Horoscopes | Week of October 15-21, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I encourage you not to backtrack in your talks, Aries, just because you might've regained a glimpse of how 'maybe things aren't so bad' and now find yourself tempted to reengage an already-covered topic from a less-emotionally-heightened angle. 'Maybe things aren't so bad' is far from declaring with certainty that things are largely good… but, rather, more a pacifying backing-away-from, as if you could simply overlook some of what's already emerged, put on a fresh face, and return once again to the bargaining table. While I'm all for second-chances and forgiving hearts, you're facing a fairly unambiguous situation—at least insofar as your own 'selfish' (ahem) interests are concerned—in which a hard, firm, and/or not-altogether-pleasant decision may be your only option for actually generating movement (instead of 'more of the same'). Why dick around with superficial peace-making, then, if doesn't really productively address the core sticking-point? Wordlessly taking one giant independence-declaring step toward your bold new future will say it all.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Worries about what you'll end up getting out of the arrangement ought to be tabled for the time being, Taurus… mainly because you'd do better to just relish what you've already got right now, and to expressly communicate your gratitude to any responsible parties. That's not the only reason to temper your outward self-concern: On the functional level, you are less likely to secure yourself a single extra granule of bounty by choosing this moment to jockey for position. In fact, with that fierce 8th-house Mars trining wild-card Uranus in your 12th, even posing the barest threat to someone else's sense of deservedness could unsuspectingly unleash their wrathful smackdown… maybe even ultimately losing you some key ground. And all this during Venus's transit through your 5th, which is usually a period where we actually get to enjoy some fairly uncomplicated pleasures. So, gulp, why mess with this shit now? You may indeed be due for a bigger piece of the pie, but this isn't your ideal week to reach for it. Please just go out and play instead.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's not that anything bad is likelier to happen, Gemini, if you permit yourself to be as free and loose as your impulses might prefer… but more simply a case of you potentially squandering useful astro-energy on a whole bunch of useless crap, just because you weren't able to adequately corral your attentions in order to actually direct them somewhere. For the second time this month, I advise sticking close to home and/or to your workspace, to consciously limit the number of possible distractions vying for your focus. Should you take a leisurely walk around your neighborhood, for instance, you're probably going to run into at least one person you know… and before you have a chance to check your watch, your quick little catch-up has absorbed another hour of your prime work-time. I might even go so far as to close the Facebook chat-window and/or turn off your phone for a few hours at a time. If you feel you must (ahem) 'multi-task' to keep a certain momentum, then try juggling a few real tasks at the same time. Keeping up on the latest gossip or commenting on your friend's latest vacation snapshots are not, in fact, 'tasks'.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If and when faced with the choice between (1) agreeing to step out on the town with a pal, answering their call or asking their opinion, and (2) reserving yourself some moments of invisibility, even if that means declining invites or shutting off your media-devices… well, Cancer, I don't suggest bowing to the latter option, though you may fantasize that it's the correct choice for you. (When wouldn't a Cancer prefer to hide inside their shell?) The first option puts you in a much better position to actually savor an entertaining week. Don't allow your inner hermit, therefore, to convince you otherwise… especially if he's playing to your social anxieties, which, incidentally, are far worse before you arrive for the encounter than they are once you're present and involved. Plus, though quiet-retreat may sound like a self-supportive activity (and, at the right time, it certainly is), I fear it could lull you into too cozy a mood—and at this juncture, you ought to be actively pumping up your energy levels rather than slowing them down. Too much seclusion will not only short-change you of some easy fun, but might in fact inhibit your physical performance.


LEO (July 23-August 22): As you stumble into realizations, reach conclusions, and/or form important decisions, Leo, play around with what'll happen if you don't hurriedly inform your best friends, family members or number-one squeeze of the latest details. Instead, repeat to yourself what you've come to, maybe even multiple times in a single day. Write it down in your secret notebook, or post it in your special place. Let it sink in, discovering how it feels to strengthen your resolve before you've welcomed any reaction—supportive, doubtful, or somewhere in between—from any outside party at all. You deserve the experience of celebrating self-determined clarity without the distracting kudos or critiques from folks who, no matter how deeply they care about you, still cannot fully grasp the unique qualities that make you you (by virtue, of course, of the simple fact that nobody knows what it's like to be anyone else but themselves). Comparing or contrasting your perspective with others you perceive to be 'in a similar situation', for the time being, is just one more excuse to concentrate on something other than encouraging your inner voice to confidently speak its own authority.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Just because you're in the midst of a notable outward-expansion period, Virgo, you need not concern yourself with fully and totally exploiting all the available opportunities at every hour of the day. As thorough as you may be, it's impossible to take ample advantage of each and every possibility… and the very attempt to do so will only stress you out, as well as rob you of the pleasurable qualities of trying new things. It may actually be more advantageous for you to ease up on the pressure to take on all the different roles and responsibilities you could successfully assume (if, that is, you weren't taking them all on at once). Venus remains in your sign through this week and next, suggesting a short-lived joyride (of one kind or another) is probably worth making time for… both for its obvious joyousness and as an energetic refresher so you don't wear yourself out. Bonus points if you include the company of pals who'll refuse to let you obsess about what you're not doing while you're instead out cavorting, and/or those who keep the conversation effortlessly flowing with topics likelier to rouse giggles than serious reflection.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): For the next couple weeks, please think immediate short-term stability, Libra… and then consistently communicate yourself with that priority first and foremost in your mind. Even if you know there are bigger fish to fry and/or bigger stability-scrambling decisions to declare approaching somewhere down the pipeline, you needn't flash all those cards quite yet. At the tail end of next week, you'll receive a visit from your ruling-goddess Venus, who is always happy to return to your sign… and who shows her appreciation by kissing your aura with an enchanting appeal that softly promotes your fulfillment at every turn. It's under her influence that I suggest you unveil any major initiatives, opinions and/or game-changers, if only because they're likelier to yield gentler upset toward you. Resist, therefore, participating in whatever larger conversation(s) will logically lead to your having to go there before you're ready, so as not to lapse into deceit-by-omission if you're put on the spot. Hold the defining issues at bay, just temporarily.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Precisely because you have some practical shit to get done, Scorpio, this is no time to pander to any 'he said, she said' entanglement crap. Though there may remain critical conversation to be had (a la last week's horoscope), that is not the same thing as permitting it to revolve around contentious claims of who did what first, who is more or less to blame, or who will personally benefit most from which ideas being implemented. (And just because you're usually the master of coming out on top when such power struggles are occurring, that doesn't mean you ought to play this one to 'win'.) You must simply refuse to pass the hot potato or throw anybody under the bus… if for no other reason than it won't get the job done any faster (and, in fact, will slow it down.) Instead, be consistent about using the first-person when discussing the matter at hand, very clearly identifying your opinions as merely yours, neutralizing accusations by owning up, and asking questions of others in lieu of presuming to know their thoughts. The real upper-hand will be yours as long as you're squarely focused on wrapping up the unfinished work… and not on anyone else's shortcomings.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Operate as independently as possible this week, Sagittarius, since other people's involvement, while potentially pleasant enough, can actually detract from the positive gains you might otherwise attain in your workplace (or some other public zone-of-achievement). Hopefully, you have sufficient responsibilities to attend to which don't rely on collaborative efforts or anybody else's immediate feedback… and which don't require a whole lot of back-and-forth communication of any kind. (Thanks to Mercury cruising through your solar 12th, you have a temporarily shaky grip over how provocative or peevish your words will come off.) As long as you're able to claim relatively self-directed agency over your process, the week's Mars-Uranus trine (across the two most self-interested houses, the 1st and 5th) promises innovations and breakthroughs in how you can most effectively leave your creative mark—and earn yourself much-deserved credit for competent self-management. Doing it your way is strongly favored for the moment, yes indeed, but it's better not to make a production of it… and perhaps attract others' unwelcome and unhelpful intrusions.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Do not force so-called 'productivity', Capricorn… and especially don't force it onto anybody else, as if to imply (or outright state) you don't approve of all the negotiating and/or strategizing still going on when 'there's work to be done'. Who are you to say that this isn't an integral part of the work, anyhow? Even if a few more weeks go by without your feeling as if progress is being made (because, perhaps, you're achingly attached to a rigid concept of what 'progress' ought to look like), you won't really have sacrificed anything in the overarching process of producing your desired result. Except, of course, your own cherished—but, frankly, arbitrary—timeline for when you think things should be done. As I've said in a gazillion prior horoscopes, timing really is everything… only, we, as fallible human goons, don't always do ourselves the favor of aligning our rhythms with the wider cosmic calendar of divine perfection (which is why following astrology can be so friggin' helpful). Back off on the pressure to hit certain deadlines, and try participating in the collective conversations you've been too stubbornly judging as 'pointless'. Maybe you'll end up catching their point…


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): While I hardly expect you to impersonate somebody who passively agrees with the mainstream group-mindset, Aquarius, that is not an invitation to be wholly self-indulgently quirky, just because that's what'll feel good to you. You might vocally take umbrage with what a certain strain of the team is up to, but you'd still better look out for your most trusted colleagues' interests as well as your own—and remain acutely conscious of how excessively playful or rambunctious behavior could reflect poorly on them. There are ways to 'rebel' (an Aquarian's favorite pastime) while still preserving an umbrella of awareness that the public-sphere impressions you create do matter. And then there are the uncurbed rebellions which have a funny habit of spawning ripples of fallout fuck-ups nobody would've anticipated. If you find yourself caught between manifesting one of these two rebellious possibilities, you'll more assuredly stay with the preferred former method by carrying out the bare-minimum shit-stirring required to get the point across… minus any self-congratulatory dramatic flourishes.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): In a rewrite of last week's edition, Pisces, let me point out how a synergy between (1) interpersonal-smoother-outer Venus-in-your-7th and (2) an especially thoughtful Mercury, master of information-processing, continues to make this an excellent moment for earnest, reflective conversations with your most important partner(s). But now, it's not only an opportunity to illumine any key differences between you in a mutually sympathetic context… though that remains a benefit. You can also rely on such perspective-granting exchanges as a healthful antidote to too many stray contradictory fragments racing back and forth through your mind. Lest you get caught in the excessive internal noise, you're liable both to (1) miss a chance for sincere connection, due to being partly distracted by anxieties that aren't necessarily as timely as you might think, and (2) overlook a potentially calming understanding of the bigger picture, which your observant colleague would've gladly pointed out to you if only you'd given them your undivided attention. Not only is outwardly philosophizing about the state of your life a great backdrop for enjoying a relationship, it might even save you some fruitless inner worry.