Horoscopes | Week of August 26-September 1, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As a conscious bestower of happy surprises, Aries, you are liable to impress and delight an important (and/or soon-to-be-more-important) person in your life this week. Bring on the fun, not only by participating in what you have fun doing, but by serving as unofficial ambassador of Fun Itself and sharing it with those who could use a sweet dose of smiling-and-laughing medicine. This week is ideal for asking out that certain someone who's been hovering between friend-zone and the promise of something-more (so long as you're ready to irreversibly shift the dynamic between you)… for delivering someone a gift they're meant to use together with you… and/or for changing up the usual evening entertainment, instead going bowling or dancing, to trivia night at the local bar or anywhere that promises a different form of leisure stimulus. One caution I suppose I ought to offer: Be sure to keep their preferences and personality-quirks in mind, too, rather than merely presenting them with too self-centered an agenda, as if the only way to charm somebody is to proceed as if you were trying to charm yourself. Put yourself in their shoes while organizing your 'happy surprise': Otherwise, you could receive a less-happy surprise reaction.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Stay especially present in the here-and-now, Taurus, in order to stop yourself from veering too far off into hypothetical-interpretation mode. Whatever's getting stirred up—and potentially creating fluctuations in your workday rhythms—doesn't yet have an 'overriding meaning' or an 'ultimate upshot' as of now. Don't, therefore, spend much effort on attempts to freeze these shifting circumstances into a reason to be nervous, cynical and/or unmotivated. In fact, I recommend treating these apparent signs of disruption (and please note I've used the qualifier 'apparent' to emphasize that all is not as it may appear) as collateral noise coming from the next cubicle over: not immediate cause to stop what you're doing, though something that could prove relevant to you, once you take a later opportunity to check in next door and find out just what's going on over there. By simultaneously (1) acknowledging the existence of some disturbance and (2) not hastily permitting it to disturb your diligence dedication, you will properly respect reality without rolling over and playing victim to one certain reading (among many possible ones) of its latest episode.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It should be fairly easy this week, Gemini, to separate your encouraging playtime prospects from the more serious self-reflective considerations you're still mulling over in your head. No, I'm thinking it's probably not the best idea to commandeer that light-hearted night out and turn it into a heavy heart-to-heart… not because you ought to be keeping secrets, but simply because you aren't likely to get much additional helpful insight from externalizing. Your internal thought-processes will continue yielding you gradual perspective, based upon your studied replaying of whatever historical facts have contributed to your present questioning. And nobody else's opinions will change those facts. Plus, at this point, you'll undoubtedly benefit from periods of distance from all that inwardness via the pleasurable distraction of frivolous social shenanigans, a context in which you're liable to express your best—and, as a result, attract very complimentary attention to yourself—by willfully directing the exchanges toward non-controversial topics like favorite movies or TV shows, the weather, fashion, or (perhaps most titillating) who maybe has a crush on whom. (Bonus points if the 'crush' talk includes a bit of rousing innuendo.)


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don't volunteer to attend (or, even worse, to organize) a social event or encounter if you'd really rather stay home. Despite the impulse to extend yourself to somebody who'd likely enjoy and/or benefit from the time with you, Cancer, your own cravings for quiet deserve their proper honoring too. Or maybe it's not that you're feeling unsocial and needing to be alone, but more that you're merely uncertain about the end-game payoff of offering yourself so freely to others… so that you end up wondering what you got out of it (other than the usual self-gratification of offering yourself so freely to others), and at what expense. Your time is a valuable commodity, after all. And while I don't recommend being altogether stingy with it, I do encourage you to be somewhat discriminating about (1) who you spend it on and (2) what return on your investment you'll receive back. This is especially relevant, by the way, if you've recently been pushing yourself into new territory during your productive work-hours and thus require a lot more self-decompression to counteract the amped-up psychic exhaustion that often accompanies growth-moments like these.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The arrival Tuesday (Aug 27) of energizer-bunny Mars to your sign, Leo, kicks off a seven-week window of get-up-and-go propulsion, best deployed toward unsticking yourself in whichever area(s) of life you've lately yearned for a reinvigorating reaffirmation of personal engagement. After a gaggle of recent horoscopes urging you to prepare, solicit advice, watch and listen, and (perhaps most irritatingly of all) wait for more apt timing, your moment to actually get shit going has finally arrived. Your best ally in these revitalizing weeks ahead: your genuine enthusiasm for returning to a more active and directly involved stance, and for steering your life in your desired direction. (There's probably been enough treading water over the past weeks or months that such an enthusiasm shouldn't be hard to muster.) Be aware, of course, that hosting Mars in one's sign does increase the likelihood of you grating on others' nerves, if they are the type who prefer the mellower-and-more-passive version of you to the one who puts it all out there. Not that I believe that's any reason to tone yourself down (essentially to cater to their projected insecurities?), particularly in light of how long you've been anticipating this palpable energetic shift. Should you find you're ruffling feathers, don't get angry or fight back; just make a good-spirited (maybe even self-deprecating) joke of it, striving to turn their frown upside-down.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): On the one hand, Virgo, I recommend concentrating quite pointedly on what's on your mind (rather than inviting too many distractions and/or passively letting others' agendas cut into your precious time). You've waited too long to land in this fuller-possession-of-your-mental-faculties position to squander your sharper brainpower on stuff that doesn't matter much to you. And yet, on the other hand, I'm just a little nervous about Mars slipping into the imperceptible solar 12th, where he can turn more bothersome because you can't tell exactly what he's up to. Therefore, it is safest to assume nothing about what those people you're not paying as much attention to you while you concentrate on your own business—and who may or may not bear secret displeasure with the outward direction you've articulated you're heading—are now up to. They might be goofing off, defiantly shirking the very duties they told you they'd handle. They might be talking shit about you. Or they might be lost in an entirely different universe, doing nothing at all relevant to you and your concerns. Still, concentrate where you need the concentration, not on what they're up to. Feeding this undercurrent with projected antagonism, reactive paranoia, or a preemptive strike certainly won't help.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): They will do as they please, Libra, no matter what sort of sense you might try to talk into them… which, obviously, is why bothering to talk such sense is not only a lost cause, it actually threatens to further exaggerate their contrarian tendencies. Your best luck, in contrast, is a simple factor of receptively welcoming the auspicious conditions essentially being handed to you—though, to be fair, (1) those doing the 'handing' may have little idea of just what they're handing over and (2) it might remain somewhat unclear to you as to just how auspicious these conditions are. Allow this all to happen, including whatever erratic or rebellious or hopelessly short-sighted actings-out seem to uncontrollably emanate from that certain key player who you still struggle to understand. For now, you needn't understand anyone else's motives in order to extend them the courteous free-rein to shuffle up their own life-story as they so choose. You and I both know their behavior will also have a shuffling impact on your life, but we don't yet know quite how. And therefore, under the present astrology, I wouldn't worry if I were you. Worry, in fact, will needlessly attract the crazy toward you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): With Mars zooming into your 10th for a two-month stay, you're about ready to make a bigger splash on the career front and/or out there in public where everyone can see… though whether this 'splash' pleases the audience or ends up pissing off certain members threatened by your surging feistiness remains to be seen. I wouldn't necessarily stress about which way it goes, Scorpio, as long as you feel that asserting your trajectory of desired goal-pursuit is more personally important than keeping one or another prominent figure in the scene happy (and unthreatened). That said, this remains an excellent time to keep the information-gathering conversations flowing ever onward… and to use your people-skill potency to draw out further shades of others' psychologically-invested observations about what's actually happening in the so-called trenches (otherwise known as getting the juicier gossip) from those who are only too willing to share their shit-talking with you. Protect your own clean-hands interests during such talks, as any good Scorpio can do. Once this week passes, you'll be better positioned to act on what you've learned.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Everything is on the public record, at least for the passing moment, Sagittarius. Though you may be starting to sharpen whatever philosophic weapons are at your disposal, in your now-gearing-up fight for what you know is right, this isn't the ideal time to take the first shot. Rather, it's far shrewder to ride generically along on the goodwill your team has generated as a unit… and, if you are cornered into laying down a statement, please do so in a very careful and measured way, merely laying foundational groundwork with suggestive, but not explicitly detailed, language. Certain streaks of ambiguity (not usually your favorite state-of-affairs), particularly insofar as it leaves open questions of who's in charge of what and/or which elements are most critical, should be allowed to temporarily linger out there. The minute you move to clarify your personal involvement and/or investment, it'll suddenly become more about you (and your desire to stand out as the featured performer?) than presently serves your long-game.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You gotta do what you gotta do, right, Capricorn? Naturally, the need to follow this drive is not made any easier by the prospect of going head-to-head with those who fear losing something from you in the process of you gaining something for yourself. But as we discussed last time, the 'easier' (ahem) option of repressing your personal ambitions in order to cater to some interpersonal 'obligation' (ahem) doesn't seem like a winning choice for anyone involved. Be ready, therefore, to greet perhaps the hairiest phase of this relational reconfiguration, complete with direct address of the actual tradeoffs involved for both parties… as opposed to a theoretically feelings-sparing (but ultimately patronizing) avoidance of discussing these real-life consequences, under the misleading auspices that no one will actually have to give anything up. To accept the grand bargain that'll (among other things) permit you continuing emotional freedom to engineer your life in a fashion that overrides your habitual downplaying-of-self and instead bolsters your expression-of-strength, they will have to release certain expectations they may hold of you—and based upon how safe you leave them feeling, by being forthright about your needs but not rigid in how exactly to meet them within a relationship, the other person may or may not be willing to do so.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Are you actually getting what you want from that certain special someone, Aquarius? Chances are, even if you have been relatively successful at satisfying your relational desires (whether in a romantic pairing, a professional collaboration, and/or a close friendship), there's still some area in which you could probably benefit from becoming that much more shamelessly strong-willed in how you approach the other person. That said, the circumstances surrounding why you might've previously chosen to be self-denying and/or other-centered—and yes, these things don't happen by accident but by choice—are likely far more complex and labyrinthine than a simple statement of 'give me this please' will adequately address. So, at the same time you're moving into a Mars-in-the-7th period of increased self-assertion (and potentially, if blocked or pushed-back-at in the process of asserting, aggression) in your closest one-on-one relationships, I urge you to consciously approach the situation with full awareness that many interwoven factors are involved in getting more of what you want… including the likelihood you'll need to look, with a brave unflinching eye, at what you've been bringing to the dynamic. In other words, if you haven't been getting what you want from a certain someone, you are as responsible for it as they are.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This week marks an uptick in the day-to-day work required of you, Pisces, if you actually hope to accomplish those very items that'll exemplify the fact you're working on what you want to work on. It's too easy to vilify 'work' itself (since it is often polarized against 'play', which is usually the thing we most wish to do), forgetting that it's merely the expenditure of physical effort toward a certain task or initiative we seek to derive results from. As long as we select work that actually aligns with something we personally care about deriving results from, it needn't be an altogether unpleasant experience. Though, from moment to moment, we might tell ourselves we'd prefer to relax or go shopping or eat bon-bons in front of the boob-tube, most of us preserve a broader desire to live healthy and productive lives—and it's that desire I encourage you to tap into, as you enter a several-week-period of increased daily demands. Even if there's no external urgency insisting you up the work ante, I still suggest heeding the planetary call and investing more energy on this mundane plane. Don't hesitate, during the week ahead, to ask for educated advice from friends or peers on which to-do to attack first: They ought to be able to pinpoint certain methodological details that aren't immediately obvious to you.