Horoscopes | Week of August 11-17, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In composing your horoscope for the week, I'm caught up in trying to synthesize the contrasting strains of (1) 'I need more fun in my life!' and (2) beware of provoking or attacking others, both of which remain active components of your current astrology. My favorite reading of this blend, Aries, would be that you 'provoke' others to drop their guard and join you in a precariously passionate commingling. In such a case, the pushing-beyond-safe-borders would be mutually consensual, and on behalf of developing intimacy… and the scariest risks would involve the unavoidable vulnerabilities that come from opening your heart and daring to trust. (To be clear, this could occur in a professional pairing or a creative collaboration, not just in a romantic context.) Other readings, alas, would be necessarily less encouraging, as they'd forefront the heightened potential of you so totally and completely enjoying what you've set up for yourself, you react to someone else's attempts to influence the situation in a competing fashion with startling ferocity or nastiness. In other words, you've become so emboldened by the pleasurable experience of finally doing things the way you want to, your pushback against those who'd prefer you to include their favorite flavor and/or compromise yours could be excessively strong. Whichever way you spin this astrology, there are undeniably tensions between expressing your personal style and incorporating others' styles into your production. Of course, 'tensions' can be functional, fertile, and sometimes even sexual—or they can be agonizing, antagonistic, and sometimes even destructive.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Many Taureans reside in some of the most comfortable, well-appointed home environments… not because all y'all are swimming in enough dough to buy yourself the most expensive furnishings of your dreams (though some of you may be), but due to your innate aesthetic understanding of how to use material belongings to create a nurturing, relaxing setting. This would be an ideal moment, then, to consciously take advantage of this benefit you've got at your disposal. Luxuriate in the lush surroundings you've created for yourself. Kick your feet up on those cushy pillows, look around at the beautiful art you've collected, and indulge in an epicurean treat of your own distinctive making. Chill out in the crib. Or if you're not feeling as immediately appreciative of what you've got going on at home, invest some money and/or creative energy in a new item or domestic experience that'll re-stimulate your pleasure-centers. This self-care focus can go far to offset any interpersonal unpleasantness you might be enduring in the outside world, as you struggle to assert your relational desires and/or 'fight the good fight' in an effort to cathartically reconcile stubborn differences. Hopefully, the contentious party is not someone who also shares your home with you, which would obviously make following my advice trickier; in such a case, you'll need to carve out some small slice of space you can consider legitimately yours, without having to share it, and invest your energies there.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Reserve any intensity for your actual work, Gemini. Like we already discussed, this is a pivotal 'show me the goods' moment in your generative process… and, thanks to a Mars-Pluto sextile this week, you're even getting an extra injection of stubborn perseverance to invest here, perfect for critically confronting whatever entrenched obstacle (whether physical or psychological) has thwarted your onward advance one too many times. A refusal to accept any reason for another stall-in-the-progress is the best way to utilize your exaggerated fervency. How you ought to behave on the social level is an entirely different story, though, as a shift in this week's astro-air leaves you with less and less fodder for breezy chitchat… such that by week's end, once Mercury has moved into your solar 4th and into opposition to Neptune, your words will ring with an unconsciously wistful or moody tone that others are apt to read too much into. Even if you think you're doing a good job of projecting happy-go-lucky, an amorphous emotionality will nonetheless interject itself into your manner of self-expression, leaving your listeners to wonder 'what's wrong'—even if nothing is (or, at least, nothing you can confidently put your finger on). That said, I still see you out and about, making the rounds, enjoying your continuing surge in sociability… only, instead of leading the exchanges with your delightful narrative trills or globs of harmless gossip, you're probably better set to flip the focus onto their tales, while keeping your own preoccupations more on the down-low (at least in casual settings).


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your wealth-enhancement project begins with brazenly recognizing that you're sitting on a goldmine, Cancer. Parts of your being which you likely take for granted are, in other people's eyes, values worth richly compensating you for bringing to their table. Skills you've picked up along this crooked path of life have been appraised at a financially-high market rate… and perhaps it's just a matter of marketing yourself in the appropriate marketplace(s), in order to trade those skills for the fat paychecks they can garner. But it's all got to start from within, naturally, in the very attitude with which you talk up the personal resources you've got at your disposal. The harsh truth is that nobody's going to throw you the big bucks if, inside, you're feeding yourself a load of self-defeating bullshit focused either on (1) what you don't have or can't do and/or (2) what other people do better. (Those messages would be considered pretty poor marketing by most industry experts.) Meanwhile, those recent questions I raised about upping your professional game so you also reap personal satisfaction from your work remain relevant here. Your self-marketing efforts will be more effective if you express an innate pleasure in offering up the talents you're most proud of. If, however, there's a genuine split between (1) what are currently your most marketable qualities and (2) what you really want to do, you're just going to have to think 'marathon' rather than 'sprint' on this one… and adopt a multi-pronged strategy from the get-go, so the bigger self-actualizing prize never disappears under the necessary practicality of seeking material security right now.


LEO (July 23-August 22): As if the thrill of having recently welcomed good king Jupiter to your sign for a yearlong boon of providential opportunity wasn't enough, Leo, the other benefic, Venus, will now be joining your party this week… to create even more of a likelihood that lots of good stuff will magnetically gravitate toward your attractive energy-field between now and early September. If you tune into this benefic-duo's vibe, you should be able to notice a palpable difference in the very way you're looked at, listened to, and/or received—the majority of folks providing you more affirmation, admiration, and/or affection, with a smaller minority (whose insecurities or personal axes-to-grind may be triggered by your current surge in popularity) reacting with more sparks-of-negativity, than circumstances would seem to warrant. For the most part, you'll have little problem these days getting situations to swing exactly in the direction you want them to… making this a great time to woo romantic prospects, garner more attention for your career efforts, share meaningful moments with friends, and revisit former stalemates for another try at satisfying resolution. Here's my big warning in all this (because, me being me, there's also a warning): In the glare of your own spectacular shine, you might not be seeing other people quite as clearly as you ordinarily would. Don't let yourself be blind to the extenuating experiences they are now dealing with, all while life's going so swimmingly for you, proving the most unflattering Leo stereotypes unfortunately true.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): With your ruling speech-writer and logic-bestower Mercury returning to your sign late in the week (Fri Aug 15), Virgo, the remainder of your month should bring you a renewed capacity to reason through the raw data, draw some verifiable conclusions, and precisely articulate your findings to all who care to hear 'em. For a chronic analyzer such as yourself, this is obviously an exciting development. But if I were you, I'd start with the internal sense-making maneuvers… and reserve the attempts at interpersonal communication until mid-to-late next week, once Mercury begins to separate from his opposition to Neptune (exact next Mon Aug 18), an aspect which will cloud your ability to correctly discern what the other person thinks or feels about what you're telling them. In other words, over the next week or two, you won't be so good at figuring out whether somebody agrees or disagrees with you—and even outright asking them a supposedly simple question won't necessarily yield as clear an answer as you'd expect. Though the Mercury-Neptune aspect passes by pretty quickly, allowing you to resume your informational transmissions with full efficacy and enthusiasm soon enough, you still won't have a confident sense of what positive payoff you'll ultimately come away with until next month… which means you must essentially continue your diligent reportings, explanations, encouragements, and requests for feedback on good faith, knowing a sincere and skillful effort will bring some positive payoff, even if you won't yet spy tangible evidence of it for a little while longer.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If you'd been planning to speak up about something important to you and haven't yet had the chance to do so, Libra, you better do it as early in the week as possible… if you feel ready. Once Mercury moves into your solar 12th on Friday (Aug 15) and toward a simultaneous Neptune opposition, you'll lose your ability to accurately understand how your words are coming across—and would do better to wait until September before putting out the communicative effort. In fact, if you're still entertaining questions about either how to go about it and/or whether it's worthwhile to even bother, it'd probably be wiser to spend this week bouncing your indecisiveness or uncertainty off of peers or allies who might have some useful insights to apply here. If you sincerely consider this an important issue but, for whatever reason, have been somewhat tongue-tied or reluctant to express your truth, take this as an internal sign you just aren't quite confident enough to responsibly facilitate this conversation (even if you have already reached a conclusion for yourself)… and don't recklessly rush to squeeze it in during these next few days, under self-imposed duress. Ease up on the urgency for a few weeks, and instead surround yourself with encouraging characters who love having you as part of their extended network of chums, letting them give you happily affirming ego-strokes that'll help bolster you, in preparation to take care of this conversation next month. Pleasurable socializing will soothe your soul.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): At this very moment, your professional (and/or public-world) horizons are looking brighter and more bounteous than they have in a long while, Scorpio… though that doesn't necessarily equate to heaps of golden opportunities dropping themselves on your doorstep, such that all you'd have to do is collect them as if you were cheerfully gathering berries on a warm sunny day. To really take advantage of this auspicious opening, you'll have to consciously extend yourself beyond the safe confines of doing what you've always done. The key to manifesting bigger and/or more satisfying success involves pushing your vision toward possibilities you might have no clue how to concretely actualize, but which, at their earlier stages, require merely the gumption to believe are indeed possible. This means not shooting down your own passionate ideas because their ambitious scope scares you. This means actively sharing these ideas, without shame for which specifics remain blank… and with the confident belief that what's already in existence couldn't possibly be all there is, along with excitement about the prospect of seeing what else could exist. And this, therefore, also means it's no time to lament any mistaken notion that you're in any way stuck professionally. If you've hit the 'stuck' feeling, it's time to think outside the box you've relegated yourself to—and reach for more. This realization itself may be just what you need to truly see how bright and bounteous your horizons really are.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Presuming you've wisely fixed your sights on the next big thing (even if a full view of it still isn't coming in ultra-clear), you have every legitimate right to be super-excited about what's yet to come. Of course, you'll be missing out on this stream of excitement, Sagittarius, if you're still caught up in fighting yesterday's battles… maybe not even in a real-life head-to-head way, but stuck in your own mind, playing and replaying each maneuver, with regret or vengeful ire or hurt in your heart that you're struggling to release. Without a doubt, there is a backward-pulling undertow presently in effect, rousing self-righteous anger or a more generally unsettling vibe; but engaging it with too much energy merely increases its force. You must acknowledge its pull, but needn't give into it… especially because you're likelier to attain more immediate contentment by using your energies to actively feed your excitement about the future, rather than fueling frustrations from and/or about your past. Your excitement will happily soar when you further delve into books about the hot topic, reach out to teachers or community-members with knowledge or experience that stirs your curiosity, or start finding room on your calendar for that workshop, retreat, or journey which represents your intensifying interest. In talking up your 'next big thing' in public settings (and especially at your current job), however, please choose your words carefully. You won't want to come off like you're trying to one-up anybody, make 'em jealous, or lord your excitement over 'em. Plus, until the fuller view comes in more clearly, you have no facts to back up your claim… which could set you up to be taken less-than-seriously.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): While a certain degree of carefully controlled autonomy is usually something you Capricorns consciously or not reserve for yourself, this is showing itself to be a moment when merged involvements and complicating interpenetrations—which obviously threaten to muddy the bounds of autonomous activity—are apt to actually benefit you greatly. True, you won't be able to 'call the shots' as independently as you otherwise would. But then again, you also don't have to bear the burdens of risk and responsibility solely on your shoulders… and, with your mutual swells of fervor collaboratively playing off each other, you together might well score more lucrative or illustrious results than either of you would operating on your own. You've presently got quite an astute handle on the guiding principles underscoring what the two of you could pull off by uniting forces, and it behooves you to patiently take lots of time to discuss these nitty-gritty vision-level specifics with your partner-in-crime. That patient approach, however, requires you not to hastily gloss over questions or concerns the other person might have (even if you find them minor, irrelevant, or hardly worth mentioning), nor to presume a fuller understanding on their part than they actually possess (or judge them harshly for what they don't already know). A main purpose of sacrificing comfortable autonomy for the unavoidably-messier togetherness approach, you mustn't forget, is the relational privilege of sharing the experience with someone. Don't fixate so intently on some final product that you make this process unnecessarily hurried, contentious, or absent of joy.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): On the upside, a conjunction of the two benefics (Venus and Jupiter) in your relationship house (the solar 7th) suggests you're likelier than usual to fall easily into affinity or rapport with nearly anybody you seek connection with. Provided you like their attitude or energy, Aquarius, you'll serve as a very warm and encouraging audience for their honest, heartfelt sharing… and they're apt to respond with gratitude, generosity, and fondness. (I must point out, however, if you don't like their attitude or energy, you can just as easily fall into heated critiques of their character or style.) Yet, there's simultaneously a risk that your ease-in-relating (or ease-in-mouthing-off, if that's the case) comes at a less-obvious cost to your own self-interests. Whether the other person dominates the exchange (due to your generous receptivity) and leaves you feeling unseen, steamrolls your opinions or leads you into territory that pushes intrusively against your boundaries or ethics, you may find yourself challenged to halt their self-focused momentum in order to assert your presence. Likewise, too much attention on 'bringing them down' or 'teaching them a lesson' still puts them in the center—and potentially wastes energy you could use on something more practically self-serving. Please enjoy this relational ease as you see fit, while making sure you don't disappear into it.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This is a particularly excellent week for communicating important details about what you need, Pisces, in order to properly exploit this passing productivity-boost to its fullest potential. In attempting such communications, it's critical to remove as much of what might be perceived as 'personal preference' or 'your self-interested stake in this matter'… to let any personality issues disappear into the background, outweighed by increasingly focused discussions about tangible specifics. After all, you've got a job to do—one which you'll have a more painless experience doing now, as opposed to any other time. So, if you must sweeten your tone, engineer your words so they speak more resonantly to that certain individual's sense-making style (and/or their sensitive ego), or downplay your frustrations with this person, all in the process of diligently moving your work ahead, it seems a small price to pay. On an entirely unrelated note, the week's astrology also spurs me to caution you against bodily overindulgences, which have a greater-than-normal capacity to overwhelm your physical system, if you're not careful. Whether we're talking about too many hours of hard labor and not enough rest, too many rich foods and not enough exercise, or too much alcohol and not enough water, these sorts of rhythmic imbalances are both likelier to occur and likelier to cause conditions-of-excess.