Horoscopes | Week of July 24-30, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Would I try to reel you in, Aries, if I noticed your week's astrology looks likely to draw out the less tame, more devil-may-care side of your personality? Should I? Since a willingness to brave the wilds of life—and to figure out on the spot how to thrive (or at least stay alive), rather than belaboring the need for some plan that probably won't work anyway—is part and parcel of being an Aries, I don't think it would be very supportive of me to encourage you to mellow out, think things through, and/or tread lightly on others' toes. Besides, to hear the planets tell it, you're supposed to be enjoying a festive, frisky, flirty, and frolicsome good-time these days… and if I dare to issue too emphatic a caution, I could end up guilty of raining on this timely parade. Too brash or boisterous a presentation on your part, of course, and certain people will likely be rubbed wrong. (To be fair, they'll probably be of the type who are a bit uptight or controlling, and liable to nail you for 'childish' or 'inappropriate' behavior.) But do you care? Should you? Is the threat of angering a cantankerous party-pooper enough to poop on your party?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Let's please acknowledge the lavalike rising-up of searing emotion from deep within you, Taurus… a slow potent creep of molten rock, the result of crusty resentments or stagnant hurt recently heating up again, restoring motion to what's been frozen-solid inside. Must I point out the inherent danger of a full-on eruption, should you not take time away to properly vent the steam that's building up? I suppose you could opt to let it blow all over the place, and onto everyone in the nearest vicinity. But would such a dazzling display (and the spreading of a thin layer of ash across all those bearing witness) be the most responsible way of owning these feelings as yours? Yes, your feelings are wholly legitimate and worthy of honoring—and they are yours, showing up in just this particular manner as a direct product of everything else you've gone through. They are also, therefore, no one else's 'fault'. Nobody 'deserves' to be erupted all over, buried by your searing emotion, blanketed in rock or ash. Sure, maybe they did something which hurt your feelings, and it requires a proper cleanup. But are you sure you're in an appropriate mood for 'cleaning up' right now?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): What will you do with this last week hosting Venus in your sign, Gemini? What advantages will you collect on? What inroads will you make in developing, deepening, or otherwise finessing your rapport with certain individuals? What propositions will you put out there, with a dexterously delicate touch, for others to progressively chew on and mull over in the coming weeks? Having already read my warning about Venus's opposition to Saturn-in-your-7th, you should know you mustn't push too disrespectfully against the established (or presumed) boundaries of an important partnership. On the other hand, if a certain coupling is unduly holding you back (and you're willing to risk its continuance on behalf of greater personal freedom), this may be a good time to explore your other options… though I advocate above-board forthrightness over shady backroom dalliances. Generally speaking, please also be aware that your tongue is presently wielding spikier-than-usual barbs, meaning that your 'innocent' jokes and 'helpful' feedback may not come across as especially innocent or helpful. (Of course, if you intend to deliver a crafty cutdown or deft double-meaning, you'll do it with panache.)


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Channel any residual frustration, bodily nerves, or unresolved angst into practical matters, Cancer, rather than aiming it at people. This is a week for sitting out any attempts at reestablishing contact, affirming a connection, or making peace. Instead, spend it pushing past any confidence-blocks by addressing dreaded assignments, disorganized annoyances, or underexamined financial snapshots that are weighing on your self-esteem by dangling unfinished in your face. Don't underestimate how good it'll feel to be able to proudly say, 'I'm working on it. I've got it handled.' And you needn't have perfect answers or magic solutions to claim that pride, either. As far as interpersonal relations are concerned, however, I strongly advise waiting until next week before engaging. Why? Because, praise the divine universe, pretty-pony-planet Venus will land in your sign next Monday (Jul 31), ushering in three-and-a-half weeks of being received with warmer welcomes by nearly everyone you encounter. No reason for rushing to put your presence in front of anyone right now, when you'll almost assuredly get a better response next week and beyond.


LEO (July 23-August 22): With the Sun and Mars now conjunct in your sign (as I mentioned last week), Leo, you're moving through the world like a blazing fireball… or, if you're not exactly feeling that way yourself, trust that other people are regarding you as such. You'll be lighting up the scene wherever you go, exuding warmth and brightness like a star that's come to Earth to spread cosmic-magic love. A potentially problematic side-effect: Some will be blinded by your brilliance, and thus unable to clearly make out your distinguishing features, seeing in your visage only some undefined disturbance in the force, and responding accordingly. Others may find the heat surrounding you too much to tolerate, and could seek to douse your glow like a wet blanket or stoke your flames 'til you burn out or explode. Bearing all that in mind, your shrewdest uses of this fiery influence will be self-directed (rather than political or reactive), self-serving (which needn't come at anyone else's expense), and creative (insofar as making something new happen of your own efforts). Focusing too defensively on your standing in relation to others, meanwhile, will up your likelihood of attracting conflict.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The good news is that your ruling data-analyst Mercury is headed back home to your sign on Tuesday (Jul 25), Virgo, restoring your trademark rational sharpness to its optimal functioning. The less-ideal news, alas, is that a conjoined Sun-and-Mars in your 12th continues to leave you in something of a sitting-duck posture. You remain relatively powerless to effectively impact, divert, or halt the progress of others' efforts already in motion, should you feel your participation would be helpful (or that theirs is somehow misguided)… and, at the same time, you're harboring a heightened urge to resist, rebel, or lash out, even knowing full well it wouldn't be very pragmatically wise. So, rather than give into any (dare I say) self-defeating urges, I suggest you fall back on your Mercury-in-the-1st strengths: Speak out, but only with impersonal fact-based observations and descriptions. Ask engaging questions, but only about specific objective details, methods, and aims. Repeat back to others what you've heard them tell you, but only in confirming reiteration and not to pose a challenge. All the while, reserve all outward judgment. You're just collecting information, clarifying, making sure. This out-loud approach will get everyone else to pay closer attention—without putting you assertively on the line.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): An unstable alliance and/or outdated friendship appears to be fracturing, Libra, though I'm not sure you ought to do anything to either jump in and save it or nudge it along toward an unceremonious end. Rather than concentrating on some relationship that symbolizes who you don't want to become or no longer are, I recommend you focus on positive social identifications which should organically cohere on their own, as a direct result of more publicly personifying the kind of supporter, teammate, or community-member you wish to be. But still, there's no specific action to take to signal this positive focus… other than, that is, continuing to quietly aim your life's-effort down the path of that road up ahead, and letting any folks who don't like to fall out. By the way, I used the modifier 'quietly' because of this week's landing of Mercury in your 12th, a pretty private placement better suited for writing, reflecting, and processing than outward statements, discussions, or confrontations. As such, be sparing in what you say to others (especially if it'll be 'on the record') for the moment. Better to just do your thing in relative silence, and watch who does what.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If you're going to be perceived as an upstart, Scorpio—and chances are you will, not undeservedly either—then you might as well make it count toward something you've aspired to for a while now. And if you're going to challenge the reigning authority (which seems nearly unavoidable unless you're lucky enough to operate under the tutelage of folks who actually want you to evolve toward your highest potential), do it because you see a better way to meet a goal or accomplish a task than it's currently being done, not because you don't like their attitude or wish to retaliate for some prior slight. The ferocity with which you're willing to pursue your best work, though it could put you at temporary odds with other strong opinion-holders, will prove admirable. But the moment that intensity gets turned toward the powers-that-be (or a certain character who's obviously a loyalist to the status-quo) in some battle-of-wills, you'll become a looming threat to others' self-preservation… and they'll be liable to try neutralizing your impact. How hard to fight, and when to back off? That depends on your endgame, which should remain forefront in your strategizing mind.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You may be oozing passion out your every pore this week, Sagittarius, but unless you'll be riding it on a lone voyage to your own brightest self-secluding horizons, you probably need to find a more polished and easily-translatable tone with which to share your vision and recruit trusty companions. The metaphor that immediately comes to mind: a radical artist who must articulate their avant-garde mission in digestible terms, as part of applying for grant money from traditional (or maybe even stodgy) organizations to fund their very untraditional work. There's the uncompromising truth, the driving principle or moral imperative that underscores why you are so passionate. And then there's the academic, professional, and/or political version of that truth, which, though no less true, is put in just such a way that potential supporters' interests are piqued rather than turned off. No fudging and no pandering, please… but also no behaving with such excessive idealism that you needlessly alienate anyone who may be willing to help, join along, or cheer you on.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Don't fear the gnarly convoluted core, Capricorn. There may be some dark, disturbing, or painful-to-the-touch material lurking in that muck… but as soon as you dare to grasp it in your grubby hands, determine its dimensions, and assert your desire to meet it head-on, once and for all, it will already begin to change shape and reveal a way-through. No, this isn't easy going; far from it, in fact. Yet, you're due for a brave confrontation, a cathartic purge, a willful refusal to dwell any longer in this—even if you have no idea what'll happen after the fact, or fear losing what you may never get back. Beyond those nasty-feeling moments of drilling-into-it comes the sweet moral contentment of having done something, in defense of your right to self-determination (even while all tangled up in others' psychic destinies), you can be proud about for a while to come. It's been bearing down so intensely on you because your emotional autonomy is indeed threatened. Self-protection sometimes looks a lot like stirring up shit in someone else's life, though the contrast in motives makes all the difference.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Let me remind you of last week's horoscope, Aquarius, so you won't be startled to receive my continuing warning that interpersonal conflict is presently far likelier than usual. You won't be nearly as amenable to seeing things from both sides, granting another person the benefit of the doubt, or responding coolly-and-collectedly to a provocation as you'd like to believe you are. With the Sun and Mars conjoining in your 7th, you probably won't feel like backing down in any one-on-one dynamic… though at least your most-desired outcome will be much clearer to all parties involved (rather than neatly camouflaged beneath a dispassionate layer of evolved-sounding intellect). To be fair, there can also be a somewhat titillating edge to this astrology—particularly when we factor in Venus's cheeky presence in your 5th—should you choose to play out this potential-for-friction as a flirtatious spar or game of see-how-far-it-can-go with a prospective match or sure-thing. Even if a quarrel does break out, perhaps the making-up can make up for it?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Pay close attention to your body this week, Pisces, respecting it when it tells you it wants or doesn't want a particular activity, routine, or consumable… and not treating it like a soulless machine which must report to some disembodied tyrannical mind that doesn't give a fuck about its human sensitivities. This advice has ramifications for both your health-and-fitness practices and your capacity to effectively complete work-tasks or other personal chores. You can make great gains if you observantly follow the bodily impulses where they carry you, toward fuller engrossment in certain types of efforts that presently seem to be flowing well and/or away from those that feel like they aren't going anywhere or threatening to cause undue physical strain. Please understand your mind may not be your trustiest ally in this instinct-driven approach, whether its guilt-complex attempts to goad you into 'bucking up' or some other self-defeating voice insists you'd really rather goof off (though your body honestly feels otherwise). Lots of vigorous energy is running through you; appropriately direct it toward wellness and productivity concerns.