ROCKIE HOROSCOPE 73

If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: Get out of the way. Push comes to shove when the Pisces sun challenges militant Mars in Sagittarius. More fire, higher aspirations and possibly life-altering sexual experiences over the Mardi Gras weekend. Whoopee! Use the Pisces new moon energy early Friday to prepare for the changes about to take place. The most apparent is Mercury's change of direction, out of retrograde on Sunday at 7:41 a.m. PST. As it faces forward, somewhat in shock, the planet of prose and the prosaic, (probably Prozac, too) connects with loving Venus. Write a charming note, send a belated Valentine's Day card, apologize profusely for whatever went wrong while Mercury was retrograde. Then, roulez le bon temps.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

Right now, you can do no wrong. While artistic, affectionate Venus is traveling through Aries (it heads backward from March 8-April 19), utilize every opportunity to show off your talent, to be the belle of this ball. During retrograde you'll find the time to perfect your work and smoothe out kinks in old and new relationships. No matter how promising he or she makes it sound, avoid getting sucked into a friend's scheme this weekend. Because your pal will probably bail, you could spend all of spring and summer extricating yourself from risky business.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Although Mercury is turning direct on Sunday, after three weeks of piddling problems and postponements, it shouldn't interrupt the easy flow of affection, not to mention the heat, that is about to be generated between you and a loved one or, for that matter, a casual friend. Did I hit a nerve? For the next ten days, Mercury will be on hand to help you express yourself, so take to your keyboard and pour on the sentiment. Where was all this grace, wit and fire on Valentine's Day when you needed a translator? Never mind, Mardi Gras is just as good a time to pull out the lingerie and come on like gangbusters.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Since the Twins usually feel the effects of Mercury's change of direction a few days before it happens, those petty annoyances may no longer be getting to you. Instead, you might be ticked off because the sun is aggravating competitive Mars in your Sag house of co-workers and partners. What is making your mate so angry and why are you in the line of fire? Someone has to give up something that no longer works, maybe even give up the gig entirely. Be patient, there's no quick resolution; Mars is in Sagittarius through Labor Day.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

It's still about money. One would have thought by now that the emphasis had shifted to some other area of interest, but no, interest rates, joint income and other fluctuations in your finances continue to dominate your waking thoughts. Athletes, who haven't received huge signing bonuses, could be angry because money and recreation are inexorably tied together by an aggressive, even reckless sun-Mars square. A similar affliction applies to Crabby enthusiasts in general. Consider giving up something special for Lent, e.g. the thrills and chills of March Madness?

LEO (July 23-August 22)

It takes a few days for things to get back on an even keel after Mercury, in your Aquarius house of partnerships, flips. Give significant people plenty of time to return your calls, come to a decision and remember where they were and what they were doing before retrograde started. It's not as if life came to a screeching halt in February, but, truthfully, how much progress have you made? Clearing your desk, reorganizing drawers and shelves is pure retro action, not a bold leap forward. That'll come soon enough.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

The company you keep figures largely in what happens both at work and at home. Be careful when you combine the separate casts of characters. A feisty neighbor might be eager, even obnoxious about prying into the details of your job; a talented co-worker could offer to fix something in the house that obviously needs repair, anything from a kitchen cabinet to a relationship. Because your Mercury ruler has recently changed direction, take things slowly until you sense you're back on track, and don't try to make up for the time you feel you lost while Mercury was retrograde.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

You're especially literate right now thanks to the attention communicative Mercury is paying to your Venus ruler; writers should take advantage and press for publication. The fact that Venus is in impulsive, courageous Aries makes it easier to approach people who can really help put words in print. But if your medium of self-expression lies in another field, by all means talk up your talent to folks who can be counted on to spread good gossip and drop your name. Entertaining them, before Venus turns retrograde on March 8th, wouldn't hurt, either.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Drastic change, the kind that is done when you're under the knife, might seem like an expedient alternative to gradual improvement simply because the Pisces sun is challenging both your Mars and Pluto co-ruling planets for the next ten days. Don't do anything rash. When it is subject to this much stress, Mars can become caustic and turn into a source of irritation. Regenerative Pluto tends to throw the baby out with the bathwater anyway, so you can't be sure it has your best long-term interest at heart; still, you can wait and see.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

Read for Scorpio. Because Mars and Pluto are currently in Sagittarius, the pressure the Pisces sun is exerting on them might urge you to act on impulse and with more bravado than usual. Who is making you see red? A neighbor, sibling or the landlord? Or is that a secret passion you're harboring for the girl/guy next door? Fiery emotions and a Plutonic sense of "do or die" is fine for spectator sports, but don't let them send you spinning out of control. As soon as impressionable Pisces is over, the motivation will disappear and the vendetta will seem pointless.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

Find a Moon Child to commiserate with. Both of you are tightly wrapped up in money matters right now, one of which might be contingent on a friend's involvement, another on politics and social issues. Where's the party? Seriously, because Mars is stirring up action behind the scenes -- and will continue to do so for months on end -- you can provide services or do favors for people you seldom see, but with whom you identify. Charitable impulses, perhaps, but once compassionate Pisces is over, so will these feelings pass. Meanwhile, the social structure you've supported lives on.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Stop, start, stop. Awkward and abrupt as Aquarians may sometimes be, nothing disturbs your internal rhythm quite as much as having mobile Mercury flipping in your sign as it will on the 25th. It takes days for Mercury to build up steam and move forward, so be patient with yourself, your twisted tongue and general goofiness. If you can skirt a troublesome issue at work or dance around an irate boss, do it. If not, plead, "I wasn't thinking," or "Retrograde Mercury, it's out of my hands!" Be thankful that your imagination hasn't suffered.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

The Fish would rather not make waves; nonetheless, try to redirect the tension generated by the Pisces sun as it squares macho Mars and manipulative Pluto in Sagittarius. Which Archer is taking aim at you and what aggressive, somewhat dangerous course of action is he or she encouraging? Birthdays are stressful enough, you don't need to let your thoughts run wild, looking for adventure and whatever comes your way. However, now is an excellent time to check out (relatively) safe spiritual sites you've never been to before.

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