Horoscopes | Week of January 15-21, 2018

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Sometimes, our best next-step in an ongoing attack-plan is to let other people take on the more prominent roles, in a wider addressing of joint concerns, Aries. Your own psychic attachment to certain explicitly personal interests—which, in their specifics, do diverge somewhat from those 'concerns' we could legitimately label as 'joint'—is presently so fierce-and-firm, you may be liable to discount or disparage a sound opportunity to achieve some fractional, shared, and/or modest gain if left to your own devices. Though I'm not claiming you must ease up on your motivating drive to push for what's yours (or at least what you want to become yours), I am encouraging you to use the tactical assistance of experienced colleagues, esteemed pioneers, or well-informed allies of like-mind… whether as a public shield or umbrella, a private source of encouragement, or a momentary tension-diffusing distraction. Any contested arrangements or disagreeable dynamics will be messier and more muddled as long as they stay only between you and that single sore-thumb problem-person. Open it up to others, and the tone ought to chill out a bit, to your immediate favor.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You're moving into a more conspicuous spot on the world-stage, Taurus, where there's better lighting to illuminate your great deeds… and any imperfections, indiscretions, or insufficiencies which you might prefer to keep the spotlight away from. Generally speaking, Venus's return to your 10th is seen as a friendly and helpful influence on your public reputation and/or professional position, so please don't hesitate to proudly parade your best face across that stage. Place squarely in front of the audience whatever you most want them to notice. However, don't deny the reality of those less-proud aspects of your profile either. You needn't go out of your way to attract attention to such details… but, in the likelihood that someone else catches an unflattering glimpse and questions you or calls you out about them, you mustn't respond with righteous indignation or bitter enmity. This defiant posture will only further inflame the antagonistic energy they're shooting at you, courtesy of Mars-in-the-7th—and your sheer denial will strike the other observers as suspicious, since no one is totally blameless or fault-free. In such a situation, find something humanly fallible to acknowledge about yourself, or you'll end up looking worse.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's critical to your own ongoing motivation to be able to look past this nerve-wracking spot, Gemini… and to recognize there will be a moment when this necessarily narrow preoccupation (one which you know you must vigilantly concentrate on, if you want to capably address it) opens up into a broader field of possibilities. In fact, if you can calm your jitters enough to steal a few deep breaths between these latest rounds of intense engagement, you'll sniff out the faint scents of burgeoning spaciousness which beckon you to continue proceeding through this jungle towards its promise. But at the same time, we can't pretend you're already there when you're not. Not only is there more business for you to attend to here, but the methods and processes you've so far cobbled together for handling it require more time to coalesce and strengthen into confident form. Your later rewards could sadly prove hollow, short-lived, or insufficient if you haven't taken the gradual, sure-footed path to their realization, like jumping to the end of a book without taking in its every word will rob you of communing with its literary meaningfulness, though you still might be able to claim you 'read' it.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Should you begin to feel a bit more nervous, excited, agitated, and/or intimidated by the prospect of how much bigger, deeper, scarier, and/or more undeniably real this is all becoming, Cancer, it's probably a reassuring sign you're crossing into terrain that promises to challenge your psychological comfort in richly growth-inspiring ways. But, no, that realization won't miraculously ease the discomfort… not if you actually want to grow. The discomfort is the essential experiential condition that signifies a legitimate stretch from 'familiar ground' to 'holy shit! what the hell have I gotten myself into?' So, despite the innumerable reasons-for-concern you might muster, to detail everything which could possibly go wrong (not the least menacing of which, to you, may revolve around the possibility that another party is either hiding pertinent feelings and/or uncertain enough to consider changing their mind about all this), you have to willingly accept these risks—and tolerantly engage with the emotional discomfort, in faith that it'll teach you something about yourself regardless of this situation's outcome—if you wish to treat yourself to a fuller life (which I think you do).


LEO (July 23-August 22): Though your mind may be presently forced to engross itself with annoyingly imperative workday details, timely habit-reminders, or other mundane cares which can't be ironed out with a single effort, that doesn't mean you must bear the emotional load of such demands all by your lonesome, Leo. This week's drifting of both the Sun and Venus into your relationship house (the 7th) ought to remind you to rest on the undemanding solace of other people's company, an easy-to-find source of relief from feeling as if the weight of your busy world is keeping you isolated from all pleasures. With Mars still poking away at your tender 4th-house sensitivities, you're liable to endure an internally irked, disgruntled, or pessimistic state whenever you starve yourself of outside influences. You may think you're being super-sensible by keeping your nose so staunchly to the grindstone that you don't allow yourself time for dinner-dates or phone-calls with the ones you love most… but that would be incorrect. On the contrary, it's most sensible to keep your soul well-fed with companionship, replenishing yourself with others' nourishing input of stories, supports, and sillinesses.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Be proactive with your positive declarations of love for particular people, places, pursuits, and experiences, Virgo. It pays off to be explicit, specific, vocal, and, yes, vulnerable in how you verbalize your heart's affections, as well as its as-yet-unsatisfied yearnings. I'll bet you believe you're more transparent with your fondnesses than other people would verify. You probably downplay the extent of your enthusiasms, just in case your hopes are dashed, so as to not visibly register your disappointment (which, in the land of self-criticism, is but an emotional response to having been foolishly impractical). As a result of your adopting such self-protective measures, the rest of us may need you to spell out what seems, to you, like it must be so indecently obvious. Even if we have intuited the currents of adoration or fervor which course beneath your understated exterior, we'd still find it reassuring to hear you acknowledge their existence. It removes the guesswork from our mode of relating to you. Even more profound than that, it allows us to give you more of what you desire, with greater precision and less self-doubt. We crave fuller knowledge of your less-expressed proclivities. We want to make you happy; tell us how.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The week's subtle vibe-shift invites you to more mindfully appreciate what's right here in front of you, Libra, as a partial antidote to any worries (whether justifiable or not) about what may or may not happen next. Though perhaps you can't resolve whichever still-unsettled variables have recently been rattling your inner world (as if, by dedicating every bit of your emotional energy to your preparatory analyses of the various possible scenarios, you're somehow dramatically impacting an outcome that's, by this point, only marginally under your continued sway), you can get on with the life you're already living. Exhale the breath you've been holding, even if the confirmation or clarity you're awaiting hasn't yet arrived. Get out of your head and back into your body, into the present moment, and into fuller reengagement with those people, pastimes, and participations which are proven pleasure-providers. Take some time to doodle, dawdle, or dilly-dally… but only if you promise to enjoy yourself, rather than spending your entire recreational moment stressing about That One Thing. Even if a certain life-aspect is currently discouraging or scary, you needn't sign over your whole existence to it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You presently possess a prominent platform, Scorpio, within this boisterous bazaar of noisy opinions and calculating ass-kisses… a unique ability (at least for the time being) to slice through all the senseless squawking with a reverberating tone that, whatever you utter, will instantly change the mood of that scene. So, what do you intend to do with it, pray tell? I'm not saying you've got to make some sort of singularly spectacular announcement or strident stand—actually, it'd be better to nonchalantly assert your influence into casual discourse rather than hollering for everyone's attention—but passing up this golden opportunity to get yourself on the record would end up becoming a statement in itself. Not only does silence speaks volumes, but so too will your conspicuous avoidance of hot-topics if instead you fixate on self-absorbing trivialities or, worse, pernicious trash-talk, as if you're flaunting the luxury of being able to turn a willful blind-eye to others' big-time concerns. Perhaps if you imagine you're wearing a microphone that picks up all your niceties and side-remarks and broadcasts them across the whole neighborhood, you'll be sure to purposely use this amplification for its available advantages, rather than enabling its potential to embarrass you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Long-term personal growth requires us to embrace our periodic points of unproductivity, purposelessness, or puzzlement, Sagittarius, to allow the aftereffects of recent time-passages to settle into our souls. Otherwise, how are we to recognize who we've been so eagerly in the act of becoming? Accomplishing a goal or positioning yourself in a particular place with certain people doesn't mean you've come to wholly own that circumstantial reality as an integral thread in the fabric of your being. You might not totally believe this has come to pass. You might doubt your deservedness, explaining it all away as a fortunate fluke. If you're not careful, you might even sabotage the soundness of your latest success (consciously or not), with a refusal to grasp how older habits or self-conceptions pose a dire threat to actually being someone who is this success every day. Don't do that, please. Take this Mars-still-in-your-12th-house week to remind yourself what you've achieved, without prodding yourself to immediately top it with more. Let the recent fortifying of your capabilities sink into your self-image, and quietly toot your horn.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Your current fortunes are inextricably tied to who you're vocally standing with and/or against, Capricorn. This isn't a juncture at which you can loiter in the neutrality zone. In the absence of your claiming a side (even if it's only your own) while riding out this factional friction, your comrades or combatants are liable to assign you one, based on their possibly-inaccurate-or-unfair judgments of what your past actions or statements mean in this context. Don't leave them to speak on your behalf, please… not with Mercury so usefully placed in your 1st and in easy relation to Neptune-in-your-3rd. And when you do comment on record, as circumstances will likely warrant, phrase your remarks with a delicate balance of (1) your unambiguous stance or opinion but (2) not too much specifying detail which might emphasize your self-interest over the general principles-at-stake. You'll want to be able to tap into the unreserved assent of your supporters as purely as possible, without including any irrelevant espousals or distracting personal-beefs drawing undue attention to areas where you might disagree. This is politics.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Though I wouldn't say the inner oddnesses or apprehensions will be magically disappearing any time soon (for this magnitude of existential overhaul you're undergoing will likely rock your world on and off throughout the year), you can expect a heartier helping of happy accidents, lucky twists, warm welcomes, and affectionate attitudes coming your way, thanks to the advantageous appearance of Venus to your sign on Wednesday (Jan 17). For the next three weeks, you'll be able to rely on a fluffier outward aura, an uptick in personal charm, and an easier-than-usual ability to win others over. Aside from the most obvious benefits all of that will bestow, this Venus-kiss is also a helpful shield to carry as you continue defiantly forging your path forward in the career zone and/or civic-community sphere. After all, your blend of esteemed expertise, unrepentant resistance to stunted status-quos, and a recently-invigorated go-getter attitude is coming on hard and strong… but, with Venus's help, an added conciliatory smile or conspiratorial wink may be enough to immediately soften your edges and sweeten any pill you're forcing someone to swallow.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As you continue trying to figure out where this newly-emerging you belongs, so that you may deepen your knowledge and/or strengthen your moral commitment in the direction(s) you find most personally meaningful or virtuous, Pisces, you'd likely benefit from spending a few mindfully meditative moments away from the crowd, solitarily communing with the divinely wise Everythingness. To be clear, I see nothing in the astro-forecast which says you must step back and seclude yourself. On the contrary, there's probably at least one still-actively-transpiring conversation within your social-scene or peer-group which could easily absorb your attention, if you let it… though I'm not sure what specific betterment you'd gain from it (other than, perhaps, satisfying your curiosities or quenching your thirst for drama). Following my solitary-communion suggestion, then, is simply a surer path to prompt clarity-of-mind and its accompanying peace. Wouldn't it feel great to just let your thoughts settle into the distinct lucidity of your fully-felt-and-embodied personal truth, without having to defend these fledgling sprouts against the pressures of others' know-it-all-ism before they've taken root?