Horoscopes | Week of July 13-19, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Please bear in mind this is an especially emotionally-charged week ahead for all of us, but particularly for you, Aries. And during this spike of inflamed feelings, it's unfortunately highly likely you won't be making the clearest sense of what's apparently transpiring in front of you, due to your mental capacities temporarily operating under an unusually subjective filter. You may know how you feel, but you might not be able to accurately discern that feeling from whichever outer events or developments have circumstantially triggered it. In other words, the circumstantial matter-at-hand which may upset you is probably not the thing that's really upsetting you… which, to be precise, doesn't mean this current circumstance isn't genuinely upsetting in its own right, to a certain degree, but not quite with as much legitimate intensity as it might seem in that emotionally-charged moment. Under this astrology, what would ordinarily be experienced as a minor annoyance or irritation can easily shape-shift into an acute, disproportionate sense that your very place-in-life is being threatened… at which point your instinctive survival-responses could kick in (even though your 'survival' really isn't at risk), spurring you to behave in so fierce or forceful a manner you actually could jeopardize your standing. To protect that standing, you might want to walk away and cool off rather than escalating any disagreeable exchanges—unless, of course, you want it to go all the way there.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You cannot legitimately claim to hold the higher ground, Taurus, if you flatly judge someone else's moral righteousness (or lack thereof, as the case may be) without giving them a fair chance of understanding what your contrasting views are all about. Though ignorance (or, to use a less-triggering descriptor, 'lack of exposure') is no defense for problematic beliefs, it does go far in explaining where many folks' not-so-well-thought-out ideas and opinions come from. From the angle of interpersonal investments, you have the choice to simply write off certain people as soon as they express tinges of distasteful-to-you ideas or opinions… or, instead, to engage them in some sort of exchange likely to better identify their blindspots and/or elucidate why you might take them to task for such attitudes. But we rarely open minds or touch hearts by judging, shaming, preaching, or assuming the worst. A more productive approach involves mutual respect, honest vulnerable confession, patient communication, and granting the benefit-of-doubts… all of which can be done without backing away from our strong driving message. Beneath the inciting ideological issue lurks a relational challenge—and an opportunity to build bridges through frank discussion, rather than burning them on a fire of staunch indignation.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As you keep on pushing for what's yours, Gemini, please be aware that the pushback—from controlling partners, envious collaborators, unforgiving exes, heartless institutional roadblocks, and/or a mean-spirited, self-sabotaging side of your own psyche—could get fierce or fearsome. Any such responses must not be allowed to curb your commitment to advancing your station, or to dent your confidence that you do have what you need to proceed. That's not, of course, to idealistically dismiss the very real impact of being reminded, yet again, that this won't be as straightforward a process as you might wish. These are genuine complexities which must be addressed… at the same time that it's on you to continually reset your view-finder so it's fixed on the rightful, practical target. I'm sorry it can't be simpler than that, but, alas, this is the up-to-date reality you've got to deal with, like it or not. On the plus side, however, you will necessarily deepen as a person by daring to confront these complications, without bowing to their scarier aspects, and still go forth with your self-selected initiatives anyway. Whenever you're thrown off, re-steady your ship… and continue persistently heading where you know you've got to go, one day at a time.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It is perfectly okay—dare I say, more than okay—to come across a bit (or more than a bit) feisty, forceful, and/or forthright in pressing your agenda forward, Cancer. In fact, it may be wiser to own your presently-heightened likelihood of coming across as such, with Mercury and Mars conjoining in your sign this week, rather than trying to muffle or moderate this presently-appropriate assertive edge to your personality. Granted, in doing so, you might be flipping the script in an existing relational dynamic and/or assuming a more unapologetically power-seeking stance than you're generally used to… with the potential of leaving you and/or the other person in unfamiliar territory, in terms of where exactly the suitable give-and-take balance should rest. The planets appear to favor you in any such standoff, though the potential consequences of securing a personal victory with dirty or deceitful tactics could be justifiably intense. That's why your best 'victory' will be one of resolutely standing by your desires, but not necessarily, in the process, seeking to decimate the competition or pull a fast one over on some unsuspecting albatross… nor, on the other hand, falling victim to anyone's manipulative shaming tactics. To get what you want, you needn't slink in the shadows nor feel bad about letting someone else down—if, of course, you're self-assuredly frank and above-board.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Warning, Leo, warning! This week is one which requires the wisdom to discern between (1) a practically-minded action or reaction and (2) an unreliable surge in emotional restlessness disguised as a response that's not actually as practically shrewd as it might seem. Be very suspicious, therefore, if you feel like you're suddenly figured it all out… if you hit a last straw and believe it's finally time to take that decisive step… if you're sick and tired of waiting and want to get things moving ahead, one way or another… or if you are ready to make some statement to prove you're serious and/or not to be messed with. You couldn't choose a shiftier, murkier, more unstable and uncertain moment than this one, frankly, to claim any full understanding, to lose your patience, lurch forward, or attempt to prove yourself. Please think twice before doing anything which could create ripples of side-effect and after-effect that upset your stabilizing rhythms: Be aware there may be no going back, should you later regret it. At this particular moment, preserving a certain consistency is the practically-minded action to take… even as you acknowledge this upending streak-to-the-contrary is coursing through your consciousness. That streak itself isn't without its informative merits; in fact, it probably is telling you something valuable about what your spirit yearns for. What mustn't be trusted, alas, is its impulsive calls-to-immediate-action, refusals to consider possible consequences, and other such utopic erasures of mundane reality's unbreakable rules.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Right at the tail-end of this week ahead (on Sat Jul 18), Venus slowly creeps over the border into your sign, Virgo… an astrological happening usually seen as a very pleasant, charm-bestowing, favor-fostering, appeal-amplifying development, making it easier to use your powers-of-attraction to get more of what you want across all contexts. In short, we love hosting Venus in our sign. My hesitation in offering you a full-on, go-for-it endorsement in this case: Venus will only make it into the first degree of Virgo (where it sits for nearly two full weeks) before retreating back into Leo, due to the fact of its impending retrograde which starts next week—and Venus won't return to Virgo again until the second week of October. As such, it's very possible that what you'd 'use your powers-of-attraction to get more of' at this present moment might not be what you'll actually want three months from now. After all, Venus retrogrades help us reexamine what (and who) we find value in or affection for… and considering this one occurs largely in your 12th house, I foresee a likelihood of shit going down which is largely out of your control and/or at someone else's hands during these weeks ahead, and which will affect your present allegiances and affinities in one way or another. All that is to say: Please use Venus's advantages, but speculatively, laying groundwork , establishing and affirming connections, making suggestions, hinting at possibilities, opening conversations, yet stopping short of committing to specific futures or daring to believe you're certain about what'll most please you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This definitely is the time to fight for your future, Libra, especially insofar as you publicly assert yourself as a force to be reckoned with… occupying a prominent spot, presenting your expertise, taking the ball and running with it, and embodying the authority you've earned over the course of your participation and/or career. Yet, this 'fight' need not pit you against any main characters, particularly if you're (unconsciously?) singling them out because they represent something more to you than their actual personality or behavior warrants. You're at risk for superfluously complicating your well-timed ascent by allowing any defensive presumptions, internal conflicts, or self-indulgent doubts to manifest in the form of external opponents or obstacles. Even if there are actual figures whose presence leaves you feeling threatened, that doesn't mean they pose an actual threat to your success; you only make them more powerful in your imagination by assuming they have such power over you. Likewise, it behooves you not to conflate your inner emotional temperature (which may be stirred up as a result of domestic struggles, family issues, or relationship concerns) with the outward-facing call to model responsible leadership (which cannot afford to sputter or slip every time a personal challenge or mood-bump shows up). Fortify your sense of practical self-worth by not letting your feelings get the best of you, knowing you can handle this big job no matter what else is going down.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): 'Hold that higher vision!' exclaims your astro-cheerleader, Scorpio, in enthusiastic support of your optimistic willingness to see beyond any prevailing bummers currently encroaching upon your peace-of-mind. You cannot, however, magically leapfrog ahead to that beyond-place… not without risking both a premature ejection from this nest (yes, it's a 'nest' as much as it is a 'bummer') before you're responsibly prepared and an unnecessary dishonoring of other supporting players who'd suffer collateral damage from your excessively black-and-white indictment of their here-and-now. Your wisest moving-forward would be a patient protracted process, not a single spectacular act (and/or, worse, a moral statement). And in case you hadn't noticed, this process is already unfolding. Don't short-change yourself of the lessons you can learn from allowing it to unfold at the measured pace preferred by Saturn, who, now back in your sign, don't forget, wants your self-assertive advances to happen by design rather than unbounded emotion. With Venus heading into your 11th for a brief spell (before retrograding back out), lean on those particular friends and allies who have practical knowledge of specific details relevant to your current situation. Work with them to analyze your ins and outs, in support of your strategically designing your next steps—before you trip yourself up in the throes of a passionate reaction.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): This is a good moment to explicitly clarify which scenario(s) will most effectively satisfy your functional and/or material needs, Sagittarius. This could be harder than it sounds, in light of the intricate and multi-faceted back-and-forths currently transpiring between you and a key collaborator or partner-in-crime. Whether you're motivated by an earnest desire to wrap this all up with minimal headaches (or perhaps a refusal to engage difficult topics?), a heartfelt attempt to 'take care of' the other party (or a potentially patronizing pandering to their perceived sensitivity?), and/or an open willingness to entertain all possible angles (or a gratuitous allowance of too many befuddling complications?), you simply mustn't weasel out of acknowledging and advocating for your specific self-interests in this case. Just to be clear, that doesn't mean you should automatically expect to get everything you want from the negotiations. But in support of your own farther-reaching integrity, you definitely want to go on record with a straightforward declaration of your desired terms. Otherwise, in future circlings-back-around, you won't have much of a case for complaining about what you didn't get… because, to state the obvious, you never really came out and asked for it.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Don't think about the other person (whether a particular individual or the proverbial one) for a moment, Capricorn. Setting them aside, please then consider: What would it mean for you to stand in your full power in whatever situational standoff you're currently embroiled in (whether externally or in your own head)? What must you insist upon, if you're being sincerely authentic? What can you simply not tolerate? What are you really thinking, feeling, wishing you could say? Articulate these answers to yourself… not in terms specific to your position towards any certain individual and/or what they are or aren't doing, saying, or understanding, but as a distinct statement of self-identification. Only then should you reintegrate the relational aspect, in terms of asserting intentionality and effort into expressing your unqualified truth (sharp edges and all) to the other person. Sentiments which are relevant, but which you choose to leave out (to spare their feelings? to cater to some prototype of 'appropriateness'?), are liable to seep through anyhow… creating an underlying dissonance that'll only corrode their trust in you. Rather than subsume your genuine experience beneath a shell-game of careful calculations and coded implications, just come out with it. Then, at least you two will have something more concrete to discuss.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Be here now, please, Aquarius… rather than hopping the next time-travel spaceship off into the future, where you can masochistically indulge compulsive worries about all the possible disappointments and disasters which could afflict you if you don't prophetically head them off at the pass. Shit will happen, to you and everyone else who signed on for this decades-long assignment to the flesh-trap. Yet, in this very moment, it's highly likely none of that (or very little) has actually manifested (at least not in the hopelessly catastrophic form in which you conceive of it) in this-here reality. And all the while, there are plenty of modest, matter-of-fact steps you can take right now to immediately assuage some of that existential angst… to make the most with all the parts of yourself which are presently functioning happily, healthfully, and with great productive potential. You needn't address the vexing life-questions with any comprehensive answers (which, under this astrology, would probably be imbued with unhelpful shades of pessimism, paranoia, or panic anyhow). Simply tackle today's slate of grounding rituals, timely tasks, and body-honoring habits; then, do it again tomorrow. Whether something big-picture-level is gravely wrong or you're just feeding utterly baseless anxieties, you've still got stuff to do here and now—and you'll make yourself feel better by doing it.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): By all means, please enjoy yourself however you see fit, Pisces. I've been urging you to do just that for a few weeks already, and I sincerely hope you're reaping some pleasure and glee out of this present astrological setup. And now, with Venus popping into your relationship house (the 7th) by week's-end, here comes a planetary signal you're likely to reap additional pleasure and glee from sharing the experience with someone else (and perhaps even a certain special someone). Any reservations I harbor about the 'however you see fit' part, for the record, center around what the other folks who comprise your social circle might think about your choices. Are you being frank with them about what you're up to (or want to be up to, as the case may be)? What are their reactions? If you're either keeping a certain behavior or involvement hidden from your pals or receiving unfavorable or hostile feedback from them, there is obviously some sort of disconnect happening: Are your friends being flatly judgmental, or are you doing something 'fun' you probably shouldn't be? Do they genuinely care about your well-being and, as such, have some concern that your current desires are leading you down a slippery slope? Do you feel like you're under their controlling thumbs and need to distinguish yourself as an individual? Though something may need to give, don't be too quick to determine what it is; it's likely more complicated than it might initially seem.