Horoscopes | Week of June 27-July 3, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The trick is to avoid rushing to assumptions about how you feel, Aries, when the associated situation is more complex than a single reaction can adequately encapsulate. This isn't the type of advice I'd ordinarily dish out to you Aries folks, since I find you to possess some of the most reliably keen first-impulses of all the zodiac-signs. But we're currently having an exceedingly watery moment… the kind of astrological vibe that yields its best results when we're willing to feel into, around, and through our responses long enough to let them thoroughly wash over us, into all the nooks and crannies of our being. Think of this similarly to how you might experience those first moments of submerging yourself into a cold swimming-pool: The initial chill might be so unpleasantly jarring, you'd instinctively yell 'fuck this!' and drag your ass right out and straight to the nearest towel—though, if you'd given yourself just a few more moments to acclimate, you'd find the water's actually a rather comfortable wading temperature, and an utter delight to splash around in. I'm not saying specifically that something you recoil from at first will later prove to be an utter delight, however… merely that you might miss out on a more thorough and/or satisfying experience by heeding only your very earliest reaction.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): With Mars essentially standing still in your relationship house (the 7th) this week, Taurus, you'll have a hard time ignoring the unmistakable evidence of any interpersonal friction or conflict that's reaching its point-of-no-return. Over the weeks ahead, you'll probably have to assert your agency in determining where this strained coupling is headed next… if, of course, you're courageous enough to make this go how you want it to go, to the best of your ability under these circumstances. But just as you're due to act in your own interests in stopping any undesirable relationship dynamics from continuing, you also have a similar duty to yourself to discernibly step towards those individuals you wish to include more prominently in your life. In other words, your interpersonal preferences will be indicated through both (1) actively distancing from the negative and (2) actively identifying with the positive. One qualifying note: If you don't already have strongly positive or negative feelings about a certain someone, specifically based on your actual lived experience with that person, give 'em the benefit of the doubt… and strive to enjoy their company on its own however-brief-or-lasting terms.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Rather than cower or cringe at the thought of how much you must get done, Gemini, please remind yourself that what you bring to this heap of responsibilities is unlike what anyone else could possibly bring. And though it would be pretty easy (not to mention self-indulgent) to answer this advice by fixating on your unique frailties or flaws, that definitely won't help you advance your progress on the job(s)-at-hand. More than perfect qualifications or sheer mastery, what this moment demands most of you, my dear, is confidence in your undaunted willingness to work with whatever you've got (since that's what you've got, and you don't have what you don't have) to do the very best you can do. Nobody could expect anything more than that from you, so you most certainly shouldn't. As part of keeping your confidence levels up, try not to let your attention drift too compulsively to whatever unshakable complication, weighty debt, or psychic dark-cloud still looms off to the side, a nagging reminder of a life-chapter that's already been lived yet continues to bleed its influence into today. I won't say it's totally irrelevant to your current situation, but replaying the past (for emotional self-torture purposes, no less) is about the furthest thing from 'practically helpful' I can imagine.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I love your astrology of the moment, Cancer… with communication-maven Mercury now joining both the Sun and Venus in your sign, making it easier than it's been in a while to accurately convey what's on your mind and have it be welcomed with open-and-accepting ears. Plus, with the multiple trines to Neptune-in-your-9th, you're looking at the broader perspectival backdrop with a heightened idealism, allowing you to speak with sympathetic vision about how particular personal values and/or concerns of yours are connected to the larger project of creating a better world. Now, therefore, is an excellent time to unbashfully offer ideas, opinions, or advice to address day-to-day life-circumstances from a place of respecting the underlying commonality amidst diverse belief-systems, deliberately striving to choose a rightful path, and loving each other above all else. Because of Venus's opposition to the Pluto-in-your-7th, there's a chance your principle-driven wishfulness will face terse animosity from those who feel attacked (even if you're not attacking anyone), on the grounds that you aren't properly accounting for the 'reality' of their challenges. Don't take the bait. You're not being 'unrealistic' by proposing ways we could all improve our realities.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Happily dissolve into the temporary nothingness of hosting multiple planets in your solar 12th, Leo. Mindful inactivity is the appropriate way to simply be with the emotional self-realization(s) now coagulating in your consciousness. To aim to 'do something' about how you're feeling, on the other hand, is to paddle against the presently-more-benevolent currents… like you must prove your valiant character (to whom, exactly?) by taking some observable action in immediate response, if you're to be seen (by who, exactly?) as the kind of person who 'doesn't take this sort of thing lying down'. Actually, you'll have a more effective, meaningful response—at a more appropriate moment later—if, for now, you do 'lie down' for a spell, letting sense-impressions and memory-fragments and deep-soul-yearnings float through, softly shaping the inlets and bays of feeling which will eventually comprise an undulating shoreline of non-simplified reaction. You may encounter inner resistance to adopting such a reflective pause in the mad productivity rush, courtesy of a compensatory psychic drive to 'stay busy' so as to avoid essentially integrating the emotional self-realization(s). Don't beat on yourself if you decide not to stay so productively busy this week. Existence, in and of itself, beckons.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): To relish the fruits of sincerely belonging, Virgo, requires you to actually put yourself in the mix. Togetherness won't work very well if you presume there isn't room on the team for you to really show up. In this context, 'showing up' involves being as frank about your true feelings as possible, in order to allow your comrades to authentically connect with you… but nonetheless framing them in a spirit of solution-driven collaboration (rather than mutinous self-interest or unconstructive complaint). The belief that 'sucking up' any misgivings or discontent, so you can provide simple relational 'support' to the other players without 'rocking the boat', is not one to presently buy into. Any such well-meaning attempt to bury your own personal investment, opinion, or response beneath obligatory assent is liable to backfire (thanks to both Mars's station in your 3rd and a Venus-Pluto opposition)… with your truer feelings on the matter, inconvenient and/or disagreeable though they may be, seeping out anyhow. Better to take an intentionally group-minded lead on voicing where you are than to have to defend an unconsciously undermining attitude later.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The most important quality to presently radiate in order to bolster your public reputation, professional standing, and/or hard-earned achievement-level, Libra, is that you actually care what happens, beyond how it impacts you and your aspirations. Of course there's nothing inherently wrong about seeking what's best for your own interests—we've all got to do just that, if we hope to functionally meet our material needs. But the particular context in which you seek to support yourself does matter, too… and presuming you aren't toiling and striving and stretching to attain goals in this certain arena merely by chance, you probably have some sort of heartfelt connection to its larger project, purpose, organization, and/or governing board or else you wouldn't have ended up there and stuck around. (If your career circumstances are purely random and you don't feel any connection to where you are, you've got a bigger fish to fry—and I'd suggest attending to it by the end of '17.) Therefore, please lead with the part of your personality that's legitimately invested in the success of the entire enterprise (which naturally includes your own personal success). In decision-makers' eyes, your value goes up when you embody this genuine passion.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): As Mars returns to direct motion in your sign this week (on Wed Jun 29), Scorpio, you should deploy your wide-lens, values-driven, integrity-oriented discernment in deciding just how you'd like to assert your agency during this critically self-defining month ahead. This is a piss-poor time to be flippant, vindictive, escapist, or obsessed with what anybody else is doing. Rather, it's your moment to put forth an emphatic finishing-touch for the world to see… a characterizing statement that epitomizes all the hard work you've invested in yourself since Saturn first started whipping you into shape back in late 2012. In case you haven't noticed, these past few months have been all about testing whether you've 'learned your lessons' (whatever they might be in your individual case) during these recent years. With Mars now stationing out of its retrograde, to wrap up the visit it initially began at the very opening of the year, you're being asked to show your successful work—or, if circumstances require it, to really fix whatever's been stubbornly giving you trouble thus far in '16. Stand tall in the life you've deliberately built for yourself, or start working up that final gallon of sweat that'll decisively lay foundation for what you want to build but haven't yet. Either way, don't be distracted by petty bullshit that isn't relevant to where you're headed.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): On account of this week's Mars station in your 12th, Sagittarius, I must begin by advising you not to do anything crazy. Yes, the psychic-complexity levels of what you're deal with have palpably intensified over the past couple weeks… but, I promise, it's nothing you can't deal with. The hardest part (as is often the case with you restless Sagittarians) is to not just take some responsive action, merely to signal you're a 'take action' kind of person, without spending enough time to determine whether it's the right action. At this juncture, the wrong response—which would, likelier than not, be motivated by some relational and/or financial pressure (whether coming from someone else or your own ego) to prove you're just as 'for real' about this as the other player(s) are—will cause you more complications or problems than just waiting it out. With the present converging of planets in your 8th, you'll actually benefit from delving more deeply into the questions, concerns, mixed messages, and contrasting interests via open-ended interpersonal negotiations with those who also hold a strong stake. As far as timing's concerned, Mars lands back in your sign during the first week of August… and that's when the 'take action' part ought to come in.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Follow the needs, wants, and desires of your other half, your best friend, your partner-in-crime, and/or your trusted collaborator, Capricorn. The present planetary prominence of your solar 7th (the one-on-one relationship house) promises you a lighter, looser, and more loving experience of your week whenever you actively seek to favor, flatter, consider, and/or cater to the other person in any situational equation. Any inner struggle you feel when stretching to accommodate someone else's preference—say, for instance, you find their choice to be arbitrary, impractical, or short-sighted—is an indication of how you allow your demanding standards (which, of course, are always most demanding when you turn 'em on yourself) block you from appreciating the innate differences between humans, and thus from fully enjoying relationships themselves. Remind yourself there is no universally correct or superior way to live… just variations suited to different folks' temperaments, skill-levels, interests, and aspirations. That said, there's nothing necessarily wrong with taking quiet note of exactly who does things in a style that makes you crazy. Presumably, though, those who are guilty of such insanities aren't the ones you're in closest partnership with. (If they are? I'm left scratching my head.)


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You'll register your professional (and/or public-sphere) tenacity not by aggressively insisting the reins be handed to you, Aquarius… but by quietly (and joyfully) continuing to carry out the relevant day-to-day work that'll concretely back up your claim to leadership and/or authority. A war waged against anyone you think isn't capably living up to their esteemed role—an inept manager, a small-minded authority-figure, a short-sighted organization—won't be won on some declaration of superior vision, but by demonstrating both how to 'do it better' and a personal willingness to do the literal 'doing'. Don't focus too much, therefore, on individuals or institutional impediments you feel you must somehow defeat in order to move yourself ahead. Instead, for now, concentrate on building your own version of success with your own two hands (and/or whatever other tools you already have at your disposal). Define leadership and/or authority through your actions, methods, and functional suggestions… minus any compulsive need to be acknowledged or accepted, which would only interfere with your presently-eased ability to happily work away.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Basking in the beauty that's all around you right this very moment, Pisces, is just about the most effective statement you could presently make… exemplifying, through deed rather than word, what really matters to you in this life. A lineup of 5th-house planets—the Sun, Venus, and now Mercury—indicates you ought to be savoring the pleasures which most please you, for no other reason than to make the absolute most of this opportunity to enjoy your earthly incarnation while its limited supply-of-time is still available. The very act of frolicking, in whatever specific fashion you're moved to do so, serves as a surprisingly potent form of emotional self-nurturance. By delivering yourself such surefire happiness, you're essentially telling yourself, 'What you like is important to me, and giving it to you is absolutely worth my while.' This is actually a critical lifelong lesson for you Pisceans to incorporate into your self-image, thanks to your tendency to give everyone else what they like before tending so shamelessly to your own predilections. As such, be exceptionally aware of instances when you find you're censoring yourself from frolicking exactly as you'd like, whether due to actual pressure from peers and/or your self-conscious fear of what they might think: The problem with that isn't you, but your choice of incompatible peers.