Horoscopes | Week of October 12-18, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Line up your closest allies, Aries… not just the ones likeliest to cinch you something you think you deserve, but also those whose company you simply enjoy. When it comes to this trend of increased focus on who you're aligned with, it won't do you much good to attempt to 'work' people to your advantage. They'll smell the self-serving motives a mile away. The folks who are going to help you the most will do so because they genuinely like you, and/or believe strongly in your gutsy approach to life. But what's really funny, in fact, is that the type of 'help' they may bring to the table isn't necessarily what you imagine it to be. In the process of enlisting clients, donors or teammates, you just might find a close friend or a promising romantic prospect. In expecting one type of skilled work from a colleague, you may end up discovering their tremendous capabilities in another area you envisioned yourself managing. Going in with an 'all-business' seriousness, you could be surprised with how much fun you and your associate have together. Try not to be deliberate in guiding the interpersonal energy in any certain direction. What's most important is to affirm connections with the right people. What you and they do with those connections remains to be seen.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I already want to set the groundwork for you to conjure a tremendous amount of patience for yourself during these forthcoming months. Mars is entering your most precious sanctuary—the solar 4th house—where we are charged with shutting the door to the outside world so we may regather our emotional senses and reemerge full rather than depleted, and he's staying there for many many months (through June 2010, to be exact). That placement alone may indeed indicate a sort of hibernation will soon be in store… perhaps not a complete repudiation of all things external on an everyday basis, but enough of a general theme that you could find the need to convince yourself to leave the house becoming a common enough event. As your guide to the planets' messages, I would like to affirm this nesting urge in you, Taurus. These couple years of Saturn in your solar 5th have demanded you stand firm in your external expressions of self even when you'd have preferred to 'let things go' and dart away from all the prying eyes upon you. You have earned the right to a handsome amount of private time. Now, are there any obstructions blocking your ability to enjoy your moments at home? You'd better start to address them… or they may rob you of every bit of inner peace you desperately crave.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): To follow up with last edition's counsel, Gemini, I like to picture your week ahead bolstered by confident recognition that you've recently done what you can to address your internal needs. I envision you having gained some relative peace for yourself, no matter how fleeting it might be, in preparation to reconvene with the crazy world out there. However, if you've neglected to treat your tender innards with the care they warrant, you will likely notice feelings of bitter emptiness or simmering resentment making themselves known—if this occurs, take it as a sign that you really need a mental health day or two, even if you have to flip cartwheels or contort your schedule to find the time. With a busier, more socially engaging phase just barely beginning now, the difference between (1) happily zooming along with the creative chaos or (2) suffering from fried nerves and overtired mania may simply be a factor of whether you carved out enough of a recharge in advance of the accelerating energies. But presuming that you have stolen a sizable chunk of decompression, as I've advised, you're probably already getting seductive tastes of what's in store over the coming weeks… and can see why I suggested you squeeze in a good rest before you're in too deep.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Take a moment for yourself, Cancer. The planets (and I, as their emissary) have recently put great pressure on you to publicly define yourself, assert your agency, refuse to back down in situations where you might otherwise get shafted, and generally be feistier than typically suits you. The urgency of this responsibility now begins to taper off… leaving in its place a desire to retreat back into your shell, to double-check that you indeed survived the pressure-cooker and are all the better for it. Even in the best-case scenarios for how you might've used the past several weeks' Mars energy, you're likely to feel somewhat emotionally drained (from the sheer exposure of so much of yourself) and deservedly yearn for a bit of silence. I encourage you to enjoy such an escape… with the understanding that, just because you've (hopefully) taken your stand at last, the work isn't over. Going forward, you now must solidify the sustained practices that'll demonstrate your talk wasn't merely talk but an introduction to the action to follow. This part, thankfully, requires less deliberate an announcement or conversation. By daily repetition of a consistent ethic, you've got to prove your staying power—but not without first stealing a week or two to recover and regroup for the long haul.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This week is the official inauguration of what may go down in the history books as The Great Mars-in-Leo Self-Expression project… which, along with stoking up everybody's urges to get themselves and their brilliant ideas noticed, holds the potential to model you, dear Leo, as the example the rest of us will try to live up to. Be generous with your encouragements, as you inspire in us both courage and a refusal to feel ashamed about putting our sillier and more imaginative selves out for public enjoyment. You know, better than any of us, how individual lives can be touched and transformed whenever we risk our safe inconspicuousness for a moment of genuine extroversion. Why ought anyone wait around on the sidelines for permission to chirp their heart's song for all to hear? Over these many months of Mars in Leo ahead, you will have countless chances to invest your passions in relationships, projects, performances and purposes that either (1) confirm your willingness to flaunt your humanity, triumphs and vulnerabilities and all, or (2) expose your ego's need to bloat its self-importance. At the worst extreme, you'll grate on others' nerves by insisting that everybody fixate their undivided attentions on each move you make and pose you strike. But if all goes as well as I imagine it might, your unabashed eagerness for meaningful experiences will draw others out of their hiding-places, too… and create many opportunities for shared bliss, due in no small part to your supportive guardianship of their inner Leos.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): All the personal effort you've put forth in defending your perspective against those who'd usually stomp all over you (because you're less likely to 'make a scene' than gracefully restrict your reaction to a certain measured tone)… consider that your act of setting intentions for the type of experiences you'll be dealt in this next phase. At the same time, though, Virgo, you shouldn't count on being able to discern any logic to the trail that's about to lead you from here to there. You're going to have to rely a lot more on faith than is typically comfortable for a rational earth-sign such as yourself. Against the backdrop of events and developments that aren't what you would've expected, and which leave you flirting with the conclusion that you're totally off-course and have somehow misplaced the map, you must believe that the personal work you engaged in during these past couple years actually mattered. It's more important for you to feel like you've achieved a milestone or two in your own evolution (and to bask in the enhanced confidence levels such a milestone should've gifted you with) than to determine what exactly you're doing with it. Of course, slipping into this upcoming period of potential confusion is precisely the type of experience to challenge this newfound solidity of self. In that internal battle, I urge you to side with 'faith in yourself' over 'the ego's need to possess the answer'.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Fluff your hair, whiten your teeth, or do whatever you magical Librans do when you're putting on your proverbial 'Sunday best'. With Venus beginning her 3-week trip to her sign on Wednesday (Oct 14), you're holding the power to dazzle 'em with your first, second and third impressions… and once a Libra like you is consciously working your renowned charm, the rest of us turn to putty in your hands. For sure, you won't want to miss this favorable chance for you to snag a desired interview, date or seat at an ultra-impressive table. Plus, with Jupiter stationing to direct motion in your 5th, you'll also have an especially good time, should you schedule entertaining evenings or events with your pals or a possible sweetie. But, Libra, you mustn't overlook the leadership potential accompanying this boost in your personal profile… particularly considering Mars's entry in your 11th for a notably protracted eight-month stay, an indicator of you making a splash when you define yourself against stodgier wisdom, to advocate something you feel quite passionate about. These few Venus-kissed weeks are a wonderful time to kick-start a lasting social participation into high gear: While they're fawning over your irresistible personality, you have a great chance to get 'em on board with an effort, cause or orientation that's near and dear to your heart.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): By the end of the week, Mars will have settled in for an eight-month visit to your solar 10th… an influence that bespeaks of asserting your will firmly and unapologetically on the public stage, so that you might reach ever more baldly toward the career or community-related goals that most move you. As this is a long time for Mars to occupy a house, Scorpio, I urge you to conceive of this as more a marathon than a race. What you are on the precipice of setting into motion may not become securely actualized until the late-spring of '10, with the potential for a few doubt-generating stops and starts during Mars's retrograde period (Dec 20 09-Mar 10 10). For now, with lady-luck Venus moving into the invisible 12th-house zone for a few weeks' stay, this first leg of the Mars-in-the-10th journey might best be handled by entertaining two main mindsets: (1) a lot of quiet observing and strategizing, so you're well aware of the existing reality within the context in which you hope to make waves, and (2) a mystical communing with the universe's divine forces (how you personally make sense of 'em), to express gratitude for what you've got so far and to request cosmic support and blessings for what you're about to do. Once Venus hits your sign on Nov 7, you'll be in a prime position to (re)introduce your ambitions—and reap some positive press in the process.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Don't be afraid of 'losing yourself', if you wisely opt to get some of the attention off you by hanging close to the center of the crowd and making no noticeable gestures either way. If you've taken my call to engage in a bit of planning for the immediate future to heart, you're already thinking deeply about a new chapter that, while it probably hasn't begun to actually happen yet, surely gives you something to excitedly anticipate. Assuming, then, that you're advancing by design and not reckless impulse, you may not yet have arrived at the decisive moment in which you must daringly kiss an existing situation goodbye. So for the time being, escaping the glare of the spotlight seems like a perfect holding-pattern strategy. However, watch out for unconsciously exuding the attitude of someone whose 'days are numbered' and is already projecting him/herself into the vision of a much more compelling situation that doesn't yet exist. The other folks around you won't take kindly to receiving the message that you don't really care about what's going on around here, since, in your mind at least, you're already on to the next thing. Should you ruffle teammates' feathers, they'll single you out—and disrupt your desire to fly under the radar. Keep 'em happy, though, and they won't bother expending their suspicions on you.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The change in astro-climate now wafting in, Capricorn, requires you to dance a delicate waltz around those whose sense of authority you seem to, deliberately or not, threaten with your emerging empowerment. You'll want to appear thoughtful, but not unforgiving… brimming with integrity, yet not totally inflexible… and, perhaps most importantly, a force to be reckoned with, though not to be feared or mistrusted. How exactly might you pull this off? Well, it's all about coupling your pieces of difficult feedback with lots of outward reaching for social affability, so those potentially threatened souls hear, directly from you, that you are not 'out to get them' (even if some of their decisions or perspectives are unsatisfactory to you). Plenty of consummate politicians are able to form successful personal relationships with the very folks who sit, adversarial-like, across the aisle from them in professional settings. It behooves you to strive for that friendliness with figures who you may publically disagree with but wouldn't necessarily deem 'bad guys/girls'… and to stick with that stance, though they might react to your professional disagreements with personal unfriendliness.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Mars heating up one's 7th house (the relationship zone), as he'll be doing to yours for the next eight months, usually means one of two things (or some blend of them both). Possibility #1: You're due to become very focused on getting your interpersonal needs met, whether by spending more personal energy on 'togetherness' time with your partner or good friends, actively seeking new or expanded relationships that stimulate your interest, and/or becoming more forthright about what you actually want from a given individual. Possibility #2: You're due to have one or more interpersonal situations stirred or shaken up because your desires are in some conflict with the desires of the other person, one or the other of you is tired of taking a backseat in the perceived 'one-sided relationship', and/or somebody is ready to defiantly declare greater independence. While potentially unsettling (if not fully unpleasant), this is a necessary developmental step in integrating a broadened sense of your own possibilities (thanks to this year's Jupiter transit through Aquarius) with old or outdated modes of relating with those closest to you. A good place to start, while Venus is in your solar 9th (from this Wednesday through Nov 7), is thinking more generally about the type of relationships you want and don't want in your life… and what you might have to change about your existing circumstances in order to fit those ideas.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This is definitely a time for accepting the reality of your current interpersonal status (whether romantic, professional or friendship), rather than spending any more time or energy trying fruitlessly to get it to evolve more to your liking. If you aren't mostly satisfied with how it is, you'll have better luck going forward if you cut your losses instead of hoping the other person will miraculously change (though he/she apparently hasn't done so by now?). But that's actually not the main point of this horoscope, Pisces, because you've heard all this stuff a trillion times before… and that's actually more the point, that you have other things you ought to be occupying yourself with. This Saturn-in-your-7th 'relationship lesson' is totally old business. I'd like you to starting looking ahead to 2010, when benevolent blessing-bestower Jupiter will spend a good chunk of the year in your sign, bringing you an expanded vision of what you as an individual are capable of. Jupiter in one's sign usually delivers a memorable year, so I'm already getting excited for you. In preparation for this, use Mars's new long-term residence in your 6th for an attack on whatever unfinished work you've left to gather dust for too long now—your disorganized papers, your mediocre day-to-day job performance, your out-of-shape body, your household projects or other nagging chores whispering for your attention. Clear the decks during this tail end of '09. Make way for a bigger you. And what You-Know-Who is or isn't doing? Not especially relevant any longer.