Whitney Houston, a Leo.
Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos Getty
On the evening of Sunday, July 17, Venus enters sensitive Cancer. While the love planet was in Gemini, you probably yearned for variety, for experiences and relationships outside the bounds of your ordinary routines. Now you feel drawn to intimacy and depth: The richness of your closest relationships promises more satisfaction than any flings, flirtations, and adventures could. Then, on Tuesday morning, Mercury enters Leo and asks you to quit hedging or holding back your ideas: Confident Leo invites you to say precisely what you mean — and to say it with your chest. Finally, on Friday afternoon, the sun enters Leo, the sign of warmth, pride, and grandeur. You know you aren’t the center of the universe, but Leo season is the time to remember you are the main character in your own life story.
These days, it’s clearer than ever how important your relationships are, and not only with romantic partners. Friends, neighbors, co-workers, even casual acquaintances in your community — these are the people who care for you, who keep you safe, who make your days fun and interesting. Just be careful this week of developing unrealistic expectations. Your friends make life worth living, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect or always exactly who you need them to be. People (even those who love and support you most) will let you down at times, just as you’ll occasionally disappoint them, yet the bond will remain.
Once in a while, you’re gripped with the fear that, deep down in your core, you are boring, and you begin to lose patience with yourself. This is a matter of perspective. You’ve focused on all that seems dullest and most ordinary about you and lost sight of all the ways you’re unique and fascinating and lovable. This week, make a point of celebrating your capacity to be fun, charming, and surprising. You might worry that this is self-indulgent or silly, but do it anyway. Others can plainly see the ways you’re wonderful, and you ought to see them, too.
After enough time spent analyzing your life, your relationships, your true desires, you reach a point of diminishing returns. Self-reflection is necessary, but eventually you have to take the next step. This week, if you find yourself thinking in circles, consider that you need a break from reflection and that it’s time to use what you’ve learned to finally take action. You don’t have to know everything or have a perfect plan in place. You merely have to start moving and see what happens.
Too often, people act as if a hunger for attention were shameful or immature and should be suppressed. But the need to be seen and acknowledged — to have your presence recognized in this lonely, confusing world — is thoroughly human. You don’t have to make yourself small or invisible or deny yourself. It’s not as if you’re trying to take up all the space on Earth. You just need a little bit. Ask the people you love to turn their focus toward you this week, and you can extend them the same consideration in return.
It’s frustrating to feel you can’t express your full self. Maybe you’ve been weighed down by grief or anxiety, hemmed in by all the demands on your time, or surrounded by people who don’t get you. Whatever the cause, you’ve felt stifled. This week offers the possibility of relief. It isn’t that everything will magically start going your way or that the problems of society will resolve overnight, but the world might become a bit more hospitable to you, your strengths and desires, your unique way of moving through it. You’ll feel, at last, that you belong again.
As a rule, you take care to be realistic with yourself and others about your capabilities. You’ve seen what a disaster it can be when people promise more than they can deliver or overcommit and then burn out. Your conscientiousness is admirable, but this week, remember that there’s a difference between blithe overconfidence and healthy risk-taking. In order to grow, it’s necessary to stretch, to attempt things you aren’t completely sure you’re ready for. Give yourself permission to try. You might be surprised by how much you can do after all.
You have an extraordinary ability to set people at ease. You know how to act and what to say to ensure that those around you feel comfortable, that nobody feels out of place or uncertain. Sometimes, though, it’s impossible to be true to yourself and your convictions, or to make progress toward your ambitions, without creating inconvenience or discomfort for somebody. You try to avoid it as much as possible, but this week, remember that a little awkwardness isn’t the worst thing. True, you have to do your best to be kind. That doesn’t mean you must constantly cater to others.
If your efforts haven’t panned out the way you hoped, it’s easy to tell yourself you didn’t work hard enough. Instead, this week, consider that you’ve been playing with an outdated set of guidelines, following the wrong instructions, or using a deck that was stacked against you from the start. The world is changing fast, and the old rules don’t apply. It’s stressful to try to move forward without a proven plan in place. That also means you’re free to experiment, to play, to run with your wildest ideas. The unknown brings anxiety, but don’t lose sight of the freedom it has to offer too.
Even the most unremarkable lives hold great value; you don’t have to go down in history as a hero or achieve an unprecedented feat to live a life that’s wonderful, fulfilling, or purposeful. In the grand scheme of things, it’s enough to care for those around you, to live each day as well as you can. Nevertheless, this week, your heart might yearn for something grand, something more. You don’t have to be ambitious, but it’s also not too late to be. You can love with abandon, act with astounding courage, and refuse to settle for anyone else’s expectations.
It can be difficult for you to accept kindness that’s offered freely or relationships that develop too easily, that don’t require constant maintenance. You look for the catch, the ulterior motive. And you aren’t wrong to be on guard. You’ve experienced too much heartbreak to take everyone you meet at their word. But this week, try to remember this: Just because certain people don’t deserve your trust, that doesn’t mean no one does. Simple openhearted generosity exists. When it’s offered to you, let yourself feel its warmth.
When people behave cruelly, they come up with all kinds of excuses to justify themselves. They can talk themselves into believing their actions were correct, unavoidable, maybe noble — even when that’s clearly not the case. And while you know better than to believe them, you might still be tempted to argue, to tire yourself out trying to prove you’re worthy of respect. This week, don’t waste your time. There are people out there who will love you, who will work alongside you to make the world better, who will never treat you inhumanely.
You can picture, in vivid detail, the way you want to live, the way you sense you were meant to live. But the world makes it so difficult to focus fully on your purpose. Your energy is limited, and there are always other tasks demanding your attention, other people who need your care. You feel guilty for not doing more with your time on Earth, but really, you’re doing the best you can (practically working miracles) with the resources available to you. Your life is filled with beauty and people who love you. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Read the weekly horoscopes for the week of July 11. The weekly horoscopes for the week of July 25 will be online next Sunday.
Get Claire Comstock-Gay’s book, Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars, out now.