Horoscopes | Week of September 18-24, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Proceed calmly, cautiously, and conscientiously through your workload or task-list, Aries, one item at a time. By doing so, you hopefully won't allow yourself to fall into the hysteria of overwhelm about how much there is to do and/or how the hell you're going to get it done under the existing constraints. It would be far better for you to accomplish some of the most urgent pieces of business—even knowing that others might not reach completion on the expected timeline—than to surrender to your worries and instead wind up expending effort on a pointless freakout rather than the work-at-hand. You can only control certain variables here… the most significant of which, of course, being what you do with your own physical energy and attention. Investing any emotion in what you can't presently control is not only unproductive, it'll directly compete with your capacity to make progress with those things you can immediately impact. If the sheer volume of duties itself is causing undue anxiety, try chopping up the looming mass into smaller (say, half-workday) chunks, reassessing and reprioritizing between each chunk, staying both smartly focused on whatever you're doing right now and responsive to changing conditions.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I'm moved to persist with my recent advice to you, Taurus, to intently and painstakingly concentrate on creating, cultivating, and/or improving upon those testaments to the particular brand of heart-centered love which distinctly characterizes you as an individual. Whether this involves your parenting, your art or craft, your sport or game, and/or simply your unique spark of coquettishness or charm, you have an astrologically exquisite opportunity to perfect that which reflects the truest version of self you could put forth. If you feel the world's been catching an imprecise impression of you and/or you haven't been showing them enough of what makes you so wonderful, this is your chance to correct what they've gotten wrong in your eyes and/or give them a clearer insight into your most vital inspirations. That said, don't define your current self-expressive actions by the critiques you're fighting off or the fears you hold about others' perceptions. Because of Neptune's oppositional influence from your 11th to your 5th, you can't nab a very accurate glimpse on the wider social reception of your latest moves. You must take your marching papers from your own authentic core of selfhood… and hope the people you've surrounded yourself with actually like what you're offering.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): From this unusually sensitive, sentimental, and/or temperamental spot you now find yourself in, Gemini, you won't be as capable of expressing yourself as precisely or coherently as you ordinarily are. You've got some inner dissatisfaction, disappointment, confusion, and/or upset to properly sort through before I'd recommend trying to productively involve anyone else (except maybe your closest intimates, provided they aren't a source of the churning feelings). No heart-to-heart reconciliations, problem-solving efforts, or retaliatory responses are liable to bring you much relief until you distinguish between (1) what's a directly relevant contributing-factor to your present emotional state, which could be raised in straightforwardly explaining it to someone and/or holding them accountable, and (2) what's merely reactive bleed-over from your past, instinctively referring you back to some prior frustration or primordial wound that's coloring your feelings here and now. In the short-term, be especially cautious about blaming bosses, officials, mentors, or parent-figures for your avoidance or inaction… and be prepared for anyone you call out to demand black-and-white answers to ambiguities you're still attempting to resolve for yourself. Are you really ready for all that?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Embracing the 'human' factor, Cancer, means granting all other beings the respectful space and attention to voice their ideas, attitudes, or objections… at least for a few moments, assuming you don't have any urgent business to attend to right away or some other legitimately concrete reason to cut out (such as they pose a threat or their words aren't respectful of you). The trickiest part for a sensitive soul like you in granting others such space? Not getting sucked into the feelings they're carrying along with those sentiments they voice, for it is not your duty to comfort or console them as part of hearing them out, let alone to (gasp) overidentify yourself with their position or plight. Chances are, you'd find it easier to altogether avoid the direct conversation than to participate in it with sufficiently firm psychic boundaries so that you can listen to someone without 'taking on' their stuff. But easier isn't better in this case. Coming into your own fullest power in a relationship with someone—or in your interpersonal dynamics with anybody—requires you to be able to stand in your truth no matter what they say to you, and to only change your mind once you've considered their thoughts after the immediate exchange is over.


LEO (July 23-August 22): To pursue, promote, and/or preserve your own personal interests, Leo, please don't presume any other individual who's involved will intrinsically understand the specific particularities that are vital to your security and success. Simply hoping the apparent goodwill between you, the obvious kindness in this person's heart and/or how much fun you've had with them so far, will ultimately be sufficient for protecting you from feeling undervalued or taken advantage of is not a shrewd tactical calculation. You need to be explicit with others about your expectations and concerns on every last fine-print point—especially if monetary agreements are at stake—even if you fear that raising such 'nitpicky' items will make them think you don't trust them. This need isn't about anyone else; it's called looking out for yourself. Taking such detailed measures is your responsibility regardless of who the other players are. Besides, the act of expressly communicating about these critical-but-potentially-sensitive matters will help you get to know each other better… and if they're the type to take personal offense to your trying to iron out practicalities, that's good to know, too.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As of Tuesday (Sep 19), you'll now have Venus batting for your team, Virgo, along with both Mercury and Mars… an auspicious addition to this powerhouse lineup, bestowing upon you an extra polish of likability, magnetism, and grace that'll only help you advance towards your immediate aims with less potential resistance or rejection. Simply put, you're unlikely to find a more astrologically-supported period anytime soon for asserting your agency, putting a grand plan into motion, and/or convincing other parties to follow your lead. This is your moment, right here right now, and it'll thankfully continue another few weeks. Hesitation, therefore, seems like a rather unwise option at this time. But here's an immediate catch: The oppositional role that Neptune currently plays from its long-term position in your 7th suggests you mustn't disregard the possibility you aren't totally seeing or understanding how a certain someone is either (1) unduly influencing your thoughts or deeds, because perhaps it hasn't dawned on you how automatically you pander to them or sacrifice yourself on their behalf, or (2) unfairly overlooked or infringed upon by your one-track-mind approach to getting your needs met. Whichever way your situation leans, please be aware you're somewhat unclear on how what you're doing now will impact this relationship, whether for better or worse.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): What you cannot control out there, Libra, should not be used as your excuse to shirk the duties to yourself right here. Any shrewd situational analysis of the external concretes ought to reveal they don't immediately add up to a workable remedy or solution… and any last-ditch, long-shot, hail-Mary attempts to pull off a miracle are unfortunately doomed to hit up against a physical or logistical reality-check. Don't try to transcend these laws of materiality. Instead, keep analyzing the situation, taking in and adapting to each new observation, reviewing or revising prior conclusions as more details come in, and putting together plans for what you will do once the timing's better (knowing full well these plans will likely continue morphing in the weeks to come). At the same time, notice exactly what about the latest outside developments causes you the most anxiety—and ask yourself what that anxiety's really about. Is it simply the anticipation preceding a big move you know you must take, or a symptom that such a move just isn't right for you? Figuring that out is a most pressing duty these next few weeks.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If I were you, Scorpio, I'd temporarily immerse myself more intently in the world of other people… and minimize any prominent differentiating moves on your part, which might prematurely slot you into a category or cadre that may or may not ultimately serve your interests. Observe the dynamics these folks play out with one another very carefully, noticing whose words and deeds most closely mirror those you might use in their situation, studying their behavior for inspiring tactics to possibly borrow later. Meanwhile, keep an especially close eye on those folks who are unwittingly revealing motives (via seemingly small but nonetheless suspect actions) that are at odds with what you see as the overriding purpose of this group's efforts. If something doesn't smell right, that's probably your psychic sniffer being justifiably set off. Yet, this remains a moment better for well-studied incremental advances than gallant forward lurches. Should you feel you must make a move now, I wouldn't unfurl your entire strategy in one fail swoop. Rather, take the focus off your potentially legitimate beef with certain individuals by only speaking, with diplomatic restraint, from the self-acknowledged place of your own opinions or preferences.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): With favorably-flavored Venus now joining Mercury and Mars in the conspicuously public domain of your 10th, Sagittarius, those impactful steps you're now taking in your career sector (and/or in other outside achievement-oriented contexts) should begin to gradually enjoy a friendlier reception… though, as before, your key to impressing others continues to require thorough research, meticulous communication, and judicious conduct. This isn't the best time, therefore, for loose lips or fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants improvisations. But should you invest the necessary time, attention, and care in crafting an objectively detailed and realistic approach to the external circumstances at hand, you have a superb shot of successfully scoring this major game-point. However, hating to complicate matters as I do (lol), I advise you to look out for a different sort of problem which might start subtly looming in your conscience: If all this effort you're putting into advancing your professional standing and/or wowing certain powerful figures feels a bit hollow, or if you aren't a true believer in the rhetoric you must deploy as part of your job, this may be a sign of some growing disconnect between your everyday going-through-the-motions responsibilities and the real authentic you.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If you've been consistently towing the same line of principled thinking this whole time, Capricorn, it looks like you're in a great spot to emerge on the moral high-ground. This trust in your big-picture perspective which you're earning from others, to be clear, is a gradually substantiated product of your continuing to softly-but-firmly beat your drum to a reliable rhythm. No false thumps or out-of-step departures, please… just ongoing confirmation that you've considered the issue meticulously enough to know its dimensions up close, from all sides, with a coherent understanding. The biggest risk to your noble principles? That you inadvertently utter an off-the-cuff remark and/or participate in a questionable exchange with a dubious character (perhaps in a wholly different context from the one in which my prior description applies?) which awkwardly contrasts or clashes with the very ideal you've been vocally upholding. This shit does happen to the best of us. Just as, for instance, the sincerest of anti-racism allies may accidentally use casual language with a problematic history or implication that betrays the cause they've devoted themselves, don't beat yourself up or react defensively should you get called out or otherwise goof. In such a case, your willingness to engage with both humility and accountability will go very far in rescuing you from unwitting hypocrisy.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Just like thoroughly cleaning out attics or basements or storage-units first creates both an even bigger mess and potentially emotionally-rife re-encounters with each and every thing you'd previously crammed in there (and possibly forgotten about?) before ultimately providing that sought-after sense of sparkling relief, Aquarius, please expect to sift through loads of unfinished business, neglected feelings, broken-down crap, and other echoes from the past as you make your way through to clearer order. It is an appropriate time for this sort of deep purge… and, despite the general unpleasantness of such tasks, you're presently well-equipped to stomach the corresponding emotions and soldier onward into those darkest-and-dustiest corners. You probably don't even fully comprehend the energetic weight with which this unattended-to debris has borne down on you for a while—though you may be finally be confronting that reality now—and how much lighter you'll feel when all of this is said and done. But don't get sloppy in your discernment just because you're jonesing to finish the job. Take care not to hastily get rid of anything that's valuable to you, in a moment's overwhelm at how much else there is to contend with.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Any relational fixes, upgrades, or reorientations you've presumably (or hopefully) been tinkering with are now due to start showing some encouraging signs, Pisces. The arrival of quintessential smoother-over Venus to your solar 7th on Tuesday (Sep 19) will help soften the edges and mitigate any recent difficulties, as you and/or the other person are again reminded of the good things you like about one another. As far as furthering your own still-in-progress agenda vis-a-vis this certain someone, then, it'd probably be a good time to 'go in for the kill' or otherwise try to close the deal, considering you'll now be likelier to garner a supportive or welcoming response from them. But, as you well know, achieving a harmonious interpersonal balance is perpetually a matter of give and take… and because Neptune-in-your-1st is presently opposing both Mercury and Mars, you are under a heightened threat of giving too much (in terms of, say, compromising on a critical detail or giving in to suggestions that you're being overly exacting or petty) in an effort to 'make everything okay again'. Just remember: You get to decide what is and isn't important to your well-being—and if you let an important-to-you concern just slide, everything won't be quite as 'okay'.