Shaky Ground 

For the week of June 27-July 3, 2012.

Potent planetary shifts translate into another powerful episode of life on planet Earth this week, and because these astral waves of change are so strong, some of us might actually feel the ground move.

Don't worry; I'm not predicting earthquakes. I'm simply suggesting that as the stars shift gears, we're likely to experience emotional, mental, spiritual, and psychic tremors. Finding your equilibrium and keeping it in the midst of these transitions is essential to handling the flux. Also be aware that when worlds wobble, old routines are often replaced by new ones, and getting used to the different rhythm takes time as well as patience — children and seniors often have the hardest time adapting.

Attitude adjustments are also necessary in the relationship realms, especially the universe of romantic liaisons. Couple that intensity with a dynamic need for personal freedom and Independence Day, at least for some of us, could take on a new significance.

Venus and Mars both play a crucial role in this week's unfolding astro-drama. Retrograde since May 15, Venus goes direct today, and as she moves forward, we will continue to revisit relationship issues, but with two important differences:

(1) As Venus moves ahead, the knots of persistent partnership issues that seemed tangled beyond repair will start to unravel. Just be prepared for certain solutions to be surprising. We're under the influence of a Venus/Uranus sextile from now until July 15, and when the goddess of love partners with the god of unpredictable plot twists, stagnant situations often receive a much-needed bolt from the blue. It's possible to fall in love in the blink of an eye under this configuration, but that doesn't mean it will last. And the same is true for sudden urges for divorce.

(2) On July 3, Mars moves into Libra, the Sign of relationships, ending its nearly eight-month journey through Virgo. This is part of the reason the terrain of daily life feels as if it's trembling; Mars has been grounded for a pretty long time in an Earth Sign devoted to details, and while it may have been a frustrating journey, many of us have grown accustomed to that landscape. Libra is an Air Sign, which means we are moving from the practical to the conceptual, and that elemental difference is going to disturb the psychic status quo.

For most of us this shift is a welcome relief, but it does continue what seems to be an unrelenting astrological emphasis on relationships and relating. Most often Libra is understood as the Sign of marriage and professional partnerships — and it is — but the truth is everything is relational, and you can have an intense relationship with a group of people, an idea, a place, a meditation practice, or a bank balance.

As the week unfolds, it's important to remember that we are also in the grip of the first exact Uranus/Pluto square, which includes an opposition to the Sun. This is a demanding, dynamic, fractious interaction that feeds a need to release the shackles of ossified systems no longer capable of growth.

The challenge of this square is ultimately one of relationship — our relationship to each other, to the planet we share with other species, and to the idea that all of us are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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

ARIES Speak from the heart, share your feelings about what matters most, and even if some of what's said is misunderstood, the courage to be truthful will work wonders.

TAURUS As Venus moves forward, several financial situations could suddenly turn around. I'm not advising you to bet the bank at the racetrack, but I am suggesting the next phase could be beneficial.

GEMINI There is every reason to trust that your current endeavor(s) will go well. So rather than spend your time worrying about the outcome, concentrate on doing the best job possible.

CANCER If you make a concerted effort to maintain a positive attitude, that optimistic mind-set will help you to move through your current situation with grace and generosity.

LEO Allow your mind to wander where it will go, but try to keep track of your ideas. Not every meandering will be inspired, but there are enough twists and turns to ignite your creative enthusiasm.

VIRGO It's a co-creative universe, and every time you choose joy, even if some of what transpires is difficult, you will access healthy, positive ways to cope with the outcome.

LIBRA The best way to handle the tension is to be yourself and stand in your truth. It may not be easy, but you will eventually emerge victorious.

SCORPIO Rather than dwell on what isn't working, focus on plans and projects that are going well. Remember the first rule of magic: Whatever you focus your attention on becomes your reality.

SAGITTARIUS Immerse yourself in the company and joy of lovers and friends, and don't worry; you won't ever run out of things to talk about.

CAPRICORN Protect yourself from stagnant energy by making a commitment to participating in positive activities that feed your spirit. Engage in what matters most, and your hope will increase.

AQUARIUS You'd like things to just go smoothly, but there are too many obstacles to overcome at once. Consider all the hurdles as opportunities for growth, and the tension will ease.

PISCES The emphasis is on transformation, and while you may think this process isn't happening quickly enough, just hold on. You'll soon be amazed by the many changes.

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