Horoscopes | Week of August 22-28, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Back to work, Aries, nose-to-the-grindstone-style. Sure, it might feel self-gratifying (in a not-terribly-useful manner) to instead pick away at some emotional scab… though you're probably wiser to just write that off as a passing mood, not try to 'make anything of it', and get shit accomplished while you wait for it to burn away. I especially wouldn't recommend roping anyone else into a 'negotiation' (or squabble) about what's bothering you, since they're liable to hold a very different perspective—one that rightfully, unequivocally excuses them from any real responsibility, and pins the lack of resolution squarely back on you. Leave the other person alone about it, please. Handle that business yourself. You have too great an opportunity to dive headfirst into lengthy bouts of productive efficiency, a place to throw your energy that's very likely to lift your spirits and improve your spot on the food-chain. Feeling aggressive? Work it out at the gym or through other self-contained physical means.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): According to the astro-forecast, you're now grooving into an attitudinal upswing… a renewed desire for an extroverted good time, Taurus, which should help you separate from whatever most recently left you feeling more internal. This is more than just an excuse to party (though, even if it were only that, that would be fine, too): It's a reengagement with an entire overriding stance on life, a belief in making the most of every moment while you've got the chance. The more deeply you breathe in the great value of joy as meaning, the easier it'll be not to fight against the simple pleasures. That said, you also mustn't neglect to heed the sentiments in last week's horoscope regarding not overlooking the dutiful demands of your public position. Though there's no question the larger headline is all about getting back out into the world for pleasurable purposes, you mustn't let the social diversions go so far as to overwhelm your ability to meet your top-priority responsibilities.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In finagling to get what you need this week, Gemini, it seems almost impossible to circumvent the topic of your pride. I'm not sure whether that means you'll have to suck it up, bow to its demands, work through what's really behind it, or address it from some other angle… but whatever the specifics of your confrontation with pride, a genuine engagement will likely yield you greater understanding into how you disrespect yourself and/or get in your own way. Much of this is apt to play out behind the gates of your domicile, either because you'd prefer to process through it in protective privacy or because it's showing up in difficulties with the most intimate member(s) of your household. Tough though it may be, if you patiently stick with this uncomfortable brush, you could ultimately please yourself greatly... by learning more precisely about where you are, and aren't, willing to make personal ego-sacrifices toward a particular tangible end.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Seemingly modest gestures or small social contacts can generate huge ripples in somebody's life. So don't underestimate your impact on others, Cancer, during a week when you're favored to form authentic connections with folks you hardly know or encounter by chance. When in doubt, please don't hold yourself back from adding the extra comment that ups the intimacy ante, even as you're wondering if perhaps you're getting too 'personal'. Being personal is what real human contact is all about. I understand if you feel you're having to push through a certain bashful sensitivity (the trademark Cancerian crab-shell), in order to put yourself on the line by sharing your true feelings. Though it may stretch you past your comfort zone, it's an integral part of honoring your emotional reality—both for others' direct benefit and your own responsible self-care.


LEO (July 23-August 22): By week's end, Leo, you're likely to stumble upon a startling beam of clarity on an issue that's been scrambling your brain for a few weeks now. Revel in the stark realization of its relative simplicity… but please don't rush into taking any decisive action to celebrate this newfound grasp. Mars's current less-than-ideal position increases your potential to do something that unconsciously sabotages your own immediate interests (such as, say, shooting from zero to warp-speed without giving yourself a chance to acclimate to the changing conditions, and ending up with a bad case of the psychic bends). Be especially suspicious of your drive to fast-forward past any conversations you know you really should have in advance of doing what you're about to do (are you afraid of confessing your intent to someone who might rightfully question whether it's wise?). Instead, adequately prepare yourself for taking action a few weeks from now… by getting your work done, saving your money, and/or otherwise securing a solid footing, from which you can get sturdier traction for that later leap.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I could easily picture you causing waves in any group or team setting, Virgo, as a result of your squeaky-wheel insistence on pragmatically guarding what you see to be a personal stake in the matter. And the funny thing is, due to Mercury still being retrograde most of the week (until Fri Aug 26) and in your 12th house, I would expect you to have a lousier-than-usual time articulating exactly what your beef is… though I'm not questioning that you do have a valid gripe. So take the pressure off yourself to expect to clearly explain your thinking—a concise expression of your standing on one side of the line or the other is probably enough. Let's not forget to mention that, all the while, Venus in your sign makes a happy trine to Pluto, gifting you with an extra dose of persuasive appeal (the type that works best when you don't make a big fuss, but instead use a passively willful magnetism to draw 'em to where you want 'em). Even if this or that person becomes irked by your self-interest, plenty of others will find themselves beguiled by you… without necessarily understanding why.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Keep your cool, Libra, if you're subjected to unfair criticisms or attacks on the job and/or from people in supposedly 'higher-up' positions. It strongly behooves you to respond with a few calm statements of rational disagreement (if a response is even necessary), instead of going off on an assault of their personal character (whether voiced aloud or muttered to yourself, which can be just as unsettling). Your lesson here may be about quickly realizing this culprit is obviously mistaken, and thus not someone whose opinion need be viably respected—then disconnecting yourself from any rattling influence it might have over your self-regard. Better yet, if you and other colleagues or allies are being collectively implicated in the critique, let one of them fight the fight. The more cleanly you can disengage from what looks to be pretty unproductive strife (without, of course, admitting to a fault on faulty grounds), the better off you'll be.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Triumph does not depend solely on fighting the crusade until an outward acquiescence ensues. Efforts made publicly toward a desired end must be balanced with more refined private work: practicing not pushing, cultivating faith, surrendering to your version of Divine Order. There are reasons, beyond our humble understanding, why your fevered quest is periodically tempered by circumstantial worries, delays or distractions—this is your chance to address the esoteric questions raised by the serendipitous pause. If these words are too 'out there' for your get-on-with-it-already impatience to bear trudging through, Scorpio… well, that's too damn bad. The apparent intangibility of what I'm writing to you has everything to do with how you ought to spend your week (the last, incidentally, of this Mercury retrograde). The medium is the message. Lacking a clear idea of how to apply this to your specific life, try discussing the deeper reasons for your situational stall(s) with your more mystical pals.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Venus and Pluto are presently conspiring to give you a professional leg-up, which could mean attracting more positive attention to yourself… and advancing one more step in your longer-term project to transform your financial life. It's important, therefore, to constantly remember how precious is this latter part of your purpose, Sagittarius—to increase your confidence in your earning-power, which inevitably leads to increasing your earnings—rather than ever allowing yourself to be flippant, in any situation where it could affect your standing. This week in particular, you'll want to temper any sharp edges to your outward initiatives, proceeding as if an entire panel of diverse individuals, with different backgrounds and approaches and belief-systems, was collectively judging your performance. You should reflect enough open-ended diplomacy, especially when handling potentially dicey issues, so that a wide variety of types would be able to read into your implications in ways that please them.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): It's another one of those 'take the high road' weeks, Capricorn, as a restraining Mars-Saturn square instructs you to moderate any fighting instincts with considerations of reputation and/or professional aspiration. Though it could appear as if you're merely responding to someone else's instigations, it's crucial that you accept your responsibility for either amplifying the tension or defusing it. Regardless of official title or position, you hold great power in how this turns out. Will this episode finally fix a not-yet-developed animosity into full being, or will it transmute the looming contentiousness into full-on respect, based upon a mutual willingness to disagree but hear each other out? In your culminating expression of the underlying issues, you could earn yourself a new level of clout… as long as you smartly keep it to the issues, rather than letting it become an ego-serving pissing contest. On the other hand, dare you piss on the wrong person, your place could be irreparably damaged.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): As Mercury returns to direct motion in your relationship house late in the week (Fri Aug 26), you may finally have a better shot at saying your piece to whomever needs to hear it… and actually be heard by them. The few days surrounding a Mercury station are notorious for bringing the crucial bit of information to light, after all. Plus, the Venus-Pluto trine seems to indicate you receiving positive results from veering into 'dangerous' interpersonal territory… that place where you're both terrified of the uncertain outcome yet still compulsively drawn there anyway. However, on the level of mundane productivity, Aquarius, don't be startled if you face a temporary slowdown, due to having to step back from the minutiae and reconnect with the overriding vision. While it might be more soothing to mindlessly drill through repetitive busywork tasks, it could later prove to be wasted energy, if your efforts aren't clearly aligned with the bigger picture.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Stand out from the crowd in an unmistakable manner, and you're liable to catch the eye of at least one ardent devotee who'll like you precisely because you don't blend. Whenever there are simultaneous planetary goings-on in both the 5th and 7th houses, as you're currently receiving, Pisces, opportunities to attract pleasurable relationship activity are ripe for the plucking. To further activate this potential, I recommend putting yourself smack in the heart of social gatherings, meetings and/or community events… especially those in which you're comfortable enough to show all the way up, though it means you could garner different varieties of attention. One concern to bear in mind, alas: You may have to consciously enforce certain boundaries on how much fun can be beneficially had, before you lapse into too-risky behavior that jeopardizes your financial situation or leaves you ashamed of your short-sighted judgment.