Zora Neale Hurston, a Capricorn.
Photo: Photo Illustration by Preeti Kinha/ Photos: Getty, Everett Collection
Early Thursday morning, Mercury retrograde begins again, this time in Capricorn. Over the next three weeks, take extra care to communicate clearly and intentionally, particularly about issues relating to work and long-term goals. Offhand remarks are more likely than usual to be misunderstood — your jokes taken too seriously, your genuine observations dismissed. If at all possible, heed the classic Mercury retrograde warning to wait before signing contracts and making big commitments. Mistakes are inevitable, and when they do happen, don’t assume the worst of people. We all have our off days. The more you extend grace to others, the happier they’ll be to offer it to you too.
You aren’t always good at holding back, at pacing yourself. When you have energy, you use it up. When you’re feeling full of love, you give it all away. As long as you have strength remaining, you’ll keep going. This week, though, the universe is inviting you to take a breather, and the best thing you can do is heed the call. Don’t wait to take a break until it’s an emergency, until you’ve run yourself into the ground. Don’t wait to refill your cup until it’s already empty. Rest now, even if you don’t think you need to.
You can hardly contain your eagerness for something new to begin: A job or relationship, a phase of your life, the calendar year. You’re more than ready to turn your back on the old, and step into the fresh air of possibility. But just because you’re emotionally ready for change, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. At least, not quite yet. Difficult as it is, your job this week is to be patient. Trust that change will come soon, in its own good time. You don’t need to force it.
Recently you’ve been plagued by the sense that there’s something you’re forgetting — a place you’re supposed to be and aren’t, a task on your to-do list that’s slipped your mind, an impending deadline you’re at risk of blowing. It’s hard to stay organized, and harder still to trust that your life is on track. This week, it’s worth making the effort to double check your calendar, but beyond that, try not to worry too much. Remind yourself of all you have accomplished this year, the support you’ve offered your friends, projects you’ve completed. If anything, you’re ahead of the game.
Most of the time, you’re totally comfortable being on the receiving end of other people’s challenging feelings. You’re happy to listen to them spill their emotions. When it comes to you own feelings, though, that’s a different story. It’s your role — or so you imagine — to be the person others lean on. You want to be the shoulder to cry on, not the person doing the crying. But this week, the universe is going to remind you that’s not how it works. We all need (and deserve) to express ourselves, to be supported. That includes you.
This week, you might be surprised to find yourself in a melancholy mood, perhaps dreaming about the past, all the people you’ve loved and lost touch with. You might even find yourself missing the ones who never treated you particularly well, or who actively made your life worse — or at least more complicated — while they were in it. Part of you might want to seek them out, to recapture old feelings. If you do, you’ll almost certainly regret it. Enjoy the sweetness of rose-colored memory, but let the past be past.
Your beliefs, desires, even personality shift over time—it’s part of being human. We grow and evolve. Over the last year, your experiences and relationships have changed you. The transformation is so gradual that it’s easy to miss — you’re busy living, not staring in the mirror. You rarely step back to take in the bigger picture. So this week, reflect on where you’ve been. Give yourself credit for how much you’ve learned. You’re wiser than you were at this time last year. Now will your new insights shape the days ahead?
Lately you’ve been concerned your world has grown too small — your thinking predictable, your creativity well dried up, your most meaningful accomplishments behind you. This week you have the chance to shake that fear. It’s easier than you think. You don’t have to move mountains, work miracles, or change your entire personality. All it takes is a little discipline. When you commit to getting out of the house, reading, seeing new sights, talking to new people, your world grows, and with it, your sense of possibility.
It sometimes frustrates you that you can’t be totally independent. While you understand perfectly well that human beings need each other, that none of us can go it alone, that doesn’t mean you like relying on other people. You can’t bear feeling weak or indebted. This week, though, good things will happen when you lean on others, even when you ask for more help than is initially comfortable, or more than you think you deserve. People like to be needed. It’s not a burden, but a way to connect. Don’t shy away.
It’s typically easy for you to find projects, plans, or people to get excited about. The world around you is rich and strange, and there’s always something new to ignite your curiosity. This week, though, you might find it hard to muster up the enthusiasm. Your imagination is sluggish; the ideas won’t come. Don’t wait around for the right mood to hit. You can’t always rely on inspiration to strike out of the blue. Instead, keep moving, creating, doing, even when it’s boring. Habit and perseverance might not sound thrilling, but when you’re feeling uninspired, they can work their own surprising magic.
One of your greatest strengths is your refusal to become complacent. Where others may be satisfied with an effort, a result, a life that’s merely good enough, you know that you’re capable of more, and you’re not willing to settle. Just remember that it’s possible to take it too far. If you’re always trying to stretch yourself, to optimize, you’ll never get a chance to truly enjoy the here and now. You’ve worked hard to build a life you can be proud of. For now, stop thinking of ways you could be better, and give yourself credit for all that you’ve done already.
As much as you treasure your independence and hard-earned wisdom, lately you find yourself wishing you could trade it in for a life without stress or obligations. You’re tired of all the responsibility, exhausted by always caring for other people. Just this once, you wish that someone would step in and care for you. This week, fatigue (physical or emotional) is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you’ll inevitably be left drained and unappreciated. Your friends will support you if you ask them to. Maturity doesn’t mean you have to handle everything on your own.
Rose-colored glasses can be comforting. It’s heartening to see only the best in people, to focus on what is lovely about your life and relationships, to ignore the cracks when they start to show. It makes the day to day bearable. But this week, when you start to get frustrated or sad, you’ll be better off if you’re honest about it with yourself and the people you love. Allow yourself to recognize what’s imperfect, express dissatisfaction, set boundaries. You’ve put a tremendous amount of effort into building strong relationships. Trust that they’re solid enough to withstand healthy conflict.
Read the weekly horoscopes for the week of December 19. The weekly horoscopes for the week of January 2 will be online next Sunday.
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