Horoscopes | Week of October 9-15, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Are your efforts going to a cause or purpose you aren't entirely on board with, Aries? Have you wondered whether you're squandering your energies on something that's not in line with where you see yourself going? This is an appropriate moment to ponder such matters, even if it means downshifting gears on your machine-mode and spending some time talking through the bigger-and-broader issues with someone who'll help spur thoughtful reflections. Before you go too much farther down a path you're uncertain fits your strongest beliefs or motives, you should probably compare the surrounding landscape—and the tasks involved in effectively occupying it—with the map you brought here with you, to confirm you haven't wandered off-course. If you're already pretty sure you want a course-correction, it's also a good time to talk through that. In such conversations, please be astute enough to separate your own life-intentions from your feelings (whether fearful or defiant) about a certain looming character you'd hope to either keep happy or tell to screw off.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Rooted in the highly-contestable terrain of your solar 8th, Saturn's now urging you to remember, Taurus, your hands are still somewhat bound by relational commitments, financial constraints, or other extenuating circumstances tying your present fate to someone else's. Though such bonds and/or any associated hindrances may not be eternal (especially if you don't want them to be), they don't presently allow you to proceed however you'd like, based solely on your personal preference. But if you still wish to make progress toward your own goals with minimal encumbrance from other parties, I encourage you to temporarily frame all your exchanges in terms of how each given piece of business is to be handled. Instead of quarreling with anyone over a particular desire or style-of-expression, calmly discuss the most efficient and efficacious manner of accomplishing tasks which are already part of the plan. This advice will prove most critical to follow if you're thrown a curve-ball; don't let the surprise subvert your discursive coolness.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This week's set of planetary squares (Sun/Mercury to Pluto, Mars to Saturn) pit the emotionally-subjective streak you've been temporarily moving through against the intrinsic obligations (or are they hindrances?) of being in relationship with others, Gemini… along with a parallel tension between earnestly expressing what's currently in your heart and the possible pushback you might receive, due to the unavoidable ramifications of what you've expressed and/or the other party's potentially pungent response to it. The best way to navigate all this? Keep in check any naive ideas that speaking freely, openly, and without hesitation is always the best approach. Such notions don't take into account the ever-shifting moods of both speaker and listener, nor the need to carefully consider whether every step in the process of filtering through dense or conflicting feelings ought to be voiced (especially to parties who could be hurt, confused, or offended through exposure to a half-formed realization). While I generally endorse open communication, I advise pacing this round of it more gradually… to ensure whatever you say will still be true a few weeks from now.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's probably not such a bad thing, Cancer, if you find you're momentarily bound to a job-related commitment, a bodily necessity, or some other duty that prevents you from full-throttle participation in a social-life activity, a familial dialogue, or a (gossipy?) conversation among friends. As I told you last week, much of what's on your mind has not yet fully cohered into a form clearly intelligible to others… and, while I previously advised you to stay in the social mix as a possible antidote to excessive private mooning, the imposition of concrete items-to-do or responsibilities-to-heed is another, even-less-potentially-risky tool for diverting attention away from any questions about your thoughts or feelings which still don't have clearly communicable answers. This is especially important to remember, should a boss-type or parent-figure startle you with some unanticipated proclamation or sudden changing-of-the-rules. Don't hastily go on record with an opinion about it. Buy yourself some time to think, thanks to the fact that you're presently occupied with a pressing obligation.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Take some time to talk through your thoughts about how things are supposed to function, Leo, rather than overriding an instinctive concern on your part (so as to not give anyone the impression you're being a pain in the ass?) or quietly wondering whether others have some knowledge you lack. While you might ultimately have to compromise a certain creative influence or sense of personal ownership, in order to get this job done and/or behave in the way that best supports your financial interests, please don't do so based on assumptions or a fear of looking bad. It's better to have the relevant interactions up front, even if it prolongs a process or ends up nudging you into a humbling position. If you dodge the conversation, you could be needlessly forfeiting a key piece of operational data and/or leaving yourself at greater risk of aggravating another player because you left them out of this loop… and all due, perhaps, to a sincere desire to 'spare' others the hassle (or is it to save yourself face?).


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This would be an appropriate time to slow your recent roll, Virgo, if that snapshot you took of your latest developments revealed any lurking uncertainties, second-guesses, or freak-outs. I'm not saying those doubts or worries are a legitimate sign you've done something wrong. It's just as likely they are ghostly emanations from a former fear of standing up for your own emotional self-determination (because you didn't have such luxuries in your younger days? because it was safer to serve others' needs than defend your own?). Or maybe you did recently overstep some bounds, thanks to Mars-in-your-1st's ongoing rousing of your self-assertive side. That's for you to determine, by tempering or pausing your advances enough so you can properly check in with your inner-compass and make sure you still feel you're heading the right way. Nervousness about an unfamiliar or audacious act feels qualitatively different than regret or remorse about a misguided move. Be discerning.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Seeing as Mars is both in your 12th-house limbo-zone and square to Saturn, I don't suggest assuming a demanding stance, proactively pushing a personal agenda, or engaging in any conflicts this week, Libra. It'd be far shrewder to deploy generalizing language, posit outwardly conciliatory sentiments, and/or ask other players to extrapolate at length about their thoughts… all effective distancing techniques which take the direct heat off you, while still situating yourself in the midst of the relevant action. No matter how dramatically someone else's out-of-left-field feedback or unstable-seeming carriage tips the scales toward a potentially troubling imbalance, your job is to use your wits to re-attain a cursory conversational equilibrium—even if, in the process, you've now come to know something you can't unknow and may later have to assert some corrective agency. By week's end, your ruler Venus will back in your sign (through the second week of November)… and, soon enough, you'll be able to smooth over and sweet-talk and slyly reposition yourself to maximize your advantages.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): In honor of Jupiter's arrival to your sign this week (which I discussed a couple editions back), Scorpio—and also because the Sun and Mercury remain in your 12th, squared by Pluto—let me nudge you to do some private reflection on how you'd like these next thirteen months, under the influence of the 'greater benefic', to go. Despite its generic good-luck reputation, Jupiter's main purpose is simply to make things bigger. Its presence in your sun-sign, therefore, is a signal that many of the main dynamics currently driving your life are likely to become more conspicuous, exaggerated, or extreme versions of themselves over coming months… which, naturally, could carry increased eminence or fortune more easily your way (if that's where the momentum's already moving), just as easily as it could also bring conditions of undesired excess and/or the flowering of barely-tolerable circumstances into totally-intolerable bloom. I encourage you to pause on these last notes, enough to begin digesting the possibility that your 'good luck' may well involve a loss or leaving-behind of something you've 'gotten too big' to remain in or with.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Adopt the rhetoric of close allies or other like-minded folks who have achieved success in similar circumstances, Sagittarius, rather than trying to throw together a detailed explanation on the spot. By publicly mirroring the mindset of those with both proven results and a well-crafted rationale to back them up, you'll lower your chance of coming off like a lone-wolf challenge to the reigning authority… a momentarily-heightened threat to your professional (and/or public-world) standing due to this week's square between Mars and Saturn across your 10th/1st. The more outwardly defiant, provocative, or guns-a-blazin' your tone, the likelier your advancing efforts will be seen as self-serving and/or reeking of personality drama. You might have to restrain your motivating zeal enough so that your moves will be judged as methodical and prudent. This self-disciplined approach is simply what's demanded of you in this particular context. Don't like it? Perhaps you should consider how to extricate yourself from such a contextual mismatch.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This week is your reminder that it's okay—and, in fact, sometimes emotionally necessary—to mitigate your militant virtuousness, Capricorn, in order to protect your own mental health. You can't jump tirelessly into every noble fray, with no concern for the cumulative impact that assuming this steely lightning-rod role may be unconsciously having on your well-being. Though I generally have faith in your knowing to choose your battles wisely, I'm moved to reiterate that life-wisdom here: Psychic self-preservation is essential to girding yourself for the long haul, and this 'battle' is hardly over. Continue choosing your words carefully, so you'll come across as exceedingly professional and even-tempered, while simultaneously keeping any ideological warfare largely at arm's-length from you. But please don't overdo the performance of 'professional' and end up crossing the line into disingenuous or cloying. Dare to mouth an insincerity, and your own not-so-subtle depth of underlying character is liable to betray you.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Keep that wide-angle lens on your vision-scope this week, Aquarius, to best orient yourself toward what really matters… and to avoid slipping into undue ferocity, spite, or interpersonal antagonism that doesn't directly serve that overriding purpose. For instance, it'd be just fine if outside observers or audience-members decide to judge you unfavorably for holding different values or fighting a battle they find unjustified. Yet, it'd be decidedly less fine if you give them good reason to call out your tactics for being unnecessarily nasty or hurtful, with potential harm to your reputation amongst folks who might not always jibe with your philosophies but at least have respected your contained manner. Be careful not to besiege or retaliate just because you've become distracted by the spectacle of conflict (or the temptation of victory and the spoils you imagine come with it?). Likewise, don't let fear turn an uncomfortable disharmony into a greater threat to your survival than it is, leading you to unwisely respond with a nuclear option.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): It's perfectly okay to be perceived as 'the difficult one', Pisces, just because what you have to say could well fall on defensive, uninformed, or antagonistic ears. In cases such as this, your unimpeded honesty will serve as a more vital resource for you than hollow likability. Your astrological outlook continues to cast you in a less easygoing light than may be comfortable. Yet, without mincing my words, your rights to an autonomous existence—whether within an existing partnership or outside it, amongst a group of friends or comrades, and/or in a larger organization where you strive to succeed—are at stake here, and I don't think you can afford to bite your tongue. Of course, focusing exclusively on a singular interpersonal entanglement or snarl is liable to lend too much inciting attention to this friction, potentially putting you in a position of unconsciously provoking the very problem you seek to resolve. Be firm and frank, without getting compulsively one-tracked. You can engage and also still keep up with your other obligations, a good model for healthy self-interest.