Horoscopes Aug. 7–13, 2011

Cancer casts off secrecy, Leo lives the dream, and Capricorn has some serious fun.

BORN THIS WEEKFidel Castro (Aug. 13, 1926)

Sharing a birthday with Alfred Hitchcock, Castro joins a list of Leo dictators that includes Napoleon and Mussolini; just as a number of control-freaky directors, like Kubrick, DeMille, Polanski, Warhol, also portray absolute Leo authority. The Lion king, like his ruler Sun, expects others to revolve around him. This can be a positive thing, like King Arthur circled by a round table of righteous knights or Robert Redford allowing others to Sundance around him. On the shadow side, however, it can manifest as tyranny.

ARIESMine the past to illuminate the future. Even make a list of personal history lessons learned, and examine present circumstances to ensure you’re embracing, not repeating, them. Uranus conjunct your natal Sun is in T-square position to opposing Mars and Pluto. Long story short: You must jettison baggage, real and metaphoric, to speed your trip toward material success and certain enlightenment, each likely being a solo experience. Needy hangers-on tsk-tsking the fact “you’ve changed”? Goodbye to all that. Mercury backpedals into Leo, Monday, giving both loving and creative passions time to deepen.

TAURUSGiving grows. Your generosity is called upon now by worthy recipients. Though payback mightn’t be obvious or imminent, you can safely invest financially and emotionally in causes designed to enhance community, be it local or global. Mercury retreating into Leo presses pause on professional whirlwinds, putting focus on a need for a stronger home base. For some, this plants seeds for moving house, while all Bulls feel a need to ground in where they are. A liberal stance on relationships waxes conservative as you increasingly value yourself. Saturday’s Full Moon may bring your biggest career break to date.

GEMINIThe old adage “words are cheap” is hitting home. With Mercury backsliding into Leo, you must separate the wheaty truth from the chatty chaff of others. By the same token, you are urged to keep mum more than usual, lest you enter overpromising or overcritical territory. It’s a challenge because you’re now also more in love with your own voice. Save it. Write down thoughts, or create mental files to be verbalized after the 26th. A freewheeling, waxing Capricorn Moon, Thursday, brings a psychological breakthrough: Self-destructive behavior stems from past rebellion against family authority or taboos.

CANCERSecrecy is no friend now. Anything you can’t do openly must be outed or ousted. Either accept certain things about yourself as truths, or deny their inclusion in your experience. Mars further muscles through Cancer, and he is a warrior for realness. Opposing Pluto, named for the god of the underworld and of riches, Mars will unearth all your repressions and your buried treasures. And guess what? They’re one and the same. Behind every covert thought or action lies a hidden talent or ability to help yourself, and others. The Full Moon, Saturday, signals transformation. You are most, shall we say, becoming!

LEOLiving the dream: There’s a synchronic, almost magical, quality to your experience now. But there is mischievous hocus-pocus afoot, too. Mercury retrograding into Leo brings his full bag of tricks. On one hand, you barely utter a wish before it seems to come true, or you “coincidentally” bump into a would-be investor, or welcher, who needed hunting down. On the other: Don’t take “fairy favors” for granted, as they may be fleeting. Have witnesses handy, get commitments in writing, and take every promise with a grain of salt. Ironically, seemingly supernatural assists are meant to inspire your most pragmatic self.

VIRGOExpect to be flooded by memories, intended to reorient you to earliest hopes and wishes. Mercury retrograde inspires you to revisit ignored destiny callings that still silently echo in your psyche. And don’t be surprised if you sense a loving presence, or two. Mercury mashing up with the Sun and Venus in your non-material sector can make even skeptical you a believer in unseen guidance. A Moon-Mars opposition, midweek, spotlights your habit of turning anger inward, lending you courage to confront overbearing forces, instead of beating yourself up for feeling like you disappoint others.

LIBRAMercury’s retrograde may seem harder on you than anyone. But appearances are deceiving. Yes, clever cats can turn circumstance around to make you seem the culprit. And, despite the mountains of work you’re moving, detractors may point out the one pebble you missed, and sneer—hardy-har-har—for the amusement of others or their own self-aggrandizement. And for the Scales, who puts a lot of weight on outside opinion, this can be painful. But just imagine possessing all your natural talent, drive, compassion, and the ability to transcend caring what others think of you. That’s what the week brings.

SCORPIOA power struggle may dominate experience now. But you win it by not being in it. Pluto opposing Mars prescribes entering into the mindspace that you have nothing to prove. The authority you seek is more about attitude than expertise. Banish doubt and throw your weight around, never stopping to ask “may I.” The Moon conjunct Pluto, Tuesday, urges you to master emotions and channel them into long-term goals—your feelings can be hurt only if you let them. These moody planets seek to turn would-be bruising into a burnished-steel reserve, engraved with a new Scorpio mantra: Revenge is lost ambition.

SAGITTARIUSIf Mercury retrograde teaches you anything, it’s that things can be way simpler than they are. Figuring out life down to the last detail may feel right in the moment; but as you lie in bed at night, ask yourself what you might have left unsaid. The answer? A lot. People can feel they strike you as incompetent. Is that your intention? Be honest. And do you twist the knife in conversation because you feel on the defensive? Who put you there? Say it with us: “Me!” All such realizations courtesy of one tiny seemingly backward-moving planet. And one more: You’re not as tough as you act. (Stop acting and life gets easier.)

CAPRICORNSometimes horoscopes manifest literally. This is one of those times. Pluto in your sign will see a near-full Moon pass over it like a magnifying lens, amping its transformative power. Your world drastically changes around you—career accelerating, finances flourishing, home environment morphing, relationships strengthening as they wax freer, and your creative spirit soaring, phoenix-like, from what you deemed the ashes of your past. Fun week. Seriously, you can’t recall when you’ve experienced more joy. Indeed, all emotions are heightened from these planet moves. None more than double-edged desire.

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AQUARIUSCircumstance seems designed to burst your bubbles. Neptune, recently returned to Aquarius, wraps you in wonder and fantasies you’re determined to live out, while Mercury opposing that planet bombards you with every mundane reason to get off of that cloud. Truth lies in their cooperative energy, helping you decipher pursuable dreams from delusion, urging you to embrace so-called banalities as ballast to stabilize your state of mind. It’s easy for you to appreciate experience when it feels heightened and heavenly. What you lack is a knack for loving life’s little chores, a term you too often apply to others.

PISCESAny ruts you’ve fallen into are paved over with the promise of more stimulating routines. Uranus T-square Mars and Pluto highlights the need to eliminate dependence on collectives that foster cult mentality, and to put yourself at the center of the action, both professionally and socially, as ever the twain shall meet now. Having plucked bits of spiritual wisdom from a variety of sources, you can formulate your own system for direct connection with the All, whatever it means to you. By the Full Moon, Saturday, you are blissfully unbeholden to the demands of others, thus worlds more compassionate toward them.