Horoscopes | Week of August 3-9, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Just to be clear, Aries, it's not uncommon for one person's fun (especially if there's a kneejerk inclination to qualify it as 'innocent' or 'harmless') to strike another person as crass, insensitive, or mean-spirited. Rousing someone else's upset or offense may, of course, not be the fun-purveyor's driving intent (it usually isn't)… though the move to justify the 'innocent' or 'harmless' behavior, when faced with this adverse or disapproving reaction, can easily become an act of implicit hostility or disregard. Tip: Telling an agitated or insulted individual they're 'making too much out of' something and/or are flatly wrong in their reading of your motives pretty much never de-escalates the situation or eases their bother. (It usually makes it worse, in fact.) Similar logic applies when one person's flirtatious advances, in pursuit of an evening of hot (though 'causal' or 'meaningless'?) fun, are misunderstood by the other person as a signal of deeper and/or more involved interest. It's simply unkind to rope somebody else into one's 'good time' if you aren't clearly on the same page regarding the significance of such pairings. With presently very-strong 5th-house energies facing friction from Saturn-in-your-8th, please take into careful account how everybody's bringing their own distinct psychological histories, attitudes, yearnings, and complexes to any supposedly 'fun'-time activities. If you're too loose or thoughtless in handling others' psyches, you'll end up with a lot more to deal with than, as will become obvious, you had imagined.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Above all else, Taurus, please don't unjustly take your ultra-personal feelings out on that certain all-important someone. There's no getting around the fact that your present mindset is still exceedingly subjective. And while that doesn't mean this stance of yours is necessarily wrong in any way (though, when discussing emotional realities, I don't think categories such as 'wrong' or 'right' are applicable), I'm not sure you ought to trust your current capacity to either (1) clearly discern what's really deeply-and-truly stirring you up from any less-serious coinciding irritations or (2) sensibly communicate your stirred-up-ness to those with whom you're most intimate. For that matter, the reverse-layout expression of these same astro-energies is also worth warning against: Please don't give that certain all-important someone a free pass on some legitimate trespass, misdeed, or clash, just because you might be savoring a surge of emotional optimism and don't intend to let anything get you down. In both distinct cases, you're under a heightened risk of falling short of your interpersonal due-diligence (whether it may presently call for your more mindful participation and courtesy, and/or warrants you maturely addressing a challenging issue), due to some other self-referential emotional experience that competes with your full presence in the relationship. If it's not about them, don't make it about them—but, at the same time, don't forget about them either.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): On a very basic level, your current astrology, Gemini, warns against the functional threat that too lively a social schedule and/or too many ultimately-insignificant distractions now poses to your need for a tight, fit, productive routine. If your days are piled with back-to-back appointments, if each conversation meanders through a lengthier circuitous route than you'd intended, if it's more important to perform excessive courteousness (which includes saying 'yes' to every offer or request) than to carry on with your pressing tasks or honor your bodily requirements… well, let's just say you'll find your time whizzing right by, while you fall ever further behind in your work and/or wellness, hindering your own progress on behalf of frivolities you, frankly, won't even remember a month or two from now. 'But not all my meetings and dates and chit-chat sessions are trivial or pointless!' you might understandably interject. 'How am I to know the difference between a "frivolity" and a friendly gesture worthy of my time?' That's a damn good question, actually—one which ought to be at the heart of your present Venus-retrograde reevaluations. You Geminis thrive by feeding off such dynamic social energies, so by no means should we expect you to sit dutifully in a cubicle and plow through hours of work in seclusion. Yet, though social interaction is like food for you, you mustn't stuff your gullet with it until you can't move. In this context, gluttony will prove detrimental to your workday effectiveness and overall good health.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): During these last throes of hosting Mars in your sign, Cancer, please be sure you've made your desires known to anybody potentially willing and/or able to give you what you want. If there's presently a reason or a chance to reiterate an objective you're seeking to meet, clarify an inclination that's driving you forward, and/or answer a question some prospective suitor (whether professional or romantic) may still have about you, this is a very fitting week in which to do so. But despite the continuing financial promise from openly exploring a wide variety of income-streams, you should probably steer clear of presenting yourself as somebody you're not. Just because you can carry out a certain set of assigned behaviors in exchange for money, that doesn't necessarily characterize you as the particular type of person who does such things as an integral part of your identity. Though it might sound like I'm splitting hairs here, I promise you I'm not: You'll want to be able to differentiate between (1) that which you do for sensible purposes of sustenance and survival and (2) that which you do as a noble reflection of your distinct cherished individuality, at least in your own head if not through frank disclosure with others. You don't have to falsely advertize yourself in order to secure a paying gig (or any other such token of respect); in fact, if you do, the subsequent backpedaling you'll have to do won't be pretty or pleasant.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Having so much astrological favor on your side at the moment, Leo, could actually blind you to others' realities… which I suppose doesn't have to be a problem, if you're happily going along with your own business in a relatively independent manner, virtuously spinning all your personal straw into gold, and aren't depending on anybody else for companionship, connection, or (god forbid) completion. However, there's little question you may presently struggle to see the world from other people's perspectives, feel what they're feeling, follow their lead, and/or muster the patience to actively support their docket of priorities. Yet, despite your oft-unfairly-given reputation for making everything all about yourself, we both know you genuinely do care about honoring others' thoughts, feelings, and rhythms. Your heart hungers for such attachments. That's why this horoscope isn't about reining yourself in so you don't egocentrically trample on anyone's toes, out of consideration and respect for them. It's also self-serving: If you come on too strong with your rabid enthusiasms, flagrant expressiveness, and/or look-at-me demeanor (presently-exaggerated impulses you must consciously work to restrain), you'll end up inadvertently robbing yourself of the very interpersonal connectedness you yearn for (and which underscores such impulses in the first place) by leaving no room for anyone else.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The main trick to your week ahead, Virgo, is to let everything happen. What I mean by that, during the height of this Venus-retrograde/12th-house roguery, is that your most auspicious response to whatever zany goings-on you witness from the other characters in this cosmic stageshow is basically doing nothing. Let me append that advice a smidge: Part of your successfully 'doing nothing' (which actually requires you to do something) is maintaining a seemingly unfazed dialogue with anyone engaged in behavior which might appear to greatly impact you, just like you are totally unworried about whether these renegade developments spell doom. While you should feel free to ask 'innocent'(-sounding) questions to spur the conversation along, you absolutely mustn't attempt to divert, interrupt, or halt anyone in their tracks. Once you implicate yourself as a stakeholder in their funny business, you're asking to become more entangled than beneficially serves your interests. Another critical angle to why I'm advocating this self-restraint is you can't assume to know that what initially seems like an unfortunate turn or a stroke of bad luck will actually end up being unfortunate and bad for you. Don't jump to conclusions, please. Besides, you know how I keep telling you that your time is coming? It's finally happening, honey. Not only does your ruling logician Mercury return to your sign by week's end, but come next week, benefic fortune-bestower Jupiter lands in Virgo for the first time since 2004—and stays for a whole year!


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Yes, Libra, as we've already discussed, you've got gobs to gain from tapping into various strains of the hive-mind, the groupthink, the collective wisdom, and other such trends and trademarks popular amongst those folks you're keeping company with. But only up to a certain point, please, should you assume what's good for everyone else—what you might feel presently moved to adopt, on peers' recommendations and/or in order to better conform with their behaviors or styles—is authentically what's best for you. In fact, there's often something of a divide between what'll advance your own efforts (especially with regards to distinguishing yourself as a leader in your field, and/or to unashamedly collecting the added esteem and financial compensation thus accorded you) and what would qualify as a sincere team-player gesture. Even as you speculatively play around with repositioning yourself socially, whether by exploring prospective alliances or taking distance from those no longer as obviously promising, you must refuse the temptation to cede any hard-earned stake to this ground you've rooted yourself into over recent years. Testing out new ways in which to conceive of your distinct role in the wider group, community, or world-at-large is not the same as starting over from ground zero. Please refuse to take any steps backward, under the sketchy auspices that it's somehow a necessary part of continuing to move forward. (It's not.)


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): When it comes to how exactly you take advantage of the near-boundless opportunities now available, Scorpio, please force yourself to look at every dimension of possibility from the long-view. A fast buck, a hip-and-cool organization, a starring role, or other such selective fringe-benefits mustn't be permitted to lure you away from the type of life you've spent these last few years striving to create for yourself. Pre-existing goals and aspirations which captured your imagination before this latest outcropping of potential promise shouldn't be carelessly tossed by the wayside. Of course there would be nothing wrong with adjusting your intentions and/or diverting your professional flight-plan to suit shifting interests—if such shifts or adjustments appeal because you're undergoing a sincere change-of-heart, not merely because some shiny object or flattering offer has just happened to cross your path. Confused about how to tell the difference? Your best aid in alleviating that confusion is to assume a modest, patient rate… to leave ample space for your mood to fluctuate a few times over a period of weeks, and for those presenting you with and/or managing your role in any promising opportunity to reveal more of their motives and personality-quirks, to see whether you still feel the way you do now. As good as you are at 'working' people to your desired ends, you ought to be able to hold the right doors open long enough to get unambiguously certain before acting. Being rushed to decide, meanwhile, is a big red flag.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): 'First things first,' you've got to keep reminding yourself, Sagittarius. Also: 'Finish what you started'… at least sufficiently enough so that no unattended-to pieces will reinsert themselves into your picture later, once you're well on your way beyond here, forcing you to halt that once-in-a-lifetime journey somewhere new in order to address these residual contaminants. And, naturally: 'Don't get ahead of yourself'… which ought not to be interpreted in any way as an indicator you're making bad decisions or critical mistakes, but is merely another reference to the current virtues of moderated pacing. In light of these important messages you're obligated (by Saturn's rule, for the record) to repeat to the antsy-and-exuberant cliff-jumper in you, I want to acknowledge the likelihood that not being able to just leapfrog over certain tedious leftovers from your prior life-chapter—at least not without provoking the karmic ire of those not-yet-tidied-up hangers-on—may be causing you some palpable psychic unrest. In other words, I can imagine you might feel disproportionately frustrated, upset, or batty when faced with such promising excitement which you can't (or at least shouldn't) dive whole-hog into. Let's honor that likelihood, please, but not by trying to shake the feelings by doing something major. Instead, stay with 'em. By better understanding what's behind the emotional impulse to rush forward before the timing's right, you could be saving yourself oodles of future cleanup work.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Any protracted standoffs do not merely impact you and the other involved party, I'm sorry to say, but also bleed into the broader matrix of social relations encircling you both, Capricorn. And likewise, any continuing collaborations in which you play a part don't just serve the collaborators' immediate interests. Just think of all those consequential ripples of benefit which your coordinated efforts will send out to the world-at-large, supporting or stirring others whose names you might not even know, building community, satisfying your social responsibility. As maddening, muddling, mesmerizing, or otherwise major as this singularly immersive situation may be (whether it's blissful, annoying-as-fuck, or some weird mix of modifiers), it behooves you to keep consistently returning your attention to this wider-lens focus. As long as you look at this whole thing as but one locus-of-activity among many interconnecting circumstances, you're likelier to rise to the more conscientious end of your spectrum-of-behaviors. After all, you typically strive to model a certain impressive impeccability when you're aware that many others are watching you and/or partly affected (one way or another) by your actions. It's when you temporarily neglect to consider everyone else within your orb-of-influence—and become too exhaustively engrossed in the dynamics of this one totalizing complication—that you're most apt to err on the side of self-indulgence, greed, unfairness, or (gulp) cruelty.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Chances to reconnect, revisit an unresolved divergence, make amends, hear another side to the story, and/or simply hold space for a different somebody or the same somebody in a different way are presently abounding, Aquarius. Such moments could catch you by surprise, and/or capture you in their seemingly advantageous inevitability… and, blessedly, interpersonal dynamics are flowing again. Except: Does this resuscitation or revitalization actually serve you (beyond, that is, offering the passing relief that a certain discord is 'settled')? Is 'fixing' this a functionally critical step, or merely a self-satisfying opportunity to prove how reasonable, forgiving, or easy-to-get-along-with you are? Don't you have more important business to invest your energy in than this… 'business' of your own choosing, in direct support of goals and ambitions you've long held, which signifies intentional continuity in your ongoing quest to achieve your rightful greatness? Unless this relational revisiting is specifically relevant to your procuring, progressing, and/or preserving such worldly-business achievements, it may be something of a distraction—even as it may, yes, feel pretty nice—and more pressing of an agenda-item for the other person than it is for you. Just remain conscious: Every drop of energy you allow to go there doesn't, therefore, go somewhere else more practically pressing for you.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As we discussed near the end of last week's horoscope, Pisces, just because you may find yourself very busily occupied with duties, chores, or exercises which would seem to prove how energetically you're toiling away, this by itself isn't enough to ensure you're working smartly on that which matters most. Sometimes, it's easier to just keep on keepin' on, continuing with a groove that's already grooving along quite nicely—even when we suspect we're repeating steps, squandering productive energy, ignoring emerging problems which have slowly developed over time, or going through the motions without evaluating their effectiveness—than to impede the active momentum with systems-level check-ins, organizational questions, or principle-based overhauls. If you're not willfully forcing yourself to tune out any such suspicions, you can probably tell when some piece-of-work, to-do item, bodily practice, or recurring obligation you're engaged with just doesn't feel right… as if your efforts are somehow at odds with a stated belief or guiding ethic, and, as such, the longer you mindlessly labor, push, or indulge in this same fashion, the farther you'll end up from where you claim to want to be. Refusing to pause, reflect, reevaluate, and, if necessary, revise your methods or habits at this juncture (and why wouldn't you? because you're too 'busy'?) would be a mistake. If you aren't sure how to tackle such reflections and reevaluations, I recommend discussing these matters with a close no-bullshit-type friend.