Summer Looms 

For the week of July 4-10, 2012.

Welcome to the first week of what is likely to be a truly endless summer — but not because we're catching the perfect wave. Quite the contrary: We're entering a period of never-ending astral intensity, with all sorts of waves — physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual — breaking in uneven patterns against the shores of daily life. As these erratic celestial rhythms collide with routine terrestrial agendas, there is a strong potential to be dragged under or pulled along by hidden riptides in a tumultuous sea of change. From a planetary perspective, it is that intense, but we don't need the stars to prove it. All any of us need to do is witness our own lives and the lives of those we love. Just be aware that while these seas are intense, they are not necessarily negative; their rhythm may be unpredictable, but they are deep with creative potential for personal and planetary transformation.

For starters: Happy Mars-Is-No-Longer-In-Virgo Day! Mars just moved into Libra, ending its nearly eight-month sojourn through the detail-oriented Sign of Virgo. Now, as it moves through Libra, it will focus on relationships, amplifying the urge to join with significant others, personal and professional, in the hope of finding a more perfect union. For those of you not interested in romantic arrangements, this emphasis is about relationships of every variety. But don't confuse this Martian impulse toward partnering with a lack of personal ambition.

For the entire month of July, a Mars/Jupiter trine stirs a deep desire for success. Jupiter, the planet of expansion, is in Gemini, the Sign of communication, and its positive alliance with Mars guarantees lots of talk about what's necessary for effective partnerships. Even the taciturn transform into eloquent raconteurs, as a Mercury/Uranus trine, with its potential for revolutionary thinking, amplifies this gift for gab. And because Mercury is in Leo and Uranus is in Aries, most of these exchanges are likely to be fiery and passionate. Be aware: Uranus goes retrograde on July 13, and Mercury goes retrograde on July 14. Yes, this is as intense as it sounds; read more about it next week. This week, make sure you back up everything on your electronic devices.

As the week unfolds, try not to succumb to "compassion fatigue" — a psychic state created by the recognition of just how much suffering exists in the world, and the consequent reduction of concern. Aung San Suu Kyi recently described this state in her Noble Peace Prize acceptance speech that she delivered 21 years after the prize was awarded. She also said that while she was under house arrest, "the lesson of kindness ... small or big" convinced her "that there could never be enough of it in the world." These are such necessary words for those who choose compassion as an antidote to the violence and cruelty of ignorance. Given the blaring and seemingly endless conflicts we encounter everyday, everywhere, compassion fatigue surrounds us. Rather than succumb to what may be the most profound heart disease of our time, renew your efforts to reach out to your fellow travelers and offer shelter from the storm. According to Aung San Suu Kyi, "Kindness can change the lives of people."

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

ARIES Go easy with all your relations, and rather than insist that others meet your needs for safety and security, investigate what you can do to create a better sense of internal tranquility.

TAURUS Mars stimulates openings that could manifest as job opportunities or chances to be of service within your community. Seize the moment, and you'll feel a deep sense of personal satisfaction.

GEMINI Be confident about your endeavors, but also be humble in the face of all the information you need to gather. Striking just the right balance will take a little bit of time, but you'll eventually find your equilibrium.

CANCER Feel your feet on the ground, and take as many deep breaths as necessary to feel centered and stable. Once you feel steady, you'll have the requisite strength to handle the situation with skill.

LEO You're holding forth about every subject imaginable, and most of what you have to say is quite entertaining. Allow yourself to bask in the glow of appreciation, but remember to beam the love light back at your audience.

VIRGO Mars provides the potential to make real, tangible progress toward better financial security. Aim your ambition at creating stability, and your efforts will engender positive results.

LIBRA Mars places you in the leadership position, and you're more than prepared to assume this role. For the last eight months you've been deeply internal, gathering the necessary wisdom to embrace this phase.

SCORPIO You're molting — and while you may feel slightly out of season, shedding your old skin and growing a new one is completely appropriate for this phase of your personal process.

SAGITTARIUS In spite of the very real threat of being overwhelmed by the intensity, you're in a vibrant, convivial mood. Allow interactions with strangers as well as significant others to bolster your spirit.

CAPRICORN Whether it's a raise, a promotion, or recognition for service well done, the spotlight is on your accomplishments. Acknowledge the attention with grace and gratitude.

AQUARIUS Just be all you, all the time, and allow candid conversations with significant others, personal as well as professional, to renew your faith in and commitment to your creative process.

PISCES Mars accelerates the next phase of transformation, but life could resemble a hurricane of change. Relax into this process, and you'll find it much easier to handle the waves.

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