Horoscopes | Week of July 9-15, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): An inarguable uptick in edginess amongst you Aries types could run slipshod through your relationship life, pushing others' buttons and daring them to respond in kind. Due to Uranus's stationing in your sign, you're likely having one of those 'don't tread on me' moments… which, if you aren't cruising for an outbreak of interpersonal conflict (or at least a thick undercurrent of bugging the hell out of each other), can often be best experienced in wide open spaces, perhaps with some form of safe-and-contained explosion (or at least plenty of release-providing physical activity). Another possible strategy for defusing your bombast: a good hearty laugh at yourself, whenever you find your blood pressure rising over something insignificant or stupid. If you're able to stay close to your sense of humor, you'll be able to write nearly anything off as a ridiculous reason to get upset… although, to clarify, you'll have better success by applying this advice to your own potential agitations, rather than chuckling at anybody else's rising ire and ending up as recipient of their wrath. If you can see the edginess for what it is (i.e., a passing mood) and keep it as separate from your judgments on the 'little shit' as humanly possible, you can probably eke by without starting a fight.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Productive daily habits are currently what matters most, Taurus. The alternative (which I already discouraged you from participating in) is to expend a lot of hot air vying for ideological dominance, which will hardly get your shit done any more quickly. If and when you choose to loosen your grip on the righteous valorization of justice, you'll find that you're the one who'll benefit from a greater emotional freedom… allowing you to concentrate more cleanly on what directly serves you, rather than worrying much about what anyone else is up to. You're well-positioned to bust through major amounts of whatever work needs attention, as well as to kick-start a stricter diet or fitness regimen. Newly in your solar 6th, Mars has become your star problem-solver, providing a fresh tailwind of initiative to your handling of earthly duties and chores. Don't permit his helpful muscle to be squandered by sitting on your duff and talking about feelings. Effect a shift, instead, by accomplishing something material. Your concrete results will speak louder and more powerfully than a well-crafted declaration of anything.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): During the coming week or two, Gemini, I challenge you to take a profound step toward an activity, adventure, pursuit and/or person-of-interest… for no purpose other than quenching a certain curiosity about just how much you might enjoy it. I feel almost as if I'm trying to coax a tentative child back onto the playground following a previous incident in which she suffered a nasty fall and skinned her knee, with reassuring reminders that, yes, she used to have a ton of fun out here before the incident-in-question. My hope would be for you to convince yourself to just 'go for it!' despite your understandable hesitation… and that, soon enough, you'll be having such a good time, you actually forget about what's already happened (even for just a couple blissful moments) and exist purely in the present. Playful joy is, after all, one of the best vehicles for shedding both replayings of past trauma and worrisome future-tripping. What I cannot do, however, is truthfully report that all risks have been neutralized and pure joy is the only experience to expect. That's exactly why you've got to brashly take the joy when- and wherever you can get it, if you wish to make the most of life.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As economic strategies or plans for greater self-sufficiency shift in response to changing conditions, you needn't keep everybody informed about each latest revision. It might save you some hassles, Cancer, to allow your intentions to evolve with relatively little fanfare… unless you actually want the folks you're chatting about 'em with to assert their influence over your evolution. (But as we covered last week, you likely already possess the requisite knowing to successfully steer yourself.) There is, however, a higher-than-usual chance of unrest in your home environment if you must make any noticeable moves to attain autonomy from partners or family-members who usually insinuate themselves into your processings. They might not take the hint that you want a bit of space, nor remain content with being sidelined. Then, suddenly, you find yourself cryptically snapping at them for reasons they don't understood—or, worse, allowing them to penetrate your inner sanctum against your desire. To honorably carve out some room for yourself, you must first confidently believe you are deserving of it… and then politely inform any affected parties that you're taking it.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The fact that your personal story, which I've strongly encouraged you to be vocal with, may sound like it's starting to change with each retelling is nothing to be alarmed about, Leo. It's merely a symbol of a life in dynamic evolution… a process being powerfully aided by your continuing to engage in heart-to-hearts with multiple allies and acquaintances, each of whom has his/her own response to what you're telling 'em and, as a result, is gently (or less-gently) helping to guide your latest self in its emergence. Do not worry about how the inconsistencies or divergences between your different narratives might appear to those who have now heard multiple versions. This is just part of how we learn more about who we are through discussions with others, a process which often illumines areas of prior blindness to reveal new information. There is no shame in openly admitting you now see something you didn't see before. If you do indulge the shame, however, it'll make others suspicious you were being intentionally deceptive all along.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Stable, steady, gradual… with no fast moves or carelessly mouthy reactions to anyone else's strange or unruly behaviors. Your luck is not as tied to whatever outward endeavor may appear to be sputtering or spewing trouble as you, in a weak moment of wobbly footing, might erroneously believe. The other players, meanwhile, aren't likely to understand that their sense of urgency or crisis is not the same as yours. (Nor does it behoove you to so blatantly distinguish your fate from theirs, though you should definitely draw some private self-affirmation from that fact.) So it becomes a game of both (1) protecting your own interests and (2) leaving your big-picture options open to the possibility of an impending cast-of-characters change, Virgo, all while not saying or doing anything to exacerbate anybody else's anxiety or anguish. And a game such as this obviously requires you to don a game-face appropriate to the situation. After such a lengthy period during which making sure people knew exactly where you stood was constantly demanded, you've now got to step back while the other players do what they're going to do, to support their own victories or enable their failures… coolly and calmly allowing it all to shake out as it will.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You're probably still getting accustomed to having Mars on your side, Libra, and all the feisty independence it's liable to rouse in you. At the moment, you're simultaneously entertaining multiple possibilities for how you might expand your life into uncharted territory—study! travel! exploration!—and likely haven't yet resolved which is the 'ideal' one (if, in fact, one is any better than another, when it may simply be a matter of personal preference). Therefore, you should be under no pressure (from yourself or anybody else) to quickly decide between this or that… when what'll really serve you is to continue investigating all the possibilities at once, with sincere interest, until one emerges from the pack. The last thing you'll want to contend with, then, is explaining to everyone that you are actively in pursuit of something you haven't yet defined and thus cannot adequately explain. (Really, it suits you best to be left alone to tinker, wander, and/or dash off of your own accord.) In light of all that, what's really left for you to figure out is how to get the folks off your back—without pissing 'em off or descending into hours of fruitless justification—so you can get on with your journey.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You don't know quite what you're doing. That is not intended as an insult to your character, Scorpio, nor even as a caution against you continuing down the same path you're already on. But it is my best shot at describing a certain lack of clarity you're presently contending with, which obscures your view of the next couple sets of consequence-ripples that logically radiate outward from actions now being taken. To some folks who need to know where life will be taking them right after this (or at least need to feel like they know), being informed this is simply not possible at the present moment can feel like either a criticism or a sign of impending doom. (It is neither.) However, for those of you who are relatively comfortable with proceeding on illogical instinct, on good faith that you may need a few detours down a circuitous frontiersy route of mystery and magic… well, this seems to be an opportunity to defy the predictable and undo your illusion of control. To modify my opening statement, then: You may indeed know what to do, but you might not be sure why—and you sure as hell don't know what else will happen as a pretty direct result.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): For the relationship to remain dynamic and growth-oriented, Sagittarius, the conversation must go on… even if you thought you'd already said everything, made your point clear, laid the ground-rules, and/or reached a mutual understanding. Don't lose your patience with what, at first glance, looks like 'back-tracking'. Sometimes, we don't achieve a perfectly successful communication during the initial exchange… though we may not have noticed which sentiments weren't adequately transmitted until we land back at a point we mistakenly assumed had been covered once and for all. Cut a wide swath of courtesy for the other person, by the way, in case they heard you wrong or didn't listen carefully enough or were in an odd mood during the prior exchange. (That's humanity for you.) Also, be aware of the likely need to repeat your value-statements whenever you're attempting to differentiate yourself from a more common mainstream opinion or identity. If you want someone to see and respect you for your genuine stand-out-from-the-crowd uniqueness, you might need to make several explanatory efforts over a longer time-frame.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This is a powerful phase for thrusting intently forward, in pursuit of your greatest professional goals or worldly ambitions, thanks to a constructive planetary synergy between your 6th and 10th houses. You can make an effective grab for more, Capricorn, and still preserve a happy relationship to the additional effort you'll be signing on for expending. Don't shy away from the extra workload, especially at a time when you seem pretty ready to rev the engines and see what this puppy can do. I can't pretend you might not confront resistance from those concerned about how your ascension might impact their status… since, let's face it, if you are that eager to outperform your former self, you're also apt to start making certain other (lazy or unmotivated) individuals look bad by comparison. You needn't worry so much about trying to salvage anyone else's image, alas: If they've merely been skimming by on age-old accomplishments, the potential threat you pose could actually end up improving their performance, too. You've certainly not made it to this point, just to enable someone else in falling short of their responsibilities. The strain between you and such threatened individuals may well prove to be productive for all parties.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Communications typically go gaga whenever Mercury goes retrograde (as it does late this week)… but for you, Aquarius, they could be destined for extra-haywire madness, considering that rabble-rousing Uranus also stations to retrograde motion in your house of day-to-day social interactions (the solar 3rd). What you have working against you, in any such case of mangled messaging: You could be too ardently attempting to prove a point or claim a stake to the higher perspective, giving your words a pointy quality that pokes other people weird, even if you don't mean to. As long as you're framing the exchange against a self-important backdrop of 'upholding principle', you're also probably subtly implying that someone else is lacking it. What you have working in your favor: The Mercury-retrograde falls in your 7th (the relationship zone) in positive aspect to Venus, which hints at your ability to avoid the worst communicative problems by working your charm and appealing to what'll make the other person feel heard. Suck up your pride, and play to their specific personality quirks. You may not walk away with a victory on principle, but you'll likely do a good job at diffusing the possible tensions.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't be surprised—or intimidated—by the power behind your own actions, Pisces. You've got a huge amount of accumulated emotion behind your efforts to forever alter a certain psychological dynamic that's kept you in its grip for too long now… and you might as well use every ounce of it as ammunition, should you find you're having to fight for your say in how the dynamic changes. This is no time to become awkwardly self-conscious about sticking up for your feelings, as if your heightened possibility of inadvertently hurting someone else's is more important to avoid. Part of why a sharp-pronged advance can work so well is that it draws a clearer distinction between you and the other person, granting you enough psychic distance from them to look out for yourself without falling victim to their needy plays on your sympathy. I'm admittedly riding a fine line here, seeming to advocate that you actually attack another person, when in fact I'm merely suggesting you might have to show some muscle in order to safeguard your interests. Don't set out to do harm, please. Yet, if the choice is between (1) suffering harm and (2) collaterally inflicting a bit of it so you may rescue yourself, don't put self-protection second.