Horoscopes | Week of July 18-24, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As last week, you're virtually unstoppable. Alas, this week, there are more likely to be negative ramifications for ignoring the will of the group, the good of the whole, or the enactment of the collective dream, simply to suit your own moment's whims. Truly taking care of yourself—rather than following an immediate instinct, and then later realizing you sacrificed something else in order to act first and think later—requires you to contemplate long-term scenarios, ultimate goals, and the other players with whom you must foster team spirit so that everyone gets what they want. Still, though I may tell you this and you may read it now, it won't make steering your easily excitable conduct into less knee-jerk spontaneity any easier. Perhaps, instead of trying to decide ahead of time what you're going to do (always a challenge for an Aries), at least commit to deciding what you won't, under any circumstances, do, so as to prevent screwing over others and subsequently sabotaging yourself.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you've played along with me this past two weeks, you've traversed a broad range of emotional landscapes and discovered through experience (and hopefully without judgment) how complex an individual you can be, when you're not single-mindedly possessed by the drive to remain stable. Well, I do hope you've learned something, Taurus, because these past two weeks have been a preamble to the next two years, now that Saturn is lodged squarely in your 4th house and cracking its whip on your private understanding of emotional wellness. Your upcoming task (and one which shouldn't be taken lightly) is to perpetually permit yourself this space to be needy, sentimental and sensitive… and to treat yourself with the same compassionate kindness you would an orphaned youngster. Because, let's face it, in order to properly care for yourself, you've got to undo and redo whatever wasn't done right in your childhood parenting, or else those miscreant mothers and fathers we love to blame will continue to win the imaginary internal power struggle. It's a lot to handle, but you've got a full two years to do it. For this week at least, toss around the possibilities on a safe philosophic level (a la 'What might I gain from accepting this challenge?') and let the meaty emotional work emerge bit by chunk over time.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The knotty mixture of astrological factors colludes toward possible pratfalls for you, my dear Gemini, if you don't keep close watch on your sometimes-slippery tongue. One of the worst mischaracterizations of your sign is that you are so breezy as to be emotionally insensitive to others' feelings, an unfairness that comes from your ability to rhapsodize so dizzyingly on any subject and then change gears just as quickly. Without even knowing the full brunt of what you may say this week, something you meant in the most innocent of contexts could strike somebody in the deepest of sensitive spots… and the repercussions might not hit your radar right away. You were thinking 'big picture', but they'll assume you were aiming your opinions or observations straight into their soul. 'Projection' much? Well, though the cause of the reinterpretation may strictly belong to them, your loose lips provide the lightning rod that attracts the electrical storm. (This scenario, by the way, is partly thanks to your ruler Mercury turning retrograde in your 3rd house this week.) Watch your words. Oddly, the more seemingly casual the circumstance may be, the more likely that it's one where somebody may end up unintentionally stung.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Other people are your necessary means for having a successful, prosperous and rewarding life. But they bite, they squawk, they hide their tears, and they have irksome ideas and squirrelly issues of their own which obstruct your path to easy victory. You can't go over 'em. You can't go under 'em. You can't go around 'em. You've got to go right up to them, negotiate and navigate your way through. If you skip a step or foul up an important connection, it will be waiting for you later, pounding its fist into a padded boxing glove and preparing to sock you one (well-deserved, I might add) for your disrespecting the proper procedural processes. Believe it or not, what I've just described is also the unexplainable joy of living out our incarnations in the family circus called humanity. Your consciousness could unfold in a vacuum-packed isolation chamber, where you never heard another voice telling you 'no'… or telling you anything at all. It would be quiet. It would be safe. And it would teach you absolutely nothing. (Not to mention all that loneliness and sexual frustration.) That's why all those throne-sitting kings, fire-breathing dragons and damsels-in-distress we call 'other people' are there. Thank them for intimidating you, and spurring you on the higher greatness.


LEO (July 23-August 22): All that I proclaimed for you last week on behalf of Saturn's new residence in your sign is not, I repeat, to digest in one sitting. You're well aware of the heightened levels of lurking self-responsibility that lie ahead, and in that truly regal Leonine posture, you're braced to proudly meet the trials head-on. You tell yourself, in fact, that it won't be so bad… that you already have some psychic inkling of what to expect, and have actually started to do your work. You will serve as a model for how other signs can tackle Saturn's authoritarian influence by accepting the challenge and swallowing your medicine without complaint. However… and this is a big 'however'… prepare to reassess and rework your relative readiness, now that Mercury is reversing itself and heading retrograde in your sign through the middle of August. As it retraces its steps, you will discover that there were missing pieces to that puzzle you thought you'd just about solved. This week's developments, which initiate the complications, hinge on how you handle those obligation relationships that require your humble patience for the highest benefit of your work, health and/or duty-driven sectors of life. That's all I'll say for now, because you still have much more to discover than you imagined and I don't want to ruin the surprise.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The solar system's throwing you a bone, Virgo, with lovely lady Venus entering your sign this week and staying until mid-August. This means that, in the midst of all this crazed psychological clutter and hyperactive behavioral disarray, you'll finally regain the wherewithal to create a little order. If you so choose—and frankly, I can't see why you wouldn't choose it—you can partially disengage yourself from the external world's frantic antics and devote your dilettantish diligence to some separate setup of your own. The more aesthetically pleasing to you, the better. You're being given cosmic permission to make soothing beauty, as a respite from recently frazzling times and as a gift to thank the heavens you made it this far. Others can be included to share in the joy of your personal creations at your discretion, or not… though displaying a bit of sympathetic generosity, now that you've been gifted with Venus's charm, could go far in smoothing over those edges you left rough because you'd had enough. Where you were beginning to lack the patience and grace necessary to play certain interpersonal games, you're regaining your stride and will soon be feeling more like yourself again. Hooray for Venus!


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Your best bet for relief is to surrender to the situation, rather than acting hastily to remove yourself or repeatedly trying to chip away at the barriers to pure (though imagined) satisfaction. You continue to find justifiable reasons why he or she is 'doing it wrong', but I'm not sure you understand what you hope to gain by rubbing his/her face in the pile of shit and expecting a lesson to be taught. (And just because your methods are often more subtle than what I've described, don't think for a second that the psychic result isn't the same.) I wouldn't seek resolution now, but rather relish in the nausea-inducing unknown, focusing less on what somebody else is missing and more on what you have to contribute in other avenues unburdened by this relational angst. When in doubt, take a walk in the park. Empty your mind of arguments, hypotheses and game-plans, and instead ponder how the universe has produced so many different colors of flowers and where the birds fly off to when they leave their roosts for the season. Life is much much larger than what your myopic worries might tempt you into believing.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You're shifting into a zone where sincere resolve to 'make something of yourself' is begging to be adopted, no matter which other people and circumstances seek to distract or undermine you. And as long as you fixate your labors' light on all the crap you have to get done today (or is it only what you think you have to get done?), you will never pause long enough to ask the big questions and orchestrate the stellar schemes that'll rescue you from incessant wanting-more by delivering just what you wanted. For both your own highest aspirations and your immediate sense of private calm, you can't just work without stopping to decide which work is worth it and which is just a season pass to the ceaselessly circling conveyor belt of drudgery. The looming task is to nourish a vast vision, a dream that you know you can accomplish but only in measured steps over lengths of time. Set a two-year goal. Then, decide which day-to-day duties are incompatible with that goal, and start pushing to drop 'em. It won't be easy, though. You'd be surprised how much comfort you're gaining from draining your faculties in the mass of work you're currently buried under.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): What's pragmatically best for you may not always be what you want to do. And this week, Sagittarius, you're simultaneously urged to make the practical choice, while virtually driven to act out in the silly, stupid, and fun-fostering lust-for-life direction. At the very least, do what you can to balance the two, so that the overhanging obligation to reserve some funds and hang close to the bunker doesn't build up too acutely and compel you to totally bust out in reactionary, uproarious self-indulgence. How does this advocacy of temperance match up with last week's call for ballsier aplomb? In a very tricky-to-maneuver balance, no doubt. This week, the risks taken come with dicier consequences to your pocketbook and/or your sense of personal security, which might not haunt you right away. But there's still that near-uncontrollable need to express a fierce individuality at whatever costs the moment presents as the market price. Even as I write this, my head spins with trying to keep the terms of the balance straight, so many competing needs and urges are racking your spirit. Things will finally start calming down for you next week… in the meantime, all I can tell you is not to go too far down one path, so that you won't be left with more work than you can handle, once the aftermath of your choices and actions requires solidifying and/or clean-up. (And yes, I'm as confused as you are.)


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): It's the second Full Moon in your sign in a month, a rare occurrence and evidence that the emotional health of Capricorns continues to be of paramount importance to the whole zodiac clan this season. This time around, the Full Moon falls in conjunction to Chiron, which is right on the Aquarius cusp and prepping to retrograde back into your sign for a final few months. It's an occasion for emotional synthesis, so that you no longer feel like a sack of damaged goods cracked into a million little broken chips. You mustn't fear putting the pieces back together. Believe that, once mended, you'll be even better than new… you'll be brimming with worthwhile lived experience. Take (1) the childhood scars, (2) the inability to ever fully embody all that you know you're capable of, since your standards are way too high, (3) all the lessons you've learned about what works and doesn't work in relationship to a partner or good friend, and (4) your visionary skill for seeing the best possibilities in those around you (minus the judgments against them for failing to be there yet), and glue 'em all together. Think of them not as damage, but as a never-depleted fount of resources from which you can draw, not only in deepening your relationships but also in your work life and family life and, most importantly, in compassion for yourself. This is a great moment to take it all in, with appreciative eyes and ears and the emotional ambition to strive for more acceptance.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your whole week, Aquarius, has this 'about to' vibe to it. As in, 'I'm finally about to [insert long-postponed but desperately-needed action not yet taken].' Or, '[Insert desired good development] is about to happen.' Or, 'The other shoe is about to drop.' It's a funny thing because the reality of the situation may or may not match this vibe, in that these actions or developments or shoes may or may not be about to do anything. But regardless, whatever the near future will bring doesn't change that anticipatory energy surrounding everything you do or experience right now. And I caution you not to discount the significance of the off-the-cuff comments or casual emails, for that future hasn't yet been set in stone, and your positively-intentioned concentration on cementing the connections (without overpuffing your chest in the process) can make all the difference. Don't be sloppy here—and don't convince yourself you're too smart to worry about not being sloppy—because Mercury is flipping to retrograde in your 7th house of relationships and you might spend the next few weeks trying to unsay what you mistakenly said, though we all know words once out cannot be taken back. Whether you're about to make it or about to blow it hasn't yet been determined, so don't flub the ever-present interview portion of the contest.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Venus moving into your 7th, coupled with a Full Moon in your 11th, bespeaks a week rich with social contact. To help inspire you beyond the nearsighted worries (e.g., money, work and/or health), connect with folks who share a similar vision for what the world could be, and swap detailed accounts of your dreams. Where you find overlaps are potent places for growing the connection, for turning a loose acquaintance into a tight pal. You have the resplendent gleam to attract a new friend, confidante, lover or partner-in-crime… especially when you let intellectual or creative commonalities bring you closer together than you otherwise might get. Your automatic instinct, if you don't heed what I'm telling you, may be to continue to worry about the small stuff—and yes, these topics of worry are legitimate and needing your attention. But without consciously prioritizing this other lighter-hearted, people-driven, utopia-envisioning piece, your attentions will remain in worry mode. However, if you hang out and bond with others, you'll in fact find the true optimistic drive to splatter the anxiety and actually get stuff done.