Horoscopes | Week of July 11-17, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You mustn't expect anyone to read your mind… or even to read between the lines of your incomplete statements of purpose, Aries, just because you've given a couple inconclusive hints as to where your head's at. While I support you in taking the personal space you need, insisting that certain items important to you are not compromised away and/or adding your unique flair wherever you deem it impactful, you can't just silently take these matters into your own hands if these unexplained actions will leave other folks scratching their heads in perplexity. It might already be a done conclusion from your angle, but another key player may still require your patient assistance in getting their bearings—which would likely involve slowing the whole thing down a smidge, reviewing your last few steps with them, and letting 'em know what to expect from here. In case your inner rebel is now reacting in offense to my words, allow me to clarify: You needn't ask for anyone's permission, just tell 'em, clearly and thoroughly, what you're up to.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Business takes priority… a fact that doesn't have to hit like a bummer, Taurus, once you realize that your enjoyment of non-business pursuits is already liable to be infringed upon by the hanging-over of shit you know you should be doing but aren't. Have you any concept of how much energy gets needlessly sucked up by a guilty conscience? Especially when the guilt can easily be neutralized by first putting in a few hours of hard labor and then meeting up with your pals for a leisurely pint? You can keep all the grumbly muttering to yourself, too, since all this work that's bearing down on you is ultimately for your benefit. If you don't want to do it, you are the one who'll suffer the worst consequences. So, if we really want to get this horoscope's logic straight, we must accept that, in order for you to feel really good about yourself, you'll want to (1) take care of the duties that ultimately support your health and practical well-being, which will make you feel really good, and then (2) fraternize and frolic after the good effort's been put in, which will make you feel really good. It's all good, then?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your obvious gifts in the social/communicative realm should suffice when it comes to reeling in the minor favors, the sympathetic ears and/or the much-needed distractions. Under this astrology, Gemini, it'd be hard for them not to hear you for exactly the sentiments you're maneuvering to express. So please leave off that extra layer of icing-on-the-cake, and politely refrain from padding your basic premises with bloated self-importance, captivating exaggerations or other less-than-totally-authentic flourishes that actually only weaken your case. If you're truly confident that you genuinely need what you're asking for, it won't require any superfluously persuasive explanations to 'sweeten the pot' for those who'd otherwise help you. (If anything, they'll resent you leaving them with the sense of being played). There are plenty of dimensions of your present reality which make you sufficiently sympathetic that people will want to support you—unless you spread it on so thick, your act starts attracting suspicion or annoyedness.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You can't properly savor the Venus-inspired good favor being directed toward you, Cancer, if you're feeling irked by not having had enough time to yourself. And yet, at the same time, if you spend too much time by yourself, you won't be availably out-and-about to receive those Venus blessings. Therefore, to most thoroughly enjoy this astro-climate requires you to be extraordinarily responsive to changes in your intuitive temperature… not overindulging in private couch-food-and-TV time while letting this positive influence pass you by without note, and not forcing yourself into a full slate of external activities that irritate your mood with their ceaselessness, causing you not to appreciate the very 'pleasures' you're participating in. It's okay, then, to permit your schedule to turn on a dime, adjusting and readjusting in perfect reaction to how you sense your feelings are shifting. Pull that off, and you'll bask in a best-of-both-worlds week… which also reaffirms that you know what best delivers you contentment.


LEO (July 23-August 22): People are expecting you to say something, Leo, and you certainly have plenty to say… though you may quietly and correctly suspect, in an unusual departure from type, that you'd probably prefer not being put on the spot (so you can be left to your own backstage pleasures perhaps?). Still, it seems you'll make more of a fuss by trying to slither out of social obligations—for 'personal reasons' that nobody will let you allude to without insisting on further explanation—than by simply showing up and giving 'em what they want. So rather than expending your communicative steam on justifying details about your own life, which doesn't really suit any party's needs, channel your expressive flair into lively conversations about broader issues and/or other people's circumstances. Be mindful, of course, not to sound snide or excessively opinionated, as if you know better than everyone else. Your statements are likelier than usual to noticeably pop (even if your true interests lie elsewhere). You might as well garner attention for being entertaining rather than obnoxious.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Though I still advise embracing experimentalism as an attitude, just like I mentioned last week, I want to encourage you to blend it with a fairly nonchalant, and thusly conservative, manner of operating. Let me try to iron out the apparent contradiction for you, Virgo. Your mind's got to stay as open as possible, with the understanding that no original progress will be made without entering uncharted territory—and that you won't be able to assess the relative success or failure of your efforts until a few batches of early returns come in (or don't, as the case may be). Yet, in terms of how you approach others and/or engage with their newfangled notions, you ought not to draw much attention to yourself for reacting, either favorably or disagreeably, in any noticeable manner… other than, perhaps, a modest willingness to put each and every presented idea to some objective laboratory-type test. No matter how many times I essentially repeat this similar counsel in different terms, the gist remains: Reserve your strong opinions, and play nicely with the group. Your time to assert a masterfully woven argument hasn't yet arrived (and, for now, you're still quietly protecting yourself).


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Grace under pressure. Cool beneath the collar, while sitting on the hot-seat. Favored agendas actively, persistently pursued… only without any pointy protrusions that might perturb an undecided mind. Nobody should know he's being stealthily coaxed, Libra. The conclusions he would draw from the bytes of data and opinion scattered about, seemingly by chance (though, in fact, carefully placed in position by your nondescript strategy), appear as if organic developments. Maybe, at the critical crescendo, he even believes the topper was his idea. Nothing makes for happier allies than allowing them a generous slice of credit, whether or not earned. As long as justice for your cherished principle has been served, it hardly should matter whose name gets inked on the official signature line. Unobtrusive determination is its own reward… one that keeps on giving, every time you persuade to your liking without flustering feathers, unlike congratulatory trophies that just sit atop shelves collecting dust.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your overall caution may be warranted… and then again, Scorpio, it may not. When you're sincerely trying to do the right thing, it does make sense to want to be sure how right 'right' will be. Caution, however, is not the same as inactivity. And the only way to adequately assess whether the potential reason to be cautious is a true cause for concern is to investigate further—though, admittedly, you may be unenthused about confronting the unadulterated truth. Confront, unafraid. If you hope to get anywhere else beyond here (and I know you do), you must bust through any emotionally-generated paralysis… and put voice to the fears that, if left unexpressed, could eat you up from the inside out. You can certainly proceed with caution, but you really must proceed. Your only other choice is to go deeper and deeper into your own self-referencing notions of what could happen, which begets an icy lonesomeness that both (1) robs you of wider engagement with the vast universe outside your cage and (2) leaves us to wonder where the hell you've gone.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You could pound 'em over the head with your conviction, knocking 'em on their asses, then intimidate 'em by aiming your sharply pointed questions right where it hurts. And while you might be a shoo-in to 'win' the standoff, Sagittarius, that won't necessarily clinch your ultimate goal (or what I would think it to be): actually reaching a mutual understanding. Please be aware you cannot bully or outsmart somebody into seeing things your way. The best you can hope for from such a domineering approach is that they publicly declare you right, perhaps making something of a show out of it, while silently swallowing their true dissent... keeping it inside where, over time, it could swell into a raging resentment beyond anything you'd be able to crush with more loud words. A real 'win' only happens when you win over their heart. While you may never agree on every last detail, the reciprocal respect you'll earn from one another by feeling out the other's perspective—and not merely dissecting an intellectual argument—is a far worthier goal in the long run, regardless of immediate outcome.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Don't circumstantially freeze out loved ones, Capricorn, due to too severe a focus on getting the job done. True though it may be that you're busy as a beaver (and in no place to take your eye off the prize, especially when prized eyes are on you), you shouldn't squander Venus's brief-but-lovely visit to your relationship house (the solar 7th), which only lasts through the end of this month. This week, it's smart to consciously consider compromises on your time: fixing specific end-times on your workday so you can still squeeze in dinner with your sweetie, leaving your overtime-operating brain at the office and actually listening to what your companion is telling you, accepting the healthy balance between different elements of your life. On the other hand, you know you can't just drop everything to suit the desires of another person, even if you may deeply want to. Please spend at least five minutes to explicitly explain that to the certain someone who might otherwise take it personally. (Hint: If you want them to favorably accept the limits on your attention, use a very patient and genuinely loving tone-of-voice.)


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): To take the most meaningful pride in what you're working so hard on, Aquarius, you can't sidestep any ideological challenges that arise along the way. Sure, you'll probably get shit done a whole lot faster if you shut off your wide-angle lens and merely concentrate on plowing through the individual parts, assembly-line-style. But then, oh, just think about the foundational errors or oversights you'll be building into each and every nut-and-bolt of the final product—glitches which may or may not evolve into bigger problems, but which you'll always know are there because you willfully shut your eyes when they demanded a longer harder look. The far more admirable approach is to be real about potential areas-for-improvement now, before you go any further (and thus make it that much more complicated to eventually fix). The good news: Should you bravely set out to get it really right, no matter the additional effort, you'll be able to look back on the enhanced end-result and legitimately claim it as your 'baby'.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Why turn an easy delight into something more intricate and entangling? Leave the simple joy well enough alone, Pisces. It doesn't matter 'what this all means' for 'a possible future' (or even, for that matter, next week). Appreciate the moment, instead trying to turn it into an entirely different sort of affair… one that causes worrisome preoccupation rather than providing happy escape. Once you discover you're racking your brain with schemes for getting more and more, you've already gone too far down that rabbit hole. You need your brain for other items… including (but not limited to) questions about how to solve practical household problems once and for all, in order to buy yourself a larger slice of inner peace, none of which has anything to do with intricately entangling yourself in scenarios where your satisfaction depends on what someone else gives or doesn't give you. Unless you're a glutton for making life harder for yourself than it needs to be (well, are you?), just savor the delectables at their face value.