Horoscopes | Week of September 28-October 4, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I'm betting you're so intuitive, Aries, that you already suspect what you're going to find in this horoscope (more of the same?)… and/or what you're not going to find (such as official astrologically-sanctioned permission to step away from the chore-wheel and skip carefree through the streets). The prime moment for some new news in these here inches has not yet arrived, my antsy one, though I swear it is coming soon enough. While you're waiting, then, may I suggest you tidy up the house, to create for yourself a nestling setting that'll foster a profound feeling of grounded sanity? You won't have much spare time to tend to your domestic duties in the months to come… though your emotional well-being will continue, as always, to be indivisibly tied to how fully you'll be able to relax at home at the end of each day. Don't underestimate this connection. If you project your sights into your near future, knowing you will soon play host to an unusually long-lasting burst of creative energy that'll keep you both busy and happily engaged for the next many months, you should understand how important tending to your anticipated needs now really is. Tap into the barely-beginning-to-brew excitement related to what's about to happen, and making the necessary preparations may prove to be something you actually enjoy.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Accept their invitation to stick around a little while longer, to join them for dinner or an evening flick, or to share more details about what's currently on your mind. The ever-expanding authority you're taking on in your career or other outer-world involvements is no excuse for Tom or Trudy Taurus to become the dull boy or girl whose life is all work and no play. Contrary to what the ticking stopwatch in your head reports from its tireless counting-down, there is plenty of time to spend the extra several minutes to transform a perfunctory social transaction into a meaningful, even if relatively brief, encounter. The difference is in whether you value the interpersonal moments in themselves, or whether you barely notice you're interacting with other people as you mindlessly move from errand to appointment. Whenever another human being is also concerned, you must not multi-task. Do not check your phone while in the midst of another conversation. Don't bark orders at clerks or customer-service workers. Don't ignore the actual individual on the other end of the phone, standing at the counter, or sitting behind the wheel of the car. Go several inches or the whole mile out of your way to mesh energies with your fellow community-members. Everyone walks away slightly—or significantly—changed for the better.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In case I wasn't quite clear in last week's edition, let me further specify that reporting, 'No, I don't have my story straight. Give me a couple moments, okay?' is not an invitation for anyone else to keep hounding you every five minutes, to see if maybe now you're ready to provide an answer, explain yourself or offer 'em something that'll move their agenda along. Those 'couple moments', however long they take, are intended for you to enjoy some non-pressurized time to take care of yourself, Gemini… to create a sufficiently self-nurturing environment so that you naturally relax into a fuller awareness of what you really feel, rather than pushing feverishly for signs of what you ought to tell 'em in order to get 'em off your back. These 'couple moments' are yours. So don't succumb to their incessant poking, prodding, pestering, blustering or bullying. You obviously aren't currently operating on the same timeline they are, but that doesn't make you slow, stupid or wrong. We all know you're not shy. If you're not ready to sing like a canary right now, there's got to be a reason. Your moment of freer self-expression is coming soon enough.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don't hesitate to put yourself on the offensive, Cancer, if you're sensing a window of personally-advantageous possibility starting to close as a result of someone else's inaction or fussy prioritizing skills. Mars is in your sign for another few weeks still, bestowing upon you the necessary initiative to take the lead yourself… as well as the heightened feistiness to contend with those people and premises that threaten to obstruct you in your efforts to properly exploit your present position. With Mars on your side, you're supposed to be the shit-stirrer, the squeaky wheel and/or the brave pioneer who forges ahead by instinct (rather than consensus) and is willing to fight for what moves him (instead of backing down when faced with someone else's miffed responses). As such, there is no permission that must be sought beforehand. Trust that you will find out whatever you need to know about others' amenability or opposition in the process, once you've already taken a few steps and either stepped on their toes or found unfettered passage through the gates they guard. And should you hit a blockage, don't take an unfavorable first-reaction as the end of the story. Talk to them about it, for goodness's sake—and see if you can't keep the conversation going (on and on and on, if necessary) until they come around and offer their assent, if not an outright blessing.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Practice preservation and security-favoring strategies, to protect the sanctity of what you've already procured. Gambles are glaringly unwise for the moment. It's better to maintain a comfortable grasp on what presently fits in your hands, rather than trying to grab for more and dropping everything you had. This week and next ought to be about maintenance, not new construction. You'll have plenty of opportunities over the coming months, Leo, to throw your creative instincts into births and burgeonings. For this short term, settle into the guardian role. As I mentioned last week, this is a pivotal preparatory window of time that could determine just how smoothly those eight months of Mars in your sign will function (or not). Take whatever chances to remove yourself from the incessant 'onward-ho' pressures that present themselves, so you may strategically consider how to stretch your thin dimes into miraculous lengths. If you don't adequately think about what you'll need to persevere through the incredibly active phase now rapidly approaching, you'll be in constant crisis mode… expending more of your Mars-pumped energies putting out fires you were ill-prepared to respond to, instead of lighting the sparks that'll power exciting new ventures.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I like those moments when Mercury stands still and returns to direct motion (an event which occurs early this week) as our ideal chances to finally deliver the message that's been previously misunderstood, misspoken or merely hinted at while beating around the bush. And seeing as this Mercury station occurs in your sign while forming an extended sextile to Mars and while Venus is also in your sign, Virgo, I'd strongly encourage you to make effective use of this week's opportunity to clarify or correct what hasn't been explicitly spelled out thus far. Because of Mars's placement in your solar 11th, I suspect that part of what was missing from your prior attempts to communicate involves specifically an issue on which you must distinguish yourself from the conventional wisdom or the commonly held belief… with the possible consequence of somewhat separating you from a pack of superficial allies who'd probably prefer not to hear the logic behind your divergent opinion because, to their minds, it unduly complicates the matter. To their wish for reductive simplicity, I say: So what? Who cares? It is not your responsibility to 'play along' with the rules of a game you find problems with, just so that all the other players don't have to look more closely at what exactly they've affiliated themselves with. If words have been minced up 'til now, it presently behooves you to unmince them.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This still isn't a terribly opportune astro-environment for pulling strings, making waves or taking stands, Libra… especially in light of the dramatic improvement on its way by mid-October, when the guardian queen of your sign, Venus, hits your home turf. And looking even more broadly, once Saturn also makes it Libra (Oct 29, 2009-Apr 7, 2010; Jul 21, 2010-Oct 5, 2012), you're going to have his help in building the nuts-and-bolts tools, from the ground up or by renovating what's already in existence, to ground and stabilize the attitudes and accomplishments you've long been working to attain. All that said, there's no need to hurry this process along. What presently concerns me more is the fallen Mars potentially stirring up covert controversy in your professional or public life (symbolized by the solar 10th), where you may hold growing displeasure with a superior or the power-structure in general, and/or where some naysayer or problem-child is causing you a real headache. Because it's not an ideal time to fight a fight (whether you're actively doing so or merely throwing under-the-surface shade), I urge you to simply accept this regrettable circumstance as one of those things you cannot—and should not try to—control. You don't have to like everybody (or have them like you) to continue functioning productively. Frame it as a mere irritant, not a major deal.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Open your eyes wider. Look ahead, far out to the horizon, not down at your feet as they kick gravel into the gutter. Get a bit of distance from your recent day-to-day reality, and start putting a sharper focus on your visions for the future. This, whatever it may be, is not your end-all-be-all, Scorpio. There is far more out there. One worthy avenue to tread, if you seek to discover the magical portal that'll lead into appealingly uncharted virgin territory, is the one you haven't lately been pacing back and forth down. (Perhaps instead, you've wishing against all logic to find some reassuring landmark ithat hasn't existed in quite some time, if ever, suddenly rising from the same spot of dirt you've recently visited countless times. But by this point, haven't you realized it's not likely to materialize out of thin air?) Change the channel on your inner vision. Now, picture yourself standing alongside treasured friends or trusted allies who are genuinely excited about what they're doing and eager to have you join their ranks. They're not asking you to leave all your sad or disappointed feelings behind. They just don't want you to stubbornly refuse their efforts to dip you into other activities that just might help you heal, eventually if not sooner. Oftentimes, we must begin the next thing while still smarting with an emotional hangover from the last, only noticing we've 'moved on' after having done something else for a steady chunk of time.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Should you find yourself put on the spot in front of folks whose opinions matter to you, you mustn't fall into the trap of watering down your responses so they provide convenient bite-sized stances on complex matters. So-called 'important' people might even unconsciously set you up to err on the side of insufficient analysis, as they tap their toes and check their watches and clearly give the impression they haven't the time for a lengthy treatise. Does that therefore indicate you ought to cave to their impatient vibes and gloss over the complications, just to keep the meeting within its allotted fifteen minutes and speed everyone off to lunch? Your reputation as an uncompromising truth-teller is at stake, Sagittarius… and that doesn't seem like something you'd be quick to wager, merely to please a (potentially unworthy) higher-up who, if s/he's so willing to rush a crucial conversation, probably doesn't even care about the issue as much as you do. The Sagittarius I know is unafraid of problematizing an otherwise smooth (and way too superficially polite) discussion, in order to raise an uncomfortable consideration necessary to consider, if in fact we want to genuinely report we've explored all the angles and investigated potential obstacles before proceeding. I'm aware the advice I'm doling out could well lead you into a messy confrontation with a reluctant party. It's just that your other choice—diluting full disclosure for 'political' purposes—sounds so damned un-Sagittarian.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If given the option, you'll do yourself a favor by lending the boost that'll pull 'em up to your level, rather than letting 'em drag you down to theirs. But dare I need to point out the obvious, Capricorn, I wouldn't recommend describing what you're doing in such self-righteous-sounding terms… for you certainly stand to gain nothing but a drawn-out headache by either stating or implying your belief that you're on a different (and presumed higher level) than they. Therefore, you must be careful not to exude a condescending attitude while exerting your influence over the encounter. Think of your efforts as a valiant attempt to ensure that nobody, not you and not the other party, will walk away wishing they hadn't said what they said or allowed a moment's heightened feelings to get the best of 'em. That's also a challenge for you not to hastily take the bait that's been laid at your feet, which could easily ensnare you in a defensive mode likely to scramble your wits and leave you to blurt anything that might free you from the hook, including off-topic insults or allusions to old business that really ought not be brought back up again. Don't sink; float above it.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): If 'getting the job done' warrants you getting a little sharper, maybe even nastier, with the directives you're issuing to cohorts and collaborators, then so be it. It's results you need, after all, not shiny happy people holding hands. But if your tongue starts springing unkind lashes at those around you simply because you're tired of playing Mr. or Ms. Nice-Guy, frustrated with how others are tending to their tasks (though they are tending to 'em), or just in a foul mood, that is decidedly not okay. Just to be clear, this horoscope does not grant you a free pass to act like a jackass, Aquarius. It's only meant to encourage you to turn up the heat if and only if your fiery remarks are impersonally aimed at attaining a higher-quality product from all parties involved, yourself included. Therefore, if you have some unpleasant feedback to give about the work itself, please remove the kid gloves and offer the truth in its full uncensored version… knowing, of course, that it may well sting another person and holding some compassion for that, at the same time trusting everyone to behave as the adults they are. If it's pointed insults or indiscriminant venting of your own anger you're after, alas, I wouldn't recommend going there. If you make it personal, please expect them to return the 'favor' in spades.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): When 'love planets' Mars and Venus occupy your solar 5th and 7th houses (respectively), as they now do, you're in a good spot to make your affections known to that special person who holds a hopeful place in your heart. Mars in the 5th is an excellent influence on your willingness to expose your true feelings… to take the risk and put yourself out there, knowing that it's hard for anyone to accept our offer of romantic sentiments if we've never even made the offer apparent. Venus, meanwhile, adds an extra-attractive shade of yum-yumminess to your relationship-oriented 7th, which means if ever they'll consider 'getting with you' a good idea, it's likeliest to be now. Even Mercury, who stations back to direct motion this week, is in your 7th too (and happily sextiling Mars), helping you unconsciously produce the most fitting message to represent your interpersonal intentions (so long as you don't stress too much about 'saying the right thing'). So for you available Pisceans who've got your eye on a certain someone, this may be one of your best moments to give it the ol' try. What have you got to lose, other than a lot of fruitless wondering?