Horoscopes | Week of June 22-28, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Even before I've gotten a chance to write this, I'm already feeling like something of a killjoy… but my first instinct, Aries, is to caution you against spreading yourself too thin by trying to participate in activities and conversations that serve no real purpose within the present context of your overarching project. You're supposed to be using every bit of strength and charm to secure a solid foundation, work-and-money-wise, for the thing that really matters to you… and, sadly (though temporarily), even the slightest few moments away from that focus have the chance to undermine your good feelings on the situation. How could that be? Well, as I told you a couple weeks back, your own ability to envision yourself with the goods has a huge impact on whether you actually end up with 'em. But if, for instance, you're off in a bar chit-chatting with a pal and she starts to ask how things are going with you and you begin to explain how you're having to fight for every last cent you're getting, you may suddenly realize you can't really talk about this in any casual way… at least without your anxieties and doubts beginning to build up, which has the potential to undermine your confidence level and thus adversely affect your efforts. Even trying to take time off to do something fun could backfire, once you turn panicky about the time you're wasting and all that you're 'supposed' to be doing. So it's not that the planets or I are forbidding you from stealing a few moments to yourself—rather, you're just so wrapped up in this current purposeful push, you're not likely to get much of a break from it. Might as well keep pushing.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Presumably, this week will require less of a smack-in-the-middle-of-it-all-no-matter-what-I-do presence on your part than the last one, during which you surely made an impression, whether you intended to or not. Yet, we're still in a mega-Taurean mood… and there's still an increased likelihood of you coming on with gangbusters-style overkill if you don't carefully consider what exactly you hope to accomplish, with the danger ultimately being that you'll be perceived as too unconsciously self-serving. With Mercury in your 2nd squaring off against Saturn in your 5th, you'd be wise to think with your wallet or some equally pragmatic inspiration—at the potential expense of your pride. You ought not to forget that sometimes we must compromise the full brunt of our message, in order to gauge our expression toward certain goals that, were we to prioritize 'giving a piece of our mind' over 'closing the deal', we'd be at risk for not fulfilling. There is nothing inherently disingenuous about putting a certain discretionary diplomacy into practice, Taurus, since keeping the social engines greased helps everybody get more of what they want. As I've told you before, you're presently the one holding the astrological advantage, but this, like all astro-phenomena, won't last forever. It's to your broader-perspective benefit not to get too comfortable here, for when the tables turn again, you won't want the 'overkill' coming back to haunt you.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In any interesting twist on last week's edition, I begin with the image of you being speechless on a certain level ('speechless! a Gemini! can you imagine?')… and yet nervously filling up the space with words, whether spoken or thought, which seem to dance around the core of substance that's creating the 'speechless' feeling without necessarily identifying or addressing it. So let's chalk this week's up as, what feels to me to be at least, another terribly un-Gemini horoscope for you, my dear. Your sign, I'm sorry to report, has lately been weighed down with a combination of super-touchy introspectiveness and momentum-paralyzing confusion that doesn't ordinarily afflict you Gemini types… certainly not for as entrenched a period as you're currently enduring it. And an at-home Mercury in your sign, which ought to be something of a saving grace, may only serve to have you thinking you should be able to shake this off, clear out the clogs, and get back to your typical state of affairs. As per usual, whenever I'm stuck having to talk a certain zodiac group through this sort of 'holding period', the best perspective I can offer is that of timing. When Venus and Mars get their stubborn asses out of your perplexing 12th and into your now-I-can-do-something-with-this 1st—which occurs on Jul 5 for Venus, Jul 11 for Mars—the entire tone will markedly shift. With that in mind, then, perhaps you can lay off your own case for a bit longer… and treat yourself to a private indulgence intended solely to ease the internal turbulence, for your own selfish relief.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The week kicks off with the annual New Moon in your sign, Cancer… and this one falls in tight opposition to Pluto in Capricorn, a clue that the month ahead affords you an ideal chance to reaffirm your innate emotional insight in a world getting more and more bonkers every day. We'll soon be entering the proverbial 'eye of the storm', an accelerating convergence of astro-factors that indicate a great deal of transpersonal conflict over the coming months and, especially, into 2010. And due to challenging aspects hitting your sign from several different corners, it's as if you're being set up to feel 'caught in the crossfire'… of crazy relationships with people who may try to control you, of increasing chaos in your public/professional life, and of personal business (with family; on the homefront; in your tender private world) that simply must be dealt with. To reiterate, I'm giving you the long view here, which means you mustn't expect all this shit to hit your fan in the coming week. Yet, I feel I'm doing you a favor by offering this advance warning at this particular time. Your powerful weapon against all this discord being stirred up by people and experiences very much out of your control is this: No matter what they say or do, push for or warn against, you will always know—in the pit of your tummy tum-tum—what is the right thing to do, in order to minimize unnecessary pain and embody the archetype of 'warden of care'. You are that wise and loving. But, to pull it off, you've got to believe it yourself… and be willing to use the tools of this honorable position on yourself first, so you'll feel 'cared for' enough that your well of compassion can always remain full. Think deeply about these things this week, and commit.


LEO (July 23-August 22): At this point in your attention-grabbing routine, which has proven rather successful, over these past three weeks or so, in getting you noticed for the hard work you're putting in, it's high time to pay homage to your peers. This is a good moment for launching into the official acknowledgment, loud and clear for all to hear, that you couldn't have done it alone… that you recognize your role as one individual among many, all of whom contribute their due pieces to help each other soar toward where they're meant to be… and that you are so very thankful for the support you receive from knowing you're part of a team. It makes keen strategic sense to utter these declarations now, when you're at a relative pinnacle of attention and achievement, as opposed to waiting 'til the inevitable turn occurs (and they always do, though some are more dramatic than others) and you actually need more from them than you might currently. In fact, Leo, just thinking about these issues will hopefully kick your gratitude for the other people involved into high-gear, so that your statements will ring resonantly true from your head to your toes. Being in the spotlight naturally makes you a brighter target for your less-celebrated colleagues to pin their perceived lack of recognition onto, somehow blaming your ascendancy for their unrealized successes. Head that one off at the pass before it materializes.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Watch out for where your mouth might carry you, particularly in professional settings or any situation in which you'll be publicly committing to something, if you're not meticulous in representing yourself. The last thing I'd want you to do this week, Virgo, would be to tell 'em the partial truth you imagine (perhaps quite accurately) they want to hear, when your legitimate no-holds-barred opinion is far more complicated than that. That said, I'm not necessarily encouraging you to share this whole story, especially when I'm not entirely sure you know all its dimensions yourself. In fact, one motivation behind the advice I'm giving—to be extremely deliberate in what you say and don't say to those folks who will hold you to it—is to assist you in finding out more about your authentic stance on the matter. You Virgoans are way too good at agreeing (tacitly, if not directly), then silently swallowing the fallout that comes from later realizing you don't actually agree, at least not as plainly as you made it seem. Avoid that attitudinal heartburn altogether, by not assuming that the 'right' thing to say is an automatic yes… when, instead, you could give a more neutral first-response statement, leaving room for you to think it more thoroughly through on your own time, without having to honor some short-sighted assent you offered on the spur of the moment.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Not only might you need to cut yourself some slack, Libra… but you also might need You-Know-Who to be just as generous with the slack-cutting, should you respond to their ultra-enthusiastic suggestions or encouragements with an even-keeled, potentially lukewarm tone. They'll need to understand, just as you already well understand about yourself, that, just because something about their seemingly carefree attitude freaks you out, it doesn't mean you aren't also interested, engaged and/or 'on board'. You can't fake your way past the fact that your mind naturally gravitates toward contemplation of all possible scenarios, including ones where everything goes horribly wrong and you're left to clean up a mess you should've seen coming and been able to avoid, as its self-protective manner of problem-solving before any problem has actually arisen. You can't pretend to be somebody you're not, can you? 'Easy-going', a description some folks might accurately apply to you in less serious contexts, isn't quite so fitting in this case. Your smartest approach, then, is to explain all of this… letting 'em know, clearly and with all ambiguity made fully forthright, that you're both excited and terrified, and that this has less to do with who they are and what they have said than it does your brain's need to keep you safe by (over-)examining the possibilities. From this explanation, hopefully they'll see your internal conflict isn't a personal judgment on their worthiness.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Stop and ask yourself: How would your most level-headed (or is that 'intellectually self-righteous'?) pal express the sentiments that, were they to impulsively roll off your tongue with little holding-back, might severely sting the person you'd direct them toward? Consider your communicative options as if you were a 'socially evolved' Libran or Aquarian, someone who'd rather engineer the perfect explanation or retort—to gain the upper hand in the drawn-out battle of smarts—than tell somebody exactly how they really feel, creating psychological fallout that can't be contained by the right words once the red button has been pressed. You're a master at pushing the red button, Scorpio. You may even have invented it. But for right now, it pays (in longer-term dividends) for you to circumvent the small conflicts, especially if there are third- or fourth-parties who'll also be affected by you two having it out. At the end of the entire to-do, there will only be one enormous victory worth claiming… and it requires you to demonstrate holistic, uncompromising ethics over the course of every twist and turn, in order for you to truly earn the winnings. In other words, don't go for the cheap shot (though the person who deserves to be put in his/her place will virtually set you up to take it). Instead, gather the evidence as if you'll later need it to calmly lay out your case in front of a jury of your peers.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): : Sometimes I feel like, were I to compile a 'greatest hits' collection of my Sagittarian horoscopes from over the years, the most common interlinking thread we could identify would probably have something to do with holding your tongue, or refraining from saying too directly the very thing you're absolutely dying to say but must temper in tone or delay in timing to suit a certain astrological state of affairs. It's not that I don't trust you with your own mouth, Sagittarius… merely that, when the time is right, your cutting-through-the-bullshit manner of truth-telling is so wonderfully effective at breaking surface tensions, demolishing stalemates and inspiring others to tell their truth unabashedly, I simply don't want you to waste this gift in moments when I'm fairly sure the audience won't respond productively (and, due to their poor reactions, will end up wasting even more of your time). That said, the week ahead—with a 7th-house Mercury squaring Saturn in your 10th—doesn't look so good in terms of getting your point across, especially if you take liberties in relationships with some sort of power differential (e.g., boss-employee, landlord-tenant, officer-citizen, parent-child, have-have-not) involved. Though it is true that both of you are just two people, genuinely equal in so many ways, you are also not equal in some defining way which is likely way more important to them than it is to you. Don't forget this. Remember who you're talking to… and, if you want to be really smart about it, engineer every sentence you utter with this acknowledgment in mind. (Less efficient, I know. But worth it in hassles saved.)


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Your last three weeks' horoscopes were all designed to pump you up, Capricorn… to remind you it's actually not your job to prop everybody else's dreams and visions atop your stoic skull, nor to swallow your true opinions so as not to cause 'undue' stress for others or fight 'unwise' battles. By now, I'm hoping, you've recovered your sense of self-possessed moxie (in full force, no less) and are happily in the powerful position of freely expressing what is right for you, the rest of 'em be damned. It's that 'rest of 'em be damned' part, of course, I feel obliged to call you out on—not because you ought to, once again, return to bending over backwards in preservationist appeasement to whomever threatens to become a squeaky wheel, but because the 'rest of 'em' is too undifferentiated and some of 'em you actually do give a damn about keeping happy. Phrased another way, this is a good moment to moderate the recent self-focus by strategically reconsidering certain individuals, and your relationship with them, and how they might be responding to your surge in agenda-setting initiative. Probably only minor adjustments are required, to make sure you haven't overdone your reaction to 'having taken enough of other people's shit' to include all other people, even those who haven't legitimately given you much shit but may've gotten inadvertently diverted by your crosswinds. Check in with the ones who really matter, to see how they're handling the newly nervy you.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): A good effort one day at a time. A precise, impersonal expression of your opinion… with no sharp pointed pieces protruding which might catch on someone else's super-sensitivities. A commitment to simple productivity, labor made toward modest achievable goals. Simple fun, no strings. These are the sort of life-preserving flotation devices I recommend clinging to, Aquarius, to survive the undercurrents of 'too much to handle', 'why bother with any of it?' and/or 'pour me another drink and stand back so I may inundate my ennui with liquid escape'. Your wateriest sides are shining through more obtrusively than usual, accounting for more disembodied emotional freeloaders (i.e., bits of psychic garbage that aren't necessarily yours yet feel like they are) attaching to your ordinarily rational forward-thinking optimism. Thinking big, at this particular moment, works against you. Addressing interpersonal concerns by digging all the way to the terrifying complex marrow inside the skeleton of the relationship is too much to presently deal with. Keep your daily attendance to duty both humble and easy to successfully accomplish. Otherwise, you're just adding insult to injury. Put simply: You're liable to be moodier than usual, and the smartest way to prevent it from getting worse is to do little bits of manageable work, consistently, throughout your day every day. It won't feel like this much longer.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Though I hate to phrase it in such confrontational terms, your biggest challenge (so let's not underemphasize the challenging nature) is to resist the loud pessimistic messages blaring from seemingly everywhere around you… and to defiantly embrace the enjoyment of life while you've still got blood pumping through your system and air to breathe into your lungs. There is no question you're bearing witness to a society in deep pain (which will, according to astrological premises, eventually lead to triumphant metamorphosis), if not, on a more personal level, to a friend-group or organizational mindset decaying or dying right in front of your eyes. And naturally, this could have you wondering where that leaves you… not to mention the fact that you Pisceans are the type to compassionately feel on behalf of all those around, which means you're picking up more than your fair share of grief on these matters much larger than your personal stake may dictate. During the season ahead, therefore, your own best brand of social action—that is, the behavior with which you'd best serve your fellow men and women—will be to appreciate the uncomplicated pleasures, free of cost and readily available to all who choose to acknowledge 'em, all around us every day. This is not merely a Pollyanna-ish suggestion, but a practical resistance technique. Just as one might best help a sick or dying person by allowing them to experience moments of vital joy (rather than joining them in a moody lament of how tragically unfair life is), your most potent antidote to the current social ills is to prove they cannot and will not contaminate everything they touch, most of all you.