Horoscopes | Week of August 7-13, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Ruling planet Mars in your 6th directs your physical pep exactly where it 'should' go—if, that is, you sincerely desire to get the job done. This is typically the kind of Mars placement that sharpens your boundless vigor toward specific, well-orchestrated purposes… helping you dutifully fulfill your earthly service through (for instance) a hearty workout, a battery of completed errands and several good hours' worth of diligent labor. And with the sextile to Jupiter in the 8th, you'll be that much more fervently productive and optimistic when you can work closely together with a trusted comrade, or if your efforts will positively benefit someone else as well as yourself. It's the opposition to Uranus in your 12th I feel obliged to warn you about, especially if you were counting on this well-attuned attentiveness and precision to guarantee a week in which everything goes as it 'should'. Not likely, with the classic 'unexpected shocks from the outside' transit (Mars oppose Uranus) rubbing against your workhorse abilities from the house of invisible influences (12th). But there's nothing to worry about here, if you're open to the idea that (1) what you're working on and (2) the results you're observing aren't linked in a normal cause-and-effect relationship—in other words, you might think things are unfolding differently than they are—but they are connected, by a much broader rationale to which we aren't currently privy. So before you lament a dramatic change in plans or an apparent failure, think again… then go on working toward your same focus, pausing merely to acknowledge any 'unexpected shocks from the outside'.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): One piece of very good news for the homebodies among you Taureans: For this next spell, I won't be continuing to press you to leave the house (as I recently have been)… because your latest nesting urges are likely to arrive with a different emotional charge to them. Rather than yearning for your warm wigwam as a means of insulation from outer-world cruelties and corruptions, you're more apt to just want a little private time for personally pleasurable purposes. Oh, what a wonderful shift, thanks to both Venus and Mercury moving into your 4th this week. Feel celestially encouraged to enjoy the comforts of home… through cooking or sewing projects, a trip down memory lane, a luxurious new chenille throw for your daybed, or whatever most adds nurturing to your environment. Yet, just because permission to stay in has been 'officially' granted, that doesn't mean you must make that choice every day this week. In fact, if you do, you'll miss out on the other astro-effects—of Mars, Jupiter and Uranus jamboreeing in a call to pursue the folks you want. It's not only that you still have planets begging you to explore the social roads less traveled, to expand your portfolio of interesting companions… but you've got the energetic allure to pick and choose, then to pull in your preferred person. For this week at least, bashful behaviors are an unnecessary affectation. And when you combine all that I've told you, you're set up for a best-of-both-worlds scenario: Go out and get 'em, then bring 'em home.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Though you're not generally known as a moody individual, a fleeting emotional dip or deviation might leak through a crack in your congenial grinning this week. Someone whose opinion of you you've tried hard to regulate (a high-ranking individual in the workplace? an esteemed mentor or parent-figure?) may well waver or waffle, adapting to a wider understanding of your many sides. Or perhaps you won't notice what's unfolding around you, if the private action (at home or inside your heart) distracts your attention from the public goings-on… until an abrupt development pulls you back to awareness, and you discover a radically changing outer-world environment. Do your best not to react from a temperamental place. Take in all that's happening, inside you and external to you, without forcing it in one direction or another. Your best planetary friends, in this context, are the dynamic duo of Venus and Mercury, who both sashay into your 3rd with the understanding that 'cool-and-casual' will save you from stumbling. If your reputation is at stake, don't fight back or try to rescue yourself from bad press—in the end, they'll remember any desperate attempts you make, more than the initial incident or opinion-shift against which you defend yourself. Instead, just laugh whatever off with a clever remark and a change of topic. Keep telling yourself, 'It's no big deal,' and it won't be. Their opinions, like your moods, will once again shift as surely as the winds blow in and then out with little rhyme or reason.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Admit it, Cancer… there's been movement. You've found drive, determination, interest and intensity you didn't remember you had. You've been cruising around the block, checking out the local folks, sending winks and thumbs-ups to your favorite kiddies on the block. Life (I'm going to assume) has been anything but quiet or lonesome. This is how it should be… okay, maybe not extroverted and excitable all the time (for no member of your sign is expected to hold a single temperament for too long a span), but certainly more often than you've felt it over, say, the last two years or so. 'How,' you must ask yourself, 'can I build more of a swinging social sparkle into my everyday existence, instead of just settling for an upswing once in a blue moon?' Form a commitment with yourself, to develop a pattern (and then ingrain it) for battling the (avoidable) side-effect of isolation that often accompanies the (unavoidable) Cancerian experience of super-sensitivity. What go-to behavior will you pledge to embrace, which draws you closer to other people in those very moments you wish you didn't have to bother (while simultaneously wishing you weren't alone)? Begin to practice it this week, by pushing against your comfort zone and initiating a socially interactive activity in which you'd normally take the 'passive' (or 'responsive') role. Decide how you want it to be, then make it happen. The goal is to crack your inhibitions wide open, so more of the world is at your beck-and-call.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This week couldn't be more different than last week for you, Leo… and if it doesn't start out looking that way, give it another few days. As I mentioned last week, both Mercury and Venus move into your sign, putting you (once again) in the spotlight and in full command of the dazzling words and something-special-there glow that make you a worthy object of our interest. I wouldn't be surprised if you were literally bustling with ideas, energy and enthusiasm—the literal 'bustle' being a seductive swirl of vivacious vibrations invisibly enveloping your aura. You won't have a problem finding multiple simultaneous projects, people and purposes to absorb your attention. If there are any problems, they will arise from your becoming too consumed by it all, so that you neglect previous commitments made to others (probably at a time when you couldn't have anticipated this current surge in activity) and/or overlook others' required permissions or participations in what you're doing. Just as you may delight in finally having all the elements of all your involvements laid out in front of you (or so you think), you could get knocked on your ass by an unforeseen bomb dropped on you by partners, colleagues, co-workers or the Daddy Warbucks who's financing your whole operation. (There is a Full Moon in your house of relationships, after all.) This news is undoubtedly highly relevant to how your ongoing momentum might need to make a detour… but it shouldn't be allowed to get you down. This is not the first time that someone else's irksome assertion of independence has gotten in your way—nor will it be the last. Don't flip your lid over it, especially with everything else flowing so swimmingly.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I wish I had more reliable news to offer after last week's restive weirdness… but alas, it only seems to get weirder. I flatly declare to you: All bets are off. Very little of what'll transpire is likely to operate according to plan, particularly in instances where another person's influence is key—which is pretty much every instance, except for those that occur in a vacuum. Mars in your sign could easily convince you, due to the physical pick-me-up it grants, that every maneuver will roll off your fingertips with suave aplomb. But that would be the vacuum-packed self-containment talking… not the real world, where other folks often inconveniently opt to do something other than what they said they would, changing their minds, rescinding their support or otherwise raining on your parade. In this so-called 'real world', Uranus opposes Mars from your 7th, plainly indicating you should expect the unexpected in at least one significant relationship. Possessing this knowledge in advance, I'm hoping, will defuse your potentially frustrated first reaction to someone's surprising actions… and in its place, substitute a see-what-happens embrace of spontaneity for the fury you might feel at having your designs disrupted. Your week is a lesson in allowing two individuals—namely, yourself and this someone else—to each express yourselves honestly and forthrightly, doing what you must without holding back in fear of the interpersonal ramifications. No matter the short-term disarray, the eventual conclusion will be a situation that respects both parties' needs, with or without each other.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Step away from the steering wheel. You cannot currently boast of tight navigational skills. Every which way you turn, it's better to ride shotgun in a van full of loyal brethren, cheering and jeering along with their peanut-gallery remarks, rather than renting your own Alfa Romeo and zooming up the coast solo. Do not succumb to a false sense of confidence, or feed the impulse to falsely act confident. You don't know, nor do you need to know what you know or don't know… so just know that. If you sprain your ankle or tire out in the frenzy to collect scattered bits of undone work, let yourself be carried along. A humble thank you and an occasional directive are all you need offer. You're in no position to grab the lead this week, unless you're prepared to don the rotating scapegoat hat (it rotates from person to person, not literally around in circles) and accept responsibility for potentially startling events that'll have little correlation to your role in 'em. I suppose it would be a kind self-sacrificial gesture to walk into moving traffic and take the hit, but sort of unnecessarily stupid. Your astrologer is, right this very minute, warning you about what could happen. Are you that unable to swear off insinuating yourself into the middle of looming trouble, just because you don't want to be left out? Didn't think so, so lay off and lie low.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): There are at least two very good explanations for why, Scorpio, it might seem as if the world (or many of its loudest and loosest-lipped members) is against you right now. (1) Your current 11th-house Mars, which makes you stand out from the crowd (as leader, libertine or lunkhead), opposes Uranus in the 5th… creating an electric polarity between your own creative uniqueness and the role relegated to you by 'the greater whole'. And if you can't fit your octagonal peg into the super-straight, stereotypically square hole reserved for you, won't it make sense to perceive some animosity headed your way (real or imagined) from those who coddle and cater to conventionality? (2) The world really is against you right now, which could serve as an electrifying inspiration to not give a fuck about anything… helping to spur newly brilliant ideas in you, to burn bridges with allies (who clearly held some previously unspoken beef with you that's only now reaching expression), or both. (Other possible explanations exist, too, but it's not my job to cover every friggin' variable, is it?) In any case, you're unlikely to escape notice. For the time being, it's okay to act like you don't need anyone or anything in the world but the back on your bag and a pair of comfortable walking shoes. But in the longer term, you and I know better than that. Therefore, don't burn all the bridges. Keep at least one secret weapon or hidden passageway up your sleeve for a rainier day.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You must be willing to make room for 'personal issues' to interject a temporary precedence over the good hard enterprising exertions you're making out in the world… or you'll be in for a massive headache. There's no use rushing to erect a guard rail to separate (1) the free-flowin', quick-zoomin' traffic on your fast-track-to-the-big-time from (2) the accident, stall or detour in the lane closer to the root of your heart. It won't be able to hold one from the other. Leakages are an almost sure consequence. Therefore, give in voluntarily to the pressures that may split your consideration between multiple venues—quite likely, one in the public eye and one less visible to others—rather than kicking and screaming about everything happening at once. (At least life's not boring, right?) You have all the versatility needed to tend to the touchiness at home and still keep all the ever-juggling balls in the air at work. And if the former begins to take over your whole life, have faith that the latter will continue to be okay with only a modicum of effort for a week or so. (That's part of the frustration, though, isn't it? You want to attend to your blossoming career life now.) Just don't fight it, please, Sagittarius. Trying to sustain an orderly life, for the following few days, is somewhat of a losing battle. The only order will come from how calmly you continue to breathe, in and out, no matter what gets dealt your direction.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Why argue? In this potentially explosive astro-climate, it might be smarter to just let 'em win. Consider, if you will, what's actually at stake. Whether you are right or wrong is hardly dependent upon whether any particular individual agrees or affirms your story… especially if it's some cursory acquaintance or contrarily crotchety stranger who, let's be frank, matters very little to the overall fabric of your life. By no means is this an endorsement of blatantly disrespectful rudeness, though, so it doesn't help your case (or the situation) to illustrate to the person in question just how 'unimportant' (to you, that is) they are. That would be an obvious example of fanning the flame of argumentation, which I already began by mentioning isn't the smartest idea. Any social clashes that erupt are an indirect result of how firmly and forcefully you convey those beliefs with which this certain somebody voices dissent. (Incidentally, that's not to say 'it's your fault' if conversational tension breaks out… only that your vehemence may trigger someone else's.) So, assuming it's only about the views expressed—and not a matter of personal beef—then it'll hopefully be easier not to take it on, and to permit the scuffle urge to fall by the wayside. I say, go for easy resolution over fought-for pride. But I must also point out, if you and another person's alternate perspectives bear the possibility of causing a quarrel, then maybe, just maybe, they've got some core logic to their 'other side' that's worth considering… on your own, once the rumble has passed.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Much of the week's madness can be attributed to a Mars-Uranus opposition, pitting the planets of self-assertion (also known as 'aggression' when the aforementioned 'self' is feeling threateningly restrained) and liberation (or 'erratic unorthodoxy', as the case may be) against each other. In most instances, this sort of thing is right up your alley, Aquarius (co-ruled, as you are, by Uranus)… a dynamic free-for-all, chaotic and provocative, for which you'd gladly get in line early to snag the good seats, so you can gobble popcorn and watch proper decorum give way to radical truth. But your preciously protected 'spectator' position (engaged intellectually, but hands kept clean) is jeopardized by Wednesday morning's Full Moon in your sign—and despite your best self-convincing act, you'll be swiftly carried away into intensified emotionality. Now, there's no telling what you're apt to become so damned emotional about (if I had to guess, I'd say it's got something to do with your desire to be more independent, with regards to certain complicated interpersonal entanglements, than you currently are). Yet, if you know what's good for you, you'll just allow the feelings to move through you, rather than posturing yourself on a stroll down the supposed 'high road', when in fact you're merely couching subjective sensations in chilly objective-sounding language. A squabble is still a squabble, no matter how calm or smart you sound. The good news is, by week's end, both Mercury and Venus are moving into your 7th… so that next week, you'll be back in good favor with those you're currently likely to alienate.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I recently received a couple different emails from Piscean readers who haven't necessarily resonated with my latest Pisces 'scopes… folks who are wondering why, even though I keep hailing good times, their lives still seem racked with mishap after debacle. First off, like any good horoscope reader knows, it's nearly impossible for every single week's guidance to speak to every single person with the same Sun-sign out there. That goes with the territory. Second, as I've told you before, Pisceans are (in my opinion, at least) more different from one another than perhaps any other Sun-sign—largely because, as a rather soft and sensitive energy, a Pisces Sun is easily overpowered by other stronger natal-chart factors (e.g., a Mars in Aries, an Aquarius rising). But third, and most importantly this week: Haven't you yet figured out that, with Uranus on an 8-year trek through your sign, you are the zodiacal wild card? Nothing during this period of your life should be expected to function predictably, according to convention, or without its share of robust (and ultimately beneficial) bedlam. And with Mars currently opposing Uranus from your 7th, this topsy-turviness is significantly emphasized—particularly in any one-on-one relationship where you're facing a conflict between (1) your uncompromised freedom to do exactly as you please and (2) the nitpicky little 'relationship rules' to which you and/or this other person have pledged your allegiance (why? to prove your love? to appear solid to outside perspectives? because 'that's how it's supposed to be done'?), whether or not they serve either or both of you. Considering I've just informed you that you're the wild card, it seems pretty clear how you should react to these astro-pressures: Any damn way you'd like.