Horoscopes | Week of August 13-19, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Interpersonal respectability and due restraint are called for, Aries, with Mars and Saturn uniting in your relationship house (the 7th) to caution you against too brash or self-important a strategy for asserting your aims. Yet, this does not mean letting anybody get away with steamrolling over your stated needs by claiming to have not heard or understood you. As we covered last week, you've been called upon to do your best job at expressing what you need to express for your own sense of completion and closure… and not because you expect the other person to suddenly see things your way or grasp what they've been missing. Here's where the respectability and restraint come in: knowing when you've gone as far as you probably should, before the diminishing returns become outweighed by growing frustrations (which, once they pass a certain point, threaten to unleash some fairly unrespectable and unrestrained tactics). As long as you're relatively calm, you'll realize it's smarter to step back and steal yourself a few silent-and-secluded catch-up moments. If you're too charged up, you'll merely want to defend yourself from their dishonoring attitudes—which, sadly, they probably aren't very aware of (or else you wouldn't be in this mess, right?), making it a rather futile defense that reads more like an offense.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In a repeat of themes you and I have discussed in past months, Taurus, I again suggest you concentrate your muscle on attaining solid tangible results… instead of, say, arm-wrestling any adversaries into submission over an ideological squabble that, though the issues involved may matter greatly to you, won't practically get you any further along. Both your ideas and your communicative approaches remain unusually subjective for someone typically seen as a pragmatist… more strongly colored by whatever mood you're in that day and/or any personal feelings from your past that happen to get triggered by the issue-at-hand than are liable to help you coherently argue your case. As such, your philosophic passions are presently likely to be read as slightly hysterical or unbalanced, like you have some personal axe to grind, rather than with the intellectual coherence they'd otherwise deserve. Keep it socially breezy, then, and save the debates for another day. Your work projects would prefer you expend some more of that 'passion' in their direction, anyhow.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You can and, in fact, must take respectable care of your material needs, Gemini… even though you've maybe long had horribly unfair circumstances working against you… or you continue to face immovable obstacles that came about for reasons out of your control (or due to unwise decisions you made so very long ago)… or you're still grieving a painful loss… and/or you're desperately trying to rise much further above the baseline than merely 'head above water'. Yet, in a certain sense, all such recent psychological history is somewhat irrelevant to the very basic concrete matters you ought to be focused on for now—other than, of course, whether it's caused your self-confidence to take a battering in the process. Reduce the psychological complexity with which you're attempting to address your immediate financial situation, then, and just follow simple arithmetic formulas for covering your bases. No use in agonizing about the past, indulging regret, or forging epic 5-year plans without adequate foresight. And another thing that won't help: listening too intently to friends or peers who would encourage your fiscal irresponsibility on supposedly radical or anarchistic grounds.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You, just innocently standing there and being your beautiful self, my exquisite Cancer, bear the heightened likelihood of rousing some rather strange, potent and/or even jarring responses from others… for reasons far more elaborate or obscure than you may understand, and which probably have little direct relation to anything you're doing 'horribly wrong' or 'oh so very right'. Your challenge is to not get caught up in playing to their odd expectations—and to simply continue along with what you were already involved with, your personal choice for how you'd most prefer to enjoy Venus's happy presence in your sign. That's mean no trying to perform more of what you imagine they'd want from you. No self-consciously dimming your light or downplaying your brilliance to cater to their delicate egos. No chickening-out on any risks you're finally ready to take, just because others' erratic attitudes make it impossible to anticipate what'll happen after that. Just stand there, innocently and beautifully, with an iron backbone: Accept the fawning, resist the manipulative moves, reflect back the negativity, refuse to pander.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Any re-stirred urges to indulge in whatever might magically 'deliver' you from 'all this'—or, put another way, help you pull another great escape—are your emphatic reminder that the battle to transform your habits must be fought anew every single day. Your bodily self presently demands you remain constantly aware of its deep hunger for structure, Leo… even as the madcap adventurer in you worries that such assiduous attention to healthful earthly matters will sap all the wild excitements out of your day-to-day life. This inner-adventurer's voice is important to acknowledge and honor, though it also shouldn't be allowed to persuade you to ditch responsibility for one more 'you only live once' justifying sentiment. In particular, your responsibility to others to scrupulously show up, to engage with all social commitments and conversations as a wholly willing-and-able participant, can serve as a grounding touchstone. If you're avoiding acquaintances, concealing what's really going on with you inside carefully engineered anecdotes, and/or compulsively anticipating those deliciously dangerous moments when nobody else will be watching, I suspect we have a problem.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Resist the urge to make unsolicited (and unwelcome) corrections or clarifications, Virgo, when the payoff you'd get from bothering will ultimately prove not to be worth the disruptiveness. Every hasty conclusion, short-sighted opinion or clumsy commentary offered by someone in your circle needn't become another opportunity for you to (boastfully) express your mastery. It is perfectly okay to freely allow others' imprecisions or inaccuracies to float out there, in order to preserve the group's good vibes. (And maybe they aren't as imprecise or inaccurate as you might believe. But who wants to go through that whole inquisitional verification process, anyhow? Sounds more to me like a pissing contest than any useful exercise in supposed fact-checking.) It is not as if you're that vulnerable to unfair or awful judgments being made of you, should you decide not to take on personal responsibility for the impressions anybody else is earning him-/herself. Honestly, nobody's really going to much notice what you're up to unless you make a federal case out of some needlessly exaggerated sticking-point.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This is a critical week for you to put into proud public practice all that you've learned about authenticity, directness, and self-determination over these past 2 years of Saturn in Libra. The scene has been deftly set for you to actually pursue something that you want… to advance toward it with fervent desire and a firm, eager grasp… and no apologies to anyone you must step over or around in order to proceed, as if your success is somehow a slap in the face to those with less advantage or ambition (which it decidedly is not). To do this most dexterously is (1) to wear your self-serving motives clearly on your sleeve, instead of pretending to have no personal stake in the matter, while also (2) flaunting how skillfully and satisfyingly you could turn this situation into an unequivocal 'win-win' for everyone involved, once you are granted greater authority to do so. Please remember you are being carefully observed (and perhaps evaluated) as you put yourself forth with the very high esteem you warrant. No dress rehearsals, and no time to indulge those old debilitating self-doubts fed to your by jealous or controlling family-members. You've got this, Libra.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Hold it together, Scorpio dudes and chicks. Don't start searching your apartment's closets late at night for some portal to the Underworld you suspect is waiting for the perfect moment to suck you in. Ain't no monsters under the bed either. And please quit trying to interpret the surface signs as an omen of either pure transcendent triumph or impending disaster: All such analyses are far too drenched in wishful and/or fearful theatricality to be very realistic. Just cruise along at a safe moderate speed, without creating another of those mega-disruptive (though admittedly totally interesting) self-snagging routines that you'll have to spend a few weeks or months extricating yourself from. The present unknown-ness—and unknowable-ness—is surely disconcerting, but reacting to it with intoxicating, destabilizing or destructive behaviors is not a helpful coping strategy. (Trust me, what feels like instant relief will later give way to increased anxiety.) Your solace will come from treating each of your moment-to-moment exchanges as one more clue in this epic treasure-hunt… a life-redefining quest that, aptly, may take quite a bit of time before the precious booty is discovered.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You can't pretend to be somebody you're not, Sagittarius… at least not very believably. You can't act as if you're an ally to anyone who's spouting nonsense and/or revealing their duplicitous insincerity, just to be polite to the mutual friends you have in common. And you sure as hell can't be expected to sign away certain aspects of your self-sustaining independence without a very detailed negotiation which directly addresses exactly what you stand to gain and lose. All of this is exactly as it should be, too. You are nobody to be tidily contained within any type of box, to perform some act of universal likability that strips you of all the controversial barbs your true fans adore. Should you find such pressures to conform are escalating to an uncomfortable stretch-point, you're probably ready to make one of your jaw-dropping, conversation-halting, nobody-can-believe-you-just-said-that trademark moves. Why? Because you want to, because it's fun, because it pushes buttons (and therefore pushes the hot-button issue to the forefront), because, because, because… why the fuck not?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You're workin' with some pretty powerful interpersonal mojo at the moment, Capricorn, no matter whether you encounter a nervous admirer or a longtime honey, someone you'd like to woo or someone you'd prefer to outdo, an avid fan or a vocal foe. A 7th-house Venus surely helps ratchet up your personal-appeal factor, regardless of context. Yet, nobody's likely to treat your presence lightly. You may likely astound or unsettle, impress or intimidate... but probably not underwhelm or elude. Accept this fact gracefully, instead of feigning disbelief at the impact you're having (which could seem like an insult to their intelligence). Then, deploy this power to purposeful, productive ends. By 'being the bigger person' (without, of course, announcing you're doing so) and extending someone else the courtesy of not having to justify their actions, you can help them develop greater comfort with the differences between you—and earn you their much-deserved respect for your willingness to peacefully coexist, no pressure for anyone to concede anything. If, however, your tone comes off too high-and-mighty, you'll strike them as something of a power-tripper, best avoided but easy to smilingly pander to for the time being.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): In response to our most recent edition, wherein I endorsed your likely enjoyment of getting back in your body and focusing on productive work, I anticipate you encountering a bit of uncooperative pushback from that nasty little devil who hovers above one of your shoulders and whispers goading words of temptation into your ear. That's right, Aquarius: As strongly as I know you'll prosper by reclaiming a steadier sanity over the weeks ahead, I also acknowledge the conflicting appeal of escape from the imagined prison of too routinized a responsibleness. In other words, with each grounding step you take, you can expect fluctuating surges of doubt, worry or panic to trigger desires for further partaking in whatever activities initially left you ungrounded to begin with… a push/pull sensation that cannot be reasoned with or argued away, but which you must simply tolerate while continuing to be productive. Whenever you're being tempted to escape, return your attention to whatever overarching ideals your efforts are motivated by, as an incentive to keep yourself on track. If you successfully let the temptation come and go without incident, you'll earn a 'one free escape' coupon for later redemption.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If you are indeed taking last week's recommendation in stride and prioritizing the inclusion of more pleasure and play into your life, Pisces, don't be too surprised if you perceive certain disapproving or scornful judgments from those who themselves aren't doing such a good job of playing or pleasuring. Beneath the imposing cloud of their judgments, of course, lurks their own dissatisfactions—the envy, the shame, the thwarted desire—which you can certainly have compassion for, but just as certainly shouldn't kowtow to. You mustn't let anyone bring you down, due to their projecting their issues onto you. You do the world a far better service by refusing to fall prey to such gloomy influences… and continuing to shine with happiness and light, even directly in their moping faces. The secret truth: Their disapproving disposition towards you may actually be a cover for an attraction to you they can't quite get a handle on. What they appear to scorn could in fact be something they madly yearn for. I don't suggest, however, counting on them to possess an integrated understanding of all that, so please kindly refrain from calling them out on it. Yet, if you want to casually, compassionately and coquettishly play with this knowledge… well, that's a different story.