Courtney Love, a Cancer.
Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images
Early Tuesday morning, Neptune retrograde begins. For the next five months, the planet of dreams will lose some of its usual power, and as it does, your fantasies will lose some of their hold on you. For better or for worse, you’ll have to reckon with the world as it actually is, without the dubious comfort of wishful thinking. No matter how scary it may be right now, you must release your illusions about the world so that you can make decisions based in reality. Then on Tuesday night, a new moon in Cancer asks you to recommit to caring for the people around you. This isn’t about grand gestures or “random acts of kindness,” but rather finding ways to weave love into the fabric of your life, to actively create opportunities to nurture—and be nurtured—in your everyday existence.
Armed with boundless energy and ample willpower, you feel you can muscle through almost any challenge. But it’s crucial, this week, to remember that you don’t have to constantly operate at 100% capacity. It’s just not possible. You aren’t a machine. You experience natural ebbs and flows in your vitality, your motivation, your mood. These fluctuations might not be convenient or welcome, but that doesn’t make them any less real. There are times for action and times for rest; moments to keep pushing and moments to step back and regroup. Let your own rhythms guide you.
From your vantage point, it sometimes looks like people (yourself included) never truly change: when it comes down to it, we are who we are. And to a certain extent that’s true. Deep in your core is an unmistakable, inextinguishable spark of you-ness. But this line of thinking can make you cynical about others’ capacity to evolve, and prevent you from seeing just how much you’ve grown, too.. You’re still fundamentally yourself, but you’ve also grown stronger and wiser over time. This week, think back on the experiences and past versions of yourself that have led you here. When you acknowledge how you’ve changed already, it’s easier to imagine that you’ll continue to grow in even more surprising and beautiful ways.
When every problem from interpersonal drama to political crises feels like an emergency, it’s nearly impossible to know where to direct your energy. You dream of being able to do it all at once, to lend your attention and support to every person and cause and community that needs it. But as long as that is your goal, you’ll fail. You’re just one person, and your time is finite. This week, make it your goal to find your priority: whether it’s focused on one mended relationship, or one small political win in your city. You can find the hope and conviction you need when you know, with certainty, what you’re working toward.
When the future seems bleak, as it does now, you have a particularly strong tendency is to turn to the past—to some earlier, rosier season of your own life, or even to a time before you were born, when you imagine life was simpler, when the odds weren’t stacked so heavily against us. You fear that you’ll never get back what you’ve lost. And it’s true that you cannot turn back time, but this week, you can reframe your thinking. The dream isn’t to return to a past that had a host of problems of its own, but to create something wholly new. The happiness you want will come from moving forward, not looking back.
It can be difficult for you to accept other people’s help. Maybe it’s because you’re striving toward an unattainable vision of prideful self-sufficiency. Or maybe it’s because you don’t believe that you “deserve” it. You’re aware that everyone is stretched thin right now, and you fear that asking anything of those in your community will only deplete their resources—whether material or emotional—even further. But this week, when you let others support you, it won’t only enrich your life, but theirs, too. You deserve to be cared for by your friends, and they deserve the chance to care for you. Interdependence makes everyone stronger.
No matter how much you give—how much of your time, your labor, your love—there will always be those who guilt you for not doing more. Instead of noting your effort, they point out how much more work remains to be done. Instead of thanking you, they harp on on whatever small piece of yourself you kept for yourself. This week, it’s important to remember that there’s no shame in taking care of yourself, too. Everyone has their own role to play in this life—you don’t have to do everything, and nobody should expect you to. Without guilt, just keep doing what you can.
A sturdy sense of optimism can be useful, even vital, for getting through life’s darker hours. But this week, that optimism may be more difficult to maintain than ever. Even when you’re secure in your faith that this world could be wonderful, you’re also constantly presented with evidence of how far short it falls in reality. Although your confidence might be depleted, you don’t need to give up hope. Looking at the world with clear eyes means seeing just how much you’re up against, yes, but also seeing how many people are on your side. You’ll be reminded that it’s still possible to not only fight, but win.
Lately, you can’t avoid the impression that everyone is having a better time than you are. On social media and in person, you see others falling in love, enjoying fulfilling social lives, and maintaining their full capacity for joy. In your heart you feel like the loneliest person in the world—as much as your brain knows that this can’t be true. But if you pay closer attention, this week, you’ll recognize that others are suffering alongside you. And that can change everything. Instead of waiting around for someone else to save you from your isolation or anxiety, you can reach out to others who are experiencing it too, and get through it together.
Every so often in life, you’ve had shorcuts present themselves: chances chance to quickly jump ahead in a career, or to take a relationship to the next level before its foundation is solid. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of luck like that, but eventually, it might become necessary to fill in some gaps, to complete steps you leapfrogged over before. This week, you may worry that you’re moving backwards, or fear you’ve done everything in the wrong order. But life is never as linear as others pretend. Don’t beat yourself up over it, or imagine you’ve missed vital opportunities. All along, you’ve been following the right path for you.
This week, you might find that you need to work harder than usual to protect your time and conserve your energy. The people around you—not just loved ones, but acquaintances and even strangers, too—will intrude with unasked-for advice, provocations to debate, and unending bids for your attention. And while sometimes it’s generative to engage, other times that only makes it harder to focus on your own goals and desires. In order to get anything done—to enjoy life at all—you may need to start saying no. You can still let some people, and some ideas, in. Just be discerning about which.
There are plenty of occasions when it is useful, even necessary, to approach the world’s problems (and your own) with a sense of urgency: you’re aware that your time on earth is limited, and there’s so much that you want to get done. But this week, remind yourself that it’s not healthy or feasible to live on constant high-alert. No matter how hard you push yourself, how fast you move, you’ll never do all that must be done, and definitely won’t experience all the joy the world has to offer. So grant yourself permission to slow down, regardless of how much work still remains. It’s enough to do a few things well.
It is entirely reasonable to look at the world around you and try to visualize what the future might bring, only to end up discouraged. Everywhere, it seems, people are being deprived of necessities, of their human rights, and the cruelest and greediest people are hoarding power, and there is nobody coming to save you—at least, not that you can see. But no matter how natural it might be to lose yourself in melancholy, it’s not the best thing you can do right now. The situation is bad, but not hopeless. It’s still worth fighting—for the world, and for your own happiness. Don’t give up.
Read the weekly horoscopes for the week of June 20. The weekly horoscopes for the week of July 4 will be online next Sunday.
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