By Eric Francis Coppolino
ARIES — As Mercury changes direction this week, you will be guided to put the emphasis of your life on work-related projects. Yet you’ll benefit from leaving the window open to the creative zone of your mind, drawing from the same pool of ideas you would to do your most exciting personal projects. Said another way, to work effectively, the formula is to blend work and play. That means being more daring, and breaking the mold on certain stuck or boring thought patterns. You may encounter a situation where there’s a temptation to do things the same old way, though the more you try to do that, the more you will revolt. Your mind may become a kind of incendiary device; these get most of their power not from the explosive itself but from the tightness of the container. When you experience a real idea, you’ll know it from the way the walls and windows rattle.
TAURUS — You’re ready to expand into a whole new direction, though you may encounter some resistance in the form of your usual, seemingly inescapable self-critique. You in particular will always tend to be your harshest critic, which is in part a product of conditioning you can unravel. In case I haven’t done so lately, I’ll pass along an idea given to me by a wise old Taurus in my life, which is to never judge your own performance. Rather, do your best work, and let others decide how they feel about it. While some things, such as writing or photos, seem subject to self-critique, this is not as dependable as it seems. You miss the impact of what you create on minds and emotional bodies other than your own. You can’t really assess what you’re producing unless you experience it for the first time, in that moment, which you cannot do. Therefore, do not judge yourself; just keep experimenting.
GEMINI — Mercury stationing direct on Tuesday morning, after a nearly four-week retrograde phase, will give you a boost of confidence. Yet at the same time, other factors look like they could undermine your self-assurance. Once there was a spiritual teacher named Alan Watts. He wrote, “The desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.” Wow, that sounds like it was written yesterday, though it’s from the mid-20th century. The remedy to this emotional mind is, in part, not to take yourself, or your feeling of supposed security, all that seriously. Keep your sense of humor. Remember that all things have a beginning, a middle and an end; track where you are in that process.
CANCER — This has been an interesting few weeks for you in two seemingly unrelated aspects of life: your finances and your self-esteem. Yet astrology strongly suggests that they are closely related, if not one and the same thing. If you study the relationship, you’ll notice interesting things. People tend to feel more confident when they have money in their pocket, though they often miss that their economic situation is related to their confidence. While there are exceptions, you will learn a great deal from seeking an understanding of this relationship, particularly over the next six months. As you build one, you will strengthen the other, with the seeming side result of cultivating maturity. This should be more meaningful to you than popularity or being entertained. Go for the deeper material and the longer-lasting values. Know what is truly important to you, and find strength in pursuing that as a life mission or calling. What you gain, you will never lose.
LEO — What you’ve learned the past few weeks has provided you with gems of wisdom that you will be able to bank on for a lifetime. In long hindsight, once some time passes and you have some perspective, August 2017 will be a before-and-after turning point on which your whole life seemed to pivot. What happens over the next few days will remind you what you learned and reinforce the teachings that have been offered to you. You may have missed a few subtle points or ideas for how to proceed, and you may also be making a few final decisions for how you’re going to advance in the short term. Make sure those decisions are based on new information, which is likely to be flowing in abundance. The point of gaining knowledge is to use it, rather than merely collect it. The only way to confirm whether a theory or approach is valid is to do an extended real-time test.
VIRGO — In anything you may do, ask yourself whom you’re serving. What is the cause that you’re supporting? To what is your energy devoted? To be happy as a Virgo, what you do must transcend yourself. Yet Mars in your birth sign is strongly suggesting that you have to act in certain self-serving ways. You’re approaching a point of maturity that’s requiring you to find approaches to life that sustain your own cause and that serve the greater good. What you do must work for everyone on some level. There are times when you’ll be called upon to make a sacrifice or to offer yourself in truly selfless service, though when you’re in tune, this will always come back to you in the form of learning, knowledge or the opportunity for further participation. Don’t be deterred by people who are in denial or committed to being lost; that’s just a game, and it’s one that you don’t want or need to play.
LIBRA — There’s only so much progress you can make when your primary devotion is to making sure your life is carefully planned and organized. Most real advances come through some form of disruption. This might include an unexpected turn in the story line, plans that don’t work out and which then need to be revised, or realizing you’re confused and need to snap out of it. Therefore, hang loose, and don’t cling to what you think is supposed to happen. Rather, let the momentum of the next few days carry you, and then see where you end up. Events over the next 24 hours, as the Full Moon stretches across the most sensitive angle of your solar chart, will reveal that things are not as they seem. As the fog gradually clears, you’re likely to discover that you’ve accomplished far more than you may think, despite any plans to do something different.
SCORPIO — Popularity is not everything. Seeming proper and acceptable are worth even less. These things are so empty that you’d be well served to toss any worries about what you think people think, and to experience yourself with no concern about how you’re perceived. This is a stretch, though it’ll set you free to think, feel and do things that violate the rules in some way, or which may be appealing to you but frightening to those who are less bold and curious. That’s the place to hang out; that’s where the action is. The fact that something you want might seem inappropriate, embarrassing or risqué is exactly the reason to experiment with it; this in turn will require you to go against protocol in some way. That’s one clue you’re doing something real, and relevant to your growth. To be who you are, you must be willing to challenge who you are.
SAGITTARIUS — All the emphasis of your solar chart is now shifting to your 10th house of reputation and achievement. That also means accountability. You might, however, be over-emphasizing the responsibility aspect of things, which could hinder your ability to get things done. If you proceed with foresight rather than merely worrying about the impact of what you do, you’ll make a lot more progress. Consider what you intend, and be mindful about unintended consequences. Said another way, at the moment, there’s a limit to how impeccable you can be and still get anything done. One helpful key is to notice when your own concerns seem like those of your parents. For example, you know you can succeed at what they might never have dared to try. You might bend a rule that they would never even consider messing with. Most of all, you’re far likelier to strive to achieve something difficult even if you’re uncertain or insecure.
CAPRICORN — One theme of the post-eclipse phase of your life is ethics. You can think of this as the careful evaluation of what is right or wrong, based on your personal values. You can drive yourself crazy splitting hairs, and sometimes that’s necessary and relevant. There’s another side to what we call ethics, which is a related concept: ethos. You can think of that as the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law. That’s what you want. The truth, or what is correct, is rarely quantifiable, though you can feel it — and you can feel when that elusive thing is not there. For your purposes, there is such a thing as true and valid, though you will be able to sense it more than you can prove it. Therefore, be sensitive to what you’re feeling, including a certain kind of resistance that you know hints you’re investing your energy where it does not belong.
AQUARIUS — Regarding a financial matter, you will need to study the exact figures before you have a sense of what’s going on. Be bold about going to the numbers, and looking at the various sub-totals and the bottom line. This is not an area with any room for guessing, and what you think might be true is likely to turn out to be different from what is actually true. You cannot be too accurate; you should get the same result whether you add the column from top to bottom or bottom to top. Once you have the data, you’ll be on much more solid ground, and you’ll feel more confident as a result. In fact, you’re likely to discover that not knowing the bottom line eats confidence like a caterpillar eats leaves. You’ll also have enough information to establish the best MO for what you want to do, which should rightfully include a budget that you stick to, more or less.
PISCES — Many changes filter through the astrology this week, which will settle the accounts on what has occurred during this most eventful month or two of your life. You’ve lived with considerable uncertainty and resistance, which you’ve endured so persistently that you got used to it. Allow things to settle down without any special need to stir them up again. Take some time and do what you want to do, rather than what you seemingly have to do. Most of all, allow and invite what you want to come to you, rather than thinking that you always must go to it. The Pisces Full Moon takes place Wednesday morning, and is just elegant in both its mysteries and what it reveals. Keep in mind that from the viewpoint of others, you’re not so easy to understand or pin down to one point of view, though you can trust yourself, and people will trust you, for many other reasons.