By Eric Francis
ARIES — There’s no better way to start the New Year than Mars arriving in your birth sign. Nothing could possibly better express your desire to be the full-on individual that you are. This is the theme of your entire existence for the foreseeable future, by which I mean the next eight years or so (a story that will be told by Chiron, explained in more detail in the monthly horoscope). This is an experiment. Being yourself is an experiment, in that it always requires bumping or scraping into someone, or having them think you’re aggressive or whatever; and the skill you’ll need to adopt is being at peace with that. If you’re worried about being offensive (which is possible, even for an Aries), the thing to remember is that if you don’t have some degree of social conflict in your life, you don’t figure out who you are; you don’t grow. You don’t need to provoke anything; merely being you will be sufficient. Then, as time goes on, you will become more confident in yourself, and find your way to common ground with those around you.
TAURUS — You have a funny way of forgetting who you are, then remembering right when you need to the most. That would be right around now. You can pretend all you like that the wild, passionate ‘part’ of you does not exist, though you’re destined to discover otherwise. Maybe you can act blasé and then surprise yourself with how hungry you are for life, which includes self-discovery and sexual discovery and fully engaging all of your creativity. This will kick up some turbulence, though most of it will be in the form of thinking other people are judging you when in fact they don’t really care so much what you do with your life (that’s the true nature of judgment; it’s really a form of not caring). So don’t trouble yourself with that, or maybe have fun with it — it’s high time for an insurrection, an overthrow of any belief that does not serve you. This is particularly true of the tired, wilting ideas about life that your predecessors tried to inflict on you, but failed, because you’re too interesting.
GEMINI — Your ruling planet Mercury is making a sweep past the Galactic Core over the next couple of days, which will guide you into some interesting situations if you let it. Fortunately, you’re curious enough to subvert the paranoia of our times. Therefore you leave yourself some space to engage with the unexpected and unfamiliar. It remains true that one thing can lead to another, which only means to keep your wits about you and make your decisions sober, rather than being cynical (which means bitter, which is not really you). The thing to remember, particularly as Mercury changes signs to Capricorn later in the week, is that everything is negotiable. So don’t sign away or voluntarily surrender your power without engaging all parties in a discussion. Know what you want, and know what you’re not willing to give up. You can still do that and maintain some flexibility, and keep an honest conversation going. There’s a line from ancient Rome, in vino veritas (“in wine there is truth”). Maybe so, but fact-check using multiple sources before you sign anything.
CANCER — While everyone else is busy partying, quietly go about your business over the next few days. You have plans, and through this week you’re in an unusual position to engage them and pick up some momentum. Your agenda should include initiating some new projects, and wrapping up some old ones, in a well-planned transition. The cautionary note is that Mars entering your ambitious 10th house is calling on you to mind your relationships, which in particular means staying on good terms with various authority figures, whether official or unofficial. You can do this and still maintain your independence and your integrity; that is the essential skill in both politics and in business. While it’s inevitable that you will rub some people the wrong way, being polite when you encounter them helps — particularly if you’re acting within your rights and, more particularly, your responsibilities. And where both are concerned, you have an obligation to yourself to be true to your mission.
LEO — Pace yourself over the next few days, particularly as the holiday season peaks with New Year’s and then people try to saunter back into the work week. Make sure you’re the one who shows up to work on Wednesday morning well rested and with a clear head. Then, if you’ve paused in the action for the holidays, or even if not, take your time coming up to speed. Don’t try to do everything at once. Prioritize, and use your time effectively. Focus on closure rather than starting new projects. The New Moon in Capricorn on Saturday is suggesting there still may be some residual business from the past 12 months that needs attention. However, as you tidy up and make sure all of the old accounts are closed, you’ll start to get ideas for how to structure your agenda going forward. As you may know, the Sun rules your sign, and its current conjunction to Saturn assures that a methodical approach to getting your work done is the one that will be the most effective, now and in the future.
VIRGO — You will have some opportunities to experiment with new experiences this week, which will call forth the rare combination of being both bold and self-aware. All that really means is knowing the difference between the gas pedal and the brakes. You can ease off on one without using the other; you can go gently on both and get where you’re going on time. Yet operating your vehicle is one thing; where you choose to go is another, and the stars may be guiding you to some unusual destinations, if you’re willing to go. You’ll take that branch in the road when you gently veer in the direction of the unfamiliar. Be alert to a problem that you’re addressing, left over from childhood: that of false caution, which is based not so much on your own safety but rather on addressing the mostly nonexistent dangers perceived by others. Now, however, it’s time to explore the benefits of doing what others are afraid to do, and what may have triggered your fears in the past. You know that’s no way to live — and it really is time to live.
LIBRA — The theme of closure is strong in your chart this year, and you get some added leverage this week as the New Moon takes shape in your 4th house (from ancient astrology, “the end of the matter”). While that’s happening, certain events and people may arise unexpectedly on the horizon, which will spur you to take the necessary steps to tidy up the past, and how you feel about it. Most of what you’re dealing with are indeed your feelings. The central matter seems to be addressing the results of what you did in order to feel secure, but which really didn’t work out. Go back to your original intent: what was that decision supposed to be about? If you didn’t get the results you were planning, you can reverse your decision; however, stick close to the roots, motives and values that were driving you. Those are the things that need attention and adjustment, as you work out new ways to perceive and engage with your environment. Just note, the pace is about to pick up.
SCORPIO — Don’t let others lull you to sleep, or lure you into thinking you’re anything other than fully alive. Remember that when you’re really living, that can feel a little odd, as those around you lumber through life or aspire to mediocrity. Therefore, stick to the interesting people, the ones whose fun comes from inside themselves, those who like to think and who are bold about doing so. If you can’t find any of those folks at the moment, then entertain yourself. It would be silly and a waste of some excellent opportunities to settle for spending time with people who are uninspiring. Keep your inner fire burning, keep food on the stove, and focus on what you really, truly want to do. Mars, your ruling planet, makes its way into Aries today (Monday), indicating many new beginnings, and a positive attitude toward meeting the challenges of life. Let this week’s events emphasize your need for meaningful work: a role that gives you room not only to be yourself, but to become yourself.
SAGITTARIUS — Listen to the messages of others, no matter how cryptic they may seem. Seemingly external voices are coming from the depth of your psyche, speaking directly to you. They may arrive in the form of an invitation, or an idea, or some pleasant shock to your system that calls attention to your need to be a little more courageous. The one thing you don’t need to do is spend a lot of money. Many factors suggest this would be an excellent few days to dial back your cash outlay and focus instead on ways to improve your long-term financial prospects. One concept could go a long way toward doing that, particularly if you’re willing to make the investment of thought and time. The right idea is the one that harmonizes with your most deeply held values; what you know to be true; what you truly want from life. Most people think this is far more than they can ask, but for you at this stage of your growth, it has to be a bare minimum and a starting point.
CAPRICORN — Over the next few days, the Sun makes a conjunction to Saturn in your sign, followed by the ingress of Mercury and then a New Moon. That’s a lot of motivational factors acting on you at once, and in total describing your need to get your ass into high gear and focus your efforts. There are no shortcuts along the road you’re on; there are no steps you can skip and, in truth, you don’t want to. While the Sun-Saturn conjunction says that you need to take your time and be methodical, that’s merely preparation. The message coming from Mercury is that nothing is as influential as a single thought. Yet thought requires development, care, collaboration and attention to detail — which punts us right back into the realm of Saturn. If you have an idea, build a little structure around it: a plan or set of plans, a prototype, a test or experiment of some kind. Avoid the temptation of magical thinking, and have faith not just in your abilities but in your necessities.
AQUARIUS — Few people ever get over their fears, and most people are driven by them. This is not the life you want, and you know it. Yet the world makes such a thing about genuflecting to anxiety that it’s clear our society holds it as a god. One potential reason for this is that fear masks over passion and desire, and distracts us from them. That serves the purpose of “protecting” people from the very elements of their awareness that would be most inclined to set them free. Fear is a scrim; it’s an illusory barrier that seems solid and intractable, but when you touch it, it turns out to be made of gauze. Keep your lights on inside, and orient your reference points inwardly rather than out in the world. Stay in touch with your desires, even if they make you nervous. That’s how you know you really want something, or someone — you get a little agitated at the thought. It’s a clue that you’re tapping into an energy source.
PISCES — Events this week strongly favor your long-term financial prospects, if you will take the cue and do what’s necessary to set your plans into action. There are two things to bear in mind. One is to consider your changing role within your social circle or community. You don’t need to be popular — you merely need to know what you want to do, and who you actually serve. Your role is coming into focus, as if a niche you started to ferret out over the past year now has plenty of room to move around. You can be visible, though the days are gone when you must be everything to everyone. Which brings me to the second point, involving Mars entering Aries: you will find it easy to be true to your values, so go for it while the going is good. Assert who you really are and what you actually believe; live for what matters to you. We are now counting the weeks until Chiron departs from your sign, a reminder to focus on how much you’ve learned in recent years about why you’re alive, and what you want to do.