Horoscopes | Week of June 19-25, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Don't be startled by any uncooperative moods or swells-of-emotions, Aries, which could easily become exacerbated by domestic strife, family-member conflict, and/or another unsettling event reminiscent of such intimate provocations. With an increased focus on your 4th house (including the presence of your ruler Mars), this is just par for the current course. The most crucial warning I can offer, in light of your temporarily heightened sensitivities, is to avoid unleashing your feelings on the wrong person or overlooking the impact they'll necessarily have on those close to you. This may be one of those instances when talking it through won't help you calm down, but may instead cause you to speak temperamental sentiments which don't accurately portray your usual stance… or which actually sound fairly irrational, if not outright unfair to those you're implicating. For the passing moment, then, it might be wiser to quietly channel that emotion into relatively autonomous activity, with the intent to make some concrete improvement that immediately benefits you—and away from other people as potential targets.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you'd like to open people's eyes, push a particular agenda, and/or otherwise affirm that you're doing good in the world, Taurus, this is a moment for deploying your 'soft power'. By that, I'm suggesting you not concentrate so baldly on any certain message or mission… and instead invest your energy in all the subtle or seemingly superficial social maneuvers that feed the connection, display proper manners, show casual interest, and promote discussion, without attachment to any immediate outcome other than fostering or enhancing mutual rapport. That rapport, in itself, can develop into a 'softly powerful' asset you may draw upon later for grander purposes. And in the meantime, what spontaneously arises in the midst of this mix-and-mingle could end up distracting, dissuading, discombobulating, and/or delighting you in a surprising turn, with ripples of impact you never would've anticipated—if you allow such unscripted diversions to actually influence your thinking. Just as my advice to deploy your own 'soft power' can ultimately help you recruit support, being shaped by others' may open a door you never would've otherwise noticed, let alone knocked on.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Think like a businessperson, a professional, or a goal-driven high-achiever, Gemini… and put both your mind and your might to work actualizing those premises or plans which are likeliest to prove solid, sustainable, and/or financially lucrative. Not everything you want to do right now is legitimately practical or a shrewd use of your productive energies. And if you don't begin by strategizing which potential efforts will bring you the most bang for your buck, your impulses are liable to inspire you to just dive into whichever supposed 'chores' are the most fun (or the least unpleasant), as if you can dodge the really critical tasks by handling these far less pressing items while still technically claiming you're 'working'. Maybe if you release the unrealistic expectation that serving your own bottom-line security interests should feel like a walk in the park, you won't harbor such knee-jerk resistance to doing the practical thing? With Venus drifting invisibly through your 12th another couple weeks, you'll just have to trust that the rewarding feeling is coming not too long from now.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Thanks to Mercury and the Sun landing in your home-sign this week, Cancer, you'll no longer need to worry about speaking your mind or trusting your mental analyses. Adding these two to Mars already in your 1st, you should now be bubbling over with initiative, ingenuity, and an enthusiasm to outwardly communicate these qualities to all those you encounter. Be aware, therefore, of the palpably amped-up energetics that'll be running through you for this next interval. Even if you imagine you're playing it cool or only saying a small fraction of what you're thinking, the folks around you will still be picking up a vibrational whir off your field… which could be perceived by them as an impatient egging-on, a more exaggerated self-focus, and/or an existential restlessness on your part. Similarly, you yourself might find it harder than usual to simmer down after a productive day or quiet your mind once the processing's no longer serving you. Hanging with friends—and letting them choose the activity, lead the conversation, and/or commandeer your attention—is one good way to get out of your head. Another is not forgetting to prioritize relaxing rituals as part of your packed schedule.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This isn't the right moment to insinuate yourself into the spotlight, Leo, or to otherwise assert a strong opinion or unmistakable presence. With the Sun and Mercury joining Mars in your 12th, you'd be far wiser to orient your energy away from the outside world… and instead to concentrate your intentions on private soul-searching, emotional cleanup work from any recent disappointments or disasters you're still holding onto, and/or mental preparations for the intensified activity and greater prominence you can expect starting a month or so from now. Interestingly, though, you'll still be liable to attract a certain amount of attention, particularly in the career zone and/or as a result of accomplishments already banked. Accept it graciously, without maneuvering for more or attempting to actively leverage it toward a burgeoning venture or a pat-on-the-back leg-up. Maintain your usual momentum, enough to preserve what's already been earned, but don't try to one-up yourself at this point in the game. Even engaging in too much frivolous chit-chat could inspire you to talk yourself into additional opportunities or obligations you might not ultimately be that interested in.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This is still a promising moment for raising your dissent amongst the community or team, Virgo, provided it is based in some reaffirmation of the guiding purpose that brings you together (rather than just a desire to have things go your way). You must, however, be willing to have the conversation according to the appropriate terms dictated by the social context… which may require some strategic positioning, a touch of pandering to the personalities in question, and a coating of consensus-oriented language even if you are potentially arguing against the consensus. This is nothing you can't handle, of course. But if cornered by a party unfriendly to your stance, you mustn't act as if you have no personal interests on the line and your investment is merely what's best for the group. Such denial of any self-serving motive will work against these current efforts—and possibly against those very same 'personal interests' you aren't fully claiming. Groups operate best when everyone is up front about their own stake while simultaneously supporting the group's function.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): No matter how delicate or diplomatic you think you're being, Libra, there's little chance you'll come off like a shrinking violet under this week's astrology. Or perhaps you're well aware you're presently feeling impelled to challenge conventional wisdom, push back against bosses or authority-figures, or otherwise distinguish yourself from the acquiescent masses. This is a fitting time to elicit attention for courageously modeling a leaderly willingness to diverge, disagree, or depart from 'the way we've always done things'… if, of course, you sincerely believe it's likely to help the greater project and/or organization-at large to proceed as you'd prefer. The likeliest source of problems from you behaving like this? If you engage in any self-congratulatory grandstanding and/or act as if your supervisors or colleagues are dim for not having reached your understanding themselves. With Mars-in-your-10th squaring off against a 1st-house Jupiter, you could unintentionally come across as too big for your britches if you don't consciously keep your ego in check.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Please don't limit your imagination only to those scenarios which have already been set into motion or predictably followed for a while now, Scorpio, when there's so much more out in that big wide world to wow you with inspiration. If you're currently feeling stuck in any area of your life, I'd diagnose it at least partly as a failure in creative thinking. This is one of those astrological moments where settling into some ho-hum acceptance that 'this is it' (and therefore nothing else might be a better alternative, if you'd just dare to try) would be a regrettably neglectful waste of the energies now at your disposal. Rather, this is the time to remind yourself what really matters to you… and, if your recent behavior has veered too far from regularly aligning with it, to rededicate yourself to maximizing the role of this what-really-matters. With a happy Venus lighting up your relationship house at the same time, this advice definitely applies to your interpersonal zone, too: Expressing your enthusiasm for this brighter future you're envisioning will also help you effectively woo whoever you've got your eye on.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): While it can be useful to take in other people's perspectives (a la last week's horoscope) before settling on your own right answer, Sagittarius, such an opening-up of what you're considering could also complicate and/or convolute your decision-making process. Taking in too much data that isn't directly relevant to the situation-at-hand—or, more to the point, draws in feedback from additional players who wouldn't otherwise be included—might just lead you to experience information overload, robbing you of the capacity for clear independent-minded thinking. No matter how many opinion-bearers you consult, you may never land upon the fairest or most reasonable verdict… mainly because this isn't necessarily a matter that 'fair' or 'reasonable' can adequately address, but is more a question for those most intimately involved (namely you and your main partner, investor, or collaborating entity) to pass your personal judgment on. I deliberate phrase it this way—'personal judgment'—to be frank about what's required. Will you delegate your duty to judge to some motley chorus of commentators, when they're not the ones living so immediately with the consequences?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Given the current planetary synergy, you should expect to be received as a major force to be reckoned with, Capricorn. Therefore, be as intentional as possible about what you want to do with your unavoidably conspicuous presence. One facet of this is an unusual persuasiveness you're brandishing, which allows you to lure others into your orbit by simply engaging in an activity you thoroughly relish, all the while exuding an irresistible charm they'll want to be close to. If you're genuinely lit up by what you're doing, the light you'll beam will be both powerfully attractive and contagious. Just by enjoying yourself in settings where other people will be exposed to you, you make the world that much more joyful. At the same time, if you aim your force at folks hostile to your dominating energy and/or aren't paying attention to how your hijinks are negatively affecting others, you're just as likely to elicit unpleasant responses or outright conflict. You can't pretend to be subtle, soft, or submissive under these astrological conditions, please understand… so you'd better figure out what kind of impact you wish to make.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Attend to your tasklist, Aquarius… knowing that, these days, you have an outstanding planetary outlook for all things requiring physical effort, functional grace, and goal-oriented efficiency. You recently welcomed a passing interlude of fun-times, and another's coming down the pipeline. But here you are, in between the two, in a phase which is demanding you clean your shit up, kick your ass into better shape, and organize any heaps of undealt-with responsibility that breathe down your neck even when you think you've totally put them out of your head. Put in more hours on this stuff than you ordinarily would; this well-timed investment will pay off big. Meanwhile, when you're not dutifully laboring away, please don't follow the momentarily misguided premise of 'playing hard' as some counterbalancing antidote to 'working hard'. The bodily consequences—such as lost sleep from staying out too late, upset stomach from eating crap, or a hangover from, well, you know—will steal productive energy from you. For the moment, 'fun' looks like a quiet evening on your comfiest piece of home furnishing.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If all you see for your week ahead is an infinite expanse of nagging obligations and assignments, then you're definitely doing it wrong, Pisces. By my watch, your scene should be noticeably lightening up… with a greater emphasis on pursuits and participations you choose to do, simply because doing them makes you feel happier just to be you. For the artsy and creative types among you, this is excellent astrology for throwing yourself into whatever mode-of-expression presently moves you most, not to achieve anything or impress anyone, but for the sheer joy of playing around (and maybe making new stuff in the process). Even if you don't consider yourself one of those 'types', though, the advice remains the same: Go out and explore a curiosity or craving you haven't recently, if ever, attempted to quench. Make a date with yourself, then lay the proverbial romance on thick. Take responsibility for putting a smile on your face. Of course, you also have the choice to invite someone else along—but if you do, don't let their presence influence you to change what you otherwise would've done, just to supposedly accommodate them.