Horoscopes | Week of July 25-31, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): … and don't forget the fun! You've been an intense little bugger these past several months, huh, Aries? Take a load off, then… at least for a moment. If you're not taking some large chunks of pleasure from this whole rigmarole, you're doing it wrong—you're overlooking the journey, in feverish pursuit of the end-result (which is so not your typical modus-operandi). Well, considering Mercury is about to retrograde for a few weeks and you have the Sun and Venus making Uranus-trines from your house of good times (the 5th), I suggest you table the serious concerns (since, in the short-term, you're unlikely to make much methodological progress that'll stick), and partake of some wild-and-crazy leisure delight that'll undeniably get your mind off that hunk-o'-importance it keeps chewing on over and over. Burn away the residual stress with a hot time. Believe me, you need it.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Though ruling-goddess Venus's arrival in your solar 4th augurs renewed enjoyment of your life at home, the image I'm associating with this homeward-bound move is not a quiet cookies-and-hot-cocoa sort of nesting situation. It's more like the anticipatory prepping one engages in, often with a close friend or two, before a wild evening out… complete with a pre-party cocktail, proud primping in front of the bathroom mirror, and loud catchy tunes that make it impossible not to dance along in your living room. Whether the 'wild evening out' itself (a real occasion or a metaphor for the festiveness that's on your horizon) actually happens this week or further down the line, Taurus, I cannot say. But the private playful preparations ought to be indulged regardless, in the spirit of consciously putting yourself in the type of good mood that'll ensure, no matter what occurs, you're likely to make something entertaining out of it. Get the party started at home first, and it'll be that much easier to bring the partyin' vibe along wherever you go next.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): A casual charm, mistakenly presumed to have been misplaced (or overpowered by that stubborn, unshakable seriousness), has returned to your roost. Apply it effortlessly to your social dealings, Gemini, and you shouldn't have to think twice about whether you came off pleasingly enough. That you're bringing an unusual energy or an 'outsider's perspective' to the table is an asset, not something to downplay. If your wider interpersonal environment is feeling too same-ol'-same-ol', you need to (1) surprise your too-predicable pal-group with a new habit or interest that shatters expectations and/or (2) show up more noticeably in a new scene where personalities you're unaccustomed to bouncing off of are hankering for the arrival of someone like you. Concentrate on reinvigorating your social interactivity. (Meanwhile, certain highly-emotionally-fraught personal details have yet to be resolved, though you may wish they would. Set 'em to the side for now; the interpersonal connection I advocate above will indirectly support their resolution.)


CANCER (June 21-July 22): When caught in the hamster-wheel mode of gathering the same paltry sum of compensation for the same rote occupational grind, you can actually expect, over the long run, a slow downward slope of diminishing returns. Rote robotic repetitions by human hands such as yours, Cancer, invite eventual sloppiness in product and resentment (or at least soul-deadening) with process… not to mention that the lords of industry are always on the hunt for the next sparkling replacement and/or rejuvenation, rather than the ol'-standby reliability that's no longer as valued. If you want more money, responsibility and/or respect, then, you've got to be willing to try something different. And there's simply no way to genuinely innovate without facing a temporary feeling of clumsy inadequacy (and its corresponding addition of extra time expenditures) on the path to improvement. To get ahead, alas, there's no other choice. You have to scramble up your work-processes, in order to get things fresh—or wait until they're scrambled up for you, by a jittery employer or the Divine's mischievous wheel-spin.


LEO (July 23-August 22): By week's end, I foresee you riding high on a wave of grateful immersion in the newfound sense of adventure I'd been hailing for you months back. While your overall experience of life-altering departure and widened possibility is a longer-ranging astro-influence, Leo, you're having a momentary upsurge of appreciative awareness for how much more may be in store for the future you than you'd imagined just a mere year or two ago. Ride this wave toward clearer intentions for yourself… using (1) the waning moon's energy throughout the week to release the old reasons why you 'can't' (ahem) do the thing you really want to do and (2) the Leo new moon on Saturday (Jul 30) to speak your dream aloud to your version of God, helping it begin to manifest by admitting how important it is to you. Miracles do happen; they often take quite some time to reveal their majesty, but their seeds first start to sprout in the hearts of those who dare to believe.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): A wide berth of personal space—both from (1) those who unwittingly impose a need to entangle you in their web of predicaments and (2) your own incessant attempts to land 'the right answer' when there simply isn't one—will greatly support your present spot, Virgo. So many of your recent horoscope premises have hinged on a certain tentativeness, an as-yet-unformed quality to much of what you're up to… which therefore asks you to tread with a light step and a humble, inquisitive ego. You are still in this place, and essentially continue to be for another good month or so, until Venus hits your sign toward the tail end of August. Be mindful, especially considering much of this month ahead will be under the trickster effect of Mercury retrograde (which begins early next week). Because Mercury hits your sign this week, you could be fooled into a false mental confidence, leading you to believe you've finally solved the riddle or otherwise 'figured it out'. Don't take the bait. Even when flashes of brilliance show up, treat them with a cautious optimism.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Who's the starkest 'breath of fresh air' influence in your life currently? Follow that person's lead, Libra, to events or organizational meetings or increased participation in an activity they are really into. This advice isn't about you catering to this mavericky individual, as much as allowing yourself to dabble in the collective pleasures of being part of something larger than you… without having to call all the shots or come up with the big ideas. And if this certain someone has already done much to open your eyes to new experiences, you can easily build further on that development by seeing how their friends or comrades might similarly impact you. If instead you're dealing with a recent breakup or defriending, I recommend throwing yourself into that other social group, which your ex-pal or former-squeeze has nothing to do with. Why challenge yourself to maintain a cordial higher-ground among your mutual acquaintances, when you can be completely free to say or do as you please with folks who have no reference-point for that person you're leaving behind?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Professional admiration and/or public favor is aimed at you, Scorpio… but especially so, as long as you aren't married to certain procedural roles for how the esteem-earning deeds get done. If you want golden-boy or -girl status, I wouldn't recommend being overly firm about starting and ending hours, perfunctory policies, industry standards or other supposedly 'proper' behaviors. You have to be willing to thrive as the creative types do: in unconventional settings, with uneven surging rhythms, powered on hopeful idealism and fumes. If you're anticipating order rather than chaos, you could certainly try to stipulate the boundaries you require be upheld. Only problem is, if the actual work-at-hand necessitates something other than the strict role you've protectively carved out for yourself, you'll end up looking like the odd man/woman out… and meanwhile, the work will still need to get done somehow…


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I think of you as the quintessential explorer of our zodiac, Sagittarius… with the keenest enthusiasm for all you've yet to be exposed to, and the harshest dislike for that soul-sucking disease known as boredom. Life is too short not to experience something new on a very regular basis, right? You're headed into a month or so during which the call to explore is beckoning you in a louder-than-usual voice… and for no other reason than to ensure you haven't fallen into any sort of spirit-debilitating slump. You need an outlet for the burgeoning restlessness, preferably one that doesn't involve pushing anyone's buttons nor making a stink in workplace settings. A weekend adventure would certainly qualify, as does indulging any of your myriad curiosities about outdoor activities you've never tried, topics of study you haven't delved into deeply enough, angles of self-exploration you've yet to approach, or other cultures or subcultures that you'd like to learn more about. Before those dreaded words 'I'm bored' ever have a chance to cross your lips, treat yourself to a revitalizing exploration.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Take a breath, and proceed one or two steps deeper in. Though you may be telling yourself such a move is against your better judgment, Capricorn, you'll also agree your 'judgment' sometimes verges on being too strict or inflexible. Don't, therefore, utter a declarative rule or identifying statement about what you're moving toward. Just lean into it, and allow the natural gravitational pull to work its magic. While, on the one hand, this inclines you to be more fully engaged in a dynamic that plainly ties your immediate destiny to certain others', it simultaneously reeks of a glorious freedom you've allowed yourself by even daring to go this far (since you've been likelier to shy away from such entanglements in the past). If you're excited about it (though the 'excitement' may also contain traces of anxiety or terror), it's worth exploring further. Ease into the fuller immersion, letting it happen the way these things do. You can't rush the process, just to see whether, in the end, it'll prove to have 'worked out'—patience is a necessary part of this delicious torture.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): When Venus shows up in the 7th house (like she does in yours this week, Aquarius), we can expect a heightened contentment in our primary one-on-one relationship situation(s). Factor in the Uranus-in-the-3rd trine, and you've got a recipe for thoroughly enjoying your partner's or best-chum's company right here in your local environment: trying out the new restaurant around the corner, attending acquaintances' art-shows and cocktail-parties, window-shopping in that less-visited neighborhood across town, and any similar such reminders that there's much to be savored nearby. Another read on this astro-clime: Where a still-valuable interpersonal connection has recently stalled due to crossed signals or different understandings, reapproach the dialogue with a totally different tack. This blend of (1) new timing and (2) curveball approach could yield a whole 'nother outcome. And in any circumstance: Don't make specific promises, swept up by a positive relational moment (and temporarily blinded to certain self-preservationist necessities). The good vibes needn't lead to a short-sighted commitment.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Be a bit wary, Pisces, when it comes to accepting a certain someone's detailed account of the 'facts' of the case. Their vested interest in the story being told a particular way is too emphatic to not raise some concern about what's being left out. None of that potential doubt I'm planting in your head, however, need be voiced at this time. Not only are you unlikely to gain any further reassurance from such a confrontation, it's quite possible the other person is fairly unaware of his/her circumstantial blind-spot(s). The point I really want to make here is this: More is yet to come, and you bear no responsibility in pushing this development along. A month from now, the currently-contentious 'facts' will be much clearer. In the meantime, you have other duties hollering at you to be overseen… and you're in a very good moment for taking care of this business, since you'll probably (1) be happier with the results you'll get, if you work on it between now and mid-August, and (2) enjoy the process more than at other times.