If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: First you have to recover from Valentine's Day, digest the surprising news you hear when Mercury, retrograde this time, again joins unpredictable Uranus as it did on the Monday after Inauguration Day, and then you can get into or stay clear of the President's Day holiday mindset. Cherry pie? No thanks. The guy who could not tell a lie would have a hard time explaining the difference between ethical, yet excessive Jupiterian behavior and truth-seeking, albeit militant Martian demeanor. How you handle their opposition -- Jupiter in Gemini facing off against Mars in Sagittarius -- this weekend, as well as the even more challenging T-square from the Pisces sun midweek is the test we'll all be trying to pass. Good luck.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

Exciting, borderline thrilling and probably more than you bargained for. While enthusiastic, expansive Jupiter opposes your ambitious Mars ruler this weekend, you could find yourself in the throes of an event that's spinning out of control. If money is involved, those numbers pile up very quickly. The opposition aspect also raises blood pressure and speeds up your emotional reaction, so try your best to stay calm, cool and collected. Friends or a group you belong to can make the situation even more of a challenge and, ultimately, more rewarding.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

A surprising development regarding work or the family can alter your plans for the long weekend holiday. Blame retrograde Mercury for bumping into unpredictable Uranus once again and bringing up something you thought was signed, sealed and delivered a few days before the Chinese New Year began. Don't remember? Check your diary. It probably isn't that big of a deal, but the matter might not be resolved until the third conjunction at the next full moon, March 9. By then, your Venus ruler will be retrograde and an ex- may be sniffing around.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Reactions to surprises sprung on Valentine's Day reverberate throughout the long holiday weekend. What were they/you thinking? But it's mainly Twins born near the Taurus cusp who are poised to go over the top, promising more than they can deliver, but, also, more willing to take a risk than they have been in, say, 12 years. That's because effusive Jupiter in early Gemini is being stretched to its limits by ballsy Mars in Sag, and both are being squared (tested) by the Pisces sun. Look around for a cushy spot to land.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

News about a financial matter resurfaces this weekend and provides plenty of food for thought. Mull your ideas over slowly; the matter won't be considered finished business for another three weeks. Meanwhile friends or a like-minded group get behind a daring escapade and push you to the limit of your physical ability. The excitement is exhilarating, the entrepreneurial possibilities thrilling, although the cost can be huge. Consider a somewhat safer endeavor, one that doesn't damage a body part too badly. Sore is better than sprained.

LEO (July 23-August 22)

Once Pisces begins on Sunday, you can feel the tension mounting. What to do until it culminates Tuesday when the democratic Aquarius sun in your house of partners challenges Jupiter in your house of benevolent despots? No place to run to, no place to hide because come Thursday your sun ruler and aggressive Mars only acerbate the friction. Do you really want to fight for the right to be wrong? The truth becomes an issue when expediency and enthusiasm go by the boards, yet somewhere in this conflict you manage to see your way clear.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

This Mercury retrograde period could be driving you to distraction simply because it's occuring in your Aquarius house of work and health practices. That's an area of life you know something about, so if your expertise isn't paying off, if progress on the job is held in thrall by some "alleged" astrological phenomenon, feel free to rant and rave. If ranting releases some of the tension generated by a challenging mutable T-square -- Pisces sun, Mars in Sag, Jupiter in Gemini -- lash out. Some of us will ignore you; the equally testy mutable signs will lash back.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

More fun and games, the kind that makes you look and sound even cleverer than you are. Enjoy the rush, the attention others are paying, because it's going to cost you something, too. Probably midweek, when the friendly Aquarius sun in your house of romance, risk and recreation squares both Mars and Jupiter in your two money houses -- your personal stash and the resources you share with others, e.g., Charles Schwab. This challenging square may also launch an entrepreneurial venture, perhaps an exciting adventure with the kids and/or your lover. Either way, enjoy the ride.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, testing your Scorpio planets, could be turning your happy home into a hellhole. If there are problems regarding the house, the neighborhood or real estate in general, simply stop tearing your hair out and wait until the planet of particulars goes direct next weekend. Meanwhile, try to avoid getting caught up in a partner's grandiose scheme to update your look, the wiring or electronic devices. Retrograde is not the time to buy contemporary merchandise; even retro is a maybe.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

More energy than you know what to do with? Planning to expand your personal space? While Mars is in Sag (from Valentine's Day until September 8!) activating your natal planets, you, one of the lazier signs in the zodiac, could turn into a dynamo. Desire and passion, courage and conviction, initiative and independence -- whatever you need is there for the taking. A more assertive attitude? A stronger, more sculpted body? You'll have a clearer idea of what lies ahead after the sun provokes Mars and your Jupiter ruler in Gemini midweek. Giddy-yap.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20) Chances are you'll get carried away during this mid-winter holiday. Fearless friends might encourage you to overextend financially, to reach beyond your grasp of a tricky social situation, your state-of-the-art athletic equipment or your audience. However, comedians -- most of whom are Goats -- under this relatively rare planetary pressure can make a lot of money making the rest of us laugh. If the opportunity to entertain presents itself, grab the mike and show us what a wicked sense of humor you have.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Basking in the spotlight? Even after the sun leaves your sign on Sunday, you'll still be attracting attention and generating conversation. What sort of odd behavior are you promoting and why should we go along? Because you're so appealing or because your ideas are so intriguing? Somehow you'll manage to strike a balance between condoning excessive enthusiasm at home, perhaps on the part of a parent, and assuming control of the reins at work. Right now, your mood is more expansive than restrictive, the faltering economy notwithstanding.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

You accrue memorable moments this week as soon as you get off whatever fence you've been straddling and leap one way or the other. Happy birthday. Pisces begins Sunday morning, but you won't become acutely aware how crucial it is to make a choice until the sun tests protective Jupiter on Tuesday and passionate Mars early Thursday. Do you simply want to be more "comfortable" or does a two-fisted crusade sound more like your cup of tea? And where will you drink that tea? As an arm-chair traveler or a bold adventurer visiting places you've never been before?


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