Horoscopes | Week of October 4-10, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Listen to what they're telling you. Every time you hear a word you don't like and find yourself about ready to pounce on a chance to set 'em straight, please pause… then return your attention to listening. I'm not implying you won't have your opportunity to talk, Aries—only that you ought to think twice (or thrice) before speaking out in head-to-head faceoffs, lest you get caught in reactive mode and end up in a debate framed on someone else's premises. While you might mistakenly believe you should jump in and head off their faulty arguments before they go too far, a wiser response would be to keep on listening as they drive their own train off the rails. They will expect you to interrupt with disagreements. They're planning on you to fill the empty spaces with hasty replies, tantrum-like gestures or voice-raises. They're likely going into it defensively, as if you won't hear them out and they'll need to pound you over the head so you understand. Surprise 'em. Hold yourself back from the counterattack, and allow their logic to circle back around into revealing its internal contradictions. Without saying much, you just might find them voluntarily conceding an important point, simply because you let them have enough of a say that they ended up listening more closely to their own words… and hearing in 'em what you hear.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): All signs still point to 'relationship activity', Taurus (though 'relationship' in this context can be interpreted to include more than just romantic unions). With your ruler Venus turning retrograde in your solar 7th, you're about to spend the next several weeks confronting interesting turns or unlikely curves in one or more primary partnerships (e.g., spouse, lover, best friend, business partner, etc.)—behavior you've never seen from them before, awareness of your own evolving desires for a markedly different dynamic, the return of somebody from your past or the appearance of a third party to complicate matters. Whatever happens, remember this: The ultimate purpose of such curve-balls is to help you identify, affirm or revise the qualities you most value in a relationship, and/or in the person(s) you involve yourself with. Don't be afraid, therefore, to ask yourself the uncomfortable questions… to gamble that 'settledness' (i.e., inertia) for a more intense or intimate commingling… even to potentially pursue interests other than what typically floats your boat, if only to rule them out as possibilities (or perhaps to surprise yourself by not ruling 'em out). In order to maximize the attention you can give this important exercise, then, maintain an exceedingly even keel at work.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the midst of all these mundane chores that demand tending to, you really must make the most of your non-productive time. And if this advice is sounding just a little too familiar, Gemini, it's only because (1) the work continues and, therefore, (2) your need to balance it with the right types of leisure enjoyment also continues. As far as the leisure is concerned, the big challenge facing you is all about appreciating the value of discrimination in how you fill your fun-time hours. Yes, what specifically you do for fun is super-important—being upfront about your personal preferences can make the difference between (1) thoroughly delighting yourself, to the point that your cup is refilled enough so you can go on persevering through this heavy load, and (2) merely going through the social motions to keep other people amused, though you'd really rather not be engaged in this certain activity (and it may even be requiring more 'work' energy). If you don't want to follow their suggestion, offer up one of your own… or perhaps pass on the social plans altogether and amuse yourself.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Laying down your personal 'law', according to best-practices protocol (e.g., using 'I' statements to define your needs, refraining from finger-pointing, not minimizing your concerns under uncomfortable psychological pressures), is a wonderful gift you can give somebody… and is an even more wonderful gift you can give yourself. Biting your tongue to spare their feelings, Cancer, is an act of upside-down manipulation—you don't trust them to handle their own reactions responsibly, so you carve out a certain superiority for yourself by trying to manage their emotions for them. At the same time, it also keeps you on the hook for harboring secret wishes and desires highly unlikely to be satisfied as long as they remain unspoken. By the way, how exactly are you supposed to attract the kinds of relationships you crave, if you aren't expressing your genuine self? Is the magic man/woman supposed to read your mind? And once you establish mutual caring, will you be withholding your authenticity in attempts to 'make them happy'? Your willingness to be flatly upfront, uncomfortable though it may, presently has ripples of consequences in your domestic life, your career and your romantic sector. (Must be a big deal, huh?)


LEO (July 23-August 22): Use your social skills as a self-protective mechanism this week, Leo, to ensure that you're able to orchestrate enough down-time for yourself… because, well, gosh, you need it. That means very adeptly cutting off conversations which might otherwise stretch on too long—without offending the other person—so you're freed up from the energy-drain of 'being there' for them and can attend to your own needs. Indeed, you'll be far likelier to create unpleasant friendship karma by sticking around when you'd rather be elsewhere, pretending to be engaged as you secretly (or not-so-secretly) tap your foot or twiddle your thumbs, in resentful waiting for them to finish up on their own. You do nobody a favor by treating an encounter with them as an obligation. Instead, do both of you a favor and give them your total attention for those few minutes you can spare… then compassionately move the whole exchange along, so you can get back home, strip your clothes off, and decompress accordingly. Your full presence for those few pivotal social moments is a much more meaningful contribution than several hours of perfunctory face-time, all the while you distractedly yearning for relief.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This is a good week for a rational assessment of what you've got going for you, including both the financial resources at your disposal and the valuable 'assets' of self that can be utilized to attain more solid footing in the world. There's a pressure on you, Virgo, to provide an up-to-date accurate inventory of what is and isn't available for you to draw upon… but while you really owe yourself a no-illusions reality check, you also must take into account the tone with which you evaluate your standing. In other words, how inspired are you apt to feel if you're merely going to rattle off a list of money you don't have, objects or experiences you can't afford, and areas where you aren't living up to your potentials? Be gracious with yourself. Criticisms must be constructive (though perhaps it's better to rephrase them as 'areas for improvement'), and each ought to be accompanied by a congratulatory kudo for what you do already possess and/or are putting to good use. You need to know where you stand, but you also need to be okay with it… if, that is, you hope to continue building from here.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Think twice before saying, 'I'm fine, thanks,' if you really aren't. Don't pretend your stance on a certain topic is 'neutral' when you actually hold quite a definite opinion on the matter. And please forget about kindly turning down that last piece of pie if you're in fact dying to dig your fork into it. This week's Mercury-Saturn conjunction in your sign, Libra, smacks of the need for exacting authenticity in what you tell people—a call to personal honor that, if not met, will likely result in your being overlooked, misunderstood, shortchanged or otherwise not seen for who you really are. What's worse: If negative consequences manifest, you'll have nobody to blame but yourself. On the other hand, you have a fruitful opportunity to put concerted effort into how you communicate, blending your trademark diplomacy with an unwavering commitment to share what you really think… no matter if it threatens to upset someone or disturb the superficially conflict-free conversational dynamic. This is just a single, albeit especially potent, week in your larger Saturn-in-Libra lesson about not being so pleasant and accommodating that you sell your own interests out. Use it to prove (to yourself and others) you've got a firm backbone.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Do not indulge your mind's labyrinthine qualms and warinesses, should it start trying to play tricks on you. With the double-conjunctions of (1) Mars and Venus in your 1st and (2) Mercury and Saturn in your 12th, it's far better for you to actively participate by doing whatever comes naturally in a given moment than to quietly weigh all the different possible outcomes before proceeding. Trying to 'figure it all out' in advance (ha!), enclosed within a hermetically sealed capsule of imagination where the winds of unpredictable spontaneity don't blow, will only provide you false promises. There's presently far less to worry about, Scorpio, than your worries would have you believe… at least in terms of anything you'd actually have control over by ceaselessly strategizing. You're riding high on a moment of amplified appeal—or, rather, you should be, if you're simply letting it happen. Sure, you may end up with more than you bargained for, once you get out of your own way and allow the organic developments to draw you surprisingly closer to certain 'strange bedfellows' (read it as you wish). But that's the fun of meeting each next step at its appropriate moment, instead of thinking you can devise a master plan… and expecting everybody else to obediently play their scripted characters.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If ever there were a moment at which I'd recommend you, Sagittarius, wager a cherished wish on a far-off star… well, the major 12th-house influence combined with this week's New Moon makes this a damn good one. But if you actually want the increase the chances of this wish coming true, here are some guidelines for formulating an offer the universe (or whoever's pulling its strings, puppeteer-like) won't be able to refuse: (1) Select an intention that will bring you further into a wider social involvement, benefit a group of individuals dear to your heart, and/or promote a collective value in which you believe strongly. (2) Carefully choose words for phrasing your intention, to yourself and the mysterious forces/beings who might be listening, that leave a wide opening for it to manifest in any number of ways… some of which could look very different from what you're imagining. Magic operates on a wisdom broader than anything we as individuals can conceptualize; let it designate the course. Be sure to include a clause that specifies you wish no harm on others, nor to inhibit their free will. (3) Prepare yourself for the likelihood that the granting of your wish will unleash unforeseen side-effects which, though they may ultimately be for your own well-being, could require you to push through some uncomfortable psychological blocks that have long obstructed your path to greater satisfaction. If you're not willing to stretch to actually receive your wish, you probably don't deserve its granting.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Without doing anything that smacks of dishonesty or disingenuousness, I urge you to be extremely judicious in how you express the truth of this matter—at the same time you mustn't dodge the question or shirk the issue, since attentive ears are eagerly listening for indications that you're responsible enough to address what needs addressing. And therein we reach the same quandary, Capricorn, you've continued to confront for a while now: how to appropriately ascend to the larger leadership role you're slated for, with both a valiant willingness to mine deep into the heart of what's broken ('sacred cows be damned!') and still enough diplomacy to preserve the right allegiances. Your public communications, therefore, should be conscientious to the letter. Yet, sometimes, no matter how optimistically you package it, certain realities do bite… and certain so-called 'allies' simply won't want to hear about it. Do not cater to them; your reputation relies on your observational integrity. They may eventually defect to another camp, but it'll be due to your refusal to gloss over, spin, or out-and-out lie.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your week is best spent making one more big push toward that stubbornly elusive professional (or other outer-community-related) goal. Whether you're so very close to cinching that esteemed desk-plate or still several steps away, Aquarius, you must hold a 'not taking "no" for an answer' firmness in your spine if you really want to achieve this that badly. Those with the heat of passion burning strongest within them are the ones likeliest to succeed under this über-Scorpio influence. And those who blush and faint under the necessary pressures of this perpetual onward-ho march toward the city of gold? Er, not so much. The one caveat I must offer, however, involves not the letting that passion spur you to lose your ethical bearings. That is, please provide no off-the-cuff offers that go against what you know to be 'the right thing', in hopes you can sweet-talk your way up the ladder without later facing fallout from contradicting your own ideals. Your passion will seem even more irresistible to the appropriate gate-keepers or authority-figures—those who are impressed by integrity, rather than inconvenienced by it.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As the radius of awkward ramifications widens, Pisces, please rally hard to hold your own. The mammoth waves and storm-force winds would love to suck you into their maelstrom, confusing your sense of which way is up, possibly even influencing you to backtrack from recent gains in order to reach familiar ground. You are strong enough to keep your head above the fray—and the life preserver that'll help you stay afloat is your unshakable enthusiasm, moving you onward toward that 'next big thing'. Only by moving forward will you successfully resist the undertow. If you haven't yet identified a 'next big thing' with enough surety to serve as touchstone, there's no need to fret: A more generalized enthusiasm for adventuring into some sort of foreign territory (a location or way-of-thinking far different than where you've 'always been') will suffice, as long as it's compelling enough to fight for. And if you still can't connect with what I'm talking about? You need to raise this topic with that one friend (or therapist) who'll push the conversation to potentially uncomfortable places, to help you discover where your aversion to exploration comes from.