Horoscopes | Week of August 25-31, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Though it might momentarily feel like a harmless defusing tactic or coping mechanism, I wouldn't suggest making light of circumstances which are actually quite serious, Aries… and particularly not while interacting with any individual(s) also involved in said circumstances, and who might not find your approach quite as 'harmless'. Don't get me wrong, though: You do need some general 'light-making' at this time, but there's simultaneously an onus on you not to downplay the deep psychic significance of whatever getting-real shakeout is now occurring with dismissive shoulder-shrugs, crude jokes, and/or insensitive 'just-get-over-it's. It's simply a matter of discerning where a respectful boundary would fall, both safeguarding the sanctity of a potentially difficult situation and making sure the copious amounts of fun presently due to you are legitimately light-hearted fun (and not underscored with distracting little microaggressions). Outwardly displaying a careless attitude toward awkward or painful circumstances doesn't make you appear brave; it just reveals a glimpse of the same carelessness with which you're treating your own emotional responses. And just to be clear, I don't think laughing directly in the face of challenge is always a dismissive or disrespectful approach. It's just this present (and passing) 8th-house Mars-Saturn conjunction that leaves me worried about interpersonal consequences from treating serious matters too casually or callously.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Use your private domestic life as a sanctuary from any upsetting interpersonal stresses, Taurus, but not as an escape from them. Though the difference I'm asserting between the two is subtle, I believe it hinges on a willingness to continue chewing on your upset while alone—and also on the self-development feat you're now achieving, in the act of not just letting things between you go on the way they always have—rather than falling back on any-and-every indulgence, habit, and vice which might muffle the pain or buy you a few hours of convenient memory-loss. I'm not saying you ought to spend all your time wallowing in disappointment or trembling at the scope of these relational trials. But on the same token, you mustn't lose sight of how critically important and life-transforming this interpersonal effort actually is, in terms of shifting your general dynamics within key relationships going forward evermore. If you're making strides that'll ultimately strengthen and secure a given relationship, you deserve constant pats on your own back… and regular reminders that these momentary headaches will prove worth it. If you're holding your own in a contentious situation, you ought to utilize those private moments to fortify your battle-gear, not weaken your resolve with coddling excesses. And if you're facing a breakup or breakdown, you really need to grieve as comfortably as possible, without downplaying the intensity through purposeful forgetting.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Tensions between (1) the social-community connectedness you want to immerse yourself in and (2) the self-motivated duties you must dedicate yourself to—if, that is, you earnestly intend to 'take care of business' rather than perpetuate practical problems for yourself—continue to brew, Gemini. While I won't flat-out tell you which pole of this friction you ought to favor over the other, I will point out that, yes, of course, the interpersonal contact is lovely and pleasant and entertaining (as well as more time-consuming than perhaps you're acknowledging) but not necessarily of lasting importance. In other words, looking back on this period a couple years from now, you aren't likely to claim that these interactions changed your life in any profound manner. However, the 'business' you need to be taking care of right now will still be relevant. At that indefinite moment in the not-so-distant future, you'll hopefully be building more impressive results, sleeker productivity, and/or greater health atop the efforts you're presently making… and may indeed point back to the current season as instrumental in establishing this precedent. If not, then you could be working overtime on attempting to remedy what you didn't properly deal with at this crucial juncture. So, which is it? Do those frivolous hours of socializing still seem like a wise choice?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Are you writing a check that your highest self-respecting heart would rather not cash, dear Cancer? In this continuing saga of figuring out how to balance practical self-sufficiency with sincere self-expression, you've got to be on guard against oh-so-tempting financial openings which might prove 'too good to be true' over time, once you come to understand exactly what you're signing on for. That's not to imply, incidentally, a neat-and-tidy formula of 'well-paying' being automatically equal to 'soul-sucking'; rather, it's meant to inspire more thorough considerations beyond the mere economic when it comes to where and how you're investing your oomph. We've been talking a lot about money lately, due to Jupiter's arrival to your solar 2nd a month ago… and with other-benefic Venus also hanging out there, you likely have more profitable opportunities immediately in front of you than at other times. This naturally creates a greater-than-usual temptation to go for the money with little hesitation, as if anything other than a rip-roarin' YES! to any-and-every offer might signal to the universe that you're totally disinterested in building wealth. I call bullshit on that one. If your heart also intends its wealth to grow, by its own immeasurable terms of sincerity and satisfaction, it may need to speak up with a loud, unambiguous, and no-need-to-justify NO! based solely on its distinct logic.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's not ridiculous to acknowledge you're simultaneously on top of the world and waging a tough war for control over your tender insides, just as we discussed last week, Leo. Competently holding such contradictory feeling-narratives at the same time, you must know, is actually a reassuring sign of emotional sophistication. That's why it would be a personal shame to allow either interpretive strain to monopolize your consciousness, at a time so ripe for growing into a fuller-rounded version of your old lovable self. With that in mind, I deem it exceedingly vital for you not to invite the latest golden-shot or ego-boost to go too totally to your head, such that whatever less-wonderful realities actually should be weighing on you aren't left abandoned on the side of the road… as if long-suffered, deep-running problems are all magically fixed just because a bunch of other unrelated stuff is now going your way. That should not be read, however, as my discouraging you from thoroughly enjoying the double-benefic boon you lion-babies are presently being gifted with. By all means, enjoy! But please stop short of imprecisely rewriting your whole hero's-tale in these bright, beautiful colors. Lifelong internal struggles with feeling 'good enough', for instance, can't be miraculously purged from their hardened resting-place with a single lucky stroke. Riding such a high can, however, make our willingly concurrent dippings into the low much more tolerable—and hopefully more productive.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Your main responsibility, Virgo, is to not ice anyone out of the proceedings, not refuse to reply to their calls and texts and emails, and not behave as if you're somehow 'above' this level of discussion. Beyond that, you can pretty much feel free to communicate whatever's true for you. If some disagreement or dispute is part of the situation, please know you will only emerge victorious based upon the actual content you're expressing—whether it's historic and/or factual, or whether it's clearly categorized as solely your first-person opinion—and not because of any cheap-shots or power-moves. You don't need to muddy the logic with an annoyed tone or patronizing attitude. In fact, if you really want to hold yourself to the highest standards (and, under this Mars-Saturn influence, it's one of those times when I recommend it), then consider removing from your equation the particular quirks or irritants of any certain individual you're dealing with… and engage the interaction with an impersonal (though not cold or rude) consistency, as if you were presenting to a diverse audience of widely varying characters. Don't play to specific personalities; instead, be a fair-minded, plain-speaking orator. That way, you're less compelled by one person or another's potential or perceived response… and better focused on just being clear.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): It feels better to know you're not alone in this, Libra… that there are others like you who understand the experience of existing in your unique milieu, who situate themselves in a similar worldview, and/or who seek to further the cause or create community just like you do. This is a fitting moment to take inspiration, solace, and/or a synergistic enthusiasm-boost from your belonging to this greater whole. There is, however, only so far you can carry any bonds of solidarity once you detect a thread in the generally-agreed-upon discourse that clashes with some value, goal, or survival technique which you personally abide by, in order to get one or another of your needs met. That doesn't mean you ought to, therefore, step completely back from friends or allies due to just one area of divergence, regardless of how significant. (Indeed, this week would be terrible for attempting to articulate any argument about how you diverge and/or why it matters.) However, you really should take this awareness all the way into your psyche, quietly swallowing the reality that you, as a discrete individual, are the only one who'll reliably look out for your own particular values and goals… and for your own very survival. Other people, and the relationships we form with them, are an indispensible tool for development and a blessed gift from the cosmos. But the buck always stops with you, not anybody else.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Considering the dual benefic presences currently treating your career (and/or outside-community) life to a veritable windfall of promising possibilities, I expect you to be riding high on this wave of outward advantage, Scorpio. As far as your ambitions go, the present signs seem to indicate the sky's indeed the limit in terms of what you could legitimately aim for. That said, it's only a short distance from riding high on that one particular wave to hitching a ride on a high-horse… and with Mars and Saturn still prominently occupying your 1st, you remain under steep pressure to maintain your most conscientious best in all circumstances. I therefore must conclude that the fact certain areas of your life are going quite swimmingly is, on its mirrored flip-side, a test of how you can masterfully exercise the benefits of increasing worldly esteem and success—without letting it go to your head. Your best-case scenario would be a full-on integration of victorious self-earned authority and gracious other-respecting humility, a blend leaving you to feel more confidently yourself than ever before, with no need to undermine or dominate anybody else. A less-glimmering version, meanwhile, would forefront the tensions between assuming due authority over responsibilities and still playing well with others (rather than, say, assuming authority over them as discrete individuals). And the worst? You shoot yourself in the foot, jeopardizing your own immediate success by behaving like a cocky jackass.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): All the itchy speed-demons and daredevils among you really need to understand there are reasons why you haven't 'moved on' as quickly as you'd anticipated. The only problem is, Sagittarius, I cannot lucidly outline those reasons with any plain logic you're likely to understand right away. That's not because I'm at a loss for words (as if!) or refusing to do my job: There is no 'plain logic' here, just faint whispers about spiritual purpose and rightful timing and the like which can only be deciphered on an individual basis, soul by soul, and probably won't cohere into full-on sense until sometime later. While that may not go very far in demystifying the causal roots of this apparent pause, you'll hopefully at least accept my assertion that you haven't missed your train or dragged your feet to the point of wasting an opportunity… even if outward conditions superficially suggest as much. It doesn't help your poise-of-patience any, of course, that you recently have experienced your anticipatory optimism skyrocketing to levels not felt in quite some time—and from that perspective alone, it seems as if you should be damn near close to takeoff, if you aren't already zooming onward and upward. But that isn't the only perspective, is it? Not only are there others to consider alongside, but the most directly relevant one is also rather obscure and immediately inaccessible to competent comprehension. Take that on faith, or don't.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please no Capricorn vigilantes, no matter how well-meaning, trying to singlehandedly invoke justice by righting a perceived wrong from a starkly 'us vs. them' stance. Though your earnest efforts at advocating for what you feel is correct are both welcome and worthy, I don't see this as an appropriate context for lone-wolf retaliations. I tell you this, Capricorn, not only to protect from the possibility that your passion for this issue could be put forth in so personal a manner, certain important nuances might get lost… causing you to inadvertently weaken your argument and/or create collateral offense to folks you thought were on your side. This advice is also meant to support you in generating the most effective and thorough results possible, a much greater likelihood if you allow like-minded peers to vet your strategy or, if the circumstances warrant it, take over for you. It shouldn't matter who takes on the challenge, for purposes of getting credit; whoever will get the job done best ought to be handed the reins. Those folks who could potentially be offended by you? They probably are on your side, insofar as core beliefs and/or final goals are concerned. It's only because they care so much that they'd have a problem with you stepping in like a knight on a white horse to save everyone… especially when their personal stake in this matter necessitates they be consulted and coordinated with, if you really want to help.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): It remains easier than usual for you to have your attention hijacked, Aquarius, by warm, pleasurable, affirming encounters with friends, lovers, and random human-beings who are genuinely happy to have these precious moments with you. Yes, I'm admittedly trying to make the desirability of such gratifying companionship sound nearly irresistible, in order to give you a fair idea of how difficult it may be to resist such attention-drifts… particularly when you are so genuinely happy to make them so genuinely happy, and particularly when they just might be likelier than usual to go on and on and on and on and on about whatever's got them this eager to talk your ear off. I suppose, then, you could just go along with all these other people's enthusiastic drifts, right? What would be the harm in that? Well, though 'harm' may be a strong word to describe what might happen if you passively assented to everyone else's especially-chit-chatty agendas (or, then again, maybe it isn't such a strong word after all), perhaps you're overlooking the obvious if you purport not to understand the negative consequences: You have pressing real-world responsibilities which must be handled in a timely fashion, and thus your position does not legitimately afford you the luxury of playing fast-and-loose with your time-management. Suck though it may, you must reserve your attention for such responsibilities—even when you might much prefer to hang with interesting characters who'd love to regale you with their latest twists-and-turns.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Going along with each new day just like you always have, despite any repetitiveness or predictability, may feel like something of a mind-unscrambling relief these days. I suppose taking the peaceful easy feelings wherever you can find 'em, Pisces, is a solid way of appreciating what already exists rather than holding off happiness until some imagined future of dreams-come-true. But I must admit I can't completely endorse this tale as long as I sniff a lurking disappointment or regret underlying this set-up... which you'll only really connect with by contemplating what you'll feel if your days continued to be just like this for another, say, ten or twenty years. Will you proudly stand behind these choices you made? Will you have tried your hardest to offer that unique contribution to the world only you can provide? Will you have ventured beyond the comfort zone? The value of appreciating what is mustn't serve as an incentive not to actively scout what could be. And I'd be very surprised, actually, if there wasn't an adventure-seeking knot in the pit of your stomach, which will stay uncomfortably tied-up as long as you attempt to convince yourself not to at least try out that 'something bigger'… or not to care about what really, truly, deeply matters to you. That's your conscience talking: Listen, as it tells you what your heart craves.