GENERAL FORECAST: If you've been paying attention and marked the dates that Mercury goes retrograde, you won't be caught unawares when the planet of planning turns around Saturday at 5:58 p.m.PST. Tiresome tasks such as bringing the car in for service will be a fait accompli. But if you're first realizing that the next three weeks are not going to go as smoothly as you hoped, then put down the paper or log off and hop to it. It's bad enough that there's a confrontational Mars-Saturn opposition waiting to declare war on anyone who gets in the way this weekend, but midweek, you'll have to deal with the lunatics who pick the creative Leo full moon to show how wild they can be.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

Outright opposition, unavoidable delays, cumbersome rules and regulations -- obstacles the nimble Ram usually circumvents with ease -- can trip you up this weekend. While your courageous Mars ruler confronts stern Saturn, you could experience a genuine moment of rejection. To add to your frustration, Mercury has the nerve to turn retrograde in your house of colleagues and group action, so there won't be much progress on that front. On the plus side, lovable Venus enters Aries for four long months. Hugs of approval and amorous kisses.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

The disagreement with your partner (or cantankerous lawyer) this weekend could be the last one for a long time. However, next weekend, your boss or an unpredictable parent may try to strongarm you. I wish I could say, "sweeten the pot," but the sugar you'll be getting (after making up with your mate) will come from friends and associates, not the boss. Consider spearheading a group venture, embarking full-tilt boogie on a crusade while your Venus ruler is in truth-seeking Aries for the next four months. Who said,"union?"

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

You were warned last week that your Mercury ruler is headed back over events and emotions you recently went through. For the next three weeks, things may feel like they've come to a halt, but it ain't necessarily so. You're simply going into reevaluation mode, digesting what has gone down before, so that, come the 25th when Mercury turns direct, you'll be better-equipped to face the future. If nothing is keeping you chained to your desk, consider visiting an old friend in the interim or taking in new sights.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

It's primarily during Leo and Aquarius that so much emphasis is placed on the Moon Child's value system and possessions. This week, while the Leo full moon illuminates your money house, is one of the times when you take stock of what you have (materially and non-) and what you haven't. Somehow, even with Mercury retrograde in your house of investments, taxes and shared resources, you'll figure out what your bottom line is. Just be patient if the numbers don't come in with the speed and accuracy you expect or if no one returns your calls in due time.

LEO (July 23-August 22)

Who's got the power, who's in control? These are typical issues that arise when your sun ruler and Pluto (recently demoted from planet to "traveling gravel") align over the weekend. Thankfully, nobody is contesting the serenity of your highness or downgrading your ability to appear friendly while fiercely standing your ground. Plus, there'll be additional attention from the Leo full moon next Wednesday highlighting your demeanor, backlighting that magnificent mane. Be sure you look as good, as glamorous as you can while you're out and about.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

While your detail-driven Mercury ruler, turning retrograde on Saturday, reexamines work and health matters you thought you were finished with, try to relax. Gather as much information as you can -- retrograde is a great time to do research -- then sit back and see what develops by the time Mercury turns direct again on the 25th. Insist if you must that you receive accurate results and definitive answers, but know deep-down that during retrograde, everything is up in the air. Postpone signing contracts and buying anything that could turn out to be a lemon.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

An old-fashioned fun time with fashionable friends. How's that forecast for the three-week Mercury retrograde period that begins this Saturday? But first you could be distracted by a financial matter that reaches a climax over the weekend. Confront whomever you have to, negotiate with the guys in charge, see your way clear and be done with it. Nothing is scheduled to disrupt the flow of funds for a while; however, entertaining old friends could get pretty expensive, so allow for contingencies and sudden flights of fancy.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Because Mercury is turning retrograde in your house of domestic bliss and/or friction in the family, put off making repairs and renovations until the end of the month. Actually, anything remotely constructive, even mending fences, might get delayed without direct intervention on your part. 'Tis the nature of the retrograde beast. There's not much you can do but observe the erratic flow of events. If you must exercise control over something, limit your spending.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

The areas of your life that'll be most affected by this Mercury retrograde cycle concerns your siblings, neighbors, educational projects, vehicles and communication systems. Is there anything that can annoy you as much as not being able to connect or, if need be, split an uncomfortable scene? However, because this retrograde takes place in Aquarius, a friendly air sign, it won't do much harm, merely delay your forward progress for a while. Meanwhile, affectionate Venus enters fiery Aries and stokes your love life.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

You may have to pay even more attention than you normally do to income and expenditures. While Mercury is retrograde in your Aquarius house of money and values, stupid mistakes can pop up all over the place, information you usually rely on might be suddenly suspect and major purchases may have to be returned. A pain, yes; tragic, no. However, because you now know that such things are likely to happen, you'll pay more attention to details, e.g., delivery dates and interest rates, won't you?

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Just because Mercury will be retrograde in your sign for most of the month is no reason to panic. As long as you leave more time for things to gel, quit taking deadlines seriously and continue to commisserate with others affected by the slowdown and mixups, you'll come through okay. Actually you'll probably emerge from this period with a more complete understanding of what makes you tick and what ticks you off. The full moon next Wednesday in your Leo marriage house is quite romantic; take advantage, make plans, but be flexible enough to let them go.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

The bad news is that magnetic Venus exits Pisces on Friday leaving you somewhat less irresistible, not to mention less loving, than you've been lately. The good news is that Mercury, currently at the beginning of Pisces, retrogresses back to Aquarius on Tuesday, so you won't be blamed for the delays and disappointments the rest of us are subject to. Small comfort, I know; however, most of the damage retrograde Mercury can do will take place behind the scenes or on such a cosmic level that even your higher self won't have a clue.

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