Horoscopes | Week of October 17-23, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Any pleasant-sounding sentiments and/or performances of exacting considerateness which don't actually speak to the inelegant truth of someone's unbending desire for independence and/or control (whether yours or theirs) are about to be busted through with a blast of unfiltered divulgence, Aries. The harmonious tone cannot be politely preserved if actual movement is to occur. I can't tell from the astrology alone if you're the one who needs to blow the lid off this too-well-contained discourse, or if it's another person jonesing to disclose a breakthrough statement. I can tell you this, however: If you're privy to potentially disruptive information relevant to some other central player's outlook, you'll emerge in a more powerful position by taking initiative to broach the topic. By waiting for them to confront you, you necessarily put yourself on the defensive. You'll have to respond by justifying your avoidance, your ignorance, and/or your silence. You'll seem passive, fearful, and/or suspicious. Though choosing to initiate a possibly bumpy conversation may not be your idea of a good time, it shows you're willing to discuss whatever, in order to properly handle this with serious straight-shooter authority.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): With a firm vision for what's most important to prioritize above all else in this next stretch, Taurus—but hopefully not so firm that you scare the shit out of anyone who disagrees, even slightly, with your grand plan—you're now ready to massage the corresponding interpersonal complexities into their best possible shape, considering the vast scope of what's involved. Please do not fool yourself into believing this is a simple task; it is decidedly not. You must be willing to present the unsolved dilemmas, methodological worries, and other most-complicated questions for collaborative ironing-out… blending the unmistakable confidence in what you do know with frank acknowledgments of that which you aren't certain about, you need help with, and/or you can't stop stressing over in your head. This presenting of all pertinent factors (not just those you've already mastered) positions you in a more human stance of vulnerability and fallibility, thus leaving room for others to step in and support you with their complementary smarts, talents, and knacks. Considering this week there's an increased chance of some unforeseeable process-related glitch and/or sudden need to innovate, it behooves you to remember you're not the only responsible party.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The good news is that Venus lands in your one-on-one relationship house (the solar 7th) early this week, Gemini, greasing the interpersonal gears so that you and whomever you're seeking to connect with are able to attain a warm mutual affinity more easily. This Venus-in-your-7th will allow you to quickly hone in on whatever driving interests or enthusiasms you share with a given someone… and then to guide the relational dance-steps directly toward those areas of commonality, while simultaneously deemphasizing those specific topics you suspect would produce disagreement or divergence. Yet, the less-good news—which involves Mars uniting with Pluto in a zone of inescapable complications (i.e., your 8th)—seems to suggest you shouldn't, mustn't, or can't ignore whatever glaring differences or other entangling conditions would necessarily make it harder to effortlessly enjoy another person's company. This could play out if a given person you wish to connect with is also a participant in this complicated situation, if you attempt to 'just not mention' the complication and, instead, passively get yourself deeper into it… or if you're trying to connect with someone else, in an effort to 'just not think about' that unrelated complication you probably need to think a lot about. Enjoy the perks of this happy Venus, please, but don't use it to trick yourself into an oversimplified take on what else is presently happening in your world.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The reigning balance of give-and-take in your most significant one-on-one relationship(s) is at a decisive juncture, Cancer. Remember this horoscope from three weeks ago when we first discussed the gradual unpacking of any underlying tensions or undesirable dynamics? After these few weeks of development (whether through outward exchange and/or internal realization), the full weight of such a problem and/or the relative likelihood of it metamorphosing into a promising chance to deepen your mutual responsibility for each other's well-being should now be palpably apparent to you. Perhaps you haven't yet shared with that certain someone the conclusions you're arriving at (because Mercury's still in your pretty-private 4th house) and/or still haven't together explicated the range of possible repercussions… but you can't un-know what your gut recognizes loud and clear. I can see the value of waiting until next week (once Mercury's moved into your far-more-expressive 5th) to externalize the words. However, with Mercury opposing Uranus, there's a possibility that some in-the-moment impulse will spur you to unleash a less deft version of the story. I can also see the value in that, honestly. Whether it's this week or shortly thereafter, the showdown's coming.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This is a critical week, Leo, in your developing relationship to this recent upsurge in work demands, health clamorings, and/or other urgent earthly obligations. You're hitting up against prior limits to the maximum capacity for what you can handle… which means you could be effectively pushing yourself to rise to this occasion and intensify your productive potential, struggling to believe you've got what it takes to do so, and/or hurting under the strain of investing this extreme amount of effort. Think of it as a test of what you can persevere through on any given day—without bowing to self-doubt, crumbling in exhaustion, or causing yourself undue physical harm—and still have the wherewithal to do something similar the next day, too. It isn't just about dominating any single challenge or feat, as much as developing a more consistently unflappable constitution with regards to task management, bodily self-care, and the habitual efforts required by everyday life. In other words, however you handle this ('this' being your currently-most-pressing duty) will set a precedent, imprinting your psyche with fiercer faith in your functionality or graver doubts about your capabilities. Make it count, then, even if you're facing some kind of setback. A setback needn't equal defeat.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You can make your strong preferences indisputably loud and clear, Virgo—as indeed I presume you already have, whether intentionally or not—but that won't guarantee all other essential participants will happily agree to go along with you (especially a certain squeaky-wheel who's probably harboring fluctuating uncertainties), or even that they should. At the moment, it's more important to wholly own your wants than to feign (to yourself or anyone else) that you're ambivalent, lukewarm, or happy to concede. Such candor, regardless of outcome, will diminish the likelihood you'll unconsciously suffer dissatisfaction or resentment later, due to not understanding how you contributed to that result by refusing to accept the full weight of this specific hunger. Notice how I included 'regardless of outcome'? That's because I'm focused on the transformative power of owning and accepting your unique personality, rather than on how you might bend and dip and sway in order to preserve partnerships with those who'd only want to partner with a less ardent or opinionated version of you. Might such a partnership get shaken up by your asserting your strong preferences so loudly and clearly? Perhaps. But is the other choice (which seemingly requires swallowing a major facet of your personal truth) preferable to a bit of chaos, in the name of progress?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Let me encourage you to not overreact, Libra, should you encounter unexpectedly erratic, defiant, or subversive attitudes from anyone attempting to reassert their autonomy, centrality, or clout. I'm not defending their behavior, by the way… merely pointing out that you presently hold the advantage, and therefore have little to gain by allowing their turbulence to rattle your self-defined, self-assured agenda. If you do let somebody get under your skin with their volatile antics, it's liable to unleash a stronger retaliatory response in you than the situation probably warrants. Their fleeting moment of defiance could be the straw that breaks this camel's back, a culmination of everything that's been bugging you for too long now, or just a very poorly-timed acting-out that spurs a release way out of proportion to this particular mischievous deed. But because you're likely to later regret how you played right into their hand by blowing up, your even stronger response would be to root into self-knowledge and not let their attempts to destabilize you (whether or not it's conscious on their part) actually succeed. Instead, see this for what it is: their desperate effort to attract your attention, at a time when you ought to be principally focused on your own rise.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): This week, seemingly casual or initially unremarkable exchanges could get surprisingly deep, brutally honest, or downright nasty, Scorpio, if you expose yourself to certain personalities with whom you still have unfinished business, who trigger some old wound in you through their communicative style, and/or who unwisely share a piece of sharp-tongued gossip about someone or something you care about. Think about that heightened potential, then, before attending any social gathering or visiting a local spot where you're likely to encounter a known character who might fit this bill. Please don't fool yourself into believing you'd be able to competently guide where any interaction heads (or doesn't head), as if a predetermined pledge to yourself to 'keep things light' will be enough to counteract an in-the-moment swell of reactive emotion. I know this advice closely mirrors what we've been talking about these past couple weeks (review here and here). That's because you remain under a couple different coinciding astro-influences which impair your usual ability to wield rhetorical control while holding your most-critical cards close to your chest. The astrological climate shifts noticeably away from such impairments next week, just so you know.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): After spending good chunks of the year with both traditional malefics (Mars and Saturn) putting your zodiac-tribe on edge, on guard, and/or on the constant offensive, the arrival of benefic Venus to your sign early on Tuesday (Oct 18) should bring a welcome shift in astrological tone for you, Sagittarius. Over these next few weeks, you can expect to receive reassuring glimpses of specific successes you've toiled to attain during the recent months of hard labor… provided, of course, you did work smartly and seriously enough to earn them. And if you aren't yielding the flavor or magnitude of results you'd hoped for, this period offers you a chance to more easily tap into assistance from others who might be able to offer a helping hand, a leg up, or a shoulder to lean on. Venus's presence in your 1st also generally improves the affective quality of response you'll encounter, as others will be more prone to like what they see in you… as well as increasing the volume of prospects and proposals you attract (particularly if they're building directly upon the successes you're starting to witness). On this last part, however, I must present a modest caution: Just because you've attracted an opportunity, honor, or admirer, that doesn't mean you ought to hastily accept it in that moment of being dazzled. Pause to consider: In your heart-of-hearts, is this really something you want?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please do not underestimate the current full-capacity brunt of your personal power, Capricorn. Hosting a Mars-Pluto conjunction in your sign means if ever there were a week in which you could move mountains—or cause them to spectacularly implode, as the case may be—this would be it. Don't be afraid of this power you're wielding, as you don't really have the option to disown it. Using it most mindfully will permit you to triumphantly barrel through whatever self-imposed stumbling-blocks have kept you reluctant to fully-and-totally commit to actualizing this grand life-design you've long been engineering. From its flipside, such a commitment also serves as an equally-grand 'fuck no!' to any counter-pressures which might convince you to comply with structures already in place to contain you (e.g., unfulfilling jobs, undeserving authority-figures, unsupportive relationships) rather than resolutely create your own destiny. Yet, in cases where you passively refuse this call to self-empowerment and/or proceed with willful ignorance of your current strength-of-personality, you're likelier to instead elicit competitive, domineering, or harsh treatment from those seeking (consciously or not) to come out on top over you. That's because there's no getting around this intense energy: Either you claim it, or you'll unwittingly project it outward, causing you to draw people or experiences intended to rouse this tougher 'fighting spirit' in you.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Mars and Pluto are now conspiring in your solar 12th, dear Aquarius, to force you to demonstrate that your sheer will to fulfill your distinct divine duty in this grand unfolding of our cosmos's highest potential (or whatever's your less-supernaturally-based version of that epic sense of knowing you have some 'purpose' that's larger than mere self-interest) is indeed strong enough to defeat your most terrifying fear or panic. This is not necessarily an outward show of strength that's being called for… but instead an inner determination not to buckle under any aggravating confrontation with everything that could go terribly wrong. Whether it's an unknown spoiler that arises out of nowhere to fuck things up, a covert foe who's rallying opposition behind your back, or a consideration you've been averse to looking at and have instead allowed to gather potentially damaging power, some shoe just might be about to drop from the heavens and clunk you on the head. Then again, that's always true. One can never foresee that which is unforeseeable. This isn't a warning that such unforeseeable problems are due to manifest. You've just reached the stage in your manifestation process where you must come to terms with both this universal condition and the anxieties it provokes. Otherwise, how can you move forward toward a brave new future?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I could again warn you (as I did last week and the week before), Pisces, about the essential pressure to snip friendships or other social-community affiliations that force you to downplay parts of your authentic self, sign off on others' offensive behavior, or be implicitly linked to someone who doesn't represent you very fairly or flatteringly. Instead, I'd much rather hail the comparatively enthusing news of Venus's arrival to your 10th on Tuesday (Oct 18), making this week and the three which follow a moderately brighter and more auspicious phase in your career (and/or public-contribution) zone than you've seen a while. Need I remind you how troublemaker Mars spent so much of 2016 in your 10th, making professional situations and/or relationships with authority-figures that much rougher or more discordant? Use this fleeting phase, then, to smooth over any relevant jagged-edges still left from developments earlier this year… as well as to seek advances in position, improvements in rapport with folks in charge, or redirections of your attention back toward your own most-favorable opportunities. I can't so far as to say any of this will automatically come easily (Saturn's still in your 10th, too), but at least it'll be easier than it would've been a couple months ago.