inform those needs-and-wants… but it also makes you susceptible to prioritizing those things over any self-centering concerns, desires, or dreams you may be harboring, regardless of what's going on with them. That's why you ought to be pretty damn clear about what you're looking for—and should probably repeatedly remind yourself of those non-negotiable particulars—or else your natural interpersonal sympathies might pull you off-course. Please utilize the support of your most self-determinedly hard-ass friends to help you clearly identify your particulars… and drill them into your head.