Horoscopes | Week of July 22-28, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): By discerning between what's within your control and what's not, Aries, you can hopefully refrain from getting too royally pissed off at anyone who won't likely respond well to encountering your externalized pissed-off-ness. I am not, incidentally, scolding you for potentially becoming upset; it's what you do (or, maybe I should say, don't do) with those feelings which holds the possibility of either successfully heading off an ugly confrontation or, less optimally, inciting undesirable consequences for yourself. This isn't the week for impulsive expressions of pride, or for permitting yourself to get so fired up that you can't see straight and, as a result, don't really care what happens in the heated moment. It is, however, an excellent time to pick your battles wisely… to weigh the likely losses against any benefit you might derive from just 'letting 'er rip', and to proceed accordingly, though it may feel like you're uncomfortably restraining yourself in the situation. Please freely vent your irritation (or full-on rage) behind closed doors, to loved ones wholly unrelated to the circumstances at hand, in a space safe from punitive ramifications.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Just so we're clear, you do not presently have a responsibility to convince anybody of anything, Taurus. In fact, attempts to explicitly do so will likely fall flat, leaving you to appear to the other involved parties (whether accurately or not) as a closed-minded individual who doesn't appreciate the diversity of human experience. What's funny about this, of course, is that you may indeed believe so strongly in your particular stance on such matters, you actually don't have much respect for differing outlooks; nor must you. (I know better than to press a Taurean to waver about something they feel this committed about.) Precisely because you care about it so strongly, and thus may also seek to open others' eyes to this angle they perhaps haven't considered with enough attention, you have to think more 'long game' about it. Before you can effectively change minds, you must first appeal to hearts. If somebody is worth the effort to 'school', then they are first worth the effort of nurturing a meaningful relational connection—independent of whether they'll ever see it your way or not. Start by fostering a greater understanding of where they're coming from, by getting to know them better. Then, from there, take up your cause.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You're just going to have to be more clever than simply accepting certain seemingly immovable obstacles as some divine message to halt your attempt to move forward. Thankfully, Gemini, I consider you one of the cleverest signs, always right on the trigger of yet another idea when the first six or seven seem like they won't work… though, often, you're better at using this skill for resolving dilemmas which other people are facing and/or which don't affect you quite as directly. This truth reveals, of course, that any sense of feeling blocked is more psychological, rather than literal, in nature—not that this makes it any less 'real', of course, though it does invite you to believe in your capacity to conquer it. In order to do that, you'll have to rightly acknowledge that it's more important to you to grow your confidence in your ability to provide for yourself, no matter the situation at hand (for, in most cases, the 'situation at hand' is far from ideal), than to bow to one or another symbol of supposed bad-luck. Whatever's obstructing your road to a stabler existence, there is a way around it, under it, over it, or through it. Assign your cleverness to the job.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This could well be the week, Cancer, during which an unresolved interpersonal tension or that conflict-waiting-to-happen finally ruptures into full-on being, courtesy of Mars-in-your-1st both conjoining Jupiter and opposing Pluto, long-term resident of your relationship house (the 7th). While I want to notify you of the likelihood that you're in the more auspicious position, I likewise want to warn you against taking that advantage too far and bloating your self-assuredness with a needlessly provocative cushion of self-importance. The more cockily you present your 'obviously superior' point-of-view, the thicker the layer of condescension your attitude drips with, the greater the satisfaction with your triumph you outwardly show… all of that sort of behavior will merely heighten the severity (and potential nastiness) of the pushback they'll subject you to. It's not only a matter of who 'wins' or 'loses', but also how relatively respectfully the tussle plays out—or how enduringly traumatic is the carnage left in its wake. I do want you to 'win', if such a victory offers you permission to become a new-and-improved version of yourself. Please, however, have mercy for the so-called 'loser'.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Though your freest self-expression is being largely infringed upon by private emotional concerns, Leo, this is not such a bad thing at this particular moment. Flying too loose and easy is the most surefire approach to find yourself in way over your head… and, before you know it, what felt like a good idea (because, perhaps, it promised a quick release from all these 'private emotional concerns'?) ends up leaving you in a cavernous crater from which you must climb yourself out, at great (and greatly unnecessary) effort. Whatever you do, please don't attempt to outsmart the plain-as-day limits of good sense, bodily responsibility, and the rule of law. To make positive and productive progress, take peculiarly small and modest moves. Let each step settle in—and watch the correspond scene closely, so you'll notice any unanticipated and/or funny-odd responses right away and can, if need, be, course-correct before the fallout has had time to intensify—rather than rushing one right after the other. For the time being, there's still a lot you aren't seeing, and can't possibly see.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The tables are unassumingly turning toward your favor as the week progresses, Virgo—you can thank Venus's arrival in your sign for that—but please don't make an openly big deal about it. Suddenly demanding to collect all the advantages you've been quietly laying out for yourself, by unobtrusive strategy, is far too jarring a switch… and is liable to spook those you need to keep on your good side. It still behooves you to present yourself as a trusted guardian of what serves everybody (because, in case I need to remind you, Venus will only be in Virgo for a few weeks, but some of these people will be part of your team for quite a while longer), even as you begin to tweak the methods and rearrange the players' roles so they also better serve your aims. In fact, you might even go so far as to spend extra time this week in meaningful one-on-ones with those you suspect could have the most difficulty bowing to your increasing influence… and, rather than imposing your understanding upon them at this stage in the game, simply listening to their thoughts at great length. While actually taking in their sentiments is a worthy activity in itself, you'll simultaneously be demonstrating an overt degree of interpersonal consideration, which could come in handy should you later find yourselves at odds with each other.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Excelling in an fortuitously assertive public position needn't come at the expense of your paying due respect to a cherished (or perhaps more conflicted) familial legacy, Libra… whether you are literally being expected (by family-members and/or your guilt-ridden self) to set your personal ambitions aside to play dutiful child, or whether it's a matter of having to overcome an ingrained belief that this type of me-first behavior is an outright violation of everything you were taught to be. These two poles of priority—(1) professional opportunity and (2) emotional duty—are not mutually exclusive values to work toward upholding. You can do both well, if you want. Or you can choose to exploit the presently favorable outer-world circumstances to their fullest extent (since timing is everything, and this timing is pretty damned good), while realizing that any inner pressures to moderate your desires and muffle your aspirations behind a palatable pleasantness are actually a psychological knot of self-denial that needs unpacking. However you play it, your awareness of the internal pulls is what's most important. Proceed with such awareness, and, for the time being, ignore the supposed evidence from either side of whether you're 'doing it right'. You might not see reliable signs for another few weeks.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Please do not allow yourself to be told you're making too big a deal of something that, in fact, is a big deal… at least to you, Scorpio. One person's insignificant distinction is, to another, the difference between being in or out of integrity. And nobody can make the determination of which details ought to matter more or less in somebody else's meaning-structure. However, if indeed you do find yourself in a spot where you must defend your sense of rightfulness in a situation where 'what's right' is being questioned or muddied or wholly unconsidered, it probably isn't enough to merely rant your indignation in staccato declarations and then huff away. If you're genuinely motivated by principle on this one, then you're going to have to explain the platform upon which this principle is predicated, in order to give the other party a fair chance at grasping where your response is coming from… and so that you are sincerely advocating for 'what's right' with as much diligence as you've got. Though the step-by-step explanation process could feel tedious (and, therefore, irritating), you owe it to yourself, your fellow humans, and the very principle itself to see it logically through.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Should you find yourself in a power struggle, Sagittarius, please be mindful that your main goal probably ought to be to reassert your agency in managing what's singly yours… even as, at the same time, you're immersed in circumstances that can be accurately said to belong to both of you. As such, the pursuit of other less honorable goals—such as one-upping someone else's show of confidence, purposely trying to make them look or feel stupid, enacting any type of revenge, and/or attempting to right the wrongs of an unjust universe by presumptuously playing god—may weaken your ability to attain the main one, not to mention lead you to impetuously cause yourself more problems to deal with later. Try, therefore, not to let passionate emotion completely flood your practical senses (though, yes, you may likely have plenty of good reason to feel as you're feeling). During these weeks ahead, you have a good chance of advancing professionally and/or in your public-community position through calm, careful attention to detail. Let that incoming drift inspire your approach on the personal level, too, and you'll likelier 'advance' there as well.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): A double-whammy of forceful aspects, both a Jupiter conjunction and a Pluto opposition, to Mars-in-your-7th (where he's already somewhat more emotionally volatile than in other places) bespeaks of a much-heightened possibility of interpersonal conflict showing up in your life, Capricorn. You can certainly treat this as a passing influence, and chalk up any clashes and quarrels to the moment-in-time, without necessarily looking more deeply at the undercurrents informing the circumstantial disconnect. Or you might wisely examine what it is about you that seems to trigger this other person to 'act out' as they do… not because it's your 'fault' that they're acting out (and I put 'fault' in quotes to put out how ultimately silly such blame-assignation labels are in this context), but to better understand how whatever's been going on in your independent life may be roughly colliding with what's been going on in theirs and, therefore, manifesting in relationship challenges. From this deeper perspective, you are then far likelier to provide care to the other person in the spirit of bringing the both of you together… rather than, say, as a subtly smug gesture to appease their apparently difficult personality.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Everywhere you turn, it seems, your ability to breezily delight in the company of others is infringed upon by work concerns. This is a temporary condition, I swear, Aquarius… so please don't start using all those hours away from your friends and loved ones to fuel any 'poor me' narratives, the indulgence of which will merely waste more of your productive time, which will then need to be compensated for accordingly, which will then rob you of even more time you could be spending with your people. Just accept the reality of this passing moment like a champ. 'Work hard, play hard,' as they say. And as part of following that trite ol' advice, let me also encourage you to practice exceedingly mindful presence when you are lucky enough to steal some precious quality hangout time with those who matter most. Though your schedule may be crammed full of must-dos, the genuine appreciativeness you bring to your want-tos might even hold the power to bend time… meaning, just an hour or two of such goodness can feel like it's as rejuvenating as a whole day off, if you consciously use it as such. Then, back to the grind, please. A future version of yourself will thank you for it.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As I hinted at last week, favorable rapports between you and those you attract by openly-and-outwardly enjoying yourself—also known in certain circles as 'love'—does seem to be in the air around you, dear Pisces. And now that relational matchmaker Venus is moving into your 7th house (to form lovely flowing aspects to all the action still going down in your 5th), you're even likelier to win over any- and everybody you come into one-on-one encounters with. But here's the catch, courtesy of Venus's opposition to Neptune-in-your-1st: You must be careful not to shift your own shape, in the act of fostering pleasant connection, so that the other person ends up falling for an illusion of who you are rather than real thing. In other words, it's not worth vying for a successful click if it's based on you purely playing to someone else's expectations. In fact, since you are presently the precious commodity, you are entitled to be rather picky about the other person. Just because you like someone well enough, that doesn't mean you're actually a good match (beyond an hour or two of interesting chat or a hot night together, that is). It's okay to be discriminating.