Author Isabel Allende, Leo.
Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images
On Thursday afternoon, love planet Venus enters proud Leo. For the next month, you’ll lose patience with affection that’s offered ambivalently, inconsistently, or with too many conditions attached. In real life, love is never perfect, but that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to disappointment. Let yourself want genuine happiness, sweetness, devotion. Better yet, demand it. You aren’t asking too much: You know how to give all this and more in return. Then on Thursday night, a full moon in Aquarius activates your rebelliousness. Use this time to remind the universe (and yourself) that you can’t be counted on to suppress your individuality in line. You aren’t a pawn or an automaton: You’re a living, breathing human being with ideas of your own. You have power, and this week, don’t be afraid to use it.
The emotions that sustain you aren’t always good and noble ones like hope or joy or love for humanity. There are times when what keeps you going is jealousy or rage or the desire to eventually get to say “I told you so.” Your inner landscape might be dark and prickly right now, and that’s okay. If it’s anger that’s keeping you going, make sure that it’s turned in the right direction. If it’s combativeness, be careful that you’re choosing the right opponents, who deserve your anger. Just be sure to use what fuel you have in the best ways you can.
When you’re stuck in a rut for long enough, it can start feeling permanent. When you experience enough bored or lonely days in a row, you may understandably assume that this is how it’ll be forever. But life can’t be planned; change comes unexpectedly, on surprising and mysterious timelines. This week, at last, a new door will open, a way out of the same old sadness. Your job is to keep your eyes open, to be ready for change when it arrives.
all day every day, there are contradictory messages coming at you from all sides. From advertising to the news, social media to daily real-life interactions, you’re constantly being told what you should want, how you should feel, what ideas deserve to occupy the space in your head. This week, you might need a reminder: None of them have final say on the shape or contents of your inner life. You share this world with other people, and you don’t need to shun their input, but ultimately, you have the power to decide where you’ll turn your attention.
This week, remind yourself that people are different from one another. This sounds like (and is!) a simple truth to accept, but it’s also shockingly easy to forget. You often catch yourself disappointed when others don’t live up to your expectations, or fall into old assumptions about what they should want and how they should feel. When your friends frustrate you, consider that they aren’t failing to follow your rules; they’re just working with a different, equally valid set of their own. When you remember this, and are generous and open-hearted with those around you, it will help you to be generous with yourself, too.
You may feel unseen and unappreciated lately, but that does not mean you are. Far from it. All around you are people who marvel at your talents, your kindness, your extraordinary self. The trouble is that they aren’t expressing their admiration in ways you’re used to. This week, even if you can’t quite see it, trust that your friends are doing their best to care for you, that you’re surrounded by love. The problem, if there is one, is not that they do not adore you (they do!), only that they need help speaking your language.
There are times when other people’s needs are too great for you to meet, when their demands on your energy are simply not reasonable. These moments feel awful. you want to be everything to everyone. You’d give practically anything to be the perfect partner, family member, friend. But nobody on earth has managed this yet, and you’re not likely to be the first. As much as you hate to disappoint anyone, you can’t please everyone all the time. This week, you may have work to do to manage others’ expectations of you. First, though, you’ll have to manage your expectations of yourself.
You’re a person who makes a point of trying to build positive relationships with virtually everyone who crosses your path, from those closest to you to acquaintances, co-workers, even strangers on the street. You know that it’s worthwhile to be giving and pleasant when you can; it’s how you show people they matter to you. But likability can become a prison; pleasantness, a box that you must break out of in order to freely and honestly express yourself. This week, you’ll encounter situations where there is no way to be true to yourself and your values except by being loud, confrontational, or unpopular. Don’t shy away from it. Embrace it.
Some ignore their weaknesses, pretend that they don’t exist. Not you. If anything, you’re more aware of your vulnerabilities than your gifts; protecting your soft spots comes more naturally to you than playing to your strengths. This isn’t a bad way to operate, and occasionally a defensive strategy — in interpersonal conflict, in love, in general — is exactly what’s called for. But it can also be limiting, preventing you from making the most of the power you have. This week, see what happens if you stop worrying so much about the skills or resources you lack, and start fully using the ones you have.
Given the choice, you prefer to be laid-back, kind, generous of spirit. When friends and partners are flaky or disorganized, you’re happy to cut them some slack; when they speak without thinking or are accidentally rude, you’re more than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But this week, you begin to wonder whether this only invites people to take you for granted. Give yourself permission not to be quite so chill. Try holding others to a higher standard, being a little bit more demanding than usual. This isn’t about being difficult, but about taking the steps you need to in order to be treated right.
You fear, sometimes, that your emotions are “wrong.” You worry that your love isn’t strong enough, or that your anger is too much, or that your sadness is disproportionate to your situation. This week, release yourself from those judgments. Or at least, to try. You don’t need to feel brave before you can do brave things, or to experience authentic warmth toward everyone you meet before you can treat them well. Your feelings are just what they are — not right or wrong — so don’t worry. Focus, instead, on how you want to act.
Lately, you’ve been waiting for a big change. You keep watching and sitting by, eager for adventure, impatient for an unexpected external event that will illuminate your purpose and light the way forward. Now, you face a choice: continue to wait in uncertainty for something that might never arrive, or take matters into your own hands and make the first move. It can be frightening to initiate a big change, but this week, you’ll have all the courage you need.
Our choices in life are to some degree limited — by circumstance, means, geography, luck — and they are from the time we’re born. You’ve always known this; between fate and random chance and the tiny group of powerful people making decisions that affect the geopolitical order, there’s plenty that lies wholly outside your control. This week, you might need to remind yourself that none of this means that you have no choices at all. You can speak up when you’re being pushed around; you can walk out just to prove you’re serious. Standing up for yourself is difficult, but you might be surprised by how joyful it can be, too.
Read the weekly horoscopes for the week of August 1. The weekly horoscopes for the week of August 15 will be online next Sunday.
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