Horoscopes | Week of August 6-12, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When it comes to love, you'd better be gettin' real with your bad self. Does your current romantic situation give you ample room to express yourself freely and truly? Is it sexually gratifying? Is it fun? A fiery force such as you, Aries, will only thrive in love-matches that perpetuate your hot burn (albeit within a mutually considerate framework). The last thing we want is for your blaze to be squelched or snuffed out by a cold fish, strict rules, too much 'stability' and not enough spontaneous impulse. If you're presently in a relationship that reeks of such staleness symptoms, it's not too late to resuscitate what originally made it so great. But you mustn't wait around for some weather pattern to blow that breath of fresh air in—you'll got to whip it up yourself, with the same sorts of wooing actions you might take if you were first a-courtin' each other. Special dinners, weekend getaways, moonlit walks along the beach, candles and rose petals to sizzle up the bedroom scene… all these and more are at your disposal, to show you're serious about re-fostering the flames. If you're single but harboring a crush you've been wearing on your sleeve for a while now, it may be time to accept things as they are. If the object of your amorous attentions still won't take the bait or catch your drift, he or she probably isn't going to—at least not anytime in the near future, if ever. So flaunting your same stuff even more daringly isn't likely to help the situation, since your wished-for honey might find it too aggressive. You should probably back off if you're not getting anywhere, and start to explore other options.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): An important facet of emotional maturity is the ability to distinguish between (1) what your personal feelings are, based upon an entire lifetime of your lived experience and (2) what specific feelings are being generated by a particular emotionally-intensified interaction with a certain someone, happening in a given moment right now. For the record, such discrimination is a learned skill, Taurus… not something we should inherently know how to do since, after all, raw emotions simply come on, washing over our entire being and often overwhelming our sense-making devices with their immediate full-body gusto. After two friggin' years of Saturn in your 4th, I'd bet you've actually developed quite a bit of this maturity I'm describing (that is, if you didn't just stay at home and mope), giving you a great chance this week to practice all that you've learned. When your feelings get stirred up by somebody's careless comments (or your faulty perception of what you thought was said), it would be too obvious to react by dispensing with clear thinking and permitting the fight-or-flight instinct to take charge. But this time, don't allow the heat of this moment to leave you burning up inside. Put this pungent blip-on-the-radar into its proper perspective: You've been triggered—yet it doesn't need to take over. Nothing good will come from beating up on the alleged offender… nor from feeling sorry for yourself. If you want to be mature about it but can't seem to turn down the volume on your reaction… well, simply cuddle up at home and take care of yourself, relaxing the nonsense away and breathing deeply until the rational perspective returns. By now, you should know just what to do in such a situation.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your week kicks off with the entry of Mars into your sign, Gemini, essentially canceling out the counsel I gave you last week. Now, you are the one best equipped to lead the brigade… to charge ahead toward whatever has your interest, and to take the big bright world out there by storm. This Mars placement gives you an extra helping of physical energy to fuel your passions, as well as a strong self-determination that can prevent you from playing second fiddle in situations that hardly serve your interests. For the next eight weeks (until Mars shifts into Cancer), you have a wonderful opportunity to get the ball rolling—to begin important projects, put out feelers, light fires under lazy butts, instigate proceedings, and generally start trouble. It's more important to put forth your will, whatever the effects of it may be, rather than sitting quietly and waiting for someone to call on you. Make the shit happen your way, on your time schedule. You've got Mars on your side: Set the precedents, instead of following 'em. In the midst of this budding excitement, though, you don't want to be that person who forgets about your friends, just because you're really into the thing that's right in front of your face. You may be ready to do things as you see fit… but that doesn't mean making those close to you feel unimportant. Your friends miss you when you're gone. And if you stay away too long, without appearing to care much about the absence (or even noticing), they will fill your spot with someone else—and might not have room for you when you need 'em later.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Where's your money going, Cancer? Or perhaps a better question: Where do you want it to go, and, if it's not currently going there, what can you do to remedy the situation? These are fundamentally 2nd-house issues being pushed to the forefront by this retrograde-Venus conjunction to Saturn, forcing your head back out of the sand and squarely into the bankbook for a very detailed accounting of your income and expenses… if you know what's good for you, that is. This is not a good moment for making business decisions from your gut, though such strategies may've served you well in the past (and may again in the future). There are too many unknown variables right now to be so loose with your cash, even if the sales-pitch being offered sounds oh-so-very convincing. If it's really as good a deal as they're telling you, you'll have a chance to get in a bit further down the road—after you've had a chance to do some longer-term projections, the proper spreadsheet-based analysis, and the research legwork that requires you to gather a couple outside expert opinions. No matter how worthy your desperate friend or that unarguably altruistic cause may sound, you're simply in no position to hand over that generous check. There are plenty of other ways to offer help… especially at a time when being tight-fisted is what'll help you the most. Hold good boundaries when it comes to mixing relationships and finances. It's better to reduce the complications now and be clear about what you're able—and not able—to give. Even if the other person thinks their only way out is a huge monetary investment, you can demonstrate how much more generous a different sort of support can be. And if they don't like it, they're not respecting your needs. (Remember you have 'em too?)


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's a rather potent week for you, Leo, as a major convergence of planets in your sign is only reinforced by two trines (Mercury-Jupiter and Saturn-Pluto) to your 5th house of love, pleasure and self-expression. In other words, all eyes can't help but aim in your direction, as you put forth your most candid and comprehensive declaration of who you are… and who you want to be in the coming weeks and months. They'll be watching, eager to see you step into your full glory—or trip over yourself and fall flat on your butt. Which is going to be? We can safely assume your choice would be 'glory' over 'embarrassment'… but in order for it to end up that way, you must actually make a choice, as opposed to defaulting to automatic behaviors that, in the ego-pressure of a given moment, could have you unconsciously trying to please people (at the expense of authenticity). As long as you keep your wits about you, though, you will deeply remember that it doesn't matter who's with you or against you… whether they think you could've done this, that or the other differently (i.e., more to their liking), or even if your true beauty makes them seethe with uncontrollable (but probably repressed nonetheless) jealousy. Just as you shouldn't overstate your importance, you also needn't underplay your greatness, simply to cater to others' needy egos. All you need to do this week is being your most honest, direct, loving and confident self, standing in your magnificence for all the world to see. Otherwise, they'll know you're being fake.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You mustn't let the urge to freak out overtake your senses. This is not square one. You have not lost anything fundamental to who you are… even if it may seem that way, or if fragments of former ideas and allegiances are in the process of falling away. Nothing happening to you on the outside can compete with what's going down inside your inner sanctum of self, where a rather radical reordering of priorities and possibilities is arranging itself into new categories not yet neat-and-tidy. So fucking what if everything you thought you knew is being turned upside-down? (Okay, I don't mean to belittle the experience of potential shock that can go along with it. Sorry if I sounded callous.) You will have the trust the process, however—if you want to dampen the rising fear that you're going totally mad. If you're able to wonder about it at all, then you're sane enough to know better. Within another month or two, you'll be due to regain your grip stronger than it ever was before. This is something to look forward to. You won't be left in this miasma of confusion, trying to discern your ass from your elbow, for an eternity of limbo. But confusion is a necessary step in your push to take greater responsibility for the direction of your life. Withholding your true desires so you can win the award for Most Likely to Do What He's/She's Supposed To will hopefully become a thing of the past. Instead, you can drag that trophy to the pawn shop, to buy yourself enough pocket change for pursuing what might really matter to you… with the help of Saturn's movement into your sign for any additional blood-sweat-and-tears seriousness you may need to make it happen. For this week, though, you'll have to play it day by day.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): For the time being, it's far smarter to retain your position as 'part of something bigger' than to try launching off into your own world. The 11th house influences continue to have a persuasive pull on your life, situating many of the circumstances you face in perpetual relation to their broader relevance… and asking you to consider your role in the community, among your group(s) of friends, and to society in general. Even seemingly small actions and decisions made now will carry messages about the kind of person you are, the ideals you hold about how people should be and the types of social connections that foster these ideals. You'll be far more successful at controlling these messages if you consciously join forces with the folks who share your visions and desires. Think of it as a proactive means of courting positive peer pressure. You can ride the wave of momentum generated by others who lead their lives with behaviors you admire, tacking your cart onto their steam engine… rather than stubbornly insisting upon clearing your path and treading its rocky miles solo, when you're all apt to arrive at the same place anyhow. It simply isn't the best idea to stand out from the crowd by your lonesome, if for no other reason than it's an unnecessary waste of energy. This goes, incidentally, for both your career maneuvers and your off-the-clock fun. Hang tight with those you'd think of as part of your posse.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It's a banner week for taking full advantage of the career opportunities in front of you… by refusing to settle for anything less than you deserve, but not insisting on more than you've earned. How well do you know your proper place, Scorpio? Foresight will take you very very far, along with the faith that your diligent efforts will be duly noticed on the appropriate time frame. See, timing really is everything, and we mortals don't always know when exactly the amazing developments will finally manifest in their fullest magnificence. But what we do know, if we are gutsy and persistent, is that we will make it there eventually… and that we will not give up, no matter what. That's some real power there. And it comes from calmly and courageously doing fantastic work (better, perhaps, than anyone else doing it)—while not overtly stinking of competitiveness (since, perhaps, the other folks don't want to feel like you believe you do it better). You won't prove yourself the best by acting bossy or superior to co-workers, or by taking not-so-subtle shots at them when chatting with your higher-ups. You're already a winner, if you believe it inside. The important parties will pick it up off you. That's why you won't need to succeed at anybody else's expense. In fact, what they're doing has little direct effect on whether you excel or fall flat. You're way too strong to let yourself be threatened by another person's good work. Don't undermine 'em; in fact, go out of your way to support 'em. It only helps your cause in the long run.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Here's the balance to strike, Sagittarius… can you stand in the splendor of being a bold, powerful, confident person without it coming off like you're the only one who's got it figured out? Your confidence need not hit others like a bowling ball in their gut or a thumping bass-line throbbing through their temples. Rather, it could inspire others to have an equal amount of faith in themselves, though the ramifications of their self-esteem boost may in fact serve to emphasize the ideological separation between you. There's a huge difference between having strong personal beliefs and thinking you know what's best for everybody. What works for you may not apply to someone else, which is a truth that may breed tension with your Sagittarian tendency toward universalizing. Make sure to remember it when offering opinions to your pals (by, for instance, being clear that they are only your opinions)—if, that is, you want them to actually hear what you're saying. If you dispense with tact altogether, you'll be able to maintain the satisfaction of having stayed faithful to yourself without compromise… but at the cost of potentially having a profound effect on someone's thinking. When giving your two (or twenty-two) cents on a matter, spend those pennies wisely. Otherwise, you're just running at the mouth. They'd love to hear your advice, as long as you aren't so attached to whether they follow it. Don't insist on being right—just tell 'em what you think, minus the nasty judgments about the other ways of seeing. That said, when it comes to yourself, you're actually pretty right on right now.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If and/or when things get trickier, more involved and harder to navigate cleanly… well, Capricorn, that's your sign things are going as they should, and that there is no turning back. You're cruising toward a period of bigger and better—and therefore scarier—developments, with the nearly-unavoidable potential to totally transform your life. Okay, this isn't happening tomorrow… and yet, with both Jupiter and Pluto passing into your sign around New Year's, it ain't as far as away you might believe. Slowly but surely, you're working into it. If you've recently been confronting your self-imposed blocks against doing what makes you feel alive, you're probably well on your way to understanding the psychological complexes at work inside your head… and the escalating lack of patience with yourself should hopefully be driving you to conquer those demons. I'd expect that process to accelerate dramatically over the next six months, as you realize just how short life is and, therefore, why the hell should you wait any longer to experience the exhilaration of uncertain gambles? You cannot prepare for that which you've never experienced, after all, so the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants feeling is not optional… if you care to stalk your highest vision. And if you've been clumsily stumbling toward greater intimacy with a special someone (romantically, in a business partnership, or with family members), you should be starting to see a payoff. Some passions, profits or patching-things-up processes simply take a while to build up to. However, let me add this: If you're suddenly seeing a not-so-flattering side of a particular person, please don't turn a blind eye. This isn't a one-time-only anomaly to their personality—it's a part of their true colors. I'm not saying you should run away and hide, but you will have to confront it as it really is, not pretend it's as you wish it were.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Relationships remain main on the brain, with more Venus and Saturn action transpiring in your 7th. But add Mars's movement into your 5th and two 7th-house trines to the 11th, and it's not merely about what's privately goin' down between the two of you. Bigger questions emerge, such as: Are you having a good time with it? Do you feel free to be yourself within its bounds? Does the pairing allow your ample space for staying connected with your many many important peeps in the world? If you're looking to strengthen an existing relationship, this is a prime time to do so. It's a matter of figuring out which limits are to be respected, in order to uphold something that needs a consistent structure to endure… and which merely infringe upon your need for lots of Aquarian independence (or is it bizarreness?), such that what works for everybody else may simply not suit you. There are no right or wrong answers here—just what you and the other person decide to observe. But oddly, that blank-slate quality actually makes your work harder. You must take nothing for granted here… and you must be willing to spell out, in terms that might first feel cutting to your other half, what would eventually make you leave if it wasn't dealt with sooner or later. Of course, if you're already spoken for, you might want to tone down your mushrooming flirtatiousness (I hope you're conscious of it, at least)—or you're risking seriously angering your sweetie. Yet, even if you're 'officially unattached', you should probably watch your step when it comes to giving off misleading messages about your intentions. If you try playing two dudes or ladies at the same time, you could easily end up with neither. Flirt all you want. Just don't be a tease, and don't be a dog.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Everyone knows the old adage, 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' But let's put it in context. We're talking about what would happen if Jack worked like crazy all the time, week in and week out. However, for a week here and there, concentrating almost exclusively on work isn't such a bad thing—especially during weeks like this one, Pisces, with a Saturn-Pluto trine through the 6th and 10th houses (the two principal work zones). It's not that often these two planetary heavyweights join forces so productively, bestowing both the raw potency and the practical perseverance to effect real progress. For this reason, I strongly recommend staying on the straight-and-narrow throughout your week… doing everything you're 'supposed' to do, with neither complaint nor hesitation. People strike when the iron is hot because it's far likelier to bend to their will; wait until things cool down, and it can feel like you're just pounding against cold hard steel. And when we factor in retrograde Venus's second conjunction to a 6th-house Saturn, it helps explain why now you may be better able to understand which labor-intensive measures will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Place a high value on efficiency, and you'll get a ton accomplished. Plus, for an added benefit, your single-minded focus on work-work-work-work-work (!) will keep you away from the trouble that those around you are swimming in.