Horoscopes | Week of September 19-25, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Relational involvements are taking on an increasingly larger role in your life, Aries… at least if you are smartly taking advantage of this favorable dilation in your scope-of-focus, and coming to understand how others' oh-so-different outlooks on the world are presenting you an unparalleled opportunity to up your own game. If someone else's unfamiliar-to-you way of addressing overwhelmingly immense or intricate issues (e.g., financial challenges, intimacy blocks or other psychic traumas, life-and-death questions) spurs an emotionally nervous response in you, there's probably a kernel of eye-opening truth about a psychological blind-spot of yours lurking there—and this is a particularly promising moment to look further into it, in ongoing dialogue with this other person. During these few weeks ahead, you have much deepening in self-knowledge to gain from staying somewhat uncomfortable alongside folks you're coming to trust more and more. You should also be revving up for several weeks of greater prominence in your career/public-world sector… during which time you can boldly demonstrate your far-reaching competence in 'taking it to the next level', or just annoy the hell out of doubtful bosses or difficult clients who feel compelled to 'push back' at you. Spend this week ironing out any specifics such folks will be sure to ask about, so you're prepared with good answers.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Interpersonal vibes are looking up, Taurus, with the arrival of your ruler Venus to your relationship house (the 7th) near week's end… and the departure of fierce-and-fiery Mars from your 8th early next week, after its many months of scraping crusty mud from your psyche-walls. By now, you have a pretty damn good idea about what your version of 'moving on' will look like during this closing stretch of the year. The most reasonable, constructive, non-antagonistic step you could take this week to usher in this moving-on entails basically stating aloud what you're excitedly looking forward to doing next, what you've learned will deliver you the purest pleasures, and/or what you believe is important to more clearly prioritize in this upcoming chapter. For anybody who's been earnestly paying attention to you, none of this should come as a surprise. I'm sure you've uttered many of these same personal truths before (although perhaps not quite as clearly or confidently), and it's good to reiterate yourself for the sake of consistency. But it's not your job to make the other player(s) okay with any of it, or even to take you seriously. Your doubters may tell themselves they'll 'believe' it when they 'see' it. However, you will be moving on—sooner rather than later, at long last. Consider this week's outwardly expressed statements as your final fair-warning: This is what I'm going to do. That's not an invitation for further negotiation or conflict, just a description of what's about to happen.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As far as 'getting into it' with anyone whose recent behavior has roused you to offer feedback, correction, and/or out-and-out resistance, I'm sticking close to your horoscope from last time, Gemini, and advising you to take one more week of internal integration before really diving in. You still have a prominent advantage on the leisure-time pleasure front… which, if you're sufficiently sly, could also be used to craftily point folks in whatever behavioral direction is likeliest to bring you more relational satisfaction, using smiles and charm (rather than complaints or confrontation) to snag yourself what you want from a given individual. But when it comes to addressing larger interpersonal divergences, oddly intense psychological reactions (yours or theirs), and/or that one looming make-or-break issue you haven't wanted to face, you should probably ready yourself to 'go there' next week and beyond. Bear this in mind while you actively work to integrate your varying emotions during these days ahead, understanding your ability to pursue a future of your choosing requires you to bravely evaluate any energy-investments which don't lead you there—even if you may possess legitimate care for the person or involvement. You're also on a upswing in terms of your everyday productive capacity, though you can't afford to indulge emotional drains if you want to get shit accomplished. Having to 'go there' will be a simple matter of resolving questions, in order to patch attention-leaks, then proceeding onward whatever the outcome… though it probably doesn't feel so 'simple'.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): With Mercury-in-your-3rd stationing back to direct motion while trine to Pluto (longtime resident of your relationship-oriented 7th house), Cancer, this would be a great week to revisit any minor differences or fine-points you really need to understand more clearly in order to know how best to proceed with a certain someone. It's not about actually revisiting any potential conflict, however—that's better reserved for next week and beyond, once Mars joins Pluto in your 7th. Rather than outwardly contesting any of their versions-of-the-story you don't agree with or like, I'd recommend using this moment to gather any missing information, inquire as to their rationale in connecting the dots as they have, ask unsuspecting third-parties their opinions (without leading them to agree with yours or badmouthing anyone else's), and condense your dissent into its main point(s)-of-contention. Once you find yourself in an actual standoff, it will not serve you to throw every last divergence, criticism, or complaint against their wall, in hopes that something will stick and thus tip the scales in your favor. You'll want to carefully construct the basis of your argument (and, as such, excise any distracting gripes or unconstructive grudges) before you're in the head-to-head encounter. Visualize your cleanest road toward victoriously making your point… and spend time collecting the evidence you'll need to lead someone down that path, step by supporting step.


LEO (July 23-August 22): First and foremost, Leo, I'd love you to spend this week finalizing a detailed work-plan for yourself so that, between now and early-to-mid-November, you know exactly what you'll be doing to energetically motor through the heaps of nagging to-do items, incomplete deeds, and annoying loose-ends like a champ. There are two interconnected logic-strings which undergird this vital advice: (1) As both Mercury and Pluto station in trine to one another across houses related to practical business (your 2nd and 6th), certain essential details and long-unsettled questions are at last yielding some clarity, allowing you to advance where previously you've been biding your time. Once Mars lands in your 6th early next week, you'll receive a shot of problem-solving, progress-making tenacity in your day-to-day work zone, framing arguably the most mundanely fruitful period of labor of your whole year. You'll want to properly strategize how to use it, so it really counts. (2) By creating a plan for yourself, you will actually reserve energy you'd otherwise spend on needlessly-stressful on-the-spot decisions. The workhorse part of you will already know exactly what to do, freeing your mind up to enjoy an uptick in pleasurable social exchanges. This investment in forethought will buy you more room for leisure-time silliness.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): With Mercury getting back to its normal non-retrograde motion in your sign, Virgo, this is your week to put a finishing polish or reestablishing emphasis on any recent decisions, delineations, and declarations-of-interest which might've gotten muddied, mangled, or misdirected over these past few weeks. Even if doesn't seem like any supporting specifics or significant shades-of-meaning got lost in this latest shuffling of too many details in too brief a timeframe, it certainly won't hurt you to circle back around and confirm you were clear in expressing your viewpoint to those who really need to grasp your position. Their fullest and most-precise understanding could make the difference between you nabbing a decent enough deal and getting exactly what you wanted. And wouldn't it be better not to wait until an agreement's already been inked before speaking up about any potential letdowns or washouts… but instead to interject yourself while there's still an opening to tweak the terms? It looks like you have this one more consequential week of saying your piece, filling in blanks, presenting key data-sets, and (perhaps most critically) conveying just how personally important it feels to have everything go just this certain way, as an accurate expression of your emotional investment. Come next week, this intensity is due to lighten up a bit.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As the Sun returns to your sign for its annual visit, we know we're now entering your birthday season, Libra… and considering this year's celebration will be imprinted with Jupiter's honored generosity, you'd better have a few life-changing wishes up your sleeve for that commemorative blowing-out-of-the-candles. But just as the old superstition suggests a wish won't come true if you tell other people about it, I encourage you to make this a private intention-setting affair. That's because the most audience-appropriate examples of a wish you might make—for a better job or a new romance, for instance—would only reveal part of a much deeper story, which isn't merely about a specific self-gratifying improvement in any singular life-sector as much as it is a total emotional overhaul (a much harder thing to effectively articulate to anyone not living inside your psyche with you). Before you can confidently snag the killer gig or sexy sweetheart, you will have to vehemently oust any internal saboteurs (who, oddly enough, often resemble those formative figures from childhood who urged you to compromise away your particular preferences or desires before you even had a chance to pursue 'em, so you wouldn't cause anyone else too much trouble) that might stop you from believing your greater satisfaction is worth all the effort. A certain death to this inner traitor (whatever your distinct version might involve) is the best birthday wish you can make, as it clears the deck of your one biggest obstacle to all those other goodies.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Well, lookie there, here comes lovely-lady Venus traipsing into your sign later this week (on Fri Sep 23), Scorpio… brightening up your outermost visible layer, amplifying your interpersonal appeal, and generally enhancing the flavor and tone with which the world greets you. Venus's transit through your 1st (which you'll enjoy until midway through October) is almost always experienced as a positive, though it would be a shame to squander this influence purely on momentary ego-gratifications (a fair amount is okay), without applying it to any lasting aim. Specifically, you have an ideal chance to correct any factual inaccuracies, disprove unwarranted opinions of you, and/or clarify who is and isn't playing on your team… as a result of your presenting powerful statements about your personal experience, posing direct questions no one can squirrel out of addressing, and/or fearlessly taking to task those whose attitudes reflect their lack of consideration of others' stakes. Right as Venus provides you this more-flattering visage to flash to whomever you're talking with (thus making them likelier to receive you warmly), you'll also wield a somewhat sharper tongue that won't hesitate to say the thing nobody else really wants to speak aloud. You can use this potent blend of energies to really get square with certain individuals, helping you determine where they'd best fit (close-in or arm's-length-distance-away) in your social sphere—possibly without even rankling them as you would if you didn't have Venus on your side.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): With Venus slipping behind the veil of your 12th and Mars preparing to finally leave your sign after a lot of activated fire-in-the-belly so far in '16, you should begin to notice a gentle downshift in urgency, energy-level, and conspicuousness, Sagittarius. That's not to say you'll be totally off the hot-seat; Saturn remains in your sign another full year-plus. But with Mars heading into your 2nd next week, you'll now be expected to stabilize the aftereffects of whatever wild-and-crazy leaps, lurches, and left-turns you've invoked over these past many months. You're moving into a relative pause, not quite as advantageous a moment to initiate, extend, or advance much more beyond where you are. Instead, this is a good moment to step outside the arena, catch your breath, and reaffirm that any recent strides are being reliably anchored into enduring existence (rather than allowed to dissipate back into nothingness with the turning-of-tides). One specific area in which explicit reaffirmations would come in handy is on the career front, or in any public-world context where your standing depends on faithfully maintaining data-driven adherence to institutional guidelines and/or a certain influential character's command. Considering your acquiescence to this pecking-order is part of what keeps your bread buttered, it's definitely worth double-checking your observance of the relevant best-practices.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This is the last full week you'll have to deal with Mars muddling through your 12th house, Capricorn. Early next week, Mars will finally hit your sign, ushering in your most energized and/or productive six weeks of the entire year… which, in case you hadn't noticed, brings a welcome contrast to all these months of impaired capacity, impeded progress, and/or mystifying developments largely out of your control. Mars's longer-than-seems-fair occupation of your 12th—altogether, over four months' worth (when it's usually six or seven weeks)—has unquestionably worn away at your usual composure, allowing you little choice but to wait out the irresolvable limbo (unless, that is, you weren't able to wait it out and instead caused yourself more trouble by trying to fight these whirring astrological riptides). Let's give you credit, then, for making it through. Starting next week (just as we discussed a couple horoscopes ago), you can actively begin effectively responding to any recent changes-in-circumstance, reasserting your will where you've lately been less emphatic, and/or pushing your goals forward once again. This week, with the Sun and Jupiter conjunct in your 10th, simply receive the reaffirming recognition that comes from positioning yourself where everyone can see you, a reminder that your revered public reputation remains intact.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): This would be a good time to put voice to whatever fears you may be harboring, Aquarius, about what could happen as a result of not having as much control over this currently-unfolding process as you'd probably prefer. Such fears don't cease to exist just because you choose not to mention them. In fact, your silence could actually make them worse… or at least more enduring in their burdensomeness, since you might well be able to nip them in the bud with a single (albeit potentially awkward) confessional conversation. Don't mind-trip yourself into believing you'll imperil an interpersonal dynamic by admitting to someone you're nervous, scared, or stressed out. Chances are, if you're indeed experiencing these sort of feelings, those operating in close proximity have already figured out something's up with you—and, in the absence of you coming clean, you're leaving them to wonder if perhaps the emotional pitch they're picking up off you is somehow about them. Even if your relationship with them is a contributing factor, your unspoken unease will ultimately unsettle them far more sharply than actual articulated feedback. In this equation, all parties deserve a fair shot at knowing as much about each other's psychological responses to this major thing you're doing together as possible. Only with this knowledge can you move cleanly to the next step in this faithful collaboration.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): There's nothing necessarily objectionable about leveraging one key relationship to gain yourself more insight into another relationship you aren't entirely sure is serving your best interests, Pisces. You've just got to be shrewd about your understanding of each player's own driving motives (which necessarily underscore the type and quality of information they'll provide), and properly contextualize every disclosure or discovery as one person's subjective response (rather than some gospel to be swallowed whole-hog). It's getting to the point where certain long-questioned friendships and/or alliances have perhaps frayed beyond repair… but before you pull the cord on anyone and release them from your orbit, you should probably do some final double-checking, comparing the testimony of trusted folks-in-common against what you've quietly concluded over these past months. Likewise, if you're indeed in the midst of deepening a potentially fruitful (though just as uncertain and, therefore, anxiety-provoking) association, as we talked about last week, it wouldn't hurt to get a few friends' perspectives on this growing involvement. If there are elements you're reluctant to openly discuss, those are the very issues you need to open up about. Whether the ensuing conversations provide you a warning about this involvement or reveal certain friends are unable to support the new-and-improved you just barely being born, that's for you to discern. Whatever the case, having more outlooks to consider is better than having fewer.