Horoscopes | Week of July 28-August 3, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): What's purportedly an 'innocent joke' or just another case of you 'messing around', Aries, could be conveying a more intense or involved message than appearances might betray. Is the other person taking things too seriously? blowing them out of proportion? misperceiving your fun-lovin' demeanor because they're the type who's always looking for a fight? Or are you not quite as 'innocent' as you claim to be? Check your intentions before jumping to your own defense, a reaction which, under these trigger-happy astro-transits, could be disproportionately extreme (even for you). Be honest with yourself if indeed you are trying to make less-'innocent' moves on a hot prospect… because then, if they prove unreceptive to your playful come-on, you'll at least understand where your reaction is coming (and hopefully won't unfairly take out your frustrations on them, just because they're not into it). Likewise, if you have unsettled beef with someone, don't pretend your supposedly friendly behaviors aren't slyly sprinkled with subtle thorns or snide remarks, only to wonder later why they lashed out at that final straw. I'm not saying you must proceed with a totally casual and happy-go-lucky attitude, as you continue your quest to add more fun to your life. I'm just suggesting you own how you're not quite as casual or happy-go-lucky as you might wish to be, instead of playing the Polly-Purebred part… and projecting responsibility for all the prickles onto everyone else.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Nearly all the potential for finding yourself in unpleasant interpersonal circumstances (a potential for which, courtesy of Mars-in-your-7th, you remain on high alert) resides in your choice to say more about your feelings, Taurus, rather than less. Your present emotional temperature is particularly hot-under-the-collar, in large part because you're only starting to articulate to yourself what's been bothering you and/or which private desires have recently gone untended-to. What you previously ignored, downplayed, or stoically bore is now suddenly blatantly apparent, of increasingly central concern, and/or too insufferable to bear any longer. And in the face of this sudden flare of magnified self-awareness, you may be understandably eager to share what you're now coming to realize, with any relevant parties who might need to know. This astrology brings ultra-super-potent communications, however, with sharp points liable to poke the listener in their tenderest places, especially if you two are already at odds. To be clear, 'unpleasant interpersonal circumstances' aren't always something to avoid, particularly when you're trying to untangle an extra-tight or long-existing knot in the cord that binds you together and, if you really want to work things out, requires getting into it before you'll ever get out. But if this isn't a case where you have no fruitful choice other than to wade into the muck and be powerfully (and brutally?) honest right away, you might want to let this spiky astro-influence pass—and your latest articulations settle into more resolved familiarity—before having it out with 'em.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): A surge in stimulating social engagements, exchanges, and opportunities (which you should expect to hit you soon, if it hasn't already) is typically a welcome occurrence in Gemini-land, where there's nothing worse than being relegated to a boredom-inspiring repetition of the same-old faces and voices. But sadly, you know as well as I do, Gemini, that just throwing yourself into it willy-nilly—at a time when you've got hella work to do, in-process tasks to finish off, and/or bodily concerns to diligently attend to—is liable to cause you problems on the logistical level. In particular, it'd be a shame not to use Venus's current 2nd-house presence to bulk up your bank account (or at least put into motion those initiatives which will do so later on) while she favors such measures. This friction between (1) immersing yourself in the exciting world of people, their pals, their pals' pals, and all the tales and tricks and cuddly quirks such a cast of characters can conjure, and (2) remaining remarkably responsible, at a time when Mars is increasing your productive capacities, is presently pronounced. Why wouldn't you be annoyed by having to decline some invitations, cut your chit-chats short, and moderate the extent of your socializing so as not to shirk the duties calling urgently out to you? Don't get bitchy with anybody else, though, just because you must find a way to get significant amounts of work done without missing all the interesting occasions.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Please do not assume that this latest round of instability, erraticism, or confusion on the professional (and/or public-world) front equals likely doom. On the contrary, Cancer: Though the comfort of a sure-footed path forward might possibly ease your material anxieties, the split-second responses demanded by this present uncertainty actually serve your desire to make a distinguishing impact on these developments far better than would obediently filling a predetermined role. The most lucrative methods for boosting your bottom-line involve you daringly asserting your creative touch, not simply doing what you're told in fear of losing a (supposedly) stable seat at the table. And yet, admittedly, with bold creative innovations comes inevitable risk… and I cannot confidently guarantee you there isn't a potential gamble involved in stepping up with your ambitious ideas. (One possible hazard to watch out for: In proposing a creative idea, you won't want to come off like a pie-in-the-sky dreamer who's unconcerned with costs, budgets, and other such practicalities.) Still, since aura-polisher Venus remains in your sign, this is a more favorable time than most to forefront your vision, risks and all, and leap toward gainful recognition.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The aural volume of your expressed sentiments increases to a much louder decibel-level this week, Leo. Whether you intend it to or not, your voice will be projecting far and wide. This won't just extend the reach of those critical or very-significant statements you're eager to share, however… but also serves to inflate the seeming self-importance you've invested in relatively minor bits of fact, opinion, and trivia. In other words, hosting Mercury's conjunction to Jupiter in your sign is like having a microphone up close to your mouth as you talk to yourself, muttering aloud your passing thoughts and self-reflective ponderings (as one sometimes does). It'll pick up and transmit even your most modest murmurs, with the potential to give off the unflattering impression to those who don't know-and-love you that you believe every last tiny notion which crosses your mind is super-interesting and worthy of discussion (though those who do know and love you may find it quite entertaining and/or endearing). Should you notice others having this type of negative response, the surest way to turn it around is to start asking them questions about themselves, engagingly drawing out their expressiveness. Be aware this Mercury-Jupiter influence (in square to Mars-in-your-4th) could also inadvertently amplify certain edgy or irritated feelings you might think you're keeping hidden, but which may actually be emanating quite palpably off of you.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The flipside benefit to following last week's advice and staying relatively uncontroversial within the group's dynamics, Virgo, is that it'll buy you a certain degree of inconspicuous invisibility. The less attention you attract, the more psychic free-space you'll retain for yourself… which you can then surreptitiously use for whatever purpose or preoccupation most presently compels you, without anybody really noticing that you've essentially vacated the premises (if not bodily, then at least in spirit). This is an awesome time for private brainstorming, daydream explorations, and creative-visualization practices. Your connection to whatever divine Source is kind enough to gift us with those brilliant ideas and breakthrough solutions that seem to pop into our heads out of thin air is clearer and stronger. But it'll be hard for you to access if you cannot escape the loud voices, distracting noises, and petty dramas that suck up all the receptive possibilities in the room. You have to tune out, in order to tune in. And you really won't want to get cornered into conversations where you're expected to either (1) offer opinions on matters you don't much care about, or care too much about to casually comment on, or (2) prematurely discuss those 'ideas' or 'solutions' which still haven't cohered into an articulable form suitable for public expression. In such cases, it's totally fair to tell 'em you're still thinking it all through (which is indeed true)—but in a tone least likely to rouse suspicions.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The sort of tensions I described in your prior horoscope—between sincere team-minded participation in the greater 'social whole' and staunch unwavering pursuit of your own self-interests—may well come to a head this week, Libra. There's only so much feelgood inspirational rhetoric you can sing along with, before it begins to feel like your real concerns are being fluffily covered over with lots of words everybody's using to affirm one another, pat-on-the-back-style… and, as you've learned the hard way, you just can't afford to let yourself be relegated to the back-burner. Put another way, you'll face concrete consequences if you pretend not to have a very particular stake in this matter, just to keep your teammates happy. Yet, at the same time, the overall well-being of the team itself is important, too—not just in ethical abstracts, but with direct relation to your longer-term success. This isn't the best moment to 'go rogue' with your thrusts for independence, any more than it would be to sacrificially bow down in doormat posture. Isn't balance your middle name, though? You can speak up without causing a rift in the group, and look out for yourself without being selfish. At least I hope you can.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Following up on last week's arrival of Mars to your sign, Scorpio, you're still carrying the overeager energy of somebody who knows it's time to take decisive action… and cannot wait to imprint your mark on every last inch of this kingdom. Far be it for me, therefore, to urge you to simmer down or take a seat. This is what you've been waiting for, after all. Yet, as far as the blustery bombast with which you express your full-steam zeal to those you manage and/or to those who manage you is concerned, I must in good conscience warn you that 'too much' really is too damn much. Those for whom you are responsible will not take kindly to being steamrolled by the Grand Vision you're asserting, especially if their feedback is discounted as 'missing the point' (or, worse, 'not in line with what I'm thinking, and since I'm in charge, oh well'). Nor will those charged with overseeing you enjoy being challenged so cockily or condescendingly, even if your ideas really are that excellent. Just because you spent months building up to this moment and simply want your audience to shut up and pay attention, that doesn't mean they've amply prepared themselves to totally and completely submit to your spirited lead… not without at least a fair chance to consider, ask questions, offer suggestions, digest, and hopefully come around.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Stay in the contested zone, Sagittarius, instead of too hastily declaring you know for sure which direction this is all tipping in favor of. You may know something about it, but you don't know the whole relevant deal… and if you aren't seeking to prematurely limit your options (the only reason being what? to put on a convincing ego-show?), then please refrain from making any audacious statements-of-purpose which will, like it or not, lead to a series of others' responses and reconsiderations snowballing way out of your immediate control. (Don't forget: You're 'on the verge' but not there yet.) At the moment, your provocative nature will provoke more effectively than usual; only, you cannot be sure exactly what you'll be provoking. And due to Mars's present 12th-house positioning, I want to warn especially about the dangers of saying too much or going too far after you've downed a few drinks or other lip-loosening intoxicants. Chances are, the 'liquid courage' you'll garner will only get you into very deep hot-water… and efforts to get yourself back out of it will be stickier than they ordinarily would. All that said, this astrology is wonderful for meandering through the grey areas, flirting with controversy but not wholeheartedly greeting it, and riding the titillating line between risk and reward. Play into the suspense. Work it to a lather. Savor its maybes, as further inspiration.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If a partner, close friend, or intimate associate says or does something that triggers you something fierce, I'd take care not to just unabashedly let 'em have it if I were you, Capricorn—if, that is, you actually seek to continue a productive relationship with this person, and/or don't wish to needlessly hurt them. You've got a clearer-than-usual channel to that very wound or weak-spot of theirs which, if you choose to hit 'em there, is likeliest to cause a deliver a devastating knockout (even should they put on a brave face and hide their psychic injuries from you). Not only that, but you also possess that unparalleled Capricornian skill of still maintaining your surface cool all the while… which will only further assert your 'superiority', and make them madder in the process. If you really want to make your point, then, I suggest a different tack: Raise your issue as a question of impersonal fairness, diversity-of-human-experience, and/or what benefits the broadest slice of the group, instead of going in for the ultra-personal kill. As long as you go back and forth about you and them, you're likely to remain mired in an increasingly unpleasant standoff. Once you remove the personalities (and their unique histories of tragedy and triumph) and address the topic from a more collective perspective, your logic will quickly sound much more convincing.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Are you two equals, or is there a mitigating power-differential which complicates your ability to interact on equal footing? I wouldn't expect there to be an easy answer to this question, Aquarius, particularly since you and the proverbial 'other party' may actually have rather different perspectives when it comes to one another's relational positioning… and, as a result, your respective psychological responses to this underlying 'equal-peers' vs. 'superior-and-underling' tension could inadvertently work themselves into your interactions this week. Based on the astrology alone, I cannot discern whether you would qualify as the 'superior' or the 'underling' (at least as perceived by one of you, if not both) in such a scenario. However, I can affirm that you're the likelier one to adopt a peer-like tone, since you Aquarians often rebel against formally inscribing inequality into your discourse, seeing as you're the sign who typically sees everybody as equals (whether in theory or real-life practice). Problems could arise if either (1) you talk to an authority-figure or higher-up as if they were your equal, in direct rejection of the notion of hierarchies, and antagonize them with your 'lack of respect', or (2) you talk to somebody you manage, oversee, or think of as 'below' you (in age, status, or experience) as if you aren't in this higher position (whether officially or in your own mind), essentially feigning an attitude of equality, yet still sneaking in your commands, lessons, and/or mentorship while sort of pretending not to. You can't have these dynamics both ways, unless you overtly acknowledge the complexity involved with both-at-once—and even then, there are no guarantees it won't backfire.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Any frustrations which burble up this week, Pisces, are likely related to your need to balance idealistic fervor against methodological realism. In other words, your big-picture vision must also be properly engaged on the level of practical detail if you want to concretely manifest it… an engagement which might involve smartly prioritizing first-things first and/or making a few smaller compromises or concessions, in order for your main drift to successfully endure. The necessity of slowing things down enough so you can smartly prioritize and/or having to surrender certain parts of your vision due to their present unfeasibility is a legitimate cause to be annoyed—even if enduring this annoyance like a champ, and responsibly vetting your plans according to real-world specifications, will ultimately stabilize you on your journey forward. You wouldn't just set off on a long voyage without making sure you've packed the essentials, secured the required approvals, filed the appropriate paperwork, and found someone to care for Fluffy in your absence, would you? (I hope not.) Besides, it's better that you take on this ironing-out-of-details yourself … rather than, say, ignorantly skipping along the primrose path as other people beg you to consider all those inconvenient angles you're willfully ignoring until crash!, followed by 'told you so!'