Planetary Sparks 

For the week of July 25-31, 2012.

The astral air prickles with electricity this week, prompting emotional bodies to bristle with a full range of intense reactions. Expect to feel unsettled or hyper-vigilant as you attempt to attune to these various celestial currents. Just be careful not to blow your circuits — the dominant planetary configuration is directly linked to nervous systems, and too much input could disturb or disrupt your equilibrium. For some, this dynamic atmosphere provokes panic, especially if anxiety about an uncertain future fuels fear and other negative attitudes. For others, simply handling the vacillations of daily life takes a toll, particularly on those committed to helping others cope with extremes. But the week isn't only bleak. The same dominant theme — a Mercury/Uranus trine — also provides opportunities for extraordinary clarity, and for those who manage to keep a positive perspective, viable creative solutions may seem to appear out of the blue.

The dominant theme of the week is a trine between Mercury, retrograde in Leo, and Uranus, retrograde in Aries, which disrupts the routines of daily life as it simultaneously inspires a fresh approach to the same-old-same-old. This is a fiery, powerful alliance with the potential to spark and ignite invention and innovation. Mercury symbolizes all intellectual aptitudes and abilities. Uranus signifies revolution and rebellion. Both planets are in Fire Signs, positions that amplify magnetic, dynamic, and often dramatic exchanges. Mercury/Uranus contacts enhance brainpower, and ideas flourish under this influence. Expect lively conversation, as Jupiter, in Gemini, sextiles both Mercury and Uranus, positively supporting this already-strong tendency toward discussion. Just be aware that Jupiter tends toward exaggeration and excess, and when it is in Gemini, the Sign of information, communiqués of all sorts are certain to range far and wide.

The only problem is that both of these planetary dynamos are currently retrograde — it's not a small glitch, if only because plans and projects initiated under a retrograde tend to take much longer to come to fruition, with the inevitable delay of desired results engendering more than a little frustration. Trust your intuition, and be patient. Eventually — Mercury goes direct on August 8 — some of those lightning flashes of inspiration could turn into tangible realities.

The Uranus/Pluto square continues to provide an irritating undertone to personal as well as political interactions, particularly activities and attitudes mired in stagnant perspectives that refuse to acknowledge what's needed to facilitate positive transformation. Try to notice where you might be holding on to a position that has outlived its usefulness.

For the next ten days, a Venus/Saturn trine supports emotional sobriety. Saturn is currently in Libra. (It enters Scorpio on November 5.) This trine was also operative from the end of April through most of May, so don't be surprised if you find yourself revisiting relationship themes and issues from that time.

Mercury and Uranus, while exciting, have a direct effect on nervous systems, and those less skilled at handling the intensity are certain to feel their electrical systems achieving maximum capacity. Do what you can to stay calm and centered, and encourage others to do the same.

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

ARIES Positive interactions with significant others have the power to shift your attention away from what isn't working, as they simultaneously help you to recalibrate your focus on what is.

TAURUS It won't be easy settling down — too much has been disturbed at the bottom of your psychic pond. Use this restless energy to your advantage by directing it toward projects you've been putting off.

GEMINI The week is a gabfest, which is a good thing, since talking is your strong suit. Give yourself permission to wax eloquently about all sorts of subjects, and when you can, give others the same latitude and equal time.

CANCER Stay open to the possibility of sudden opportunities to improve your finances or advance your career. It's not necessary to say "yes" to everything; there are enough chances to choose the best situation.

LEO Share your fire — it is your element, and greatest gift. Simply rely on your innately generous spirit to offer encouragement toward positive efforts wherever and whenever that generosity is needed.

VIRGO Lead with your intuition, and as you do, keep the biggest possible picture in mind. That broad perspective will help you to work through the puzzle of the week and to assemble your plan with greater ease.

LIBRA There's no need for a quick fix. All you have to do is stay open to the possibility of positive solutions, and you'll create pathways for heartfelt, sensible dialogue with family and friends about important issues.

SCORPIO Unforeseen career opportunities could provide progress toward greater financial security, especially if you're willing to be flexible and contemplate previously rejected or unconsidered choices.

SAGITTARIUS You can't help but reveal your great skill as a raconteur, so rather than being demure, indulge your gift, and allow convivial conversations with significant others to bolster everyone's spirit — especially yours.

CAPRICORN No matter what your field of endeavor, solid, tangible gains toward success are possible. Be willing to work hard and stay level-headed, which won't be difficult given it's your natural inclination.

AQUARIUS Pay attention to conversations with significant others, particularly professional partners, and you'll be able to gather important information about possible future alliances.

PISCES Resist the temptation to ignore vital details because they might be too difficult to digest and metabolize. You don't have to make any important decisions. You just have to be willing to consider alternate views.

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