Horoscopes | Week of August 19-25, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As badly as you might like to turn your attention to looming chores, logistical concerns and/or work-related issues, Aries, you mustn't deny you're having a bit of a moody passage. That is A-okay, my dear. 'Moody' needn't imply totally fragile, distraught or incapacitated, by the way… just that a few more confusing, convoluting or conflicting emotions than usual are swirling around your energy-body, making it somewhat harder to focus on basic tasks without your mind periodically drifting into distant reaches of the galaxy. This is a temporary circumstance, which you can adapt to by simply giving yourself more time to get shit done than it would ordinarily take—and by not struggling against the mood, causing further friction in the process. Meanwhile, it's a great moment for letting other people lead, in any relational situation (personal, professional, etc.) where you and someone else each bring different strengths to the table. It poses no threat to your overall competence, as a self-sufficient individual and/or a leader, to temporarily pass the reins to somebody you've chosen to partner with. After all, you were smart enough to partner with this particular person for just such a reason.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): First off, Taurus, I strongly recommend continuing to concentrate on your work as a means of diminishing your worries… even if you run into an ethical work-related question that stalls your progress, even if the social interactions required by your work steal more time than you'd wanted, even if an out-of-the-blue development or so-called 'act of God' chops your workday into efficiency-scrambling chunks. After each undesired interruption or momentary upset, take a few deep re-centering breaths and return your attention to whatever you'd been working on. Life is always a disorderly affair, but your repeated diligence in trying your productive best will help bring some order. Focusing on mundane items, tasks and duties, incidentally, also serves to keep you out of unwitting conversational trouble: Under this week's passing astrology, you're apt to speak out too confidently with opinions you mistakenly assume are less controversial than they are and/or that your friends or colleagues will agree with you more than they actually do. Even worse, you might not even notice how what you're saying is, in fact, bombing with the crowd. You can see, then, how sticking to your work is the surest way to avoid such a pitfall.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the professional zone, Gemini, it presently serves you to assume that what you're thinking about ought not to be voiced for now. Even if your mind's machinations are not directly career-related but still concern themselves with defining your place in the world, I again urge you to continue quietly ruminating. The main perception of you held by relevant figures-of-import does not currently reflect all that's going on inside you, but qualifies more as a blank-slate for their most idealistic or wishful projections… which, for the time being, isn't an altogether unpleasant position to be in. On the other hand, in the romantic zone, you are currently very well-situated for hooking a person-of-interest—but only as long as you remain fully aware that you're baiting the line with an underlying promise of more to come. In other words, be a bit careful with how you conduct your supposedly 'innocent' flirtations and persuasions: At the moment, your siren-call is more potent than you might realize… and if you seductively dangle the goods right under an admirer's nose, please be ready to see the offer through to deeper ends.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Maybe you're still not quite acclimatized to being the one who so intensely rouses conspicuous emotional reverberations (of one sort or another) in those around you? It's been a hella noteworthy month-and-a-half or so, Cancer, so it wouldn't surprise me if you haven't yet had the sufficient down-time to begin integrating all that has already fortuitously opened up since Jupiter hit your sign. Hell, even your inner sense of knowing that, yes, you do have new opportunities, experiences and outlooks to integrate ends up further fueling the high you've been riding upon: When others pick up on how energized, excited and/or affirmed you're feeling due to these latest (and still-developing!) developments, their reactions to you (of one sort or another) are similarly amped-up. You might as well acknowledge openly, then, your awareness that something has indeed 'opened up'… but without including any feeble-and-futile attempts to prematurely declare the significance of such openings. (Flatly stated, you don't yet know much about eventual significances.) You can't help that you're eliciting strong reactions, but fostering conversation—while simultaneously toning down any broader claims of 'understanding'—will at least demonstrate your willingness to actively participate in these shifting dynamics.


LEO (July 23-August 22): A passing blind-spot in your thinking could leave you inadvertently overlooking the ways in which the practical plans you've been creating over the past couple weeks might directly impact other critical players… and, as a result, how these players may not be as 'on board' as you wish them to be. This does not, however, spell doom for whatever you've been plotting, Leo. It simply asks you to spend your week casually inquiring into what's currently up in the lives of these players—but not through conversations pointedly pertaining to these practical plans (which would likely only add to whatever unspoken resistance may or may not be developing below the surface). Instead, concentrate on demonstrating your regard for the relationship itself, and for the other person as a person, inquisitively checking in on the tangential details of whichever of their goings-on are not directly related to you or your interests. Build social capital on a general level, without trying to forward a more pinpointed agenda. Next week, when Mars hits your sign, the vibe definitely changes.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As a certain cerebral enthusiasm sweeps over you and reaches a new apex, Virgo, you're finally feeling ready to speak aloud what you've been mulling over for several weeks now. And while the latter part of this week (with both the Sun and Mercury landing in your sign) is an excellent moment to initiate more marked externalization, I must also warn you not to expect yourself to reliably recognize just how other people are receiving your ideas. Neptune oppositions from your relationship house (the 7th) do a good job of clouding your ability to discern the specifics of their still-shifting mindset, potentially leading you (if you're not wise enough to heed this horoscope's warning, that is) to mistakenly assume too perfect a harmony between your stance and theirs… or at least to miss a key angle of their underlying divergence. But as long as you go into discussions with an awareness of this current dynamic and adjust your expectations accordingly (meaning: giving others ample time-and-space to settle into their eventual reactions), there's no reason to hold yourself back from sharing forthrightly. Just don't push beyond that (into, say, a full-on back-and-forth they're not ready to have) quite yet.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As a piece of advice, 'shut up and look pretty' carries an obvious risk of sounding offensive. Nor, for that matter, is it especially precise. But perhaps by starting off with such a controversial phrase, I have drawn your attention, Libra… and hinted at how this odd blend of (1) a more-alluring-than-usual level of outward charm (Venus in your sign) and (2) a less-adept-than-usual grasp on 'the right thing to say' (Sun and Mercury moving into your 12th) creates an astro-situation in which you're both favored to prevail in most exchanges and yet unlikely to convey relevant facts with much clarity. In other words, please don't count on winning over hearts and minds by occupying the role of informed critic or data-cruncher (though, in actuality, you may well be an excellent candidate for such a role at other times). You'll better woo their support by playing a savvy social game, knowing just when to smile-and-nod or reach out and touch their arm conspiratorially to express your affinity—but stopping just short of taking a concrete stand, when it doesn't presently behoove you to invite the follow-up dialoguing the stand is likely to generate. In this case, 'looking pretty' is less an appearance-based suggestion (though most Librans are damn good at putting an attractive face forward, especially when Venus is around)… and more about smooth social reactions.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The slickest strategizing suggests not, for the moment at least, articulating any stream-of-thought that runs counter to the conventional wisdom your colleagues are presently toting. Does that imply I'm pressuring you to agree with said wisdom, Scorpio? Most certainly not. In fact, at this stage, it may be somewhat unclear as to whether (1) going along with it or (2) demanding an organizational reconsideration will ultimately be in your best interests. That's why I recommend presenting as coolly receptive a posture as possible, neutralizing all potentially threatening resistance or suspicion which might be looming under your surface… and taking in everything they say, as they unknowingly feed you invaluable information that'll help you better gauge where your mind may end up resting on the topic. Should anybody pause too long during their broadcast (as if, perhaps, they're beginning to doubt if they ought to be sharing so much so frankly), please feel free to pose the ideal inquiry or reflection—a bit challenging, maybe, but never outright scary—which instigates their continuing onward in the discussion. Don't respond revealingly; simply collect.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If, during the week ahead, you find you'll be presenting ideas or making an announcement or setting the tone for an ongoing dialogue, I heartily encourage you to run your intended delivery past two or three lateral allies (as opposed to, say, superiors or outside consultants)… and to solicit their constructive feedback on places where your unresolved feelings (on a directly-related or wholly-unrelated matter) seem to awkwardly protrude in a way you wouldn't be able to identify on your own. Without such peer review, the public narrative you'll otherwise spin will probably ring far more 'objective' to your ears than it does to anybody else's—not because you're trying to pull a manipulative fast-one, but in quite unintentional disregard of whatever emotional dynamics are simultaneously going on inside you as you weave your tale. Sure, the solicited intrusion of colleagues' fine-tuning suggestions does somewhat muddy the question of who should legitimately get credit (because, if we're being honest, you'll be far more successful in your efforts if you indeed use the help available to you). But please ask your ego to trust me when I tell you, for right now, credit doesn't much matter. Pride aside, relying on the team approach may well save you from saying something you don't quite mean.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please don't neglect to consider the fact, Capricorn, your continuing outward ascendency likely comes at the price of making certain people (perhaps even ones who are pretty important to you) rather uncomfortable. That is no excuse to hold yourself down, of course…. but nonetheless, becoming your new-and-improved self and still looking out for the relationship(s) does require a delicate balancing act. One area of potential heightened concern: Beware of positing too black-and-white a philosophical interpretation of what's going on between you, which leaves you to presumptuously gloss over the finer distinctions within the 'conflicted feelings' another party may be trying to lay out for you. If you keep looking at these subtle-and-somewhat-elusive intricacies with the harsh lens of an analyst's drive to attain crystal-clear conclusions at all costs, you'll despotically reduce the complexity of their viewpoint—and, not surprisingly, leave them feeling as if you weren't satisfactorily listening to them. Being a supportive participant in a relationship means allowing the other person to figure out where they stand in their time, according to whatever meandering methods or upside-down logic they need to follow, based on how their mind functions.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Just because you may be 'onto something' with the observations now rising in your consciousness about a certain person's unexpressed feeling or veiled motives, Aquarius, that definitely doesn't indicate you therefore should 'call them out' on it. Though on some level you probably understand that broaching the topic will open a can-of-worms, what you likely aren't seeing is just how you might be shooting yourself in the foot, sacrificing some tangible self-interest just to 'be right' about what's going on. Why jeopardize your own long-game by initiating or intensifying your participation in such a potentially muddling snarl-up? Orient yourself toward whatever perspective will head off any impulsive psychologically-complicating moves, instead thinking a few steps ahead… to make sure you're behaving in a manner that'll be easy to defend, on principle, later, rather than uttering any incisive barb you'll have to apologetically back-pedal from. A not-too-unbearably-long bout of patience is your best friend in this situation: Soon enough, it'll become just as likely the other person will 'strike first' (whatever that means), reserving you the enviable 'responder' position and the moral high-ground that comes with it.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): When it comes to luring the very thing (which could, of course, be a person) that'll plant the widest grin across your face, Pisces, you mustn't be afraid of employing a bit of sweet talking. During this week ahead, you're brandishing an ultra-attractive magnetism… coupled with a peculiarly keen knack for tapping into others' thought-processes, such that you'll instinctively know just how to phrase a certain question or remark to most closely appeal to how they conceive of the issue. Playing straight to your desired audience, then, may be easier than ever. So please don't waste this power on merely catering to whatever plumps someone else's ego, in modest hopes they'll like you based on how you make them feel. (Behavior that's overly obliging too quickly devolves into selling yourself out.) The whole point is that you actually want something from the exchange… and not just the scraps left over after they've devoured a disproportionate share of the psychic space. Don't be afraid to divulge your self-suiting stake in the matter, deploying your extra-magnetic charms only after you've made your intent known, so the subsequent negotiations aim for mutual benefit.