Horoscopes | Week of October 2-8, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Please take a few moments, Aries, to examine what has and hasn't been effectively working in your life over this past month. If you've been following along here, you probably noticed that some variant on the concept of 'work' has appeared in all your recent horoscopes. This is due to the ongoing emphasis on your 6th house, which deals both with the literal efforts you invest in tending to your work (whether on behalf of your job, some personal duty or chore, and/or bodily-health maintenance) and the relative efficiency and functionality of the methods and practices you employ with such efforts. You've lately had a lot of planetary support for plowing through more amounts of work than usual, with a similarly sharper-than-usual eye for ways to refine your processes for sleeker performance (hopefully without carelessly eliminating any critical steps). And perhaps you've also had to address at least one interrupted routine, unanticipated problem, and/or broken or depleted resource (yes, your body counts) during this time, forcing you to concede the need for an immediate improvement or fix (hopefully without throwing out any babies with the bathwater). Chalk this all up as one big leveling-up learning experience: Now you have a much better sense of your specific capabilities and your overall capacity.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Knowing exactly what you want, Taurus, also requires you to be rather discriminating about any- and everything you definitely don't want. At the same time, please make sure all the 'no's you issue are fundamentally guided by the beacon of some brightly beaming yes—a clear-and-present intention to foreground that which reliably brings you joy, affection, artistic stimulation, and/or pride-of-self—rather than motivated by a kneejerk resistance to another person's intentions or designs. If your way-forward isn't grounded in some kernel of your own vision or genius (one which may still require a lot of buffing and refining, but nonetheless is yours to bat around), you'll be too likely to lapse into unconstructive criticism or preachiness… with an elevated chance you'll hit up against the impassable wall of a partner's, collaborator's, or institution's psychological unwillingness to be coaxed or coerced. Don't tell anyone how it 'should' be. Demonstrate your creative dexterity with hands-on deeds; show 'em what you want.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Even if you haven't been consciously experiencing any 'big feelings' or other bumps-in-the-road, Gemini, the current astrology still suggests you'd gain some essential perspectival grounding by taking ample time to yourself. Whether nestled safely in your home-base or just more intentionally inward-focused wherever you are, you could surprise yourself with how much clearer certain unanswered questions or confusing situations become once your sense-making faculties aren't as inundated with outside distractions. Consider this temporary removal of yourself from potential contaminating influences as a type of emotional hygiene… stripping yourself bare of external identifying markers, showering off the interpersonal pressures, seeing what comes up as you gently attend to your own nooks and crannies beneath the purifying stream. If you're scratching your head in bewilderment at this description of self-care, as if you don't understand what I'm advocating and/or don't feel you know how to conduct such solitary soul-searching, that's probably the 'unanswered question' to ponder first… somewhere or some way you consider safe for such ponderings.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): One very good way of helping yourself manage the current rise in potentially sensitive emotional self-realizations, Cancer, is to not worry for the moment about how best to articulate this material. Your own experience of what you're now coming to terms with is, like it or not, strongly colored by your deference to, concern for, and/or fear of a certain character central in your life… and it's presently too hard to separate your truth from your feelings about this person. That's not a problem to solve, just a passing reality to accept. Another good way to help yourself out: Don't indulge the tendency to stay home and moon about this, as if somehow you're obligated to scrutinize it from every angle or play it over and over again in your mind until you turn blue from auto-emotional asphyxiation. Keep up your social schedule, please. Just being in close proximity to other people's energies (whether face-to-face or mediated by one technology or another) will help shift yours, provided you're healthfully receptive to what's up with them. Better yet, talking to them at length about their lives will get you out of your head about yours.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you want to up your value on the open market, Leo, or at least hold out for what you're worth—and I can't reiterate loudly enough what a superb time it is for such recalculations—you'll have to fight back any desperation-driven attempt to be everything to everyone. Making an exhaustive list of every credential and qualification you hold, for instance, won't convey the most important information about what you're actually really good at doing. It might, in fact, serve as an outward warning-sign to others that you try to master too many disparate skills and/or don't know your true talents very well. I'm not suggesting you adopt false or excessive modesty, merely that you should perhaps lead with only what you're most legitimately confident about (and which can be dependably demonstrated with a proven history or concrete results), instead of assuming you must be an infinitely-accomplished superperson to deserve fair credit or compensation for anything. One potential hitch: if what you're really good at isn't actually something you want to do. For now, just acknowledge the conflict—it won't be resolved overnight, and bills are still due in the meantime.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Consider this week as the culminating snapshot of your past-several-weeks' worth of self-empowered activity, agility, assertiveness, and ambition, Virgo. As Venus and Mars come together in your sign, you'll at once be reaching a critical moment of completion and launching another attitudinal 'new beginning', a direct result of how fruitful and gratifying this benchmark of completeness proves to be. When I speak about 'completion', please understand that implies neither perfect results nor absolute fulfillment of your every last hope and dream. It's merely a cyclic stage of ripeness within the larger trajectory of actualizing your best self… one at which you're better able to appreciate the results of your labor, acknowledge (with acceptance rather than regret) what isn't likely to continue providing additional growth or vital contentment, and take a few deep recovery breaths before diving back in with refreshed devotion. The 'new beginning' part, meanwhile, is a simple matter of updating your self-conception: This freshened devotee that's you has in fact matured, collecting earned wisdom and refined expertise along the way, and shouldn't be treated as any younger or lesser version.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): It's a delicate balance to be struck—one of your specialties, eh, Libra?—between (1) your now-essential participation in important discussions where your active contribution is timely or critical and (2) the continuing need to delay any overtly self-assertive moves and restrain your expectation of being able to differentiate 'success' from 'disappointment'. Just because your mind's working swifter and sharper again, that isn't a sign you should jump the gun by expressing right now everything that's suddenly coming to you. There are still good reasons to take this slowly, to watch what happens as other people posture and fidget and flash their knickers, and to keep tinkering with your plans. (Too bad, alas, we can't know all those reasons upfront.) One immediate caution: With the Sun and Mercury in your sign applying to square Pluto-in-your-4th, you're at a higher risk of sounding more emotionally emphatic, defiant, or under threat than you might realize... if, that is, you don't rightfully resist conflating this specific situation with others from your past, as if you now must avenge a whole history of grievous wrongs. That would be too much intensity to saddle it with.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Perhaps, rather than saying it, Scorpio, you should just jot it in your private journal or post it on that secret blog nobody knows you have. Before calling anyone out in some exposing spectacle, you might first consider soliciting other trustworthy viewpoints about this questionable character and/or taking the general attitudinal temperature in the relevant social sphere. Maybe your best next game-plays are only made jointly, as a group, linked arm-in-arm with your most impressive allies… a stand that foregrounds what you share in common with each other, even as it simultaneously serves as a collective rejection of whatever you're also implicitly united against. Focusing more on that which you're building together with others—rather than on disparaging those players most distasteful to you or any repellent particularities they represent—is your likeliest strategy for avoiding the fray. Please be mindful, however, your opinion-laden body language or a suspiciously-deafening silence can also accidentally speak volumes.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): To be clear, Sagittarius, all expansive opportunities aren't necessarily auspicious. There is no objective measure of a 'good thing', merely a range of possible interpretations based on who's offering you the supposedly lucky shot, whether there are extenuating conditions to consider or other strings attached, how your overall life-situation looks at the decisive moment, and which competing ambitions might be hindered by your accepting it. You are at a periodic high-point (whether you're in fact receiving honors or just have an especially ripe pile of raw materials to work with), but, to utilize it for optimal personal benefit, you must practice discernment. Accepting whatever presents itself to you, because you're flattered or stunned or afraid another chance like this won't come around again, won't necessarily help get you to the specific destination you've identified as a fitting place for your passion or purpose. To properly discern, you must look at the likeliest consequences, drawbacks, and logical-conclusions of grabbing this ball and running with it. Need help? Discuss with experienced peers and/or the pals who ask you hard questions.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): It's a powerful moment for affirming to yourself, Capricorn, what you believe most strongly in this doggedly ambiguous world… and letting those simplifying values guide you through an otherwise-twisted-and-tangled landscape of everyone else's unresolved internal conflicts and unconscious psychic material. Your perspectival lucidity is an especially attractive quality these days, particularly to those who recognize a kindred spirit and/or seek to extend their awarenesses in the very direction you lean. (Those who are put off? That's their problem, unless you're pettily provoking them.) Yet, I think you can signal your stance without directly uttering fighting-words or proselytizing from on high. In fact, Mercury's currently conspicuous spot atop your solar 10th bespeaks of carefully chosen communications, the well-crafted appearance of diplomacy, and perhaps a bit of deft baiting. You can effectively make your point while never declaring it outright, simply by setting up the ill-informed and ideologically-antagonistic to play out their position in a flagrantly unattractive light.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Here, in the heart of this disarray, may exist an eerie calm, Aquarius. Provided you harbor no delusions about this touchy spot you're now in (or perhaps have been in for a while now) and are appropriately addressing each of the individual details which together comprise this fabric of interwoven complexities, you're approaching that pinnacle of having done as much with all this as you possibly could. As I'm sure you know all too well, you're only in control of your end of these affairs—which, of course, includes psychologically skillful responses to their moves, whether with advance preparedness or in-the-moment rigor—so even your best handling won't altogether resolve the situation. Aim, therefore, for a sense of personal resolution… a faith in your now-proven willingness to engage with whatever difficult circumstances emerge (because that's an inescapable factor of life's depths), sleeves rolled up and hands in the mud. One piece of advice: No need to publicly tout a self-congratulatory attitude, just for dealing with what showed up on your plate.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This week's divine union of Venus and Mars in your relationship house (the 7th), Pisces, is a reminder that the most mutually respectful and beneficial couplings we have—and I'm not just talking romantic ones here—are a mindful balance of give and take, in which we have no delusions about the fact an exchange is always occurring. In other words, we expect to get something we want, and are willing to offer to another person something they want in return. If the terms on either end of this exchange aren't fulfilled to one party's satisfaction, the basic agreement under which the relationship operates isn't being met. I'm spelling out what should be obvious, of course, in an effort to help you become overtly conscious of the terms of your relational agreements (since, for most of us, these are unspoken and assumed), at a moment when you've got a better-than-usual capacity to tweak the specifics. Astrologically, it's a great time for fine-tuning any mostly-satisfying relationship contracts... or to acknowledge, in less-satisfying circumstances, you've committed yourself to an unfair deal and may need to either renegotiate or cut out.