Horoscopes | Week of July 26-August 1, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The hurdles, hassles or hang-ups being caused by a certain colleague (or competitor?) may be the best testing-ground you could hope for. If you're forced to edit, moderate or tweak the approach you'd otherwise take if you had complete control (which, alas, you never will), in order to suit the problem they raised or the overlooked item they've taken exception to… well, it'll only make your final product that much better, having integrated their criticisms into your effort. Please re-direct any growing tensions into concentrating on your best final-product possible, Aries. Being able to cope with oppositional feedback from this partner (or pain-in-the-ass?)—or more than that, to welcome it, even with the delays it may create—only strengthens your good chances for success in this venture or issue. Ignoring or fighting against this feedback, on the other hand, is akin to plugging your ears to potentially useful problem-solving messages, out of haste or pride. It's not about the particular person delivering the message, but about being open to such messages in general.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your days crave functional structure, whether you know it or not. Over the coming weeks, it is no longer enough to meander through the fields, opting for one task over another based on a moment's whimsy, figuring as long as you 'stay busy' (which is a phrase way too vulnerable to different interpretations) that you're being productive. Fine-tune your schedule, Taurus, so that you're getting to those specific duties that are top-priority, due to the fact that other duties hinge upon them and/or other people are waiting on you. But please don't think of this tightening-up as restricting your freedoms. On the contrary, my dear: The more organized you become (at least temporarily), the greater your ability to enjoy larger expanses of free-time, unhindered by those couple of forgotten responsibilities you'd otherwise need to squeeze in on your day off had you not been so damned together. You're entering one of those 'work hard, play hard' phases… and getting the 'work hard' part to flow in sleek slickness simply means getting to play even harder during playtime.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The 'show' must go on, Gemini. Just as I instructed last week, you oughtn't turn away from your social connections. Though keeping active in the fray may feel like an obligation you're barely fulfilling, going through the motions without your heart being fully invested, that won't necessarily infringe upon the overall benefit of staying linked in. By putting yourself in settings where you can't help but collide with other human souls, you're inviting the agents of serendipidity—who may be your best friend, a random neighbor, a long-lost cousin, or somebody you've never met before—to brush against your aura, scrambling up the bits of personality that might otherwise get stuck or become frozen in habitual patterns of the same ol' heavy worries. A surprising encounter could bless your face with a powerful smile you hadn't counted on flashing. A bit of offhand gossip could lead to a more significant networking possibility, through which you bond with an important community-member. A moment of friendly conversation could change your life… or their life… or the lives of other hangers-on or passers-by, all butterfly-effect-like, issuing ripples of meaningful interconnectedness outward in increasingly large circles of impact… and all because you dragged your ass out of bed, out of the house, and out into the world, one more day… even if you really didn't want to.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Only because I warned you against agoraphobic tendencies last week, Cancer, do I feel it's now okay to redirect your attention back to your home-front… at the same time, of course, you're still in the midst of being able to pluck fantastic outer-world opportunities as long as you're openly communicating what you actually want. That's just the nature of the astro-climate these days. We just can't afford to concentrate all our energies in one area, lest we let something slip in another. Regarding the domestic zone, then: Using your most diplomatic tone, you've got to negotiate for whatever improvements will bring you greater peace and quiet, sooner rather than later. Simply put, your external self is presently engaged in far too much chaotic-reorientation activity for your domestic life not to provide a soothing contrast. You need to feel safely taken care of, once that front door closes behind you, or you won't be able to adequately recharge. Yet, the tricky part is not to fuss too excessively about domestic concerns that you aren't keeping your eye on the career/public-life ball. That's right: There's no 'escape' anywhere. Bring your best game everywhere.


LEO (July 23-August 22): First off, I'm sniffing a bump-up of excitement permeating your being, Leo… and nothing could be better news, considering all those many months of anticipatory irritation have now fallen into the memory-bank of your past. If you're holding onto any remnants of discouragement, I hope you'll finally let them go. Life really has come a long way in a few short months. Now, in the midst of what should be rapidly-boiling enthusiasm for some new opening into a vaster adventure, you mustn't forget to stay on top of the seemingly 'less important' communicative details… since there are other people wondering what's up with you, waiting on your replies before they can continue, and/or apt to take it personally if you don't stay in touch. And then, suddenly, you'll have a problem on your hands, due to nothing other than having become so absorbed in optimistically looking ahead that you neglected to take care of today's business. A few moments of fulfilling your social obligations through perfunctory emails, phone calls and visits will save you gobs of unwanted headaches later.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): During the course of the week, with Mars moving into your solar 2nd while your ruler Mercury finally arrives in your sign, the number-one topic to devote your pragmatic-analyst's mind to resolving: how to ensure the recent gains attained through more forthright assertiveness can be banked for lasting utility. Having gotten this far in your battle to overcome bashful self-denial, Virgo, you must commit to holding yourself to this new standard… or risk losing ground and slipping backwards into your restrictive self-containment chamber. It wouldn't hurt to outwardly articulate a few explicit statements of such commitment (i.e., 'I will never [blank] again!'; ' From here on out, I'll always [blank] instead of [blank]'; etc.)… mantras you can tape to your bathroom mirror, repeat each day during your morning meditations, or use as instigating guideposts for more detailed free-write journaling. Because everything you've lately achieved has been at least partially due to Saturn, it is not a fluke—it was hard-earned and, therefore, must be carefully safeguarded like the precious treasure it is.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): With Mars entering your sign and conjoining Saturn, this is a powerful week for taking some very pointed action—with plenty of precision, consciousness and clarity—in the direction of the goal(s) you hope to achieve over the next several months. You do not have to bite off the entire goal, mind you; just take one extremely significant, obviously noticeable, ground-shaking step forward. Be aware, Libra, that when you so unabashedly set the precedent, you cannot predict how certain other individuals will react… nor should that fact prevent you, not in the very slightest, from proceeding according to your own self-guided ethical priorities. Much of the delicacy warranted by this precedent-setting moment revolves around (1) deciding what's right for you, regardless of what others think about it, refusing to kowtow to their undue influence while (2) granting them a wide berth to respond however they will, then (3) allowing the relationship to morph and change as an organic result of you each making decisions independently. But (can I get away with saying this?) don't worry about holding your relationships together as they are. You do you, they'll do them, and it'll all go down as it should. Now, what's your goal again…?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): 'Psychic housecleaning' month has officially begun. Time to grab a broom and start sweeping up the dusty detritus hanging out in the margins of your consciousness, those unsettling leftovers from relationships and jobs and living-situations of days gone by, which you perhaps didn't quite process quite as thoroughly as you'd thought. Sometimes, Scorpio, what's holding us up in our present-day drive to move ahead is merely garbage from past trials, traumas and disappointments… stuff that ultimately has little thematic relevance to any lingering standstills, other than the fact it's taking up room in our imagination (whether we know it or not), blocking the enlightening breakthroughs from breaking through. How does one tackle such 'psychic housecleaning', then? By stepping defiantly away from whatever current-moment situations have most recently occupied you… by giving your mind a break from trying to 'figure things out'… by softly looking back over the past many years of your life, contemplating how you've changed during that time, dwelling on the most pivotal events that helped effect that change, and re-experiencing the related feelings enough so that they can waft away, knowing they've been appropriately honored. This advice is not as disconnected from your day-to-day reality as you might falsely assume.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I don't want to be so brash as to utter an offhand truism like, 'They're either with you or against you.' The current situation is not quite so flatly antagonist. However, there's an undercurrent of uncompromising selfhood coursing through your blood, Sagittarius, that's making it increasingly difficult to sustain social solidarity with those folks likely to find offense, if you were to continue further down this freeing path and express even more of what's on your mind. A natural consequence of your unstoppable outward-liberation process, then, is a potential paring down of those hanger-on 'friends' (if you can legitimately call them that) who probably wouldn't really like you if all niceties were dispensed with and they saw your true colors. Of course, in the same breath I mention this, I also want to encourage you not to be too careless about who you circumstantially 'cut loose'—one relatively small area of disagreement does not an enemy make. And regarding those folks who could be rubbed wrong by you but who you deeply value nonetheless, please be explicit with them about how much they mean to you. Your extra effort now just might cement a future longtime friendship otherwise in potential danger of withering away.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If you seek to solidify or stretch your level of worldly responsibility in the imminent future, then offer to manage some additional activity or area that, up until now, you've been hesitant to take on so comprehensively. It's 'shit or get off the pot' time in your career or community-involvement, Capricorn… meaning that you're likelier to end up in an expanded role by simply starting to do the extra work involved, rather than waiting for an official promotion (or for somebody else to drop the ball first). Granted, this is not a position to enter into lightly. Once you decide to go for it, you should commit yourself beyond the point of your personal comfort—after all, the only way to transcend previous limitations is to push, even when you may quietly harbor self-doubt. Nothing worth earning in this life ought to come easy, as you well know. Nor should you allow your own emotional rebelliousness to disrupt the necessary diligence required to sustain your efforts. In other words, whether you feel like submitting to certain regulatory necessities, or to the final word of a boss who you feel doesn't deserve much respect, is mostly irrelevant at this juncture. Only after ascending to the top of your game will you possess the power to right those perceived wrongs… if you still see them as 'wrong' later.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Having recently trudged through some of the denser, stickier muck that had been clogging the artery-ways interconnecting your fate with someone else's, you're now approaching an exhilarating lucidity in terms of what ultimately matters to you—and what may've been merely a dazzling mirage. You may still not be overwhelmingly sure about where you stand vis--vis this other person (who you couldn't necessarily 'get rid of' in as convenient a fashion as you might fantasize about, nor are you convinced you want to) and/or the convoluted financial or psychological circumstances that prevent your complete 'independence' (a fallacious concept even on a good day)… but you are pretty damn sure of what you believe in: essentially, abstract conclusions built upon your personal experiences, so you can (1) continue courting those activities that made you feel good while (2) avoiding repeat-performances of those which made you feel shitty. Your inner pride presently pleads with you to stand firm in your beliefs… immaculately, to the letter. The interpersonal consequences, for better and/or worse, will play themselves out in accordance.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Over the next few weeks, you can expect to witness the deepening of ramifications yielded by any recent steps you've taken to enhance, end, or otherwise alter key interpersonal dynamics in your life. If you've stepped closer toward somebody, you will experience both the wonderful increases in intimacy and the realization of just how entangled you have indeed become. If you've walked away, you'll soar with the newfound freedom as well as possibly grieve on a more profound level than you had before. No matter the relational changes, Pisces, you cannot have foreseen all the side-effects that would come from putting up or pulling down walls, offering more or less of yourself, or reconfiguring boundaries. All the latest fallout, however, is ultimately a very useful opportunity to clear your psychic slate… whether from anger, sadness and pain due to what's already happened or from terrifying fear or romantic fantasy of what could happen in the future. Naturally, before it's 'cleared' away, you'll probably have to endure one more reminder-bout of angry, sad, pained, fearful and/or overly romantic feelings. Don't struggle; just go with it.