Horoscopes | Week of August 7-13, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): No matter how much fun you're having (or should be having, with your presently-lit-up 5th house), please don't get sloppy or cavalier with your work requirements, health habits, or other mundane duties, Aries. In fact, slowing your roll enough to ensure your everyday business is effectively handled will also provide a nice counterbalance to the high-voltage energy you've been running lately… helping to replenish you from the inside out, and keeping your engines purring like a well-fed kitten. As spectacle-laden as the world around you will continue to be throughout the month, you can't afford to become totally taken in by the excitement—and end up guilty of a fudged job, a missed detail, a forgotten task, or an enabled malfunction because you weren't paying close enough mind. With Mercury retrograding in your 6th, it's actually pretty likely there will be some modest annoyance or minor oops you'll have to deal with in the operational matrix… though a calm, collected, and careful response should suffice for fixing the problem and limiting any fallout. But if everything's running at that hyped-up pitch, so too will your reactive impulses overshoot the mark: no easy fix or limited fallout, no replenished spirit or well-oiled engine, just more things to get all hyped up about.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I can't not start off by again reminding you that emotions in your world are still running high, Taurus. You're in the midst of a major self-treatment overhaul… which, if you're ultimately devoted to improving your mode of nurturing your tenderer-than-you-let-people-know innards, must first entail digging into the roots of any discontent or anger so it no longer holds as tight a grip on your inner landscape. That being the overriding backdrop to everything else going on during this eclipse-intensified month, you'd understandably be forgiven for not being in the most happy-go-lucky mood at certain moments. But in order to earn that forgiveness, you must admit to the fact of your heightened and/or fluctuating emotionality, rather than making a show of shrugging off all worry and/or adopting a suspiciously chipper tone at the very time when you're feeling pretty shitty. Consciously using humor or mischief alongside honest ownership of your less-fluffy feelings can be a great way to blow off steam. Pretending everything's super-duper swell (and cracking jokes to cover your trail), alas, poses a real hazard of you unconsciously interjecting antagonism into the 'innocent fun'.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I think it would be a mistake, Gemini, to kid yourself into believing you can participate in a certain conversation with enough emotional detachment to throw a certain someone off the scent of your realest, truest, deepest feelings. While at other times your sly wordsmithing may be able to distract your audience from noticing which sentiments you've conveniently left out, the astrology of right now doesn't favor attempts to strip all signs of your simmering sensitivities out of your utterances. (And god forbid you should try taking such an act so far that you're growling, 'I'm not upset, damn it!' as you demonstrate the opposite to be true.) Mercury slows to retrograde in your 4th, signaling you may have less control over how much of your inner emotional state you'll reveal whenever you speak (or even just from your inadvertent facial expressions), such that the only surefire way to keep your feelings to yourself is to not be there. But that begs the question: Why try so hard to hold those feelings in, especially under these conditions? Those feelings will still exist—and still impact you—even if you wish them into oblivion, in a misguided effort to 'save face' or 'keep things casual'.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Somebody else's sense of urgency doesn't have to become yours, Cancer. As we covered last week, Venus's current residence in your sign is meant to help you ease away from pressures that'll otherwise harsh your gig. If a given topic or expectation-of-involvement doesn't suit that moment's mood, just casually refuse to go there… not necessarily with a blunt 'no' but more by talking around the issue, throwing distractions into the mix, or arranging to be elsewhere. Admittedly, following the advice I'm offering could piss off a certain someone, particularly if they're an expert at guilt-tripping you into compliance and/or accustomed to you catering to their wishes. Should you be concerned about that? Depends on who the pissed-off person is, what the relationship means to you, and whether the dynamic you've mutually developed over time now inhibits your free agency or causes you distress. If this relationship matters to you and seems to call for a fix, you should probably engage this person about the ins and outs of their pissed-off response to your asserting a boundary on behalf of self-contentment. Otherwise, just sidestep their manipulative attempt to interrupt.


LEO (July 23-August 22): With such extravagantly self-expressive inclinations continuing to mark your movement through the world these days, Leo, don't let a moment's grand gestures or idealistic impulses commit you to unwise investments of time and/or money. The pressures of practical necessity are breathing down your neck, though it wouldn't surprise me if they haven't consciously registered, considering the amped-up amount of other more-visibly-sensational activity dominating your immediate interest. Mercury's stationing to retrograde in your 2nd (a house of one's worth, whether in self-esteem or material wealth) is your warning against flippant decision-making with regards to your resources… especially if you're agreeing to a job, a deal, an effort, or an expense before checking references, reviewing your schedule, or crunching the numbers. The showy impression-making superstar in you is presently pulling your strings, though, and would probably prefer to hit its happily-ever-after mark right away, without the risk of losing anyone's attention or support with boring questions and delays. But is that the side of your personality you'd want reviewing the contracts, vetting the profitability, and/or inking on the dotted line?


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Late in the week (on Sat Aug 12), your ruling planet Mercury will be turning retrograde in your sign, Virgo… which means that any decisions, conclusions, or action-plans arrived at during these preceding days hold a greater-than-usual chance of later requiring an edit, a rethink, or additional information to back it up. This doesn't have to pose too big a problem for you, if you're willing to temper the level of confidence you take in your first answer proving to be your final answer—and if you lean on the knowledgeable opinions, supportive expertise, and formulas-for-success of your colleagues, chums, or community-mates. Though they may see and do things differently than you would, your best leverage presently stems from your eager participation in collaborative (rather than lone-wolf) brainstorming and/or troubleshooting. That isn't, however, the same as holding your tongue or passively going along with the crowd. If you don't speak your piece, you're liable to endure increasing dissatisfaction with how this all proceeds. You should speak your thoughts; just don't assume they're complete or infallible. Leave them room to ripen and mature in the coming weeks.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Though blessing-beamer Venus remains atop your chart in the 10th, Libra, a stationing-to-retrograde Mercury-in-your-12th won't be doing your mind or your mouth any favors. Wait, that's not exactly true: Over the coming weeks, this can be an excellent influence for going back over any recent mentally-challenging work, revising and rewriting (but please keep copies of former drafts rather than discarding, in case you want to refer back later), continuing to process complex issues or circumstances, and dialoguing about your mixed feelings between the different parts of yourself. Please notice, though, none of these suggested behaviors entail firm public declarations, interpersonal discussion, or confident decision-making. If I were you, I'd want to let these next few developments play out first… for certain peers or pals could act in a way that upsets your perception of them and, consequently, impacts your understanding of how best to move forward. Perhaps they've been misrepresenting themselves or the common-interest issues at hand? Maybe their heart's in the right place, but their manner of engagement is intolerable? Or are they showing signs of screwing you over? For the record, these are questions to quietly consider—not certainties to act upon.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If you are properly goal-focused these days, Scorpio, you ought to understand the possible need to shift your language and/or pour extra intentional energy into any particularly critical communications, if you wish to effectively speak to all the key players in a way they can relate to. Don't mistake this necessary stylistic tweaking as a call to compromise your actual objective, however, or you'll be likelier to become frustrated with the efforts required to win wider support. Play up certain details with certain characters, while focusing on entirely different angles with others… never being elusive or shady, but merely a shrewd salesperson who knows exactly what will appeal to whom and showcases it accordingly. If folks were to bluntly inquire as to your ultimate endgame, though, your answer should probably be nearly identical in all cases. Your main intent stays the same no matter who wants more information about it; that's the goal you're properly focused on, right? Yet, which specifics are important to discuss more comprehensively should depend on their specific relevance to that specific person.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In your outward communications this week—and especially those in the workplace, involving official business, and/or with powerful or authoritative individuals—please don't offer pat oversimplications or other evasively tidy responses to intricate circumstances that warrant more depth and nuance than that, Sagittarius. It's better to leave the determination hanging, and instead outline all the pertinent details with voluntary transparency, than to prematurely weigh in with a judgment that, if later rescinded, could mar someone else's impression of you. Invite the other concerned party right into your process-of-inquiry, so they may feel their stake has been fairly taken into account and can share the responsibility for any inferences drawn or resolutions reached. Including them in this process will likely make it take longer (and consume more of your psychic energy on the relational aspect of this piece of business). Yet, with Mercury retrograding in your 10th, I think any such delays would probably be well-timed… and could potentially save you from the eventual need to retreat from a prior declaration, with all the critical eyes uncomfortably fixed on your public mea culpa.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The sweetly softening influence of key relationships now inspired by Venus-in-your-7th, Capricorn, promises to sand down some of the more unforgiving angles of your thinking. Holding too rigid a set of conditions for ethical acceptability can alienate you from other people. But once you connect with someone caringly enough that they feel safe sharing deeper insight into why they behave as they do (including, perhaps, offering you a window into some past pain or trauma), you might find your own worldview shifting to allow for other appropriate codes-of-conduct to exist alongside yours. And what a good week for fostering such connections, for listening beyond their literal words to the unvoiced emotion behind them, and for letting them philosophically impact you. On the other hand, if softening toward someone else's influence leaves you feeling like you're being played and/or involves going against what you really want to do, then you'll be unlikely to pull it off without somehow expressing your resentment and/or passive-aggressively aiming to 'even the score'. Softening to them needn't be an all-or-nothing proposition, if you have a relevant consideration which must be interjected in order for you to be honorably upfront.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Despite your liking to keep a pretty tight lockdown on emotion-laden disclosures which threaten to 'lose' you some supposed 'upper hand', Aquarius, there may end up being some truly positive results from your presently heightened potential for sharing more from your psyche's deep-well-of-feeling than you mean to. Of course, before you can reach that promised positivity, you'll first have to wade through the possibly tempestuous reactions (yours and/or someone else's) you'll release with your unwitting vulnerability… and that could take a little while. Please don't get caught up in shame, regret, or other self-punishing habits, then, just because you let your guard down and spoke a fuller truth than you'd intended. Your resistance to simply being in the emotionally disorderly everythingness of it all will only hinder or halt the moving-through process, pushing the ultimately gratifying fruits of this psychic labor further and further out from you. You cannot 'clean this up' with a single heart-to-heart or a hasty fold-of-the-hand… not if you want to really do it justice. At the very least, give it through the month.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As Venus-in-your-5th and Mercury-in-your-7th hold hands with each other, Pisces, you'll greet a week that's ideal for heartfelt declarations of love… a phrase which can be taken as a literal reference to telling a main squeeze or tantalizing prospect how you feel about them or an encouragement to vocalize your proclivities, pleasures, or perfect-world preferences to your partner(s) and/or central character(s) in your life. But Mercury will be reversing into retrograde motion by week's end, signaling the possibility that your version of a 'declaration' comes out a bit stranger than expected, prompts an odd response from the startled or confused listener, and/or will require further elucidation before it can be received in the spirit it was offered. Note, though, I'm still encouraging you to speak forthrightly from your heart even with an impending Mercury-retrograde. How's that? If your intent is indeed to verbalize your authentic heart's-truth, you can't really go wrong. You may feel more exposed than you'd wanted, or you might have to engage in a conversation you weren't planning on having. Plus, there are no guarantees you'll get the outcome you desire… though it's a lot likelier you will if you've actually said something, rather than silently hoped and dreamed.