Horoscopes | Week of September 27-October 3, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The worst approach would be anything involving a quick getaway, cutting it short, cutting your losses, or going for the easy 'out'. While it may at times feel like torture to stick around while this pressure builds, the situation intensifies, certain individuals (them? you?) get super-hot under the collar and/or uncomfortable conversational topics are broached, that is precisely what I'm recommending you do. Just because it's comparatively easier for you, Aries, to pick up and start something new somewhere else (or at least it's easier to go through the motions), that is no excuse to quit this while you're knee-deep in the mud. Quantum-leap growth occurs when we dwell in these awkward in-between cracks and crevices, unsure and nervous about what'll happen when we 'overstay' our welcome and start connecting with the dust-bunnies of messy reality that usually remain tucked in the shadows, where they can stir our worst unconscious behaviors if not contended with. And just when it seems it can't get any harder or scarier to face down the true grit, in walks a welcome breakthrough…


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If your desires and theirs happen to align under this Venus-Mars conjunction in your 7th, Taurus, you're in store for a striking win-win in the interpersonal-relating arena. If you can intuitively detect where their 'hot button' lies, I'd suggest pushing it… if, of course, you'd like to stir some sort of reaction, to move things along to the next phase of communion. If you sense they're jonesing for a confession, a catharsis or some other come-to-jesus moment of upped stakes, don't enable 'em to skirt the topic. Go there, for goodness's sake. This is less a time for preserving that polite protocol between you two (whether in friendship, business or romance), and more an opportunity to share special, sensitive or secret revelations with each other, deepening the level to which you connect. Be prepared, therefore, to give as much as you hope to get: The simplest path to somebody's heart is to show 'em more of yours.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In continuation of last week's edition, I want you to conceive of this week as the one big huff-and-puff that'll blow the house down… that decisive moment in which you muster all the superhuman strength required to lift that biggest, most stubborn boulder out from its treacherous location… your self-determined (if not official) deadline for filing the paperwork, getting your ass to the appropriate bureau, releasing the message in the bottle out onto the waves, or tackling that one especially flummoxing task you've been telling yourself is just too big to handle. The Venus-Mars conjunction in your solar 6th is about as robust and forcefully productive an astro-aspect as you're likely to get these days, Gemini, to support you in attending to that least-desirable (or so you keep saying over and over to the point of self-creating prophecy) chore which looms large. This really is your best time to do it. And what's more, shortly following the massive relief you'll feel from conquering the dragon, you may also find your energy for chit-chatting with the gang will miraculously pick back up again.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): A reasonably sane person can only do so much to show compassion and consideration for a troubled and/or troublemaking friend or family member before it takes a major toll. Remember that, Cancer, when you form those moment-to-moment decisions about how to spend your hard-earned leisure time. (1) To revel in the gorgeous opportunities, available to each of us every day, to appreciate life's tasty morsels of experience, or (2) to defer such appreciation yet another day so we can tend to that squeaky wheel who's already been lovingly doused with oil too many times to justify the persistent squeak? That really is the question. And the answer I advocate? No more deferrals of self-gratification! Such a sentiment demands an exclamation point, it's that important… so damn important that it's worth pissing somebody off (especially if they're standing in the middle of the road to your good times and trying to guilt-trip you into calling off the party) in order to ensure you get your rocks off, one wide-toothed-grin-inspiring way or another.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You Leos are just a coterie of big fluffy cats, so I suppose that explains the image popping into my head as inspiration for your week's horoscope: the tiny cartoon kitten who nestles into a comfortable napping position on the back of a large dog. Have you seen this cartoon image before, Leo? What I love so much about it is the manner in which that bitty kitty seeks its own delicious relaxation in a spot—atop the very animal that's stereotypically supposed to be its 'enemy' (at least in cartoons) because 'dogs chase cats', right?—that wouldn't ordinarily be considered a comfy place to rest one's head. (Oddly, the big tough dog also seems to enjoy it too, revealing that he's really a softie underneath all that growl-and-bark.) It's your job, then, to emulate this kitty… by carving out your own niche for luxuriously lazing around, to steal those badly-needed extra zzzzs or just some quiet decompression, even if you can't attain the most ideal setting for such downtime. Make a cushiony lounge for yourself wherever you are. Though certain folks around you may find your shameless self-nurturance strange, they'll also draw inspiration from it… perhaps discovering, just like the all-bark-no-bite dog who also makes a great daybed, they too derive enjoyment from you taking good care of yourself.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Make an extra batch of those delicious muffins, so you can bring 'em over to your newest neighbor. Don't just show up for an obligatory five minutes of face-time (bemoaning the fact under your breath the whole time); instead, persuade a different pal to join you at that other pal's event, mix and mingle, introducing one to another, and make the whole to-do an unexpected kick-in-the-pants. I'd like to hear, Virgo, you spent your week pushing the social envelope—cramming in more visits than you typically allow in such a concentrated span, staying later than usual, going the extra step to actually exchange contact info with that character you just met (with the intention of actually getting in touch). And I want you to walk away from such encounters (the more, the merrier) with one basic conclusion: People are fun. What makes them so, of course, is that people are also incredibly strange. They have unique psychological complexes, born from bizarre upbringings and unimaginable histories. They offer bad jokes, excessively intimate 'over-shares', awkward statements, uninvited feedback and undesirable overtures. You do, too… in your own manner. We all do. Rather than let our issues keep us from each other, why not celebrate our universally shared fucked-up-ness and throw the 'pretend we're not fucked up' act out the window? Appreciate, through ultra-dynamic social interactivity, the oddball in each of us. (Including yours.)


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): A lot has happened, or is still in the process of happening. Cut yourself a break, Libra, if it all starts to seem 'a bit much'. Of course it feels that way; it is more than a bit much. The full acceptance of certain blacks-and-whites—unequivocal positions and/or preferences that cannot, by definition, be balanced against some equally convincing counterpoint—can pose something of a shock to your system, which often functions better in that wide swath of less-polarizing greys. In other words, be kind to yourself if you're struggling to adjust to firm choices that locate you definitively in one place over another. It really can be hard to say 'no'… and just as hard to say 'yes', when such a clear affirmative naturally must close the door on the other possibilities. That doesn't mean, however, you ought to doubt your decision. Any inner unsettledness you're confronting is likelier to be nervous anticipation of what's coming next than a sign you're about to make some horrid goof… though you could convince yourself otherwise, if you're not careful.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Do you recall this horoscope from several weeks back, Scorpio, a time not so long ago when you likely wondered if that suckhole of quicksand would ever set you free of its grip? And I presume, by now, you have received evidence that your rebirth as 'valiant hero' is well underway? In your astrological world, so much has changed since a mere month or two ago, I sincerely hope you will pause to consider how everything really does have its season, a time for every purpose under heaven, turn, turn, turn. When the pendulum of seasons swings back to your favor—and it's obviously in the process of doing just that—please take nothing for granted. Make the very most of any and all opportunities, professional and personal, as if this limited window of 'hotness' is your god-given moment for initiating and instigating enough activity to keep occupied for many months ahead. This window, like any snapshot of time, will become the past before you have much chance to notice. When you look back, I want you to confidently know you did everything you could to strike while this iron is sizzling.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): All that you see is not all that's going on. In addition to the suspicions I mentioned last week, which could still be setting off your bullshit-detector's clanging alarms (whether for a genuine concern or merely due to paranoid tendencies), there's also likely something non-suspicion-worthy brewing behind the curtain of conscious awareness… a goodie of one sort or another that's still in its earliest fetal stages. I report this to you, Sagittarius, not because you can actually do anything to speed along its manifestation—although simply filling your heart with faith in the universe to continue providing juicy experiences that'll keep you on your toes (in a good way) will surely help nurture its developmental process. I just don't want you to fall prey to negative, self-defeating thinking, if perhaps you're fooling yourself by believing this, right here and right now, is all you've got in store. Impatience, as we know, gets you into trouble far too frequently. That is, until after the next twist-of-fate presents itself… at which point, you're left to laugh at yourself for, yet again, fruitlessly worrying about getting 'stuck'. (Ha!)


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You've got to stick with the group, at least as long as it'll take for you to genuinely grasp the tenor of the collective currents. To succeed at your own game, Capricorn, you must be very familiar with the broader rules that everybody else is playing by… if for no other reason than, by mastering them, you'll be better positioned to evolve beyond them at a later date. I repeat: At a later date. Despite your hunger to transcend the inertias, inefficiencies and automaton-like passionless monotonies, now is not the time to identify yourself so concretely as a 'contrarian', a 'reformer' or any other figure who's coming at things from the outside. (Yes, even as you may quietly hold very contrary or reforming ideas.) You'll want to work from the inside out, which means not coming on like gangbusters, with sharp critiques that could leave those who'd actually benefit from your ideas instead feeling defensive and protective of the very practices holding them back. Ultimately, your future evolutionary progress will help all of you, if done astutely… so, for now, no quick moves that might spook your teammates.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): They don't have to see your point, agree with you, endorse you or (gulp) even like you, Aquarius… but they'd damn well better notice you're there. Otherwise, you are sadly squandering a huge chance to make a splash—and who the hell cares if you get the perfectly-poised-and-coiffed lords and ladies in the front row a little wet in the process?!? Just because you aren't (or perhaps shouldn't be) so interested in whether they approve of your loud voice, odd manners, ill-fitting clothes and/or coarsely phrased insights, that doesn't mean you ought to fully dispense with the concept of dialogue… meaning: be sure they grasp the fact that, yes, you do understand where they're coming from (and, as a result, how foreign, bizarre or inappropriate your stance may seem to them). Let them know you've come to your strange senses sensibly, through observation and consideration, by conscious choice, and that it's no accident you are now speaking up in so pointed a fashion. You have earned your right to cut against the grain, to others' obvious distaste; use it to full advantage.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If you say whatever will shut 'em up and/or keep 'em happy, instead of the fuller uncensored explanation of where you really are—which is that you have outgrown certain models of behavior they're expecting you to follow (though perhaps you're not completely sure yet what's supposed to replace 'em)—you're only creating more red-tape for yourself, Pisces. And red-tape effectively slows you down, throwing up energy-sucking obstacles you must maneuver around, instigating rehash conversations that need not be reprised, and otherwise promoting that very 'trapped' feeling I told you last week was 'so yesteryear'. Quit being so diplomatic, since the subtle intimations allow too much room for interpretation… and leave 'em thinking they still have a chance to win back the 'old you'. Truth—self-defining, illusion-shattering, purposeful, brutal if need be—is where it's at. Full disclosure is presently strongly favored.