Horoscopes | Week of January 18-24, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If you can keep yourself out of the fray and off the official record for one more workweek, Aries, you'll be in a better spot to cogently speak to any impending problems, persistent obstacles, competing ambitions, and/or looming power-struggles. Trust me, it's unquestionably astrologically shrewder to reserve your professional and/or public expression of strong judgments, controversial opinions, or brazen departures from the expected chain-of-command until next week or later, after Mercury's direct again and Venus has carried its benefic polish into your 10th. And before you so plainly open any such can-of-worms (which will not be so easily closed back up again), I'd take one more honest pass through your own motivations… to clearly discern between (1) which points are inextricably pertinent to the particular concrete aim you're passionately committed to achieving and (2) which may only be cheap potshots or excessive demonstrations of rebellious independence, adding nothing constructive while actually increasing the likelihood of fiery conflict. Whatever you ultimately accomplish will be that much more robust if you earn it on the merit of your unerring principles, not merely by overthrowing a supposedly less-worthy authority.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Please don't make this the week you opt to vent your viewpoint on full-blast, Taurus… not when it's so much likelier to ring clearer and truer, and to elicit that much more positive attention and inspired admiration, if circulated next week or later. If you're so passionately galvanized by the issue-at-hand that you can't hold off on actively engaging, then let me suggest you find a safe or respected person with whom you know you disagree—and argue the merits of your position with them, as a sort of 'practice run' in addressing possible objections or holes-in-your-thinking. First off, willingly taking on a contentious (though hopefully respectful) exchange about something that really matters to you is an excellent way to channel that Mars-in-your-7th's instinct for interpersonal friction. Plus, with Venus spending its last days in your 8th (until moving into your 9th over the weekend), you have a lot to gain from mindfully navigating a contested space, accepting feedback from those with markedly divergent experiences, and integrating such questions of psychological diversity into your ideas. Your viewpoint will be all the stronger for your daring to be challenged… and then you can unveil it to the wider world.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you've got any stuff to muddle through and/or work out with a certain someone, Gemini, I'd hold off on plunging straight into it for at least one more week… though that's not to say you can't unobtrusively lay groundwork, in advance of going further in. Functionally speaking, if there are any supporting documents to organize, quasi-relevant to-do items to take care of, and/or exercises which you might carry out in order to bolster your sense of real-world competency, I'd recommend you invest a good chunk of sweat-equity there this week. You'll want to enter any potentially challenging situations with as much grounded self-confidence as possible… and, often, successfully accomplishing a whole list of tangible tasks is one of the surest methods of building one's self up. On the interpersonal level, meanwhile, it's probably worth seeking out quality togetherness time with your sweetie or a close pal, setting yourself up to receive (and, presumably, to give as well) positive affirmation from someone who can support and encourage you naturally, with little effort. In the process, you might even wish to test the efficacy of your tentative argument by trying it out with this trusted companion. Any extra help you can get in ironing out any kinks—and strengthening your resolve—will certainly come in handy.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you've felt yourself struggling to express your truest sentiments to a significant-other or close associate, Cancer, or even to (re-?)attain a reassuring rapport with someone you thought you clicked with, you're likely to stumble upon greater insight into what's behind the disconnect during your week ahead. If there hasn't been such a hitch, you may simply be coming into a deeper understanding of what makes them tick… and/or what makes you react to them in that certain way. Please give this burgeoning awareness a bit of time to fully sink in, instead of attempting to instantly apply what you're learning to your actual interactions with this person. Plus, you have Venus moving on into your relationship house (the 7th) by the end of the week… which means that, from Saturday (Jan 23) onward, you'll be in a much better position to establish smooth interpersonal connections than you've recently been. And as far as successfully articulating a serious, deep, or unflinchingly honest truth is concerned, then, waiting until after Mercury's no longer retrograde in your 7th—that is, from next week onward—is a far smarter bet than rushing forward with possibly touchy subject-matter. With Venus's help, even potentially bitter pills go down more sweetly.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I see you becoming more cheerfully motivated to dive (back?) into that heaping pile of work next week, Leo, once Venus is snugly in your 6th. It would behoove you, as a result, not to bother trying to force much noticeable progress this week, when any spare diligence is better spent on drafting an itemized work-plan you can sleekly move through over the few weeks to come. That way, come the start of next week, you'll be able to hit the ground running rather than having to take up time screwing your head back on. Meanwhile, on the leisure front, with Venus still in your 5th through Saturday (Jan 23), I'd be sure to make at least one move intentionally designed to conspicuously signify your appreciation and/or affection for an activity you adore or an individual you're attracted to. This is putting Venus-in-the-5th's energy to its proper use: to amiably indicate your marked fondness for a particular sort of pleasure-providing participation, purely because it provides you pleasure. It's worth making such gestures even if Mars, still poking away at the tender innards of your 4th house, is otherwise rousing irritation or angst from within you. In fact, all the more reason to make the explicit point of celebrating that which does bring joy… in preparation to shift into a more work-focused orientation.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You should be able to feel your now-reconsidered preferences starting to cohere into some increasingly unmistakable truth about yourself, Virgo... and your capacity to thoroughly savor life's gratifications depends on your not letting it retreat back into the shade of semi-consciousness. But as you rightly suspect, the more jarring part is liable to occur once you follow this truth to its next logical step, which involves informing those whose relational position is liable to change as a result of you openly admitting what you really want. While I'd recommend waiting until next week, when Mercury returns to direct motion, to properly articulate this statement-of-desire, you can certainly use this week ahead to stealthily seek out potential test-reactions from folks who won't be so directly or powerfully impacted by the news (and who aren't likely to spill any sensitive beans). Even in such relatively safe contexts, I still wouldn't come right out with a confident declaration; rather, take conversational side-entrances, speak hypothetically, talk around the subject, and/or ponder possibilities. It's enough just to get your feet wet with discussing this hot topic… and to get a tentative, preliminary sense of how others might be likely to respond.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Coming into fuller awareness of how to unapologetically own your feelings, Libra, doesn't mean you therefore ought to do something to flagrantly declare that awareness. Right now, it's more important to claim this ownership within yourself—to begin seeing your emotional state not as an incidental factor, but as fundamental to guiding your life-decisions—than to wield it as an instrument for making dramatic points to anybody else. The exciting developments due to manifest closer to the year's-end must germinate from inside you first, in a gradual process of generating fearlessness in your capacity to choose this over that, simply because it unambiguously feels like the right thing to do. On the external level, your main duty is to remain on task with job-responsibilities and other mundane obligations you've already committed to… principally in order to sustain the stable circulation of productive energy and the practical benefits (e.g., money, self-sufficiency, confidence in your abilities) its application provides. That frees your mind up to discreetly connect dots, creating a picture (for your eyes only, at the moment) of what brings you happiness and what's working against it. Later on in '16, you'll draw upon this knowledge when it's time to take more active steps (or leaps) forward.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It's one of those Mercury-retrograde moments in which it might serve you not to explicitly address whatever delicate issue or thorny revelation may arise during a supposedly 'casual' interaction. Presuming you spend a fair amount of your week in active social participations, you're likely going to receive at least one spontaneous download of psychologically-rich information about a pal, contact, or total stranger, based on tangential clues and/or between-the-lines intimations sprinkled into what they tell you. Don't immediately pounce on what you think you've heard with probing questions, presumptuous me-toos, or overly serious or sentimental remarks. Take it in, with the realization you've just been serendipitously gifted with a deepened understanding of that person… but that this is a partial version of a fuller story, and it's not necessarily the best time to seek more. You could also find you're on the other end of this dynamic, giving away more about yourself than you'd intended—in which case, don't be taken too aback if they respond to you as I've advised you not to respond to others. Regardless of who's on which end, should further discussion seem warranted, please first take a bit of space to let what's already out settle in… and then, pick back up next week (or beyond), once Mercury's direct again.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): By now, you ought to have a plan, Sagittarius, for how to incrementally build the foundation that'll support everything else you'd like to do… or else the fluctuating highs and lows you're likely to face through much of the year will feel too much like a roller-coaster ('fun!' I'm sure) and, unfortunately, end up competing for your attention with this lucrative potential you must continually mold, maneuver, and manipulate to profitably exploit. We touched on this last week when I instructed you to 'collect and/or conserve the good tidings' as you would with any valuable resource you'd deploy toward future advances. Let's take this a step further in detail, please, and look specifically at the upcoming three weeks, beginning with Mercury's return to direct motion next Monday (Jan 25): From there, with both Mercury and Venus in your solar 2nd (the house of earned income and the self-worth you must possess to earn it), you'll have an ideal window-of-opportunity for using your relational and communicative skills to secure some tangible symbol of your rising stock. Treat this occasion with the sober practicality it demands, by spending this week outlining the particular moves you'll make during the three weeks following, to build another sturdy plank in your ever-firmer foothold of solvency and success.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This week, you're on the thrilling verge of finally firmly arriving at some conclusion about your distinct presence in the world which has been burbling, not fully formed, right beneath your outmost surface for some time now, Capricorn. It's as if you're very very close to speaking a self-description you've been scared to voice aloud, having reached a possible end-of-the-line in your capacity to hold it back any longer… and once it's out, the disclosure is likely to bring a tremendous sense of emotional liberation. But Mercury is still retrograde in your sign for one more week, my dear, and I want you to get the timing on this as ideal as possible. (That's also why I've been encouraging a fair amount of private retreat—not because I wish to see you bored or isolated, but to goad this inner coming-to-terms process onward.) Under this moment's astrology, your efforts to convey such important personal information could become garbled by your overly sensitive response to someone else's easy-to-misunderstand reaction, causing the whole interaction to become about something other than what you wanted it to be about. However, the one-two punch of Venus entering your sign late in the week (on Sat Jan 23) and then Mercury going direct next Monday (Jan 25) will immediately improve the astro-climate. Following that, you're good to go.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Though, to hear the Sun tell it, we're officially in Aquarius season as of this week, there's still too much of a 12th-house convergence for me to comfortably prod you to get out and celebrate. For the record, it's not the 'celebrate' part I'm having a problem with—go on! celebrate!—but more the untimely suggestion that you ought to 'get out' to do it. As far as outward efforts are concerned, the primary sector in which to appropriately assert them would be the professional (and/or community-purpose) zone… and even there, you'd be wise to say little of consequential content, and simply to quietly labor away at whatever impressive goal will eventually speak for itself. Your private dream-world playroom retreat-sanctum, on the other hand, is where a lot of the most potent astrology continues to stir the pot—and stirs you, dear Aquarius, to forge a (new? renewed?) peace with any mortal fears or scary demons which threaten to deter you from trying so hard to achieve anything ('… because why bother? the world is a totally screwed-up hellhole!'). If you want to legitimately celebrate, I'd toast that stubborn part of your personality who refuses to cower in terror when the inner saboteur comes out to play. Cheers to acknowledging the monster, and yet continuing on with your worldly strivings anyhow!


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As you form ever-clearer opinions of certain peers, colleagues, or members-of-the-group which could impede your ability to sincerely 'play nice' with everyone, Pisces, I'd stop short of totally showing your cards… at least for the moment. As early as next week, you may be ready to start making statements to the folks who are your undisputed friends or allies about your concerns about those individuals you find suspicious, problematic, or personally unappealing. Before you do that, though, I advise thoughtfully considering the likely consequences of parting ways and/or opening this potential rift, especially insofar as anyone you dis-identify with having the capacity to intrude upon your career and/or financial success. Don't mistake this advice as a reason to second-guess your gut-instinct opinion of any dubious character, however. You won't be able to politely grin-and-fake your way through an ongoing relationship with such a person indefinitely; your true feelings will eventually come out. Therefore, you should use this occasion to pragmatically adjust your bottom-line strategies in order to neutralize the impact of such characters and/or circumvent them altogether. Then, if and when the ties get cut, you'll be ready.