Horoscopes | Week of August 29-September 4, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If you are actually engaged in investing regular physical effort into a habit, practice or endeavor that addresses a personal goal of becoming a fuller person, then please congratulate yourself, Aries. You are already 'doing it'. That doesn't, of course, mean you've victoriously crossed the finish line (for, in many cases, the very concept of there even being a 'finish line' is an illusion) nor perhaps accomplished everything you've set out to (so, gosh darn it, I guess you must remain this engrossed in the day-to-day activity of your life). But we're all a bit too product-obsessed anyway, aren't we… and at the expense of vividly enjoying the process of getting there (which we'd better enjoy since 'there' isn't likely to look quite as we expected it to)? Yet, rather than merely leave you with the banal suggestion to 'enjoy the process' (useful despite its banality), let me one-up it with an explicit purpose: Every day you continue with it, you are becoming richer in skills, a form of capital that can never crash in any economic slump.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): As Jupiter appears to stand still in your sign while forming a lovely alliance with the Sun and Venus (in your solar 5th), you too ought to pause… and appreciate the many fine facets of being exactly where you are. Living the day-to-day often makes it too damned easy to overlook the gradual evolutionary advances you've welcomed over these past few years, much as exquisite canyons are carved, grain by tiny grain, from the mundane coursing of rivers just doing their humble job of moving water from one place to another. This is very much a reaping moment, Taurus, rather than one you need saddle down with an outrageous refusal to breathe in the relish until you eventually rake in even more. If it never got better than this, you'd still be swimming in blessings. Thankfully appreciate that awareness, however, and it very likely will get even better… particularly during the first half of '12.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your 'next big thing' remains deep in its incubation stage, very slowly evolving from embryo to full-fledged being, behind a veil of incomprehensibility, over the course of many months to come. And while you'd probably prefer to know (1) what precisely it consists of and (2) when exactly you should start selling tickets for opening night, I hope you'll at least take a kernel of reassurance from the fact that something is happening, sweet Gemini. In the short term, then, concentrate on padding the walls of your nest with cushier materials… to better aid you in decompressing from the loud noises and circumstantial headaches that have lately seemed impossible to avoid, so you can enjoy a little self-indulgent faith that there will be an 'after this'. Even if the home environment itself carries the situational stresses with it, you still can carve out a tiny corner or a five-minute ritual that serves nobody and nothing but your own thirsts for sweetness. Feel free to say 'no' to everyone else but yourself this week, if that's indeed what you want to do.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Smile, and the world smiles with you. Speak with confidence about the human capacity for spreading good will, or simply exemplify it, and you'll spontaneously generate further amounts of it in those around you. Just as I wrote last week, Cancer, you're still a carrier for this delightful contagion of communicable social pleasure… in a particular astro-moment during which new friendships can be sealed, mutually beneficial contacts developed, and/or serendipitous exchanges of meaningful genuineness between strangers celebrated. And with Mars continuing to protrude in your sign, potentially leaving you with sharper edges than usual, I recommend that you take the first step in any efforts to utilize these energies. (Thanks to Mars, you could actually seem intimidating to others, believe it or not… until you break the ice with a warm conversational embrace.) While you're in the midst of engagement, by the way, it's not a bad idea to raise the topic of finance- or work-related dilemmas that have recently stymied your thinking; you never know where the ideal advice might come from.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you've got anything greater than a couple nickels in your proverbial piggy-bank, Leo, then please thank your lucky stars. Even that thin ten cents is more than many possess. Or if money is so terribly absent from your life that you're having to depend on the kindness of loved ones or agency strangers, be grateful for those helping-hands, too. Despite any circumstantial signs to the contrary, you're presently in a sweet position insofar as a fortuitous synergy between your material resources and your expanding career/public-world place now exists. Whether you've got a million bucks, a supportive ally or two, or just the clothes on your back, this is enough raw material to serve as a springboard for additional outward growth in a direction that'll eventually yield more. Think investment, as opposed to consumption, so you're actively creating rather than passively spending. Early next year, what you've planted should begin to show hints of blossoming.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Invite your imagination to magnify the size and vividness of your dreams, Virgo… but please don't soil the spectacular scene by troubleshooting reasons why they're unlikely to 'come true' in their current state. Though you typically handle them so well, the details are sometimes known to be the devil's best friend. And besides, your problem-solving skills are still not operating at their best, while, otherwise, your capacity to thrive in a given moment's spontaneous kismet is at an unusual high. Can't you just allow yourself to preciously hold an enthusiastic vision for something big and beautiful beyond here? Plenty of folks, in fact, proceed throughout their lives by clinging to little else—and somehow manage to do pretty well for themselves, despite making bigger messes or harboring fleeting confusions along the way. Before popping a balloon by lobbing rigid methodological excuses why 'it'll never work', just float with it for a spell. Premature insistences kill the creative instinct.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): 'Ask a giraffe why he's keeping his neck straight, and he says, "Dunno, I'm just doing it." Ask a bird why he's flying so high, and he says, "Dunno, I'm just doing it."' In these lyrics from a wonderful song ('Ask the Dragon'), Yoko Ono reminds us that certain behaviors in nature transcend the communicative mind's need to articulate an explanation. And though we often prefer to forget it, we humans are part of nature, too, Libra… which should hopefully provide reason enough for you to spend this week suspending your instinct to justify, rationalize or concretely understand why exactly you do what you do. Instead, adopting a meditative approach to simply being present in the act of whatever mundane task or 'totally pointless' exercise in meandering has captured your momentary experience is all you need concern yourself with. Productivity isn't especially favored; nor is seeking acceptance or affirmation from external sources. Dissolve yourself in each instant's tone poem, and skip the part where you feel you must construct a critical case that supports any particular reading.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It's all about the people, without whom you'd have no anchoring reference-point in this vast sea of inexplicability. Let them know you're grateful to have them as part of your community, Scorpio. It's as simple as that… a simplicity which, in fact, can hopefully help you to stress less about a lingering unresolved quest that would otherwise draw your attention far from where the individuals who most matter are situated, right here in front of you. Does that mean you won't return your focus to that 'quest' (or whatever else you'd prefer to call it) later? Of course not. Yet, this moment of interpersonal appreciation is specially whole in itself… and allowing yourself full participation in it, while it's here, will replenish your system enough to fuel that next leg of the journey. Even if there are complicated questions hanging over certain relationships, please don't burden yourself with trying to address them this week. Sure, everything always changes, even in our connections with others. But before you worry about that, enjoy the company now.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Though there's still a lot more work to do (because, honestly, when isn't there?), you have indeed made strides… and I sense the likelihood, Sagittarius, of your glimpsing at least one reassuring signal (even if modest) of your progress during the week ahead. In order to sustain your momentum through the months ahead, it's important that you do explicitly recognize these minor advances—and celebrate them as foreshadowing clues of what's to come—instead of acting as if you've received no positive results at all. We may inaccurately judge others' success-stories according to myths of 'The Big Win', when in fact their real (and far less triumphant-sounding) narratives are comprised of lots of sweaty toil toward a series of small accomplishments. As long as Jupiter remains in your everyday-responsibility 6th house (through June 2012), you have a greater-than-usual potential to keep up the daily effort. Just don't expect the gains to look monumental, though they may indeed be…


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If you're not pretty excited about something, then you're doing it wrong. This 'something' might not currently exist, or it may be several steps away from where you presently are, but at least vague outlines of it must be hovering over the horizon of your consciousness. Right, Capricorn? You need this dangling-carrot of future promise as a lightning-rod for attracting your enthusiasms… or else the irritations and/or personality-conflicts involved with a relatively minor, short-term and/or limited-in-scope situation will overwhelm your perspective. Beyond here, you must remind yourself, the grass could be greener, the sky bluer, and the streets paved with gold. Yet, as long as you're staring buggy-eyed at the dying lawn and the grey clouds and the seemingly endless expanse of potholes, you just won't be able to see—or believe—it. When you've got something to be excited about, however, it triggers the most brilliant sectors of your creative mind, and starts you spontaneously spitting out brainstorms, just as the very notion of a steaming plate of your favorite food already has your mouth watering before it even hits the table.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Taking care of the touchier or tenser issues, addressing the 'pink elephant' in the room, transgressing the boundary of polite to get to the molten core… all such activities, which obviously aren't to be treated lightly (because, by their nature, they aren't 'light'), could actually bring you to a new point of inner peace if willingly entered into this week, Aquarius. We mustn't be na´ve enough, of course, to presume there won't be the fleeting fright and/or momentary awkwardness, as the deepening transaction is just getting going. But even that could deliver a fair share of titillation, like those precious seconds when the roller-coaster is barely beginning to crest its first death-defying peak—the scream it warrants is comprised of half-terror, half-glee. Until you courageously broach what's been recently left out to simmer and loom in the contested zone, you won't get your chance to fully exhale that held breath. Do it now, according to the astro-clock, and it's likelier to ultimately yield a personal pleasurable release.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't be too startled, should you find yourself sharing more information with the appealing companion seated across from you than you normally might. This is not some Mercury-retrograde foot-in-mouth disaster waiting to happen, Pisces. (Mercury isn't even retrograde anymore, silly.) It's a chance, rather, to take advantage of a smooth-and-easy connection… and to very actively participate in a more in-depth discussion than perhaps you usually take the time for. Considering Venus's current sweet-spot in your relationship house (the 7th), I'll assume that whoever has summoned such conversational openness out of you will find your lively engagement to be quite likable. And at the same time, please don't forget to ask them instigating questions that'll encourage them to open themselves up to you, too. Even if they seem not to be the type to ordinarily 'go there', I think they'll probably enjoy the comfortable rapport between you enough to take the risk. Use your innately compassionate presence to make them happy they took such a risk.