If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: Daydream believers and cock-eyed optimists have more influence over the psychological climate now that enthusiastic Jupiter has just turned direct and yesterday's visionary sun-Neptune conjunction continues to spread fairy dust all over the place. How to counterbalance so much huffing, puffing and puffery? Take refuge in the eminently practical, yet pleasurable Venus-Saturn sextile this Friday. Hug an oldie, but a goodie. Admit that there is no such thing as a sure thing, even when you are certain your preferences are the preferred ones. Why should you hedge your bets? Because the unpredictable, accident-prone, explosive Mars-Uranus square, exact early Saturday, has the power to affect emotions, events and reactions all Super Bowl weekend long. Flying down to Tampa? Ignoring volcanic smoke signals? Will you feel the earth move? Better safe than sore and sorry. FYI: Mercury turns retrograde next weekend; buy, repair, sign what you must ASAP.

ARIES (March 20-April 19) Seizing the moment, acting on impulse usually spurs the Ram to great heights; however, this weekend, that kind of behavior will probably land you in a ditch. While your Mars ruler is being tested by unpredictable Uranus, it's better to take that moment to think things through. When accidents occur during a challenging square aspect, the results are often more drastic. You may have to to face personal demons or confront moldy figs while Saturn opposes Mars later in the week. Mercury only complicates matters by turning retrograde on the 3rd. Where are your papers?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Issues that may change the course of your life arise this week while the Aquarius sun in your career midheaven illuminates your future. Feelings that you're being overwhelmed by responsibilities or are in a tug-of-war with your partner should peak, then pass, after your Venus ruler moves out of sacrificial Pisces into gutsy Aries on the 2nd. Now you can dare to be different when choosing a career move or family life-style. Seriously consider the road less traveled; the more exciting, exploratory and artistically promising alternative.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Cuspy Twins currently under Jupiter's protective wing could be jumping for joy. Did you win the lottery? What about the Super Bowl? Stash enough away for the rainy days that may come when your Mercury ruler changes direction, e.g., retrograde on Feb. 3. Take ailing vehicles to the mechanic before then; repair appliances and expensive electronic equipment so they don't have to be fixed more than once; reach out to folks before your connections go haywire. Oh, and sign papers ASAP or postpone until well after February 25 when Mercury turns direct.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) Not for nothing are the wealthiest folks in the world Moon Children! (Bill Gates is a Scorpio, a related water sign.) You folks instinctively know things the rest of us miss, such as, the time to concentrate on your assets, reevaluate what you value, is between the Aquarius new moon today and the Leo full moon on the 7th. As for romance and recreation, although the spirit is willing, a friendship could stand in the way, somehow blocking the flow of desire and derring-do. What to do? You'll instinctly know that, too.

LEO (July 23-August 22) During Aquarius, it's rarely about you. More often it's about the person you feel closest to, and that attachment can vary day by day. No, you're not being fickle, it's simply the movement of your sun ruler through your house of marriage and other partnerships, making contact with spiritually sympatico soulmates as well as the other kind, the wild ones. It's the other kind who'll ring your bell while you swing from the chandelier this weekend. Be careful, accidents mainly happen at home.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22) The pleasure you're deriving from being with sociably savvy, talented or soulful people may fade once magnetic Venus leaves empathetic, artistic Pisces for rough and tumble Aries next weekend. Sweetie pie gives way to spice, and that might not be quite as nice. However, while your Mercury ruler is retracing its steps through your house of work and health, be on the alert for news that can change your perspective about your job description or your sense of well-being. The two really are related.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22) Home continues to be a semi-strange place, where sacrifices are made, music is played and innuendo reigns supreme. However, you can drop the spiritual and artistic trappings once your Venus ruler leaves Pisces for the rambunctious fields of the Ram on the 2nd. The change will not only do you good, but it'll focus on what you truly desire in a working and living relationship. Moments of borderline brilliance from, of all things, Mercury turning retrograde in your house of romance and creative risk-taking. Will you, won't you?

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21) You could stumble across a rough patch while impetuous, adventurous Mars in your sign goes off half-cocked over the Super Bowl weekend. For a cautious Scorpio who considers all the angles before making a move, such a spontaneous moment might be considered madness. You'll know if you did the right thing if you run into opposition from the powers that be, the Saturnian (or Satanic) forces of tradition and experience, control and crystallization. They've been exerting influence over partners matters, but not for much longer.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21) Dream on. Conjuring up visions of what you want to possess is as good a means of obtaining them as any other. The Aquarius sun is so susceptible to the power of suggestion right now, that wishful thinking would work, too. But hold off picturing the arrival of electronic equipment or vehicles while Mercury is retrograde in your house of communications and commuting, from Feb. 3-25. Instead, let your mind wander through areas of thought, fields of study you don't know much about. In the coming weeks, or the next few months, one will call out to you, and you just may "find your calling."

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20) The element of surprise serves your purposes right now, even your more pedestrian and practical goals, like getting an oil change. You don't know where or when you'll be enlightened, but chances are now is the time for it. If your romantic life has been fairly routine, a not-so-gentle nudge from a friend could spark renewed interest; the same goes for a sport or recreational activity that has lost its edge. Just remember that while Mercury is retrograde, you tend to learn from the past and the people who once played a big part in it.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18) People are poking and prodding, doing whatever it takes to get a charge out of you. Not all the action directed your way is that provocative, but interest in your reaction is what's motivating the Scorpios and Aries in your crowd. Are they also picking your brain for career advice? Equally insistent Leos prefer to mix your canny sense of what's coming up next with their creative imagination. Since you're the center of attention on so many fronts, you'd better relinquish all hope of spending your birthday in a private pursuit of happiness. A ravenous public awaits.

PISCES (February 19-March 19) This is one of the more poetic and prolific periods of the year for Pisces, a time when you're in tune with your muse. Even if divine inspiration passes through the lips of a colleague whose loyalty you question, it wouldn't hurt to listen. Nothing is simple and straightforward when art and spirituality are involved, or when Mercury is retrograde. You may notice that your social life is easing up after Venus, Miss Congeniality, leaves your sign, but that'll give you more time to hang with Thalia, Erato and their clique.


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