Horoscopes | Week of July 7-13, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As your ruling rabble-rouser Mars begins to wrap up his marathon stirring-up of unsettling and/or antagonistic energy in certain interpersonal contexts, Aries, you're at a good point to try indirectly mending whichever fences you still intend to mend… though I'm not insinuating every fence that's been under strain is worthy of fixing. With key one-on-one relationships under near-constant stress since late last year, you probably have a pretty good idea by now of which tensions appear to be productive—and which continue to yield the same disheartening stalemates as before, if in fact they haven't worsened. For relational situations where the end has come (or already came), this week's astrology will be best utilized for nonchalantly updating folks in your immediate social environment about these changes in your interpersonal life, not with palpable amounts of emotion (such as anger, grief, or jealousy) but in a casually informational tone. Getting these mutual acquaintances up to speed on the parting-of-ways will actually promote the process, allowing other people to gently assist this parting in more fully manifesting out in the world. A similar approach also works in those cases where you do want the relationship to survive: Share your fence-mending intentions with the supporting sidekicks and kooky neighbors of this story, and let their encouraging whispers and offstage goadings quietly help the reconciliation process along.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In this next phase of the process, Taurus, your main responsibility involves a lot of massaging of key players' opinions and feelings, with encouraging sentiments and non-threatening inquiries and sly suggestions which might unassumingly lead them to the conclusions you'd most prefer. But please don't think of this task as overtly manipulative, as much as a simple matter of working regardfully within the bounds of those relationships you need to preserve, and of earnestly angling to keep these other people sufficiently happy in their relationships with you, while still advancing your purposes. The leisurely sharing of a coffee or meal, the catching-up on stories about the wacky kids or the annoying couple down the street, the swapping of casual information about supporting characters, the irreplaceable face-time... these aren't merely activities to fall back on as time-fillers between one chore and the next, but actually support more tangible purposes by keeping everyone properly informed, consulted, and on-board about developments which might impact them. It's critical maintenance work, really: Without keeping these social gears greased, you're likelier to run into bigger time-suck problems later, once a certain someone discovers you forgot to include 'em in the loop, and they give you a couple earfuls worth of legitimate shit for it.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Precisely because you now hold this incredible capacity to put your distinctive mark on whatever's going down, Gemini, I urge you not to trifle away this upper-hand merely on passing pleasures or superficial satisfactions… although that's not to say you can't use some of your Venus-Mars magic for such frivolous purposes. Yes, you may still apply your hotter-than-usual persuasiveness to charming the chaps and/or chicks, to pulling your pals together for a raucous night-out, to jump-starting your own creative processes, and/or to otherwise treating yourself to a few perks which wouldn't have been so easily procured at other moments. But that really shouldn't be all you do with it. Think a bit more practical, too, for this very same convincing quality you're now brandishing will also add an appealing flourish to requests for a fatter paycheck or a choice gig, efforts to hawk your wares or polish your professional persona, and/or attempts to streamline your processes or sweeten the daily grind. While I understand these applications may not be as sensational or sexy as ones where you'll immediately be treated to a front-row seat, a flirty come-on, or a freaky time, the astrology's just too good not to spread the advantage around to these other zones-of-life, too.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): A stripped-down, bare-bones, this-is-me-so-take-me-as-I-am straightforwardness is really all you've got to bring to this table, Cancer. You could don your Sunday best, take on an erudite accent and wrap your truths in little blue boxes with ribbons, and expend tons of laborious sociability trying to sell your merits with a fine finish… but I'm not sure, at this stage in the game, that's going to radically alter the trajectory you're already headed down. They either like you, or they don't. You're either a suitable fit for this role (even though you might need a quick brush-up or a crash-course to get up to speed), or you aren't. And you're due to discover, thanks to developments in the weeks directly ahead, which side of such a divide you've fallen to. So, there's really no need for putting on a show or telling anybody what you think they want to hear. You just be you, and let the other core components—the characters, the settings, the dramatic situations—either naturally hug you closer into their sphere, thanks to an obvious affinity, or start ejecting you from the circle with an innate energetic resistance. Nothing's wrong and nobody's bad, however this goes. In fact, you don't even presently possess an accurate gauge on which turn would ultimately be to your greatest advantage, which is why any game-play would be so pointless. Have a little faith you'll end up where you're meant to be… as long as you're authentically being.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Trying to discuss this upcoming week with you, Leo, is akin to my attempting not to wiggle and squirm in my seat with giddy expectation for the big production, the grand adventures and expansive opportunities just about to begin their launch in earnest next week, with the once-every-twelve-years arrival of good king Jupiter to your sign. Starting so very soon, Jupiter (the 'greater benefic', as he's called because of his reputation for distinctly broadening one's possibilities by easing the capacity to venture into new territory) will spend the next year brightening the golden glow all you Leos radiate… inspiring forward-thinking optimism where before there was merely stubborn resignation, helping you receive more advantages and acknowledgments for what you do, and generally increasing the chances a lucky turn or two could inspire a whole new passion, purpose, or pursuit. (Full disclaimer: Sometimes, the 'lucky turns' that Jupiter provides don't always appear to be especially lucky at first. Good fortune may initially show up as a loss, which later proves to be one of those 'best thing that ever happened to me' losses apropos to having outgrown your past.) So, yeah, you can expect much excitement ahead… though, naturally, it won't all immediately kick off the moment Jupiter lands in Leo. For this week, then, I advise simply cherishing this fortuitous forecast, allowing an anticipatory enthusiasm to course through you as you impishly smirk to yourself, 'Really cool shit is about to happen!'


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This is your perfect occasion to pull it all together, Virgo. All those loose threads and unassimilated fragments from your past several months—the honorable accomplishments and disappointing fall-shorts, the competitive urges and critical observations, the confounding manner in which you at once yearn for others' attentions and affections and wish away their meddling influence—are now cohering into a single lucid testament to your having (strange or hard-to-believe though this may sound) achieved greater balance. The story reads something like this: You know you need plenty of independence for toiling toward your own impeccable standards, but you also must harmonize your efforts with others', even though they might not resemble yours in the slightest. And now you do this better than ever! (Or else you're causing yourself real grief by resisting this lesson.) You've come to recognize the dueling contradictory impulses in you, to both (1) size others' behaviors up, assessing the many ways in which they diverge from your ideals, and still (2) surrender to their behavioral lead, despite whatever drawbacks you've noticed, because it's not your style to be overtly domineering. And you now see how to aim for that middle-path, neither sacrificially passive nor unrelentingly nitpicky! You are successful and still striving. You embrace others and retain your agency. These tensions don't get resolved, silly; they mobilize you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): No big whoop, Libra, but would you please stop employing those same antiquated quips, tales, and defining-phrases to describe yourself? In case you haven't noticed (and, considering the ridiculously nonstop pace of your last several months, it wouldn't surprise me if you hadn't), those conveniently limiting descriptors no longer apply with much accuracy. They've become obsolete… while you, my dear, have become something remarkably different than the far more docile, fearful, risk-averse individual you've long thought of yourself as. It is no exaggeration to suggest the reorienting of your life-situation that's been actively underway since late last year (whether or not you consciously conceived of it as such) will go down in the annals of history as one of the most prominent precedent-setting periods of your adulthood—though, before you launch into a panicky retrospective scrutiny of your recent months in search of the consequential, let me reassure you that nobody in your position would have access to such a longer-term understanding at this early stage of the game. Rather than burden yourself with the impossible task of figuring out exactly who this new-and-toughened-up character occupying your skin will turn out to be, it's enough to unequivocally recognize who you definitely aren't… which is that softer, smaller person who used to wear those now-ill-fitting labels.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The 'what will I do when…?' questions should be starting to accumulate, Scorpio, if you sincerely believe (as you well should) that definitive 'when' you've been awaiting is almost here. As we discussed a couple weeks back, this extended phase of not being able to reliably conduct simple matters of desire-gratification or impulse-fulfillment is coming to an end imminently, once Mars hits your sign later in the month. I encourage you to actively invest in this belief that a pivotal energetic shift will soon rekindle the spark you've been missing for several months, since your only other mindset-choices are either (1) to fear such a shift is still so very far in the future that you're not sure you can make it or (2) to resign yourself to the false notion that this is how it's destined to be forevermore… and both those choices can breed cynicism and despair. Thankfully, the astrological facts are on the side of imminent self-rekindling, rather than continued paralysis. So, knowing that, what reinvigorating fresh-starts or next-steps or returns-to-form are you most eagerly looking forward to diving into? Perhaps it's been such a long expanse of not expecting much immediate propulsive momentum from yourself, you need a few moments to mull over what you're going to do with this forthcoming vibe-boost. A little preparatory visioning could help sort out your priorities. Begin making your brainstorm lists now, like a newly-elected but not-yet-inaugurated officer who can hardly wait until the term officially begins—so they can finally enact all their pressing initiatives.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): This shakeout in social allegiances you've witnessed these past months, Sagittarius, has already answered most, if not all, of the critical questions you might have regarding what's what with the who's-whos… and now it's just a matter of fully digesting the judgments you've had to make about which trains to hitch your car onto for this next leg of the journey, and which to cut yourself loose from. But though that sentiment may ring with an alarming tone (as far as those friends or affiliations you can no longer, with a good conscience, invest in), I'd much prefer you concentrate on the positive results you've yielded from these revelations. For all those whose camaraderie has already seen its better days, who revealed a disappointing ignorance or untrustworthy character, there are also all those who came through with a winning hail-mary when least expected, who know more about the things you value than anyone would've guessed, and/or whose interests and experiences and enthusiasms suggest awesome potential for future collaboration-forming and relationship-deepening. While Venus continues moving through your one-on-one partnership house (the 7th) and forms a supportive trine to Mars in your 11th (another house of defining social relations), this is an excellent moment to proactively pour extra amounts of warm energy into those bonds likeliest to flourish and flower in the years to come. And those on the way out? Don't give 'em a second thought.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You Capricorns are often guilty of the future-centered trespass of believing that only once x has been achieved, y is given enough time to develop, and/or there's plenty of z in the bank will you then be able to go forward proudly as the person you wish to present yourself as. That line of thinking, unfortunately, creates a lot of suspended animation—and of working-while-you-wait. So, to save you that lag-time, Capricorn, let's just assume there are no more hoops you must triumphantly triple-somersault through before accepting you're already involved in doing that thing you've been reluctant to give yourself credit for doing. Are you perfect at it? Fat chance. Have you mastered every life-lesson it's meant to bless you with? I sure hope not. (If you have, then why the hell are you still gilding that lily? Haven't you yet discovered that merely demonstrating one's mastery over and over again brings increasingly diminished returns?) Just as, for instance, a 'writer' isn't only somebody who's won a Pulitzer or two but in fact anyone who actually writes on a regular basis, you need not attain some certain rank or level-of-talent in order to publicly don the identity of a person who does what you do. And if you reflect back on your 2014 so far, I think you'll find you've been so busy doing what you've been doing, you perhaps forgot to sufficiently acknowledge yourself as someone who does it.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): By now, I'm sure it would be getting rather exhausting, Aquarius, if you found you were still making accommodations, providing excuses, and/or offering apologies to those who'd wish you not to be so opinionated, odd, and/or totally out-there. It's hard to imagine you haven't voiced preferences and/or defended principles over these many Mars-in-the-9th months, though… to the extent that your readiness to stand for, or against, something you value has likely helped to nudge out (at least from any central position in your life) anyone who might require such undue adjustments or adaptations from you. While this campaign to become your most preferred, principled self will continue on the world-stage for many years to come, it's not necessarily your duty to make this a daily battle in your personal life, insofar as having to defend who you are to folks you've willingly invited in. Save that struggle for your confrontations with uncompassionate ideologues, shallow ignoramuses, or anyone who's sincerely open to receiving nuggets of your enlightenment. As far as chosen companions, comrades, and colleagues are concerned, please feel free to surround yourself with those who inspire and uplift you rather than challenge you on the fundamentals. And as far as enjoying yourself? Why invite foes to the party? Allow your dissenters to revel however they'd prefer—somewhere other than where you plan to be.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You should guard your own psychic welfare with the survivalist ferocity of a mother whose nestful-of-babies is being threatened by a formidable predator, Pisces. I don't deploy this metaphor because I believe you face such a predatory threat, but rather to melodramatically emphasize how fucking important it is to actively protect every last speck of inner peace you can possibly steal for yourself—and to ward off, by any means necessary, anybody who tries menacing or manipulative tactics (either with intent or unconsciously) to intrude upon your peace-propagating practices. Those who cannot or will not allow you free participation in whatever private pursuits will help replenish your spirit-juices are, to be totally frank, taking something from you. The refusal to grant you emotional space is no different than someone barging into your living room and demanding you pay attention to them, forget if they're drowning out your favorite TV show or sullying the rug with their muddy boots or scaring the shit out of your sensitive pet. And you have every right—scratch that, you have a moral obligation—to defend yourself against such interlopers. Alas, your success relies on (1) believing you're as precious and in need of fierce guardianship as a tiny nesting baby and (2) not feeling guilty about 'hurting' the person you must guard your psychic welfare from.