Horoscopes | Week of October 1-7, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Four planets changing signs this week, Aries, is your celestial signal that a major shift is in the air… and, for you, I believe it points to a progression away from prolonged (and potentially painful) processing and toward purifying resolution. In other words, it's time to aim your arrow up and out of the mud. You've given this challenging circumstance an earnest shot, scraped its more rotten bits off the bottom in an attempt to save its underlying structure, taken part in awkward or unpleasant conversation… basically, fought for the survival of a certain arrangement. What more can be done? You certainly can't sign away much more of your life on being stuck, paralyzed, and/or halfway underwater. You've got to be able to get beyond here—whether (1) by agreeing to let bygones be gone and, together, committing to a wholly new dynamic, underscored by an still-unbroken sense of shared purpose, or (2) by cutting your own losses and reestablishing yourself in a less stifling, more independent framework. In either case, your road to this beyond-here place will be bumpy, no doubt. But what'll determine which bumpy road to take is fairly simple: Which one leads more efficiently and effectively to where you want to go?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Reemerging after a passing respite (though 'respite' perhaps isn't the right word, since your moments away weren't necessarily restful), you're ready to reacquaint the key players with your opinions and desires. In case anybody has forgotten how personally invested you are in certain developments unfolding according to your specified style, Taurus, I suppose it's time to remind them. Of course, if it seems to other participants that you've magically reappeared from a relative absence and are now strongly laying down the law, they may wonder where you've been this whole time (while they've been conscientiously holding down the fort)—and therefore might not take so kindly to your tone, if it strikes them as overly commanding or too hierarchically top-down. You are not wrong to want to assert your guidance, especially if you view this whole thing as your 'baby'. Please take care your close-up attention doesn't blind you to either the experiential knowledge or the sincere concerns of your teammates. You have relationships with each involved individual… and your success in guiding these next developments directly hinges on the respectfulness you practice in each and every one.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): A newly refreshed and refreshing productivity in how you're thinking, Gemini, could be in jeopardy due to an impromptu threat of interpersonal conflict… if, that is, you fall reactively prey to the rather black-and-white interpretation of a potentially contentious situation being put forth by another party. While your understanding is typically more nuanced than that, it wouldn't be surprising if the suddenness with which this situation (and/or this contentious individual) confronts you brings out your least considered side. Yet, should you catch yourself before you're already too far in to reserve your reactivity, you are under no obligation to actually participate. As I said, you've got more productive items to concern yourself with—as well as a temporarily enhanced ability to come up with workable initiatives that'll carry you further toward your goals. Upsetting conflicts or confrontations that get you all fired up, alas, will only consume large parts of that productive mental energy for fairly unproductive purposes. (In fact, you'll probably hold on to the upsetting after-effects far longer than the other party.) Maybe staying closer to home and/or your desk will help you avoid anybody hunting for an energy-release at your expense… and keep you on productive track.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As social energies pick up and your presence is more widely desired, Cancer, please be aware of how important it is to most actively participate in that which you enjoy the most… and to prioritize your leisure-time appointments based directly on your personal preferences, as opposed to any misguided sense of obligation to acquaintances you feel bad for. You aren't helping anybody by hanging with them out of pity or fear of hurting their feelings; you're merely bringing along an energy of 'caring' that's simultaneously somewhat condescending. And all the while, you're filling your precious fun-hours with activities you don't necessarily find 'fun'. That sure sounds like a lose-lose situation to me. Increasingly over these coming months, you will find yourself growing ever sicker of going through motions in your social life… as well as becoming worse and worse at faking your pleasure in instances when you'd rather be doing something else. I suggest expressing gratitude for this last detail, since 'faking' anything isn't usually seen as a worthy pathway to greater self-fulfillment. Obvious lesson: If you'd rather be doing something else, then please do that something else. Those supposed friends you'll be disappointing? They'll live.


LEO (July 23-August 22): An outward focus will not get the real job done, Leo. Even as we can agree that other people's impressions do matter to some degree, anybody else's relative acceptance of you—which is always based on the partial impressionistic flashes you paint for their viewing pleasure—is ultimately secondary to whether you're okay with yourself. In that light, then, occupying yourself too insistently with attempts to mend fences, reach consensus, and/or make a deal with another individual is already something of a distraction. I'm not saying you ought to be totally alone right now; yet, it'd probably behoove you to make the same kinds of decisions you would if you were alone. It's much harder to assess the rightness of an intention or endeavor based purely on whether it feels right to you than to first see whether it pleases the person(s) you seek to please and then proceeding on that impression. You'll have to sort through the misplaced voices of past critics that reside in your head to even get to your own gut-truths… and this is not an overnight process. In the meantime, you've got a chance to exuberantly show off a side of yourself you are pretty confident about. Please take full advantage of that, while understanding its immediately enjoyable rewards are not enough to totally save you from this longer-term work.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): By midweek, happy-lady Venus will make it to your sign, Virgo… and, along with a few other planetary sign-shifts, should usher in a mood that's fairly distinct from what you've lately been contending with. To be more specific, you're far likelier to be on the receiving end of desirable and/or otherwise pleasant reactions from people who, just a week or two earlier, weren't giving you much to work with. In order to take fullest advantage of this climate-change, however, I recommend you consciously foster a patient willingness to (re-)open lines of communication in situations where you might've made premature assumptions about somebody's thinking (due, perhaps, to your wanting a very particular outcome fairly quickly). This go-around, due to your Venus-improved likability, you'll actually want to take your time with the interaction, rather than rushing head-on toward any certain outcome. The longer you spend with someone, developing a collaborative rhythm to the dialogue, the more resonantly they'll start vibing with you—and once the rapport is better solidified, they may be quite happy to grant you the favor of agreement. While your inner idealist may wish to believe your desired outcome should speak its own appeal without personalities having to come into play, the current reality makes this more a relationship issue.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Giving props to 'the best of intentions' is totally kind and considerate of you. Yet, the amount of free rein you bestow upon anyone—whether it's the struggling individual you adore despite the tough odds, the bumbling-but-sweet boss who isn't adequately fostering your career development, the fun-loving friend who disappointingly can't be counted on, or your own fear-frozen self—based on their supposed intentions is quickly shrinking to short supply. More and more, Libra, you need to see results in order to defend any ongoing expenditure of your personal energy. Nothing personal; just a rationally-minded analysis of where your resources are going, and whether they're being utilized in a manner that replenishes the pot. I know, I know: 'nothing personal' is easier said than done. But sometimes, difficult choices with very personal consequences are what's called for, if we're thinking about what's practically needed to keep all the different facets of our lives in relative balance. I would make one more valiant effort to communicate your expectation of seeing tangible results to back up those 'best of intentions', expressing a newfound seriousness with regards to your willingness to act if the expectation isn't met… which, hopefully, you can deftly phrase so it doesn't sound ultimatum-ish (even if it kind of is).


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The week ahead is incredibly significant for you Scorpios because it marks the entry of taskmaster Saturn into your sign, where he'll stay through the end of 2014. Since this is a longer-term and farther-reaching transit which only affects you for 2-to-3 out of every 30 years, naturally we won't be covering its entirety in a single week's horoscope. Yet, with Mercury also entering Scorpio alongside Saturn, it seems an especially apt moment for articulating the kind of person you seek to be… as well as whichever current aspects of your life are conspicuously impeding upon your realizing that vision-of-self. Often, you Scorpios are your own worst enemies in this regard, thanks to your voluntary tendency to make life considerably more difficult or complicated for yourself—mainly out of an investigative impulse to see how far a situation needs to go to hit its logical (though extreme) conclusion, so you don't miss out on any of it. This is not a critique of such behavior, by the way, since the experience you gain in the process is fundamental to developing your deep interpersonal wisdom. However, once Saturn shows up, he asks you to accept you can't do everything you want to do and do it all in such an all-the-way manner. Time and energy are both resources with built-in limitations. The question then becomes: Do you concentrate more fully on one or two priorities you can't seem to moderate your involvement with, at the conscious expense of everything else? Or do you learn more about moderation, to enable yourself to enjoy a broader range of involvements? This question will prove unavoidable in the coming months. Might as well start tackling it now.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Too much additional negotiation or discussion will actually detract from the strength of your position, Sagittarius. Based on the clarity you've already attained over the past few weeks, you basically know everything you need to know to conclusively proceed as best serves your intent. Any waiting to act should now be over. Those threatened by your obvious capabilities (and/or by the difference between your wants and theirs) may try to play to your psychological hot-spots, talking up the worst-case potential pitfalls which might arise as a result of your continuing onward as you intend. There is no new information here… just a dirtier method meant to stir your fears, so you'll pass up your chance at a power move and protect their existing standing. That's why I'm actively discouraging you from furthering the talks: The rightfulness of your thinking up until now, if it was indeed based in principles you cherish and/or seek to uphold, ought not to change because someone (with a very particular stake in the matter, I might add) attempts to convince you. Remaining relatively quiet and unwavering under such pressure is far harder than picking back up the conversation or mouthing off in righteous annoyance. Good boundaries are called for.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Keep a cautious eye on any persuasive peers or colleagues who seem to be leading you into conversational disclosures or gossip-sessions you aren't especially comfortable with participating in, Capricorn. You should know better than to let anyone else's fast lips lure you into crossing ethical bounds—with unfortunate consequences not likely to reveal themselves for a few weeks—just because they are unusually curious to pull information out of you. Watch for motives: If they are a sincere ally, they'll be content with easing up once they sense your discomfort (or, if you want to eliminate confusion from the equation altogether, once you explicitly tell them you're not comfortable). But if they continue pushing the point or attempting to reengage their inquiry using a different side-door tactic, they've revealed their true-blue interest is more in using you than supporting you. Here's the thing, though: I wouldn't make a big stink out of it, should you conclude this certain someone doesn't seem to have your back. Taking decisive action to officially break off an alliance isn't especially favored, as much as internally accepting this knowledge and subtly planning for your future accordingly. For the next several weeks, expect to observe plenty of others' decisive actions being taken… while you collect the data and arrange your eventual response-strategy.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You're just barely at the starting-gate of a 'make it or break it' moment in your career (and/or public-world investment), Aquarius, courtesy of Saturn's arrival in your solar 10th for a two-plus-year stay… but the time is already ripe to publicly take concrete responsibility for steering your ambitions where you feel they need to go. You must assume authority for asking yourself some difficult questions: Am I achieving what I set out to do? Are my long-term goals still relevant, or are they in need of some updating revisions? Where has my stubbornness gotten in my way? Have I been realistic in assessing my abilities, or must I shift gears toward a role better suited to my unique assets and liabilities? Am I working hard enough? Or too hard? While the deepest-and-truest answers are not likely to emerge in just a week or two, you're presently well-positioned to receive supporting information that'll help you see the light—both from apparent admirers and would-be critics. On the critical front, pay special attention to any uncomplimentary feedback you receive, discerning its relevance based on who it's coming from. Criticism received from friends, like-minded colleagues, or members of a community you belong to (or wish to belong to) should be treated constructively, even if it wasn't phrased in such a manner. Criticism from outside your community, from adversaries or envious competitors, can be ignored or seen as flattery. Meanwhile, admirers who express interest in collaborating with you should be seen as a positive symbol from the universe… though I'd wait a couple weeks before inking any deals.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Moving forward means not getting hooked on any leftover barbs from the past-two-weeks' touchier interactions… and instead fixing your eye on what really matters to you, regardless of whether any certain individual or entity shares your same meaningful priorities. Do not get caught looking downward, Pisces, staring regretfully at steps you wish you wouldn't have taken or obsessing on wounds or scars already inflicted and on their way to healing. Look up ahead, where the entire rest of your life is going to be lived. That's the field where you still hold power to do things differently. You may have to be firm with yourself, refusing to participate in either glorifying your past or reliving the trauma, in order to distinctly align with the unimpeded vibration of manifesting newness. One fortunate aspect at your disposal: Venus is entering your relationship house (the 7th) for a few weeks' stay, which promises you additional support and camaraderie from those folks who really do want to see you thrive as you'd so choose. Just as the negative influence(s) drag you down into the mud with them, these positively-minded supporters will fluff up your confidence and help you release the unwelcome hangover from recent unpleasantries. Make a number of dates to be loved by the ones that love you.