Horoscopes | Week of August 23-29, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Remind yourself that, for the time being, a major chunk of the initiative has already been taken. You are, therefore, not shortchanging the job by backing off a bit (like I suggested a couple weeks back); you're merely stopping safely short of 'overkill'. Past a certain point, Aries, your onward thrusts will start to bug people. Who wants to listen to a broken record skipping through the same self-serving territory over and over? Let me again return your attention to the necessity of relationship-building and connection-cementing as a supporting pillar upon which your successes must rest, if you hope them to have any lasting power whatsoever. Temporarily set aside the pressing desires you may be harboring toward what they can do for you. Do yourself a favor, by doing them a favor.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Instead of trying to rally yourself for a drastic change, ease in. Unfurl gradual alterations that build one upon the other, one day after the next. Should you make excessively dramatic demands of yourself to leap way ahead in just a few massive strides, you're liable to throw yourself off balance. Such wishful attempts to rebuild Rome in a day, Taurus, invite the stubbornly resistant bull to overcompensate for this threat to its predictability… ultimately making it harder to effect the shift in habits you're hoping for, because you're expecting too much progress in too short a time (and perhaps forgetting that Taureans are most successful when granted ample patience). Settle for one modest, though still noteworthy, refinement per day… and let the minor adjustments build on themselves.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Sit poolside sipping fruity iced-teas or frosty margaritas, shooting shit with whomever makes you smile no matter what mood you're in that day, basking in easy joy. Notebook or sketchpad in hand, seated comfortably in the shade of a large tree, lose yourself in the simple creative acts, following immediate inspirations. At the playground with your favorite youngster, vicariously giggle as tots slide down slides and swing in swings, nothing more complex than that, endlessly entertaining. In this imagination, Gemini, you haven't a care in the world, caught, completely occupied, by bliss's intoxicating qualities. Nothing else exists (temporarily). In the subconscious, you're still working out finer emotional intricacies—fallout—while you proceed, onward ho, as you must. Yet, briefly under spells of friend, lover, child, dreams, games, art, color, dance, you transcend the turmoil and taste the sweetness of this other persepctive.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Beautify that area of your house that's pining for your TLC. This could be as simple as a thorough scrub-down… or more involved, like painting walls, rearranging furniture, purchasing a new rug or objet d'art. Perhaps, Cancer, you might even go further… to sanctify a special corner of your living-space as 'sacred', artfully placing meaningful objects, photos of loved ones, plants, rocks, candles, devoting a few moments each day to visiting, in quiet contemplation of your version of The 'Something Greater Than I'. Engage your sense of ownership over the place you call 'home' (or at least a certain sliver of it), taking conscious responsibility for nurturing yourself through environment—a duty especially crucial now, with an increase of noisy chatter permeating your life out there. Even if what's 'yours' is relatively tiny in scope, it's important for it to unapologetically selfishly belong to you.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's all in the delivery. Based upon how you phrase your request (as well as when you choose to do so), Leo, you're liable to come off as irritatingly self-serving (in which case other people may be somewhat less helpful in fulfilling said request)… or as open-heartedly interested in giving as much as receiving (in which case others will oblige your every favor). So if you emerged dissatisfied from a recent attempt to procure resources or permission, may I recommend a repeat performance—in a much more casual (and less self-important) tone? Better yet, if you can somehow 'throw your voice', ventriloquist-style, and allow them to think it was their brilliant idea or supportive suggestion that your enthusiasm is based upon... well, of course they'll be far likelier to want to help. And don't come as hurried or impatient, lest you seem too blatantly opportunistic rather than genuinely interactive.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Hold relatively still. The Mercury-retrograde modifications you're due to make—and with this retrograde occurring in your sign, we know they're due—are far likelier to present themselves as a side-effect of your reacting to what other people are doing than through racking your own brain, overanalyzing. Therefore, Virgo, don't worry about figuring out what needs to be 'fixed'. Let the natural evolution of circumstances (as carried out by others' fevered mind-changings or panicky divings-in) point the way instead. They'll 'go crazy' or whatever, and you'll respond with alternatives that both calm them down and improve your stake in the matter. They'll flip shit upside-down, and you'll reorganize the aftermath so it's in better shape than before. They'll be grateful for your rational approach… and you'd better return that favor of gratitude, since their wackiness affords you the opportunity to rehearse your role as the 'restabilizer'.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): In what may seem like a reversal of the 'proper' course, you'll presently find your mind is finally catching up with the insight your heart has already yielded. Over the next couple of weeks, Libra, you're likely to stumble upon rational explanations and/or convincing evidence that serve to support conclusions already drawn or actions already taken… only providing you further confirmation of how astute your recent instincts are proving to be. One potentially life-changing lesson to be gleaned: Maybe this isn't such a backwards manner of decision-making, after all. Plenty of other folks rely first and foremost on what they intuitively sense to be true, without unduly burdening themselves with the need to definitively argue the case in factual terms. Sometimes, we just know... but aren't quite sure why we know what we know. Linear logic, though a wonderful tool, doesn't always lead to 'the right answer'. It can, however, do a wonderful job of helping us retroactively understand the many ways in which that right answer will beneficially serve us—after, of course, we've already instinctively identified its 'right'-ness.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't try to get anything from any given exchange, other than perhaps a good laugh or two. Release all grips, and relax into a detachment from outcomes. You won't be unprepared to ask 'how high?' once the universe yells 'jump!' Or put another way, Scorpio: You're already essentially 'ready', but the bell just hasn't yet rung. Step back from the starting-line. Take a few moments behind the bleachers, to do what the bad (but not really bad) kids do, blowing off steam and a few punchlines. No need to keep nervously checking. When the time comes, you'll know. Until then, quit hassling yourself. Trust in the cyclical quality of time never to stick you in a quicksand pit of inertia for too long before it spits you back out again and poof! you're no longer stuck. You're burning off the last bits of a destiny already put to bed. Limbo, like those annoyingly drawn-out two hours of waste at Kennedy or O'Hare between flights—still a few moments left to grab a magazine, a burger or a piss before boarding begins.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Time to review any recent conversations (over, say, the past three weeks) in which you suspect someone at work (or elsewhere in your public life) missed the subtleties of your point. You have an opportunity to revisit that topic, Sagittarius—without making a big deal out of it—and unobtrusively repeat yourself, in a slower and clearer mode of communication, and increase their chances of hearing more of what you're saying. You also have a chance to issue a gentle correction or addendum to your message, since the circumstances you're discussing may also have changed slightly since the last time you addressed 'em. What you want to avoid is drawing too much attention to anything having previously been 'wrong'. Don't even mention it. Just move ahead with the latest updates, and refrain from dwelling on what wasn't there before.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Observe, to a level of painstaking detail, the dance they're conducting on the public stage… then mirror their steps back to them with the corresponding response. If they zig, then you zig with them, rather than zagging the opposite direction and magnifying any evidence you're out of step. Don't quarrel over who's got the lead, Capricorn. Those in the know remain quietly-though-acutely aware that the person following often possesses the power to make the leader look good… or not-so-good, as the case may be. Your willingness to 'dance the dance' could win them over, once they understand that, despite the fact you won't always agree with their principles (and will hopefully make a point of informing them of such, at the appropriate time), you can be counted on not to create a public scene. For now, your ascension requires stirring up the system from the inside.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): In quietly evaluating your life circumstances for instances where justice isn't presently being served, you may discover an unraveling end or sketchy arrangement that requires tidying-up. Your week may be occupied with carefully carrying out such clarifications, Aquarius. Though for you it may be merely a matter of 'closing the loop', the other party may react as if you're being punitive or punishing. So be it. Continue down this path, which has been laying itself out clearly for quite a while now. Don't veer off because you don't want to deal with the reality of where you're headed. To move forward, answer this call-of-duty to your sense of right and wrong. Should you instead lapse, you'll be bogged down by having sold out your values, to spare yourself a headache and/or someone else a potentially productive (though no less mometarily jarring) simplification in your arrangement with them.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Relatively inconspicuous, concisely-worded questions can produce surprisingly voluminous responses that reveal far more about the answerer than that person may intend… which makes this a great opportunity, Pisces, to penetrate more deeply into You-Know-Who's previously insufficient or implausible explanation(s). Obviously, you don't want to come off as an interrogator, all Spanish Inquisition-like, and set off their protective alarms. That's why I don't recommend asking directly about feelings or motivations. Rather, phrase all your conversational openings as innocent efforts to elucidate the chronology of events, as your attempt to understand how all the different facts and figures connect with one another. But not suspiciously. In the process of their addressing such factual concerns, they'll almost surely expose facets of their underlying psychological condition that you're curious about—but without they're being aware of how much they're giving away. And even after that, please be stealthy about it.