Horoscopes | Week of August 16-22, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Consider, for a non-reactive moment or two, that the facts or logistical indicators you've based certain foundational assumptions upon are not as unquestionably watertight as you'd thought. Consider also, Aries, that the conversation now opening up between you and a potentially critical player ('critical' meaning both 'important' and 'fault-finding') is a much more fruitful opportunity for showing where your blindspots have been—to your overall benefit, in terms of you striving for your absolute best product—than obstinately insisting on conducting all your own safety-checks, endlessly scouring your own work with a magnifying glass instead of just welcoming their outside observations. If you're in a pleasantly receptive mood, they just might feed you all the information you could ever want (and then some). They may well tell you exactly how to fix what's not quite right, if you'll listen appreciatively. And your pride? There'll be time to tend to that later.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A key feature of arriving at the daily moderate-yet-consistent effectiveness presently favored by your 6th-house planetary lineup, Taurus, may need to involve other people. Yes, I know I've been talking about your physical work and health habits for a couple weeks now… but sometimes, in order to snag the proper rearrangement of duties we require for both our well-being and our deftest output, we have to enlist our co-workers, managers and/or assistants, our gardeners or housecleaners or dog-walkers, our trainers or coaches, nutritionists, body-workers, acupuncturists or any practitioners who can lend a hand or ease a burden. Before you balk at the financial costs of any of these options, please recognize the potential for bartering or bargaining in leaving all parties with something valuable they desire. Think about delegating or seeking support in those areas that aren't your specialty, so you can redirect more of your time to those that are. The act of initiating discussion or interpersonal partnership in these mundane areas could bring additional unforeseen up-sides for everybody beyond the obvious reward of your immediate relief.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Fantasies about 'how it could've been' only prolong a base refusal to accept the changed reality as it is. While life will not be this elaborately convoluted forever, it likewise won't regress to that simpler, more innocent time before all this happened, no matter how wistfully your inner nostalgist yearns for it. Once things eventually even out and settle down, Gemini, you'll be attuning and acclimating yourself to a transformed version of life… one that perhaps doesn't allow you to perpetuate a willful disavowal of the 'uglier' facets of human existence, evidently, but which offers a depth of expression and connection that'll provide experiences beyond what you ever imagined for yourself, and in a way which satisfyingly proves to transcend some of the non-essential parts of the previous 'you' you're still struggling to leave in the past forever. Though it's emotionally healthful and cathartic to mourn what you're losing, it's quite the opposite to wish and hope and pray for something to return to you in its former state… especially when it may never have been all you imagined it was.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Proactively promoting peace with a family member or other domestic companion is an incredibly productive way to spend your time. Following this advice need not be limited to those of you who're presently navigating hurt feelings or some version of estrangement with said party, I must point out. It's about consciously investing and demonstrating care in whichever close relationship(s) have a major impact on whether you can properly relax at the day's end. And no matter your current interpersonal status in those situations, Cancer, there's always room to show a little extra emotional interest. Be clear, though, that this isn't an excuse to put yourself out (again) on their behalf. I envision your role more like that of a parent who offers your young child a dose of affirmation, coupled with introducing an activity to engage his attention, to keep him happy enough that he avoids antics altogether and gives you some pleasurable breathing-room. Of course, if this 'child' reacts negatively to your kind-hearted gestures, it's an unmistakable clue that your peace may be much harder to attain in the current state of this relationship—though no less crucial to your emotional health.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Some of what I'm about to write may ring a bell, Leo. Yet, this familiar sentiment necessitates repeating for the moment: Do not rush ahead into your much-yearned-for future, and leave the dangling threads of your right-here-right-now poking uncomfortably out into open air. You've got to stay with the immediate demands being put upon you by the same old (boring?) people who've comprised your (boring?) day-to-day life for quite a while now… though you might instead wish to spew profanities at 'em, grab a cold one and jump out the escape hatch to freedom. You're already working on the 'freedom' part, right? You know there's a light at the end of this tunnel, indicating a frontiersy wonderland is out toward the horizon, waiting for your eventual arrival, don't you? You mustn't run ahead to this promising province, leaving much-loved pals and colleagues by the wayside (yes, you do love them, even if they've been buggin' the crap out of you lately)… only to get there at the wrong time, premature, before the important preparations have been made (though trying to tangibly discern what you ought to be preparing is not my point). Enjoy what you've got now. Once you've moved on, you may wistfully pine for this quaint soon-to-be-past.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Forget the comprehensive, multi-level, several-steps-out plan you'd expected to proceed by. Does that mean I'm telling you to dispense with all careful controls altogether, Virgo, and play everything by the seat of your pants? It's not exactly that I'm advising either. I still like the concept of you doing what you do best—staying on top of the practicalities, anticipating potential errors before they happen, finding the shrewdest method for producing the sharpest results then replicating it repeatedly. However, the 'grand plan' must be revisited and retweaked on a near-daily basis, to adjust to the continual turbulence that shows no signs of dissipating in the immediate future. This is qualitatively different, take note, from simply spontaneously reacting to every bump, curve and dip: You want to integrate every unforeseen call-to-react back into some sort of orderly program of attack, constantly blending the latest news back into an overriding course-direction, to compensate and respond rationally (rather than, say, fighting against the obvious changes in the outer environment in order to stubbornly stay your course your way or letting emotional upset disrupt your pragmatism). Conscious re-strategizing ought to be a very regular occurrence these days.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Be direct with yourself about your intentions, but be soft and delicate with how you externalize them. That's not because you have anything to hide, Libra… only that there's an incredibly forceful tail-wind on your heels, serving like a supportive shove forward from your spirit-guardians, amplifying the potency with which you take each action. So imagine, for instance, you're a ball-player whose every throw goes exactly in the direction you're aiming, but could easily overshoot the mark due to your throwing-arm possessing an atypical boost of superheroic strength. This is surely a remarkable gift, which you ought to put to good use while you've got it (a few more weeks or so); yet it does require extra attentiveness on your part, so you don't underestimate your present impact and overdo your assertions of personal will. You're in a great spot to mold situations, as much as possible, to your liking. Exercise that oversight, with clear purpose but only relatively modest effortful pressure.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You're metamorphosing in the shadows, in semi-seclusion. You keep receiving messages, from the marketplace and the universe (and your astrologer), to surrender… to lay low… to consider starting to consider really reconsidering certain pillars of self-definition that were previously so important but are no longer providing you the same foundational solidness… all of which have seemed, for too long a while now, to leave you decidedly unclear on which direction is north (and, for that matter, whether that means you should run toward or away from the compass-pointer). This story will give way to another one, Scorpio, in about four weeks or so—a tale of rebirth, in which your starring role as the valiant reappearing hero will bring you in contact with both new opportunities and enticing echoes from your past—that'll last you through the end of 2010. Yes, that's right: Soon enough, this phase of blasť wanderings and obscured entryways, dizzying standstills and dull clouds of unshakable melancholy opens up into something else. With the promise of this not lasting forever, then, you should have plenty to pin your hopes on… still without knowing much.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Kick your outward generosity into high gear, Sagittarius. Worries about what you're not getting—and the corresponding concern that other people are getting it instead—do nothing but fuel a misguided (and self-defeating) sense that you're being screwed over by the universe. Trust me, if you were to flip the scene on its ear and look at who's got what from a more impersonal vantage, you'd be shocked as shit to discover how flawed your perception of their current life-situation really is. (Not to mention, of course, how much more you've got going for you than you can readily understand when you're feeling bad about yourself.) Truth be told, there are certain ingrained qualities to your personhood (e.g., readiness to look beyond immediate challenges to a broader view on life, the courage to dive into speculative ventures that'd scare the pants off others, a well-attuned 'bullshit detector' that won't let you fall for disingenuous propaganda) that put you at such an advantage in these changing times, I can't stop insisting on your need to help others quit freaking out so much… and to do so voluntarily, before it hits crisis level, without having to be asked.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please be sure to be seen. The 'powers that be' or other influential observers may or may not like what they see in you, Capricorn, but don't let it be said that they missed you altogether. Such a waste of this current 10th-house emphasis would indicate you aren't putting in your socializing best, which saying all the most appropriate things and making the gestures that'll indicate you've got thoughtful manners. And please notice: I have said nothing about coming to phony conciliatory 'agreements' on actual stances in the world, merely to stroke anybody else's ego. Sometimes it is far better to win the respect of a marked philosophical adversary than to win their outright allegiance based on a shaky compromise. But there's no need to focus (or more compulsively fixate) on your differences. It's perfectly fitting to presently invest your goal-oriented energies in smoothing out or cementing interpersonal dynamics you'd be most proud of. As a side-effect consequence, you might open to small but significant shifts in your thinking due to others' influences, though that's not the main purpose.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I suspect the past few weeks have presented you an experiential case for what's really important in your life… and hopefully put a few previously over- and/or undervalued items into the proper perspective. This renewal in discernment, which separates the shit that matters from all that other white-noise, may not have arrived like a two-by-four conking you unmistakably over the head, alas. Rather, Aquarius, I sense this awareness presenting itself to you gently… though its significance in helping you reorient where to dedicate your most time and engagement is potentially massive. That 'potentially massive reorientation', however, needn't be attended to—especially in such epic terms—in any urgent, immediate way. Simply sit with the awareness, and let it settle in. Over the upcoming few weeks, with Mercury retrograding through your solar 8th, you might have to make some clarifying statements, boundary adjustments or other fine-tuning in certain psychologically challenging contexts, in order to move yourself closer to 'what's really important in your life'. But even that doesn't feel 'dramatic' as much as evolutionarily natural.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Whatever you and another party mutually agree upon as your ground-rules for the arrangement is just peachy… even if it might 'look weird' to outside eyes, if certain fair-weather friends are airing their obvious disapproval, if it shirks mainstream convention, or if it appears to cause more trouble than it's worth. It's on you, Pisces, to shape the terms by which you engage sexually, financially, or on other intimate levels… and as long as you don't sell yourself down the river, through a deal that leaves you giving far more than you're receiving in return, it's fine by me. Be as aware as possible, though, about this so-called 'trouble' your choice may cause. Is it really so troublesome to you, or is that label merely in the eye of the beholder? I see you as potentially quite willing to entertain interpersonal circumstances with more than the average trouble-ish considerations, snags, rule-exceptions or loopholes. If that's what you want, go for it. Just make sure you have thoroughly analyzed the costs and benefits—and determined that, in the long run, you'll profit rather than bankrupt yourself with the extra expenditures required.