This week could bring solid progress on practical work as Mercury and the sun trine Saturn and Pluto in pragmatic earth signs. Ambitions of all kinds are furthered, which can be great for personal projects but problematic for international politics. This competent focus begins to disperse toward the end of the week as the sun and Mercury leave Taurus and enter versatile and verbose Gemini. So let’s make pragmatic progress now, and tell everyone about it later.

That work can help keep us level during some emotional roller coasters. We will tend to think deeply, if not quickly, which helps us do research for those final papers or finish a project or come to a new understanding of our situation. Our emotional hearts, however, could be distractingly volatile during the weekend as Venus conjuncts restless Uranus in Taurus under an intense full Scorpio moon. This could evoke lusty, flirtatious energy, but it could also bring up the specters of isolation, jealousy, and possessiveness. Obsessions are easily triggered; put the obsessive streak to good use and keep it out of trouble.

On Saturday, if emotions are off-kilter, it helps to stop what we’re doing, realize that we’re triggered, and honor the emotions without buying into the story that our obsessions want to tell. The mood shifts by evening as the moon enter Sagittarius; we might be able to laugh about something that drove us nuts hours before.

On Sunday and Monday, fresh optimism brings a desire to liberate ourselves from recent heaviness. Tuesday, the energy shifts and becomes more diffuse as Mercury and the sun enter Gemini.

Friday, May 17: Focus the obsessiveness on something positive. Our stubbornness and hunger are cranked up; primal emotions are strong. Spiritual practice or meditation works, as does pouring the heart into music or art.

Saturday, May 18: Weed the garden, weed the closet, but don’t weed beloveds under a full moon in Scorpio this afternoon. The mood becomes volatile quickly; invoke equanimity. Don’t toy with affections, but do let beloveds know that you love them. The mood lightens tonight as the moon enters freewheeling Sagittarius.

Sunday, May 19: Make this a healing day. Put careers aside — not much can be done about them at the moment — and rebuild resilience. Create lovely moments; explore just beyond the familiar, whether that’s by looking around the corner or exploring a fresh conception.

Monday, May 20: Once they’re fully awake, people are in a mood to say yes — if the pitch is brief and positive — as optimistic Sagittarius moon conjuncts expansive Jupiter. Look for opportunities to expand, contact faraway people, or learn something new to open the apertures of the mind and heart. Just don’t corner anyone; we’ll hate to feel restricted.

Tuesday, May 21: Think fast. The mood speeds up and gets nervy and scattered as the sun and Mercury enter Gemini — great for cross-pollination but not great for rigorous thinking. At midday, the moon enters competent Capricorn and helps direct this energy toward work.

Wednesday, May 22: Look for a shift and make it a good one as Mars sextiles Uranus. Use an ambient competence to stand back from situations and be ruthlessly honest with ourselves but compassionately honest with others. Watch for news about this year’s big ambitions as the Capricorn moon conjuncts Saturn and Pluto.

Thursday, May 23: Concentration wafts away as the moon enters theoretical Aquarius. If we can’t focus, we can network. International conversations can grab our attention. It’s important for us to know what’s going on.

To contact astrologer Heather Roan Robbins, go to roanrobbins.com.