Horoscopes | Week of August 30-September 5, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Unless you have a very compelling reason not to (and, no, your own ego-stubbornness doesn't count), I'd recommend going along with their suggestion… and seeing where it takes you. Because this is not a time for insisting on defiant independence over 'being a part of something greater', Aries, following someone else's lead is probably a pretty decent option right now—if for no other purpose than to bridge any interpersonal gaps, to ensure you're not going too far down the path of 'I am a rock, I am an island'. Plus, getting your mind off its constant one-track preoccupation with finding solutions to your all-too-familiar dilemma(s) is actually likelier to effect a creative breakthrough. Focusing on other people's other concerns will provide just the mental relief you need, making room for innovative ideas to wander in… while opening you up to the collaborative inspiration of observing how other individuals do things differently.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Whistle while you work, Taurus. Tell stupid jokes in silly voices, while you and your co-workers stuff envelopes, sort documents or scrub floors. Turn efficiency into a contest, the person who gets the most done winning a drink or a full dinner from the biggest slacker. Don't feel ridiculous about using the same strategies to motivate yourself as you would in persuading a good-hearted(-though-slightly-rascally) child to clean her room or take out the trash; what's so wrong with awarding gold stars, later bedtimes, mall visits, or a handful of Sour Patch Kids for a job well done? The trick we're trying to get at here has everything to do with short-circuiting that automatic mental response of resistance to anything one might label 'work'—before it has a chance to discourage us from doing that which, had we not indulged our first reaction and simply begun the work, we may likely end up enjoying. That's why 'work' is such a funny, and potentially misleading, word in its role as opposite to 'play': In moments such as this one, these contrasting opposites easily collapse into a singular experience.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Be judicious with how much external venting you engage in, Gemini, considering the manner in which your sense-making brain is currently interpreting the facts of this ventworthy situation may prove to be a temporary interpretation, a transitional way-station along your journey to a much fuller understanding. It's not that you oughtn't talk about what's going through your head… as long as you take care to choose only your closest intimates as your sounding-board, to be explicitly clear that you're not yet clear on it all but, rather, in the midst of a longer process, and to let 'em know you're not necessarily looking for fix-it advice. If you're going to 'go into it' with anybody, do your best to ensure it's an open-ended, process-(not-results-)oriented conversation—and that whoever you're talking it through with will not hold you to what you've told 'em later on, once your feelings have evolved and your perspective broadened. If you're not sure you can pull this off similarly to how I've described, then you're probably safer journaling your thoughts or otherwise venting them through self-involved creative outlets.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don't leave the dialogue hanging. Whether it's a heart-to-heart with a good pal or the perfunctory exchange of 'hey, how are you?/I'm fine, thanks, and you?' with the lady at the bank, you must play by the official rules of social etiquette that require you not to assume any unspoken understandings. But once all those obligations to form words when you might not want to, Cancer, are fulfilled and you no longer find yourself in interactive settings where mutual verbalization is required, I recommend enjoying the non-verbal tranquility of home. In a certain way, this horoscope is a culmination of your last two weeks' editions (found here and here), both of which dealt with creating pleasantness in your domestic environment—only, what I've added are explicit acknowledgements of (1) the ongoing need to serve your end of the social bargain in that admittedly irritating world out there and (2) the possibility that you're not feeling as communicative as circumstances warrant. Domestic happiness is so very important now, if only as a necessary counterbalance to this parallel pressure.


LEO (July 23-August 22): What you previously thought you'd needed for your own security and well-being, Leo, may have been a premature, fear-based and/or overly self-protective miscalculation. Or not. But the only path to ensuring you haven't cut off your nose to spite your face is to a willingness to rethink prior moves you made, which at the time may've seemed the best method for deflecting potential threats but now, in retrospect, might appear too severe or limiting. Turns out, your earlier survivalist notions likely overexaggerated the importance of certain freedoms—and simultaneously undervalued that which you voluntarily gave up yet may in fact require for your sanest 'survival'. Rather than make a hasty about-face, however, I encourage you to tentatively test out the waters… to unassumingly explore what you could gain by backtracking a bit, through casual askings-around or polite get-back-in-touches. Don't let pride hold you back. If you're actually interested in ultimately what's best for you, you mustn't rule out mind-changes or direction-reversals without adequate analysis.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I hereby enable you to indulge in whichever stereotypically Virgoan behaviors of tidying, organizing, classifying and purifying are likeliest to reap you an increase in personal well-being. For many of you, this could take an essentially practical form: You devote a significant chunk of time to improving the appearance or logic of a certain project or zone, with said improvements leading to a tangible finite end which, once reached, will leave you feeling a lot more 'on top of things'. However, for some of you, this cleaning-and-categorizing effort is better spent on the more elusive unruliness of your mind. What that entails, Virgo, is purposely grabbing onto any renegade internal naggings about circumstances you can't presently do anything about—past regrets, future worries, seemingly impossible decisions—and 'putting them in their proper place'. If you won't be functionally addressing, through immediate actions, a particular concern during a given day, then please file it away for later consideration. Should your mind try to get you back into circularly obsessing about it, you can respectfully reply to yourself, 'No, sorry, this is not what we're currently working on, but I promise, the moment it becomes immediately relevant, I'll bring these thoughts back out again,' and restore your focus. Clear your mind as if it were your workspace (which, of course, it is), and it'll be much easier to see what the real priorities are.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You Librans are quintessential 'beauty-makers'. Imbued with your ruler Venus's intrinsic artistry, you have a talent for capturing life's experiences in the most attractive light possible. And this week, Libra, as Venus trines Neptune across two houses of self-presentation (the solar 1st and 5th), you've got an especially opportune shot at putting your best 'face' (not just limited to your eyes, nose and mouth) forward… to weave an impression of yourself in others' imaginations that they can't help but adore. They will see you as you want them to see you, which equates to you wielding quite a potent power, if you think about it. It's important to use this power wisely, however, so when the Venus-Neptune influence later wanes, your admirer(s) will not feel boondoggled by you having won them over with a false front. The difference between flashing superficial artifice and embodying an authentic artfulness boils down to whether there's emotional realness underscoring the image. You can pretty up the edges, but make sure what they see in you is really you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It's a 'be careful what you wish for' moment for you Scorpios. During this veritable dry-spell of activity—whether of the attention-attracting, initiative-rousing, or income-generating variety—you've lately had to suffer, I'm sure your mind has been swimming with fantasies about what would happen if only you had the attention, the initiative or the income. Due to the close presence of strong 12th-house factors, including a Venus now in trine to Neptune, these fantastical imaginings are traveling along a fairly direct channel to 'the Quantum Matrix of Infinite Possibilities' (or whatever other term you use in reference to this cosmic-oneness field of co-creation). In other words, within the next few weeks, you should expect to receive some pretty glaring answers to your prayers (even if you were inadvertently 'praying'). Drought to flood, deficiency to potential excess… the flipped-upside-down dynamism a lesson in the power of desire to conjure more than we bargained for, so that we continually refine our ideas of what we really want. Don't assume your private unspoken yearnings have no real impact. Be careful what you wish for. ;)


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): This is a week for taking social action… for lending yourself unselfishly to a cause, a team or an organization, to demonstrate you're invested in the greater well-being of those most affected by these efforts. Don't underestimate what you personally bring to the table, Sagittarius. Your enthusiastic go-getter attitude could indeed make all the difference between whether the whole enterprise merely goes through the obligatory motions… or actually creates a more noteworthy splash, thanks to an extra dose of cutting-through-the-bullshit direct expression. Ignore any ideas about your participation here being a 'time-wasting tangent' that pulls you away from what you 'should' be doing. Such a belief is, simply put, not true. Though the rallying issue may superficially appear to hold little direct relevance to your other considerations (namely, your career), the interpersonal goodwill you generate by joining this broader fight could solidify certain connections that later prove helpful in other arenas.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): 'I know I have something special to bring to this public venture, but I'm in no need of unveiling a dramatically self-important press release about it. I have smooth refined faith in my impeccability, and believe with all my heart that whenever I nonchalantly exchange greetings and good tidings with others (while I've got my 'public face' on, of course), they can't help but glean an impressive impression of me. It is with this graceful unforced confidence that I'm bound to receive further props, projects, payments and proud moments… not by hitting anybody over the head with hard demands, arrogant attitudes or brazen presumptuousness. I expect nothing I haven't earned, yet do not intend to continue striving into infinity without the compensation I deserve. If my sterling solidness does not result in my reaping what's due, I must acknowledge the likelihood that I'm looking for longevity in all the wrong places. After all, I know it's not a "lack" on my part; perhaps a contextual mismatch… ?'


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your two-sides-to-the-same-coin follow-up to last week's endorsement of justice, Aquarius, should now have you evaluating facets of your own behavior, with just as keen an eagle-eye as that which you'd turned outward to examine injustices produced by other folks' deeds. If there's any undercover unsettledness brewing inside you, due to having fallen short of your highest integrity or committing an outright nastiness in defense or revenge, your best method for clearing this slate is simply to fess up. There's a reason, after all, the act of confession is a pillar of the Catholic faith—not only does it preserve a power structure and keep its adherents in line, it also unburdens individuals through a act of absolving that which has been honestly and earnestly brought to the conscious surface. A five-minute expression of accepting ownership and offering apologies could save you countless hours of private unspoken guilt… and free you up to actually do productive good in the world, which is far more fruitful than self-punishing penance.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't be afraid of continuing to talk about touchy topics, due to your wishing for certain outcomes over others, as if avoiding the pivotal moments in the conversation (which will need to be had, sooner or later) will prevent undesirable developments from developing. The fact is, Pisces, you don't know where such conversations will go… by simple virtue of the unpredictability of interactivity. That is, even when you think you've already deduced everything that's on their mind, they might surprise you. They might say it in a manner that's tinged with markedly different connotations than you were picking up. Or they might change their mind altogether, based upon the organic evolution of your mutual dialogue. Try not to fixate on hypothetical scenarios, the existence of which could inhibit the actual discussion from diverging from what's already been 'set' in your head. Instead of worrying about 'final results' (as if anything is ever really 'final'), just keep proceeding toward the meat of the matter.