Horoscopes | Week of July 13-19, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I will encourage a bit of unapologetic whining on your behalf, Aries, so long as you do it behind closed doors and only subject the closest of your closest to witnessing the mope-fest. I don't honestly think you're that sincerely unhappy… only that you need to be permitted to gripe in the relative peace that only privacy can afford you, since the gripes aren't, in the grand scheme of things, all that serious. You needn't uphold such a rational outlook on this periodic whininess, just because I do; after all, if you were feeling that rational about it, you wouldn't have a need to whine, would you? I suppose it's possible, of course, that whining is the last thing on your mind… that some entirely other (but equally passing-mood-influenced) sentiment is what you're moved to expel through both nostrils, though the notion of doing so in private is no less wise. It almost doesn't matter. What's important to remain aware of is the temporary nature of this mood, as well as the pressure-relieving release you'll cherish from indulging it to its fullest—behind closed doors. It's also important to keep a public game-face on, honey, since you don't want to give anybody the wrong idea… and since, as I already told you last week, whatever apparent obstacle that's the surface cause of your mood (or, as the case may be, need to whine) isn't nearly as hulking as it may momentarily appear.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Nervous energy is not a good reason to fill silent moments with more words, some of which might prove to be so beside the point as to come off oddly obtrusive. Leave such silences in their naturally strained state, Taurus, and forget about coming to the social rescue. Taking responsibility for smoothing out social floundering or bumbling is unnecessary… and, though I can't pinpoint exactly why this might be the case, I sense it could actually work against your public reputation. Perhaps assuming the obligation for others' conversational momentum is too unnecessarily presumptuous? Perhaps you might say something strangely sensitive in a nervous moment? I know I'm being somewhat cryptic here, and I apologize for that, though I think it's better that I share with you what strikes me even if I can't make heads or tails of it myself. I wonder if the real core of the message rests somewhere in the notion of worrying about your personal comfort levels first, rather than stepping needlessly over the boundary into someone else's mind-space in a (faulty?) demonstration of how solidly you can care for everyone's comfort. After a recent spell of being so very much involved in what's going on 'out there with them', maybe this is the start of concerning yourself more directly with what's going on in here with you?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the whirlwind of unwinding yourself from last month's tight hibernating ball, you need to watch out for 'going overboard'—whatever that might mean to you—in anglings and actions that surge too far too fast. Honestly, though, Gemini, if that's the worst of your problems, you're surely doing much better than you were just a couple weeks earlier. The danger of getting ahead yourself, alas, isn't completely without potentially undesirable side-effects. Caught up in the forward motion you've been dreamily awaiting for quite a while now, you could easily overlook certain commitments you made to yourself during that 'down' period (e.g., 'in my next job, I certainly won't agree to that!'; 'no more flirting with unavailable suitors!'; 'when I finally have money in my account, I'm going to save it up for the thing I really want!'). When activity levels suffer from a lull, we often promise to look out for this or that concern in the future, once things pick back up again. And then, when they do pick back up, we're so swept up by the excitement, we conveniently forget all about those promises… and return, unapologetically, to our fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants spontaneity. Just remember: The main recipient of all the awkward backpedaling that'll likely result from not keeping the commitments you made, in response to lessons you learned from the last time you went 'overboard', is you. Will you create future headaches for yourself by surging too far too fast, now that things have picked back up?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You're at the center of the storm, Cancer, that's being whipped up by next week's solar eclipse in your sign… but the 'stormiest' part of it all is the pressure upon you to do what's right for yourself, regardless of any potential upsets such actions might cause in certain personal, professional or familial relationships. Contrary to what your first-line-of-defense tendency to worry about how other people may react to your making 'selfish' decisions might inform, you really shouldn't concern yourself with attempting to predict—and thus head off any potentially unpleasant examples of—their future behavior. In case that prior sentence didn't make this clear enough, that would be creating way more red-tape than is necessary. In this phase of heightened turbulence (and consequent unintelligibility), you must muster faith in your on-the-spot ability to caringly cope with whatever unforeseen interpersonal fallout could arise from suddenly steering your vessel left instead of right. Assuming, that is, there will be fallout… which isn't as reliable a prediction as your fears might have you believe, since it's certainly possible that those affected by your life shake-up choices will actually be happy (or relieved) for you, isn't it? Could it be that looking out for your own needs first (as opposed to always 'caring for others' to a fault, while passively emitting resentment or undercover neediness) is ultimately what's best for everyone?


LEO (July 23-August 22): Part of me wants to urge you to hold off on declaring your thinking, processing interpersonal bumps-in-the-road, or explaining where you're coming from to folks who're scratching their heads while attempting to figure you out. Mercury, the great communicator and sense-maker, hits your sign on Friday (Jul 17), giving you more conscious control over how your message is massaged, which would favor next week over this one in all things information-oriented. But the other part of me, Leo, believes it would be hugely enlightening—both for the other people and you—if you didn't have as much 'conscious control' and instead said more than you'd ordinarily intend, with fuller vulnerability and less discrete a goal. In the unexpected emotional acceleration of an unplanned moment this week, you're likelier to voice an unguarded truth that, though it might take you and/or them aback with its raw honesty, really ought to be voiced… for everybody's ultimate benefit. The oddest part of all? It could seem as if you're not saying anything at all new… that you and they have discussed this all before… that the 'unguarded truth' has been lingering in everyone's awareness for quite a while now… yet something about the impromptu uttering of it now bears the power to bring things full circle and/or somehow clear the slate. Hmm.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): No matter how anybody else tries to reframe the conversation, please keep phrasing your part in impersonal terms, Virgo. Then, after a certain point (namely, Friday), don't continue playing into their agenda. Nothing good can come of turning an innocent difference of opinion into an all-out personal conflict… especially when, from your end, it will feel as if the conflict is 'having' you rather than you actually desiring to face off against anyone. You have other things to involve yourself with, pragmatic items of import that don't necessitate a time-(and-energy-)sucking rerun of old fights you've had a million times before, in which you're portraying the level-headed 'voice of reason' who's pitted against an emotion-driven contrarian who wants to hold you accountable for the facts being what they are. Let the facts speak for themselves. For the next few weeks, your mind needs an expanse of undisturbed space, in order to make the best of a boon in imaginative potential… so it may be open to receive the divine blessing of creatively innovative notions, rather than needlessly occupied in explaining (for the hundredth time!) why one plus one will continue to equal two, no matter how many times You-Know-Who rants and raves about needing it to equal three. Reserve your mental strength for magical maneuvers that, simply put, matter more.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Proceed as if some outside game-watching referee is keeping score, tabulating notes on your every public move this week, to determine if you have legitimately earned your spot in the playoffs. But do so with the knowledge that you aren't competing against anyone else… merely aiming for your own personal best, according to subjective standards related to that which you specifically hope to accomplish (as opposed to some universal expectation of 'right' and 'wrong'). I know this sort of advice has the potential to lay a heavy trip on your head, Libra, so don't mistakenly assume this is a long-lasting, life-defining effect I'm describing. (It ain't all that.) Rather, I just think you have an opportunity to put your best face forward in settings where there are people observing (and, like it or not, judging) your behavior based upon the aspirations or ambitions you claim to have. Though you may not have your relevant routine down perfectly (and that is perfectly okay), you still should strive for embodying those very ideals you hold so dear, at least according to what you tell people. I don't see you in this hot seat beyond the week ahead, if that provides consolation for any paranoia I hope I haven't caused you to suffer. Let's just leave it at acceptance of the fact that you really ought to perform as if the whole world's watching… and if for some reason they aren't, no harm has been done.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Draw conclusions from the conundrum in which you find yourself, Scorpio, which should strike you as 'familiar' in at least one fundamental fashion. It is not for me, however, to point out the parallels, for I have not lived your life and do not know for certain what patterns are now reiterating themselves… only that, if you step back and examine the landscape with a discerning eye, you will stumble upon some life-lesson about what you're repeatedly bringing to the table, regardless of which different players are sitting there with you. Either you've done the ethically appropriate thing enough times that now it's becoming easier and easier to pull off, or you've gone for another cheap shot and are becoming increasingly psychically saddled with the consequences that come with it. Or maybe you're at the more dramatic pivot point, where you no longer want to react the way you always have and are struggling to muster the self-control to change the pattern… in which case, your timing is pretty excellent for pattern-breaking, this being an eclipse period and all. If it makes it any easier to pivot toward fuller moral satisfaction, remind yourself that this is not a question of universal rights and wrongs—merely a matter of effecting the results you want without unnecessary karmic accumulations hanging over you, leaving you with greater peace-of-mind (and less drama) to move forward with. Though the only judge here is you, please don't underestimate the weight of his/her verdicts.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You presently possess an uncanny degree of access into the corridors of a certain someone's psyche, bestowing upon you precious knowledge of what's making 'em so excitable, upset, anxious or passionately charged. What will you do with this knowledge, Sagittarius? Will you use it for its higher good, to help this person you're closely intertwined with to snag a better grip on their unconscious drives by asking the hard open-ended questions with tremendous compassion (and without the need to push and push until you're proven right)? Or will you use it to wrangle for higher footing in your relationship, hitting the hot-button issue with the slyest blend of faux-innocence and in-for-the-kill ruthlessness so they are left with little means to contend? Do I even need to tell you which option I advocate? When handling such delicate circumstances, there's simply no way you can proceed with calculated self-serving behavior without accumulating some seriously bad juju in the process. Whatever you gain by exploiting someone else's psychic condition will come with nasty strings attached… and your conscience (presuming you have one) will continue whispering unkind statements about you in your ear until you can't enjoy the fruits of your manipulation. However, on the other hand, the goodwill you'll generate by earnestly assisting this person untangle their own knotted perspective will go far beyond the satisfaction reaped from merely sharing in the relief from their newfound clarity—you'll have cemented a new depth in your mutual bond, which will prove an invaluable asset when the shoe is on the other foot and you desperately need someone to call you out on your shit.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The good news is that you understand where they're coming from. The bad news is that you understand where they're coming from. Yes, Capricorn, you're reading it correctly: The very same astro-conditions currently making you so terribly understanding also hold the capacity to complicate and convolute your ability to look out for yourself. See, it's much harder to tow an unyielding line strictly on your own behalf when you rightfully comprehend there's more than one equally convincing and compelling side to the story. But if you assent to showing too much solidarity with their side, are you selling yours out? I don't have a simple answer for you on this one, my dearest… only my perhaps-na´ve belief that you can find a way to stick to what's true for you and admirably demonstrate an acknowledgment that their perspective is also true. Just because the possibility some middle ground does exist, however, doesn't imply that finding it—and openly mutually agreeing to pitch the flag there—will be a piece of cake. Anything but, in fact. Because you do understand where they're coming from, you owe it to yourself to make good use of this understanding and work your hardest to ensure they understand where you're coming from, too. And if you can establish that, then you'll more smoothly move into the unavoidably tense stage of negotiating the nuts-and-bolts of settling on the middle ground. Thusly, you'll be in a great position to eventually work out a fair compromise. Yet, damn, wouldn't it be easier if you didn't understand where they're coming from?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your service to humanity (a premise I know you Aquarians take seriously) will be best played out this week by taking yourself and your personal feelings out of the equation… an instructive that, alas, will be much harder to obey with the triple-conjunction of Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron inflating your sign (throughout '09) with sensitivities to others' personal plights far more powerful than your ordinary situation fosters. I'm not talking about abstract theoretical 'sensitivity' in the sense of your beliefs in justice and equality of all, which are part and parcel of being an Aquarius. I mean the psychic affect of 'feeling other people's pains' that makes it near-impossible to get the intellectual distance typically deployed by Aquarians so they may unflinchingly advocate 'the right thing', regardless of whose emotions get rustled by it. (This strange full-body emotional sympathy is something Pisceans deal with all the time; ask 'em about it for further insight.) Your present challenge is that, to do 'the right thing' in the circumstance that's now shown up will likely require you to speak up on a practical or work-related matter… in a manner that has the potential to upset somebody, which has the potential to upset you, thanks to this heightened psychic sensitivity. Do you have the core strength to go ahead with it, knowing you will have to bear witness to—and sympathetically share—their distress? Now you know what the water-sign types have to deal with all the time…


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Maybe they just didn't hear you? Maybe they had bananas shoved haphazardly in their ears, preventing what you thought was your clear, direct statement of 'this is what I'm doing for myself now' from reaching their conscious brain? Or maybe, just maybe, dear Pisces, you weren't as clear and direct as you thought you'd been. The truth is, it doesn't really matter why you're in a position of needing to articulate (or rearticulate) your intent to that person who stands to lose something (at least in their estimation) when you set out to tread a more independent path, in one context or another… just that you do apparently need to do just that. We could think of this moment as a test from the universe, to see if you will reassert yourself when faced with susceptibility to someone else's desires standing at odds to yours, the undertow of undue interpersonal influence threatening to suck you back in one more time. But perhaps it isn't all that. Perhaps it's just a case of you having to iron out any lingering ambiguities (which you may've subconsciously left ambiguous so you might have your cake and eat it too?), so there is absolutely no doubt as to which way you're headed. The clearer your stated intention, the likelier it will manifest as you'd most want.