Horoscopes | Week of July 14-20, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This is a week in which to compensate for what somebody else may do, which could trouble or trigger or torment or trivialize you, by under-reacting. Your best defense under these conditions, Aries, is to refuse to engage to any point of even the slightest antagonism or disagreeability—not in surrender to a victory they haven't actually scored (though, it's true, they might misread your under-reaction to mean they've 'won'), but simply to spare yourself the upset and the bother. Caring more about your own inner well-being, and consequently taking whatever steps are necessary to alleviate stress and foster calm (which would include not getting all worked up about whatever they are up to), is a decidedly self-serving stance to adopt… which, in basic terms, positions you more defiantly on your side than would wasting a lot of breath and heat trying to convince another person you are right while still claiming 'not to care' whether they agree with you or not. There'll be an odd dissonance between your outsides and your insides if you opt to go toe-to-toe when all you really crave is peace—one which can easily be resolved by closing the door, pulling the shades, shutting off your phone, and kicking your feet up on the couch.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Why so serious, panda-bear? You need not attack the task in order to accomplish it... and you surely don't need to shush those around you either, Taurus, just because you're too overly intent on 'staying focused'. Focus is somewhat overrated these days, insofar as its insistence on casting your vision only in one certain particular direction—even for 'practical' purposes—prevents you from being able to witness, let alone participate in, all that other kooky stuff happening off to the other side and elsewhere all around. Are these happenings relevant to what you believe you ought to be 'staying focused' on? Ha! Not likely. But just posing such questions about relevancy only reveal how damn serious you're being. Stop worrying about what is or isn't important, and instead purposely pay a heap more attention to the colorful characters clamoring for your companionship, and to all their crazy shit, whether you serve as listener-and-observer, cheerleader, or partner-in-crime. Meanwhile, please refrain from judging, comparing, reasoning with, or convincing not to. Everybody's here doing their own thing, and it's not for you to say whether they're doing it right. Just be here with 'em, taking in the scenery, giggling and gasping… and not stressing over what's not getting done.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This is an excellent time to get down-and-dirty, up-close-and-personal… and unflinchingly real with your present state of work-and-finance-related matters, Gemini. Circumstantial hurdles, inherited handicaps, and other shadowy realities are not valid excuses for shirking this pressing need to secure a stabler salary and/or a strengthened sense of self-worth, based on flatly accepting what you do best (and don't do quite as well) and unabashedly advertising those valuable qualities to any folks who might duly compensate you for putting them to use. Even in the most constrained or crummy situations (though, let's be clear, I'm not suggesting yours is necessarily one of those), we always retain some agency, no matter how modest, to improve our standing… even if it's largely a perspectival shift, with few immediately visible signs of change. But as I've told you before, this foundation-building cannot be successfully carried out in erratic fits and starts, with one spectacularly long day of enthusiastic efforts followed by many more of inconsistency or inactivity. Just like a piggybank eventually fills with money only as a cumulative effect of depositing nickels and dimes over and over and over again, your diligent attention to this task is required on a day-in-day-out basis… a little at a time, to develop a respectable practice, rather than all at once.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Once again, here's that internally-generated edge asserting itself into your personality. If left unidentified and unengaged-with, it can easily turn your mood edgy with short-tempered irritation. But properly understood not as an excuse to bitch and groan but as a driving-force spark, to rile you from your resting position and into action—because, in cases such as this, simple motion is often the quickest and most effective antidote to edginess—this inner agitation actually gives you 'the edge', Cancer, in situations (which is most of them) where taking some step (any one, really) is preferable to taking none at all. In other words, quiet brooding will only beget a continuing case of the grumps, with no productive payoff. And besides, with the excellent news that magical-maiden Venus arrives in your sign this week (to stay nearly a month), you definitely don't need to be sequestering yourself inside any chamber where your emotions merely reverberate off each other, reacting to triggers of their own making. Once Venus is primping and preening your energy-field, any exposure to the outside-world will likely attract you an increase in admiring eyes, fawning responses, and positive potentials. Don't hide away this loveliness she conjures.


LEO (July 23-August 22): So this is the week I excitedly hailed in our last edition, Leo. On Wednesday (Jul 16), benevolent growth-inspirer and opportunity-bestower Jupiter makes his first ceremonious appearance in your sign since 2003… and remains there, opening windows and expanding vision, through August of next year. But before you start staring in the mirror like a young woman who's just lost her virginity, wondering if you look different or if people can tell, don't expect to notice any dramatic signs right away. In a mischievous twist of fate, this week also brings a sign-shift for Venus, the other benefic planet… which cloisters her in your 12th house, a positioning which causes her magical blessings to manifest in the back recesses of your psychic field and, thus, largely hidden from obvious view. And with the Sun and Mercury now also in your 12th—and as a result, concealed, cryptic, and/or curbed-in-their-expression—there's currently a lot you're just not able to see, understand, or reliably work with. Jupiter's arrival, then, is something of a tease, requiring you to proceed through your week with ample faith that what I've been telling you is true… that an exciting and fortuitous chapter in your life really is beginning, even if the outward evidence to support this notion may only barely trickle forth, just gradually increasing, during these first few weeks.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As a central part of this pulling-it-all-together process you're now hopefully engaged with, Virgo, you owe it to your own sense of belonging-in-this-world to overtly express your gratitude, loyalty, and friendship to all those who consistently reassure you, through words or actions, that you belong with them. This month-or-so ahead is an excellent moment to intentionally shore up your alliances, extend yourself in service to those who have served and continue to serve you, and honor the support these bonds and connections have provided you. Yes, we've covered the importance of aligning with such a perspective before… but it's starting to feel increasingly urgent that you understand other people as your supporters, teammates, and potential best-chums, instead of unconsciously seeing them as competitors, lollygaggers, or poor-substitutes. As of this week, greater-benefic Jupiter sneaks into the imperceptible domain of your solar 12th, where he'll stay for more than a year, preparing you to emerge as a bigger-and-better version of yourself come mid-2015 and beyond. During these intervening months, however, your growth will largely happen backstage, invisible from conspicuous view… which means it'll be very comforting to reliably rest on other people to hold you up, at moments when self-doubt encroaches and you wonder whether your earnest energy-investments are really amounting to anything. If you isolate yourself, though, these same 'other people' (more abstract than actual) will only serve as self-flagellating examples of what isn't happening in your life, at least not at that precise instant.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This week's return of Venus to your solar 10th opens a month-or-so of enhancements to your professional (and/or outer-world) reputation, Libra, during which time your outward strategies for achieving certain goals or benchmarks are liable to garner more favorable attention than usual. Venus-in-the-10th often bestows upon us special honors or privileges our prior efforts have earned us, a more sympathetic ear from those to whom we pitch our ideas, and/or an easier knack for making a noteworthy splash with our public enterprises. As such, these next weeks ahead provide you an excellent moment to put that finishing layer-of-icing atop all that you've externally accomplished since mid-last-year… to remind any relevant parties you played an instrumental role in creating what they now see before them, and, as such, you are due for recognition and/or reward. But here's the catch: With Mars still in your 1st, continuing to whip up a feisty sharpness to your personality, you won't want to be too aggressive, insistent, or (my apologies) irritating with your moves to clinch the good fortune that's deservedly yours. I'm almost compelled to detail all the stereotypically Libran behaviors you should probably promote this week—pleasantness, diplomacy, careful consideration of others' wants and needs—as if you've forgotten how to be like that, after all these months of Mars-inspired self-assertion. To reap the career- and/or community-related advantage, it's time to put your trademark people-pleasing charm to work.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): While I applaud the enthusiasm behind your latest right-answer, articulation-of-driving-purpose, and/or encapsulation-of-what-this-all-means, I also suggest not banking too much certainty on its universal applicability. Rather than shy away from or intentionally overlook whatever yearning or drive doesn't fit neatly into this schema you've formulated (presumably to provide yourself some peace-of-mind), why not grant that exception or complication more of your attention? After all, your erratic psychic state over these many months has largely been a factor of this sore-thumb impulse, and of the challenge to integrate it into a confident vision for how you'd like to be in the world. If you can't find a way to include within your stated ethics the very consideration(s) that threatens to subvert their consistency, then you're just setting yourself up to eventually do something that goes against what you claim to believe… which, frankly, feels like shit. But I'll bet you already know what I'm telling you—because you've been living this tension, behind the scenes, for so long now—and probably have a pretty clear notion that this complication or exception-to-the-rule isn't just going to go away. It's time to keep answering, articulating, and/or encapsulating… but with earnest philosophical effort to crack open whatever limiting precepts have been preventing you from feeling upstanding in your impulses.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): This latest turn is making everything feel more definitive, irreversible, profound. The skirting-around-the-edges, the keeping-one-foot-on-each-side, the holding-back-of-that-critical-piece… all that drawn-out ambiguity is now, at last, emerging into a newly unambiguous reality you and every other central character should start better familiarizing yourselves with, Sagittarius. Until this point, you simply weren't ready to make so categorical a stand on your one chosen spot in this contested territory. But the discomfort that naturally comes from acknowledging discord or difference without trying to ignore it, downplay it, or talk circles around it can no longer be alleviated… not if you sincerely believe your stand is essential for your making it to the next stop, and for it being one you're proud to have made it to. Truths that sting, stir passionate pushback, and/or subvert long-undisturbed patterns of pandering are demanding to be spoken and sat in. You can, and should, endure the awkward silences and disconcerting revelations. Bravely staying in this hotter-under-the-collar stage a little while longer along with certain other parties, rather than nervously squirreling away or compliantly 'letting bygones be bygones', actually grants you the power-position—especially should their nervousness inspires them to make a hasty overemotional move which could utterly blow their game.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Play it exceedingly relationally, Capricorn, as opposed to adopting too independent-minded a posture at the moment. Taking any tack that relies on executive orders, official protocols, top-down directives, or an appropriate chain-of-command will be needlessly alienating, in a firepower-overkill kind of way… when, now that Venus will be in your interpersonal relationship house (the solar 7th) for the next few weeks, you'll get far better results by working together, person-to-person, peer-to-peer. While there may indeed be a differential in rank or experience-level between you, it truly doesn't behoove you to play into that. Though you could well use your authoritative upper-hand (whether it's been granted to you by title or just something you convey with your confident attitude) to succeed in getting your way in such collaborative maneuvers, your triumph will come at a price: Not only are you missing out on the creative genius that comes from a sincere mixing-and-melding of more-than-one-person's ideas (which has even more brilliant potential, thanks to the current position of both benefic planets in relational houses), but you also shortchange yourself of the comradely goodwill you'll mutually foster as part of the process. Check your kneejerk resistance to another person's contributions, and you will support the further growth of this pairing.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The good-hearted gas-giant Jupiter makes his annual sign-change this week… which docks him in your one-on-one relationship house (the solar 7th), Aquarius, through the second-half of next year. Jupiter's yearlong transit through the 7th is typically a favorite one because his presence often brings us new partners or newly-important partnerships, better understanding of existing partners or partnerships, and/or further growth in our own relationship behaviors, such that we're able to see how much more is possible interpersonally than we previously knew. Of course, as part of our personal-growth process, we may sometimes outgrow certain relationships—and Jupiter-in-the-7th is known for hastening such breakups, the sort which we later look back upon with thanks for their moving-us-along-to-greener-pastures. I share all this with you not because you should expect a sudden torrent of expansive relational activity to pour down about you immediately; this Jupiter business is a more general influence impacting your whole next year, to invest with enthusiasm and proactive intention over time. In the very short-term (meaning the next few weeks), I'd actually concentrate on getting a lot of work done, if I were you. The current 6th-house emphasis gives your productivity levels a nice supportive boost… and, soon enough, your attentions will be diverted into more dazzling-and-distracting interpersonal interests.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The creatives among you should be pleased to know you're entering a few-weeks' span of amplified inspiration, Pisces… a boon you're only likely to experience if you are genuinely engaged by what you've been working on (which is not the same thing as being proud of your work, while simultaneously feeling unenthused about its current themes and/or techniques). If you're a creative but aren't especially engaged by your latest work, I suggest spending this time exploring a more recently-fascinating interest, style, or personal obsession. Even if you're less sure of how to 'produce' under these fresher influences (just free-associate!), and even if you're not ready to leave behind what you had been working (just return to it later!), taking such detours will ultimately support you in reinvigorating all your different creative endeavors. The kid-lovers among you are due to experience a similarly re-inspiring boost in your relationships with the little-ones… arousing novel ideas for field-trips and play-activities, revealing new angles to their personalities which you'll enjoy drawing out further, and/or replenishing your well of patience so their annoying habits don't bug you as much. And the romantics, too, will likely feel those arrows-of-inspiration landing in their hearts: What an awesome moment for scouting out amorous prospects, pushing tentative flirtations a step or two forward, and/or physically putting yourself in scenes where potential admirers can admire you!