Horoscopes | Week of June 23-29, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Why fixate on the shifting sand beneath your toes? You have everything you need, right there in that nifty little self of yours, to hold your footing (if that's what you need to do)—or to hastily get yourself way the hell away from that sinkhole before you fall in. Nothing in the astrology tells me which response is better suited… only that you'll likelier to be moved to it by impulse or sensation, as opposed to too much agonizing analysis over each option. Your body already knows if it wants to stay and fight, or take off and never look back. Can you feel the physical symptoms: either a hunkering-down tightening or a ready-to-run lightness? If you can read these signs and determine the necessary step to take, well, by all means, take it. But do so wisely… staying emphatically on message, in order to achieve the result you know you want, rather than letting their dipping and swerving confuse your resoluteness. While ordinarily you'd think I would encourage you to hear 'em out, find middle ground, compromise, or who-knows-what-else, I'm not sure there's any more of that left to do, if in fact you're already ready to zip away to the next Zanzibar. And even if you'll be sticking around to 'work things out', you can't lose sight of your full-body truth, though the other party could try swaying you out of it with a sly 'loosen up!' or a condescending 'don't take it so seriously!' Asserting yourself with unwavering concentration could mean the different between making yourself clear… or making an even bigger mess.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): That Mars in Leo really wants to make sure you've gotten something out of his current transit through your solar 4th (May 9-July 1), during which he's jabbing you in your most tender places so you can't help but reconnect with what drives you on a primal level. All week, Mars builds toward a powerful 'don't mess with me' trine with Pluto in your 8th (exact next Mon Jun 30), before finally heading into earth-sign Virgo, where you'll find him much easier to work with. But for the time being, you're left with one more week of potential offenses, overreactions and stubborn insistences on continuing to drive your same point home (though it's now been made several times over). And with Pluto-in-the-8th trine factored in, these last bits could be some of the nastiest—and, more importantly, the most cathartic—as you hit the logical extreme of how hard you can fight before you must give in to reality, accept that the pain is what it is, and simply move on. (Trust me, by mid-next-week, 'moving on' won't seem as ridiculous as it does now.) So, Taurus, when friends urge you to let something go, you should probably take their advice. They can clearly see the upset from a while ago you're still clinging to, which of course is causing you much more trouble than it's worth. They know as well as I do (and as well as you do too, somewhere deep inside) that 'moving on' isn't about who's right or wrong. It's about deciding not to care anymore… that it's more important to free up that energy for something else more future-oriented… and that it's ultimately for your own benefit.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As this is the first full week of Mercury's moving direct in your sign again, you may have some following up to do… with regards to any missives that were misdirected or improperly communicated, dangling bits of business that need to be reconfirmed or revisited, and temporarily strained relationships that require mending (or, as the case may be, a more complete mangling). The image I'm getting is of that first week back home or at the office, after a chunk of time away and little conscious thought having been given to what was left behind—and now that you've 'returned', you have to attend to all the bill-paying, call-returning, plan-making and self-resituating. Because the whopper of last week's full moon fell in your 7th, Gemini, much of this follow-up will probably deal with clarifying those cryptic messages (either sent or received) about what's really going on with you two… or at least with restoring contact and connection with those important people you've left in wait, due to the overload of other influences and engagements that recently had your head spinning off its neck. If any awkward air hangs out there with anyone as a situational consequence to your limited or divided attention, it's on you to clear it. And the longer you don't nip it in the bud with your totally reasonable explanation (and mea culpa), the heavier it will weigh upon those folks left to read their own meanings into your absent-mindedness or sheer absence. (Left to wonder, a lot of us will go to paranoid places.) Get back in touch, and clear up those previously unclear signals. Little gestures like these go really far in preventing lasting relationship damage.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you know what's good for you, Cancer—and I'm wishing you all the self-awareness it takes—you won't let yourself get talked into contributing even more of your generous efforts, unless you'll also be getting that much more in return. This horoscope's advice isn't about being a bah-humbug or saying no to draw some arbitrary line-in-the-sand. (Actually, it'll work better if you focus on selectively granting yeses, rather than racking up a bunch of nos.) I did just recently remind you, however, that you needn't push yourself quite so hard for the coming spell… and thus, why would you want to break your back, for no incentive other than a pat on the head and a fleeting thank you (if you get that much)? So they'll continue to see you as, like, the most caring and considerate lad or lass in the whole entire galaxy? What about you… and what you need? It's way too easy (and familiar) to convince yourself they're counting on you to keep giving and giving—at the expense of your own self-worth, which won't be gaining any ground if you expect nothing in return. Venus is in your sign now, and therefore it's your turn to do some receiving. If you're going to do any bit of work above and beyond the baseline requirement, then you better reap a reward (better yet, a reward you actually want). Otherwise, it's not a worthwhile expenditure. You are in it for you, aren't you?


LEO (July 23-August 22): You'll stop at absolutely nothing to get what you want… isn't that right, Leo? No? Well, that's how certain people have been seeing you for a little while now (perhaps since Mars has been in your sign, which began May 9). And this week, with Mars coming into trine with ruthless-powerhouse Pluto in your self-concerned 5th, that impression may only grow momentarily stronger… before, quite likely, easing up late next week. So the question then becomes: Is this a problem? Your most honest answer, proud Leo, has everything with whether you're trying to hide (or even merely downplay) your intentions or come across like you don't care what happens. That's because you do care, and it shows. Whether that means you'd do whatever it takes for your desired outcome is another issue entirely (though you may really want what you want, you could still have your limits, yes?). But surely you understand why folks might draw that outrageous conclusion, if you're acting all casual and 'cool with whatever'… while, at the same time, they can sniff that fervent hunger on you the moment you enter the room. When such potent desire hovers out there, clearly evidenced yet unspoken about, people are bound to be suspicious. They don't know what you might do next. ('Anything is possible with that guy/girl!') Don't give 'em the opportunity to pin you into that intimidating role. Be blatant about where you're directing your energy. Tell 'em upfront, and they won't have to wonder—or hold you responsible for their fears.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Right before I began to write to you on the all-too-familiar topic of expecting unexpected behavior from your sweetie, best pal or close associate, I imagined how these words (brought forth from the horoscopic gods so many times before) might hit your ears, Virgo. Would you feel totally fed up? Like 'enough is enough'? (Would you sink to 'poor me' levels of resigned victimhood?) In pondering all that, I opted to change my tune and refashion the outlook this way: If those 'surprises' that You-Know-Who keeps springing on you are starting to get old, you should lay out your over-it-ness for 'em—even if it stings their pride or hurts their feelings. (You don't even have to wait for the next 'surprise' to take the initiative.) After all, your only other choice is to continue swallowing your frustration, just because you're convinced 'it really doesn't matter that much' or 'nothing's ever going to change anyway'. And in contemplating the consequences of that previous sentence, even I experience a weird bodily dread overtaking me in sympathy. My hope is that you too reach an emotional awakening, when it comes to any such interpersonal dissatisfaction, rather than staying too calm (on the surface, that is) and letting the unpleasantness supposedly 'roll off your shoulders' (though, in fact, it's actually bearing down on them). If only you permit yourself to get charged up enough, you won't be able to 'maintain'—then, the surprises will be coming from your end, with the intent to liberate yourself from someone else's unreliability.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Last week's advice deserves a re-read, Libra, principally due to the fact you continue to face a million little chances to choose higher ground (and thus a more upbeat outlook) over shit-slinging or grump-making. For every minor setback (even if legitimate) or lurking anxiety (even about something real) that threatens to spoil your week, there's also a friend to ring up or an event to dash out to that'll rescue your mood from falling down the drain. You, however, must allow such a rescue. You won't have to look far for evidence of everything going horribly (but not really that horribly) wrong… in the form of logistical snafus or so-called 'simple chores' suddenly proving to be much more involved, temporary allergy fits or ankle sprains, or some other such hitch in the system. But this is ultimately small stuff, isn't it? And we don't need to sweat those peanuts, do we? Nobody else is likely to flip your glass over, just to kindly point out how your vision of half-emptiness is merely an optical illusion, concealing the true fact of its half-fullness. It's on you to decide, hell no, you're not going to sink. It's swim time, buddy! Though you'll have to make an actual effort to argue the less obvious case (that actually everything's really great and, while we're at it, gosh, aren't you lucky to have such a grand life?), all that supporting evidence is out there, too. Think about how many people care about you… how they'd love to offer you support (or just a happy distraction), should you merely ask… how many opportunities for adventure, excitement, entertainment, and self-development are at your fingertips, if you merely open your hands to take 'em… and how, even though a few squirrelly situations have indeed gotten to an extremely irritating point, the overall good far outweighs the passing bad.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your week could provide a valuable lesson in how your in-the-moment need to defend your pride can actually adversely impact your ability to achieve your own goals, at least on the practical level of career and public regard. That's because you have a great opportunity to prove yourself a formidable strength to those who'd rely on you, by identifying what's the top priority to accomplish and then expressing confidence you can get the job done—if you don't get too full of yourself. No offense, Scorpio. We all have those moments when, because we believe so firmly in ourselves, we also end up believing everyone else requires our services… that we are somehow essential, the only one with a clue, and thus an indispensable authority on our specialized area. But alas, every last one of us is ultimately expendable. For immediate success, you must straddle that fine line between (1) asserting yourself and (2) seriously grating on your boss's and/or co-workers' nerves. Remember: You don't have to hit folks over the head with your opinion. They'll get it the first time. (Raising your voice, repeating yourself numerous times, or insulting the contrasting opinions won't make you more 'right'.) Without a doubt, you do have what it takes to get the job done. There are, however, other factors involved—namely, other people. Push too hard, and you will get pushed back.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Unless you're uncompromisingly indulgent at every possible turn (and, for your own inner peace, I hope that's not the case), you can look at this upcoming week as a bit of a comedown from last week's exaggerated psycho-dynamics. The moon's waning light should help to soothe your overtaxed response system, allowing you to recover your senses—and, if need be, reorient yourself to your typical day-to-day feelings toward a certain someone. (Let's be honest: You'd previously been accessing an unusual level of intensity, which is hardly the stuff of everyday life.) It would be wonderful for you to work toward getting some emotional distance from such dense relationship situations… though you may still be too 'in it' to see straight. If you need help, reach up and grab the archer's arrow flying through the air above your head. (Huh?) In standard Sagittarian style, that's your philosophic idealism, aiming straight for the bullseye of what really matters… and leaving all the punk crap and frivolous trivialities at the wayside for everyone else to sort through or putter around in. So if any undercover maneuverings, residual issues or played-out worries continue to linger like cheap cologne, giving you a bad headache, you need to rise above and quickly cut off the drawn-out rehashings. If you have to make a last-straw effort to lay your feelings out firmly and efficiently, don't stress over the chaos that may indeed erupt. Do it, but be brief—and go for neat resolution, no matter how sharp. The strange conundrum here is that what seems like creating more complications (to hear the other party tell it) may, in fact, be a wise and daring act of simplification.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): There's a cloud of brutal truth floating overhead… perhaps the looming of discoveries made during last week's full-moon-etc. activities, or else the new-to-be-acknowledged rising of a far more pungent response to your present situation than you'd ordinarily experience. To put it bluntly, Capricorn, under such astro-weather, the littlest things are liable to trigger strangely intense reactions. Now, this actually isn't so bad a dynamic—if it inspires you to look more deeply within, to where these psychological red-flags stem from. That's the ultimate purpose of emotions: To motivate us to figure out what's going on. But you really mustn't try to fool yourself on this one. It's not a cut-and-dry issue. No matter the surface reasons for your flare-ups, there is definitely something bigger underneath. (Otherwise, the 'littlest things' wouldn't bother you so much.) Don't be afraid to scrape your nails along those surfaces. The veneer will easily scratch off, if you bother to try. And where the scene may've previously been painted over in single-color boldness ('it's red, and I'm mad at you!'), what's lurks beneath the topcoat is a more sophisticated mix of shadings and textures. Your frenzied desire or frantic fury could be fueled by disappointment, envy or the drive to control. Maybe you're more bothered by what you don't have (at least not yet) than you thought. Why run for cover, though, just because this storm cloud's threatening to shed its moisture on your noggin? Stand in it. Get wet. Bathe in the source of what's got you all tied up in knots. Knowing the 'brutal truth' is better than pretending to know you're blandly 'okay'.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Snarky squabbles or exchanges of conflicting ideas, while seeming to be purely personal in nature, may indeed be larger than the both of you understand. (Shades of last week? Still in effect.) Your clearest pathway out, as a result, will show itself whenever you think and converse from the viewpoint of the type of world you want to help build… as opposed to, say, why your self-focused sensitivities are being rubbed wrong (wounded ego? fearful of losing power? unsure of what the future holds?) or how you intend to end up 'back on top'. To help you hold that perspective, you might want to talk to the wise sages in your life—the trusted elders, the inspirational friends, your therapist or bodyworker—and solicit outside advice. Try rephrasing your concerns in impersonal, universalizing language that emphasizes the ideals you want to foster (rather than wording that blames, needles, or disowns your complicity). You'll actually bond, instead of bicker, if you two can throw your combined efforts behind goals you both believe in… deepening your connection, as you come together on issues or activities that highlight your shared interests, and (re)uniting you as the team you are. Having trouble finding that common bond or mutual lens? That, my dear Aquarius, qualifies as a major red flag.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): By now, if you pay any attention to our work here together, you're aware that planetary anarchist, rabble-rouser and bombshell-dropper Uranus has been cruising through your sign since 2003 and remains through 2010… essentially providing an ongoing long-term impetus for you, dear Pisces, to cultivate and sustain your radical individuality at all costs. That process may entail choosing abrupt directional changes, transforming your image, snipping old psychic cords, moving or quitting or breaking up: really, whatever it might take to leave you feeling terrifyingly and exhilaratingly free to pursue who you are in this world (and screw those who can't get on board with it). In reality, of course, we know that you Pisceans love to hold onto to the past, in nostalgic yearning or romantic hope, pure compassion or self-sabotaging delusion. Whatever the specific reason, this 'breaking free' business generally isn't the natural state of Piscean being. This week, Uranus stations (that is, stands still) before heading retrograde through November, returning all these 'independence vs. togetherness' issues (yes, again) to the forefront. (The retrograde piece isn't as important as the standing still. Uranus is retrograde several months a year.) At a 1st-house Uranus station like you're facing, there's an undeniable 'wild card' element in effect, making it hard to pinpoint what exactly is likeliest to go crazy—only that something (romance, job, friendship) is probably up for grabs. (If you want a clue, look back over your past few years for any developments that occurred in mid-June or mid-November.) Should you confront a sudden change, go with it, instead of running scared. And if/when this one area of life goes temporarily haywire, look to another for some stable ground. No matter the disarray, everyone has something stable to grab onto.