Horoscopes | Week of July 15-21, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It's not feeling however you feel that's a problem, Aries, but any extenuating arrangement you're in which implicitly (or more bluntly than that) infringes upon your freedom to fully feel these feelings without shame, regret or apology. Outbreaks of so-called 'moodiness' suit the present astrological scene pretty swimmingly… not because anything is necessarily wrong, but in sympathy with this interconnected universe where all emotions exist simultaneously, sometimes dripping their passing sorrows or scrapes upon us because we too live as one with everything. Your sensitivities may momentarily dip or bottom out in retroactive response to an event that's already happened, to one now happening to a close friend or a soul-in-need across the globe, or to an unknown cause no less real on the psychic level even if it cannot be pinpointed, dissected and thoroughly understood. Feelings have the right to abide by their own rules, and to defy our minds in the process. But whether you permit them to rise and fall, whinny and flail—and, therefore, not deny them for the selfish comfort of those who'd rather you 'hold it together'—is a choice you yourself make, evidenced by how confidently you defend your emotional autonomy to all who, consciously or not, threaten it.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): When someone else bears witness to a torrent of tears or some other palpable emotional release, the whole experience holds a more powerful charge. Like the proverbial tree that falls in a forest when there's nobody around to hear the sound it makes, one more solitary outpouring (amongst a string of too many) won't project the expression dramatically enough to qualify as a truly cathartic happening. So whether you are the compassionate witness or the discharger-of-emotions, Taurus, it behooves you (and the ongoing healing of our whole shared experience of life) to participate interactively in the continuing transformation of vital feelings, from something we quietly hold pressed tightly into our chests to one more opportunity for intimate connection. Go ahead and ask them that tender question which could open up into the bigger heart-wrenching admission, if you will indeed stick around sufficiently long for them to get it out. Disclose those fragile details about your own makeup which emphasize the cracks-in-the-shell you typically keep covered, if you'll allow the other person to speak the caregiving reply you secretly crave (though you rarely grant it to yourself). Just hang out, one unapologetically vulnerable being with another. The magic which occurs under such cathartic commingling is deceptively subtle… and surprisingly potent.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Proceed like you are expecting to have more resources (monetary or otherwise) to work with in the imminent future, Gemini… not by foolishly spending what you don't already have, but more in terms of a financially optimistic attitude, divorced from any shame about what's previously happened in your financial life. Without getting too 'power-of-positive-thinking' on your ass, your psychological relationship to believing in yourself presently has an even greater direct-result on your bottom line than it ordinarily does. And as I've said repeatedly (for instance, here), the equation for boosting your economic status is more simple than perhaps you've made it in the past. The current astrology is actually pretty fucking magical when it comes to harnessing the power of your emotional knowledge to help you achieve tangible real-world goals: As long as you're feeling capable and self-assured as you work (because, perhaps, you know your skills, talents and/or passions are well-matched for the position you're in?), your every move will carry an extra foundation-securing impact to it. On the other hand, if all matters of money and work feel as if they are crushing your soul, there's something very wrong going on—which is not the same thing as there being something very wrong with you. Strip the self-judgment away, if you want to create a workable action-plan for alleviating the 'wrong'.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don't get yourself all confused or flipped around, Cancer, in the heightened wateriness of the week's astrology. Chances are, that funny feeling in your stomach is not an intuitive warning to hold yourself back in any way from acting, expressing, asserting, reaching outward for something or someone, or otherwise standing up for yourself. Rather, it's more likely a symptom of discomfort with this newly emboldened way of showing up in the world—and, alongside it, anxiety about how you may be received (whether overtly or under-the-surface) by those who weren't expecting this behavior from you. If you're making the most of these personally advantageous influences, you're essentially changing those rules of engagement which everyone who deals with you (including yourself) are fairly well accustomed to… and, as such, the uncertainty is natural, much like what you might experience when speaking in front of a crowd for the first time or heading to a blind-date with someone your best friend fixed you up with. Keep breathing through it should it arise, but don't scurry away. If you hope to acclimatize all the parties (including yourself) to this newly emboldened you, you must stay there as folks respond awkwardly or uncomfortably, welcoming whatever honest response they have. The nervous-escape routine only makes it seem like you've done something wrong… and you haven't, have you?


LEO (July 23-August 22): Contained within a transparent snow-globe half-dome, you gaze longingly upon the exquisite scenes you see projected in the outside world… yet can't quite reach far enough outward to touch their warm surfaces, to determine if any, or all, are real, or whether they're nearly as exquisite as they seem once you're up close and personal. But as long as you remain aware that this is the quality of your current experience, Leo, and thus sustain a certain detachment from expectation that you'll immediately be able to insert yourself within a certain scene, then this temporary 'containment' hopefully won't feel so restrictive. Watch the happenings as if they were clips in a coming-attractions reel, providing understandably partial glimpses of a variety of feature presentations which you may—or may not—later choose to join along with. Feel out the options, while observing how others play off these influences (and each other), knowing that, because you are somewhat uninvolved with the main action, you will be privy to behind-the-scenes revelations which the active players are presently unaware of. The minute you start struggling against this necessary outsider position you find yourself in, however, the insights gets lost. Your prophetic vision becomes obscured by the excruciating sense of being penned in, held back, kept apart… but only if you try forcing yourself into the scene.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As the week's developments further elucidate your opinions on various colleagues' constitutional caliber, Virgo, please don't rack your brain for concrete justifications or rationale for why you know what you know about them. Your gut has given you plenty of unambiguous fodder for establishing where the bonds of loyalty leave you, whether in unspoken association with or disconnection from, as far as the main players are concerned. Once the weekend arrives and lays its foundation for the next week ahead (when Venus finally lands in your sign and consequently shifts your overall subject-position), you may be at last ready to go on record with the realizations you've arrived at. Here's a suggestion: Instead of starting off with declarations, perhaps try first asking the pointed questions which will allow everybody to expose their own attitudes. Their disclosures, offered freely rather than under duress, are likely to make your job of firming up true alliances (and, at the same time, letting the false ones fall to the wayside) a whole lot easier. After having taken enough time-and-space in a relatively uncontroversial zone of semi-diplomatic 'no comment', you've proven (to yourself and the others) that you aren't jumping to hasty conclusion, nor can you talk yourself out of intuitive clarity.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): No fancy tricks or sweet-sounding propositions are even needed, Libra. You can just stand there, up front, in all your unadorned glory and be who you are, full faith both in what you do well and what doesn't come quite as naturally, and you will be properly appreciated in the spirit of your offering. It's only when you attempt (consciously or not) to uphold artifice that your knees get shaky and the audience detects, on the level of an unvoiced psychic roar that you cannot control no matter what you do, something's not totally kosher. That potential off-ness (which you'd recognize as well as they do) is merely you trying to portray the utterly miscast role of somebody you decidedly are not. And who ever gave you the idea that, somehow, such contortionist strivings would be your best strategy for pursuing success? You don't actually have to try that hard, at least not in the context of character positioning. You will be expected, of course, to work hard at managing those responsibilities that are obviously yours, by virtue of them having arrived in your lap as if by enchanted decree, unforced, organic… 'meant to be,' as they say. But you're not afraid of that kind of hard work. It's only when it comes to the matter of insincere public-self-making where your efforts are liable to fall flat, leaving you to look like a mimicking child dressed in their parent's clothing. Therefore, proudly wear what's yours.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You'll be most enthused by your current situation if you can clearly see it as a golden opportunity to do more than you've ever before done in this context… to learn additional tricks-of-the-trade, angles of interpretive insight, and/or language to describe your evolving grasp of the subject-matter… to go places you haven't yet been, if for no other reason than your senses crave novel stimuli… and/or to generally grow in directions that, just a few short months ago, seemed rather inaccessible. If you haven't yet tapped into this enthusiasm, you essentially have two main soul-nourishing options in front of you: (1) Look at your situation again, from the broader perspective of your entire life's trajectory, and check in on whether you aren't indeed gaining something from the experience you otherwise wouldn't have had access to. Hopefully, if you've recently been caught in the drudgery of day-to-day concerns, this birds-eye view will help you reconnect to the largest 'why's of your involvement… and renew your interest, at least long enough for the next chapter or two to play out. (2) Start actively looking for your 'way out', which, in itself, might be the only focus that will stir your enthusiasm to a propulsive momentum. This current astrology is very clear in its purpose: to ensure you conceive of your life as full of exciting promise. Should you lack that conception, it's high time to start hunting for the next box of adventures.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Your way forward, Sagittarius, demands a higher-perspective wisdom which astutely separates (1) any immediate experiences of pain (yours and/or someone else's) and the natural instinct to quell its sting by any means necessary, which sometimes inspires insincere promises or superficial (and, therefore, ultimately futile) band-aiding efforts, from (2) the spiritual awareness that pain, rather than being avoided at all costs, is often a necessary intermediary step in redrawing boundaries, so we may gain greater autonomy in determining the emotional tenor of our own future. That is a dense message I just shared with you, so please don't rush through its sentiments: I am telling you that not circumventing the tender struggle at the heart of this unsettled situation is actually the most merciful approach, for all parties involved. The sore spot must be touched upon, activated, in order to best decipher which part is legitimately yours—and which belongs to the entanglement itself, a joint-responsibility product of the independent entity your union has created, and thus depends for its existence upon your willing participation, which has both its costs and its benefits.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): With such high emotional tides saturating your interpersonal life, Capricorn, you're likeliest to get what you want out of key relationships by approaching the other person with supportive sensitivity. The old adage that advocates treating others as you'd most like to be treated yourself, though it comes from the right place, may be a bit misleading… particularly if you're basing your presumption of what the other person needs on your own stoic, self-contained attitudes toward life. In other words, they might need you to treat them more delicately than you yourself require. The two of you may not be as similar to one another in emotional makeup as past appearances have suggested, which could actually be an asset to the coupling overall, if you rightly understand relationships as our best opportunity to learn about human diversity hands-on. Without making this advice sound too much like a recipe for self-serving manipulation, I must point out that you might not believe just how far you can get with them simply by proactively offering 'em more explicit reassurance, speaking the genuinely complementary words you don't always say aloud, and/or bolstering their confidence with you-can-do-it companionship. Consciously invest in making them feel safe, and they'll turn to putty in your hands… to the ultimate benefit of everyone concerned.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Trust me, Aquarius, it is as boring for me to write you these horoscopes about 'finally doing the fucking work' and 'working your ass off' as I'm sure it is for you to read them. But what am I supposed to do? Ignore this obvious message from the astrological gods, just because we're a little bored of what they have to say? By golly, they'd probably strip my horoscope-writer's license from me! So, no, I don't have a whole new stream of throw-caution-to-the-wind, jump-off-cliffs, party-your-body and never-look-back encouragements to sprinkle in your direction… merely more motivational eggings-on, couched in a reminder of how excellent the present planetary alignment is for supporting your biggest ambitions, as long as you aren't afraid of the additional effort required for banking these present gains. What short-term incentives, then, would it take to convince you to temporarily get up earlier and put that extra hour or two to good use? to stay on track with your day-to-day progress, rather than indulging the not-currently-favored whim for unexcused truancy? to behave, just for the time being, as if the official auditors or examiners were watching your workday behaviors from behind a one-way-mirror and scoring you accordingly? We're not talking forever, but for sure for right now.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As a way of turning recent horoscopic discussions on their ear, Pisces, I urge you to spend your week honoring those moments when you most obviously notice that you're thoroughly enjoying yourself… with nothing else to officially do. This latest variation on a theme comes without any pressure to already automatically know what you enjoy the most (or, as a side-effect, to spend any analytic effort dissecting whether any certain desire is genuinely self-satisfying enough). The noticing should be far more uncomplicated and unmistakable than that: It feels good. Period. And once you notice that something—or, in certain cases, someone—makes you feel good, your next most obvious move would be to maximize the presence of that participation (or co-participant) in your life. Why? So that you feel good more often, duh. I'm purposely treating this advice in a manner that blatantly emphasizes its quality of straightforward back-to-basics, not to leave you wondering if you're stupid to have so easily missed the obvious evidence right in front of your face, but as a gentle reminder not to unconsciously forfeit what's already stacked in your favor. Gratefully partake in more of that which makes you feel good, and the resultant good feelings will radiate off your energy-field… which only attracts those people who further fuel the feeling-good, positive-feedback-loop-style.