Horoscopes | Week of September 19-25, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Winning someone over, once and for all, is a real possibility in this astro-climate. Alas, so is total irreparable alienation. Your personality is protruding outward with more unfiltered gusto, Aries, now that Mars has hit your self-expressive 5th and is forming a synergistic trine with Uranus-in-your-1st… making it that much harder for you to portray anything other than your full raw self. Not that the inability to uphold a fašade or censor your truth is a bad thing, merely a potential accelerator of others' deciding whether or not you're their cup-of-tea. If you find yourself in the spot where you really want and/or need them to join your side, then navigate these current transits with clear demonstrations of your willingness to accommodate their wants and/or needs. Ask 'em outright what you can do for them, and listen with obvious supportive intent. You may not be able to conceal your motives too well at this point, but you can at least show you're just as interested in advocating for theirs.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you're continuing to struggle with focusing on the job at hand, Taurus, you may be unconsciously seeking to sabotage your success at this endeavor. Or, alternatively, there might be some sort of 'out-there' consideration you haven't yet allowed into your process, which is begging to be acknowledged by surreptitiously scrambling your brain until you pay attention. Unfortunately, I cannot discern which possibility is true for you. I can only make you aware that the difficulty concentrating is not in your imagination. If you find yourself getting snagged at the same point time after time, that is no accident. What exactly does that moment represent for you? Is that when you begin to feel your efforts are colliding with an underlying suspicion that a key component is missing… or that you may have to redo this work again, for some reason that isn't clearly apparent yet? Or is it just as a successful momentum is building… and you sense a surge of fear that you can't confidently know what'll happen next, after this certain completion is attained? Push into the distractedness, if you want to push through it.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Be prepared to balance what you would like to be doing this week with sudden demands placed on you by larger social circumstances out of your control, such as an impromptu meeting, a community need or a surprise visit from a friend. You may have to forgo some of the leisure-activity you'd intended on enjoying… but you really shouldn't give it all up, Gemini, as if you're pleased as punch to put your life so totally on hold. You're likelier to end up grumbling and griping—and annoying the crap out of the very folks you're supposedly sacrificing yourself for—if you pretend not to care about twisting your desired schedule around on someone else's behalf. Be honest with yourself about it. You can probably make a few minor adjustments, and still end up both catering to your selfish desires (because, hey, ain't nothing wrong with a little selfishness) and showing up for their last-minute request.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Should suddenly a work- or other outside-world-related situation not go quite as you'd thought it might, Cancer, it's on you to prevent it from throwing your inner equilibrium way off-kilter. Of course, I hope nothing like this does occur, since the astrology could play out in a manner that frees you up, instead of throwing you off. But if you do end up facing a shot of unpleasant chaos on the professional front, please remind yourself that this is not the only thing going on in your life right now (despite how big it might seem)… and that you are still permitted to retain ownership over your internal conditions, rather than surrendering your safe-house to the turbulence going on out there. Contain the outbreak to its designated area, and reserve a sanctum within which you remain relatively unscathed. Boundaries, a word we often throw around in a haphazard manner, are a non-abstract—and crucial—facet of your week's success. Protect yourself from total immersion.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Spark up the dialogue. Raise their awareness of you. Assert your presence. Now that Mars has landed in your sign (where he stays through early November), you'll be emanating a more pronounced vibe, making it damn near impossible for you to be ignored. So please don't pretend otherwise, Leo, since a lack of self-consciousness about this fact is likelier to spur negative reactions in folks (such as righteous indictments of the way you don't seem to notice how much space your personality's taking up) than if you just own it. I'm not sure you'll be help yourself from redirecting your exchanges to the topics you presently find the most compelling (as opposed to, say, casually following whatever dull or irrelevant tangent the other person brings up, just to 'make conversation'). Nor should you. If in fact you do believe what's on your mind is important enough to bounce off others, both to draw their attention to it and to further your own thoughts on the matter, why wouldn't you focus on that? Just know, however, that Mars's presence could cause you to be 'too much' for certain (envious? insecure? impatient?) individuals to handle.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Attempts made to be practical, reasonable and/or responsible are surely appreciated. Yet, no matter how valiantly you try to 'stay on top of it all', Virgo, the wild-card factor is working against your calm management of the situation. You don't seem to have the authority to prevent someone else's grubby little paws—whether those of a wily spouse, an upstart colleague, a needy family-member, or a soulless institution—from dirtying the cookie jar. The best you can hope for, if you don't want to squander your energy, is being able to gently and unobtrusively restore the fleeting equanimity after each time they disrupt it. (A one-time correction probably won't cut it.) To instead wage a more prominent battle for control would only divert you further from what's practical, reasonable and/or responsible… a fight over principle that, frankly, doesn't serve your immediate interests. Even if you're super-perturbed over what's out of your hands, your shrewdest bet is to grin poker-face-style while stealthily fixing whatever they mess up.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Though the current spread of Libran planets generally gives you the upper hand, continued friction (a la last week) from renegade Uranus in your one-on-one relationship house (the 7th) keeps on threatening to subvert your cool. Nothing you can say or do could reliably corral that unsteady spouse, partner, friend or colleague from reacting like a spooked stallion, if that's how s/he is so inclined. Relieve yourself of that responsibility, Libra, and you'll save a lot of wasted energy. Beyond that, though, you really have to be on your toes, if you seek to avoid playing into this other person's (unconscious?) attempt to involve you in their crazy. If you're either too indulgent or not respectfully attentive enough, they'll find some hook with which to reel you in. Keep reminding yourself how good you've got it, to help inspire you to rise above the trap they're setting, while still showing them the luxury of your benevolent kindness. Yes, you read me right: It is a luxury for them to receive your kindness, though they may be acting out. That perspective is for your solace only, however; if they are exposed to it, it'll come off way condescending.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): September is soon to slip into October, and we find ourselves at the gates of Scorpio season, the spot on the calendar that marks your annual descent into the rich soil of your much-lusted-after personal underworld. Yes, Scorpio, I'm calling you out on how much you love to pamper yourself in the dark private mud of your deepest contemplations. With the Sun, Venus and Mercury now in your solar 12th, there is much astro-justification for you to escape the glaring lights of public participation—and begin your periodic molting process, licking away the dried-up scabs and dead skin that have gotten stuck to your psyche over the course of this past year, so you can reemerge all aglow with new growth in time for your birthday. Whatever it is that you do by yourself, to generate the inner strength needed for yet another rebirth… do it. Career matters, on the other hand, mustn't be avoided. And in fact, they currently possess a rather psychologically uncomplicated quality that'll make it much easier to get shit done, without the efforts detracting too substantially from what's going down inside the cocoon.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Watch for your rascally independent streak to flare up, particularly if everybody else seems too content with papering over a requisite call-to-action with nice-sounding rhetoric. You're likely feeling pretty pumped-up about delving into the next frontier already… and so it'd make sense if your readiness to cut the polite (and mind-numbing) back-and-forth short and get going spurred you to abruptly interject with a hurry-it-up sentiment. Am I going to urge you to squelch the antsy instigation, Sagittarius? Not if it's productive, progressive and courteous. You still need to be able to play nicely with these talking-heads, even as lighting a fire under their butts could prove to help everybody move things along. But if you don't think your attempts to rouse will actually get results (other than a fruitless venting of your angsty impatience), find somewhere else to direct your stir-crazy enthusiasms, so that inner fire is constructively channeled into a worthy vessel.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): There's a chance an otherwise simple and/or pleasant enough career-related (or other public-involvement) situation will turn bumpier than you'd expected… due, strangely enough, to a current of inner turbulence that you're bringing to the table. It's true, Capricorn, your own private emotions do sometimes leak into what you're doing out there in the world. But don't rush to hang your head in shame, should you determine that an unsettling family issue, household concern, or personal mood-sputter is affecting your ability to stay coolly rational in your professional life. (Gasp, you're human after all.) Instead of beating yourself up about it—which would only make those around you feel more awkward, as if they're witnessing a hostile parent taking his anger out on an innocent child—just fess up to what's going on. Tell those likely to be impacted that you're dealing with some personal shit, and you're having trouble keeping a clear head because of it. We all have moments like this. Better to be real than to try and suck it up, only to have it pop out anyway… in the most inconvenient fashion.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): 'Sidetracked' isn't the worst condition to find yourself in, Aquarius. Though you may feel finally ready to redouble your attentions toward whatever your best-considered, highest-priority direction(s), you really mustn't do so at the expense of people right in front of your face who might seek a few moments of your time. Nothing will inflame that transiting 7th-house Mars into conflict quicker than you acting like what you're doing is more important than someone else's 'trifling concerns', emitting an unpleasant irritability, or trying to speed folks along when they likely need a gentler touch. Giving that unexpected visitor your undivided attention for a spell, meanwhile, could earn you a very appreciative ally who's willing to repay the consideration in spades. An unforeseen expenditure of an hour here or there, spent on making another human being feel listened to and supported, will not singlehandedly dash your plans to fulfill that ambitious agenda.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Please don't be afraid to 'spoil the perfect moment' by raising a personal need that could catch another person off guard. While we're at it, Pisces, please don't make me launch into a scolding diatribe about the illusory nature of 'perfect moments', which are unfortunately too often predicated on a willful denial of certain realities since, as we all (should) know, perfection never exists. And we can certainly agree it mustn't exist at the expense of you speaking up about a particular bug-a-boo, no matter if it could be judged by anyone else (or your unsympathetic self) as inconsequential or quirky. What's so 'perfect' about self-effacement? If you're having trouble mustering the oomph to go to bat for yourself, remove the relational element from the equation… and instead conceive of the goal itself, independent of who might have to bend or sway for its attainment. Work toward it on the practical level, and don't let interpersonal pressure (or, more likely, self-imposed guilt) muck up an otherwise straightforward effort.