Horoscopes | Week of September 15-21, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): That sore-thumb consideration which doesn't fit into your clear understanding of the situation and/or align with your rallying call-to-action, Aries, is where the mischievously loving hand of God (or who-/whatever plays the all-knowing role in your personal worldview) presently resides. It reaches for you, attempting to touch your heart with its exceptions-to-the-rule, its renegade feelings and inconvenient intuitions. The thing that 'doesn't belong' is not your problem; rather, it's the fundamental precepts by which you're determining the categories of 'belonging' and 'not-belonging' which are revealing their cracks. If you don't seek to be somebody, then, who proceeds by fundamentalist ardor—predetermining the worthiness of a person or activity according to philosophic theory or age-old dogma, limiting your exposure to the universe's vastness due to the blind acceptance of exposure-limiting ideals, preaching intellectual insight outwardly rather than receiving experiential insight inwardly—you must engage that very situation which threatens to reveal all that you've been missing (because we all miss something), embracing the personal discomfort in what it suggests about life's irresolvable contradictions. Or you can just thrust forward, full-steam-ahead, pretending not to notice that faint 'not quite right' sense… though that doesn't mean it's not still there.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): There's an undeniable threat, Taurus, you'll become entirely (and possibly even compulsively) absorbed by a certain hot-on-the-collar dynamic, passionate pursuit, or all-consuming entanglement… and not notice the broader social ramifications you could fall prey to, if you overreach or overreact with your behaviors in this one singular context. Whether it's about going all the way romantically or sexually, bounding forward into a professional or financial partnership, and/or putting forth unmitigated psychological honesty with someone you adore or detest or just want to get a rise out of, you mustn't perceptually divorce your actions from how they might impact others in your friend-group or peer-cohort. Ask yourself: If I proceed like this, will I be circumstantially dragging any allies along with me (presumably without their consent)? Will I betray a shared value, causing colleagues to mistrust my allegiance? Will they judge me by this behavior, in a manner than weakens our bonds? Of course, you may choose to answer such questions (or others like 'em) with total confidence in your desire to, yes, keep on zoomin' further down this road. That may well be the best decision for you. I simply suggest you consider this particular involvement in relation to the rest of your identifying involvements, so you don't unconsciously jeopardize your place in the world.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As a sign archetypally gifted with a 'way with words', Gemini, you must remain aware that this gift comes with a certain power. Under this current astro-weather, it's not enough to say whatever you want to say just because you wish to say it, implicitly using 'free self-expression' as a defense for putting interpersonally provocative or hurtful sentiments out into the ethers. You have to consciously know what external effect you're trying to achieve by saying that certain thing that certain way. Naturally, that knowledge won't guarantee you'll achieve this effect precisely, or even at all. Bearing the diversity of human responses in mind, you might in fact rouse the opposite effect, not understanding what experiences in the other person's history put them on such a different page. If your intention is not to provoke or hurt but you accidentally do so, then having that fact pointed out to you ought to be a sincere opening for furthering the exchange, hopefully enlightening you about where you missed the mark and/or showing them more clearly the goodness in your heart. But you'd better be sure you really aren't trying, unconsciously perhaps, to provoke or hurt them. Any subtle and/or unconsidered undercurrents of contention or ill-will toward someone else could cause bigger problems than you realize you'd be creating.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Thankfully, you're finally feeling that heightened impulse to plunge back into your work with a renewed zeal, Cancer, if for no other reason than the ticking of certain clocks has become so loud it cannot be ignored. Far be it for me, then, to stand in the way of this urgent fervor to compensate for prior squandered-moments or dragged-heels by doing anything other than egging you on to get feverishly busy: These next six weeks provide you an amazing chance to make up for lost time. That said, there's undeniably a danger of your doing a somewhat sloppy or half-assed job during this early stage of your re-engagement. For one, your excessive enthusiasm (funny, right?) may make it harder to focus on thoroughly accomplishing one item before diving into the next one. Also, if it's been awhile since you've consciously refreshed yourself on the guiding premise(s) behind why this work is important, and/or if something on that bigger-picture level has changed since your last large push, you might proceed too blindly according to rote assumptions about how these tasks have always gotten done… and end up having to go back and fix things which could've been avoided by confirming your understanding and/or asking foundational questions from the get-go. Don't, therefore, think of conversational check-ins as a wet-blanket infringement on your fired-up momentum; exchanges with others will simply offer you a helpful breather.


LEO (July 23-August 22): In the short-term, it's likely to go exactly how you'd like it to go, Leo. That's just the continuing astrological edge you've got going for you, with planets providing you energy both in terms of what you practically need (Venus in your 2nd) and what you personally desire (Mars in your 5th). It's on this latter matter, alas, I must issue a slight warning: In seeking to satisfy your desires when another person is also involved, please be sure to explicitly confirm that they desire a similar or compatible thing… and even if you get a superficially clear verbal acknowledgment yet still sense in your gut that a certain reluctance or resistance lingers in their unspoken emotional makeup, to double- or triple-check, to the absolute best of your ability, that everyone's on the same page. To be wholly diligent or respectful in this case could warrant you initiating a relative slowdown (or at least a few moments' pause), just so you aren't totally tying your fate together with someone who's quietly entertaining major doubt or disagreement with a key aspect of your personality, but who may hesitate to communicate it due to conflicted feelings (i.e., they love everything else about you) and/or a sense of obligation to you (i.e., they don't wish to disappoint or sadden you). Going forward under such circumstances, purposely tuning out any faint whiffs of dissent, will only cause you greater hurt further in the future. For now, ease up on putting pressure on anyone, no matter how eager you are to enjoy their company… and be especially sensitive to what they aren't saying.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Do your damnedest, Virgo, to keep your emotional responses straight this week. Already upon having just completed that first sentence, my consciousness is bombarded with the obvious observation, 'Ha! Easier said than done!' and I must honorably acknowledge the truth in that. Still, with more triggering of your 7th-house Neptune (this time by Mars-in-your-4th), the manner in which you relate to your most important partner(s), whether in romance or in friendship or professionally speaking, will be strongly colored by what's going on inside you. Though it might seem that you're upset or enthusiastic or fired-up about something they said or did, it's much likelier that you are interpreting the situation through a more-peculiarly-subjective-than-usual lens… unconsciously projecting a role onto them which had been historically played by somebody else (a parent? an ex? a former figure of note?), if only so you can play your habitual part without having to rewrite the script. Need I point out how unfair to this important partner projecting a disowned caricature onto them would be? Didn't think so. I'm not saying, by the way, you don't have a totally understandable right to be upset or enthusiastic or fired-up—you probably do. I simply recommend not accepting the face-value read on what exactly has conjured this reaction. On the deepest level: It's not them; it's you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't fall back on habit, Libra, as your first-and-only response to questions (whether asked outright or silently implied) about process, protocol, or presentation. 'The way it's always been done' could feel strangely like a tyrannical imposition… not only to those who might seek more than a surface understanding of why it's always been done that way, but also to anyone who seeks to do their best job, not just an acceptably average one. Furthermore, an act of defending the status-quo approach may actually consume more attention or energy than happily trying out a different mode-of-attack, just to see what the results would be. While preserving your own overall standing is a legitimate and timely focus, I don't think you have to preserve every minute step of your methodology in order to effectively do so. In fact, it might actually strengthen your position to model an unflustered assuredness as other people bat the discussion of 'best practices' back and forth… all the while demonstrating your confidence doesn't rest merely upon the continual repetition of familiar steps, but endures even in the face of the need to address potential efficiency-leaks in the work-circuit. Hold yourself back, therefore, from replying too quickly to conversational suggestions which point to practical improvements you might make. Habit itself isn't a good enough reason for any response or defense these days.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Having recently shoved open a door or two and elbowed yourself through its opening to a field of earned opportunities, Scorpio, you now must check back in on which particular angles you actually want to continue developing. The game-ball which you could most potently and profitably run with, at this very moment, might not be the one which will ultimately provide your heart its yearned-for sense of personal gratification… and, simultaneously, this isn't your best time to expect discernment from yourself on this issue. Over a longer stretch, you'll be better able to refine this balance between (1) what'll concretely support you, materially and with building confidence in your marketable worth, and (2) what'll feed your spirit. In the short-term, though, this balance seems to clearly favor the former consideration—perhaps because, after such an extended span of relative ineffectiveness (at least in outer-world matters), you're rightly eager to prove just what you can do, and to bank any recent advances so you may continue to draw value from them into the future. Though there's certainly nothing wrong with following the drift that's obviously favored, I do want to caution you against committing yourself totally and completely to such a functionally lucrative endeavor, when you can't presently foresee the ways in which it might eat away at your soul. Dive in as you wish, but in a non-binding fashion, lest you later decide you don't really care about delivering what you apparently promised.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Mars's arrival to your sign this past Saturday (Sep 13) has injected into you, dear Sagittarius, a much-needed flare of self-possessed initiative… that get-off-your-ass-and-just-do-it jolt you've been eagerly waiting for, to defiantly unhook yourself from these past weeks of relative purgatory (during which you hopefully let everyone else show their true colors and wade through their own shit rather than needlessly dirtying yourself in it, instead quietly burning off your own old debts) and lurch forward into actions and activities of your choosing. This warrants a big 'hurrah!' all around, methinks. Looking ahead, there's no longer a lot of watching-and-waiting in your forecast. In its place, you should expect encouragements to put yourself out there, to take independence-declaring risks, to get back in fuller touch with your bodily vessel, and to do pretty much anything that stimulates motion. Mars will be in Sagittarius for six full weeks, but this first one is arguably the most problematic—due principally to his squaring Neptune-in-your-4th, causing you difficulty in accurately reading which self-assertive moves will ultimately serve your own emotional well-being, and which are mere acts-of-rebellion that could later leave you sad, lonely, or regretful. That said, spend this first full Mars-in-Sagittarius week on pursuits which will activate your assertive initiative without forceful outward spectacles or interpersonal involvements. Once the Neptune square passes on (beginning next week), you can unleash the less guarded version with fewer worries.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You'll be treading on uncertain ground throughout the week, Capricorn, as a double-dose of befuddlement hits your relationship with Mars (via occupation of your solar 12th and a square from Neptune), temporarily leaving you in a decidedly less reliable position with regards to the energy-directing efforts you put out into the world. To be blunt, you won't be sure quite what you're saying or doing… and any moment in which you doubt this statement and carelessly default to your usual confidence in reading others' reactions, you are merely tempting the gods to flash you a self-defeating symptom of your overreach. This could well be a fruitful enterprise concocted by your unconscious to help you see what you've been blind to—if you are reasonably open to feedback, as I encouraged you to be last week—and, as such, it serves you to practice humility should you step on someone's toes or put your foot in your mouth. With the right attitude, what seems at first like a 'mistake' (and, in some ways, it is) may evolve into a truly divine gift, if it invites into your life interactions and/or information you wouldn't have gone looking for otherwise. But if you seek to avoid such 'mistakes' altogether, please lean heavily on outside opinions from trusted friends or peers rather than trusting your perceptions business-as-usual-style.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): At what cost to your self-supportive standing, Aquarius, would indiscriminately pushing your particular point amongst the wider matrix of your colleagues, community-members, and/or like-minded pals come? Are you willing to shoot yourself in that very same foot you must stand on, if you intend to remain materially upright (i.e., to pay your own way), just to drive home the righteousness of your cause? You may well be justified in identifying a moral failing and/or accentuating the crucial importance of cutting through its ensuing bullshit, if indeed it's created a drift within the larger group that you don't wish to identify yourself with. But how you seek to wage your campaign of rooting out toxic components and/or righting wrongs can make a huge difference between (1) separating yourself from a party-line, just to ensure you're officially on record with your particular opinion or belief, and (2) totally disregarding the practical necessities of maintaining a certain level of affiliation with those who generally share a common place in the world (even if you disagree on a key issue), in idealistic deference to ideological purity at all costs. To be honest, your discernment in this area will be momentarily hindered by this week's Mars-Neptune astrology. Therefore, strive to be acutely conscious of when a seemingly justifiable fight threatens to lose you real-world ground (such as an income stream, the respect of an influential ally, and/or a reputation for being even-keeled). Maybe this is more a moment for tactical repositioning (a critical part of the fight) than hand-to-hand combat.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Here comes another highly Neptunian week, a vibe which makes everyone else in the world behave a bit more like you, Pisces, motivating them to proceed more by feel than straight-line logic. Only, most of them have far less comfort or experience with this approach… and thus are far likelier to unwittingly generate results that aren't exactly what they'd had in mind (if not altogether different). You, therefore, have an opportunity to work this square to Neptune from Mars-in-your-10th to your decided advantage: By purposefully playing to the most favorable impressions that an important character and/or key decision-maker may have of you (even if it's based on only a partial glimpse of who you are), you can successfully push forward with an ambition, fight for what you endorse as the correct course-of-action, and/or distinguish yourself as a leader—all without appearing to be quite as willful or assertive as you're actually being. A few sweetly diplomatic words, a receptive ear, and an aura of sympathetic understanding may be all that's required to win a battle nobody else knows you're fighting. The less-advantageous flip-side: If you aren't being purposeful with your assertive energies, you might instead end up unintentionally fighting a battle you don't care that much about and/or fully comprehend—and it's pretty likely you'll lose, if you can't even identify what productive aim a 'win' would secure you.