Horoscopes | Week of August 4-10, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You're probably not feeling especially shy these days, Aries. Isn't that a polite way I've chosen to begin articulating what you and I both know is going on lately… which is that you hardly have either the patience or the desire to mince your words, tiptoe around controversy and conflict, or let anyone else's intrusive interruptions or inadvertent interferences get in your fucking way? Am I right? (If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, then you've obviously nurtured tremendous amounts of conscious restraint over the years… or you have some other extenuating astrological influence in your natal chart keeping you calm… or you must be going crazy inside.) The majority of you will likely resonate with the dynamics I'm describing, whether you're allowing them to wreak havoc in your life or merely acknowledging they're there (and wondering how the hell to handle 'em). I hold firm to the observation that this is an awesome time for you to be freely expressing yourself, doing whatever feels authentic and/or satisfying, and not sacrificially bowing down to others' dominance. That said, there's presently a very fine line between where (1) 'expressing' yourself ends and (2) provoking or attacking them begins. The moment you're carelessly raising sensitive personal matters, rubbing their nose in your triumphs, teaching 'em a lesson, kicking 'em when they're down, or vengefully sticking it to 'em… well, you've already crossed the line, perhaps permanently.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): How might you put it, Taurus, if you don't want to kick them in the gut with it? Such pauses-to-consider could be useful to insert into your communicative processes this week, as relational energies continue to be bumpy and blustery. Your short-fused reactions may well sneak up on you; after all, you're typically the sign we expect not to blow your top without multiple provocations and/or plenty of warning. Maybe this interpersonal crossroads where you now find yourself situated is actually the result of long-simmering frustrations which haven't yet been fully expressed or dealt with? If that's the case, then it's no wonder you've generated such a strong emotional momentum behind this latest round of exchanges… and it also goes far to explain why, if you're not on top of your game, you could easily deliver a shot that's disproportionately aggressive for the actual situation-at-hand and/or muddy your message with extra feelings not legitimately relevant here and now. Put simply, your current emotional responses are about more than just the circumstantial developments currently taking place with a certain someone (or someones). They are triggering deeper issues in you, with roots likely going years back (into childhood family dynamics perhaps?)… and while that may ultimately be a good thing for your own healing, it also threatens to leave you painting your current circumstances with strokes far too broad to promote immediate understanding. Remember all this before launching into your 'side' of the story: Which 'story' are you telling? And how scary do you want it to be?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Yes, you talk a good game—we already know this, Gemini—and especially now, when your gift of beguiling gab is operating at its most animated and electrifying frequency. But an appealing spiel or a convincing set of answers to their questions is not presently enough to demonstrate you mean business. Without steadily producing tangible evidence to display your commitment to whatever you're claiming as your truth, the words will fall flat. And once that happens, it'll be hard to turn that 'hot air, with no substance' reputation you just earned back around to a more favorable impression. The only way to do it, in fact, will be through everyday actions that show you have bodily dedication to back up your conversational enthusiasm. Which, of course, is funny because you could altogether avoid the need to win back others' favor by just doing what you say you're going to do… not after you've told everybody and gotten them all amped-up to see the fruits of your labors, but at the same time you're talking your game. Want to really get them on board? Invite them back into the workshop, to witness you dirtying your hands and getting all sweaty. Pop the hood, and show them all the inner machinations. Illustrate your ideas with physical examples, stuff they can lay their eyes on and/or touch with their own two hands. Be real about everything you're telling 'em, and you just might win their respect as solidly as you could lose it by spewing bullshit, with nothing of substance behind it.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It'd probably be easier to just proceed however will best safeguard your practical interests, Cancer, warmly stroking that proverbial 'hand that feeds you' rather than digging your teeth in and taking a bite. But 'easier' isn't likely to be the approach that also ensures you'll feel rewarded by your efforts, beyond merely the paycheck or an obligatory head-pat. Tensions between (1) contentedly tending to your material needs, no matter what thankless tasks or brown-nosing bullshit you must take on, and (2) daring to complicate this basic formula of 'go to work, do your job, collect your money' by striving for greater personal satisfaction from your energy-expenditures are, as I described last week, still running high. While I wouldn't go so far as to goad you into quitting any money-earning involvement which doesn't fully-and-totally represent you or provide pure self-gratification, I do think it's important to deeply consider the longer-term effects of compromising your pride and/or your individuality, just to make a buck. If you can't be yourself in the process of taking care of yourself, that's a problem… one which will, slowly but surely and sadly, chip away at your expectation of enjoying your life. If, however, you are able to authentically shine while earning yourself a living, please use this time to celebrate that victory—and actively beam your shininess all around, as a beacon for drawing others out of their self-denying shells and into the self-affirming light.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If we're looking closely at a full-spectrum view of the entirety of your emotional world, Leo, we'd notice a complex tangle of inner responses is presently getting triggered by Mars having joined Saturn in your 4th… all while, at the same time, you're enjoying the self-emboldening influence of Jupiter (along with the Sun and Mars) in your 1st. This mix likely means you're simultaneously (1) more energized, optimistic, and outwardly expressive, with regards to finally actualizing a major desire, and (2) experiencing a fresh wave of some long-ingrained anger or discontent you've more palpably come to know over the past year or so. With a steeled constitution and a fearless willingness to earnestly look within, you can channel this powerful combination toward conquering that inner demon once and for all—not by forgetting the past or giving any guilty parties a free pass, but by aggressively taking charge of your inner dialogue, expelling the old self-torturing voice and instating one that'll happily cheerlead as you move into new territory. (This will require a come-to-Jesus commitment to ending the externally-focused 'blame game'.) If, however, you insist on looking outward for relief from what's riled up your insides, you are very likely to misdirect your inflamed emotions, mistakenly assuming the surface-level 'problem' is what's got your goat (when, really, it isn't)… and disproportionately lashing out at the wrong person(s).


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): During an astrological moment where nearly everyone is taking their efforts, attitudes, and ideologies big, big, BIG!, I encourage you, my dear Virgo, to strive for temperance at all costs… even if outwardly expressing such a seemingly moderate and unaffected stance demands an intense amount of internal self-restraining effort on your part. This would unquestionably be an act of asserting control in social situations, in an attempt to prevent supposedly congenial exchanges from getting needlessly bombastic or blown-out-of-proportion, at least while on your watch. It will demand a strong will not to take any of the small bits of bait strewn all around the landscape this week. But it does behoove you to try your best at this—mainly because, once you lose your cool, you will have a harder-than-usual time at reeling yourself back in and, all the while, a less-rational grip over what comes out of your mouth in a heated exchange. As it is, there are no guarantees your socially-controlling efforts will be enough to neutralize other people's exaggerated carryings-on. That said, I wholly endorse you getting totally out of control with your rantings, ravings, and irrational reactions to all these fuckwads' ridiculous behaviors, once you are behind closed doors and not feeding off them feeding off you feeding off them feeding off you…


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): It will come back to bite you, Libra, should you ride the path-of-least-resistance drift that everyone else seems so totally into… while knowing, in your heart of hearts, this drift is just not right for you. When I say 'come back to bite you', please don't misperceive this as some certain threat of awful circumstantial consequences raining down on you from the sky. Any unfortunate effects from your insincerely going along with the louder group-members will, likelier than not, be factors of self-imposed suffering: rising resentments toward those who appear to dominate so easily and shamelessly, increasingly superficial behaviors to cover up such resentments, frustrated personal ambitions not being pursued because you've committed your energy to other people's aims, cumulatively decreasing self-confidence levels which result from knowing you haven't stood up for your interests. Perhaps this is merely one more version of saying the same things I told you last week, albeit admittedly with more scare-tactic details about what's liable to happen if you don't hold firm to your heart-of-hearts truth (which, incidentally, isn't some mental argument to deconstruct or play devil's-advocate with, but which merely is what it is). You are justifiably allowed to get what you need from the situation, too, if you're going to bother giving any of yourself to it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): As you continue your reign as the baddest mama-jama on the block, Scorpio, I want to issue a gentle reminder not to make this a 'reign of terror', nor to rule with an iron fist. You don't have to. A little goes a long way, at the moment… and what you think is a moderately gentle touch is probably more than enough to dramatically impact a situation in whichever way you choose to direct it. So you can only imagine what could happen, then, if you wound your pitching arm to a sufficiently revved-up level and let 'er rip with all your strength. You'd likely overshoot your mark, of course. But you could also break shit in the process. You might hurt somebody, with an force even you can barely believe you mustered during that fateful moment. And you won't be able to turn back time to right any wrongs you maybe didn't mean to commit. Wise old Saturn is presently warning you to properly utilize your power in correct doses, without overdoing it, sure, but also without totally softening up or walking away. You've still got to be who you are—an intense entity, passion steaming off you, unafraid to dance with the always-present dark sides of reality—just in a more refined, restrained-but-not-repressed manner. Once you notice your prideful defenses starting to rise in a flashy show of dominance, remind yourself how much more confidently you'll embody your irrefutable authority by not raising your voice, getting up from your chair, or breaking out into a furious sweat. You don't have to.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Beware of ending up fighting a fight you didn't mean to fight and/or didn't even know you were fighting, Sagittarius. The zeal with which you're broadcasting what's currently got you all fired up—even when you're innocently expressing positive support for something you believe is a force for good in the world—bears an odd and unfortunate potential to hit certain folks like an attack on them. That makes some sense, if you think about it: When our words strike an unexamined wound, blindspot, or prejudice in someone else, they're liable to experience a hyperemotional response, as if our daring to think differently poses a mortal threat to their (unexamined) existence. Truth be told, it actually does pose a threat. (And isn't one of the great Sagittarian strengths this knack for pushing people to examine their beliefs?) Under this astrology, alas, they could react to such threats with unreasonably vicious or vengeful retaliations… all while you're left to wonder what the hell you did to deserve that. Should you face such a weird (and, yes, perilous) reaction, please recognize it for what it is (i.e., not about you) and deescalate or extricate accordingly. But while we're on this topic, it might also behoove you to double-check that the 'unexamined wound, blindspot, or prejudice' isn't, in fact, in you… and that any weird reaction isn't, in fact, a legitimate case of you being called out for inadvertently hurting someone. The Mars-and-Saturn-in-the-12th-house potential for not knowing what's happening runs in all directions.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Though there may be perfectly well-founded reasons that certain relational situations (personal, professional, and/or familial) have gotten to this critically uncomfortable place (whether uncomfortably-good, uncomfortably-bad, or uncomfortably-too-hard-to-call), Capricorn, you mustn't permit your understandable responses to become so overblown that they cause collateral damage to other relational situations not directly relevant to what you're reacting to. Whatever's gotten under your skin in this one escalated context is not all that's going on. You have a much wider sphere of social contacts and connections to simultaneously consider… hopefully before you concentrate every last bit of psychic intensity toward the escalated situation, and allow unintentional spillover from that to saturate these other scenes. Too much uncomfortably-good enthusiasm for this one involvement, for instance, could needlessly sour other fruitful alliances… whether because these allies are competitive or envious, angry that you've fallen short on your commitments to them due to being preoccupied, or concerned about the ultimate virtue of the party you're so enthusiastic about. On the other hand, too much uncomfortably-bad upset expressed sloppily or spitefully could also negatively impact your social standing… whether because mutual friends take their side instead of yours, judge you for your take-no-prisoners approach, or fear for their future safety should they dare to cross you. Therefore, before you react in that one uncomfortable situation, reflect on how your response might cause uncomfortable ripples in other situations, if you're not sharply focused and consistently on-point.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The type of leadership I believe you want to embody and exemplify, Aquarius, is not about ascending to the cushy corner-office (though kudos! if you do snag it along the way) and bossing everybody else around. No matter your particular political orientation, cultural background, and/or predetermined lot-in-life, I know you have something important to stand for (whether, for instance, it's a strong opinion on how specifically the work should evolve or a more general life-ethic you unambiguously hold as 'what's right'). And at the same time, I also know you genuinely value a diversity of opinions and (at your more patient moments) serve as a force who helps actively foster and facilitate dialogue amongst the divergent stakeholders. You're bringing both these qualities to the table under the current astrology—leadership and dialogue-fostering—but there are simultaneously very real tensions in the air that, sad but true, increase the chance that sincere attempts at sharing contrasting ideas with one another will dissolve into personal nastiness, from which there may be no returning. Your leadership challenge, then, is to stand for what's important to you… to continue any relevant conversations as far as they can go, even into difficult territory, while remaining respectful and on-topic… and to hold a hard line as soon as it starts heading to that ugly place, adamantly refusing to go there even if you have to walk away, for an hour or forever. That is leadership, my friend.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't permit yourself to get shuffled along (whether by an overenthusiastic colleague or your own conscience) into the nitty-gritty of the work, Pisces, if you suspect there's a fundamental glitch in the premise of the entire endeavor. Reluctance to upset the expectations of those who'd like to 'move this thing along already!' by raising your red-flag and addressing the feared omission or error is not a good enough reason to stifle your honest concern and thoughtlessly launch into efforts which could later prove wasted, should your suspicions end up warranted. Would you just keep on hammering and nailing if you knew this house you were building was sitting on an unstable foundation? Should that house later fall to the ground, would you bear some responsibility for the collapse because you didn't speak up about what you knew? As much as voicing the inconvenient question or disruptive observation will likely create waves (especially if your full uncensored truth could reflect poorly on another responsible party who's been unwilling to look at this), your longer-term sense of integrity is more important to protect than an arbitrary timeline and/or someone else's delicate ego. (Plus, do you really want to invest that much of your physical labor into something that may already be destined for disappointing returns?) Even if your suspicions prove unsubstantiated, speaking up will help you strengthen your pride in the principles you hold.