Horoscopes | Week of January 30-February 5, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Felt the 'energetic transition' yet, Aries? Well, Mars only arrived in your sign near the end of last week, so this'll be your first full week of wielding this awesomely invigorating planet-tool. Please don't forget its edges are sharp, the protruding end pointy… and you are stronger, more agile, and quicker-on-the-draw than you may realize. Unsuspecting bystanders, interrupters, and obstructers are liable to get poked, provoked, or injured if you're not careful with your fierce force. With dual squares from Jupiter and Uranus to Mercury in your 10th, any attempts to keep a communication 'professional' or otherwise controlled could be met by competing impulses either to 'cut through the bullshit' and say what you really think and/or to pander to the other party (to overcompensate for how badly you want to 'cut through the bullshit'? to assuage their hurt feelings after you 'cut through the bullshit'?). Come Friday (Feb 3), Venus joins the Aries fun, brightening up your sign with good favor and heightened powers-of-attraction. You'll be hearing a lot more about Venus, considering its impending retrograde catches you in its crosshairs.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): No impetuous reactions or short-sighted lurchings forward, please, Taurus. I know that isn't the sort of behavior you're customarily known for… but with an increasingly pronounced emphasis on your fiery 12th house (the place where, once you've endured the inciting pressures or incensing triggers long enough so your trademark patience becomes overrun with psychic stimulus and you just can't take it one more minute, you periodically erupt in spectacular fireworks), you should presently be on high alert against such unruly impulses. This week, your likeliest lures will be in the realm of stated belief-systems and value-propositions… a locus where you hold both tenacious positions and little tolerance for those whose contrasting views you consider dangerously misguided, unjust, or plain wrong. While you should naturally feel free to stand up for what's right, such discussions become rather unproductive—and, in many cases, counterproductive—beyond a certain point. It's when you begin approaching that point, after you've said your piece and can't help but notice their resistance is more emotional than logic-driven, you probably ought to walk away. Your hunger to 'win' is highly unlikely to carry you where you think it might.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You are definitely not alone in this, Gemini… which could be heard as a reassuring sentiment if we're talking about the allies, comrades, and supporters rallying alongside you, but becomes far less heartwarming when applied to those other participants actively working to achieve contrasting, oppositional, or downright hostile aims. It's essential, then, to remain acutely aware of what all the various factions are up to, at this critical transition-point in your outward social identifications. I will stop short, however, of urging you to issue explicit ultimatums that demand dubious characters utter loyalty pledges to prove they're down with your cause. Though you probably do need to shore up your trust-assessments of all the significant players, so baldly confrontational an approach won't produce the best quality of feedback (since folks could be put on guard by your directness, offended by your attitude, or desperate to appease you). Instead, judge them by how clued-in they seem when you discuss whichever sensitive details from your life serve as a driving motivation for believing what you believe and standing where you stand. This side-window into their psychology will tell you far more than their faithful (or less-than) recitation of the correct party-line rhetoric.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): When you keep your eye on the prize, Cancer, it never leaves your sight… and, therefore, as the circumstances which shape your likeliest course to successfully claiming it keep on changing, you'll be ever-ready to change your pursuit-strategy as appropriate. This is one of those vibrant times when both the prize-promising potentials are angled to your advantage and you'll have to stay perched to leap or lunge in whatever direction the promised prize demands. Expect, then, to remain in constant (if not, at times, dizzying) action, if you'd like to position yourself in the most conspicuous hot-spot of the developing opportunities, demonstrating through deed that you're up for the job, willing to dive in with whatever extemporaneous efforts will prove your dedication in that moment. Admittedly, that ready-for-anything orientation to your own ambitions can make it hard to be altogether present for certain other primary players not involved in this quest…. particularly since the ongoing possibility that you'll need to immediately respond when your outside situation's ripe does temporarily impede your capacity to be a consistent presence for them. Your most honorable approach, though, is just to tell 'em how it is. Otherwise, you're not being straight with them and/or shooting yourself in the foot.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I'm hoping the recent muddle you've found yourself in since the start of the year has, if nothing else, at least helped clarify what's really important, Leo… even if the process of getting there made you want to rip your (or someone else's) hair out. But now, with that clarity more heartily in place, it's your job to put your active attentions where these self-identified priorities attest they should be. If that means, on the broadest life-direction level, you need to start educating yourself more fully about the most relevant issues, engaging with other great thinkers about their philosophies and how they arrived at them, and/or preparing to actually journey to the spot where your blossoming contribution is meant to take place, then please don't waste another single moment. I urge you to get on with whatever leap-of-purpose or quest-for-meaning is burning inside you, rather than waiting for some imagined moment (which, let me be clear, doesn't exist) when it might feel less risky. One caveat, though: If your abrupt acceleration in seeking out this next evolutionary step will leave existing obligations in the lurch, please take honorable care to inform others and/or delegate their handling before you're out the door.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): If you feel like you're starting to lose control over the scope of this discussion, the considerations to be included in the process, and/or the outcome it's intended to produce, then you're probably doing it right, Virgo. If a resolution that appears to be emerging was attained a bit too quickly, tidily, or painlessly, you likely skimmed over the places where disagreement lurks and/or steered clear of the tough spots altogether. And even if you did reach a genuine meeting-of-the-minds, you're almost certain to soon confront an unforeseeable side-effect or consequence that throws another wrench back in these works. All of this is a-okay. Don't get aggravated by whichever pieces still aren't in place; you may not know which pieces are still missing or what place they belong in. Instead, appeal to the part of your personality that would rather complete a job totally and thoroughly—no matter how long it takes or how hard-going the effort need be—than handle it in a hasty or half-assed manner. By my watch, the touchier tasks of totally-and-thoroughly reaching a mutually satisfying understanding are only just beginning. But, gosh, how much depth-of-experience you still have to gain from this…


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Though there's no doubt you will have to devote increasing amounts of attention to the main squeezes, special friends, and squeaky wheels in your life, Libra, it might take you the full course of this week to re-acclimate yourself accordingly. Over these days ahead, you may still feel somewhat irked or annoyed at the prospect of suddenly having to bend more toward their interests, whims, or assertions-of-will… not necessarily because you are hostile to their specific desires, but more in kneejerk resentment of this general pressure to adapt or concede. But before you turn snappy or meet their come-ons with antagonism or obstruction, let me reassure you that you won't likely feel quite as aggro once Venus lands in your 7th by week's-end (on Fri Feb 3), making you more sincerely receptive to compromising and/or collaborating for the benefit of your relations with another person. Likewise, some of your irritability may be due to Mercury's longer-than-usual trip through your 4th, an influence that strongly colors our information-processing with subjective feelings, while inhibiting us from communicating with external clarity. Mercury finally moves into your 5th next week, suggesting you'll soon be better able to counter their most unappealing notions with alternatives you'd prefer.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Do what you can to reserve yourself as much freedom as possible, Scorpio, to fervently dive into your to-do list in whichever order, manner, and/or timeslot best suits your rhythms. While I understand not every job assignment or self-care chore affords one such unadulterated freedom, you will still have opportunities to choose relatively independent diligence and internally-powered industriousness over a more casual, less fevered approach punctuated with lots of gratuitous checking-in, bickering-over, and screwing-around. Knowing the high productive potential of this current moment will hopefully be incentive enough for you to guard against unnecessary interference… even with the awareness that such 'guarding' might require a few direct instructive, imperative, or scolding words to those who won't leave you alone. Please explain, of course, that your shortness of tone isn't 'personal' (though, based on the particular player involved, it might partly be), but merely a reflection of your insistent interest in getting this stuff done. If you don't focus how directly and concisely ask for this space, the conversation could meander in too open-ended a fashion toward irrelevancies and distractions.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Are we having more fun yet, Sagittarius? On the off chance I'm hearing a 'no' from any of you, let me further encourage your active awareness of this amplified pleasure-potential by reporting that this trend just continues getting better, courtesy of Venus joining your 5th-house pack near the end of the week. This isn't the sort of astrology which indicates you ought to sit on your hands, waiting for an invitation to some big dance you aren't sure you even want to attend; it's the type that spurs you to throw your own distinctive extravaganza, with a theme befitting your latest obsession and whatever music gets your feet a-hoppin' and a buffet of your favorite foods and drinks, so you can invite everyone you want to see (and leave the rest to their own far-less-interesting devices). This fun-fostering astro-climate doesn't relieve you of your other duties, of course, nor miraculously deliver you from any wider stress-causing elements of your life. Rather, it's a reminder that, even in the face of serious responsibility or sobering reality, we always have the liberty to choose spare-time activities which replenish our hearts instead of draining our hope. Such a visibly joy-affirming orientation also, incidentally, happens to be incredibly attractive to those who crave this certain zest for life.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Taking radical ownership over your emotional well-being, though largely an act of internal self-governance, will be greatly supported this week when you dare to say whatever the hell you want if it feels both true and essential to asserting or preserving your agency, Capricorn… and fuck anyone who doesn't like it. On that last profane flourish, let me clarify that the sentiment I intend to forefront is one of independently-declared resistance, which needn't descend to name-calling or other nastiness but would nonetheless signal your unwillingness to take on the burden of leaving others comfortably unruffled at your own expense. This may be more radical than it sounds, considering you are so skilled at defaulting to an overtly controlled, conscientious, and constructive tone—not only out of scrupulous interpersonal consideration, but also to protect future potential interests—that you don't usually throw caution to the wind so deliberately. Caution, however, is a defense strategy based on allaying the risk of future problems. When there's an intolerable situation now, you don't have the luxury of dancing around the topic, in hopes your gentle insinuations will be eventually effective. You've got to say whatever gets the urgent point across instantly—and deal with any fallout later.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): For now, it's more important for you to establish, affirm, or reinitiate interpersonal contact in the most general sense, Aquarius, than to attempt to convey any particular message. As I reported last week, you haven't yet wrapped up Mercury's trip through your 12th, so communications remain unreliable (as far as you effectively expressing what you think you're expressing)… but the magnified pull of active participation in the social 'dance' of greetings and salutations, sweet (yet still sincere) sentiments and casual (though nonetheless warm) connections, is palpable. So, see how successfully you might spend your week actively participating but not necessarily saying anything of significant content, staying engaged without ever espousing, being present not protrusive. This is not the end of this story, however; you're simply setting a scene you'll continue to play out over the weeks to come. What's due to change soon is Mercury's arrival to your home sign early next week. Once that happens, you'll be far better able to further the extent of any rapports you've built—and actually deliver the insights, observations, and/or opinions that have been collecting in your head since even before '17 began. At that point, you can give 'em something to talk about.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Repeat after me, Pisces: 'It is okay to put my needs first. It's essential I look out for my own material security and well-being if I hope to be stable and sturdy enough to support anybody else. I am little good to the rest of the universe if I'm stuck in a struggle to survive. Practical self-interest is a foundation upon which everything else rests.' But though you would probably benefit from hearing these words on an internal reiteration loop until their truth becomes second nature, I wouldn't recommend using them this week in public declarations or outward expressions of your current objectives. The problem isn't with the sentiments themselves, so you know… merely with the temporarily turbulent transits to Mercury-in-your-11th, which amplify the likelihood that any innocuous statements about your self-serving aims will become convoluted or corrupted by others' attitudes or agendas, causing them to treat your effort at self-determination as if it has something to do with them. It is not your responsibility, however, to campaign for their approval or blessing on initiatives which are wholly yours. Part of prioritizing your needs may require leaving them out of it altogether.