Horoscopes | Week of August 14-20, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The impulse to be unapologetically yourself, Aries—and to not allow the imposition of outside allegations, judgments, or controls to corner you into 'playing nice'—is currently begging to be heeded, for you're one who's exceedingly aware your life is yours to do with as you will and doesn't take kindly to others' attempts at limiting your free range. Nothing about the present astrology leads me to dissuade you from this kind of thinking either. There's something potently positive right now (not only for you, but also for those around you who draw inspiration from your brash uncompromising independence) about chasing your bliss wherever it calls you. But, in the act of doing so, you probably shouldn't shrug your shoulders at those people or institutions who'd seek to curb your motion and/or posture as if you refuse to let their existence impact you. Such obstructions or challenges do matter, whether or not you choose to acknowledge their potency. That fact needn't cause you to bow down or stop in your tracks. Should you continue onward, though, make no mistake about it: Your shameless autonomy (especially if it's fun-filled and life-affirming) poses a threat to those who'd rather affirm their dominant standing than share the power of free agency with you.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your most reliable guide at the moment, Taurus, is those stirred-up feelings that haven't yet simmered down, even despite how much you have or haven't actively engaged with them. Though your feelings won't likely reveal to you the most-logical outcome of your continuing to follow them this way and that, they will let you know (loudly and clearly, I might add) which next step or latest development is either stoking your fervid interest or sitting really funny in your gut. Only problem is, your feelings may not necessarily align so precisely with your theoretical sense of 'what's right'… and neither should be too hastily dismissed as inconsequential or obsolete. Still, if I had to pick between following your instinctive emotional wisdom or an abstract code of moral conduct, the current astrology favors the former—not because it's more correct, but because the responses it's bringing up must be accepted for what they are before you can productively proceed through. Meanwhile, moral codes (unless they're too fundamentalist in their demand for unerring deference) adapt over time, to integrate what we learn about life from continuing to fully experience its disorderly waves of subjective sensitivity.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Aim to continue your regular interactions with those folks whose relationships with you are encouraging, enlightening, or altogether essential to your well-being, Gemini… even if you're worried you've become 'too much' for them to handle. Such a conception of 'too-much'-ness is actually pretty self-effacing, based on an assumption that your value to them is predicated upon your offering up only a carefully-doled-out portion of who you are or what you're going through (while robbing the other person of their freedom to choose whether they want to get better acquainted). The inclination to provide others unrequested space from you—so you might ride this latest wave of tribulations or merely figure your shit out away from their sightline, then engage again only after your composure is visibly restored?—may help you preserve a certain image in their eyes, but won't give them any further insight into your psyche. Taking an absence (of one sort or another, whether physical or emotional) might seem like a self-simplifying step. It can also be read by others as an imprecise signal (to retreat? to push further in? to wait and wonder?), with consequences for your dynamic with them.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Any brewing disconnections, disputes, or power-struggles are not merely about your specific relationship with the person-in-question, Cancer… but are indicative of a larger issue involving how free and unfettered by guilt, manipulation, and/or fear you feel to prioritize what's practically good for you over inordinate interpersonal engagement. This theme's been coming to a head over recent weeks. Yet, what's become critical is not what you're going to do about this other person (or anybody else). Rather, it's about how fiercely, and with forward-thinking vision, you're willing to look out for your own interests (especially in terms of the money, responsibility, and/or attention you've deservedly earned). Caring about what happens to this certain someone, wishing to respect their stake in the matter, holding compassion for the disappointment or disgruntlement they're feeling: none of these well-meaning, kind-hearted stances require you to therefore set yourself aside, just because you may presently be in a better life-spot than they are (or they want you to think that). Stooping down, bending over, and making yourself smaller to accommodate their challenged ego won't make you some valiant hero, just a self-effacing codependent.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Are you the type of Leo whose demonstrative deeds are inspired by a genuine generosity of spirit… a sense of calling that compels you to put yourself out there as a means of sharing comfort and cheer with others, encouraging them by example to confidently occupy their own skin, modeling a posture that attracts heartfelt admiration, affection, and connection? Or do you perform what you imagine will prove most impressive or likable to them, padding your sensitive ego behind a layer of impervious bombast so nobody knows how badly you crave their affirmation (or at least some acknowledgment)? These are two behavioral extremes of Leo: eliciting attention because you naturally shine so brightly in the act of serving a higher purpose, and engineering attention-grabs because you feel compelled to outshine the rest in the act of serving your own needy emotional hunger. Chances are, since you're human, you probably fall somewhere in between. At such a pivotal time for you Leos, I simply encourage to check in with yourself, deeply, about why you're so powerfully moved to do what you're doing these days… with the hope that such self-inquiry will keep you closer to the purposeful extreme rather than the needy one. It's doubly important now because you won't be so great at judging whether others like and/or admire your conduct—or don't. Calling, therefore, must guide you.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): For you, Virgo, the greatest rewards of this eclipse-rattled August will be (dare I say it) spiritual in nature. And if you reject such terminology (I totally understand if you do), then think of these possible gains as 'perspectival' (in terms of altering the angle and breadth of your interpretational perspective). However you frame them, these latest developments are less about apparent outcomes or concrete goals—though, if you're shrewd enough not to push for one particular result over any other, you may have to let yourself feel fairly helpless—and more a backdrop of activity meant to spur self-reflection, intention-setting, invisible gestures of reverence or ritual, and, above all else, hope. Funny, then, how such a situation that seems urgent or concerning or desperately warranting a response may now be manifesting in your world as a lesson in surrendering to what's beyond your grasp. Without some sort of willing surrender, your pragmatic instinct to try to 'fix' an error or break that, to be frank, you cannot even reliably identify is liable to lure you into a bad spot. Hard as it may be to hear, you're likelier to have a directly beneficial effect by lighting candles, issuing prayers, and cheering your team from backstage than by entering the actual fray.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't overtax yourself by trying to create an agreeable impression or repair a strained alliance, Libra, if it would mean qualifying a sincere opinion with diplomatic hogwash or stroking the ego of someone you know really isn't for you. That doesn't imply I'm endorsing any blunt statements of displeasure or dissent, though. In fact, no 'blunt statements' of any kind are presently called for. But should a growing sense of social friction or fracturing association rear its head, there's no need to smooth it over in fear of losing your standing. Can you instead let the uncomfortable divergence or disconnection just be? Can you rise to the understanding that surrounding yourself with people who don't share your worldview, care about the same issues you do, encourage you to speak your mind, and want to work towards what's best for both of you simply doesn't serve you? And can you see how the impulse to put forth a likable guise, no matter the cost to your authenticity, is merely a residual coping-mechanism you once developed to keep controlling family-members off your back... and, if not put in check, can prevent you from cutting loose those folks who only accept you as long as you dutifully stay in line?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your current clamoring for the responsibility-level you've earned and/or the recognition you deserve, Scorpio, is both perfectly on time and liable to ruffle a few feathers. I'm not too concerned about the feather-ruffling, though, since you're not exactly someone who shies away from legitimately fruitful tension or struggle. So, the onus is on you, then, to keep any brewing challenges or conflicts productive and purpose-driven (rather than, say, a circumstantial side-effect of prideful posturing or personality-style clashes). Stand tall and firm in your stance, demonstrating the backbone of someone unwilling to back down without giving it your all—but only in pursuit of a mission you believe in, an aim that'll benefit the organization, or a principle you value strongly. If you're merely striving for an audience's fawning applause, an unworthy adversary's downfall, or another gold star on your official record, don't be surprised if you get called on the carpet for it by a higher-up who's hip to your game. And please don't rely on evolved-sounding rhetoric to cover your tracks, since any motives you're harboring to the contrary of what you're saying will likely leak into your underlying manner or delivery.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If you know where you're headed (or at least have a fairly well-formed intention), Sagittarius, you should probably keep heading that way. And if you don't know, you should probably commit to earnestly trying to figure it out—not by letting anyone else goad you into accepting their enthusiasm as your own, but through envisioning what you'd want your life to look like a few years down the road no matter who is or isn't along for the ride by that time. Though there presently lurks a temptation to embrace the emotional safety of entwining your destiny with another person's or entity's, such choices could lead you to turn away from certain self-security, long-range-satisfaction-focused efforts… on behalf of an admittedly-more-immediately-dynamic collaboration or coupling that's more about the togetherness itself than what you may gain, as an individual, in insight or purposefulness. This isn't meant as an indictment of the other party (who may or may not be a splendid influence on your life), merely a warning against wasting time on involvements that 'aren't going anywhere' when you've got other places to go.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I think it would be short-sighted, Capricorn, to settle for a superficial peace or too well-polished statement of personal responsibility (from you or them)… especially at a time like this, when the planets are urging a more thorough, everything-out-on-the-table type of psychological deep-cleanse, to rid yourself of those building-up toxins that might otherwise amass to dangerous levels of resentment or ire. To be clear, stopping short of that full-disclosure release doesn't serve you or your evolving self-knowledge. It merely pushes those most jagged pieces back into the not-so-well-fitting places they've been awkwardly left for too long, and restores the relational dynamic to its former stasis. Only, you know too much for that 'former stasis' to be authentically restored (though it may appear so on the surface). In light of a certain innocence now lost, your constraining self-containment would require more effort than ever… which would consequently make an unplanned breaking-point that much likelier later on. To avoid laying such pressure on yourself, I'd stop worrying about how to control the ultimate outcome—and instead focus on clearing your conscience of unvoiced emotion, to gain yourself sooner-than-later relief (following, of course, the initial disquiet).


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Left to the reflexive devices of your unconscious, Aquarius, you're apt to continue emanating an edgy or antagonistic vibe, attracting relational strife, and/or tempting others to provoke you (or is it you provoking them, ventriloquist-style?) as you have over the past few weeks. But once you claim fuller consciousness of these potential eclipse-exacerbated Mars-in-the-7th projections, you'll rightly understand it's not just this other person (or, more likely, this string of other people) behaving problematically while you innocently aim to preserve your momentum or hold your ground. There's a more primal urge operating here, a fear of what might happen to you (directly or indirectly) at someone else's hands if you aren't on guard against their interruptions or intrusions. Of course that's always a possibility in life, one you can't always prevent no matter how hard you try and which, should it occur, must be spontaneously addressed based on what the specific situation requires. Keeping yourself busily productive and/or on a regimented schedule won't neutralize that threat either. 'Out of your control' is an existential reality you must constantly accept, if you wish to make the most of your life. Other people, and the free will they wield to maybe do something other than what you'd want them to do, are merely a symptom.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Stay on track and on task, Pisces, not letting social pressures and/or the seemingly-always-unsatisfied needs of a demanding peer or pal pull you away from your self-supporting routine. This is an impactful moment for doubling down on habits which shore up your physical well-being, promote a energizing dedication to your everyday work, and/or help you gradually chip away at a big project. However, should you choose not to persist with the efforts you know are necessary for attaining goals which can only be actualized through regular ongoing attention, that too will have a great impact on you… whether by digging you deeper into the anxiety-hole of unattended-to duty and/or through undesired consequences on the job or health front. And let's be clear: It would be a choice (not a circumstance beyond your control) to pivot away from what literally keeps your life rolling along, in order to respond to someone else's blaring call-for-help or expectation-of-solidarity. Trust me, there are plenty of ways to be a supportive friend or helpful teammate that don't rest on shirking your responsibilities to yourself.