Horoscopes | Week of January 22-28, 2018

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I encourage you to honor any existing chains-of-authority when expressing yourself this week, Aries. Even if the message you must deliver is a challenging one, that doesn't mean the tone you use can't be properly considerate of the history which has occurred, the positions everyone currently holds, and/or the protocols already established. Mercury-in-the-10th's square to the always-unruly Uranus could rouse your rebellious tongue to dispense with such formalities, however… which might feel gloriously pressure-relieving in that moment you're letting loose, but which could also call into question how thoughtful or serious-minded the other players perceive you to be. This is not a case of choosing your fights wisely, though, as much as a warning against spoiling your best battle-plans by running your mouth off at the wrong time or in the wrong way, betraying your own longer-term strategy because you allowed a passing surge of impatience to get to you. You might doubt your capacity to stomach too much more 'playing by the rules' in your interactions with folks who stymie your progress with their antiquated notions, iron fist, or unimaginative leadership. But if you must 'play' by those 'rules' in order to win the game, don't forfeit your rosy chance at victory with a short-sighted rant.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Whatever role your latest interpersonal dealings have been serving—whether you've proactively stepped closer to a certain someone, embroiled yourself in negotiations to get more of your needs met, and/or faced off against a rival or foe—it's now due to escalate in emotional depth, economic importance, extremity-of-passion, or severity-of-potential-consequences, Taurus. This is neither a 'good' nor 'bad' turn in this tale, simply a logical extension of the way it's been headed… only with more dramatic, fast-paced, all-or-nothing developments born straight from what's already gone down so far. In straightforward terms, then, if you like where this is all apparently leading, you might as well let up a bit on the brakes and cruise further along; the butterflies in your stomach are part-and-parcel of this accompanying excitement-about-the-unknown. But if you don't like it, this is probably a very appropriate time to halt the accelerating advance, divert the vehicle from its collision-course, and/or highlight (for yourself or someone else) that out-of-bounds line you'll refuse to cross, before you find you're careening right past it without having caught your breath long enough to notice.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): With Mars aiming straight for your relationship house (the 7th) this coming Friday (Jan 26), you'd better hope you haven't left any dirt under your rug which you wouldn't want a not-so-friendly character (or outright adversary) to investigate or expose, Gemini. The same goes for any strong passions, preoccupations, misgivings, or regrets you're secretly holding onto. I don't say this as a threat, but merely as an encouragement to own your shit before anyone else can rub your nose in it or play to your shame for their selfish gain. No matter what it is you've been reluctant to admit, aren't sure how you feel about, and/or fear will change things forever if it comes out, you will be in a far more powerful position by taking the lead on discussing it… as opposed to waiting until the topic's sprung on you by someone else, leaving you to stammer or wince or freeze like a deer in the headlights who only sees what's coming now that it's too late to protect yourself. Admittedly, it might not initially seem like this is the 'far more powerful position' while the uncomfortable issue is being broached and you're moving through the corresponding emotions. Trust me, it is. The reality of this situation is what it is, regardless of whether you choose to speak about it or not… and it will be coming up for you, one way or another.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Exacting concern for precisely how your words are liable to sit with a certain someone, Cancer, and what their likeliest response will be, is an excellent way to maintain a fair degree of control over their impressions as they're still unfolding. I challenge you to also consider whether there might be drawbacks to maintaining this 'control'. Such a posture of under-the-surface dominance (for let's call a spade what it is, please) presumes you already know the best possible outcome of the exchange. But what if you don't? What if your anxieties about stirring an emotional reaction in them—and your consequent efforts to steer away from emotionally-stirring angles—actually prevents a surprise disclosure, spontaneous breakthrough, and/or a better-than-you-could've-conceived solution from emerging? I say this out of respect for Mercury's square to Uranus-in-your-10th this week, which points to the potential need for you to engage with an on-the-spot situation requiring astute management of the issue-at-hand… and that may mean slicing right through the interpersonal thickets (regardless of any power-dynamics in play) for the swiftest and most effective fix.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I want to begin by acknowledging the welcome exodus of Mars from your 4th on Friday (Jan 26), Leo, a move that's likely to perk up your lately-soggier-than-usual moods as soon as this weekend, if not gradually over the weeks to come. I don't, however, suggest sprinting your ass too quickly away from whatever arduous or complex feelings have recently come up (though that's probably exactly what you'll want to do, now that Mars will be hitting your 5th)… mainly because Jupiter lingers in your 4th through much of '18, affording you a greater-than-usual opportunity to grow beyond the familiar hitches, prickles, and unkind inner-voices which seem to follow you wherever you go. To capitalize on this opportunity to the fullest, though, will require you to continue thinking about whatever's been upsetting or confounding you (with an explicit personal-growth intention in mind, I might add) even after the most acute emotions seem to subside. Meanwhile, on the tasks-and-chores front, you could face an unanticipated interruption in the patterns or habits you've worked hard to develop, due perhaps to a perspective-rupturing epiphany about some primary focus you've either overemphasized or undervalued. Don't lose your cool; this curveball is vital to your ongoing evolution.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Don't be afraid of being the one to throw a wrench in these works, Virgo, if that's the natural outgrowth of staying true to your desires. After all, you can't control how your feeling-statements disturb the unspoken expectations or unfair presumptions which a certain someone has been holding you to (and, let's be honest, every one of us brings our menagerie of projections to the table whenever we get intimately involved with another person). Despite any unforeseen reactions you might potentially rouse in them (because, of course, they might not have foreseen your clarifying truth-bomb), it's still advisable to be firm about what you want if indeed you firmly want it. Your ongoing evolution insists on you becoming ever more confident in stating your preferences, with less ambivalence and clearer matter-of-fact transparency (for the wants themselves really are pretty cut-and-dry)—regardless of what response from others you receive in return. As far as any interpersonal disturbances you may imminently 'cause' with your timely acknowledgment or admission are concerned, then, you're merely uncovering a difference in expectation or presumption that already existed.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You could find yourself pressured to react to someone else's impulses or provocations, Libra, cornering you into speaking up about an emotionally-charged (at least to you) issue that perhaps you still aren't sure you're ready to talk through with them. Remember how, only two weeks ago, I warned against either exaggerating or underplaying the extent of your feelings? Now that you've had more time to think, I anticipate (or at least hope) you're now clearer on how to most befittingly represent your current emotional posture… though it's likely you'll have to admit your feelings really are that strong, even if you must continue working extra-hard to ensure they're attributed to the correct source-trigger (rather than projected onto a bunch of other situations with little direct relevance). Once you've been poked and prodded, however, all that work could go out the window if allow them to set the terms of the conversation. In other words, you can be concurrently forthright and self-protective, by sharing your truth in whatever form you've articulated it to yourself, without directly answering any questions posed in a 'gotcha!' format meant to get your goat. Be ready for that sort of baiting.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): As potent and persuasive as your communications continue to be, Scorpio, there are certain instances in which they'll prove ineffective for talking your way out of an unexpected left-turn that needs to be followed, an urgent work-item or process-problem that demands immediate attention, or a bodily-health concern that must be addressed. You will only further disrupt things by refusing to accept this momentarily reality-twist, arguing about blame when taking forward-facing action should be your top priority, or hiding beneath the sheets and hoping it'll all get dealt with by other people. Oddly (and, to be honest, somewhat against type), you may find yourself drawn to this last escapist option more than you ordinarily would… mainly because there's presently a pleasure-providing inner compulsion to stay at home (or at least largely secluded and/or shielded from others' psychically-grabby energies), since you already know exactly how calming it'd feel to merely dissolve into a nameless faceless life-form. But that's just not your role for now. You're presently pretty big-time. You should neither let the little snags or snarls aggravate you too much, nor act like they don't matter when they do.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Mars finally leaves your 12th after having saddled you with this past-several-weeks' pause in effective outward action, Sagittarius… and it spiritedly arrives to your sign on Friday (Jan 26), activating what could well prove to be your most energizing, industrious, and/or eventful couple months of '18. From this current weekend into mid-March, you'll be especially well-situated to take charge of any situation where you hold a stake in one outcome over the others, to assert your interests and make your presence known, and to beat back any adversarial insinuations or advances into your rightful territory. (For the record, Mars-in-your-1st also tends to shorten your temper, sharpen your tone, and heighten your risk of conflict or injury due to heated in-the-moment carelessness.) Because you may already be beginning to feel the anticipatory stimulation of this impending Mars transit, you might find yourself emboldened to hurry towards all the passion-projects and envelope-pushing experiments you've been so eager to dive into. For this week, though, please don't let this stimulating anticipation incite you to spoil your more conservative practically-minded plans in one rash dash. Now's not the time to prematurely blow your whole wad.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I'm looking at your week-ahead as a tacit transition away from this recent hyperdynamic in-the-fray spot, Capricorn, at least for a couple moments… but please don't mistakenly assume you're out of the deep-water, not with Saturn-in-your-1st looming as a perpetual conscience-over-your-shoulder these days. By the end of the week, Mars will have ambled into your 12th, setting off a several-week-long period of relative inactivity and immobility on the outward plane (though plenty of major developments will be incubating inside you that whole time). Be aware that this private overhauling limbo is coming—and make peace with the fact that any visible forward progress will be far better favored beginning in mid-March. While the idea of 'waiting' may frustrate you, remind yourself of all the strategizing and soul-searching, processing-of-disappointments and licking-of-wounds, fantasy-dispelling and resolve-strengthening efforts you'll need to tackle so you can then proceed as cleanly as can be. During this interim week, preparing yourself to take this emotional distance will hopefully incline you not to speak rashly if backed against the wall, since you'll be getting space from All That soon enough.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The mental resolutions, reconciliations, and judgments you've arrived at, Aquarius, are presently yours to draw respite and relief from… but aren't quite yet ready for public consumption or debate. With Uranus's square to Mercury from your 3rd, though, you'll have to be careful not to let snippets or suggestions leak out into casual conversation with outer-ring acquaintances, professional peers, overly curious community-members, or gabby neighbors. The fuller content behind such offhand mentions is too important to treat so lackadaisically. And by giving someone only a partial glimpse at a much larger picture, you're daring them to fill in the blanks with information that's incomplete and/or potentially damaging to your wider social standing. Mars is on its way into your 11th, signaling likely friction amidst friends, allies, or colleagues in the weeks to come… which won't necessarily be unwelcome if you've proactively set the tone of engagement, based on a complete-and-accurate assertion of your viewpoint, but which will merely be upsetting if you're caught off-guard and must play defense. Let's not forget Venus is currently in Aquarius, though: With just enough judicious conversational restraint, you'll slide past any possible snags with your sparkling poker-faced personality.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I would find it hard to believe that, by this point, Pisces, you don't know exactly who amongst the cast of characters stands on which side of the pressing, provocative, and/or polarizing issue(s) that's been circulating through the crowd. You can't legitimately claim ignorance of the consequences (both favorable and less-than) from keeping the company you do, nor from your relative outspokenness (or silence) as a vital voice in the chorus. It's the time for you to draw conclusions for yourself, rather than indulging much more ineffectual dialogue or fumbling along the limbo-fence. In doing so, however, please don't become so hardline idealistic in your thinking that you land on a judgment which poses an imminent threat to your material security. Put another way, you must consider your own practical interests alongside your allegiance to virtue… and if, in fact, they are in conflict, you'd do well to think through your options for the most well-orchestrated realignment or departure, rather than making any sudden moves or running your mouth prior to having made plans.