If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: Divergent roads you might take during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend wind up in the same place. Bed. Whether you follow the spacy, spiritual Mercury-Neptune path, the idealistic one that leads to reminiscence and songfests or you embrace what is tried-and-true, the business-as-usual practicality of the sun-Saturn trine, come Tuesday you'll be hugging and kissing and fooling around. In a rare confluence of affection and raw lust, Venus, goddess of love and loose change, reaches out to Mars and Pluto simultaneously. One aspect is sweet, harmonious and sexy; the other is seductive, probably secretive and downright nasty. Try to make each mood last until the inaugural celebrations are history.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

It seems that for the first month of the year, work is your first priority. If you buckle down, try to figure out the practical problems, and, most importantly while the sun and sobering Saturn are allied, stick with the solution for more than a minute, it will be. However, there is also plenty of opportunities for romance as your Mars ruler and affectionate Venus reach out to embrace each other. How long will it last? Until the first argument on Inauguration Day divides your cozy camp.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Sense and sensibility prevail this weekend as the earth-bound Capricorn sun trines conservative Saturn in late Taurus. Buy something eminently practical that'll last forever. Bulls who feel constricted could be rewarded for having the fortitude and patience to follow through on the plans you made, the safe havens you built over the past 2 years. Another reward: If you spice up a love relationship while your sweet Venus ruler hooks up with horny Mars and sexy Pluto around the 16th, you could enjoy the ultimate orgasmic experience. Wow!

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

This week some women are genuinely helpful, some jealous and manipulative; however, any one of them can have an impact on your career or your love life. Note: most are in full martyr mode, complete with bleeding hearts and non-stop whine. Stay out of their way until the nauguration is over. Then you can say your piece and blow off the concilatory cover you often adopt during arch-conservative Capricorn. Also, don't let your imagination run away with you when your Mercury ruler and impressionable Neputune merge this weekend. Music, yes; marriage, no.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

The Moon Child should be happy to learn that the first new moon of the millennium is NOT eclipsed. Plan to awake early on the 24th and welcome the Chinese Year of the Snake, 4699 with an appropriate celebration, say dim sum. You might want to know that the first total solar eclipse of the year occurs as Cancer begins on June 21, that there's a partial lunar eclipse on July 5 and that neither one is visible in the Americas. But for now, know that affectionate, agreeable Venus in Pisces and sexy Mars in Scorpio are helping your love life flow smoothly. Don't make waves.

LEO (July 23-August 22)

A payoff for patience, production and diligence on the job. Your career gets a boost, your reputation is polished up while your sun ruler trines Saturn in your midheaven this weekend. This is the stuff Most Valuable Player awards are made of. But if you don't get a great offer right away, you soon will. Prosperous Jupiter trines (rewards) the sun next weekend and both Jupiter and Saturn turn direct at the new moon on the 24th after four months sitting on the back burner. Also this weekend, curb the urge to lose yourself in spirituality and spirits.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

What happens over the next few weeks regarding your job and health routine can come back to haunt you once your Mercury ruler turns retrograde on February 3 for three weeks. You might have to repeat or rethink your behavior, so try to do it right the first time. This approach can be harder than usual to stick to because Mercury's main connection this weekend is to ethereal Neptune. Too much to dream, to drink, etc. will get in the way of the practical magic that can be made when the earthy Cap sun favors hard-working Saturn in earthy Taurus and your own earth-bound Virgo planets.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

Love, lust and assorted destinations in between. Since your Venus ruler starts off enamored with Mars this week, you're headed in the right direction. However, a persuasive link-up to secretive Pluto could result into a semi-permanent detour. It all depends on how good the sex is, how bad the boy (or girl). Musicians, moviemakers and poets benefit from the imaginative Mercury-Neptune conjunction on Saturday. Put the flow of images and lyricism to work, make time for your muse.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Lust, lasciviousness, likeability, perhaps even love, are yours for the asking, or the taking, as magnetic Venus aligns with passionate Mars and powerful Pluto, your co-ruling planets. An additional benefit: Mars is currently in Scorpio so, whether you're aware of it or not, you're emitting a strong "come and get it" vibe. However, you might not be thinking very clearly. But as long as you basically behave yourself, no mayhem or terrorist tactics, you're okay until Super Bowl Saturday.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

Safe and sane: the first month of the first year of the third millennium is filled with warning signs, down turns and dire predictions. What else would you expect when the prevailing planetary mood is a conservative sun-Saturn trine that is exact on Saturday night? Next weekend, when the sun trines your Jupiter ruler, the mood becomes expansive, expensive and global. What to do in between? While the sun is in your money house, concentrate on what you currently value, the assets and attitudes that'll get you through the year.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

Nothing warms the heart and soul of the Goat like a reward for being essentially yourself. Such is the case this weekend when the Capricorn sun trines Saturn, your ruling planet in your Taurus house of romance, creativity and fun. You don't have to work up a sweat, simply relish the particular pleasure you derive from succeeding at whatever it is you set out to attain. I have yet to meet two Goats who have the same aspirations, just similar track records and m.o.'s. This one could be the best birthday in a while.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Pay attention. What you hear, read or intuit when Mercury, the messenger of the gods, meets Neptune in your sign this weekend, could be the secret password that leads to further fame and fortune. This planetary merger also serves to inspire better music and movies, and gives the glamor industry another script to follow. Apply this info to your career agenda next Thursday when Mercury approaches powerful Pluto, when knowing the secret word may open a door you have not yet passed through. Ah, sweet mystery of life!

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

Too much to handle? Having popular, sympathetic and artistic Venus in your sign this week can get you in trouble. Who gets a piece of you first, how long can you keep the others at bay? While Venus aligns with horny Mars and sexy Pluto on the 16th, will you avoid playing one attractive offer against the other, or are you trying to fulfill individual desires while encompassing the whole? This is the stuff martyred saints and reformed sinners are made of. Also this weekend, Mercury's merger with your Neptune ruler. Don't let friends drink and drive.


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