Horoscopes (August 20 - 26)

ARIES (Mar. 21-Apr. 20):

After sweating out one thing after another, here you are opening up to a period of smooth sailing. Getting on with things has restored your faith in the power of the spirit to find its way through anything. The next phase of the journey will require you to pay closer attention to the way you affect other people. And the smoothness of the sailing will depend to a large extent on how others respond to your energy and your level of integrity. What comes out of this could make you or break you. Don't put on airs or try to over impress people — just be who you are.

TAURUS (Apr. 21-May 20):

It's time to loosen your load. Nothing's going to move or change until you dislodge a few things. The weight of too much stuff and the side effects of having the ego multiply all of your demands have gotten you into a pickle. As much as you are aware that you have to tear yourself away, you have all kinds of ties that can't be easily broken overnight. As long as you are realistic enough to see that it's time to prune off the lies and the years of dead wood, you will be free to get on with your life with nothing left behind to make you feel any sense of obligation to the past.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

Circumstances have involved you with people who need you to do what they can't do for themselves. In many cases, what you do for others is taking care of you on some level. All of this is calling you to consider the forces of give and take in your relationships. It's so easy for you to give, but much harder for you to receive. Looking at what comes up for you every time anyone wants to return the favor will help you understand that all your giving comes from feeling like you can never do or be enough; it's time to look at yourself and ask what's up with that.

CANCER (June 21-July 20):

Be mindful of the company you keep. You aren't at all clear about why you're here, and until you see that you came for a very specific lesson, your experiences will continue to teach you. At this point it's difficult for you to separate what the child in you wants from what the adult needs. It's more than evident that you don't need this, but an older part of you keeps drawing you back to it. It would be better for you to focus on yourself and what you came here to do than it would be for you to spend all your energy feeding old patterns and negative or delusional people.

LEO (July 21-Aug. 20):

You could try a little harder but it won't make a difference. No one's noticing. And they either won't or they can't because they have other obligations, interests, or preferences. Give this situation only what it will take. Don't knock yourself out over things that are of no consequence, and don't expect anyone to care. Timing is everything, and it makes no sense to push when circumstances call you to see that nothing comes to fruit when you do. It's also more than obvious that you need to wind down and find a way to reconnect with things that matter to you.

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 20):

You haven't got to worry too much about whether someone's going to rise to the occasion. Their efforts to win your approval have been going on long enough for you to see that, at the very least, they mean well. What you haven't considered is that they may not be qualified and maybe that this isn't in their best interests. Before you assume that what's good for you is good for them, you might want to double check on what's really going on here. Trade-offs are never easy. The devil's in the details, and the subtler issues will mess you up if you don't address them honestly.

LIBRA (Sept. 21-Oct. 20):

You may not know what to do next but thank God you are on your way to changing a few things. Yes, nothing has been easy. Anything but this sounds like such a good idea, but you've had to give up everything just to hang in there, so be cautious. Give yourself a few more weeks to get back to square one, and don't set your sights until you know who and what you're dealing with. Bold moves won't work right now; stay cool, keep your nose to the grindstone, and wait.

SCORPIO (Oct. 21-Nov. 20):

No one needs to tell you that you've got to be cautious. The one who once took on everything without thinking twice has been burned enough times to know that he or she can no longer function on a wing and a prayer. With any luck, you are opting for a change that will lend more stability to your situation. Deeper issues have called you to consider moving. If it isn't age or the economy, it's your intuition telling you to get out of Dodge. Whatever the reason, you keep thinking that the solution to everything that's going on right now could very well be the geographical cure.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 21-Dec. 20):

You may think that it's a matter of self-preservation to stick up for yourself, but it isn't going to work for you this time. Every situation is different. This one is not in your charge. Before you go too far with the "Don't Tread on Me" routine, you need to understand that whoever this is about is under no obligation to do anything that doesn't suit their purposes. The only strategy that will work is one of total submission — at least for the time being. If you want to hold your position, smarten up; you will do more to fortify it by keeping it light and going along with the program.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 20):

Opportunities to break out and do something totally different have enticed you into thinking that they are the answer to your prayers. As exciting as it seems, you are wise enough to see that others are involved in all of your choices, and part of you is hard-pressed to venture too far afield. Caught between the realm of possibility and the reality of what's up and running, try to see yourself playing both roles and decide who you want to be. You may find out that staying right where you are feels a hell of a lot better than taking a chance on what's behind the curtain.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 20): Whether you know it, others are paying more than the usual amount of attention. This could be good or bad, depending on their motives. Don't be fooled by what passes for friendliness, and don't assume that politeness is a sign of integrity. Even if others are anything close to what they appear to be, the next time it's your turn to respond you'd be smart to engage just enough to give them a chance to display some sincerity. And be particularly watchful of your appetite for flattery. In this situation, it could very well be nothing more than a good line.

PISCES (Feb. 21-Mar. 20):

You are trying to handle a complex set of variables as methodically as you can. It would be easier if this didn't involve having to keep half of your attention on the other players and their issues. Multiple forms of codependence have you wishing people could just be straight with each other. I hate to clue you in but people can't even be straight with themselves! If you're worried about how this is all going to reflect on you, just keep the light on, stay honest, and know enough to shut people off when their issues start mucking up their ability to be truthful with you.

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