Time to Get Loose 

For the week January 12-18, 2011.

Make "flexibility" your mantra this week, and be prepared to stretch physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The planets are either shifting or getting ready to shift positions, and as they alter their celestial alignments, Earthlings will straddle parallel universes. And because several of these simultaneous realities are light years apart, the ability to bridge attitudes on a moment's notice will be a necessary and handy tool. Mercury moves back into Capricorn on January 13, and as it does, it forms a conjunction with Pluto. Mercury signifies communication and Pluto represents power; when they share the same degree of the zodiac, over-the-top yet convincing rhetoric is probable. Expect an inordinate amount of proclamations, particularly from politicians, who will not only be vying for the lead position but also competing for dominance, each proclaiming to be the voice of the people. From a personal perspective, this conjunction could produce a tendency to brood over words said in haste or, at the other end of the spectrum, not yet spoken. Either way, what's clear is just how powerful an idea can be when it is passionately expressed.

Mars moves into Aquarius on January 15, tilting attention every so slightly toward altruistic goals. Mars symbolizes ambition and self-assertion, as well as physical strength, and when it moves through the egalitarian Sign of Aquarius, its muscle tends to lean toward reform. Whether this will impact political tactics remains to be seen, but its transit through Aquarius is sure to impact individual efforts aimed at independence. Aquarius is, after all, the Sign of personal freedom. The Sun moves into Aquarius on January 20, forming a conjunction with Mars. The combined influence of the Sun and Mars is sure to excite freedom-fighters around the globe, which means we can anticipate surges in violence — even in those places where the violence is already too much to bear.

Saturn begins a retrograde phase on January 26 that will last until June 12. And while that "turn-around" takes place in two weeks, this week we will start to feel Saturn slow down. But be aware: This retrograde is not about daily life turning into a molasses swamp. Saturn retrograde is not the same as Mercury retrograde, so don't panic about communication and travel snafus. Saturn is the symbol of discernment, and it signifies the ability to distill wisdom from experience; as part of that distillation process, Saturn enables us to learn from our mistakes. Its review reaches back to October 2010, which means we will be reviewing and revisiting systems and structures put into place over the course of the last several months with an eye toward whether or not those arrangements could be improved.

Jupiter also throws its weight around this week. It is in the last degrees of Pisces, beginning its separation from Uranus, and preparing for its entry into Aries. While Jupiter has no problem multitasking, handling the wide expanse of its domain could be a problem for some of us, especially if we are susceptible to the pressure of having to get everything done at once.

Remember, flexibility is key to handling the ebb and flow of this week. So do your best to stay agile in body, mind, heart, and spirit, and allow that agility to help you bridge a multitude of demands and dimensions.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.

ARIES While moderation is not your strong suit, discipline has its benefits. I'm not advising you to become an ascetic; I'm simply suggesting that you be realistic about what's possible.

TAURUS There's no need to worry about what you can't control. Sometimes things fall apart so that something new — and better — can come into being. Rather than insisting on a specific outcome, trust the process.

GEMINI If you can't find the solution, seek the advice of experts. Asking for help won't indicate a weakness. Knowing your limitations, and acting accordingly, will demonstrate your strength and wisdom.

CANCER There's no need to pretend, especially with significant others. Simply stand in your truth and express your feelings. You may not get the response you desire, but your honesty will clear the air.

LEO An early burst of spring fever turns your attention toward romance, making it slightly harder to concentrate on what needs to be done. But don't worry; you won't drift too far away on these clouds of infatuation.

VIRGO Your creative cup runneth over, but there are still practical details to consider. The big picture will take care of itself if you take care of the small stuff.

LIBRA The solution is actually simple, but it requires being honest with yourself about what you need in order to feel settled and content from the inside out and from the outside in.

SCORPIO Honor your longing to belong, and you're likely to experience a new sense of clarity about what's necessary to turn your home into a true sanctuary.

SAGITTARIUS Don't be self-conscious about wearing your heart on your sleeve — there is something completely disarming about emotions, expressed honestly, and with a pure intention.

CAPRICORN Don't be surprised if you find yourself talking at great length with precise detail about every aspect of life. While it's not your normal behavior, it is charming.

AQUARIUS Mars puts you in the spotlight, which requires you to lead, so don't hesitate to assume your authority — and have fun marshalling the troops.

PISCES Focus your attention on your career and you could reap pleasantly surprising rewards. I'm not suggesting miracles, but I am implying beneficial results from your efforts.

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