Horoscopes | Week of August 12-18, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Be careful not to 'fight' in any battles which exist more in your psyche, Aries, than they do out in the world. As Venus is just now entering your relationship house (the solar 7th) to stay through the second week of September, there's really no reason to create headaches for yourself right when eased-up interpersonal compatibility in on the rise. Nonetheless, you'll be tempted to read too much into the relatively subtle or subdued responses you get from others, unfairly assuming they're holding back unkind or antagonistic sentiments about you or your thoughts—when, in fact, they probably just have less to say than you do, and/or may simply be saving their breath rather than trying to assertively bust in with their outlook. (It is true, by the way, that the current astrology could likely be loosening your tongue, helping your words flow more freely and rapidly than they otherwise might… which might play a part in others temporarily feeling somewhat railroaded by you.) Don't react to threats which may or may not be there, but which certainly wouldn't become as huge a to-do if you didn't choose to draw attention to them.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): On the outside, uphold a modest 'deal with whatever's right in front of me' orientation to your day's responsibilities, consciously trying not to go any further with a certain item than the moment demands. Inside, you're in the midst of processing through a lot of raw psychological material, Taurus, some of which hasn't even reached the spot where it can be legitimately labeled with a name or an accurate description… and precisely because there's so much shapeless stuff presently swimming around in your head, it's too easy to mistakenly assume the resultant feelings are related to something you're actually doing right now, when they very likely aren't. So, rather than letting this highly subjective mindset leak its emotional emissions into your daily workflow and needlessly create anxiety based on a misperception of your own feelings, I recommend creating a clear divide between (1) what you presently need to get done and (2) your present emotional state. Not only is the unsettling 'something' not a work problem, but concentrating on your work instead of the unsettled feeling will help keep your precarious mood from feeding off more worries about your worries.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Downgrade any urgency with which you're handling whatever's the 'big' concern of this chunk of your life, Gemini… and more conspicuously occupy the character of loudmouth, finger-pointing, button-pushing, devil's-advocate supporter for the pal(s) or colleague(s) who'd presently most benefit from having another problem-solving brain on their side. Or perhaps you've forgotten how much fun it is to invest your hyperstimulated mental juice into someone else's problems for a little while? This advice serves a dual purpose, then: (1) providing someone you care about the special gift of your intense attention, so they may test out your response to their latest ideas and/or receive additional creative feedback, and (2) replenishing your personal stores of creative energy by giving yourself something to concentrate on that doesn't hold the same heavier psychic charge for you that your own life-predicaments do. I wasn't just being glib, by the way, in mentioning the fun factor. As part of the upswing in the fun department that's now due to you, you'll probably want to stay engrossed in as much pleasurable social interactivity as you can… offering your friendship, at the same time, when it'll definitely be of good use.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): For the passing moment, Cancer, the relational factors are a red herring. Acknowledge the existence of a potent destabilizing pressure on you to, once again, concern yourself with the loud opinions, strong attitudes and/or unmistakable desires of another person… at the very same time your self-regard is asking you to prioritize it above all else, finally, for once in your life. Are you turning into a self-obsessed blowhard, wholly disinterested in demonstrating consideration for the special someone(s) in your life? Not likely. Are you about to be left in the dust by a discontented partner who has no patience for cheerleading alongside your gutsy leap-of-evolutionary-potential? Can't say for sure, especially if this person has long been accommodated in their interpersonal impatience by some former version of you who lived mainly for serving them. As I've told you before, whenever you embody change, you can expect certain folks to temporarily lose their bearings in how they interact with you. But no matter for the time being, please: You should reserve that mental energy for brainstorming actual real-world initiatives that directly support the continuing implementation of whatever changes you're making. Thinking about the other person and their issues does nothing productive.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You don't know what you don't know, any more than any of us can be 100% sure we aren't missing something in our supposedly comprehensive analysis of our situation. Rather than lament that fact, Leo, and/or behave as if you've got to 'save face' (in front of who, exactly?), I strongly encourage you to discuss your immediate future as an open book with a still-largely-unwritten next chapter… and to channel your understandable nervousness about the not-knowing into an enthusiastic invitation for others to chime in, with you maintaining the curiosity of someone eager to hear a multitude of various thoughts on the topic (even knowing that some of them will miss the mark). Try hard to prevent your prematurely responding, as if you already assume fuller understanding of what they're about to say just because you heard the first two sentences; some folks must meander a bit before they arrive at the richest part of their point. And besides, what makes you believe you ought to be hurrying to some unidentified finish-line? To hear the planets tell it, 'rapt in meandering conversation' may be exactly where you need to be for the moment.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Don't resist the emergence of extenuating snags, Virgo. Instead, reserve a generous thoroughfare for their passage, and let 'em through. Presuming you haven't actually caused this latest fire to erupt, then you need not respond as if it was somehow your responsibility to prophetically head it off (and as if you, therefore, failed by having allowed it to happen). This is not a hermetically-sealed safe-room within which the experts (namely, you?) could've possibly controlled the critical conditions. It's real life, partner, defiantly unruly and full of shit you didn't anticipate. Why treat its inconveniences as a reflection on you personally? Silly quibbler. Lay your hands off the emerging predicament, so the changing circumstances have a few moments to settle into their latest shape before you offer an expert opinion on something that hasn't fully revealed itself yet. Too fast a response-time will virtually guarantee you'll end up causing a greater problem by trying to fix one without a proper diagnosis. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the best possible response will ultimately require you to seek someone else's assistance. But you won't know that if you're already reaching under the hood yourself... before the engine's even had a chance to cool down.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I want to begin by pointing you ahead to next week, Libra, at which point your glamorous ruling-princess Venus (who arrives in your sign this Friday, Aug 16) will be in full T-squaring tête-à-tête with Uranus and Pluto… and, as such, at the center of some potentially turbulent or trying activity that could ultimately serve your interests quite well. But before that happens, you'll first flounder through these days ahead during which an odd awkwardness will be palpably developing in the air. I don't know there's that much more I can offer in describing the awkward feeling, other than encouraging you not to do much in response to it (such as taking this vibe personally and assuming someone else is holding private opinions of you, or trying to talk it out as if that'll clear it away rather than draw more uncomfortable attention to it). This is a case where your ability to keep exchanges wholly diplomatic, non-controversial and featherweight-light will be immensely useful to you, as a tool for steering everyone's focus far from any lid-blowing sentiments that need not be uttered at this time. Thanks to Venus, things are already looking up for you personally… which means you have little to gain from becoming a visible source of any decentralized discomfort.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): All feedback should be evaluated by whether it increases the quality or production-speed of the end result, Scorpio… and not based on who it came from, what context they delivered it in, or how you felt about the interaction. Why throw out perfectly helpful information because of a personal problem with the source? This is no time to impede your professional decision-making process with petty nonsense, especially when the person who'd be disregarded is liable to call attention to the slight rather than silently let it slide (as well they probably should). In fact, other than remaining generally cautious about the impression you're making on any VIPs or certain individuals-of-influence, you probably needn't be too consumed with the whispered gossip shuffling back and forth between the other players. As far the work itself is concerned, there's presently a touch of wait-and-see required, insofar as you might not receive instantaneous indications of how successful (or less-than-successful) your current steps are proving to be. Don't judge the whole thing on a few early signs, no matter if they're seemingly promising or cause for worry.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): It's presently more important to engender overall excitement in yourself and those around you, Sagittarius, than to have all the functional question-marks resolved at this stage in the game. There's a spirit of fiery ingenuity that I wouldn't want you to damper, just because you're still not sure how to integrate this latest flame of inspiration into the seemingly incompatible reality of day-to-day self-sufficiency. Therefore, please treat each new flash of brilliance as a fragile treasure, which can too easily get trampled to death before it even has much chance to live, if it's not given ample space to root itself into firmer being. Surely you can recall an instance in which you shared a fledgling passion with someone, only to have them poke all kinds of holes in your ardent interest by pointing out 'practical considerations', which left you feeling like a fool for not having thought those things out yet…? There is an appropriate time in the life-cycle of any idea to vet it for its practical consequences; should that come too soon, however, the idea's creative potential collapses under the undue heft of premature dream-killing criticism. For now, then, be gentle and nurturing with concepts still fairly early in their emergence. Give 'em a fighting chance to develop.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Though you may be rapidly hitting upon new dimensions in how you understand the interpersonal dynamics you bring with you, Capricorn, please let this newly discovered insight impact your inner world first. Give it time to work its liberating magic on your emotional landscape before inviting others into your latest revelation too quickly, since the resultant transformation will still take you a little while longer to consciously integrate. Even if a certain observant individual sees the contemplative wheels spinning in your head and attempts to pry into the core of your thoughts, I suggest putting them off with an honest-but-ultimately-evasive answer about how you're still processing and not yet ready to discuss. In the meantime, with Venus arriving in your solar 10th later this week for a few weeks' stay, I'd start reconnecting with promising professional contacts, scheduling important meetings, and otherwise polishing yourself up for more purposeful face-time in public situations where a desired goal is at stake. Worry less about delivering the message this week, and more about orchestrating the right circumstances in which you could flatteringly deliver it a week or two from now.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Preserve your conversational footing in the here-and-now, Aquarius, instead of raising issues to the surface that haven't yet had adequate time to materialize into being of their own natural accord. Though you may believe it's in the best interest of the topic-at-hand to probe into hypothetical future-trip scenarios where looming dynamics have devolved to their most menacing end, you're really just granting too much interpretive credibility to one possible unfolding over another… and, in that meaning-making act, investing this crossroads-in-the-process with too much neurotic weight. Your prophetic protectiveness has done its job by feeling into those most fearsome possibilities; now, check that item off your preparations list, and continue onward with freer expectations. Please catch yourself in those moments when your needy mind seeks to assert control (and, therefore, limitation) over what's happening. The best antidote? Ask your partner or trusted confidante to weigh in with another perspective, shifting the discourse away from whatever your compulsion—and toward some other angle that's decidedly not the one you, left to your own devices, would've come up with. Keep that unsquelched live-wire energy bouncing between you.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): What works for you, Pisces, may not work for anyone else… but rather than rear up on your hind legs and start railing hard against the naysayers' comments, I suggest letting the efficacy of your approach speak for itself with tangible evidence. In other words, before defending yourself with the whole 'well, it works for me' routine, let's please first make sure it actually works. From this context, then, you should probably be engaged with far less ego-justifying declaration—and far more hands-on, laboratory-of-real-life experimentation. Hell, if your methods aren't the most effective or efficient, you'll really want to know that, sooner rather than later… and who the fuck cares if a better idea comes from someone else (who, maybe, has more experience or keener instincts for such things?), as long as it saves you wasted effort, right? Pride is a bad reason to sign on for extra trouble which could've been avoided, while your momentarily humbled soul is a small price to pay for saving yourself from it. (Plus, there's a chance you'll attain a new degree of mutually beneficial intimacy in your relationship with the person whose suggestion you actually listened to.)