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Weekly horoscope (Jan. 22-28)

Mercury is turns retrograde

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For All Signs: Mercury, ancient god of travel, communications and routine business, turns retrograde on Jan. 21 and continues in his retrograde trek across the sign of Aquarius through the end of February. Routine astrological advice suggests: 1) Delay the initiation of important new projects. 2) Use this time to research and investigate alternatives for action but make no final costly decisions on major plans. 3) Avoid writing or signing contracts. Often there are loopholes or missing parts which create difficulties later. 4) Avoid major purchases of transportation or communication equipment. The time is most favorably used to compare alternatives, research details, finish projects started long ago or look deeply into one's interior psyche (through hypnosis, prayer, meditation, psychotherapy). Whatever is lost or misplaced on a Mercury retrograde will resurface.

Aries: You need to extricate yourself from a difficult situation. Now is the time to disengage from promises or plans that likely will not be good for you in the future. Be especially cautious about proceeding with anything one might consider secretive or behind the scenes. This is not a time to move forward.

Taurus: You are under pressure from legal forces and also persons behind the scenes. You probably need to go back to the beginning of whatever has happened since January and start again to find errors that are causing you difficulties now. If you do so, this matter may be handled by next week.

Gemini: Your ruling planet is changing directions in the territory which deals with education, travel, the law, and philosophy. Therefore any of these activities are subject to shifts, changes, or sudden deceleration due to lack of decision. Maybe the right solution just is not available yet. Have a sense of humor. You know Mercury is retrograding.

Cancer: A changing social situation or a particular friend wanders across your radar this week. You are left with a lot to think about as a result. Your feathers may be ruffled a bit, but this is no major deal. Stay in communication with your partner. You may be struggling with the complexity of woman as lover versus woman as mother/caretaker now.

Leo: You are attending to responsibilities this week. It is a fairly serious time in which you feel somehow ethically or morally bound to follow through with commitments to the outside world. It is possible you are somehow teaching others what you have learned. Your partner(s) or close friends may be shifting directions, so it is important to do what you can do for yourself.

Virgo: Whatever your good health routines, you may feel the need to go back and start over. If you are searching for something, check your desk, files, and any place that you normally keep records. Clean out old paper accumulations and the stacks of stuff that you never seem to get finished. It will clear your mind and help you feel restored.

Libra: You may be caught between a rock and a hard place. Circumstances in the recent past have trapped you into a situation in which you must explain your actions. You have done nothing wrong, but others may claim you did. So tell your story without a defensive attitude.

Scorpio: If you haven't disengaged from a dark situation then now is the time to get free. You and Aries have a similar message, so check that sign for extra information. Your situation is related to a lover and/or a child. It is potentially dangerous. Go and do not look back.

Sagittarius: You are launching a new project in self-definition. Anything new can be intimidating, but remind yourself that you stand on the security of solid research. Look at the options and gather data now. Then present your case after Mercury goes direct.

Capricorn: A beautiful object may be calling your name at this time. Resist until you've had plenty of time to search the competition. Even if this is a part needed to repair property, keep looking around until you find a better price or an item more suited to your needs.

Aquarius: You have more than a little bit going on in your mind. The pressure may be heavy to make decisions now. You do not have to do that. Take your time and wait it out until you feel really clear. This might take six weeks.

Pisces: Congratulations! You have a break from new aspects. However, last week and the weeks before have put you through a ringer. You need some time to clean up the debris and bring this challenging time to a close. Take a breather if you can.

Are you interested in a personal horoscope? Vivian Carol may be reached at 704-366-3777 for private psychotherapy or astrology appointments. (There is a fee for services.) www.horoscopesbyvivian.com.

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