Horoscopes | Week of July 18-24, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A pause is an opportunity to do something else you otherwise wouldn't have had the time to do… which, in your case, Aries, might be an invitation to finish a conversation you left dangling (for a few days or many months). The unfinished quality may be less about an agreement not yet finalized, and more simply a factor of your needing to check back up on 'em, so they know you haven't totally left them behind, forgetting all about your last encounter. Thus, you don't have to worry about picking up the issue (which might have been rather 'charged') where you left off. Simply taking the direct initiative to be back in touch will speak volumes about how you're not holding onto any unsettling ick. In fact, the exchange may prove to have nothing to do with yesterday's business (especially if you see to it that it doesn't), instead ending up as a lovely reacquainting chit-chat that all parties thoroughly enjoy. And at that point, after a casual rapport has been reestablished, the past really will be in the past.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Ride out any midweek mood-wiggles that threaten to confuse you into thinking certain facts are far more problematic than they actually are. By the weekend, Taurus, you should be back in possession of a more realistic—and emotionally even-keeled—understanding of your current spot, and it's not an especially unpleasant one to be in. Part of what could be freaking you out, if you aren't merely going through the motions of old habits, is knowing you have intentionally opened a door to influences that are messing with the conventional order of your life (in a good way, I might add)… and now you're seeing the virtual impossibility of ever shutting it back up again and returning to how things were. Naturally, in the process, you'll pass through periodic WTF moments where panicky feelings rise up, reminding you that you're on unfamiliar ground. That just comes with the territory. Let them come on, then let them pass away… but please refrain from making any abrupt reversals based on this fleeting fear-response.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Before you react in the same fashion you always do, Gemini, please consider this could instead be a momentous occasion for short-circuiting the predictable pattern. You may be somewhat less aware of how certain canned auto-responses on your part are continuing to provide you an oh-so-recognizable result that isn't quite what you're after. However, you can do it differently… and, in the process, profoundly shift a personality trait you've semi-involuntarily allowed to trip you up for a while. Hint 1: Stop qualifying your personal statements-of-truth with language intended to 'soften the blow'; all that qualification merely waters down your conviction. Hint 2: Don't walk away from an exchange until you've said everything you need to say. Why draw out the conversation? Hint 3: A 'no' means NO and a 'yes' means YES, whether you're on the giving or receiving end of the decisive answer. Though an onslaught of persuasive words can change an answer on a superficial cerebral level, it really won't alter the deeper truth one iota.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): During this last full week of Venus blessing your sign, I urge you to make an explicit offering of gratitude to your version of the spiritual 'Something Greater'… one that you'll receive no personal benefit from nor credit for. Think of it as a generous tip you're tossing to the universe, a thank-you for having received such impeccable service, it's almost too easy to forget the invisible hands of others were indeed involved. Come the start of August, Cancer, you'll be shifting into a much busier energetic (due to Mars's arrival in your sign for a month-and-a-half), during which you'll have fewer opportunities to reflect on what is successfully working in your life—and more of an immediate awareness of all that's still requiring more effort and focus. Once that happens, you'll be too likely to forget how good you've had it… which is a dangerous temptation to undo these very blessings with a careless lack of appreciation. Therefore, while you've got a couple moments, proactively neutralize those potential negative vibes that sometimes accompany stress. Get out ahead of the curve, and thank your lucky stars with some concrete ritual, gift or tribute.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The Leo birthday-season has snuck up on us again, hasn't it? I'd expect the festivities to really kick into gear mid-next-week, once Venus joins the Sun on your side of the zodiac-wheel… and once that occurs, you'll enjoy a few weeks of giving off the extra glint of likable charm that'll smooth away any residual friction. But likability has everything to do with easily and confidently being yourself, giving others the room to freely decide they're into you. And when you try too purposefully to 'make yourself likable', Leo, they will be put off (unless they are so desperate to be liked that they 'like' you just so you'll 'like' them, though all that 'liking' remains inside quotes). So, for now, just catch yourself in any instances where you're defining yourself in relation to the folks whose favor you'd be finagling to secure. Already, you're veering away from the genuine you. The funny thing about all that trying? The rest of us adore you Leos so much (and/or envy you) because you don't have to try that hard.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Stand back a couple steps, neutral and unassuming, while they flash their true colors. I'm not saying to expect shock or disappointment, Virgo. In fact, the less expectation of any kind, the better. You'll be that much surer of the brand of behavior you're witnessing in them, if you take care not to project your presuppositions and/or lay traps they'll likely fall into. Even when proceeding with the lightest of touches, you are under moderate threat of conflict in the workplace or other public arena, since Mars remains in your solar 10th… but it doesn't have to be that big a deal. If you feel you're merely a passive recipient of someone else's misdirected or uncontainable frustration, take it like a champ rather than poking at 'em and making it worse. (It'll be more useful to you to simply file the data away, and adjust your impression of them accordingly.) Please take note, though, if this conflict bears any uncanny familiarities—if you've previously had similar fights with other people, you, as the common denominator, are bringing something provocative to the table.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): While I understand the drive to make sure you've clearly made your point, I want you to consider whether perhaps you've already made this point plenty clear… and if maybe you're unnecessarily reiterating yourself to the level of overkill. Just because you've likely been careful about delivering the message with agreeable finesse (and staying 'cool beneath the collar', as last week's horoscope suggested), you're not automatically absolved of the possibility you're coming on like gangbusters. You know, Libra, an individual can be perfectly polite and reasonable and still grate on the nerves of those who don't want to be preached to. Now, I'm not saying you're necessarily being preachy… only that there's an increased potential for you to be repeating yourself (albeit in variations on the same main theme), due to residual feelings from a past instance when you felt your viewpoint wasn't being heard or respected. Here in the present, alas, you need to have a little more faith that, if you're genuinely forming social connections with the folks you're in discussion with, they will catch your drift… without being hit upside the head with it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Stop silently probing so invasively into their psyche when all it does is scramble your thinking, Scorpio. If you keep trying to attune your senses to their sense of the situation, you'll find yourself zigging and zagging based upon the faintest of clues: a significant look ('what exactly is that supposed to mean?'), a cryptic remark ('but if I ask for more info, will I seem too interested?), an apparent fluctuation of feelings ('well, which is it?'). Your evolutionary leap comes from protectively tending to your emotional satisfaction, not reacting to what you think will evoke the desired reaction (whether it's fawning adoration or an irked rise) from them. You're too accustomed to looking for solutions from the muddled place of an overlapping, interpenetrating togetherness experience… which, though it's surely stimulating, doesn't always leave you able to discern your singular best-interests. Next time you feel your psychic pokers infiltrating the other person's energy-field, turn 'em in on you instead—and take your own psychological temperature, without so much interpersonal bleeding-over-into.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Whatever you've got against You-Know-Who… well, Sagittarius, go ahead and get it out of your system. Or at least try to do that. But you may be surprised to find that, contrary to what your smug first- and second-reactions might be telling you, even after you've expressed everything you thought you had to say, you still don't feel a sense of resolution on the matter. Were you so sure they were missing your point that you somehow ended up being the one who's missing something? It might take a separate retelling of the events, to a third party who lacks the convoluted history you're bringing along to it, to help you unearth the pivotal piece that explains why you keep spinning on this. I suspect if you're feeling cheated, duped, or otherwise on some losing end, that's because something that happened in a different relationship with somebody else entirely is still holding sway over your perspective. While I understand you don't want to repeat the same mistake, I must point out, if you continue refusing to see your part in this lack-of-resolution, you're unlikely to move beyond experiencing this as a stalemate.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): We humble humans cannot grasp the full majesty of how Existence functions. So, if we know that much about how much we don't—and can't—know, then perhaps you, Capricorn, shouldn't be so quick to discount whatever present developments aren't making much earthly sense. Just because you aren't privy to the reasons why a certain endeavor isn't progressing in quite the manner you'd expected and/or desired, that doesn't mean there aren't any. Nor does it mean you ought to expend every last ounce of your energy in attempting to force it to happen that particular way. Maybe, instead of trying one attack-plan after another to draw water from a pretty hopeless-looking rock, you could put this certain endeavor on hold (temporarily or forever, who knows?)… and redirect your efforts toward something else, as an alternative or a backup or a totally novel exploration. Don't bulldoze over signs from the cosmos. One possibility or another will flow. Rather than tuning out the celestial wisdom and pounding pathetically on a locked gate, respond positively where there's an invite for free entry.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): In a spontaneous surge of enthusiasm, you're liable to forget not everybody lives for the same sorts of (odd? quirky?) delights that make your world go 'round. Of course, there's nothing wrong with liking what you like, Aquarius… and not caring to understand why others are put off by what turns you on. Such unrelenting individuality will, however, limit who is likely to be interested in sharing a giggle or canoodle with you… particularly in the short-term, when your self-expressions could feel as alienating to folks who don't know you that well as it is liberating for you. Am I telling you, therefore, to inhibit your expressive side in order to make yourself palatable to a wider audience? Not necessarily; that's completely your call. I'm just here to describe the situation, so you aren't left wondering why you may attract strange stares or judgmental whispers, should you go ahead full-force with whatever (odd? quirky?) version of fun is currently up your alley. Being an Aquarius, though, you probably enjoy stirring such reactions in the uninitiated.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If you find yourself embroiled in a quarrel or all-out fight, the first question to ask yourself is how much of the contentiousness is stemming from actual external events… and how much might be a factor of your own subjective interpretation. In other words, Pisces, I want you to honestly examine whether you are being excessively reactionary—perhaps due to some vibe in the air that's uncomfortably reminiscent of a scarring childhood experience—to another person's less-malicious-than-you-think actions. If there's any truth to the supposition you're reacting more to past pains than present happenings, please don't be ashamed of yourself. This is a common human behavior, which happens to all of us at some point or another. And please remember other people don't possess the x-ray vision required to see inside your psyche, to understand why exactly you've become so agitated by their doings. Should you choose to outwardly 'work things out' in discussion, simply share with them what's gone on for you (without accusations or defensive finger-pointing)… and what else it reminds you of. That'll give 'em a much-needed reference-point.