Your horoscope for the week ahead: Opportunities arise out of the blue as Mercury Retrograde comes to an end

The New Moon in Sagittarius sweeps fresh energy into your world.

The New Moon in Sagittarius sweeps fresh energy into your world.

(Illustration by Warren Keefe)

All the planets have retrograde phases when they appear to move backwards against the starry background. It's an optical illusion. They don't really move backwards, yet retrograde cycles have a very strong astrological effect on our lives here in our sub-lunar existence. Mercury's retrograde cycle comes once-every-four-months and lasts about three weeks.

Although, this cycle brings with it a host of glitches in communications, travel, transportation, technology, it is a hugely positive time for fixing everything that's wrong. Opportunities come out of the blue during this cycle. This Thursday, Mercury's backward motion comes to a halt. This point is called a station direct. The Master of Strategy will pause and then slowly return to direct motion. It'll take about a week for him to get up to a decent speed. Just think of a train leaving a station. It takes a while for the engine to pick up speed pulling all that weight.

Every Mercury retrograde is different in character. This one started in fiery Sagittarius and backed up into watery Scorpio. It will return to Sagittarius again on December 13. This marks the end of that long cathartic soul-searching Scorpio period we've been living through for over a month.

Sagittarius energy is at work now. The sky is whisking us up to the heights of Mt. Olympus and the summits of Nepal and Tibet. We'll be close to Jupiter aka Zeus in the form of wide-winged birds like eagles. This is a spiritual time for many cultures around the world and for expressing our love and compassion for all those we love.

Friday brings a New Moon in Sagittarius. That will serve as the official celestial kick-off into the holiday season. So, get ready to pick up the surge of animated energy that will sweep into your world at the end of the week.

Here is your horoscope for the week of Monday, December 3, 2018.

Aries

It only normal to wonder if you are on the wrong track with a goal you have your sights on, especially as some people are questioning its viability. The last few weeks have encouraged you retool your strategy and come up with some new ideas. The pressure has helped you focus your attention and inspire your ability to think out of the box. As Mercury returns to direct motion this week, you'll realize that you are indeed on the right track. A clever stratagem that comes to your attention will be just the ticket you've been looking for.  

Taurus

The past few weeks have invigorated your desire for a powerful, all-consuming experience that will give your life greater passion and intensity. Tedious tasks and the dreary burden of daily responsibilities have drained your heart of the old sense of purpose you once felt. Be not troubled. This will not last. Mercury's return to direct motion this week will revitalize you and refresh your outlook. Something enormously satisfying is in the offing. You need to remember that you have great power.

Gemini

If you want to get your current fear under control, you need to stop thinking about your shortcomings and your potential for failure. Mulling over your worries will only make things worse. Silence is what you need. The quieter you become, the wiser you will be. Mercury's critical shift to forward motion this week will help you discover a way to shore up any weak spots in your self-confidence. With a clear mind and a feisty approach, you will clear a hurdle and steer a certain process toward success.

Cancer

Some problems are as hard to beat as a hard-boiled egg. Well, try poaching them instead. Mercury's return to direct motion will bring a new idea on how to deal with an emotional situation that has left you flummoxed and bewildered. A surge of proactive energy will boost to your confidence and lift you out of a depressing quandary. This is a pivotal moment that will launch you on a new adventure. Your talents will be recognized by people with influence and power. Now, at last, everything will start to move happily forward.

Leo

Oh, how we all love to complain about everything and anything. Homer, way back in the time of bards and before the age of literacy, advised us against the negative habit of complaining, for it only makes things worse. And here we are over 2,500 years later still trying to break the habit. Mercury's return to direct motion will charge up your batteries and put you in command and control of your life's mission. It will galvanize the untapped power within you. You have reached a point when you can pull off one miracle after another. You won't have time to complain.

Virgo

Dreams, desires and goals that mean the most rarely come easily. It's the struggle to achieve them that makes them so precious when they are ultimately realized. You've been wondering lately if you're barking up the wrong tree. The apparent delay is creating angst and draining your vitality. Well, the end is in sight as Mercury returns to direct motion this week. As you become aware of what is impeding progress, you will be free to fulfil a cherished ambition. And then, you will realize how your difficulties helped you get on the fast track to success.

Libra

One of the characteristics of Mercury retrograde periods is the obfuscation of truth. The intentions of one or two protagonists in a personal drama is far from clear. Somebody must be lying, but who? The emotional power of this situation makes it all the more difficult to see what is really happening. With Mercury returning to direct motion this week a penny will drop. New information and insights will emerge out of the mythical fountain of wisdom. Troubles that once seemed like they would never leave will rapidly begin to diminish.

Scorpio

Problems come for a good reason. Yes, they are a nuisance for all the frustration and vexation they cause. Do remind yourself, however that they are worth all the exasperation they create. A big lesson is being absorbed. Time is precious and time is short. You're moving at a high speed.  It's a good thing you're a faster learner. Everything will start falling into place this week as Mercury returns to direct motion. This week brings an unexpected chance to quickly move your plans a lot further that you thought possible. Just keep up your courage. That's the secret to success.

Sagittarius

You are on the right path despite the confusion surrounding an emotional drama. Don't let your resolve falter. Above all do not lose your trust in the inner benevolent source that is guiding you. As Mercury pauses and returns to direct motion this week, you will realize that you are never alone. You are activating an affirmative source of strength within yourself. It will soon be clear that you are entering an exciting new chapter in your life. New signs of hope and support are waiting to greet you.

Capricorn

Mercury's return to direct motion this week will begin to ease the pressure that has been weighing heavily on your spirits. Ah, you've been trying to get your mind off such frivolities as love, but it hasn't proved easy. A pleasant shift in your romantic forecast is in store. You are about to pass through a significant point in your understanding of a relationship. False assumptions will be replaced with a realistic appraisal of what is possible. This will have a magical effect on your charisma, charm and likeability factor.

Aquarius

Mind you don't misread your tea leaves with Mercury's change of direction this week. You might be inclined to take a dour view of your prospects when in fact you are very fortunate. The sky is on your side. You will discover ways to broaden your horizons. Success is never guaranteed, but your passion is on track to be rewarded. In your search for truth, it may be necessary to ask awkward questions. That is not something you like to do, but you'll find it easy. Feel free to raise your expectations.

Pisces

You're a good friend to have. There are not many people that can empathize and be as attentive to the needs of other as you can. That puts you in high demand for obvious reasons. But when you need to share your worries and receive emotional succour from a wise and sympathetic listener, no one can be found. The act of discussing your worries helps put it all in perspective. A confident well-balanced frame of mind attracts solutions and ultimately happiness. Mercury's return to direct motion this week will bring a few agreeable surprises that will make you aware of what a treasure you are.

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