If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: Beware the Ides of March! No kidding. This year the Ides arrive as powerful Pluto stops in its off-beat orbit before turning retrograde at the same time that fiery Mars meets up with the planet of death and rebirth. Quite the combustible situation. FYI: it was on a Pluto station that Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, on a Mars-Pluto square that the World Trade Center was bombed. Lava tends to rise up from the bowels of the earth when Pluto is under pressure, so expect all sorts of disruptions in your daily routine. But first you have to get through the hypercritical Virgo full moon exact Friday the 9th at 9:23 a.m. PST. Because affectionate Venus flipped into retrograde the day before, you're liable to feel unwanted and undervalued. This time, dear Brutus, the fault lies in the stars.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

Don't you love having magnetic Venus in your sign? How does it feel to be the toast of the town or, now that Venus has turned retrograde, are you only attracting ex- and wannabe lovers? Fire, desire and the ability to acquire are the gifts on loan from the goddess through June. You'll really give thanks on the 19th when she favors your passionate Mars ruler who is on the verge of exploding anyway. Just avoid taking part in a violent outburst around St. Patrick's Day and stay clear of an impressive world-traveler who is dedicated to the violent overthrow of whatever...

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Friendship is the key to getting through the unexpected ups and downs at work with a smile. No matter how disoriented you might feel, you probably can navigate the "what ifs" by soliciting an intuitve colleague's take on the situation. Collaborating with a talented peer on a creative project is a good idea now, too. One of those "star-crossed" encounters you read about and see on TV is gathering momentum, becoming more of a possibility the closer you get to St. Patrick's Day. Talk about the luck of the Irish!

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

There's a distinct possiblity that a person you currently think of as a partner (soon to become an enemy?) is about to implode. Like a Vegas hotel that has outlived its popularity, this relationship is slated for destruction or, at the very least, a major rehaul. If your mate seems destined for rehab one of these days, that day may be closer than either one of you think, say before the month is out. Meanwhile, you get a helping hand from an attractive acquaintance you're not that tight with... yet.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Since the Pisces sun is visiting your house of travel and higher education, now is a good time to explore foreign cultures and native dishes or to sign up for a course that will advance your career. This is just in case you need something to keep your mind occupied while all hell breaks loose at work. A project that develops major problems, a co-worker who dominates the others, a scandal that can linger through the summer -- potential hassles the Crab should try to stay clear of. Then there's that growing fascination with (please fill in the baseball mega-millionaire of choice.)

LEO (July 23-August 22)

Pay more attention to the people who manage your money, at least until you receive a tax refund, a dividend check, some sort of return on your investment. However, if patience is the key to heaven, start polishing your halo while you wait for the market to rebound. But angelic behavior is definitely not the way to go when it comes to romance. Spectacular sex is about to rear its naughty rear end as loving Venus in Aries attracts horny Mars and passionate Pluto in Sag, and together they trine lucky Lions born around August 6. A grand fire trine is devilishy hot stuff.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

Once you've recovered from the Virgo full moon and gone another round, wondering "What was that about?", try to move on with all due speed. Right now, understanding why people do what they do is not your strong suit, and asking for answers may widen the gulf between you. A sibling, fellow student or neighbor can be teetering close to the edge, and a straight-forward manner or rational line of questioning will do nothing to calm that savage beast. Turn to a psychic Pisces if you want to help.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

Everybody loves lovable Libra anyway, but while your Venus ruler is retrograde in your marriage house -- it goes direct on April 19 -- folks from your past could come rushing out of the closet. Especially when Venus connects to the macho "Master of the Universe" Mars-Pluto conjunction in Sag around St. Paddy's Day. Yes, money will pass hands, but you can also ask for your heart's desire. Whether you'll still want it after you've had the experience is what desire and gratification is all about, isn't it?

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Finally, after two years of horsing around (9/99 was their last conjunction) your Mars co-ruler joins your Pluto co-ruler in freedom-loving Sagittarius. What ties that bind are going to be cut this time? Happily for all concerned, support from lovable Venus can make the experience quite pleasant, possibly even a thing of beauty. I don't know about a joy forever. Be aware that there's a strong undercurrent of passion that may blow up in your face simply because Mars is going retrograde in May. When it turns direct in July, it'll be back where it is now. You, too?

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

Read for Scorpio. The connection between the two signs isn't limited to Archers born in November. Sooner or later every Sag will get a taste of what it's like to deal big-time with issues of power and control. Although that's hardly your area of interest, let alone expertise, while Pluto in Sag (another seven years) and Mars (another seven months) are generating heat, pushing buttons and cutting dead wood, you will become fucking passionate about something. And, in the next few weeks, someone.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

Goats are notorious hermits, almost as bad as Crabs are about making an appearance only when and if it suits them. So you know how annoying and frustrating it can be for those of us who are trying to reach you and, while we're at it, reach out to you, too. However, having delicious Venus hunkering down in your home base, making everything there so much more appealing than it is out here, is as good an excuse as any. Wait a few days and you can also claim that you're playing it safe by avoiding a hot-head who's making threatening noises.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Buy it. While the Pisces sun cruises through your money house you might as well fulfill a fantasy and get what you want. Deep down you know that Piscean pleasures, except for the drugs and booze, won't hurt you. How much damage can music, art and snorkeling do? Once you figure out that one, let gracious, sociable Venus improve your communication skills so that you can build a bridge to whomever is no longer speaking to you. Diplomatic Venus can also help you deal with a volatile client, an overbearing boss or a parent at a crossroads. Where's the love? Try a neighbor.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

The pressure to accomplish something memorable (let's hope it's meaningful as well) before your birthday next year is building. So is your energy and determination to pull it off. Whether you're pushing yourself or are being egged on by the powers that be doesn't make a whole lot of difference. As long as courageous, truth-seeking Mars in your Sagittarius midheaven paces back and forth, you'll be on some sort of crusade, slashing and burning, but also healing and rehabilitating, as you go. By the time Mars gets to Pisces for Christmas, it'll be a fait accompli.


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