Horoscopes | Week of September 14-20, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Don't let yourself become too thrown off, Aries, by the likelihood you'll need to reengage in certain interpersonal dialogues you thought you'd already put your two cents into. Mercury's going retrograde in your relationship house (the 7th), so the changing circumstances which this other person may find themselves navigating—and/or your own shifting attitudes, for that matter—will probably require you to take a second (or third or fourth) stab at fostering this meeting-of-the-minds. But you won't be wasting time or energy 'repeating' yourself: During this transitional moment, you're almost certain to give slightly (or more-than-slightly) different versions of what's on your mind each time you sit down to speak. You might not, however, have noticed in advance of this happening how these tales you've been telling are slowly and subtly evolving… which is why this process of continuing to talk it out, over a few-weeks'-more time, is helping you eliminate any wrinkles or inconsistencies in your thinking. Seeing it this way, then, please grant the other person this same understandable liberty. Contain any irritable responses on your part, should they start to contradict something they already said to you. They, too, will be evolving through this prolonged dialogue. Nobody need be in charge of policing anyone else's conflicting messages, as if it's a crime to work out your thoughts through an externalized, interactive process.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): How the hell are you supposed to get it all done? you might be asking yourself these days, Taurus… and let me tell you, looking into the variety of ways you could address that very question is perhaps more important than dashing full-throttle into an attack on the anxiety-provoking panoply of pressing to-dos. First, identify anything that must be done immediately. Don't, however, try to guilt-trip or mind-fuck yourself into putting items on that list which don't have to be done right away. If you have even a week or two of wiggle-room on something, it is not as urgent as your pushy whip-bearing mind would have you believe. Next, spend one ultra-productive day (or a couple ultra-productive half-days) taking care of everything on that first round of crucial time-sensitive priorities. Good, now they're done. As far as the rest of stack is concerned, I strongly encourage you to rethink how you might ordinarily handle all this stuff. For instance, when you postpone certain tasks because they're what you enjoy the least and/or they raise uncomfortable feelings (for whatever reason), that might not be the most methodologically logical ordering. Or if you've been managing a responsibility by some lo-tech habit you slapped together months or years ago (i.e., when you were far less skilled than you are now), this could be your moment to switch it up… with the understanding that extra time invested now will save you much more time later. With Mercury retrograde in your 6th through the second week of October, don't just resignedly accept the likely work delays; use 'em to your longer-term advantage.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You might feel a bit communicatively spunky or irreverent, Gemini, on the occasion of your ruling message-deliverer Mercury flipping retrograde in your 5th, the house of what we really enjoy. As such, the Merc-retro snafus you're likeliest to encounter during these few weeks could involve you taking a joke too far (or simply making the wrong joke), misjudging a particular audience's receptivity to your playfulness, and/or underestimating how seriously someone else is treating a dalliance or diversion that you think of as relatively insignificant, casual, or 'just plain fun'. The difference between this dynamic playing out as a harmlessly awkward moment or a sincerely unfortunate case of foot-in-mouth? Who the other players are, naturally. This would be a good time to mention that Saturn returns to your relationship house (the solar 7th) this week, where it'll spend the next two-plus years getting you real serious about who are your most appropriate companions, collaborators, and consorts—and about how you ought to behave towards them, in order to demonstrate your capability, credibility, and/or commitment. Against that backdrop, then, it behooves you to carefully consider both the quality-of-character and the context-of-acquaintance of anyone you're hanging out or goofing off with… before you start running your mouth. Some will greatly appreciate your whimsical spirit; others could be offended beyond repair.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Simply put, Cancer, you're figuring out some shit right now. You might not be totally conscious that's what you're doing—since many of the ideas you're chewing on may not have even cohered into verbal expression yet—but, trust me, your inner mind is very actively engaged in weighing possibilities, perspectives, and interpersonal positionings. Let it have its space, then, rather than trying needlessly to rush toward a premature encapsulation of your seesawing opinions, unresolved emotions, and reasonable-on-both-sides pros-and-cons. We touched on this last week, too, but I want to emphatically reiterate the potential problematics of muddlingly enmeshing those closest to you in a dialogue about issues that are yours and yours alone to work out in the most self-nurturing fashion. Much of what I see in front of you, during this next stretch, is best handled independently… whether we're talking about ongoing money-and-job maneuvers, domestic concerns, family matters, or relational deliberations. In order to do what's right for you, you have to do it. Relying on someone else's strong opinions (which aren't without underlying motives that serve their interests at least as much, if not more, as they serve yours), no matter how much you trust or care for them, is only liable to increase your uncertainty rather than clear it up. While conversations relevant to what you're chewing on may start occurring, with increasing frequency, in the weeks to come, you're still about a month (or slightly more) out from really figuring this shit out.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Here's where a lot of the 'talking about it' happens, Leo… more copious amounts of 'letting people know what's up' than you probably imagined would occur (though, admittedly, you're only now beginning to notice that fact), as well as a seemingly obvious need to repeat yourself, clarify how you settled on what you did, and/or explain exactly how you intend to integratively implement all this. Believe me when I tell you, this protracted informational-exchanging interval is actually not as much about seeking approval or support from other people (though it's indisputably awesome if you do get it) as it is an excellent way to externalize all your disparate thoughts, organize them in an orderly fashion, and identify where you've missed an unanswered question or unconsidered angle. Rather than sheepishly sputter when stumbling across any oversights or blindspots, consider any such realizations a stroke of well-timed luck: This is your ideal moment to make sure (1) this is what you want, (2) you're not willfully dodging any key logistical concerns, which might otherwise make your job harder, and (3) you're able to discuss your plans without getting triggered by the diverse range of other people's reactions to you. Through the act of talking all about your intended next-steps, you'll really help prepare yourself. This part ought to take a few weeks.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The Mercury retrograde which begins this Thursday (Sep 17) falls entirely in your solar 2nd house, Virgo, indicating these next few weeks are likely to involve negotiations and/or reassessments with regards to questions of self-worth. On a more superficial level of astro-analysis, the 2nd is just the house of money (specifically, that which we earn of our own efforts). Of course we cannot expect anybody to fairly compensate us for the skills, traits, and resources we bring to the table unless we accurately understand our own 'market-value' and can confidently profess it in the appropriate context. Now that great-glorifier Jupiter is in your sign, you ought to be feeling bigger and brighter and bolder, making this a fitting time to revise prior self-conceptions in this area (which, as a Virgo, probably downplayed your legitimate worth)—and even to flirt with opening conversations about income-increases and such. Yes, even while Mercury is retrograde. Notice, however, I said 'flirt with opening conversations' rather than 'cut to the chase' or 'demand what's coming to you'. For this to work to your benefit, you might want to think of this as the preliminary foundation-laying, in advance of your becoming more assertive and more generally appealing, once both Mars and Venus hit your sign (next week and in three weeks, respectively). Warning: If you've been overvaluing yourself in any way (i.e., cockily underestimating the competition, overlooking glaring 'areas-for-improvement'), that humbling adjustment may also be due in the coming weeks… though, in such cases, it really is better to know.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As of Thursday (Sep 17), Mercury will be retrograde in your sign, Libra, into the second week of October. As such, you are likelier to 'suffer' (ahem) from the unanticipated fallout of speaking too off-the-cuff and/or by unthinking habit than many of your zodiacal mates. Yet, I question how terrible it would be, after all, if you inadvertently put voice to more of your inner truth than you normally might. What if the folks around you actually had a fuller understanding of your current feelings (even if you don't perfectly understand them yourself)? Despite the initial awkwardness apt to arise when unintentionally showing one's cards, you'd eventually be able to settle into the knowledge that other people are in on the life-questions now vexing you… and you're not as alone with this as you might've previously assumed. That's the funny dark-side to your impeccable knack for maintaining smooth and seamless social interactions: The more discomfort-generating reality you withhold from your conversations, in order to keep the other person(s) superficially unruffled, the more isolated you make yourself on the level of genuine interpersonal intimacy. Therefore, though it can be momentarily flustering to gracelessly expose emotional complexities you usually keep discreetly under wraps, there's definitely something to be said for pulling back the curtain (even if by accident) and revealing how you really feel.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): With a now-direct 10th-house Venus moving into its third-and-final Uranus trine over these few months, Scorpio, you're reaching the critical culmination in this streak of professional good-fortune (and/or public-worth advantage) that's also revealed itself to be somewhat uncertain, unstable, and/or yo-yoing from one outlook to another. The most-telling revelations of who's who and what's what in this funhouse of possibility are due to finally surface over these next few weeks, hopefully resolving any lingering questions about whom your loyalties reside with and/or where your future looks brightest. But here's the catch: As information emerges or other players show their true colors, you have very very little to gain—and potentially more to lose—by taking up further conversation on any revelatory topics, especially if what you've discovered is disappointing and/or inciting. I suspect you've already said your piece (or plenty of pieces). Professional colleagues need not hear you testify to your contentious feelings, even if you're on your way out and/or vindictively wish to give 'em a piece of your mind. Instead, start quietly devising your response-plan, now that certain questions are no longer up-in-the-air… and, meanwhile, tap into your larger network of allies and associates beyond this singular circumstantial corral, broadening your perspective on what else is possible.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): After having slipped back into your solar 12th for the past three months, Saturn is now definitively back in your sign through the end of 2017, Sagittarius. While this most-recent three-month period has been a long-strange-trip type of test—to help you determine how confidently you've left your past in the past, and to reveal whether you still fall for that familiar self-sabotaging bait—you are now back at the spot where you must industriously concentrate on actualizing the new-and-improved you, with an eye for maximal staying-power. To proceed as your ideal authentic self, therefore, you should expect to become less and less successful at harmoniously serving other people's concepts of you. In the weeks to come, you may find your best-laid attempts at adopting a tactful or politically-expedient tone so as to 'keep things smooth' with friends, teammates, or co-community-members falling clumsily short and/or unwittingly subjecting you to accusations of being too self-interested. While such glitches in the social fabric might at first seem unfortunate, I encourage you to think beyond that short-sighted conclusion… and to understand any momentary tensions as an invitation to prolong the conversation, and to get underlying gripes on the table. As part of this unfolding, you'll likely come to see how you are indeed pushing a self-serving agenda (which is just another way of saying you're tightly focused on accomplishing your self-set goals). But that, in itself, is not a problem. True allies will want you to achieve your highest potential, and understand that needn't come at their expense.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You'll have to invest ample conscientiousness in all your public performances and presentations, Capricorn, to keep yourself from stepping in it… and even still, you remain under a heightened chance you'll be misheard, misread, or misunderstood by those who feel you're politicking, power-tripping, or posturing for position. That narrow line between upholding gracious manners and insincerely laying it on too thick—as well as the corresponding one between expressing confident self-possession and oozing shrill sanctimony—is presently so indistinct, thanks to Mercury's retrograde, it'll be dangerously easy for you to end up on its wrong side. Should one of these disagreeable communicative instances occur, I strongly recommend not adopting an offended tone yourself, nor rushing into a heated argument in defense of your own righteousness, nor obstinately doubling-down on the original triggering remark. That's not because I think you ought to cede them the power to assign a final verdict to your presumed guilt. In fact, definitively duking out who's 'right' or 'wrong' is irrelevant to what's ultimately in your best interests… which is to craftily minimize the needless accumulation of others' bad feelings towards you, especially if it would be based on a misinterpretation of your conduct, character, or convictions. In order to do that, then, a simple apology for causing them upset (without forgetting to add the qualifying 'inadvertently') or a non-annoyed-sounding line or two of clarifying information is all you need to offer. Then, move on without much attachment to their momentary perception of you. Like anything else, it's subject to change over time.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Leave some room for ambiguity please, Aquarius. Conclusions about 'the correct way to move forward' are more subjective than you might want to believe. Even our most brilliant philosophers draw their particular style of universalizing theories, whether consciously or not, from what they've learned about human nature from their own unique lived-exposure to certain psychological experiences. Astutely differentiating between right and wrong, it turns out, is not as strictly an intellectual exercise as those who self-identify as 'thinkers' (such as most Aquarians) claim. With that in mind, do your best to soften any hard-line stances during these next few Mercury-retrograde-in-your-9th weeks… not in order to change your fundamental values or guiding life-principles, but out of fair respect for the range of various behaviors which might still qualify as 'correct' once you carefully consider the finer nuances, as well as others' personality-styles. An issue on which you sharply disagree with somebody could be a fruitful opportunity to hear more emotionally-intimate details about why this person has ended up believing as they do… and to share some of your own details, to better elucidate your way of thinking. You might ultimately decide this isn't someone you wish to associate with, but that needn't preclude you from gaining a deeper personal understanding of the experiences which underscore your differences.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You will actually build intimacy rather than damage it, Pisces, by gambling a copacetic status-quo rapport on behalf of radical honesty… at least in those specific interpersonal associations which hold capacity for ongoing evolution and/or a promising potential to endure over time. If you're afraid to broach a topic, confess a truth, or ask for clarity on some issue that's causing you underlying anxiety, that should tell you a lot about whether the other party is someone who helps you feel safe to take psychological risks—or whether your continuing involvement with them is predicated on you steering clear of certain hot-potatoes and/or catering to their preferred perspectives over standing up for your own. Growth-fosterer Jupiter is now in your relationship house (the solar 7th) for the next year, we mustn't forget… a transit which is all about expanding your notions of what a desirable one-on-one partnership could offer you. This is an opportunity for you to proactively push beyond prior interpersonal limitations, however, not a magical cure-all which miraculously improves unhealthy relational dynamics. In fact, sometimes Jupiter-in-the-7th brings losses in the relationship realm, due to you outgrowing the confines of an outdated coupling (though these are the types of 'losses' which you look back upon from the not-so-distant future with gratitude more than regret). Delve into those nerve-wracking interpersonal spaces, then, with a sense of self-developmental curiosity… and let's see how up-to-the-task that certain someone really is.