Kate Bush, the Leo.
Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty
On Thursday, a new moon in Leo invites you to live boldly, even in undesirable or uninspiring circumstances. If you’ve recently set aside your own needs and desires — in order to care for others, or to deal with crises, personal or societal, that the world keeps throwing your way — then this is your chance to reclaim them. Then, later that afternoon, Jupiter retrograde begins. For the next four months, the planet of growth and luck will appear to move backwards through the sky. This isn’t the best time for making significant progress toward your goals, but it’s an excellent one for reflection. Are you growing in ways that feel useful and authentic to your core self? If the answer is no, it might become clear that you’re at a turning point, ready for a change. Know that you’re not too late.
No one can avoid making mistakes once in a while, and for the most part, you’ve made your peace with this. This week, though, you might find yourself making more of them that you’re used to. Maybe you come to find that someone you’ve drastically misjudged or championed a bold new strategy that ends up falling flat. It’s only natural to get discouraged, frustrated with yourself, but really, you’re doing exactly what you need to be doing. Misssteps mean you’re trying, that you’re asking bigger and better questions, that you’re brave enough to aim for something wonderful. Don’t give up now.
It’s gratifying to know that people in your life need you. It reminds you that your labor and care are valued, that you play an important role in this interconnected world. Still, the pressure of others’ expectations can get to be too much. If you’re stressed this week, ask yourself whether you are getting enough nurturing, too. This is not to say that all relationships are transactional, or that you must keep a ledger of emotional debts owed to you. Only that, you can’t give forever without receiving love in return. Ask for what you need.
Lately, your mind has been buzzing with a constant awareness of just how precarious the happiness in your life is. You’re hyperaware that everything you’ve achieved and strived for could fall apart, and everything you love could be yanked out from under you. It’s an overwhelming and stressful mindset to maintain, so this week try to remember that the reverse is true, too. If the good is impermanent, then it’s the bad stuff. If sweetness is not guaranteed, then neither is greed and cold-heartedness. There are no foregone conclusions. The future might be grim, or it might be more beautiful than you can imagine.
It takes openness and generosity of spirit, an authentic willingness to engage with the world, to recognize the beauty that exists all around you. You have this gift for spotting what is best and loveliest in other people. The trouble is that you aren’t always able to see these same qualities in yourself. Up to a certain point, this humility is admirable. But you deserve to allow yourself kindness, too. You’re already too well acquainted with your weaknesses, with all the flaws you wish you could change. This week, find enough compassion and affection in your heart to save some for yourself.
Wanting to be liked by those around you is not silly or shallow. As you well know, it’s important to consider the way your words and actions come across, to be aware that you’re part of a larger web of social connections. At a certain point, though, it’s possible to give too much weight to others’ opinions and impressions; you stop listening to, let alone trusting, your own inner voice. This week, continue to consider the feelings of those around you. But if their judgments keep you from freely or authentically, it’s okay to prioritize yourself.
You sometimes feel like you’re the only person taking any of the world’s problems seriously. On social media you see others enjoying their lives, laughing and joking as though nothing is wrong, and it’s as if they don’t care at all. It’s an unbearably lonely position to be in, to imagine yourself alone in your anxiety. This week, remind yourself that we don’t all process stress or fear or pain the same way, and an Instagram post doesn’t tell the whole story. The masks people wear in public don’t always reflect their true feelings. If you can start from the assumption that you aren’t alone, you’ll find that you have more allies than you think.
Even if you’re tending toward jaded this week, try giving others the benefit of the doubt. Not necessarily those in positions of political power, but the regular people you encounter throughout the day, in all their lovely, confusing, and sometimes maddening humanity. Not because everyone is always good, or because, as a good person, you owe them your good faith. Rather, everyone wins when we create opportunities for people to be good, honest, brave. When you give others a chance to be their best selves, they might take it.
Some people’s natural talents are illuminated in times of change; some shine brightest when they feel most secure. It might seem unfair how everything keeps shifting, hindering your ability to imagine, let alone build toward, a long-term future. But this week, don’t assume you’re completely out of luck. Consider that you have gifts you don’t yet know about, because you’ve never had need of them before. Try to have faith that you are where you need to be, and that you have important contributions to make — even if you’re still discovering what they are.
If it were up to you, you would always be learning, growing, experiencing more and more of the world. But nobody, not even you, can live in a state of constant self-improvement. This week, pushing too far or too quickly is likely to cause problems for you, to deplete your emotional resources and entangle you in projects and dramas you have no interest in. Trying to do less might feel unnatural. Do it anyway. You’ve been in motion for so long; you deserve some time to do nothing at all.
These days, nothing (not your job, not your friendships, not your hobbies) is easy. Even the most basic errands seem to require more effort than they used to; there are only a few activities that offer a straightforward sense of accomplishment. Adequate rest will help, but you also need reassurance that all this difficulty will be worthwhile in the end, that your efforts will not be wasted. This week, give yourself permission to go easy on yourself or to cut corners, in the areas that don’t actually matter to you. Save your best energy for what is most meaningful, so that your work might genuinely pay off.
This week, you may be consumed by a need to write your own story, to determine your own future. If you aren’t careful, you’ll spend all your time stewing and fretting, or grasping for a sense of control that remains out of reach. No matter how hard you work, uncertainties remain; no matter how much authority you accrue, there will be other people more powerful than you. So instead, put your energy toward building relationships. The rewards of human connection can surprise you and change everything, and nobody can take that away.
It’s no easy feat to battle your insecurities. They’re slippery and sly, tenacious as weeds. This week, though, through some kind of magic, you’ll get a glimpse of how powerful, how wonderful you are, and how weak the basis of your insecurities in reality. You can love yourself boldly and generously, without apology. This feeling might not last forever. Learning to treat ourselves right is a continuous process, one we must relearn again and again, but try to remember what this is like. Don’t forget that this kind of love exists.
Read the weekly horoscopes for the week of July 28. The weekly horoscopes for the week of August 1 will be online next Sunday.
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