If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: The vernal equinox is over, the sun is already in Aries, but it'll take a few days until the Aries new moon (at 5:21 p.m. PST on Saturday) confirms the fact that a new cycle has begun. Maybe we'll see evidence of that independent, impulsive Arien energy during the Oscars; but we'll have to wait until the sun supports protective Jupiter on Tuesday and glamorous Neptune on Wednesday to understand just how fortunate the winners are and how wealthy they will become. But it's not until Thursday, when the sun and Venus join forces, that anyone, you included, gets a inkling of how it feels to win a popularity contest. We like you; we really, really like you. So where's the snake in the grass? Mercury squaring Pluto in the middle of the work week is hellbent on ruining someone's reputation.

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

Now is a good time to put your best foot forward, take credit where credit is due and make an effort to win the admiration of the crowd. Although magnetic Venus is retrograde in your sign, it won't allow you to hide your light under the proverbial bushel basket. You'll continue to be the center of attention, the winner of popularity contests, especially while the Aries sun and Venus meet on the 29th (give or take a few days). So, what award are you up for, whose approval are you seeking?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Bulls can be just as irresistible as Rams right now, because it is your Venus ruler's merger with the Aries sun that is intensifying your appeal. Casual friends and colleagues are especially vulnerable to your charms; they'll bend over backwards to please you, so word your requests -- as opposed to demands -- carefully. You don't want to abuse your position of privilege, or do you? Venus continues to enchant the groups you're allied with for another two months; after that, you're on your own.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

How badly did you/will you behave? What tales will they tell? A challenging square between your Mercury ruler and dig-up-more-dirt Pluto can unearth gossip about your partner, boss, spaced-out parent or a prominent Pisces who, by making waves, is making you nervous. Although it would be nice to know that it'll work out okay, until there is a confrontation and harsh words are actually exchanged at the end of the month, it won't. But since you're getting luckier day-by-day, what someone else does might not make much of a difference.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Once spring has sprung, Crabs skeedaddle out of their cozy hideouts and take a fresh look at what the world is offering them this season. Art, beauty and a rekindled friendship are high on the list, as well as a way you can incorporate them into your present gig. You'll be inspired, and the pretty people will be pleased that you're paying attention to them. Now is also a good time to check out where you're going next, how you're getting there and who's coming with you.

LEO (July 23-August 22)

You can accomplish quite a lot now simply by looking far and wide instead of restricting yourself to familiar turf. You don't have to travel to a particular place as long as you're willing to expand your horizon, let your imagination loose and show faith in a co-worker or partner. Pleasurable things happen, not to Lions lying in wait, but to adventurous souls with an eye for beauty and a desire to acquire more of it. Take that route and you'll be passionate about someone or something before the next full moon.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

Relying on the other guy? Right now, the ins and outs of partnership matters hold a peculiar fascination, but think twice if you want help finding out what's up and who's who. While your Mercury ruler winds its way through imaginative Pisces, you tend to be more impressionable and idealistic than usual, especially where young folks are concerned. When dealing with domestic issues, try not to become incensed by any little thing that goes wrong at home. Nobody's fault, just a another version of March madness.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

If you were reliving your love life, this would be the time to get together with your ex. What weird configuration in the sky could account for such madness? The merger of the sun and your retrograde Venus ruler in, of all places, your Aries marriage house! How your history is being replayed while the goddess of love and beauty takes a trip down memory lane is different for each person. However, every Libran will spend time with or think about someone from your past with whom you shared some terrific moments. Enjoy.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

If your thoughts last week were equally divided between love (or sex) and money, this week love can matter more than money. However, getting enough of either shouldn't be too much of a problem, especially when affectionate Venus mergers with the sun in your Aries house of romance and risk. What you should avoid is contact with a family member who is dying to dig up dirt, if not on you specifically, then on someone near or dear to you. Needless to say, a furious round of family feud follows.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

As long as you're enjoying this extraordinary infusion of "get out there and do something" energy from militant Mars in your sign, you'd better follow orders. Otherwise there'll be hell to pay when Mars turns around to see what you've done with the motivation and courage he's provided so far. Although it may not be absolutely necessary yet, consider surgery while the planet ruling cuts and burns is in Sag through Labor Day. Otherwise, it'll be 2003 before he's back. Incidentally, you should steer clear of a prying relative's eyes, too.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

Remember that old friend or lover who came for a short visit and stayed for a while. Everyone has one lodged in their past. Well, memories of yours can affect your present quest for domestic bliss, or perhaps that person will check in in person. Another result of the impulsive Aries sun-retrograde Venus marriage could involve an extended adventure in redecorating or resuscitating a relationship. Although, at first, you won't want to be bothered, the time and effort will eventually be worth your while.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Instead of the usual, "Money in unusual ways," the forecast for Aquarians reads, "Money in straightforward, probably sudden ways." Don't knock it. You'll be quite thrilled with what turns up, you may even reevaluate some of the possessions you already have. Things that cost you something, either fiscally or emotionally, are likely to bring you pleasure again simply because artistic, appreciative Venus is revisting your money house. Her trip is a rare treat, a prelude to the inspiration and lofty aspirations that are coming.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

Career concerns may push you into acting prematurely. Don't. While impulsive Mars is at the top of your chart (all spring and summer) it'll be hard to keep your cool when a client, your boss or parent is behaving badly. If you attempt blackmail, by doing research or outright spying, you'd best be prepared to see the tables turn. Instead, why not work on making yourself more charming and a bit more accessible? Venus retrograde is providing a second chance to attain a more harmonious relatonship while still asserting your independence. Not a bad deal.

Curious about the future? Order a personalized Transit Forecast (30 to 40+ pages) detailing the major themes and issues that will arise over the next 12 months. Send name, date, time and place of birth, plus a check or money order for $42.50 per report to ROCKIE GARDINER, 1021 N. Genesee Ave., #1, West Hollywood, CA 90046.


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