Horoscopes | Week of October 3-9, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A Mars-Jupiter square across critical houses in your solar chart (the 10th and 7th), Aries, will likely bloat the magnitude-of-impact of any initiatory, emphatic, or potentially contentious actions you take this week… particularly those transpiring in the career zone, lit by the conspicuous glare of the outer-world spotlight, and/or posing a challenge to some existing authority-structure or tradition. If you don't want your particular move to cause 'a bigger deal' than it needs to, I recommend you willingly include any other relevant players in your enactment process—yes, even if they're the very person you're seeking to circumvent or outmaneuver—rather than trying to slip one past their threat-detector. After all, you'll seem far less like a threat if you're both being self-securely transparent with your intentions and making gestures at collaboration. You will have to work with others, in order to maximize your potential effectiveness and/or success. That doesn't necessarily mean you'll agree, nor that you ought to compromise on your commitment to a best-practices approach, just to 'get along' with someone who isn't performing at their best. But ignoring their role or going around them won't cut it, though it may seem imminently easier.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Please don't stay silent, Taurus, if you've picked up on a serious problem with the foundational premise, the orientation of this latest course-change, and/or the ethics involved in how it's all being carried out. At the moment, it would be very easy to tune out that unflagging inner voice of principle because there's plenty of work to do and your sleeves are already rolled up… but do you really want to pour all that sweat-equity into an approach that's resting on at least one uncertain or unsound plank? On the other hand, you probably ought to check in with yourself about just how important your unrelenting faith in that particular position being the only correct one actually is. Just as you wouldn't want to toil too hard on progressing down the wrong road, you also shouldn't waste valuable productivity potential by splitting hairs about conceptual concerns that ultimately won't matter much once the results start coming in. To navigate between these extremes, you must keep your moral compass aligned with the guiding motives behind whatever you're working on—and not passively allow the quick pace of developments to overwhelm your awareness of any possible or likely transgressions—but not be so staunch that your pontifical demands thwart the ability to get much of anything accomplished.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It would be hard to believably make the argument that this is 'just fun' when, in reality, there's a whole lot more at stake than a few supposedly 'innocent' moments of self-gratification, Gemini. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with signing on for 'more'; let's just be sensibly honest about it. Of course it might not be you arguing in defense of this just-fun innocence, but the other person (or entity) in this equation who'd perhaps prefer you to continue along without looking at the fullest likely repercussions of this involvement… mainly because your potential act of asking for more would present a challenge to their comfortable dominance. If there are certain topics you feel you must stay away from so as to preserve the pleasant flow of this dynamic, please understand there's nothing especially 'fun' about harboring an unspoken desire or concern you fear would bring your rapport to an unceremonious crisis-point. That puts an unfair onus on you to handle your interpersonally-relevant anxieties by yourself—though, by their definition of being 'interpersonally-relevant', they can't be handled independently—or risk being the proverbial party-pooper. This pressure to withhold your truth (real or imagined) smacks of a dangerous power differential.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): In case this wasn't self-evident, Cancer, you are under no obligation to talk through the ins and outs of anything you wish not to discuss (right now or ever again) just because that's what a certain someone wants from you. Whether you have some very good reason to sidestep that conversation or no 'good' reason at all (other than you don't want to), you reserve every right to prioritize your emotional well-being over an interpersonal engagement that threatens to vex your sensitivities. In fact, you're presently likelier to gain perspective on the situation-in-question—or about any important life-consideration—by taking some quiet contemplative time for all the latest developments to organically cohere into a felt (rather than conceptually abstract) sense of clarity, rather than exposing yourself to the erosive brunt of another person's strong opinions chipping away at your discrete selfhood. Your wisest method of 'combat' (whether in holding your ground or fighting against an encroaching invader), then, may be to simply refuse to get involved. Though they may try to cast such a move as you just being difficult, I see it as a basic exercise in upholding personal boundaries. You get to choose which discussions to participate in, with whom, and when.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's your job to take the lead on time-management, Leo… rather than happily letting someone (or a series of someones) consume large chunks of your workday, then abruptly feeling the urgency encroach and allowing the corresponding stress-leaks to overwhelm your functional capabilities. I cannot caution you strongly enough about how quickly a few 'spare moments' (ahem) can balloon into an hour or two or three of misplaced attention under the current astrology. A supposedly short chat with a friend-in-'crisis' (notice the quotes) or the bearer of an especially juicy bit of gossip may easily extend far beyond the limited time-slot you carved out, for instance. One mindless dip into the swamplands of internet triviality could end up sinking your entire focus. Open your door too wide to unqualified social interactivity, and you'd better believe it'll be nearly impossible to shut it again. That said, it would be needlessly rude to altogether block out the presence of others, as if the only way to perpetuate your most-effective efforts is to refuse any and all interpersonal contact, no matter how brief or pressing. Please don't dispense with the expected courtesies, acknowledgments, and check-ins; such obligatory exchange is vital to the dance. Just be responsible about how much time you let 'em take up.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Odd though it may admittedly feel to warn you, Virgo, about letting what your ego craves override what's most sensible for your material interests, the current astrology suggests you're experiencing a prominent rise in your 'I want what I want, and I'll do whatever it takes to get it' appetites. In itself, this swell of unmistakable desire for a very particular prospect, participation, and/or object-of-affection over any other—as well as a firm willingness to hold out for its eventual fulfillment—is nothing to snub our noses at. On the contrary, your confidence only gets stronger as you flex these muscles by holding so firm in the pursuit of your own personal predilections and pleasures. But this also happens to be a great time to secure your fiscal footing, even to bolster your position, by considering how else you might offer yourself up as valuable resource others would gladly compensate you for. Without a doubt, though, such an practically-minded expansion of your earning potential will require a certain compromise, at least in terms of where you're presently devoting your attentions… which means deciding not to pursue all of exactly what you want right now, instead investing some of that eagerness toward creating incremental material gains that then buy you further fulfillment-of-desires. If you don't choose such an investment, nothing 'bad' will happen; you'll simply forsake a potentially lucrative opening.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): On Friday (Oct 7), Mercury will finally move out of your solar 12th, Libra, and into your own home-sign… which also signifies that all those weeks of me discouraging you from participating in any important conversations will officially come to a close. Just in time for the weekend, then, you will be more than ready to start putting the perfect words to whatever conclusions have, slowly but surely, coalesced into unambiguous self-supporting clarity. The two weeks which follow are tailor-made for broaching unaddressed topics, asking essential questions, presenting findings, and announcing decisions. But because you've held your tongue for so long and a lot of swirling emotion has meanwhile been accumulating strength inside you and Jupiter-in-your-sign now serves as a magnifying influence on everything you encounter, please understand that, once you do begin to speak your mind, the resultant discharge is likely to prove louder or bolder or fiercer than you might realize… much in the way that someone who's wearing headphones has a hard time judging the volume of their voice as others hear it. That's not an excuse for staying mum, by the way—just a warning that more of your internal emotional intensity will make it to the surface, so adjust accordingly.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You're entering a fairly brief but potentially slippery interval of time, Scorpio, when your offhand remarks or casual asides could strike others with unintended and/or underestimated force... possibly leading to an awkward and/or unpleasant turn in the exchange, during which one or both of you 'retaliates' by hitting the other in a far-more-tender spot than the situation probably warrants. I'm compelled to caution you about this, due to Mars-in-your-3rd (an emboldening influence on your moment-to-moment communications) squaring off against Jupiter-in-your-12th (which exaggerates Mars's influence, without you necessarily being totally aware of how). Further adding to this: By the weekend, messenger-planet Mercury will also move into your 12th (to stay through Oct 24), a placement better suited to behind-the-scenes reflections and designs than faithful outward-aimed transmissions. Yet, smoother-over Venus remains in your sign for another couple weeks, a favorable aid in your efforts to stay on others' good side. To tap into Venus's help, I recommend steering away from too many words or too direct a tone… instead using eye contact, body language, and non-verbal sounds of understanding and support to convey your best intentions. It's hard to misread a warm glance or assenting nod.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): What would be an ideal scenario for advancing your personal interests, Sagittarius, may not be what's best for your teammates, colleagues, or fellow community-members. Please be aware of this understated tension, since you might not notice the strain on your practical attentions until after you've volunteered to devote your valuable efforts to someone else's endeavor, signed off on a consensus agreement that hampers your own earning-potential, or shown up for a group-affiliated event which, it turns out, doesn't accurately or effectually represent your stance or subject-position. With this foreknowledge in tow, you can hopefully head yourself off before congenially joining the crowd and jumping in with offers to help… and instead insert a lengthy pause in any such discussions, allowing you to step away from the peer-pressure and assess the resources you actually have at your disposal to offer (meaning: time, money, and vivacity). We want you to avoid getting into a situation where you only realize after you're in it that your participation's infringing upon another more-selfishly-critical priority, causing you to react in an irked or irritable fashion. Look out for your own interests from the get-go, and you won't feel as beholden to serving others' needs if you really aren't that available.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): With that 1st-house Mars squaring off against Jupiter-in-your-10th, Capricorn, it's another week in which your intrinsic self-possession bears a heightened potential of coming across more overconfident, pompous, or presumptuous than you either intend or perceive. I'm not offering you this as a critique, since I suspect the likeliest explanation for you creating such an impression would be simply that you're presently feeling both (1) optimistic about what's imminently possible, based on a palpable opening-up of opportunities, and (2) gung-ho about your immediate capacity to skillfully effect positive change where this opportune momentum is building. None of that is necessarily motivated by a desire to hog the spotlight, exploit the system, grandstand among the movers-and-shakers, or dominate anyone else… merely the sincere aim of wishing to 'better' yourself by your own efforts. So, it's totally possible you could be doing absolutely nothing wrong and still strike other individuals (particularly those prone to envy or competitiveness) like you're acting too big for your britches. Don't let that possibility stop you from striking while this iron's burning-hot, though. Just try to resist fighting back, should someone snip or snivel at you. You have places to go and things to do. Reserve your energy for that, while understanding those who lack such excitement may be hunting for some—in all the wrong ways.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Stay on the vision level for now, just as we discussed last week, Aquarius. With fresh shoots of sprouting optimism beginning to poke their eager heads out, you'll want to do everything in your power to nurture their expression of vulnerable new life… and at this juncture, that means giving them room to believe in the inevitability of their future grandeur, without prematurely exposing them to the harsh conditions of the outside world. From a practical angle, this suggests you'd be wise to hold off on taking any concrete steps towards actualization—especially those which require you to confront an intimidating character or administrative system, an especially arduous task, and/or some other terrifying worry—lest you hit a bump in the road, causing your inner fear-driven cynic or risk-averse self-saboteur to take over and dissuade you before you've even gotten very far. Timing really is everything (and if you don't believe that, why are you reading a horoscope?): You'll have a much better ability to get fledgling ideas and ventures off the ground once Mars hits your sign in the second week of November. Spend this time, then, getting really fucking excited.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I would not abide by the old adage that the enemy-of-your-enemy is necessarily your friend, Pisces… nor its logical inverse, which might suggest that some enemy of your close chum or consort should also be seen as your enemy. Though it's undeniably a more difficult and complex task to cleanly isolate your authentic interpersonal affinities and apprehensions from that larger social matrix of overlapping identifications and disidentifications which also includes your nearest-and-dearests, it's surely the most honest approach—and it'll keep you from letting somebody else make unfitting judgment-calls which link you to folks who won't represent you well and/or disconnect you from potentially promising allies. While you may indeed trust a certain someone within the specific context of your relationship with them, that doesn't imply you will agree with them about everything and everybody else. Nor should you. Being in a partnership doesn't nullify your right-and-responsibility to harbor independent opinions which suit your individualized worldview. In fact, intentionally opting to discuss your contrasting views about a particular figure, faction, or party-line with a dissenting partner you truly care about is actually an intimacy-building exercise.