Artist Hedda Sterne, a Leo.
Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty
Late Friday night, action planet Mars enters mercurial Gemini, making the single-minded pursuit of your goals more difficult than ever. You’ll get distracted in the middle of your work, lose interest in new people quickly, or be tempted to change strategies at the smallest provocation. Part of you may try to force yourself to stay the course. But you’ll be happier, and more successful, too, if you can work with this energy instead of fighting it. Let your interests change and branch out; let your dreams expand and transform. You don’t need to hold yourself to the goals or the plans you made in the past if they no longer make sense. Circumstances change, and you can, too.
You wonder, occasionally, if your life would be better if people took you more seriously or if you were better at following their rules. You imagine that if you had less fun, then every door would open to you. This week, the urge to shape yourself to fit someone else’s standards may be stronger than ever, but resist. It won’t help and will only serve to diminish what makes you wonderful, what makes you you. Don’t let other people’s expectations determine how you live. Your instincts are strong. Trust them.
Normally, you’re in tune with your abilities and capabilities. You know how much you can reasonably get done, and you know how long it will take. This week, though, everything will require more effort than you think it should. This isn’t because there’s anything wrong with you or because you need to work harder. You’ve been carrying a heavy load for a long time, and you’re tired. You aren’t a machine, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to perform like one. For now, rest as much as you can and trust that your energy will return.
For better or for worse, your natural curiosity is hard to turn off. Your instinct is always to get the details about every interpersonal drama, to develop an opinion on every controversy, to learn all you can about the people in your life. It’s not that you’re nosy. You’re curious about others, engaged in the world outside your head. This week, for the sake of your own sanity, remember that you can also let some of it filter out. Let gossip float past you; accept that you’ll never have an informed opinion on every issue. Your life will be interesting anyway and much more peaceful.
When your role, whether in your workplace, your family, or community, is to be the responsible one, it makes it nearly impossible to honor your need to take (healthy) risks. When everyone around you assumes you’ll be the voice of reason, it’s hard to express your reckless side. Because no matter how conscientious you are, you’re also imaginative, and you deserve to give voice to that part of yourself. This week, know that you don’t always have to give other people what they want or expect. You have to be loyal to yourself — your whole, complicated, contradictory self — too.
It might sound silly or sentimental, but this week, your primary task is simply to be sweet — both to others and yourself. You’ll likely read that and think it isn’t enough, that you must challenge and push yourself. And you’re right that gentleness, on its own, won’t be enough forever. Still, there are seasons for everything. Just as every minute of the day can’t be spent on work, every chapter of your life can’t be one of intensity. Consider, at least, that you’re in a period (if only a brief one) of softness and see what happens if you act accordingly.
As much as you enjoy your social life, you can underestimate how valuable it is. It seems more like a treasured luxury, something separate (and potentially a distraction!) from the serious work of living: personal growth, career achievement, or the fight for a better future. This week, though, you’ll be reminded of how important your people really are. Not the “important” ones, with the power to help you toward your goals, but those who populate your everyday world. There is magic in being part of a rich network of friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors who care for each other. If you prioritize the people in your life, you will not regret it.
Sometimes, boredom is necessary, even good: The small, everyday chore of caring for one another isn’t often thrilling, but it’s always worthwhile. Even the most important projects, the ones that genuinely excite you, will involve some tedious tasks, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there are other kinds of dreariness that you never need to accept. This week, you can refuse to rehash the same arguments over and over again, spend your free hours with people you don’t respect, or read books and watch shows you find uninteresting because you think you “should.” Your time belongs to you; don’t forget it.
It can be challenging for you to let others treat you with generosity. Experience has taught you that there are plenty of people out there who are not to be trusted, offering friendship or support that comes with hidden strings attached. But this week, genuine kindness is going to enter your life, and your job (a surprisingly difficult one) is to let it in. You have to let your guard down long enough to make connection possible, have to approach others with an open heart. Not everyone in the world will treat you right, but plenty of people will, and you might be surprised by how much love they have to give you.
These days, you feel as though you’re meant to be good at everything, knowledgeable on all subjects, able to get along with everyone you encounter. That pressure might be coming from your boss, your family, or yourself, but no matter the source, it’s unreasonable. You don’t have to know or be everything. You only have to be you: one person, with your own beautiful, specific set of skills and experiences and ideas. Give yourself permission to commit to what you’re good at, what you love best. This will be enough.
You’re hyperaware of how short life is, how limited our time on earth. In order to achieve your grand ambitions, you know that you must use each day wisely in service of your bigger goals. But this week, you’ll come up against the reality that nobody can be constantly “on”. It’s not possible to keep total control over your thoughts, your energy levels, your focus. If you’ve been driving yourself too hard, which you probably have, make a point to relax your grip. You have permission to do things that are not immediately “useful” and are instead pleasurable, fun. In fact, as a human being, you need to.
Lately, the weight of your regrets and past mistakes has been dragging you down. There’s so much you wish you’d understood sooner and so much you wish you could have done differently that it’s hard to imagine a way forward. However, if you make the effort to repair frayed relationships this week, people will be more receptive than you think. If you do your best not to retreat into shame or fear but to learn and keep going, you’ll be surprised at how the world opens up to you. You can’t redo the past, but you can change your life starting now.
Every once in a while, your normal anxieties fade away, if only for a moment, and you catch a glimpse of yourself as you appear to those who love you. Through their eyes, you’re caring and brave; your flaws are more than outweighed by all that you have to offer. Moments of clear and uncomplicated self-love are rare, so when you experience them, as you will this week, don’t let them pass by without notice. Remember what this feels like. You can’t banish insecurity permanently, but you can hold onto the knowledge that you’re worthy of love.
Read the weekly horoscopes for the week of August 8. The weekly horoscopes for the week of August 22 will be online next Sunday.
Get Claire Comstock-Gay’s book, Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars, out now.
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