Horoscopes | Week of August 8-14, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Just like for all of us when Mercury and Mars square, as they do this week, there's a rather jarring disconnect between your mental and physical capacities. But for you, Aries, it's special because, in this case, your mind is the one moving faster and more dramatically, while your body must struggle to keep up… or at least to validate, with real-life proof, the mind's assertions. Usually, you hold a reputation for functioning somewhat in reverse to this—with quick reflexes, and a brain that thinks about stuff later, after acting. While it may sound refreshing to ponder the potential of actually considering and talking things through first, let me remind you that Mercury is still retrograde for another week… which means those big ideas and bold words can't necessarily be trusted to deliver precise or predictable results. A Mercury-Mars square can also create flusters and frustrations, especially when imprecise or unpredictable results appear to threaten to ruin everything. Actually, the only thing likely to threaten to ruin everything will be any temper tantrums you refuse to nip in the bud.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The planets have confided in me, Taurus, you don't have so much to gain from keeping to yourself this week. Despite the apparent yearning to privately (and obsessively?) mull over and muse on the details of your emotional memories' derivations, too much of a good thing can easily lapse into self-indulgence. (The planets and I tell you this as a friend.) On the other hand, actually doing something out there, differently, in a fresh way, generating present-moment excitement, drawing you closer to the other humans on this globe right now… this helps create a whole other set of emotional experiences more current (and thus more relevant), and works to counteract the ingrained ghosts-from-your-past with real-life activity. Of course, from the bigger view, both privately mulling the old and publicly doing the new comprise a powerful two-pronged strategy for deep-healing your feelings. But for right now, the mentally masturbatory Mercury-retrograde musings are inconclusive, overly theatrical, and not particularly productive.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Venus in Virgo has a tendency to turn you fussier than usual on the little things, Gemini. But throw in a square from Pluto in your 7th, as this week brings, and now somebody else gets scrambled into your grounds for persnickety criticality. Careful, though, in trying to determine exactly what's what… after all, ruling whiz Mercury remains a retrograde ruminator. Try your best not to mix up the minute factors that bug you with the unintentionally culpable behavior of whomever happens to cross your exacting criteria this week. You may have every legitimate reason to feel as you do… but the reasons may be more complex and deep-seated (and less other-person-centered) than you know. Likewise, if someone starts ripping you a new one over uncapped toothpaste tubes or unmade beds, there's more to it—for him or her—than meets the eye. So don't mistakenly engage in it on the obvious levels, and waste your breath in the process. It may be wiser just to suck it up.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As you might assume, oftentimes when I write my weekly horoscopes, glaringly obvious guidance for certain signs jumps out at me, while other signs' astrological states appear less assuming. (Hopefully, I do a fairly adequate job of hiding from my readers which are which… though every week's horoscope for every sign can't always be my best work, eh?) This week, Cancer, I'm going to come right out and tell you that you're flying somewhat under my radar. And that's probably a very good thing for you, considering the week is dominated by a Venus-Pluto square in the mutable signs and a Mercury-Mars square in the fixed signs. You, Cancerian, are a cardinal sign—the one grouping that escapes the worst of it. That said, the best advice I can offer you is to play along with the conflict-ripe performances of the other members of the cast, and ad-lib your part so as not to make additional waves or seem like you're making moves to steal anybody else's spotlight. Don't think you can fix the problems you spot or ease the tensions dragging everything down. Just observe, and send out positive uninvolving energy.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Your experience of the week, Leo, is akin to walking through an open pasture during an electrical storm, wearing a hat topped with a metal antenna and a 'Zap Me (or at least Kick Me)' sign on your back. You can't help but tempt trouble… even though it's not necessarily your true intention to make a scene or court the lightning bolt (never mind the sign you're wearing). Remember what I wrote last week about sustaining the enthusiasm, while also recognizing your potential to overlook others' involvements in your plans? It's definitely still in effect—and more likely to actually explode into the open, rather than merely lingering as an obscured undercurrent. You're exuding power (or at least desire for power), confidence (or at least bravado, with the appearance and texture of confidence), and self-interest (or, phrased more rudely, selfishness). These are not bad things to exude, but obvious in their ability to threaten others grappling with these same issues in their own lives. Pay special care to interactions with bosses, chiefs, chairpeople, and authority-bearers of all sorts… dare they think you're sidestepping their rule or telling them what to do, they will not-kindly remind you who's in charge.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The gist of last week's horoscope advised you to use Venus's presence in your sign to keep it light and lovely, but to push no further. With this week's additional influence of Pluto rubbing against that Venus from below your conscious surface, the lightness is hard to sustain… though the loveliness remains. The allure with which you see the world from your aesthetically immaculate eyes—and the allure with which the world sees you—runs deep and flows fierce like the rivers beneath the earth's crust that carry traces of nutrients and fixations and reincarnated souls across time and space. They want more from you than they can understand why, which can exhilarate you or drain your energy, depending on how you handle the exchange. You can make more from the world than you can understand why, with the alchemical possibility of turning ugly into beautiful the more willing you are to go the extra step, to that uncomfortable place. As you make beauty, they will see truth in you. As you ignore this duty, they will project mistruth onto you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Just hang on, Libra, you're about to consciously know a whole lot more about what's going on… and to have a more easily applicable grip on the still-burgeoning magical appeal that'll glide you into the next phase. Next week, your ruling empress Venus will enter your sign for about a month, and you'll feel just like Stella after she got her groove back—younger, sexier, more alive. But for this week, your subconscious is still moving the furniture around, putting the pieces into place and color-coordinating, so everything will look its best for the coming-out. As a result, you may feel mildly unsettled or out of sorts… or notice very little out of the ordinary, other than the almostness of about-to. This could manifest in the inability to keep the casual purely casual, without even knowing either that you were trying to keep the casual purely casual or that you weren't succeeding. Don't worry, it's not just you who intuits more is happening than what we see. But hopefully, it will be you who, after taking note of what I'm saying, will become aware when moments escalate into almost-something… and then walk away before they make it to something-something, knowing that your charmed time is coming so soon and you don't need this shit here and now.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Separate today's immediate desires from tomorrow's long-ranging aspirations. Don't conflate the two. Don't think your efforts to secure now can also be used in working towards later. Don't oversimplify. If you take what you want now, do it with no strings attached. Be lusty, blatant or direct. Don't count cards. The battle and the war are not being fought on the same fields. You cannot be in two places—or two motivations—at one time. Sly won't work as it usually does… maybe better in certain circumstances, but definitely worse in others. Different hands hold the keys to the kingdom and the motel room; shake one honorably, get down on your knees and kiss the other one romantically. If you can't keep it straight, simply go for the easy satisfaction… but keep your mouth polite with the real movers and shakers.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Under the spell of Venus squaring Pluto from your 10th to your 1st, it'll be quite evident to whoever possesses the power that you want what you want. Therefore, I see no advantage to pretending you bear a purpose in your machinations other than that, and thus trying to 'play it cool'. That doesn't mean you should be unsavory in crudely flaunting your ambitions, since Mercury, still retrograde in your 9th, indicates the probability of coming off like a preachy park-bench ranter who drives reasonable fellows to walk the other direction. Just don't deny anything that's true, and refrain from insincerely buttering up the egos of those you want something from. Understand that, if it makes sense for you to ascend to the next step in a designated organization, you will get there without having to push and shove yourself upward. Be cordially and unassumingly upfront, then get out of your own way and let the planetary tides pull you where you're going.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Mars and Venus in earth signs continue to support you, as long as you remain the calm-minded one on the edge of this sea of raving battle-hungry lunatics. Okay, maybe they're not so bad… but then why are their weapons cocked and their fingers trigger-ready, if not because they're eagerly awaiting a reason to shoot? Please, Capricorn, don't give them one. You are too smart to sully your spotlessness by foolishly jeopardizing the safe distance, thinking they won't notice the subtle snide below an otherwise 'harmless' comment. (Aren't you that smart?) From where you stand on the shoreline, you can actually see the psychological storm brewing and hear the waves crashing. You know the undertow is wicked and the currents ferocious. Do me a favor, and don't even step a toe in the water until the lifeguard gives an all-assuring go-ahead. That is not this week.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The plot thickens in Aquariusland, where the natives grow increasingly restless with their peculiarly uncharacteristic incapability for distinguishing rational thoughts from unreasonable (but no less authentic) psychological rationalizations. 'What is happening to me?' the protagonist asks. 'I just followed the instructions on the package. They read "Eat Me", so I did… and suddenly I'm too big to fit inside the house!' Don't blame the manufacturers of the cake, or the person who sold it to you, your best friend or your mom. There's no reason to blame anyone at all… because there's nothing wrong. You're merely reaching the far edges of intellectual truth, where it borders the ocean of 'that's just how I feel—I can't explain it', and you're not accustomed to the long swim. Other people enter the picture because they are neither right nor wrong, and neither are you neither. What's genuinely right is simply what you two agree upon, nothing more and nothing less. Though that solution sounds myopic, it's actually huge and also holds the answer to all your sweeping cultural and spiritual quandaries. But all in good time, my dear. All in good time.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Stand guard at the watchtower, Pisces. Reports from the frontlines inform us that envy and unhealthy fixation are on the approach. But from this distance, it's hard to determine whose side they're fighting for and/or against. I dare to say, you run the risk of bearing nasty will toward those who have something you want… even though, deep down, you know their achievements have absolutely nothing to do with whether you've achieved your desired diddly-squat or not. This self-dissatisfaction-made-personal-toward-someone-else may only be an undercurrent, however, as other astro-factors conspire to splatter your focus all over the map and leave you wondering what indeed would be the most practical approach to take. It's a mad mad mad mad world, at least this week. Should you make that left turn at Albuquerque? Depends on which route you want to follow, I suppose… but it has absolutely nothing to do with how they got where they were going.