Horoscopes | Week of January 25-31, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Please remember, Aries, the unspoken backdrop to any prominent proclamations, ambitious power-grabs, and/or self-liberating divergences you make is an implicit understanding that you're setting yourself up to work more and/or harder, in direct support of what you're now establishing. Put another way: Don't 'put it out there' unless you intend to back it up with continued effort over the months to come. Otherwise, you'll garner a reputation for being 'all talk and no action' (which would be mighty ironic for an Aries, the sign of act-now-and-ask-questions-later). On the other hand, if you're ready to delve into the heart of this industrious activity with a renewed vigor (or are already working your ass off, smartly and scrupulously), then this is an excellent time to begin making your intentions more widely known. Review last week's horoscope as a refresher-course on what to leave out of your pronouncement first. Then, lean on Venus-in-your-10th's gently encouraging sextile to Neptune as you faithfully unfurl your grand plan… totally accepting of the fact that it'll take quite a bit of time to manifest its full greatness.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A certain someone may not like what you have to say, Taurus, but at least you'll have a far better chance of accurately expressing your outlook than you would've over these recent Mercury-retrograde weeks. Please keep your contentions on the up-and-up, however, sticking loyally to the principles undergirding your position without slipping into mean digs or sensitive personal rehashings. One framework which might help you stay on the right side of that line: Argue your case in the same terms you'd use no matter who you were trying to convince, defeat, or show up. The bottom-line premise of your vehement belief shouldn't change based upon the specific beef you may have with this certain person. In truth, your belief isn't about any particular person other than yourself—and by corrupting your argument so that it's more pointedly personal, you actually cheapen your perceived conviction. I repeat: This isn't about them; it's about you standing up for the life you want to lead. By re-centering your perspective that way, you'll be less likely to get knocked off-course by interpersonal friction.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As of this week, Gemini, you'll momentarily hold the decided advantage in any delicate negotiations, hairy conversations, provocative associations, or pivotal come-to-Jesus confrontations with the elephant-in-the-room nobody's wanted to address. The less you say and/or the safer you play it, the more ineffectual your attempt to shift the dynamics and/or secure yourself a better position will prove to be. The other party benefits from your fearfully beating around the bush, dodging the tense-but-crucial interaction, or refusing to drill all the way down to the core of the issue. They'll retain their power over you until you make a power-move. In this situation, it'd involve you deliberately leading them into that very exchange you know will be nerve-racking or painfully uncomfortable… then staying there long enough (without your needlessly ceding contested ground, just because there's an awkward pause) for them to become anxiously triggered, at which point they'll hopefully start offering options or making deals, just to wrap it all up. Rather than having to get nasty, you can emerge triumphant by unflappably enduring that emotionally-charged unsettledness better than they can.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As Mercury returns to direct motion in your relationship house (the 7th) where Venus now also resides, Cancer, it's properly time to actively (re-)engage in conversation with a intimate partner, best pal, or entrusted collaborator you know you've got unresolved business, unaired feelings, or unacknowledged tension to discuss with. Believe it or not, it almost doesn't matter what's the actual content of your reinitiated exchange… only that you're in some kind of dynamic interpersonal dialogue, one in which you share from your heart as much as you listen to what's in theirs, with the principal aim of you gaining greater mutual insight into one another's ongoing life-intentions. It's too hard to accurately determine the relative condition of any key relationship without talking frankly about each person's present primary priorities. You can't rely on unspoken understandings or outdated information to judge your current standing vis--vis this certain someone. In fact, widening the focus beyond any particular relational situation, you're at a developmental spot where more talking on your part—regardless of conversational outcome or intent—should be generally encouraged.


LEO (July 23-August 22): As I alluded to last time, Leo, the three weeks or so beginning right now are an ideal interval for finally attending to the job-tasks, work-items, chores, and/or health-promoting steps you've recently been thinking about and/or planning for… if for no other reason than you're likelier than usual to hit an easy groove with it, and even to relish the ecstatic whir of productivity. Though you might still find yourself battling against the contrarian impulse to stay home and pick at scabs (while repeating some debilitating mantra about how badly you don't want to do anything?), this is hardly a convincing enough excuse to forsake your duties during such a critical moment in their handling. Despite any emotional hiccups, you've got to keep on keepin' on with a steadfast day-to-day momentum. As a matter of fact, your capacity to soldier through such mood-dips can be actively strengthened at this time… with benefits to your overall confidence in handling practical matters regardless of the state of your personal affairs, a bankable feather-in-your-cap. As far as the work itself is concerned, meanwhile, don't go for the quick fix; a more comprehensive (albeit more demanding) solution will 'fix' it once and for all.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): According to Jupiter's logic, Virgo, your life's supposed to be getting better and better, more personally interesting and exciting, as doors open and fresh possibilities present themselves now and through much of 2016. Assuming you are experiencing such noticeable openings and opportunities, please use this week to outwardly convey your gratitude for this upward trend… and expressly so for any particular people, pastimes, or participations that have directly contributed to this uptick in self-gratification. We want you to keep feeding this encouraging energy, after all, by appreciatively focusing on that which has already provided encouragement. But if you're still waiting around for all that wonderful stuff every astrologer has promised you? Let's be blunt: You have to be able to claim your desires, to state unequivocally what it is you want, if you hope to wisely identify where the smoother-than-usual road to greater fulfillment leads next. Your problem isn't likely a refusal to earn what you want, as much as it may be a fear of accepting it and/or an aversion to risking what you already have. And if you sincerely have no fucking clue what else you might hunger for? Make figuring it out the thing you want most, by default, so you give Jupiter something to help you with.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Start putting your most-recently-emerging feelings to work for you at home first, Libra. Now, and over these few weeks ahead, you should feel free to follow any inner calls to discuss with family-members or housemates what exactly you need to happen on the home-front, in order to immediately improve the quality of your domestic life. Despite your capacity to strike cooperative relational balances, these needs ought to be considered essentially non-negotiable if they're properly based (as they should be) in emotional self-protection, self-care, and/or self-determination. Sure, such an uncompromising approach might well strike any affected parties as sharp, odd, or unexpected. So be it. You mustn't be afraid of ruffling some feathers—and possibly even rattling a relationship which has grown stale in its presumption of you compliantly bowing—in the process of claiming your right to 'rule your own roost' (however that might feasibly look). Confronting your discomfort with overthrowing this type of dynamic, simply to assert such rights, will be critical to your making the most of opportunities coming later in the year. Get used to it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): For another several months, Scorpio, your easiest chunk of personal growth continues to come through targeted social contact, a willingness to actively network and/or ask for help, and an eager interest in meeting and mingling with friends-of-friends (and their friends too). Perhaps the biggest challenge to your capacity for reaping this easy growth? Your intrinsic dislike of superficial interactions, small-talk, pointless bullshit, really anything that isn't sincere and substantive. But now that Mercury's direct again and re-forming its conjunction to Pluto in your 3rd house, where Venus now also resides, you should feel freer than you have in a while to actively pursue more social activity (with less risk of saying the wrong thing)—and there's no reason you can't delve beyond the shallow surfaces, cut through the bullshit you can't stand, and strive for radically genuine exchanges. I must remind you, however, that Mars remains strong in your sign. Therefore, though I encourage you to adopt an assertive role in both engaging other people in 'real conversation' and sharing sensitive material about yourself, you mustn't go too far with either: No probing beyond others' obvious boundaries, and no self-centeredly monopolizing the rapport.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Did you think I wouldn't follow up on last week's directive, Sagittarius? There's really nowhere constructive to turn other than the immediate rollout of your workable, well-thought-through, short-term social strategy to further build upon your self-confidence, better market the unique value you bring to this certain vocation or endeavor, and/or pointedly reach toward a higher level of compensation (financial or otherwise). I am beating this same damn drum, just so you know, because the timing for such practical, self-strengthening relational moves is currently impeccable: You're about one-third through your once-every-twelve-years, Jupiter-in-the-10th-bestowed 'good luck' phase in your career—and, factoring in both (1) Jupiter's current conjunction to the lunar North Node and (2) a newly-direct Mercury's conjunction to Pluto, this very moment is extremely potent for articulating a realistic pathway to greater outer-world satisfaction and/or success. Disregard my repetitive counsel, and you'll be frittering away an auspicious window-of-opportunity… which, sorry to report, may be exactly what that potentially self-sabotaging Mars-in-your-12th wants whenever it tempts you to screw off, daydream, party too hard, or shirk earthly obligations.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Yes, my sweet Capricorn, Venus is officially in your sign now (through Feb 16)… ushering in that annual phase during which your likability factor goes up, your charisma's at an enhanced level, your immediate attractiveness and appeal are amplified, and a general favorability gently washes over everything. Mercury's turning direct again, too, while conjoined Pluto, which makes this an incredibly powerful time for going on record, expressing a truth, announcing a decision, making a declaration-of-purpose, or otherwise communicating some critical sentiment that will forever impact your apparent state-of-affairs. Why wouldn't you want to divulge such things while Venus is in Capricorn (i.e., if not this week, then during the couple that follow)? And let's fully understand what's at stake here: The critical topic-at-hand is not merely about what's going on in the here-and-now, but symbolically pertinent to the greater direction you envision your life heading in the years to come, based upon what you've determined to be most personally meaningful. Make sure what you speak, then, is in close alignment with your driving purpose… your words a vehicle for continuing this purposeful quest, rather than distracting from it.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Just keep paying attention to the potentially life-altering conclusions now cohering, Aquarius, about any terrifying next-steps, recurring dreams, indisputable compulsions, and/or cryptic (though nonetheless pregnant-with-potential) ideas about your longer-term future. You don't necessarily have to do anything groundbreaking about whatever's continuing to trickle forth from your deepest innards… but you must acknowledge this unfiltered, unshakable, non-rational drift of cosmic (or dare we say spiritual?) insight, or else you'd be willfully ignoring your own conscience's wisdom (just because you can't currently cram it into predetermined categories of 'what makes sense'?) at your own risk. For now, don't bother restraining yourself from privately indulging the relevant fantasies, if only to grow increasingly acclimated to the prospect that such dramatic transformations are credibly attainable—even if all the unknowns, unanswerables, and things-which-could-go-wrong still freak the fuck out of you. Simply put, you can't creatively allow for the incredible to manifest without also making peace with the unavoidable anxiety-provoking messiness of its eventual creation.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Take at least one communicative step forward this week, Pisces, to unequivocally express your allegiance to and/or solidarity with favored friends' interests or commitments, a social-action cause you feel strongly about, and/or a community you'd like to invest more deeply in. This is the positive identifying-with version of last week's edition which held essentially the flipside advice, to slowly start dis-identifying with those affiliations that don't pique your interest, dovetail with your convictions, or provide dependable comradeship. With Venus now in your 11th, it'd be shrewd to nail down the easier-than-usual-to-count-on good tidings from those who heartily want you on their team… not because they're 'just being nice', but out of a sincere like-mindedness or predilection for you. Only after you strategically affirm these desired ties should you begin voicing your wariness of other potentially objectionable players. More than mere short-term advice, following this trend toward greater discrimination in who you associate with will directly aid the ongoing evolution in your manner-of-relating, as promised by Jupiter's continued transit of your 7th.