Horoscopes | Week of July 30-August 5, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): After this week comes and goes, Aries, you can thankfully expect a slight decrescendo in the intensity that's been overtaking you most recently… though these days, we've all got to adjust any expectation of much smooth-sailing in any context and happily take these 'slight decrescendos' whenever we can get 'em since they won't last long. Yet, this week right in front of us features the climax of a full moon and a still-retrograde Mercury in your house of self-expression (the solar 5th), so it's very likely there remain more sentiments you're dying to put out there—and under this astrology, as I reported last week, the withholding of such can feel like excruciating self-torture. Again, I encourage you to take measures to vent what's been built up… knowing full well, of course, that too fast or furious an expulsion of what's previously been unvoiced could hit like a total shock, with obvious relationship ramifications. Soon enough, like I said at the beginning, you'll have a moment or two of positively-reaffirming down-time, during which you can hopefully tend to your frazzled nerves and refortify for the next revolutionary twist or turn.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Over the course of this week and the next, Taurus, you may find your emotional stance on a particularly important personal issue has dynamically evolved… or, looking at it from a different angle, that you've simply reflected long enough for your real (i.e., deeper, more lasting) feelings to emerge from the morass of red-herrings (i.e., how you think you ought to feel, how other people wish you felt, etc.) and come into finer focus. Since you're still in the midst of this evolution, then, please honor how difficult it sometimes can be to claim your own inner truth—especially if you're experiencing shame or regret for not having already confidently known it earlier, and/or seeing you may have to go back to a prior conversation and correct an imprecise impression you've given them about how you feel. No need to lament the complexity of your inner landscape. I don't suggest actually making these corrections right now, however, while you're still integrating all the emotional pieces. Just continue meeting each new dimension of feeling as it washes over. Dialogue with it. Ask it questions. Allow it to express itself to you in discreet safety.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): While you've still got Venus on your team for one more week, Gemini, I'd be sure to at least get in touch with any reestablished pals or fledgling friends-to-be, lingering flirt-mates or potentially passionate partners, even possible job contacts… not necessarily to clinch any certain piece of information (in line with what we discussed last week), but just to put yourself back in their imminent mental and/or physical scope, as a helpful reminder of how much they like you. A friendly non-committal hello, a pressure-free invitation, a 'this made me think of you' forwarding of an article—these are the sort of unassuming gestures that'll reiterate your fondness, but (hopefully) without simultaneously conveying any over-eagerness or impertinence. It won't take much on your part to refresh such happy-go-lucky dynamics. And while you're at it, I further recommend offering an unsolicited and wholly genuine compliment and/or statement-of-support… but in a casual offhand manner (rather than with too cloying an earnestness) that doesn't leave 'em uncomfortably wondering how best to accept it.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Chill out for the week, and take underground advantage of whatever private perspective-providing pleasures you otherwise wouldn't have time for, were you more busily immersed in some outside occupation. By next week, Cancer, you'll start to detect a sea-shift in how conspicuously you are noticed, needed, and/or included (perhaps even as an esteemed participant) in activities that'll leave you feeling better acknowledged and appreciated than you've been in a few months. You won't be able to fly quite as quietly under the radar as you recently have… in large part because there's an increasingly meaningful role for you to play, one which you'll find difficult to ignore due to how morally important you'll feel your involvement to be. In anticipation of all that, then, you should probably re-center yourself in joyful practices which reconnect you to that humble soul you ultimately are when no one's watching (or labeling or judging) and when no great feat of meting out justice is anticipated of you by others. You'll be glad you took this chance during a fleeting down-time moment.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Should you find yourself caught in a Mercury-retrograde moment of being misperceived, Leo, please don't try to correct the situation by lamenting how nobody ever understands you. This is just the sort of characterizing yourself as somehow totally distinct from the crowd (though of course you are, just as we all are) that'll likely fan the flames of their misperceptions, based in large part on that timelessly unfair reputation of Leos thinking everything's all about them. The best approach for helping convey your true big-heartedness to those who are having a hard time seeing it? Open up the conversation more widely. Instead of explaining yourself more and more, divert the central focus away from you… and toward a more general discussion of the topics, attitudes and beliefs at hand, moving to include others' contributions of personal ideas and anecdotes, demonstrating that in fact you don't think it's all about you. Similarly, if you have a trusted friend or peer alongside you during such a potentially bumpy exchange, allow them to come to your rescue and/or help mitigate the tension. Like most Mercury-retrograde snafus, we often cause the worst of the fallout ourselves by trying to 'fix the problem' rather than stepping back a bit and letting it untangle it.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Refresher course: The reason all your most recent horoscopes have centered on the theme of 'not trying to understand or control things', Virgo, is due to your ruling rationalist Mercury having been both (1) retrograde and (2) stuck in your fuzzy, foggy, fairy-tale 12th house, where logic is too unreliably impacted by either wishful thinking or panicky paranoia (neither especially helpful for understanding or control). And though Mercury will return to direct motion next week, he won't make it out of the unreliable 12th until the last day of August—meaning, in a certain sense, you still shouldn't count on your usually-awesome analytic skills to yield any clearer diagnosis of your present circumstances for another month or so. Therefore, please continue riding the waves adeptly enough so your head remains above water and you don't drift too far from the safety of land… yet without either (1) flaunting a showy display of your strengths and riskily taking your eyes off the self-preservation ball or (2) removing yourself altogether and prematurely forfeiting an opportunity that's still developing behind the scenes. For now, there's not much more to think about.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Spend your week getting jazzed up about lovely lady Venus's last hurrah in Gemini before she finally changes signs (for the first time since early April!)… and heading onward and upward to your 10th, the 'high-noon' spot of the solar chart, where we strive to make our most desired public splash. These last few months have offered a much-needed widening of your horizons, Libra, to reactivate your inner visionary who deeply believes there's always more to explore and learn from. Hopefully, by now, you're feeling more enthused by what your not-so-distant future promises than you were, say, six months ago. Starting next week, it'll be time to actually reach out to those individuals, organizations and/or opportunities that represent active involvement in whatever zone of experience you're intending to grow into… to express your enthusiasms and make your interests known. As long as Venus is in your 10th (Aug 7-Sep 6), you're likelier to be received favorably in all such introductions and interactions, which thusly frames this month ahead as one of your best moments for presenting yourself to prospective employers. This week, then, eagerly ready yourself to scout this uncharted terrain.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Specific arrangements related to your career and/or outer-world goals you've been actively chasing, Scorpio, will begin to clear themselves up over the coming couple weeks. Perhaps you hadn't noticed they weren't already 'clear'? If that's the case, then you must have been sub- or semi-consciously shielding yourself from the wild tangle of loose-ends that inescapably accompany the advances you're now taking. There's nothing necessarily wrong with temporarily simplifying the terms of a situation that could've otherwise overwhelmed you, had you been insistently obsessing over all the unanswered questions—whatever you need to do to quell any relatively absurd worries that you somehow can't navigate your way through the chaos, I suppose. But you can, will and must deal with all the unforeseen complexities and convoluting consequences… and soon enough, during the days ahead, you'll regain a slightly more realistic overarching picture of which priorities ought to come first, to aid in the process of dealing with what's now coming in clearer.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): A very thought-provoking perspective can become yours, Sagittarius, if you unhurriedly chew on what somebody else strongly believes on the matter. That is decidedly not the same as immediately poking at it with questions or posing hypothetical challenges, though this may be the method of engaging ideas you're more accustomed to. While I'm generally a wholehearted advocate of lively debate (as I'm sure you are too), there are sometimes instances when it's preferable to just take in what they're saying… not because the questions or challenges you're holding aren't substantive, but in an affectionate show of respect for the speaker. One person's friendly sparring can feel rather antagonistic to another, especially at certain moments (such as during a week like this one, when a retrograde Mercury slows down and prepares to change direction). I'm not suggesting you swallow every impassioned word they speak as an unerring truth. Instead, merely consider and contemplate for the time being… while simultaneously leaving the other person to feel listened to and understood. Questions or challenges that keep gnawing away at you can be picked back up next week or the week after.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If I were you, Capricorn, I would set aside any interpersonal friction or funkiness for the immediate time-being… and instead concentrate your energies on happily completing a few tasks that'll directly benefit your overarching ambitions or career-goals. Think of this advice as a matter of (1) taking advantage of what's presently gliding with more astrological support and (2) temporarily postponing what'll be more astrologically favorable soon enough. Early next week, Venus will enter your one-on-one relationship zone (the 7th) right as Mercury ends his rascally retrograde…. which means that, by waiting until mid-next-week or later, you'll be in a much better spot for ironing out any kinks that have appeared between you and a certain someone. Not only will they receive your gesture as more genuinely conciliatory once Venus is helping you out, but you'll also be less likely to accidentally hit a tender spot of theirs in the process. In the meantime, then, go for the easier sense of fulfilling accomplishment: Pick a handful of items that really need to get done (and that you actually can get done in the course of a week), and then do 'em.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You're good enough, you're smart enough… and doggone it, people like you, Aquarius! Well, at least the people whose company you genuinely enjoy—and whose presence in your life don't constitute a breach in your sense of personal integrity—do, anyway. I've added this caveat to clarify that, for the most part, you're likeliest to be disliked only by those folks who are put off by your inability and/or refusal to contain your trademark quirkiness in order to appease their possibly-offended sensibilities. These days especially, you've been relishing in the offbeat qualities that make you undeniably you… which increases your likability that much more amongst the crowds who reap inspiration and invigoration from your weird ways, and which likewise bears down that much more strongly on those who don't know what to do with you and thus grow uncomfortable around you. Do with this knowledge what you will, since I'm certainly not telling you to tone down or mellow out… though, if you in fact decide it's not essential to a moment's self-expression to lay your whole life-ideology out on the table, in order to keep the social gears running smoothly, you might save yourself from unwanted controversy. Of course, if you want the controversy, that's a different story.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Ease up on yourself, Pisces, and use this week to bask in whatever simplifying joys will keep you from getting overly involved in others' seemingly-never-resolved headaches. Even with the ongoing futzing work we discussed last week, you needn't be so hellbent on finding the ideal answer or most efficient approach right this very second… especially with Mercury returning to direct motion next week in your solar 6th, which promises to uncross some of these recently-tangled methodological wires and start bringing more reliable results. A fairly straightforward workweek, with modest expectations set and long lunches delighted in, wouldn't be so bad. The same moderateness would go for how you spend your after-work hours, too, considering you'll likely find yourself becoming increasingly socially active in the weeks to come and may not get to luxuriate in the quiet pleasures of home as freely as you now can. Calm family dinners, a good movie on the boob-tube or a literary page-turner, and lots of comfortable lounging: doesn't that sound just about perfect?