Belief Is Not Required 

Major Planetary Note (MPN): After four months in flexible and lighthearted Gemini (all decked out in yellow and olive), Venus moves into sea-green and blue Cancer (August 8 through September 6).

Basic Meaning of MPN: I sometimes miss albums and their covers. Do you recall the cassette tape, more importantly, the "mixtape"? Hankering for some DIY (do it yourself) home improvement? Nostalgia, sentimental moods, antiques and old movies come up for major review with the planet of love and art oozing through cuddly Cancer. I say, find that cozy couch for cuddly lovers, muy pronto. Buy stock in Home Depot.

Thought Food (contemplate): Cease swimming in the collective (and often polluted) mainstream; locate your own tributary.

Questions: Where do you dare be a "group of one"? How can you resist following the mob mentality and advocate possibly unpopular positions?

Fire Element

Leo, July 23-August 22, concentrating spirit, aka individuality (fire)

When you can wear what you feel/what do you want to say? Lyrics from "All Dressed Up in Love," sung by Jennifer Hudson from the first Sex in the City movie. All fire signs have challenges with appearances, saving face, as it were. The current tenor of the planets suggests a quiet dynamic of soul-to-soul bonding based upon larger and timeless truths. Is it more important that your hair be coifed and your kitchen immaculately cleaned or that you've recycled your bottles and cardboard? It's time to acknowledge how much love and support you've been receiving. Not taking anybody for granted is this week's meme. Squash pride and arrogance as if you were one of the Williams sisters on the tennis court scoring aces. Speaking from your heart shows your true soul, and then we're likely to follow you anywhere.

Sagittarius, November 22-December 21, adapting and learning spirit, aka individuality (fire)

Yours is a transpersonal sign of late fall. Trans, that is, beyond and/or above the personal, that's you. No matter how enthusiastic and spirited you are, you know your life must leave a meaningful legacy. That's why the way you end relationships is as important as how you start them. How do you give yourself over? Completely with body and soul or do you withhold a bit here and there, just in case the "greener grass" individual shows up? With Venus (love) in Cancer (your eighth house of soul bonding and commitment), you have a month to harmonize with your closest others, demonstrating your vulnerabilities, too. Individually driven Mars will be protecting a portion of your heart from objective and mentally balanced Libra until August 23. After any emotional games you play, you're likely to love someone who has a higher emotional intelligence. Again, transpersonal, it's about you, your intimate other and the context of your connection.

Aries, March 20-April 19, initiating spirituality and action (fire)

In the aggressive dog days of 2012, I speak of Venus and her glow of love to soothe our anxious spirits. With iconoclastic and free-spirited Uranus in your sign, your "don't tread on me" persona has a more heightened and intense quality (if that's even possible). No one's gonna tell you how to do you. However, Venus spreads her calm nature through the initiating waters of homebody Cancer. Slow down, smell some roses and gardenias. If you must be social, have your favorite others come to you. A bit of comfort food may hit the waistline, but you need a heart start. If you're going to be driven, then be driven to the place where gratitude and joy grow beyond your wildest imagination.

Earth Element

Virgo, August 23-September 22, adapting and learning earth (physical)

Last week, I gave you a preview of what to expect when the Italian Goddess of Love (Venus) moves into Cancer. Your message was all about "friendship with benefits." With your ruler Mercury moving again in the next-door neighbor sign of Leo, you can sense the results of each communication coming home to roost. Since late June, we have sensed the intention behind your communication. No faking the funk for you! If you don't feel it, don't do it. That's one of your major lessons, emphasized even more because it is less than 30 days before your birthday. Our society doesn't approve of retreats, naps and time-outs (at least not for adults). Leave one responsibility to someone else. And if you cannot physically, then imagine doing so in your mind's eye without any guilt. Until August 23, it is OK to work on creating more financial equilibrium and intrinsic self-worth; after that, well, we'll talk.

Capricorn, December 22-January 20, initiating earth and its structure (physical)

Sometimes when I write these astrological messages, I imagine the sign I'm writing to sits in my office directly in front of me. Well, yours is usually the last of the 12 signs to come to an astrologer, being so pragmatic and all. However, you can be an efficient client/student once you understand its value. Oh, it's all instruction from my perspective. With Mars (passion) and Saturn (disciplinarian) traveling together for the next three weeks, you can believe that your career has taken on a boot-camp tone. Your ruler (Saturn) wants you only to get the absolute best out of life ... and actual best comes to you after work. No matter what type of metal spoon you were born with, work gives your life its value.

Taurus, April 20-May 20, concentrating earth and her pleasures (physical)

Summer came like cinnamon/so sweet, lyrics from "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. So which spices make your life better? How do you let your hair down? What is your style that you care little if we like it or even understand it? Your mind is alive with potential pleasures. For the last three years, Saturn has been reality-testing you, through the areas of your health, your wardrobe, and your ability to integrate your spirit with the physical world. Differentiate between dogged determination and willful stubbornness (usually, you'll know this by how much and how quickly we support your personal aims and aspirations). It is OK to venerate history, but it is not OK to get stuck there out of wounded pride.

Air Element

Libra, September 23-October 22, initiating intellectual (air) and forms new relationships

Sapphires and rubies were stones worn on the breastplates of ancient high priests in Jewish tradition. I had a dream about these stones and you. Yes, really. The scales, these stones (yellow sapphires represent clarity of thought, and rubies bring in the heartfelt passion) were shown to me, and I thought of you, and your delicate balancing act. Which act you say, sister? Thought and intuition, objectivity and passion and you and the other, these all come to mind (and vision, apparently). Midsummer delights through inspiring you to imagine nature spirit and stones whispering sweet somethings in your inner ear. Magic is afoot. You simply have to lose your attachment to logic to see it ... can't use your magic if you don't perceive you're (and your) magic. Own your whimsical self before it recedes too far in the mental background, as you mistakenly live what you consider to be a "proper" life.

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