Horoscopes | Week of October 14-20, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As reported in last week's edition, the drive to get to concrete work on manifesting your desires must temporarily be balanced with an awareness that Neptune's presently fogging up your lenses and coloring your vision with a tint that doesn't cleanly match reality. There's still some daydream meandering left to partake of, Aries, in order for you to collect a sufficient amount of cosmic illumination and, at the same time, hold tight until this confusing-ish vibe floats into the past. Perhaps, then, the best work to launch into at this time—for, despite the Neptune influence, Mars does land in your solar 6th early this week—shouldn't involve producing results which, if done incorrectly, will require significant fixes or redos. Try: reorganizing your workspace, inventorying what's already happened, making lists of fruitful possibilities or items-which-need-further-investigation, conducting creative free-write brainstorms, following up with contacts by requesting retroactive feedback, gathering stacks of research material to be scanned later, and/or reflecting on the year's successes and challenges so far. With other items, you can go ahead and start… but only if nothing you do is ultimately irreversible.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Unapologetically doing whatever the fuck you want would be one rousing interpretation of Mars's arrival to your solar 5th (the 'what makes me happy' house), Taurus… if not for his simultaneous opposition to bewildering Neptune, which implies the possibility that your self-expressive attitude might unfavorably affect members of your community, unbeknownst to you. (I squeezed in a mention of this possibility at the end of last week's scope.) I don't assume any intentional ill-will on your part, by the way. If anything, I believe your intent to simply have a good time is as pure as they come—though a pure heart doesn't automatically absolve anybody for disregarding the influence they have on those around them. It's funny how the phrase 'a bull in a china shop' is popping into my head in descriptive reference to your potential to cause inadvertent damage with your unbridled excitement, seeing as you are the bull in this menagerie of zodiac zoo-animals. But I'm sure you don't wish to break anything (or anyone) valuable, in the act of enjoying yourself as much as you truly deserve. So, stay aware of your surroundings, don't fondle the fragile merchandise… and ask before taking any potentially intrusive liberties while occupying shared social space.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Trust me, Gemini, the remedy for feeling misunderstood, ineffective or invisible in your professional environment and/or the outside world-at-large is decidedly not to lash out at whoever happens to be home once you arrive back there. This week's Mars-Neptune opposition unconsciously entices you to misdirect anger or annoyedness you perhaps didn't even know you were holding, toward somebody you're only treating so unjustly because you're more intimately interwoven with them than with the actual source of your problem. In such a scenario, your emotional reaction might appear to you to be about one thing—a 'thing' which is likely relatively small and limited-in-scope—while the unsettled emotions are, in fact, broader and more (dare I throw in this fifty-cent word) existential in nature than is immediately obvious. The feelings themselves are clearly clamoring for their fair consideration, which I suggest you sink your teeth into during these weeks ahead. But there's no justifiable reason to thrust them at whoever's 'lucky' enough (ahem) to be close to you at the time they emerge… particularly when Venus is in your 7th and you ought to be getting along famously with everyone.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It'll be very easy to lose sight of the forest, Cancer, due to the immediacy of all those individual trees vying for your notice… which, as far as the sorts of predicaments we horoscope-writers issue alerts regarding, really isn't the most dire situation in the world. Finding yourself unable to adeptly prioritize the most important matters above all else, if only because every chance you might steal to do so becomes quickly colonized by one or another interruption that then extrapolates itself into a lengthier interaction and then it's suddenly time to break for lunch or coffee or the end of the day, simply means you probably won't spend your week's energies with as much effectiveness as you otherwise might. Oh, well. However, such a predicament could turn dire in the most extreme instances of being sidetracked: namely, if you're so discombobulated by this or that primrose path someone else has led you down, you actually wind up a passive participant in something you ordinarily disagree with, without even noticing your integrity gaffe. You'd have to be pretty checked out for such a lapse to occur, though. But come to think of it, certain distractions can be quite mesmerizing.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You can only successfully plan for a certain portion of how you intend to take care of your practical shit, Leo… while another part remains stubbornly out of your grasp. That's no symptom of any failure of strategic thinking on your end, but merely a statement on the irresolvably elusive role other people's unanticipated motivations will play in how things turn out, no matter what you might do. Take this into account, then, and keep your assumptions about how agreeably or antagonistically those other characters are liable to behave in major check. You are unable to anticipate or understand just what issues of theirs are presently being triggered by whatever it is you're trying to make happen. Thus, you ought to count on something which, by your calculations, ought to be pretty cut-and-dry to instead prove to be strangely convoluted or complex. And if you spy absolutely no signs of a strange emotional reaction from those who will be obviously impacted by your latest self-securing move, I'd be a smidgeon suspicious—enough to go out of your way to check in with them, to ask if they have anything they need to say to you.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You are to be understandably excused, Virgo, if this change in the astrological air wrought by Mars's arrival to your sign early this week (which I first described last week) leaves you a bit overzealous in the urge to reinvigorate your goings-on with a quadruple-action injection of bald self-determination. You're been biding time for a long while, it seems, allowing colleagues and/or 'the process at large' to call the shots while preserving a relatively deft and diplomatic (though quietly cunning) discretion. Now, as you angle for the game-ball so you may grab it and run heroically toward the goalposts of your choosing, you may mistakenly attempt to make up for all that bided time in too concentrated an interval—and, lamentably, overshoot the mark by taking on too assertive a tone way too quickly. All week, then, please remind yourself not to accelerate from zero to a hundred by pinning the gas-pedal to the floor, both wasting fuel and coming off like a reckless driver to those watching your ungraceful spurt forward. You may not realize whose toes you're running over, nor whose silent negative judgments your tactless actions may be stirring, until the damage is already done. Ramp up your efforts at a moderate pace. You'll get the chance to rebuild your version of Rome for weeks still to come, so no need to rush.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Your mission this week, should you choose to accept it, involves taking an active but unobtrusive role as Crazy-People-Whisperer… using your shrewd social graces to slyly get out ahead of any nutty behavior you sense may soon emerge from this or that character, and to subtly distract them from whatever's about to send them over the edge, with some totally unrelated and fairly lightweight topic or theme that shifts their mood toward something happily exciting rather than obviously maddening. As far as your own intentions are concerned, I strongly encourage you not to bother trying to further them in any tangible way during this week ahead: The double-blinding influence of a 12th-house Mars in opposition to Neptune means you're likely to miss the point, get bumped off-course, rub someone the wrong way based on their misperceiving you, and/or otherwise not get what you'd hoped out of the effort. This mission I'm charging you with, on the other hand, has very little to do with your actual self-serving desires—other than, of course, your general desire to keep the peace whenever possible—and, as such, is less likely to backfire. Therefore, please, Libra, help save us from the Crazies' carryings-on.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): That you've got your own special horse in this race and that you desperately want to see it bring home the gold at all costs, Scorpio, is a fact which is presently far more obvious to everyone around you than perhaps it is to you. You might wrongly imagine you're doing a pretty good job at playing it low-key, as if you're totally okay with any number of possible outcomes, when you're actually oozing a fairly detectable scent of self-interest. Before hastily jumping to an offended reaction, let me be clear: There is decidedly no criticism here of the 'self-interest' part (I mean, who the fuck else should you be interested in, if not yourself?), merely a helpful pointing-out that you're not nearly as down-low about it as you may believe. While I don't advise leading with too flagrant a display of your competitive side, I also don't think you should pretend it's as important for you to please this whole cast-of-characters as it is to please your own damn self. Acknowledge the reality of your motives, if not openly then certainly to yourself. Leaving this potential blind-spot unexplored will only cause you bigger headaches once Mercury goes retrograde in your sign next week.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Pretty much everyone else's horoscopes this week are riddled with cautionary counsel regarding the action-befuddling opposition between Mars and Neptune… but as far as you are concerned, dear Sagittarius, I'd much prefer to concentrate on Venus's now-in-progress brightening-up of your world (which we first discussed last week). Shall we not accentuate the positive? During the week ahead, Venus forms a pleasantly electrifying trine to Uranus-in-your-5th, a further indication that your present purpose is more about taking playful—and maybe even risqué—gambles with how you spend your off-time hours than concerning yourself with how you're not clearly seeing what you're doing, which is the main theme of all my Mars-Neptune warnings. That said, you are also under this same influence everyone else is: In your case, it hits your 10th/4th axis, indicating you ought to be rather careful with how you assert your desires on the professional front, since the precision of your approach may be unproductively compromised by the unconscious insertion of subjective emotionality where it doesn't belong. Consider yourself warned, even though I'm investing my positive thoughts in the notion that Venus's goodwill will help mitigate any potential outbreaks of such muddled workplace behavior.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): For every hard, firm (and overly exacting?) rule you claim to unerringly live by, Capricorn, there lurk innumerable cracks in its container which quietly allow plenty of attitudes and experiences that don't fit the rule to slyly leak into your life. This is just as it should be, of course… for not only (1) is it impossible to reliably control our filters to such a degree that we might actually block out such exposures, but (2) we mustn't expect to even be able to identify a barrier-breach when it occurs since, bottom line, we unconsciously turn a blind-eye whenever something we want to do just so happens to go against a stated principle we'd rather have everyone (ourselves and all the other observers) believe is a line we'd never cross. Read that run-on sentence again, please, to really grasp how it dares to call you out: Your rules are only 'hard' and 'firm' when you wish them to be; at other times, you permit yourself plenty of leeway to fidget or fudge. Bear this in mind all week, when both a lunar eclipse and a Mars-Neptune opposition tempt fate to flash you an example or two of your rules being variably bendable. Rather than a problem, see this simply as human reality—and don't dare indict anybody else according to criteria you yourself, like any human, enforce inconsistently.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I suspect there's a simpler and more self-containing manner of addressing whatever dicey situation has you, Aquarius, thisclose to poking yourself smack dab into the center of potential controversy… without necessarily knowing how controversial it threatens to get. That's because you're probably overlooking another way forward that doesn't require the gabby and grabby participation of certain other folks who, though you may see them as partners or allies (and it's not that they're not), could end up making this whole episode far more of an elaborate spectacle than it need be. Please don't let your ideological desire for 'a collaborative process' blind you to the straightforward approach in which (1) you decide what will best serve your needs and then (2) you inconspicuously make it happen just that way, using the power of your own two hands, without anybody being the wiser. Am I instructing you to be shady, by going behind the backs of those who really should get a say? Absolutely not. I'm just encouraging you not to bend over backwards the other direction, by insisting on involving others when it's neither ethically essential nor practically efficient.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Who's really being the problem here? Are they acting as bonkers as it seems, based on how their every move is grating so roughly on your every nerve? Or are you, Pisces, refusing to let go of certain unreasonable expectations that, if you reflect deeply enough on it, serve almost as something of a set-up? I wouldn't plan on resolving this interpersonal tension during the week ahead (though I typically side with the belief that it takes two to tango), especially not as Neptune and Mars face off in opposition across your 'me' and 'me-and-you' houses (the 1st and 7th, respectively). It's more important merely to acknowledge the likelihood that either you are treating this so-called culprit like a nitpicking nag would, calling them out on the most minor of infractions (just because you need something to be annoyed with them about?), and/or you're hoping to point the finger at them to divert attention away from your own lapses-of-judgment… and, from there, to be a little fairer in those moments when your instinct is to accuse or attack. Mars's transit through the 7th (which you've got for another several weeks) does up the potential for interpersonal conflict. But of course, you don't have to take the bait.