Horoscopes | Week of December 2-8, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Welcome to the Era of Other-People Problems! Oh, is that too pessimistic a label for these next 7 months of your ruler Mars lodged uncomfortably in your one-on-one relationship house (the 7th), dear Aries? I suppose it's just as likely you won't experience this constant necessity of working in dialogue with other people as a 'problem'… though every time an assertion of your will bumps up against their divergent assertion-of-will, you can expect the whole thing will take some significant degree of negotiation and compromise (or else all-out war) before you're able to move even a small step forward, which doesn't exactly augur an easy Other-People era. But let's not get ahead of ourselves please, since this will play out (in periodically more and less intense segments) over these next many months. In the very short-term, it's enough to know that, this week, you're liable to so unreservedly express your latest enthusiasm, you might not fully grasp how much you're saying and/or how potentially tactlessly you're saying it—until, that is, someone calls you out on it.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): While I don't want to imply that all the fun is over for the foreseeable future, Taurus, I will tell you that this next stretch of months (i.e, through mid-'14) demands you put loads of attention into your day-to-day work life… and, with the movement of Mars out of your fun-and-games 5th and into your mundane-duties 6th this week, that stretch begins now. For the time being, this upped commitment to your work will likely require you to (re)engage a potentially difficult issue, one which inextricably ties up your current destiny with someone else's, such that you cannot make progress without embroiling yourself in this other person's business (and/or vice versa). Even though I suggest forgoing any slinky tiptoeing-around-the-issue and instead cutting straight to the chase, I also want you to be aware this direct in-for-the-kill approach could backfire on you—if you come off as holding a pretty unfair position. Don't turn a blind-eye, therefore, to what an audience of judging peers might think of how you choose to engage this other party. It may be 'just about you two', but, on the other hand, it's actually about much more.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I anticipate both your spirits lifting and your interpersonal connections happily loosening up in the weeks ahead, Gemini, thanks to a duo of planet/sign shifts that not only suits you well but also switches the focus away from the constant WORK drum I've been beating for too long now. In fact, the only work-related advice I need to dole you out this week merely cautions against allowing your loose lips to spill proprietary secrets or sensitive gossip, since your conversational flow is so smooth, you might forget to censor yourself with necessary professional decorum. Other than that, my new drum will instead be pounding out a tune of playful fun and pleasurable self-expression—a far more desirable song, with a beat you can really dance to! Of course, in the weeks and months to come, a mischievous aspect of this seemingly joyous influence will emerge: See, at some juncture on the road ahead, you'll discover you actually can't figure out exactly what is likeliest to yield the pleasure and play you most desire. Maybe because your concept of 'desire' needs reconceptualizing? Because you're out of practice of 'having fun'? Because you've always just taken what's come… and now you have too many choices? We shall see, won't we?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As your mind shifts towards more distinctly dutiful, constructive and/or work-or-health-related concerns, Cancer, you'll also find your recent outwardly-expressive orientation starts to turn back inward a bit. Though you still have one benefic in your 1st (Jupiter) and the other in your 7th (Venus), a pretty awesome astro-situation (as I described two weeks ago), you're also now welcoming willful Mars into the inner-sanctum of your 4th, where he'll remain through the middle of next year (an extra-long-and-slow visit from a typically fast-moving planet). This bears the likelihood of stirring a fair degree of internal unrest… which is not necessarily a bad thing, if it indeed spurs you to (re)assert agency over your own emotional state, and to take whatever steps might be required (possibly including establishing new ground-rules with family members, standing up for yourself in the domestic sphere, or switching up your residential circumstance to provide you greater autonomy) so you feel you're adequately taking care of yourself. With that in mind, then, use this mental shift to consider which practical tasks might need to be handled, in order to ultimately make Mars's protracted 4th-house visit worth the likely unrest.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The week ahead represents something of an emergence from your cocoon, Leo… as well as a sassy reentry into the social world, which in fact heralds a whole lot more mixing and mingling and hobnobbing with pals and possible new-pals-to-be in these months ahead. But please don't take this news with any sense of pressure to already feel fully bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed prepared to face this enormous cast of characters in your sphere-of-influence: This transition won't miraculously occur overnight, though I promise you'll look back at this period from, say, the middle of 2014 with astonishment at what a busy social schedule you had. (And need I also point out what a refreshing antidote to your recent heavier concerns such a slate of lightweight activities will prove to be?) This week, help inaugurate this period by taking the initiative to get back in touch with at least one friend (the type with whom you can easily fritter away hours of seamless chit-chat), and share with them at least three things about your current life-circumstances which you're really excited about.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): And for the final cap-off of these many past weeks' horoscopes (as I began to summarize last week), Virgo: Your ruling messenger-analyst Mercury enters your 4th house this week… and brings a definitive end to all the externalized communicativeness the last couple months have demanded of you. As far as I can see, you need say very little aloud at this point (though you might want to do a bit of cathartic ranting-and-raving at home by yourself, just for the pleasurable release from this ongoing call for interpersonal diplomacy). The one exception: If your main squeeze or a very important friend is expecting some information or a response from you, please don't leave 'em hanging (though it's fine to be short-and-sweet, provided you let 'em know it's because of your personal needs rather than anything they've done wrong). This relative decrease in seemingly distracting interactions (though, to be fair, they were less a 'distraction' and more 'what the circumstances warranted') ushers in a phase where, you should be happy to know, you'll be doing a lot more stuff independently.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As of Saturday (Dec 7), Libra, you will be the proud host of a certain energy-instilling, assertiveness-promoting and, at times, conflict-stirring planet by the name of Mars… which ordinarily wouldn't be as big a deal as I'm making it, except that he's there until the second-half of July 2014 (when he's usually in-and-out in about seven weeks). On the one hand, you'll have a much-enhanced ability to actively mold circumstances to your liking, with both a more self-assured and willful capacity to put your desires out there and a boost in vitality and stamina to back it up. On the other hand, this added edge to your personality (not a standard Libran quality, since y'all are typically more smooth than jagged) has the potential to rub certain folks wrong, making you an easier target for others' projections and thus a likelier generator of interpersonal friction than usual. Incidentally, the extraordinary length of Mars's stay is due to his upcoming retrograde (March 1-May 19 '14), which will of course impact you more than anyone… with some rascally and/or riling tricks up its sleeve, related to the above-mentioned themes, that we needn't concern ourselves with yet. For now, I simply recommend acclimating yourself to this mode-of-being, from the safe position of lots of innocent, unobtrusive, attention-deferring small-talk. Try on your new Mars legs. Take 'em for a modest spin around the block first—before you ramp 'em up, and start running after everything you ever wanted.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It's going to be a long, weird, and either (1) wizardly and wonderful or (2) wily and wearisome several months ahead for you, Scorpio, now that your ruling action-figure Mars will be wandering and wobbling through your solar 12th for an exceedingly extended 7-month limbo. When planets are in the 12th, they are curiously beyond our confident grasp. They don't function in as earthly a manner, but instead hold some cryptic otherworldly power. And they often point to circumstances which are out of our control, sometimes dishearteningly so… such that we must learn to surrender to what cannot be changed, to adjust our spiritual (or other sense-making) perspective in order to reserve us a path to peaceful contentment, and/or to conduct our workings behind the scenes until the fog lifts and we can unveil them into the 'real world' we share with everyone else. If Mars is one's get-up-and-go (and especially for a Scorpio), then this period could leave you wondering where Mars has got-up-and-gone. But this is very early in the Mars-in-the-12th game, so much of what I wrote now won't have yet manifested much, if any, evidence. Still, you need to know it. In the meantime, think about what you'll need on the practical (and financial?) level to weather this weird in-between phase.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): After two seemingly endless months of Mercury-in-your-12th muddling your mind and/or screwing with your speech-patterns, Mercury finally hits your sign this week, Sagittarius… granting you far more competent aim with how your blunt utterances and provocative questionings (a proud trademark of your sign) will land. We can, therefore, kiss goodbye those horoscopes which encourage you not to say too much, decide on much, and/or commit to much. You're now safe to move about the cabin, shooting your mouth off as you so desire. I will add, alas, that Mercury will square off against Neptune this week, giving your communications more of an emotionally subjective tinge than you might realize. (For instance, what you might momentarily believe is 'The Truth' could, in fact, be a product of wishful thinking or an excessively glass-half-full/-empty one-sidedness.) However, just remaining aware of this can help you make the necessary adjustments so that, when you are remarking (or opining), you can consciously own the emotionality of it all. Meanwhile, informing you certain people may not like your return to mouthiness shouldn't matter much. (It never really has, has it?)


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): To be blunt, Capricorn, this would be an altogether terrible week for drawing conclusions or finalizing plans, offering on-the-record declarations, speaking to important people about important topics, or relying on your usually cool incisive judgment to assess the situation. This advice applies doubly, by the way, in professional or public contexts, where you're liable to create an uncharacteristically poor impression in the eyes of folks who actually matter to your overall trajectory of accomplishments. The dual 12th-house/Neptune influences on Mercury, which were the inspiration for my opening statement, are thankfully fleeting (so you won't have to postpone all cerebral and communicative activities for very long)… but questions about how you're being perceived on the world stage, by higher-ups and/or anyone who holds a stake in whether you continue ascending or hit some limit-ceiling, will unfortunately persist in the months ahead. Even with Venus on your side for quite a while longer, you can't get around the fact that, in professional or public contexts, your energy will be somewhat protrusive or irritating to those not on the same page. Depending on how you integrate this, it can work to your definite advantage—or merely cause you nagging trouble.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The shift in astrological weather during the course of this week should suit you fairly well, Aquarius. You're moving away from the spot where your every publicly-proclaimed word must accord with the 'official' accounts, and where every call-to-self-assertion threatens to rub up against opposition that feels distressfully personal… and into a place where you're being counted on to fight for what's right, on behalf of freedom-and-justice-for-all (or some similar such principle of import), a position that's perfectly suited for you. Rather than having to tow a party-line in support of some organizational protocol (and/or your actual professional security), you'll now be better able to speak up alongside your genuine allies (using language that promotes unity rather than hierarchy), to listen to their feedback and integrate it into your grand-plan concepting, and/or to support what benefits the whole group. And instead of trudging through the psychological mud, you can now make better sense of what's happened, from a more philosophic (and, therefore, less emotionally risky) perspective. Sounds like good news to me.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): At the risk of sounding a bit melodramatic (a risk I personally don't mind taking), this week's arrival of Mars to your solar 8th—where, instead of his usual six-to-seven-week visit, he'll remain for a momentous 7 months—launches an admittedly intense period during which lines of loyalty are liable to be redrawn, prior arrangements (whether romantic, financial, and/or of some other type) renegotiated or altogether broken, and/or inconvenient or painful truths revealed. Now, Pisces, the identifying details of big-drama this astro-event heralds aren't likely to be immediately obvious (though, if your gut directed your mind to a certain simmering situation while reading the above sentence, you probably have a good intuitive clue as to what this might bring), though it's important you snag an inkling of what to expect now, so it doesn't sneak up on you. During this week ahead, meanwhile, please be aware of the heightened tendency to be somewhat careless, unrestrained, or out-of-line—unbeknownst to you, possibly—with something you say on the job, in a conspicuous public context, and/or to an important figure. Your enthusiasm just might run away with you.