Horoscopes | Week of November 10-16, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Where you'll go wrong, Aries, is if you mistakenly forget that chasing your most commanding goals is a long-distance race (not merely a string of unrelated sprints)… and, in the midst of a tense exchange or heated instant, you spontaneously expel too much domineering energy to 'win' this particular battle or race. Sure, you're likelier than not to emerge victorious in this round at this very moment (unless you've pitted yourself against a master strategist). But that victory is apt to come at a cost: In the act of taking your toughness far enough to secure your dominance, you'll also be circumstantially taking certain future opportunities (for collaboration, mentorship, personal growth, and/or material gain) decidedly off the table. The firepower required to prove your point, defend your honor, or show 'em who's boss will be so intense, it will almost surely leave some scorched earth in its wake. When emotionally inflamed, you might not care about what you could ultimately lose by fixating on the immediate score. Later, however, you probably will. From this perspective, then, it's not worth directing your fire at infuriating bosses, heartless authority-figures, unkind parents, or structural systems set up to screw you over. Re-channel all that concentrated life-force toward creating your own superior legacy—and, if you have to suck up your pride here and there, it's a small price to pay in this long-distance run.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It's one of those fraught moments in which you just cannot afford to be needlessly haughty, condescending, or outright cruel in pressing your version of what's morally correct, Taurus. Even if your worldview is the most rightfully just one, it will not matter a smidge if you commit your own integrity-lapses in the act of arguing for it against those who don't see it your way. It's even more important than usual to stay on the high road. Dare you degenerate into lobbing insults or gerrymandering shadowy leaps-of-logic that insinuate deep character-failings in those who believe differently, you will not only make yourself look bad; you'll also pollute the manner in which the belief itself is understood within the broader marketplace-of-ideas. In other words, you could damage the credibility of the very principle you're fighting for, due to your down-and-dirty fight tactics. The sound of what you say and how you say it will travel far and wide under this astrology. Of course, it's not just about the issues, is it? There's inarguably an interpersonal component, isn't there? To guard against the worst possibilities, you must acknowledge your feelings about certain individuals involved in this debate (as well as any emotion-laden generalizations you harbor about this or that 'type' of person)—whether competitive or admiring, disdainful or idealizing—or else you'll inadvertently muddy the distinction between the players and the purpose. How you advocate and argue, especially at this time, could earn you the respect of an ideological adversary… or harm the way a potential ally sees you forevermore.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In last week's edition, I mentioned a 'monster' you need to stare straight in the face. I cannot know the specific ins and outs of that particular throbbing beast which scares the crap of you, Gemini, even as it may simultaneously compel you to come closer: We could be talking about financial turmoil, extreme conflict, a relational entanglement you cannot extricate yourself from (or, for that matter, one which you're conflicted about getting deeper into), or some literal life-and-death matter. But whatever it is, that monster continues to menacingly loom… and it's not going anywhere either, not without a prolonged and persistent attack-strategy, firmly grounded in steady everyday responses. Mustering enough bombast for one spectacularly frightening strike (which might temporarily stun the monster, but not permanently neutralize it) and/or making a sudden shift in social-affiliation (as if you might lose the monster by hanging out in different locales with different comrades) will not likely lead to ultimately satisfying results, though it may provide fleeting release or relief. No one-time act will suffice. This stubborn monster requires a daily faceoff: 'Good morning, monster. There you are, just where I expected you to be. I am ready to continue confronting you again today.' And then, built into the fabric of your schedule that day (and each day going forward), you carry out yet one more concrete task directly related to confronting that monster. Only over time can you pull this off, but, yes, you can.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Studying your current outlook, Cancer, I'd be shocked if you weren't at some sort of odds with an important character in your life… or, if not experiencing that specific an interpersonal rift, then you're at least probably feeling less accommodating and/or more aggressive towards other people in general. By the astrological clock-hands, this is just as it should be. You've reached another of those telling moments when you must differentiate between your sincere care for a particular person (actual or hypothetical) and your personal displeasure with a certain dynamic in your dealings with them, one which seems to overpower your own voice and/or betray your own relational needs. While we covered this ground in your last horoscope, this shit truly is hitting the fan as this week unfolds. It's nothing less than a test of how authentic you're being (with yourself and any other party) about how much pleasure and joy you directly and immediately receive from participating in this particular coupling (and/or from perpetuating certain habitual behaviors in how you balance your assertion-of-desires against the willing fulfillment of everybody else's). This is an especially rotten time to be inauthentic, and/or to allow yourself to be overpowered or betrayed by some louder, stronger, or scarier individual. If you choose to deliberately sell out your potential pleasure and joy—and, let's be clear, that's what a cowardly surrender would entail—you're sending a forceful message that such concerns (pleasure! joy!) just aren't that important.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Though the near-agony you may be experiencing (or melodramatically claiming to experience) from this latest need for uncompromisingly strong-and-sustained effort (or 'drudgery', as you might conceive of it) could lead you to conclude you've got to get out of here, I must inform you that isn't a well-timed conclusion to act upon now, Leo. There's no denying the restlessness, the wanderlust, the yearning for 'something more' than more-of-the-same—and, yes, the overall astrological picture during these past few months and extending into mid-'15 does seem to favor such wing-spreading expansions and explorations. But that doesn't apply for the immediate time-being, sorry to say. 'Growing beyond' does not mean leaving behind a mess of unfinished tasks, unanswered questions, unattended-to practicalities, and/or underperforming bodily-health. We call that an escape… a reckless not-well-thought-out exit that merely accumulates more emotional karma for yourself, born out of lurking shame and disappointment about having shirked responsibility (and likely, in the process, saddling other people with duties they didn't sign on for). Messes do not tidy themselves up; they energetically follow us around like Pig-Pen's dust-cloud, subtly infecting the air we give off. So, it doesn't behoove you to leave before you've gotten what's in front of you into decent enough shape that it's not, in fact, a mess. Stick around right here for now, and meet your obligations first.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): When I put forth the edgy remark that, for you Virgos at the present moment, it's not really about what other people want, I don't want you to mistakenly presume I'm suggesting that other people's opinions don't matter. Their opinions actually do matter. A lot. But both the starting and ending points of your current strategizing reflections ought to be something akin to: 'How do I get as much of what I want as I possibly can?' That's quite different, as is clearly seen, than starting off by considering someone else's expectations or desires before attempting to carve out a small domain of satisfaction for yourself… and only then cobbling together personal preferences from those bits-of-twine-and-thread left over after they had their first dibs. Likewise, anticipating an eventual letdown or lack-of-fulfillment—rather than, say, expecting to succeed in getting much of what you want—already cedes the 'happy ending' to some other narrator before you've even given full victory the old college try. This is your platform of desire, either to manifest into being or to surrender (because you're intimidated by the effort demanded to manifest it?). And because other people's opinions do matter, you must do an expertly thorough job of persuading them why they, too, ought to want what you want… without being too conversationally off-putting with your insistence.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The battle for your psychological self-determination—or the right to actively mold your emotional reactions to triggering situations or people, based upon having unpacked their root-sources thoroughly enough to differentiate between what you inherited (or had shoved down your throat) and what you arrived at on your own—is in full force, Libra. And it is nothing less than a battle, if you're indeed seeing the stakes clearly: You don't have to ride the rollercoaster of anyone else's erratic behavior just because you're in some type of relationship with them, no matter how much you may care for or love them. (In fact, if the whole thing feels like a rollercoaster way too often, I'd question why you're 'in some type of relationship with them'.) You get to regulate what you will and won't allow yourself to become upset or moved by, what is and isn't a matter of emotional urgency. Currently, this battleground is centered around issues of practical self-sufficiency and self-nurture: ensuring you have enough resources to continue satisfying your own material needs, and insisting you hold a lot of power in establishing and preserving the overall sanctity of your home. If you refrain from any kneejerk people-pleasing accommodations, I believe you'll come to realize that, in order to triumph in this battle, you cannot be mindlessly generous with your money (regardless of how 'desperate' they may purport to be), nor can you cede control over the specifics of your living situation (even if 'we've all got to make compromises')… not if such acts betray your own deepest psychological yearnings, in the process inviting quiet resentments to take residence right where your heart's contentment should be nesting.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It's an odd final-week for enjoying the blessings of Venus's current transit through your sign, Scorpio, considering she meets up with reality-checker Saturn by conjunction, not traditionally thought to be the most convenient aspect for tapping into her beneficity. But even still, good things will come to those of you who are steadfastly sincere, appropriately boundaried, and totally forthright about what does and doesn't work for you… though perhaps without the accompanying euphoric buzz and/or maybe not right away. That's the challenge with Venus-Saturn: to forego the passing glee of superficial admiration or unsuitable affection, on behalf of that lasting gratification from having done the right thing or held out for more appropriate attention or authentic reception. On the forthrightness front, this isn't one of those occasions when you can cleanly get away with declaring your will by just launching into the desired actions, not as long as there are any other players who could be impacted by such a sudden about-face or jumping-into. You must stick around in the hot-seat, where those who might not like what exactly you're up to will have access to engaging you on your thought-processes, and actually walk them through your truth… refusing to flinch when it gets awkward or confrontational, continuing the conversation until they cannot legitimately claim to not understand where you're coming from (or until they lose their patience) but without ever lapsing into meanness. They may still not like your perspective, but they won't be able to argue that you wussed out. You, meanwhile, will be accumulating additional self-respect up the wazoo.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): All those amazing ideas and venturesome initiatives you're about ready to bring into being, Sagittarius, need someplace trusty and solid to rest upon… if, that is, you wish them to endure beyond their big coming-out moment and prove more than a glittering flash-in-the-pan. We covered this ground two weeks ago, when I urged you test the foundational sturdiness and lasting-power of recent efforts. But let me reemphasize this crucial point: Before you venture forth into the world with unbridled confidence in your latest-and-greatest creations, you'd better make sure that, in the process of sharing the new, you don't inadvertently forfeit something else you thought you had in the bag. You must demonstrate a firm unwillingness to lose any ground whatsoever, just so you can maybe gain some elsewhere. If you don't secure what you've already got (and wish to keep) now, it'll grow increasingly difficult for you to reliably hold everything together once you've created more goodies to manage and maintain. (And with Venus hitting your sign very late in the week, you have a few weeks ahead during which it's highly likely you will receive a few of these 'goodies'.) Proceeding too casually towards the 'more'—without handling the specific caretaking details each facet of it demands—is a recipe for dropping the ball in some (or many) of these critical areas. Don't overextend yourself, sacrificing responsible guardianship for carefree sloppiness; it'll come back to bite you.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Over the years since Pluto first entered your sign in 2008, Capricorn, I've periodically remarked upon the escalated threat of your being perceived as powerful, intimidating, or downright scary-as-fuck to certain people—those, for instance, who might too easily project their unconscious self-actualization struggles and/or begrudge you your strengths and successes—without you having deliberately done anything to warrant such perception. Perhaps you've experienced this occurrence a time or two during this span? My usual advice to you on this matter aims to inspire understanding for those folks' deep-seated insecurities, as well as to draw conscious attention to your particular advantages (whether earned, inherited, and/or as a factor of systemic privilege) so you might respectfully acknowledge them to yourself. Well, this week is a doozy in this regard: Mars conjunct Pluto in your 1st-house further increases your potential scariness, based on the very real power you do currently hold (as we discussed last week) to triumph in each and every battle-of-wills (whether on behalf of a purpose or against another person) you accept. To deny this reality, alas, is to disavow the personal force you're reckoning with…. which only tempts the possibility of harming relationships and/or your sense-of-belonging within your community, collateral damage caused by willfully 'not knowing your own strength'. Don't overlook the emotional necessity of maintaining those supportive ties-that-bind, even if it means tempering certain rebellious elements of your attack-strategy. Otherwise, you might find yourself standing on the winner's podium with nobody cheering you on.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): During this powerhouse moment in which we're all being astrologically goaded to push powerfully forward with at least one critically defining step in our grand five-to-ten-year plan, your 'push', Aquarius, will be best made behind the scenes. As we discussed a couple weeks back, this just isn't a favorable time for making big moves… at least not externally. But please don't underestimate the extreme potency presently at your self-assertive disposal: Charged with prenatal activities such as slate-clearing, dream-nurturing, nest-building, and stage-setting, you are psychically preparing yourself to give birth to your next set of life-progressing initiatives—and a premature birth will greatly increase the risk of complications or, worse, mortality. Especially when it comes to your career and/or public-reputation, you'll still want to graciously hold tight, mostly preserving the current state-of-affairs as it is (even if you may be quietly engineering an ambitious further-reach or a self-rehabilitating departure). I'm serious here: No jerky power-plays or other funny business. Instead, please offer your potent willful assertions on the mystical plane, through prayerful requests or ritualistic acts or quantum-level game-play… whatever spiritual or meditative intention-imprinting practices are your personal tricks-up-the-sleeve, private between you and the universe-master(s).


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Despite its oft-unquestioned merits in a variety of situations, diplomacy will not be the rightful approach for you to adopt at this time, Pisces. Trying to get them all to like you (or at least for everyone to 'just get along'), at the expense of actually standing for something, won't likely reap you the desired effect. If anything, those who'd ardently want you on their side could end up disappointed at your refusal to risk exposure to controversy, in favor of authentic dedication to a principle. I'm not saying you must believe one thing or another if you haven't yet decided where you fall and/or still need more information before forming an educated opinion. However, you are expected to actually engage in serious conversation, do some self-edifying research, and/or think long and hard about the important issues… and, yes, to ultimately figure out what believe. This is a powerful time for either cementing alliances, based on shared values about what will most fairly and compassionately serve the greater whole, or breaking away from friends or colleagues who don't share your values. Claiming not to care, or that such things don't matter to you, is merely a passive way of continuing to align yourself with folks who may hold a certain ethical alignment (or a lack thereof) that could lead you down an inappropriate or dangerous road.