Frida Kahlo, a Cancer.
Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos Getty
On Tuesday morning, the sun enters caring, introspective Cancer. During the month ahead, your attention may shift from the world around you to the one within. If you’ve been neglecting your inner life, ignoring your need for security or companionship or healing in favor of constant socializing, this is the time to make things right. If you’ve felt distant from your loved ones, Cancer season offers a chance to find your way back to each other. Then on Wednesday evening, love planet Venus enters lighthearted Gemini, preventing things from getting too sentimental, and encouraging you to see the beauty even in relationships and experiences that aren’t necessarily profound. You won’t take yourself so seriously that you forget how to laugh, how to flirt, how to simply take pleasure in the company of the people around you.
Though caring for other people makes your life richer, it can also be stressful. The more invested you are, the more vulnerable you are to being hurt. The more you cherish and value a relationship, the more you have to lose. When you’re feeling particularly pessimistic, you worry that loving isn’t worth the risk, that it can only come to a painful end. This week, your job is to be brave enough to keep caring for others anyway. Because right now, love won’t make you weak or depleted, but the opposite: strong and fearless and ready to fight, because you know what you’re fighting for.
Sometimes it surprises you (though you know it shouldn’t) when others are as firm in their convictions as you are in yours, when they prove themselves to be your equal in determination. Your first instinct in these situations might be to brace for conflict. What other result can there be when two stubborn people butt heads? But this week especially, competition isn’t your only option. If you’re open to it, you might discover something better instead: a friend willing and able to stand by your side, to fight just as hard for you as you do for yourself.
No matter how charming or fun or well-liked you are (as a Gemini, it’s probably very), there are still moments when you feel invisible. You know that people enjoy your company, even admire you, but you fear that they just aren’t paying close enough attention to actually see you. It would be easy, this week, to respond by becoming louder, impossible to ignore. But see what happens if you give others the benefit of the doubt. You might be surprised by just how perceptive they really are, and how much they value you — not just the mask you wear in public, but the real you — after all.
Lately you’re hyper aware of just how much in this life lies completely outside of your control. You cannot force those in power to develop a conscience they do not have. You can’t even persuade certain people who are close to you to act in the ways you wish they would. The sun rises and sets, and the seasons change, and humans act according to their own chaotic, individual impulses: you can’t control any of that. Even so: You’re far from powerless. Every day, there are situations — no matter how small — where your care and attention do make a difference, and this week, your task is to find them.
It’s difficult to live in a ruthless society and not be made cruel yourself in response, to deal with greedy, uncaring people without being changed for the worse. Violence creates more violence; the people who benefit from that truth rely on everyone else, including you, to forget that there are other ways to be. So this week, it’s up to you to remember. The world seems to change for the worse every day, but that doesn’t mean that you have to. Protect all that’s kind and brave and good in you, and you’ll be rewarded for it.
When you ask too much of others — for care or effort or attention they’re unable unwilling to give — you inevitably end up disappointed. And after too many experiences like this, you may begin to believe that you’ll never be satisfied, that there’s nobody out there who will really show up for you, or that you’re uniquely cursed in love. But that’s far from the truth. What’s more it stops you from appreciating the sweet but imperfect ways the people in your life show you they care. This week, try to accept what gifts you’re offered. You might find that all these disparate forms of affection add up to be what you needed after all.
These days, you’ve been thinking about how if our reality were only a little different — sweeter, more just, less precarious — you could be living another, fuller life. You dream about the more fulfilling ways you could use your creative talents if you didn’t have to work so hard just to pay the bills; you imagine how much more energy you’d have to care for your community if you weren’t so exhausted at the end of each day. But this week, don’t imagine for an instant that your potential is going to waste. You do so much already, in this imperfect world of ours.
At times, it seems like the people in your life, even the ones who love you most, can’t quite … handle your whole, complicated self. They’re constantly trying to pigeonhole you, to put a label on you, to figure you out once and for all, and they become frustrated, even upset, when they find that they can’t. You wonder whether it would just be easier to be the person others have decided you are, to stop changing so much, to give up on the messy, knottier sides of yourself. But it’s not your job to make yourself small for other people’s comfort. It’s only your job to live fully.
It’s upsetting, nursing a suspicion that others are undervaluing you, knowing that you’re capable of bigger, more wonderful things than anybody else thinks. You wonder what your life would be like if the people around you had more faith in you, what would have turned out differently if you’d received the support you needed. No matter how confident you are, feeling unseen and unappreciated takes its toll. This week, you have the chance to begin building yourself back up again. Don’t wait for anyone else’s approval. You’re capable of more than even you can imagine.
It’s tempting for you to wait for the ideal conditions before you’ll take action, or for a sense of certainty that a relationship is worth it before you’ll dive in. In a way, it makes sense. Why should you accept any less than you deserve? But the truth is that change rarely arrives at the “right time,” and there are no perfect people. Consider this knowledge a gift, not a disappointment. You don’t have to keep waiting for an optimal moment that may never come. You can act in this moment. You can create the world, the relationships, the conditions you need at any time.
When you’ve been faced with a confusing relationship or a difficult decision, your tendency of late is to overthink it. This can be strangely gratifying. It gives your brain something to do, and all the mental exertion affirms that you’re making good progress. This week, though, do your best to resist the urge to turn the same dilemma over and over in your mind, to obsess and theorize without rest. Right now, the answers you’re seeking are more likely to come when you loosen your grip and stop trying so hard. Give yourself a moment just to be.
You’ve been wondering whether you’re truly strong enough to make it through the days ahead. It isn’t that you’re particularly weak, or that you’re deficient in some other way. It’s just that the future is so terrifyingly uncertain, and you fear you won’t be ready for whatever change is on the horizon. You worry that you won’t have time to develop the inner power you need to get through it. But strength isn’t something new that you have to generate out of thin air: You’ve had it all along; what you have to do is remember how courageous you can be. You’ve proven it to yourself before, and you will again.
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