If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: What are we celebrating? Sweetest Day or the Orionid meteor showers? A warm-hearted, playful Leo moon Friday and Saturday sets the mood for a party. In this frame of mind, you can find beauty and beatitude during Sunday's exquisite Venus-Neptune matchup. Sexy secrets are revealed later that night when the sun enters Scorpio -- you're ready or not, the season of the witch, ghouls and goblins is here. Because everything becomes more intense during Scorpio, the smallest event feels like it's a matter of life or death. Dramatic, you bet, but not necessarily the be-all, the end-all or even the truth. Fantasy and faith, or the lack thereof, dominate when the sun squares delusional Neptune on the 26th while, at the same time, weird Uranus does a forward flip. Hold tight to something, someone you can count on.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

It may be more difficult to see things clearly once the sun enters Scorpio Sunday night, so address matters of the heart well before a seasonal concern with conspiracy theories and the Dark Side sets in. No matter what costume you're wearing, Rams tend to play the Hero at Halloween. Keep reminding yourself that while your Mars ruler is still in Virgo, you can do detailed work exceptionally well. Also allow your critical eye free rein because no one will take offense while you are in this dedicated craftsman mindset. After the election, it's a different story.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Every now and then the Bull leaves practical matters behind and ventures into the mystic. This weekend when you're feeling fey and looking fabulous can be one of those magical times. Aesthetics and artistry have greater meaning in your life, and even a cynical partner is happy to go along for the ride. How long does this trip last? Another week or until the changes set into motion at the Scorpio new moon next Friday shows that you've gone way over the top for that partner's comfort. Confine your intensity to the bedroom, please.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Knowing that your Mercury ruler in retrograde, going over territory you've recently passed through, the experienced Twin is reluctant to push forward, especially on matters dealing with recreation, risk or the kids. Let the dust settle before you make a move or try to reach an informed decision because, once Mercury goes direct on Election Day, you'll probably revise your conclusions. Instead, focus on the pleasures of having loving Venus in your marriage house for the next four weeks. Attractive, talented people; successful social situations.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Mercury retrograde shouldn't mess you up too much. The planet of communications retreating into Scorpio makes the next three weeks a good time to reconnect to the family, to reach out to relatives who have avoided your scene and vice-versa. The reunion could be a little bumpy, but the slow, steady Scorpionic death-rebirth vibe promises there'll be a healthy resurgence of powerful emotions. You can also look forward to a hot, steamy scene as affectionate Venus and passionate Pluto come together in your house of pleasures and playmates.

LEO (July 23-August 22)

Having such a vivid imagination shouldn't go to waste; if nothing else, start dressing for Halloween immediately. Artists, musicians and poets are being challenged to achieve a higher level of accomplishment by a tense square between idealistic Neptune and your sun ruler. You could retreat into a world of fantasies, go on a movie marathon or seek spiritual solace from the usual sources, but, why blow a choice opportunity to express your vision to co-workers and clients? Coming soon; high drama at home, a family affair.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

The current crusade you're on is scheduled to end just before the election which is when Mars leaves your sign and enters concilatory Libra. That doesn't leave much time to achieve perfection, let alone significant reform. Better pick the most essential facet of the problem as you see it and vigorously promote that. Meanwhile, since your Mercury ruler is retrograde in your money house, let a worrisome financial matter proceed at its own pace. You'll see the situation in a new light after the Scorpio new moon on the 27th.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

Fire needs air to burn bright and Librans provide both right now. There'll be divine moments while your Venus ruler in Sag is supported by inspirational Neptune this weekend. Surround yourself with artwork, rise above pedestrian concerns. Heartfelt generosity, an appreciation of the finer things and the smarts to know how to get them when Venus aligns with lucky Jupiter at the new moon. Trust in your good fortune, but don't come on too strong while Venus joins passionate Pluto next weekend. Such a display of power is liable to overwhelm the rest of us.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Nobody has it in for you personally. It's simply Mercury retrograde in your sign that is making you the focal point of our frustration. Chances are you're the sign we can't get through to, the one who is losing packages and misplacing the paperwork. Because it's been years since Mercury examined your past with such diligence, feelings of paranoia are probably justified. Let's hope you're not running for office because a juicy sex scandal can break when Venus wraps her legs around your Pluto co-ruler next weekend. But if you're not...

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

You might not notice that Mercury is retracing it's path through your Scorpionic unconscious unless you are undergoing hypnosis or spending a lot of time in the confessional. But if you have no incriminating secrets to reveal (Archers usually blurt out what they have been told the first moment they can), feel free to be your careless, swaggering self. You have permission from the cosmos to indulge like there's no tomorrow while pleasure-loving Venus is opposing your grand-scale Jupiter ruler. Next weekend, the urge to purge.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

You'll be practically bullet-proof during this Mercury retrograde period. Unless you have a lot riding on a young person's success, you can get away with all kinds of questionable behavior. Miscommunication may become annoying, but since the Goat is no longer a kid, you know how to handle the inevitable Mercury retrograde delays, errors, even rumors about the family. However, hot times with friends, no matter how expensive and outrageous, will not reflect badly on your good name. If you happen to be a high-profile athlete, you should know these things.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

One fabulous fantasy after another and excellent reasons to act them out. Be sure to dress up for whatever the occasion demands when beauteous Venus connects with imaginative Neptune in Aquarius this weekend. That is about as alluring and artistic a vibe as you can project and still walk the street. Thursday, however, might be strange because your Uranus ruler turns direct after hiding your innate outrageousness under a bushel basket for the past five months. An improbable situation, and poof, you could go up in a cloud of smoke.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

Even though diplomatic Libra is fast coming to an end, the object right now is to strengthen the alliance between Aquarius and Pisces. Use romance, glamor and excellent artistic efforts to close the deal. Once watery Scorpio begins Sunday night, you'll feel more comfortable in your own skin and you might even welcome being challenged when the sun squares your idealistic Neptune ruler on the 26th. Flip-flopping friends can spook you, but only because you're so sensitive to, and turned by, the nuances of sexual power plays. Will you, won't you?


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