Horoscopes | Week of September 1-7, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Opportunities are at hand, my dear Aries, but you might miss them altogether if your dealings with one particular individual overshadow your ability to see the broader possibilities available out there. This could manifest through their discouraging (and/or subtly manipulative) commentary, as they offer feedback that essentially urges you to limit your perspective to that which includes them… rather than, say, supporting you purely for your good (no matter whether it benefits them or not). It might play out through your apparent need to bend over backwards trying to get them on board with your proposal… a situation likely to siphon energy away from whatever prospect is now calling your name, and toward the person whose approval you're attempting to secure. (You could just go around 'em…) Or you may just be so totally engaged in the ups and downs and backs and forths of your relationship with this person that your mind is simply somewhere else… which isn't exactly a problem per se, but certainly qualifies as a tradeoff. If you find yourself in any of these situations (or something similar) and don't necessarily want to miss the opportunities at hand, you should plan to push past any interpersonal time-sucking distractions—as long as you make sure, in the short term, you say all the 'right' things to the right person.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Just to warn you from the onset, Taurus, this week's horoscope is a major about-face from last week's, when I egged you toward loading your interactions with ambiguous promise, as if offering something to be collected upon later but not yet fully explained. Since then, Venus and Mercury have both moved from your playful 5th into the dutiful 6th… placements intended to get your eyes out of the sandbox (or off that cutie's hot bod) and back to business, like it or not. For every mischievous sentiment flirted with last week, you'll now face some work problem to solve, an errand to run, a service to provide, or a compulsory conversation to conduct that's more about technical details than spicy one-liners. That means somewhat limiting your interactions to the appropriate topic at hand, avoiding too many distractions so you can keep all the details straight—not just for your own sake, but to enable the smoothest processes all the way around. The hardest part is likeliest to come when, in the course of said dealings, you stumble into circumstances that offend your sensibilities or trigger your ethics in some way. Don't launch into lofty pronouncements; minimize such commentary. Do what's right for you, but spare them the preachy didactics. You don't have to agree, after all, in order to get the job done.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Be mindful that too much personal sharing, even with the most innocent of intentions, can attract combative exchanges with others who may resent the effortless manner with which you talk about yourself. (Maybe they believe such things should be kept to one's self, out of some sense of decorum? Maybe they lack the necessary confidence to express themselves as such? Maybe there's also a bit of envy lurking in there?) From there, it's only a short distance to you, Gemini, losing your cool too… in reaction to someone else's random silliness, and with very little to do with what might really be bothering you underneath. Hold back, though, if you can. There's no need to take on another person's psychological garbage, simply because they're in a grumpy mood or are somehow rubbed wrong by you just being you. Sure, you might choose to end any exchanges with folks who seem not to appreciate what you're bringing to the table. (To hell with them, right?) But why waste too much energy mirroring their complex back at them… only to prove their negative assessment of you accurate by playing right into their hand from venomous defensive attack mode? If you can't halt the urge to climb up on your soapbox and let 'em have it, ask yourself: Am I really just looking for an excuse to fight? (At least call the spade a spade…)


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cut the conversation off, if you're done talking. End the night early, if that's what you crave, even when your host attempts to finagle you into a nightcap or three. Turn them down, dare their perfectly 'appealing enough'-sounding offer interfere with your wish to do absolutely nothing. And definitely stay on top of your quiet inner statements of desire, or you surely won't notice yourself catering to someone else's whims—until, that is, you realize how majorly annoyed you've become. Beware of hurrying to take care of others' needs, Cancer, without first considering whether it's something you really want to do. Think before volunteering. Should you decide not to participate at all (or in the specific way that certain pushy somebodies might try pressuring you into), very little language is required for communicating where you stand. What 'discussion' is there to have, really, if the question at hand is whether you will or won't? Only one of you knows your preference (that being you, of course), while the other only wishes to control it. Just to let you know, they are apt to be extra overbearing this week (or is it just you fighting your tendency to cater?)… but that's still no excuse to cave.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Sometimes, when everybody and her brother seems to want a piece of us, we may believe our best approach is to copter ourselves back and forth across town, stopping in for coffee and cocktail and dinner dates, triple- and quadruple-booking until we arrive home feeling well-connected (and hopefully well-loved) but pretty damn exhausted. And sometimes, when we're trying to get a handle on how next to proceed with a given project or direction in life, we mistakenly assume that constant brainstorming of fresher and fresher ideas will make everything come out continually better and better… though our heads may be spinning so fast that we cannot quiet down enough to even fall asleep. Do you catch my drift yet, Leo? You could easily overexert yourself by accepting every invite or trying to visit all your zillions of acquaintances in too crammed a time-frame, ultimately neglecting responsibilities to yourself and/or wearing your physical system down. Likewise, you may get absolutely nothing done, if too teeming a mass of potential concepts overwhelms you to the point you can't carefully examine any single one long enough to determine if it's truly viable. When it comes to the social side, be somewhat judicious about how much you try to do (not to mention how much of what you say to whom). Otherwise, none of it will end up being very 'quality' time. And as far as the 'doing stuff' is concerned, you've probably gathered enough concepts for the time being. Pick one that sounds good, and actually start working on it.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The path of least resistance only seems easier at the time… when, for instance, you have somebody in your face, yammering on and on about how you really 'should' do this or that (in the exact manner, of course, in which they'd have you do it). But, Virgo, if you bend your rules just to shut 'em up, I'm fairly certain you won't feel good about it later—particularly if it gave them the mistaken impression that you actually wanted it to happen their way. (As if you didn't already have your own preferred method of handling that concern, which ended up not happening because you didn't stand your ground.) A few deliberate statements of your unwillingness to abandon what you'd consider 'best practices' should be enough to let them know not to keep pushing it… though it may entail enduring a few awkward moments (as they adjust to their hurt feelings from not getting their way) shortly following. However, muddying your dividing line between 'right' and 'wrong' is a much less appealing option overall, even if you imagine it spares a confrontation. Don't take on guilt for their demanding pressures. Though they may try to spin it like you're being difficult, they're the one refusing to respect your wishes.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If you haven't 'reset' yourself, as I recommended last week, then hop to it… now. If you ignore this instructive, you're liable to get the wrong idea about your current standing, due to the fact you're working off of outdated information. For many of us, but especially for you, Libra, September will prove to provide a very different experience than July and August have. In your case, that means possessing a lot more conscious ability to control how things go (as opposed to your previous two months when so much seemed to escape your grasp, no matter how you tried to get a handle on it)—and therefore you have genuine cause to celebrate. But emotions have a funny knack for hooking us into the habit of feeling a certain way, without necessarily offering us any incentive for checking in with our actual circumstances in life, to see if they're current or merely hangovers from prior mood dips. Your hardest task for the week is to pile your proverbial sandbags along the shores of the river, to prevent the leakage of excessive emotion (especially that which has been lingering for a while now) onto the playing-field of your life that might otherwise flood the game out. (And with the odds so strongly in your favor over the coming few weeks, believe me, you want to play this game.) I'm not suggesting you repress any feelings relevant to whatever's actually going on in your life. However, floating crankiness or depressive self-indulgence should be held at bay, whenever possible. Let optimism run the show this month, even if you have to start out by forcing it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Leave the small crap alone. Unbeknownst to you, you may become too easily confused about what you think is important. In any given moment, what appears to be a crucial detail within a much larger issue could ultimately prove nothing more than an irrelevancy, exaggerated in scope by an unconsciously trigger-happy mind (that is, yours) unsure of why exactly it wants to fire a shot. (In other words, it's not as big a deal as it might seem.) But if you make it your duty, Scorpio, to righteously correct the specifics certain people have evidently gotten 'wrong' (at least according to your logic, which we previously noted isn't currently serving you so well), you'll end up creating much more mess than it's worth—without necessarily 'correcting' anything or anyone. The harsh truth is that your argument probably won't make much sense to them (and, if you become somewhat aggravated in the process, your emotional angst certainly won't make sense)… and as a result, they'll likely ignore you anyway. Reserve your energy for clearer battles. Fight now, and you'll just lose sight of what you're fighting about, even while you're mid-rant.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I want to add to last week's passage, Sagittarius, to explain a bit more about why you should bother massaging the tone of your message to better suit its recipients' ears. In short: Diplomacy is currently your most profitable strategy, on the nuts-and-bolts dollars-and-cents level. Your bravery in uncompromisingly espousing that which you passionately believe in is admirable… yet at times works against what'd benefit your material well-being. And before you get all defensive from a stance of refusing to 'sell yourself out', let's remember we're talking about the real world, where almost every last one of us is forced to make certain concessions in order to earn a buck (and ensure those who are doling out the bucks are happy enough with our 'attitude'). You might hold mad self-respect for your refusal to 'play the game', but that won't pay your rent, will it? So if, for instance, you're not getting exactly what you hoped for out of a certain situation, please don't make a stink about it. This isn't the best time to ask for more. The stakeholders are likelier to rush into judging you for being 'greedy', rather than hear out your maybe-justifiable argument for a better deal. Accept what's offered with a people-pleasing grin on your face—for the time being—and try for a better deal later, when the timing's better.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): 'I am intensely capable, people. Yes, I know I've often underplayed my underlying confidence in the past. (It's part of the Capricorn way: Perpetual awareness of everything else that's still possible prevents me from resting on the laurels of what I already achieved.) But I'm rising in this world, can't you see? I am veering into new territory… and, as I do so, I'm recognizing my tremendous potential to do that much more than I previously have (no matter if it occasionally, or constantly, scares me). Naturally, I'm prepared to face the consequences of my increasingly powerful position in the world—namely, that I may unintentionally give off a vibe that others find intimidating. Okay, so I'm not the most sweet-and-cuddly creature out there. (So sue me.) I do, however, realize the value of showing 'em my softer side. After all, making the people happy is a necessary part of my job. I guess I'd better reassure them, then, that I'm really easy and fun to talk to… a real pleasure to chill with in any setting (but especially the setting I want them to see me in). Therefore, I should probably reveal a few more intimate details about myself (carefully chosen, of course, to ensure my desired public image remains intact) so we can establish a more fleshed-out personal connection. And while I'm at it, remind me to crack a couple jokes at my expense, to let 'em know I don't take myself too seriously.'


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You aren't obligated to disagree. For that matter, you needn't be so over-the-top weird either. Sure, you Aquarians are well known to be the freaks and iconoclasts of the zodiac. But did you also know that, in traditional astrology, your ruling planet is stodgy Saturn, not the wacky radical Uranus (who moderns attributed to you, and not without controversy)? And that, coupled with the fixed nature of your sign, can make you quite a stubborn little water-bearer. This stubbornness certainly works to your advantage, in terms of allowing you to hold tightly to those visionary strokes of genius, which often burst forth years ahead of their time, favoring you as an intellectual innovator. However, that same quality can also make Aquarians the poster-child of contrary for contrary's sake, as if merely asserting your differentness repeatedly (even when your zany outlook threatens to drive everyone else mad, or perhaps precisely because it does) is enough to make you right. It isn't. This week, even if you're 100% right (in your version, at least), it's probably not worth continuing to press the point. The more you keep arguing your case, the less sense you will make—and the worse you will grate on those who simply aren't interested in following your quintessentially Aquarian line of thinking.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): What happens when no one's watching? Are you likelier to survey what's inside their medicine cabinet (and perhaps pocket a couple 'spare' Valiums), scour their desk drawers (for physical evidence of their actual net worth), or otherwise hunt for sizzling secrets and dirty laundry (which just might come in handy at a later point in time)? Even if that's not your natural inclination, Pisces, I feel moved to warn you against using any below-the-belt or questionable-integrity tactics in your anglings (whether professional or personal), just because you believe (rightfully or not) that nobody will ever know. I'd be very suspicious of yourself, if the only ethical consideration separating what you will or won't do is whether you'll be found out… and if that's truly the case, then I advise you to assume you will be observed and caught, if only to keep yourself on the straight and narrow. Your private dealings need be dealt with as respectably as anything else, or the bad karma will follow you to the next situation. (Karma, incidentally, is only between you and the mystical forces of the Universe—and the Universe is always watching.) Here's a good rule to follow: If you'd be ashamed for your friends to find out, don't do it.