Horoscopes | Week of June 23-29, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You will know there's something irreparably off about your relationship with a certain someone, Aries, if your renewed efforts to be casually pleasant are met with standoffishness, suspicion, or outright animosity. Regardless of whether Mercury is retrograde (one more week, folks), I'm not sure what aim is served by your bothering to continue to try with this person… especially if it requires you to dance around topics or tiptoe through your truth. But if you've determined it sincerely is worth continuing to try, I suggest dispensing with any diplomatic pandering-to and being as direct as possible with both your frustrations and whatever's your motive for enduring such frustrating circumstances. The decisive shift such a gloves-off approach will foment—though, yes, there's a real chance for some degree of loss—is obviously much-needed, for this strained status-quo really shouldn't be sustained in its state any longer, due to the energy being squandered on all sides. Be clear on this, though: If things aren't 'working out' with this individual, it's not only on them. If you're being totally honest with yourself, your underlying attitude toward them probably does warrant some suspicion. You probably do wish to be set free, even if it's hard to admit.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Counteract the near-unbelievable, oogie or odd, Taurus, with a double-dose of real. For every vague sense that something's about to jump out from behind the door and frighten the living bejeezus out of you, you ought to find an extraordinarily mundane piece of work or anchoring bodily-practice… and spend twice as much time doing it than you typically would, until its predictability begins to assuage your anxieties. And each moment that flirts with becoming hijacked by excessive concern for what everyone else is up to (and whether your current circumstance causes you to either stick out or blend in), you need to once again reconfirm what your prime practical priorities are, without much undue thought about their relevance to others' present processes. Though the threat of your earnest focus being disrupted by outside forces feels higher than usual, the actual danger comes from indulging your own fears to such an extent that you unhinge yourself. No matter if the external-world weather report is announcing perfect cloudless skies or torrential storms in the days ahead, you'd still have the same call-to-action regardless: Continue getting your finances in order, strengthening your physical well-being, and/or tying up logistical loose-ends to simplify your life. Anything else merely invites the 'unreal' to wreak its havoc.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Even with the rather unstable astrology (i.e., a Mars-Uranus opposition again) we're contending with this week, I really like your outlook, Gemini… mainly because, of course, queen-of-everything Venus has at last made it to your sign. Your next four weeks, therefore, feature a likelier-than-usual capacity for stumbling into fortuitous circumstances, winning people's favor, looking your best, and/or enjoying countless other small advantages that'll hopefully smooth away any grumpy edges. The 'instability' aspect of this week ahead would be mainly a factor of others' exasperated or gobsmacked responses to your feeling emboldened to behave with more surprisingly saucy provocation than they were expecting. But am I going to convince you to tone down your excitation, so as not to shock anybody? Nope. And should I warn you about what could happen, if that certain convergence of your rascally mischief and someone else's easily-offended sensibilities occurs at just the wrong place or the wrong time and creates a rift in the ordinarily wrinkle-free social fabric? You can probably extrapolate it out for yourself… though, again, I'm not sure that's reason enough to deprive yourself of the Venus-in-the-1st, Mars-in-the-5th fun times clearly yours for the taking. I will encourage you, however, to practice a bit of discrimination in terms of audience: Not all characters hold equal weight in your life, in terms of being able to impact your career direction and/or public reputation. Just don't be an ass in front of bosses, parent-figures, government officials, or other VIPs, and you should be fine.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This week's likely swell of inner discontent is nothing new, Cancer, but instead just one more recurrence of that familiar resistance to 'following the proper channels' which you've greeted intermittently since even before '14 began. Let's hope this familiarity is not merely breeding a complacent contempt—for such discontent, without some progressive action to address it, only further devolves into resigned bitterness over time—but has actually inspired in you a more radical pattern-breaking, for one of the clearest compasses we can follow is the experience of identifying when something doesn't feel good and deciding to alleviate that not-good feeling, no matter any inconvenient fallout. This is actually a rather fitting moment for purposely defying and/or overthrowing conventional wisdom, particularly if its unforgiving protocols seem to repeatedly dampen your creative spark and/or deplete your excitement… and to rebel, with a spirited idealism about how these initiatives really ought to operate, on behalf of prioritizing your inner contentment once and for all. While I can't guarantee there won't be some immediately chaotic consequences to such a rebellion (though an apparent unraveling, which isn't exactly what it seems to be, is already happening), the unsettling anticipation of future twists is far healthier than the dull hopelessness of settled discouragement.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I want to continue exploring the potential complications from too naively or indiscriminately riding the rhythms your peers have set into motion, Leo… for just as I last week cautioned you against joining in (or, just as importantly, appearing to join in) on any gossip sessions, I still must warn you about the present dangers in presuming too much like-minded comradeship with folks who, outwardly friendly though they may be, hold beliefs which are quite distinct from yours. Though there is obvious value in preserving ties with a diversity of types of pals, you must simultaneously be careful you aren't tacitly signing off on any behaviors of theirs which run contrary to your principles and/or could potentially misrepresent you through others' guilt-by-association perceptions. It can be rather upsetting to recognize that someone you like might be involved in an activity or ideology you don't like. The pressure to discern between (1) innocent eccentricities-of-personality, to be giggled about or generally overlooked, and (2) substantive differences-in-outlook, which are ultimately unbridgeable, can leave you feeling as if you're being judgmental. But that pressure is, unfortunately, real and inescapable. Sometimes we must issue judgment—and, if we don't, our complicit silence signals we've sacrificed our chance to go on record expressing where exactly our integrity lies, a lapse which could come back to haunt us.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Beginning now, and over these next few weeks of Venus in your solar 10th (the house of our outer-world achievements), you're in a prime spot to advance your career efforts and/or other public-community participations… mainly through demonstrating your adaptability to unstable circumstances, a fickle marketplace, and/or a changing cast of relevant characters. Though you're better known for first devising your ingenious plans within ideal laboratory conditions and then putting them into real-world practice, you don't presently have the luxury of such an approach, Virgo. In fact, we could say that your most promising opportunities presently rest on you revisiting some of your best ideas from days-gone-by, but with a renewed willingness to proactively evolve them so they better fit the actual conditions you now face. That should entail blending (1) your personal pride in having foreseen these fundamental needs, and having taken that initial responsibility to come up with such solid rough-draft concepts, with (2) your wise acknowledgment that others' on-the-ground observations hold something of value to include in your revisions. You'll want neither to block out this external feedback nor to blindly accept it. For the moment, leave multiple possible avenues of forward progress simultaneously open. Those that won't ultimately bear fruit will almost surely reveal their fruitlessness in these weeks to come… and you won't need to play the 'naysayer' role for it to happen.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): To follow up on last week's edition, you may now make your point, Libra—yes, even though Mercury is still retrograde for this last full week—but only do so because the point itself is something you deeply care about and/or value, in terms of fundamental life-principles. Don't, however, make a point of making your point just to ensure your voice is chirping loud above the chorus, and/or drowning out the voice of a certain foe who you intend to show up with your articulated brilliance. The 'higher ground' is not automatically granted to the person with the more emphatic tone or greater persistence; it goes to whoever's views legitimately warrant it, based on their broad-minded appeal rather than cheap rhetorical tricks or plays at popularity. It's been a while since we mentioned Mars, who is, yes, still in your damn sign more than six months later… and, though he's in his final lap around your track, he's particularly interpersonally aggressive and erratic this week as he forms one last opposition to Uranus-in-your-7th. Too edgy, antagonistic, or full-on an attitude on your part toward the proverbial 'other person', and sparks are very likely to fly, before you know it leading to a big blowup or some other surprising manifestation that cannot be taken back or stricken from the record.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Be very skeptical about the seemingly self-evident reaching of 'last-straw' moments, Scorpio, which would inspire you to claim you can't take it anymore (whatever 'it' might be) and/or otherwise lean toward actions that express a fed-up lack of continuing patience. Whether or not this really is such a moment remains to be seen. But of course, should you actually assent to 'remaining to see' what this critical point turns out to represent in the longer-term, chances are you'll regain enough responsible wherewithal not to conduct yourself in that 'to-hell-with-it' manner which threatens to create the type of 'last straw' you claim to be reacting against. And that's exactly what the fuck-it-all nihilistic provocateur inside you is afraid of: that you will think things through, rather than react impulsively, and find a less potentially nuclear option for expressing your fed-up-ness. You've felt these urges periodically rise up over these many months of Mars-in-the-12th posing challenges to your sanity, and this is perhaps the last big hurrah as far as such urges go. You are just a few weeks away from a dramatic shift in the astro-air… one which will go far to neutralize that long-suffered sense of powerlessness and, in its place, to restore your competent capacity to once again steer the boat in your chosen direction. Before you throw in all your tiles or blow your lid or do something you can't undo, remind yourself that the next chapter is all yours to make of it what you will.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You may now use Venus's fresh arrival to your relationship house (the solar 7th) as your official justification for sweet-talkin' that certain someone (or someones) into finally seeing things your way, Sagittarius. After a few weeks of teeter-tottery backs-and-forths in your dynamics, the scales are starting to distinctly tip to your advantage… though, even in light of this largely happy news, I must issue a small warning against going too far with intentionally playing to win them over. There's a chance you'll get so caught in this game-play aspect that you forget about the originating emotional reasons why you became intermeshed with this person: It wasn't because you sought to score points in some competition for the upper hand, but due to some far-less-calculated energetic connection you felt between you, and which you wanted to explore further. Rather than get stuck, then, on whatever the most recent chapter of complications and/or confusions has brought you, I recommend you return your attentions to the bare-bones foundation of your mutually appealing chemistry. Use your Venus-granted persuasiveness to reengage that honeymoonish vibe which likely got misplaced or overlooked, under the white-noise nonsense of trying to get all your parts to neatly align with each other's. You're too independently feisty not to reserve some contrarian notions for yourself. Seductively remind the other person how irresistible that part of you really is, in case they forgot they like your feistiness.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Sure, Capricorn, you can go ahead and take that aspirational gamble with your professional efforts… but please do it because you are sincerely eager to see just how much you're capable of, and not because you're trying to prove to anybody else (whether actual naysaying intimates, a doubting superior, or some amalgamated 'other people' abstraction) that you aren't who you fear they think you are. There's a palpable qualitative difference in what you'll ultimately accomplish from such a gamble, based on whether you're declaring this proverbial independence (1) in a progressive attempt to push beyond previously self-imposed limitations, no longer content with talking yourself out of daring to strive because you're reluctant to make a goof, or (2) as a somewhat juvenile, and thus potentially misguided, reaction to too many years of bowing to authority figures and/or structures. Wishing to 'do your own thing' or 'show them who's boss' is, in itself, not enough of a reason to behave disobediently—not when your overarching trajectory of achievements could be adversely impacted by such a hasty acting-out. If you do desire to take that gamble, then, don't make it about the person or institution you're defining yourself against... but, instead, about innovative explorations into how you might evolve your work, for greater personal development, through challenging yourself.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): When I inform you that life's due to get a smidgeon—or a ton—more fun in these weeks ahead, Aquarius, that needn't inspire you to climb to the top of the lighthouse and start scouring the horizon for signs that a magical delivery of 'more fun' is soon to wash ashore. That's already placing exaggerated emphasis on the idea of some mood-enhancing gift-from-God interjecting itself into the scene and changing everything… when, in reality, all the makings of this uptick in joy are already in your immediate vicinity, patiently anticipating that moment when you turn your head their direction and notice they're there. This palpable drift from 'a quieter internal focus' to 'reigning champ of the party-monsters' doesn't actually entail much of a literal shift in circumstances, but more a switch-flipping of mindsets. As bodies move and winds blow and time passes, your perspective is naturally flowing into different regions of consciousness. The only reason you wouldn't expect to start experiencing more direct, immediate pleasure? If you're still so stuck on manifesting a certain sort of Monumental Excitement that you refuse to set your sights on anything but, you're likely to continue feeling like everything else falls short—because it does fall short of your limiting preconceived notions. And in the meantime, you're missing out on a helluva good time right in front of your damn face.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Oftentimes, it's less the 'upsetting' feelings we may be experiencing which cause the bulk of the actual upset… and more the expectation that we're supposed to be 'pulling ourselves together' enough to coherently communicate our feelings to those around us, to display that we're 'doing something productive' about how we feel rather than, say, 'wallowing' in it. But if you were to actually grant yourself permission to not pull anything together or contrive a convincing-sounding explanation (which would likelier be for someone else's benefit rather than strictly your own), Pisces, you might find this more uninterrupted, untranslated, and wholly personal encounter with an important emotional reality would actually be a less torturous and time-consuming affair. Put another way, if you could just be alone long enough to allow things to settle, you might find your head screws itself on straighter or more securely than if your well-meaning (or not-as-well-meaning) loved-one was barking 'supportive' suggestions or watching you like a hawk for signs of distress. Should you choose to follow this self-care recommendation and give yourself space to handle things on your own, the messiest part just might be your necessary laying-down-the-line with those who resist allowing you this space. Be firm, fierce, and concise. The longer you're caught up in justifying your personal needs, the less you're in fact tending to them.