Horoscopes | Week of September 29-October 5, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): To keep life interesting is to venture beyond customary surroundings, on the open-ended quest to see something you otherwise wouldn't have seen, had you just stayed around the 'hood and lolled amongst the same strains of local gossip you've been immersed in since the dawn of time. Such questing-beyond almost certainly puts you into direct contact with folks who may differ from you greatly, by background or culture or ideological temperament… and though there may be language differences, perspectival chasms, and/or general unfamiliarity between you, that's sort of the whole point of journeying elsewhere (whether literally-through-space or not), no? With Venus hitting your 7th in the midst of an otherwise risky-and-raucous fieriness, Aries, you'll presently have an easier shot at bridging any such gaps you encounter between you and somebody outside your typical milieu, who you may disagree with on a key life-principle and/or know very little about—if, of course, you actually care to learn something new about the diversity of human experience. Similarly, your partner or other special person could display more marked interest in whatever's your latest exploration, allowing you to further enjoy the relationship through sharing the mutual exposure. But if you're only focused on teaching or preaching the brilliance of what you already know, the self-centered edge to this astrology might just override Venus's benefic assistance… and leave you to irritate others by seeming not to notice their disinterest.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Even from this earliest horoscopic suggestion that the polite pussyfooting and playing-nice has run its course and any unresolved deadlocks now require 'the big guns', Taurus, I'm already nervous on behalf of the proverbial other-person who might've kicked this patient bull one time too many and isn't totally aware of the cumulative reaction which has thus built up… and which may soon be coming right at 'em. As conversations you thought were over-and-done-with circle back onto themselves, you might need to take this chance to reaffirm your feelings in a more forceful (and potentially intimidating) tone, if only because the fact that you must return to these issues obviously proves they somehow still haven't grasped your position. Don't, therefore, err on the side of discretion or diplomacy if it's not getting the job done. A blusterier show of strength is probably warranted, especially if the psychic hanging-over of these uncomfortable or upsetting vibes is obstructing your capacity to accomplish certain tangible work-items. (In the midst of all this, your mundane productivity is also favored to enjoy an uptick.) Careful, though, once that long-provoked bull is released from its pen: In this case, the 'china shop' which faces possible irreparable damage is somebody else's most delicate feelings.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You're definitely not at your easiest-to-get-along-with, Gemini, but that demands no apology or retreat. At the moment, it can be devilishly pleasurable to not give in, go along, or get with the groove. For every person bearing lukewarm interest towards you and, therefore, perpetually ready to walk elsewhere the second you issue a non-compliant response or express a contrary desire, there's someone else who actually fancies your upstart unruliness and will wish to eagerly play along with this frisky friction. Screw the middle-line approach; go bravely toe-to-toe or balls-out. Any misguided attempts to smooth away the edges, pretend we're all on the same page, or underemphasize a controversial reality will only work against this astrology… and most likely, in the end, you'll end up having some other meta-quarrel or passive-aggressive 'conversation' (ahem) about the disagreement you're not having. (Same energy begging for release, just without the daring forthrightness.) Please don't act as if you and a certain someone don't diverge on a key preference, political persuasion, or lifestyle identity. That divergence is not only glaring, once you acknowledge it—it's at the root of this intriguing chemistry.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): For the moment at least, there's no self-determined reason for your days to be especially complicated or convoluted, Cancer. There are some pretty straightforward priorities to arrange your present self around… starting, first and foremost, with continuing to invest an exceptional amount of effort into your most pressing job responsibilities, mundane life-management chores, and duties to your own optimal health. This is a vital interval for feverishly progressing with your ambitions, the manifest results of toiling extra-earnestly going a long way in opening new avenues for yourself, in terms of how the public (and/or certain of its most influential characters) sees your capacities and capabilities. Please put it to as astute a use as possible. And in the meantime, when you aren't working, your other top priority ought to involve ample amounts of quiet domesticity and/or emotionally tender self-care. Because it's presently so critical to reserve your life-energies for practically productive purposes, you don't have the luxury of leaking it into pointless conversations or shallow fun or physically-draining indulgences. Privately treat yourself to whatever nurturing practices will replenish, restore, and rejuvenate. Thus, if any other certain somebody tries to complicate or convolute these clear priorities with their dominating presence or selfish expectations, it's on you to swiftly and sharply simplify the situation: Just don't play into their attention-grabs. Period.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Even at the peak of having a grand ol' time, Leo, please don't neglect to acknowledge any passing chunks of insightful subjective information which may unintentionally pass through your mind or out your lips, revealing a strong feeling about something (or someone) you hadn't fully realized you've been harboring until this moment you're now thinking or speaking it. Though, by and large, this astro-climate encourages you to enjoy life's lighter pleasures—and to actively steer your social interactions towards whatever pleases you, unabashedly putting your desires very clearly out there—there is this strange potential for situational glitches to trigger in you a habitual response somewhat out of proportion and/or not directly relevant to what's actually happening, causing a moment of intensity or upset that ought to inspire you to stop and think. Why did you become so abruptly ruffled or rattled? First hint: Nobody else is 'at fault', and no one's done anything 'wrong'. Beyond that, alas, the abrupt emotion likely points to a complex surrounding a personal like or dislike you haven't let yourself fully accept, due to having been taught early on that your preference should be something other than what it genuinely is. Obviously, that's old news; you cannot have genuine preferences forced upon you. Now that you're older and know better, your response is a simple reminder to update your inner operating-system to reflect that more mature knowing.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Even with the most reasonable and grounded intentions for how your current actions will affect you and your bottom-line, Virgo, you cannot help but read as intensely emotional by those who aren't being as directly served by what you're up to—and that could mean anybody other than yourself. It's not that your decisions themselves are unduly influenced by some volatile feeling-surge and thus unwise, but more a case of the flavor with which you're enacting them coming off as sharp or strong (or even scary). What you might be experiencing as the culmination of an internal process that's been long unfolding, they could see, quite differently, as a sudden move or a hasty reaction… simply because they had no idea what you'd been quietly orchestrating, in the same way any surface appearance may belie what's going on underneath. Don't let their reading of your behavior throw you off-track, though. You are under no obligation to explain your rationale or, worse, to try to convince them you aren't overly reactionary or rebellious. Should the issue becomes you and your emotionality levels, you'll play right into their perceptions. Are your feelings manifesting in an amped-up manner? A better question is: Would it fucking matter if they were?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Let's issue a rip-roarin' HURRAY! for lovely-lady-queen Venus's return to your domain early this week (Mon Sep 29), Libra, where she'll spruce up your outward presentation and enhance your appeal, bestowing small-but-noticeable benefits upon you throughout the next few weeks. Venus-in-the-1st is almost always a welcome and enjoyable transit (and especially in a sign like yours, where she's functioning healthily and happily), so this should provide a basically positive influence, increasing the odds your efforts will produce desirable results in most any context. One particular advantage I encourage you to deploy: the capacity to both initiate casual social interactions and harness them to your chosen end. Still, by taking the lead (whether overtly or more slyly), you are likelier than usual to surprise the other person with the direction you're taking them and/or the punch with which you're doing so. After all, in this present astrological period-of-history, you're regularly put on the spot to set the agenda and hold your own in relational response to those who'd otherwise expect you to do their thing their way… to neutralize old family patterns of concession and compromise, to hone your self-serving assertiveness, and to flip the script on people-pleasing Libran stereotypes. With Venus on your team, this is a fine moment to take on another round of that.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't allow pride or bravado to inspire a pig-headed refusal to consider the possibility that your mind has changed, Scorpio, or that you were never really as certain as you made it seem. There is not as clear a clue as to whether this, that, or the other is likely to work out to your advantage or lead you to a dead-end as you might wish. But though that does leave a flashing red question-mark floating over your head, it's not as if you don't have other less up-in-the-air bits of business to deal with at the moment… while, antsy though it might make it, you wait for further enlightenment (either through the eventual disclosure of more information and/or a sufficiently thorough internal-reflection process) which can only arise over time. It's a dangerous distraction to rush decisions on 'matters of the heart' or important spiritual material, especially when the cut-and-dry tasks which don't require anything more involved than sheer labor (but plenty of it!) are urgently winking at you. There's not a single reason I can conjure that would justify blind choosing (and, yes, I'm essentially telling you that you're presently blind to what such a significant choice would result in), other than a needlessly reckless urge for upset. Channel the overenthusiastic vigor into handling self-supporting practicalities that are already on your plate, revisiting and reviewing, not racing beyond.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You're still fierce and feisty as all get-out, Sagittarius, courtesy of Mars continuing to stoke your fires with a particularly rascally troublemaking feel… and as long as this free-releasing remains gratifying or giddiness-inducing, I urge you to keep the energizing provocations coming. Remember, you are still compensating for a hell-of-a-lot of 'lost time' during the first half of this year—though, let me point out, that prior prolonged incubatory period is what birthed this zealous reset—so you've got a-hell-of-a-lot of leeway for such emphatic self-assertion. With Mercury stationing retrograde in your solar 12th, I will warn you about the heightened possibility of ejecting an especially cutting or gnarly remark from your mouth, which could inadvertently damage or destroy some condition in your life you didn't wish to fuck with. Not that this, in itself, is cause to zip your lips… though, should that 'dangerous' feeling rise as you're about to launch into an emotional response or self-defense, take note of it as an intuitive clue that you're flirting with activating this damaging potential. Your biggest risks continue to involve the question of which pals, peers, or teammates genuinely qualify as 'your people'. The unapologetically self-serving stake to your present behavior could easily rub certain characters wrong, for obvious reasons. That's only a problem if it really is one of your people who thinks you're being a selfish ass. Even then, though, what do you do about it…?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Upon the likely turn-of-events which will attract more attention to your achievements and/or afford you a lovely advantage in your continuing strivings, Capricorn, please accept what's given to you with diplomatic grace and unassuming politeness. It is not, however, a very good time to actively attempt to further your efforts in response, nor to immediately use this distinction as a springboard for anything else. A critical part of your success, after all, is the wisdom to act strategically rather than by impulse or habit. It'll be a show of powerful self-confidence, then, to allow yourself ample psychic space to digest your reactions to this apparent favor (away from the madding crowd, in relative retreat, free to feel weirdly unimpressed or dissatisfied despite those not being 'appropriate' reactions) rather than impulsively forgetting your fondness for discretion and needlessly exposing yourself. This pause-before-reacting strategy will also give you the chance to observe everyone else's possibly-strangely-extreme responses from a fairly detached position—before you've given them a chance to project their response onto something you supposedly did, since you won't have 'done' anything that could qualify. To demonstrate (to yourself and anybody watching) you are in fact innocent of what the threatened one(s) would implicate you for, it's best to preserve a friendly-but-controlled outer polish… and let any troublemakers shoot themselves in the foot.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You won't create movement in anybody's thought patterns—theirs or your own—as long as you politely 'agree to disagree' and never raise the contentious topic again. Though you may be pretty convinced you hold the higher-minded conviction (and I'm not claiming you're wrong about that), Aquarius, stubbornly clinging to such a belief without sincerely testing its wider applicability through lively conversation with folks who may or may not prove receptive doesn't prove anything. A pompous or defensive tone won't get your point across or help anybody think things through more deeply; it'll just smack of desperation (yes, even if you can't see it that way). This doesn't, however, imply you must be attitudinally bland or namby-pamby. Let the exchange be a bit unsettling or challenging. Just keep the disagreeable stretches productive, dynamic, and relevant to the actual lived lives of the participants-at-hand. You mustn't hit them over the head with some ideal, unambiguous answer… not until, that is, you thoroughly hear out their description of the concrete scenario where it would apply, and engage directly with their situational specifics (rather than, say, spewing an easy-enough-sounding truism from your safe pedestal atop the observational deck). This isn't a mere laboratory for cool ideas; strong-line stances hold literal consequences for others' existences.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This remains a ripe moment to fight for your highest professional or public-world aims, Pisces… and not to take a backseat to anyone who'd rather rope you into fighting alongside them for their highest aims. Don't fall for any persuasive spin that claims 'working together' means putting your own ambitions aside and working on something else. Should you decide to ease up on your personal drive, in order to help a spouse or friend or colleague chase their dreams, you may well find yourself so supportively dedicated that you later blink and realize months or years have passed and you're no further along in fulfilling your dream-filled heart's desires, only older and more tired (and, if you're being honest, more than a tad resentful). Is that your destiny? If you do not wish it to be so, you mustn't be so ready to unfix your focus, just because a person you care about is fumbling, fearful, or potentially fucked. Despite what they might tell you in words or insinuations (or despite what your guilt-ridden mind might relentlessly suggest), sincerely 'working together' involves providing each other mutual support. Achieving personal success at the expense of another person's success, to my view, doesn't qualify. To really help them, try delivering this message. If they resist hearing it, that'll definitely tell you something about their ideas of togetherness.