Horoscopes | Week of August 31-September 6, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Okay, Aries, it would be insane to advise you to do anything but follow your heart. And you know a lot more about what that would entail—about what exactly your heart most deeply craves—than you did just a couple months ago. The only 'warning' I have doesn't really offer much specific cautioning, just an acknowledgment of circumstantial fact: Though following your heart is relatively simplifying (it reduces variables into a singular consideration of 'what feels right'), that doesn't mean you won't face unforeseen repercussions or after-effects which, for all we know, might profoundly impact the overall direction of your life going forward. Lest that sentiment ring too melodramatic for your tastes, let me back it up by saying this is always the case whenever we make one turn or another at a significant crossroads. We go one way over another based on some gut-reaction knowing… and yet, that 'knowledge' only gets us through a door, which then opens up into some strange zone where we don't really know much of anything, at least not how to address the unique particularities of what we'll only discover once we start acclimating. I just want you to be intently aware of this whole picture: The act of finally figuring out your heart's desire may answer a question or two, but it also starts to open up a few others.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The fight for control over your inner domain, Taurus, has been quite successful lately. Am I right? If your ruling goddess Venus has taught you anything over these past several weeks of retrograding through your 4th, it's that you are the sole determiner of what'll bring you inner peace… and, if you hope to establish a trusty foundation for anything else you want to accomplish out in the world, you must first advocate for that inner peace over all other concerns. Mars's 4th-house presence tells us how willing and able you presently are to assert agency—and, if need be, engage in conflict—in seeking greater command in this area, behind closed doors, during your private refresh moments. Sometimes, a raised voice or seemingly harsh feedback is exactly what's needed to inform those who have insinuated themselves too intrusively into your intimate sanctum that they need to back off, give you space, and/or let you make certain self-nourishing choices without resentment. All this 4th-house activity does, alas, leave you especially susceptible to seeing this bigger picture through a highly subjective lens… and potentially missing a key angle, due to your emotional urgency. Do us all a favor, then, and seek some outside guidance—preferably from someone uninvolved in these intimate ins and outs—just to hear how others handled similar situations in their lives.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I again want to warn you about properly discerning between 'inside' and 'outside' knowledge, Gemini, lest you mistakenly reveal too much about what's now germinating inside you to outside parties who'd be prone to misunderstanding and/or misapplying the information. Your still-plenty-to-say (which remains too close to the tip of your tongue for my comfort) may be aching to be voiced, sure… but what might qualify to you as innocent venting, shooting the shit, or talking out your problems with pals could, to the wrong ears, be a concerning symptom of your insecure, imbalanced, or unfit state. That's not to say anything you might choose to share actually would signify such an alarming vulnerability to your personality. Rather, any potentially unpleasant fallout is likelier to be a simple case of your trusting the wrong people with an incomplete or misrepresentative profile of your current situation. Don't, therefore, overlook the importance of intentionally creating a reassuring impression among casual acquaintances, co-workers, customers, or colleagues who, frankly, don't warrant a very intimate a glimpse into your inner workings. Don't give such folks the chance to judge your outside competence based on inside knowledge they ought not to know about.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As Venus runs its last retrograde laps through your 2nd, Cancer, I sincerely hope you've come a lot closer to recognizing your true worth… a determination which cannot be reached by accepting others' assessments of you (whether glowing or disparaging), knowing those are always colored by their self-serving agendas, undermining envies, or subjective what-not. You've had to keep your eye on what you have designated as the prize, in order to straightforwardly follow the steps essential to clinching that particular prize (or at least a commensurate one you stumble into serendipitously). And now, you're reaching that critical point where the deal's almost ready to be closed… not in some spectacular divinely-ordained rescue (so if you've been sitting on your ass eating bonbons, don't expect salvation), but as the logical next-step in what you've been working towards for many weeks. That critical deal-closing could feel strangely menacing, even if it's exactly what you've wanted, simply because the final handshake will also bring a startling fresh-start which, all of a sudden, you might second-guess. This probably isn't the best moment to suddenly rethink everything. Your doubts could be legitimate, or they could be red-herring phantoms. Keep proceeding toward the practical closing of the deal. Time will tell if you were just momentarily freaking out… or if there's something lasting to it.


LEO (July 23-August 22): With just-about-done-being-retrograde Venus conjoining Mars in your sign, Leo, this week's perfect yin/yang union enable you to continue advancing initiatives and endeavors of your choosing, while being able to positively influence others to join along. Symbolically, this moment caps off a noteworthy couple-months' worth of planetary good-favor: Having recruited new admirers and/or reignited interest from existing ones, overwhelmed those who cannot seem to stomach this emboldened you, and swapped out outdated connections for those which better suit your current spot, you're now better positioned than ever to proceed… without being hindered by those who'd prefer you simmer down, get back in formation, and quit going over the top. Though I endorse you unapologetically pressing yourself forward while the planets have still got your back, I want to issue one important reminder: Don't assume any certain someone sees things exactly as you do, just because they're on your side—and don't assume, just because someone disagrees with you on a fundamental matter, they aren't on your side. Some of the best friends you'll ever have will go all the way to mat in disagreeing with you, not because they're unsupportive naysayers or riddled with envy but out of loving concern. To ice somebody out because you don't like what they're telling you is to obstinately discard potentially useful support, especially if they've proven to be solid supporters up until now.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Look, Virgo, I know you're alleged to be the hyper-rational one who crunches the available data, based on concrete observations and lived experiences, before reaching the most logical conclusion possible. But I feel I'd do you a disservice if I neglected to mention that this coming week is an exceptionally potent one for all magical (i.e., irrational, illogical, metaphysically-minded) doings. If there exists any part of you who takes comfort in prayer or believes in the power of creative-visualization or secretly lights intention-charged candles in the hopes of conjuring some divine assistance, please invite this part to take an honored role in your week. While lucky opportunity-opener Jupiter is now nestled in your sign for the next year, there's still quite a bit of planetary action in your solar 12th. The 12th house is where all the shit that 'makes no sense' goes down. It spawns developments which we unconsciously attract or which seem to just happen to us, but which we have little capacity to steer or control using our typical earthly means. And yet, though 12th-house planets don't function so well by reason, they're strangely responsive to otherworldly efforts such as meditation, ritual, invocation, and faith. Your outward activity-levels will dynamically ratchet up about a month from now. Quietly prepare with your own brand of magical conjurings. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You may be close to pulling the plug on friendships and/or collegial affiliations which have recently revealed themselves to be less than pure, promising, or personally propitious… and with good reason, Libra, especially in light of any parallel realizations about who you've become and/or who sincerely does share your most up-to-date interests in a surprisingly satisfying way. But before you let anything rip, let me simply encourage you not to hurriedly act on ideals alone, when you probably ought to first nail down a few logistical concerns which are liable to be immediately impacted by any alliance-changes. You certainly don't want to needlessly create more work for yourself, just to relish in the thrill of making some self-aggrandizing point… though that could be exactly what you end up doing once you start mouthing off to certain characters with whom you've shared some responsibility. Why wouldn't they just drop their end of the load in your lap and wash their hands of the whole damn thing as soon as you adopt any tone they'd understandably read as disdainful or snotty? If you are indeed ready to make a move that signifies where your real loyalties lie, please take care of practical business first, covering your own ass before making anyone else look like one.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): These past several weeks have been a symbolic culmination of your whole year's worth of outside-world strides and strivings, Scorpio… and if you aren't yet reaching a new pinnacle of success, then I presume you've at least identified whatever factors have blocked your ascent and are actively consumed with carrying out a plan to vanquish them. As a Mars-ruled sign, you certainly don't lack the competitive gumption needed to distinguish yourself from paler impostors. With Mars now uniting with an almost-done-retrograding Venus in your 10th, you're at an apex of your capacity to positively stand out, lead the charge, promote your program over others, and/or give the competition a serious run for their money. If anyone could legitimately claim to be ignorant of your ambitions, you must be working overtime to cover your tracks and conceal your motives—and I must question why you're keeping such a low profile at a time when you ought to be demanding attention. I'll add one more squeaky-wheel concern: Are you striving for something which will bring you genuine day-to-day happiness, or are you merely trying to prove yourself worthy to a panel of taste-makers and power-players in some unmitigated show of strength? It's only because you are so competently competitive that I must check in about why you're in it to win it. Joyless victories set a disappointing precedent.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): It's only because your life's guiding priorities are coming in more clearly than they have in quite some time, Sagittarius, that I must gently encourage you to check in with yourself once again, just to make sure you aren't missing any important considerations. Mainly, I want to confirm there isn't any funny, hard-to-reliably-identify discomfort or misgiving lurking in you—making far less of an obvious racket in your consciousness than your unmistakable zeal for pursuing your guiding priorities—which at least warrants a pause for reflection. Any such 'not quite right' feeling might be hard to identify because it doesn't make rational sense, and thus can't be argued away with facts or rationalizations. It would be more a subtle doubt, indicating you may care more deeply about how your latest choices might impact your family connections and/or domestic security than you've let on. Please do not misunderstand my drawing your attention to these subtler feelings as a cautionary tale intended to halt you from advancing. On the contrary: The frontier is calling you, that's pretty evident. I simply want you to understand the fuller implications of what you're signing on for, so you might treat yourself with extra kindness and understanding… rather than soldiering through as if none of this is a big deal, then later getting walloped by a sudden emotional storm.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please do not waste your precious energy, Capricorn, lamenting all the ways in which recent events have totally dashed, disrupted, or disobeyed your best-laid plans. You may be one of the best when it comes to sticking with strategy, but even you couldn't have strategized your way out of this mess. But just because I dare to label these latest circumstances (which you're still trying to finesse and finagle yourself out of and/or through) as a 'mess' doesn't necessarily suggest it ought to be happening in any other manner than this. What I'm calling a 'mess' is also an incredibly fertile ground for sowing the seeds of your next strategy. What has felt like a headache, a hassle, a hindrance, or a hideous nightmare has also created a richer set of opportunities than existed prior. Once you're forced to accept certain conditions (which perhaps you wouldn't have chosen but which nonetheless you must deal with), your creative juices are forcibly diverted down a new path—and once there, they just might become freer to imagine and inquire and innovate than they ever would've been if left to their formerly predictable devices. To make the most of your current spot, then, you must defiantly halt all indulging of disappointment or regret. The sooner you compost that heap of shit, the more quickly it'll start shooting up the first sprouts of another future triumph.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): During this final week of Venus retrograding through your relationship house (the 7th), while upstart Mars is also rousing self-assertive moxie in this same zone, you ought to be drawing some increasingly reliable conclusions about how you best relate to whom, Aquarius. Whether these last couple months have featured suspenseful developments in a particular coupling, or whether this has been more a phase of generally contemplating your interpersonal give-and-take patterns, you've hopefully come to a clearer understanding of (1) where you let yourself down by rationalizing away certain preferences or needs, under the self-effacing auspices of being 'fair' to the other person, and/or (2) what it feels like to be sincerely appreciated for the full spectrum of your unparalleled uniqueness, rather than merely tolerated like some crazy great-aunt living out her days as a begrudged punch-line for all the young'uns who just don't grasp her obscure wisdom. We learn much about the relative health of our relationships through observing the contrasts, noticing the differences in how we feel when exchanging energy with our sincere supporters versus those self-obsessed companions we keep around for suspect reasons (such as history, obligation, or pity). These contrasts have recently made themselves quite apparent. Now's the time to redirect your attention toward anyone who uplifts your spirit—and to show all others to the door, without worrying whether it hits 'em on their way out.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): These past several weeks have presumably shed quite a bit of light, Pisces, on how a typical day in your life should unfold to support your optimal productiveness and well-being. Whether you've been dealing with bodily challenges, a shuffling of duties, a call to improve your habits, and/or an opportunity to accomplish more, you've likely noticed which practices and building-blocks are actively helping you meet your recent needs… and which are obstructing your path to a healthier existence. Along with this newfound awareness, then, comes the expectation you'll now begin changing what isn't working for you. And herein lies perhaps the hardest challenge: Other people will be impacted when you alter the manner in which you manage your responsibilities, and you must be willing to meet their dashed expectations (because guess what? it's totally okay to switch things up!) with utter confidence in your essential need to look out for your own wellness. This is no time to talk yourself out of self-improvement initiatives, out of fear or guilt about how someone else is liable to react. This is your physical being we're talking about, not some luxurious self-indulgence you can afford to do without. Don't sell yourself out on this, please. Past a certain point, you won't be able to 'undo' the cumulative effects of daily choices which dishonor your welfare.