A basic tenet to keep in mind during Mercury's retrograde: The written word is only representational. All of the real communication of life happens in person. Words are only glints of light on the surface of a river. Most of the meaning and message flows by in the depths. The undercurrents rule. Fight against them at your own peril.
ARIES (March 21-April 19). It's the perfect time to streamline. Cut out the unnecessary to make room for new energy to drop in. This applies across the board, from closets to relationships to work.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Instead of seeing the world as good or bad, acceptable or not, try seeing it as "for me" or "not for me." This leads to your own enjoyment or movement. It also leads to peace.
GEMINI (May 21-June 21). This isn't always going to be who you are. An exciting transformation is underway. Even as you do what it takes to make your current life work, you are thinking of your next move.
CANCER (June 22-July 22). Ask for feedback, and encourage honesty. This means you have to be tough enough to take it and be demonstrably grateful for it, too. If you can achieve this, you'll learn just what you need to know to take it to the next level.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). "That's not for me": Often you can confidently say this just from looking at whatever "that" is. But today you'll come across possibilities that fall into a gray area. As long as they are not too expensive, be daring. You have to try new things to find your next favorite.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Imagine your dream partner telling you, "If you were mine, I would..." and then fill in the blank. Now do that thing for yourself. It's what you really deserve.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). An exciting turn of events is in the works, but this only benefits you if you are flexible enough to steer into the turn. It will require a fast decision and then the confidence to fully commit.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You may receive a compliment or two along with some validating signals that you're on the right track. Do not relax. Avoid the temptation to bask in your glory. Stay focused on improving.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). If you share a home with others, chances are you do not all require and enjoy the same food. Focus on your part of it. And whatever your living situation, it's time to hone your diet without regard to outside influence.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Choosing whom to reach out to and possibly befriend is a crucial decision that will affect you for years to come. Ask yourself, "Is this someone I would like to be like?"
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). People have trusted you with the kind of information that, if leaked, could sink them. You may be tempted to say what you really should not. It would hurt less to slip with your feet than your mouth.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). For those who can tell the difference between the issues and the nonissues, this will be a pleasant day. Happiness is focusing on what can and/or must be changed and leaving the rest alone.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAY (Aug. 4). The people you find interesting also want to be around you. There will be a lot of laughing with friends. You'll share a responsibility and watch how it brings out the best in everyone. Also, when it doesn't, you'll jump at the chance to help one another. What make this solar return great are the bonds you share. Capricorn and Scorpio adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 6, 40, 22, 11 and 39.
ASTROLOGICAL QUESTIONS: "I'm a 22-year-old Leo. I dated a guy for two months. Things between us were totally perfect. He is a Gemini. Well, he moved away six weeks ago, and he's only called me once since. I'm heartbroken. I can't believe he could do this. And the worst part is that I can't seem to shake it. I think about him all of the time. I've emailed and called him several times. How can a Leo like me forget about someone?"
It might help you to acknowledge that what you really miss is not the person himself but the attributes you gave him and the relationship. You saw him in a certain glorious light, and it's likely that, had he stayed, he couldn't have lived up to your perfect vision of him. It's so like Leo to dramatize things to the hilt in your mind, and also to give your love with such intensity. It's wonderful that you are so passionate — a gift, really. And this heartache will go away in time. Distract yourself by getting involved with another activity — or person, for that matter — that you can connect deeply to. You'll be so completely over this by the start of September that you won't even be able to relate to the "you" who wrote this letter.
CELEBRITY PROFILES: The 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, is a Leo, with his natal Mercury and Uranus also in the sign of the charismatic cat. The fiery Leo energy in Obama's chart is balanced by a grounded Taurus moon and by Mars in hardworking Virgo. Virgo is the sign of efficiency and improvement. Other Leo presidents include Benjamin Harrison, Herbert Hoover and Bill Clinton.
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