Healing Time 

For the week of August 1-7, 2012.

The planets are busy this week, and daily life reflects that activity through a hectic pace that isn't likely to allow much time to relax. And, unfortunately, the hustle and bustle lasts for another couple of weeks. If it's not deadlines, it's family matters, and if it's not obligations at home, it's community commitments — whatever the reason, extra time just seems to evaporate.

The inability to set aside fun time could also simply be a matter of trying to fit too much into too little. But given that the realities of daily life have been so intense for so long, many of us would benefit from a chance to catch our breath and settle down, particularly caregivers who've been running on little to no reserves because the need for help in so many areas is so extreme. While it may not be possible to put whatever it is you're doing aside, it is always possible to work toward better balance, and making an effort to replenish your reserves of joy would be a great first step in that direction.

A Sun/Uranus trine feeds the hurried and often harried pace of the week. The Sun is in Leo, the fiery Sign of self-expression. Uranus is in Aries, the fiery Sign of adventure. And when they unite in a positive alliance, they ignite a freedom-loving spirit that fuels revolution — sometimes just for the thrill of it. We've been under this influence since the Sun entered Leo on July 23 and we will continue to feel its heat for another week. Use this passionate force for reform, but try not to abuse its power by provoking unnecessary conflict or confrontation. Be aware that while this trine can be unwieldy, when handled with care its power fuels passion and creativity.

Fortunately, Jupiter, in Gemini, sits in a sextile to both the Sun and Uranus, a position that bodes well for good health and good fortune. This entire bundle can be applied to all sorts of healing — physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and (dare I say it?) political. Jupiter's presence bestows the ability to take in the biggest possible perspective, as well as the capacity to consider the moral consequences of important decisions. Its sextile to the Sun lasts until August 10. Jupiter's sextile to Uranus continues until August 19. Jupiter/Uranus contacts signify positive solutions to stressful situations — exactly what's needed right now to not only keep up with the activity, but also to soothe and calm overloaded nervous systems. Make the most of this beneficial interaction by allowing it to strengthen a generosity of spirit. But be realistic about what you can contribute and what you can accomplish.

Mercury is still retrograde; it goes direct on August 8, and all week long, it feels as if it's at a standstill, which could be crazy-making given the overall fast pace of the week. Alternatively, Mercury's measured pace could serve as an antidote to the week's planetary hubbub. Mercury Retrograde is always an invitation to slow down and reflect, review, and reconsider recent choices with an eye toward refining and improving the situation. Use the last days of this rewind to unwind.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.

ARIES The creative moment lies in your ability to stay clear about your priorities, even if some of your choices are challenging to significant others. It's not about dismissing their opinions; it's about having confidence in your own.

TAURUS No matter how others pressure you, take your time and continue to trust your own rhythm. The only expectations you are obligated to meet are yours — and only if those are realistic.

GEMINI Conversations continue to stimulate a wide range of ideas. Just be careful about making commitments you might not be able to honor. Keep it simple, and you'll stay on track.

CANCER Take a "one step at a time" approach and you'll be able to address the details with the required depth. You'll also gather momentum and gain a sense of accomplishment as you finish certain projects.

LEO Several conversations with friends or significant others stimulate a desire to explore new viewpoints. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and you'll make exciting discoveries.

VIRGO Be clear and precise about what you want to organize and arrange, and you'll be able to eliminate what's superfluous. That sorting process will allow you to concentrate on what will ultimately bring you satisfaction.

LIBRA Give yourself permission to take it easy and to get as much rest as possible. It's been a long, tumultuous journey and the best way to repair the wear and tear is to take a break.

SCORPIO Be patient as you sort through an almost overwhelming amount of details related to work. Make as many lists as necessary, but also understand that some surprises cannot be anticipated.

SAGITTARIUS Significant others, personal and professional, are interested in your opinions about specific situations. Share your ideas, but also listen carefully to their real and genuine concerns.

CAPRICORN Stay clear about what you want to accomplish, and the details will not distract you from your goals. Your strength is your capacity to make steady, consistent progress.

AQUARIUS There's no need to make important decisions prematurely. Instead, give the situation a chance to fully reveal itself before you decide the role you want to play.

PISCES Yes, you are restless, and while that state is uncomfortable, it can also stimulate the next step in awareness. Find healthy ways of acknowledging your feelings and you'll find healthy ways of handling them.

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