Horoscopes | Week of July 19-25, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Lines of interpersonal allegiance are now falling into place, positioning you more markedly in alignment with certain individuals… and/or not with others, whatever the situation may be. This isn't a demarcation you ought to shy away from, Aries, despite the fact it could be somewhat awkward to conceive of yourself as either inescapably tied to an ally or unavoidably alienated from a non-ally. Of course, going out of your way to utter dramatic declarations about where your loyalties lie (or don't lie) probably isn't warranted. What's already becoming fairly clear, as a simple result of your continuing to do what you do in the manner you deem desirable, doesn't need a federal case made of it. If you do stir a big ol' fuss about who is or isn't on your side, you're getting too caught up in what other people are doing—and allowing interpersonal competitiveness to intrude upon your more authentic goals (see also: last week). Keep doing what you're doing, and the characters will naturally gravitate into their rightful slots, closer or further away from your gravitational center, as appropriate.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The hard work is about to begin again in earnest, Taurus… and I'm talking less about abstract notions of 'personal work' and more the chore-list, paperwork-pile, hands-dirty laboring required to produce real results here on the earthly plane. So before you find yourself completely immersed (and surprisingly happily, I might add) in 'getting stuff done' mode, I suggest giving yourself a week or two more of unmitigated fun. Whatever devilish delights you're now conjuring for your own pleasure are liable to persist, in some presently-unknowable form, beyond the current moment… to provide a healthy counterbalance to that increase in work headed your direction. Allowing yourself to follow the lure of such self-satisfying play is a bit like uncorking a genie's bottle. You don't know quite what you're releasing. It's likely to grant you at least one wonderful wish… and, at the same time, the old adage 'be careful what you wish for' also comes to mind. Still, despite potential complications, I advocate this uncorking. As part of your bigger-picture need to let up on control in order to grow in exciting new ways, you can greatly benefit from having a wish granted… then winding your way through the labyrinth of unforeseen developments the wish will spawn.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's more important that you're in touch with the folks in your life (including those you may recently have been dodging, due to 'not knowing what to say' to them) than conveying any particular message or vibe according to what you think they'd most want to hear from you. Already upon trying to mold your reality into the most digestible bites of upbeat optimism (or its flipside, a minimizing take on the turmoil), you are inserting an artificial filter between who you really are right this very moment and who perhaps you wish to be, if circumstances were different and/or you were better able to 'manage' your feelings (as if such a thing is healthily possible). Don't stress so much about what you're going to say to them, Gemini. The impulse to whitewash your story for public consumption is merely a self-protective mechanism, a fear of being rejected by pals or acquaintances if you're authentically vulnerable, that you can safely dismiss from its charge. Sharing with less self-consciousness is likelier to have the reverse impact: a more emphatic embrace from folks who'll be touched by your candor.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): There is nowhere to hide, unless you want opportunity to pass you right by. The outside world is beckoning you, Cancer… and as long as you're wearing sunscreen and the proper protective gear, you have no good reason to reject the call. Curb any agoraphobic tendencies immediately. Otherwise, the delicious comforts of home will turn into a self-indulgent addiction to privacy—at the potential cost of amazing professional breaks, lucrative financial possibilities, and/or chances to connect with a wider audience. While you may be a homebody, you can't fully appreciate all the joys associated with this domestic identity without its balancing contrast of necessary participation in the public scene. By working hard to accomplish something that matters to you out there, you earn yourself those precious moments of retreat… which you can take that much more pleasure in, with the inner satisfaction of knowing you're not using your sanctuary as a crutch for escaping responsibilities.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you can get your point across in a hundred words, then just think of how much more clearly and concisely you can say it in just fifty. Less speaks louder than more this week, Leo, so choose your phrasings carefully… and whenever nervousness dares to coax an extra several sentences of explanatory excess from your mouth, to fill the awkward spaces between you and your listener(s), don't succumb to the blather. Once you pass a certain volume of verbiage, you're highly likely to lose their attention… not because they don't like you or your ideas, but simply because you've exhausted their interest in the topic. And unfortunately, due to both Mercury and Mars presently bouncing off Neptune in your solar 7th, you might not recognize when exactly you're starting to lose 'em. Therefore, keep it short and sweet. Your economy of language will reflect confidence; the opposite approach, meanwhile, reflects a lack thereof.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I'm playing this week's Virgo horoscope off the presupposition you've used this past few weeks wisely, to ensure your voice has been heard and your intentions outwardly asserted, such that you're now at the place where the lid's been blown off and polite appearances have given way to the whole enchilada laid out on the table. (What I just described has happened, right?) Well, now it's time to let your imagination go wild. All that mental effort you spent over the many months building up to this present moment—not to mention the courage you had to muster, so that you could break through the inertia—has gone to good use. External situations are now profoundly shifting, and your mind probably feels ready to start problem-solving the next thing… only, this 'thing' hasn't yet emerged to the extent there's much fixed data to crunch. That's why you mustn't skip the open-ended, anything-is-possible, who-knows-how-it-would-actually-happen(-but-who-cares-at-this-point?) conceptualization stage. Considering the strides you've recently made, anything really is possible. Don't cap your creative possibilities too early in this continuing process. For now, dream big. Real big.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): After posting last week's horoscope, I received an email from an astute Libran reader who suggested my advice had been prematurely timed: 'Your current Libra scope is 16 days too early,' she wrote. '[I]t's not the time to emerge from a cocoon.' I wrote her back an affirming email: I agreed with her assessment, but suspected she had interpreted my words differently than I'd intended them. Last week, I reminded you to create the emotional room so good things may come, and to consider 'releasing the emergency brake'. I suppose I assumed it might take you a bit of time (16 days, perhaps?) to let that sink in… which is why I didn't just originally write, 'Punch the gas, and GO!' So let me clarify the timing specifics, in due respect to the feedback my reader offered, based on multiple planets moving out of your solar 12th and into your home sign. (1) Saturn moves into Libra this week (Wed Jul 21), the indicator that you're now ready to roll your sleeves back up and return to your personal 'work'. (2) Mars follows next week (Jul 29), with the call to, yes, release the brake and start moving. Work kicks up in earnest. (3) Then, when Venus hits Libra the following week (Aug 6), you should already begin to receive positive results from your latest efforts… hopefully inspiring you to continue them in that progressing-forward direction, in faith rather than fear. (Thanks for the email, dear reader.)


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't assume the worst… then end up confronting largely innocent bystanders with the unbridled wrath of an unnecessarily threatened Scorpio. Too much isolation from day-to-day practices of good health and effective productivity only fuel the self-sabotaging demons in your head. The last thing you need, Scorp, is more time away to brainstorm and strategize (or, as the case may be, to scheme and suspect). You'll likelier attain enlightenment by peeling the proverbial pile of potatoes from sun-up to sundown than crossing your legs, yogi-style, and ommm-ing at a picture of an archangel or ascended master. P.S. How anybody else is presently progressing with regards to their potato-pile has little to do with you. Comparing yourself to them, defiantly dis-identifying with their manners or methods, attempting to sway them to your agenda… all these sorts of activities are mere distraction techniques, keeping you unfocused and inefficient.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Because you're presently seeing a bigger picture than most—and, as a result of this perspective, are somewhat freer from some of the existential worries weighing other folks down—that is no excuse to exude a self-righteous air of superiority. Be gracious with your broader-minded understanding, Sagittarius, as opposed to (purposely or not) alienating peers or colleagues with the tone of your commentary. If anything, use your insights to build other people up… not through flatly telling them what's wrong with their thinking, but by asking open-ended questions that'll inspire 'em to look beyond their blind-spots. You'll want to stay on the non-insulting side of that fine line separating (1) a good-natured, chuckle-filled orientation toward the challenges currently bearing down on so many of us, since all suffering is due to our attachment to certain outcomes, from (2) a haughty, know-it-all self-satisfaction that makes others feel you're laughing at them rather than with them. Disseminate your optimism, instead of lording it over anyone.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Your ruler-authoritarian Saturn's return to your solar 10th, Capricorn, is a celestial reminder that you are being watched. Your public reputation is more significantly at stake than it has been in a while, and it's important to put conscious effort into molding it in the fashion you most desire. However, in sharing this perspective with you, I'm aware of the potential danger that my words will foment too stringent an anxiety in you to perform your role so 'perfectly' (?), it inhibits your ability to do much of anything at all. 'Frozen in fear' is presently a far worse perception to become associated with than being seen as someone who courageously attempts to do your best… and who accepts the fact that, when we stretch into unfamiliar ground, there's no choice but to learn as you go. So-called 'mistakes', from this angle, are merely opportunities to gain experience and expertise. Rather than worry about embarrassing yourself by 'doing it wrong', I'd be more concerned with giving them the impression you're squandering your potential by refusing to even give it a try.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): If you sustain a relatively neutral stance, while holding 'open space' so the other person feels safe and comfortable, they'll answer the question(s) you've held in your head—without you even having to ask. That's probably the best approach for getting beyond the surface of this relationship, Aquarius… as opposed to, say, pointedly probing into their soul with sharp inquiries that'll smack of your desire for a particular outcome, whether you intend it or not. Too forceful a confrontation, even if it's done with genuine caring love (and panache), is likely to threaten or spook 'em. In many cases, it may be enough for you to just allow them to 'dance around the topic'. As long as you do nothing to impede their off-the-cuff conversational meandering (such as impatiently rolling your eyes or hurrying them to 'get to the point already!'), they may wander sufficiently through the relevant territory that you're able to glean enough of what you're curious about to draw some sound conclusions. Listen keenly. Your full receptive presence should provide you ample info. You can fill in the blanks with what isn't being directly said (nor perhaps, in this case, need be).


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Limiting how engrossed you allow yourself to become in others' elaborate entanglements doesn't necessarily indicate you don't care about what happens to 'em. Think of it more as a pragmatically-minded redistribution of your personal energies, Pisces, toward those directly self-benefiting responsibilities currently demanding attention from you. Do yourself a favor, and remove the sense of emotional pressure from your shoulders, which might otherwise create undue psychic stress about the 'ramifications' you fear you'll create by reserving a larger chunk of your trademark compassion for yourself. You can still provide the world beyond your immediate ego-boundaries (i.e., anybody other than you) some of your heartfelt investment… only on a more measured level. In fact, you'll benefit all parties by putting in small amounts of laser-focused interest rather than an excess of involvement (which just might inadvertently make the situation bigger—and cause more drama—than is necessary).