Horoscopes | Week of July 17-23, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Spirits lift, moods meander along, and a revitalizing urge to kick up your heels and dance (or whatever your version of revelrous release) begins to rise this week, Aries, now that your ruler Mars is getting the heck out of your 4th and lighting up your 5th. Provided you can make it through the opening days without blowing a gasket (whether with reasonable cause or not), the astrological outlook becomes more welcoming of casual socializing, uncomplicated fun, and increased involvement in pastimes or artforms that fuel an appreciative embrace of what makes you so special. The only caution I'm moved to offer, to moderate an otherwise upbeat forecast, concerns you getting unwittingly roped into a problematic conversation or indulgent activity that doesn't faithfully represent your standpoint. If you hold your ground by not going along with it, you're likely to disturb what the other players would consider an 'easygoing' vibe—and end up being perceived as not especially 'easy' yourself. But if you override your misgivings and follow this dubious drift, you'll have your conscience to answer to. Would you be surprised to hear I endorse heeding your conscience's call, even if someone else walks away thinking you're a fuddy-duddy?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Because even the most incidental conversation continues to pose a risk of unforeseen choppiness, Taurus, and because the Sun and Mars are now joining Mercury in your close-to-the-chest 4th house, you have ample astrological incentive to remain relatively mum. Try as you might, you can't separate your wholly subjective feelings on any given matter (including the residual anger or hurt you may be harboring from earlier personal experiences, which this current situation is bringing back up) from your presentation of 'applicable facts' or 'reasonable advice'. That's not a criticism, just an observation about your present state. On the other hand, perhaps it would be worthwhile to deliberately speak up, in the context of emotionally intense and demanding discussions with intimate partners or collaborators… as long as you are forthright about the wholly subjective stance you're expressing, and particularly if you haven't yet spoken from your feelings rather than from a philosophic and/or businesslike perspective. At this juncture, it'll be hard to proceed by intellect or practicality toward your own best interests without bringing psychology into it, too.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As the lovely and vivacious Venus makes a trine from your sign to Jupiter-in-your-5th, Gemini, I want to encourage you to rank your own unqualified pleasure, playfulness, and creative stimulation as top priorities this week. Please make merry, then, in the myriad of ways you most desire… and with ample variety in your companionship from moment to moment, in order to sufficiently nourish the different sides of your personality, each of whom is most comfortable and free with a certain swath of your friend-base and/or in certain social settings. And by the way, this is excellent astrology for reaping encouraging results from all sorts of flirtations (interpret the word as liberally as you wish). Be forewarned, alas, that Venus is moving into an opposition with Saturn, still a sobering presence in your one-on-one relationship house (the 7th). In other words, your capacity to fully immerse yourself in this self-afforded plethora of diversions and delights must be countered by faithfully meeting your existing commitments to any particular individual(s)-of-note and/or deliberately investing more of your Venus-blessed attention in anyone whose bond with you is more personally meaningful or important. Otherwise, Saturn-in-your-7th could lower the boom on that underappreciated relationship.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Let's start by reviewing last week's edition, Cancer. As both the Sun and Mars spend their remaining days in your sign by sparring with Uranus, the first half of the week should be understood as a conclusive mark punctuating your latest swell of self-assertion… whether in terms of you adding any climactic (and, please remember, potentially surprising-to-others) flourish that flaunts your daring, and/or confronting any influential figures' bold or brazen reactions which would potentially scramble your playing-field. I will reserve judgment as to the relative favorability of such critical pivots, as I advise you to do, too. By the second half of the week, your charge shifts from 'making shit happen' to 'working with what's already happening'. And thus begins this several-week process of determining the concrete payoffs and costs—not just in theory, but as they directly impact you specifically—inherent to any new initiatives, revised responsibility-sets, or redistribution of resources spurred by the most recent events. Only once you can observe real-world results for a modest length of time will you come to understand how any development serves your own interests, or doesn't.


LEO (July 23-August 22): As your week unfolds, and both Mars and the Sun leave your 12th to enter your 1st, you should notice a major shift in your overall carriage and state-of-being, Leo. Gone for now are my warnings against secretive behaviors, self-destructive impulses, and unseen attacks on your reputation. In their place, I must inform you that you'll be coming off with an increasingly potent (and potentially pushy) strength-of-personality in the weeks to come, making it nearly impossible for others to overlook your presence or mistake your intentions. This is an unqualified advantage, in terms of boosting the signal behind all your assertions-of-will and casting you as someone whose desires are to be taken seriously. But it'll also be perceived as a threatening energy to those who don't take kindly to such overt forthrightness (because they aren't as adept at speaking up for themselves?), are in some sort of competition with you (consciously or not), and/or resist granting you your wish (for whatever reason or none at all). That said, I'd pause before working overtime to prove to an envious peer or questionable pal that you aren't a threat. At this juncture, your main job is to be as authentically you as can be—not to make sure the truth of who you are is 'okay' with someone who may not be a true-blue ally.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Please plan to pause and regroup, Virgo. There are a lot of competing considerations, interests, and possibilities floating around… including some which appear to indicate emerging luck or rising fortune, at least upon first glance, but will lay your fate too indiscriminately in the hands of a colleague or collaborator and/or, upon deeper self-reflection, simply sit funny in your gut. This fast-paced promise of greater respect, wider acclaim, or more money may in fact be legit, for the record. It's just that this is only part of the story—and the rest isn't likely to unveil itself right away. So though I'm definitely not telling you to politely decline or go running for the hills, I do advise continuing to thoroughly vet any opportunity by the following two criteria: (1) Who else is directly involved? And will you be expected to carry more than a fair share of the weight, overcompensate for their shortcomings, or pander to their unsteadiness? (2) Practical ambitions aside, how does this potential scenario make you feel in your body? Can you discern excitement from panic or dread? Do you actually want this, or merely believe you ought to want it?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If you're at all stuck in cynicism, collegial animosity, and/or fear, Libra, I strongly suggest you look ahead into the future for re-inspiring comfort. Any snags currently tripping you up are but a single frustrating glimpse at a larger trajectory. While that's not meant to underplay the emotional toll such frustrations may exact on you, you mustn't, for your own good, revert to the self-fulfilling expectation that you'll always feel this way no matter what you do. Put this moment into its appropriate perspective, by zooming outward from its close-up core and gazing at what else exists alongside it, just up ahead, and way further down the road. This view is useful to consistently hold in your mind, as a means of inviting an optimistic outlook back in. And it's also important as a perceptual tool to lean on whenever you must return to that in-progress conversation which is causing you the distress—because you probably shouldn't cut your participation short or act like an aggrieved adolescent pissed off at a parent who 'just doesn't understand'—so you can remind yourself this won't go on forever.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): This week signals the start of an incredibly decisive several-week period in your career zone (or other public-world context), Scorpio… the effects of which are liable to dictate the general direction of your efforts, the relative magnitude of your success, and/or the level of personal satisfaction you derive from your investment in this next chapter. To put this into perspective, you're laying groundwork for Jupiter's arrival to your sign in October, the kicking-off of a yearlong opportunity to grow further into this role—or to grow beyond it, as your situation may necessitate. No need to comprehend, at this very moment, exactly how your 'growth' is likeliest to play out. Before you can reliably make such a determination, you should probably try to see how far you can push your present situation onward or upward… knowing full well, of course, that if you push too ambitiously against an organizational roadblock or imperiled ego, you can expect a battle-of-wills or some other type of retaliatory response. Yes, that undeniably poses a risk to your ability to continue along as it's been. But isn't it better to know where any present limits reside, if you indeed aspire for more?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): There's something of a 'moving on' vibe coming in this week, Sagittarius, allowing you to carve out a greater amount of psychic distance from any tricky pickles or perturbations which have recently stirred unrest in you. Your ability to triumphantly move on is, I should mention, inextricably linked with continuing your Saturn-defined efforts to refine and/or reinforce your singular sense of personal purpose… and, as part of these efforts, to turn away from circumstantial energy-drains which absorb you in dealings, dalliances, or debts that aren't directly relevant to said purpose. Though this should sound like straightforward counsel, please recognize there's maybe also a certain stream of mutual interpersonal interest, attraction, and/or connectedness that's convoluting your clarity. Though this relational connection may flow easily and/or feel real good, it doesn't necessarily align with the 'purpose' that's supposed to be motivating your moving-on. It may or may not pose a conflict for you; you're just not sure yet. Rather than unconditionally pursue the relationship and hope it won't cause you problems later, I suggest instead pursuing your purpose first and foremost—and then seeing how the relationship fares in response.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You can currently find a lot of solace, serenity, and/or soul-nourishment from happily taking care of pressing business, (re)dedicating to a healthy lifestyle, cleaning and organizing, or otherwise putting your energy to directly productive use, Capricorn. Immersing yourself in such physically active and/or mentally purposeful projects is liable to feel really good… especially as a remedial counterbalance to whatever torturous negotiation, distressing emotional circumstance, or mind-addling relational intricacy is otherwise consuming a sizable slice of your psychic attention. But, unfortunately, experiencing the bliss of accomplishing concrete progress in some cut-and-dry area of your life isn't an excuse to duck out of an ongoing dialogue or omit key information that someone else requires for their continuing progress. Avoidance is a tempting coping strategy these days, considering you have plenty of tangible tasks and healthful habits to lose yourself in. Despite the temptation to avoid, though, the full reality will come back to bite you in the end… or at least continue to nag at the back-reaches of your consciousness until scrupulously addressed.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Expect to become increasingly more emphatic and forward about what you want from that certain special someone, Aquarius, or from other people in general… and, should you not receive an accommodating reply, to become increasingly less shy or deferential about your displeasure. This week's addition of both the Sun and Mars to your 7th house forefronts your awareness of how satisfied your primary interpersonal dynamics are (or aren't) leaving you, while emboldening you to push or poke at whomever isn't living up to their end of the bargain, at least as you see it. Without doubt, this astrology ups your potential for relational friction or conflict over the coming weeks… though, at least in the shorter term, such bumpiness is likely to center on your own spirited attempts to draw more gratification and joy into your life (rather than, say, what someone else is doing wrong). If you're going to fight, why not fight for greater happiness, right? Just don't follow this drift so idealistically that your 'fight for greater happiness' overrides the practical need to keep yourself materially stable. Steer clear of battles that, if lost, could negatively impact your financial standing.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Please don't disappear on us, Pisces. Trust me, I cannot discount the presently obvious appeal of quietly removing yourself from the proceedings, snuggling into your comfiest seat at home, and riding out these latest game-moves until the pieces stop rattling. Yet, the ongoing responsibilities involved with attaining a firmer foothold along your climb to greater success aren't going to magically handle themselves while you flip the channels and grab a second helping of mac-and-cheese. In fact, you're just now entering an interval in which your workload demands are heating up… though, at the same time, you'll also have a greater amount of initiative and bodily steam at your disposal, to power you through this intensification. This week's advice is a fairly simple matter of properly balancing 'constructive effort time' with 'self-nurturing relaxation time'. However, if your version of 'relaxation' is so enveloping that you altogether shed your ego and consequently disconnect yourself from all the anchoring expectations of productive selfhood, you'll have a very hard time arriving to each workday ready and able to do your best. And it'll show.