Horoscopes | Week of July 2-8, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): After eight long months of your ruling instigator Mars occupying the work-and-duty-department known as your solar 6th, he now crosses into your 7th, the domain of your most important one-on-one relationships. Therefore, it's now time to look up from the seemingly ceaseless list of chores and responsibilities that have absorbed your energies since late last year… and to pay closer attention to the meaningful partnership(s) in your life, to reaffirm your active interest and/or to address whatever tensions have been building up while your focus has been elsewhere. Between now and the second half of August, Aries, you can expect any areas in which you and the other person have diverged, in opinion or expression, to rise to the surface—either (1) so you can more directly engage the issue with greater productive intent or (2) in an outbreak of long-simmering conflict, if you don't proactively take the initiative before it blows. This is your official call to iron out the interpersonal kinks. In your trying to balance a transforming career-life with ample pleasure-time, the last thing you need is unresolved relationship friction holding you back.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Discreetly devising modest, concrete initiatives for increased profitability and improved efficiency is presently a better use of your brainpower, Taurus, than extrapolating any further on theoretical treatises or moral assertions. Verifiable physical results are what's now called for, not merely elegant concepts. Ordinarily, tangibility is the language you Taureans speak with effortless fluency… but there's something about the current astrology (a la what I wrote you last week) that tempts you into broader, more abstract debates with little tangible payoff and the potential to distract you from attaining the results you desire. Be particularly wary of your hasty first-reactions to others' methodological suggestions: You cannot know if their way will or won't yield a torrent of success, unless you have given it an earnest try and can accordingly prove or disprove its efficacy. Don't discount such possibilities prematurely. It doesn't matter whose idea emerges as the winner, as long as it's the one that works best. Keeping your tangible goals in mind, you're in no position to rule out anything that might help.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You know how we've recently talked about not letting your post-traumatically-stressed mind interpret each passing life-snafu as an omen of continuing doom-and-gloom? It'll be worth remembering this conversational thread during your week ahead, Gemini, as a momentary snag in an otherwise expansive-opportunity circumstance flirts with hooking you into old negative beliefs about your 'being trapped' (which you are decidedly not). The best antidote against such a possibility? Throwing yourself whole-hog into a busy social schedule, filling up all your spare time with enjoyable activities accompanied by fun-loving pals who have a knack for keeping the chit-chat flowing. This diversion tactic is not about pretending the snag hasn't happened, as much as stubbornly refusing to view every other facet of your life through this single discouraging filter. Stay socially active enough, and you just might temporarily forget how bummed you thought you were… and even when you catch a reminding whiff, you'll still have enough other stuff going on to hopefully balance it all out.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Have a little faith that you know what's best for your personal benefit and peace-of-mind, Cancer, instead of letting someone else's fears or suspicions contaminate your thinking. Even if they hold the purest of intentions (though I'm not completely convinced they do, whether or not they're wholly conscious of it), their pushing of a very particular opinion or viewpoint onto you verges on being disrespectful of your right to self-determination (if it doesn't actually full-on cross that line). Yes, you may indeed be opting for a somewhat risky life-choice and/or wagering today's safety for tomorrow's promise, but I see such moves to 'shake things up' as a necessary practical response to changing circumstances. (There's not much else you can do if you wish to avoid a future dead-end, and the pain that would likely come along with it.) Should you find yourself at odds with a key individual over your decision(s) on how to move forward, please be clear: You are fighting on behalf of a certain action-plan, and not against this individual, though they may not understand it as such.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Be vocal with your story. Your willingness to openly share how you've gotten where you now are, Leo, is a powerful agent in winning over the hearts and minds of friends both new and old. You presently wield the capacity to inspire those who share certain experiences with you, but who may lack the wherewithal to put themselves out there with such courageous aplomb. Beyond simply relaying your tale in a unidirectional monologue, use your appealing social demeanor to draw the others out of their shells, too—pose engaging questions, provide reassuring feedback, and embrace their triumphs and struggles with a warm generosity. This 'talking stage' of the process is best understood as a means for building and/or strengthening the alliances that'll serve as a solid support system for all of you, once you move together into more of the actual doing. Please, therefore, make no mistake about your current position: You need to copiously discuss your past, in order to make fuller sense of the present, but you still know very little about your future (even the most immediate one), which is still only manifesting one humble bit at a time.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Presently, success will be claimed by those Virgos who are unobtrusively responsive to a logical progression of events set in motion sometime earlier by others, likely without your say-so and/or in contrast to what you would've chosen to do. The 'unobtrusive' qualifier is your warning against making any smug told-you-so statements or otherwise complaining about the current conditions (which, I'm trying to tell you, actually provide a great opportunity for you to jump right in and work with what's already sort-of halfway there). This is no time for prideful expressions. Rather, it's a call to stabilize any shaky floor-boards by any means necessary, humbly and without fanfare, in order to stop any financial leaks and catch whatever coins are dripping down. There's personal profit for you to make here, Virgo… if you refrain from patting yourself on the back and/or openly criticizing anybody else, and simply attend to the on-the-spot reparative efforts. Unassumingly cleaning up the disarray you've inherited from others' lackadaisical management is potentially quite lucrative work.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Beginning this week with the long-awaited arrival of Mars in your sign, following eight excruciatingly nebulous and sluggish months of his relatively impotent residence in your solar 12th, you will finally find yourself in an excellent spot for grabbing the ball and running with it, Libra. This shift should be quite noticeably potent, Libra, considering how long you've felt essentially stuck in a fairly internal—and not necessarily outwardly productive—space. All of a sudden, you'll be moved to actually assert a direct, definitive opinion on matters you've stayed pretty non-committal about… to move toward a certain goal with greater purpose and self-possession, after having already thoroughly thought it through (and then thought about it some more)… to at last take the decisive action you've been waiting on until just such a moment as this one. As far as the planets are concerned, this prolonged anticipatory limbo period was perfectly timed to prepare you for right now. The only threatening obstacle I see in your path? An internal resistance to redefining yourself as distinct from how you were raised.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): When you commit to a course of potential growth that intertwines your fate with someone else's in a much more pronounced fashion, Scorpio, you should naturally expect this involvement to somewhat tie your hands, particularly in the short-term. A certain unconscious casualness to your manner of navigating day-to-day business will likely disappear, in exchange for your feeling hyper-vigilant of the need to be totally 'on your game' at every turn, even when doing things that usually require little forethought. This relative caution is appropriate for your upcoming several weeks, now that your ruling initiator Mars has slunk behind the fuzzy mist of your solar 12th, confusing your ability to accurately judge the results of any assertive acts on your part. Through the last part of August, then, it behooves you to obey the contextually agreed-upon decorum and consistently behave with politeness and grace. Though you may at times wonder whether you've caught yourself up in the wrong thing, you'll want to hold off on probing inquisitions or determining confrontations until after Mars hits Scorpio on Aug 23.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Before you promise the world to anyone, Sagittarius, please be legitimately reasonable about whether you can afford to make good on it. Even with an unabashedly hopeful outlook and the sincerest of sweet sentiments, you might still be in no position to expend your money and/or your valuable time on a proposition that's too unproven to be practically sound, at least for the time being. I don't mean to be the dark cloud in your otherwise fair weather, particularly since I wholeheartedly support the accumulation of both hope and interpersonal investment in your life these days. But as part of your long-term deepening in the area of how you allocate your resources, I cannot allow you to rank economic considerations below all the other concerns, as if real-world feasibility is merely a tangential requirement when compared to ideals, intentions or feelings. Your overall vision may indeed be excellent, yet you might need to proceed toward it in a more measured manner so as not to disturb the relative stability in other areas. Besides, aren't things between you and this other person still very much 'in development'?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You could end up in the center of some full-moon-magnified tension, Capricorn, should you seek to expressively summarize the present state of your shared reality without considering the varying perspectives of those who presently share that reality with you. Said another way: Beware of speaking on behalf of all parties, in any tone that presumes to be more objective and/or authoritative than it actually is. Just because you possess the capacity to sound well-thought-out and calmly-in-control, that doesn't mean your closest collaborator(s) won't take issue with how you didn't think things out from their vantage-point or how you aren't in control of them. Like we covered last week, Pluto's longstanding residence in your sign holds the uncomfortable power to attract scenarios to you that involve others' unresolved issues with regards to whether they are being seen, heard and honored… which, of course, is also a lesson for you (or else you wouldn't have attracted it) in how you hold yourself, either in openness to others' ways-of-seeing or in subtle scorn. Engage such lessons earnestly, to the benefit of all.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Thrill in the moment-by-moment connections with those you encounter, and please don't stress about the imagined ramifications of what'll happen next. Life continues to show signs of lightening up, Aquarius, as long as you're willing to go with its latest flow (rather than, say, grasp like hell to some self-protective anchor that served you well in a distant painful past). I cannot guarantee you won't hit any more bumps up ahead (there's always another one)… but I can reassure you that, based upon how much effort you've put into tidying up loose complications since the end of '11, you're likely in a strong enough position to confidently face whatever surprises crop up head on. If you can assuage any anxieties with that confidence in your impromptu on-the-spot skills, then you have no need for the incessant hypothetical strategizing that'd otherwise consume too much of your energy. Back here in the present Now, you have all you need for thoroughly enjoying the company of those around you. Beyond that, at least for this fleeting instant, who the fuck cares about anything else? You need not.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Tinkering quietly and diligently on modest home- or work-related projects will bring you the most personal satisfaction this week, Pisces. This is also a good approach for sidestepping any vortexes of huffy hullabaloo that might break out among your friends, teammates or peers, since it doesn't seem especially personally useful for you to participate. Of course, there's a chance you'll get shoved into the middle of it—not necessarily because you're a directly-relevant figure, but more likely because one or another of the players is trying to recruit you to their 'side'—against your better judgment, in which case I urge you to be swift and sharp in your involvement. If you can't avoid it altogether, then I see no harm in offering your most honest 'get real' feedback, no matter if it stings or smacks of controversy. After all, it's the non-confrontational, nicey-nice, middle-ground lack of opinion that's going to keep you bouncing back and forth like a ping-pong ball in someone else's game. Shock 'em with a compassionately brutal truth, and they'll likelier leave you to return to your own devices more quickly, thank goodness.