Horoscopes | Week of July 31-August 6, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Leave ample room to have a sincere change-of-heart or swift turn-to-the-side, Aries… but not because anybody else has pressured you to swallow your misgivings, push through gut-level resistance, or just go pleasantly along. If you're going to ditch the plan, dash their expectations, or cast off the familiar rules of engagement, you should do so only because your instincts are speaking up so loudly, it'd feel like you were defying your own inner wisdom in order to cater to others and/or play it safe. But if you are instinctively moved toward such a shakeup, this is a most fitting moment to do your shaking. With Uranus stationing retrograde in your 1st this week, don't expect folks directly impacted by your flip to just shrug their shoulders and treat this whole thing like it's no big deal. If you're startling them, they'll be apt to respond as sharply as anyone who's been startled. Pretty obvious, right? You may have to deal with some sputtering fallout for a while to come. Ultimately, though, seems like a small price to pay for being unyieldingly true to yourself.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): When I counsel you to 'keep it light' in your social interactions this week, Taurus, it's definitely not because I'm under some mistaken impression that what's going on inside you is all fluffy bunnies and featherweight trivialities. On the contrary, in fact: This ongoing 4th-house prodding by Mars (and, soon enough, a total solar eclipse) is likely proving to be quite emotionally disconcerting or destabilizing, and therefore threatens to incite in you fiercer responses than a momentary irritant or uncomfortable exchange warrants. Meanwhile, Venus's move into your 3rd offers you passing reprieves from the inner pressure, by way of perfunctory pleasantries and casual chit-chat with local characters or intriguing strangers that have little-or-no connection to your private concerns. Be warned, though, the likeliest backdrop for your leaking unintended and/or inappropriate anger would involve you trying to accomplish a concrete task, further a professional ambition, or position yourself as the 'reasonable' one… when, in fact, your tone is probably far less rational, impersonal, or pragmatic than you're posturing to be.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It wouldn't presently be wise, Gemini, to paint a situation in overly broad brushstrokes… and thus potentially create a picture which doesn't accurately capture the spectrum of details, nuances, and considerations that really should be looked at, if you wish to know the full extent of what you're involving yourself with. As a result, I'd vote for more conversation over less. And I wouldn't proceed as if you've 'already talked everything out' while certain questions (no matter how seemingly small or supposedly insignificant) are still nagging at you. The only reason I can think of as to why you'd avoid further discussion: You don't actually want to hear the entire truth. Yet, resisting listening to a comprehensive disclosure or the whole story doesn't make it any less true, but merely extends the life-span of a feigned ignorance so as to continue the casual pleasure or effortless flow. Such resistance is motivated by fear of outcomes, though, both robbing you of the most authentic experience here-and-now and getting you deeper into something you refuse to acknowledge. There's more going on here than a perfunctory summarizing will do justice. Delve more into the specifics.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Though you may incidentally find yourself in circumstances where the interpersonal politics have become seemingly more, er, involved, Cancer, you needn't take on any such complexities that aren't immediately relevant to you or your interests. What's presently good for you is to make intentional efforts toward simplifying your focus, attending to the self-stabilizing basics, and not allowing others' fierce or frenzying emotional states to unmoor you from your grounding. Please don't forget Venus is now blessing you with its benefic presence, inviting you to softly sidestep any edgy exchanges or undesired engagements by 'innocently' (mmm hmm) letting them just roll off your back. While the other party may not appreciate the blow-off, you should be able to pull it off without engendering much hostility from them… especially if you look them square in the eyes, in a sincere gesture that honors their being, and explain that you're currently occupied with [insert simplifying, self-stabilizing activity here]. If they freak out at you for deciding how you'd like to invest your own time while Venus is batting for your team, it'll be oh-so-unmistakably obvious that this dynamic is all about them. So why bother? Venus has better stuff with which to delight you.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Life's something of a gripping melodrama at the moment, Leo… though, from my vantage, it's hard to make out whether yours specifically is a life-giving comedy, a more serious-and-meaty tragedy that's putting everything into stark perspective, or a multi-faceted mixture of ups and downs. To be frank, you may not be sure exactly which way it's swinging either—just that you are indeed a-swing, and probably better hold on tight as you thrust your feet higher and higher into the air, building momentum as you shoot for the stars. With eclipse energy rocking your sign all month, this is no time to assume (with naive optimism or cynical resignation) you know how things are going to turn out. Nor should you take anybody else's word for it. Not only aren't they as insightful on this matter as they believe or claim (though you needn't tell them so), but the outcome is as yet undetermined… in large part because you now hold an unusually commanding capacity to assert your agency with decisive brunt and alter the course of destiny forevermore. If that last sentiment sounds a bit melodramatic, then I've met my duty to call on your very best, you valiant hero.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The month ahead is like an exercise in measured studiousness, Virgo, due to all the dynamics I laid out last week. Yes, without mincing my words, there does lurk a perpetual danger should you overstep the current bounds of staying hands-off, too intently attempt to alter the outward unfolding of in-process events, or allow a moment's impulse to inspire reactive behavior in you. However, your mind is presently sharp. Your knack for carefully monitoring any changes-in-environment and the subtly revelatory quirks in others' behaviors is operating at high-capacity… and your keen analytic skills will enable you to draw some telling conclusions about all you've witnessed over this time, eventually but not right away. If you're being shrewd, Mercury must first complete its upcoming retrograde hijinks (i.e., leaving your sign, then reentering it) before all is responsibly said and done… and that's a good month-and-a-half away. And all the while, plenty of major developments are slated to occur—at others' hands, of course. So, watch and wait. Study what's going around you. Watch and wait some more. There'll be a lot to take in.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): With your ruling goddess Venus headed to the pinnacle of your solar chart (that is, your 10th house), Libra, these next few weeks promise a fortuitous opening of opportunity, a more pleasant and productive rapport with those in charge, and/or rightful recognition for your ongoing efforts in the career sphere (or other public-world setting). We're talking 'favorable tendencies' over 'sure-thing victories', though… which means what you do with this helpful nudge from Venus will determine whether the month ahead proves memorably rewarding or merely nice. One potential obstacle to making the most of the current influences: becoming too wrapped up in questions of personal achievement or success, without also properly contextualizing your aspirations within the broader social matrix within which it must exist. In other words, you'll most effectively work your professional magic by operating with a collaborative and/or altruistic mindfulness about how your actions dovetail with the teammates you're working with, other contributors to the field, and/or those you're intending to help. Coming off with too self-serving an agenda—and no apparent care for others' aims or ambitions—will cut into your advantages.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Keep your eyes on the horizon and its prizes, please, Scorpio, to prevent a sizable—but nonetheless temporary—wave of unfiltered emotion from sinking your ship or knocking you overboard and getting you all wet. Might I remind you about the crucial significance of this current interval… that you are prepping for a major growth spurt, and the challenges and/or action-plans now consuming your attention are tailor-made tests, of both your personal indomitability and the relative spaciousness of your present post? Though eagle-eyed observation skills will help you look out for any hidden treasures or signs of trouble, you should still probably restrain yourself from gazing too far ahead. As the emotional tides crest along with the waxing-toward-eclipse Moon, you could easily catch a glimpse of some minor hint or uncertain omen… and run with it, to potentially exaggerated or distorted ends, drawing a premature or presumptuous conclusion as a result of your passing feeling-response. Don't ignore what you're picking up, of course. Just don't be hastily reactive. This story's still developing.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): As lovely as other people and their enthusiasms may be, Sagittarius, allowing them to scramble your directional focus or consume your energy may prove to be more detrimental to your capacity to keep moving toward your self-chosen goalposts than you've previously realized. The challenging rub to such a statement, of course, is that you get a lot out of these diversions, interjections, and interfaces—support, inspiration, lively discussion, a sense of belonging—which would make it a shame if I were advising you to completely steer clear of interpersonal connection, no matter how cursory. Plus, my advice to you last week was all about how best to share your vision with others, or even recruit them to join along… which is in seeming opposition to this latest suggestion you not expend too much energy on them. While there's no easy resolution to this fruitful tension, let me put it this way: Above all else, you need to stick with what's most interesting, meaningful, and/or passion-provoking to you, including other people who'll talk you up and goad you further—and not set aside the primary spark that's driving you ahead, to suit anyone else's proclivities or agendas.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Everything I wrote last week continues to hold true, Capricorn, insofar as your most rightful way forward will take you right through the complicated-and-complicating heart of the matter that's weighing on you—not around its safer outsides, as if avoiding direct contact with the action-zone will save you from the psychic effects of what's going down in there. One big difference this week, though: Venus enters your solar 7th, a placement that both heightens your immediate appreciation of the central partnership(s) in your life and enables an easier, more accommodating tone in your relational dealings. I advise doing something with this Venus-in-the-7th leverage that'll help you more deftly delve into the complications, whether it involves coupling an earnest attempt at reconciliation with your need-to-confront or actively leaning on those who've got your back while you continue grappling with the one who apparently doesn't. Though Pluto-in-your-1st looms in you as an intimidating arsenal which can quickly threaten others into submission or retaliation, you might secure a neater and/or more mutual victory using Venus's sugar instead.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Please beware of falling prey to an increasingly subjective, self-centered read on the present goings-on, Aquarius, at a time when your treatment of other people—and especially of any significant others—will make a huge impact on whether they relate to you with confidence or animosity going forward. August is a momentous month in the evolution of your relationship life (whether or not you're single, and whether or not you're content), but as it opens, your outlook is being inordinately colored by the grip of anxiety, terror, mistrust, and/or misanthropy… a condition you may be exacerbating by assuming you must come up with miraculous remedies, brilliant ideas, and perfect solutions all on your own. How regrettably alienating, eh? But by accepting these shadow-side sensitivities for what they are (that is, feelings rather than actualities) and humbly laying them down in front of a certain someone, you'll build intimacy and inter-reliance with this person… and get some welcome help with sorting through your subjective perceptions.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Hold a tempered, each-day-as-it-comes, small-victories-pave-the-way mentality, Pisces, as the eclipse-heightened feeling in the air turns psychically dense and unsettling. Amongst many of your fellow human souls, fears are running rampant… and, as a sponge-like creature yourself, it'll be hard not to tap into that disconcerting stream of collective emotion. Yet, it would be a mistake to allow this vibe to inspire a panicky reinterpretation of your current situation. While I won't pretend there aren't obviously significant realities which justifiably inform this rising fear-response, I'm also unwilling to ignore (or let you ignore) those more modest but just-as-personally-significant advances you're presently making (or are amply capable of making) with your consistent-and-diligent attending-to. Please don't convince yourself to cease your daily efforts, or to not bother even trying, based on a supposition that nothing you do matters since mean people suck and the world's going to hell anyway. Regardless of what other people are up to or whether problems too big for you to address will sink us all, what you do for your life today and every day absolutely matters... and cumulatively so over time.