Horoscopes | Week of June 6-12, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You're liable to end up getting deeper into it than you perhaps intended, Aries, if you're too intent on attaining a particular aim from a conversation that looks to be far more complex or contentious than simple solutions can adequately address. But maybe, at least on some level, you already knew that… which is why you mustn't turn a blind eye to the part of you that wants to press their button, elicit a reaction, take off the gloves, and, yes, really get deep into it. The most disruptive potentials from this week's Mercury-Mars opposition will arise from you 'playing innocent' (whether with another person and/or yourself), as if obvious complications aren't hovering in the middle of these proceedings (because they are) and your own goal can be met in a relatively straightforward manner (because it can't). Once you make peace with the fact that you will have to roll your sleeves up, dig in, and excavate through these depths (yes, again), however, then you'll be better able to satisfyingly meet your agenda and deal with whatever other extenuating circumstances must be simultaneously handled. This is a task better spread out over weeks—and not undertaken during this one. Turn the other cheek (for just this moment, of course), and go find some genuinely innocent social mischief to fill your week with, unrelated to specific aims or goals or agendas.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The upcoming week's astrology is tailor-made for instigating interpersonal conflict, Taurus, with Mercury in your sign in direct opposition to Mars retrograde in your relationship house (the 7th). So if that's not what you wish to spend your week doing, then you'll have to be shrewdly pragmatic about whether any potentially disagreeable interaction is an economically worthwhile investment of your time and attention… or if, perhaps, it would be practically preferable to let another person's oddly threatening insinuation, antagonistic attitude, and/or disproportionately defensive response just slide, at least for the time being, so you can attend to more immediately self-serving matters of importance. If you aren't on guard against this heightened potential for acrimonious exchanges, you're liable to inadvertently 'start' something simply by speaking off the cuff about what's going on with you… only to have the other player take issue with what you've shared, on the grounds you're being disingenuous about what else is going (which, according to them, you 'conveniently didn't mention'), insensitive to how it impacts them (which perhaps you truthfully didn't consider), and/or combative by even bothering to bring it up (which is probably more about their competitiveness or envy). Don't want to deal with any of that? Keep your nose on task, and out of trouble. Focus on earning your keep, paying your bills, and organizing your resources for maximized personal effectiveness… none of which has anything to do with anyone else.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Here's the thing, Gemini: Trying to force something ahead (e.g., a piece of work, a project, a self-improvement goal) by willfully ignoring whatever looming hitch is probably the reason it isn't moving ahead as smoothly or satisfyingly as you'd like, all while telling yourself to 'believe in yourself' or 'think positively' or 'hope for the best', is an unnecessary exacerbation-of-a-problem waiting to happen. Please chill out, my dear. Venus is batting for your team this week (and through most of the next), which means a receptive, responsive, appreciative alignment to whatever comes across your path will better serve your immediate needs than grabbing any bull by the horns and expecting it to go exactly where you'd like. This should not be read as a discouraging estimation, but rather an endorsement of easing up on pushing anything which doesn't seem to want to go where you're pushing it. It's not an excuse to dodge your work either: The work's still there to do, both the stubbornly difficult pieces and those which aren't nearly as demanding. During this Venus-kissed week when other aspects (namely, a 12th-house Mercury's opposition to Mars retrograde) could irritate, upset, and/or confound you in your efforts to be practically productive, why not tackle the less-demanding items… and give yourself an extra inch of temporary slack? Next week, with Mercury back home in your sign, is another story.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): When a recently (re-)emboldened desire rises from its polite dormancy and makes itself unmistakably known, Cancer, any attempt to communicate as if 'I'm up for anything' or 'whatever everyone else wants is fine by me' is liable to blow up. You won't be able to successfully pretend away your particular passion-driven preference for one over another… and isn't that the whole damn point of Mars retrograding back into your 5th, needling you to remember wanting what you want is an important enough matter to assertively stand your ground over? But you needn't have any kind of full-on fight about it, provided you aren't trying to pass off an insincere assent or assertion to mask your disagreement. You could just reserve your remarks (which might give those who've bothered to pay attention a more authentic hint about your actual tastes and distastes), and advantageously deploy silence not as an avoidance or acquiescence technique, but as a means of privately synthesizing all the disparate bits of information you're receiving both from the other players and your own coursing desires. If you aren't cornered into defending yourself this week, you should be able to cruise along until later in the month and/or into early July, when it'll then behoove you to more actively angle for yours.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This week's Mercury-Mars opposition across your 10th/4th axis sets you up to foil your own efforts to put forth a well-polished presentation, Leo… if, that is, you're not careful about identifying and managing the less-polished insurgent in you who'd much rather flip everyone the bird (not to be mean-spirited as much as to plainly show you'll do whatever the hell you want, thank you very much) than fuss and fidget about making just the right impression. That retrograde Mars-in-your-4th harbors quite a fierce independent streak, motivated more by an inner emotional rejection of all attempts to subsume your personal needs beneath an 'acceptable' veneer than by any actual legitimate threat from a supervisor, authority-figure, or representative of The-Powers-That-Be. That poses something of a danger, though, unless you can (1) intentionally provide Mars its own private domain where it can be as autonomous and impetuous and self-doting as it wants, and where there'd be few-to-no consequences to your outside-world life, and (2) keep a clear boundary between the two. Otherwise, I advise relying on the temporarily nimbler, less temperamental words-and-deeds of your trusted pals and allies to guide you while in professional and/or public-sphere contexts… whether by following their counsel to the letter or, even better, letting them speak on your behalf for just this passing moment.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This is hardly the time to get caught up in philosophical disagreements, ethical grandstanding, or arguments about hypothetical situations which may or may not ever exist, Virgo. Though, in a heated moment, it might seem you're justifiably defending an important principle or platform by pressing your point so firmly, the reality may be more an instance of your communicating with such intensity that it creates an excess of impressive-sounding words which don't effectively change minds, open hearts, or teach anyone anything. Because that last sentence probably came off pretty harsh, let me amend it by acknowledging you do indeed possess insightful knowledge about the relevant intellectual and/or moral issues. It's more a matter of when to invest your diligent attention in presenting your insights, so you're at the top of your game and your audience is appropriately receptive—and a week when your ruling messenger-planet Mercury is opposed to a retrograde Mars in a house of information-exchange (the 3rd) is not the wisest choice. Besides, with Venus still in your career/public-reputation zone (the 10th), you should concentrate more on establishing, affirming, and/or collecting on favorable perceptions of you amongst the movers, shakers, and decision-makers who can really assist your rise, if they decide they want to. Loudly espousing overly strong, unyielding opinions won't help with that.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): To get all riled up at this point in your ongoing campaign to claim your deserved worth, Libra, would be to overlook the broader perspective beyond this tense moment which is gradually beginning to coalesce more clearly. That doesn't mean this campaign is over and done with, of course. You still have many more weeks of bravely and staunchly pressing for fairer compensation, recognition, and/or respect, particularly in terms of finally being able to concretely bank the rewards due from all those years of effort, experience, and expertise. But that isn't, it itself, your end-game goal… or at least it shouldn't be. Attaining that self-securing confidence-boost is merely a highly-recommended prerequisite to manifesting whatever evolutionary stretch you'd like to take on next, after this season of Mars-retrograde shenanigans passes on and benevolent king Jupiter arrives to your sign (think late August/early September) and you're in an ideal spot for expanding your reach. From that wider panorama, then, please don't overestimate the role of whatever interpersonal or institutional impediment to your increased self-valuation may be currently riling you up. It could be a real pain-in-the-ass you're having to engage with, kowtow to, tiptoe around, and/or call out, true… but will it be as huge a deal when you look back on it two or three years from now? Proceed based on that long-view.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You're only going to piss yourself off, Scorpio, if you find you're trying to reassure or coddle or cater to somebody when, in fact, you're not altogether authentically on board with what you're telling them. This would be a pretty terrible week to play all relationally easygoing and accommodating, especially if that act requires you to swallow your own motivating stake in the relationship. You're likelier than not to end up angry or resentful if you aren't being forthright about your mixed feelings, dueling mindsets, and/or competing priorities… and we all know there's only so much of that a Scorpio can muffle before the stinger starts enacting its own piercing retaliations. Therefore, if you wish to not tempt your reactive side while Mars is goading you into self-protective battle, you should probably be as transparent as possible regarding the multiple incongruous motive-threads now weaving the current fabric of your psyche. The greater the number of different facets to your attitude you can name, the less apt you'll be to accidentally stumble upon an unacknowledged one which, once triggered, will demand expression in the most unruly of ways. Better to mindfully bring up potentially discomfiting angles than to try avoiding 'em… until they bust out anyway.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I could not feel more strongly, Sagittarius, about my ongoing endorsement of you presently increasing your energy-investment in, and inter-reliance on, your most trusted partner(s), collaborator(s), spouse(s), and/or best-friend(s)… and not, therefore, leaving yourself to your own devices. Though you may now be earnestly striving to concentrate on a particular duty, earthly endeavor, or piece of work, there's also a renegade impulse blaring from within (an irrational fear? a misleading epiphany? another echo from the past? a blessed message from the great unknown?) which doesn't want you to be quite so dutiful, level-headed, or flatly material. For the week ahead in particular, this tension threatens to disrupt your clearest thinking with surges of inspiration and/or escapism, enlightenment and/or utter distraction—and it'll be really hard to determine which is which and what's what. This is where the other person/people in your life will come in quite handy: as grounding presence, voice of reason, sounding-board, someone else to listen to and focus on and take cues from other than your temporarily unreliable inner-narrator. Let me add, too, that if you don't get as much 'accomplished' on the mundane level as you'd intended, it's cool. The 'mundane level' isn't all that matters.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Frustrations about whether or not you're 'being heard' could spurt out onto shifty friends, untrustworthy colleagues, and/or troublemakers in the community, Capricorn… especially if it involves alliances about which you'd already been scratching your head, holding your tongue, and/or watching your ass. In this context, my counsel does not include questioning whether you're entitled to be frustrated (if you are, then you are) or warning you not to upset potentially valuable pals or peers (if, of course, they've earned your frustration). Rather, I merely wish to frame this week's potentially argumentative Mercury-Mars opposition against a backdrop of immediate practical utility: Will engaging this social discord, no matter how legitimate, disturb your otherwise breezy flow of productivity? Is your outwardly expressed pride really worth defending (particularly to this certain person or faction, when they've already demonstrated their dubious character), when, in the process, you're liable to work yourself up into a distracting frenzy? For the moment, your greater victory over those who really seem not to 'get it' would be to keep successfully making incremental progress regardless of what they think about it. That doesn't mean, however, you should forgive-and-forget the undermining or subterfuge of those who, it's becoming increasingly obvious, aren't faithful supporters.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The sooner you can just accept the fact that this week's angles, analyses, and efforts to communicate will prove uncharacteristically emotional in nature, Aquarius—and therefore far more subjective in their position than your inner know-it-all would prefer—the more quickly you can stop yourself from taking on any unwise battles with officials, authorities, bosses, parent-types, and/or other impressive characters who won't have much patience for your one-sided perspective. There may well be a core kernel of rational substance to your complaint, but it's being momentarily contorted by a certain fed-up, don't-want-to-budge strain of self-protective contrariness that will not help you make your case. All the while, you're receiving a gentle astrological nudge to just lighten up for the moment… to temporarily table any grander worries, challenges, or axes-to-grind, on behalf of simply enjoying those parts of your life that don't demand such angst, effort, or weaponry for their easy existence. Continuing to advance toward your larger aspirations (which, at this juncture, is requiring a lot of retroactive clean-up, follow-through, and/or coming-back-around) is hard enough, without you making it even harder on yourself by choosing a disadvantageous time to have it out with a formidable obstacle or opponent.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Seemingly 'casual' interactions can turn strangely antagonistic, Pisces, if you aren't aware of who you're talking to and whether there might be a massive ideological gulf between what each of you believes to be rightfully scrupulous. Even if it seems the other party's the one likelier to jump to conclusions, reduce a nuanced notion to stark blacks-and-whites, and/or generally overreact, you'd still have to accept your responsibility for not properly assessing the character of those you're shooting the shit with, at least enough so as to understand what not to say to a particular person. One possible solution would be to practice extreme caution in choosing the most innocuous, uncontroversial topics to discuss with anyone other than those you deeply know and completely trust. That's a pretty tall order, though… and still, the Mercury-Mars energy of the week could create bumpy communications in even the safest of interpersonal contexts. Perhaps a better solution might be to just follow Venus's beckoning back into the private realm of your 4th house (a la last week's horoscope) and keep to yourself. By the astrological watch, there's a lot more laidback, lighthearted, low-pressure energy swirling around your residential sector right now than in other places, where you're obviously likelier to encounter unexpected characters with unsettling attitudes, offensive beliefs, or aggressive argumentation strategies. At home, you don't even have to answer the damn door if you don't want.