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Weekly horoscope Aug. 18-24

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Virgo The Virgin (Aug. 22-Sept. 22): Mercury is turning retrograde in your sign and will be more likely to affect your daily affairs than many others. It won't be easy for you to make decisions or bring agenda to a conclusion until the end of September. Use the energy to research information and gather resources for better decisions later.

For All Signs: Saturn is now firmly in the sign of Libra for the next two-and-a-half years. As a rule, Saturn's placement in Libra has a reputation for fair and just dispensation of rewards and punishment by anyone in authority. But there is a peculiar twist for the next two years in which the authorities tangle with the zeitgeist of our times, the need for transformation of the economy, our relationship to the earth, and the prevailing marketplace, to name only a few. Whatever is corrupt must be exorcised or transformed under this influence including those very authorities if the shoe fits. This battle will be occurring both globally and individually. We will be pressured to consider that which is corrupt within our psyches and/or our families and take steps to clean up the parts that are run by greed. Most of us would agree it is high time we should. See part II next week.

Aries: This is a highly significant period in your primary relationship(s). You have issues to work through and healing to do for both of you. Sidestep the temptation to drill your truth into the mind of another. If you do not share a consensus reality, then search for a higher perspective that allows both views to be true.

Taurus: It's time to take a good look at your self-care habits and beef up your resolve to avoid sliding into old patterns. The temptation this month is strong. The Bulls really enjoy lying in the grass and enjoying the smell of the flowers, maybe tasting a bonbon or two. Now is the time for a fresh beginning in a personal regimen.

Gemini: Your ruling planet, Mercury, is retrograding in the areas related to property, family and issues of security. You are likely reworking things in one of these territories. Family members may be erratic or hard to pin down, making it difficult to conclude open agendas. Have patience. This period will be fully concluded by the end of September.

Cancer: You are conflicted on the subject of romance versus caretaking, which is your natural instinct. Perhaps you are caught in the middle between the needs of a spouse and your children. Sometimes a Cancerian becomes a parent to the partner, which usually creates a troubled atmosphere. Observe your behavior on these matters but wait until you are more centered for action.

Leo: You may feel confused or possibly deceived by others in your life this week. Do the best you can to empathize with the plights of others without turning yourself into a victim. Avoid guilt games, no matter who may be the perpetrator (and it might be you). Seek guidance from a source who is wiser than yourself.

Libra: This month's Venus/Mars alignment brings you face to face with your identity versus your relationship. You have a need to evaluate how you will manage to meet your personal needs and yet remain connected to the "other." In your case, this "other" may be tied to business and your newly developing identity.

Scorpio: You must work to stay conscious during this period of a fresh Venus/Mars conjunction. When Scorpio becomes dark, it will sting anyone, including the self. There is a deep need for transformation of self in your relationships. Learning how to create change without tearing everything up is a lifelong project for Scorpions.

Sagittarius: Your heart wants to expand a creative project or even a love affair to the ninth degree. But "something" is cautioning you to wait. Take your time. Listen to your intuition. Research what you need to know in order to make a good decision later. Expand slowly and wait for feedback from the outer world.

Capricorn: Beware of the tendency to obsess and worry over matters that may never happen. You are tempted to see the world through a dark lens this week and you may think that is the true version. It's more likely that the pessimistic view is extreme. If there is something you can actually do to make things better, then hop on it. Otherwise, set it on the back burner for review at a later time.

Aquarius: You may need to concentrate in order to avoid critics, whether they be internal or external. Instead of blame, use the discipline to begin research on a project that requires concentration. Avoid contracts and business negotiations right now because misunderstandings are more probable.

Pisces: The full moon is in your sign on the 24th. That plus other planetary energies in the cosmos suggest this is a challenging week. Probably more than one revelation of truth will open your eyes to an understanding of how things have happened in your life. If you discover a personal flaw, it may shock you, but let it rest easily until you can absorb it.

Are you interested in a personal horoscope? Vivian Carol may be reached at (704) 366-3777 for private psychotherapy or astrology appointments. (There is a fee.) Blog: www.horoscopesbyvivian.com.

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