Snail’s Pace: Forecast for Jan. 16-22

This is the last week to push and prod for a while. Next week brings the end of the lovely stretch of progress we’ve been enjoying, thanks to every single planet being direct. So make hay while the sun’s shining!

Plan, work, apply and exert yourself and generally go for it. You may not break out or through (yet). You may not hit your big target or goals (yet). Progress, though, will be real and tangible…if slow.

The slowness is due to one of the three main astro-events of the week. Mars, the planet that rules our action, drive and energy, is reaching the degree where he will turn around and retrograde on the 23rd. This will have an effect on how we experience the pace of life.

That rarely feels quick when Mars is in any earth sign; stationing to go retrograde in one will make life feel as if it has gone into slo-mo — or, just as possibly, as if time is stretching. See if you don’t settle into a task, look up after what feels like an eon and see that the clock has hardly moved.

Go with it. The goal this week isn’t reaching any particular destination; it’s simply engaging in incremental action. Mars is stationing to go retrograde in the most careful, analytical, pain-staking, detail-oriented sign, Virgo. We can’t rush ahead. We can’t skip steps. We can’t broad brush or gloss over anything, or flip to the end of the book. (Sorry, all you fiery types and, yes, I share your pain.)

But we can take action, however small it might be. Push this week. Stretch. It’s okay if this week’s efforts are incomplete or imperfect. Attention to the task is more important than the outcome. We’ll have lots of time to go over everything with a fine-toothed comb. Mars will be retrograde for nearly three months, an unusually long time for the god of gung-ho. We will be rethinking and reworking and retooling and cleaning up and perfecting our lives on a near-microscopic level.

For now, get moving, on anything and everything that you would like to bring to fruition later this year. Do something even if it’s symbolic. You can flesh it out and polish it later. Just start.

As for the rest of the action in the sky: Another round of heart-healing and letting ourselves off the hook is on tap with Venus crossing Chiron. Forgiveness begins at home, you know, and the place to start is in the mirror. You could open to a more compassionate perspective on all manner of relationship history and issues, particularly that recurring one that leaves you feeling so alone and misunderstood.

And speaking of being misunderstood, the Sun shifts on Friday into the sign for which that’s so often the case, Aquarius. His entry into this idiosyncratic, progressive energy injects some objectivity and breathing room into the mundane, practical, make-it-happen emphasis in the sky. When he links to Aquarius’ ruler Uranus on Saturday, we’ve got the impetus (and invitation) to do things our way.

For another take on this week’s events, listen to my five-minute (ish) podcast.

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