Horoscopes | Week of September 21-27, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You might not believe it's presently as important to stay in the conversation as it really and truly is, Aries. Your privileged position, rank, expertise, or experience do not magically exempt you from the current imperative to collaborate, at least on the level of establishing a shared vision and common vocabulary with which to compare notes and unite efforts. In fact, how generously you're willing to communicate with others at this time will symbolically demonstrate your leadership capacity. Are you interested in what's best for the whole organization or endeavor (including all the various characters supporting its success), no matter how the winning ideas emerge? Or are you more motivated by protecting your golden spot or esteemed reputation, at the expense of others' fair inclusion? It would seem easy enough to just turn your attention to certain items-of-business which you imagine could be done without too much discussion… and to quietly dive right in, getting some stuff accomplished and, at the same time, dodging the incessant blather. But even that strategy would fall short. While that 6th-house Mars is sincerely ready to sink its teeth into some good hard work, its square to Saturn-in-your-9th urges you to slow down with it, to double-check you're headed in the right direction (and won't have to redo your work later). The best way to do that? You guessed it: checking in with the other principal players, of course.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): At this dawning moment, going for precisely what you want, Taurus, is both (1) favored by the planets over the weeks to come and (2) requires an especially delicate touch. The main reason for this latter bit of specifying counsel? I don't want you to get pointlessly tripped up by anyone else's compensatory reticence, resistance, or pushback… which would unfortunately create more hoops to jump through, explanations to provide, and/or divergent agendas to concurrently consider. If there's already a certain party whose ongoing involvement legitimately entitles them to their fair say in your process, please don't attempt to pull a fast one over on 'em. Get their official sign-off before proceeding, but try to limit the volume of negotiation required to achieve this essential step. (Hint: Focus on modestly describing the actual pieces of now-in-progress work, rather than talking in bold generalities that'll make the whole scope seem frightening large.) But if you aren't entwined in an existing intimacy which deems someone else's approval necessary, this isn't the time to extend an implicit invitation by engaging anyone too deeply in the particulars, lest they start to assume they're as vital a contributor as you are. Downplay the extent to which your continuing onward exactly as you deem fit will impact the adjacent players. Then, tinker quietly with those aspects you unquestionably do hold complete control over. You can reenlist others' feedback again later, once you reach a point at which they are more necessarily implicated.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Please don't bang your head against that same stubborn obstacle, or futilely attempt to slam through the wall which has proven its seeming indestructibility time and time again, Gemini. To keep yourself from accumulating any more circumstantial burdens or sticky-ass mud from trying to dip any more toes back into this familiarly tempting turmoil, I suggest (1) staying close to home, (2) keeping conversational topics light, though not too provocatively so, and (3) bringing no new important content to the bargaining-table at this time. Slink craftily through the in-betweens, with an eye for guarding your autonomy. Drawing other people too intimately into your orbit without a particular (and relatively bounded) purpose is an invitation for their issues to invade the whole space… which will only serve to privately frustrate you, even as you might hesitate to express that frustration out of fear it'll turn into something way larger than you have patience or desire for dealing with. And though that's just one possible manifestation among many, it poignantly illustrates the threat to your emotional well-being posed by your being too available for others to play their interpersonal games with. Take personal responsibility for shielding yourself from relational headaches, heartbreaks, or hardships. Find ways to entertain, engross, and engage yourself which don't rely too heavily on anyone else's influence.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Though certain other people may really insist upon your presence, and though you may sincerely wish to be present for them, please make no mistake about the fact that only part of you will be authentically available to them, Cancer. You cannot give them everything they might want from you, mainly because a sizable chunk of your attention is being passively utilized on your inner machinations. That means you may be willing to participate, sure, but you'll also likely seem somewhat distracted, preoccupied, and/or fractionally not-there. And that will simply have to be okay, both for the other person (who may be more accustomed to having your full-and-total self available at their request) and for you (who's probably way more comfortable taking care of someone else's needs than selfishly fixing your focus on your own). Should you find yourself confronting an irked temperament and/or persistent demand from another party, please don't get sucked into an overwrought squabble over abstract relationship issues. If you need to defend your right to self-governance, do so by using your current responsibilities as the legitimate excuse for why you can't drop everything for them. This is not a case of feelings falling short or loyalties coming into question, but simply a fair matter of your mind necessarily being elsewhere at the moment… though if a certain someone can't accept that, they may end up creating those very doubts they're freaking out about.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you're being commonsensical about your next steps, Leo, you're likely facing something of a showdown between (1) your fertile creativity, which is hardly running short of brilliant ideas for next-steps, and (2) the increasing pressure to figure out how the hell to actualize these ideas. After the super-high of these inspiring few months, you've reached the point where you must integrate personal desire with practical tactics… though this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise if you've kept up with recent horoscopes (such as this one and this one). The necessity of you starting to work harder does, naturally, collide with the part of you who's grown really accustomed to an exaggerated level of day-to-day fun—and, with Saturn back in your solar 5th for the next two-plus years, you now must enact sobering corrective measures as one would at the end of an awesome extended-weekend party when job-duties once again beckon you to that Monday return-to-the-grind. Let this oncoming week, then, serve as your gentle re-entry into a less revelrous, more responsibly restrained existence. You don't have to give up all the fun in one fail-swoop renunciation, thankfully. But you really ought to modestly increase your daily amount of productive effort, cut back on the indulgences while upping the health-supportive moves, and examine your current financial snapshot more carefully (in case recent festivities have left a hole that needs refilling). There's just no getting around it, dear: Back to work, in earnest.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Initiative-sparking Mars finally lands in your sign midway through the week (Thu Sep 24), Virgo, kicking off what's arguably the busiest and most self-assertively forward-thrusting month-and-a-half of your entire '15. The watch-and-wait which has permeated so much of your recent past is officially over-and-done-with! Going forward, over this next stretch, you should feel free and emboldened to let all those around you know exactly what you intend to reap from any-and-every encounter… rather than, say, perpetuating the erroneous notions that you're 'cool' with whatever happens, bear no personal preferences one way or another, and are reluctant to exercise leadership or authority. By the middle of November, there ought to be nobody left in your imminent environment who believes such misleading garbage. With Mars squaring off against a 4th-house Saturn, your inner critic (who, incidentally, holds a striking resemblance to one of your parents and/or a looming figure from your childhood) may be your own biggest obstacle in fully embodying this take-charge attitude, in its attempt to dissuade you from risking perceived security for a whole host of immediately-irresolvable unknowns. Please remind that inner party-pooper how it's literally impossible to grow in new directions without simultaneously facing a lot of open-ended questions, unforeseen challenges, and foreign concepts to learn from the ground up. Another hopefully-empowering sentiment to repeat to yourself: 'This is what I want to do.' Desire is a totally defensible motivation in itself; no need to conceal it under supposedly 'sensible' reasoning.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Due to this week's particular mix of astro-factors, I'm moved to warn you not to behave as meanly or spitefully as your inner avenger might urge, Libra. Chances are, whatever transgression you'd rashly indict another person for committing just isn't as cut-and-dry a justification for coming down so harsh and unforgiving on 'em. If you're that upset or emotionally rattled, you're obviously bringing more to your interpretation of this current situation than the immediate facts would warrant through someone else's eyes. You've experienced this upsetting dynamic before, I'd bet. You've lived through other accounts of a similar nature, in which you likely relinquished a certain degree of personal agency, in an effort to hold a relationship together… only to later realize you dug yourself deeper into a hole, set yourself up for defeat, or sold yourself out, and now you're adamantly refusing to do the same again. But please don't take out those unresolved resentments or regrets on the person in front of you now (presuming, of course, they weren't the one responsible for perpetrating all these past power-plays). Remember what I told you two weeks ago? This is an ongoing process of sharing your feelings, then adding more layers, amending previous oversimplifications, unpacking inadvertently convoluted logic, and continuing to talk it out. Should the impulse to attack rise up, look underneath it for the hurt-and-vulnerable soul who just wants to protect itself… and address the other party from there.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): For your own most sensible self-interests, Scorpio, I encourage you to contain any superfluous involvement in wider social frictions, community-member conflicts, or political-minded jockeying for votes. It does not behoove you to get caught in the crossfire, publicly choose sides, or badmouth anyone who's likely to return the shit-talking favor… particularly when you'd do better to concentrate on strengthening your sense of practical self-sufficiency, which thrives from leaving yourself as broad a potential marketplace for your talents as possible (rather than limiting your reach due to other people's petty personality disputes or your own short-sighted tribalist thinking). At the moment, there is very little virtue in offering your feedback on any issue which threatens to become controversial or polarizing. Relative silence, on the other hand, gives you a prime opportunity to observe everyone else's self-promotional anglings, snide potshots, inspirational rallying-cries, and declarations-of-purpose. I cannot stress enough how momentarily vulnerable you are to accidentally creating very awkward moments, whenever you mutter even the most 'casual' (or so you think) aside, if it even slightly veers toward territory which could be considered a judgment on another person's behaviors or beliefs. All the while, you cannot help but develop opinions of the relevant players. At times, you might need to get up and leave before said opinions slyly sneak out, through a not-so-carefully-veiled remark or disapproving glare.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): As Mars hits your solar 10th midweek, Sagittarius, you enter a pivotal several-week phase of actively making your mark on the public-world stage. Between now and mid-November, you're in the unreservedly best moment all year for attracting great attention to your outward efforts, advancing your professional agenda, winning favor among any authority-figures or VIPs who might give you a leg-up, and/or vanquishing any institutional hindrances (and the nasty bosses who administer them) which may be unduly restraining your progress. But as Saturn-in-your-1st insists on reminding us, a continuing threat to your masterfully achieving such gains remains your own innate impatience. Sagittarius is a sign renowned for leaping first and asking questions later… an approach which may effectively foster onward motion but which can also leave important details unexamined, subtle distinctions glossed over, and/or essential preparations sloppily handled. This week, as Mars squares Saturn, it would be wise not to just come galloping through the gate, with all those eyes fixed on your every move, especially if you still have any questions about exactly what you're going to be doing once you arrive at this conspicuous pedestal-spot. Instead, use this 11th-house Mercury retrograde to 'try out' your popular approach… presenting your latest aspirations first to folks you already trust and/or consider personal friends, letting them react, taking their honest feedback to heart, and (that's right) preparing for the additional self-unveilings imminently due to transpire.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Being your best self, Capricorn, is not the same thing as appearing as your best outward representation of self. Some of your most crowning achievements of proud selfhood will occur without anyone being able to tell anything's happened. They'll occur as a result of your shrewdly discerning which battles are worth fighting, which issues to publicly weigh in on, and/or which initiatives warrant you receiving credit for… and which of these ego-buttressing maneuvers to forego, in order to reserve your energy for longer-ranging, marathon-style efforts that may be, at the moment, totally invisible to other players' view. Judiciously exercising one's personal power often means letting someone else stand in the center of the action, to attract both the fawning from fair-weather fans and the incidental ire of those displeased with their own relative situation. You're in the earlier stages of a big-picture reframing, during which you may need to redirect your attention back towards those ideals, intentions, and meaning-systems that underscore why you work so hard in the world… a shift which ought to simultaneously pull you away from too much vehement concern for the situational specifics of this microcosmic moment now unfolding. Does your future promise depend on nabbing the upper-hand in this context, right here and right now? If not, then release your ego's grabby desire for immediate triumph, righteousness, or vengeance—and focus on what ultimately matters.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Please dispense with any delusional posturing that you're being highly principled or logically consistent in your standpoint, Aquarius… and just acknowledge this is more an instance of feeling as you feel, wanting what you want, and/or responding directly to potent psychological flare-ups from within, rallying you to continue trying to chip away at others' resistance. Where's the shame in being vulnerable to the same irrational (though no less vivid and vital) human drives which impact us all? The sooner you can drop the idea you're 'evolved' enough to allege your take on these circumstances is somehow the fairest approach for all parties, the closer you can get to addressing what's really going on. You are actually pretty freaked out (albeit mostly unconsciously, I'd bet) by a lurking possibility of someone else asserting their will (as they're totally free to do, I might add) in a manner that inhibits you, infringes upon you, or exposes you to impacts you're incapable of blocking or controlling. And so, you're probably doing your best smart-person's job of attempting to convince them why they shouldn't proceed down that road… while using impersonal, distancing rationale that may shield your personal anxieties from glaring obviousness, but isn't legitimately coherent or sound. What if, instead, you dropped that high-and-mighty tone—and just took up this conversation from the much more frank and transparent position of your own motives, desires, fears, and concerns?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): There's no need for the Mr./Ms./Mx. Nice-Guy Routine, Pisces, if you aren't feeling especially generous towards those who'd rather you stay embroiled in familiar drama with them, at a time when you have your own meaningful life-objectives you'd like to get more serious about. These next weeks ahead serve as an incredibly powerful moment for substantially shifting the existing dynamics in a key relationship (and/or altering your general behaviors toward other people)… away from a willingness to earnestly try to understand their perspective at every turn (when they probably aren't putting that same attitude into practice), and toward a more functionally fair rhythm where you also get to stake some claims, set some boundaries, and place some priorities at the top of the list. To pull this off, you mustn't let certain little encroachments or modest manipulations slide, due to a self-effacing instinct which convinces you not to 'make a big deal' about things that really do matter to you. These small sacrifices add up, each stealing a bit of your self-determination away from aspirations and agenda-items of your own choosing… and with Saturn now in your 10th again, framing this as a make-or-break couple years in your career (and/or public-community) strivings, you simply don't have the energy to waste. Don't be afraid to position your personal ambitions at number-uno on your list—and to reorient your relational attitudes so they support these primary goals, rather than detract from or compete with them.