Illustration by Taylor Dow

One Road, Two Ways

Mapping out the first full week of the new year.

Imagine Capricorn and Sagittarius are on a road trip. Capricorn is the focused, responsible driver who insists “We have to follow the map!” and remarks “We’re making great time!” Meanwhile, restless Sagittarius—watching the scenery whiz by—shouts: “Burn the map! Let’s invent our own path!” This week we’ll need to embrace both drastically different worldviews as we encounter some dramatic tension, tension that motivates us to change. Mercury flips from Capricorn to Sagittarius on Wednesday, switching our mind-mode from measured, mature Capricorn to spontaneous, optimistic Sagittarius. We must learn to strike a balance between work and play, reality and faith.

When Pluto (in Capricorn) meets the Sun (also in Capricorn) on Friday, as it does once a year, we’ll find ourselves at an intense crossroads. We will need to carefully consider our options and trust our gut instincts to guide us toward the best choice. Pluto is not a breezy or lighthearted planet. It shows us what we need to know so we can grow, but its harsh truths can startle us like a jack-in-the-box. Pluto gets in our face and demands deep, core-level metamorphosis. Though Pluto isn’t fun, it dissolves the superfluous and pushes us toward progress.

This is an excellent week for healthy closures and identity remixes. Maybe the holidays had you facing family dynamics and looking at the roots of who you once were. Now you’re determined to keep sweating out the old you and nurturing a new self, one thought at a time. One action at a time. You’re continuing to answer the tough questions that 2016 (and Uranus’ recent direction change) posed: Who am I really? Where am I going? What’s true for me now?


This week’s Pluto intensity may tempt you to collapse into a pile of pessimism or snap at others like a grumpy goat. But take care not to push people away, cut yourself off from your own feelings, or treat others’ emotions as trivial inconveniences. The good news is that Venus, now in Pisces, softens the steeliness of Capricorn season and invites empathy, forgiveness, and the ability to connect rather than reject.


On Wednesday the 4th, Mercury slips backward into Sagittarius, making us less likely to obsess over the minute details and proper steps of The Plan as we did while Mercury hung out in Capricorn. A retrograding Mercury in Sag asks us to adjust our grand dream and reconsider the personal philosophies that guide us—or limit us. This shift, plus a moon in fiery Aries that lasts until Thursday, provides us with the energy, enthusiasm, and drive to get stuff accomplished. During a challenging chain of days from Thursday the 5th to Saturday the 7th, a sense of high-stakes heaviness will hang in the air as the Sun joins with Pluto (on Friday night) for their annual sky meeting. Pluto—planet of non-negotiable transformation and big consequences—demands we alter situations that aren’t serving our greatest good. Any belief, pattern, or set-up that’s doesn’t properly support our growth needs an overhaul. You may feel that actions taken by someone else (especially an institution or powerful authority figure) are unfair. Try to channel your angst into creative or physical activity.

Saturday the 7th is a clean-up day that lets us resolve problems and move on. Chiron squares Saturn, urging us to: 1. examine where we feel emotionally wounded (especially within a partnership dynamic) and 2. catch any knee-jerk reactions we make when others poke those wounds. On Sunday the 8th, Mercury technically starts to move direct, paving the way for clearer thoughts and words. However, the trickster planet’s retrograde effects won’t fully ease until January 27. (That’s right. Mercury’s retrograde isn’t really over.) Monday the 9th contains tensions and obstacles that test our resolve. Avoid important, emotional talks that day; try to postpone big choices too. Tuesday the 10th looks touchy as well. One step at a time. Trust the unfolding.

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