Aquarium Age 

For the week of July 16-22, 2008

The planets aren't particularly busy this week — no one bold signature dominates the skies or earthly attitudes. And while I'm tempted to say the absence of astral activity translates into a lull in intensity, even as I succumb to temptation and write those words, I know my prediction won't be true. Nature, as the rule goes, abhors a vacuum, which means while astrological intensity is somewhat diminished, all the other kinds of intensity, particularly emotional turmoil, are unperturbed by the celestial quiet and will continue to carry on. Because most of us are already accustomed to a high level of stress, and because recent planetary patterns have exacerbated the strain on personal and collective nervous systems, the trick this week is figuring out how to avoid the lure of brouhaha, yours or someone else's. Please don't misunderstand. I'm not promoting apathy. There are real dramas unfolding and some of those developments require participation. What I'm suggesting is, given the current state of adrenal activity, it might not be all that easy to identify a real emergency from an addiction to crisis. And while we finally have a break in the "weather," it would be wise to use the next several days to recharge instead of discharge.

I realize some readers won't consider this week a complete pause in astro activity. The Sun/Uranus trine is still operating, as is the Mars/Saturn conjunction. And while both of those configurations have stirred more than a fair share of unrest, as they continue to separate, their disturbance quotient diminishes. Certainly the Moon continues to interact with other planets as she moves through her cycle. Yet the week still feels like a respite.

But taking advantage of this planetary pause might not be as easy as you think. Very few of us know how to self-soothe because we were never taught how. From infancy to adolescence, we made it up as best we could, cobbling together coping skills and survival mechanisms. (Which, when we are adults, cost us thousands of dollars and years in therapy trying to understand neurotic behavior that only makes sense to a child.) Some babies cry themselves to sleep or dissolve in tantrums. Still more go numb, withdraw, and freeze. We suck our thumbs, cling to a blanket, or eat. Even more learn to please. And when we finally do "grow up" many of those behaviors turn into addictions we just can't seem to kick no matter how hard we try or how well we understand their detrimental effect. We can't let go because we don't know any other way of quelling our anxiety. The child in us still longs for a gentle voice to soothe our restless heart.

This week, take an intermission from the drama, and find a way to quiet your anxiety. Meditate, contemplate, walk, sit — just be sure to be gentle.

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

Aries March 21-April l9

You're too busy for a vacation, but that's no rationale for working yourself into exhaustion. Find and maintain the balance between business and pleasure, and you'll improve your mental health.

Taurus April 20-May 20

Spend your entire extra time at home but not on home improvements. Simply lie on the couch and eat bonbons — you need a nice, indulgent rest.

Gemini May 21-June 21

The best solution would be a silent retreat, where no one says a word, especially you. In lieu of that, a day spa would work. If that's not possible, just declare "time out" and insist on a couple of hours without interruption, interaction, or interference.

Cancer June 22-July 22

While you will be uncomfortable, it might be a good idea to let others help you. Yes, you are the nurturer supreme, but sometimes it's necessary as well as wise to receive rather than to give — and this would be one of those times.

Leo July 23-August 22

It's time to beautify, so take yourself to a "Wizard of Oz" salon and get buffed from head to toe. Don't complain you can't afford it — you can't afford not to indulge in self-care.

Virgo August 23-September 22

Put "fun" at the top of your list and your attitude will shift at once. Don't worry about being frivolous — just have a good time. Nothing revitalizes the spirit like joy.

Libra September 23-October 22

The best way to get a handle on all that needs to be done is to stop multitasking for a couple of days. Give your brain a rest, and it will thank you with a wealth of new ideas.

Scorpio October 23-November 21

Conversations with friends will tend to yield lots of interesting information. So no matter how busy you are, take time to engage with those you love and listen carefully to their opinions.

Sagittarius November 22-December 21

You can become embroiled in a variety of confrontations, or you can refuse to engage in negativity. Sounds like a no-brainer, but to pull it off, you have to really let go of the need to have the last word.

Capricorn December 22-January 19

It's time for a change of perspective, so do whatever it is you do to clear the air. If you put all pressing matters away for a few days, you'll be surprised how easily you'll find solutions when you return.

Aquarius January 20-February 18

An optimistic attitude is a thing of joy, so let yourself be idealistic and happy about the future. You just might create the perfect picture of reality.

Pisces February 19-March 20

Your world is rapidly expanding, so much so that you might feel more than a little overwhelmed. Take it at your pace and you'll find it much easier to assimilate the shifts.

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