Horoscopes | Week of August 3-9, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Fine print is often overlooked when one's rushes ahead. Work is left incomplete, sloppy, with holes in the bottom that let precious liquids leak out, if not attended to at a reasonable pace. You, dear Aries, are not known for the graceful gradual approach likeliest to prevent such oversights from occurring… and while usually we adore you for the accelerating attitude you bring to the table, this is not currently the case. That said: Slow down, please. Give everything a week's worth of deep breaths to settle into its respective places. Think about what might have gotten recently lost, misplaced or undervalued. Ask the stakeholders to conduct their duly diligent inspections. Wait long enough to get a consensus of satisfied sign-offs. Consider how such periodic slowdowns are a useful implement in your arsenal of leadership traits. Not only do you ensure the efforts have been accomplished according to standards broader than your own on-the-spot once-over, this drawn-out impeccability also buys you a few moments to regroup. They might see it merely as you being thorough in your interpersonal follow-through, while you could also nonchalantly catch up on some zzzzs behind the mirrored sunglasses lenses as you wait for them to get back to you. Everybody gets something out of such a dutiful methodology—and you retain a well-respected position, simply by demonstrating your inclusivity, all with the added boost of a few leisurely moments of stepping to the side.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If I had to elect one member of the zodiac tribe to make the big speech or deliver the important message this week, I'd cast my vote for you, Taurus. This blend of astro-factors virtually ensures you would serve as the most dynamic, magnetic and entertaining feature-presenter—that is, as long as whatever's being publicly promoted isn't a self-serving appeal for more money, greater responsibility or some other goodies that'll line your pockets or bolster your banked balance. What spurs me to throw in this add-on, incidentally, is the 2nd-to-5th-house square between Mars and Saturn that's currently forming… an inhibiting influence over any assertive attempts to personally profit (in real dollars-and-cents or in enhanced esteem), due to possible misreadings of your perceived confidence (as either an insincere act to help you get what you want or as out-and-out arrogant self-importance). Count any immediate self-serving profit out of the equation, however, and you merely come across as a passionate believer in whatever cause has led you to the podium, with the inimitable ability to win over casual allies and complete strangers alike, simply because you know just how to talk to 'em with that salt-of-the-earth realness. Tone down any concern with what you'll gain for yourself. Amp up your investment in 'the right thing' being accomplished. Everything should transpire swimmingly.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I'm going to start by linking us back to last week's horoscopic headlines, Gemini… and I don't have very far to go from there. So much of what you're presently thinking is being filtered through a highly subjective stance on your part, particularly insofar as you're invested in either drawing yourself in more tightly with a certain someone or, conversely, trying to extricate yourself from an interpersonal situation that's become way too close for comfort. It's hard, then, to determine exactly how you want to go forth as an individual, if there were no such extenuating circumstances pulling in one direction or the other. That's why, therefore, this week maybe isn't the best one for boldly jetting onward, in light of the possibility you may be too wrapped up in reactionary tendencies, which could be telling you to run toward or away from these complications rather than in direct pursuit of a particular personal goal. Instead, it seems there's really nowhere to go at the moment—except here, where you and your two-or-more brains must decide where exactly the most workable fulcrum between give and take, stay or go, you on your own vs. you still involved, self-possession and mutual-mindedness can be found. This ideal balancing point may be difficult to discern, but you'll recognize it by how it makes you feel like there's hope at the end of the tunnel (and not an endless series of ever-more-maddening headaches).


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The backdrop continues to provide an increase in erratic tendencies, courtesy of the eclipse season… and another lunar eclipse at Wednesday (Aug 5)'s full moon. And yet, Cancer, this is an exceptionally favored moment for explicit communication, 'explicit' in both the dictionary senses of (1) fully and clearly expressed and (2) outspoken in a potentially controversial or adult tone. A very happy Mercury, able to rationally grasp and encapsulated the pertinent details, is playing well with both Venus (in your sign, yay!) and a 7th-house Pluto… which is an ideal recipe for having conversations that might otherwise be feared as 'difficult', were not for an uncanny cerebral clarity that's presently presenting itself. To reiterate sentiments I've recently described, this clarity really does exist in your brain—so long as you're able to admit, to yourself first and foremost, that, yes, you know exactly what meaning those streaming emotional currents hold for you. And that's all you really need to know… not anything to do with the post-disclosure ramifications for the other person, the relationship dynamic, the plans you two have or haven't yet made regarding your future, blah-de-blah. Don't let this great chance to spark up the self-evidently necessary discussion on your terms: namely, saying in unambiguous terms what's true for you (though you might be somewhat bowled over by your own courage in finally putting this all into words) and giving 'em a chance to listen, ask questions, react and respond.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Look closer to home, instead of way out there into the galaxy. Refine your ideas with further earthly realism, rather than continuing to build high-concept upon high-concept. Ground thyself, Leo, so you don't drain your faculties (both energetic and monetary) on pie-in-the-sky hopes that, while they'll hopefully come partially or wholly into being at some point, are still several steps away from what's tangibly true here and now. But please don't take any of what I'm telling you, brave lion, as a motive for throwing in the towel or turning off your creative thinking-cap and becoming another drone on the assembly-line of predictable obedience. (That would be a somewhat theatrical reaction, don't you think?) The adjustments I'm suggesting are more modest in scope… and are ultimately designed to help you transform into the person you want to continue growing into, only at a more gradual pace and with enough solidity beneath your feet that you don't trip and twist an ankle. On the least obtuse and most simplistic level, one area you ought to take a close look at is how you can get the most bang for your buck, taking a conservative-investment approach that will reap surefire (though slower and less dramatic) results you can bank on. This also means putting a temporary lid on your unequivocal advocating for idealistic ventures among your community of like-minded folks—without at least pausing to consider how it'd actually happen (and who's going to pay for it).


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The astro-cards are stacked in your favor, Virgo, when it comes to practicing an earnest degree of goal-oriented restraint. Thanks to Mercury's pleased-as-punch placement back home in your sign, any battle of wits (or, phrased more diplomatically, 'difference in perspective on the facts') will put you in the most advantageous position. You'll have the requisite distance from personal emotions, allowing you to convey yourself calmly and with focus on the most proper outcome for the desired tangible result… as well as both an underlying magnetism in your voice that makes your rationality ring as terribly appealing (though please don't hyper-consciously force this) and an eye toward fairness for everyone (as opposed to advocating for purely self-aggrandizing reasons). Where the other person, a possible adversary or overbearing 'boss' type, might trip you up is with the distracting addition of extraneous considerations, questions or details that do little but cloud the focus you're securely holding. And if you fall for this trip, you're liable to stumble over yourself with sudden (and unwarranted) self-doubt—which, to be clear, would be less about your grip on the actual matter-at-hand and more about your desire to please this dipping-and-swerving character. Deploy your restraint, then, to prevent it from devolving into a personality-conflict situation. Stick close to your impersonal take on the circumstance itself, and respond to all red herrings accordingly.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This week's edition is one of those 'just smile and look pretty' renditions, Libra… so if you were hoping for me to spell out a rallying proactive strategy for hurrying along the lusted-for developments, you are unfortunately out of luck for the time being. I'm especially suspicious of Mercury hiding out in your 12th, where, though he may be gifting you with a few prime backstage observations (which you'd, frankly, have a hard time explaining without sounding a bit wishful or paranoid), he has little to offer in the way of intelligible feedback. That is, he's channeling insight directly into a region of your brain that lacks convenient access to the part that actually controls how you convey what you know. Therefore, you really ought to sit patiently on those thoughts, much like a protective hen warmly waits atop her eggs until they inform her when it's their time to hatch. Yet, still, you've got to put in the face time and behave as if you're happy to be there—and as if you're not withholding anything they'd want to know about. Thankfully, you've got the skills to pull this off. At the same time, with Mars building all week to a Saturn square from your 9th, you're entertaining a vague sense of problematic possibility that, likewise, provides incentive enough to hold off a moment on advancing toward the eventual climactic venture. Don't worry, though: This holding-off is very short-lived.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Let's say a jury of your peers was watching. Would you still go for the proverbial jugular, though it's clearly the most efficient and effective place to head if you're hoping to score a surefire checkmate? Would you be willing to face their scornful eyes, their dispassionate sentencing (in the name of supposed 'justice'), their righteous imaginings of themselves as so much more ethically sound and superior than someone as momentarily ruthless or unconscionable as you? For the record, Scorpio, I think such a hypothetical jury would find it much easier to wax morally high-brow in the contrived context of a courtroom than to actually proceed down any 'higher' road than the one you'd take, were they to find themselves in your position. Ought you sit on your hands and let whoever represents 'the other side' waltz right in and take advantage of you? Not in the slightest. I only phrase your week's horoscope in these judicial terms to point out there's more to a favorable verdict than merely disarming your apparent adversary. For the absolute best results (i.e., you get what you want, and there are no loose strings left hanging), you've also got to keep in mind a parallel consideration: how you'd most smartly explain yourself to folks outside the heated center of the situation, so they would retain their respect in you. Forget, for a second, about the fact that there may actually be people who are indeed observing (perhaps from an invisible vantage-point on the sidelines) what is transpiring with you and You-Know-Who. For simplicity's sake, use the hypothetical jury as your testing-ground, rehearsing the right words to sympathetically detail why you might've needed to take a relatively harsh approach to defending your ground. By following this exercise, you'll ensure you've got your story down straight.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Keep a keen, clever eye on the big business—your career aspirations, your out-in-the-world goals, and your reputation among those who might be able to give you a leg up. This is no time to fritter away your mental juices on attempts to outsmart or one-up a pal, prospective partner or sworn enemy in the leisure sector. Strategize how best to spend your every productive moment this week, Sagittarius, so that you make measured, though measurable, advances toward smaller benchmarks which, in the end, will eventually build upon themselves like rungs up the ladder to the coveted trophy. Go public with any win-win proposals to ease the levels of heavy responsibility resting solidly on someone else's lap. Volunteer to share the struggle, so that you may subsequently share the victory. That'll demonstrate to them that you're not a person who's only interested in taking part when the going is easy. Should you find yourself at odds with a key player in your field of interest, a respected name in the community or anybody who could qualify as an authority or superior, please back down… not because you aren't a contender, but because, to be insightfully forward-thinking, you know you must play it diplomatically to get what you want. Respecting 'your proper place', though it isn't exactly where you see yourself ultimately settling, is the right thing to do in the immediate short-term. (And pointing out where this powerful figure is contradicting him-/herself will do you absolutely no favors… even though you're probably quite accurate in your assessment of them.)


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This week, I intend to remind you of the mixed-blessing honor/duty that's been bestowed upon you Capricorns as a long-term result of Pluto's decade-and-a-half transit through your sign (which, as of now, is still in its very earliest stages). You are our collective testing-ground in terms of what happens when we attempt to realign our goals so our pursuit of them doesn't create the sort of dark-and-ugly consequences that fuel an increased gap between the haves and have-nots. There's pressure on you, Capricorn, to exemplify this ever-evolving model for real-world success that isn't built on the disempowerment and/or exploitation of others. Contrary to certain societal messages, somebody needn't lose for somebody else to win. That said, you may face a situation in which it behooves you to apply the brakes on a project or purpose, in order to ensure it's handled fairly and in moral alignment with your stated life-philosophy. Screw those who'd tell you to forget about principles, to forge ahead regardless of the funny feeling in your tummy that arises whenever you ponder the lapse in good judgment about to be made. Please be the one with the good judgment, the guy or gal who isn't afraid to hold the whole damn thing up, just to be sure no glistening new skyscraper is built upon the dishonored bones of slain natives or abused slaves. You may appear to be 'causing problems', an appearance with the possibility to stir doubt in you among peers (or even within your multi-faceted self). In reality, however, you are seeking to root out a much bigger problem you'd have a much harder time, in the end, living with.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The best product of a most sincere and comprehensive analysis on your part will likely resemble you unabashedly accepting your lack of control. Take that analysis really seriously, Aquarius… if you want to reap something other than a call-to-action based on the false assumption that what you do will be the sole determining move to tip it all toward the resolution you engineered in your head. Pure brutal honesty with yourself can't help but conclude with the realization that you're absolutely dependent upon the psychological whims of another person or a broader interrelational situation. And all of that is perfectly okay. First off, it means you needn't stress out so much about outcomes, since there's presently even less specificity you can actually effect than usual… so why waste the emotional energy? Secondly, it shifts the substantive base away from self-considered desires and intentions—and toward the inescapable need to concentrate on interpersonal interaction, negotiation and mutual benefit. In other words, it's less important how it all ends up than it is crucial to be your best person in relation to the other players or circumstances that play a necessary role in what'll happen next. Therefore, arrive for the date, the meeting, the conversation or the event without too well-thought-out an agenda. Leave room for improvisational responsiveness to where they are and what they're thinking. May turn out that you needn't 'do' as much as you thought you might need to.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You're open to their opinions, right? Then, Pisces, allow them to expose you to another outlook on any items or issues that, until now, you've quietly or privately (or not-so-quietly-or-privately) entertained a particular—and quite personal, subjective, emotionally motivated—opinion on for a little while now. Explain your thinking, and ask them what they think. This exercise will not only help you get a better grasp on where you've limited your own understanding, due to hurt feelings or another form of stubborn resistance… but it also plays rather well into the accelerating trend, now impacting your life, of emerging from self-enclosure and out into the marketplace of shared ideas, encounters and experiences. This advice is not about swallowing another person's perspective as some absolute truth unavailable to you unless someone else hand-feeds it to you; rather, it's merely an encouragement to participate in the social interactivity. Meanwhile, because Venus is convivially consorting with Mercury, I'd be willing to bet you actually like what they have to say… that, instead of viewing their outside reflections as a threat to your self-knowledge, you'll end up feeling relieved of a certain burden you've unnecessarily held atop your tired shoulders, once you have an opportunity to catch a glimpse from their angle. Do yourself a huge favor, and let them help unburden you.