Horoscopes | Week of October 11-17, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Don't freeze out conscious engagement with the one consideration, suggestion or inclusion of a certain someone's participation that threatens to 'cause more problems than it's worth'. It's one of those very 'problems', Aries, that could eventually prove to be the god-sent gift around which your next set of advances revolves. Continue committing yourself to a radical practice of listening. The feedback that's hardest to listen to, of course, is the thing you probably need to hear the most. I have great compassion for the panic you're likely to experience (perhaps it'll manifest as annoyedness or impatience, but it's still a cover for panic) when you consider what would have to happen in order to integrate this feedback into your overall approach. It'll probably seem like you have a lot of ripping-apart and putting-back-together ahead of you, if you decide to follow their advice. Try not to get too far ahead of yourself. For now, you needn't understand exactly how that imagined mess of a reformation process would work. Just be open to it. That person with the complicating input could also prove willing to help with managing a lot of the headaches—if you aren't fighting back against them with an uncompromising attitude.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Postpone final judgment on the state of your feelings toward a certain person you can't get off your mind. They're presently in dynamic reorientation, Taurus, and thusly can't be trusted to remain exactly the same over the coming weeks. In fact, whenever possible, don't rush to agree or disagree with that person either… especially when it's the weight of their personality (rather than the actual issue-at-hand) carrying their argument. It's important not to conflate (1) the facts of a particular piece of business, which should speak for themselves in terms of pointing you toward the best way to proceed in order to reap a specific result, with (2) how strongly you like or dislike the person presenting those facts. In other words, you may need to grill a person you really admire or adore, just to cut through their 'spin' and get to what they're trying not to say directly. Or alternately, you might have to accept the take of someone you harbor a powerful distaste for… instead of, say, rejecting their valid observations for petty personal reasons.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If nothing else, whatever you've gone or are still going through surely makes for a colorful story. And while I hope you don't see my suggestion as an implied downplaying of the intense emotional impact you've endured, Gemini, I also think you can understand the value of turning a challenge into something else… and with the potential of its actually being entertaining. We all know you can tell a good tale, and that you often seem to bask in the pleasure of regaling others with the hysterically galling details of a nightmarish scenario. So don't rob yourself of that joy, just because it might feel a bit weird to spin punchlines or narrative drama out of the dark-material of your life. You will receive warm support from those you entertain with your tragicomic monologues… who will not only appreciate the smiles you bring to their faces, but who'll also gain a deeper understanding of those issues the 'real you' has been contending with. Don't keep yourself unusually quiet, as if there's anything shameful about what's been up with you. Talk it up, proud that you're still standing tall, even through all this.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You mustn't pretend not to notice the furtive glances and coquettish smiles exchanged with a certain someone leave you with that nervous giddy feeling inside. I'm not saying you must therefore grab 'em by the hand and pull 'em into bed with you, Cancer, just because there's a flirty vibe reverberating between you two—only that it's not fair to either of you to devalue a very real connection. Of course, you may have perfectly good reasons for wishing to dodge the possibilities associated with this mutual charge… such as your existing involvement with somebody else, for instance, or another commitment (to a certain activity? a larger principle?) that seems incompatible with your indulging this. But the circumstance has shown up in your life for some evolutionary purpose. And your giddy reaction is a clue that an underemphasized piece of your personality, a side you've been reluctant to acknowledge as a valid or likable part of you, is being poked and prodded into fuller consciousness by this current of electrifying intrigue. So acknowledge it. That's all you have to do for now. I wouldn't give a flatly verbalized 'yes' or 'no' just yet. The unremarked-upon ambiguity still holds more insight (and giddiness) for you…


LEO (July 23-August 22): If something isn't sitting right with you on the homefront, Leo, I suggest you actively begin (or accelerate) the potentially thorny process of confronting it. With the latest emphasis on your solar 4th house (including a Venus retrograde in Scorpio), your need to be able to actually relax in the space officially designated for such purposes is now reaching a fevered pitch. If things are already peachy in that area of your life, I recommend carrying out some gesture of appreciation to honor your place of residence: a cleaning effort, a beautifying purchase (Venus-retrograde warning: if it's something sizable, procure an excellent deal or postpone until '11), a kind favor to a wonderful housemate. However, if your domestic zone warrants some major repair or aesthetic overhaul, or if a living-situation dynamic is rife with conflict or resentment, it's time to roll up your sleeves and attend to it. This isn't about the too-hasty superficial band-aid 'solution' either. Don't try to resolve it in the course of a week or two—this could take a few months to do it right, and all you've got to do now is get it going. But, trust me, this can't be left to fester indefinitely; it will get worse if not dealt with imminently. And it's your inner well-being at stake.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Push yourself to loosen up any limiting beliefs about your need to attain your 'right answers' through a wholly internalized brainstorming process. Many of our best ideas are in fact not conceived of in the vacuum of our overactive analytic brains, but emerge more organically through a series of chance encounters and/or casual conversations. With that in mind, Virgo, I encourage you to unassumingly unveil scraps and snippets of your still-unformed thoughts in your everyday exchanges—not to show them off, but to release them into the marketplace of others' opinions and experiences, so they may be serendipitously sculpted and shaped by the forces of social interactivity. (This also requires, of course, a bald willingness to dispense with ego-attachments… and to allow the concepts to evolve as independent entities.) Pay particular attention to the feedback that instantly rubs you wrong or puts you on the defensive. Stay with the conversation at these points, delving deeper into what exactly is stirring your response. Hard as it may be to dwell there, that's where your irrational aversions or potentially deleterious blindspots reside.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): To take last week's advice one step further, Libra, you'll definitely want to speak up about whether you feel you are receiving what you deserve as a result of your efforts. If you believe you are being treated fairly with regards to compensation, it is certainly worth expressing your gratitude. (Do I need to add, alas, it's not necessary to give off the impression you're so content with your financial standing that you'll work indefinitely into the future without a raise or bonus?) But if you're not satisfied with your income level or other tangible symbols of esteemed footing, you owe it to yourself to find graceful, but no less forthright, ways to ask for more. I know, I know, that voice in your head is probably droning on and on about 'the economy' or 'the job market' or whatever other considerations might convince you not to rock the boat on this one. Should you wait, then, until the news reports it's finally time to live your life as you want to live it because the wars are over and the stocks are booming and climate-change has been halted once and for all? Hell, no. That said, your goal is not to snag a pay bump in the next week or two… but rather to plant a seed in their head, cultivate the sprout over the coming couple months, and secure a tangible result in early '11.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If you're feeling a tad devilish this week (and why wouldn't you be, right?), then let me suggest you whip up controversy not by making sharp incisive remarks… but by posing pointed questions, so it's the other person who's led to utter the actual statement that gets the contentious ball rolling. Is it really that shady to choose a 'teflon' tactic, where the dirty crumbs of blame aren't as likely to stick to you? Not in my book, Scorpio, as long as you're hitting 'em in the tender zone because you're tired of pat responses that ring hollow and sincerely want the full truth to come out. Don't forget, you hold a potent power to heal the shadowy-matter of those in your life by guiding them into those dangerous places, where a head-on confrontation with long-feared demons often results in a cathartic transformation of the situation. Sure, in the process of facilitating a loved one's 'healing', you might also be looking out for your own interests—particularly if their blocks to total emotional honesty are keeping you from getting what you want out of the relationship. Be aware of putting that obviously self-serving agenda ahead of helping, however. That's why your best bet is to draw them out through probing inquiries rather than potentially intimidating statements.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Participate as if your presence is useful and desirable, but without the need to stand out from the crowd as a distinct individual. Think of yourself as one member of an orchestra, a context in which your particular part definitely contributes to the overall sound of beautiful music yet includes no solo performance. Hopefully, Sagittarius, this gives you ample permission to arrive at the meeting or gathering in a somewhat absent-minded state, without your usual conversational sharpness or clear idea of what you hope to get out of the situation. In fact, it wouldn't be so bad if your attention wandered elsewhere during lengthy segments of these social engagements (inconspicuously, of course)—this is an especially ripe moment for fantastical daydreaming or listening to the faint whispers of divine inspiration (which may, in fact, be identical things). Practice both 'being there' and 'retreating to your own private world' at the same time. And don't underestimate the mysterious manner in which (1) your internal daydreams actively affect the scene going on around you and (2) the scene going on around you actively affects your internal daydreams.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I repeat: Proudly advocate for courtesy and consideration! Speak out on behalf of what's fair, favoritism be damned! Don't let injustices slide! And do all of this, Capricorn, in as non-superior and non-self-righteous a manner possible… including perhaps removing these exclamation-points from your tone-of-voice, lest someone mistake your zeal for antagonistic bullying. You are no bully, of course, but you may indeed be wielding some antagonism—and as long as it's aimed at the ethical problem you cannot see past (at least not without your blood boiling), as opposed to the supposed 'perpetrators' behind it (since, if given the benefit of the doubt, they may merely be ignorant rather than corrupt), it's perfectly understandable to be incisively combative. I swear it's okay to make waves among the group—even to a point of no return, as far as certain individuals who have grown lazily accustomed to 'special treatment' are concerned—as long as you sincerely center all your wave-making energies around the issue itself. Should you instead use the issue as a disingenuous cover for fighting a below-the-belt personal battle, you'll end up making some unwelcome enemies… folks who won't take too kindly to your blatant abuse of the position you're in.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You've got to believe these bumps in the road to your latest—and perhaps greatest—success out there in the world are not bad omens or symptoms of your unsuitability. If anything, Aquarius, I'd be more nervous if your career/public life were sailing along too smoothly, with no pressures on you to expand clumsily in strange directions or to confront unwieldy bureaucratic blocks head-on. No gain without pain in this arena, I'm afraid… though 'pain', in this context, is merely what we'll call the strain of stretching to use underdeveloped muscles, which fairly quickly turns to enhanced strength once you repeat those challenging exercises enough to get used to 'em. Until you're reached that progress-marker, however, the uncertainty which naturally accompanies a poking-and-prodding of the status-quo, right in the heart of what's become too stale or static, will continue. After all, feeling certain means you're far too familiar with this terrain (and possibly half-asleep at the wheel). You can't know what's to come as you persist in untangling this intricate knot, only that things won't stay the same. Your saving grace during this bumpy uncertainty? A clear moral compass, to remind you of whatever's your fundamental guiding life-philosophy that underwrites all this bother.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If you're willing to hold your eyes unwaveringly open—rather than, say, hurriedly squeezing 'em shut at the first glimpse of a potentially spooky scene—you'll learn a lot about what's been going on under the surface, without having to do much of anything to elicit the conspicuous evidence. If you don't come off as scared or displeased, Pisces, the 'puppeteer' who's been pulling the strings will probably veer into gloating territory as s/he details all the different ways in which situations have been manipulated, people played against one another, or other underhanded tricks carried out for purposeful self-gain. I can understand, however, why it might not be your first instinct to give the attitudinal go-ahead for them to confide all this sensitive information in you: Once you have been so decidedly included in this loop, you can no longer retain a genuine innocence in the matter… and may feel moral pressure to act upon what you know. (Incidentally, I'm not sure how 'innocent' you really were if you quietly sensed something was askew but chose not to investigate further. That's another point, though.) That pressure is real. You should proceed according to what know to be right, even if it jeopardizes your connection with this questionable character. Silently bearing witness to an ethical misdeed is the same thing as tacitly giving your approval, and then your character comes into question, too…