Horoscopes | Week of October 21-27, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You have reached the core of the situation, Aries, knotty or gnarly as it may be—and it's a damn powerful spot to find yourself in. By staying with the vulnerability, discomfort or nervousness (rather than, say, hunting manically for the escape hatch so you can rapidly leave this claustrophobic chamber in the dust, albeit prematurely), you will experience an unparalleled realness that is worth every last bit of inconvenience or torture. Whether you're learning how to psychologically mind-meld with someone who's quite different than you, confronting an irresolvable separation or an unpleasant side-effect of formerly short-sighted decisions, or discovering a previously-unconscious part of your personality that now requires a sobering second-look (so it no longer operates as an unintegrated renegade), this is meaty material that, by its very nature, cannot be chewed and swallowed and digested in a single let's-get-on-with-it sitting. This sort of intensifying can only occur over time, with plenty of room for the intrusion of angles you'd been unaware existed (for you cannot know what you don't yet know). Trying to cut out now is like daring to shut down your computer while it's in the middle of one of those software updates, which always come with warnings not to shut down in the middle: It's an invitation for serious operating-system malfunction.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): More words, with more of a punch, slip out of your mouth more freely than you might normally allow, Taurus, with the potential to inadvertently land a jolt in a certain special someone's tender spot… and yet, despite the likelihood of one or the other of you needing a few painfully awkward moments of recovery, it doesn't seem like your uncharacteristic protrusion into scary territory turns out, in the end, to be such a bad thing. Yes, Mercury's turning retrograde in your relationship house (the 7th) and headed back toward another Saturn conjunction—which means you just might suffer a foot-in-mouth goof or two when discussing important matters with a significant other, and that there will probably be some consequences (check out this article for more details). But still, the astrology appears to favor you saying more rather than less, and, in fact, reaping depth-fostering interpersonal benefits from going to that nerve-wracking place. So much hinges on whether you mean to supportively hold the other person, and simultaneously own your half of the mutual dynamic up for discussion, while pushing the envelope… or merely wish to demonstrate your righteousness by calling out their deficiencies, in a tone that fosters shame or ire rather than catharsis.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I actually don't care if you're tired of hearing me harp on about WORK in your horoscopes, Gemini, because I don't tell the planets where to travel (and certainly can't put in a good word for you to get more fun or exciting horoscopes) but merely report on their happenings. And before I get back to WORK, I want to again remind you about the lovely visit that Venus is now making to your relationship house (there's your fun and exciting news right there, babe), and that you should feel free to enjoy this cutting-through-the-bullshit energy, which is presently helping you fast-forward to what's really the important area(s) of connection between you and significant others. But Mercury retrograde in your 6th, heading back toward a second Saturn conjunction and stuck mid-eclipse-period, is imploring you to don your sharpest, most capable and persevering problem-solving brain… and to stay with this WORK, even if you discover a major glitch has occurred or files have disappeared, incomplete or incorrect instructions were given, plans have changed, and/or there's actually more to this project than you'd initially known. Don't stress out about dashed timelines, shifting goalposts, or perceived failures. Just stick with the process, doing your very best each day… though each succeeding day just might necessitate undoing or redoing the day-before's efforts. It's all a test of your WORK ethic.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's becoming harder and harder to avoid explicitly stating what exactly will make you happy, Cancer, though making such unbridled statements of self-centered want isn't an especially comfortable proposition for you. But even those of us (ahem) who identify more as caretaker, people-pleaser, or low-maintenance goer-with-the-flow still possess our own personal desires, despite our hesitation to come out with 'em already (because, perhaps, we fear losing the adorability we've earned ourselves by serving everybody else's needs). Should you continue deflecting direct questions about your preferences and/or pretending as if you haven't a hankering in the world (other than cooking them dinner or wiping their snotty nose), your accidental remarks or funny facial reactions will betray your truth. You can't help but give off a certain opinionatedness this week—and that hopefully will be incentive enough to just admit you aren't as indifferent or easy-going as you might wish them to think of you. Incidentally, in case this sounds like too much stress without a clear payoff, let me spell out the payoff for you: Stating what will make you happy greatly increases the chances you'll make it happen that way, which will (duh) make you happy.


LEO (July 23-August 22): As potentially unpalatable as this horoscope may sound, Leo, I want to direct your attention to any unresolved familial issues which have been dogging you, either just recently or for a while. Under this intense dose of astrological action your solar 4th house is now seeing, you are in a prime spot to finally address any such issues… to really get into the nitty-gritty of what's been gnawing away at your insides, despite the likely pain you'll have to (re)confront along the way, with the promise of reaching some long-desired settlement. 'Settlement' in this context doesn't necessarily mean a happily-ever-after embrace between all estranged parties (though it certainly could); this is about settling it for yourself. Plus, I don't want you to get the idea that I believe you are going to resolve such issues during the course of this week, especially since Mercury is now retrograde in your 4th (which represents both our relation to the family we come from and our own version of inner self-nurture). Though it may seem odd that I am recommending an engagement with some potentially challenging material during Merc-retro, let me add that your first steps may or may not include full-on conversation with actual family members… and if it does, you should realize you're only initiating the dialogue, not seeing it through to completion. Rather, using the rewind-and-revise theme that always comes with Merc-retro (as well as the potent eclipse energy), you have a chance to redo this thing—and, whatever the outcome, purge yourself of any toxic content you no longer ought to hold.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Relating to somebody else as if the sentiment you're trying to convey to them is self-evident—especially if it's fairly obvious that they're struggling to grasp the full implications of what you're conveying—is actually aggressive, Virgo. Just because you may not raise your voice, call anybody names, or otherwise visibly lose your shit, that doesn't mean your under-the-surface annoyedness won't still leak through (despite your very skilled efforts at self-containment)… and end up invoking bad feelings in those who don't take kindly to being treated like they're stupid, even if you're not coming right out and saying it. What's on your mind is, in fact, not self-evident. It actually is your job to take as much time and energy as it takes to communicate the important bits to any- and everyone who needs to know it. And if your patience with others sputters out before you've managed to achieve the 'click' of mutual recognition, then, sorry, but it's a failure on your part, not theirs. That's how presently critical it is for you to go to extreme lengths (whatever it takes!) to shepherd this conversation to its necessary ends. Pledge yourself to its long haul.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Along with Mercury's retrogrades (such as the one which begins this week) comes the likelihood of needing to rethink our plans… and in your case, Libra, due to the 2nd-house emphasis which imprints this Merc-retro (as well as the upcoming solar eclipse), it's all about reassessing and/or rearranging the components of your own personal material-security so that you know what you've got, what you need, and how to use more of what you've got to get more of what you need. Got it? Now, in the actual world out there (as opposed to the one in your head), there's very little action I suggest you immediately take to remedy any undesirable conditions… except in situations where an unexpected expenditure or deficiency-of-income is presently causing you to hemorrhage money like it's water in a Las Vegas casino fountain (and there shouldn't be so much free-flowing water in the middle of the desert, and especially not just for show, right?), in which case you just need to plug that hole by any means necessary (you can return to 'clean it up' later). I see a lot of shifting numbers from one column to another, moving large expenses to different calendar-months, revising budgets, and strategizing for 2014. As far as others are concerned, though, no need to alarm anyone.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Remember your three-weeks-ago horoscope, in which we discussed the potential pluses and minuses of being the lucky soul who loves to push the provocative hot-button and see what lights up, whether as an agent of curative catharsis or a manipulative puppet-master? Well, Scorpio, if you sank to the nether levels of this potential, hoping against all hope (and against my horoscopic counsel) that you could get away with pulling strings and scripting developments from the luxury of your depraved throne… well, let's just say that shit is coming home to roost over the next week or two. Mercury retrograding back to a Saturn conjunction points to a revisiting of communicative improprieties, as well as an encounter with their karmic effects. Should such a turn-of-events occur, please don't make it any worse by fighting the repercussions; learn your lesson, accept responsibility like a champ, and, if need be, begin the process of winning back the trust. If, however, you did take your power seriously and express a stark-though-heartfelt truth you needed to say and/or they needed to hear, then this astrology is simply a reminder that this conversation is far from over and, in fact, may just be beginning. One risky disclosure or boundary-pushing admission begets another, and another, and so on. Thus is the road to intense connection, a journey you were built for.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Perhaps your biggest Mercury-retrograde challenge, Sagittarius, is to refrain from sticking your nose where it doesn't belong. Keeping good boundaries, which will hold back the encroaching turmoil or tumult that others can't help but provoke under these astro-conditions, is your number-one duty for the week. For the record, your own wild curiosity is not a good enough reason to tempt the fates by posing questions, offering remarks, or even standing too damn close to the spectacle: Too quickly, like a sudden wave that washes the innocent photo-snapping bystander off the shore and into the dangerous sea, you can become collateral damage… an easy target for someone else's unstable projections, which you'd attract simply by giving off that subtle puffed-up vibe of not being affected by these goings-on. Well, now you're affected, bitch. And didn't you ask for it by poking the beast? Leave well enough alone, please. Go off and bask in the simpler pleasures of Venus-in-your-1st. Receive the smiles and well-wishes, without your usual shit-stirring comebacks… and don't bother correcting anyone over stupid crap that doesn't really matter.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Based on what's now unfolding, Capricorn, I suspect you owe certain friends and/or teammates either a flat-out statement of immerse gratitude for their solidarity, a sincere apology for having underappreciated or wronged them, or a heart-to-heart conversation about whatever isn't working between you. Whether the relational vibe is more solid than ever, showing some strain, or in its last throes of outmoded affinity, you mustn't ignore the present conditions under which your existence unavoidably dovetails with the existence of others. The worst thing you could do under such astrology is to behave like a self-enclosed island, as if what you do doesn't affect anybody else and what they do is irrelevant to your being. Feigning autonomy is a big mistake. The so-called 'politics' of engaging with how to mesh your personal aspirations and initiatives with a larger collective body are nothing to turn your nose up at… especially when, at some later point, it's almost guaranteed you'll need others to have your back (even if, right now, they just seem to be getting in your way). Please put in the extra political diligence now, and agree to participate in whatever protracted group-process is warranted—unless, that is, you've decided you want out of this group forever, in which case a single such indication on your part ought to grant you this irreversible wish.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You are now being closely observed, recorded, analyzed, remarked upon, and maybe even judged by a real (or maybe, just maybe, an almost-as-real-seeming-but-in-fact-rather-hypothetical) audience of bosses, clients, pseudo-parents, authority-figures and/or other VIPs, Aquarius… and as such, you'd fuckin' better be on your very best official-press-release, staying- on-message game. So, did I lay the pressure on thick enough? Good. The reality, of course, is that this might not be what's happening—though it's best you behave that way, so as to avoid any professional or public mishaps related to too careless an attitude in how you represent yourself. That said, being 'on your game' also means you're ready to answer direct questions with authenticity (i.e., never stretching the truth a single inch), earning yourself a reputation as somebody who 'tells it like it is', but with an esteemed air of responsibility (i.e., never merely identifying a problem or pinning it on someone else, but actively engaging with solutions). Also, please remember you're not alone with this: If this under-the-microscope feeling gets you a bit hot under the collar, pass off the baton to a trusted ally… but stick around to cheer them on.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't shy away from reopening a case where you initially thought you did the right thing ('right' as a factor of your own self-selected moral guidelines, that is), but are now feeling somewhat unsettled about it, in the pit of your stomach or back-recesses of your conscience. This reads more to me as an opportunity to learn a lesson (albeit a potentially inelegant one) about your shifting life-priorities and/or strengthened ethical backbone, Pisces, than an excuse to beat yourself (or anyone else) up. Revisiting last week's horoscope, I must again direct you to the presence of cruising-for-a-brawl Mars in your relationship house (the 7th), where he can easily lose himself in the super-specific details of what somebody else has done wrong—when, stepping back from this ultra-close-up, it becomes clear that either (1) this wrong-doing really isn't as big a deal as you've made it out to be, (2) it's less a black-and-white issue, and more a matter of differing styles or viewpoints, and/or (3) you're actually guilty of a similar offense and should probably recant your hypocritical accusations. As you move through this stuff, please just think of this as another fruitful chance to deepen your worldly knowledge, with humility and reflectiveness… instead of a recipe for unproductively indulgent emotion.