Roll with the punches and you’ll come out stronger and wiser on the other end. This week, the planets are muscling up, raising the bar, and making even the easy stuff like grocery shopping a gladiatorial competition. The sun and retrograde Mercury shine in impulsive Aries, while go-getter Mars chugs toward an April Fools’ meetup with Saturn, planet of brick walls and other obstacles. Saturday’s full moon in Libra will light a match under the configuration by triggering heart-achy conflicts between social needs, like getting along with your family, and personal wants, like taking an opportunity they object to.
The biannual Mars/Saturn meetup is often considered bad news, since the combo rule challenges, obstacles, fears, and setbacks. Even on their own, the two planets are astrology’s favorite villains, responsible for such misfortunes as fist-fights, traffic tickets, going to jail, and getting yelled at and quitting your job in a huff. But as any cross-country runner can tell you, facing up to challenges can be invigorating, putting you in touch with your Saturnian endurance and Martian bravery.
This week, you’ll be tested, no question. Arguments over what show to watch on date night can escalate into full-out breakup ultimatums. A minor Mercury retrograde-inspired mistake at work can lead to a sit-down meeting with a supervisor that leaves you fuming. In addition to human tempers, a Mars and Saturn meetup (with Mercury Rx in the mix) creates a state of general unpleasantness: traffic snarls, court summons, app crashes, looming deadlines, insecurity, and fears of failure.
But here’s why this week could be awesome. Saturn, your inner adulting voice, points out the flaws in your plans, and Mars gives you the determination to persist. These two tough-guy planets produce durable, troubleshot results and long-term success. Talking out the frustrations in your relationship with Martian directness and Saturnian maturity will deepen the love you share and reinvigorate the sexy fire between you and your partner. If handled well, a workplace dispute can lead to a raise and any creative project will thrive under this astrological combo’s relentless energy.
March 21 to April 19
Keep an eye on your frustration level, Ram. Warrior Mars, your ruling planet, is busy and most likely making messes in his scramble to succeed. This week is sandwiched between two major Mars events, and they’re both pretty difficult. On the 24th, Mars picked a fight with the sun and on April 1st, he gets into it with old man Saturn.
The week begins under the influence of that first transit, which will see ego-driven conflicts and defensive, argumentative behavior from people in leadership. With the sun transiting your first house of identity, you’re likely to be the asshole in this situation (sorry!), pushing others out of the way to get what you want and refusing to admit what you did. Of course, in the moment, it will feel like you’re under attack and merely defending yourself. To keep a cool head, go it alone as much as possible. Don’t try to make decisions with a group of friends — pick the restaurant first, then ask who wants to come along — and set personal goals for yourself at work that exceed your co-workers’ and boss’ standards. Manage your stress levels by staying focused and active. Set an early alarm to get to the gym and resist your sofa’s siren song. (Down time is theoretically good for you, but this week it’ll make you want to tear someone’s hair out.)
Later in the week, the Mars/Saturn transit takes over. You may be less confident than you think you are. Throwing grown-up tantrums and stomping around just to make noise are signs you lack faith in your strength. Take setbacks in stride and feed yourself a steady diet of pep talks. Be patient and do any necessary repairs. You of all people, magical Aries, can shoot past these obstacles like star.
April 20 to May 20
Your social life is complicated this week, but in a way that can liven up your chill time.
Your ruling planet, social Venus, bumps up against Uranus, the planet of individual freedom on Wednesday. Throughout the week, your friends and romantic partners are likely to be aloof, “forgetting” to hang out and showing up too late or early. There’s a collective hunger for new activities, so if that hangout does happen, your friend will insist on driving out of the way just to try a different restaurant or want to drag you out of the house on your usual night in. Your first inclination will likely be resistance, but the foray outside of your comfort zone could be inspiring and even shake the boredom out of a stale relationship.
It’s actually a great time to remember how much you enjoy your own company. Make spontaneous time for self-love and activities that turn on your brain. Because you’re so loyal, your relationships can sometimes feel like a habit rather than a choice. This week’s extra personal space, care of Uranus, opens up your perspective, helping you appreciate the people in your life and allow you to truly choose them.
May 21 to June 20
Week two of Mercury retrograde adds two new weapons to its arsenal: Mars and Saturn. The pressure of this transit is inevitably going to amp up the Mercury screw-ups for everyone. But, because your sign is especially sensitive to Mercury, be on the watch for your urge to rush, as accidents are likely this week.
The Mars-Saturn transit takes place in your eighth house of intimacy and shared resources. Arguments about money and sex can get out of control fast, thanks to Mercurial miscommunications. Conflicts can be productive this week, but only if both people know what’s really being discussed. When tempers flare, review what led to the blowup to make sure you and your significant other or friend are on the same page.
Throwing more words at a fight won’t fix it and flip-flopping on what you want and need will only frustrate your loved ones. You can’t get everything you want this week. Think — and feel — through which battles matter to you, (really) listen to criticism, and stand strong on what’s non-negotiable.
June 21 to July 22
Anger is in the air, and no question: It’s in you, too. The challenge is to give it an outlet without letting it control you.
There’s so much drama out in the world, you may want to spend the week grumbling and puttering in a dark, Cancerian hole. You’re not the most competitive sign and when others are shoving to get ahead, you’re usually happy to stay back where it’s comfy. Giving up under the current transits will only make you pissed off, though, and you won’t enjoy your coveted indoor time at all.
Don’t let the fear of failure scare you off, Cancer. You’re infinitely creative and know how to hold fast to what you want. What’s more, the fact that you aren’t obsessed with winning is an advantage. While your partner’s and coworkers’ egos run amuck, commit to what you want to create like it’s your own beautiful baby. Whether you’re after money, a cleaner house, a happier home life, or just the satisfaction of a job well done, keep the faith and give the powerful energy behind your emotions a worthy goal to pursue.
July 23 to August 22
Can you love yourself when you’re not winning, Leo? This week, you deserve to shower yourself in kindness and affection. Actually, you deserve your own kindness and patience all the time. I only mention it now because this week’s transits are rough, especially if you expect yourself to be a superstar against all odds.
The Saturn and Mars meetup takes place in your sixth house of health and work. Stress, perfectionism, and rushing can trigger accidents and illnesses, so taking care of your body is priority number one. At work, don’t be surprised to hear “no” on ambitious projects and schedule requests. As fabulous as you are, unexpected obstacles are always frustrating. And since you’ll probably need to work through these setbacks slowly, you’re only human if you feel overwhelmed.
You obviously have the tenacity to come out stronger from these challenges; the question is, how are you going to treat yourself along the way? Commit to being your own best friend, supporter, and champion, so that no blow can ever really take you down.
August 23 to September 22
This week’s transits are no picnic, but you, Virgo, may find a way to have fun with them.
Mars and Saturn meet up in your fifth house of recreation, kids, and romance. Together, Mars and Saturn are associated with athleticism, and the combination can make anyone discover superhuman powers of endurance. Take this planetary transit for a spin by changing your workout routine or setting a goal that will require true discipline and focus (for at least the next two weeks). Mars also rules the lusty, animal side of sex; work out the fierce need to sweat with a date that playfully pushes you to your physical limits.
Relationships with kids are one area that probably won’t be so fun this week. The little ones in your life have hot tempers and big problems this week. As frazzled as you feel, at least you’ve been through this biannual transit a bunch of times already. Kids lack the advantage of experience and the self-control to manage this kind of stress, but you can give them a solid lesson. Provide punching pillows and a listening ear. It might not be easy, but earning their trust will be worth it.
September 23 to October 22
Strange moods and affections are upon you, Libra.
Your ruling planet, tasteful Venus, bumps into freaky Uranus on Wednesday, giving the week an unusual flavor. Uranus is the planet of individual expression and Venus loves to look pretty. With the two meeting up in IDGAF Aries, your wardrobe and style are prime for a do-over. Uranian tastes can be fickle. Rather than spend a bunch of money, see what surprises you can pull out of your closet or play dress-up in a friend’s closet. You might think that focusing on fashion is a bit shallow, but style and self-presentation are a form of communication. If you do it right, how you dress, style your hair, and walk into a room can be like a poem of the self. With unique Uranus in the mix, you’re seeking a fashion language that can show your loved ones and professional associates who you truly are.
On Friday, Venus enters Taurus, the sign of comforting self-sufficiency. Whether or not that style overhaul sticks around in the long run, you’re ready for some serious self-appreciation. With Venus entering your eighth house of intimacy, spend the weekend on quality alone time, a deep, sexy date with someone you trust, or an intense heart-to-heart. On Saturday, the full moon arrives in your sign, bringing up conflict but also opportunities to make room in your relationships for everyone to get what they want.
October 23 to November 21
With strategic Mars, your co-ruler, bouncing from conflict to conflict this week, you may feel like you’re under attack. You are, but the attacker is inside you — it’s that negative, defensive voice in your own head.
Be suspicious of where that inner attacker lays blame, whether on yourself, a partner, coworker, employee, or the lady at customer service. Who caused the problem doesn’t really matter; what does matter is finding the power to change the situation.
The current transits are likely to stir up some ugly fears. Mars hates to lose and Saturn represents social forces like laws and prejudices that lie beyond your control. With these two coming together, you might feel cut off from your self-determination and sphere of influence. Yet, because of how tough this transit is, you will be forced to draw on hidden reserves of strength. Your true power comes from those deep places within you. You may not be able to control what comes at you from outside, but you wield great influence on the world within. Use the hard-working energy of this transit to turn the voices in your head into ones you actually want to hear.
November 22 to December 21
When is an argument worth having, and when is it just noise? Figuring that out can save you from disaster this week.
Mars and Saturn meet up in your second house, bringing conflicts and obstacles to your income and personal values. Your passionate, opinionated nature may get you into trouble (not like that hasn’t happened before), especially if you’re operating on the assumption that others share your same values. Not one to back off from a debate, your righteousness could escalate a precarious situation. Try — just try, Sag — to be a little cautious. Take time to listen before gearing up your lecture. Be especially careful about arguing with someone who you depend on for income, like a client or the person in the office who signs your paychecks.
Mercury is in its second retrograde week and producing abundant miscommunications. Before you go off half-cocked, double-check your email history to make sure you aren’t misinterpreting a tone. (You could easily be at fault without having noticed your error.) If a fight is worth it, have it out in a way that’s consistent with your values. Hold yourself to the same standards that you do others and act based on what will serve you best a few weeks (or months) from now.
December 22 to January 19
You pride yourself on your pragmatism, but when push comes to shove, you can sometimes be impractically rigid. As Mars and your ruling planet, wise Saturn, meet up this week, you have an opportunity to overcome that habit and work through your fears that hide within.
Because Mars and Saturn come together in your first house of identity, you may find yourself playing the role of the roadblock, saying “no” to others’ ideas and plans. Of course, from where you’re standing, it’ll feel like you’re the one who’s under attack. Sounds like a recipe for no one getting what they want.
Saturn will make you see all the ways an idea can’t work and all the reasons you shouldn’t bother trying. Because Saturn is your ruling planet, though, you have some special skills for dealing with its limiting energy, and you can share those with others. For one thing, you know deep down that Saturn wants what you want: for people to be reasonable. You want people — your friends, family members, coworkers, random strangers — to look before they leap so that they don’t make messes for you to clean up. Great! Your job this week is to be a sensible advisor, helping people see the walls they’re about to run into, and then stepping out of there way.
The same goes for you. It’s important to see what’s preventing you from achieving your goal, but that just means you need to fix the problem or find a way around the obstacle. Mars will be giving you plenty of energy. Use it for good, not evil, Mountain Goat.
January 20 to February 18
Crap happens. There are lots of things in life you can’t control: spam calls, Russian election infiltration, why the one movie you want to watch is never available to stream. And yet, it’s surprising, thrilling, even scary, how much you power you do have. This week, Aquarius, you’re being invited to claim your personal power and make choices that will shape your experience for the next several years.
Mars and your co-ruler, Saturn, meet up in your 12th house. The 12th house represents your innermost self and it can often be a blind spot, a place you put feelings and knowledge you’d rather not look at. The 12th house is also the house of hidden enemies, because when you don’t own your feelings, someone else will. In this case, Mars, the planet of anger and drive, is showing up as other people getting in your way for seemingly no reason. There is a reason, but you’ll have to be brutally honest with yourself to find it. Do you know what you want right now? Have you tried to talk yourself out of a “selfish” desire? Are you ignoring your body’s need to be active or tuning out your sex drive?
If you’re on autopilot right now, letting the universe — aka other people — push you around, you’re going to end up metaphorically bruised and battered. To break that sad cycle, choose one wild, challenging choice you can control, take a sensible risk, and give it a try.
February 19 to March 20
A trickle of water may not seem strong, but over time it can wear away stone and carve mountains into works of art. Like that trickle of water, people tend to underestimate you and assume you’re not strong. You may even assume the same about yourself. But your gentleness belies a magical gift to reshape the world around you according to inner vision.
Because you can adapt to changes pretty easily, you can handle this week’s obstacles with a grace most can’t. Assuming you have a clear picture of what you want — an image of your paid-off student loans, a happy home surrounded by loved ones, the poetry you want to write, the scientific breakthrough you want to achieve, or the dreamy true-love relationship — you have the patience and flexibility to wait out the personal refusals, correct the mistakes, and wade through the legal hold-ups.
The Mars-Saturn meetup will be difficult, though, if you’re not totally sure. If you haven’t committed to the visions, you may misinterpret a run-of-the-mill snafu as a sign that you’re on the wrong path. You could get some harsh news this week concerning your career, job, or desires, and you should definitely pay attention to it. The most important voice, though, is that of your intuition. Cultivate a clear vision of what you want. That will get you through.
by LUKE DANI BLUE