Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of August 23

Fiona Apple, a Virgo. Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos Getty

Sunday, August 22 marks the start of Virgo season. As the sun leaves behind proud, creative Leo, it now enters thoughtful, conscientious Virgo. While it’s here, your attention will be pulled again and again to questions of what is right — in matters both small and existential. How can you assemble the pieces of your life in a way that is both ethical and joyful? How can you mend the harms you’ve contributed to? How can you live in defiance of cruelty and greed, and in service of something better?

Weekly Horoscope Aries

Aries Weekly Horoscope

Lately, the world has required so much thought from you. Decisions that once would have been easy now pose hidden uncertainties and complications. The everyday actions that once seemed natural, instinctual — where you go, what you eat, how you spend your evenings — suddenly demand reflection. It can be necessary to question what you thought you knew, to make room for growth, just don’t let anybody tell you that this is the only way to live a good life, that every choice you make should feel like a battle, a struggle, an unwinnable negotiation. You’re also allowed to take the path of least resistance.

Weekly Horoscope Taurus

Taurus Weekly Horoscope

A secret truth both terrifying and encouraging is that everything you’ve been told is permanent — all institutions that shape our culture, all the official and unspoken rules — isn’t really. Some structures are more durable than others, but all of them can be changed. It’s frustrating and tiring to think that everything good and beautiful in your life must be maintained, fought for and won again and again. But the flip side is that your defeats aren’t immutable, either. There are people invested in your despair, determined to make you believe that the future is written in stone. But this week, you’ll see cracks in walls you thought were unbreakable. Tangible change is within reach, if you want it.

Weekly Horoscope Gemini

Gemini Weekly Horoscope

Sometimes it’s unbearable to reflect on the many lives you’ve lived: It is as though your memory casts a spotlight directly on all your worst moments: the messy and mortifying ones, or the ones where you accidentally caused pain to others. This piercing clarity makes it difficult to forgive yourself, to withstand the embarrassment of having been so young once, so human. Your challenge, this week, is to temper your criticism with kindness, to resist being immobilized by shame. The people in your life love you, admire you, think you’re wonderful: you can, too.

Weekly Horoscope Cancer

Cancer Weekly Horoscope

When misery seems to compound around you, and the people you love are suffering, and your own way forward is unclear at best, anyone else’s happiness can feel intolerable — as though it’s a deliberate stroke of cruelty, a personal attack. Something in you finds it distasteful and unfair that anyone else should find sweetness when so many others are denied it. Just try to remember that joy, even in dark times, isn’t wrong, but rather as necessary as food and rest. So this week, when the world extends some extra gentleness or pleasure or relief to you, let yourself enjoy it fully.

Weekly Horoscope Leo

Leo Weekly Horoscope

When opportunities appear scarce, you might think it foolish to refuse any of the ones that do come your way. But this week, the key to your happiness is to do just that: turn down invitations, leave behind harmful relationships, or refuse to even consider taking on projects you have no interest in. Some seasons are meant for saying yes to everything, for expanding in whatever ways you can. But right now, it’s better to be more thoughtful about where you put your energies — not because you’re trying to shrink, and not because you’re afraid, but because you’re clearing space for the perfect opportunities that are on the way.

Weekly Horoscope Virgo

Virgo Weekly Horoscope

There’s so much that hasn’t turned out how you planned it. Jobs are unpredictable and relationships ever-changing; the very planet itself has become a different place than the one you were born into. It is easy sometimes to get lost in grief when you recall the life you wanted. This week, though, you can detect a glimmer of possibility, too. None of us gets to choose from among all the worlds that have ever existed — we all have to make a home in this one. And that’s just what you’re doing: growing a community, mending what has broken, building a beautiful life in spite of it all.

Weekly Horoscope Libra

Libra Weekly Horoscope

You already know that you can’t force anyone else to be exactly what you need (or think you need). Each of us is our own singular blend of experiences and ideas and chaotic desires; everyone has something to contribute. What can be harder for you to remember is that you can’t force yourself to be exactly what anyone else needs, either. You can’t separate yourself from your own history or personality. This week, while it’s possible to meet others where they are, you can do so on your own terms: with insight and generosity and without doing anything that’s wrong for you.

Weekly Horoscope Scorpio

Scorpio Weekly Horoscope

When you conceive of the universe in absolutes, when you take every decision as all or nothing, it’s hard to imagine how you might feasibly live a good and worthy life. Black-or-white thinking leaves so little space for ordinary human effort, for the small actions and minor choices that accumulate over time and remake the world from the ground up. You can’t fix everything, but you don’t have to. Nobody requires glory or certainty or grand, perfect actions from you. They only need you to show up, however you can, over and over again.

Weekly Horoscope Sagittarius

Sagittarius Weekly Horoscope

You may sense an uncomfortable kind of pressure this week, as though something big, something momentous is being decided on your behalf. As though the world is waiting for a final answer about what commitments you’ll make to yourself, to your community, to the whole aching planet. But if you’re stressed or confused, then you’re probably thinking too broadly. If you feel uncharacteristically ill-equipped to tackle the big picture, then it’s time to focus instead on what you can see and touch. Right now, clarity won’t be found in the weighty stories we tell, but in the material details of a life.

Weekly Horoscope Capricorn

Capricorn Weekly Horoscope

Surprises can bring gifts, and the unknown can be a realm of magic — but even so, it’s unpleasant to live in a perpetual state of uncertainty. It’s difficult to move when there’s so little solid ground beneath you, so few steady points of reference to guide you. This week, it can be helpful to reduce the number of unanswered questions and unsettled decisions in your life. Opting for solidity in this moment can create space for the right type of change later on. For now, even an imperfect resolution can be better than a door left partly open.

Weekly Horoscope Aquarius

Aquarius Weekly Horoscope

At times, guilt can offer you a strange sort of satisfaction: the experience of it is so intense that you feel like you’re doing something useful, fulfilling an obligation, paying your dues for living on this planet. But this week, if you let it run rampant through your body and soul, guilt will devour all your best energy, and destabilize you completely. Let yourself heal by participating fully in the world around you: by bearing witness, by sharing resources, by doing what you can to make this earth more hospitable to everyone, including yourself.

Weekly Horoscope Pisces

Pisces Weekly Horoscope

You’re skilled at seeing the world from other people’s perspectives: you know that yours is not the only pain that matters, your desires and struggles not the only ones in existence. You’re aware that all of humanity is connected, that the only way to live well is through the understanding that the only true justice is shared justice. The challenge, this week, is to translate your abstract commitments into daily actions. It’s a task that can strike you as overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. After all, the work is shared: you’ll do what you can, and others will chime in.

Read the weekly horoscopes for the week of August 16. The weekly horoscopes for the week of August 30 will be online next Sunday.

Get Claire Comstock-Gay’s book, Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars, out now.

Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of August 23