Horoscopes | Week of July 23-29, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Even with a Mercury retrograde looming overhead to loosen your lips to perhaps too liberal a laxness, I will still encourage you to voice whatever unaired sentiments are pushing for expression. Though this act of speaking these inconvenient awarenesses into outward being is something like opening Pandora's box of complicating goodies, Aries, I don't see how it's possible for you to thrive while under such self-strangulating pressure to withhold what desperately craves release. Surely we can agree there's a high likelihood of more words streaming forth than you might initially intend—and, along with that, the possibility of startling the other person into the type of reactive pushback they ordinarily refrain from. But all of that seems a reasonable price to pay for the soon-to-follow relief you're liable to feel, as a direct result of freeing yourself from the burden of unspoken angst that would otherwise accumulate. Indeed, an Aries soul is nearly always a whole lot happier when it makes any move to bust through a standstill and liberate itself with some show of initiative. Inertia is too damn stymieing to tolerate for too long.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Pause in your construction of 'official' opinions or 'appropriate' responses long enough for the quiet within to speak its own more-nuanced truth on the situation to you. At least one especially relevant angle to your feelings on this matter, Taurus, is neither (1) representative of the most 'evolved' thinking about it nor (2) suitable for public consumption. Yet, to ignore this inelegant emotional dimension to where you're coming from—because you suppose you 'shouldn't' feel that way and/or are striving to 'get above' such a base reaction—is to identify yourself more with what's publicly palatable than with your actual private reality. Forget about the perceived audience for a few moments, then, and instead dwell unapologetically in this 'lower-consciousness' mindset (preferably without the need to disparagingly distinguish between 'higher' and 'lower'), where your wholly subjective voice of personal pride and self-concern has some important information to convey. You can worry about how to work with these insights later… after you've had enough time to really listen to what your heart's now insisting on telling you.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Allowing one thing to lead to another, organically rather than by design, is the preferred method for addressing lingering questions about where things stand. You'll actually get more information, Gemini, by entering conversations without a defined notion of what points you'd like to make or which issues are supposed to be resolved. 'Happy accidents' that are the result of indulging yours or anybody else's narrative tangents or detours are apt to reveal previously underexplored areas in which you and the other person are strangely similar or shockingly different. But you shouldn't go looking to purposely uncover such revelations, seeing as you honestly have no idea where to find access to this information. Besides, hunting for whatever detail might illuminate what's going on between you more fully is already expending far too much serious concern for what ought to emerge at a pleasantly-pokey natural pace. This interactive dynamic needn't be 'figured out' (and, as a result, placed in a somewhat limiting category of understanding). Instead, excitedly anticipate a bit-by-bit emergence.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): That there's an unformed 'up-in-the-air' quality to certain organizational or public-community dealings at the moment, Cancer, brings both (1) more general uncertainty to the lives of everybody involved and (2) excellent opportunities to those individuals willing to throw themselves into the void and start making something from it. Somebody's paralyzing confusion is someone else's invitation to help organize and orchestrate, for all parties' improved clarity. With this in mind, then, insert yourself into the opening that circumstance has created… and bargain your way toward a larger piece of the pie. Do so, however, with unobtrusive suggestions and gentle corrections. Balance expressions of your strong desire to be a significant participant with a non-attached responsiveness to directives from whomever still holds some generally authoritative ideas (though their grasp, too, may be shakier than they'd want to admit). If you're visibly amenable to hands-on encounters with speculative solutions and out-of-the-box experiments in this rapidly shifting zone of experience, you can successfully maneuver into an integral role in the reshuffle.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You currently wield an unusually strong influence on whatever group of people you've lately been associating with, Leo. If, for instance, you made it seem totally worthwhile and exciting to jump off a bridge, your pals or teammates would likely scramble into line for their turn to dive off it too. Likewise, if you share your great idea to improve the quality of some institution, environment or experience that affects all of you, you'll almost surely receive instantly eager support from those willing to help make it manifest. (I should also add: Should you instead pontificate from a shamelessly self-centered perspective about everything you're trying to do for your own advantage, that'll also influence them strongly—in the judgments they'll form about your lack of interest in anybody else.) Please use this passing persuasiveness to spread enthusiasm about certain collectively beneficial intentions… while simultaneously leaving the specific methods by which these intentions will be pursued totally open to collaborative determination. In other words, concentrate on getting everybody stoked up. It's not your job, however, to tell 'em how exactly to work with their stoked-up-ness.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Please stop trying to definitively understand what constitutes the 'pros' and 'cons' of the shakeout that's continuing to impact your professional (or other outer-world) position, Virgo. Every time you approach the next chapter of unfolding with worried concern for how it might negatively affect your plans, you needlessly create one more mental block that inhibits your easy welcome of its positive consequences. Trust me when I tell you, you're presently having a bit of trouble confidently recognizing the hand of Lady Luck at work. And it's not just that your fears of the unknown are coloring your vision. The outward signs of growth are admittedly confusing, not just to you but to other involved parties, too. With too hasty or short-sighted an analysis, these energies could be experienced as constrictive, though it is in fact an expansion that's taking place. Such an expansion, however, first requires any individuals or outlooks unable to stretch beyond their existent habits-of-beings to fall away… a natural pruning process that always immediately precedes the next great blossoming. To most happily thrive from this shakeout, don't prematurely presume to know which eggs belong in which basket.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't permit yourself to get fenced in by the limits in friends' or colleagues' thinking, Libra. Just because they can't get past certain disturbances or disruptions in the here-and-now, you needn't play into their obsessive refusal to envision a radically enlarged reality in which such circumstantial tangles no longer assume so much weight. You may not be able to convince them to look at the bigger picture, but you can at least hold that vision in your mind, with sensitive consideration of everybody's differences in relative ability to attain perspectival distance from the situation. Guard this hopeful foresight with everything you've got. Their supposedly rational cynicism is no agent of evolution, but merely an excuse for resignation… and with your expanding sense of self, that simply won't fly. As you continue participating in the discussions, your shrewdest insinuations of this wider vantage-point will come via gentle devil's-advocate questioning of their rash assumptions, not by flatly telling anybody they're missing a key point. Keep deftly volleying each ball back across the net, and they'll soon start to notice you have no intention of forfeiting your awareness.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Among the underlying motives at play in your present digging for hidden treasure, Scorpio, is a near-uncontrollable itch for some radically different flow to your days. You've hit a point where carrying out the same damn routine on too regular a basis has generated an uptick of rebelliousness, driving you toward nearly any promise of release from the deadening confinement of 'more of the same'. It's important for you to consciously claim this simmering motive (rather than, say, pretending it's not there), so you're therefore likelier to own the subtly provoking tone in your theoretically 'innocent' remarks to those with the power to alter your daily schedule. Said another way: You may be semi-purposely pushing co-workers' or colleagues' buttons, as if to dare them to reassign you to an alternate set of responsibilities, a new schedule, or some such variation in everyday existence. Whatever does the trick, I suppose. I could caution you about Mercury's retrograde in your 10th inspiring not-well-thought-out communications with authority figures or important individuals… but on the other hand, a potential 'goof' might also be the perfect straw that breaks the camel's back and invites some breaking of this built-up surface tension. You want something different? Mouthing off will probably get you somewhere new. (But where?)


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Just lean back and casually consider how cool it would be if your next audacious undertaking included the companionship of that certain someone you know would make an enthusiastic, adventure-loving sidekick. As you glance up ahead toward this latest, greatest locus of excitement, Sagittarius, imagine inviting this other person to grinningly influence the overall thrust of your fateful journey onward… because you enjoy their company and respect their input, because you can see how continued interpenetration of each other's lives is sure to bring unforeseen benefit to both of you, and/or because you feel like courting chance encounters beyond what you'd stumble into on your own. We sort of covered this ground from a different angle last week, when I suggested enlisting somebody else's comradeship in whatever publicly visible endeavor you're engaged with… though I'd like to now reframe this so it refers not strictly to work- or community-related activities but also to your personal search for greater life-meaning, another context in which having another person along will improve the essence of your experience. For now, everything's better done in partnership and/or dialogue—for better results and a better time along the way.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Your tongue is liable to tingle and twitch with the taste of a provocative truth that's teetering on its tip, terribly eager as it is to let this truth fall on the ears that really need to hear it, yet simultaneously aware of its potential power to destabilize its recipient's psychic state. What to do, what to do? If the holding-back of such a powerful observation, opinion, or emotional disclosure is indeed causing you a delay in achieving progress on practical items essential to your continuing productivity, Capricorn, you'll be naturally antsy to get things moving again… enough, perhaps, to stop sparing anybody's feelings. The solar 8th house is an especially loaded place for hosting a Mercury retrograde (as yours presently is), in that it often drives us to end up sharing more of our truest feelings about a touchy interpersonal dynamic than we'd initially intended. Awkwardness, discomfort, antagonism and/or upset may likely ensue… followed shortly thereafter by the pressing need for all parties to 'grow up' and confront what's really going on with each other, now that what's been said can't possibly be unsaid. The good news: Illusions and misperceptions are replaced by an unadorned confrontation with total psychological authenticity, a state more innately welcoming to everybody's growth and advancement.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your job is to provide the most interpersonally encouraging spin on whatever the other person is venting about… but without going so overenthusiastically far down the positive-thinking road that it rings as condescending or hopelessly na´ve to their agitated ears. Your presently optimistic demeanor, Aquarius, can be contagious in the most purposefully productive fashion—or it can irritatingly grate on someone else's already-frayed nerves, if you gloss over their genuine stresses with superficial feel-good sentiments which don't properly honor that, yes, they aren't unreasonable for being stressed out. The relative success of your encouragements hinges on how responsively you balance (1) hearing them out and (2) talking them up. They will be perfectly aware (and likely pretty annoyed) if you start doling out advice that reveals you haven't really grasped the full extent of their dilemma. On the other hand, really joining them on their bumpy journey as they recount detail after detail will leave 'em feeling less alone and better understood… at which point you may then insert a hopeful twist or two to the story, helping them more clearly see the bright light at the end of their tunnel.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Keep futzing with whatever you're working on, Pisces. If one approach becomes too unwieldy or seems to stall, a different one might prove more practically workable. It's more important you're actively investing your creative efforts into this project or chore than whether it's getting done as quickly or easily as you might've hoped. Progress should be measured by your level of everyday engagement in the process… and not by any mathematical estimation of how many completed steps can be counted and banked. You won't do yourself any favors, incidentally, by referring back to now-outdated plans and analyzing how the actual results differ from what you'd expected. (That's a bit like looking at What Is and fruitlessly navel-gazing about why it isn't what the guidebook said it should be.) If the reality of Reality has necessitated you switch attack-strategies, then that's just how it's got to be. How could you have known, until that fateful moment when suddenly you know… you know? Be incredibly self-forgiving with regards to delays or detours, last-minute game-changes and second-thought retreats. Just don't throw in the towel.