.Real Astrology, Week of July 5

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Genius physicist Albert Einstein said, “The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old questions from new angles, requires creative imagination and makes real advances.” What he said here applies to our personal dilemmas, too. When we figure out the right questions to ask, we are more than halfway toward a clear resolution. This is always true, of course, but it will be an especially crucial principle for you in the coming weeks.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.” So said Taurus biologist and anthropologist Thomas Huxley (1825-1895). I don’t think you will have to be quite so forceful as that in the coming weeks. But I hope you’re willing to further your education by rebelling against what you already know. And I hope you will be boisterously skeptical about conventional wisdom and trendy ideas. Have fun cultivating a feisty approach to learning! The more time you spend exploring beyond the borders of your familiar world, the better.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Hooray and hallelujah! You’ve been experimenting with the perks of being pragmatic and well-grounded. You have been extra intent on translating your ideals into effective actions. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you so dedicated to enjoying the simple pleasures. I love that you’re investigating the wonders of being as down-to-earth as you dare. Congratulations! Keep doing this honorable work.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22): I wrote my horoscope column for over 10 years before it began to get widely syndicated. What changed? I became a better writer and oracle, for one thing. My tenacity was inexhaustible. I was always striving to improve my craft, even when the rewards were meager. Another important factor in my eventual success was my persistence in marketing. I did a lot of hard work to ensure the right publications knew about me. I suspect, fellow Cancerian, that 2024 is likely to bring you a comparable breakthrough in a labor of love you have been cultivating for a long time. And the coming months of 2023 will be key in setting the stage for that breakthrough.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Maybe you wished you cared more deeply about a certain situation. Your lack of empathy and passion may feel like a hole in your soul. If so, I have good news. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to find the missing power, to tap into the warm, wet feelings that could motivate your quest for greater connection. Here’s a good way to begin the process: Forget everything you think you know about the situation with which you want more engagement. Arrive at an empty, still point that enables you to observe the situation as if you were seeing it for the first time.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You are in an astrological phase when you’ll be wise to wrangle with puzzles and enigmas. Whether or not you come up with crisp solutions isn’t as crucial as your earnest efforts to limber up your mind. For best results, don’t worry and sweat about it; have fun! Now I’ll provide a sample riddle to get you in the mood. It’s adapted from a text by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace. You are standing before two identical closed doors, one leading to grime and confusion, the other to revelation and joy. Before the doors stand two figures: an angel who always tells the truth and a demon who always lies. But they look alike, and you may ask only one question to help you choose what door to take. What do you do? (Possible answer: Ask either character what the other would say if you asked which door to take, then open the opposite door.)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I found a study that concluded just 6.1% of online horoscopes provide legitimate predictions about the future. Furthermore, the research indicated, 62.3% of them consist of bland, generic pabulum of no value to the recipient. I disagree with these assessments. Chani Nicholas, Michael Lutin, Susan Miller and Jessica Shepherd are a few of many regular horoscope writers whose work I find interesting. My own astrological oracles are useful, too. And by the way, how can anyone have the hubris to decide which horoscopes are helpful and which are not? This thing we do is a highly subjective art, not an objective science. In the spirit of my comments here, Libra, and in accordance with astrological omens, I urge you to declare your independence from so-called experts and authorities who tell you they know what’s valid and worthwhile for you. Here’s your motto: “I’m the authoritative boss of my own truth.”

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Is it a fact that our bodies are made of stardust? Absolutely true, says planetary scientist Dr. Ashley King. Nearly all the elements comprising our flesh, nerves, bones and blood were originally forged in at least one star, maybe more. Some of the stuff we are made of lived a very long time in a star that eventually exploded: a supernova. Here’s another amazing revelation about you: You are composed of atoms that have existed for almost 14 billion years. I bring these startling realities to your attention, Scorpio, in honor of the most expansive phase of your astrological cycle. You have a mandate to deepen and broaden and enlarge your understanding of who you are and where you came from.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I foresee that August will be a time of experiments and explorations. Life will be in a generous mood toward you, tempting and teasing you with opportunities from beyond your circle of expectations. But let’s not get carried away until it makes cosmic sense to do so. I don’t want to urge you to embrace wild hope prematurely. Between now and the end of July, I advise you to enjoy sensible gambles and measured adventures. It’s OK to go deep and be rigorous, but save the full intensity for later.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Is there a crucial half-conscious question lurking in the underside of your mind? A smoldering doubt or muffled perplexity that’s important for you to address? I suspect there is. Now it’s time to coax it up to the surface of your awareness so you may deal with it forthrightly. You must not let it smolder there in its hiding place. Here’s the good news, Capricorn: If you bring the dilemma or confusion or worry into the full light of your consciousness, it will ultimately lead you to unexpected treasure. Be brave!

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In Larry McMurtry’s novel, Duane’s Depressed, the life of the main character has come to a standstill. He no longer enjoys his job. The fates of his kids are too complicated for him to know how to respond. He has a lot of feelings, but has little skill in expressing them. At a loss about how to change his circumstances, he takes a small and basic step: He stops driving his pickup truck and instead walks everywhere he needs to go. Your current stasis is nowhere near as dire as Duane’s, Aquarius. But I do recommend you consider his approach to initiating transformation: Start small and basic.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Author K. V. Patel writes, “As children, we laugh fully with the whole body. We laugh with everything we have.” In the coming weeks, Pisces, I would love for you to regularly indulge in just that: total delight and release. Furthermore, I predict you will be more able than usual to summon uproarious life-affirming amusement from the depths of your enchanted soul. Further furthermore, I believe you will have more reasons than ever before to throw your head back and unleash your entire self in rippling bursts of healing hysterical hilarity. To get started, practice chuckling, giggling and chortling for one minute right now.

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