Horoscopes | Week of July 27-August 2, 2015

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It seriously would not surprise me, Aries, to find out you were starting to experience a romantic change-of-heart, a creative revisioning of what you thought you'd decided upon, and/or a return to some familiar type of pleasurable pursuit. Whatever makes you happy, I suppose, ought to make me happy for you. Except, that is, I just want you to be judicious enough to understand the current tension between (1) what's pleasing in the here-and-now and (2) what you might later have to pay for it, whether in financial or psychological or karmic-debt terms, if it doesn't serve your longer-term interests. For someone who resonates so strongly with principles of autonomy and freedom, you perhaps aren't seeing as clearly how certain choices you now feel at liberty to make could, at the end of the day, wind up somehow impeding or restricting your autonomous free-movement. The liberty to 'do whatever you want', for your own delight or self-expression—which is indeed a thrilling inspiration under these current 5th-house influences—doesn't mean you can do everything you want. Each option naturally brings its own set of corresponding effects and interrelated implications… and making one choice bears a high likelihood of helping to create conditions which significantly impact your capacity to make another choice (whether simultaneously or later) you may also desire. This Venus retrograde is all about weighing one personal preference over another, over a protracted period of time. Make a choice too hastily, and the unforeseen 'corresponding effects and interrelated implications' could tie your hands.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, or at least to leave the house… here comes another excuse, a second thought, and/or a renewed reason to burrow back under the covers and hide out in relative privacy again for another little while, Taurus. If this isn't simply an urge for more domestic peace-and-quiet, you could be confronting a revival of familial issues, household drama, and/or real-estate-related questions pressingly vying for your attention. Such seeming reversals could actually prove quite positively constructive, provided you merely agree to participate—without rushing to make decisive heads or tails out of this still-unfolding affair. Your simple sustained presence in itself, along with the internally-emerging realizations and unapologetically-subjective observations which should accompany it, will ultimately bring you more clarity than trying to cram the latest developments into some preexisting meaning-structure or waxing utopic about what some other hypothetical individual might do in a similar hypothetical situation. Perhaps the biggest challenge: How to simultaneously give yourself space to wholly experience this sharply-attuned inner presence and still actively fulfill your role in a certain key partnership? Which compromises are workable, and which unimaginable? The relational piece requires the more conscientious choices, whether that entails stretching yourself in order to properly support the other person or admitting you just can't. Whatever the case, just notice the tension; no sudden relationship moves while Venus is retrograde, please.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Turns out, you had more to say on the topic you thought you were done talking about after all, eh, Gemini… or, if not that, then you have additional characters to talk it through with beyond those you've already talked to. Whatever the case, I encourage you not to shy away from this follow-up round of exchanges, explorations, investigations, and consultations—particularly if there's something about the way it was left which leaves your standing amongst the wider community or peer-group still in question. However, too much talking without a clear endgame is liable to circumstantially allow a promising opportunity (particularly in the professional realm) to slip through your fingertips and/or cause you to overlook a larger driving goal. Not to mention the fact that all the attention paid to this staking-out of dominant narratives, a relatively minor and/or circumscribed concern, also threatens to distract you from the more unambiguously Big Deal you must continue facing up to, as it's an actual matter of personal survival (rather than mere ego-showery). What's most important to you, anyway? It appears like the conversations will proceed, persist, and prolong themselves further than you initially would've guessed. But at the point where they consume so much energy that you flirt with skipping out on day-to-day responsibilities, guardianship over your longer-term worldly well-being, and/or physically healthy routines, you've tilted the life-balance scales to excessive preoccupation.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Position yourself in the direct line-of-fire of any and every income-stream, Cancer, like you're in one of those enclosed game-show chambers where they start shooting out a bunch of dollar-bills and you have to cram as many of 'em into your pockets as possible in the allotted time. Every ounce of zest-for-life ought to be invested in such economically-sensible, self-confidence-expanding, immediate-profit maneuvers—as well as in the corollary practice of watching what you spend—to take shrewd advantage of the current astrology, knowing, of course, that it's pretty unclear which money-making venture is likeliest to have long-range legs. What gets you a few extra bucks during these next weeks isn't necessarily what you're 'meant to do' (if, that is, you're a fatalist); I can't even guarantee it'll prove financially worthwhile beyond this moment. Doesn't matter. This isn't the time to be overly reflective about paths or journeys or higher-meanings and such. Nor should you waste a single breath justifying your efforts to those pushy partners or loudmouth know-it-alls who think they know better about what you ought to do. The only essential concern to consider alongside padding your pocketbook with more money, more money, more money? Whether you'd be selling out your authentic selfhood in order to do it, forcing yourself to become someone you wouldn't be proud to be. Of course, you might not know whether or not a gig will compromise your authenticity until you try it, though, right?


LEO (July 23-August 22): Towards the end of your week (on Fri Jul 31), the now-retrograde Venus backtracks its way into your sign again, Leo, and moves again into a double-benefic conjunction with Jupiter (exact next Tue Aug 4)… an event which unofficially kicks off a few-weeks'-long period of ego-tempting shenanigans. Do you recall this horoscope from a month ago, when Venus last conjoined Jupiter in Leo, with all its warnings about 'too much of a good thing'? Everything I wrote then once again applies in earnest—only this time around, with Venus retrograde, you're less capable of astutely discerning whether any 'good thing' is truly golden or merely plated with fool's-gold. Therefore, treat every appealing prospect as if it has a short shelf-life, a trick up its sleeve, and/or a hidden downside you can't yet see. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy what it's offering; just don't assume it'll go any further than a lovely smile-on-your-face moment. (If, over time, it proves itself to be something more, all the better, but you mustn't count on it.) With the Sun and Mercury also in your sign now, too, you're far likelier to jump in with a gallant gesture, sensational statement, or ardent assent—before you've had the chance to quietly check in with yourself on how you feel about what you doing, saying, or agreeing to. That's one of the biggest challenges (as represented by Saturn-in-your-4th) to the incredible amount of Leo energy currently saturating our astrological climate: competently identifying whether or not your subtler emotional self-care needs will be met by whatever's the latest fancy, folly, or figure-of-interest. If you don't responsibly restrain your impulses, to protect yourself from emotionally unsafe involvements, your too-far-too-fast eagerness could get you in too deep.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Ease up. Back off. Chew on the big bite you took during these past couple weeks, Virgo, and give yourself a chance to digest it. You may notice those around you revving up, spinning around, angling for their spot in the sun. Don't let yourself get too swept up in such whirlwinds… especially with the continual self-reminder that this is their big shebang (or so they think), but not necessarily yours. Though I believe it's important you keep 'showing up' with the requisite social participations, conversational engagement, and vague non-specific support, these outwardly apparent activities are not where your primary action is occurring. (One caveat: If you are unquestionably certain that somebody's made a remark flatly in violation of something you feel strongly about, you should probably forego 'vague non-specific support' in favor of proudly speaking up for yourself. Beyond that, though, don't play into any prolonged debates.) You're reaching the most pregnant moment of your impending rebirth, a preparatory retreat in advance of exciting life-changes and -expansions during which you'll probably want to conserve energy, rather than scattering it into incidents or issues not especially relevant to your soon-to-come big news. While everyone else is angling for their positions, however, you should be watching closely enough to notice whose words and deeds fit the newly-spiritually-elevated you who's about to emerge… and whose reveal their speaker merely to be a leftover player from the you you're moving beyond. They're essentially doing a lot of this shakeout work for you; you just sit back and tally the scores.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Different folks see things quite differently, as I'm sure you know (and as we discussed in last week's horoscope), Libra… a relativizing truth which ought to be of great interest to you, now that your ruling queen Venus has retrograded back into your 11th, the house of our tribe-level allegiances and associations. You can presently derive a lot of newfound inspiration, encouragement, and additional information (the kind you haven't been as often exposed to) by sampling the experience of camaraderie with a different set of characters—and/or by simply noticing (but not rashly reacting to) where you've begun to markedly diverge from more-familiar comrades' typical habits or unexamined views. This is a great moment to expand your circle, to open your mind to how others who share your driving purpose or passion may conduct their related actions differently, to dabble among diverse communities as a means for exploring who else might be 'your people'… but without either definitively signing on to new commitments or kissing existing ones goodbye. What you mustn't do, however, is make yourself smaller (i.e., downplay your accomplishments, settle for less than you're worth, put your practical needs below the desire to belong) in order to make your social world bigger: Beware of any internally-derived guilt or shame trying to stop you from reaching out to potential new-best-friends, and don't dare use the 'I'm too busy' excuse to justify needless isolation. Bring your whole unapologetically confident, curious, and engaged self to the table… and you'll start to see, more and more clearly over the weeks to come, who embraces you as one of their own.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Perhaps you will recall this horoscope from a few weeks back, one of a recent few in which I'd reminded you of the auspicious career (and/or public-world) opportunities now available to you. With benefic Venus retrograding back into your 10th towards a second conjunction with other-benefic Jupiter, you remain in such an advantageous spot professionally… only, at this retrograde recurrence, you may be seeing your most promising possibilities somewhat differently. Have you regained a second-wind in a situation which felt nearly intolerable just weeks ago? Is there another enticing option now seeming to materialize, causing you to lose patience with your lack of recognition or growth-potential in your existing position? Are you rethinking your next-steps? second-guessing the direction you're headed? noticing what else could be interesting, rewarding, and/or lucrative? Good. These are the sort of reflections and reconsiderations appropriate under this astrology—provided, that is, you don't lurch too quickly into life-redefining action while you're still sorting the brilliant big-breaks from the fantastical whims. Though there's lots of dynamic movement here, your clarity surrounding what you really want won't be quite so trusty until, say, at least mid-to-late-September or beyond. In the meantime, you probably ought to shrewdly work all the angles, while stopping short of making any sudden turns or quick deals. Your biggest threat: falling prey to your ego's hunger for an impressive role, immediate excitement, or dazzling glamour, at the expense of what's more genuinely suited to who you are and/or who you're striving to be beyond just your career.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Your enthusiastic visions for what's next are gushing forth in a powerful stream, Sagittarius. The next place to go! The next thing to learn! The next interest to immerse yourself in, and become a bigger-and-better person in the process! You, of course, can also detect the far-fainter threads of caution, right? What happens to everything you've been working to stabilize, should you just zoom off? Are you neglecting a subtler need for some quiet nesting time, just because it's not as exciting (even as it might provide supportive emotional grounding to counteract the future-shock of too much newness too quickly)? And how the heck are you going to pay for this next adventure (I'm being quite literal, in case you were wondering)? The visionary zeal is on high, yes, wonderful, but you're also under a high Saturn-in-the-12th threat of heedlessly goofing up, in those same familiarly-damning ways—neglecting to properly factor in awareness of potential longer-term consequences or complicating strings, keeping fuzzy boundaries which allow others' energetic turmoil to adversely impact your psychic well-being, idealistically unrooting yourself from important mundane reality-checks. Feed the visions, sure, but please don't proceed as if they're all that matters…. because they're not. To manifest a vision requires a certain earthily-minded continuity, assuming Earth is, in fact, the planet where you hope to manifest it.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Back into the thick of it you go, Capricorn. You have not gotten over it, through it, past it, or beyond it yet. You are still in it, my dear… and any claims you make to the contrary are only power-play postures, maneuvers intended to collapse the complexity of your own feelings in order to appear cool and composed to the other critical players. But regardless of how well you may be able to plant a 'winning' visage atop your face and proceed as if it's all been said and done, you mustn't forcibly turn this continuing-to-evolve conversation into a falsely-urgent need to hold firm. To be clear, I'm not offering this advice as a coercive endorsement of interpersonal considerateness in itself (though I'd argue that is a virtue worth honoring), implying you ought to stay 'in' this for someone else's benefit. Quite the opposite: No matter your momentary posture, you need this to play itself all the way out if you wish to ever be legitimately free from the related emotional burdens. Contemptuously looking down your nose, freezing 'em out, and cutting-and-running do not get the emotional-liberation job done… even if they temporarily seem to offer some relief. To really get over it, through it, past it, or beyond it, you must know deep in your heart that you handled it thoroughly and admirably—and that those outside parties you trust and respect the most would agree with this assessment, should they be privy to all the ins and outs.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Okay, Aquarius, we're well into the groove of Venus's retrograde… especially now that Venus is headed back to your one-on-one relationship house (the 7th), further increasing the likelihood (already well-established with Jupiter hanging out there, too) that you'll easily draw pleasant rapports with new lead-characters, old flames, familiar faces, possible partner-material, or just about anybody who could fall into the 'maybe' category. You should feel free to enjoy the many in-the-moment fringe-benefits of such favorable interpersonal astrology… with the understanding, of course, that Venus retrograde also increases your potential to misread the longer-term worth of any such connections, so momentarily dazzled by the warm affirming attention being lavished on you that you might not realize what you aren't noticing about their personality. For the record, I don't think you ought to stress or panic about some sinister evil which might be lurking behind an admirer's seemingly lovely fašade. This is more a simple concern about personal compatibility: whether a certain individual legitimately likes you, for all your strong opinions and odd quirks and idiosyncratic attitudes, or merely likes the warm affirming way in which you welcome their attention. And it could take until after Venus has completed its relational shenanigans (say, early-to-mid October) before you can accurately determine so. Until then, here are a couple considerations for preliminary assessment: (1) Does this person support your present need to be earnestly on top of your game, professional-responsibility-wise, or are they competing for your time? Do they care about what you do, or don't give a shit? (2) Do they listen to you as well as they share what's on their mind? Or are they conversational dominators?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If you're unhappy with certain results you're producing and/or the process involved in producing them doesn't seem to operate sleekly or effectively, that shouldn't necessarily lead you to question the whole sweeping premise, Pisces. Please don't confuse the fortuitous possibilities available to you from tweaking your daily routines, improving your methods, and/or reconceiving what's constitutes an 'ideal product' with some reactive impulse to dramatically change direction, compromise your commitment, or ditch the enterprise altogether. Can you not recall the undergirding principles which guide why you've been working on this stuff to begin with? I suspect those haven't suddenly dematerialized, just because you may have recently become caught up in day-to-day ups and downs and perhaps forgotten to look at the bigger picture. These next several weeks are tailor-made for reexamining the relationship between (1) how your typical day flows, what you spend your time and effort toiling towards, and whether it feels healthful and invigorative, and (2) what you believe constitutes a meaningfully-led life, maximizing your capacity to invest energy into 'doing the right thing'. Busying yourself with tasks may demonstrate you're a 'good worker', but it provides no guarantee that all your work is actually amounting to something you feel makes a difference in the world. I know you've reflected on such concerns in the not-so-distant past; this is a moment for refreshing your memory about what you've determined matters the most to you.