ROCKIE HOROSCOPE 56

If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: It's more than just another new moon, it's the one before the Big Election and it follows on the heels of disruptive Uranus' change of direction and Thursday's delusional sun-Neptune fixed square. What begins with the Scorpio new moon (exact Friday 00:58 a.m.) will be with us far longer than we anticipate. At 4 Scorpio, the lunation challenges Bush's ascendant-Mercury-Pluto conjunction in Leo and comes fairly close to Gore's 9 ascendant-Pluto merger. In more ways than you want to know, these guys are soooo alike. For an interesting take on their chances of winning, check out COAGULA publisher mat gleason's site: www1.800predict.com/cfmfiles/new/inthestars/askmat.cfm Meanwhile Venus opposes Jupiter -- If beauty is truth and truth beauty, what is the going rate of exchange? -- and conjuncts (Saturday at 8:31 a.m.) Pluto, Lord of the Underworld. How fatal is that fatal attraction? Is it true love, purely passion or a Halloween getup to die for. Answers on Sunday when the secretive Scorpio sun and Mercury retrograde meet. Then it's All Hallow's Eve, the end of the old year and, after exhausting revelry, the beginning of the new.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

Rams end the week in a much stronger position than they begin it. So if you're confused about a career matter or wondering what a partner is trying to finagle out of you or if some pertinent information is being withheld, just be patient. The answers to all of the above will be revealed soon enough. On the upside, more financial resources when your Mars ruler is favored by practical, paternal Saturn in your Taurus money house. Good, this way you can pay for the pleasures you indulge in when Venus and Pluto meet in your house of divine (sometimes deadly) sex.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

The new moon in your Scorpio marriage house emphasizes the importance of everyone who is not you. Narcissists could resent the attention that significant, even incidental, others will be demanding, but if you are a Bull in love -- your Venus ruler is currently under the spell of joyous Jupiter and passionate Pluto -- your affair is probably peaking. For the pleasures you are about to receive, you will do anything your partner asks. Plus, you could gladly give co-workers the crucial ingredient in your recipe for success.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Hanging with the beautiful and the powerful? Paying for the privilege? Magnanimous Jupiter in your sign pulls out your credit card to protect the clout you currently wield with these fabulous folks. Since this marvel of marvelous situations won't last forever, make the most of any opportunity to acquire art (at a not too hideously overinflated price) and the sexual secrets of the rich and famous. Then, as your Mercury ruler and the sun meet, you can tell the world what you want it to know, and what you don't.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

The Scorpio new moon reinforces your feelings about home, family and what can be salvaged from a deteriorating situation. Scorpio is about release and transformation, so if you think a yard sale will solve your problem, hold it on Saturday. If a more drastic remedy is called for, seek the advice of the cosmos when the sun and "I'm all ears" Mercury meet Sunday evening. The ideas the planetary gods send down should come to you then. But will you listen to advice when you're passionately involved in your favorite pastime? I don't think so.

LEO (July 23-August 22)

If you're determined to spend huge amounts of money, simply because Venus and Jupiter, the good guys, are exaggerating your need to acquire stuff (for the job, in the house), then so be it. However, if you wait until Sunday, you'll learn what will best serve your real needs. That's when Mercury and your sun ruler get together, as they do six times a year, and adjust your line of reasoning. Too many trips into your fertile imagination, one too many "pie-in-the-sky" partnership promises may have steered you off course.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

As long as Mars is still in your sign (until next Friday) you'll have the energy, desire and courage to do anything you please and, this is the best part, not self-destruct. Divine providence, in the guise of prudent Saturn, is protecting your physical body while the Scorpio sun strengthens your Mercury ruler, and your mind. That their conjunction takes place in your money house suggests that, even though Mercury is retrograde, now is a good time to acquire something of value or to reevaluate what you have acquired.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

This should be the best Halloween in a long time. That's because your Venus ruler is sitting on top of sexy Pluto, making a visit to the Underworld that he rules ever so much more exciting and inviting. Add enthusiastic, knowledgable Jupiter urging you to reach beyond your usual grasp of things, and you've got yourself an epiphany. Libra students of the occult, e.g. Aleister Crowley and Jack Parsons, couldn't be better situated for crossing over. A sun-Mercury conjunction in secretive Scorpio provides instructions and a roadmap. You pick the partner.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Scorpio is such a magical sign, its influence and yours as well, especially at Halloween, cannot be overstated. The imagination boggles at the thought that both the Scorpio sun and Mercury are conspiring to maintain a full-on illusion while they tweak fanciful Neptune in your home base. What have you done to the house and what are those sounds coming out of it? What bedazzling costume has splendid Venus, joining forces with your sexy Pluto co-ruler, chosen for you this year, and will they let you wear it again or is it too hot for mere mortals?

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

Romantic and artistic matters come to a head this week as your "enough is never enough" Jupiter ruler confronts affectionate, tasteful Venus in your sign. Aiding and abetting the goddess is persistent Pluto, helping her rid you of your nastier habits and ill-fitting wardrobe. This easy opportunity to beautify your world from the inside out will add oomph to a close (working?) relationship. Once again, sheer luck prevents you from buying into an associate's fantasy masquerading as an e-commerce venture.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

Family, particularly your involvement with the younger set, can launch a whole new series of concerns at the new moon. What's up? Are you coaching soccer, trading valuable baseball cards, catching up with "Harry Potter?" Will you figure out how to turn this burgeoning interest into a savvy career move or are you in it solely for the pure pleasure it provides? Halloween hijinks this year are going to be memorable. Record them for posterity and you can blackmail friends and neighbors for years to come.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Many reasons to show just how artistic you are, how inventive your mind is. Use these opportunities to promote your personal agenda. For the time being, you don't have to answer to anyone else; even the old folks at home lighten up on your case. Despite Mercury being retrograde, this is a good time to research your next trip abroad. Discover where you can travel and get paid for it; just don't book reservations or apply for grants until after Mercury turns around on Election Night. The femme fatale of a client; she's all that.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

Again, you and the Aquarian share a destiny this week. Accept the challenge gladly when you're asked to perform your particular brand of magic, be it singing, dancing, applying gruesome makeup or decorating the haunted house. There is a payoff here, but not the customary cash on the line. You might also be under pressure from the sporting folk, the hail-fellow-well-met bunch who are having such a grand old boisterous time that they're making you a little nervous. Sense something funny afoot? Right you are!

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