Horoscopes | Week of September 5-11, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Working smarter definitely doesn't mean just working more furiously, lobbing extra-doses of fiery labor in all directions and hoping some of it sticks. In fact, Aries, taking out your efficiency-expert's stats-recording clipboard and spending the next couple weeks (1) examining how much of your time and strength goes to which items and (2) comparing that data with what you consider to be your top priorities, organized in the proper sequence of which needs to happen before which, will be organizational effort very well spent. And if you're managing a project that requires consistent responsibility over a long haul, you really should use this current opportunity to create a detailed timeline and to-do list… a tool which will prove incredibly helpful toward the tail-end of '11 and well into '12, when you'll possess a bodily persistence that (though it won't come without its bouts of antsy irritation) can power you through the to-dos. Do some strategizing now, so you won't have to think about it in quite the same way later.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Be sure to inform people how they can best please you, Taurus. Let the relevant parties know what sort of playtime activities you'd like to engage in with them, so your seemingly easy-going attitude isn't a front for thwarted desire. Hints and intimations won't go nearly as far as you'd like to imagine they should. Direct invitations, on the other hand, necessitate the proverbial r.s.v.p.—and they will have to literally turn you down, in order for you not to end up gratified (which, should it occur for any reason other than a purely circumstantial one, is an important clue to a bigger issue). Put in the defining effort. Call for that particular party, that certain restaurant, the specific vibe of entertainment you're genuinely jonesing for. If you aren't having the right kind of fun, you must take responsibility for that fact. And please, for the love of humanity, do something about it.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): No one else needs to know the different facets of your still-developing thoughts on any up-for-grabs topics. Take the liberty to remain relatively silent, Gemini, so you don't say something you might have to backtrack from later, once you've spent more time chewing on it. For now, as long as you're keeping the process largely to yourself, you should feel completely free to attack the dilemma from the most self-serving of positions… and to at least imagine how you would proceed if nobody else's considerations warranted considering. This sort of private contemplative exercise may reveal how large the chasm between (1) what serves you as an individual and (2) what serves you and the relationship (or other such entangling circumstance) has indeed become. And if that's the case, please also include in your private contemplations the possibility of drawing such entanglements to an imminent close, no matter how bittersweet: what self-protective measures you might need to take, what it would all look like. Don't overreact to this suggestion. We're just talking about your own inner ruminations; no one else needs to know.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Strap a cowbell around your wandering mind, so you're alerted every time it starts to drift too far from what you're presently experiencing. At this juncture, there's nowhere else more pressing for your attentions to be than right here, right now. Worries about the future will untangle themselves in good time, Cancer… but this time is not so 'good' for that. I'd rather you behave with a bit more intentional impulsivity in the short term, especially insofar as it allows you greater possibility for impromptu outings, reconnective exchanges and/or conversationally-protracted local errands. Your sociable energy continues to be delightfully contagious, as long as you freely release it outwardly. And if such releases inadvertently end up absorbing larger portions of your day than you intended, all the better. This won't be the week you'll resolve any major life-path questions or form new commitments with yourself, so don't bother laying the related trips on yourself. Whatever's right in front of your face will provide plenty of stimulating sustenance for the time being. So give the people what they want: you.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's time to do some thinking on the practical level once again, Leo. I'm sure you found yourself in some pretty entertaining—or at least 'interesting'—situations over these past couple months, and now you need to spend a few moments recapturing a mental grip on the mundane-but-necessary matters. The excitement has certainly not run its course, not with Mars entering your sign at the very end of next week (Sun Sep 18) for a several-week-long injection of vim and vigor. Between now and then, I strongly suggest taking care of bills and other financial concerns, including making yourself unflinchingly aware of just how much you reasonably ought to spend (or not spend) for the duration of the calendar year. I also recommend taking whatever measures will make you feel like your feet are being firmly replanted on the ground... maybe doing some housecleaning or yard work, taking a long walk in nature, reestablishing the sacredness of a personal space. Reconnect with basic building-blocks of life, for a fleeting touch-down before your motor revs back up and shoots you zooming out into the world again.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Please, if you know what's good for you, read the article I posted mid-last-week: It's all about your sign, Virgo, and how we're entering an especially good moment for devising plans that could take many months to manifest… and how energy-booster Mars will be in your sign for nearly eight months, starting in November. Obviously, this news is most directly impactful to you of all the zodiac tribes—and the re-entry of Mercury, your ruling rational sense-provider, into Virgo late on Thursday (Sep 8) is a beautiful indicator that you may once again begin to reliably rely on your wits. Between this week and next, then, mentally wrap up the residual business from yesterday's messes and maneuvers, in order to free yourself to concentrate on what you want to be doing next. Your capacity to conceptualize blueprints for healthily actualizing your personal desires is now at a peak, and the many months ahead of Mars in Virgo (even with its retrograde issues) will give you lots of initiative to make it happen.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Life is never effortless when effort-enforcer Saturn moves through one's sign, as it's been doing to you Libras since late '09 and continues to for another year. Even when we diligently face its challenges and earn its due respect (along with the well-deserved successes), we're still acutely aware we've done so by unerringly remaining responsible. I hope, therefore, you also fully recognize your periodic need for a 'psychic shower' (or whatever you want to call it)… a behind-the-curtain, nobody's-business-but-yours cleansing-off of all the intangible dust and detritus that collects on you during all that hard personal work of 'doing the right thing' (when, at times, I'm sure you'd prefer to mouth off, lash out, or drown it away with lord-knows-what). Over the next couple weeks, Libra, please give yourself this gift. In a space of retreat, away from anyone and everyone whose influence compels you to behave any certain way, pluck off the shards of resentment and annoyance by acknowledging they're there.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): There's strength in numbers. Huddle close to your crew and, whenever possible, adopt their lingo. You'd struggle to find a compelling reason to go renegade at this stage (other than an irresistible craving for stubbornness), especially with such capable allies who've already done a good chunk of the work and/or arrived at well-researched conclusions that needn't be revisited. So, Scorpio, general statements of party-line support (assuming, of course, they'd be authentic) may be all you need to add to the actual debate… though feel free to contribute your fighting-spirit zeal in as large amounts as you desire, to add jet-fire tailwind propulsion to the whole group's push. This isn't a circumstance in which, for now at least, it behooves you to take on a blatantly stand-out leadership role. You gain nothing by volunteering to fall on the front-line bullets, serve as the lightning-rod for villanizing projections or otherwise exude conspicuousness. The team approach is currently the best one for furthering your deeply-believed-in agenda.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Feel free to proceed toward getting your ideas heard, and allowing your personal investment in the matter to show through… though going forward with a deliberately chosen, and quite exacting, set of words is highly recommended. Please pay special attention to the second part of this sentence, Sagittarius. It just may take you the duration of the week to thoroughly deliberate, to ensure you have carefully selected the cleanest and most precise language for setting forth this statement of ambition. Broad unspecific strokes (even when backed by gobs of genuine enthusiasm) will not cut it. Friday (Sep 9) is the earliest day you should consider for publicly initiating the conversation, but from there, the succeeding weekend and then next week look golden, in terms of your being seen as the smart one who's seemingly thought everything through sufficiently enough to have anticipated others' questions in advance. So, between now and then, think everything sufficiently through.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): 'Keeping your options open' isn't always the easiest practice for you Capricorn types, considering how you pride yourself on a knack for foreseeing potential problems several steps ahead… which sometimes, unfortunately, leads you to altogether avoid the proverbial parade due to the perpetual chance for rain, unruly crowds, and/or other possible safety-hazards. Right now, however, in the shadow of you having mentally accepted a certain end-of-the-road or too-much-of-a-pain-to-bother, you're well-situated for seriously pondering previously un(der)explored options—as your way out and/or through. Why settle on disappointment or dissatisfaction when there are other answers? Of course, you might have to take charge of producing the most appealing 'other answer(s)' yourself, out of thin air, rather than expecting anybody else to provide a well-thought-out multiple-choice list for you to apathetically pick from. But you are capable of this. And someone's got to. If not you, then who…?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Don't be so scared of losing your cool, Aquarius, since that trademark 'cool' is also a way you shield yourself from revealing too immediate an emotional honesty. If you were to speak straight from your heart, there is a chance that things could get 'heated'… but that, in itself, may not be as bad as you might believe. Really getting through to someone, especially if an icy barrier has built up between you, often works best when they can see, hear and feel the emotion exuding from you. A pre-prepared, well-engineered statement, meanwhile, often comes off like a one-upping power-play: not wanting to appear as if control has been lost, to demonstrate you have victoriously 'managed' their impact on you. Progress—catharsis—depends on the emotional engagement. One thing you don't want to lose, however, is your conversational focus. Though you shouldn't plan your words or mute your feelings, you probably ought to limit mention of additional irrelevant (and potentially troublesome) matter.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If you read my scopes regularly, you'll know I'm not really the type of astrologer who goes on and on about how to land the man/woman of your dreams. Though insight into romance is obviously one of the main reasons people look to astrology, I try not to assume anyone's personal interests or to champion 'coupled' over 'single' as the preferred status. That said, Pisces, this is now the third week in a row I'm moved to mention romantic-relationship potential steeping in the air around you. (Review the previous weeks' here and here.) So I would be remiss in my duties, it seems, if I didn't inform you of your presently favored odds at reeling in an object of your desire. Venus and Mars are sextiling one another, from positions that play nicely off your chart… and this gently benevolent aspect peaks during the weekend (Sep 10-11). But it's not the kind of arrangement that makes things happen; that's your job. The planets will simply assist the flow in flowing a direction that best suits your pleasures—once you, of course, get it going.