Horoscopes | Week of August 4-10, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): With your ruler Mars facing off against the anything-goes disobedience of Uranus, the risk of unexpected happenings shoots way up this week. In particular, you're unusually vulnerable to making careless moves or wearing your energies down, if you aren't especially respectful of your subtle physical rhythms. That necessitates you slowing down long enough to reflect on whether a given action holds more potential risk than is really worth taking on (knowing that this isn't the week to push your luck)… and paying close attention to the internal signal of 'enough is enough', so you don't insist on sticking it out an extra couple hours, only to wake up in the morning with a nasty cold or a terrible urge to play hooky. Much wisdom will rest on you determining the limits to what you can do—and not daring to pit your modest human self against forces too large to contend with single-handedly. If you're wondering whether you've bitten off more than you can chew, you probably have. Pick a different week to pull an all-nighter or scale Kilimanjaro. For this week, play it on the safe side, and take super-tender care with your body. It's the only one you've got.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A refined take on long-chewed-on feelings finally starts to take hold. This leads, by logical extension, to your reinvigorated resolution to finally do something about it. You'll show them, won't you? They've got it coming to 'em. They need to be exposed to the consequences of their actions, or they'll never learn. Isn't that right, Taurus? While I'm quite sure that (if you've at last reached this 'a-ha' moment and can't just sit on it) you feel the righteousness of what you're about to 'teach' coursing through your blood, I'm not convinced you have to rush headfirst into the response (or is that revenge?) phase. Perhaps you might care to allow these latest realizations time to sink all the way in… before you do something rash? The planets (egged on by a Mars-Uranus opposition) will certainly be tempting you in the opposite direction—to behave outrageously, if only to make some rebellious point about them 'not messing' with you. But where does that leave you after the initial scent of vindication wafts past? Unfortunately, in a position where the 'statement' you just made may ultimately prove misleading, at least in terms of what you want on a longer-term basis. You may have successfully vented your frustration all right… but at a much higher cost than you need pay.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's really not like you to miss the point. They can accuse you of a lot of things (some of which you'd probably have to plead 'no contest'), but cluelessness is not one of 'em, Gemini. (If anything, you can be too quick for your own good.) Yet, you could find folks looking at you with a weird blend of confusion and impatience… once, that is, you respond to what they're telling you with questions or remarks which appear to ignore their main purpose, to instead fixate on some tiny detail largely irrelevant to the topic they're seeking feedback on. (For example, they relate an involved tale about their latest romantic entanglements… and you can't get past the fact they wore khakis to a nightclub or drank fuzzy navels all night.) For the record, I do not think you're dim—merely distracted by more personal concerns, and thus less aware when your lines of interpersonal connection get crossed. (In other words, you're in your own head. That makes it harder to get into theirs.) If you totally lose sight of the drift they're trying to convey, it's no big whoop. Humbly apologize, and acknowledge you're probably not in the best mindspace to listen well. Of course, it might also mean you have some talking to do… or how else will you clear this stuff out of your mind?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You're hot on the trail of a potentially lucrative opportunity, Cancer… but as profitable a circumstance as this could prove to be, it's also just as likely to slip through your fingers if you aren't fully prepared to grab it in full 'gotcha!' mode when the time is right. That means you must, vocally and without blushing timidity, throw yourself into the running. Your sudden entrée as a serious contender may indeed surprise those in charge. (There's probably at least one player who hasn't even considered your involvement as a possibility.) Yet, a no-holds-barred announcement of your intentions will surely open their eyes to you as an option. Furthermore, you shouldn't be afraid of 'rocking the boat'—for instance, interrupting their sales pitch to ask clarifying questions or holding out on one seemingly inconsequential condition—in the process of trying to cinch the deal. If these matters are important for you to address, then they need to be addressed. Otherwise, should you secure the gig under the fishy auspices of 'don't ask, don't tell', you've essentially agreed to an arrangement that doesn't value the importance of those things you find important… and therefore won't likely be an especially respectful situation to be in.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Oh, you'll catch their eye… don't you worry about that, Leo. You're presently holding every weapon in the arsenal one might use to attract a steady stream of gorgeous suitors, eager for their chance to woo such a charmer as yourself. But an appealing surface will only get you as far as 'hello'. It's how you act after they're taken notice that'll determine whether you reel 'em in—or turn 'em off. That said, you'd better have the personality goods to back up those first impressions… or you'll shut down their interest as soon as you mutter that first uninviting remark or start nervously yammering on and on about how great you are. Though you may smartly choose to give off a well-put-together persona (because, hell, who doesn't want to look like a hottie?), you should also be willing to expose who you really are. Or do you want them to see you as a nice-looking clothes-hanger… with very little else to offer upon first meeting or casual conversation? Rather than upholding a too-perfect front, reveal glimpses of your inner dork. The days of repressing your true disposition, in order to appear 'cool' to the narrow segment of the population who considers themselves 'supercool', went out of fashion back in junior-high.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): In an uncharacteristically brazen display of the proverbial 'fighting to the death' (though hopefully without any actual deaths), you may find you need to stand very tall and strong… in order to signal to everyone within a 100-mile radius that you absolutely refuse to be shaken. (Such bravado is required for passing the test of how seriously you're taking all this.) I'm trying to rally your fiercest ferocity, Virgo, because you just might encounter powerful opposition or an apparent deal-breaking obstacle… and you mustn't let such challenges chip away at your confidence. If you're properly thinking everything through, you could well discover that the forces thwarting your easy advance are totally beyond your control—and therefore logic would seem to lead to retreat as the best response. But logic isn't the fellow you want leading the troops into battles all by his lonesome. You need the guy with the fire in his belly and the image of overflowing treasure chests filling his mind. He's the one already on his feet, ready to find any back-door or kitchen-window breach in the otherwise water-tight blockade. That insistent warrior knows full well: If one plan gets dashed, there's always another way.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You'll make a great confidante or second-in-command to the friends you most value this week… when you can expect to genuinely enjoy playing the role of sounding-board, conscience and proxy-sanity, in support of someone whose vision you can wholeheartedly endorse. You currently possess a knack for getting inside their head, and, as such, you'll instinctively grasp what they're trying get across—and notice what unspoken assumptions they're making, so you can confirm the accuracy of all the necessary details. You also innately understand which of their psychological issues are at play, enabling you to tell 'em exactly what they need to hear to cut off their self-defeating worries. Plus, with the planets as they are, you have no compelling reason to get attached to a particular plan or protocol… making it that much easier for you to happily groove with whatever changes present themselves, and to help your pals cope with being just as flexible. Basically, if you could follow a single guideline in your friendships this week, it'd go something like this: Don't make a big deal about anything, and be cool with whatever. Not only does this path of least resistance require essentially no forethought, it'll also keep you out of trouble.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The kind of expletive-filled quote I wanted to write here (which, for once, I convinced myself wasn't an integral part of the horoscope) is the sort of mouthing-off we could only attribute to your inner thrasher, Scorpio… the one who only comes out after every possible polite move has already been tried, to no great effect, and you realize you're tired of pussy-footing around. And such 'adult' words are precisely what's apt to stream forth from you if, after all the concessions and compromises you've made to the other players to keep 'em happy, they still shoot their dirty looks or envious attitudes at you. Nobody would be surprised to learn you've had it up to here (and then some) with 'playing nice'. But considering how important a role the interpersonal politics have taken in this current endeavor, there's no question you're in a tough spot. Can you forgive them their bad reactions or petty trifling, just so you may continue pursuing your pre-established goals? Or have you finally hit your limit and, therefore, need to let your pent-up gripes gush out… without worrying about whether you're taken the appropriate tone or waited your official turn to speak? If you are indeed ready to dispense with sensitivity and let 'em have it, don't be taken aback if everything between you blows up.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Count yourself lucky if the scene within which you're working still provides enough excitement to keep your fires burning. But when the world we inhabit (consisting of a mere sliver of that great big world out there) demonstrates it isn't ready for the revolution we're in the midst of birthing, we mustn't stop our metamorphosis in its tracks. Instead, we speed a hasty trail to the fortress gates, turn back for one last wave at the good folks we're about to leave behind, and get on with the revolution. But then again, we won't want to squander our newfound liberation on rehashing those same old grievances we harbor toward the 'old' way of doing things—or else why bother leaving at all, only to bring the frustration with us? There is nothing inherently wrong with whatever status-quo situation apparently isn't able to contain your growing pangs, Sagittarius. It's just not right for you. So you bear no crusader's duty to overthrow the whole damn thing, from CEO to mail clerk and everything in between. Why spoil something that may be perfectly acceptable to plenty of other folks? If your grounds for dissatisfaction truly center on not getting the individual freedom you crave, then take the damn freedom already… the freedom to leap forward into your personal revolution with no strings, that is, and not the freedom to continue obsessing about somebody else's shortcomings.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Per last week's endorsement of simplifying the situation (by any means necessary, no less), you're slated for one more week of trudging across bumpy terrain so you may gain greater clarity on where to go from here. We are all adults here, Capricorn. We can get behind the 'rough-and-tumble' approach, if it'll reap the results that a certain arm's-length standoffishness could never produce`. We have no problem becoming a little dirty and sweaty (or even a lot), when it feels like the efforts are actually contributing to something. But what we don't have a need for, this far along in the process, are attempts by any individuals (yourself included) to control the proceedings by deciding in one's own head how things should go down… and then sneakily steering the conversation in that direction. Forestall the judgment calls long enough to actually talk to each other, experiencing whatever feelings come up along the way. Do your damnedest not to attempt communications from a place of already assuming to know what conclusion you want. (Such expectations will make it difficult to listen with an open heart.) Dwell in the not-knowing. You can analyze meanings next week.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I don't ordinarily offer this sort of advice, Aquarius… but a little voice inside is telling me it could prove strangely fitting this week, so I feel obliged to share it. Here goes: Don't shy away from spinning your message so that it hits their ears just so, massaging it to maximize the likelihood of getting the very reaction you most desire. Is that calculating? Perhaps. Is that insincere? Not if you aren't purposely withholding facts that, were they to be disclosed, would generate an entirely different response. I'm not counseling you to alter the truth in any way—simply to present it in a tone that plays to their current psychological state, pushing the right buttons and avoiding certain phrases so as to reflect your sympathies. The main reason I'd typically hesitate to guide you down this path is because, when it comes to consciously engineering your attitude to create a desired effect, there's a very fine line between strategic forethought and outright manipulation. And one of the main distinctions? Whether your investment in the situation is (1) out in the open, above-board, and generally uninvolved with who holds the most powerful hand, or (2) secretive, lacking ethical integrity, and mostly in it to win it, no matter the cost.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): (1) If you think you're reached a lasting agreement, you're wrong. (2) Just because they said one thing, that doesn't mean you must say the other. You don't have to say anything at all. Hell, you don't even have to listen. (3) Nobody owns a monopoly on the facts. But you can imagine how one might draw such a conclusion, considering two of you claim to have such a lock on 'the facts'… and yet totally contradict each other. (4) Everything that drives you crazy about them also subconsciously drives you crazy about you. (5) If you genuinely want to knock 'em out for good—and let me be clear: I doubt that you do—just go for one swift ugly blow in the gut, then run like hell. (Isn't that what you'd do if you were trying to escape from an actual attack?) (6) You're under no obligation to play any interpersonal ping-pong at all. Sidestep the drama altogether, simply by attending to the all those easy-to-solve problems and almost-finished tasks at work. Choose finite projects you can finish in one or two sittings. These small accomplishments will make you feel good about yourself… in a way that harping on the back-and-forth gripes never could. (7) If you don't like something, change it.