Horoscopes | Week of October 22-28, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It can be incredibly challenging to make your point to someone, Aries, if the two of you are speaking different languages to each other. While you may feel as if you've handily summarized your situation into a single overriding issue, the other person is likely to, consciously or not, attempt to subvert this apparent clarity by bringing up irrelevant tangents or resurrected mentions of past trouble. Though this lack of clear focus might push you to your outer limits, you cannot escape from the certain necessity of seeing this unresolved business through to the end… not if you want it resolved fairly. When frustration flares, you've got to muster the decency to simply repeat the clarifying summary of your overriding concern—and, at the same time, respectfully refuse to reopen cans of worms that hold no new nuances you deem worth considering. The 'respectful' part is so damn important because, should your refusal to ride their ride with them come off as insulting or punitive rather than a simple case of holding firm boundaries, you'll only give them more ammunition in their conceptual fight… which, as we both know, isn't even one you're fighting.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Think long-term strategy, Taurus, should you find yourself in a sticky situation with someone you'd probably prefer to 'let have it' than 'let things slide' with. Too cocky and/or aggressive a posture on your part might score a knockout in this match… but, at the same time, could do irreparable damage to the relationship, due to your having delivered such a sore-spot punch. If you're dealing with a truly menacing adversary who you definitively want out of your life, perhaps this is the right approach—though I'd also caution you to consider whether any friendships- or alliances-in-common might end up circumstantially threatened as well. Particularly if your economic well-being is at stake, you might need to moderate your tactics so as not to sully your good name in the very act of trying to protect it. If, however, this is just a difficult moment in a relationship you intend to keep, then please be extremely careful about which button of theirs you push… and just how hard you push it. You can't take back what you put out there—and if you're overly ferocious, it's unlikely it'll ever be forgotten.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don't feed into that sense of pressure somebody else may be putting you under, Gemini, due to their restlessness. Just because they may be needling you to make your damn decision already or to otherwise demonstrate forward progress, that doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong by following your own timeline. Rather than defensively explaining the specifics of your process, I recommend you give 'em a clear idea of when you'll be ready, in a few brief and direct sentences, and leave it at that. Of course, if you have been taking your sweet-ass time (perhaps due to overthinking the issue) and/or postponing the inevitable (in order to leave open an escape-hatch), you might also want to take their prodding as a cue to start wrapping up this preliminary deliberative phase. Though their impatient tone could be grating on your nerves, they might have a legitimate point about moving things along already. Try concentrating on that, instead of reacting to their potentially combative attitude.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Get your head out of the sand, the clouds, or wherever else it might've momentarily wandered. There are some concrete logistics waiting for you to engage with, Cancer, including a few 'snap decisions' you really ought to make right away… and no further amount of preparatory forethought is really required. Idealized hopes for how smoothly everything might've flowed, if functioning in that perfect world where tasks take exactly as much time (if not less) as we imagined they would, are pointless to wistfully hold onto. In the real world, where your presence is firmly required, most things happen more madly and messily than our hopeful visions had suggested. But at least they get done, more or less successfully—instead of looming, unmanifested, with all the abstract promise in the world hanging over us like ever-heightening expectations always out of reach. Please accept this reality as it is, and do the best you can under the circumstances. Certain circumstantial elements may indeed be, yes, way less than ideal. Life is making do.


LEO (July 23-August 22): There's no denying that you want a bit of positive playful attention, Leo, especially if you've indeed been dealing with the tough emotional-processing work that's piled up on your plate. Why not put yourself back into social circulation, then, at least enough so that you can reconnect with the more fun parts of your life and prove (to yourself and others) you haven't become a full-time Gloomy Gus? I wholeheartedly support your need to balance this serious self-sobering with enough outward entertainment so that you don't altogether lose your motivation to continue onward. Too much struggle and not enough play is, in fact, a recipe for wild mood swings, as you unconsciously seek release from too strict a regimen by going too far the other way and blasting through the healthful boundaries. Cutting yourself a little bit of slack is your homeopathic remedy for warding off a slippage into excessive slackness. For inspiration, I advise hanging out with whichever friend(s) has demonstrated a consistent knack for including plenty of silliness within an otherwise pretty responsible life. This person can help you loosen up without throwing all caution to the wind. A certain amount of caution is probably wise, after all.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Before you start poking at a family member, housemate or close friend, Virgo, you may want to consider all the advantages you possess in relation to this other person… which just might engender in you a bit more compassion and leeway for their apparent indignities. I wonder if your budding irritation isn't a factor of how well things are flowing in your outside-world existence and, by contrast, how badly you wish certain other parts of your life were flowing just as effectively. Not all hands of the celestial clock move at the same rate, nor do all aspects of ourselves develop in perfect alignment. Again, this one irksome situation that has you ready to lash out may only seem that critical because it's so clearly divergent from the many more blessed elements. Don't overlook the blessings. One method for helping to exude your own appreciativeness: Rather than jumping down the throat of a perceived slacker, try inquiring into what's really going on in their life. Chances are, a lengthier—and roomier—conversation about their emotional state will reveal to you a very good reason to foster empathetic patience.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Sweet-talking is one of your known specialties, Libra… and one which you'd be smart to rely on more heavily as this week feeds into next, in order to smooth over whichever relations you need to keep cool so that your principal interests are protected. That is to say, a few kind words or gestures of consideration could go a long way toward buttering up those who you're soon to be asking favors of or making propositions to. Now, of course, you know I'm not suggesting you pretend to like somebody you don't or dole out inauthentic flattery: This advice only applies in interpersonal situations where you actually do have a genuine connection and/or can offer each other mutually beneficial aid. You cannot, therefore, appeal to somebody's mannered goodness by omitting a key detail of your purpose… not without expecting the fuller truth to eventually emerge and, if you've been squirrelly, to burn that dubious bridge to ashes. In fact, don't appeal to anyone unless you'd be willing to answer their deeper questions with total sincerity. Yet, if they don't ask for the time being, no need to volunteer. For the moment, it's more about finessing the rapport.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Presently, there's not a lot of leeway, Scorpio, to be anything less than your best self. I know that's a heavy trip to lay on you… though I'm sure, in light of your specific life-circumstance, you understand that this description is true. While you needn't be perfect (and it's a good thing, too, since that would be impossible), you do need to try your hardest to forthrightly present your most accurate take on matters—without playing into attempts to impress, intimidate, outdo, or overcompensate for anybody else. The challenges you have personally been charged with confronting, whether in a job or an interpersonal dynamic or some self-development process, are not the same as those others must deal with. Therefore, they aren't likely to grasp exactly what your 'being-your-best-self' work entails… just as you aren't privy to their work either. So don't expect to receive outward accolades or other observable signs of success for your efforts, at least not yet. You have to go off your inner measure of success, that obvious sense of personal pride in 'doing the right thing'… even when it's inconspicuous, unpopular, and/or unpleasant.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You ought to be especially wary if you find others agreeing with you too quickly or conveniently, Sagittarius, as if they might be feigning compliance to your will, just to shut you up. Under this week's Mars-Jupiter opposition across your 1st/7th, your capacity to bowl them over with an assertive surety they know better than to directly fight against (since, as we discussed two weeks ago, you'd be too likely to dominate) could instead lead them toward shady backroom resistance and/or behind-your-back shit-talking… all while they present a politely insincere 'yes, sir/ma'am' to your face (which, naturally, covers their ass). While I don't mean to fuel any unwarranted paranoia, it would probably be best not to hastily force through a compromise on a matter you (rightly) suspect could be contentious, at least not this week. Why tempt anyone into a glossing-over of real resistance or disapproval? They're not likely to forget their squelched antagonism… and it will rear its ugly little head again sometime.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Trust any 'funny feelings' which may be hinting that a certain situation isn't as cut-and-dry as one might typically assume it to be. While there might not be anything properly 'wrong', Capricorn, your intuition is likely telling you to think twice (or three times) about such typical assumptions… if only so that you aren't moving ahead blindly (just to insistently remain 'productive' at all costs?), but with well-considered intention. Or perhaps, this 'feeling' is merely a sentient glitch in the time-space continuum, urging you with wordless wisdom to step back for a few moments and catch your proverbial breath. Here's where a trusting ability to lean on your friends, teammates or colleagues will come in quite handy: We all must position ourselves within a community of folks who can lend their hands when we need a breather, or we'll suffer that horrible burden of falsely believing everything depends on us. In fact, it'll all be okay if you purposely invite a delay, diverge into temporary daydreaminess, wander off for a bit, or indulge your imagination—and you don't even have to provide anyone a detailed explanation why.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): What you're presently experiencing careerwise, Aquarius, is not a fluke. You have deservedly earned this level of accomplishment, one incremental challenge at a time… and shouldn't, therefore, indulge any feelings preventing you from wholly owning it. Truth be told, this statement is just as valid if you aren't where you'd hoped to be—and if that's the case, you've got to take a good hard look at how exactly you 'earned' such discontent. This week promises to flash at least one instructive illustration, a microcosm-snapshot, that will poignantly reflect your present level of either (1) authority and success and/or (2) disappointment and stalled progress… maybe even a complex blend of both at once. Take note of the deep insight this affords you, which is far more significant than its superficial components might suggest. Not only will reflecting seriously upon this progress-report help you accept the data with grace, it'll also hopefully prevent you from looking outside yourself for causes, whether for someone to unfairly blame or to self-effacingly give credit to.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Though I've encouraged you to speak up about critical topics over the past couple horoscopes (here and here), a change in Mercury's temperament over the coming week leads me to now urge you to temper your expressions. It's not that you should suddenly cut off any important conversations, Pisces, as much as simply realize your words are becoming louder, blunter and more colored by emotion… which wouldn't be that much of a problem except (1) you aren't quite conscious of just how strongly your voice is carrying and (2) certain people who you'd probably prefer not to hear you are starting to listen more closely. Put another way: What began as a sincere discussion of issues on your part could unfortunately degrade into a shrill complaint session, without your being fully aware of it, and end up reflecting poorly on you. Pay appropriate heed to public appearances, bearing in mind your audience and behaving accordingly. You may have already said what needed saying… and anything else could be verging on overkill.