I witnessed a Facebook discussion on predicting death in astrology. This is something that most astrologers (myself included) have been asked to predict once or twice. I always refuse: it's unethical, and (surprisingly) very difficult to pinpoint.
This got me thinking about dark matters (besides death) in astrology. Clients want to know what's possible, what's coming up, where this situation will go, etc. Sometimes I see brilliant things. Sometimes I see really ugly transits and progressions. It's my job to deliver the news in a balanced way, with appropriate coping techniques if the outlook is challenging.
I refuse to sugar coat. Maybe it's because I have prominent Saturn and Pluto in my natal chart, but I maintain that glossing over challenges can be just as damaging as delivering pronouncements about death. The dark stuff will hit you at some point, and you want to be prepared. At the same time, it's crucial to see that light at the end of the tunnel - the path forward, the eventual end to the grind. Because all influences, good and bad, will end.
Predictions are a touchy area amongst astrologers these days, especially since the election. I don't believe in absolute predictions, but I will say that future possibilities are not wide open. There are a range of upcoming possibilities, and your free will plays a huge part. But so does the flavour of the transit/progression. If you've got transiting Pluto bearing down on your Mars with a square, it's not going to be a mellow ride. You will be dealing with anger, power plays or hard physical changes. But how you react...the actions (Mars) you take...are within your control.