January marks the beginning of a great transformation. Last year was a difficult time for many of us. We were forced to make difficult decisions about the lives we were living, and the people we would like to become. Positive changes are coming later in the month, but 2017 kicks off with mercury still in retrograde. We must prepare for breakdowns of all sorts, as miscommunication will rule us until January 8th. Be wary of technology, especially when sending messages through email and texts—there are simply too many occasions in which our intentions can be misunderstood. Mercury retrograde is always a tumultuous time, but we must remember that even chaos has its value. Only through struggle can we reach our full potential, and form a sincere vision of the people we can become. Stay strong, our vulnerability will push us closer to truth.
Zodiac illustrations by Katie Maasik
(March 21-April 19)
I usually have a solid idea of what I want. When people around me say I should want something different, I rarely give in. I’m a natural leader and people trust me. But sometimes I do go too far. Sometimes I need to step back, and wait a moment before jumping to a decision. I’ll need to be extra patient this month or my ambition may get the better of me. I know if I want to be a great leader, I need to learn how to share my power. Over the next few weeks I’m going to feel overwhelmed. Delegating some of my responsibilities will help everything make more sense. It’s hard for me to truly trust people, but I am going to work hard to open up. The more knowledge I share with the people around me, the more relief I will feel as I begin to unload my burdens.
(April 20-May 20)
There are pieces of my life that I want to reimagine this year. Now is a good time to step back and evaluate, to think about what I want. If I’m honest with myself, I’ll admit that I’ve been working hard to uncover something. I am finally ready to tackle the skeletons in my closet. It’s not going to be easy, but I know if I can move beyond simple black and white, I will find something wonderful in the grey. As someone who sometimes clings to easy answers, I know this is a big step forward for me. I am so open to complexity right now! I know I will always value tradition: it reminds me of what I love, and helps ground me in the past. But this month I will examine the structures that hold these traditions in place. I can build on the values that make up my foundation, and let go of the shaky beams propped up by habit alone.
(May 21-June 21)
I am going to be so busy this month. I can’t believe how much my checklist is growing! But it’s a new year! So why isn’t my slate wiped clean? I’m ready to forget about my mistakes and start all over. But when I look around, the blur of the holidaze is still fogging my vision. All my little indulges have started to add up! It looks like I’ve racked up a debt that’s going to weigh heavily on me for awhile. Ugh, but what else is new? I’m used to living beyond my means. Often it’s the only way to get what I want! Starting this month, I am going to work hard. I will check items off my list and earn my keep for real. I’ve learned the hard way that my big dreams come with even bigger price tags. So this year I am going to be much more intentional with my choices. I am going to slow down and plan my movements. I won’t fill the void with things I don’t need. Instead I will seek out love. I will spend my time creating memories with the people I trust. Their guidance is a rope that can pull me out of this hole I keep digging.
(June 21-July 22)
When people talk about “self-care” I get stressed out. It feels like one more thing I’m expected to be good at! If I don’t meditate for an hour every day, does that mean I’m a terrible person? That I’m not enlightened enough? Does my Instagram feed need more yoga poses and less dog noses? But petting cute dogs makes me feel good, and I’ve never been the flexible type! I feel so overwhelmed by all this advice. External voices are so loud that I can’t hear my own. This month I promise to set aside time to think about what I truly value. The holidays are wonderful, but they also brought a lot more stuff into my life. I am ready to concentrate on how I feel inside, instead of accumulating more things to decorate my outside. I am looking forward to clarity. This year will pose many challenges, but I’m going to learn a lot. First things first. I will focus on how I treat myself, instead of what I decide to treat myself to.
(July 23-August 22)
I’ve always felt in touch with my body, but lately it feels like a stranger. My brain is doing all the heavy lifting, and it’s starting to take its toll. My mind can’t stop racing. I’m constantly restless, and I can’t concentrate for more than a minute at a time. I’ve tried using technology to solve these problems: now I can count my steps, and track my heart rate, but I’m still overwhelmed. What should I do with all these stats? And how come this new sleep app isn’t helping me sleep better? I feel so worn out and disconnected. It’s like my body is trying to talk to me, but I can’t hear it over all this noise. Maybe I need a break. This month I’m going to take a breather from the mayhem. All this monitoring is putting me at a remove. I can’t completely disconnect, but maybe I can shut things off for an hour or two. I’ll go for a walk and leave my phone at home. I’ll turn off my laptop and read a magazine. Whatever I do, I’m going to do it slowly and with purpose.
(August 23-September 22)
Maybe I’m being myopic, but last year didn’t seem so bad! Everyone else was struggling to stay afloat, but not me. I guess I’m just lucky? I mean sure, I had some setbacks, but it’s nothing I couldn’t handle. I’m the most competent person I know! People depend on me. If I couldn’t hack it, we’d all be in some serious hot water. I can’t let my weakness show, I don’t want to alarm people. If I let myself dwell on things (just a few things, really!) I might be able to pick out a few personal problems. Let’s see...well, my work felt scattered. I was pulled in every direction but forward. And my love life surprised me more than once, and not always in the good way. And my health has been better. But overall I handled everything! There’s a few holes in my boat—but so what? It’s not like I’m sinking. Hahaha…okay yes, I’m laughing nervously. Maybe I have been slightly in denial. Alright, alright, I suppose it’s time to bail out some of this water this month, before I spend another year in over my head.
(September 23-October 22)
I have been laying low for awhile, but I don't feel shameful about it. I needed to heal. I dealt with some heavy things last year. My desire to hide away was only natural. To recharge I had to escape and get away from it all. But I’m finally starting to feel stronger. My wounds have hardened into tough scars. I know it’s time to venture out into the world again. I’m ready to face the familiar sights and sounds that once overwhelmed me. I have developed new ways of being that will help me thrive. But I am going to be rusty, there’s no doubt about that. I will falter more than once. I will struggle. My new ways may startle old friends, but I will be patient. If they’re meant to remain in my life, they’ll come around. Most of all I will be patient with myself. I will remember how far I’ve come. And for the first time in a long while, I will let myself hope.
(October 23-November 21)
Strangers usually raise my suspicion. When I turn a cold shoulder to newcomers, others look down on me. They assume I’m close-minded, but they don’t know the trouble strangers can bring with them. I do. I’ve created a beautiful ecosystem of people and places that are dear to me. My life is a delicate balance. But it took me a long time to put it in order—and the last thing I need is someone new barging in and disrupting things! So why do I have a feeling that’s exactly what’s in store for me this month? I’ve been raising my fences higher, but maybe I’ve been going about it all wrong. I know, I know—now and then I should open the gate. But it’s hard for me! What if all the good things I hold dear fly out the door and away from me? What if the newcomers bring unfamiliar traditions that challenge my own? Strangers often signal change. I need to prepare. Whether I’m ready or not, change is coming.
(November 22-December 21)
I love my home, but I get restless facing the same walls each day. To stir things up, I often venture out to seek new experiences. My travels have introduced me to interesting people from all walks of life, and I like to file away each new personality type I encounter. This knowledge has instilled me with confidence. I like to imagine I’m a good judge of character—I even think I’ve got a good grasp on why certain people do the things they do. That’s why last year, when someone close to me betrayed my trust, I was shocked to my very core. Their deception blinded me with so much pain and self-loathing that it was easy to miss the power I was unlocking inside. That pain awakened new abilities within me. As the first month of this new year begins, I am still mining my core for strength, but hindsight is finally offering me a window. I can begin to see my breakdown as a chance for true reformation. I'm ready to come back, stronger than ever.
(December 22- January 19)
I’m off to a wobbly start for 2017. I feel a little like Mariah Carey during her NYE performance: I’m ready to kill it, but nothing is lining up right. People aren’t doing their jobs, they’re not pulling their weight, and I’m left looking like the fool. But what are you supposed to do? Sometimes things are out of your hands. So far I’m just rolling with it. If last year taught me anything, it’s that laughter is my best survival tool. For these first couple weeks, things will feel completely out of control. I just might start laughing a little too hard. I’ll probably freak out the people around me, but that will just make me laugh even harder. What can I say? The madness helps keep me sane. As the month goes on, things will quiet down. I’ll grope for the control levers, and finally switch off some of this noise. Until then, I just gotta hold on.
(January 19-February 18)
When things go well for me, I get caught up in a wave of excitement. I can’t help it! Once I see the light of possibility on the horizon, I storm ahead into uncharted waters. My enthusiasm has led me to great things. But sometimes it’s led me to big complications—like it’s going to this month, when others begin to blindly follow my lead. I may try to convince them to stay back where it’s safe, but it’s too late. They’ve seen the opportunities my brashness can bring. If I truly want to avoid some serious complications, I’ll need to step into a teaching role. This won’t be easy. My natural charm gets me out of most jams, but I’ve never tried to pass my power of persuasion on to another. My charms usually only work for me! I suppose if I practice lending my power to others, instead of only using them for my own gains, it could feel natural after a while. Hey, I guess in the end it works out for me too: I feel at my best when I’m helping others.
When I look back at 2016, I see way more lows than highs. I don’t know if that’s my fault, but I’m praying that all these negative vibes are on the way out. I just can’t take it anymore—last year was full of too much heartache! One thing I will say, is that I’m proud that I was able to meet my troubles head on. When it comes down to it, I showed a lot of courage. And all those great people I attracted last year? They’re going to stick around and keep supporting me. When times are rough, I will move closer to what matters. For me, that’s the family I’ve created for myself. I will begin this new year by reaching out to those who helped me through my struggles. Maybe I can return the favour: maybe I can be the strong one for once.