ROCKIE HOROSCOPE 81

If you know your ascendant, read it too.

GENERAL FORECAST: Here's the lineup: Taurus begins on Thursday, the 19th, four hours (5:36 p.m. PT) before Venus comes out of retrograde at 1 degree of Aries. Saturn enters Gemini on the 20th where it'll stabilize the Twins for the next two-and-a-half years. Mercury gets to Taurus on the 21st for a very fast two-week transit. The Messenger mergers with the sun on Monday, the 23rd, a few hours before the Taurus new moon starts a new lunar cycle. (5:26 a.m. ET/8:26 a.m. PT). April 23 is the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, Wm. Shakespeare and my sister-in-law; draw your own conclusions. Who is playing a cosmic joke by scheduling Secretary's Day so that it'll coincide with the ditzy, foggy, "I have no idea where those files disappeared to!" Mercury-Neptune square on the 25th?

ARIES (March 20-April 19)

If you focus on what you really need, not what you currently desire, you could acquire the items on your list in a relatively short time. Visualize what's missing, then direct the Taurus new moon energy to fill in the blanks. Why now? Firstly, because earthy Taurus governs your money house; secondly, because Venus, the planet that rules your finances and feelings, is in Aries. Plus, your Mars ruler is in friendly, fiery Sagittarius at the top of your chart, where it's rewarding the qualities that make the Ram the leader of the (zodiacal) pack.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Happy Birthday. Bulls born in April are blessed with brains -- you all have balls! May birthdates tend to be more artistic and business-oriented. This week Mercury -- the lower mind, mind you -- meets the Taurus sun and becomes even more of a dominant force in your day-to-day life. You'll have telling insights and an ease of expression, plus when Mercury and fantasy-friendly Neptune align this weekend, you could write your first screenplay or produce a poem you'd be willing to read aloud. Performance anxiety be damned, this is the time to shine.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

People get ready, there's a trainwreck coming. Your normally fast-moving Mercury ruler (it whips through Taurus in 14 days) won't enter your sign until Cinco de Mayo. However, it'll remain in Gemini from May 5 until July 12, in retrograde from June 4-28. This schedule should give you enough time to incorporate the information and insights you receive when the down-to-earth Taurus sun and Mercury meet on Monday into your plans for the summer. Or, in keeping with the flexible Gemini credo, you might choose, literally and figuratively, to take it one day at a time.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

The Taurus new moon on the 23rd heralds the start of a supportive lunar cycle, both career- and family-wise, for the Moon Child. And, as a mother, may I say, it's about time! Earthy, sensual Taurus offers tender-hearted Cancerians relief from the challenges imposed on them by blood-and-guts Aries. Only Venus is still in fiery Aries, continuing to devise situations that test your attachment to a woman or an artist and the goodies they offer. And only until May 6. Hang in there, kid!

LEO (July 23-August 22)

Taurus, your season of striving, has just begun. Don't be surprised if you're offered more challenging opportunities than you've seen in many moons. Planetary activity in your career mid-heaven triggers reactions from co-workers and partners that reflect on and include you. Something glamorous, somewhat nebulous, maybe music or movie-related could pop up when your sun ruler and visionary Neptune square on the 28th. Remember: a challenging square aspect is often a good thing; without them, nothing happens. The trine aspect rewards what you did during the square.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)

Check out the Gemini forecast for the dates when your Mercury ruler will next be retrograde, when you can expect delays and hassles if you're traveling and more than the usual miscommunication with clients, your boss or Dad. This way you'll have a rough idea when to schedule a summer vacation, when to avoid a family reunion. But for now, feel free to let your imagination loose. Put your vision into words and pictures while Mercury is being inspired by Neptunian idealism. Next week, a healthy infusion of Saturnian practicality.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)

Patience, please. Although your Venus ruler starts moving forward on the 19th, it'll take a while before it picks up enough speed to impress upon you that the changes you're experiencing are permanent. While this could be a scary thought, remember that Venus doesn't turn retrograde every year -- certainly not in Aries, the sign of your cosmic "other." Nor does it usually provide such valid reasons to reevaluate your relationship or whatever else has come under review since February 2nd, which is when Venus first entered Aries. Is the picture getting any clearer?

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)

Once again you're on the verge, but of what, only you know. Within a week or so, your Pluto co-ruler will have another growth spurt when it opposes expansive Jupiter. This polarity was in effect last autumn, so think back to what barrier you broke, what change was made, because something similar is coming up. If you have Scorpio rising, chances are the matter concerns money or other assets you share with someone who has been quite significant. Until then, keep an eye on the artists and alcoholics in the family because Neptune's net is trawling close to home.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

What really matters? Difficult questions, such as this one, receive complicated, multi-layered answers while regenerative Pluto in Sagittarius is opposed by your Jupiter ruler. Read Scorpio for the timing, but also be aware that after these planets face-off on May 6, you will have learned the lesson and come up with a solution that works. This is especially true if you were born around December 6. Jupiter, the planet of prosperity, keeps you enthusiastic about partnership matters until it leaves Gemini in July. Then you're done.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

Like your Cancerian brethren, Caps should be breathing easier now that earthy, sensuous Taurean energy has replaced Aries' fire and brimstone. Well, there still could be a pushy broad (or an artist) who is challenging your sense of fair play and aesthetic preferences. As long as Venus remains in Aries, until June 6, you'll have reasons to deal with matters and people ruled by the goddess. This includes your family, where you live and attractive people who join you for dinner.

AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18)

Now is a good time to make your presence known in the neighborhood, with local shopkeepers and on bulletin boards where you can advertise your wares. Apropos of Earth Day, this is also when the environment has more of an impact than at other times. However, while you may be willing to suspend disbelief (impressionable Neptune in your sign is under attack), you shouldn't let people play you for a spaced-out, idealistic fool. A die-hard romantic, an inspired visionary, is something else altogether.

PISCES (February 19-March 19)

Once again, Pisces and Aquarius are on parallel tracks, reacting to challenges issued to your Neptune ruler by planets (and people) who are bullish, the Taureans in the crowd. Plus, Fish might have associates who are harboring delusions of grandeur and including you in "the big picture." What their actions will cost you is yet to be determined, however, by the weekend, you should know what they envision, where you fit in, and, if you are so inclined, at what point you can make your escape.

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