Horoscopes | Week of August 28-September 3, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I wouldn't consider this a time to contritely save face, Aries, if it'll require you backing away from a sincere passion or preference of yours because that's what someone is apparently expecting of you. I'd instead go for the potentially bumbling or graceless gesture that also undeniably comes straight from your heart… a fearless expression of your yearning to enjoy a certain type of experience in your life, your true love for this person or pursuit or principle which, maybe, you haven't been able to totally integrate into other conflicting life-circumstances but still cannot deny, in hopes that at least your heartfelt sincerity can speak something your rational mind hasn't figured out yet. Such a gesture could come out as over-the-top, too-much-too-soon, soul-bearing, intimacy-opening, ultimately endearing or offputting, but decidedly authentic… and, as such, clearly not an attempt to conceal your sentiments, motives, or desires in order to manipulate anyone toward a particular reaction. Your unfiltered—and, quite possibly, uncomfortable—honesty is very likely to elicit the same from the other party in return, for what that's worth to you.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): With a retrograde Mercury conjoining Mars-in-your-4th (which has already been pumping up feelings of inner strength, self-determination, anger, resentment, and/or refusal-to-budge), you are at exceedingly high risk of blowing your stack this week, Taurus. You bull-souls are known for having a very long fuse on your temper… for being able to patiently tolerate a lot of pressure and provocation before you finally lose your cool and let 'er rip (because, once you do, it's very hard for you to 'come back from it' the way others might). So, with this foreknowledge in tow, what will you do to either avoid this likely eruption or mindfully create a space in which such release is welcomed and encouraged (thus reducing the chance it goes dangerously over-the-top)? For one, I'd dispense with any unreliable notion that you might somehow be able to interact with any potentially triggering players without reacting to their pokes and prods or otherwise bowing to emotion. For another, I'd look to stay largely out of any broader frays (for you'll be apt to take things too personally to be calmly constructive), seeking companionship only from those truest confidantes with whom you can safely vent everything without fear of retribution. Beyond that, it's on you to figure it out. They're your feelings. You know how best to honor them. Don't you?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Please be aware, Gemini, your tone this week will be prone toward gruff directness, instigation of contentious conversation, and/or the kind of humor that also wields a sharpness which others may flinch at having aimed at them… though none of these possibilities are meant to imply you have mean-spirited or malicious motives. Whenever Mercury (still retrograde, for the record) comes together with Mars as is now happening, we often cannot help but come across as edgy, impatient, or aggressive even when such attitudes are the furthest from our minds. Yet, should we balk or take offense at being perceived this way—instead of acknowledging this periodic astro-effect can evoke modes-of-expression that don't faithfully reflect what's in our heart, owning our ill-fitting tone, and making appropriate corrections—our defensive response isn't likely to exonerate us in others' view, as much as it'll essentially validate their observation. Bear all this mind if you wish to avoid inadvertently irking or inciting others; should you trip up, a hasty and humble acceptance-of-responsibility ought to nip it in the bud. Of course, if you want to pick a fight, tell someone off, or cleverly cut 'em down to size, you'll probably do a great job at it… though I'm left to wonder why jab at a potential hornet's-nest.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Everybody knows that even the most 'objective' data can be sliced and diced to support nearly any conclusion one wishes to draw from it… though not every conclusion is equally sound, especially in terms of the concrete results one would achieve by acting on it, once you kick its wheels or dig beneath its glossy promise. I offer you this, Cancer, as an encouragement to look at the data twice or three times or more, not merely to see if it would confirm an already-standing commitment to a particular outcome or determination, but also with the possibility of it revealing some other insight that might inspire a change in thinking and/or action. In other words, don't force the data into the container you most want it to fit into, just because such a conclusion gives you the warmest-and-fuzziest feelings about yourself and/or oversimplifies a matter you wish wasn't so damn un-simple. Let the data continuously drive your decision-making, even if it's starting to provide readings that, when taken to their logical conclusion, seem to demand revision, refinement, or remediation in your grand-plan's unfolding. This is no time to let pride blind your analytic eye or prompt hasty reputation-defending action.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I don't want to say with utter certainty that this is what will happen, Leo, but your astrology for the week ahead looks a lot like the makings of a spectacular temper tantrum. Of course, assigning such a phrase to an outwardly emotion-laden expression of personal will—and to any subsequent reaction to it being either embraced or rejected by other people—is a subjective case of the beholder seeing what their eyes see. It's just as likely you'll be perceived as 'throwing a fit' by someone unsettled or provoked by your unapologetically and brazenly direct self-presentation (due to their history with 'people like you' or for other unexamined reasons) than that you actually will act out in a manner that's brash, bratty, or self-indulgent. The astrological temptation's the same in either case, though: With a retrograde Mercury conjoining Mars in your 1st, you'll be instinctively moved to speak whatever statement of opinion, desire, or truth crosses your mind… even if it's contextually inappropriate, takes up too much space, irritates the listener, or reveals a blind-spot. Do with this knowledge as you will. I won't tell you not to speak your mind; just be aware of the environment in which you'd be speaking, astrological and otherwise.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This is my warning, Virgo, about a potentially precarious week ahead for members of your sign. Your ruler Mercury retrogrades back to your 12th and into a conjunction with Mars, an unstable mix of astro-indicators that could expose you to others' boastful or bombastic ego-driven outbursts and/or your own unresolved-and-unruly emotions about being overlooked or underappreciated. I couldn't encourage you strongly enough not to treat either possible scenario (or any other that resembles it) as a call to swift reactive or retributive action. That's not to say whatever's now coming in clearer isn't ultimately a sign you need to make some substantive change, to redress the slights or self-sacrifices (whether 'real' or 'perceived', if this distinction matters to your psyche) that leave you feeling discontentedly like a second-fiddle or supporting-character in your own life. However, your self-asserted instituting of such change would be best conducted gradually—with more pragmatic deliberation and far less fiery indignation than you can presently muster—beginning next week and continuing into mid-October.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Over these next couple weeks, Libra, you'll be shifting into a phase where your most-active outward participation in the marketplace of ideas (and amidst all those pesky people who harbor them) is coming to its ad-hoc close… and giving way to an interval of crowning completion, wherein you'd best serve your evolution by stepping back out of the hot-zone, reviewing the developments of both this past month and the whole year, and synthesizing the changes into the fabric of your being. Jupiter first entered your sign a year ago next week, a once-every-dozen-years occurrence which is said to make it easier to shed outdated guises, stretch beyond prior confines, explore new possibilities, and become more of yourself than you were before. Sometimes this happens as a result of what first appears as an obstacle, an upset, or a stroke of bad luck… though, if this unchosen opening is acted upon with bold optimism (even in the midst of grief or shock), it can ultimately prove to have carried a life-expanding silver lining. Jupiter leaves Libra in October, not to return again until 2028. With your retreat-beckoning 12th-house just starting to draw increased planetary activity, I'd spend the time between now and Jupiter's departure letting what's transpired totally sink in, allowing you to recognize, honor, and appreciate just how much you've grown.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): This week's heightening of the ongoing dynamism in your professional (or public-world) sector and/or with regards to a certain commanding character, Scorpio, could bring the culmination you've strived for: At last, you will have made your point and/or gotten yourself noticed by the Powers-that-Be, and they'll have little choice but to respond. But whether this peaking-in-prominence proves to be advantageous to furthering your conscious intentions—or instead marks you as a problem-child, an authority-underminer, or an altogether toxic influence—depends on how much that intent may be riddled with less-conscious grandstanding, power-playing, and/or person-to-person antagonism. Under the present astrology, you can't help but broadcast your ego's keen stake in this matter (no, you're not being understated or sly), which, in itself, isn't a problem at all, since there's a value to frankly letting people know what you're seeking to achieve. Yet, if what you really want to achieve right now also involves unseating an adversary, upending the governing structure, and/or claiming greater clout for yourself, that will be apparent to others… and they'll defend their interests accordingly.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The sincerely inquisitive and wisely humble among you, Sagittarius, should be able to harness this week's intellectually impassioning 9th-house conjunction between Mars and still-retrograde Mercury to a vaster understanding, a greater thirst for more knowledge in a specific area, and/or a stronger commitment to certain principles… but only if you're honest about your own subject-position, perspective, history, and (perhaps most importantly) discomfort with concepts and considerations from a way different framework. Truly mind-opening dialogue can only emerge from a fundamental respect for how an individual's life-experiences inform their truths. You cannot argue away someone else's lived wisdoms, even if you possess more educational background or insightful distance, just as they cannot argue away yours. That's why the less curious and more pompous among you are instead likely to attract antagonistic debate, demands for factional solidarity, accusations of prejudice or immorality, or other shadowy hostility to your one-sided view on this multidimensional existence. So, are you here to learn stuff? Or are you here just to posture at being 'right'? Your answer will likely determine the overall feel of your week.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You're arguably at the most fraught and fractious purge-and-purify point in this past-few-weeks' unfolding, Capricorn… and very soon, you will begin to move markedly beyond this spot with a renewed sense of purpose, as well as, hopefully, a far-less-weighed-down conscience. I expect September and October will present you the chance to further develop a fledgling passion, devote yourself more explicitly to a cause or course-of-study, and/or walk decidedly away from an involvement that puts undue strain on your moral center. But before that happens, this week's astro-outlook suggests you may have one significant confession, call-out, acceptance-of-responsibility, assertion-of-boundary, or other controversial statement left to utter. Alas, these conditions also suggest you might go into the exchange not knowing in advance that you'll be uttering it… and it might come out more fully or loudly or aggressively than you'd probably like (since you won't be in total control of its emission)… and it might lead the other party to say something shocking about their stance that you weren't entirely privy to before… and it could feel like a big giant mess. So be it. If there's one thing you're good at (and, don't get me wrong, there are lots), it's making eventual order out of chaos.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Please understand, Aquarius, it'll be a challenge not to come off sounding angry, impatient, or domineering this week in any important (or even not-so-important) one-on-one conversation in which you strongly feel a certain way and/or aren't so sure the other person grasps your point or cares about it. To put this in the context of last week's horoscope, I'd caution you against doubling-down on whatever 'strength-of-character' you've already articulated. Pushing farther or harder on a point that's been made (whether or not it's been accepted or agreed upon by the other party) will come across as an attempt to browbeat, steamroll, or win-by-fire. And rightfully so. This is unlikely to be the moment you'll change minds or open hearts, even if that's the direction this relational snarl is eventually headed. Of course, if it's merely a fight you want, then you should expect your fighting words will convey the vehemence of your stance… though, with Mercury still retrograde, you may reveal more of your ultra-personal stake in this matter than you'd intended, robbing you of the voice-of-reason you like to fall back on. This would be your fight, not the altruistic crusade on behalf of the common-good you might prefer to see it as.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): For this week, Pisces, deal with how things are or aren't functioning properly… and concern yourself less with whose fault it is. You don't have the immediate luxury of dilly-dallying with interpersonal theatrics, ego-pandering, blame-assigning, or self-flagellation. There's likely a fire to put out, a rupture to mend, a dropped ball to recover, and/or some other exacerbation of a long-endured stress in the system now hitting its critical point. And that's what should dominate your attention, not only because you bear an active duty in restoring this functionality as promptly as possible (though the fuller fix may require later follow-up steps, once the initial urgency's been met) but also as a vital demonstration of your on-the-spot ingenuity, dedication, and trustworthiness. Whether you fold under operational pressures or rise to the occasion will have a wider impact on your practicality-oriented self-esteem, which then impacts how valuable others consider you in such contexts. Meanwhile, if you feel you must accept accountability in dialogue with someone else and/or call them out for their mess-making role, that can happen starting next week.