Horoscopes | Week of July 30-August 5, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It's so important to know what you want… to feel your dizzying desire coursing through your veins, pumping you up with the essential excitement and energy to propel toward its fully-realized fruition. But at the same time this zealous fervor for something (or someone) is currently flaring up, you're also unfortunately confronted with a Mars-Saturn impediment, constricting your ability to get it into your hands in quite the way you'd like. The answer is not to drive your car into the brick wall over and over again at ever-increasing speeds, until you finally make some headway yet destroy the vehicle in the process. Accept the limitations that feel as if they're being imposed, while simultaneously questioning, 'Are they really being imposed? Who, pray tell, is responsible?' Particularly if the hindrance is hitting your love zone, it'll be too easy to blame everything on the other person… or on some other factor that's out of your control. What is in your control, however, is acknowledging the part that you play—as in, perpetually focusing your attention on what you want and aren't getting (at least not on the time schedule you'd like), as opposed to looking at it from another perspective. From the outside, your frustrated yelps may in fact sound more like a repetitive battle-cry of, 'Me, me, me!' Though you may not intend it, your own strong desire may be blinding you to others' needs. So if in fact you're experience a limbo-like lull in the action, don't get all worked up about the lapse in progress… rather, turn the other cheek, and ask, 'How can make him or her happy?' Then, actually do something that'll improve the quality of someone else's week. Maybe it'll come back to you…?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The old trite adage about life being more a marathon than a sprint holds special resonance for you this week, Taurus… for though Mars's current passage through your sign should be granting you the needed initiative to get things going in a markedly observable way, its square to killjoy Saturn this week can make it seem like unmovable boulders are standing in your way. Let me add this, though: You're making more progress than you might think, even if you've yet to see the exact results you're hoping for. The supposed 'boulders' could just as easily prove to be gnarly conglomerations of your own fears, holding you back from wholeheartedly coming to expect the best. Watch out for affixing your own self-defeating interpretations onto events that, in fact, have little or nothing to do with you. You're in better shape than you think. Your message really is getting out to the universe, and the folks you're dealing with really are taking you seriously. It's just that, at the same time you're trying to birth your latest dream, everyone else around you is more than a bit distracted by their own concerns. Thus, their priorities might not line up with yours… leaving you to start freaking out when the tides appear to be turning away from your port-of-call. Hold tight through the week, and assume the happier outcome. Even if this latest slowdown wastes a slice of your time, you can handle it. You Taureans are some of the most patient folks out there.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Let your best buddy or main squeeze call the shots this week… leaving you to happily ride shotgun or tag along, reveling in the beautiful scenery that passes by. You've got strong planetary influences in the social houses, generating great momentum as long as you stay connected (as opposed to flying off on your own). And all the while, Mars in your 12th is aping to act out with blind-sighted behaviors that may feel expressive but, to the outside observer, simply look a little loony. So maybe it's not for purely pleasure-based purposes that tossing the reins to your right-hand man or woman would be a pretty smart idea. If you end up in any situation where you're pressured to say or do 'the right thing', that's exactly what'll unconsciously drive you toward the most inappropriate expulsions of nervous energy. Who needs those worries, Gemini? Trust the people you've brought into your life, to rescue you from your own momentary lapses of reason. That's what they're there for—to grab the wheel when you're feeling out of sorts. Just think of the wonderful freedom, once you designate somebody else the safe driver… you don't have to slow down your fun, and you don't have to stay clear-headed. Make sure you write 'em a thank-you note or, better yet, return the favor a few weeks from now.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Look around you. There are helping hands everywhere, eagerly waiting for you to take them up on their overt or implicit offers to lighten your load. But, ah… as long as you hold everything inside, stoically opting to handle this one by your lonesome (as if you're the only person who's ever been where you are before), you're missing out big time. You know as well as I do: It doesn't have to be that hard. For whatever reason, though, you often insist upon bearing the brunt solo… probably because you imagine that you'll only create undue complications for others, mucking up their otherwise fine lives in the process, and so why bother dragging anybody else into your mess? You're not gaining much by 'protecting' them from the truth—merely the self-aggrandizing sense that you're not 'being a burden'. Guess what, Cancer? That's what give and take is all about. Sometimes, you get the privilege of giving from your bottomless well of heart. Other times, you must take what's there for the taking, or you're branding yourself a stubborn fool. They want to help. You are not a burden. You're just a person like the rest of us, and you deserve the support from those folks with whom you have legitimately caring relationships. If you refuse to reach out, you're only cutting yourself off from those who love you. And don't get me wrong, either—you needn't be facing a life-threatening illness, a divorce or an eviction to qualify your problems as 'big enough' to ask for assistance. Even if all you need is a second set of eyes to proofread your proposal or tell you if those pants make you look fat, or a sympathetic ear to listen as you rattle off all the things that are currently making you nervous, that's plenty. Maybe it's the little stuff you need the most help with, anyhow…


LEO (July 23-August 22): I hate to be the 'Realism Police', but it's in your own best interest to remember… you can only do so much, and then it's out of your hands. Any obstacle that might exist certainly doesn't stem from a lack of energetic investment on your part. Hell, you're giving off an enthusiasm that's totally contagious—or that would be contagious, if a certain someone wasn't so resistant to just playing along. We can glibly report that 'it's their loss', and we'd be on the right track… but that still provides little practical relief for the collateral fact it's also your loss. All I can offer, Leo, is this clear instruction: Don't push them to forget their worries and hop on your fun train, or you'll only make matters worse (and end up creating a situation where it becomes more of a personal problem for you). Think about it like this: Would you want to be told to lighten up, if you were enduring some private preoccupation and just weren't feelin' the excitement? Thought not. So unfortunately, though you may be perfectly ready and fully amped-up to tackle a particularly lofty goal or mobilize the parade of entertaining opportunities to march its way down Main Street, if your desired accomplice ain't on the same wavelength, it ain't gonna happen. You'll either need to find someone else to play with—or forget about playing altogether, at least for this week. And if they're being grumpy… for heaven's sake, let 'em be grumpy.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Have you read about Venus retrograde yet? The process of informing yourself about your current astrological state would be startlingly incomplete without doing so, Virgo. After you've done that, perhaps you'll have a better understanding of what's in store over these next several weeks… but with the added piece that you, among all the signs, may have the least capability of identifying just what exactly are the greatest parts of everything headed your way. Thanks to the Sun and Mercury in your 12th (with retrograde Venus movin' herself back there next week), all logic has leapt cheerfully out the window, leaving you with neither a map nor the right mind to even know who to ask for directions to where. But before you panic about losing track of what you 'should' be doing… let that all go. Now the real fun may begin: It doesn't matter where you go, as long as you're entertaining out-of-the-ordinary options, for the specific purpose of learning more about what you like and don't like. No final decisions need be made right this moment. (You have another month or so to bide your time.) Will you permit yourself to dwell in the not-knowing, so you can buy yourself the freedom to stumble into knowledge other than what you might expect? Can you greet the old and new friends, past or existing or future lovers, alternatives galore with non-judgmental eyes wide open? Are you willing to consider breaking your own rules… since, after all, you made those rules before all of this started happening?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If you feel like your best pals are standing in your way, it's probably a very good thing… that is, if they're keeping you from running your mouth at someone who's got you worked up. You're probably way too heated to keep your cool—though, in true Libran fashion, you might be able to maintain a veneer of collectedness, the tough topics you drag into the conversation could be nastier than necessary. And especially if your chosen attitude will also reflect (poorly?) on somebody else, you have a double-duty to hold yourself in check. When there are multiple players involved, it's probably wisest to defer the responsibility for comments-and-questions to another member of your group: You vent your full opinion to them, and then they pare it down (stripping it of the extra edge) for public presentation. That way, you both display generous solidarity with the greater whole and prevent yourself from baring your scariest snarl in the eye of the fray. Yet, if your friends are trying to block you from pursuing that much-yearned-for guy or girl you can't stop thinking about… well, hell, it's not really any of their business, is it? As such, you may have to give the friend-pack the slip or sneak out on your own… so you can continue flirting with your designated prey. Is it worth considering the warnings you've been offered about not messing with this particular hottie? Is he/she really a big troublemaker? And what if? When it comes to matters of the heart, nobody can make our decisions for us. What may (or may not) prove to be a long-term no-no could also be the most sinfully spectacular short-term yes-yes. As long as you're willing to take responsibility for any negative consequences from cavorting with someone your chums think is bad news, then go for it. But if it backfires, I wouldn't come crying to the same folks who tried to stop you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Make sure you call every spade a spade, instead of allowing emotion to rile up your skills of discrimination and muss up the categories, leaving you with an amalgam of hearts and diamonds and clubs that contaminate the clarity. If you're frustrated on the job, you must be careful not to let it bleed into your relationship life. If you have a problem with one person, you shouldn't air it to someone else… or even in front of them. Why muck up the stuff that's functioning rather smoothly, just because the one or two things going haywire have really boiled your blood? The last thing you want is to annoy the folks already on your side, which will only make matters worse on yourself. (Plus, it's not fair to them.) If you're going to be self-serving (nothing wrong with that, dare you read in a judgment I haven't put there), you have to stay one step ahead of your emotions. Think about your reputation, for crying out loud, not just proving a passing point. (And I know some of you probably believe that fostering a reputation as someone who always proves your point, no matter the fallout, works to your benefit. I disagree.) This is not a horoscope that counsels against airing your grievances, in case you've missed my gist. I just want you to be smart, slick, and surgical about it: Go in, make a few neat incisions, and sew it back up. One careless maneuver, however, and you could be facing a malpractice suit.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Stop fidgeting. Remain in your seat, with all hands and arms occupied with the tasks you know you're supposed to be doing. No glancing at other people's papers. No cigarette (or fresh-air) break until you finish one more column of numbers. You may not bite into your dessert until your dinner is done. You should not skip steps in the process, or you will be disappointed with your end result. Can you sustain your exuberance levels, while simultaneously withstanding the temptation to ditch school before the bell rings? It's not time to put your pencils down yet. The 7th-inning stretch is still an inning or two away. Keep your eye on the ball. Keep your blinders on. Patience is essential. Be productive now, rather than planning on productivity later. Hold your dreams where they are, though they might not be ready for living out quite yet. And by the way, how's your blood-sugar? Eaten lately? How are these short sentences? Do they capture the chomping-at-the-bit eagerness shimmying around inside your body cavity? Three more chapters 'til the end. No skimming through to the climax. No letting your mind drift away. Be here now. Stay productive where you are, in the present moment. Make sure there's gas in the car, paper in the printer, and enough hours in the day to fulfill your commitments. Tired? Sleep. Antsy? Too bad. Maybe you need to cut back your caffeine intake, if it'll get you sitting still and on the ball. 'Cut to the chase!' you might demand, as if I'm going to let you rush me, when you have absolutely no business hurrying off to some unsanctioned frontier. But here it goes. The crux: You're not allowed to race off to the bigger-and-brighter future awaiting your arrival. Why? Because you have stuff to get done first. You can't leave for the airport until the day of your scheduled flight, and you can't open the presents before Christmas morning. Have I made myself clear? Thought not.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You'll get the best out of your week, Cap, by proceeding with both confidence and caution. As with last week, you have no good reason to hold yourself back. In fact, it's a perfect time to bust your move, whether it's in love or in some arena where you need to make your proclivities known. You're not helping anybody's situation (least of all your own), if you try to protect them from seeing the real you… when what you really need to display is the confidence to fully occupy your own skin, rather than pretending to be someone you're not. The 'play it cool' cover-up, in this case, works against you—you might be so 'cool' that they walk right past, without noticing. But just because you pledge to be wholly yourself and not hide the ambition that makes you tick, that doesn't mean you have to give it all all at once. One step at a time is still the best way to direct your feet to the winner's circle. Now, listen carefully: There's a big difference between (1) portraying a false persona that doesn't line up with your genuine personality and (2) exuding total genuineness, at the same time clearly indicating there's a lot more to you than this glimpse, though you aren't yet ready to put everything on the table. The former behavior is misleading; the latter is both honest and seductive, in that it makes the other person want to stick around, to explore the mystery and crack additional bits of your secret code over time. 'Caution', from this perspective, simply means that you two should want to get to know each other gradually—before making up your minds as to whether this is short-lived romance, true love, or neither.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): With Mars continuing to poke around inside your 4th-house emotional innards as he did last week, you should probably resign yourself to feeling a bit stirred up and shaken… and thus needing to look out for what will best soothe your unsettled spirit. Glancing over at Mars's square to Saturn in your 7th, then, this self-care likely involves limiting the scope of your mandatory involvements with others… giving yourself a temporary reprieve from being totally open and continuously available to all those who flock to you for companionship and guidance. At moments like this, when you might struggle to contain your moodiness within the bounds of your own control, you'll relieve some of the extra angst by being very choosy about who you spend time with. Why should you create additional pressure for yourself by 'putting on a brave face' (when, frankly, you won't do a very job of it this week, and then they're all going to be asking you 'what's wrong?' and expecting you to come up with some answer that satisfies their prying need for information, when you would've been just as happy to avoid the interaction altogether)? Having to fake it for the crowd could drive you even madder. Stay as far away as possible from shallow small-talk; it'll only grate on you. Meanwhile, only hang with those folks who you're so comfortable with that you won't mind letting the cracks in your public-presentation persona show through to. And by the way, if your current sweetie doesn't count as one of them (for whatever reason known only to you), then you'd better think carefully about why—that's a whole 'nother can-of-worms bursting at its seams.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Despite no lack of tempting possibilities, you mustn't let yourself get sidetracked by gabby gossip sessions, computer-mediated explorations of trivial minutiae, or other time-wasting nonsense. A couple quick errands shouldn't take all day, because you dragged your feet or paused to window-shop at every shiny-and-sparkly display you pass. If you're too permissive with your attention, it's liable to drift in way too many different directions… and suddenly you'll discover an important deadline has crept up on you unsuspectingly, or a perfectly timed window of opportunity came and went without being utilized. Staying on top of your game—even when it feels like you could just as easily be doing something else while you wait, which could then quickly run away with itself and lose you minutes or hours of precious time—is key to navigating a successful week. While a Mars-Saturn square can often halt us in our tracks due to some uncontrollable external situation, I'm actually more concerned that you, Pisces, won't allow yourself to bow to the obstruction. Limits, in this case, are good for both your health and your functional success. If you want to take this advice to heart, then you've got to manage your schedule wisely… which means not cutting things too close for comfort. Don't procrastinate. At the very last minute, something often goes wrong. Buy yourself enough of a cushion to fix that hypothetical 'something' before it'd be too late.