Horoscopes | Week of July 29-August 4, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Pull your energy closer into you, Aries, and tighten the spigot. Spraying your spirit too indiscriminately outward is an act of unproductive leakage, leaving it less likely you'll feel physically replenished by that job-well-done sensation. Mete out your initiative drop by drop, balancing small task-oriented efforts with enough self-care acts that, at each step, you confidently know your own well-being is at least as important as all the real-world shit. (Your emotions are as 'real-world' as any pile of urgently important paperwork, for instance, believe it or not.) As soon as you notice yourself roused to speak out loudly, make your presence known, reassert your agency in a collaborative process, or otherwise ensure you aren't being overlooked, you've already lapsed too far into interactivity at a time when, in fact, you need that attention to remain within your own vibrational field. For the moment, don't worry that much about any other player, neither what they're doing nor what they might think of what you're doing. Leaving these matters alone now won't lose you the chance to insert yourself into a dialogue later, when the astrology better favors such intersections. Reserve your drive for self-determined matters.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Don't present yourself as an 'anti-' crusader, identifying yourself in stark opposition to something you don't like and/or approve of. That behavior will officially qualify you as a naysayer, Taurus, rather than someone who simply has particular preferences. Instead, I suggest positively modeling the practices you do advocate and/or enjoy, actively showing the world exactly what it can provide you to make you happier. It is not enough to stand on the sidelines, criticizing obvious targets or griping about stuff you think should change. That's just too fucking easy. We probably won't be able to see the possible improvements that you can envision until you start to enact them in front of us, and encourage us to participate alongside you. As a living embodiment rather than a squeaky-wheel mouthpiece, you'll have a much more influential impact… not only shifting your attitude from 'fault-finding disavowal' to 'creative reinvention', but attracting friends and fans who are intrigued by those very specific qualities which are presently so important to you that you want to foreground them. When asked straight-up about what you're doing, explain in the casual spirit of take-it-or-leave-it information-sharing—minus the personal need to be received by others in any certain fashion. They'll be that much more curious.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Appreciating what you have, right here and right now, is the primary and most-important ingredient in the recipe for making more. On the other hand, Gemini, reacting to what other people have or don't have—and trying to use your relationship to them (whether real or imagined) to motivate changes in your own creative methods—is a strategy likelier to mislead you. If you're looking for guidance on best-next-steps, I suggest gazing inward rather than at everybody else. The emotional recognition of what is already working pretty damned well for you (rather than obsessing about how your friends, co-workers, co-conspirators or the so-called competition are doing this or that better) will help you reconnect with your strengths, for you wouldn't be experiencing those feelings of success without having done something to reap them… and from there, you'll have a better idea of which elements of your personality to actively work with, in order to feed off existing successes in pursuing future ones. Sit in your living room, count your blessings, and smile at how blessed you are. Once you've done that, then (and only then) you can productively address what needs advancing or upgrading—not from a self-defeating angle of what you're missing, but from a self-empowering angle of what you're adding to.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Any clashes with bosses, mentors, parent-figures or the institutional structure-at-large are a symptom of your ascending competence, Cancer… and, as such, you probably shouldn't try to appease the powers-that-be by coaxing your genie back into the bottle and reverting to old patterns of deference. This is likely a 'breaking point' for some important reason in your personal development, not merely a result of someone having a bad day. If you're too quick to sweep the crumbling bits off the floor so everything looks perfectly spic-and-span in time for dinner, you can expect the resultant 'cleanliness' to feel a little too perfect… like eerily, calm-before-the-storm-ish so. Such a feeling ought to make you way more nervous than a few bumpy moments within relationships that may be in the midst of transforming from 'top-down' to 'peer-to-peer', in direct response to you having cultivated greater confidence in occupying your rightful place. You're essentially in the process of teaching them how to treat this newly emboldened you, since they have little experience with it to fall back on. Each instance of you slipping back to the familiar, therefore, works against your efforts to grow. Expect discomfort here—and don't hurry to smooth it over.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Though I suspect the temptation of 'just getting on with it already' has been seductively singing its siren-song at you, Leo, I really must urge you to resist rushing ahead. If this counsel rings somewhat familiar, it's because this is a theme that continues to repeat itself lately… though not, I repeat not, indefinitely. Come the start of September, you will be surging palpably onward. Until then, though, you ought to just hang where you are. For the very immediate moment, in fact, patience actually proves profitable. By not pushing yourself to, say, find a new home or book travel plans or reinvent your outer image, you will obviously save money that will come in much handier later, once you're far surer that what you'll choose to spend it on is what will actually benefit you (beyond, of course, the instantaneous thrill of blowing a wad). And by not diving into some giant risky endeavor now, you also buy yourself a few more weeks of habit consistency—which, if you've been paying attention, you know is a longer-term piece of self-improvement that is critical for your satisfaction in any number of other areas. In other words, keep doing what you've been doing for the last little while. You will change it up, of course… just not yet.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Finally, Virgo, now is that moment you've been waiting for… the one in which you use the reserves of social goodwill you presumably have gathered over these past few months of collaborative diplomacy (if, that is, you've followed my horoscopic heads-ups) to make a play for your audience's explicit backing. Pretending as if you haven't wagered a hefty bet on your horse in the running, while previously a workable approach, will no longer serve you. It's time to offer a plea for support on behalf of what will directly benefit you: Having adequately proven personal gain isn't the only consideration on your mind, you may now more confidently include these more desires alongside your continuing advocacy for the group's highest good. Perhaps, in fact, the group's proceedings have reached the point where you see there's need for a course correction which either (1) others have been unwilling or unable to discern as clearly as you can and/or (2) will require you to become less diplomatic or people-pleasing in order to make happen. A trine to Pluto from Venus-in-your-1st leads me to believe you have a better shot at pushing this forward now than you've had in a long while.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As I alluded to last week, Libra, you're going to have to take my word that putting forth forceful, splash-making efforts in your professional (or public-community) work now is going to yield extra-effective results… despite the likelihood that you won't see much confirmation of that fact until mid-August. For that matter, you really can't trust certain shit-stirring individuals' opinions on how your efforts will be received by the wider audience, mainly because they have their own agenda underscoring this feedback (though, to be fair, they could be somewhat blind to their own stake in this matter), which is more about their specific relationship to you than to your broader outer-world ambitions. As such, to be smart about it, you really have to keep your vision fixed on the goal itself, rather than the potential distraction of any particular person's unreliable attitude towards you. As soon as your anxieties flare up around the idea of someone else's perceptions of you, you have fallen out of alignment with what's best for your career. I know, I know: How silly of me to presume a Libran isn't anxious about someone else's perceptions. And yet still, this is a time for personal enterprise—not interpersonally-motivated self-compromise.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Now is a great time to let your community and/or friend-group know what's presently most important to you, Scorpio. They probably need an update (as your life-priorities have likely shifted in recent months much more dramatically than you are aware of, since you've been 'in it' the whole time), and you could sure benefit from the warm social support you'll receive upon articulating yourself in so concrete a manner. In fact, the very act of communicating the ideals which now motivate your choice to do more of 'this' and less of 'that' will help make these choices more conscious in your mind… and, at the same time, discourage others in your social sphere from inadvertently (or, worse, intentionally) persuading you to participate in activities that don't fit your stated position. And please don't assume that being questioned about where you're coming from poses any threat to your commitment to said principles (unless, of course, you aren't as confident in it as you'd like to believe). You can both further flesh out your own thoughts and potentially strengthen a friendship by going through the process of explaining your rationale, dismantling an objection, and/or sharing the ultra-personal process that led you here. In this context, saying more—as long as it's within a dialogue rather than as a self-contained soliloquy—seems somehow to accomplish more.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): More strongly than in recent months, your future is now beckoning you to gander its way… and to concern yourself more with making its brightest possibilities happen than dwelling (or is that more precisely termed 'wallowing'?) in what's already occurred. This is strange advice to dispense to you, dear Sagittarius, who are usually far more oriented toward 'whatever's next' and usually therefore receive horoscope words which encourage you to stick around for a while (perhaps longer than is comfortable). But that advice was doled out, and hopefully followed, at a prior point in time. And now, it seems, you'll begin to do yourself a scab-picking disservice by continuing to reflect on issues that, truth be told, have already made themselves clear as day. Flip your focus away from these long-flummoxing circumstances where you still struggle to garner a sufficiently independent mindset… and instead concentrate, all practically-minded and shit, on outside-world projects and purposes with which you can make tangible progress without relying on anybody else's assistance, affirmation or authority. You might in fact promote a moving-forward in the circumstantial entanglement that's had you stuck, simply by showing the other party that, yes, you've now got other stuff occupying your attention—regardless of what ends up happening with them.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Part of why you might be angry or annoyed with a certain someone, Capricorn, is the sense that they don't appreciate how much you sincerely care for them… and that they're somehow missing the underlying emotional point of why you do what you do on their behalf. But sometimes, despite the cliché, our actions do not speak louder than words—or, more specifically, they may imply sentiments that aren't exactly what we're intending them to speak. The most effective way to 'clean up' any such misreadings of your caring, then, will surely not involve carrying out further actions supposedly 'on their behalf'… at least not without an explicit discussion with them about whether this is indeed something they want you to do for them. You can get yourself much closer to accurately exemplifying what's in your heart by (1) first articulating the sentiment itself, in as precisely worded a manner as you can, and then (2) asking about which methods would most effectively foster a complementary response in the other person before you just launch into the care-giving actions. Think ethically: Nobody wants 'care' thrust upon them, if it doesn't reserve agency for them to provide their consent and jointly participate in such a dynamic.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Because you know you've got gobs of work to get done and you also know you'd rather be cavorting with those folks who've presently got a hold on your heart (and if you don't know all this, please review), this mix of somewhat incompatible needs-and-wants is contributing a certain living-on-the-edge charge to your days, Aquarius, which isn't altogether unpleasant. As if you are cramming for an exam or rushing to file an important application before the deadline hits right at the same time your best friend is arriving for a too-brief visit after having been far far away for a long long time, this drive to tackle all responsibilities and not miss a minute of soul-nurturing pleasure is likely manifesting as a massive adrenaline surge. And this can feel at once incredibly energizing and just-as-incredibly anxiety-provoking… if, that is, you forget to breathe deeply, feed yourself at regular intervals, and get enough sleep (perhaps even more than usual) to counteract the stress on your physical faculties. Even if you're wholly aware of how amazing it is to be able to successfully endure at this fevered pitch, don't underestimate the impact it has on your bodily experience. Compensate accordingly.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If it's pleasurable one-on-one mixing-and-mingling time you're after, Pisces, then please use this week's favorable interrelational astro-aspects to your great advantage. First and foremost, show yourself, unabashedly and with a touch of flashy exhibitionist glee, and let others gaze upon your glory. Do not fear the possibility of standing out from the crowd, and even making certain people nervous (who, upon their uncomfortable response to you being unabashedly you, will have proven they definitely are not your people). After all, you've got to give potential admirers the chance to actually admire some characterizing trait of yours… or else they'll already start engraving their own projections onto the blank-slate of your bland wallflower behavior. Also, be sure to follow up on any offers made by adored friends, close colleagues, or your favorite co-workers or teammates to bring you along to a party or meeting, fix you up with one of their pals, or play wingman when you're out on the prowl. Under Pluto-in-the-11th's trine to Venus, your allegiances and/or community ties will positively boost your capacity to bond with individuals who appreciate your chosen spot in the social world, whether through introductions and/or the cred your connections will buy you in certain circles.