Horoscopes | Week of July 10-16, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Self-expression, of the powerhouse variety—in effect now. What's being held back? What are you dying to say? Wherever you're sick of settling for unspoken, implicit agreement with something you just don't agree with, break the silence, Aries. Speak up for what's right. The world isn't fair… because we tacitly decide to let it be unfair. Fight the power that squelches truth. Fight any excuses you've concocted to not reach out. Seventy-six new acquaintances wait for you to blow your horn with a message of love. Everybody's inhibitions have the same root emotional causes—all that's different are the stories of worries, washouts and woes to justify our reticence. Refuse to feed the collective instinct to remain separate from each other. How does your battle cry read? What slogan of simplified profundity is printed on the banner you'll carry into combat against crabbiness, cruelty, cheerlessness, and other crimes against the heart? ('Give peace a chance'? 'Two for one, while supplies last'?) Spill your guts. Sweat the passion clear through the pits of your t-shirt. Reek of generosity. Experience the searing burn of living all the way, past safety to seventy-seventh heaven. And bring us along for the trip.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): This is a fertile week to spread the wares of wealth for which you Taureans are known. 'Purveyors of fine material goodness'—that's how I like to think of you with your wads of cash, piles of food, rooms full of artwork and accessories, and a body that just won't quit. Truly, spreading the wealth is a beautiful blend of (1) spending some of what you've got with those who matter to you, (2) spending another chunk unashamedly on yourself (since after all, it's yours for the spending), and (3) generally keeping the riches rolling by ensuring they remain in circulation. Where Taureans sometimes go wrong is accumulating the goods purely to achieve a sake of security, burying nickels and nest eggs under the mattress and never letting anyone know they're there until you're dead. What a waste of perfectly good wealth. Notice I'm not speaking strictly of money here, but everything you have at your disposal—to enjoy, to give away, to invest in more ways of making more. This is a wonderful moment to bring in more, but to profit, you must also put out. To earn, you must spend. And to truly feel wealthy, you should partake of the experiences that wealth buys you—alone and with others—with faith that the relationships you deepen, as a result of spreading the wealth, will guarantee you're never, ever poor.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): With Venus in your sign opposing Pluto in your 7th (and with Mars along for the added energy boost), you can expect significantly intriguing, enthralling and otherwise intensely compelling relationship concerns to suck you into their spell. And none of it is likely to play off as casual… though one or the other of you might try acting like it's no big deal. It is a big deal, Gemini, to be faced with the rude awakening of actually receiving what you want from a certain special somebody… and then having to recalculate your entire modus operandi on the one-on-one relationship front. You, who are so accustomed to moving and maneuvering in a constant cat-and-mouse game (in literal exchanges or on the playing-field inside your head), may have to find a new approach, one that warrants your quieting down, staying close, and appreciating the heightened intimacy. You'd be surprised how uncomfortable that can be… which is why you might subtly attempt to stir up another layer of crap to roll in, or instigate the other person to do the same. But wouldn't it be far worthier to drill further into passion, share the feelings and sensation behind your Geminian itch… and let him or her scratch it for you? Or are you afraid it would be too much… that you might spontaneously burst into flames on the spot?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): To ward off the temptation to escape into fantasies—of either (1) a problem-free bliss where 'all that matters is right now' is a spiritual-sounding excuse or (2) a bad-trippin' dystopia where 'everything is out to get me' keeps you alone at home—simply concentrate on the physical. For every existential worry that could bring you down, there's another unfinished project or extra shift at work that'll increase your livelihood, fill your time with productivity, and distract you healthfully. For every drug-induced high or lazy afternoon spent deconstructing yourself into a disembodied spirit and an inanimate lump on a Barcalounger, there's another lap across the pool or twenty more minutes on the elliptical trainer to get your blood pumping and the frozen energy pulsing through your meridians. Any concerns hanging over from last week's wakeup call regarding what you've got (or squandered, borrowed, inadvertently loaned out, or just plain can't find) are best assuaged, thanks to a Mars-Pluto trine, with a little more hard labor—and a commitment to do so more smartly and self-protectively, to prevent duplicating any mistakes made. Disappearing into the ethers or dissolving into nothingness, meanwhile, are hardly winning strategies. So if that's where you're leaning, hang on another week.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You owe the mighty trio of Venus, Mars and Pluto a thank-you card for the potent dosage of charisma and magnetism you'll enjoy this week. Aside from the unavoidable smattering of folks turned off by your gutsy gusto—and, yes, it's safe to say (at least this week) that envy plays a hand in it—you'll command a hefty fan base for whatever projects, presentations and performances you put on for public consumption. You can even expect one or more 'superfans' to shower you with adoration and admiration far exceeding the actual substance of your relationship to them. They will see even more in you than perhaps is actually there—and deify you accordingly. Don't believe the hype, or you'll bust the seam of your britches. It's a fantastic time for drawing additional attention to any pet causes or group affiliations in which you believe strongly. Lending your light to something greater than you is a favor that'll be returned to you in spades… with that rewarding feeling of giving, if not with more concrete results later. In all expressions, though, adopt a poetic or evocative or symbolic approach, rather than trying to master the precise informational details. Mercury retrograde has slipped back into your 12th, leaving you with a better grasp on gut instincts than factual data. Pass the pragmatist's job off to an earth sign, and focus instead on rallying enthusiasm.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Don't underestimate the connection between your outward public position (at work or in the community) and whatever you're moving through or holding onto at home. Otherwise, your compartmentalizing mind won't grasp the full significance of any achievements or setbacks you experience this week. According to the Venus-Pluto opposition, you're entitled to as much professional luck and advancement as you've reaped, through direct investment of passion and psychological presence in what you do—or as little, if it's been more comfortable (supposedly) to shut off all feeling and bulldoze through your work. You can't squelch entire parts of your personality, and then expect your whole self to receive praises or prizes for fractional participation. Your full presence is required and expected. (And if you're looking to blame someone else at work for hidden motivations that hindered your success, redirect the guilt search to the Virgo in the mirror.) However, for those who've toiled wholeheartedly, the fruits of your labor are ripening quite nicely. Mars's interplay urges you to remain open to the hand of God, the universe or some other force greater than you. Without a belief in the power of intention to make or break your pursuits, why bother trying so hard? Sincere victories, after all, aren't supposed to feel hollow.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): It's a testament to your relative level of recent evolution as to whether you're able to revel in the currently revved-up exchange of diverse ideas and options… or if you feel personally threatened by 'oppositional' voices seeking to overthrow what you thought had already been decided. Perhaps you won't be startled to hear I advocate the celebration of multiplicity (especially over self-declared dictatorship), as the odds alone increase your likelihood of finding answers to life's big questions that profoundly, passionately speak to you. But if you're too set in your preordained distinctions between 'significant' and 'secondary', or 'a landmark' and 'a lark', you'll be prone to dismissing potentially meaningful contributions to the debate before they're fleshed out—and to discounting certain intelligent instigators of cogent debate as mere dealers in trivia and trash. Instead, listen without prejudice. Muster genuine interest… even for views that, should they be adopted, would force the slow painful death of beliefs you once found sacred. What's your ultimate goal, anyway… to continue learning and changing and developing toward an increasingly self-consciously consequential place in the world, or to conclude you've summarized the holy grail in your one scoop of living and thus have nothing valuable left to discover?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): After taking it easy last week (hopefully) in terms of assertion, feel free to put your professional desires unabashedly out there this week… with the self-confident hope that these efforts will concretely contribute to you getting more of what you want. The Mars-Pluto trine smacks of an increase in career dynamism, financial standing, and/or well-established respect. Therefore, if you make a move toward something, make that move matter. Please no subtle, half-assed attempts at whispering insinuations into the wind and hoping someone catches your drift. There's no shame in being shameless. Venus in your 8th kindly coddles you as you finagle tougher topics into the conversation, rather than shying away from them. The comfort you display in leading them right there, to those spots other less daring folks might dance around or pretend not to notice, will put them so at ease, they'll hardly realize how risky this could've been. Your Scorpio appeal, which operates on so primal a psychic level that it escapes many, is on fire this week. In all dealings, make sure it's clear how both sides will benefit, and how happy you are to share your profits and power… once they trustingly hand 'em over to you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You're spurting some mighty spicy mojo out your psychic pores this week… and everyone seems to want a lick, Sagittarius. What an exciting environment for relationship adventure, in whatever form you choose to live it out. A Venus-Pluto opposition in your 7th/1st houses is a secret recipe for electromagnetic attractions, captivating passions, and a whole lot of energy for interpersonal bonding (wink wink, if you catch my drift). Venus, need I remind you, is currently in Gemini, so you might find it hard to settle on one specific object of occupation or obsession. Do you have to? Find above-board ways to have your cake and eat it, too—one hot lover, one intense but platonic friend, one stimulating collaborator. Just be certain no agreements (explicit or implied) are broken by your wild-horse oat-sowing. With Pluto involved, possessiveness and jealousy could also flare up, if you haven't been clear about what's what. And with Mars in your 9th, stirring the zest for something bold and bombastic, the ones who'll most draw you probably have something different to offer: radical beliefs, a carefree lifestyle, or maybe they're from another country. Under this astro-profile, it'll be damn hard to settle for milk, cookies and a middlebrow TV newsmagazine. Instead, try the ashram, the airport, or the after-hours party.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): A Full Moon in your sign does scant little to reduce fidgetiness, ease stress or calm activity levels down this week. If anything, it only exacerbates the possible complexity of almost any tasks and trials that, during another week, would probably be resolved with virtually no fanfare. The astro-aspects aren't as bad as they might sound from this preliminary description because, often, we oversimplify what needs to get done in order to get something done. We cut corners. We gloss over edges. We attend to the glaring symptoms, which seems to solve our immediate concerns… without addressing the root of the matter. Thus, we're left temporarily settled—until next time, when the surface problems reoccur (or worsen). Venus in your 6th isn't misguided to lure you toward accomplishing business, tying up loose ends at work, and/or concentrating on household chores or self-improvement projects. But the opposition to Pluto in the 12th offers the caveat that real business isn't as quick and simple as you may have thought… though you have all the energy you need to push all the way through. Don't moan and groan about how long it's taking, or how inconvenient the 'personality issues' that arise are. None of this is beside the point, nor excessive. Trust the process, and see it to its logical conclusion, despite delays or draggings-on. If you're going to do something, isn't it best to do it right?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You're still as attractive as you were last week… but with the illusory Neptune effect tapering off, bestowing upon you much improved mastery over how others perceive you. In Neptune's place, the major outer-planet player is Pluto in your 11th, intensifying your appeal among those friends and colleagues who know you as one of the more charismatic members of your community. For one thing, your participation in the group—attendance at parties or meetings, suggestions and ideas for team ventures—will really make a difference. Of course, not everyone's energies react well with each other… and it's possible those who don't strongly adore you might strongly dislike you, since Pluto's intensification of feelings can go to whichever extreme. So if somebody else also wants to make an appealing, charismatic impact, some feathers could get ruffled. And for another thing, you're liable to garner extra-special attention from one or more extra-special individuals who are drawn to you like preteen boys to a free all-you-can-play video-game buffet. It's not like me to blab on about 'this is the week you'll find true love'. Yet, if I were that type, I'd roll out the hype now, with Venus and Mars fox-trotting in your houses of romance and relationships, capped off by Pluto's involvement. This unparalleled mix is excellent, both for new intrigue and the spicing-up of old passions… and to that, I say, Ooh-la-la.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Every astro-textbook's blurb on Pisces will undoubtedly stress the fact you're an emotionally sensitive soul… a quality you could spend your life fighting against, denying, numbing out, or apologizing for and wishing weren't the case. But that would be like Oprah Winfrey whining and crying about being born black—a fact she cannot change—rather than making an incredible success of herself precisely because she is who she is, and inspiring millions of others in the process. It's valuable to remember, during this Full Moon week, you are who you are for many reasons that work to your privileged advantage… and proudly wearing your emotionally engaged, compassionate colors will only help your case, even where feelings are supposedly frowned upon. More specifically, work and career issues can show definite, significant progress, due in no small part to a burst of 'fighting' spirit applied toward getting your hands dirty however the job requires—and refusing to settle for 'no' or 'never'. However, revealing your emotional cards is not the same thing as feeling sorry for yourself or complaining about what's unfair. And 'fighting' doesn't mean attacking someone else's standing to improve your own. Yet, if you invest your efforts with the clearly fervent message of why it's important to you, and you pledge to fight against the difficulties that naturally obstruct your path, you'll absolutely make marked progress this week.