Aquarium Age 

For the week of August 6-12, 2008.

The planets present an Olympian challenge this week — and it's not just for athletes competing in Beijing for gold, silver, and bronze medals. This astral invitation tests the mettle of any mortal aspiring to live a conscious life. For some, it's tests of strength or skill, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. For others, it's trials and tribulation, again, on every level. And for even more, competition devolves into testy intolerance, harsh confrontations, or conflicts based on pride and/or power struggles. Most, if not all of us, are likely to feel the force of this week's planetary configurations simply as a struggle to survive, actual or imagined, physical or psychological. What's needed to meet this challenge is a joyous, generous heart that refuses to engage in any negative or harmful behavior. So do whatever it is you do — pretend it's Christmas if you must — to align with an optimistic spirit capable of hoping for a pony.

The source of stress and strain is two-fold. First, the Mars/Uranus opposition separates on August 6, and when difficult interactions pull apart, either the tension releases on its own, or we feel the need to release it through our actions. This opposition spurs sudden and erratic action, which translates into impulsive deeds and reckless abandon. While I'm not suggesting you necessarily defer to bullies, I am advising that meeting upheaval with even more upset won't improve any situation. No one benefits from violence for its own sake. Unusual achievements are possible under positive Mars/Uranus contacts, and this week would be one of the weeks when working to transform an opposition into a trine would be a worthy endeavor.

As Mars moves out of its opposition with Uranus, it moves into a square with Pluto. This fractious interaction begins on August 9, lasts until August 23, and is exact on August 17, the day after the Lunar Eclipse. The problem with a Mars/Pluto square is that it pushes hard, almost always too hard, and as that tendency coalesces with the already agitated Mars/Uranus air, sheer brute force becomes attractive as the "only" way to solve a problem. Rather than insist, desist, and wait for a more propitious time.

I wasn't really kidding when I wrote "pretend it's Christmas." It's one of the few collective holidays that requires us to put down our swords and celebrate peace. There are only 140 days left until Christmas, and while it's way too early to start shopping, the spirit of the season, especially glad tidings, could provide a strong antidote to this week's tendency toward the rash and the brash. But if Christmas doesn't work for you, figure out a holiday that does. The only requirement is that it encourages goodwill and sympathy for our fellow travelers.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.

ARIES March 21-April l9

At the risk of being redundant, I'm going to repeat myself: shift your attitude by refusing to engage in negative thinking, and instead, concentrate on gratitude. If you make the effort to realign your internal state, your external reality will also transform.

TAURUS April 20-May 20

Confrontations with friends are likely to reveal unconscious patterns in need of creative renovation. Although some of what's said may be uncomfortable, if you're willing to slog through the difficult moments, you'll emerge with valuable information.

GEMINI May 21-June 21

It's a choice: (1) Engage in battle and spend time and energy on a situation that will eventually resolve itself. (2) Ignore the tumult and withdraw. (3) Strike a balance between the two and defend your position without exacerbating the already hyper-intense environment.

CANCER June 22-July 22

Listen closely to the words of those you love and you'll hear words of love. Significant others are hugely supportive of all your efforts. So much so, you're able to put aside petty squabble and simply enjoy their company.

LEO July 23-August 22

It's a crisis of value, and the best way to meet the challenge is to put aside all thoughts of lack and scarcity. Concentrate all your energy on practical concrete steps you can make toward greater abundance through authentic self-confidence.

VIRGO August 23-September 22

Make your mantra "Make love not war," and you'll embrace the perfect attitude for handling most difficult situations. What's more, because your devotion to affection will be so noticeable, your reputation as a skillful negotiator will be automatically enhanced.

LIBRA September 23-October 22

It's an opportunity to dial down anxiety and attune to a more optimistic state of mind. Take advantage of this moment by refusing to be distracted by negative externals. Yes, you have responsibilities, but they don't have to become burdens.

SCORPIO October 23-November 21

While some conversations are disconcerting, others provide positive potential, especially if you're willing to commit to a collaborative venture. Listen closely, and you'll discover new allies.

SAGITTARIUS November 22-December 21

A serious attitude about work changes your mood. While there are bound to be glitches, especially the tendency to overextend, if you are determined to see each project through, you'll be pleased with the results.

CAPRICORN December 22-January 19

Rather than allowing the intensity to throw you into a tizzy, use this phase to strengthen your equilibrium. It won't be easy, but if you make balance your primary goal, you'll emerge victorious.

AQUARIUS January 20-February 18

Keep your own counsel, especially when it comes to money, and don't engage in toxic thoughts about hopelessness or helplessness. Each of us co-creates our reality, which translates into opportunities to transform negative situations into positive ones.

PISCES February 19-March 20

It feels like a relationship crisis because it is, and what's intensifying the situation is how rapidly your perception is changing. So rather than despair, realize you're in a personal growth spurt.


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