Horoscopes | Week of August 9-15, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Bend with the changing winds. They're constantly shifting direction, after all. Don't jump to depressing conclusions on insufficient evidence, Aries. You've already put in most of your best direct efforts for this segment, thankfully while the tailwinds were working with your self-generated momentum. Now, as gusts start to blow seemingly against your thrustings, reserve your energies. You ought not push forward from here without demonstrating appropriate respect for the countervailing currents, as expressed by that unrelenting opponent, inflexible institution, social forces beyond your control or other hoops to jump through. That could take a week or two… or several months (through, say, next February or March). But this pace of progress won't miraculously accelerate due to you adding any more brute force. Only delicate finagling, through the official channels, is liable to aid your case. Key to your longer-term success: Don't prematurely succumb to your temper, based on a mere glimpse of the whole story. When you look back years from now, you'll see how this triumph was already clearly unfolding before you could even recognize it as such.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Because this 6th-house-dominated week kicks off with a New Moon, this is your moment to begin (again?) the 'Boot Camp to Better Health' program you know you need. The building-blocks to attend to include: adequate but not excessive amounts of sleep; regular multiple small meals a day to prevent blood-sugar irregularities; exercise at least three times per week; limits to how far you indulge in your favorite desserts, drinks or drugs; enough water to help flush out said indulgences; and balance and moderation in all bodily expressions. But before you grimace at these mundane buzzkill rules, Taurus, let me also point out that Venus's influence indicates this attention to excellent habits has the potential to be enjoyable. How? By: creating bedtime rituals that emphasize the importance of rejuvenating slumber; brainstorming a week's worth of healthy finger-food baggies; making 'exercise' out of scenic walks, silly dance routines, refreshing swim sessions, artful yoga poses or any excuse to move; relishing that one cocktail as if it were the only one you'll have all year… oh, you get the idea.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Did you make plans to do something really fun this week? I damned well hope so, Gemini, since I very pointedly instructed you last week that this is of utmost importance. You can save your breath rather than try pleading with me about how you're not feeling up to it or don't have a single moment to spare. Those excuses hold no water with me. Your much-improved ability to cope demands that you take the good as well as the bad, in order to integrate the many contrasting factors that comprise a well-lived life. You serve no better example by immersing yourself so totally in the tough stuff, resigned to enduring trial after trial, than if you'd just carve out some chunks of 'off-the-clock' release from it all. Don't feel guilty for breaking up the serious business with intervals of giggling, goofing around, or gazing off into space. It's not too late to squeeze one more episode of frivolity into your schedule for the week ahead.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You're gaining comfort with actually driving this vessel, instead of having to continually reactively compensate for whichever direction it naturally wades along the currents. While you'll always be emotionally moved by what or who tugs on your heartstrings, you needn't be pulled off-course. Consider this a life-skills fitness regimen, Cancer, to be nudged and bumped and poked in funny places, yet still reserve the core strength to persevere, unshaken, toward aspirations you have set for yourself. Familial disentanglements, relational rough-patches, professional tumult… all opportunities to acknowledge the never-ending struggles and surprises we're perpetually dealt, then to recommit, with stubbornness of character, to keep at your thing anyhow. Sensitivities cannot serve you if they paralyze you dead in your tracks. By the end of this process, you ought to be able to glance out at any horizon, spy whatever next big row of waves is headed right at you… and not worry they'll sink your ship.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you've been meaning to answer their question or return that message from a few weeks back, close the loop, make the arrangements, invite 'em to coffee, or express your overdue thanks, there is no moment like the present. You've presently got both the winning attitude (or the best one we can expect these days) and the time (no arguing: yes, you do) to take care of all these communicative loose-ends… and what a wonderful feeling you'll have once you can clear a good portion of 'em off your plate by week's end! Let's also not forget, Leo, how many people will benefit from the few minutes of modest pleasure your contact brings them. Speaking as one of them, allow me to report it feels wonderful to receive warm greetings and affirming sentiments from those folks out there (like you) who I love but don't get nearly enough time with. The simple joy of sharing unremarkable kindnesses with one another is one we can't afford to overlook, just because there are loud theatrics (are they really 'crises'?) demanding too much of our attention.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Give 'em a wide thoroughfare in which to dance their jig. Grant 'em a whole host of liberties that, perhaps, in the past you would've balked at… if only to commemorate that, with your newfound sense of self-possession, you may now consequently worry less about what other people are (or aren't) doing. Showing them the freedom that accompanies respect, of course, doesn't qualify as a shoo-in endorsement of whatever they choose—it merely reflects you're not in the business of trying to control others' behavior (though you might still find such behavior unsuitable for you). My hope for you, Virgo, is that you're in fact too busy with the ongoing steps to cement and stabilize your situation [review two-weeks-ago's horoscope] to hinder yourself with interpersonal micro-management. And besides, just easing up on the grip of your attachment to certain individuals fulfilling certain expectations can lead to some interesting improvisational detours… ultimately providing valuable information on how the relationship(s) will next evolve.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You shouldn't have to fight to hold your own. Once you've clearly identified what 'your own' is, to both yourself and any affected parties, you ought to be able to keep oppositional viewpoints or persuasive sellout prospects at bay with a relatively gentle constancy. It needn't get disagreeably impassioned, Libra. Even if they come at you with clenched fists and condescending attitudes (or even if you're unduly worried about the dissatisfaction they won't show you), you can still return the favor with impeccable politeness. Why play to the lowest emotional denominator? Louder voices or tear-stained faces don't necessarily make more convincing cases… if, that is, you've already thought out (likely, over a prolonged course of time) the best scenario for your continued growth. On the off chance this potential 'fight' is actually an internal struggle between the worldly-wise you (who longs to feel responsibly in charge of your life) and the namby-pambier one (who hates the risks involved), be just as polite—and just as firm that emotional hysterics won't be allowed to win out.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Have you surrendered to this existential 'regrouping' yet? If you haven't, Scorpio, you may be suffering far worse than you need to be. Stop resisting the natural cycles. Stop attempting to squirrel yourself out from behind this temporary holding-fence, in the futile hope that a 'quick-fix' will be enough and you can be 'up and running again' in no time, with relatively little self-redefinition. No, silly… this really is that massive a reorientation of perspective, or haven't you been able to tell (for the past many months already) your old tricks aren't working anymore? It's only from a place of merciless humility—a courageous willingness to admit you might not know who you are anymore, and therefore aren't sure how to get where you're going (or even where you should go)—that you're likely to detect the voice of God (or whatever her name is) whispering unambiguous truths, which might run completely counter to what you wish were true, directly into your inner ear. Silence the strivings-to-be, and settle into what is. Stripped of the trappings of secure footing in the outside world (ultimately all an illusion), who remains as 'you'?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Ask some folks to join you, rather than doing it by yourself. Even if it's a wholly personal interest or activity, you just might reconnect with the experience of 'your first time' all over again, thanks to the additional influence of others' 'fresh-eyes' perspectives reamplifying your enthusiasms. This is not a case of you committing any wrongs if you insist on total independence, Sagittarius… merely that you could miss out on even more gripping engagement, if your energies were joined with your friends' in an act of synergistic enhancement. Share the pleasures of participation. Enlist those pals who direly need something else to sink their teeth into, so they may get out of their heads and back out into the world, and show 'em how greatly their investments would benefit both themselves and the entire enterprise. Likewise, you should also feel free to interrupt those attention-hogs whose self-centered attitudes are robbing others of their fair share of the action. Even in the role as one who calls out certain individuals on their shit, you can envision yourself as the protective shepherd of healthy group dynamics.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): All contestants who successfully complete the course will receive a prize, no matter how 'excessive' one's final time or how many instances of tripping over one's own shoelaces are clumsily demonstrated. Considering, then, that some take-away winnings are a sure thing, it simply doesn't behoove you to wait this one out until you've properly trained for another several weeks or months. That's like telling the universe, 'No, thank you,' when it's reaching out a hand of encouragement to you… which I suspect is a response you've given too often in your life, Capricorn, whenever somebody has offered you a boost-up in a way you hadn't planned. Who cares if it's not the grand prize (yet)? Why refuse a chance to take home something of value, though it might not resemble that which you thought you'd been striving for? Part of being 'gracious' is knowing how to accept gifts and honors, so as not to rob the generous donor (whether it's an important individual or the magnanimous universe itself) of the pleasure that comes with sharing blessings. So, pledge to complete the course, no matter your (imagined) lack of preparedness—and stick around to claim your prize.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Enough people are stuck in shock at how the reliable guideposts to their own dear existences appear to be shifting before their very eyes. You, at least, are fairly well equipped for seeing past the snarls at this barbed passage… which is more than so many other freaking-out 'fraidy-cat apocalypse-heads are able to do right now, Aquarius, so you really ought to appreciate your ability to not be fooled by appearances. Naturally, those loved ones most dramatically hit by this celestial reorganization aren't likely to find much solace in your upbeat visions of the future; they're too gobsmacked by what's happening to them today to muster clear positive intentions for tomorrow. That's why it's your job, sacred soothsayer, to quietly put your stock in the obvious fact that life will go on, much transformed to be sure, following whatever low lows many of us must now withstand. You don't have to push this awareness on anybody else, just safely preserve it in your heart for others to unconsciously draw upon at their most desperate. Behind the projection of seemingly unavoidable catastrophe so many folks are caught on, there await countless life-affirming possibilities to hinge our hopes on. Bear witness to this, and you're bearing the water for us all, water-bearer.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Stare reality square in the eye, duel-style, and let it know: 'I see you for what you are, and I ain't budging!' You're better prepared than ever to confront all the most punishing side-effects or controversial consequences (which are the flip-side to the long-term liberation you're presently buying yourself) that making the responsible decisions often brings with it, Pisces. By this point, it would be almost laughable to attempt another escape, in the same manner your former self used to try to pretend everything was okay. Your innocence has been transmuted into a deeper faith that to willingly endure the pain associated with accepting life's limitations is to earn an eventual wisdom. Embracing this path to knowledge is the only surefire method for ensuring you don't repeat the same mistakes, which worsen over time if we don't swallow the message. You are so ready to kiss a certain longer-term pattern of similar setbacks goodbye forever. The definitive move? Not flinching at the standoff, not backing down under threat of loss.