Horoscopes | Week of July 31-August 6, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I want you to maintain a level head, should you suffer the sensation of feeling blocked—whether there's an actual obstacle in your path or a subtly nagging awareness of obstructed flow. If you can get and keep the wide view, you'll see this is merely a passing blip on the radar. Don't permit frustration to take a toll on your work, which, courtesy of Mars in your 6th, has a concentrated bunch of your attention. What you're picking up is an underlying temporary disconnect between (1) what you're working on and care about and (2) the overall focus of other players who, even if they aren't directly involved, bear an energetic influence over your broader environment. In short, you lack full support from your community (i.e., your friend group, the organization containing your involvement, society at large). But please realize it's not that they actively don't support you, or consciously want to undermine your endeavors. Rather, they're just on a different page, worrying about other concerns and not treating you with the seriousness you deserve (or feel you deserve). As I already said, this is a passing circumstance… one that will quite likely resolve itself, without your having to make a fuss or 'tell them how it is'. Simply leave it alone, and do your best to keep doing what you're doing.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It wouldn't surprise me, Taurus, if a rash of minor dissatisfaction murmured its presence this week, causing you to break out in a pesky itch all over your psychic skin. This is the sort of bratty adolescent fun that erupts from becoming sick and tired of doing too much of 'the right thing'. Who, after all, wants to be the perpetual goody two shoes… especially someone as skilled at having a wild time as you? If last week's whirlwind of social opportunities didn't pique your interest in participatory play more than, say, perfect professional dedication—though hopefully it did—then, by now, you must be going stir crazy. The fidgeting in your deskchair, the looking over your shoulder, the clicking around to silly celeb-gossip websites… all that wistful wiggliness is trying to tell you something. You need a break, for the sole purpose of indulging in senseless frivolity and treasured time-wasting. The less meaningful, the better. It's completely acceptable to phone in a decently adequate (but far from stellar or award-winning) effort toward the grand mission, at least for a week, and merely meet the minimum requirements… so you can siphon off some pressure. Give into the yearning for nonsense, and the itch should soon subside.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Even if you're the one swimming in logically astute answers and practical solutions, you could still face annoying inefficiencies in getting your point across. The other person may not want to hear what you have to say, for a totally mysterious or downright absurd reason… or for no reason at all. That doesn't make your grasp on matters any less legitimately sound. But on the same token, your insistence on re-explaining, rationalizing or ramming it down their throat won't land your logic on ears any less deaf. And what skin is it off your teeth, anyway, whether they celebrate your brilliance (which, of course, they probably should) or shoo away your capable hands like unwanted army ants storming their precious picnic? As long as you don't lawfully need a consensus to continue with what you're immediately doing (e.g., tinkering with joint resources, making major decisions that affect you both), then proceed as you were—with as little explicit discussion about the details as possible. (This advice is specifically for the week ahead only, just so you know.) While you're at it, let them indulge their mysteries or absurdities unperturbed by you. Why get involved? You've got other stuff to do.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You are hereby granted celestial permission to grate on other people's nerves, to think of yourself first, and to resist all attempts made to get you to 'just be sensible'. That doesn't mean, of course, you should go out of your way to piss people off or flaunt your self-motivated machinations in their faces… though none of that is really your style, anyhow. Yet, it's a generally edgy week out there—not too glaringly terrible by any means, but more under-the-surface irritating—and because you've got Mercury and Venus in your sign, you might hit their signals first or most noticeably. At the same time, though, those two planets save your ass from some of the edgier edginess. Its worst symptom in your life will probably be urges not to follow rules or get too wrapped up in others' moves to create issues out of non-issues. And those urges are easy enough to pander to, without hurting anyone's feelings… if you can differentiate between (1) their hurt feelings you'd actually be responsible for, which hopefully won't arise, and (2) their hurt feelings (or grumpy moods) about something else entirely, for which they could try to blame you. In any case, you tend to be considerate enough to avoid most instances of (1). As for (2)… well, revisit the first sentence of this horoscope, for all you need to know.


LEO (July 23-August 22): When you shut one eye or cover it with a pirate's patch, it's not like you can't see anything—it's just your breadth of vision and your depth perception that diminish. No big deal, right? Cockier folks might even continue on their way as if nothing were different, refusing to slow down or act with greater care to compensate for the impaired sense. Bad idea. Those little blindnesses affect more than you'd know. I, for one, wouldn't want to drive around town with a one-eyed driver behind the wheel… not to mention the difficulties he'd have with, say, judging where to put a plate on the table or how hard to tap the golf ball toward the hole. You, Leo, are currently operating as if you had one eye tied behind your back or beneath a blindfold… not literally, of course, but on the level of awareness. Your week's strong 12th-house influence may result in dreamy befuddlement, moody confusion, or any number of other hard-to-diagnose psychic conditions, which, though ultimately harmless, may temporarily impair your decision-making skills. The good news is that you'll immediately receive relief from this partial blindness next week, once Mercury and Venus both move into your 1st house. So for one week, would it kill you to take your time, reduce the risks, separate your hazards… and, if need be, ask for help? Thought not.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): It's a weird week ahead, Virgo… not just for you, but for all the signs. (If you don't believe me, peruse the other scopes for a taste of it.) The advice I want to give you is to play along, however you choose to interpret that concept. Your easiest path through this fleeting crunch is to align yourself with others—preferably those you find the least objectionable (and notice my use of the 'lesser of known evils' wording)—and ride past from somewhere in the middle of the pack. Unfortunately, even that seemingly basic suggestion comes with its snags, due to Mars's current position in your sign. See, you're less likely than usual to pull off the 'blending in' routine, with Mars lending you extra energy, assertiveness… and maybe even aggression. When Mars is around, folks gravitate more toward the leadership (or 'squeaky wheel') position, and here I am telling you to adopt the 'follower' stance. What gives? I wish I could resolve it for you, simply and smoothly, but I can't. Somehow, you have to find a method of marrying these contradictory bits of astro-insight into a week that works for you. Perhaps leading everyone into playing along with each other? Finding tangential ways to stand out (or 'squeak'), without actually taking a stand on real issues? I don't know. You're resourceful. You'll figure it out.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): With your ruler Venus continuing to illumine your 10th house with attractiveness and appeal, I simply won't accept any interpretation on your current public status other than 'pleasing to The Powers That Be'. Remember how last week I described 'the professional rewards and golden opportunities due your efforts'? They're still yours for the taking. The only problem is, any moves you're likely to take towards literally claiming your prize or owning your allure won't appear to cut the mustard. Put another way: Your attempts to model the very qualities for which they respect you won't play off with the usual Libran finesse, especially whenever you're overly conscious of the image you're trying to portray. Luckily, the resulting awkwardness is more distressing to you (and your inner etiquette coach) than it is to those you seek to connect with. There's enough odd tension and anxiety permeating everyone's week, they'll hardly notice you fumbling to exude fumble-free grace. Therefore, just keep remembering you're coming off more beautifully on the outside than it feels like from the inside. Hopefully, such persistent reminders will prevent you from aspiring to come off even more beautifully than that… and creating neurotic image-control issues for yourself.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): During a week with jittery undercurrents, you're liable to end up the one who draws people's passing peculiarities out into the open. You have that way about you, Scorpio… and it's either a blessing or a curse, depending on how consciously (and altruistically) you wield this power. With both your ruling planets (and several others as well) entangled in irritating inconjuncts, there's a subterranean suspense that begs to be broken. You can take on the responsibility of 'breaker' if you so choose, by opting for the role of group dissenter or making purposely provocative statements that help others discover their blind spots. It's a fine line, of course, between the good and bad kinds of trouble you might cause—and certainly, from your personal experience, you're familiar with both. (Need I overstate my point by explicitly advising which type I think you should go for?) In many situations, a boulder is hovering on the edge of a cliff, daring someone with the ever-so-slightest touch to set it rolling. Do you possess that touch? Or is it not worth your efforts to disturb the surface tension, when you can just as easily dwell in the unspoken skittishness for another week or two? That's for you to decide.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Be on the lookout for possible instances in which you've misjudged the necessary intensity and import of the situation. Why rattle the cages of others with a fierceness or desperation way out of proportion to anything they expected? It's just not so crucial an issue to dissect, debate and determine to a final resolution right now… though you may believe it is (or give off such an impression through your emphatic, emboldened speech patterns). Lay off the exaggeratory gestures, which bear the undesired consequences of intimidating the very folks you're trying to inspire—or keep it up, and scare them into tacit agreement (just to get you to quit it). However, I'd hate for you to extinguish an otherwise fruitful crescendo of passion, just because it might not legitimately get you far (that is, without bullying) in drawing allies. Instead, use it for private problem-solving… to push through vexing personal questions by engaging yourself in the same type of intense inquiry process you'd otherwise have swept someone else into. You can make some headway this week in pummeling internal stalemates into flatter decisions. Just don't expect anybody else to disentangle their mental clutter, simply because you pressure them to.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): As appealing as your connections with certain special someones continue to be, there are all kinds of tiny threatening opportunities for you to momentarily impede the free-flow of pleasantries. Your tokens of kindness may easily become misread, when another person either under-appreciates the value of what you've given or over-assumes how much they'll be getting. Your conversations could broach some uncomfortable topics, which either you unwittingly bring to the table (without your full awareness) or the other person raises to you (without your fully noticing). Or your own appetite for freedom of experimentation rubs up against the exacting boundaries set by an intimate relationship involvement. And all these looming possibilities for perturbation might, perhaps, give cause to withdraw some from your interpersonal minglings, as if to 'save yourself the trouble'… except retreating to solitude is still a rather wasteful choice. These minor speed-bumps are, in fact, a small price to pay for sharing responsibilities, burdens, joys and other everyday experience with someone else. Though the whole relationship endeavor might cause a passing headache or two this week, it's worth the inconvenience. Take two Tylenol, and keep up the good effort.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You may well recognize the vexing pricklies of disappearing patience, misplaced compassion and a subtle superiority complex hovering just beneath your mask of equanimity. Such intolerance comes and goes in the mind of an Aquarian, despite your reputation for getting along so well with all different kinds of people. (Sure, you can 'get along' with all types—as long as they don't get too close, or unduly presume you're glad to forfeit certain liberties to satisfy their needy needs.) Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating the innate Aquarius interpersonal rebelliousness. And yet, you'll gravitate toward feeling fenced in and flummoxed this week, if you're in any way prevented from attending to what you need to get done, due to someone else's demands or expectations. This also holds true if you're not quite literally 'prevented', or if they're not quite literally 'demanding' anything from. The feeling will probably begin to rise well before the other person has asked for anything inappropriate or actually infringed upon your independence… which is an important point to grasp, so that your reaction is one of self-adjustment (e.g., creating more space for yourself, explicitly expressing your needs) rather than lashing out. You're right to look out for your own time-management, instead of sacrificing to a level of resentment. But be aware that you're feeling more encumbered than you actually are.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Per usual, Pisces, I expect you to automatically (and involuntarily) tap into the vibe of the week… which is one smacking with unspoken irritabilities (more than, say, hostilities), sensitive topics (though often folks won't know they're being sensitive), and unremarkable nuisances (not major problems, no matter how others make 'em out to be). Not much to lose sleep over, eh? Well, try telling that to the cranky babies who seem to be surrounding you on all sides, whimpering off their gloomy downer retorts—or worse, oozing stank out their psychic pores without even knowing it. Better yet, don't tell 'em anything. You're more conscious of the week's quietly disheartened underbelly than anyone, and dare you attempt to describe what you're picking up, the more likely you'll be held to task for actually creating it. Suddenly, you're being the irritable, sensitive, nuisance-generating one… and it's not like you weren't already subject to the same influences as everyone else, before you put yourself in the crosshairs of their subconscious hunting scope. Forget all that, dudes and dudettes. Instead, turn the music up and return to partying. That way, if you piss them off, it's because you're out having fun… not because you pointed out their veiled bitchiness.