Horoscopes | Week of August 10-16, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When I advised you last week to slow down and refrain from rushing through the details, I did not intend for you to ditch your duty-calls doings altogether. I merely wanted you to insert a week or so of delay into the process, Aries… expecting, all the while, that you'd continue to remain primarily concerned with the matter-at-hand, meticulously mulling over details you'd otherwise skim over unwisely. Yet, judging from 3rd-house Mars's commingling with Jupiter and Neptune in the 11th, I spy the possibility that you've been lured into distraction territory by friends or colleagues who are so intensely enthused by whatever's got their focus—whether a totally different (and not necessarily useful) perspective on the pressing situation or a wholly unrelated circumstance in their own life—that they've spun your head clear 'round the other way. Perhaps you hadn't noticed the bottom-line irrelevancy of where you've allowed your attention to drift because, well, it's probably felt like a welcome distraction, given how many dry logistical specifics you ought to be reviewing. Straighten your priorities back out… not so that you must dispense with every last bit of outside interpersonal influence (which would be unhealthy on both the personal and practical levels), but simply to avoid wasting valuable strategizing time. When I told you previously to buy yourself some down time, I guess I forgot to explicitly mention it was meant to reserve your energies for the main project, not divert them elsewhere in support of someone else's fanciful interests.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your heart's true desires are not ambiguous in the slightest. There is what you want—and then there's what you believe you must take (i.e., accept, settle for) out of survival-need 'realism'. I am not going to oversimplify here, Taurus, by implying you should strive to magically transcend all survivalist thinking like some blissful lightworker guru who espouses 'thriving over surviving'. While it would be great if we could all toss our mundane worries out the window and focus purely on what we love, that is certainly not always possible… and especially not so for you Taureans, practically-minded above all else. That said, though you might not be able to presently set everything else aside, it is useful for you to be able to articulate (quietly to yourself, if not aloud-and-proud) what you deeply, genuinely desire… without saddling it down with justifiable excuses why you ought not want what you want (e.g., impossible, impractical, would cause too many complications, would disappoint someone else, pointless, crazy, too expensive, et al). All those exceptions merely cloud the truth of your heart's desires with a faulty ambiguity. I am not talking about how to actually achieve the realization of what you want, which is where all those practical-minded considerations impede your ability to acknowledge the desire in its fullest splendor. Forget all that for now. Just feel the want, unmitigated by logistical shoot-downs. Know that want, unambiguously, inside and out.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It is okay not to respond right away in the moment, should you find yourself cornered by probing inquiries or avid curiosity into your full-and-exact feelings on a certain emotion-triggering matter. And it's also okay if, upon internally contemplating the matter, you realize you feel something either strangely 'too intense' or surprisingly 'inappropriate' to what your brain might report you should feel. Beware of prematurely committing yourself to a particular version of the emotional truth, Gemini, before you've had the chance to thoroughly flesh out the reactions it might take you a few days to experience. While I'm sure it would be more convenient to give them their pat answer immediately upon the question posing itself—and perhaps you'd like to convince yourself you've got that most evolved response already ironed out—your most honest approach would be to permit yourself some time alone to really consider it. Because of Mercury's building conjunction to Saturn in your solar 4th, this is an important time for precision in how you represent your personal feelings, in order to set yourself up to actually establish some much-desired inner peace. But if you tell 'em the first thing that pops into your head, out of an eagerness to come off 'cool' and 'together', you may come to regret it later… once they hold you to your off-the-cuff commitment to your stated emotional stance.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Insistence on spending big chunks of your week alone will only feed inner turmoil, fueled by entirely self-made stories that build one hypothetical worrisome scenario upon the next, none of which comprise a very realistic take on what's actually going on. Forcing yourself to stay in the social game, however, will ensure that you're playing on the same field the rest of us are—and allows the chance, when you utter any remarks that reveal a window into your subjective worries, for another person to correct such self-sabotaging delusions with a reality check. I understand, Cancer, that it can be a sick sort of fun to privately indulge in panicky visions of what the future might bring… and all the while, you might be presently craving some distance from the social world and its requirement you participate in its feeble attempts to communicate (using words!) with the other souls sharing it with you. But if we're talking real-life functionality here, you'll do yourself no favors listening more to your internal tales of pessimistic folly than to what other folks have to say. As much as it pains me to say it, this isn't the week to trust your inner compass over the pragmatic logic that is all around you out there in the world. Stay connected to the people in your life. They will ground you in what's really happening.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Just because you may spot a lack of other people taking the initiative, that doesn't automatically mean you should step into the apparently vacant leadership role and try to rally 'em… even with the best of intentions in your heart. I think you'd merely expose yourself to the critiquing eyes of those who would suggest you maybe better take care of your own business, instead of becoming too concerned about what anybody besides yourself is doing. Talk about a corrective slap on the hand, eh, Leo? They might be on to something, alas… not necessarily in defending the apathy of nobody else having stepped up to the plate, but in recommending you worry about yourself first. Though you may legitimately have ideas and efforts that would benefit the disarrayed folks around you, there's a strong possibility they would fall on deaf ears and unappreciative hands. (Think of it as a timing glitch rather than an overarching bad-fit.) And meanwhile, back in the magical land where five thin dimes can be stretched into the value of a dollar, you have your personal budgeting miracles to pull off, with little spare brain-power left for coming up with solutions to broader dilemmas. Maybe it's true you'd better take care of your own business and leave them to theirs. Just don't take it as a personal affront, if the manner in which they convey this suggestion to you comes off snippy. They've got their hands full, too.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Put what you've got to good use, Virgo, and hammer out some carefully laid plans for yourself. All this will happen, of course, against the backdrop of you continuing your work in the public eye according to instructions not necessarily part of the strategy you're hatching. But that's all right: No need to let the person who appears to be calling your shots know that you're only obediently biding your time until this leg of the assignment is wrapped up. Straddle delicately this line between humbly fulfilling the 'official' responsibilities (as outlined by the organization, the head honcho, the circumstantial specifics, etc.) and confidently plotting a well-designed recapture of your own independence. For the present moment, you have to do both. As far as any other stakeholder is concerned, you are playing the appropriate professional part to perfection. Inside your head, however, you are multi-tasking, both maintaining the necessary status-quo and outlining exactly what you intend to do next, once their eyes are no longer checking in on your progress every couple hours. This is one of your more fantastic weeks for detail-oriented thought, for conceiving of each tiny step that need be taken to build upon the one before it. Don't waste it merely on constructing stairways to other people's heavens. Rack that brain overtime, and sketch out the schematics for your own dream-making machine, too.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Last week, I alluded to 'a vague sense of problematic possibility' lingering in the obscure recesses of your psychic consciousness, which would've served to discourage you from leaping forward toward what you might otherwise assume was the obvious direction. That would be the 12th-house influence, Libra, which continues through the coming week as well, now that Mercury is headed toward a union with Saturn. I suspect, therefore, this foggy hint of questionable concern will begin to blossom into something intelligible as each day passes into the next… so that by early next week, you'll have either (1) figured out what your intuition has been trying to tell you, in a way you can work with practically or (2) begun to feel markedly less anxious, which goes to prove it was irrational fear, rather than intuition, that was pulling on your chain all along. Use these days ahead, then, to engage this vague sense in internal dialogue. Ask it questions, instead of hiding from its potentially scary answers. Play devil's advocate with what you think it might be telling you, exploring the feelings that arise when you entertain the option opposite your initial assumption. Invite it to become detailed in scope, by sitting at your journal or the computer keyboard and requesting that it give you more. Most of all, give it space to emerge into functional being. If you simply lose your patience, you're likely to drown out whatever insight is nervously attempting to make its way out from your unconscious. If you're feeling hesitant or otherwise 'weird', there's definitely a reason.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The astro-tides are right for making correct amends with friends or allies who may be rightfully waiting on you to come clean. This advice has nothing to do with groveling for forgiveness or indiscriminately owning full responsibility just to bury a hatchet, Scorpio… for I see it's possible you may not be looking for a total relationship-restoring reunion, or, if perhaps you are, the start-to-end story is more nuanced than that. Rather, it's about humbly confessing where your past assertions might've veered from pure factual accuracy, or where certain actions of yours left a bad aftertaste. This needn't be a totally emotional affair—though if it ends up that way, there'd be nothing wrong with that—but instead one in which you treat the concepts of interpersonal respect and right behavior with the seriousness they warrant. You and a certain someone may or may not be suited for a mutually trusting connection, and that isn't even a truth you need to shy away from. However, it would be wonderful if you could walk away from this sort of peacemaking venture having earned a reputation for maturely acknowledging the role you've played in any past discord. There is a powerful grace that comes from being able to call yourself out on your shit, unashamed and in calm possession of your faculties, before anybody calls you on it first: You prevent 'em from having anything on you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Loose lips sink ships. And as someone not especially well-known for communicative discretion, Sagittarius, you've really got to watch yourself over the coming week. Mercury spends these upcoming days approaching a conjunction with Saturn in your 10th, indicating that informational prudence and restraint is key for public or professional success—and, conversely, an evident lack thereof is a potential recipe for disaster. Here are two strategies for productively navigating this astro-situation: (1) Do your homework. Before you cite figures, propose strategies or declare opinions, make sure you've taken some time (in advance!) to review the facts, analyze the likeliest pluses and minuses of your suggested plans, and/or clearly encapsulated the reasoning underlying your stance. Due diligence will demonstrate your dutifulness; sloppy remarks, meanwhile, merely show your lack of forethought. (2) Beware of playing personal to a particular audience. If you have indeed done your homework, then the rightful expression of your truth shouldn't vary in the slightest, no matter who you're reporting it to. Neither mince your words (out of intimidation or fear) nor inflate your self-assuredness (to impress or grandstand). Play it low-key, direct, on-point and precise. If the news you must present is not especially favorable, remember you are only the messenger.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Last week's discussion of holding tight to principles, so that you may claim pride in your own good judgment, remains madly relevant throughout this week too. But while you may rightfully see little wiggle room when it comes to the actual 'principle' (i.e., the one issue or item you know you mustn't compromise on), there's plenty of space to improvise and experiment in how to accommodate this non-negotiable in your methods. Be open to trying new ways of getting the job done, Capricorn. While you may hold your familiar habitual notions of 'this is simply how we do it' (perhaps entrenched and unquestioned over many months or years), that's no reason to shut out other procedural possibilities. If you expect the other parties to respect your unwillingness to budge on principle (and, yes, they ought to), then show you'll match their considerateness by accepting their guidance regarding approach. It doesn't really matter how it gets done, as long as the baseline ethical integrity is upheld, does it? Here's an instance where you can both stick to your guns and share the power.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): While there's no shortage of chances to put yourself out there, to have a flirtin' good time and ditch your inhibitions by dissolving into the vibe of the crowd, you mustn't succumb to the short-sighted belief that 'the moment is all that matters'. It'll be far too easy to willfully ignore any impending consequences to the actions you engage in, just because everybody's having a good time (so why stress about tomorrow?), under the mistaken impression you'll be able to untangle yourself fairly quickly and easily later. I beg to differ, Aquarius. The most problem-producing behaviors under this astro-influence involve not being completely forthright about certain realities in your life, in a misguided hope you can slide under the radar by omitting a key detail or two, since your heart is in the right place and you're only looking to blow off a little steam. But you can't legitimately 'blow off steam' if you're blowing off a significant piece to who you are (e.g., your relationship, employment or financial status, a certain affiliation or extenuating circumstance)—rather, you're simply building up more pressure that'll instead blow up, likely in your face, sooner or later. Saturn's current square to Mars in your 5th may feel like something of a party-pooper or killjoy, in that he wants you to impose limits on just how much unbridled enjoyment you can entertain, seeing as there will be ramifications to going too far. However, truth be told, he really just wants to help you save your own ass from unnecessary complications.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This would be a prime week for not pointing fingers, blaming You-Know-Who for a feeling or behavior arising inside you. Yes, Pisces, I'd be willing to believe they may've played some part, indirectly or otherwise, in stirring you up… at the same time it's just as likely you have fingered them for responsibility because they were the nearest party, your closest ally or the most convenient target for possible psychological projection. I don't think we need to spend that much time attempting to discern exactly which thread is most strongly at play here. The important point I'd stress is more about how you ought to proceed (and not proceed, as the case may be), as opposed to the ultimate reason underlying why you might feel moved to do so. A Mercury-Saturn conjunction is presently forming in your 7th, the house of one-on-one relationships, which bespeaks of a need to follow the law of accuracy in interpersonal communications to the letter—or risk significantly upsetting the other person, who just might impose a retaliatory freeze on your continued exchanges, should they feel unfairly implicated in what's genuinely more your emotional stuff. Don't set yourself up to get shut down. If anybody's going to be put in the role of restricting what comes out of your mouth, it really should be you.