Astrology GIFs for the Week of April 11, 2016

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Photo: Hubble Telescope, Getty Images

Although vigorous Mars doesn’t appear to move backward (or retrograde) until Sunday, we will likely feel a slow-down and mellowing shift during the week. As Mars is one of the key symbols of masculinity, whether it manifests in women or men, there’s a chance for more thoughtful expressions of power and strength. Perhaps we’ll hear more stories of nobility in sportsmanship or greater civility among our presidential candidates.

However, the riskier possibility with Mars retrograding is that some might rebel with bluster and aggression, because Mars doesn’t appreciate feeling contained or curtailed. Mars only likes “no” if he’s saying it. It’s the kind of bold defiance that has more balls than brains, like you taking a dare to jump off the roof of your house thinking you won’t break your legs — or worse.

Mars retrogrades can also signal periods of depression. When we can’t express the lively energy associated with Mars, it craters into a sinkhole of miserableness. Try to counter it by placing more energy in the body through active engagement or release, even if only to shout.  You might also reflect on when you decided NOT to do something recently to get a clue about the source of this pent-up energy.

In general, thoughtful action is the optimal strategy for riding out Mars retrograde. Like any planet moving retrograde, it’s an important time for renewal and clearing what blocks us. Since Mars is low on impulse control, it makes sense to think about how you refresh your personal drive. You don’t have to tie up your passion or ride it into the ground. You can gallop until you claim the victory you desire.

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

Blunting the shock of Mars’s retrograde will be the easy flowing trine between sassy Mercury to merciful Jupiter and passionate Pluto during the week. This will help us keep some decorum as we figure out positive ways to express Mars’s inward turn.

Read on for your sign’s Sky Code.

Aries (March 21 to April 19)

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Some of your ideas about life are too grandiose and your immediate plans need tweaking. It’s not that you’re entirely wrong, but you might need to consider more actual experience or real data instead of theory. The best way to manage this, however, isn’t to overthink every little thing. Use your penchant for boldness to explore, whether that’s by laying the groundwork for a new venture or finding a meet-up group for a burning passion of yours.

Taurus (April 20 to May 21)

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Welp, Taurus, you know what they say: Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. You’re often stubborn and refuse to cover new ground if you feel you can stay where you are. Right now, that might appear to be the case. However, appearances, ultimately, can be deceiving. You either can keep wishing for everything to turn out along the same order or recognize the signs are pointing elsewhere and move on. If you chose to hold on, then be ready for the fight that comes with it.

Gemini  (May 21 to June 20)

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Just when you thought you had extinguished the flickers of old romantic flames or other fires threatening to rage through your life, you’re likely see one or both reemerge. Don’t be silly and think that you can fight fire with fire. You’d do better to counter with honest emotion. This will likely be uncomfortable for you, because you won’t like putting your feelings on the front line. However, your emotions know where the fight really is. Then let your head show you the best way to douse any troubling blazes.

Cancer (June 21 to July 21)

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Slowing your career roll proves a godsend for those who want more time with you, but you might feel a little cagey in closed quarters. You have to strike a delicate balance between keeping professional opportunities that you’ve spent time cultivating and the melodramatic feeling that you’re falling behind because you’ve turned off your phone, at someone’s behest, to enjoy a quiet evening at home. Figure out which tasks can be delayed to allow for necessary downtime and trust yourself to know when those breaks risk destroying your momentum rather than fueling it.

Leo (July 22 to August 21)

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I recently saw a pic that says, “Always wear your invisible crown.” Don’t waste time waiting for others to anoint you or feel like someone else is trying to take a crown you’ve earned. Nobody can snatch the swag that can’t be seen, only felt. Your regal tendencies, like your ability to keep cool under pressure and your larger-than-life sense of style, should be visible to everyone. So resist the temptation to think small rather than think slower and more precisely.

Virgo (August 22 to September 21)

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No one ever shows the blown-out tires and litter that sideline the road to perfecting anything. If you don’t mess up while pursuing improvement, you’re not taking enough risks. So lose that fear of wrecking things, whether it’s the sneakers used to train for a marathon; the flour to make one batch of so-so bread; or all the frogs you kiss (or don’t) to find your prince or princess. Keep your eye on going the distance, not on the pitfalls along the way.

Libra (September 22 to October 21)

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If your word is your bond, then some of the most important oaths to evaluate are the ones you’ve made to yourself. For instance, how are your New Year’s resolutions holding up? After you’ve revisited those, don’t just recommit to promises you made months ago. Evaluate how you went off track in the first place. Excuses are lame, so you could choose to beat yourself up about having them. But they also relay vital intel, if we’re listening. Maybe you didn’t hit the gym immediately after work, as you resolved, because the idea was impractical from the get-go.

Scorpio (October 22 to November 21)

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If you notice some weirdness with your money, like odd fees, repeat transactions, stock portfolio instability, income setbacks, don’t panic. It’s a cosmic message signaling change and natural happenstance for antsy Mars moving retrograde in your finance sector. Perhaps during the year, you’ve gotten in the habit of implementing some short-term workarounds rather than figuring out long-term solutions for your financial concerns. Now is the time to gain a sense of vision for how your money can, will, and should work better for you.

Sagittarius (November 22 to December 21)

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Right now, you’re likely to get bogged down in useless convos about logistics rather than trusting that some concerns can be addressed as you move forward. T. Harv Eker, a financial guru, makes a habit of saying, “Ready, Fire, Aim.” On some level, you probably have lived a good portion of your life that way. That’s why it’s so silly to see you hemmed up about details and fretting about what shape things will take if you do this versus that. You’ve done more reflection and planning recently than usual, so trust your intuition is spot-on to help you.

Capricorn (December 22 to January 20)

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You’re better able to get back into life’s grind this week. However, you’ll find that you’re most productive and energized either when you’re working alone or with people who know you well enough not to interfere too much. You’re just not into wearing too many hats right now. If you have to do a lot of hand-shaking and gabbing, especially with strangers, then you might imagine your bed is calling your name. Nonetheless, if you can’t score more time alone, mind your best manners and push through.

Aquarius (January 21 to February 18)

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Connecting with friends who get you is the ace thing to do, though you might feel you should be doing something else. Your impulse to save the world is noble, but you also have to preserve your own sanity and health with self-care. You might not be wholly ready to accept that, and that’s fine. However, quality time with folks who don’t require you to think and talk a lot is a good place to start.

Pisces (February 19 to March 20) 

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Variety is certainly the spice of life, but it’s also sometimes a pain in the ass. Although you’re probably used to sudden changes and reversals, you might need a moment to slow down and catch your breath with all the instability looming on the horizon. But if you look at that flux too long, you can become paralyzed by it. Concentrate more on constants you can create within. For example, you can temper the news that you have to move with a growing faith that you’ll land on your feet comfortably.

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

GIF reporting by Leah Rodriguez.