Horoscopes | Week of September 9-15, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Right at the moment when you're not exactly feeling bashful about letting your outward actions expose your desires so brazenly (once last week's 'careful advances' Mars-Saturn square opens up into a free-wheelin' Mars-Uranus trine), you are also entering an astro-clime in which you'll wield a temporarily improved capacity to effectively get on the same page with a partner or close-comrade. But then, Aries, the question becomes: Is it more important to make yourself unabashedly clear to the other person, and risk squandering an ideal chance to learn more about them? What a silly irony that you're simultaneously enjoying both (1) an excellent time to assert yourself and (2) an excellent time to listen to others… especially since attaining just the right balance between these two opposing behaviors is harder than ever, given the precarious Uranus-Pluto influence over this week's communications. My guess is that your instinct to projectively put forth will be naturally stronger than the likelihood of receptively taking in (you are Mars-ruled, after all). As such, your best shot at attaining that 'right balance' probably requires you to focus a lot more emphatically on the listening end… to great advantage for your interpersonal dynamics.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your ruling planet Venus arrives to your relationship house (the solar 7th) this week, Taurus… and since this is truly such a lovely planetary influence, easing your capacity for sharing mutually propitious and pleasurable one-on-one connections with key players in your life, I would love to simply emphasize this current transit above all else and call it a day. But of course that's not all you've got going on this week. On the work front, you may find your progress stalled by a clash between guiding principles and in-the-trenches feasibility. Should this occur, please recognize there is no easy solution… and, therefore, any such stall is both perfectly appropriate and ultimately productive (though a stall is still a stall, with the capacity to irritate all involved parties). On the internal-landscape level, too, there remains a lingering restlessness, liable to stir erratic behavior in you if you spend too much time replaying irksome situations in your head instead of, say, talking it out with a loving partner or friend. So let's just return to this horoscope's opening sentiment, then: When feeling annoyed or facing the temptation to act out, default back to a re-acknowledgment of Venus-in-your-7th… and go enjoy the company of someone you really care for, a sure-thing inspirer of appreciativeness over a needlessly bitchy attitude.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): At a time when I find myself encouraging many of your zodiacal brothers and sisters to watch themselves in their communications—mainly because, this week, message-man Mercury saunters into a edgy T-square with Uranus and Pluto—I'm somehow oddly moved to give you the opposite advice, Gemini. From my perspective, you're in quite a constructive spot to express your unique preference for how exactly you'd like a certain leisure activity, involvement or romantic prospect to develop… though, due to the Mercury-Uranus-Pluto brouhaha, I'd honestly expect this expression to be more of a conversation-starter than any final word. As I see it, your current view of your stake in this matter seems sensible enough, but it also threatens to put too light-and-airy a finish on the story… at the potential expense of considering a certain extenuating factor (one which can't help but mess with the tidy innocence of your thinking) that you really ought to consider. Through outwardly expressing your initial thoughts, then, you're implicitly inviting reactions from the outside world. And though these 'reactions' could range from surprisingly strong support to just as surprisingly strong strife (that Uranus-Pluto influence is, above all else, unpredictable), they will unquestionably help you further define your position, in full light of this other 'consideration'.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don't let yourself get cornered into speaking out on about something you're still not quite sure about, Cancer, just because someone else has decided you should be ready to discuss it. Your thoughts on this matter are not yet fully formed, you see, because you remain in the process of figuring out how the different possibilities will directly impact your sense of emotional security… which is not the best phase during which to expose yourself to others' fears, threats, or undue influence. In order to keep yourself out of potentially damaging pressure-cooker conversations, then, you must foster enough confidence in your right not to participate before you're feeling up to it—enough so that any hard-line demands on their part don't leave you believing your temporary deferment is some sort of affront. To be clear: You get to decide when, or if, to discuss something with someone. If they can't respect your free-will on this matter, they are attempting to bully you into submission. Especially if you're still operating under a survival-instinct trigger, you've got to protect your own practical interests first… no matter who does or doesn't like it.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Once you make it through the earlier part of the week (when Saturn blocks Mars-in-your-sign from getting to do whatever the fuck he wants), you're on track to have a much looser and less emotionally restricted time of it, Leo… the great relief of which could spur you to do something delightfully wacky. While I could legitimately chime in with another reminder that such wackiness probably shouldn't come at the expense of keeping up your sound work-and-health routines, I'm going to do you the courtesy of skipping one more mention of that perennial cautionary tale (although, of course, I just slipped one in during that same breath of telling you I wouldn't). Overall, there is a somewhat spasmodic feel to the later part of the week, insinuating that just about anybody could unexpectedly lurch left instead of right (especially if they feel their sweet-talking cover is about to be blown). But that doesn't lead me to offer any particular piece of directly-relevant advice, basically because I suspect you currently have the capacity to make almost any spasmy manifestation of this unstable energy into something exciting, educational, adventurous, life-affirming, and/or an interesting topic to chat about. For the moment, silver-lining readings are a specialty of yours.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Offer suggestions instead of full-on requests, Virgo. Ask for methodological advice about particular practical details, rather than big-picture feedback on the benefits or drawbacks of your general path. Continue occupying the befitting role of diligent collector, researcher and/or organizer for the time being… but please hold off on presenting any findings as a comprehensive summary or verdict. While you can feel free to address fairly circumscribed concerns on a singular case-by-case basis, don't yet draw in those bridging lines that'll connect the dots and paint an unmistakable picture everybody can see. Though it may seem like you're working against what would be the most efficient results-oriented mode of production by purposely not putting the pieces together, I actually think this intentional slowdown is likely to save you from future cleanup efforts. This climate of ongoing discussion could indeed try your patience (though, with Saturn's lengthy residence in your solar 3rd, one of your big life-challenges at the moment is to persist with conversations longer than is comfortable for you). All the while, however, additional information continues to dribble forth, smidgen by tiny smidgen.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As long as you're clear about the likelihood that your revelations could elicit startlingly powerful responses from your partner, a family-member, a teammate and/or another integral figure in your life, Libra—and that's just how it should be—then please greet Mercury's appearance in your sign early this week as your unofficial invitation to start spilling the beans. Though your tone-of-delivery will undoubtedly be as smooth and silky as we've come to expect from you, that probably won't be enough to quell the volatile fallout from your finally putting words to sentiments that those close to you have recently preferred to deflect. We can agree, then, they shouldn't be that surprised (unless they've been hiding their heads in the sand, which apparently is what they've been doing) by anything you disclose… but willful avoidance is a more potent self-protective strategy than we typically realize, and so their response may well demonstrate just how in-the-dark they've kept themselves. Though others' lingering state of denial isn't really your problem, this now-opportune act of blowing that denial out of the water with some much-needed truth-talk does thrust you into the center of the action. Be fair, but candid, in this role.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Skip the explanations, interpretations and narrative summaries, Scorpio. Your mind, temporarily impaired (and simultaneously enlightened) by exaggerated imaginativeness, doesn't currently exhibit the kind of detached objectivity to produce much coherent insight into whether 'things' (whatever they may be) are going well, badly, or somewhere-in-between. And yet, with Venus landing in your sign late on Tuesday (Sep 10), you're about to enjoy a month or so of enhanced magnetism… an utter boon for your attracting more of the people, experiences and opportunities that'll benefit your life in many unanticipated ways. Should you turn that presently-dreamy brain loose on trying to identify what exactly qualifies under this category of 'attractive benefits', alas, you could end up luring yourself down a primrose path of self-delusion, mistakenly believing that Venus's 'luck' resides in one certain scenario when it's an entirely different one that's really your luckiest bet. Postpone the sense-making exercises, then, and just receive as unfiltered a delivery of interesting stuff as you can allow in. In the weeks ahead, the real diamonds will reveal themselves, in contrast to all those deceptively gorgeous shards of common glass.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Though you probably can't help but reveal what it is you want out of the situation, Sagittarius, it still presently suits you to temper too blunt a self-assertion of your wants within a buffer of relatively middle-of-the-road language. In other words, a bit of beating around the bush actually helps position you as a cooperative thinker (even if, inside, your mind is already made up), diminishing any perceptions of you as someone who would railroad the whole process just to ensure you emerge in the most advantageous spot. You will, however, likely find yourself challenged to preserve this apparent diplomacy as soon as a teammate decides to question you more specifically on your thinking… mainly because, once you're directly asked to explain certain details, it won't behoove you to duck the inquiry (nor is being so evasive your strong-suit). Even in that case, though, consider finding a way not to cut to the chase… to slowly, step-by-step, re-present aloud the questions you asked yourself as your thoughts developed, letting the other party answer to them and, if all goes well, arrive at the same conclusion you did without your having to explicitly conclude it.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Stay on the sincerer side of that dividing-line between (1) polite engagement with the Powers-That-Be over an issue you obviously hold a certain opinion about and (2) too cunningly crafted a manner of presentation that'll leave them wondering if you only told them just what they wanted to hear. Nobody likes to feel they're being pandered to, Capricorn… especially if, just barely under the surface of your accommodating demeanor, a smug self-righteous vibe lurks. In my experience, people are far more intuitively receptive to such emissions than we often like to admit. They may not know exactly what they're picking up, only that something smells fishy. Therefore, while you're not wrong to be fairly cautious regarding how the communications with important people about a potentially controversial topic will go down, you must also make sure you're not blowing smoke or thumbing your nose at their alleged ignorance. If there's a teammate or colleague who you're confident agrees with you and doesn't presently possess the same likelihood of triggering suspicion or provocation from your big-name audience, I'd consider joining forces with them—and letting them do enough of the talking to downplay any possible personality-friction centering around you.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Very little about your current planetary outlook casts you in an especially easy-to-get-along-with light, Aquarius… least of all that fiery Mars-in-your-7th, whipping up a heightened likelihood of bumpy battles-of-will in your one-on-one relationship zone. And yet, I'm going to stop short of characterizing this as a flat negative, mainly because 'easy to get along with' is a behavioral model that doesn't always serve our ongoing evolution (and instead often implies we are doing everything we can not to rock the boat and, consequently, not to deviate from the status-quo). At the moment, you actually face great evolutionary potential… specifically with regards to the principles by which you determine how to make right decisions in the world. Too confidently heady a manner of identifying the most important considerations in a given situation, though it may seem to posit a well-thought-out rationale for being both fair and morally upstanding, actually falls short in 'matters of the heart' (which we might characterize as anything rousing an emotional reaction that isn't neatly justified by moral rationale). In other words, when people push our buttons (intentionally or not) and resultantly inflame our passions about what we do or don't want, our truly desired outcome won't always match what, in a philosophic laboratory, we might claim to be 'right'. Integrating that inconvenient truth would be quite an evolutionary leap, eh?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Should you find yourself drawn into challenging, intense and/or unpleasant conversations, Pisces, please remember the other person's urgent prioritization of this particular issue need not become yours. While I don't suggest postponing the inevitable—since, if this conversation is now presenting itself and does in fact bear some important relevance to your life circumstances, you probably should go ahead and engage—I do encourage not to let it wholly consume all your attention. It's critical to your continuing motivational excitement that you discern between future considerations (which, at the moment, look incredibly promising) and past rehashings (which are really only productive up to a certain point)… and I sense that most of these uncomfortable conversations are likelier more about the past than the future. Therefore, you have a duty to your own forward-facing aspirations not to let your personal agenda get totally knocked off-course by participating in talks going nowhere but backwards. If they need to call you out on something, listen to their feedback only until it starts repeating itself; then, acknowledge you heard them out, and just move on. The same applies if you need to voice something: Once it's said, don't belabor the point. You have new stuff to fill your mind with instead.