Horoscopes | Week of December 12-18, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Reopening a conversation with someone doesn't necessarily mean you're supposed to change your mind, Aries. I mean, of course you can change your mind if you legitimately come to see some still-unresolved issue in a wider context than you'd been looking at it before. But to walk back from a decision already made, direction already chosen, or belief already clearly stated only because someone else is trying to persuade you out of it, playing to the loopholes, or sweet-talking at your 'friendly side' (in hopes your 'serious side' will lay down its charge) could be a potential ethical miscalculation. Though the astrology does hint at an imminent conversational reopening (thank you, Mercury turning retrograde in your 10th next week), your wisest way through will repeatedly center 'what's correct for the overriding business-at-hand' over what any certain individual (you or another player) wants, perhaps so they can emerge with the official victory or grandstand in front of the VIPs or feed their own ego. If you're ultimately going to change your mind, it better be because some voice-of-reason made a really good case and/or you missed a vital principle in your prior contemplations—not because you were swayed from what's right by a smooth savvy salesperson.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): How deeply would you like to enmesh yourself, Taurus? You could certainly choose to keep a safe self-protective distance, which would leave you relatively unencumbered to do your own thing, without the hassles of having to hammer out mutual agreements with an opinionated partner or governing body over every major decision. But though an autonomous approach is undoubtedly simpler and easier, it also comes with built-in limitations as to how far you can go. By collaborating with someone who possess a dissimilar set of tools and talents, you're far likelier to transcend the bounds of your existing knowledge… and end up learning a lot, not merely applied skills but the interpersonal wisdom that comes with 'having to hammer out mutual agreements' with someone who thinks differently. Plus, on a purely functional and/or economic level, you can make more by working jointly toward a common goal. As soon as the corresponding headaches, hindrances, and hold-ups of collaborative ownership begin to outweigh the potential payoffs—or if you're giving more than you're liable to get back, with emotional concern for the other party unduly infringing upon your own practical interests—you should probably look to start curtailing your investment, and redirecting it into more efficiently self-serving endeavors.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In light of the continuing relevance of last week's edition, Gemini, please be aware that the unmistakable relational need to pick one option over another and/or to take some unambiguous position could trigger the rise of some discordant whim, an urge to assert your independence (consciously or not) by behaving in a manner potentially inconsistent with the very choice or stand you're supposedly making. Put another way, the weight of having to commit to someone in some way (and/or to decidedly end such a commitment) may spur the compensatory impulse to test boundaries, mess around in precarious grey-areas, and/or set up a self-sabotage. Such actings-out would mainly be an effect of the full moon in your sign on Tuesday (Dec 13)… so, if nothing else, I encourage to wait until the second half of the week before doing anything which, if you're being honest with yourself, you know might negatively impact an important interpersonal coupling. If by that time you're still experiencing questions, doubts, or surges-of-rebelliousness, then maybe there really are some nuances about this certain relationship that warrant reconsideration—in productive dialogue with the other party, of course, not by unilaterally causing trouble and setting them up to react.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Fight any passing urge to escape (mentally, emotionally, or with a literal dash-away) from what you're working on, Cancer, and stick faithfully with it. That devil-on-your-shoulder voice which would convince you not to take everything so seriously—and perhaps instead to stay out later than is healthful or drink too much, to play hooky from the job or just diddle away the hours on daydreaming and web-surfing—is just a passing emotional effect of the full moon, not some grander clue that you ought to be leaving your earthly obligations behind. Of course, the more insistently you try to discredit or ignore that inner mischief-maker, the more powerfully appealing the mischief it's advertising is liable to become. Therefore, you should probably make a little room in your otherwise industrious schedule for a modest, well-bounded increment of non-productivity… a small span in which you can temporarily lose yourself in some wacky aside, immersive experience, meditative mindset, or well-appreciated passivity. Think of it as giving your engine a chance to cool down, a short-but-necessary break to prevent it from overheating so you're able to keep on going. Otherwise, you'll be too likely to altogether blow… and that corresponding delay could be a much bigger hassle.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This is no time for falling prey to fierce yearnings to be liked at all costs, Leo… or to any other peer-pressure-related impulses to back away from what you honestly desire, so as to be more accommodating or non-committal. Even if that means an increasingly apparent divergence of interests or opinions is now reaching its gloves-come-off moment, you'll suffer worse by quietly embroiling yourself in a dynamic where you feel you must 'grin and bear it', in some hope you might later correct this misrepresentation once the relationship's more sound or secure. Sure, to frankly address this divergence is likely to bring some tense or awkward moments, as you each react to one another's strong feelings about whatever underlying issues or brewing developments you don't yet agree on. But to not address it—or to go so far as to offer conciliatory tokens or other superficial sentiments which seek to postpone or avoid your dealing with it—won't make that looming matter of contention magically resolve itself. Either you choose to bravely confront it (starting perhaps next week, to give yourself a minute or two to breathe) of your own accord, or you wait until it erupts into expression due to the intensifying circumstances (which, of course, threatens to be the messier option).


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Please don't convince yourself you'll be able to make certain supposedly-modest compromises with your time, Virgo… especially if you'd already identified what you planned to concentrate on, perhaps even openly declared your intended focus to others. Agreeing to lend a few extra helpings of attention or effort to a more prominent out-there-in-the-world endeavor (because you happen to consider yourself the most obvious one with the reasonable capability or expertise?) will only keep you from the critical personal work you know you need to handle. Just because you imagine you would be the only one to suffer should you not effectively manage your own business, that doesn't make this imperative any less important. Besides, others will suffer collateral effects from you not properly caring for yourself... through exposure to your burgeoning resentments, self-sacrificed quality-of-life issues, and/or lurking lack of inner well-being. Whether you must say no to others' attempts to involve you and/or corral your own instinct to volunteer yourself when you probably shouldn't, you've got to prioritize your own needs, first and foremost, right now.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Your recent horoscopes have focused mainly on encouraging you to be socially proactive and communicatively crafty, Libra… while, at the same time, pointing out that your mind may have been elsewhere, pondering private self-realizations which haven't yet been fully realized (but are well on their way). As this week blends into the next, I see you shifting gears toward a more reinvigorated embrace of your day-to-day work tasks, mundane chores, and/or health-promoting practices, thanks to Mars heading into your 6th (a dutifully energizing placement that persists through the end of January). While the recent social pleasures won't necessarily stop short, you'll find yourself chomping at the bit to finally make some progress on essential responsibilities that have loomed atop your to-do pile for quite some time now. While everyone else is fully engrossed in holiday frolic-time fucking-off, you may surprisingly find their productive lull provides you a relatively uneventful interval for getting stuff done. Meanwhile, on the processing-of-self-reflections front, Mercury's imminent retrograde in your 4th suggests you still have at least one less-examined angle to revisit and/or one provisional conclusion to rethink over the coming weeks. In other words, it's still not time to discuss serious emotional matters… unless, that is, you're already involved in a conversation (which you should, therefore, expect to continue a while longer).


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Please resist the temptation to make your week more complicated than it has to be, Scorpio, by delving too sharply or roughly straight into the sensitive root-source of what you perceive to be a developing problem. What you're sensing probably is indeed a symptom of some underlying inconsistency or snag that hasn't yet materialized into an obvious full-grown issue. But though it's of course wise to take note of this disturbance in your psychic field, I'd discourage you from really getting into it at this point. First off, it's not necessarily worth risking the relative stability of your own present situation; for now, a fairly self-protective demeanor is favored over poking too pushily into other people's business. And secondly, if you do decide you'd like to take on further investigation into whatever's not feeling quite right—after you've given this temptation-to-complicate a chance to temper itself into a less urgent awareness—I wouldn't recommend going head-on into a confrontation. Instead, the upcoming Mercury-retrograde-influenced astrology suggests a spacious dancing-around-the-topic with key players, mixing this and that 'innocent' question into otherwise unassuming conversations, and nonchalantly collecting information over a span of weeks.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): 'Being your best self' (which was the Sun-conjunct-Saturn umbrella under which last week's horoscope resided) will likely require a mindful balance between (1) continuing down the path you've determined will lead you to the most meaningful, interesting, and/or rewarding payoff according to your assessment, refusing to let anyone knock you down or pull you away, and (2) kindly and sincerely engaging with those key characters who'd suggest you consider an alternative attitude, approach, or behavior. It goes without saying that you're in charge of where your life is headed, and it's important to follow your intentions and desires if you wish the make the most of your limited time here. However, if you proceed so insistently on your way without taking anyone else's influences, impressions, or interests into account, you'll potentially miss out on enjoying even better experiences you couldn't or wouldn't have thought up on your own—and, in the worst cases, you might even impair or injure certain interpersonal connections by displaying a lack of regard for the other person's opinions, feelings, or stakes-in-the-matter. But keep the balance, please: You also mustn't let anyone divert you too totally from your self-selected intentions and desires, lest you wake up one day and realize you sold yourself out on a relational lark.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Contrary to what you might suddenly conclude, Capricorn, doing more work is not the answer to any lingering dissatisfaction or angst. When it comes to matters of such vast existential pertinence (which is what we're talking about, even if you haven't yet conceptualized it as such), you don't have anything to fix, fidget with, or force forward. Rather, it's almost an opposite approach that I'd nudge you toward: In an open field of comparative inactivity, you aren't angling to distract yourself from the self-realizations which will thus gush forth. Though the notion of 'getting lost in your thoughts' will probably exasperate the taskmaster in you (who'd argue that nothing could possibly sound less productive, which of course is the whole point), I'm not blowing smoke up your ass when I tell you that adopting such a deliberately passive-and-receptive disposition toward the voices in your head will yield really meaty insights… especially over these next few weeks, with Mercury retrograding through your sign (starting next Monday). It'd also prove insightful to free-journal whatever comes to you (no editing, no judging), to share heartfelt confessions with close friends (no self-censoring, no self-shaming), and to notice when you're repeating old messages about yourself that are simply no longer true.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Because all of us participating in this collective conversation are human, Aquarius, we should all strive to permit one another enough room for our clumsy moves, graceless moments of learning, and/or innate fallibility without rushing to unforgiving indictment. If we'd wish to be let off the hook for our own innocent ignorances and thoughtless offenses, we should probably strive to grant others the same courtesy… provided, that is, an ignorant or offensive party (1) is willing to accept responsibility for their disappointing behavior and (2) offers an explicit wish to work on demonstrating their reaffirmed solidarity because they consider the association truly important. We all goof sometimes. And what often comes through in the spontaneity of such goof-moments and their immediate aftermath are glimpses of the goofer's authentic intention: Am I genuinely humbled and contrite about upsetting you, or more concerned with explaining and exonerating myself? Am I sincerely trying to understand my screw-up, or just saying whatever it'll take to 'make everything okay'? Most goofs are forgivable, if we follow them up with earnest trust-(re)building effort. How exactly such goofs are followed up (by all parties involved) will actually tell us more about whether the relationship has legs.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You still have this one more full week, Pisces, before it's the right time to start concretely 'making things happen' in an externalized fashion (as we discussed last week). As such, your biggest challenge during this final Mars-in-your-12th moment will be to not react in any impetuous, short-sighted ways, should your emotional innerscape become anxiously triggered by early-in-the-week full moon madness. Too many evaluative eyes are currently watching. Too much accountability (especially in the professional or public-community realm) is resting on your shoulders, with important characters counting on you to hold it together. That doesn't mean you aren't permitted space for your own feelings, of course. It's just that this 'space' ought to be a purely private zone, where you can retreat after your day's duties have been met and the watching eyes have moved on to other observations. Likewise, if you need to talk out some personal concern or worry, please choose to do so only with folks who are totally uninvolved in your career, hold no stake of their own in your ongoing outside-world strivings, and aren't expecting you to 'hold it together'. If some responsive action ends up proving warranted (after an emotional crest subsides), take it on next week.