Rockie Horoscope 39

If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: Which phenomena will affect you most? Mercury going retrograde from June 23 until July 17, or the three eclipses -- two solar, one lunar -- scheduled for July? That's the summer in a nutshell. Pencil in the GOP and Democrat conventions just to check out the Vice-Presidential candidates, make a note not to fly on August 29 during the Virgo new moon and an accident-prone Mars-Uranus opposition, and secure your financial fort before Labor Day when Jupiter opposes plutocratic Pluto. Bam, before the Olympics are over, the autumn season will have begun. Consider yourself free to veg for the rest of the summer, sipping liquid refreshment and watching the tomatoes grow. However, for the immediate future, say this weekend, you might want to know how Mercury's flip can impact on your daily routine.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

Mercury retrograde in your Cancerian home base leaves a lot of mail in your box, plus a family situation that has to be addressed during the next three weeks. No matter how great the temptation, don't even think about moving while Mercury is retrograde; it'll never work out. Instead, check into a hotel if the house is under siege. Cooking skills and culinary lore become a bigger deal than they were, but most important of all is your desire for more beauty and romance, a result of Venus' marriage to your Mars ruler yesterday. Make it last.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Reality check. Expansive Jupiter and sagacious Saturn are still conjunct in your sign, so choices can be somewhat wild, but still wise. Growth within limits is the idea, not unlike a well-pruned tree -- too many branches, not enough fruit. Meanwhile sexy Mars and your Venus ruler are also conjunct, probably in your house of assets and acquisitions. Buying lingerie? Securing the love nest? Since Mercury turns retrograde in your house of commuting and communication, don't get crazed if engines and electronics conk out. It's to be expected.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Of course Mercury's flip from direct to retrograde is going to affect you and Virgo more than the rest of the signs, but you've weathered your ruling planet's erratic motion before and you'll do it again. A piece of advice from a Gemini astrologer: Since nothing will materialize except another piece of pie-in-the-sky that'll come to naught, why not visit old friends? Even if you're on the road and dealing with the hassles of traveling, the time will be well-spent. Also double check all money matters, e.g., gifts from the folks, restaurant receipts, bank balances.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Mercury turning retrograde in your sign will no doubt slow you down, but how fast does a Crab move in the heat of the summer anyway? And where are you headed? Into the pool, up a lazy river? Those of you celebrating birthdays this week might not even manage to get out of bed; as long as magnetic Venus and horny Mars are entwined in the Crab's claws, why leave the house? Less sexually-involved crustaceans shouldn't forget that good friends are still being good to them, mainly by presenting opportunities that can pay off big-time in the long-run.

LEO (July 23-August 22)

You might not even notice this Mercury retrograde period since it takes place in your house of seclusion and self-undoing. What are you going to do? Misplace the paperwork that might sabotage your best-laid plans? What you should do is pay attention to dreams and whatever insights into your early childhood that come up, the secret stuff that has remained submerged in your unconscious for ages, perhaps impressions from a past life experience. Or you could bypass Mercury's mental shenanigans entirely and spend the time making friends and influencing people.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

All the earth signs -- you, Capricorn and Taurus -- are still under the protection of the rare Jupiter-Saturn conjunction that was exact almost a month ago. Because the big planets move relatively slowly, their effects take a while to happen, but when they do, they make a lasting impression. Although your Mercury ruler is changing direction and perhaps throwing you off-stride, the disruptions don't have to be major, you don't have to overreact. Even when friends reneg or act flakier than usual.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

Far-away places with strange-sounding food and fascinating histories might fill your thoughts this week. While Mars and your Venus ruler are still fairly friendly, you could become enamored of a foreign country you don't know beans about or be attracted to a family tree you'd like to explore. Meanwhile, Mercury turns retrograde in your house of career success for the next three weeks, so don't expect any progress, maybe more annoyances, on that front. Sounds like it's time for Priceline.com and a junket to Java.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Other people are still being more than mere significant factors in your life, so be nice. Before you know it (June 30) Jupiter, the planet of plenty, will move out of your Taurus partnership sign and it won't be back for another 12 years. Get the picture? You also have the wonderful conjunction of affectionate Venus and your Mars co-ruler in your house of joint financial matters, not to mention sex and psychology, for a few more days, so feel free to elaborate on that picture, too, to make it all that it could be. Unless you're going abroad, Mercury retrograde won't mean much.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

As June winds down, you may not feel that you're making sufficient progress. Blame Mercury turning retrograde in nurturing Cancer for your lack of interest in anything not connected to food and family. You can still do good work if you have to, but you'll do it a lot better once your Jupiter ruler enters Gemini, an airy sign filled with ideas, next Friday. You'll also have more fun doing it with the Twins. Then there's a new moon on July 1 that'll inaugurate new activities and a fresh state of mind.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

The summer slump could be blamed on Mercury turning retrograde in your Cancer complement, but if you're as busy as the bees and beavers, be grateful. Nothing bums a Capricorn out faster than having nothing you find meaningful to do. One of the advantages of Mercury's flip is the chance that it'll bring a sweet young thing into your life, someone to love and learn from as well. Then there's the person at work, the gym or health food store who's emitting friendlier than usual vibes. A sixth house summer romance?

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Mercury's retrograde flip could ruin your work schedule; if you're under the gun anyway, be sure to take the meds necessary to keep you calm and undepressed. Health and diet matters will matter more during the next three weeks, so pay attention to what your body is telling you. Love and lust join forces for a few more days, say through the weekend, as Mars and Venus hang together in your house of romance and risky behavior. This would also be a swell time to go whole hog and host a luau for the gang.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly, but you don't have to leave the house if you're having as good a time as it looks like from where I sit. With loving Venus and desire-driven Mars close together in your home base, why search for anything beyond the front door except a fabulous meal of crustaceans? Mercury turning retrograde in the sign of the Crab could delay progress concerning entertainment, creative enterprises and sports stuff. It could also affect the kids' comings and goings, but unless you write comedy or recipe books, it's no biggie.

Read my daily forecast online at www.laweekly.com

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