Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of June 26 – July 2

Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of June 26 – July 2

Your weekly guide to what’s on the horizon, courtesy of Tracy Allen…

Follow @astrotherapist on Twitter and email tallennyc@gmail.com to schedule a reading over the phone or Skype. Available in-person in NYC! $125 for 60 minutes, $150 for 90 minutes.

CancerCANCER

June 21–July 22

Mars and Mercury are hurtling through Cancer, mobilizing you, revving up your brain and helping you to express yourself. This week, they have favorable and challenging encounters with other planets, which should give you opportunities to take advantage of and obstacles to navigate. Their faceoffs with Pluto can lure you into a power struggle or lead you to experience resistance to your actions or words. Remember this: You can only control yourself! Finding middle ground can bring about positive change, so see if that’s possible. There’s a high-voltage charge in dialogue and partnership now, but that also means both are potentially volatile. Thanks to Merc’s entanglement with Jupiter, you’re optimistic but could become a tad boastful or gloss over details. Think flexibly and plan carefully. The best news: Mars and Mercury are dovetailing with Neptune in your exploration sector, inspiring you to speak up or take action based on your compassion, ideals or spiritual beliefs. Contemplate the world not as it is, but as you think it should be. Then dedicate your drive and brainpower to promoting that vision. Strive to say and do something that has meaning — and perhaps serves others who are less fortunate than you. That’s how you’ll get the most out of this week!

LeoLEO

July 23–August 22

With Mars tucked away at the end of your chart, try to stay extra aware of what’s going on in the back of your head and what subconscious motives might be driving your behavior. Mercury is hiding out there too, so although you’re less talkative, your intuition is strong. Both planets oppose Pluto this week, making tension between your inner and outer lives likely. Maybe you’re inclined to retreat from the world but need to poke your head out and tackle a health issue, everyday duties or job responsibilities. Be careful in your dealings with coworkers; they’re the people you’re apt to have trouble communicating with and cooperating with. Listen to your instincts and read between the lines. Avoid destructive conflicts over the perfect way of doing things. Take breaks to be by yourself. Despite the tension, creative work is possible during this transit, especially if you seek practical compromises. A Mercury-Jupiter skirmish may cause you to overstate your case, but it can also open your mind to new views. Since Mars and Merc are vibing with Neptune, alone time and introspection or private time with another person and intimate sharing can result in feeling closer to your true essence or closer to someone you care about. Either way, it can be a mystical, healing experience, so dive in deep.

VirgoVIRGO

August 23–September 22

Mars in your humanity house is keeping you busy with teamwork, socializing and perhaps some professional networking, and you’ll be most productive — not to mention motivated — when you’re collaborating with others. Mercury is also in that house, encouraging lots of group interaction. But the messenger planet’s clash with Jupiter this week might cause discord between you and your friends if you’re asking for too much or you become a bit self-righteous over money, possessions, values or priorities. You may not agree, but you can all learn from each other if you practice tolerance. Mars and Mercury are opposing Pluto, and those faceoffs can play out a number of different ways. An intense love affair could pull you away from your crew, causing friction. Or you might be wrapped up in a creative project or another pleasurable pursuit and will need to weigh your personal fulfillment against group interests. Lucky for you, both Mars and Mercury are in sync with Neptune, paving a relatively easy path to moments of organic connection, spiritual simpatico, artistic alliance, romantic vibes and charitable endeavors. It’s not a good idea to put people on a pedestal, but sometimes you need to remind yourself not to notice every little flaw, as discerning Virgos often do. Discern what there is to love about someone!

LibraLIBRA

September 23–October 22

Your ambition is in overdrive while motivated Mars occupies the highest house in your chart, and with mental Mercury also hanging out there, your head is really in the game. This week, both planets have run-ins with Pluto, who’s been lurking at the bottom of your chart, instigating emotional, familial or domestic turbulence and change. Libra wants everything to be pleasant, harmonious and fair, and recognizing that life doesn’t always work that way can make you tense. The rumblings Pluto has provoked within you and in your home can prevent you from maintaining a tranquil foundation, but they also compel you to integrate the dark with the light — bringing more depth and realness to your mood and your personal life. Do your best to balance worldly strivings with private struggles. Acknowledge what’s going on inside you so it doesn’t cause unforeseen problems in a public or professional setting. A Mercury-Jupiter clash underscores the need to keep emotions and confidence in check when speaking to authority figures. Let your enthusiasm fuel career planning, but avoid overreaching when it comes to crafting goals. Mars and Merc are gelling with Neptune, making creative work and useful efforts that help others your most valuable ways of proving what you can do and getting ahead.

ScorpioSCORPIO

October 23–November 21

Thanks to Mars and Mercury trekking through your exploration corner, you’re in the mood for adventure and intent on broadening your horizons. However, both of those planets face off against your ruler this week, which could trigger mental angst or interpersonal friction. Fighting for what you believe in is commendable; just avoid hitting people over the head with your principles. You’ll be at your best when you’re on a quest for the truth, not when you’re convinced that you’ve found it. It won’t be easy to maintain an open mind now, but doing so will make it possible to undergo a very powerful transformation in the way you see the world. So don’t dig in your heels! Two heads are better than one in this case. Mercury’s skirmish with Jupiter could cause you to get ahead of yourself with an optimistic vision of the future, so make a point of examining your subconscious expectations. A plan that’s motivated by your spiritual values and the pursuit of justice can triumph. Merc and Mars are in cahoots with Neptune, favoring a transcendent learning experience. Note that you must take risks for the sake of personal growth. Whether you’re being more daring with your heart or creativity or finding the courage to try something that challenges you, venture into the unknown!

SagittariusSAGITTARIUS

November 22–December 21

Be careful not to break a confidence this week when Mercury in your sharing sector spars with Jupiter in your group zone. This transit can indicate a problem around secrets and gossip, and it might also point to a disagreement over hopes and ideals. Merc and Mars are both at odds with Pluto in your worth house, complicating efforts to share; it’s challenging to find the right balance of give-and-take now. Financial concerns and different values or priorities may lead to strife in a close relationship. A pressing need to maintain control over your resources can make it harder to compromise, but when planets oppose each other, compromise often eases the tension. If you’re more involved with a passion project, investigation or introspection at the moment, your determination and focus will help you get somewhere. Saturn’s uncomfortable encounters with Venus and Mercury might require you to bend a little in order to maintain good relations. Since Mars and Mercury are in sync with Neptune, you could have a lot of success engaging in creative work at home; doing or saying something to help a relative or housemate; trying to heal a personal wound; processing your feelings with someone you trust; and delving into your psyche in search of cathartic understanding.

CapricornCAPRICORN

December 22–January 19

Focus on your relationships with other individuals this week because Mercury and Mars are meeting up in your one-on-one angle and also facing off against Pluto in Capricorn. Keep thinking in terms of dialogue and partnership, even if things get tense. Especially then! It’s virtually impossible not to act like a control freak at times while you have an incredibly commanding planet slooowly making its way through your sign — but attempting to control other people, your environment and circumstances tends to backfire. You’ll experience opposition if you’re too forceful now, so think of compromise as the most winning strategy rather than instinctively trying to get the upper hand. Projection is a danger during this transit, as you might think people are simply being difficult, while their take is that they’re merely reacting to your perceived behavior. Mercury is also tussling with Jupiter in your ambition angle, and big goals may come out of a conversation as a result. Just be sure to break down a game plan for success into practical action steps. Thankfully, both Mars and Merc are harmonizing with Neptune, hinting that the best way for you to get on the same page with people is to think and speak with compassion and empathy. Creative collaboration and spiritual connection are favored under this influence.

AquariusAQUARIUS

January 20–February 18

You have plenty on your plate, thanks to a gathering of planets in your productivity corner, and luckily Mars is giving you the drive to get things done, while Mercury provides the ability to focus on specific tasks. Both planets are in a tug-of-war with Pluto this week, implying that emotional rumblings or difficulties lingering from the past could make you less efficient. You’re likely to sabotage your own efforts if you don’t tune into your subconscious and persuade the part of you that you may think of as your dark side to work in tandem with the rest of you. Your outer life is taking so much of your attention that inner turmoil is apt to get swept under the rug. But suppression is never the answer, especially when the planet in question is as powerful as Pluto! When you attempt to hold a beach ball underwater, it comes flying back up, and the force seems uncontrollable. Don’t submerge it in the first place; let it rest on the surface where you can handle it. A Mercury-Jupiter encounter pits detailed thinking against abstract vision, and a hopeful plan rooted in reality would be the optimum outcome. Mars and Merc are vibing with Neptune, hinting that your hard work can assuage financial fears and perhaps even offset a deficit.

PiscesPISCES

February 19–March 20

A concentration of planetary energy in your joy sector is driving you to prioritize personal pleasure, but as Mercury and Mars move into opposition with Pluto in your network zone this week, those faceoffs can make it seem like pursuing your heart’s desire goes against group interests. Maybe your friends are opposed to a romantic relationship that you’re involved in. Or maybe doing as you please conflicts with your obligations to other people. You could feel torn between standing out and fitting in or between doing your own thing and collaborating. Look for the elusive middle ground between feeling like you’re being too selfish and feeling like you’re being too accommodating. Merc’s clash with Jupiter can trigger oversharing in a close relationship. Pour your heart out if the spirit moves you, but don’t place too much emphasis on the expected response. Say what you’re moved to say for the sake of expressing yourself, not to achieve a desired result. Luckily, both Mercury and Mars are in sync with Neptune in Pisces, and their harmony should help you to convey your creativity, emotions and personality clearly. It’s a gift to feel truly seen and understood, and you need to put yourself out there to make that happen. Come out from behind the smokescreen of Neptune in Pisces, and show people your unique, lovable self.

AriesARIES

March 21–April 19

Your ruler is charging across the base of your chart, making your home the area of greatest productivity — but also a potential area of strife. If you feel irritable, Mercury can help you tune into your emotions and understand what’s behind your mood. Both Mars and Merc oppose Pluto this week, which might pit your home life against your ambition, requiring you to juggle as best you can. Regressive behavior or underlying frustration might cause you to damage your standing, so pay close attention to your emotionally-driven words and deeds. You may be able to use strong feelings — and an understanding of what got you to this point in life — to propel a change in your career path or life direction. Mars and Merc are joining forces with Neptune, who has been lingering at the end of your chart for years, producing vague longings and occasional melancholy or awareness of the existential void. You may be able to do highly imaginative work, but there’s also a good chance that unpacking your emotional baggage will have a healing effect. Make a choice to lighten your psychic load and leave something in the past. You can share private feelings with someone close to you, but don’t place high expectations on them to respond the way you want.

TaurusTAURUS

April 20–May 20

Venus in Taurus and Mercury in your communication corner have awkward meetings with Saturn this week, so you might need to tweak your mindset and the vibe you’re giving off in order to make a relationship work. You’re ready to assert yourself and take a proactive approach in your everyday life, but with Merc and Mars battling Pluto, you might get into a destructive disagreement. Don’t insist on being right. Search for the truth rather than declaring it. If you put all your energy into maintaining your position, you rob yourself of the chance to acquire knowledge — and knowledge is power! A heated debate might just be the best use of these transits, as long as you’re willing to see both sides. A good first step is to make a point of taking your ego out of your thinking; in other words, don’t overidentify with your ideas and opinions. Mercury’s spat with Jupiter might cause communication problems on the job or lead you to see only the forest and not the trees. Doublecheck your work and fill in the gaps. Since Neptune in your humanity zone is in sync with Mars and Mercury, group communication, philanthropic endeavors, professional networking and socializing with friends will all be big pluses. Unselfish thoughts and actions can help you feel connected to others.

GeminiGEMINI

May 21–June 20

Your ruler gets into a scuffle with Jupiter this week, and what that probably means for you is your financial judgment will be impaired by a quest for fun, happiness or pleasure. Under this influence, it’s really difficult to think in practical terms. Another strong possibility: The way you view your own worth will be colored by romantic expectations or by your hopes of future fulfillment. Mercury and Mars are opposing Pluto in your sharing sector, which may generate tension in a close relationship. When asking for what you feel you need — and going after it — you could encounter resistance and get into a struggle involving give-and-take. “Mine” versus “ours” is likely to be the source of friction. Interdependence feels like a weighty matter to you, and self-sufficiency seems so much simpler. Psychological or relationship turmoil is a sign that deep change is happening there, and the process is taking longer than you’d like. This can be a good time to assess where you stand. Since Mars and Merc are meshing with Neptune, your thoughts and actions related to money, priorities, resources and values can best be applied to an ambitious dream. Consider how you might make the most of your talents and other assets to achieve your aims and also provide for yourself. Creative and spiritually-motivated efforts will be fruitful.

Follow @astrotherapist on Twitter and email tallennyc@gmail.com to schedule a reading over phone or Skype. Available in-person in NYC! $125 for 60 minutes, $150 for 90 minutes.

Free People Blog

Summer of Love: Stories from Photographer Baron Wolman

Summer of Love: Stories from Photographer Baron Wolman

A one-of-a-kind look behind the lens of the man who inspired our latest shoot — portrait photographer, Baron Wolman…

In the mid- to late-60s, Baron Wolman changed the face of portrait photography, capturing the spirit and soul of those people making moves in music through his work at Rolling Stone magazine. Elevating groupies to the same category of the performers they followed, the American-born Wolman documented his subjects with a fervor not seen before him. It is his honest eye and raw style that inspired our Summer of Love lookbook, and we are fortunate to share with you a few candid stories behind some of his iconic images that we’re selling here…

In the studio I photographed fashionista and funk singer, Betty Davis for our short-lived but very influential counterculture fashion magazine, RAGS. We called it “the Rolling Stone of fashion!” The late sixties changes in society that we could hear we published in Rolling Stone. The changes in style and dress that we could see, we published in Rags. From her globe-size afro to her free-form poses in the most exciting and compelling clothes, I made a series of absolutely compelling fashion photos. Betty was fiercely independent and extraordinarily creative, writing and playing music, becoming the muse to many. Vogue wrote that the former fashion model “introduced her husband Miles to her rumored flame, Jimi Hendrix, and her friend Sly Stone. Their relationship and work together helped catapult Mile’s sound into a freer, more experimental phrase, eventually spawning Davis’ now classic album, Bitches Brew.” A couple of years ago, Betty Davis’ albums were rereleased to significant acclaim, but for reasons known only to Betty herself, she has gone underground, difficult to contact and giving no interviews, in spite of a documentary in the works about her colorful, extraordinary life.

I met the Sanchez Twins – Lynn and Laura – in the late sixties, probably backstage at a Fillmore Auditorium concert in San Francisco. Their mother ran a popular breakfast-lunch type restaurant in the glorious North Beach district of San Francisco. It was, and still is, called “Mama’s On Washington Square.” In addition to their young and compelling beauty (they were 17 at the time), the twins got along well which made photographing them together a delight. And they were willing participants in our photographic adventures. Our shoots were always fun, be they in my studio or in the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. On their 18th birthday, when they became “alcohol legal,” I treated the three of us to dinner…with wine. I have only the fondest recollections of the Sanchez Twins, and lots of lovely photos to underscore the memories…

Just as it’s impossible for any parent to choose his or her favorite child, so it is for me to choose my favorite groupie. Miss Sparky (Linda Sue Parker), however, would certainly rank high on any list of groupies I loved. She was an intelligent and “sparkling” member of the GTO’s, always smiling and exuberant. I remember the day I and the GTO’s went into the borrowed photo studio of A&M Records in LA for our photo shoot for the Rolling Stone Groupie issue (#27) which was published on February 15, 1969. What a great afternoon! Each of the six GTO’s in attendance presented herself differently, from her unique make-up to her distinctive clothes. No two women were alike, nor would I have expected them to be. In the true sixties interpretation of fashion, each put herself together from her own personal idea of style, how she felt she looked best. And each did look fabulous!

I lived walking distance from Janis Joplin’s flat in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. More than once I visited her to make pictures of one of my most beloved female musicians of the sixties. At this particular session I noticed a wall of new “Janis” posters decorating her bedroom. “Hey, Baron, dig it. I’m the first hippie pin-up girl!” The posters were for sale in head shops around the country and they featured a charming semi-nude image of Janis made by my photographer friend, Bob Seidemann. Because I knew that Janis had both a light and a dark side to her, I usually urged the light side forward when I photographed her; after all, she was still a 24 year old young girl becoming a woman in 1967, experienced but still filled with the joy of the possibilities ahead. Anyhow, for this photo I decided to try and mirror her look in her pin-up poster, so I allowed her to be somewhat more serious and somber. Later on, Seidemann and I traded signed photo prints; I framed the one I took next to Bob’s original, respectfully sexy shot. I sure do miss Janis.

 

Joni Mitchell was 25 when I photographed her at home in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles. Actually, I wasn’t there on assignment for Rolling Stone, rather I had been hired by a glossy upstart counterculture magazine called EYE and published by the Hearst group, one of the country’s largest magazine publishers. The Hearst people recognized that the counterculture represented a growing market and they wanted to speak (and sell) to it. They offered many Rolling Stone staffers well-paid freelance assignments (I was still working for free at Rolling Stone), and I was one of them. The Joni Mitchell shoot was unique in many ways. First, it was in color, and color was impossible to print in the pages of Rolling Stone back then so most of my work until then had been in black & white. Secondly, I brought along my medium format Hasselblad camera which produced razor sharp large negatives and color transparencies. One Eye’s dime, I also used the opportunity to shoot some 35mm black and white for Rolling Stone; I knew they would like having the pictures, and in fact, one of those shots subsequently became a Rolling Stone cover! After the shoot, Joni and I sat around, drank tea, and probably discussed everything from love to relationships to politics; I don’t really remember what we talked about, only that Joni and I had a wonderful afternoon together. If you haven’t guessed already, the location of the shoot was the subject of the song, “Our House,” written when Graham Nash and Joni were living together in that very home…

Here’s why I loved Grace Slick. She was smart, she was beautiful, she was talented, she was decidedly anti-establishment and she had a mouth on her. Have you read her autobiography? The colorful Girl Scout vest she wore the day we made this photos (again, for both EYE and Rolling Stone) was more of an in your face fashion statement than the proud wearing of her uniform. Looking at her and focusing through the portrait lens I was captivated by her “liquid lips,” as smitten me calls them. To my eyes, Grace, not yet 30 at the time, was the consummate rebel woman. I mean how could you not love somebody who came a hair’s breadth away from dosing the punch at a Nixon White House gathering. Her music career spanned four decades, and involved the Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, and she provided vocals on several iconic songs including “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love.” After her retirement – “All rock-and-rollers over the age of 50 look stupid and should retire.” – she started painting, usually visual interpretations of her music industry colleagues and various iterations of “White Rabbit.” We should all be so gifted and clever. We should all think, dress and live so independently and creatively, forever marching to the beat of our own drum…

I came upon Woodstock twice. First in the endless line of cars on highway 17-B through Bethel and on to the festival grounds; I got stuck in that line. Worried that I’d miss the beginning of the festival, I pulled out my AAA map (no Google maps or GPS in those days) and found a “blue” road that paralleled 17-B. Fortunately, it was clear – didn’t everybody carry AAA maps in those days? Anyhow, I quickly traveled that road that took me almost directly to the stage area. I parked my car, grabbed my cameras and trotted in the direction of the music, climbed up onto the stage and looked out upon the hundreds of thousands of fans who were already in place waiting for the music to begin. Frankly, I was stunned. I had never, ever seen so many people in one place at one time, all facing the stage, all facing me and my camera. It was a scene I’ll never forget. This particular Woodstock photo has always puzzled me. The couple is dancing, joyously, I presume. But why aren’t the others dancing, too? Why aren’t they smiling? Where was the spirit of peace, love and music? I dunno; maybe it was the heat and humidity, maybe they were already exhausted. Anyhow, as I wrote on the back cover of my book called “Woodstock:” “Woodstock showed the world how things could have been, and for this reason it’s important that we never forget the experience, the place, the time, and the dream that came true, if only for three days…”

 

Sally Mann – the groupie, not the photographer – is a perfect example of why I was smitten by the groupies. She was lovely to look at, quick-witted, and super-intelligent with a knife-sharp sense of humor. In January, 1970, Sally married Spencer Dryden of the Jefferson Airplane, with whom they had a son, Jesse. I guess we can therefore call her a “successful” groupie? In her own words: “Immediate mutual attraction notwithstanding, the course of true love never did run smooth, at least in my case, and before I could seal the deal with Spencer, I faced the daunting challenge of sweeping up the sticky-sweet residue left behind in his heart by my predecessor, the formidable Grace Slick—an undertaking made appreciably easier by Grace’s waning interest in Spencer and growing interest in Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane’s kamikaze rhythm guitarist.” Super-groupie Pamela des Barres rose to fame on the back of her book, “I’m With The Band.” Sally’s own reminiscences will soon appear in book form with the determined title of “The Band Is With Me!”  She is so cool…

 

Each of the images featured here are currently available via our site, with each one signed by Baron himself, and limited to 150 prints per picture.

B&W prints are silver gelatin on fibre-based paper. Color prints are C-types printed on Lambda printers.

NOTE: Prints are not sold framed.

+ Be sure to check out the full Summer of Love Collection, and stay tuned this week for more! 

Big love and thank you to Baron and Iconic Images for partnering with us to curate this fine art gallery!

Free People Blog

Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of June 19–25

Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of June 19–25

For the week ahead…

Follow @astrotherapist on Twitter and email tallennyc@gmail.com to schedule a reading over the phone or Skype. Available in-person in NYC! $125 for 60 minutes, $150 for 90 minutes.

 

CancerCANCER

June 21–July 22

You might need to juggle your social life and home life early in the week, but grab onto any chance to enjoy a pleasant escape with friends because Venus’s harmony with Neptune makes it easy to savor the beauty of people and places. Venus is also vibing with Pluto, meaning you could form a strong connection—probably a platonic one rather than a romantic one, although a pal might turn into a significant other. If you meet someone new at this time, it’s likely to be in a group setting. With the sun and Mercury rolling into Cancer, you’re full of energy and eager to express yourself. Although your birthday season gives you permission to be self-centered in a good way, you’re also interested in engaging with other people, thanks to Mercury’s convivial influence. You can convey so much personality in your conversations, so don’t be a hermit crab! This week’s new moon is in your sign, and you should accept its implicit invitation to reinvent yourself. What signals are you sending out? Are you conveying your true intentions? How do you present yourself to others? What’s your communication style? Would you like to play with your appearance and show off a different side of yourself? Now’s the time to change up your image in whatever way you choose. A Mars-Jupiter clash has you riding a wave of confidence and flirting with the temptation to be uncharacteristically reckless, so you may want to apply a bit of Cancerian caution. Happy solar return!

LeoLEO

July 23–August 22

This week’s Venus-Neptune fusion highlights the allure of power and may draw you to someone older or more established than you. Venus’s link with Pluto in your productivity corner suggests that all the hard work you’ve been doing will boost your appeal with authority figures such as a boss or mentor. If you’re hoping your creativity will get you noticed, your determined efforts could pay off now. Earning favor with someone in a position to help you get ahead could have a transformative effect on your job situation — so keep a high profile when it matters. However, the sun and Mercury are both sneaking into the last house of your chart, and you’ll probably feel the need for more rest and solitude in the coming month. Your solar year is winding down, making this a time to reflect on what’s transpired before gearing up for what lies ahead. Go off by yourself and get in touch with your subconscious. Your intuition and imagination are strong; give yourself the gift of peace and quiet so you can tune into them. You should be able to gain insight into the past and what makes you tick. The new moon gives you an additional nudge to attend to your inner life, and you might opt to begin a new spiritual practice or release something that’s been weighing on your mind. With Mars and Jupiter at odds, bottled-up aggression or secrets could come bursting out, so be careful what you say.

VirgoVIRGO

August 23–September 22

A romantic trip or a bonding experience with someone close to you are possibilities this week, given Venus’s encounter with Neptune. And if you’re looking for love, you might fall for someone who’s not your type, so set aside your preconceptions and view people through a less critical lens. Venus is also making music with intense Pluto in your joy sector—even more incentive for you to get off the beaten path and explore unaccustomed pleasures. The foreign, not the familiar, has the potential to elicit strong feelings. Whether you’re seeking a person, place or thing, venturing beyond habitual boundaries could prove deeply fulfilling. With the sun and your ruling planet, Mercury, segueing into your humanity house and holding a summit there, your attention will continue to turn from current goals to future ones and from ambition to social connection. This is the time of year when friendship, networking, group gatherings and philanthropic concerns take center stage in your life. Being yourself with people and being aware of your role in the lives of others (as well as their roles in your life) will fortify your bonds. The new moon in that house encourages a new collaboration or friendship, and you might choose to join an organization or launch a charitable endeavor. Since Mars is fighting with Jupiter in your worth zone, overconfidence, greed or overestimating your resources could cause problems in a group, so practice moderation.

LibraLIBRA

September 23–October 22

A Venus-Jupiter scuffle may call for you to make a concession in a close relationship to keep the peace this week, but a Venus-Neptune confab hints that sharing and intimacy can have a healing effect on you. Your psychological health may benefit from an alternative modality, and a favor or sacrifice would help a relationship. Venus also happens to be gelling with Pluto, suggesting that deep-seated emotions will intensify a significant bond. Processing private feelings that you find unsettling will empower self-acceptance. Libras often have trouble owning their not-so-pretty emotions such as anger, but in order to love yourself, you must come to terms with the whole truth of what’s inside you. And loving yourself is a prerequisite for healthy relationships! As Mercury and the sun ascend to the peak of your chart, your ambition is heightened and you’ll begin to devote more time and energy to achieving your aims. You can capture the attention of people who are in a position to promote your progress, so express your goals and show what you’re capable of. However, Mars is doing battle with Jupiter, so you run the risk of stepping on toes in your quest to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. Your drive is a plus, but try to remain conscious of how your behavior is perceived. The new moon can inspire you to craft a business plan, choose a new objective, start a fresh chapter in your career or set off on a different path in your life.

ScorpioSCORPIO

October 23–November 21

Romance and other shared pleasures are favored this week, thanks to Venus in your one-on-one angle meshing with Neptune in your fulfillment sector. The joys of escapist play and artistic pursuits will be enhanced by companionship — meaning two is more fun than one! If you meet someone new, you may feel spiritually or creatively connected. And since Venus is also syncing with Pluto in your thinking-and-talking corner, a deep mental connection and powerful dialogue are also possible. A difficult conversation can lead to harmony and understanding between you and another person, so be strong and say what you really feel. Make a point of reaching out to people; someone can transform your mindset for the better now. With the sun and Mercury making their way into your exploration zone, your mood should brighten and your wanderlust may kick in. You’ve been super focused on something or someone, and now it’s time to branch out and meet different people, have learning experiences and shake up your world by exposing yourself to new ideas and ways of life. Acquiring knowledge and striving to be more conscious will widen your perspective. The new moon in that part of your chart encourages you to adopt a fresh philosophy, take a trip, begin a course of study or have an adventure. Mars is in a spat with Jupiter, though, so you might go too far when asserting your views or behave a bit recklessly in the name of growth. Try to maintain self-awareness!

SagittariusSAGITTARIUS

November 22–December 21

You might enjoy working from home, working on your home or working out at home when Venus in your job-and-health corner clicks with Neptune in your domestic angle this week. Beautifying your workspace or living space can also bring you pleasure. And since Venus is vibing with transformative Pluto in your resources zone, decluttering your desk might be especially satisfying. That transit also points to the ideal connection between loving what you’re doing and gaining control over your finances; creative work could pay off now. If you need to work on problems in a relationship, you’ll be able to find the tools to do so and will feel better about yourself when you make the effort. With both the sun and Mercury entering your depth sector, your focus will narrow and you’ll devote a lot of attention to a close relationship, passion project, research endeavor or getting to the bottom of an issue in your own psyche. This is an excellent period for digging into complex, challenging and even taboo matters, examining subtle nuances and getting in touch with emotions. The new moon in this part of your chart nudges you to share your life with someone, recover from a crisis or loss, change something within yourself or solve a mystery. Mars is arguing with your ruling planet, implying that sex and friendship would be a risky mix, and you might get involved with someone who clashes with your crew or your ideals, so look before you leap.

CapricornCAPRICORN

December 22–January 19

Look for an opportunity to show your compassion this week, since Venus is gelling with empathic Neptune in your communication house. Conversations are apt to take a heartfelt, romantic, spiritual or artistic turn. Plus Venus is in sync with Pluto, suggesting that pleasure, love, creativity and play can have a profound effect on you. You’ll get a surprising amount of satisfaction out of channeling your passion into simply enjoying life. Open your heart and show your feelings. Let people see the real you, even if it requires giving up the control that you crave. It won’t be as scary as you imagine! The sun and Mercury are crossing your one-on-one angle, and that means it’s time to make companionship a higher priority. Bounce your ideas off someone, solicit feedback, talk through problems in a relationship, learn from other individuals and learn about yourself through your interactions with others. You’re not meant to go it alone during this part of the year; you can feed off other people’s energy now and will get more done with a partner. The new moon hints at a new relationship coming down the pike — or if you already have a significant other, you might progress to a new level of commitment. Or you could redefine an existing connection or become more aware of your need for healthy, supportive relationships. This week’s Mars-Jupiter dustup might disrupt your personal or professional life if you push someone too hard because of your own ambition, so try to be more collaborative.

AquariusAQUARIUS

January 20–February 18

You’ll have a way with words this week when Mercury meshes with your ruling planet in your communication corner, so feel free to express your humor, creativity, original ideas and revelations. A Venus-Neptune confab might make this the right time to purge some possessions and declutter your home. Venus governs aesthetics, while Neptune is about releasing — so think about how you might make your space more beautiful and also get rid of what you don’t need. Venus’s connection with Pluto in the last house of your chart brings up a slightly different theme. This transit has to do with making peace with the past and with your very strongest emotions. Dealing with the deep, dark stuff inside you will allow you to understand and accept yourself. Psychological change is possible now if you drill down into your subconscious and face what you find there. Since the sun and Mercury are moving into your efficiency corner, it’s also time to get to work in the outer world. You’ll have the physical vitality and mental concentration to be highly productive in the coming weeks. The new moon gives you a great excuse to set a new schedule, launch a job search, adopt a new habit, begin a diet or exercise regimen, learn a skill, try a different modus operandi and improve your work ethic. A Mars-Jupiter skirmish could pull you off track if an urge for escape or newness tempts you to rush or gloss over details. Take a break, then refocus.

PiscesPISCES

February 19–March 20

Neptune in Pisces has a happy encounter with Venus this week, which will help you connect with your surroundings and enjoy warm interactions with others. Your ruling planet’s lengthy stay in your sign has been disorienting at times, and when he joins forces with other planets, you’re able to break through the fog and feel truly engaged and understood. You’re totally receptive to the love and beauty around you and open to whomever you encounter. Venus is also vibing with Pluto in your network zone, meaning group relations will get a boost as well. Mingling can yield powerful contacts, while spending time with friends can deepen your bond. Mutual affection and support will strengthen your ties to your squad, and telling a particular person how you feel can transform your friendship. The sun and Mercury are segueing into your fulfillment sector, coaxing you to convey what’s in your heart and let your personality shine through. Creative self-expression and personal pleasure should be priorities in the coming weeks. With the new moon landing in that house, a new hobby, romance or artistic endeavor may be in the works. In any case, get out and enjoy life! A battle between Mars and Jupiter might lead you to overshare or rush into a sexual relationship, and high expectations combined with a lack of restraint will likely cause problems. Try to gauge the risks before diving into deep waters.

AriesARIES

March 21–April 19

When Venus and Neptune sync up this week, follow this advice you may have seen on a greeting card or bumper sticker: “Don’t just count your blessings. Share them.” Doing something for others will make you feel better about yourself, and you’ll have even more going for you if you don’t concern yourself with holding onto it and keeping it for yourself. A Venus-Pluto combo links a shift in your professional path or life direction with your ability to attract what you need. Creative talents can help you accomplish a goal or make a name for yourself. This transit can also indicate that you should make some sort of investment in your career, even if that just means putting more passion into your journey toward success. A Mercury-Uranus collaboration will help you think and communicate in a fresh, original way, and you could have an exciting epiphany. With the sun and Mercury descending to the foundation of your chart, a large part of your energy and attention will turn inward, and you’ll probably be more focused on your home, family, past or private feelings. A new moon suggests a possible change in your living situation, and it’s a good time to make a decision or take steps that will increase your comfort level and promote inner peace. A squabble between Mars and Jupiter could trigger irritability and cause you to take out frustrations on another person whom you expect a lot of. Work on tolerating your own feelings and others’ imperfections.

TaurusTAURUS

April 20–May 20

Although you have a lot on your plate due to Jupiter’s yearlong tour of your productivity corner, Venus is currently dancing through Taurus, luring you to play social butterfly instead of worker bee. And since Venus is gelling with Neptune in your network zone this week, you really can’t resist the desire to hang with your friends — nor should you! Fitting in with people and finding common interests will come naturally, and you’ll be inclined to help each other. You might bond over a spiritual matter or idealistic cause. Plus, Venus is clicking with Pluto in your expansion sector, inspiring you to enjoy unfamiliar experiences, travel to new places and connect with people who are different from you. Such exploration can arouse strong emotions and change how you see the world. The sun and Mercury are entering your thinking-and-talking corner, livening up your thoughts and speech and increasing the tempo in your everyday life. Look at your immediate surroundings with fresh eyes and consider your habitual trains of thought and modes of communicating. A new moon calls for you to gather info, learn something new, reach out to a sibling, get active in your community and find a different way of expressing yourself. A clash between Mars and Jupiter suggests you might assert yourself with an overly critical or pious tone or skip over details in your plan of action, so take a breath and proceed one step at a time.

GeminiGEMINI

May 21–June 20

It’s a good week for meeting new people and having spontaneous experiences with friends, thanks to Mercury in Gemini linking up with Uranus in your network sector, so be your sociable self when the mood strikes you. Since Venus is hiding out at the end of your chart, you’ll probably be inclined to spend some time alone and replenish your spirit. Venus’s convo with Neptune in your ambition angle tells you that doing very creative work behind the scenes can give you a sense of progress, and you may enjoy the process of imagining where you’re headed now. A vision board or guided meditation might be perfect. Plus Venus is harmonizing with Pluto, so private time with someone close to you will probably call up powerful emotions, while peaceful solitude can transform your psychological state. If you start a relationship now, it will likely be rather secret and intense. As the sun and Mercury skip into your worth house, your focus shifts to finances, self-confidence, possessions and values. A new moon there invites you to find a fresh source of income, tap into a hidden talent, consider your material needs and set practical financial goals. This is a time for evaluating your assets and resources and prioritizing what’s most important to you. A Mars-Jupiter disagreement tempts you to splurge because you expect something to make you happy, but what you covet may not satisfy you as much as you hope. Press pause before blowing your budget.

Follow @astrotherapist on Twitter and email tallennyc@gmail.com to schedule a reading over phone or Skype. Available in-person in NYC! $125 for 60 minutes, $150 for 90 minutes.

Free People Blog

Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of June 12–18

Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of June 12–18

Read on to see what the stars are up to this week…

Follow @astrotherapist on Twitter and email tallennyc@gmail.com to schedule a reading over the phone or Skype. Available in-person in NYC! $125 for 60 minutes, $150 for 90 minutes.

GeminiGEMINI

May 21–June 20

Your ruling planet is at the center of the action this week, and you’re bound to notice the resulting twists and turns in your conversations. Merc’s vibe with Jupiter will bring out your sense of humor and joie de vivre and should give you the courage to express your feelings and individuality wholeheartedly. You’ll enjoy using your brainpower for creative purposes and planning future fun. A Mercury-Neptune spat could make it harder for you to communicate with authority figures, and you might tend to distort reality when you’re speculating about what you can accomplish. Both Mercury and the sun in Gemini are facing off with Saturn in your one-on-one angle, so another individual or your obligations to others may test you and appear to stand in your way. Your trademark flexibility will come in handy, and compromise can salvage a situation. You want to think for yourself and be who you are, but you are also bound to other individuals and need connection. With Saturn in your opposite sign, it often feels like limitations are being imposed on you by others, but the idea is to learn how to fulfill your commitments to people and how to build and maintain mature relationships. Luckily, the sun is in sync with Uranus in your network house, hinting at exhilarating experiences with friends that will remind you that when it comes down to it, you’re a free spirit.

CancerCANCER

June 21–July 22

So much of this week’s energy will play out inside your head, since the pivotal planets are hiding out in your subliminal corner. It could be difficult for you to stay in the moment, especially with mental Mercury battling Neptune in your outlook zone. That combo can make you feel lost in thoughts of the past and the future, grasping for perspective. Your spiritual mindset is emphasizing how connected you are to all living beings, but it can also blur distinctions, leaving you unsure of yourself and your place in the world. But Merc’s collaboration with Jupiter in your foundation angle practically guarantees that introspection will be worthwhile, improving your mood and helping you to understand yourself better. Confiding in a family member or someone who feels like family can also settle your spirit. Mercury and the sun are both opposing strict Saturn in your productivity house, which probably means all of that focus on your inner life will compete with the necessity of taking care of business in the outer world. Get to work when duty calls, but take a break for rest and relaxation when you can. Imaginative thinking could be met with criticism; assimilate constructive feedback without getting down about it. The sun is in sync with Uranus, offering you a chance to make a difference from behind the scenes. Releasing your ego’s concerns is the first step.

LeoLEO

July 23–August 22

Friendship is front and center this week, with the sun and Mercury in your humanity house mixing it up with several other planets. When Merc spars with Neptune in your sharing sector, mistrust, intimacy, jealousy, secrecy or money could pose a problem in a close relationship, and mutual understanding will seem elusive. It’s easy to get confused over matters of give-and-take at times like this. Thankfully, Mercury is forming a cooperative angle with Jupiter in your mindset-and-communication corner, inspiring optimism, an open mind and honesty. Taking a step back from emotions and talking things through—with the intention of learning from one another and accepting differences—would be a productive choice. Conversations, especially with your friends and siblings, are likely to be enriching and can broaden your way of thinking. The sun and Mercury are both opposing Saturn, so you’ll need to balance group interests with your dedication to personal fulfillment. You might find yourself being extra careful with how you express yourself and forgoing your own fun to please others. You’re apt to make responsible decisions in your social life. Even if you feel like a killjoy, be proud of your maturity and discipline. The sun is gelling with Uranus in your exploration corner, so there’s a strong chance that you’ll enjoy a novel experience with friends regardless. You just need to seize the opportunity when it comes.

VirgoVIRGO

August 23–September 22

Your ruler is at the peak of your chart and skirmishing with Neptune in your one-on-one angle this week, complicating communication. It might be challenging to articulate your goals to someone close to you, or you might sound imperious without meaning to. If you’re focused on your career or ambitions, relationships may recede into the background. Since Mercury is harmonizing with Jupiter in your worth house, you can make career plans that will boost your finances and channel your confidence when speaking to higher-ups. Tapping into your full range of talents will also help you sound like you know what you’re talking about. If you’re trying to get up the courage to ask for a raise or pitch a promotion that will bring in more money, Tuesday’s the day. Mercury and the sun are at odds with Saturn, who’s been hanging out at the bottom of your chart for the last couple of years. Family or domestic obligations could pull you away from work, or underlying insecurity could hold you back when you really want to shine. Consider how your past might be affecting your current drive to achieve, and deal with any emotional baggage that’s weighing you down. You need to build a strong inner foundation to support outer success. A sun-Uranus alliance hints that partnership, research or psychological insight will help you excel in a public or professional setting.

LibraLIBRA

September 23–October 22

With Mercury in your exploration corner and Jupiter in Libra cheering each other on, it’s all about learning and growing this week. Make a point of seeing the forest, not the trees. Let parts come together to form a meaningful whole rather than deconstructing the big picture. Stretch your mind so it can retain an inclusive vision of your future. Aiming low stunts your growth. Talk to people who are different from you; they’re the ones who can expand your world. Let curiosity lead you to a new place. Transcend prejudice and think outside the box. Whatever knowledge and awareness you acquire now can influence your evolving identity. Merc’s spat with Neptune implies a work or health situation could be draining you and preventing literal or mental escape. The sun and Mercury are both forming oppositions to Saturn, so you’re juggling optimism and pragmatism in your head. The balance of feet on the ground/head in the sky can work out well for you. You’re apt to weigh new ideas and views against what you already consider to be true and real. This debate could play out as a disagreement between you and someone else, or you may talk yourself out of taking a risk. The sun is gelling with Uranus in your one-on-one angle, coaxing you to share an adventure with—or soak up wisdom from—another person. Let people surprise you!

ScorpioSCORPIO

October 23–November 21

Friction between Mercury and Neptune could affect a close relationship this week, particularly if you’re looking at someone through rose-colored glasses. Deep conversation and thought can come up against romantic illusions or ideals of happiness, leaving you bewildered or disappointed. You might have a hard time reconciling dark words and conclusions with your dreamier side. But luckily, Mercury is vibing with Jupiter in your soul corner, persuading you to be brave enough to dig beneath the surface and get at the truth—the truth about who you are inside, the truth about what a certain relationship really adds up to, the truth of how we’re all connected, the true purpose of someone in your life or yours in theirs. The more you face up to it, the more you’ll grow as a spiritual being. Since the sun and Mercury are both pitted against Saturn in your worth house, insecurity and fear of lack or loss may impede intimacy. Don’t worry about how someone else feels about you or what is supposedly wrong with you. Value yourself! You’ll feel more in control when you figure out what you have going for you and what’s most important to you. The sun’s convo with Uranus in your productivity corner hints that your inner strength and/or the strength you derive from a healthy relationship will help you to continue making necessary changes in your daily life.

 

SagittariusSAGITTARIUS

November 22–December 21

The sun and Mercury in your one-on-one angle are facing off against Saturn in Sagittarius this week, which could make it more challenging for you to connect with other individuals. You’re taking your own agenda seriously, but you also have every intention of getting along with others and maintaining good relationships. It’s possible that you’ll inadvertently shut people out because Saturn is calling for you to invest a lot of energy in yourself and prioritize your own development. Your ties to others are likely to take a backseat as a result, leaving you feeling rather isolated. Mercury is also at odds with Neptune in your foundation zone, so communication with a partner could be complicated by your emotional state, your home life or family issues. Being more aware of what’s going on inside you will help you to clear up confusion in your conversations. Your ruling planet, Jupiter, is clicking with Mercury, so you’re bound to have positive exchanges with friends and other groups. Reach out to your squad for support, and open up about your hopes for the future. You could make a new friend who shares an interest, ideal or goal of yours. The sun’s confab with Uranus in your joy sector alludes to impromptu fun, romance or creativity with another person, so grab onto opportunities to enjoy life whenever they arise.

CapricornCAPRICORN

December 22–January 19

This week’s Mercury-Neptune scuffle could impact your ability to think critically or to communicate clearly, especially with coworkers, siblings and neighbors. You might misunderstand people or have trouble making yourself understood, so do your best to slow down and focus. Your mind could drift when you’re trying to zero in on details, or your judgment could be clouded by dubious logic. Fortunately, Mercury is perfectly in sync with Jupiter in your ambition angle, allowing you to express yourself quite well to authority figures such as your boss and to get your message across beautifully in a public setting as well. This is an excellent transit for career planning and formulating self-improvement goals or professional objectives. Learning a skill or doing rigorous mental work could earn you a promotion or praise. Still, the sun and Mercury are opposing your ruler, Saturn, who’s been lodged in your subliminal corner for the last couple of years. These face-offs suggest that lingering doubt, guilt or regret—or the necessity of wrapping up old business—could compete with your determination to work hard and tackle everything that’s on your plate. Taking breaks to rest and recharge your battery can increase your overall productivity. The sun is gelling with Uranus in your foundation angle, so stepping back from your emotions, domestic upsets or family troubles can also allow you to get more done.

AquariusAQUARIUS

January 20–February 18

Your mind wants to play, thanks to Mercury’s transit through your joy sector, but its run-in with Neptune in your worth house this week means depleted funds or confidence may distract you. Insecurity could impair your ability to say what’s in your heart or express your creativity, and you could become overwhelmed with self-doubt. But happily, Merc is in cahoots with Jupiter in your exploration corner, so you should be able to find the courage to take a risk. You can learn what you’re made of by chasing after new experiences. Expose yourself to a broader range of people, ideas, beliefs and places—and not only will your views on life change, but you might see yourself differently as well. Your thinking will be highly creative, as it’s fueled by a hunger for adventure. The sun and Mercury are opposing Saturn in your network zone, making it likely that self-expression will run counter to group interests or expectations at some point—or your pursuit of pleasure will compete with a commitment to people. You can respect the input of friends and peers, but don’t allow others to judge you. What matters is that you know who you are. The sun is making music with your ruling planet, giving your uniqueness a chance to shine through in your interactions with people, your inventive thinking and your unpredictable choice of words.

PiscesPISCES

February 19–March 20

Neptune is going retrograde in Pisces for the next five months, which might stall progress on a dream. This phase is useful for pulling back from a fantasy and getting sufficient distance to gain perspective. If you’re identifying so closely with a dream, it can be very challenging to see it clearly. Try to distinguish between reality and illusion so you can ultimately succeed in manifesting your dream. Mercury is dueling with Neptune this week, and that might make it tricky to communicate clearly with family or people you live with. Plus Merc and the sun are both standing up to Saturn in your ambition angle, which could compel you to make choices between your home life and work obligations. These oppositions may also represent tension between your parents or between your old identity and the person you’re striving to become. Be careful how you talk to higher-ups, as your speech may be more emotionally loaded than you realize. Part of you probably wants to relax and reflect, but you also feel driven to pursue your goals or do what’s expected of you. Mercury’s confab with Jupiter nudges you to confide your private thoughts and feelings to someone close to you or to delve into your own psyche in search of personal truths. Contemplating your past, your emotions or the inner workings of a relationship can teach you a lot.

AriesARIES

March 21–April 19

One-on-one communication has the potential to flourish this week, due to Mercury’s coalition with Jupiter in your relationship angle. Make a point of connecting with a wide range of people, and be open to what you can gain from these encounters; you might make a valuable contact or have an enlightening conversation. Other individuals are likely to inspire you, support you and broaden your understanding of the world. This is also a good time to make plans for the future with a good friend or significant other. Merc’s tension with Neptune in your subliminal corner suggests that spiritual questioning and yearning may interfere with more rational thoughts and exchanges, possibly giving you an air of distraction. You might find yourself daydreaming or wandering off on a tangent while talking, and you may not express yourself as clearly as you’d like to. However, intuition and sensitivity can add depth to your speech. Mercury and the sun are positioned opposite Saturn in your outlook sector, which could lead you to dispute conventional wisdom, search for meaning, and wonder about the necessity of playing the game of life by a certain set of rules. Fortunately, the sun is in sync with Uranus in Aries, prompting you to stay actively engaged and curious. That will keep everyday life refreshingly new and help you see that change is possible.

TaurusTAURUS

April 20–May 20

Confusion over money, material possessions, values or priorities could affect friendships and group relations this week when Mercury in your worth zone fights with Neptune in your network house. Try not to harbor illusions about what you’ll get from other people, and define your position as clearly as you can. Don’t worry if you can’t seem to square your needs with those of others. Merc is getting along much better with Jupiter in your efficiency corner, and this should help you to combine thoughts about your finances and resources with a positive work ethic. Financial planning based on a clear understanding of job possibilities will be effective, and you’re able to make a savvy assessment of everything you have going for you. It’s a good time to craft a budget and prioritize your needs. Your willingness to learn new skills and assume more responsibility can translate to optimism about taking care of yourself. With the sun and Mercury opposing Saturn, you may have trouble expressing your needs or desires to a person close to you and might feel like someone isn’t holding up their end of the bargain. Sharing takes effort, and you should strive for a good balance of give and take, trying not to focus on lack or loss. A sun-Uranus connection entices you to let go of something you don’t really need; you’ll feel better about yourself once you do.

Follow @astrotherapist on Twitter and email tallennyc@gmail.com to schedule a reading over phone or Skype. Available in-person in NYC! $125 for 60 minutes, $150 for 90 minutes.

Free People Blog

Vagus, Baby: Why You Should Care About Your Vagus Nerve

Vagus, Baby: Why You Should Care About Your Vagus Nerve

Keeping your vagus nerve happy might be key to vibrant mind-body balance. Learn how to keep this nerve “toned” and why it matters according to Dr. Sarah Gottfried

This post is part of an ongoing collaboration with The Chalkboard Mag.

Vagus means “wanderer.” This nerve — the longest one in your body — wanders all through your body to important organs and areas such as the brain, neck, ears, tongue, heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, kidney, spleen and reproductive organs in women. The vagus nerve contains motor and sensory fibers. It has wide distribution throughout the body as it passes through the neck and thorax to the abdomen. Think of it as the most important nerve in your parasympathetic nervous system.

So what happens when it’s whacked? An amped-up perception of stress causes lower vagal tone (or responsiveness), which means the vagus nerve is having performance issues and operating at a lower capacity. If the vagus nerve isn’t tended to, you won’t be healthy and you’re more likely to age faster.

High vagal tone is a marker of greater altruistic behavior and closeness to others. Lower vagal tone is linked to a variety of problems:

MIND: Stress; anxiety; weakened sense of connectivity

BODY: Low stomach-acid secretion; poor absorption of B12; low or slow bile acid production, so it’s harder to clear fats and toxins; poor blood flow to kidneys; higher blood pressure; poor glucose control; poor heart rate variability and greater risk of heart disease; high resting heart rate; frequent urination; limited or absent capacity for orgasms

BOTH: Poor satiety or sense of relaxation while eating; difficulty accessing mind-body connection and flow state

7 WAYS TO REHAB YOUR VAGUS NERVE

These actions may trigger your stress genes to turn off, bringing a greater sense of calmness.

One: Connect positively with others.
Two: Take a cold shower (try it, but if it stresses you out, you may have the same TH gene as me!).
Three: Schedule a reflexology (foot massage) session.
Four: Sleep on your right side.
Five: Sing!
Six: Get acupuncture, especially in the ear.
Seven: Book a craniosacral session.

 + Read more collaborations with The Chalkboard Mag here

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 

 

Free People Blog

Soho Pop-In: How to Read Tarot for Your Wild Soul

Soho Pop-In: How to Read Tarot for Your Wild Soul

When we intentionally utilize Tarot as a tool to reconnect to our higher self, we foster a powerful bond with our deck…

This post comes from mentor and teacher of  Tarotscopes for @thenuminousLindsay Mack. Be sure to catch Lindsay in-person at our NYC Soho Pop-up this week!! 

Tarot is a sacred mirror, one that will reflect back to us whatever energy we bring to it. When we intentionally utilize the Tarot as a tool to reconnect to our higher self and our inner knowing, we foster a powerful bond with our deck, building a bridge home to our intuition. The more we return to the Tarot in moments of pain, confusion, or identification, the deeper the connection to ourselves (and our deck) can become.

What is the Tarot?

The Tarot is a set of 78 archetypical images that are said to encompass the entire experience of what it is to be a human being in a lifetime. Every lesson, every opportunity, every feeling and every great cycle of change, growth and evolution are contained within the iconography and history of the cards. There are no “bad” cards; each one brings its own unique medicine.

The Tarot is split into three parts: The Major Arcana, The Minor Arcana and The Court Cards.

The Major Arcana are the macrocosmic energies of the Tarot. Ranging from Card 0 (The Fool) to Card 21 (The World), these cards represent the big picture, each one bringing a powerful invitation for our soul’s evolution.

The Minor Arcana are the microcosmic energies of the Tarot. They represent our feelings, beliefs, thoughts and experiences. The Minors are split into four suits: Wands (Fire), Cups (Water), Pentacles (Earth), Swords (Air).

The Court Cards are advanced level energies, inviting us to embody an aspect of the archetype on the card. (The Court Cards are not, as many believe, representative of other people on a whole. They can be, but are much more expansive than that.)

How do I choose a deck?

Let your heart decide! Allow yourself to be drawn to one organically. Whatever it is, trust yourself to recognize when your true deck calls to you.

How do I cleanse and care for my Tarot deck?

Smudging with sage, palo santo, or sweetgrass is an amazing way to cleanse your Tarot deck. Using sea salt and crystals for deeper cleansing is excellent, as well.

How do I pull cards from my deck?

Close your eyes and center yourself. Take some deep breaths and connect to your heart, diving deeply into your channel. Set your intention for the reading, asking for your guides and angels to assist in receiving the clarity you need, if that is a part of your personal practice.

Shuffle the deck thoroughly.

Choose your cards! There are many ways to do this, no way is the right one. Cutting the deck three times and pulling from the top, spreading the deck out in front of you and choosing intuitively — any way that feels right in the moment, honor it.

Soulful Check-In Spread

Present moment…

What I’m being invited to pay attention to at this time…

What I’m currently releasing…

What I’m about to step into…

What the next cycle is teaching me…

+ To delve deeper into soulful practice, please join us at Tarot for the Wild Soul, at Free People in SoHo on Wednesday, June 7th at 6pm,led by intuitive tarot reader and teacher, Lindsay Mack!

Free People Blog

June FP x PAWS 2017 Calendar Download

June FP x PAWS 2017 Calendar Download

Kicking off the summer season with the help of some lovable friends…

Throughout 2017, we’ll be featuring the beautiful dogs from this year’s FP x PAWS calendar, created in partnership with award-winning photographer and animal advocate Sophie Gamand!

All proceeds from the sale of our print calendars benefited PAWS, Philadelphia’s largest no-kill shelter, which serves pet owners and rescue organizations that lack access to affordable basic veterinary care.

Right-click to download!

 

+Check out our full collection for your pets here

Free People Blog

Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of June 5–11

Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of June 5–11

Your weekly guide to what’s on the horizon, courtesy of Tracy Allen…

Follow @astrotherapist on Twitter and email tallennyc@gmail.com to schedule a reading over the phone or Skype. Available in-person in NYC! $125 for 60 minutes, $150 for 90 minutes.

GeminiGEMINI

May 21–June 20

You’ll undoubtedly feel the urge to splurge while Mars marches through your worth house in the next month and a half. You’ll identify strongly with what you own during this period and might find yourself arguing over money or material goods. But it’s a great time to proactively go after what you need, sort through your belongings and make a point of using what you already have. With Venus slipping into your soul corner this week, you may not be in a super social mood, even though the sun is lighting up your sign. You’ll get a lot of pleasure from taking care of someone you love or enjoying a slice of solitude, so seek privacy and alone time. Venus’s confab with Mars might prompt you to let go of a depleted desire or a possession you don’t want anymore. And this planetary combo happens to hint that immersing yourself in nature will satiate your spirit. After Mercury shows up in Gemini, your mind will be very active and your chatty side is bound to come out. If you get restless, a short getaway should offer the mental stimulation you’re craving. If you need to mull over a personal matter with objectivity, Merc will enable you to do that, so find a quiet place for deliberation in the next few weeks. The full moon’s contact with serious Saturn and mystical Neptune might bring a relationship to a turning point, compelling you to take things to the next level or move on. Your friends will come through for you if you need a sympathetic ear or escapist fun.

CancerCANCER

June 21–July 22

With Mars ensconced in Cancer, you’ll be charging full steam ahead in the next six weeks and can get a ton accomplished. Try to work on your own stuff if you can, rather than partnering with anyone else, because you’ll probably seem bossy. In addition to working hard, make use of Mars’s assertiveness by standing up for yourself when you need to. If you get agitated, a challenging workout will help you burn off excess energy. Venus is dancing into your network sector this week, so even if you’re better off operating independently for the most part, you’ll still be able to get along well with people and will feel extra sociable. Group gatherings will be your happy place, so say yes to parties, conferences—whatever comes up that will allow you to mix and mingle. Venus and Mars are in sync, helping you to blend agreeability and forcefulness, so if you want help with an endeavor, now’s the time to ask. After this, tackling your own to-do list will give you the most satisfaction. Mercury’s entrance into the last house in your chart arouses your intuition and might also cause you to keep things to yourself. Quiet contemplation is good for the soul, but don’t use it to avoid confrontation if there’s something that needs to be said. A full moon gives you the year’s best excuse to kick a bad habit to the curb! If you’re doing something on a regular basis that’s not enhancing your daily life—especially if it’s connected with a false belief—it’s time to stop. A sense of inner peace will be the most noticeable reward.

LeoLEO

July 23–August 22

Now that doer Mars is hiding out at the end of your chart, the best way for you to be productive is to work quietly behind the scenes without expecting a round of applause. Make a point of noticing self-defeating acts, and ask yourself why you might want to undermine your progress. We all have compulsive patterns of behavior that work against us, and this is the perfect time for you to confront those little subconscious actions. Another strategy for accomplishing plenty would be to prioritize projects that benefit others—as your ego is being sublimated during this transit. However, lovely Venus is climbing to the top of your chart, allowing you to get some positive attention and creating favorable circumstances in the professional or public part of your life. With Venus and Mars joining forces, your low-key efforts might earn acclaim after all. Creative work and people in power are extra appealing to you this month. After Mercury segues into your network zone, reaching out to friends and contacts becomes a higher priority, and you might also turn your attention to something new on your list of goals. And if you need perspective on an issue, talking to friends will definitely help you to step back and see it from a different angle. The full moon in your joy sector could bring an artistic effort to fruition or cause you to share your feelings more freely. A romantic relationship may be tested, and confusion over sex might make matters worse. Be completely honest and stay true to yourself!

VirgoVIRGO

August 23–September 22

Teamwork is a great option while Mars is blazing through your humanity house over the course of the next six weeks, mobilizing group efforts. Find people with common interests, ideals or objectives with whom you can collaborate naturally. You might opt to pull a group together to get a philanthropic project off the ground; organize a social event with your friends; or be more proactive about making useful professional contacts. Venus’s arrival in your expansion corner inspires you to seek love and beauty beyond your default boundaries. Spend time with people who are different from you, enjoy cultural experiences that challenge your preconceived notions, take a trip to somewhere you’ve never been and welcome any opportunities to learn from your relationships. Since Venus and Mars are forming a coalition, this would be the perfect time to embark on an exciting adventure with your squad or launch a group endeavor that will offer a pleasurable learning experience. With Mercury ascending to the peak of your chart, career planning, communication with authority figures, professional studies and public speaking are all favored in the next few weeks. A full moon at the bottom of your chart pulls your attention to family, domesticity, private emotions and your sense of comfort and security. A development in one of these areas—such as family drama or a change in your living situation—will require you to aim for a better balance between your personal and public lives. To shift your self-worth, you need to understand how you’re wired and leave the past in the past.

LibraLIBRA

September 23–October 22

There’s no stopping you, thanks to Jupiter wrapping up its four-month-long retrograde phase in Libra. You may feel overstimulated at first, but as the planet of expansion gets back up to speed, maintain your focus on self-awareness and personal growth and strive to translate your high hopes into a viable mission. Make the most of Jupiter’s final four months in your sign by learning as much as you can about who you really are and what you can achieve as an individual. Utilize your self-confidence to expand the scope of your identity and your life. With Mars at the pinnacle of your chart, you’re motivated to make headway in your career and tackle some of your most ambitious goals. It’s ideal if you can be your own boss now, since you’re not likely to tolerate someone having power over you during this period. Venus is sashaying into your sharing zone, triggering a craving for closeness and intensifying an intimate relationship if you’re in one. Venus and Mars are in cahoots, so a partnership should be pleasantly productive this week and you’ll feel like you’re headed in the same direction. Mercury’s move into your journeys house invites you to take in the big picture; explore different views; talk to people with the aim of learning about a world outside your own; and think more philosophically. The full moon could rev up your brain or your everyday life and might stress you out. If you feel pulled in many directions, putting your emotions into words will be a relief. This is the perfect time to consider tweaking your habitual thought patterns and modes of self-expression.

ScorpioSCORPIO

October 23–November 21

Mars is marching through your expansion corner, daring you to get out of your comfort zone and explore the unfamiliar. Go out on a limb and fight for what’s right, pursue truth and knowledge and venture off to new places. This is a period for actively broadening your mind and your gamut of experience. Venus is crossing your one-on-one angle this week, making it easy for you to compromise and get along with other individuals. You’ll enjoy companionship and affection, so spend time with your favorite people! You might meet someone new, since Venus and Mars are in sync, giving you a chance to encounter someone you’re interested in while exploring the unknown. You could very well fall for someone while you’re traveling. Combining adventure and togetherness by taking a trip with a partner or good friend would also be a great idea. With Mercury sneaking into your depth sector, confide in someone you trust or have a deep convo with your significant other. It’s also a good time to look within and get in touch with hidden aspects of yourself. You’re likely to have rather heavy thoughts in the next few weeks, but as a deep, dark Scorp, you’re used to that! The full moon makes you acutely aware of your needs, and since emotions are calling the shots, retail therapy and pricey fun are pitfalls. Keep an eye on spending if you’re worried. The good news is you might be able to abolish a bad money habit. Plus your earnings could increase in the months to come as a result of a job change.

SagittariusSAGITTARIUS

November 22–December 21

Mars is heating up your depth sector, emboldening you to assert your sexuality, be proactive about getting what you need from someone (or from outside resources) and take on taboo subjects or sticky psychological issues. Your willingness to get your hands dirty and delve into complex matters can result in worthwhile change in the coming weeks. With Venus moving into your efficiency corner, you’re inclined to help out people you care about and do what’s necessary to benefit a relationship. A positive attitude toward duty can help you enjoy your job, working out and executing everyday tasks. Venus and Mars are clicking, encouraging you to focus intently on a partnership or passion project and take pleasure in what you can accomplish. Mercury is crossing your one-on-one angle, emphasizing the value of communication in relationships. This is an excellent time for clarifying your position with someone, discussing difficulties, negotiating differences, learning from each other and consulting individuals for their feedback. With a full moon lighting up Sagittarius, your emotions could boil over this week, but given this lunation’s conjunction with restrictive Saturn, a total meltdown is unlikely. Plus the moon is vibing with Jupiter in your group zone, reminding you that you can count on your friends to support you. It’s okay to focus on yourself and your own needs for the moment, as long as you respect those of others. Take note of what feels like too much right now because this is a great time to let something—or someone—go if doing so will put you at ease and serve your growth. A full moon is often about healthy endings!

CapricornCAPRICORN

December 22–January 19

With Mars traversing your one-on-one angle, you’re more productive in partnerships than in solo ventures. Recruit other individuals and work in tandem. The next six weeks are also ideal for getting conflicts out in the open and facing relationship problems head-on. You’re not in a compromising mood, and weak relationships could hit a rough patch now, so be willing to deal with what’s really going on between you and others. Venus is dancing into your joy sector, coaxing you to indulge in creativity and romance and enjoy life in general. Express your soft side and bring your inner child out to play. You’ll take pleasure in being yourself, and others will appreciate your realness. A happy meeting between Venus and Mars could spark a creative partnership or a major attraction, so get out and connect! You need to let loose and live a little in order to get something lovely out of this transit. Mercury’s move into your efficiency corner means you’re capable of handling challenging mental work and thinking very logically and critically. Your attention to detail is at a peak, so put it to practical use. Communication on the job should be good, but be careful not to pick people apart. The full moon calls for you to balance work with downtime. Something from your subconscious could come to light, and you’re better off facing it than pushing it back down inside you. You can turn a big emotional corner and gain closure; although doing so will almost definitely require you to let go of an illusion, spiritual enlightenment will increase your odds of success in the world and your belief in yourself.

AquariusAQUARIUS

January 20–February 18

Put your nose to the grindstone and cross a ton off your to-do list in the next six weeks while Mars is camped out in your efficiency corner. Channel your energy into hard work and self-improvement such as an exercise regimen. You’ll need a certain degree of humility on the job in order to get along well with colleagues and answer to superiors. If you’re self-employed or toiling away on your own projects, you can forge ahead without fear. Don’t bottle up anger now, or you’re liable to get sick. A challenging workout will help you blow off steam when you need to. Venus is making the pleasures of home and family more apparent, and you might get in the mood to decorate or entertain. Since Venus and Mars are forming a cooperative angle, you’ll be extra motivated by the prospect of beautifying your space, having people over or spending time with relatives. And for some of these activities, Mars will give you the benefit of a methodical approach. Mercury is moving into your joy sector, bringing out your playfulness and sense of humor. Creative writing, mental games and reading for pleasure are all favored under this transit. And you won’t have much trouble finding the words to express your feelings, so go ahead and speak from the heart. This week’s full moon lands in your network house, which could allude to drama in your squad, a group trip or a memorable, over-the-top night out. You might help a friend in need or sever ties with a pal or a group. Even if something negative transpires, focus on growth and awareness as an outcome.

PiscesPISCES

February 19–March 20

With Mars cruising through your joy sector, you’re fired up to go after what you want in life. In the next six weeks, you’ll have the courage to express your creativity, chase romance, show people who you really are and play to your heart’s content. You’re motivated to fulfill your desires and to take chances in the pursuit of love and happiness. And since Venus is waltzing into your thinking-and-talking corner this week, you won’t have much difficulty articulating your fondness, seeing the best in people and enjoying your interactions. Venus and Mars are forming a coalition, convincing you to share your feelings and live life as it comes. Notice the beauty in your surroundings, and then go one step further by making your environment even more beautiful. You have the power to create more love and beauty in the world right now. After Mercury dips down to the bottom of your chart, you can articulate private emotions with even more ease, and your communication with family or people you live with is also improved. Your thoughts may drift to the past, and you should use this nostalgia to try to understand how your backstory affects the present. The full moon pulls your attention to your outer life and might bring a shift in your career path or life direction—or elicit strong emotions in public or at work. The moon’s clash with Neptune in Pisces could cause you to lose your bearings, but someone will be generous with guidance if you reach out. Releasing an old goal, considering a professional change or rethinking your public image might be your smartest move now.

AriesARIES

March 21–April 19

Your ruler is moving across your foundation angle, generating activity in your home and possibly causing arguments where you’re not sure why you’re fighting. Old behavior patterns, unconscious resentments and an irritable mood could cause you to act inappropriately, so try to be aware of your emotions and their effect on a given situation. You’re especially likely to experience conflict with family members or people you live with. The upside is you’ll have plenty of energy to work from home or tackle a domestic project. With Venus entering your worth house, your interest in material possessions increases, and you can use Venus’s connection with Mars to declutter your place, reorganize closets or change your décor. You’ll have an easier time bringing in money this month, but your taste may also become more extravagant, resulting in overspending. Mercury is also on the move, livening up your thoughts and your speech, and there’s bound to be lots of communication in your everyday life in the next few weeks. Restlessness and curiosity could lead to you to meet many new people or take a quick trip. This week’s full moon might bring something related to justice, publishing, education or travel to fruition, or you might enjoy an adventure or trip with a companion. But given this lunation’s links with heavyweight planets, it may test your faith—pitting rational intellect against spiritual yearning or contrasting what you’ve learned about life and what you’re eternally questioning. Contemplate how your personal beliefs shape your identity; then ask yourself if letting go of a particular assumption could liberate you, allowing you to become the person you were meant to be.

TaurusTAURUS

April 20–May 20

If you need to conceive a plan of action, sell people on an idea or defend your position, the presence of Mars in your cognition-and-communication house will be a big help. You’ll be inclined to argue your point in conversations but could get into disagreements if your assertiveness veers towards aggressiveness. This is a great month for intellectual tasks since you’ll be relatively tireless where mental work is concerned. With Venus twirling into Taurus this week, you’ll balance out your take-charge attitude with a whopping dose of charm. Even though your birthday season has passed, when your ruling planet visits your sign each year, you ooze warmth and sociability. You’ll feel your most attractive and agreeable, so get out and see people and enjoy life. The yin-yang energy of the Venus-Mars alliance will allow you to draw in what—or whom—you desire and also say what you want to say. Mercury is moving into your worth house, so you should give a bit of thought to your finances, possessions, personal values and resources. You’ll be able to appraise your assets and articulate your needs rather objectively now. However, a full moon in your sharing sector calls for you to honor others’ needs, and someone may solicit your support. This is an excellent lunation for settling a debt, healing a wound, liberating yourself from an emotional rut and letting go of an obsession, grudge, jealousy or the compulsion to control. Intense feelings may arise in a close relationship, and you might take a break—or break up. Whatever happens, know that you can find emotional catharsis and freedom as a result.

Follow @astrotherapist on Twitter and email tallennyc@gmail.com to schedule a reading over phone or Skype. Available in-person in NYC! $125 for 60 minutes, $150 for 90 minutes.

Free People Blog

Behind the Scenes with New FP Muse, Ming Xi

Behind the Scenes with New FP Muse, Ming Xi

Chinese model Ming Xi quickly captured our hearts during her recent visit to Philadelphia… after reading her Q&A, we think you’ll feel the same. <3

Many young women dream of becoming models. Is it true that your “break” came from appearing on TV? Tell us about that experience.

Yes that is true my first modeling experience was a TV contest in China, but my career in fashion really got started in Paris in 2010.

Has modeling changed who you are? If so, how?

I was born and raised in Shanghai, and that is still very much a part of me, but I definitely have a more global perspective now because of my travels. I’ve lived in New York for the last 7 years mostly.

What are the most 1) exotic 2) beautiful 3) strange locations you’ve worked in. Why?

I’ve been fortunate to work in many exotic and beautiful places. Although I don’t actually love traveling, once I land in a magical place like St. John’s in the Caribbean or even some of my favorite places at home in China, I’m happy!

What are 5 things you can’t live without? 

Just two things — eyeliner and my teddy bear!

Your number one beauty must for when you’re on the go!

Drink water and use sunscreen.

Your spirit animal…

a Teddy Bear!

Your advice to young women in pursuit of their dreams?

Follow your heart! If you love what you do, everything will be ok.

What are your go-to tips for keeping fit, i.e. special work-out, diet, etc? 

Even when I travel, I find time for the gym. I love to box, do pilates and aerobics! In NYC I go to Dogpound which is a really intense gym.

Were there any times you felt like you almost gave up on modeling? What made you stick through and keep going? 

I have been very lucky, but I’ve also had my struggles. Early on I wasn’t sure I could adapt to living in Paris or NYC, learning new languages, the cultures and the stresses that can happen in the fashion business. But I believed in myself and stuck with it, and now I love that I live an international life.

Do you have BFFs who are also models? 

Josephine Skriver is a great friend and many others from the VS crew, too!

Tell us about the movie you just released? What was that experience like?

Really amazing! I do love acting and the whole process. It’s a fun new challenge and I’m really going for it! I’m also excited for some new projects coming up that I can’t share too much about yet… stay tuned!!

Are you currently dating someone? 

That’s a secret! 😉

What does the word “free” mean to you?

Being free for me is finding joy in life. Unexpected and difficult things happen in everyone’s life. So, I always look for the things to love and appreciate like my family and friends.

+Be sure to shop the full lookbook here

Free People Blog

Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of May 29–June 4

Free People Horoscope by Tracy Allen, Week of May 29–June 4

It’s here!! Your weekly guide to what’s on the horizon, courtesy of Tracy…

Follow @astrotherapist on Twitter and email tallennyc@gmail.com to schedule a reading over the phone or Skype. Available in-person in NYC! $125 for 60 minutes, $150 for 90 minutes.

 

GeminiGEMINI

May 21–June 20

Do things with a group instead of trying to fly solo this week because Mars in Gemini is vibing with Uranus in your network zone, which could bring about a new collaboration. These are ideal circumstances for making new friends and contacts, having exhilarating experiences with a group and joining forces with others in a humanitarian endeavor. Venus is linked with both Saturn and Uranus, bringing a nice blend of novelty and stability to your friendships and social life. So new connections can have both excitement and staying power. A Mars-Saturn faceoff calls for patience, since you’re apt to feel blocked or tested, and your actions may seem futile or even adversarial if you get frustrated. Don’t knock your head against a wall; focus your efforts and take constructive criticism if it’s offered. Mercury is also fighting with Saturn, but its confab with Pluto coaxes you to dive into a research project or investigation, confide in someone close to you or delve into your own psyche in search of empowering self-knowledge. The sun in your sign is getting along famously with Jupiter, inspiring you to express your personality, feelings and creativity fearlessly and to live life to the fullest. This transit can fill you with happiness and hope. Don’t let the sun’s quarrel with Neptune take the wind out of your sails. Not knowing where you’re headed and what your purpose is can make you uneasy at times. Enjoy the journey; you’ll discover so much about yourself along the way.

CancerCANCER

June 21–July 22

Be careful not to undermine yourself this week when Mars in your subliminal corner opposes Saturn in your efficiency house. Pay attention to self-sabotaging behavior or pent-up frustration, as either could keep you from achieving what you intend to. Conserve your energy rather than scattering it, and work quietly behind the scenes. Your efforts could pay off in the form of career progress, recognition from higher-ups or the accomplishment of an objective and increased freedom. Venus in your ambition angle is helping you to win favor with people in authority and present a positive image in public. Her rendezvous with Uranus might mean you’ll suddenly meet a potential mentor or fall for someone older, while her vibe with Saturn should enable you to draw positive attention based on your work. Both of these connections bode well for your work relationships and your PR. And thanks to Mercury in your humanity sector gelling with Pluto, professional networking could land you a powerful contact, or a deep conversation with a friend could change your relationship. Communication is likely to have a big impact, so don’t be too quiet. Engage! On the other hand, a sun-Jupiter meeting highlights the rewards of retreat, as relaxation will lift your mood, and private introspection and reflection on the past may bring understanding and inner peace. Home and family will be sources of energy and inspiration. Looking too far down the road might leave you feeling a little lost, so try to center yourself in the present moment.

LeoLEO

July 23–August 22

This week’s Mars-Saturn faceoff spans your network and personal-fulfillment houses, which might put teamwork in jeopardy or inhibit your enthusiasm for joining in socially. You could feel cut off somehow, and chances are you’re holding yourself back. If you’ve been working hard on a creative project, this can be a useful transit for collaborating, but you have to be willing to compromise. Mars and Uranus are syncing up, introducing the possibility of impromptu group adventures and exciting shared learning experiences. With Venus in your expansion zone contacting both Uranus and Saturn, your best bet is to keep pushing the boundaries, as love and art can be wildly unconventional and freeing, but they can also ground you and mature you. Not taking any risks would be the biggest risk of all now. The sun is also in your network house and gelling with Jupiter, further encouraging you to meet and mingle with a broad spectrum of humanity who can inspire you, teach you and bring out different sides of you. Friendship and camaraderie will galvanize your spirit. The sun’s skirmish with Neptune is liable to leave you confused about where you stand with a particular individual. If you try not to deceive yourself regarding what someone truly has to offer, there’s less chance you’ll wind up disappointed. Sharing is rather confounding at the moment, making sex and money a bad mix with friendship. The Mercury-Pluto Summit invites you to do career research, talk to your boss about changing your responsibilities, learn an impressive skill or craft a self-improvement plan.

VirgoVIRGO

August 23–September 22

Mars is at the top of your chart, and doing battle with Saturn this week, who’s been camped out in your foundation angle for the past couple of years. You’re motivated to achieve something in the world, but domestic or family obligations may be weighing you down. Or perhaps the past or your roots are holding you back in some way so you don’t feel totally emboldened to chase after your goals. A partnership or insights into your own psyche can liberate your drive, thanks to a Mars-Uranus collaboration. Plus the sun is at the top of your chart and vibing with Jupiter in your worth house, telling you that putting your full range of talents to use and feeling confident about what you have going for you will enable you to shine. The sun’s squabble with Neptune hints that someone could rain on your parade, but you needn’t let them. One likely scenario is that an individual or relationship could be a source of bewilderment, disappointment or fatigue and detract from your determination to succeed. Avoid putting anyone on a pedestal or idealizing the response you’ll receive. Mercury is gelling with Pluto now, indicating that learning experiences can be transformative. Exposing yourself to different views, people and ways of life can enhance your understanding of the world and also provide intense pleasure. Venus’s meetings with Saturn and Uranus coax you to get closer to someone, and they may bring sudden intimacy and earnestness. More importantly, they can push you to commit to loving yourself.

LibraLIBRA

September 23–October 22

A faceoff between Mars and Saturn this week suggests you’re motivated to break new ground, but you have reservations. Pessimism, a mature mindset or cognizance of rules may prevent you from taking chances, as your intrepid spirit competes with your knowledge of reality. A debate—internal or interpersonal—will probably feel fruitless. But a Mars-Uranus hookup nudges you to be open to suggestion and relish impromptu adventures with other individuals. Venus is also hooking up with Uranus, alluding to the possibility of meeting someone new or experiencing a change in an existing relationship. If you do form a new connection, it’s likely to be with someone unexpected—maybe someone quite different from your usual type. Since Venus is also clicking with Saturn, you’ll be able to talk about what’s going on, lending greater stability to any quick developments. Relationships aren’t predictable now, but you can wrap your head around changes and come to a mutual understanding. The sun in your expansion zone is making music with Jupiter in Libra, sparking your personal growth and inspiring you to soar to new heights. Luck is on your side now, so don’t play it safe! Get out and go somewhere you’ve never been, try new things, meet different people and learn more about the world and what you’re capable of. Work, everyday responsibilities, poor health or low energy could deter you at some point, and you should pause to take care of business and yourself. When Mercury meshes with Pluto, confiding in someone you trust or looking deeply within yourself will shift your emotions.

 

ScorpioSCORPIO

October 23–November 21

When Mars opposes Saturn this week, you may push to get what you need from someone and feel stymied by insecurity. A fear of what you lack—or a fear of losing what you already have—can block attempts at sharing or closeness. Or perhaps you’re trying to change something deep within yourself, and clinging to what you think you need is preventing that transformation. Thankfully, Mars is clicking with Uranus in your productivity corner, implying that new work, a flexible approach, unique skills and freeing yourself from old patterns will mobilize you. And FYI, a research project or investigation could have a breakthrough now, so keep digging. Venus is also in your productivity corner and getting along nicely with Saturn, ensuring that enjoying a sense of usefulness and playing nice with coworkers will strengthen your ability to improve your own security. A Venus-Uranus rendezvous might mean that you’ll meet someone new through your job, or creative work will be especially stimulating. This transit could also help you to realize that you need to treat your body with the respect it deserves. Mercury is vibing with your ruler, Pluto, which can facilitate very deep dialogue and encounters that have a powerful effect on your mind. Don’t settle for easy answers now (not that you ever do!) The sun’s tête-à-tête with Jupiter gives you the courage to shine a light into the dark corners of your psyche or bare your soul and experience true intimacy. Be completely honest with yourself, as a sun-Neptune skirmish will tempt you to idealize.

SagittariusSAGITTARIUS

November 22–December 21

Saturn in Sagittarius has a confrontation with Mars in your one-on-one angle this week, suggesting that your focus on your own agenda could make it harder for you to engage in partnership; you might feel too tired to hash things out with someone; or another individual may get frustrated with you if you seem withdrawn or withholding or are stopping them from doing something. But a Mars-Uranus link will give you a chance to lighten the mood with spontaneous fun or romance. Venus in your pleasure sector is vibing with Saturn, helping you to enjoy life even though you’re quite determined to achieve your goals. You should be able to find a great balance between lightheartedness and seriousness and might make a big commitment to someone or something you love. Venus’s rendezvous with Uranus could bring a new source of pleasure or a new romance, and Saturn’s influence can help it last. You might also channel your efforts into a very ambitious creative endeavor. Jupiter, your ruling planet, is in sync with the sun, underscoring the importance of your relationships and enabling you to draw a lot of energy and inspiration from being around people. Socializing and professional networking is liable to pay off in the form of a valuable connection. Private uncertainty, a family member in need or the appeal of downtime could pull you away from others at some point. Meanwhile, a Mercury-Pluto convo calls for you to dissect a financial matter until you get to the bottom of it.

CapricornCAPRICORN

December 22–January 19

Thanks to Mercury in your joy sector gelling with Pluto in Capricorn this week, you can express yourself with tremendous power and may have a chance to be a force for positive change in the world. Using your words and your mind in a creative way will make you feel good, and you might read something that has a strong effect on you. Mars in your efficiency corner is facing off with your ruling planet, so you may find it difficult to accomplish as much as you intend to if you still need to wrap up unfinished business. Guilt, self-doubt or an old way of doing things could hamper your productivity, and working in a low-key setting—possibly at home—should help. Fortunately, the sun in your efficiency corner is harmonizing with Jupiter in your ambition angle, and if you find the right blend of humility and confidence, the results can be magical. Strive to mix self-control and service with leadership ability and an optimistic awareness of what you can achieve. The sun is quibbling with Neptune, which could muddle your thoughts about work and health or cloud communication on the job, so be careful not to delude yourself or misconstrue a situation. Venus is nestled at the bottom of your chart, coaxing you to also enjoy the pleasures of home and family, and her get-together with Saturn suggests doing so can solidify a sense of inner peace. Venus is also aligned with Uranus, hinting at some redecorating or impromptu entertaining!

AquariusAQUARIUS

January 20–February 18

With Mars in your fulfillment zone going up against Saturn in your network house this week, chasing after what you want probably won’t line up neatly with group interests. Personal pleasure may not conform to others’ expectations, and you might pursue a romantic relationship that your friends don’t support. It seems difficult to do your own thing and somehow integrate yourself with others as well. Since Mars is vibing with Uranus, you should be able to come up with innovative ways to make it all work. Plus Venus in your cognition-and-communication sector is getting along very well with Saturn, keeping your interactions pleasant and your thoughts upbeat. Make a point of seeing the best in people and savor the warmth in your friendships. Beautiful surroundings promote a positive attitude, and that positivity, in turn, enables you to find common ground and work well with others. Venus’s meet up with Uranus might indicate surprise encounters and spontaneous socializing, and it encourages you to keep an open mind. Your relationship with a sibling or neighbor could change for the better. The sun is in cahoots with Jupiter in your expansion corner, daring you to take a bigger bite out of life and promising a growth opportunity if you do. This is a consciousness-raising transit, so make the most of it by getting out of your routine and broadening your mind. Low funds or confidence could dampen your enthusiasm, but you can overcome what may boil down to fear. A Mercury-Pluto alliance coaxes you to excavate your buried emotions so you can understand yourself better.

PiscesPISCES

February 19–March 20

A regressive behavior pattern, a domestic project or familial strife might compete with ambition or career responsibilities this week, as a Mars-Saturn opposition spans the low and high points of your chart. Your parents might be in a disagreement, or you could feel unable to break away from the past and establish yourself as a success. Since Mars and Uranus are getting along, use your resources in a different way to get something done and try not to let friction affect your self-confidence. A Venus-Saturn conference implies you’ll attract what you need by taking on responsibility and proving what you can achieve. This is a time when you’re likely to receive what you’ve earned, so if you absolutely deserve a raise, you could get one now. Venus’s conjunction with Uranus represents a sudden change in cash flow—either in or out—so hope for a windfall and be conscious of the impulse to splurge. The sun in your foundation angle is forming a harmonious angle with Jupiter, meaning that being at home in your own skin will foster closeness. You need to be comfortable with yourself before you can be comfortable with someone else. Even if you’re not in a relationship, introspection is bound to help you understand and accept yourself. Since the sun is at odds with Neptune in Pisces, this is a time for peeling away the layers of your persona and learning who you are deep down in your soul. And no matter how you feel about what you find in there, know that you’re enough.

 

AriesARIES

March 21–April 19

With your ruler battling Saturn this week, you might be trying to get your ideas or opinions across and feel like they’re falling on deaf ears, especially if your audience is more established or more conservative than you. You could be trying to get somewhere—physically or mentally—and become frustrated that your path is somehow blocked or your progress is slow. Writing can feel like an arduous task under this transit. But luckily, Mars is dovetailing with Uranus in Aries, convincing you to try a different route. Be flexible enough to work around roadblocks. Plus Venus in Aries is in perfect sync with Saturn, so that’s another major planetary combo you have going for you. Your natural tendency might be to harness the drive of Mars and push through obstacles, but you’ll catch more flies with honey now. If you’re receptive to other ways and views and willing to play the game, you can easily reach an accord. You don’t have to be phony, though. Venus is also aligned with Uranus, encouraging you to be an individual, welcome change and enjoy the unexpected. The sun is lighting up the thinking-and-talking corner of your chart, infusing your mindset and speech with extra verve. His connection with Jupiter brings lots of positive energy to your one-on-one interactions and may enhance communication in a particular relationship, so open up—and take advantage of any opportunities to learn from people. Feelings of emptiness, regret or melancholy may intrude on your thoughts momentarily; rest and reflection should help.

TaurusTAURUS

April 20–May 20

You can make significant strides in your understanding of the world this week, when Mercury in Taurus jibes with Pluto in your expansion zone. Curiosity may lead you to dig deeper into a subject, while restlessness may cause you to embark on a more literal journey. Whether you visit far-off places in your mind or on the earth, exploration is apt to enrich you. If there’s a cause or movement you’re extremely dedicated to, you’ll be able to express that with passion and conviction. Mars is locked in an opposition with Saturn, which could place you in a conflict with another person over money, possessions, values, trust or sharing. You might be fixated on what you have and what you need, and your demands aren’t likely to be met to the extent that you’d like. Mars is clicking with Uranus in your release sector, prompting you to let it go. Venus is also in that part of your chart and harmonizing with Saturn, further emphasizing the benefits of personal sacrifice. Pushing to get what you want won’t feel as good as empathizing with the needs of others and showing you care. Tapping into your compassion will make you feel more connected. A sun-Neptune clash could also put you at odds with friends, especially if there’s some confusion over ownership. Fortunately, the sun is gelling with Jupiter in your productivity corner, hinting that your own efforts and positive work ethic will strengthen your security and help you to provide for your needs.

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