Horoscopes | Week of July 4-10, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Building, repairing, or strengthening a self-supportive home—and when I say that, I'm not talking about the residential structure itself, but the feeling it engenders in you, Aries—isn't a job to be taken lightly, not if you wish to wring many warm and comforting moments out of it in the months or years to come. You're likely making some real progress on this, too… especially if you've deliberately kept yourself uncomfortably intermingling in that still-not-all-worked-out zone with whomever else also holds some sway in what that home looks like. After all, one of the virtues of 'home' as a symbol of emotional safe-space is that, if it's functioning as it should, we can experience there a range of confusing, unsettling, or upsetting responses to life's complexities and still feel like we're lovably okay as we are, even when the magnitude or ferocity of our emotions overtakes our own rational sense. That's why those who have good, healthy relationships to their version of 'home' often cannot wait to get there when the storms of being human have been tossing them around 'til they're spooked and sore: We create a place we want to be, whether to weather a certain storm or just to provide room to a part of ourselves we aren't sure is 'okay' anywhere else.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It's important to keep yourself an active participant in the ongoing conversations, Taurus, even if you'd much rather ditch the incessant yammering for a wild escape into the solitary soundlessness. This week is a significant moment in the ongoing process of asserting yourself, in any interpersonal situation where your discreet no-comment is liable to be misread as tacit agreement with a point you find entirely disagreeable. You'll want to get your expressed stance on the 'official record', as proof-of-declared-position that just might come in handy later. That's why it serves you to be strikingly vocal, to ensure there are ample witnesses—beyond just that one certain individual you must 'assert yourself' against—who heard you say the same thing, repeat the same story with identical facts, and/or take the same unwavering stand you always take with regards to similar matters. You don't have to be so conspicuous in positioning such conversations as 'proof' of anything (even though, yes, that's exactly what they might later prove to be), however. It's enough just to speak freely, openly, in voluminous amounts, to all those who'd care to listen. Starting next week, you can do considerably less talking… and quite a bit more 'wild-escape'-ing.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's another outstanding week for doing honest, straightforward, totally unglamorous work, Gemini… not necessarily in the spirit of having to dramatically change anything up, but to just continue making observable progress on already-defined projects that simply require a whole lot of time, attention, and energy. You'll tap into even slicker productive rhythms whenever you can directly link a given effort to the self-supportive benefit you'll receive (e.g., more money, increased health, improved skills, strengthened resolve) from investing it. Nobody likes to toil too hard without clearly glimpsing the resultant payoff. In fact, if you've been gradually coming to treat your work more seriously over these recent months (as your year's astrology has suggested you should), this could be a vital week in providing you some concrete signal your work is paying off (or at least an indication it's actively trending that way). Your best response to such a signal? Appreciatively claim it as yours, having duly earned it, rather than balk with discomfort at whether it's enough, too much, and/or fucking with your head. (Don't overcomplicate.) Also, please be aware of the incoming surge in social engagements, events, and demands headed your way next week—another reason to get loads of work done now.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): With both Venus and Mercury (still in your sign for this one last full week!) syncing up so smoothly with a now-direct Mars in your 5th, Cancer, this isn't a moment you ought to squander on being shy, self-effacing, or passive about your preferences. On the contrary, these planetary aspects are tailor-made for helping you foreground your own desires, adding a frisky (but not off-putting) edge to your clearer-than-usual declarations of interest. That's why any ambivalent shrugs, bland abstentions, or other non-committal gestures are essentially wasted-opportunities: If ever there was a time to flash an opinion, provocation, or personal stake, this is it. I don't guarantee you'll nab a perfect triumph—though, when Venus lights up one's home-sector, the chances for success are always a bit better—but at least you'll receive some response, which will lead to some active movement in this arena, which is better than letting inertia set in (or build up to a disheartening level). One place to be slightly cautious, alas, is the professional realm… where miscalculating how to deploy your 'frisky edge' could have your playful, upstart attitude misread as disrespect or insubordination.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Hopefully, this week, when I recommend you continue 'dissolving into nothingness' rather than trying to effectively do anything, Leo, you will be amenable to following my advice— especially once I also inform you that next week will be a completely different story. Knowing in advance that you're due to welcome both Venus and Mercury into your sign by mid-next-week, you needn't nudge yourself to make any sort of impact now. I mean, why would you? By simply waiting a matter of days, you can expect to recover a certain offhand precision in how you communicate, relieving the strain you'd otherwise feel from attempting to articulate yourself before the right words are ready to materialize. Plus, you'll be flashing a freshened-up face to the world (both literally and figuratively speaking), upping the odds of encountering receptive ears, admiring eyes, and others' instinctual fondness wherever you go. Of course, if you refuse to spend one more week in the incubation-chamber, you could unwittingly rouse disruptive emotion-waves which end up stealing life-force away from a far-smarter investment in self-replenishment... and subtly cutting into the advantages you'll enjoy starting next week. Don't mess with the good stuff that's coming oh-so-very soon. Leave well enough alone, for just a moment longer.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You can presently exercise a lot of personal agency, Virgo, by purposely crafting your agenda in terms that appeal to a broad cross-section of other participants or stakeholders. If you express yourself with political shrewdness, you won't actually have to compromise the fundamentals of your driving vision to get folks on board… just spend a bit more conscious attention on presenting the facts with whatever particular spin is likeliest to convince 'em that your approach is immediately relevant to their concerns, too. Such deliberate messaging can fly in the face of purist Virgoan notions that somehow data ought to 'speak for itself', as if anybody with half a brain would naturally look at all this glaring evidence and draw the same obvious conclusion that you did. That is not a very practically functional way of understanding the constructive exchange of knowledge, however… if not also pretty presumptuous to believe that others can and should observe, process, and analyze information in the same (exceptionally sharp, for the record) manner you do. You can't escape the need to translate your findings into language specifically engineered to speak to certain audiences; it's part of the process.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Use this week to plant your foot ever more firmly, fiercely, and self-confidently on the ground you're staking as yours, Libra. You're presently hosting excellent astrology for deliberately fomenting good impressions of yourself amongst those who hold influence and power… particularly insofar as your intuition will tell you exactly what they're wanting to hear from you, if you want to reassure them they're in good hands whenever you are looking out for 'em. As I see it, you can probably do a smooth dual-job of both pandering to their favor and advocating for your own interests, provided you play to whatever underlying connection enables you to sincerely make the case for a 'win-win'. If you're so eager and competent in your offer to scratch their backs, why shouldn't you expect them to scratch yours in return? That's why the only warning I'd add is to not behave as if you don't care about them personally, taking 'professional boundaries' to such an extreme that you come off detached, disinterested, or heartless. Your current outer-world advantage critically relies on whatever undercurrents of heartfelt human interrelationality genuinely exists between you and these people.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You ought to be getting pretty excited right about now, Scorpio... if for no other reason than the basic acknowledgment that, yes, you are unmistakably moving forward and, yes, you're headed somewhere with greater meaning, purpose, and/or promise than where you'd previously felt stuck. Please continue relating to each new day's unfolding set of duties, dates, and stressors with this perspective—contextualizing this latest incarnation against the integrative backdrop of all the skins you've already shed—so as not to forget the very strides that got you here in the first place. Otherwise, you could unintentionally become a bit too blasť, erratic, or free-wheeling in how you handle your day-to-day grind, as if you're jonesing to break up a certain monotony… when, if you just pause and think about the overall situation you might describe as 'monotonous', you'll realize there's actually a lot of newness and, as a result, novel opportunity to investigate and explore. It may be merely an illusion, born from enthusiasm or impatience, that something else needs to give. You already fought hard to get where you are; take a few moments to work from there.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): This is absolutely a most fitting moment for communing with your full reality, Sagittarius… to look unflinchingly at whatever you've tried to hide from yourself, to actively engage with the most inconvenient or troublesome aspects of your life, to invite your worst fears to sit at the table alongside the happy-go-lucky you, and to use this shadowy psychic matter as fertile fodder for deepening your soul-connection with those you choose to confide in. This isn't, therefore, a time to cram your concerns and worries in the bottom drawer of your dresser and insist (to anyone who'll listen and, of course, to yourself) everything's awesome and amazing and you haven't got a care in the world. It may be true that many things are awesome and amazing—and, at the same time, I call bullshit on any claim to not having any less-awesome-and-amazing 'cares in the world'. There's no reason to put on that sort of front, other than your own irrational fear of fear itself. As I told you last week, you needn't try to shake off the complications or problems, when it's wiser to face 'em head-on. With another few weeks of Mars in your 12th, you've got nowhere else to race off to right this very second.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Before you could ever hope to successfully take on the narcissistic despots, the heartless ideologues, the insidious shit-stirrers, and/or the exasperating haters, Capricorn, you have to start by identifying your most faithful allies, supporters, friends, and lovers… and actively feed the strength of those connections first. It's much harder—and far less effective—to take on any mission as a lone warrior, buying into the false belief that what you'd gain in uncompromising independence would be worth the loss in increased camaraderie, shared understanding, or sheer numbers-of-bodies. Where's your positive measure for constructive cooperation, if all you can do is identify who doesn't live up to your standards and every example of how they fall short? Go beyond the easy default of mere criticism (even presuming your critical observations are somewhat valid), and actively seek out interpersonal contact that will model appreciative relationality. Not sure what that means? Reach out for companionship and guidance from someone you cherish, rather than taking a step back from everyone just because certain people are problems.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): It's one of those weeks in which other people are likelier to serve as attention-thieves or focus-scramblers than knowledge-bearers or assistance-providers relevant to your goal-oriented goings-on, Aquarius. I don't mean that, in general, they don't hold insight or offer help which can come in quite handy… merely that, right now, you already possess a pretty clear understanding of how to apply your efforts in just the way that'll best support your overriding aim, and should probably just focus on doing the actual work you've identified for yourself. After all, you've been grappling with these bigger definitional questions for quite a while, and that extended strategizing process has yielded fruit. While you'll naturally still be tweaking your strategies as circumstances shift and evolve, there's no real point in ceasing your ongoing work just to bat around a few outlying ideas or unusual suggestions. That's where other people come in (or, should I say, don't): Though I'm usually a vocal advocate of regularly seeking outside input on whatever we've striving to achieve, in certain cases, indulging such conversations (especially if you haven't specifically sought them out) merely disrupts an otherwise-productive momentum… and doesn't offer enough in return. This week is one of those cases. Next week? Not as much.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Embrace your creative, artistic, fun-loving side, Pisces, as your own most-pleasurable contribution to making this world a better place for everyone. In practical terms, this counsel definitely applies in any situations where you'd like to push a critical point, valorize a principle, combat injustice, and/or fight on behalf of ideological diversity: Rather than argue or defend or proselytize, you'll more powerfully support your position by wrapping it in something sweet, charming, or colorful. Before you take issue, let me resoundingly reassure you that such stylistic softening-up does not necessarily mean the message itself will become watered-down, weak, or laughable. On the contrary, it's an age-old method used by witty creators of all stripes, to help the rest of us take our 'medicine' by coating it in a delicious spoonful of sugar. You're likelier to really speak to people, too—especially the ones already somewhat hostile to whatever personal belief you may be proudly putting forth—by giving them something which evokes a response rather than pounds anybody over the head with dogma, offers details to reflect on and/or techniques to admire, puts an approachable face on a potentially provocative notion. Whether we're talking politics, workplace drama, or interpersonal intrigue, my message is the same: Be artful, rather than didactic, in how you express yourself.