Astrology GIFs for the Week of April 25, 2016

Photo-Illustration: Getty Images, BFA, Hubble Telescope

Another retrograde headlines the week: On Wednesday, talkative Mercury joins his planetary counterparts militant Mars and powerful Pluto in moving backwards in the sky. Unfortunately, it’s Mercury’s retrograde that makes people quake, and it’s mostly unwarranted as long as we keep ourselves aware of what’s going on around us.

Mercury is the planet that signifies how anything in our lives gets from one point to another, whether that’s through communication, commerce, or commuting. When he retrogrades, Mercury is undergoing a process of renewal that freshens our thinking about how we navigate through life. If you expect everything to flow as it always has, then you’re possibly in for a rude awakening during a retrograde. If you rely on calling someone up with a problem, then it might be frustrating to think about another way to reach him or her now. But that’s what you probably have to do.

This is the second retrograde with Mercury in an Earth sign. Earth signs — Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn — are all about what’s sensual, factual, practical, and stable. With Mercury in Taurus, we’re more pressed to think about how things work, in detail, rather than in theory or based on what sounds cool. Likewise, we’re called to think more about our sensuality and how we enjoy (or not) what or who we have in our lives. This marks a great time for wine tastings or sex workshops. Stay in an exploratory mindset because a retrograde Mercury in Taurus can inspire us to be too quick about making our minds up, whether we’re informed by facts or not.

The planetary weather report: Use these guidelines to unlock the stars, not to be locked down by them.

Voluptuous Venus moves back into Taurus, one of her home signs, on Friday. This will help us keep grounded in the sensual and earthy, boding well for good food and times this weekend.

Read on for your sign’s Sky Code.

Taurus (April 20 to May 21)

It might take you a few days to feel like you can get in the same rhythm as people around you. Your mind might be drifting off with thoughts of more remote places or ideas. Spare yourself some frustration by not spending too much time attempting to explain yourself or what you’re thinking to those with whom you’re not close. They’re likely to beam courteous smiles of complete incomprehension. However, writing or talking things out with someone who knows you well might provide clues on how to get more in tune.

Gemini (May 21 to June 20)

This week, it might be better not to say much to anyone — especially when you have nothing to say — whether your peeps are used to you gabbing a mile a minute or not. Your mind likely craves new thoughts and subjects to ponder and you’re tired of sounding like you have more complaints than comforts. Perhaps time alone with your ideas and unplugged from your usual day-to-day will be just what you need to jump start some fresh intentions.

Cancer (June 21 to July 21)

One bit of conventional marketing wisdom is that you’re more likely influenced by the five people you talk to most frequently. It’s not a stretch to see that if you’re constantly wrestling with your job, for example, that your top five might be experiencing the same thing. You might face a shake-up among your inner circle or you need to do the shaking. You don’t need enablers for self-sabotaging efforts. Share your career and self-improvement goals with your crew, and be ready to let loose those who aren’t willing to move forward with you.

Leo (July 22 to August 21)

Perhaps you feel the wear and tear of having half the planets retrograde the most, dear Leo. This Mercury retrograde will be better for reviewing and revising work initiatives than having real momentum. One way to score a small victory, however, is to look like a success even if you don’t fully feel it. You don’t have to add a lot of sass or cash into the mix to make this work. Lavish Venus beaming in your career sector helps a little flourish go a long way. So, work it!

Virgo (August 22 to September 21)

Mercury’s retrograde in grounding Taurus pulls you to revisit your basic assumptions of how something important in your life works. You might have to be more philosophical than practical with this, but the payoff will be real growth and insight. You might also realize your priorities haven’t been aligned with your intentions or what others really need or want. For instance, think about the fundamental elements of a great quarterly report rather than fuss over the details of writing or presenting it first. What’s tried might not be automatically true.

Libra (September 22 to October 21)

If you find yourself complaining, “That’s how it always works,” then you need to apply some willpower to change that situation or your thinking. You’re buying into a no-win game. Or like an Aries might put it to ya, “You’re acting like a loser.”  Don’t worry about keeping the scales tipped in your favor, even if you don’t know how you’re going to balance everything out. You have to believe first that you can.

Scorpio (October 22 to November 21)

You’re more likely to get into conflicts and silly power plays if you allow your passions and expectations to get the best of you with significant others. In case it’s not clear, no one can read your mind, no matter how many hints you feel you’re dropping about a particular issue. You’d do better to spell out what’s on your mind and risk being overconscientious than running around with your feelings on your sleeves and your mouth shut.

Sagittarius (November 22 to December 21)

To lift out of a rut, you may need to give some of your routines and tasks a makeover. Although it might seem too small to unleash your creativity on your desk or your gym-wear rather than tackling something bigger, you’ll start a trickle of inspiration and energy that could turn into a downpour. Avoid getting testy when things don’t seem to change fast enough, however. Like a watched pot never boils, you won’t get anywhere if you’re always asking when you’ll arrive at your next Shangri-La.

Capricorn (December 22 to January 20)

Your pursuits and pleasures draw you into your own world and out of lockstep with others who aren’t willing to fall into your orbit. Your open-minded buds will be able to swing with your capricious curiosities. However, this could pose a problem if your work requires you to listen to other people or be flexible yourself. You may not be able to get into someone else’s groove, but you can slow down and listen more carefully than usual. You’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary confusion and conflict.

Aquarius (January 21 to February 18)

If you retreated into your own thoughts during the last few weeks, then your foray back into the humdrum of work and career concerns might be disorienting. You’re more likely to notice practices and interactions that strike you as off-key. Resist the impulse to throw on a cape and play Wonder Worker. First, you’re more likely to piss people off than please them. Next, there’s even more to see in the week ahead and you’ll probably discover a better way to address an annoying issue. Keep your eyes open and do your best to stay mum.

Pisces (February 19 to March 20) 

If you evaluate your thoughts, writings, or commitments from the last few months, you’re likely to find some loose ends that need tying up. To finish these projects or pursuits, you’ll have to map out realistic steps for making them happen. Think in chunks, rather than sweeping gestures: Complete a scene for your screenplay by May 15 rather than an entire first draft. Other activities you might discover sound nice, but aren’t worth the effort. Communicate clearly that you’re deep-sixing them, even if only to yourself.

Aries (March 21 to April 19)

Count your blessings, literally. Of course, it’s generally good to express gratitude for the good things in your life. However, there’s a practical angle, too:  It’s important to take stock of what you have to make sure you’re working as efficiently as you can. It’s a shame to demand more than you need from the world in order to get where destiny calls you. The shortest distance between two points is still a straight line, and your blessings light the way.

Samuel F. Reynolds is a professional astrologer in New York City and the founder of the Zodiac Lounge.

GIF reporting by Leah Rodriguez.

Astrology GIFs for the Week of April 25, 2016