Horoscopes | Week of September 14-20, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to reinvest in the thoughtful industriousness that your work lately warrants, if indeed you've let your attention swerve elsewhere in the last two or three weeks. It's not like I can't see the persuasive power of Uranus in your solar 12th tugging you far afloat from where your task list lies. It's almost as if, Aries, your psyche is in constant dialogue with itself, one side attempting to convince the other that, in light of all the work you've already put in, you owe yourself a distinct break from all pertinent earthly worries. Will I therefore help the more responsible side reclaim its authority by reporting this isn't the moment to prematurely claim a reward (of freedom! of release! of another fresh start!) that you have yet to thoroughly procure? Don't jump the gun, my restless fire-breather. If there could be any surer astro-sign than Jupiter and Uranus's conjunction in your sign next year that you will get the game-changing excitement that'll swoop in and carry you off to the next big adventure, I can't think of one. But that time hasn't arrived yet. For now, the planets and I are asking nicely that you redo what wasn't adequately attended to the first time, fix anything that's broken, and unambiguously finish what you started.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to reprioritize whatever it is that makes your heart croon arias like a nightingale, flip somersaults like a child proudly performing gymnastics for her beaming parents, and embrace love in its purest form as a virtue unparalleled among all we experience in life. Sound like a self-gratifying focus, Taurus? To cherish those sparks, alas, may require more work than joyous play ought to necessitate… especially since you're probably so accustomed to reliably fulfilling the role(s) other people count on, in order for you to provide them a touchstone of stability, that you might have to startle or disappoint them to carve out ample time for you. Yes, there is an apparent self-centeredness that seems to unavoidably accompany this advice. But seeking to make yourself happy is not the same thing as deliberately telling others to screw off, just to prove the point that you matter. Rather, it's an acknowledgment that you are at your best when your need for pleasure is fulfilled, insofar as you're then that much more pleased to offer your solid support to those who benefit from it… a much better solution, incidentally, than continuing to be 'reliable' with a heavy-handed dash of resentful self-denial thrown in for an unsavory aftertaste.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to reconsider whether there's some undernourished emotional drive, particularly on the homefront and/or affecting your ability to fully decompress when your workday is done, that hasn't yet been adequately addressed. This question instantly beckons me back to your horoscope from last week, Gemini, and the relative success you've experienced (or not) in finding the light-heartedness that should help you move past any lingering bits of unfinished business. If you have been successful, then I recommend using this current astro-energy to treat yourself to some personal indulgence that's truly relaxing, mind-body-and-spirit-level-combined… a Pavlovian sign to your tender emotional self that taking care of its business maturely will reap you obvious benefit. But if you've struggled to see the bright side, you'll more productively use this retrograde time to privately explore what exactly about this held-onto past is continuing to hold influence over your present. You may still have some grieving yet to do… or, perhaps first before that, a full-body acknowledgment of the final passing of one phase of your life. Or maybe you haven't yet found the words to voice that one important detail you're still leaving out of your 'official version' of history, and now your inner discontent is forcing that issue up from its hiding place. Whatever the case, I still see a bursting bout of light-heartedness approaching in your not-so-far future. Take these few weeks for the internal recharge necessary to eliminate any blockages to it.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to recommit to speaking rather than staying silent, to interacting instead of enclosing yourself too snugly within a shell, and to remaining an active participant in your local environment, as opposed to taking a sharp right turn toward Zanzibar in short-sighted hope that you can radically transform yourself by relocating (temporarily or on a more permanent basis) somewhere kooky. Though your ability to tap into lines of non-verbal intuitive insight is virtually unrivalled, Cancer, you have been known to get yourself into trouble by continuing on a non-verbal (and, consequently, non-interactive) track past the initial moment of insight… until you've singlehandedly elaborated on 'what you know' to an inflated point of either paralyzing worry or blinding overconfidence. That's where conversations with other people come in handy: to keep our internal fears and fancies from running away with themselves, to ground our subjective instincts in the agreed-upon reality, and to interactively brainstorm different possibilities and the practical tactics to bring 'em into being. Whatever's currently on your mind, please try to work it out at least somewhat externally, with the interpersonal influences of friends, strangers, counselors and support staff. Announcing some shocking, self-made decision in favor of something way way out there would be a bit extreme at this point.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to review your account balances, your budgetary plan for the remainder of the year, and any now-brewing ideas about how to bring in a few more dollars by putting in a bit more sweat equity. If you really commit to this project, Leo, and look through the files and reports and line-items with a very-fine-tooth comb, you're likely to find at least a few errors (made by you or the bank), extraneous expenses (which you can nip in the bud with one call to the cell-phone, cable or credit-card company), missed opportunities (like paying bills on time, buying gas with cash for the extra-couple-buck discount, or using ATMs that don't charge you an additional fee), or unexploited ways to pad your coffers (e.g., selling electronics or expensive clothes you don't regularly utilize, volunteering for overtime, moving your savings into a higher-interest-yielding account, renegotiating leases). None of this is especially enlightening advice, in the sense that we all supposedly know of these—and plenty of other—methods for increasing income and decreasing expenditure. What we often lack, alas, is the time to dedicate to such uninspiring, detail-oriented tasks that often mean facing long calls on customer-service lines, lots of adding-machine calculations, and previously-made poor financial decisions (over which we must potentially overcome our shame). Take care of this stuff now. Starting about a month from now, you'll no longer have as ideal a chance to tackle it.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to reexamine your relative success at outwardly expressing the 'this is how I want it to go' sentiments I discussed last week in virtually any and every area of life where you haven't yet been so explicit. After all, Virgo, Mercury's about to slip back into your sign, where the Saturn-charged new moon also falls… so, in a sense, this concentration of astro-energies is a perfect formula for you to reassert your needs (and your need for them to actually be met), tweaking whatever techniques have not yet borne the results you desire, to ultimately be more direct than ever. Why be overly subtle or passive-aggressive, when others will be way too likely to miss your intimations altogether? Spell it out. Thankfully, by the tail end of the week, Venus will also move into Virgo (where she'll stay through mid-October) and form a very persuasive trine to Pluto in your 5th, making this coming weekend a good time to use seduction and charm to sweeten your words so folks'll barely be able to resist giving in. Don't neglect to take advantage of Venus's blessed boost: You won't be perceived as any less serious if you proceed with a smile on your face and the happiest of expectations. Shift your tactic to 'firmness encased within charismatic appeal', and the quickness with which you reap surprisingly positive results from certain people just might astound you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to reemphasize the value of retreat from ceaseless outside influence. There are some truths about our most authentic selves we can only come to after a substantial chunk of time away from the obligatory daily duty to serve the outside world with our safe-for-public-consumption selves. After having only recently emerged from a spell of privately 'mulling things over', you may have thought you were ready to confidently stand in the conclusions drawn or choices made… only now to detect, Libra, a funny unsettledness hinting at the possibility that, just maybe, you aren't quite so confident in what you thought you thought after all. It would make sense if you're feeling overeager to attain some internal resolution, a sense of totally accepting this (or was it that?) as your agreed-upon direction in life (at least for the next long while)… especially with the ongoing lack of regularity or predictability in what your web of responsibilities is likely to throw you on any given day. But if you're not there yet, then be lenient with yourself. And plan on prioritizing lots of personal quiet-time, engaged in meditative walks or artistic escapes, to allow that burgeoning 'a-ha' moment a chance to address you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to reaffirm your connectedness to those folks who you'd generally think of as your people. Whether it be your tight group of gal-pals or guy-friends, your network of allies or team of like-minded associates, or your larger niche within society as a whole, this batch of peeps deserve a certain amount of respect from you, Scorpio… even if you've recently been focused elsewhere, on activities or concerns they might not completely understand or honor (see also: last week's horoscope). It's totally cool if you're doing your own thing and, in the process, have required some distance from 'groupthink'. Yet, I would hate for you to take so much distance that, when you do decide to return to more active participation amongst your clan, you're greeted with chilly mistrust or insinuated exclusion. Social connections are not merely for when it's personally convenient. Try not to think of your relationships with 'your people' as being in conflict with your accelerating streak of self-focused freedom-lovin' good times. Instead, begin to conceive of ways to include 'em—through sharing lively stories, if not actual shared experience—so they remain integral in your day-to-day existence.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to reorient yourself to what's apt to be the best fit for you professionally (or in terms of your outward community participations)… and, in the process, to come to full grips with the significance of any external indications you've recently received about where you currently stand. As long as Saturn's been in your solar 10th (which has been just about two years now), Sagittarius, you've been faced with a stabilizing (or potentially sobering) 'progress report' on whether your career/community efforts have been effective, if you need to work harder or smarter, and/or are in the most appropriate, productive and realistic place for yourself. These upcoming few weeks frame an exceptionally useful period for analyzing this progress report… both to give yourself credit where credit is due and to concede areas where your best intentions haven't proven enough to yield the results you'd hoped for. Even in those most disappointing cases, there is no excuse to feel badly about yourself. So-called 'failures' teach us so much about ourselves—and, once we forgive our imperfections and commit to moving toward different ambitions with new lessons to offer, they usually end up becoming wonderful perspective-shifting gifts. Whether you ultimately emerge recommitted to perseverance on a presently productive track or reenergized to try a distinctly different path or tactic, the important point is to look ahead. But that's really hard to do well if you haven't come to full grips with either the past or the present.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to rethink any public or career-related statements recently made which may have included compromising or conciliatory language that, the more you chew it over, is proving not to sit too well on your conscience. See, Capricorn, you've been caught up in a rather delicate dance of needing to both (1) stand up tall and strong for what you believe is right and (2) put on your most impressive dignified face, with the carefully sculpted phrases to match, in order to garner favorable enough opinion to actually make a measurable difference (rather than, say, simply spewing abstract ideals with no workable idea of how to actualize 'em). And it is quite possible that, in the peak of a particularly 'impressive' moment, you may've minimized the punctilious passion with which you advocate a very specific position… inadvertently (or somewhat more consciously) going for the political camaraderie, and the favor it wins you, over pure philosophical precision. Now's the time to tighten up any gaps between different perceptions. Though you may be rightly hesitant to wager your favorable image on behalf of ideological integrity, it is a clarification that's begging to made. Opportunistic ethical compromises are notorious for coming back to haunt us.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to revisit whichever 'ties that bind' (financial or sexual, psychological or familial), in order to clarify for yourself the specific areas in which you're presently 'free' or 'not quite so free' to do whatever you want. Don't mistake those ties that limit or place conditions upon your pure independence as necessarily bad, however, Aquarius. That's far too simplistic, despite your unending quest to liberate yourself from overreliance—or, for that matter, any reliance at all—on the 'whims' (that is, the needs and wants) of anyone else. (I get it, okay? For such a supposed 'humanitarian', you sure don't like other people having a say in what you're up to.) Instead of wasting energy on fruitless wriggling and wrestling and wishing away your still-very-much-in-effect obligations to joint ownership, intimate inter-involvement or inescapable in-it-together-ness, reflect on the good such commitments provide you. And on the off chance that you (with your advanced thinking abilities and visionary outlook on life) cannot find the 'good' anywhere and are merely counting down the days or decades until this bondage is kaput (dramatic much?), here's a useful thread to follow: If you respect the binding ties to their logical conclusion, then extricate yourself (eventually) from them cleanly and with no vengefulness or hostility, you will not replicate this pattern in a future situation.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The current Mercury retrograde, Saturn and the week's new moon are conspiring to urge you to reevaluate your present relationship status (what else?) , whether longstanding or just-starting-out, too-long-without or just-fine-alone-thanks. No, Pisces, we are not done with the endless repetitions of this same theme yet, no we're not. It's been a course of many years now that Uranus has demanded of you a stronger sense of daring individuality, a call to action requiring you to risk a seamless on-the-same-page-all-the-time-ness in your primary interpersonal involvements (or is that what they mean by 'codependent'?) in order to chase your wildest self-centered dreams. And over the past year, with Saturn playing off Uranus from your 7th, you've been simultaneously challenged to figure out how much commitment to togetherness in partnership is excessive, infringing upon this burgeoning independence movement—and how important, relatively speaking, relationships are to you, and what you're willing to sacrifice to stay in one. There is no easy, abstract, objective answer to this, by the way. The only method for gaining insight is trial by fire, which has likely entailed a fickle mix of pushing and pulling… and the battleground must play out through painstakingly detail-oriented (and potential quite awkward) conversations, with yourself or with a certain someone, about where the appropriate boundaries ought to lie, to ensure you get both adequate companionship and personal freedom. The reevaluation now in front of you is all about 'the little shit' you know you need to feel happy with whatever relationship situation you find yourself in, but which you perhaps haven't made enough of 'a big deal' about to secure you what you truly want.