Horoscopes | Week of June 16-22, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As I always say, if you're going to do something, you might as well do it big. Okay, Aries, I actually don't always say that. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever said it until now. And likewise, I'm not exactly sure whether you should (or shouldn't) follow the advice implied in that cliché and turn one (or more) of your burgeoning possibilities into a grand statement of some sort or another. If I was drawing my horoscopic inspiration from the instinctive level alone, I'd be fully in favor of you expressing your interest, making your point, drawing your line in the sand, or otherwise moving dramatically ahead with one huge step that won't be ignored and can't be taken back. So, should you proceed down that path, it's perfectly understandable. My only hesitation in offering a full-blown endorsement of that plan? The real possibility that one (or more) of your close pals or trusted associates will not be genuinely behind you on this one. Though you may be having a good time, your cohorts or chums might not feel the same way… perhaps without you even knowing so. Will you ask? Will you check in? You mustn't ignore their feelings, after all. And what happens if your kind of 'fun' or 'excitement' is simply making them uncomfortable? You could always ask them how they'd like to handle it, what they'd prefer to do—saving face, maybe, but compromising instinct. Or you could just pressure 'em to join along with you, despite their misgivings—getting what you want, but possibly at a cost. If you're going to do it, you might as well do it big… as long as you're prepared to do it without the full support of one (or more) key players.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): While you might prefer to think of yourself as confidently portraying the role of Mr./Ms. Nice Guy/Girl, you'll only come across as 'authentic' (or at least 'convincing') if you're holding no under-the-surface hopes, yearnings, resentments or other strong opinions. But if you think for one minute, Taurus, that, during such an astrologically charged week as this one, you'll be able to pull one over on 'em (or, just as likely, on yourself), you've got another thing coming. When the air between you and a certain someone feels thick or dense, what you're experiencing is a buildup of possibilities—the possibility that you two will finally come together or that everything will blow up in your face, that you'll never get what you were hoping for or that it'll far surpass your wildest dreams, that you're ready to bury the hatchet at last or that you won't ever be able to. And as long as relevant emotions (on either side or both) aren't being fully voiced, the semi-manifested psychological reality will just hover there: heavy, under-explored, ripe. Well, we all know what happens to ripe fruit if it doesn't get plucked from the tree and enjoyed at its peak; it falls to the ground and rots in the dirt, no matter how promising it once was. If that last melodramatic sentence wasn't enough to inspire brave admissions, tough questions, humble displays of vulnerability, and/or heartfelt conversations of varying sorts, then I don't know what is. Take advantage of what's right in front of you, and acknowledge the increasing intensity. However it goes, it's worth at least owning your complicated emotions.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Combine a full moon in your house of partners (the solar 7th) with your ruler Mercury standing still and returning to direct motion in your sign, throw in a Venus-Pluto opposition (again affecting your 1st and 7th), and you've got a recipe for high drama on the one-on-one relationship front. You'll recognize the signs when You-Know-Who (or more than one of 'em) manages to press all your buttons… and yet you stick around, easy target that you are, and essentially beg for more. 'Why am I allowing him/her to get to me?' you might wonder in all sincerity, scratching your head and looking up to the clouds as if God has the divine answer. Don't bother the higher power with this nonsense, Gemini. I've got an answer for you: Because you want to. Is that simple enough? You can't leave well enough alone because you're having a good time needling and being needled. And even when it momentarily feels like a pain-in-the-butt, it's such a big pain-in-the-butt because you care about your bond with this person. Of course, the whole dynamic could be more complicated than a simple affinity. You could absolutely loathe certain qualities about 'em… and yet, due to the charge between you two, those traits continually stick in your craw like the buzzing of a housefly in your ear when you're trying to sit still and meditate (yeah, right), never escaping notice. You could lust for their attention, but hold no clue why. I don't know the specifics because (duh) they'll vary from person to person. I do know, however, that every last stutter and stumble, bicker and bark, kick and throw, kiss and make up which occurs is merely part and parcel of the long and illustrious story linking the two of you together in history, like it or not. (Hell, you know you like it!)


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You're on the verge of reaching a well-earned break from many long and involved months of battling demons, slaying monsters, and generally forcing yourself in the future… and, to mark this pause-point in the journey, you owe yourself the relief of not pushing. In other words, you needn't maintain the fevered pitch or the newly assertive edge to your personality, at least not for the next few weeks. And as far as this current week goes, Cancer, it wouldn't hurt to play things extra-safe. With a potent full moon and a couple noteworthy planetary oppositions (Venus-Pluto and Mars-Neptune) slated for the days ahead, plenty of folks will be a mere step or two away from completely over-the-top reactions, whether justifiable or not. Don't spiral down along with 'em… not with the arrival of both the Sun and Venus to your sign, casting you in an oh-so-much-more-flattering light that'll rescue you from too many bad vibes directed your way. To further assist your avoidance of others' freak-outs, counteract the temptation to join the emotional crazies by being ultra-super-practical. Think like a calm, cool, collected analyst, architect or engineer, ready to diagnose any gaps in process or lapses in logic with the smooth distance of someone who's diligently doing his/her work—and not with too much leaky-boundary sympathy. You don't need to feel what they're feeling in order to lend your support. Concentrate on logistical ways to aid them in containing their fires, rather than adding fuel to 'em with lots of coddling or cooing. Refusing to become moody or hysterical is the best help you can offer.


LEO (July 23-August 22): We've surely talked before about those nasty stereotypes that you Leos are ineludibly saddled with… not the least of which is that, to hear the chorus of envious voices tell it, natives of your sign are totally self-absorbed. Now, you and I know this typecasting isn't exactly fair. Because you are ruled by the Sun, the guiding star of our solar system, you cannot help but shine more brightly—and, as a result, find yourself as taken with your innate brilliance as your many adoring admirers are. But, at the same time, you are often quite generous with this light… using it (if all goes well) to help others bring their own true selves out of hiding and into the world. This week, alas, a conflation of astro-factors could have you accidentally proving the worst parts of this reputation true… if, that is, you don't stay conscious of other people's reactions. With Mars in your sign opposing Neptune in your 7th, you mustn't assume they're agreeing with you, just because they don't say anything. The Mars-Neptune dynamic can easily send you into domineering mode, with your energy taking over the entire scene (and theirs simply disappearing into thin air). The Pluto-powered full moon in your 5th merely exacerbates this dynamic, drawing out your most (ahem) theatrical bits to the point of overbearing (if, of course, the audience isn't 'enjoying the show'). If you want to thwart the potential accusations of self-absorption, here's what you do: Focus on tuning into their frequency, rather than saying any-and-every-thing that comes out of your mouth or behaving as if the cameras are following your every move. Ask about their lives. Go to their favorite café. And let them call the shots. That way, their 'unfair' theory about you can't possibly hold water.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Like someone who's been mending from a nasty chest cold for a few weeks and has almost completely recovered but who, with one surprising coughing fit, hacks up a leftover piece of infected mucus from way down deep in the lungs… you, my dear Virgo, have an outdated chunk of residual emotion to cough up this week. You might not know you're still upset (or 'charged') about this sore-spot from the past—heck, for all intents and purposes, you are over it—but when an odd remark or eerily reminiscent situation abruptly enters the scene from left field, you could be shocked to find yourself all worked up all over again. What's up with that? First of all, don't panic. You have not been magically transported back in history, to relive a few of your more painful moments, out of karmic retribution for some non-existent slight you feel unnecessarily guilty for. This is merely a flashback, due to the full moon in your 4th house conjoining a briefly-back-in-Sagittarius Pluto, raising ghosts from all the internal-transformation work you did over the recent years. Second (and most important), don't turn this inner experience into an outer spectacle… even if the triggering event occurs in a work setting or elsewhere in public. You'd do better to plaster an impenetrable plastic smile on your face, push through your day, rush home to your safe sanctum, and yell and scream and cry and pound on shit by yourself until the feeling subsides. Create a public scene, however, and you'll only drag out the situation with the required apologies, explanations, cleanups and/or self-inflicted 'why did I do that?'s.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Stick to the high road, no matter if the road everyone else seems to be taking features a sharp downward-sloping grade… and no matter if the loudest characters among those on that other path try their damnedest to pull you down to their level, all while slamming you for 'acting superior' or resisting their low-blow manner of expressing disagreement. Your smooth talkin' should come in quite handy this week, Libra, when 'pleasant conversations' will all-too-quickly turn into 'heated debates' (or, worse, 'nasty arguments'). Since, whenever folks get this hot under the collar, it's clear they're all totally and completely convinced they are right, the only way to keep yourself moving along is by carefully carving out a clean detour that'll leave all egos unharmed. After all, why bother with a useless battle? Why waste precious energy on attempting to reason with closed minds and hot heads? In this setting, it's far smarter to aim for forging a peace—though it may be a partly contrived and insincere one. (For instance, refusing to stoop to their level does qualify as 'acting superior', at least on the books. But so f-in' what?) Whatever morality-protecting mantra or belief-inspiring context you can hold in your head, without wavering in focus when they dangle 'fighting words' in your face, let it guide you. (Taking five deep breaths before responding to any especially controversial comments also helps.) If they want to squabble about conflicting particulars or side-note irrelevancies, fine. You, however, need not play the other side.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Compromise? Sacrifice? Conciliatory gestures? Feh. The long and short of it this week, Scorpio, is that you may suddenly realize you're not so willing to 'see it from their perspective' or 'suck up your pride' after all. In a continuation of last week's horoscope but with added planetary oomph, you're unlikely to take kindly to others' attempts to shut you up, reason you out of your firm position, or cast you as the drama-loving troublemaker (even if you are). Presuming you've given them a fair shot to argue their case, to show you the errors in your thinking and/or explain why they've got a much solider grip on the situation… you may face no other choice than to walk away, if and only if you're being pressured to go against your cherished belief system in order to prove 'loyalty' (or whatever). That's right, I'm granting you the astrologer's permission to leave it all behind (and a certain person or two with it)—once you've put in the time and due diligence to talk it through. Sometimes, we think we've hit a brick wall… but, in fact, it's merely a case of both sides pussyfooting around the one difficult topic that'd open the whole discussion up. In such situations, it really is a matter of sucking up one's pride and broaching unpleasant conversations, just to find the secret doorway in that supposedly impenetrable brick wall. (Is there something still not being said? Answer truthfully.) But sometimes, an impasse is just that: impassable; a way with no through outlet; a deadlock; the end. Is that where you are? It's a judgment call that's ultimately yours to make.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): A potent Pluto-charged full moon in your sign, Sagittarius, is enough to bring out a rawer, more unfiltered version of your already-not-exactly-subtle personality… which will appeal even more strongly to those folks already fawning at your bandwagon, while repelling even more strongly the ones who didn't like you that much to begin with. You won't find many lukewarm responses to the emergence of your 'truer colors' (except from people good at withholding their judgments), but at least you'll know—perhaps more than you have in a good long while—exactly where you stand. When communing one-on-one with your main squeeze or any other important figure in your life, you'll be blessed in providing just the right words (no matter how uncharacteristic or momentarily sharp) to let 'em know you're a solid companion and friend. Of course, when trying a similar sort of exchange with someone who's not truly on your wavelength, those same words could hit 'em as intensely self-righteous, uninteresting or downright grating. In both cases (and for your best good, no less), you may be prone to sharing more intimate personal details than you ordinarily would. Not surprisingly, such disclosures will draw you that much closer (in a way that won't freak you out) to those that matter… while leaving the others to snottily wonder, 'Why are you sharing this with me?' Observe these varying reactions. They'll show you something profound about who feels which way about you when you're not trying to tone down the truth of who you are.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Beware of that one more glass of wine (or two) anytime during this wacky week, Capricorn… especially if you've been holding your tongue about something that's upsetting you. Under the full moon's light, all the gnarly details show themselves, whether we want them to or not. And should you also seduce your inhibitions into lowering to unusually open levels, you'll be liable to say just about anything—though, perhaps, come to regret your uncensored tirade later. (Needless to say, this isn't a good time for drunken dialing, rapid-fire email responses, hot-headed 'observations', or other such spontaneous expressions.) If you're going to 'go there', you should probably be in possession of your full faculties… or not give a steaming crap about what collateral damage you may leave by the wayside, as you slash-and-burn your way through 'the real truth'. On the same token, however, if you've stubbornly stared at that same gnawing problem for way too long without gaining any new perspective on or a hint at how best to bust the inertia, this same astro-atmosphere will actually help you break through. From this perspective, the 'losing your inhibitions' won't be a dangerous thing (as long as you're not operating heavy machinery under the influence of a pharmaceuticals-and-vodka cocktail). Consider attacking the stubborn stalemate at a weird hour, an off-site location, during your post-workday workout, or any time and place that might catch you 'off your game'. The chutzpah that bears the potential to cause interpersonal drama for you also holds the promise of creating fresh ripples of inspiration in practical work situations. It all depends on where you direct the energy.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): It doesn't take a world-class astrologer to point out that, when Mars transits your solar 7th as it is right now, the potential for conflicts (or at least some stirring-up) in your primary one-on-one relationship(s) goes up. Yet, one planet isn't always so noteworthy on its own. This week, however, Mars must contend with an opposition to Neptune, which continues its many-years-long circuit through your sign… thus activating this potential into likelier action on the battlefront (if not a simple case of sparks flying higher and hotter). The trickiest part about this, due to Neptune's involvement, is that you may not necessarily know what exactly you're angry with each other about. Or you could each find yourself fighting about different things. Perhaps the terms of the argument keep shifting, making it impossible to complete a coherent thought before being interrupted by another piece of tangential information. Or maybe only one of you is worked up, while the other is merely stumped at what's going on. Whatever the specifics, Aquarius, an important suggestion to follow to minimize the much-ado-about-nothing(-or-is-it-something?) is this: Don't let your pride get the best of you, even if the other person is missing your point or having trouble grasping where you're coming from. The extra aggressiveness one or both of you is feeling could be a red herring—that is, not really as big a deal as it seems at the time. Sure, you may think they 'should' understand your line of thinking by now… but if they don't, just be a sport and (patiently!) explain it to 'em for the third or fourth time, rather than jumping down their throat. Believe it or not, your position is not as self-evident as you're making it out to be. (Furthermore, you might not even be so damned sure of it yourself, if you'd just calm down for a moment and examine the fine print.)


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You'll get a lot further, in the present astro-climate, by primarily concentrating on your process… and worrying less about the relative quantity and quality of the products of this process, which you are (or aren't) currently seeing. If you are on task, keep on doing what you're doing. Within another two or three weeks, you'll be in a better position to judge. If you've momentarily faltered, just get right back on that horse—without needlessly stressing over what you imagine you've missed, since you possess no real ability to 'go back' and fix the past. (Let bygones be gone already.) But, Pisces, if there's something about your current day-in-day-out work so frustrating (on the 'process' level, of course) that you wonder how you'll be able to continue at it (short of drowning out every bit of sorrow with unhealthy escapist behaviors during your time-off), then you should probably address it with your supervisor or whomever may have a say in remedying it. Despite how it might eat away at your insides, this trouble could be rather invisible to the Powers-That-Be. They may have no idea… especially if you've been repeatedly swallowing your dissatisfaction. Pretending it's all peachy-keen might seem like a smart move—until, that is, the bad vibes build up and you hit a final straw and go totally ballistic. You don't want to wait that long, then reach a point of no return, do you? If you've got gripes that, if voiced, could possibly improve a near-unbearable situation, then voice 'em already.