If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: I recently discovered that spring is the season of comedy, autumn of tragedy. That may be the case when Campaign 2000 heats up, but this week, we should get pure Libran affability and a judicious exchange of fact and fable. The autumnal equinox arrives Friday at 10:28 a.m.PDT, so be sure to get your egg out of the refrigerator and back to room temperature before you try to stand it on end. On Saturday the Libra sun rewards sense and sensible behavior when it trines stable, staid Saturn. An active imagination and tendency to worship false gods reaches is supported Tuesday when the sun trines impressionable Neptune. Venus adds to the glamor and hype (Where is the awards show when you need another one?) on Wednesday just as the Libra new moon kicks in (12:53 p.m.). Libra is about relationships, be they romantic or platonic, legal or illicit. Because Venus on Sunday and Mercury next Thursday shift into Scorpio, most dealings -- buying and selling, writing and reading -- will have a subtle sexual implication. Tragic?

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

The autumnal equinox on Friday marks the beginning of your intense involvement with the "other," whoever, wherever and whatever is not yet part of your universe. For the next six months, until Aries begins, you'll be taking a trip outside of your self, your environs and your field of expertise. Since your Mars ruler is in Virgo until the weekend of the election, you probably be much more discriminating than you have been. So if you feel compelled to acquire something of value, be it practical (Saturn) or artistic (Neptune), first do the research, know what you're getting into.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Things, specifically career concerns and an undefined relationship, heat up as soon as your Venus ruler slips into secretive Scorpio on Sunday. You may have to sneak around midweek when duplicitous -- or is that merely delusional? -- Neptune puts you in a compromising position, but you can wriggle out of it if you don't lay your excuse on too thick. Right now, because it's hard to tell the difference between fact and fable, play it safe, like a Scorpio would, until you've dug deep enough to reach the heart of the matter in question.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Twins born in May can combine the best of two worlds, the ephemeral and the practical, this week. What you want to hold on to and what you need to let go of may be handled through almost no effort of your own. And while advising all Geminis to chat someone up is unnecessary, the more you air your concerns, the sooner they will be resolved. Harmony and balance, Libran virtues, prevail, at least until your Mercury ruler enters suspicious Scorpio on the 28th. Then there's a reason to become more cautious and close-mouthed.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Solstices and equinoxes strike chords in the Crab that can resonate throughout each season. The beginning of autumn brings you "home" in more ways than one; it is when family, culture, roots, history, children, romance -- the classic Cancerian concerns -- dominate your solar chart. Since a new cycle begins with the Libra new moon on the 27th, the moon child should use the lunar energy to introduce Libran justice, harmony and tact to a situation that has become thorny or, worse, tacky.

LEO (July 23-August 22)

Libra and Leo go together like milk and cookies -- not a steady diet, but a welcome treat. Therefore be sure to get the most from the goodies that are placed before you while your sun ruler travels through affable, artistic Libra. First comes recognition for consistency and assuming a tedious responsibility (sun trines Saturn), then a chance to use your imagination in the company of empathetic folks (sun trines Neptune) like yourself, and, as the sun trines lucky Jupiter, a bonanza, a ball and blessings from above as October begins. Scorpio won't be nearly as much fun.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

The birthday parties may be over, but the urge to be with beautiful people turning you on to good-looking stuff lingers on. At least until your Mercury ruler enters Scorpio next Thursday; then you're free to withdraw from the social scene with a new crop of mysteries or fantasies about great wealth and sex to entertain you. Money is always key for you this time of year, so direct the Libra new moon energy to that subject; focus on what bucks can do for you, what you will do with them. Maybe, this time, making new moon magic will work wonders.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

The autumnal equinox, that magical moment when a fresh egg stands proud and tall, arrives Friday at 10:28 a.m. PDT, turning brunch that day into a very special occasion. Plan accordingly. Another time to celebrate the essence of Librahood is Wednesday at 12:53 p.m. just as the new moon kicks off a new cycle. That's also the day that your charming Venus ruler tests Neptune's willingness to believe. All sorts of miracles will be witnessed while folks are being fueled by so much faith. How you cash in on these factors is up to the (con) artist in you. Happy Birthday.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

An infusion of sex appeal and wit this week as Venus (on Sunday) and Mercury (next Thursday) transit Scorpio for a lot longer than one would expect. Because Mercury turns retrograde in mid-October, it'll be in your sign until December 3. Unfortunately magnetic Venus doesn't stay that long, but while you're able to attract an assortment of interesting people, you might as well explore your options, starting next Wednesday, when the aesthetes, and perhaps a raucous musician or two, show up.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

The ball is still in the other guy's, the partner's court, so don't make any fast moves until you plainly see what is coming at you. You can avoid making a false move on Wednesday, when so-called friends are full of it, by reminding yourself that your Jupiter ruler is turning retrograde on the 29th, and that your perspective is bound to change. Meanwhile, while things are light and lovely, thanks to all the airy Libra-Gemini-Aquarius energy, have fun, exchange ideas, play around and use your charm -- forget the knowledge -- to advance your career.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

Although equinox and solstice points put pressure on your psyche, Capricorns can still have a wonderful weekend thanks to the supporting trine the Libra sun makes to your Saturn ruler. If trivial pursuits are the only items on the menu, you'll find a way to forsake the "serious" stuff and come out to play with the lightweights. With so many planets in air signs (including reality-based Saturn), it'll be hard to stay grounded when dealing with any subject other than sex, security and that intriguing Scorpio.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Air signs like yours thrive during the Libra interlude, so make your intentions known while it's open sesame season, before you start meeting with Scorpionic resistance. The emphasis is on what you share with others, be it sex or a mutual fund. Family is very supportive right now, so if you want or need something, you only have to ask and they'll do their best to get it to you. There may be moments of outrage or disbelief, but only if you lose faith in your will power and your talent for ignoring the obvious.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

Every now and then Pisces and Aquarius have similar stories to tell and midweek is one of those times. It's a good thing, so don't get paranoid. Even if there isn't a lot of sincerity in the telling of the tale, there is enough artistic license to keep us enthralled. Hey, you could be making it up as you go, and who, except the Water-Bearer would know? Things change after Jupiter changes direction on the 29th, but you'll still feel fortunate to be an integral part of your "extended" family. Swimming in the school, not solo, for a change?


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