Artist Hedda Sterne, a Lion.
Photo illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty
Late Friday night, action planet Mars enters the Mercurial Gemini, making it harder than ever to pursue your goals. You become distracted at work, lose interest in new people quickly, or are tempted to change strategy at the slightest provocation. Part of you may be trying to force yourself to stay on track. But you will be happier and more successful 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 have to stick to the goals or plans you made in the past if they no longer make sense. Circumstances change, and so do you.
You sometimes wonder if your life would be better if people took you more seriously or if you’d better follow their rules. You imagine that if you had less fun, every door would open for you. This week, the urge to mold yourself to live up to someone else’s standards may be stronger than ever, but resist. It won’t help and will only serve to diminish what makes you great, what makes you you. Don’t let other people’s expectations dictate how you live. Your instinct is strong. Trust them.
Normally you are attuned to your abilities and capacities. You know how much you can reasonably do and you know how long it will take. This week, however, everything will take more effort than you think. This is not because there is something wrong with you or because you have to work harder. You have been carrying a heavy burden for a long time and you are tired. You are not a machine and you should not expect yourself to perform that way. Rest as much as you can for now and trust that your energy will return.
For better or worse, your natural curiosity is hard to turn off. Your instinct is always to get the details of any interpersonal drama, to develop an opinion on any controversy, to find out everything about the people in your life. It’s not that you’re curious. You are curious about others, busy with the world outside your head. This week, for your own sanity, remember that you can also have some of it filtered out. Let gossip float by; accept that you will never have an informed opinion on any subject. Your life will be interesting and much more peaceful anyway.
When your role, be it at work, your family or the community, is the one in charge, it makes it nearly impossible to honor your need to take (healthy) risks. When everyone around you assumes you’re the voice of reason, it’s hard to express your reckless side. Because no matter how conscientious you are, you also have imagination and you deserve to give that part of yourself a voice. Know this week that you don’t always have to give other people what they want or expect. You must be loyal to yourself – you wholecomplicated, self-contradictory – too.
It may sound silly or sentimental, but this week your primary task is simply to be kind—to others as well as to yourself. You will probably read that and think that it is not enough, that you have to challenge and push yourself. And you’re right that softness alone won’t be enough forever. Yet there are seasons for everything. Just as every minute of the day cannot be spent on work, every chapter of your life cannot be intense. In any case, remember that you are in a (if only a short) period of softness and see what happens when you act accordingly.
As much as you enjoy your social life, you can underestimate how much valuable it is. It seems more like a cherished luxury, something separate (and possibly a distraction!) from the serious work of life: personal growth, career achievement or the struggle for a better future. However, this week you will be reminded of how important your people really are. Not the ‘important’ ones, with the power to help you achieve your goals, but the ones that populate your everyday world. It’s magical to be part of a rich network of friends, family, colleagues and neighbors who take care of each other. If you prioritize the people in your life, you won’t regret it.
Sometimes boredom is necessary, even good: the small, daily chore of taking care of each other is not often exciting, but it is always worth it. Even the most important projects that really get you excited will involve some tedious tasks, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there are other kinds of gloom that you never have to accept. This week you can refuse to repeat the same arguments over and over, spend your free hours with people you disrespect, or read books and watch programs that you find uninteresting because you think you “should.” Your time is yours; do not forget it.
It can be a challenge for you to let others treat you generously. Experience has taught you that there are plenty of people who cannot be trusted, who offer friendship or support that comes with hidden obligations. But this week, genuine kindness is entering your life, and it’s your job (a surprisingly difficult one) to let it in. You have to be on your guard long enough to allow connection, approaching others with an open heart. Not everyone in the world will treat you well, but many people will, and you might be surprised how much love they have to give you.
These days, you feel like you’re supposed to be good at everything, knowledgeable about all subjects, and able to get along with anyone. That pressure can come from your boss, your family, or yourself, but no matter where it comes from, it’s unreasonable. You don’t have to know or be everything. You just have to be yourself: one person, with your own beautiful, specific skills, experiences and ideas. Give yourself permission to commit to what you are good at, what you love most. This will suffice.
You are hyper aware of how short life is, how limited our time on Earth is. To realize your great ambitions, you know that you must use each day wisely in the service of your greater goals. But this week, you’re stumbling upon the reality that no one can be “on” all the time. It is not possible to have total control over your thoughts, your energy levels, your focus. If you’ve been speeding, which you probably did, make it a point to relax your grip. You have permission to do things that are not immediately “useful” and are instead enjoyable and fun. In fact, as a human being you need that.
Lately, the weight of your regrets and past mistakes has dragged you down. There is so much you wish you would have understood sooner and so much you wish you could have done differently that it is hard to imagine a way forward. However, if you put in the effort to mend frayed relationships this week, people will be more receptive than you think. If you do your best not to retreat in shame or fear, but to learn and move on, you will be surprised how the world opens up to you. You can’t redo the past, but you can change your life from now on.
Every now and then your normal worries disappear, if only for a moment, and you catch a glimpse of yourself as you appear to those who love you. Through their eyes you are caring and brave; your flaws are more than made up for by everything you have to offer. Moments of clear and straightforward self-love are rare, so if you experience them, as you will this week, don’t let them pass. Remember how this feels. You cannot permanently banish insecurity, but you can hold on to the knowledge that you are 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.
Grab Claire Comstock-Gay’s book, Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Starsout now.