Horoscopes | Week of January 11-17, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Though you may feel quite motivated by the creative charge of looking ahead to your brighter future, Aries, the presently-retrograde Mercury in your 10th has a different idea… namely, that you use this opportunity to rethink your current professional strategy, reorder your list of most-critical priorities, and/or reconsider the type of impression your public profile makes on those you'd seek to wow. While such tasks involve a certain degree of creative engagement, let me be clear that I see this advice functionally playing out more in terms of you carrying out lots of little fixes and/or detail-oriented work rather than concept-level overhauling. Yet, it's those dazzling big-picture brainstorms, mission-statement imaginings, and/or edifying knowledge-upgrades which are obviously more appealing. Therefore, you're likely contending with a touch of inner tension around those jobs you should be focusing on versus what you'd prefer to do. I encourage you not to play out this tension in the public sphere, by making premature announcements and/or claiming a mastery that's not quite developed. Nor should you mistakenly release your pent-up energy at folks in your personal life who don't deserve it… unless, of course, that 'energetic release' is a pleasurable and/or consensually cathartic one. Just bite the bullet, and attend to the pertinent shoulds.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The obvious attraction to 'going all in' with a certain passionate coupling, fertile collaboration, or potentially lucrative partnership—and/or a similarly alluring urge to 'go all the way there' in how you assert desire or fight conflict with another party—should surely be acknowledged, Taurus, but not necessarily given completely into. Despite the titillating thrills and intriguing discontinuities such full-on absorption may promise, you cannot know just what unseen ripples-of-consequence this type of leap might unleash… though the likeliest possible side-effects could unintentionally draw additional parties, collateral affiliations, and/or complicating considerations into the equation, putting you in the precarious position of sharing interests (and, consequently, blurring boundaries) with questionable bedfellows and/or using dubious tactics. For someone like you who takes a firm, far-reaching stand on matters of what's fair, right, and/or moral in the world, getting too far 'in bed' with unproven allies whose stances may not fall on the correct side of your dividing-lines—and/or too permissive with your own less-honorable side—could threaten your ability to live by the letter of your stated philosophies. Don't assume, though, I'm encouraging you to sharply suspend your involvement with such folks or facets-of-self… merely to decelerate the intensification enough so you can better align your next passion-driven steps with your overarching ethics.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In light of Mercury now being retrograde, this is a prime week to revisit certain details germane to any arrangements or agreements which currently bind your fate to another individual, entity, or institution, Gemini… with a very close eye peeled for possible minor adjustments or modest revisions which might secure you a bit more inner peace. While the ultimate goal would be to free yourself up in some manner that'll permit you to sleep more soundly at night, please be aware that your shrewdest solutions will not provide that thrilling sense of immediate emancipation through a single sensational act. Rather, I recommend careful quiet study of the contractual terms, the history of engagement, what was and wasn't said or promised—and a chess-player-style calculation of your next several possible moves, factoring in the other party's primary motivations and their likeliest responses. Meanwhile, with a 7th-house Venus trine Uranus this week, you could easily find yourself falling into pleasantly curious or odd social circumstances, as a result of following the lead of some bold or fiery companion. Nothing wrong with such eccentric flirtations, unless they completely sidetrack you from the pressing internal recalculations. You'll want to continue diligently engineering an ever-clearer path to the light at the end of the tunnel, or else all your hard work will feel like it's leading you nowhere.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Beware of allowing your overly-loose lips to flap too freely in the wind, Cancer, while Mercury is both retrograde in your relationship house (the 7th) and trine to Jupiter in a house of gab (the 3rd). Even with the sincerest of positive intentions, you're under heightened risk of taking conversational liberties to which you're not entitled—e.g., offering unsolicited opinions, drawing imprecise conclusions, sharing details of others' intimate business—and, as a result, inadvertently transgressing someone's personal boundaries. On the other hand, using Mercury-retrograde symbolism to your potential advantage, if you'd already made such communicative goofs at an earlier point (say, sometime last month, before Mercury did its ol' switcheroo), it's not a bad time to revisit that exchange with a clarifying follow-up or humble mea culpa. But again: Don't be too over-the-top, explaining far more than the other person probably cares to hear and/or risking the possibility of a repeat infraction. Short, sweet, and to the point will work best. Meanwhile, keeping a busy work schedule throughout this week promises to bring you more satisfaction than usual… and perhaps even some unexpected development in terms of your overall career picture. As far as your leisure-time activities are concerned, however, don't let supposedly 'innocent' fun lead you down a path of fuzzy ethics.


LEO (July 23-August 22): For the moment, Leo, the most pragmatic, financially lucrative, and/or self-confidence-boosting steps you can take involve reexamining and revamping the methods with which you're meeting your everyday obligations and/or getting your jobs done. Even if you've been working hard (in terms of number-of-hours or calories-burned), you could probably be working smarter. Look again at whether your present schedule and/or sequential-ordering of tasks is properly attuned to your body's innate rhythms… or whether you've perhaps been 'paddling against the currents' in your improperly arranged efforts. I give you this advice knowing full well you're also being summoned by a Uranus-trined Venus-in-your-5th to have lots more fun… particularly in scenarios that expose you to unusual ideas, folks from different cultures or milieus, and/or a general sense of 'something new' to get excited about. Though I see no reason why you can't follow both these astrological influences, you must be aware they are in some degree of conflict. You cannot obediently heed a well-thought-out workplan, for instance, if you're so willing to drop everything you're doing at a moment's notice just because a wild opportunity presents itself. Nor can you easily concentrate on setting yourself up for greater economic security while simultaneously spending too much money on unbridled revelry. How to responsibly balance it all is your dilemma to figure out.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This go-around, Mercury's retrograde can actually serve your purposes quite well, Virgo… if, that is, you're willing to accept that thoughtfully reconsidering your preferences could end up making you much happier in the longer run, though it'll necessarily create a minor delay in the short-term. Don't forget, with Jupiter-in-your-1st happily widening your field of identifiable possibilities, there may be more available to you now than there was when you last consciously decided that this (what- or whoever it may be) is what you wanted. Put another way, your previous determinations were likely arrived at based upon life-conditions which were relatively limited in comparison to what's recently become more realistically attainable… and I would hate to see you settle for something too meager, ordinary, and/or uninspiring while you're under the sort of advantageous astrology which could grant you much more impressive, exceptional, and/or exhilarating rewards. Agreeing to rethink, from this perspective, means daring to think bigger. Be cautious at this point, however, about how forthrightly you discuss such potential reconsiderations-of-preference with any individual liable to be affected (indirectly or in a big way) should you ultimately choose to go forward with a directional shift or game-change. For now, figure yourself out first.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This is one of those weeks when it truly serves you to play right into your sign's stereotypes, Libra… and to use your smooth-as-silk people skills to keep your interactions light, fluffy, and as inconspicuously absent of emotion-laden content as possible. That's because you're actually in a process of reconsidering how to most accurately interpret the feelings you've recently been having (whether or not you're conscious such a process is now occurring)—and the last thing you need is for a circumstantial conversational drift, well-intended peer pressure, and/or your own compulsion to try to impress another person to divert or disrupt your emotional reconsiderations. In short, you're just not ready to discuss certain serious issues or life-defining questions. Though sometimes 'talking it out' can help us get clearer, this is not one of those times. However, there is a dynamic Venus-Uranus trine happening this week in socially-oriented houses (your 3rd and 7th)… which means you're likely to naturally fall into an easier-than-usual rapport with any number of characters, with the added potential of your exchanges ending up somewhere other than you'd intended. Don't mistake such convivial contexts as the appropriate place to work through your inner machinations; keep the two domains separate for the moment.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): First, a reminder, Scorpio. An emboldened Mars is back home in your sign, which means you're wielding greater power, stronger impulses, gutsier desires, and sharper edges than you otherwise would. This is an astro-truth you'll have to keep reminding yourself about for many weeks to come, lest you momentarily neglect to realize why others may be responding to you with greater interest, stronger suspicion, gutsier emotion, and/or sharper competitiveness. Considering all this, then, I'd recommend you use this week's Jupiter trine to a retrograde 3rd-house Mercury to deliberately go back to any recently uncertain, uncomfortable, or odd exchanges with friends or colleagues you actually like… and give them another consciously-present dose of your social attention, just to reassure both of you that your fondness is intact. But here's the catch: You should try to stop short of directly addressing any discomfort or uncertainty, to avoid your move coming off like it's too self-serving (i.e., merely a means to assuage your own guilt and/or to retain some concrete benefit of maintaining the connection) rather than genuinely relationally-minded. 'Self-serving' efforts are presently best made independently, in your day-to-day work. Interpersonal participations, on the other hand, should be enjoyed for their own sake.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Both benefics Venus and Jupiter are presently in superb spots (your 1st and 10th houses, respectively) in your solar chart, Sagittarius… but, because they're also squaring each other, this can easily signify 'too much of a good thing', potentially leading to your suffering conditions of excess and/or overkill-caused mishaps. Far be it for me to focus solely on the negatives, when you're on the receiving end of much personal admiration and professional recognition up the wazoo. Yet, I'd be remiss to simply hail these wondrous astro-influences, since the advice you're likelier to need isn't to 'make the absolute most' of it (when you're already under threat of overboard behaviors) but, instead, to collect and/or conserve the good tidings for future use. With a retrograde Mercury in your 2nd trining Jupiter, for example, you should be fastidiously accounting for every fawning accolade, honorable mention, and esteemed assignment you're now welcoming… in the process of patiently constructing a convincing case for why you'll deserve that eventual raise, recognition, promotion, or prize. But this isn't the time to actually make that case, as the data's still sorting itself out. Plus, with Mars still in hanging in your 12th, your outward assertions-of-desire remain too prone to missing their mark. Incidentally, Mars-in-the-12th also increases the temptation to try to defy reasonable physical limits (i.e., drinking too much, taking foolish safety risks, messing with the wrong person, etc.), so there's that, too.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Because Mercury is retrograde in your sign, Capricorn, you're the one under greatest threat this week of putting your foot in your mouth and/or being too quick with your handling of business, to the point where, in haste, you goof. Mercury's trine to Jupiter-in-your-9th only further escalates this likelihood, particularly in situations where you believe you hold the expert knowledge, definitive opinion, and/or moral high-ground. (Sidenote: You may indeed be correct in your assessment of your own position; it's in how it's likely to come across that you face a risk.) It also doesn't help, unfortunately, that the forming Mars-Neptune trine could make it way too easy to inadvertently rile a pal, peer, or committee-member by assuming an understanding they don't share. Combine all these dovetailing astro-influences, and it can be a recipe for friction-stirring communicative blunders. But, my dear, all hope is not lost: A very-happy trine to Uranus from Venus-in-your-12th suggests you'll have a grand ol' time by sticking to yourself, pursuing private pleasures, imagining, daydreaming, reading, writing, reorienting your thoughts, maybe even crafting a personal ritual to commemorate just how into your own present interests you are, and—perhaps most importantly of all—getting much-desired emotional space from all the people and pressures constantly bearing down on you. Though you may be at a certain risk in your dealings with others, you can competently avoid this danger by staying out of the public fray, focusing on your own desires… and enjoying every minute of it.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Though you may be understandably driven to push decisively ahead in your professional (and/or public-world) efforts with Mars now in your 10th, Aquarius, that impulse alone doesn't tell the whole story. At the same time, impish Mercury has retrograded back into your 12th, suggesting that your present 'advancement' is likeliest to be successfully conducted behind the scenes (rather than in any conspicuous setting), and may require listening closely to a whispered change-of-cosmic-plans emanating from the ethers. It wouldn't be a bad idea, therefore, to schedule yourself some unstructured time during the week ahead… making room for meditative exercises, creative wanderings, inspirational detours, and/or precious interpersonally-intimate moments which are pointedly centered around appreciating the energetic exchange of a human experience (and not some more specific purpose). This is about feeling your way into discovering any process-step blindspots you might've missed during your end-of-'15 lookings-ahead. A trining Venus and Uranus add a dynamic spark to your social life, which can help you get out of your head and into more light-hearted friendly or collegial situations. But don't use this as an excuse to shirk your behind-the-scenes reflections; too much 'out of your head' means you're not that earnestly engaged in thought.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This week's Venus-Uranus trine across your career-and-money houses (the 10th and 2nd) creates a favorable backdrop for harnessing the public-sector goodwill you've earned, Pisces, to proactively push the envelope with regards to your perceived value. You can promote a boost to your reputational esteem (and, as an eventual result, your income) by demonstrating a readiness to stretch your skills in a new direction, to innovatively remarket your bag-of-tricks with a different emphasis, and/or to tentatively investigate previously unconsidered opportunities now unexpectedly opening up. But Mercury is retrograde, alas… and from its present 11th-house perch, it asks you to reconsider who are actually the folks likeliest to help further your exploratory reachings. The people you find easiest to get along with might not be the ones who share your interests, understand your stake in this certain matter, and/or legitimately qualify as part of your audience, market, or community. That doesn't mean you ought to forsake those whose company you enjoy, of course—just to bear in mind that their perspectives on what you're trying to achieve might not be as practically relevant and/or directly supportive to your personal ambitions. In seeking this specific sort of camaraderie or encouragement, deliberately target those who have proven knowledge or experience in the field.