Horoscopes | Week of June 25-July 1, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The 'craziness', should you find yourself surrounded on multiple sides by it, is not all deriving from outside you, Aries. Correspondences between developments in different areas of your life do, in fact, share a common denominator… which, of course, is you. That description is not me blaming you for the crazy, by the way; merely, I'm pointing out this recurring phenomenon should be seen as a sign. With two planets presently related to your relationship life (Venus and Saturn) standing still and returning to direct motion this week, you have a responsibility to clean up whatever behaviors (f.y.i., both willful ignorance and passivity count as 'behaviors') have invited craziness to reside so prominently in your life and/or egged on its propagation. While I've been repeatedly encouraging you to calmly consider, and cooperate with, the proverbial 'other person' in any key one-on-one partnerships, you also must clearly assert what you need for them, in order for the arrangement to be supportive (rather than detrimental) to your other life-goals. Crazy, as we know, too often sucks up all the air in the room. You probably won't be able to 'fix' it, but you needn't excuse it—and certainly shouldn't fuel it.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A word of caution: We do not help one another evolve our thinking by wearing each other down, as if enough conviction in sustained debate (and a smidge of demonizing the other side) will eventually prove us right. In fact, we often harden their resistance to our viewpoint with a bulldozer-argument, since nobody enjoys being talked down to or overwhelmed by zealotry. Now, Taurus, it's possible you could find yourself on either end of this swing… and, in either event, it would strongly behoove you to deescalate the tone of this exchange, accepting any difference in opinion or outlook, and inviting a lack of agreement to freely occur. In certain ways, this potential battle-of-the-minds is merely a mutually-masturbatory experience, especially when your attention ought to be fixed on more tangible concerns (such as possible work/financial opportunities becoming more clearly defined or written off). In fact, it might be wise to say very little at all, knowing too much abstract discussion serves more as a passing emotionally-charged distraction than a productive investment. Even in relative silence, however, try not to be condescending or dismissive.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): At each step in The Great Not-Knowing I described as your present condition in last week's horoscope, Gemini, please choose that which will immediately simplify rather than compound already-existing complications. Re-involving yourself in considering how the latest break will interact or integrate with whatever long-standing condition you've been trying to leave behind—and/or whatever person who's situated at the heart of it—will only keep you enmeshed. Instead, proceed with one basic move forward after another… and stop overthinking the potential hypothetical consequences, as if you can outsmart the squirrelly machinations of destiny. Venus finishes up her retrograde in your sign this week, though she remains in Gemini for over a month more. This signifies that certain smaller balls of confusion are starting to unwind themselves into more apparent intelligibility (though the Big Ball remains tangled, twisted and perfectly incomprehensible), while you've still got the good-luck goddess on your side another few weeks. Be modest with your short-term expectations, though still amply ambitious about what's up ahead. As each small piece becomes clearer, act decisively on it… but on that one only.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): How threatened are you really, Cancer… or is this just another test from the impish deities, to determine whether you can hold your ground against certain pushy individuals? Be on the lookout for obvious or subtle intimidation tactics, while recognizing that they don't actually work very well unless we allow our fear to overpower our self-assuredness. You hold no control over how anybody else deploys their emotional weight—through ranting and raving, playing to your caring desire to please, covertly manipulating the situation, and/or freezing you out 'til you can hardly bear it anymore—in a reactive display of their own psychology. But you most certainly can choose to respond with a compassionate but firm refusal to bow to such tactics, like one would treat a tired or hungry child who doesn't see what's motivating their acting out nor understands this isn't a respectful way to negotiate. Don't get roped in their projected struggle. It's the other person who is obviously threatened: by your willingness to diverge from their game-plan. And you won't fall victim to being intimidating if you face your fear: of your own independent power.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Stressed about how to comprehensively handle the demanding practicalities? Concerned about urgent health-and/or-well-being matters which seem to warrant dramatic action? Don't let a sense of overbearing burden get you too down, Leo… even with the awareness that, yes, there's a lot to deal with. You cannot solve issues that necessitate transforming your everyday patterns overnight; this will be an ongoing process. And anyway, this particular week would be best spent on simply but wholly acknowledging the work ahead of you—while simultaneously accepting, right as this very minute, you're probably unable to understand and/or control what exactly it will entail. With Mercury landing in your sign early in the week, you'll gladly notice your voice will have returned to fuller strength. Please use it for reaching out to supportive friends and comrades, articulating your feelings but without bogging the conversations down with premature conclusions or speculative action-plans. This articulation will also be an important spiritual tool, to keep you well-grounded.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Not sure which judgment-call to make? Then don't make one, Virgo. Lean back, and continue to allow situations to rearrange themselves (like we discussed last week) while persisting with your quiet information-gathering. With your ruling sense-maker Mercury slipping behind the veil of your solar 12th and readying himself for his next retrograde (just two weeks from now), you're without conscious tangible grasp of your mental faculties (gulp) through the very end of August. This implies a lot of private universe-level soul-searching on your part, rather than attempting to use your brain to communicate important details or strategically guide the proceedings. I suppose, in this context, all those months of Mars having been stuck in your sign—an epic 8-month visit that finally concludes next week—now proves its usefulness. By now, pretty much everyone is fairly certain of where you stand (unless, for some cryptic reason, it has changed dramatically in the past couple weeks), so you needn't strive to reemphasize points you've already made. Just keep watching the show… and, of course, pondering the elusive mystical dimensions of why things are developing as they are.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As both your ruler Venus and longtime-Libra-resident Saturn wrap up their retrogrades, your week ahead presents opportunities to firmly reiterate your true position on any matter of fairness or honor that, if you're not on your game, you could get finagled or sweet-talked out of holding. Think of this as a last-stretch continuation of the authenticity boot-camp Saturn's been putting you through since late 2009, as a way of persistently challenging you not to make the move or say the thing that'll 'smooth everything over'. Many times, as you well know, what is right will have the opposite effect to 'smoothing': It will cause those who are on the wrong side of righteousness to argue, justify, defend, attack, thrash, sputter, or altogether disappear. But whichever variety of reply they provide, it should ultimately be of little concern to you—if, that is, you have centered yourself in ideological clarity. Does this mean you never compromise or change your mind? Of course not. But you must never do so under threat that somebody's allegiance, loyalty or love will be withheld until you conform. That's emotional blackmail, pure and simple, and you shouldn't stand for it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): This week, your words take on added potency, Scorpio… which implies that you'd better stay resolutely conscious of who could be listening to every little thing you say, including the side comments and under-the-breath mumbles you don't intend on publicly broadcasting. You will not be able to get away with departing on tangents or uttering asides, under the assumption that they somehow don't 'count' when it comes to making an impression. Actually, the converse is true: It's the supposedly casual remarks, outside the bounds of the official conversation, by which you'll more likely be judged. After all, lots of folks can pull themselves together and recite the appropriate answers for a specific purpose at a given time. However, far fewer will reliably reveal that their genuine personality is comfortably well-aligned with the image they seek to put forth… and that they actually live by the orderly ethic-statements they've rehearsed for just such an occasion. Do not, therefore, break character, thinking you are safely off-stage. (There is no off-stage at this time.) Better yet, be the best of that 'character'—and not just in the so-called important moment.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I love when I get to dispense the reverse advice to what I'm usually moved to offer you Sagittarians, which is… Yes, go ahead and say it! This is not the time to suddenly become risk-averse, worrying your little heart about how too thorough or 'heavy' a disclosure is liable to scare 'em off. As Venus completes her six-week retrograde in your relationship house (the solar 7th), this is a pivotal moment in discerning whether the key individual(s)—a possible romance, close friend, creative collaborator, and/or professional colleague—is actually someone with the capacity to handle all of you. And as the archetypal knowledge-hunter, Sagittarius, you surely understand it's better to know the truth than to maintain temporary appearances on shaky grounds. So, free yourself from any misguided attempts to contain your lust-for-authenticity enthusiasms, merely to protect something you sort of don't really totally have yet. Share your dreams, disappointments and desires with total transparency. Leave plenty of psychic room for the other person(s) to move closer or further away, as they will, in response to your being totally and completely real.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Be hyperconscious of the impact you can't help but create, Capricorn, even when you have no intention to create any impact at all. This is a week in which you could easily get sucked into a faceoff with someone whose buttons you push, whether or not you're trying to… and which you might, in fact, be totally unaware of, until they push yours back. What you consider to be your standard operating procedure, polished restraint and all, may seem to them as if you're acting superior or uppity. Your steady consistency may be read as power-tripping. Even your dry humor could be misinterpreted as a serious statement, a dig against them that warrants retribution. To even the most amateurish armchair psychologist, all these possible scenarios will obviously reek of their own uncertainty of self. Yet, engaging them on that level is a recipe for your living out exactly what they expect of you: a haughty presumptuousness that you know better than they. Instead, move with awareness of this interpersonal undercurrent… and err on the side of being exceedingly clear (and just as kind) when you feel they're not accurately seeing you, but without any phrasing that could sound accusatory. Speak only about yourself, and be damned sure not to poke anyone else.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Just as things have been going pretty swimmingly, here comes one more interjection from that internal demon-voice, promising complete and total ruin if you don't start defensively hypothesizing about everything that could go wrong and what you would do about it. Thankfully, this voice is not to be trusted, Aquarius… though that doesn't make its intonations and inflections any less persuasive, if you carelessly take it at its word. Greet the voice with a chilly acknowledgment that, yes, you hear what it's saying, but adamantly refuse to indulge it in any conversation whatsoever. You don't need to convince yourself of the value of one overarching, meaning-bestowing, life-defining perspective over another. Just put in each day's good effort, aimed in whatever general direction you've already been headed for a couple years now… and politely inform the demon that this is not the right moment for analyzing and evaluating. If this is not enough to shut the damn thing up, I suggest moving the dialogue outside your head. Once you speak that demonic garbage out loud to your partner or a good pal, their gobsmacked response should be sufficient to relegate it to the 'obvious silliness' pile.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If all's functioning as it should, your inner motivation to tweak a few aspects of how you manage your day-to-day existence—primarily for emotionally productive and self-supportive purposes—ought to be stronger than any anxieties you're harboring about who might think what about the changes you're making. Whether these dreaded judgmental peers are figments of your social fears or actual people who'd (for whatever insecurity-reasons of their own) prefer to keep you 'in line', Pisces, you mustn't oblige their efforts to pressure you away from what you know you need to do. I should probably ask: Is this situation a weird reenactment of some childhood dynamic, in which you tried to diminish certain expressions of individuality to keep a family member off your back? If so, it is time to grow up… and I mean that not bitchily, but with full sympathetic understanding of how hard it is to do just that. In order for you to continue getting better about how independently you can take care of your material needs, you simply cannot buy into generic impersonal messages about 'how the world works' from folks who (though they might be unaware of it) are just generalizing from a place of very personal pain. Don't take on their shit.