Horoscopes | Week of August 20-26, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Certain extenuating complexities can no longer be circumvented… mmm'kay, Aries? The only path forward is through the eye of the storm, an admittedly bumpy ride that will likely expose your tenderest bits to the elements, but which is your unavoidable initiation into really and truly dealing. Despite my knack for framing this call-to-deal as something that probably sounds unappealing or scary, I promise there's more to it than that. Though you're pretty much past the point where you can productively negotiate by dancing around that pink elephant like nobody notices it's there, on the other hand, finally ripping off that band-aid and totally going there offers genuine hope that you'll soon be able to free up the energy you've had tied up in purgatorying knots. I mean, don't you feel the tasks you're charged with could benefit from a surge of redirected energy? No matter how hard you work at something, you'll remain at a relative disadvantage as long as any psychically-challenging situations are subtly hooking onto your energy-body, robbing your Higher Self (or whatever you want to call it) of its independent capacity for fulfilling your individual calling. Your attempts to compartmentalize one region of your life from another are beginning to sputter and fail…


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): With Mars redeeming his voucher for a free six-week stay in your relationship house (the 7th), Taurus, you will definitely find your will being more evidently asserted in all interpersonal dealings. See how I just phrased that last segment in passive language, as if this mysterious 'will' was unattached to some 1st-person 'me'—who, of course, is YOU—such that, if the other person isn't on board with what you're trying (consciously or not) to eke out of the arrangement, it'll be far too convenient for you to disavow your ownership of the contentious dynamic? Mars helps us get what we want from a situation… and just as adeptly stirs the pot and conjures conflict, should we find someone doesn't exactly want what we want. (But hell, ain't it better to know?) Trying to 'feel out' their position without coming right out with yours seems like the scenario likelier to anger 'em, since they're left to their own interpretive devices for reading the terms of the obvious undercurrent of something's-up. Don't overlook input from the most fair-minded members of your tribe on how best to assert yourself in relationship without 'throwing your voice' so it looks like it's coming from an innocent puppet. (That 'puppet' could quickly come to life and scare the living shit out of you, FYI…)


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Last week, we talked financial security and its impossible-to-ignore call-to-action currently coming in clear. The good news this week, Gemini, is that energy-injector Mars will now be officially at your disposal in all areas related to the day-to-day mundane responsibilities of life (i.e., 6th-house concerns), giving you a whole bunch more initiative for plowing through the proverbial checklist. Please do not squander this astro-gift, either by (1) frittering along the surfaces of what you know has to get done, rather than diving into the guts of it, or (2) talking a whole bunch more than actually doing anything. If you don't pause to consciously consider your overall picture of economic wellness—and especially how it impacts your relative ability to pursue that which you really hope to achieve over the years ahead—one day will too rapidly feed into the next without your noticing whether its developments were ultimately supportive or kinda-sorta wasteful. I strongly recommend creating structured work-plans for you to follow over the next month-plus: commitments of your productive hours that are as unbreakable as any other super-important type of obligatory appointment. As much as possible, you should strive to actively eliminate the wiggle-room that might otherwise serve as an invitation to slack. We know you love to wiggle.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): An intentional increase in extroversion, Cancer, is your surest bet for getting yourself somewhere you otherwise wouldn't have expected… to an actual place and/or new level of understanding that could beneficially broaden the scope of whatever questions you ask yourself when trying to assess 'the purpose of your life' (or what-not). That is to say, trying to incubate a blossoming of perspective is presently way less likely to occur through quiet meditative means—and far likelier to succeed through repeated exposure to external stimuli, and especially those that stir your abdominal butterflies to excitedly flutter. During the weeks ahead, I urge you to proactively offer yourself to the social world (in particular, to some of its more raucous elements), as an invitation for your more creatively rebellious comrades to fire up your inner experimenter. At the same time you're responsible for positioning yourself in settings that are rich in potentially inspiring material, you need no foreknowledge of what exactly you're looking for: Just show up, and see what (or who) gets your sparks flyin' and your engines roarin' up. In a certain sense, this is something of an earnest quest for reinvigorated meaning—but it ought to feel more like a party than a chore.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This all starts to take on added emotional weight, Leo. Not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you're up for the internal job of (re)building a worthy nest in which to incubate the egg of tomorrow, so it may ultimately hatch a newer, lighter version of the genuine inner you. Nobody else can carry out this labor-of-love but you. Nor will there be much of an audience to cheer you on. But if you are willing to assign the fighter in you to this potentially Herculean task—of killing off whatever devaluing or debilitating messages your family delivered about why you shouldn't be 'too much' this or that—you can emerge victorious, both in the short-term struggle to (re)claim your 'safe place' and the longer-term effort to properly (re)parent yourself. Though you'll probably find yourself spending more time alone and/or at home, because your emotions crave it and/or circumstances demand it, don't neglect to realize that, yes, the important people in your life are collaterally affected by your present inward work. Please do not needlessly reach for cosmetic enhancements that conceal your real appearance from their eyes, though it may feel somewhat uncomfortable to be truly seen in such a vulnerable state. Your reality is actually much more lovable than the image you've sought to preserve in past phases. Apologize for none of it, if you're being authentic… especially not to yourself.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Just a couple more weeks of me cheering you toward not trying to grab a rational handle on things, Virgo. During this hyper-Neptunian two-week interval, instead of believing you hold any reliable understanding, just allow yourself to dematerialize into the company you're keeping. Flow with the other person, following along more submissively than you ordinarily would (though not to any sort of dangerous level), perceptively collecting those whispered impressions of where their spirit's presently at, like dandelion fluffs in the wind… and diligently refraining from analysis. As the Sun moves into your sign mid-week, you may begin to feel 'more yourself' again (whatever that means)—but please don't hastily jump at the chance to put your regular aptitudes to the test. Really and truly, give it a tiny bit more time. Concentrate on helping others see more deeply into themselves… not by concretely pointing anything out, but simply through posing those most uncomfortable questions in casual language and easing them through their struggle to face up to the answers, therapist-style. If your birthday's this week or next, mark it by celebrating who you're blessed to celebrate it with.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You may need a few moments to regroup, Libra. Presuming you have made your will known to the relevant parties (and if you haven't done so by now, after all this Mars business, you obviously have some bigger fish to fry on the personal-development level), there isn't a lot left to do on that front. From here on out, your considerations are due to become much more practical: how to adjust your day-to-day existence to the response(s) you received, how to secure your sense of self-worth regardless of outcomes, how to satisfy your own material needs without counting on anybody else, etc. Think of it as (re-)inserting a stream of realism into what has lately been more a conceptual testing-ground. No matter whether you've just been gloriously embraced by the important figure(s) in your life or are facing their reticent resistance, you ought to be concentrating on taking care of yourself. Regardless of your relationship standing or any other up-in-the-air statuses, your independent existence still requires its own self-made center… one that provides you reasons to work hard, incentives for success, challenging to help you grow, and something tangible to channel your creative energies into. Other people are just icing on the cake.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Lo and behold, here comes your competent wherewithal. Though recently misplaced, it arrives triumphant, like a long-lost hero returning from some battle he never quite understood why he was fighting… riding atop the back of your ruling warrior-god Mars, who arrives home to your sign midweek, to stay through early October. Hail and welcome him, Scorpio! He will assist you in finally being able to do something with this strange situation you now find yourself in, after your having wandered through the proverbial desert for what seemed like 40 years. Might this be the Promised Land after all? That determination's on you to make: not just the explanative judgment, but the actual reality of its Promise. See, you're perfectly set up to create amazing circumstances out of whatever raw materials sit in front of you, embryonic and jonesing to be birthed. And I suspect that, over these coming six weeks, you'll either (1) dive into beginning to frame the structures of a new-and-improved self-image that'll attract lots of interesting opportunities and experiences over the years ahead or (2) fairly quickly conclude you need to take some large step toward somewhere else in order to make that happen. In either case, dynamism is now on your side. No more waiting. Exercise your power.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): After so much active outward engagement, Sagittarius, you're now arriving at a phase during which a larger amount of deliberate retreat will help you more adeptly advance to the next checkpoint. Though you're still expected to confidently occupy the public role you've recently been slotted into, without hesitation or apparent reluctance, that's not necessarily the zone in which your actual work will get accomplished. Rather, it'll be as if you've assigned your perfectly-engineered-and-convincing-looking robot-twin to assume all public responsibilities with impeccability... all while the real you is backstage, in the secret control-room, tidying up the panel of instruments and prepping for some larger operation come October. But if you too closely identify yourself with only this currently-spotlighted robot-self, you'll easily neglect to carry out these background preparations—and continue to accumulate more of that sort of 'exhaustion' which often sends our most delicate starlets to the hospital for a few-days' intravenous R&R. In other words, you need to carve out your own version of such a respite now and over the coming weeks, even as the outer-world demands on you continue. Otherwise, you might start crashing and burning right at the moment your next big production number is announced.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): When other people are involved, you simply cannot control how long it'll all take to unfold, Capricorn… and that's exactly as it should be. A collective or collaborative process produces its own distinct personality, an amalgam of all the involved individuals, obviously, but also with an added something that transcends the sum of its parts. Please do not attempt to commandeer the proceedings, due perhaps to your impatience at the speed of developments and/or your overeager need to forefront a certain priority over all others. You are liable to be experienced by others as pushy (a la last week's horoscope), and thusly singled out (whether explicitly or through whispered rumblings circulating behind your back) as the one who's making it less pleasant for everybody else. Too urgent a singular rush toward any fundamental purpose—though it may perfectly suit your self-designated desires—bears the possibility of stripping large bits of camaraderie-related joy from the whole endeavor. (Said differently: This meandering quality is part of what makes it so special, at least to your cohorts.) If you desperately desire to 'keep the momentum going' according to what satisfies you, find a different—and more personal—venue for channeling that energy.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The apparent 'human-relations' piece that seems so very pressing, Aquarius, is actually a front for your need to ramp up the outer-world/job-related efforts you now must make, in order for your shorter-term goals to become reality. In particular, the reachings-out and the askings-for that'll directly fluff your pocketbook must not be postponed nor written off as 'too grabby' or otherwise unseemly in their self-serving quality. Who else should all this work serve if not you? And before you answer 'the whole wide world', can we please be a little more realistic about what it materially requires to help everybody? Sinking your own ship to keep everybody else afloat is not your best ticket to dry land. Your people may actually benefit more from a ten-minute pep-talk here and there than from you wholly diverting your assertive will in their direction. Are you sure you're not being so interpersonally helpful (or maybe even overly intrusive) because it's oddly easier for you than taking care of your own shit? How demonstratively productive and fiercely go-getterish you behave in career- or community-related endeavors between now and early October will strongly impact what you deservedly reap during the many months to come.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You're in a privileged spot this week, Pisces, when it comes to gaining important information about what's going on in other people's lives. This extra-Neptune-happy astro-climate unmistakably favors you as the esteemed recipient of intuitive glimpses into their wells of emotion… permitting you to see more clearly than usual which dreams they are chasing, which pains they are running from, and/or which self-sabotaging illusions they're operating under. And in addition to all that, you're also entering a period in which you're likely to feel more energized about making a significant meaningful impact on the direction your life's currently heading (as opposed to merely riding the waves wherever they happen to carry you). So the issue becomes: Will you use your privileged knowledge of what's ticking in other people's lives as inspirational material for ensuring your own day-to-day life-choices are aligned with what you truly believe? Or will you fall into the typical Piscean trap of dedicating all that thoughtful focus on how to help them? It's hard to thoroughly attend to both aims at the same time, of course. Though it may be easier for you to articulate what course-correction(s) they need to make, such insight would be better utilized to seriously contemplate what it says about your present course.