Horoscopes | Week of August 27-September 2, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Even as I think it's wholly appropriate for you to start channeling increasing amounts of your energy towards the proverbial to-do list—not merely to neaten or organize or carry out rote repetitions of familiar tasks, but as an active part of building something bigger out there in the world—I also feel it's fair to point out that there's no way your 'list' could possibly include everything required. See, Aries, it's like there's an extra item or two, crucial to your ultimate progress, which cannot quite be pinned down or accounted for. Think of it like the joker in a deck-of-cards, a ghostly visitor in the extra chair at the dinner-table, or, if you prefer, the invisible interjection of Divine Will: You can't do anything to confidently identify its purpose or competently direct its influence, but must merely respect its requisite presence and make room for it at the table so it may play its trump. I share this so you don't needlessly stall in your efforts because you're trying to corral all the variables into your schema, when in fact some are too cosmically squirrelly to assent to such corralling. Keep doing your part with passionate gusto (since that's all you can do)… and leave ample white-space for the ineludible intrusion of Destiny's agents.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you are blessed with an opportunity to have your behaviors or attitudes 'mirrored' back to you by friends, teammates or community-members who seem to feel as if you're somehow blind to their perceptions of you, Taurus, try your best to curtail the defensiveness (though you may have plenty of good reason to lash back). I am not asserting their observations are more or less correct than your own self-understanding, but, golly! isn't this 'outside information' potentially quite useful in providing implicit suggestions on how best to reach those who aren't 'getting' you? They're basically walking you through a blueprint of places where your natural manner to snags on their insecurities or personal dissatisfactions… potential danger-zones in which taking a few extra self-protective safety precautions could make all the difference between you winning loyal allies or alienating loud troublemakers. You could get righteously mad at how they're misjudging your intent and/or projecting their garbage onto you—or you could just shrewdly work this fodder into your interpersonal calculations, strengthening your resolve to win their hearts-and-minds with a bit of 'playing to the competition'.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The direction in which your thoughts have lately been veering, Gemini, is both (1) fascinating, due to what it tells you about the subjective character of your dreams and fears, and (2) probably best kept to yourself for the foreseeable future. You can too easily reveal intimate details about your inner-world which you'd ultimately prefer others not to become privy to—and without even grasping quite what you've revealed until after it's too late. This is especially important to remember in any work-related situations, such as job interviews or performance reviews or conversations with bosses or co-workers about something one of you has been struggling with. It won't serve your own best professional (and economic) interests to talk to context-specific colleagues in a tone better suited for heart-to-hearts with decades-old friends. While I ordinarily caution folks against indulging the deadly sin of pride, in this case, I think it'd do you good to look out for your image in the eyes of those who'd judge you by how loosely you share private sentiments. (Then there's this: Your feelings are liable to change, and change again, over the couple weeks ahead… and who wants to have to backpedal?)


CANCER (June 21-July 22): What's going on right here right now, Cancer, should be more than entertaining and interesting enough to get you to quit glancing so feverishly out the window, with anticipation that something even better is headed down the pipeline. Talk about taking things for granted, oh geez…! While your future undoubtedly has at least a few game-changing experiences or stimulating surprises up its sleeve (whether imminent or far-off), your view of such horizons is unusually hazy at the moment. And meanwhile, any pressure you're putting on yourself to be anywhere else but right here right now (perhaps because you're susceptible to thinking you could always do more to please the folks you care most about) is a willful rejection of the pleasures inherent in what's already happening in your life. Kick your feet up, look around this joint, and share a coffee-or-cocktail and a kooky caper with whatever pals are nearby. Take full advantage of the relationships, environments, material goods and/or opportunities sitting right in front of you, lest you lapse too far toward overlooking your gratitude for all this that exists (…which, of course, tempts fate to fuck with it).


LEO (July 23-August 22): Be modest with your expectations, Leo, concentrating more on a getting a few items handled as precisely and exceptionally well as possible than on tackling too much and doing a half-assed job at all of it. Intentionally reduce the scope of possible or eventual consequences you're worrying about, and treat each consideration as its own discrete entity, to help simplify your decision-making and ward off mentally-generated paralysis. As I mentioned last week, the real work you're presently undertaking is emotional in nature… which makes it even more important to set yourself up for counterbalancing successes on the practical level, through accomplishing tangible tasks that have a clear measure for competent completion. This intensified emotionality also explains why you may be more prone to excessive anxiety about items that don't hold direct relevance to what immediately needs your attention. You're in the midst of a major under-the-hood overhaul here; please be consciously merciful with yourself. As long as you get something done—and refuse to fall too deeply into any black holes of self-doubt—you are on the right track.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): By the end of the week, Virgo, you'll be gifted with the glorious return of your ruling-logician Mercury to your sign… and, along with it, a much-improved capacity to encapsulate your thinking in precise, presentable terms. This is the positive shift I've been anticipating on your behalf, after two long months of Mercury-in-the-12th spent gathering intuitive awarenesses too rudimentary in their intelligible content to be adequately understood or expressed. (Think of July and August as a cerebrally-recharging latency period, a healthful integrative follow-up to all that Mars energy during 2012's first half.) You've now hopefully allowed enough internal information-sinking-in time to pass so that you're at last ready to begin speaking your ideas into being. But before you just launch into it, consciously take the psychic temperature of those who'll be most impacted by your next phase of initiative-investing. With just a bit of active receptivity, you'll gauge a clear gut-sense of exactly what they really need to hear—and can thusly mold your communicative approach for the most practically successful results.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): While your idealism and imagination are functioning pretty skillfully at the moment, Libra, I wouldn't presently count on your usual knack for stepping back from a situation and gathering a fair-minded snapshot of 'what actually is'. Your first half of September, then, would be best used for creatively envisioning the overall affective quality you'd like your day-to-day existence to possess… rather than, say, holding yourself to a bunch of firm routine commitments intended to directly produce some real-world result. Let your head drift through the clouds, collecting atmospheric samples, mind-melding with the currents of others' wishful thoughts, permitting discussions already past to finish falling away while slowly preparing for the next one(s) on the horizon (which probably ought not to be started for another few weeks). Though you have a burgeoning influx of confidence-affirming energy helping to ground your commitment to taking care of your own needs, you may not yet be completely sure of the overall action-plan best suited for securing yourself. Focus more on solidifying general belief in your capacities—and less strictly on specific demands, at least for the passing time.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The hints you'll uncover through supposedly casual small-talk (which, wouldn't you know it, isn't nearly as 'casual' or 'small' once you start asking engaged follow-up questions) will only assist you in making stuff happen, Scorpio, as you'd most like it to. Playing off a certain innocuous nonchalance (while knowing that hosting Mars in your 1st will make it near-impossible for you to seem totally passive or permissive) will actually secure you the upper hand. Position yourself as a willing, compassionate ear… someone who's interested in hearing people's stories more because you're a general connoisseur of human diversity than because you want to snag a certain something from a certain someone. This helps soften the appearance of your having too pointed a stake in the matter, allowing them to better trust your fairness in judgment—and, as a result, to feed you more data about what ultimately motivates them. This is just the sort of data you thrive at utilizing to your advantage. Assuming, of course, that you genuinely are as compassionate and fair as you've positioned yourself to be, you'll probably want to ensure they benefit from the arrangement as well. They deserve some gesture of appreciation for reading like an open book.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Your profile will be rising during the week ahead, Sagittarius, which means that whatever words you issue from your lips are likely to resonate at a stronger frequency than they otherwise would… and subsequently remain on the minds of all the listeners much longer, and with greater impact. At the same time, just in the immediate week or two ahead, you'll also be partially blind to some subjective bias that colors your expressed attitudes, an after-effect of some past emotional turmoil or hurt which you're carrying with you into this matter without necessarily being aware of it. I am not moved, however, to discourage you from continuing to speak out anyhow—if you are open to learning more about this elusive 'missing-link' that'll help illumine why you feel as you do, instead disavowing any bias (yeah right) and claiming no personal history of yours is especially relevant (ha). With Mars in your solar 12th as an unpredictable agent of potential enlightenment, you might not understand what you're getting yourself into by so publicly testifying on an issue you're more personally charged up by than you may know. It's the relative humility with which you behave, in light of any unanticipated reactions you stir, that'll determine if you admirably deliver yourself to new heights of self-perception… or just dig yourself in deeper.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Though your present grasp on the overarching goal or guiding premise is increasingly solid, you probably shouldn't hit anyone over the head with it. The elusive variables of everyday life also impact the proceedings, Capricorn… especially for those peers who have personal (read: not directly relevant to the goal or premise) items that can't help but compete for their attentions. Whether or not their explanations (or 'excuses', as you might snidely label them under your breath) are cogent or convincing enough to justify their split-focus is not your call to make. You are not the arbiter of anybody else's individual time-management decisions, merely a custodial stakeholder in but one of their multiple participations. And if you seek to coax speedier and/or more significant efforts out of other folks, I wouldn't suggest criticizing their current contributions (whether forthrightly or in bitchy little digs you try to couch in innocent wrappers). Excitedly talking up your own involvements—while, at the same time, voluntarily listening to them vent about what else is happening in their lives—is what'll best promote the most productive togetherness mindset.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): As this week flows into next, be cautious about your role in conversations that flirt with going much further into tangled territory than you might have intended… only to leave you somewhat confused (maybe even confused about exactly what you're confused about) and therefore potentially uninformed about the full extent of anything you might be agreeing to or exposing. That's not to imply anybody's trying to pull a fast one on you, Aquarius. Yet, whenever we lack confidence in our mastery of the topics or issues at hand, we're likelier than usual to suspect foul play or other such funny business. And then, of course, we become the source of the suspicious undertones reverberating through the conversation, due to an outward manifestation of our own worry or paranoia. Under these amplified prospects of your shakyish grasp leading to a tenser back-and-forth than is legitimately warranted, let me simply recommend not allowing such conversations to slide beyond that certain irreversible pivot-point just yet. Maybe, instead, engage in talks without deciding anything, buying yourself a chance to walk away, to sit on your funny reactions for a bit… and to, over the course of a couple weeks, more accurately discern between phantom self-generated angst and genuine cause for concern…?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): People hear what they want to hear, even when we painstakingly define, with what we imagine to be impeccable exactitude, the concepts we are trying to get across. This can particularly prove to be the case when the feedback we're offering explicitly deals with them, the manner in which they behave in relationship with us and/or what we may need from them which we're not currently getting. Where we believe we're sharing fairly and compassionately, they may hear criticism or complaint—echoes of what other folks have said to them over the years. When we ask if they've understood us, they may satisfactorily assent—only to then fast-forward through those awkward moments of accepting responsibility, in order to get back to the fun-and-easy part as quickly as possible. Your week ahead, Pisces, presents an increased likelihood that a rational or fact-based conversation you intend to have will instead end up indistinctly sidetracked into a muddled exchange of emotional residue, no matter what's actually being said. The care you feel for each other will come through more loudly than the content of the words; the same will apply to any anger or disappointment either of us is harboring. Therefore, this might not be the best time to actually communicate… though, at the least, you might be able to smooth things over or agree to disagree.