Horoscopes | Week of July 5-11, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Yet another startling turn of events, Aries, should hopefully now acclimatize you to the reality that this roller-coaster of a year isn't due to smooth or straighten itself into a leisurely day-cruise along calm waters anytime soon. And rather than grumble about more unforeseen reactions to react to, please see this as yet another startling opening of opportunity to explore and/or exploit for your own purposes. You have to be ready to offer yourself at any moment in which the negotiations pause long enough such that the ball appears up for grabs. Grab it, gosh darn it! Your tirelessness will be rewarded, if not during the next couple months then by, say, next February-through-April… but not if you indulge your short temper enough to contaminate this wide-open playing field with a few landmines of unmitigated aggression. This would be the absolute worst time to succumb to anger (though it may indeed be 'justified'). Since this is one of the most fruitfully exciting times in the lives of Aries individuals, you've just got to try and try and try, get back on the horse if it bucks you off, approach the situation from every possible angle… and simply refuse to accept 'no' as a final answer.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Commit your week to cleaning your slate of mindless time-sucks, perfunctory acquaintanceships and trivial concerns… in order to make plenty of room to have fun in the manner you find most pleasurable. Life is too short—and this crazy season too full of legitimate excuses to be anxious or bummed-out—to sacrifice those certain joys that brighten your days like no others. And it's perfectly understandable, Taurus, to be somewhat picky about the specifics, too. If you're going to consciously invest attention in bringing your inner child the ingredients for creating his/her own bliss, you should follow the recipe to the letter. Craving a hot-fudge sundae? Make sure you're using your favorite ice-cream in the world. Wanting a snazzy hairdo or stylish new outfit? Don't compromise on what you really want. On the prowl for an amorous fling? Forget about lowering your standards. Go for the one you're truly hot for. Sure, your act of holding-out could make it a bit harder to secure your most desired goodies. But when you finally succeed, at least your hands won't be full of the mediocre tokens you settled for. (Plus, the quest is part of the pleasure, don't you know.)


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Even though I stand by the notion that what I wrote for you last week was true for you last week, the astro-tides are changing faster than ever these days… and what that presently entails for you, Gemini, is the unmistakable realization that taking care of yourself ultimately involves, on one level or another, remaining a decidedly social being. While there are surely periodic moments when you're best suited to sequestering yourself away, screening calls and letting e-communications dangle, your natural tendencies eventually draw you back out into the interactive fray. In fact, I'd bet the typical rationale behind your moves to withdraw from too much conversation with friends involves the (misguided?) idea of 'protecting' them from your supposed 'Debbie Downer' difficulties… as if your pals only adore you when you can put on a happy face and tap-dance the day away. That rationale is fundamentally faulty. When you've got a lot of heavy thoughts on your mind is exactly the time to talk it out—even when just last week the time might not have felt right.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): What if they could hardly recognize you, based on this unfamiliar behavior you're modeling for them… which amounts to finally refusing to censor your most forthright expressions of desire out of anticipatory fear your truth will cause them emotional distress? Without a doubt, it would feel awkward at first, Cancer, letting your psychic detectors pick up their squirmy disappointment in being met with another person's equally strong opinion (instead of, yet again, counting on getting away with no disagreement or dissent from your quarters). But along with this uncomfortable stretch will come a soaring sense of liberatory release… and a subsequent pride in yourself (which naturally might not arise until after the initial prickly responses subside) for not settling for second-fiddle (though your intent may always have been genuinely to serve others, what about you?). From there, you can only expect to draw a different—and potentially lucrative—sort of attention from folks who'll be impressed by this new, less squeamish self you're presenting. Remember, though: The key to all I've described is clear, direct communication.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Explicitly acknowledge your blessings. It would be a shame (and a disservice to this magical Universe that has provided you so much) to unwisely overlook what you have that others don't. It's not my intention to come down on you hard, Leo, but instead to remind you one of the reasons you're often a target of others' envious projections is precisely because you possess a lot of enviable qualities. When we get too far in our own heads, seeing a world of plenty through lenses of specific disappointments (though many other areas of life may be going swimmingly) or scarcity fears (which might be quite real, and yet, if you ate food and drank clean water and slept under shelter today, things are all right) or stubborn moods ('this is just how I feel, and there's nothing I can do about it!'), we re-interpret reality in unfortunate pessimistic tones that drown out the positives. Spend your week saying 'thank you' ten times more often than you usually do… especially when it comes to the people, experiences and opportunities that really matter to you. Let that gratitude overwhelm those certain singular parts of your present life that aren't so hot, relegating them to a meager parcel.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): July is your month to proceed as if you weren't a chronic (over-?)analyzer. With Venus joining Mars and Saturn in your sign by the week's end, Virgo, you have an abundance of planetary energies at your disposal that don't require you to belabor every potential move before you make it. If anything, there's presently a lot to be said for simply flashing a grin and brazenly walking right into any scene that interests you, instead of waiting politely in line until some undeservingly self-important doorman waves you past some arbitrarily-positioned checkpoint. Don't fear the spontaneous experiment. With Mercury simultaneously slipping into your logic-defying 12th house, it'll be impossible to control the variables, which is why your rational analyses won't serve you for the time being (as they will almost surely contain some erroneous leap of logic, no matter how many times you run the numbers). Audacity, meanwhile, requires neither a compelling rationale nor anybody else's permission. It's more an approach of 'Might've well give this crazy thing a try!' and 'There's really not much to lose!' and 'Why the hell not? It might actually work!' (Oh, and also: 'We can figure it out when we get there…')


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): During this ultra-ripe mid-'10 season, Libra, I wish for you a deepening integration of the awareness that whatever you achieve (or, for that matter, don't achieve) out in the public eye, for everyone to see (and/or judge), is not what will, in the end, bring you the peace you crave. That's not to say it isn't still worth striving to attain that which you dream of… only that worldly success is merely one piece of a larger puzzle of self-fulfillment, but in itself doesn't represent the full picture. At this eclipse turning, I urge you to look inward for a release from the overbearing expectations you put on yourself to meet the imagined overbearing expectations you feel from others. You must feel whole in yourself first, when nobody's watching and there are no external standards by which to assess yourself. (In other words: You're already perfect as you are.) The next steps ahead for you, if you are brave enough to stop apologizing for your innate ways of being, involve radically freeing yourself from any and all relationships (professional, romantic, friend or family) that leave you feeling 'not okay' with yourself. The last thing you need is more pressure to moderate your behaviors.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Here at the horoscope factory, we are devoting countless kilojoules of brainpower toward invoking fresh and forceful ways of telling you to do things differently. Yes, Scorpio, what could be more generic than the phrase 'do things differently'? Who wouldn't benefit from a few innovative tweaks to their lifestyle? But for you, who are only now emerging from several months of irksome wheel-spinning in your worldly ambition-chasing, the manner in which you're organizing your days demands a shake-up. If what you're doing isn't yielding results… well, duh, you've got to try another way. I suspect you're beginning to discover it's not merely outside circumstances beyond your control that are fucking with your best efforts. There's also a wall that you have put up, built from bricks of self-righteousness and/or moral indignation, causing you to refuse to consider certain 'compromises' that aren't, in fact, as compromising to your integrity as you might imagine. Use this week to soften that fierce resistance you harbor toward entire categories of experience that, as long as you adamantly refuse to entertain them as possibilities, keeps you from taking advantage of opportunities sitting right in front of your face.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Really, Sagittarius, there's no need to fear complicated fallout from following last week's advice, which included a ringing endorsement of differentiating yourself through forthright expressions of potentially controversial opinions. To be your best self—a cut-through-the-bullshit, tell-it-like-it-is purveyor of honesty (even when it's of the 'brutal' variety)—you won't always be able to 'play nice'. Nor, quite frankly, do you really want to. Despite the likelihood that you've kept it 'toned down' to appease the more sensitive sensibilities of your closest colleague, spouse or partner, now that you're reached this point, you won't do them any favors by pretending to be more neutral or diplomatic than you actually are. Instead of worrying about what'll happen after you blow the lid off this simmering pot, consider how your inner libertine will feel if you continue restraining yourself from calling it as you see it. Your own sense of relief, in this case, is probably more valuable than sparing someone else's feelings (and, in the process, keeping them from evolving emotionally, too).


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Holding your ground could come at the cost of connectedness with the very folks you're desperately hoping will see your point. But I want to be clear, Capricorn, I'm not saying you shouldn't hold your ground. I merely wish you to understand there are consequences to how firmly or flexibly you choose to discuss any matters of principle. While it's generally self-supportive to uphold consistent values so that you needn't engage in internal ethical debates every time a challenging new situation presents itself, there is a point where too watertight a belief system begins to stifle the potential to broaden your horizons. Please note the term 'watertight', typically understood to convey a lack of leaks or loopholes, also has an interesting elemental implication for our astrological ponderings: It also indicates a blockage of emotional flow (i.e., water) due to impervious boundaries or walls. So what you may gain in asserting unambiguous clarity on an issue (i.e., self-satisfying integrity, focused intent), you might lose in compassion for those whose circumstances place them in questionable territory according to your stated principles, but who remain who they are (whether or not you agree with their beliefs) nonetheless. Keep this tradeoff at the forefront of your mind.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): On the one hand, you're liable to snag a fuller sense of where the other person is coming… a particularly positive result of momentarily lowered boundaries between you and them, thanks to a Venus-Neptune opposition across your 7th/1st axis. You'll be able to connect with them on their terms, while simultaneously erasing any ego-resistance you might be harboring (e.g., why give up your perfectly good version of their story?), producing the effect of greater connectedness. On the other hand, however, that doesn't necessarily speak to them getting a fuller sense of where you're coming from, Aquarius… an indication that you perhaps need to reach further across these momentarily lowered boundaries with your own attempts to be heard on difficult issues, though delivering the whole message bears the potential to upset the very connectedness (which feels good, doesn't it?) you two just achieved. In that context, then, these 'lowered boundaries' can be dangerous, if they distract you from the genuine differences separating your psychological reaction to what's going on between you from theirs. Still, strive for increased intimacy on these real terms—not just the illusory bliss of superficially smoothing things over.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): To get yourself to the next 'relationship checkpoint' (e.g., the next level in your existing relationship, the next new relationship, the next level of understanding your own relationship tendencies), you must be able to articulate what hasn't functioned to your liking up until now. Whether that 'articulation' means a come-to-Jesus conversation with a present or former partner, a statement of personal boundaries to a present or future partner, or a committed detailing (aloud, to a friend perhaps) of what you will never do in relationship again no matter who the partner, you're being pressured to draw a line between 'before' and 'after' this transformational moment. You're at a juncture, Pisces, where you can break the undesirable patterns—but not by simply wandering your way from one situation to another, sweeping unwelcome detritus from past triumphs and tragedies under the carpet and pretending the floor is now clean. One guideline to align with: Envision how you want the other areas of your life (e.g., career, home, family) to be, then fit relationship into that vision… as opposed to valuing relationship at all costs and then trying the cram the rest of your life in around it. Another reminder: Romantic couplings are supposed to be enjoyable.