Horoscopes | Week of October 6-12, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Here's the latest update, picking up where last week's episode left off: You just might need some pretty fancy footwork, if you're hoping to tiptoe through the ongoing relational maneuvers without somebody accidentally stepping on a landmine and setting off a blast. You know it as well as I do, too, Aries. There are hidden explosives buried all over this field… buzzwords you're not supposed to say, sensitive issues to stay away from, valid critiques you're holding on the tip of your tongue because, if launched, they'd result in a subsequent need to defend against their potentially valid critiques of you. I should probably warn you, then, to be careful where you tread—and what you say—if you'd like to prevent this discharge of firepower that, likelier than not, is bound to get messy. But do you really feel like spending the next who-knows-how-long pussyfooting around the hulking woolly mammoth in the middle of the room, so as to prolong this clenched-jaw 'ceasefire' to the point your mouth freezes in the position of its forced smile of silence? (As if you won't eventually, one way or the other, let it slip… or let 'er rip?) Sure, proceed with caution. Yet, if you ever want to be able to walk safely around your proverbial neighborhood again, at some point you'll have to go looking for the under-the-surface bombs… and detonate 'em (safely, I hope), in order to relieve the risk.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you made any shortsighted decisions this past month you've come to regret (or are being strongly pressured to rethink), it's not too late to flip 'em around. And don't stress the extra bits of 'repair work' that might be necessary… if your change-of-heart is ultimately motivated by an overriding concern for fairness. What better ideal to expend effort on upholding, anyway? But beyond the micro-level fix-its you might need to attend to, the larger issue at stake for you, Taurus, is in ensuring you keep the right people happy. Your most important alliances, across all areas of your life, presently required you to nourish and nurture 'em—even when it personally seems somewhat inconvenient. (Need I clarify that this only applies to those relationships you've already evaluated as 'healthy' and worth maintaining? See also: last week's installment.) There's no better demonstration of your valuing other people's priorities than if you modestly take responsibility for where they maybe were slighted before (keyword: 'maybe'), devote extra attention to (re)addressing what's important to them, and/or letting them explain a thing or two to you. (This, incidentally, does not equate to you accepting blame for any wrongdoings.) Pull this off, and, in the process, a certain someone will gain mad admiration for your courage. Guaranteed.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): On the one hand, I want to hype up the large amounts of work you can accomplish this week, seeing both Venus and Mars in your solar 6th. Indeed, with Venus's helpful aspects to Saturn and Uranus, you just might reach an important progress-marker in sorting through the disjointed parts, cleverly reordering the flow of tasks so as to cut the fat and increase potential efficiency. Of course, Gemini, this can only happen if you steer away from snarky interpersonal disputes that—though they may serve to go against all the time-saving efforts you'd otherwise put in, and probably cause a far larger to-do than is really necessary—actually seem kind of appealing to you, in that sado-masochistic fun sort of way. Such a distracting argument might erupt over who should get the credit for which idea, who's in charge of what, or even whether this or that should happen first. (The real issue is ego… pure unadulterated ego.) Or the brouhaha could have absolutely nothing to do with anything even remotely relevant, but seemed just too ripe to resist. But in the high likelihood that one accusation lobbed at you involves the idea you're 'making it all about yourself', the best counterattack is to prove 'em wrong… by not falling into their trap. Dodge the drama, and you'll demonstrate that, as far as you're concerned, getting the work done is what it's really all about.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Emotionally sensitive characters such as you, Cancer, can actually find yourselves out of sorts when confronted with all the makings of a damn good mood. The nervous mind almost starts hunting for the sobering buzzkill realities right away, so obvious it must be that it's missed a key catastrophe-in-waiting in order to feel this free and easy. (And all the more so, no doubt, in such an anxious-producing macro-climate where, to hear the talking heads tell it, the end of the world is upon us.) But believe it or not, assuming the worst—or assuming you're ignorant for not assuming the worst—can be something of a habit. Run through this Pavlovian response with me for a minute, and see if it sounds familiar. (1) Feel a sense of soaring optimism. (2) Notice that's what you're feeling. (3) Question whether you're overlooking something that might serve as a reason you shouldn't feel this way. (4) Inevitably find such an omission and, no matter how small it is, use it to bring yourself back down again. (5) Feel a sense of worry, which is actually strangely comforting in that it ensures you're on top of your responsibility to care. If anything about the aforementioned scenario rings true, you might need help breaking the habit. The moment you invent a purpose for panicking, talk it out with someone you know will see it differently. Let 'em talk you out of it—or else provide you a more compelling excuse to forget about it.


LEO (July 23-August 22): To assume there's only one right answer would be na´ve on anybody's part. Keep this sentiment on the tip of your consciousness, Leo, when faced with a proliferation of suggestions… and an absence of obvious signs pointing decidedly toward one over the others. One idea may prove to work out just as well as the next, which only goes to show there's really no reason to cling to any single uncompromising solution. That's why you should probably go into such unresolved scenarios prepared to try out different variations, rather than worrying about whether you'll 'get it right' the first time out. What that also means is that rampant emotionalism, should it be allowed to overtake the proceedings, will only hinder your ability to be as flexible as is needed. And if other folks are bringing such overwrought hysteria to the situation, you're going to have a really hard time working with 'em. You—and everyone else involved—must permit concepts, hypotheses, and potential strategies to be revised, ripped apart, scrapped or resurrected without attachment. If one or more participants can't allow that to happen, you're a bit stuck (and might consider stepping away for a couple weeks). The best successes are often accidents… but the only way to get to 'em is by experimenting.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I almost just told you to read all the other horoscopes for all the other signs… and to pick the one you liked best for yourself this week, Virgo. (After all, isn't that what the skeptical naysayers might advise anyway, since 'it's all a bunch of crap'? Yup.) The combination of Mercury retrograde (until mid-next-week) and a strong 3rd-house emphasis makes this a rather unpredictably social moment for you, as I briefly touched on last week. And as long as you keep yourself in the action of mixing and mingling, you can turn your week into virtually anything you want it to be. The key, obviously, comes down to who you surround yourself with. Any time you aren't into what's happening in a given circumstance, simply move on to something—and, specifically, somebody—else. Even if it's mere boredom that inspires your wandering eye, indulge the curiosity (rather than judging it, silly). And if a certain You-Know-Who finds his-/herself in an absolute tizzy over something that's not especially relevant to you, then why let yourself become too concerned? If they're irked you won't get all upset along with 'em, remove yourself completely. Who needs to bask in the side-effects of a tantrum? Avoid grumpy people altogether.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): 'Hello, jittery nerves!' you might confidently greet that itch beneath your skin with… as opposed to leaping up from your seat and frantically scratching every inch of your body, while the phantom sensation bends and swerves to continually evade your fingernails. Call it what it is, Libra—an involuntary up-tick in your ability to spy the tiniest problem or item out of place, not a sudden crumbling of everything you thought you were on top of—and you're less likely to fall prey to its attempts to dominate your thinking. Those jittery nerves, if left unchecked, could easily lead you to overreact in situations that aren't nearly as bad as they might momentarily seem. And whether or not you jump at the slightest indication of cracks or leaks, you'll probably be in the same spot a week or two from now, regardless. The only difference will be how much aggravation you readily expose yourself to… or, hopefully, shield yourself from. Take a few deep breaths, and reassure yourself that this will all be okay (if not instantly, then fairly soon). Then, shift away from responding emotionally—and into your best problem-solving mode, calm and practical. Need I also remind you to eat something every few hours or so? Low blood sugar will definitely contribute to the impression that signs of doom are everywhere… when, in actuality, they are merely minor blips on the radar.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Go off of vibe and instinct… and try not to concern yourself with the intelligibility of it all. Precise words and coherent concepts are in short supply—though luck certainly is not. So, Scorpio, you'd probably do best to operate as independently as possible (without, of course, purposely ignoring those whose say should probably be included), acting as you see fit but not necessarily seeking advice or approval on how to go about it. Naturally, as a result, those who don't know you very well are apt to find your behavior, er, rather zany or hard to comprehend. And because they aren't privy to the non-verbal gut-level logic you're proceeding by, they might mistakenly assume there is no logic to your apparent madness. Oh, well. The anxiety this threatens to cause is on their part. (You're just fine with trusting your bad-ass self, right?) The best news of all: Due to their doubts, they'll be that much likelier to simply leave you to your whims, rather than attempt to talk sense (that is, their sense) into you. Who needs their 'sense', anyway? Not you, for the present moment. You've got vibe and instinct enough to guide you another few weeks, no problem.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If you can't provide a sincere statement of well wishes and supportive tidings, it's definitely better to say nothing at all… at least until Mercury returns to his normal self next week. Before reacting, you need to calmly and rationally think about the situation from the pragmatic perspective (i.e., 'how will this affect my standing? my earthly security? my earning potential?'), instead of instantaneously jumping to defend 'the principle of the matter'. Yes, Sagittarius, principles are important to defend. Yet, a truly wise warrior of principle will choose her battles wisely, knowing that it's foolish to squander precious energy on little shit when she'll need all her faculties for the bigger shit later on. And at this juncture, there's far less to gain from taking a conspicuous stand than there is to lose. For your own benefit, avoid such controversy. Maintain the good graces of those around you (whatever they may ultimately prove to mean to you), simply by staying out of the heat. Should you find yourself backed into a corner? Smile politely, utter a cryptic non-committal murmur or two, then wander off, low profile intact.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Beware of unconsciously putting yourself in the center of your considerations, only to mistakenly assume your view of the situation is the objective truth of the matter. Chalk it up to retrograde Mercury's square to Jupiter in your sign, a proverbial 'blowing it out of proportion' aspect that sets you up to overlook certain subtleties that, in fact, do make a significant difference in accurately discerning mountains from molehills. It may feel like you're finally ready to tell off an ungrateful boss or clueless client, now that you're facing evidence of all the supposed problems you've suspected all along (although, due to the glaring blindspot in the 'observation' step of the scientific method, you're merely seeing what you expected to see)… well, let's just say that I wouldn't recommend it, at least not this week. And were you to vent your angst to a pal or co-worker instead, they'd also likely advise you to take an approach other than unleashing your wrath on that 'important' person (and making a big fat mess in the process). If indeed you have peers directly involved with the contentious situation, I'd let them tackle communications with the higher-ups… and keep your exchange with 'em to a minimum.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Let's try to hold last week's horoscope in our minds, Aquarius, so as not to let our loose tongue or overly idealistic stance lead us into inadvertently embarrassing behavior. You are still subject to the public's unforgiving stares, whether or not you consciously play to the crowd… and even if you wander off on a supposedly 'meaningful' tangent that totally loses the interest of everyone but the nuttiest space-children. Thanks to that square from Mercury retrograde to Jupiter in your 12th, you're liable to veer into obscure esoterica—a way of understanding that runs so counter to the conventional wisdom, it sounds nearly nonsensical to the average Joe—and make yourself look a bit ungrounded in the spectators' eyes. No one's saying your unique take on the matter isn't, in fact, a valuable one… only that, for the time being, you'll have a pretty hard time explaining it to others (especially folks who are investing time and/or money in you), without at least marginally damaging your credibility. So, in the short term, there's nothing wrong with a little pandering. Speak in sweeping generalities designed to appeal to the widest audience possible, rather than getting into too much potentially alienating detail. As long as you're honest, you'll gain a whole new set of supporters who might've otherwise glared at you like you were speaking another galaxy's language.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't think about it from the perspective of what you should do. Take three giant steps backward… then ask yourself, 'How would any rational person handle this?' See, Pisces, I'm trying to get you to impersonalize it a smidgeon, so your mind has a chance to crunch the data—without your 'push-me-pull-you' emotions contaminating your clearest reasoning. If you need to garner yourself even more distance from the situation (because, funny thing, your image of 'any rational person' looks a helluva lot like you), apply this approach: Imagine what your most sane, grounded, insightful friend would do in the same situation, and proceed from there. Still stumped? Ask that person for some guidance. Run a rough-draft version past 'em before you commit to issuing any bottom-line ultimatums or controversial confessions. Your practically-minded pal will probably help you catch a too-loaded statement, a hollow threat or an unnecessary insult among the things you're planning to say—and stop you, just in the nick of time, from going too far. As any good writer knows, everybody can benefit from a good editor. In your case, this week, enlist a friend with good personal boundaries and lots of life-experience to serve that role… and show 'em what you've come up with so far.