Horoscopes | Week of July 21-27, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Presuming that you have, in fact, been pouring your heart and soul into those pieces of work you're supposed to be working on… well, then, you're certainly due for some recognition, aren't you? (This is not the same thing as being due for a break, which you aren't.) But you'll be waiting a long time for the relevant bosses, team members, loved ones or other folks impacted by your diligent efforts to notice all that sweat equity you're investing—if, that is, you don't talk up your good deeds. Feel absolutely no shame in showing off the fruits of your proud labor. Tooting your own horn only becomes distasteful when it's a substitute for continuing the actual work, as if you might legitimately be permitted to rest on the laurels of a few-weeks'-toil for a long while to come (which you're not). If you are, as I've already advised, irreversibly committed to staying the course for another several weeks, in order so you might later enjoy greater success thanks to having postponed your immediate gratification, then you may at least indulge in a small amount of self-congratulating. You should celebrate the fact that you're sticking with it… so long as the celebration doesn't distract you from the disciplined approach that's itself the cause for celebrating.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Excitability will be your clue you're doing something that actually matters to you, which is why your participation in said activity will likely amp up your physical energy with enthusiastic adrenaline… and which is also why your anxieties could also go up, considering you want it to things to go well since it does matter that much. So when you find yourself becoming more 'excitable', Taurus, roll with it. But to best use this hopped-up, spazzed-out vibe, you've got to be willing to dive right in… rather than, say, cautiously considering every step to the point where you're afraid to actually take it. Caution, in this most debilitating form, has very few helpful applications this week, especially when it comes to your involvements with the activity that has you all excited. After all, the excitement means you can hardly wait to get into it. Then, why wait? Anxiety, meanwhile, signals that you need to get out of your head—and onto your feet, ready for action. Literal physical motion is the best antidote to internal freak-outs. When in doubt, take on another helping of the manual labor required to move everything along. (Silently reflecting on whether it's the 'right' timing for this phase of the labor is already taking you out of your body.) There's really nothing left to do but the doing.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you think you can have a sweet superficial chat with a certain You-Know-Who, when, at the same time, you have a bunch of more complicated stuff on your mind that you'd rather not discuss with 'em, you're totally kidding yourself. How can you imagine you won't spill your guts, Gemini? Once you start talking, you won't be able to stop… or at least you won't want to. And it's definitely worth considering whether the things you're liable to say will likely further complicate the complicated situation. The current reactions you're having, real and profound as they may be, could just as easily fade away by next week or the following one. But based on the intensity you'll inescapably express, should you opt to talk this out with the person in question, they might mistakenly assume you feel like this all the time… and treat this passing pothole as a more lasting trouble. In other words, if you're too indiscriminate in how much you vent—and especially to whom—you'll end up creating more of the very thing you're complaining about. So if you're not in the mood to bare your soul (or wise enough to know that, despite the temptation, you're better off not running your mouth in this case), then funnel all your attention into your job or other such routine concerns. Not only are these 'safer' places to channel your mental energy, but the simple act of changing your focus will do more to settle your stirred-up soul than continuing to talk incessantly about what's stirring you up.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): 'I need to know now!' their tense voice (or desperate eye contact) cries out to you. But who needs to know now, Cancer? Is it you? Because if it isn't, I see no reason why you should adopt their sense of urgency as your own. And that means resisting others' pressures to make up your mind, if you still haven't decided. Better yet, respond by asking more questions. Push on the places where certain details haven't yet been fleshed out, and watch 'em squirm… not because you're some sort of closet sadist (you're not, are you?) but in a mischievously helpful fashion, yanking the covers off the very reason why maybe, just maybe, everybody should just slow this train down for a hot minute. Think of yourself as the benevolent voice of alternatives (any and every alternative!), ready to offer up a cavalcade of previously unentertained suggestions or play devil's advocate when encountering anybody feeling stuck, fed up, overly confident or too impatient to care about getting it right. At this point, there's really no convincing excuse for closing off all the other options. The decisiveness that certain folks are obviously searching for will arrive soon enough. So why be premature in calling it said and done? Have fun with dodging the dotted line. It's not quite time to sign.


LEO (July 23-August 22): There's really no need to hurry on ahead, though your instincts might tell you to keep on pushin' the pedal to the metal so as to maintain the momentum you've already got going. If you're facing no unmovable deadlines that must be met, please feel free to postpone further important dealings until next week, once Mercury has settled into your sign and your head will be more securely screwed on. At the same time you're enjoying an influx of fresh new spins on long-standing circumstances, your mind is so steeped in excitedly entertaining the possibilities, it'll have a hard time tapping into its analytic side… and thus could be blindsided by all the functional reasons why the plan, in its current form, might not actually work. What I'm trying to tell you, Leo, is: Don't stress about that stuff right now. Come next week, you'll be in a far better position to mold your creative raw-material into workable shape. And in the meantime? Go ahead and coast. Let up on the internal gears, and give 'em a little rest. You've already proven to yourself that you're suffering no shortage of ideas. Though you'll unarguably need to face certain logistical questions ahead, this is actually a good problem to have: the challenge of figuring out how to enact your vision in the real world.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): After a past couple weeks that might've seemed like something of a test, you're due to tap into a wider-angle optimism… an outlook based upon the increasing self-confidence that's (hopefully) come from proving you can indeed make the 'wisest' decisions for yourself, when need be. Once you can concretize and integrate this faith in yourself—that, no matter what, your problem-solving practicality will always jump to your own rescue—you're then better able to reach ever further out onto the limb of scary-but-so-desirable risk, reassured that you can always get yourself out of the situation if it doesn't end up working for you. Too much by-the-books pragmatism, alas, can stand in the way of your imagination, Virgo. How can your inner creative-visionary feel free enough to dream up a dramatically more fulfilling future for yourself (even if you're already 'perfectly fine'), if you're always already worrying about how to make it happen or all the possible process-oriented problems that might present themselves? Sure, once you get to the 'implementation' stage, those types of thoughts will come in very handy. But before you get to that point, you have to allow yourself to simply dream. That is, to dream big. Believing that dreams can come true—and, in fact, do all the time—is the first step.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): It's important not to fight, if you aren't exactly clear on what you're fighting about. And if such an unspecific battle threatens to break out with somebody you actually care greatly for (e.g., your honey, your good friend, a family member), don't discount the real possibility that these frustrations are really a cover for missing each other. You two might, in fact, be struggling to find time for each other… and the annoying cat-and-mouse game is merely playing out as a convenient exchange of blame, where the little annoyances you'd ordinarily forgive have suddenly become supposed 'issues'. Why project it outward, making the other person 'wrong', when you could just accept the temporary gap and live with it for now? (A little personal space isn't such a bad thing anyhow.) It's also important to hold your worries about work or other duties you haven't yet completed (see last week's segment) at arm's length… recognizing them for what they are, rather than conflating 'em with the interpersonal garbage and unnecessarily throwing wood on the fire. I cannot reassure you enough times that any extra moodiness, confusion or angst you're enduring at the current moment is unlikely to last more than another few weeks. By early September, this will all seem like ancient history.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Make it 'bigger than you'. What I mean by that, Scorpio, is a suggestion not to permit the frivolous shit to devolve into personal beef with someone—or, for that matter, into someone's personal beef with you. That's so not where you need to be focused right now. Do what you can to open up any potentially problematic exchanges into a larger discussion… drawing other voices in (and consequently deescalating the tension), describing the matter at hand in impersonal terms (to take any finger-pointing off the agenda), or otherwise waxing philosophic with inconclusive conclusions and zenlike answers-that-are-questions. Take interactions that seem to be headed in one or another clear direction, and shuffle the puzzle-pieces so that any way may seem as appealing as the next. That way, the whole lingering intensity is brought down several notches. However, if you don't think you can pull it off—and if the peer pressure is really starting to drive you nuts—maybe you just need to take a few moments away from the whole thing. If you can't see a way around your urge to rain on everybody else's parade, why not just zoom off for a bit? You all can fill each other in on the details when you get back… once what currently seems like a big deal will no longer get you as riled.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): With a strategic regrouping on your part, this could prove to be quite a profitable week for you. Rather than give off a near-menacing strength of authority (and cross that unpopular line between 'confidence' and 'arrogance') and the Machiavellian willingness to do 'whatever it'll take', make a much more focused grab for a particular set of expanded duties, a certain extra shift, or a clearly outlined role that's only one or two steps beyond what you're currently doing. It's far easier for a person-in-power to say yes to a person who's asking for something that's been distinctly defined… and which has built-in limits in place (as opposed to a 'blank check' sort of anything-goes feel). You'll also get further by being unambiguously straightforward, rather than imagining you can slyly fish for an offer without your hidden motivations being detected. Be forthright in explaining exactly why the move you're desiring will benefit them (because they'll obviously be already aware of how it benefits you), and it'll be much harder for them to disagree. You'll win the case by putting it in nuts-and-bolts terms that speak to their bottom line. However, if you think they'll be swayed merely by your heartfelt repetitions of why this means so much to you and how very badly you want it, you've got another thing coming.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): With no disservice to the exaggerated passion you're feeling toward whatever's currently possessing your attentions, Capricorn, you'll have an even more eye-opening week if you go into it eager to learn more about other people's different enthusiasms and excitements. As single-mindedly sure as you may be that you're on the one-and-only right track (or at least fairly convinced of which tracks you shouldn't be on), you'll miss out on further chances for self-understanding—the ones which arise when we confront others' wholly unfamiliar perspectives with curiosity, rather than quick dismissal or judgment—by remaining closed to what else exists. Take in their alternative views, instead of stubbornly insisting on your one interpretation… not because they're any more 'right' than you, but simply out of a genuine interest in the diverse life-philosophies out there. As I'm sure you know, nobody has all the answers. It's impossible, largely because different answers speak to different people. Therefore, I'm not asking you to abandon yours, simply to entertain theirs. On the contrary, go ahead and embrace the conclusions you've already come to. In fact, share them with the conviction you've unquestionably earned, through the trial-and-error of your own bumps-in-the-road. But keep the preachy tone in check, lest anybody confuse your self-inspiring fervor for a self-righteous belief in the overall superiority of your 'answers' over anybody else's.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): In a veritable continuation of last week's scope, I wouldn't expect your calm-cool-and-collected side to return anytime this week. But on the same token, I also wouldn't sweat it, when in fact your body temperature begins to rise along with periodic bursts of super-potent emotions… even in situations where such feelings may not be 'warranted', at least according to some predetermined cerebral gauge of so-called appropriateness. Just because you're not exactly in control of it, that necessarily doesn't make it a problem. Indeed, being freer with your feelings (not that you can help it) could actually prove to be an advantage, especially in romantic settings or other interpersonal contexts where there is a lot of emotional density (whether discussed or not) between you two. Though it's not usually your cup-o'-tea, some folks need to see the person they're dealing with get 'a little worked up', as a sort of proof that, yes, they do care. And sometimes, the way your tone of voice reflects that you've already 'thought everything out' can hit their ears threateningly… like your version is already so neat and tidy that there's no room for spontaneous mind-changing, based on the rush of in-the-moment intimacy. With this heightened emotiveness, however, they'll clearly see your emotional gears responding and reacting. They'll know where your heart is leaning. Though you may be uncomfortable with the show of feelings, they could feel more reassured than ever.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Declaring independence needn't have a thing to do with anybody else. It's a statement of your own unwillingness to rely on habits, influences, expectations or insecurities for easy-to-follow (but not exactly thrillingly interesting or growth-oriented) guidelines to life that keep you from having to think anything through. And right around now, you can snag yourself a high-flyin' ride on the magic carpet of self-satisfaction by making such a public declaration—with the intention, of course, of following through. Without a doubt, we're likelier to hold true to our bold statements of purpose when we utter 'em in front of our friends… who, thanks to their genuine investment in how well we're doing, we can count on to check up on us later, to see if we're continuing to behave independently once the soaring moment of making speeches has come and gone. Use the folks around you to keep you honest, Pisces, not because you aren't innately trustworthy but so you can remain aware of when you're starting to veer from what you said you were going to do. That's why the actual declaration is as important as quietly holding the intention on your own. Once it's out there on record, it's much harder to backpedal.