Horoscopes | Week of January 4-10, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It's essential to keep your eye on the prize throughout 2016, Aries… but it remains to be seen whether the 'prize' typically equated with higher honors, greater worldly authority, or more power is a token-of-success you'll also sincerely find mentally interesting, philosophically meaningful, and/or personally gratifying beyond the impressive appearances. The first two-thirds of your year continue a trend of your deliberate increases in everyday effort having a direct (and gorgeously synergistic) positive impact on your ability to achieve huge strides in your longer-term aspirations. Yet, investing too much unconsidered effort to press forward down that familiar road you've been traveling for a while now could prove a waste of energy if, at the same time, you're quietly questioning 'what it's all for' or whether you're setting yourself up for greater burdens (and less of a capacity to appreciate your day-to-day existence) later on. For the record, I am not telling you you're heading the wrong direction. You are the only one who can answer that question for yourself. However, this year is the time to be asking such questions… and to spend a significant chunk of reflective attention on answering them from different perspectives, beyond your usual logic-systems, factoring in broader-minded values and/or spiritual callings as well as more obvious practicalities, listening to your heart's whispers even when your rational mind cannot make so-called 'sense' of the irrational truths they carry. Developments associated with your ruler Mars's retrograde during the first-half of '16 will likely contribute to this contemplative process, as you're liable to find yourself halted in your hasty tracks by reemerging relational hitches, recurring financial challenges, and/or other glaring reminders that the unceasing collision between, and interpenetration of, our different psychic realities ensures nothing is ever as cut-and-dry as we may wish. As a result, your understanding of the role other people play in whether your life is ultimately rewarding—regardless of how 'successful' you might otherwise become—is due to grow, once Jupiter hits your relationship house (the 7th) in September, complicating, hopefully to your benefit, the too-simple formulas by which you'd previously trying to make defining decisions. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Much of your 2016, Taurus, will require significant effort in your most critical partnerships, collaborations, and/or entanglements… hopefully with a mindful eye toward getting your needs met, your gripes heard, and any long-simmering tensions out on the table, once and for all. With Mars in your 7th and 8th houses (the two zones most directly associated with interpersonal behavior and relational tradeoffs) from now through late September, you should anticipate a somewhat bumpier ride in these months ahead, as you reach for more competent self-assertiveness in your relationships, attempt to ward off increased aggression from the other party, and/or reconcile a growing divergence in values or desires. Please don't try to squelch any rising conflicts or protect stale relational dynamics from their badly-needed disruption. These coming months serve as your astrologically-designated moment to fight for the relationship(s) you want… even when it gets super-uncomfortable, even if you must go back and rehash issues which never got properly worked out in the first place, even if one and/or the other of you must spend time fuming about confrontations or accusations which just might have some truth to them. Areas in which you may need to check yourself: (1) doubling-down on too-rigid belief-systems which re-inscribe some personal blindspot that's been at the root of interpersonal misunderstandings, and/or (2) not properly balancing your attention to a certain extra-special relationship against other social demands, with one suffering due to overemphasizing the other. Get everything out during '16, and your pairing(s) will be all the better for it—or else will show itself unable to survive all that radical truth, in which case it'll be time to cut your losses and bank the experience. With Saturn in your 8th all year, this is your pressing task: Fully accept your psychological reality, without shame or fear of endings. On the concrete job-and-duty level, plan on shifting into a higher gear of day-to-day productivity from September onward, once Jupiter moves into your 6th… working with what you've got, rather than fruitlessly trying to corral all the loose-ends or design the (ahem) 'perfect' system. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): An ongoing tension between how much you invest in your primary interpersonal relationship(s) and how much goes to your career and/or outer-life calling pervades much of your 2016, Gemini. With Saturn in your 7th all year, your overall attitude toward relationships is the more urgent demand: This is a moment for getting serious about your interpersonal involvements, whether by taking a certain coupling to its next logical step or cutting ties with someone you're merely lukewarm about, making peace with your current reality or putting in extra effort to work through what you don't like. Please understand this critical crossroads isn't just about any specific partner (or your lack thereof), but a broader call to examine the role other people play in your life… to see if you're bending too far over to please a special someone, excessively concerned with 'keeping your options open', and/or resisting the sort of compromises upon which relationships are built. From this context, your professional aspirations could be serving as a justifying excuse to sacrifice your interpersonal needs ('who has time? I work too hard!')—or, just as likely, you may be pouring so much of yourself into the (ahem) drama of relationships that your career potential is suffering from lack of attention. Obviously, there's no straightforward formula for the ideal balance between the two, though it's becoming crucial that you consciously view this as a matter of realistically allocating limited resources (i.e., your time and energy). You'll get a crash-course in this juggling act during Mars's retrograde, when shifts in your relational dynamics during April and May (including some likely friction or conflict) suddenly collide with unforeseen developments in work, health, or some other mundane zone where your immediate action is required. How adeptly that relationship is able to bend and swerve to accommodate this scrambling of priorities will reveal its present state of well-being (or lack thereof). Happily anticipate an upswing in fun, pleasure, romance, and creative inspiration once Jupiter hits your 5th in September. After hanging in through some tough times in recent years, this astrological move could finally tip the scales back in an unmistakably happy direction. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your 2016 is a year for working hard, Cancer… not as an endless misery-inducing grind, however, but in a conscious act of gradually building a realistic day-to-day existence which both meets your duties and feels palpably meaningful to you. 'Productivity' isn't merely a euphemistic way to spin the many mundane chores and job-related tasks we're obligated to carry out; it's an essential facet of our sanity, health, and well-being. Saturn's ongoing residence in your 6th indicates that your top responsibility in '16 involves creating, preserving, and/or refining everyday rhythms and routines which support this sense of being proudly productive, while also promoting bodily wellness. This isn't the time, therefore, to chase escapist dreams or allow your inner idealist to renounce the utter meaninglessness of 'humdrum' routines. It is important, however, to make sure all this hard work is leading you somewhere that matters to you… that it'll ultimately amount to an achievement, purpose, or legacy you feel morally aligned with and/or which makes the world a better place. Otherwise, you're just a robot. Be conversationally forthright about your quest for a principled work-life with a multitude of characters, since you never know who may have an insightful sentiment to share (though beware of too-strong opinions from certain intimates whose advice is based on what's right for them, not you). Mars's retrograde during the year's first half is liable to mess with your hard-working attitude: Following a surge of go-get-'em initiative in March, you're likely to hit some obstacles, detours, or reversals in April and May—which you might find just frustrating enough that you divert your attention to more pleasurable or playful activities during June and July. It could take until September before you have a firm handle on the items that sputtered, snagged, or dragged along. Right at the same time, Jupiter moves into your 4th, injecting a renewed emotional optimism into your inner landscape that should last through much of '17, the year in which you may finally feel more 'at home' than you have in quite a while. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


LEO (July 23-August 22): When I tell you that your 2016 will be dominated by the arduous task of ironing out what you legitimately enjoy most in life, Leo, you may be momentarily deluded into believing this isn't really as hard as it sounds. Please don't underestimate the importance of this responsibility to yourself. Should you skim over this work or altogether ignore it, your future self will pay the price with decreasing amounts of genuine pleasure and/or a developing 'going-through-the-motions' performance of insincere self. Are you able, for example, to discern between (1) what's a most authentic expression of you and (2) what you might choose because it makes you feel important, pays you well, and/or seems to collapse very-real differences in experience or perspective between you and a certain individual (or individuals)? Don't get me wrong, I'm not alleging any of us has the freedom to make all our decisions based on pure personal preference or predilection; other practical and interpersonal considerations must also be factored in. (Of course it's also a problem if the only thing you care about is what you want.) But it's dangerous to the project of seeking self-satisfaction to blur the distinction between what you truly desire (for no 'greater' reason than you want what you want) and any tradeoffs you might be willing to make, in a deliberate move to boost your worldly standing or demonstrate relational regard. Consciously striving to better understand such distinctions in '16 is key to ultimately maximizing how thoroughly you appreciate life's most precious delights. In matter-of-fact terms, this lesson is likeliest to play out through your noticing everything that doesn't make you happy—including pastimes or participations which perhaps you used to like just fine, and maybe even formerly hot romances where the spark's now sadly absent. This realization forces you to work a bit harder to determine what really warms your heart… and, whenever you do, to invest even more attention and energy in those rare pleasures. As such, any risings-up of stubborn emotional discontentment (especially during Mars's retrograde in May and June) should be seen not merely as mood-fluctuations, but as insightful messages from your inner spirit-warrior, pointing you away from whatever soul-sucking compromises you don't actually want to make… and hopefully poking and prodding you into better prioritizing that which reliably delivers smiles, laughs, and love, from July onward. Social activity is likely to increase once Jupiter lands in your 3rd, starting in September. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I'm faithfully presuming you're entering 2016 on a high note, Virgo, considering you've been hosting growth-and-luck-peddler Jupiter in your sign since mid-August… and will continue to enjoy its benefic blessings through September of this year-ahead. While I must always remind folks Jupiter won't force good-tidings upon you but merely creates an ideal setting for taking evolutionary risks and reaches, it's still a pretty damn positive aspect to have on your side. Take fullest possible advantage of this astrological tailwind: This is the year to spread your wings and fly toward that thing you've long wanted to do. And if you're one of those Virgos experiencing your 'lucky' moment as an apparent disappointment or loss, please try to understand this as a case of your having outgrown that which is passing away and/or a silver-lining opportunity to stretch into something bigger and better. The main challenge to your capacity to enjoy Jupiter's bounteous promise comes courtesy of Saturn-in-your-4th: If you don't diligently process through the complex emotions underlying your ambitions and desires, you can't truly understand which aims will ultimately bring you inner fulfillment—and which may merely be driven by inherited ideologies, peer rivalries, or other impersonal notions of 'what you should do'. This task calls you to deliberately spend chunks of time away from the madding crowd, allowing yourself to hear the sound of your tender heart's sincerest cravings and aches. To carry this off successfully might require making hard choices on the domestic front (since home is where you must feel safe to explore your internal landscape) and/or drawing clearer boundaries with family-members whose black-and-white opinions infringe on your capacity for emotional self-determination. Even your closest one-on-one relationship(s) could get in the way of this inner work, if you use the other person as an excuse not to do what's right for you as an individual. On the other hand, don't go so internal and/or get so wrapped up in your next great leap-forward that you overlook its impact on those closest to you. If you start to get too clinical, self-indulgently moody, and/or trapped in your own head, you mustn't forget to lean on others for a soft shoulder and a fresh perspective. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): No need to fret, Libra, if you find you're spending a good chunk of your 2016 anxiously anticipating all the awesomeness you feel is just on the verge of manifesting. That's just good-time-bringer Jupiter hanging in the limbo-land of your 12th through much of your '16… in preparation for its arrival to your sign come September, ushering in a full year of doors opening, horizons widening, and hopes for a better-than-ever future renewing themselves with more gusto than you've enjoyed in a while. In particular, you can expect this burst of self-centered optimism to noticeably rattle the dynamics in key one-on-one relationships. As you begin to see greater possibilities for yourself, you'll become markedly less willing to tolerate erratic or disconnected behavior from a partner, collaborator, or close friend. Your most dramatic developments, therefore, are likeliest to come in the final third of the year, along with a big 2017 to look forward to. Until then, you must keep your social connections vital—even when you might prefer to squirrel yourself away and bide your time until the planets shift in your favor. In fact, with Saturn still in your 3rd all year, your greatest responsibility is to stay in regular contact with your network of pals, relatives, and associates… and to push yourself to be as frank and forthright in these catch-ups and chit-chats as you can, maybe even pouring your unfiltered thoughts into journal-pages or blog-posts. Putting concrete words to emotionally-charged sentiments is a critical aspect of airing your feelings, allowing them room to move and mutate and evolve. Keeping it 'all bottled up' (whether to save face and/or to spare others the 'upset' of dealing with your less-pretty side) poses a real threat to how triumphant your next chapter can be. Day-to-day work demands and/or health-related issues do not, by the way, qualify as valid excuses for cutting yourself off from other people. At the same time, you mustn't gloss over just how much regular attention such items may warrant... especially during May and June, when Mars's rascally retrograde could bring surprising money concerns and/or other abrupt developments which require you to concretely prove your calm-headed competency. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Though finally having Saturn out of your sign would suggest 2016 will bring far smoother sailing than your past few years, Scorpio, your ruling make-it-happen(-and-get-mad-when-it-doesn't) agent Mars has a few tricks up its sleeve during the first chunk of your year. Due to an upcoming retrograde (from mid-April through late June) and its corresponding shadow-phases, Mars will spend a full four months in Scorpio raising your energy levels, emboldening your self-assertive powers, and lighting the fire under your ass to go out and fight for the life you want. Mars has already landed in your sign, in fact, as of this past Sunday (Jan 3) and will stay there through the beginning of March, making these first couple months of '16 an excellent time to buck up, bust out, and get things going… but along with a warning, sorry to say. Some of what you initiate, accomplish, or push forward will probably have to be fixed, redone, and/or set aside for a spell—right at the very moment it's taking root or getting into a steady rhythm—due to a question of economic feasibility, an emerging reason to strengthen certain skills, and/or an urgent need to redirect your attention elsewhere. This, of course, is the Mars-retrograde effect… which, this time around, could hit you harder than other zodiac-tribes, especially during May and June. July will be your month to pull it all back together, once Mars is direct again and retracing its steps back through your sign. Meanwhile, attaining financial self-sufficiency and/or increased solvency remains a high-priority duty all year: The effort you put into this now will create a solid foundation for your future, just as ignoring the situation could screw you up for some time to come. Even still, you mustn't become so practical or material-driven that you aren't also deriving pleasure and/or creative satisfaction from what you're doing; it's all about balancing concrete needs with personal desires, security with romance. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Still under the thumb of self-disciplinarian Saturn for the whole length of 2016 (and, for that matter, '17 too), Sagittarius, you remain at a critical juncture in your lifetime efforts to become your best possible self. You know, no big deal… right? Ha! This actually is a big deal, especially when it comes to attaining and/or preserving the appropriate dosage of personally-meaningful forward momentum, neither advancing too sloppily or recklessly, nor waiting frozen in fear for some 'surer' time unlikely to come. With your ruling opportunity-inspirer Jupiter sticking around your career/public-world house (the 10th) into September, much of your year provides an ideal astro-climate in which to reach for more professionally, stretching beyond previous boundaries and expanding your level of responsibilities. Be warned, though: Such ambitious advances ought to be meticulously planned for, based on stable notions of incremental success, and rolled out one careful step at a time—not brashly hailed as some miraculous feat, a fleeting spectacle which ultimately isn't sustainable. Being impatient or overeager for immediate excitement is the likeliest way you could screw yourself up, should you forgo a comprehensive strategy (especially in terms of finances) to chase the action and drama. Too much outwardly-aimed bombast or bluster can also overpower that softer, subtler voice within, particularly if don't spend enough self-reflective moments by yourself. Your inner emotional conscience may not, in fact, be completely on-board with your adventure-seeking thirsts… and though it might be hard to put your finger on exactly what's not sitting quite right, that doesn't mean you should ignore these telling feelings. On the other hand, if you're just feeling stuck, it's probably at least partly due to you over-identifying with where—and who—you come from, suggesting a need for greater individuation by better separating yourself from familial expectations. Because of Mars's retrograde-wacked motion in and out of your sign through the first two-thirds of '16, prepare yourself for false starts, cosmic tricks, and a few developments totally out of your control. Though you may seem to lurch ahead in March and April (following a strangely impotent start-of-the-year), an unexpected need to redirect that initiative could 'delay' you until August. Any such 'delays' have their spiritual purpose; your temporary job will be to follow the energy and retreat into deeper contemplations, rather than force things along (and likely cause more trouble for yourself). Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please don't hassle yourself, Capricorn, if you find your 2016 turns out to be more introspective, isolating, and/or inactive than you might've hoped. Such periods of 'down-time' are a natural part of every vital life-cycle, and should be treated like they are just as important to your overall progress as more tangible work-modes. Astrologically, this moment of relative retreat is represented by karmic-lord Saturn's transit through your 12th (which extends through all of '16 and '17), a paring-down and clearing-away on the psychic level in preparation for more decisive, defining action once Saturn crosses into your sign. Therefore, it's futile to fight against any mysterious lacks-of-initiative and/or dips-in-mood, as such conditions provide an ideal setting for burning off old upsets and residual disappointments… a necessary step in drawing clear dividing-lines between your outdated past and your current reality. The first two-thirds of 2016 is an excellent occasion for study, travel, and/or philosophic reflection, with the deliberate intent to expose yourself to foreign ideas and fresh outlooks. If a former incarnation is in the midst of falling away, then you'll naturally want to seek out inspiring purposes and principles to guide the emergence of the new-and-improved you. Even in the midst of this greater introspection, I must caution you against forsaking essential interpersonal contact, as if you cannot manage to stomach the trifles and superficialities of obligatory social interactivity and, thus, try to opt out. Don't underestimate the value of basic social exchange; it might seem 'pointless' to you at times, yet nonetheless plays an integral role in keeping you sane, stable, and connected. (But don't go too far the other way either: Excessive socializing will distract you from the spiritual skin-shedding task at hand.) A huge astrological shift occurs in September, when Jupiter lands in your career house (the 10th), dynamically opening up a greater potential for expansion, evolution, and excitement in this zone… but it'll be up to you to grab that ball and run with it. Late September through early November is your most energetic, industrious period all year. Get things moving and grooving at that time, and ride the professional momentum well into '17. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your 2016 offers you a chance to deepen into self-knowledge, Aquarius, allowing any resistance to interpersonal intimacy to lessen, as key partnerships (whether romantic, financial, or creative) intensify in their radical collaborativeness. But what that also means is necessarily letting go of any increasingly unmanageable attempts to be somebody you're not… which could uncomfortably infringe upon your ability to 'get along with everyone', redraw the lines of allegiance or camaraderie within your community or group, and/or bring certain friendships to an end. Just as your most solid and sincere social connections ought to receive a deliberately greater investment of your time and attention, those which feel obligatory or disingenuous should be cut off or left to wither. With Saturn in your 11th all year, your job is to baldly identify who are 'your people'—and who aren't—since you will be judged by the company you keep. Don't be so idealistic and/or unforgiving, however, that you alienate folks who may not be perfectly aligned with you on every issue, but might otherwise prove a helpful ally or serve you some practical purpose. Common sense advises you not to needlessly torch any bridges in the name of ideological purity, at the potential expense of limiting your financial potential or professional reach. Career-related (or other outside-world) activity plays a huge role in the first half of '16, with Mars in your 10th making January and February a fantastic time to push big goals forward and/or make a splash on the public-stage. But because Mars will go retrograde shortly thereafter, please leave room for the likelihood you'll have to revisit these efforts in June and July… perhaps as an indirect response to shifting social trends, conflicts with peers, and/or a glaring need to distinguish yourself from others in the field. At long last, Jupiter's arrival to your 9th in September opens your eyes to a new philosophic framework, belief-system, or set of guiding ideas that gets you more noticeably enthusiastic about what's coming up next… an ushering-in of purpose-driven excitement that carries you through much of '17. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): With Saturn still hanging out in your 10th through the duration of 2016, Pisces, you remain at a 'make-or-break' moment in your career strivings (and/or in other outside-world enterprises) this entire year ahead. Whether you're hitting a new level of achievement, a fork in the road, or a dogged obstacle to your continuing forward any further, the results you'll observe must be understood as a pivotal progress-marker in your efforts: Any successes have been hard-earned and are well-deserved, while disappointments or disheartening developments are a serious symptom that something needs addressing. Should you encounter these latter signs, please take this reality-check like a champ. Your earnest willingness to now develop a shrewder long-term strategy, learn to work harder and smarter, and/or abandon goals ill-fitting of your talents or present place-in-life will make a huge difference to your future positioning. Whatever the specifics of your professional situation, you must mindfully balance the relevant worldly responsibilities against a more subtle consideration of 'who you really are'. It would be a shame, for instance, to overlook what makes you distinctly special, in too single-minded a pursuit of some goal not that personally engaging or suited to your unique qualities. Yet, even if you're uncertain about whether this occupation is the forever 'perfect' one, you cannot afford to let current obligations drop or your own sense of ambition to dry up, at the cost of feeling generally purposeful. Other people can help you make heads-or-tails of such big life-questions, provided you take advantage of their insights by actively sharing more of your internal process and explicitly asking for advice—or they can hinder your progress, if you let your excessive care for them distract you from your process and/or cause you to mistakenly accept their judgment-calls as your own. Productive interpersonal-relationship growth is readily available throughout your year, as long as you're willing to show up as an individual more clearly and unapologetically. Otherwise, if you just passively 'let things carry on as they've been', you could find yourself growing ever more completely enmeshed after Jupiter hits your 8th in September… and, consequently, more dependent on someone else's whims. Click here for '2016: An Astrological Overview', a summary of the major astrology happenings of the upcoming year.