Horoscopes | Week of August 8-14, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Please don't dodge the indispensable details, Aries. Not only do they matter more than your overeager trailblazing inclinations might wish to believe, but this is actually a great moment for prudently integrating methods for handling these details into your overall mission-strategy. Use the current 6th-house support to pull together a list of all the little shit you'll be likelier to forget if you leave it for another day. This advice is meant to be literal, incidentally: The act of creating a physical document which catalogues those loose threads (which would otherwise be left to flap around inside the whirlwind of your hyperactive brain-ball) will help you to neutralize the intrusion of phantom worries. Believe it or not, the entire matrix of obligations-to-meet and tasks-to-attend-to will seem far more overwhelming as long as you resist mapping them out for yourself (because, perhaps, you're irrationally afraid of seeing all these specifics spelled out in one place?). Once they're 'on paper' (even if you use some fancy-shmancy tech-savvy solution), they'll become real—and it's always easier to attack something 'real' than to attempt to shoot at moving-targets which haven't yet been properly identified.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A great way for outwardly signaling your most cherished values, Taurus, and thusly establishing a magnetic precedent for attracting more of what's most important to you? Emphatically putting your distinct touch on the things you care about, by proposing particular preferences and making specific stylistic suggestions, while clearly saying 'no, thank you' to whatever you don't like. Simple and straightforward, no? The more precisely and accurately you express a desire for this over that, the likelier you will receive a larger proportion of desired options over undesired ones. While you could easily make a case for this horoscope offering you little else but a restatement of the most obvious common-sense logic, I still detect a need to verbalize it now… mainly because you're hosting a countercurrent of instigative finger-pointing-and-poking that's more motivated by getting a reaction from someone else than simply providing yourself basic, uncomplicated reasons to smile. As long as you're consumed with what they're up to, you won't be able to concentrate so calmly on maximizing the role of easy happy pleasures in your present life. While your position vis-ŕ-vis this other party remains in transition, you ought to be pretty clear about what you as an individual enjoy.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): For your own peace and well-being, Gemini, keep a tight lock on your front door… or on any entranceway leading from the outside world into that more intimate inner-sanctum where you retain the right to adjust the environment (both physically and energetically) to your liking. That may involve having to say no to someone, for reasons you fear they won't understand or take seriously enough—or for no explicable reason at all—in order to give yourself the attention they'd otherwise be happy to monopolize. If this 'someone' is a romantic involvement, you might naturally feel an internal conflict-of-interest over this: You know what you need to do for your solitary emotional self-care, and yet you're not sure you want to tear yourself away from the interpersonal intrigue. Please remember, though, there's an onus on you to mindfully moderate this romantic intensity, so you can preserve its longer-term staying power and also tend to yourself as a discrete individual. If it's a career-related situation, meanwhile, you must politely assert your best work/home boundaries, but without giving off the unflattering impression that you're unwilling to manage the task-at-hand (during the appropriate time-slot, that is).


CANCER (June 21-July 22): At this stage in your game, Cancer, you shouldn't dismiss the relational deed of 'making nice' as any less critical a task than showing up for your shift, crunching data, finishing projects, or cleaning up your workspace. The current trines from Mercury and Venus to Pluto-in-your-7th suggest you can gain social leverage, fortify an influential partnership, and/or deftly shape key collaborators' opinions by investing more deliberate care in your moment-to-moment, supposedly 'inconsequential' exchanges. Specifically, your interpersonal power will come most strongly from meticulous, intentional word choice: You'll want to route the conversational flow down a particular course that's directly applicable to the area(s) in which you'd like that certain relationship to develop further, while steering adeptly away from any broader personal-belief matters which could prove provocative or contentious. (In serving your own immediate purposes, it's just not necessary to delve into potentially disagreeable areas.) Furthermore, to retain a firm grip over the discursive tone, be sure to deploy a select few descriptive terms when discussing your observations or objections which all drill home the same appealing feel you wish to create. In marketing, this is called 'controlling your message'.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You are responsible for looking after your own autonomous survival-needs and economic-stakes, Leo… though it might require you to forestall, moderate, and/or gradually roll out what you'd most like to do, so you're ultimately able to enjoy it without any lurking concerns that some other life-essential is being concurrently neglected. On the level of pure arithmetic, this duty involves not only keeping careful track of your coins, but also making sure every expenditure actually counts toward you securely realizing this promise-of-joy. Viewed this way, fiscal responsibility becomes a propitious vehicle for concretely manifesting the life you really want (rather than a dreadful task that always spoils the party). Likewise, while burning romantic desire offers one of the easiest excuses for overlooking healthy economic boundaries, that 'what's mine is yours' line-of-logic presently looks more like a precarious recipe-for-danger than a shrewd gesture-of-generosity. If you want those romantic feelings to continue to feel so blissfully lovely, you may want to think twice about muddling the roles you're playing in each other's lives, and/or entering into unspoken complications you'll later have to untangle.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As you've probably heard before, Virgo, to assume is to flirt with the real possibility of making an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'. All kidding aside (mostly), you're presently well-situated to receive positive responses, encouraging signs, and reassuring tokens-of-interpersonal-goodwill when you outwardly tell people what you think, frankly share your anxieties, ask whichever questions won't stop swimming around your head, and give explicit props to those who deserve acknowledgment. But should you try to dodge the matter directly at hand, swallow a reasonable concern, read between the lines in order to draw a conclusion, or passive-aggressively jockey against competent colleagues for greater recognition, you'll obliquely invite a discordant undertow into otherwise smooth waters. In other words, leaving yourself to your own devices under this astrology could bring out the worst of your suspicious, defensive, or defiant tendencies… while staying out in the mix, actively engaging with the other players, and laying all relevant opinions and analyses on the table, on the other hand, is likelier than usual to result in eased minds, clearer understandings, and happy resolutions. Why get in your own way—and block Venus's blessings—by rebelliously insisting on self-containment? Open yourself up.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Keep most everyone at arm's-length distance, Libra, but do so exceedingly politely, please. As far as the other characters will be concerned, you'll have effectively kept up with all expected appearances, providing nobody a fair chance to point out any concrete example of you shirking your social obligations. Even if you aren't offering folks much of substance, they still shouldn't be able to pinpoint any actual misdeed or offense you've committed (since, after all, there's nothing officially 'wrong' in cordially withholding personal thoughts, feelings, and opinions). Dare anyone call you out for being guarded or standoffish, apologetically respond with the not-insincere excuse that you're 'not feeling quite like yourself lately'. The truth is, you're presently drifting through a 'just-before' zone, an anticipatory limbo you must essentially ride out just before re-emerging out in the world with a renewed sense of possibility, promise, and wonder—and because you aren't sure exactly how this new-and-improved version of you will present itself until the right time comes (and it begins just three weeks from now!), it's totally sincere to describe your current 'in-between' feelings as 'not quite like yourself'. Who you were a mere few months ago is not who you'll be a few months from now. During this transition, reserve yourself ample psychic space to keep this 'in-between' version discreetly under wraps… and, meanwhile, smile pretty and nod your head.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You'll want to be at once (1) diplomatically accommodating to your friends' or teammates' positions and (2) still gently protective of your personal stake in this matter, Scorpio. This same balancing-act we examined last week continues to demand a relatively delicate touch, so you neither cede a certain self-suiting upper-hand you presently possess (because this is a time to strengthen and/or solidify this earthly standing you've toiled to attain) nor disturb the apparent 'united front' vibe amongst your fellow participants (since this collectively-oriented mindset is currently likely to help rather than hinder you, provided you don't lapse into 'unsustainable self-sacrifice' territory). Your most sensible behavior will combine an overall easygoing agreeability with the periodic interjection of a question, concern, exception, or analysis—not every single last one on your mind, perhaps, but the one or two you've determined to be most directly relevant to protecting 'your personal stake'—in a tone that's frank but constructive, demonstrates you've considered their interests too, and never outright denigrates anybody else's ideas or efforts. If you're too outwardly obliging while silently sitting on some major reservation, the insincerity will ring through… even if nobody's exactly sure what it's about. Better to say something, though maybe not everything.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Here are a few little reminders, Sagittarius, to help you through this especially-dynamic astro-moment: (1) You're presently 'on the hot seat', which means the choices you make and actions you take now will have a stronger, deeper, and/or more lasting effect than at other times. (2) Powerful stakeholders, influential characters, and impression-forming audience-members are currently watching your every move rather closely, providing you far less room for tactical errors or foot-in-mouth gaffes than you'd usually receive. (3) Your winning formula for maximizing any positive potential must include a balanced blend of courageous forward-facing momentum and a capable handle on the myriad nuts-and-bolts specifics. Totally favoring either one over the other could reflect poorly on you… whether dubious observers see you as 'all up in your head' but afraid to step ahead onto new ground or (more likely) as playing 'too fast and loose' with details which require a more delicate touch. If you've figured out a game-plan yet remain hesitant to begin enacting it, you probably ought to bravely get it into motion—if not this week than very very soon. And if you're ready to dive in without certain objectives outlined or data in tow, visibly spend the extra time to iron out those essential wrinkles right away, seeking informed assistance if necessary.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Stay confidently aimed in the proper direction, just as we discussed last week, Capricorn… no matter what sort of doubt-implying responses you've received from folks who don't yet 'get it', tumultuous intrusions of others' crude disorderly energies you must dodge, or reactive self-sabotage your inner demons can scrounge up. Though you've got sound logic backing up your mobilizing vision, it won't be a match for the scorched-earth type of untamed fire, oversimplifying rhetoric, and/or regressive fear likely to saturate any antagonistic voices (whether external or internal in source)—if you let your less-conscious emotions get the best of you, and you buy into the groundless hype. You'll be sunk by any nihilist-leaning belief that, at this apocalyptic point in the story of humans perpetually disappointing themselves, it's not worth investing the painstaking care to design and execute incremental improvements to a 'sinking ship'. Such pessimism is no less a faith-based leap (though it's based on a lack rather than a plentitude) than wide-eyed naiveté. However, when grounded in both your pragmatic ethics and a functional understanding of what you can realistically accomplish, the future starts looking progressively brighter and brighter.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Involving yourself more deeply in an intimate friendship, romantic liaison, financial collaboration, or joint venture could pose a competitive risk to your relative ability to play the field, straddle the fence, stay neutral, or leave your social options open, Aquarius. The greater your psychological engagement in this one particular situation becomes, the less attitudinal availability you'll have at your disposal to divvy up among the other individuals and endeavors which might also want their piece of you. Please note I'm not advising you to curtail that involvement, however… merely describing the tradeoff you'd likely be signing on for, if you decide to get further into something which would require this intense investment of time, money, energy, and/or emotion. In fact, we have spoken for many months (and as recently as two weeks ago) about a progressive overhaul of your social-network continuing to unfold. As such, it wouldn't be so terrible if you ended up having to shut a few doors (especially if you've been keeping 'em half-ajar out of habit, fear, or inertia), in the process of concentrating your attention on an affiliation far likelier to pay you lucrative dividends (whether relational, economic, and/or evolutionary). Plus, moving toward a promising opportunity is the best reason to move away from a stale circumstance.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This can be a very productive interval for you, Pisces, if you're willing to frankly discuss your current life-circumstances with trusted friends, devoted partners, and/or wise peers who may hold some excellent pieces of practical advice and/or empowering support. Though I still feel moved to point out you're not beholden to strictly heed any or every particular piece of guidance, you'll nonetheless benefit your ongoing thought-processes by simply having these conversations. (Too often, we go wrong by assuming we must first 'get clear' with ourselves before seeking outside input.) Dialoguing of any kind is a dynamic energy-exchange, while privately mulling things over merely recycles the same energy within the bound vessel of your body-pod. Allow others to inspire, encourage, appease, and/or awaken you, then, rather than shielding them from your present reality. However, there are definitely exceptions to who you ought to include: Please steer clear of baring your soul to any bosses, VIPs, or authority-figures you're trying to impress; to co-workers or colleagues you sense may be (consciously or not) competing with you for some prized status; or to parental-types who hold their own biased stake in which decisions you make. These folks aren't your safest bets.