Horoscopes | Week of July 25-31, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This ought to be the week, Aries, in which you realize that, yes, developments have really begun moving again. This trend only intensifies next week, once Mars lands back in a fire sign and reignites the blazing momentum that'll at last propel you, unmistakably, into the next chapter of your life. Between now and the end of September, I suspect at least one major life-circumstance which has most recently felt stuck (if not a whole bunch of 'em) will display quite a remarkable amount of progress or change. Of course, that forecast presumes you'll be in no short supply of enthusiasm, initiative, and intent to indeed galvanize the carrying-out of such quantum-leaps. In the immediate short-term, then, the biggest challenge you face is to not allow this influx of stimulating self-directed energy to inspire other less pressing or purposeful expressions… unplanned and/or impetuous actings-out which would certainly qualify as 'motion', but would also create additional amounts of chaos, discord, or friction that aren't essential to moving ahead whatever 'major life-circumstance(s)' you've concentrated your attention on all year. In other words, let's please stay focused on what's most important, rather than throwing all your cards up in the air and seeing what lands where.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Don't focus so much on outwardly engaging other people, Taurus, even if it seems they're trying to bait you (directly or passive-aggressively) into a confrontation. This week's astrology would be far better deployed on inward-facing concerns… in particular, on better integrating your latest emotional self-realizations into the wider narrative of your life's evolution, so you can explicitly trace the progress you've made in gradually accepting how you feel. While you may know all the major plot-points already (since, hell, you lived them), you perhaps haven't yet 'started again at the beginning' (relatively speaking, of course) and walked yourself step-by-step through the story of how you got from there to here. Just as one discovers additional stylistic details, nuances, and motifs in a beloved film only by rewatching it after that impression-making initial viewing, you'll reap an even greater understanding through this internal review process—one which, once you've arranged the happenings into this better-ordered account, could actually stun you with the fresh insight it suddenly produces. Please sit with this insight, as it (hopefully) cracks open some prior blockage and welcomes in a flood of new light. Next week, you can begin figuring out what to do in response to what you'll now comprehend more holistically.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Brace yourself for the likelihood that someone among your circle, team, or contingent will do something erratic, unforeseen, and/or upsetting, Gemini… making conspicuous waves within the rest of the group where, before, there were perhaps only barely detectable traces of this imminent tumult. If this should occur, you'll be best served by adopting a relatively uncontroversial, politically delicate, wait-and-see response strategy. If you also happen to find yourself involved in this commotion—because some innocent remark on your part triggers an unexpected reaction in them? because your exchange of hearsay (or gossip) exposes some explosive detail to a story that's bigger than you knew? because you were coincidentally present during a moment they found disconcerting?—I strongly advise you to try to smooth things over (even if you take issue with their handling of the situation) rather than fanning any flames. You can decide how feel about both the volatile character-in-question and the broader consequences for the impacted social-group later, after you've safely extricated yourself from the situation and are no longer under the direct influence of the other players. With the various peer-pressures in play, it behooves you to judge your trustiest bonds for yourself.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This is a week in which you should expect to see how any recently-developing changes on the career front (and/or in terms of your position in the outside-world) are likely to shake out, Cancer… though it still isn't too late to make your case for a particular self-benefitting scenario if you haven't yet done so. You will have to take care, of course, not to push the envelope beyond what'll be considered reasonable by other stakeholders, under some audacious premise that you might as well ask for everything you could possibly want, just to see what else you might get away with. This is not an advisable strategy, mainly because it'll portray you as driven more by purely personal gain than a humbler win-win understanding of what's best for you and the business-at-hand. Come next week, you'll be shifting away from discussions and/or negotiations about your relationship to your work… and back towards the actual doing, complete with a reenergized attitude and the increased initiative to get the job done. That shift suggests you'll be responding to whatever changes are showing themselves, whether you're ascending to the heavier workload of heightened responsibility and/or having to concretely prove you're capable of such a rise.


LEO (July 23-August 22): New interests, involvements, and/or awarenesses which have emerged during the past few weeks, Leo, could be pointing you down a distinctly revitalizing path you hadn't so consciously known you wished to follow until now. You might experience this as the sense that some recent spark has relit an inner flame which you'd thought had burned out (or at least died down to levels easy to overlook)… thus igniting a self-excitation that promises to harness this (re)emerging passion into a whole new life-orientation, helping you put into better perspective what does (and doesn't) add consequential value to your everyday existence. Why wouldn't you heed that electrifying impulse? Well, the main reason would be if this latest engrossing matter isn't an opening into some purpose you'd sincerely want to devote more of your life to if you weren't also trying to get away from something else that's caused you lots of emotional turmoil. In other words, be suspicious of this latest impulse if you're focused more on escaping from an undesirable situation than reaching toward the possibilities afforded by this specific alternative. Unable to discern between the two? Spend these next few weeks intently chewing on the more pragmatic aspects, to better discern your underlying motives.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Please use these days ahead for collecting your thoughts, Virgo, rather than prematurely trying to present them. At this developmental juncture, you'd do yourself a great favor by not allowing others' opinions, attitudes, or unspoken energies to unduly impact the conclusion(s) you're now drawing. By the very end of the week, your ruling data-analyst and findings-communicator Mercury will come back home to your sign (on Saturday Jul 30), recharging your mental faculties and better situating you to speak, write, and convey your ideas with crystal-clear precision. Attempting to initiate an important outward dispatch or discussion prior to that move, then, would be a poor choice in timing. Plus, should you find yourself participating in any informational exchange while Mercury's still in your 12th and squaring Mars, the interpersonal dynamic itself is likelier to muddle your thinking and/or carry you fruitlessly down an impertinent side-road (and thus annoy the living crap out of you) than allow for effective transmission. Next week is far better suited for sharing your thoughts, even with the simultaneous return of Mars to your 4th likely adding sharper emotional edges to your tone; some might call it 'amplified passion'.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You can ease up a bit on the communicative self-restraint I advocated last week, Libra… if, that is, you need to break a stale or unproductive tension between you and a certain someone, in order to free up your energies from consuming themselves with this unvoiced dissatisfaction. However, should this be your case, please speak your piece in a tone and language you wouldn't be ashamed to have a panel of your shared peers overhear, so as to ensure you're communicating fairly and respectfully, even if the content itself might be disruptive or shocking. But if you aren't sure you're ready to put any thus-far-unspoken sentiments into words this week, then you'll have to wait a while longer before another astrologically-appropriate moment comes along. That's because message-deliverer Mercury slips into the foggy back-recesses of your solar 12th by week's end… and, thanks to an upcoming retrograde, will stay there through the second week of October. If you've got something important to say, I'd do so now, or else admit to yourself you should probably reconsider the details of your thinking over these next two-and-a-half months. Of course, it's possible the other person will present you some disruptive or shocking information this week—in which case, you'll probably need this lengthy Mercury-in-the-12th span to digest the info.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If you're still trying to determine your best methods for effectively getting a job done, cutting the fat out of inefficient processes, and/or reorganizing your daily workflow so it also supports more healthful habits, Scorpio, don't be afraid to discuss your methodological challenges with those who have more experience, knowledge, or a useful two-cents to consider. There is no shame in externalizing your inner dialogue about such questions. It does not reflect poorly on your own capacity to handle your business autonomously, to make decisions or model good leadership. On the contrary, you'll express a strong core of self-assuredness if you can welcome guidance, advice, and/or mentorship, without behaving as if an open-minded orientation somehow implies personal weakness on your part. To be clear, you don't have to obediently follow anyone else's suggestions; the right approach for you may not operate as well for them, and vice versa. I just wouldn't want you to overlook an improvement, solution, or answer that's right in front of your nose. Plus, there are subtle interpersonal benefits you'll derive from honoring the folks who've earned their high-esteem, through the act of seeking their feedback. They're very likely to respect the fact that you respect them enough to ask.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In advance of next week's return of Mars to your sign, Sagittarius—where it spent most of March, April, and May, half of which time it was retrograde and thus not behaving as perhaps you'd wished it would—the number-one piece of advice I can offer is to use this week as a restorative pep-talk, rallying yourself to consolidate your next-two-months' worth of enterprising vigor behind the goal(s) you truly care about most. Once Mars is back on your team again, you'll regain the steam needed to effectively push ahead whichever self-driven endeavors previously sputtered or stalled, got temporarily left behind by your hijacked attentions, required fixing or finessing before further progress could be made, and/or demanded a fiercer inner resolve which you've only now fully attained. On the other hand, this Mars-stirred renewal of dynamic forward momentum also comes with a corresponding increase in potential restlessness, hyperactivity, irritability, and aggression… with the main resultant threat to you being a heightened likelihood of becoming distracted by momentary impulses, suddenly-emerging enthusiasms, and/or flared-up conflicts which bear no relevance to 'the goal(s) you truly care about most'. Don't want to squander these next couple months of pumped-up energy? Prep yourself to concentrate on what really matters.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This could be a critical turning-point in freeing yourself, once and for all, from the emotional burden that's bearing down on you, Capricorn, because you've resisted putting words to an unfair and/or upsetting power dynamic that'll continue uninterrupted unless and until you call it out. We touched on this these past two weeks (here and here) while you've had positive planetary influences shining on your solar 8th, an indication of relative ease in dealing with knotty complications (at least when compared with other moments which lack such influences). As those influences now prepare to pass on, you have one last week for swimming through these choppy waters while you've got this helpful astrological buoy to keep you confidently afloat. Please make the most of it. Be forewarned, however, your offerings might sound more like theatricalized attacks and/or opportunities for political showboating if you veer too far from the context of this particular circumstance and instead try to make a broader point, flaunt your righteousness in an attempt to impress peers, and/or drag other people into it. Stay within the relevant bounds of the situation-at-hand. Once next week rolls around, you'll be due to retreat back into more private self-reflective machinations.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Periodically throughout '16, we've discussed the ongoing shakeup due to occur, Aquarius, among your social-scene, friend-group, peer-cohort, and/or any community you've considered yourself as belonging to. All the while, I've repeatedly encouraged you not to take any definitive (and thus potentially irreversible) action which would explicitly draw loyalty-lines, alienate possible comrades, or eliminate questionable characters from your chosen sphere, but instead to merely take careful note of who has and hasn't been behaving like someone you can trust. These tides are finally starting to turn… away from biding your time and reserving outward response, and towards self-assertive moves meant to decisively identify your true-blue allies and detach yourself from those who clearly aren't. While I don't suggest you launch straight-away into these moves this week, I can recommend casually touching base with those maybe-friends who you still aren't quite sure about, (re)opening the doors of communication, and observing what sorts of sentiments flow through to you. At the moment, other people are likelier than usual to inadvertently reveal representative hints of their current attitudes as you shoot the shit with them—and you can glean enlightening information about whether they're your cup-of-tea, without setting off their suspicions.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Pay attention this week to any signs of your changing fortune (whether it's change for the better, the worse, or still unclear as to which), Pisces… particularly insofar as you can notice the difference your recent labors have made in carving out a potentially profitable opening, or if this productivity investment hasn't made a damn difference at all. As far as promoting and/or protecting your own interests is concerned, you simply cannot afford to perpetuate any business-as-usual arrangements that provide you little-to-no ability to improve your standing based on how diligently you work. Where's the personal incentive to strive for more in that sort of arrangement? If you can currently spy glimpses of a realistic opportunity to develop your skills, build self-confidence, and/or strengthen your economic position, this is your signal to grab that promise and run it down the field. But if you can't, you might have to rethink whether a rise-in-personal-stock is even feasible in your existing work-context. Once Mars lands back in your solar 10th next week, you enter a couple-months' worth of fighting for your rightful place in the world—which may or may not be an attainable goal in your present spot.