Horoscopes | Weeks of December 19, 2016-January 8, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): To be honest, the end of your year could prove somewhat precarious, Aries, but only if you aren't willing to adopt a relatively hands-off manner to whatever's going on around you… even when your first impulse might be to valiantly dash in and give the situation your all. Your planetary soldier-ruler Mars slides into the misty-and-mystical void of your 12th house (on Mon Dec 19) for a six-week stay, during which it behooves you to temporarily retreat from too much onward effort or direct self-assertion… and instead employ your action-oriented energy toward probing more deeply into yourself, privately connecting with the quieter sides of your soul, and consciously recharging your psychic batteries. Of course, it's sometimes challenging to convince an Aries to take a break and 'do nothing', since the advice seems to fly in the face of what comes naturally. This challenge may become more intense, in fact, due to the heightened impact of agent-of-volatility Uranus during this same time… an influence far likelier to spur you into sudden response or reaction than to inspire quiet soulful contemplation. Add to that a concurrent Mercury retrograde in your 10th—a signal that you ought to watch your words very closely around officials or top-dogs, in career-related contexts, or in any situation where bystanders are watching—and there's your recipe for potential precariousness. Yet, all you have to do, in order to shield yourself from such trouble is just not step in. If you somehow can't handle simply leaving things alone, then please ask a trusted friend or colleague (the type you could never inadvertently offend with your untamed behavior) to do it for you. You, meanwhile, chill out. Escape into some self-nourishingly unproductive present-time experience. If you're able to successfully follow my advice during the final two weeks of '16, you may finally start getting the hang of such inactivity—and coming to actually enjoy it—by the first week of January. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The remainder of your '16 rolls out on a fairly philosophical note, Taurus… mainly in response to all these ever-unfolding developments (now hitting a consequential threshold, in case you hadn't noticed) utterly out of your control. Chalk up your relative ineffectiveness at steering this seemingly-runaway train to a very active Uranus in your 12th, which, uncomfortable though it may be, is cracking wide open your habit-based expectation of consistency and order… forcing you to instead stay on your toes in situations where you'd have typically known just what to do, if only you weren't now finding yourself fatefully vulnerable to other individuals' (or entities') immoderate, un-nuanced, or over-the-top inclinations. What you do have control over, however, is your perspectival sense-making: You get to decide what qualifies as a most fair-minded, value-driven, morally correct response to a life-circumstance which appears to be spiraling off in a direction you wouldn't have chosen. In fact, you have to decide; otherwise, your indecision will implicitly speak its own ethical message. But because Mercury will retrograde through your 9th during this year-end moment, please understand that the unprecedented quality of what's continuing to shake out does require you to rethink what you believe is 'right' in this situation, considering it probably involves something you hadn't anticipated having to address. Included in the rethinking, for instance, may be a coming-to-terms with how certain contacts, affiliations, or friend-groups aren't very supportively aligned with the 'essential cause' as you see it. Don't get triggered into participating in some sloppy debate around these issues, though. Gather your most coherent thoughts on the matter (while quietly rallying your surest allies) so that, come January, you can seamlessly articulate which principles are driving your response—and your opposition to those you believe are missing the boat. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It will be hard not to veer into touchier territory, Gemini, no matter how shrewd or wily you think you're being. You'll be wrapping up your 2016 under the influence of both (1) a retrograde Mercury loitering nervously in your psychologically-intense 8th and (2) Mars prominently placed at the high-noon spot in your solar chart (the 10th house)… a combination that doesn't exactly reek of gentle manners or soft-spoken diplomacy. But that's not necessarily a problem, as long as you're on board for radical forthrightness even when your truth is liable to startle or sting—and even though wholeheartedly engaging in this process may mean that, during a heated exchange or soul-baring confession, you end up saying more than you'd intended to say. While this approach could likely yield a cathartic clearing-of-the-air or powerful breakthrough (if patiently given the ongoing emotional investment required) in personal relationships, there's a special risk involved if you're attempting to make such progress with a boss or important professional contact, another authority-figure type, or anyone who holds the institutional power to punitively retaliate if they don't like what you tell them or how you communicated it. Reiterating the same logic I've followed all through this horoscope, you mustn't assume you'd be able to conceal either your discontentment with their leadership or any competing ambitions of your own. Therefore, prepare to be totally honest about such matters, while still properly respecting the chain-of-command (and the expected protocols that come with it), unless you're actually willing to put your position on the line. Once 2017 opens, Venus will be joining Mars in your 10th, presenting you the occasion to sweet-talk and ass-kiss your way back into someone's good graces, if you ended up stepping on their toes. Alternately, the new year may bring budding signs that perhaps it's time to start building your own self-governed enterprise, if you think you've got the guts. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Expect a lot of (ahem) 'spirited dialogue' as your year draws to a close, Cancer, with Mercury retrograding through your relationship house (the solar 7th) at a time when you're growing increasingly impassioned about some personal big-picture purpose that'll propel you through the starting-gates of 2017. If you're bravely rolling with the palpable sense of change that's now in the air—especially with regards to your evolving place in the public and/or professional sector, and how your day-in-day-out work can directly support this evolution—you'll want to incorporate this accentuated sense-of-purpose into your vision for future ambitions you'd explicitly seek to fulfill. Yet, while it's important to personally develop and hold such a vision so you'll have a self-defined roadmap for where to head next with your life, you currently find yourself in a spot where you must share, discuss, and negotiate specific terms of this vision with certain central characters (e.g., spouses, partners, mates, colleagues, collaborators, investors, etc.) if you hope to ultimately realize it. Though I suppose you could choose to try moving forward more autonomously (though I suspect there's no getting around these certain characters' essential involvement), the astrology suggests you're likely to attain much better results in the end by coordinating your efforts with other players. Furthermore, your eventual 'victory' looks far less like convincing someone to go along with your approach… and more an instance of ongoing conversation (which could, at moments, prove somewhat emotionally disconcerting due to its high stakes) yielding mutual relational understanding. Even if they don't end up seeing things your way, at least you'll know better how to (1) pursue your purpose-driven aim with all your cards on the table and (2) simultaneously navigate your relation to this person with acknowledgment and respect. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you're headed toward the year's-end with a big question or two looming unanswered in your psyche, a complicated relational pickle that's making you laugh and cry and scream all at once, and/or a decent amount of confusion about how the hell you're going to get all your pressing business handled… well, then, Leo, you're probably exactly where you need to be. For the record, your astrological forecast points to certain up-in-the-air circumstances getting messier before they can be adequately wrapped up or pulled together. Please understand this escalation of your unsettled loose-end status as a healthy and fruitful stage in the longer developmental process of 'getting things right', not just an extended consciousness-addling headache to suffer. But actualizing that interpretation does require you to sincerely use this opportunity to indeed get things right… which means addressing those most inconvenient, worrisome, and/or painful details straight away, with unflinching problem-solving relentlessness, rather than attempting to skirt these trouble spots or put an insufficient band-aid on a gaping gash. You might not immediately know the sleekest approach or most ideal solution, of course, though that's totally fine. Your willingness to invest the necessary attention and keep on trying until you yield workable results is more critical than confidently holding all the answers in advance. Meanwhile, don't forget to lean on the easy-breezy companionship of close friends, romantic squeezes, and/or sympathetic partners-in-crime as a means of blowing off steam. Overall, your interpersonal conditions look great (with the possible exception of that one 'complicated relational pickle', of course) into the new year. Rather than create any needless additional drama, adopt a relatively casual and appreciative attitude whenever you're not actively solving problems or sorting through messes. Be damn happy for those momentary breaks. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): If you wish to get your needs met, your feelings heard, and/or your desires acknowledged by a certain someone, Virgo, you should plan on spending the last couple weeks of your year ensuring that person is made conspicuously aware of the relevant specifics. Furthermore, you should expect to have to repeat yourself more than once (thank you, Mercury retrograde), even if you think you already did a pretty good job of articulating yourself. Each time you address this issue, you'll unconsciously emphasize one facet over others, adopt a change-in-tone based on that day's mood, and/or mention something you forgot to bring up last go-around—and, as a result, the listener will have another distinct chance to glean the essentials of your message. By this timely logic, reiterations only increase the likelihood of successful communication. However, the approach I'm suggesting could come across as brash, insistent, or self-indulgent to the other person (especially if they're more accustomed to you stoically tending to their needs, feelings, or desires)… though I'm not sure you can altogether sidestep that possibility, if you're effectively asserting yourself with respect to them. That's because Mars will be poking around your relationship house (the 7th) throughout this time, a transit that can bring interpersonal friction or disharmony, due to an emboldened impulse to stand up for yourself and/or push back against someone else's self-serving behaviors. In other words, if there's a not-yet-arisen fight that really needs to happen, this looks like the right moment to have it. Thankfully, Venus will move into your 7th during the first week of 2017 (on Mon Jan 2), helping to smooth over any ruffled feathers or hurt egos spilling over from late-December's interpersonal standoffs. If differences still aren't resolved by that time, I advise tabling any additional conversation until after the full moon on Jan 12. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As I already mentioned to you, Libra, I see your remaining days of '16 less as an excuse to kick up your feet and pig out on cookies… and more an unexpected occasion to get a whole bunch of stuff organized, attended to, and/or put to bed, during this off-the-radar moment when other folks are too busy making merry to interfere. The less outward notice you attract to yourself, therefore, the more whirringly productive you're liable to find these transitional weeks, especially given the potentially-quite-encouraging reward of entering 2017 with an orderly desk, clean closets, a smartly-prioritized workplan, and/or an unknotted brainball. That should serve as enough of an incentive for you to (yes, indeed) continue staying relatively quiet, at least as far any looming 'Important Conversation' is concerned. Plus, it gives you a legitimate explanation for continuing to postpone such communications: When you tell 'em you were really hoping to take advantage of this end-of-year downtime to clear your mind by clearing off your plate, how could they be unsupportive of that? But lest you feel your holidaytime astro-outlook is nothing but a flat edict of hard labor, please guess again. I'm merely advocating you wisely utilize this oddly-timed window of productive potential while it's here, since they don't come along every day. All the while, you're also hosting some lovely benefic aspects (such as a Venus-Jupiter trine across two self-involving houses), which implies you could just as easily cruise by without the need to distinctly assert much agency… as long as, that is, you're able to preserve healthy enough social boundaries to save yourself from exchanges that go too far in any direction you don't like. With a stationing Uranus-in-your-7th portending the likelihood of erratic shenanigans coming from a certain unsteadying relationship, you should probably be prepared to hold off that person's influence at whatever line-of-engagement you deem appropriate. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): A couple different astro-indicators hint at the possibility that you, dear Scorpio, are slated to play the 'life-of-the-party' role as 2016 heads into its closing moments. Your planet-ruler Mars rolls into your 5th (the good-time house) as this closing interval starts, positioning you as the best instigator of pleasurable pastimes and party-hardy pursuits amongst all the signs. Far be it for me to state the obvious, but when you choose to lead this frolicsome charge, you get to establish just how the fun happens… which grants you an exceptionally high likelihood of thoroughly enjoying yourself, considering you'll have initiated your preferred form of joyful expression. At the same time, a retrograde-impacted Mercury spends these weeks backwards-jitterbugging through your 3rd, which, despite its admittedly heightened risk of innocent social gaffes and communicative blunders, sure seems to indicate you'll be continuously interacting with a diverse cast of momentarily engaging characters across a range of contexts and mediums. (If I were you, I'd simply conceive of any such 'gaffe' or 'blunder' as an unanticipated chance to break through that exchange's surface-tension and actually get more authentically acquainted with the other person.) Together, these influences also appear to let you off the hook, as far as you having to deal with any more significant efforts or serious contemplations… provided, that is, you dutifully devote most of your attention to drawing others out, offering them your companionship and happily partaking of theirs, tossing out invitations and enticements, and mindfully appreciating the unremarkable exquisiteness of every shared moment. Or to put the same encouragement differently: There's nothing too critical or consequential you must do in preparation for welcoming your new year, other than deciding to actively wring every last bit of satisfaction out of your here-and-now. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): When I reflect on which sentiments best characterize the Sagittarian spirit, one of the truisms that always emanates forth is the existential reminder that 'life's too short to waste on shit that doesn't matter'. Over these last couple years, you've been under persistent Saturn-based pressure to ensure you aren't wasting your valuable time but making the most of it, Sagittarius—and, where you have been dragging your heels or fearfully huddling in place, you've responsibly coaxed yourself into forward action. Saturn's still got one more full year of whipping you into shape, alas, though it spends much of that time in trine to Uranus-in-your-5th, an aspect that first forms to exactitude during these final weeks of '16… which we might read as an amendment to that opening truism, declaring 'life's also too short to waste on shit that doesn't make us happy'. Though of course every facet of existence shouldn't be expected to put a smile on our faces, we do want to feel that, to the best of our ability, we've oriented our conditions to provide the likely experience of general existential contentment with our lot in life. 2017, then, promises you a constructive opportunity to cap off all the self-improvement work you've lately accomplished (or, ahem, you'd better have) with an added jolt of creative inspiration, participatory pleasure, and/or personal pride. Please hold that promise front-and-center in your awareness as this past year gives way to the next, a transitional moment which could likely include a familial disappointment, a domestic-sector kerfuffle, and/or some inner emotional bump or two. To either further rile yourself up with angry or antagonistic actions or attempt to talk yourself down when you're sincerely upset is to miss this gorgeous forest in front of you because you're pissed off about this or that singular tree. Fully acknowledge what's happening here and now, but also acknowledge its partial and/or limited-time-only impact. The future potential you'll continue building for yourself in '17 can be so much bigger than this. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): With Mercury spending these final weeks of the year retrograde in your sign, Capricorn, you should probably try your damnedest not to let minor glitches, modest delays, or momentary conversational hiccups rile you up past the proportionate point of irritation. As I look at your astrology, I'm struck by how unconsciously tempting it might be to go overboard with your response to comparatively small headaches or hitches… and to unwittingly unleash some pent-up wrath (which maybe you weren't even aware was lurking in you?) on an undeserving soul and/or in an inappropriate context. That's the age-old irony about Mercury-retrograde effects: We often create the worst expressions by too hastily reacting to some passing snafu, forgoing our chance to 'give it a minute to work itself out' with our swift miscalculation or overcorrection, instead causing a far bigger malfunction in our effort to 'fix' the 'problem'. Currently, in your particular case, the easiest way to avoid such self-created difficulties is to give other people an exceedingly wide berth for their annoying habits, ignorant opinions, and frivolous concerns—not because you ought to excuse them (though you can if you're so disposed), but because it doesn't serve you to involve yourself in callouts or critiques that'll only open further discussion (and, along with it, further risk of conflict) rather than accomplish anything immediately productive. What's best for you is to concentrate on a combination of practical self-interest and psychic self-preservation: If an action or approach is liable to complicate an interaction, convolute your own standing, and/or infringe upon your freedom to 'move on to the next thing' as your inclinations dictate, you might want to reconsider going forward with it. You'll earn yourself bonus points if, in a moment where someone else's unawareness or ineptitude is driving you mad, you pivot your attention away from them… and remind yourself how grateful you are to be you, with all your capacities and talents. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You'll spend the last couple weeks of 2016 still lovingly awash in the radiance of Venus's blessings, Aquarius… an effect which will hopefully allow you to beam your own iconoclastic brand of visionary optimism out into the world (because, god knows, we could all benefit from a couple double-shots of that right about now). There is, however, very-little-to-absolutely-no use in arguing the merits of your worldview with anyone seeking to discredit you on grounds of impracticality, pooh-pooh your imaginativeness, or lead you down a baited path of irrelevant conversational tangents. If someone thinks you're looking through rose-colored glasses or are otherwise full of shit, let them. Respond to such challenges with a shoulder-shrug of non-attachment… not in a condescending tone that's dismissive of their sense-making agency as another free human (on the contrary, you'll want to encourage all parties to claim this freedom for themselves), but still clearly indicating that you're just not interested in engaging this with them. You don't owe anybody open access to your belief-system, particularly not just because they wish to poke holes in it. Part of sustaining your own optimistic outlook, robustly enough so that it can effectively inspire great feats far into your future, necessarily involves restricting the impact of disapproving or hostile individuals on your self-confidence. In other words, know which people are likeliest to draw you into discussions that leave you feeling insecure, cynical, and/or misunderstood—and simply limit your involvement with them. Presuming you purposefully choose to close out your year with creative excitement about what the next one could bring, buoyed by the support of those who cherish your unique way of seeing possibilities, your '17 will begin with an immediate chance to see what you can actually do to make your gorgeous visions real. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Your 2016 winds down on an energetic upswing, Pisces, with activator Mars arriving to your sign (on Mon Dec 16) and bringing you six weeks of amplified get-up-and-go, which you can definitely use to… um, well, get yourself up and going. All your recent horoscopes have urged you to wait on any efforts to outwardly 'make things happen'; now, finally, that time for taking action has come. Having Mars on your side will grant you greater physical initiative and moxie, enabling you to be more assertive and self-driven in pushing forward the agenda of your choosing. It also affords you the courage to fight for what you want, should you face a formidable obstacle or opponent… a sometimes-contentious edge that Mars will add to your personality even when you aren't trying to 'fight' against anyone or anything, important to remember if you notice you're unintentionally rubbing someone wrong or pissing them off and aren't sure why. This last part could become exacerbated by Mercury's retrograde through your 11th, with its potential to foster social malfunctions born out of information being passed forth between too many different players, improper sharing of sensitive material, accidental use of ill-suited language, and/or misjudgment of who your audience is. Should such situations arise, take a visible lead in accepting responsibility for your part, actively demonstrating humility with regards to any corrective instruction offered to you… but don't go so far as to grovel for forgiveness if it's not apparently being given freely after you've earnestly shown accountability. (Resolution comes from your own conscience.) As soon as 2017 begins, you'll welcome Venus into your zodiac-home (on Mon Jan 2), a lovely influence with which to kick off a new year. Plan to show up to your first week of '17 with a fresh look, a winning attitude, and/or a seductive readiness to charm others into giving you what you want. Please note: This horoscope is good for three weeks. Your next horoscope will be published on January 8, 2017. Have a happy holiday season!