For the week of July 18-24, 2012.

The heavens are hyperactive this week, and even though the planets aren’t actually suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder, many of us are likely to have a hard time staying focused, especially as emotional bodies, already overloaded from so many weeks of intensity, hit their saturation point and hearts and minds strain to absorb one more drop of stress. Frustration is also probable, given that we’re in the midst of a dual retrograde, a condition that awakens the Inner Hal in almost every machine from the laptop to the toaster. But don’t despair; while this rebellion seems intentional, artificial intelligence isn’t taking over — yet. Rather than bemoan the retrograde obstacle course, be determined to seize the creative power of the moment.

Several factors contribute to this week’s intensity.

We’re in the first week of a Mercury/Uranus dual retrograde: Mercury is retrograde until August 8, and Uranus is retrograde until December 13. Both planets “turned around” in tandem, as well as in a trine to each other. And even though a trine is a positive interaction, retrogrades always pose problems. Mercury signifies language, communication, and travel. Uranus represents technology, and the combination indicates snafus involving electronics and technology. Don’t drop your phone off a cliff in a hissy fit of frustration. It’s not the phone’s fault that the satellite connection is down or that the network is exhausted from overload or that too many pictures are clogging your hard drive.

Uranus also symbolizes instability, which is one of the reasons it’s infamous for spontaneous and often startling plot twists that tend to manifest as complete reversals of attitude and perspective. Given that Mercury is often as squirrely and unstable as Uranus, especially when its retrograde is linked to the planet of the unpredictable, this dual retrograde has the power to humble even the mightiest of transformers. You’ll need huge stores of tolerance to handle the dual retrograde, so pace yourself.

But this week, you’ll also need equally deep reservoirs of compassion to handle the Mars/Uranus/Pluto T-Square that is exact and separating over the course of the next several days. When an astrological interaction is exact and separating, we feel the full thrust of its power. Unfortunately, this T-Square is a pernicious interaction that easily justifies violence as a first defense against angst and frustration. Mars doesn’t back down easily, and when that defiance couples with the aggravation of the dual retrograde, the need to discharge pent-up feelings is likely to translate into all sorts of aggressive behavior.

As the week unfolds, do your best to resist habitual reactions. We are not machines, and our co-creative power always allows opportunities to make conscious choices. There’s never been a better time to kick any unconscious habit, especially if that habit is kicking the dog or anyone else who happens to be in your way. Stay mindful of your reactions and everyone will benefit — even you.

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

ARIES Use humor as a strategy for anxiety, and you’ll find an effective way to neutralize negativity. State the facts and even complain when necessary, but do your best to avoid indulging in drama.

TAURUS A thoughtful approach to each situation will soothe ruffled feathers and calm agitated egos. So remain cautious and kind, and your efforts to create peace will meet with positive reception.

GEMINI The core of your dilemma is figuring out how to stay true to yourself even when others challenge your position. It won’t be easy at first, but practice will build confidence.

CANCER Set a good example by refusing to worry about the future. I’m not suggesting denial or a cavalier attitude that ignores reality. I’m simply advising you to take life one day at a time.

LEO You must choose: Rage against reality, or breathe, deeply, and learn to turn patience into a powerful spiritual practice. Sounds simple, but actualizing patience requires persistent effort.

VIRGO Even in times of tension, positive outcomes are possible. Stay open to the possibility of finding the best solution, and your optimistic attitude will engender encourage others to do the same.

LIBRA You can’t help but lead the way, but the challenge is to figure out how to move forward in a manner that allows others to appreciate your wisdom without resenting your clarity.

SCORPIO You won’t find a solution by ignoring the problem. Instead, devote yourself to finding a compromise that acknowledges the complexity of everyone’s needs — even if that means surrendering some of your own.

SAGITTARIUS It’s a complex situation that requires a thoughtful process to find the best possible outcome. Just keep in mind: Everyone involved must be willing to include everyone else.

CAPRICORN Be willing to listen to the ideas and opinions of others, and even if you ultimately disagree with their suggestions, simply acknowledging their perspective will contribute to peace.

AQUARIUS Of course you have future anxiety — with all the projects you’re juggling, who wouldn’t? Soothe your nervous system by staying focused in present time and thoroughly tackling each task.

PISCES Maintain healthy boundaries, and you’ll avoid your tendency to merge with others and take on their stress. I’m not suggesting you stop being empathetic; I’m advising you to know where you end and others begin.


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