"Screw your courage to the sticking place."
Lady MacBeth in Shakespeare's Scottish Play (I.vii.60)

Venus is in Capricorn, Mars floats a square to her while he's in Libra, and the Sun shines warily in Scorpio right now, so do like the Lady suggests.

Aries : Mars is careening through the sign which is on the opposite side of the Zodiac Wheel from you. What's this mean in real life? It means that you're upset, perturbed, a little distraught this week. Not so much that you would notice it, but your companions, cohorts, and various relatives and friends all seem to be part of some conspiracy to irritate you. Not so much that you would notice it too much, but in the back of your brain, after a few days of the Mars related tension, you're going to begin wondering if someone is really out to get you. Dark, nondescript late model sedans parked just down the street? Strange guys with dark suits seem to be talking into their lapel? Guys with mirror shades following you around? A small degree of caution is advisable right now. It looks like some things which usually take about 20 minutes to accomplish are going to take a little longer so the best thing to do is to plan for contingencies. And leave yourself wide open for time to get it all done. I'm certainly not a conspiracy theorist, but you never an tell, not with the way your week is going....

Taurus : It is the long dark days of the fall. Or it's the long, dark days of the fall in the Northern Hemisphere. This is a time when the approaching darkness of the winter gets to you, just a little. It's as if you are doing your very best to get up and consider leaving your trailer behind. Then something happens, and you can almost feel this certain vacuum like appeal of your couch. It's going to suck you in, and you might spend the rest of the day watching reruns on the tube. As your faithful Fishing Guide and Astrologer, I would suggest that some sort of activity, anything besides daytime television, is a good thing this week. Some sort of stimulation, besides yelling at the people yelling at each other on he tube is a good thing. Activity is important. Any activity. Of course, with the planets in their present positions, that activity is the hardest thing in the world to do, after all, that couch looks mighty appealing and I figure you and me are both going to have a hard time evading its grasp. But if you can successfully escape the allure of lounging in the living room, you'll be very surprised at the amount of work you can get accomplished.

Gemini : What I really want to do is organize a cheering squad for the Gemini section of the sky. It looks like it's something that you guys really need this week, a group of nubile young women, I'm thinking something along the lines of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and getting a team of those scantily clad females out there rooting for you might be for the best. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I should be the person put in charge of auditioning, training, and regulating this Gemini cheering section. You need some one, you need a person just like myself to cheer you on. In fact, this is a week when you might want to help fund just such an organization. I'm all in favor of it, drop me a check in the mail, and we'll get started working on this special Gemini cheering section. There's a little lift from Mr. Mars over yonder in Libra, coming down the turnpike, and this little lift could use some emotionally charged enthusiasm in order to get you really rolling. So consider that idea about hiring me to cheer for you because some form of encouragement is necessary. A little external motivation goes a long way in making this a better Gemini week.

Cancer : Nothing so reminds of a past "fling" with a Cancer person than this week. It was supposed to be great, all the proper parts were ready, the soft lights, the candles, the gentle music, and all of a sudden, in the CD changer, some rather hard driving punk music popped up. Who ever selected the music did a real "bang up" job by slipping that one CD in. If I'm not mistaken, it was a group called "Scatterbrain," and it was a rather raucous tune, high heeled sneakers and screeching guitar solos. That's the way this week lines up, see, there are two influences at work. One is gentle and romantic, and one is just like some nasty old rock and roll music which got mixed up on the record player. Plan to work a little bit of unplanned (high energy) discordant music into your plans for the time being. At some point, probably later in the week, just when things are running along nice and smooth, there's going to be an event that's much like that music, blasting out of the speakers, upsetting your tranquil peace. Be prepared.

Leo : You and I should confer about the relative merits of being a fire sign -- especially with a week like this. Alas, I don't have the time to properly confer with each Leo that I know. But there are some merits to being a mighty Leo right now. There's just one little problem, and that's called "talking about it." You might have volumes of information, and between you and me, I know you're right, absolutely, 100% correct. But this is a week when it would benefit you to put your lengthy vocal arrangements on hold for a little while. Failure to haul in your desire to tell us how wrong, or right, we are, will result in a bored looking audience. Unfortunately, if you're not careful, this week, more than one Leo audience member will look at you and ask, "So what's the point?" I know that you're getting to the point, but that's not going to curry favor among your listening audience, nor among your loyal fans. So reel in the long winded explanations, tales of derring do, and similar anecdotes that might be very important, but regrettably, fall on relatively deaf ears. Folks just ain't listening to you the way they should be -- at all. It's okay, if you're quiet this week, you can always say, "I wanted to tell you but you wouldn't listen to me" -- next week.

Virgo : You're little Virgo "romance-o-meter" is running hog wild right now. And if it's not the romantic indicator which seems to be stirring, I'd suggest that it's a similar, sublimated type of energy which is kicking hard and long in your life. While romance is a nice concept, it doesn't always translate well into the real world, and some people never quite understand the proper Virgo mind set. So even though you feel wonderful, loving and kind right now, it's how you choose to show this open display of affection that seems to be a problem. You might try and time things a little bit better. I would never, ever suggest that your perfect Virgo sense of timing is off, but this is a week when you might have the right thing to say, the correct word whispered in the right ear, but the timing could backfire. Nothing is worse than having your sweet nothings broadband broadcast, shortly after you utter them. Check that ear for microphone before you start whispering in it. Endearing words are not always meant for publication. Of course, I still think you look fetching.

Libra : You may not really be from Texas, but Texas loves you anyway. [As sung by Lylke Lovett] And you may not understand the true feeling which is behind the expression, but you get the gist of it: "Just fixin' t'do it." This week, it's actually a very Libra like term, and the Texas twang associated with the expression is helpful. You can face the toils and tribulations by suggesting you are just about to get around to that, and the project, task, occupation, pass time, whatever it is that requires your attention, you can let us know that it's on your punch list for "soonest." Of course, like a lot of Libra lists, sometimes this is something that you might never get around to, but that's where the Texas drawl comes in handy. It implies that you are about to tackle whatever it is that requires your attention. Unfortunately, it looks like you will spend a portion of this week mollifying a lot of people, and letting them know that their concerns are actually on your list of goals to tackle soonest. "Yessir, just fixin' to get to that one." It's a handy expression this week, and one that I'm sure you're fixin' to drop me note and let me know how right I was -- maybe next week. I know, I'm on the list, also.

Scorpio : There's one Scorpio I'm thinking of, and her birthday is this week. Regrettably, the birthday information is less than salubrious. Sure, it's a an okay time, but there seems to be something missing, a certain feeling of apprehension, something that doesn't feel quite right. I'll promise that certain corners of the Scorpio world are looking up, but the actual Scorpio birthday this week is less than wonderful. It's not bad, it's just that there feels like there is something that is missing. It's a quality that you can't quite put a finger on, there's a missing element. Don't panic, don't worry, and don't freak out. Just realize that this missing part of the puzzle will not turn up. That little bit of something which isn't present isn't nearly as important as you think that it is, not right now. I would suggest that relax some, and not worry about that which can't seem to place a finger upon. Whatever is missing will show up, perhaps even sooner than you think.

Sagittarius : What is that famous Frank Zappa song which addresses Broken Hearts? That's the prevailing sentiment for the time being. There is nothing going on that should get to you. In Sagittarius, there are few less than wonderful planets doing a few less than wonderful things, but that doesn't mean there is no hope. And it certainly doesn't suggest that your good attitude needs to suffer any, not this week. If you don't like the Zappa song, check out Capricorn for another musical trivia question, perhaps the hopeful song there would be better. But the tune from 1979 is better because its title correctly evokes what the Sagittarius feeling is right now. Despite some attitude problems with other people, occasionally, it's okay to be a brash and raucous individual, and this might be just the week for that. To be sure, you will undoubtably rub a few characters the wrong way, but that shouldn't be your concern. You know, sometimes, you just need to do that. Might as well make it this week.

Capricorn : "Working on the railroad/ Sleeping on the ground,/ Eat saltine crackers/ ten cents a pound..." is the lyric from a particular old and familiar song. It's roots are various, some would suggest it's Country. Others claim it's Western. Some even suggest it's Swing. In any case, the only hint is that this is music with an intrinsic tie to Texas. Correctly identify that tune and the authors, perhaps its first public appearance, and you can win an abbreviated "FGS Planet Profile" delivered e-mail only. What does this tune have to do with this week? It's a joyful, party kind of song. Perhaps it's not politically correct anymore, but you get the idea, I hope. Despite the odd influences, there's still a decent party attitude in your sign right now, and you need to do the most to accentuate that party attitude, hence the musical trivia question. And if you can just focus on something besides the problems at hand, perhaps lift your eyes up from the ground, or the desk full of work related trivial matters, you'll find that the world isn't such a bad place. I can't promise a real swinging party, but there is hope, especially getting this week off to a good start.

Aquarius : I had a about a six week sprint where I worked every weekend. Every Friday, I was at the airport, flying off to various places in West Texas, place like the Permian Basin, and Lubbock, Amarillo, El Paso, and then a quick tour back east, off to Tyler. After about six weeks of this, all I really wanted was a quiet weekend at home. Just when it looked like I was going to get that time at home, I had an invitation to fish in tournament on the Left Coast. Once again, I just loaded up the suitcase, grabbed the saddlebags, as it were, and hopped on another company plane. That's what this week is like, all that frenetic activity, and all you long for is a little vacation. And just like me, you can look forward to a special invitation at the end of the week. In other words, you're active spell isn't done with yet. But what's coming up is a little bit better because it's going to be a little different. The difference between me and your Aquarius self, though, is that you get all this activity in one week whereas I had a slightly more sedate pace, stretching over a six week period of time. So don't unpack your saddlebags yet, don't plan on getting much of anything done besides a little laundry, pet the cat, and get ready to roll again -- you ain't done yet.

Pisces : The only thing that most Pisces want to hear about right now is romance, love, and its assorted (and sordid) players. And while regular astrology suggests that such a train of thought is a good idea for Pisces, I would tend to veer off the traditional track, and I would follow a different rail line, and tell you to pay attention to business. "Work? Why work?" Because work has a unique little opportunity, a single shot at some advancement, and there's nothing like getting a heavenly hint that work is about to get better. But it's now time for a fishing analogy. Imagine you're on the lake, early in the morning. Imagine that there are other, rival fishermen. Imagine that you have just one cast that will attract a big bass who has been sitting there, patiently waiting on you. Get out your favorite lure, the one that always works. Put it on the end of the line. Say a short a prayer. Cast away. You've got one chance to make the business thing work, and as long as you concentrate hard, imagine that fishing chomping down on your bait, you can hook a big one. You have a single opportunity to break free of the usual stuff about romance and get yourself in a position that bodes well for your financial future, but you have to be willing to work towards this with calm determination and a view towards success. Skip the romance that other folks are talking about -- go for the big prize, and remember me when you win big.

"I doubt not then but innocence shall make
False accusation blush, and tyranny
Tremble at patience."
Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" [Act III, scene ii]

Mercury dips into the tropical zodiac sign of Libra for the briefest flirtation, then rights himself, according to the text I consulted, and starts to head off in a merry way. Well, sort of merry.
Make merry with Pisces this week for a trivia question....

Aries : I am less concerned with the mercurial manifestations this week for you which amount to nothing compared to the slow and inexorable crawl of Mars through the sign of Libra. Mars is going to lean on you some. In actual astrology terminology, he's opposing you. And when your ruling planet is in the sign that is opposite you, there's a degree of tension in the air. So don't get your hopes up as long as Mercury is going in more forward fashion by the end of the week, there's still a problem with Mars. What's Mars going to do? Imagine yourself sitting in a little boat at dawn, looking over the lake. You've just had a Honey Bun and coffee, so you are amply prepared for the day. It's a little cool out. You reach around for your fishing pole, getting ready to hunt down some big fish, and you discover that your fishing line has become this giant mess, a very tangled web. Now, you can waste away about three quarters of the day trying to undo this knot, or, you can pull out a trusty pocketknife, cut the tangled web of monofilament line away, put some fresh line on, and go to it. The choice is yours, in how you approach those knotty problems. Personally, my best advice is to cut right through and add new fishing line -- it's simpler solution with Mars where he is.

Taurus : I've used this analogy before, but it's going to feel like it really applies this week, especially to Taurus. Just when you think you've got it made, just when Mercury delivers the briefest of respites, just when you feel like there is, indeed, hope for the immediate future, there's a snag. You keep taking one step forward, as befits your current situation, but you find yourself running around in circles still. "But you said Mercury would leave me alone!" What I suggested was Mercury was going in a direct fashion -- he will not leave you alone. So even though you keep trying to put one foot forward, and even though you keep trying to make a valiant effort to make progress, you're still stuck in the same position. Here's a hint: by the end of the week, if you try move both feet, not just one, you'll find that you are less inclined to make this circling motion. If you keep moving the same foot forward each time, you just wind up right back where you started.

Gemini : Look, we can just write off the full moon this week for you. It's not like it's been a good couple of weeks and it's not like this is getting much better. I wouldn't say that there is no ray of hope on yonder horizon, but the Gemini camp is pretty upset with me because I have refused to pander to their desire for nothing but good news when everything still looks a little bleak. But wait, what light through the kitchen window is illuminated? It looks like it's a Gemini light, and it's got something which has been cooking up for a while. Better yet, there's a chance, a single ray of hope that something will work out! Never mind, it was just somebody else -- some other sign -- getting up in the middle of the night to get a glass of cool water from the ice box. Now, if that was a Gemini, you would also be helping yourself to some of the food in there, leftovers. Something that doesn't take a lot of time to prepare. It looks like the hot tip for is to examine that left over take out food before you toss it into the microwave -- you want to make sure that grub's only a few days old.

Cancer : Even though there is the pejorative effect of Mercury right now, and even though there is still some positive full moon flavored madness drifting around, I would not be doing my job if I promised that everything was going to be great for my Cancer friends, not this week. In fact, it won't be great for the next several weeks, but that's not the problem. This week will certainly have its moments when it seems like everything is wonderful. That's good news. And this week will certainly have a joyous overtone to it, too, like kind of pleasure that comes from returning to a Fish Camp with lots and lots of fish on your stringer. Once again, that's good news. But the joy is a transitory thing, a merest glimpse that there is a degree of happiness in the world. The overall feeling, and what you need to pay attention to, has a lot more to do with timing of certain business matters, perhaps family business matters, and there, it's a problem. You can escape the problem for a little while this week, that's the good news, but they will be back, and you're going to have to face some tough decisions about these matters. I'm just trying to get you prepared. Holidays are around the next bend.

Leo : The last Leo I heard from said something rather untoward about Mercury. That Leo suggested a bodily function that I don't care to print, much less think about. And in doing so, that one Leo suggestion also anthropomorphized the planet, giving it terribly human qualities (and frailties, too). But you really should pay attention to this little planet right now, because he's moving in a highly agitated state. Actually, the planet is just following its orders, marching around the Sun, but it in an ordered state. It's out Leo selves that are disheveled right now. Be a little fast on your feet this week, laugh a little louder, and be more willing to laugh at your own mistakes. "I can't believe I really SAID that!" And then laugh. It will make your week a lot easier, and you'll find that there is a degree of satisfaction that comes from escaping some of the poison darts everyone else is getting. Laughter is your best medicine. Or, at the very least, giggle.

Virgo : Dearly beloved Virgo. I realize I should finish up that statement, but there's this one Virgo I'm trying really hard to impress, and you can never tell just which one that is. Part way through this week, I'm going to appear brilliant, as if in the blink of an eye, the world according to Virgo (the world according to the perfect Virgo) suddenly got a lot better. It's not really just one little astrological influence right now -- it's several. Together, as the week gets older, and none of us are getting any younger, you'll quit feeling your age so much, and there's a gentle but perceptible shift. Could be Mercury. Could be the fullness of the Moon. Could be Mars. By the end of the week, the stuff that wasn't working will start working better. And by the end of the week, the things that weren't in alignment, will start looking like they might actually line up. Now, this isn't to say that everything is all of a sudden better, but there's a small amount of hope which can be derived from this missive. You can see an end to an apparently endless realm of troubles, all of a sudden.

Libra : There's a little hint, comes along in the middle of the week, and it's a time to stop whatever you are doing. It's a time to stop everything, hit the pause button on the video titled "A Libra Life" and stop everything. Mars wants activity. You want to be active this week, but in the middle of the week, you've got about a 12 hour window where you need to stop and think about it all. Put that sharp Libra mind to work on some of the old problems. Realize that Mars is stirring up your passions like a spoon in the middle of a big five gallon pail of my chili. And think about it all. Now, like the chili, does this need more red pepper? Cayenne? Chili powder? This week reminds me of some Tex-Mex cuisines I sampled in England. There was far too much chili powder and far too little flavor. Any chef will tell you there has to be balance with the spices, and overloading a single spice, no matter how piquant that spice is, just doesn't work. In the middle of the week, stop and pause, maybe sample what you're working on, then decide if you need to seek a little more balance with it. Like my chili, sometimes it takes a while before it's really ready to be served to humans. (And some humans wonder if that chili is really good for human consumption.)

Scorpio : The last few weeks have offered up a time for my dear Scorpio friends to relax, reflect, and perhaps an opportunity to look back on the past, a chance to take a stroll down memory lane. "Not exactly!" Okay, so it was more like a torturous hike through barren and rocky crags instead of a pleasant stroll. And memory lane looked an awful lot like on of the paintings depicting the "Inferno." Maybe it was like a bad movie, with special effects and not a lot of plot, and as a Scorpio, you're still trying to figure what it all means. There's a bit of bad news at this time, and you're not out of the woods yet. Mars is in position where he's trying his very best to seduce you with something right now. It's not exactly what you want, but Mars is going to wrap it up pretty - like, and hope that you take the bait. Remember what's gone before you, and think twice before just saying, "Yes. Sure. Where do I sign?" -- unless it's a check for me -- I'm not like the rest.

Sagittarius : Unexpected help from unexpected corners of the heavens is what's in store this week. It's not going to come from where you expect it. I realize that's redundant, but I'm serious. And as soon as you start poking around those unexpected corners, then it becomes an expected form of help, and once again, that's not where the rescue mission is coming from. So don't be on the lookout for the Cavalry streaming over the next hill, just in time to rescue your sorry butt in the nick of time. But do count on some sort of succor this week, especially later in the week. The biggest challenge facing you is realizing that some one is there to be an angel for you, and not quite grasping the fact that the person is, indeed, an angel. Perhaps it's because that angel might be dressed like businessman. Or even (heaven forbid) a lawyer. Whatever the case may be, there's a small degree of respite which occurs, and it is from an unusual source.

Capricorn : You've been patiently biding your time, waiting for this slightly chaotic Mercury thing to hurry up and be over. You've been waiting for good things to start happening. In fact, you've got a little, albeit brief, hint that there's a change blowing in on the wind. Venus is fast approaching your sign, and while traditional astrology suggests that Venus and and Capricorn don't exactly have the same kind of energy, I tend to look askance at some traditional terms applied to both. Rest up this week, you're going to need the energy in the later part of this month, like as soon as next week gets here. This is a week when you need to pull yourself together a little bit, maybe even schedule something else besides all that work. You have been working too much, pouring a bucket of water on each and every little brush fire you've encountered, and while that's a good, if temporary solution, you haven't had the chance to really address the bigger problem. Now, the little fires all settle down to smoking ashes, and you can stop long enough to get some rest. And even if there's part of your brain that suggests you're wasting time, consider the break in the fire action as a necessary point to regroup. You're going to go charging forth, next week, so this week, do your very best to take it easy.

Aquarius : I was attempting to help another fisherman at a time -- a time like you're having this week, and all my efforts seemed wasted. I could clearly see how this guy was all confused, disoriented, and I could see how he needed my assistance. I freely offered copious quantities of helpful advice, I even offered to help him select better equipment at the moment, and I was quite voluble with my efforts. It all fell on deaf ears. No matter how much sage advice I had, and no matter how well-intentioned my efforts were, I was wasting both my time and his time. It's enough to turn me in to a bitter old man, all that "do the right thing" effort was wasted. Now, this is a week when you're going to feel much the same way. You may actually know more, and you may actually have a better idea. But you're not getting ahead by trying to share this information. Sometimes, the people you try to help just get infuriated with your efforts to be helpful. Reminds me of the time I pulled over to help an (I thought) attractive and apparently helpless female change her flat tire. "I don't need your help, and I don't need your condescending male sexist attitude. I will not be slave a to your outdated concept of chivalry either." The vituperative response was tempered a little, though, as I did show her how to loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire.

Pisces : This is good week for an attitude check. In fact, let's just call it a good week to check back, too. Check what you feel like on Monday. Spirits are high, but it's a Monday. Middle of the week, spirits are still high, and weekend is in sight. Weekend, you feel great. During this time, it looks like you haven't been able to make one bit of progress on a money path, but you've done rather well in spite of the odds. You feel great. I figure you're looking pretty good, too. But you feel like you're just not getting ahead with the "making more money" thing. However, back to the attitude thing. That's still good. In fact, some people will look at you and wonder how you can be happy at a time like this. The "personality" planets are all in good shape right now, as far a Pisces is concerned. The only planet that's out of whack is the one which is supposed to bring you money. if I were rich, I'd write you a check right now based on your personality alone. But I'm not made of money, nor do the stars look good for actually getting ahead financially. But attitude? That's great. You're happy, carefree, and not the least bit disturbed by the things which seem to be bothering the other signs. This is a week when it's easy to laugh it all off. I was thinking of a particular song, a Cowboy Yodel, with lyrics about "I'm broke but I'm rich..." Know the tune? Drop me a line and I'll see about hooking you up with a free (abbreviated) planet profile, delivered via electronic mail. I'll need the author's name, source for the material, and then I'll need you to send along your DOB, TOB & POB, along with that right answer.

"To your protection I commend me, gods!
From fairies and the tempters of the night,
Guard me, beseech ye!"
from Shakespeare's Cymberline, Act II, scene ii.

Late in the week, Mars moves into Libra, and that will be a source of consternation for some, but also pleasant ripening for others. Which will you be?

Aries : Mars is doing his best to really irritate you, Mercury is none the better for his apparent retrograde position, and the precise planned passage of the moon, through her various pathways this week, is also stacked against you. Fortunately, you like a little difficult challenge, and none of this is really "bad," just a little uncomfortable. And what's a life without a few day in and day out irritations? In certain fishing circles, it has long been regarded that I'm the most likely candidate not to be the best guy to handle the filet knife. It's also been determined that I'm not the best guy to handle certain sharp items, owing to my inherent Sagittarius clumsiness. That's why I support the "catch and release" program so well -- toss them back so someone else can catch them again, double your fun. And that's the message that the heavens are delivering to you this week, just like me. Be prepared to toss back what you catch. I'm not suggesting that you don't get a few fishes that you want to hold onto, but most of what you get, you'll want to be prepared to return them to where they came from, in a mostly unharmed condition. As long as Mars is moving like he is, you might be best if you leave that sharp filet knife tucked away this week.

Taurus : We have a strange astrological condition which will feel like a strange meteorological condition to the fine Taurus weather we're supposed to be having this week. There's a straightforward hint from the planets as Mars exits Virgo (dirt sign) and get ready to enter airy Libra. Saturn is still at a very late degree of your sign, and the angle between Mars and Saturn is one that is supposed to be beneficial, especially if you're willing to produce some hard work right now. Of course, there's still Mercury doing a tailspin in the sign which is opposite from you, and that's a source of recurring troubles. Maybe not big troubles because mercury is such a small planet, but it's still a signal that about certain communication skills you might lack this week. Between the three, I would suggest that you stick to business this week. As a fishing guide, my office is sometimes on a dock or in a boat, but I don't think you have the same pleasure, not this week. It looks like it's a room with four walls, maybe a cubicle, and it looks like you are being called forth to do some heroic amount of work -- possibly something left over by some other lazy person. Tackle the task. Now, in keeping with the planets' places, you might not actually see any immediate reward for this effort -- except from your astrology buddy here -- but you will reap some hefty praise, on down the road. Go that extra mile this week, but don't expect to be noticed until the middle of the month. Got that?

Gemini : It wasn't so long ago that I had a house full of Gemini's. The bitter one, the happy one, the busy one, the rejected one. And these were different people, each and every one. No jokes this week about a Gemini's multiple personalities, either. But if you're not familiar with the layout of a single wide trailer, then you wouldn't understand that this was "tight quarters" for just such a range of Gemini emotions. By the end of the week, about the time Mars goes into Libra with a bit of a bump, you've got all of these Gemini characteristics lined up inside your single Gemini cranium. And like my trailer's living room on that one fateful evening, there's just not enough room for everything in there. So even though the week week starts out with a bitter quality to it, and even though you pass from bitterness to anger, and on into busyness, there's still a warning about Mercury which needs to be observed. This range of multiple emotions will pass, it's like a storm, and the movement of Mars, finally, is like the day after, when the sky is clear, the temperature returns to normal, and you can survey the scene to make some strategic decisions about what do with where you're at. The up and down, side to side motion of your world will get settled down a bit, and you can take off in one relatively coherent direction by the end of the week. Don't rock the boat (too much).

Cancer : I've been reading charts and writing astrological predictions for many years. In that time, there's a theme which occurs over and over, "You said I would hear from an old lover, but the only guy who contacted me is my ex-husband, and he's in jail right now..." which, if you consider it, is exactly what I suggested would happen, it's certainly an ex, and it's certainly a guy in situation where he can communicate with you, but he won't be coming to see you any time too soon (20 years on that one charge, time was concurrent with something else, and yes, I have a varied clientele.) The point to this exercise abut understand just how accurate an astrologer can be is important this week because you're going to be hearing from an old flame. Or an old "situation," or whatever word you choose to use to label that person and your relationship to that person with. It might not be the one you want to hear from, but I'll promise that you do hear from one of them. And what develops from this? It's more like sense, a feeling, a little bit of ennui. Not really a depression, and not really a big problem, but there's a sense to the week that you're just not getting what you feel like you truly deserve. The world is a funny old place, and while you might not get what you want this week, I figure you'll follow that old song lyric, and get what you need.

Leo : There comes a time in everyone's life when you have to look at Mercury, get a little upset with his meandering route, and tell him just exactly what you think about his inability to let you communicate. See, it's a really a good time for Leo. The problem being, communicating that good time with the rest of us. We don't get it. "It" is the Leo message. So it's really not a bad time for you at all, but we're not understanding what is going on right now. And trying to communicate joy at time like this is not going to have a good effect on you. In fact, that leads to frustration. And sitting at your desk while a maelstrom whips everyone else around AND leaves you in relative peace and harmony, is not always welcomed. So even though you're going to have a good week, the real trick is to act as concerned, upset and distraught as other, non - Leo signs. It will make us feel better. When someone starts complaining about this or that, don't act like you superior (even though you are), but nod knowingly, and pipe in your own complaint, too.

Virgo : Even though Mercury is still generating an undue amount of pressure on your poor sign, and even though this is creating a very discomfiting situation, you're still going to get a breath of fresh air. It's winter time in Texas, or the fall, or whatever season you choose to call it, and we get these days when the morning is cool and calm, with a gentle breeze blowing out of the northwest, perhaps there's a chilly feeling to it. It's not cold by most folks' standards, but here, it's a definite change. Some astrologers will tell you that foolish weather is just like a Virgo's perennial attitude. I would tend to disagree, but the first part of the week is like that -- you do demonstrate a rather foolish behavior. Of course, with the relative change in Mars, and Mars in relation to Saturn, you're going to find that your attitude changes. And as slippery as it is to try and predict Texas Weather, you're going to find that your mood is rather mercurial, too. The good news is that there is warming trend, and as Mars leaves your sign this week, you tend to become a lot warmer, in gentle, pleasant way. I told you that those cool mornings were pleasurable, didn't I? Just like you.

Libra : Mars barrels into your sign later this week. Just look out because he's coming in before Mercury has a chance to get himself straightened out, and since Mercury isn't "quite right," the Mars effect, as it begins this week, might not feel like you're getting off with your best foot forward. You will tend to begin the week by selecting exactly the wrong bait for fishing. You'll choose to use a lure when some live bait would have been the best bet. You'll back up and switch to a lute, and then, you should have been using worms, only you were trying to use minnows. See? You keep getting close, but you're not onto it. Timing is off. At one point, early in the week, you'll feel like everything is off, and you would be better off in bed. While that's a great idea, too, nothing is worse than rolling out of the bunk, having forgotten that you were on the top bunk, and it's a long way to the floor of the cabin. Or, if you're in the bottom bunk, getting up really fast, and banging into the top bunk which not only wakes your partner, but also creates a sore spot on your brain case. See? Even staying in bed isn't such a good idea. Take your lumps early in the week, and get ready for Mars as he eases into your sign with a flurry of activity. Don't worry that you might make unwise decisions this week, at least you're doing something.

Scorpio : While most other important planets are moving forward, Mercury is still doing a little number on your ability to speak. I figure you're talking too fast for the rest of us. We can't keep up. I know that you have important information which you need to communicate with us. I realize that you have a deeper understanding of the way this thing works right now. I also know that you can't seem to get the right words in the right places, or, for that matter, the right ears. I once switched from using a very fast computer to working on a manual typewriter for creating copy. It was a good exercise, and it generated some interesting results. No delete button, the keys themselves would sometimes put a character in he wrong place, and I couldn't just merrily pound away at the keyboard and let the machine do all the work. It was an exercise in futility, but I did make some interesting stuff for landfill purposes. This is a week like that, you've moved from the New Millennium of computes back to a manual typewriter this week. But unlike me, you need to save all that stuff you're creating because there is a use for it, and I would suggest that it's more useful than my material which is gradually becoming fertilizer at the dump.

Sagittarius : One of the biggest assets I have when I'm working on a boat is the fact that I really am clumsy. Some astrology texts refer to Sagittarius as being graceful, and for the life of me, I can't figure out where that comes from. We do have a certain grace about our ineptitude, though, and that's the asset I've chosen to develop. One of the best picture I've got is one which was snapped just as the fish wriggled out of my hand, so it's me, a fishing line, and a big bass headed for the lake, tail first. Photographic record. Some folks think it was a fish jumping into my hand, but we all know the sordid truth now. So we Sagittarius folks have a week of this stuff. Great prizes which escape our grasp -- only to be caught in the act by an intrepid journalist's camera. That's the way this week plays out. It's not really that bad, and the occasionally foul up by our Sagittarius standards pays off, but not in the way we're expecting it to. Perhaps the best way to get through a week like this is simple. Say, "I meant to do that. No, really. I did." Some folks might even believe us, after they are done having a good laugh. Laugh with them, it's easier this week.

Capricorn : There's a let down coming at the end of this week. I'm warning you about it now, and except for that one Capricorn who will write to me and let me know how wrong I was, the rest of you have a great start to a wonderful week, given the fact that Mercury is up to his old tricks. The week starts out great, even if Mercury is backwards. It's not a bad time at all. And it gets better and better, as the week goes by. Then, at the very tail end of the week, just in time for weekend, things all slide downhill. Instead of ruminating about how bad your life got, seemingly overnight, why not get prepared for the worse? I'll plan on commiserating with you this weekend, we can rent some videos and order pizza on Friday night. of course, what will happen is that the pizza will be late, and the tape from the Bubba's Bait and Video Rental will have glitch in it, and to really ruin the mood, the interruptions all come at time when the plot was just getting exciting. Want to make this an even better image? You turn to your date, and that person is gently snoring. Now look, this isn't you, and it's not the end of the world. It's just little planetary reminder that you need to cool off for a period of time. The early part of the week is fraught with exciting developments at work, so the same planets that brought you the good news are also suggesting that you take it real easy on the weekend. Turn your attention to getting some rest. Looks like your date will.

Aquarius : I like observing Aquarius people. They are always one step off from whatever most folks would call "normal," and that makes Aquarius a particularly interesting case study. But this is a week when interesting case studies aren't exactly what we should be focused on. And my fine Aquarius friends need to be a little more wary about anyone coming along with a great plan to get ahead. Remember that Mercury is retrograde, and while that won't affect the Aquarius I know, it will have a somewhat deleterious effect on the rest of us. Therein is the problem. Someone is going to pop up this week with a suggestion on how you can make a lot of money. Or an improbable scheme for taking over the world. Or chance to amass a great deal of fame. What's worse, this scam is going to look "bullet proof" to you. No matter how you turn it over in your Aquarius brain, this little idea looks like it could really work. If you can just put off making a resolute decision until later in the week, maybe put it off until next week, you might save both of us a lot of trouble. Since one of my private pleasures is fiction, when you get that proposal this week, drop it in an e-mail to me, we can both stand a good laugh as long as Mercury is doing his thing.

Pisces : I once met an Pisces who was so in tune with other versions of reality that she appeared to be almost translucent in form and shape. Of course, it might have been the dress or the hat she was wearing, something that belonged to another time and another place, like a mythological place where women are partially draped in diaphanous gowns, and bare bodies are not a problem, where form and function are all an art. "Yeah, so what's that got to do with this week, buddy boy fishing guy?" Late in the week, as Mars moves out of Virgo, you're going to notice that you drawn to some sort of "other reality." I've tracked this systematically, and I know that your dream world will appear real. Or the real world will appear dreamy. One way or another, you're going to be swept away with a momentary confusion where the two worlds collide, and it's like entering another dimension. If this were to happen to anyone else, other than a Pisces, there would be ominous music in the background. But there won't be. It's not bad, but you might want to do something to gently ease yourself back into the reality that the rest of us subscribe to. Too much time daydreaming this week can lead to, uh, too much time day dreaming. Maybe it's not so bad.

"Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace."
From Shakespeare's Coriolanus, Act V, scene iii.

Aries : You are in the midst of preparing for a great day, which, yes, is coming your way. Only not this week. In fact, it doesn't look like it will even be this month (but there's not a lot left of this month -- anyway). So consider that this is a time to be getting certain things prepared. It's like embarking on a hunting trip. Even if you're not a hunter, work with the idea here. First, there's the ammunition that you have to buy, taking the shells out of the boxes and putting them into the clips, the spare clips, and adding some shells to your hunting gear, too. Then there's the knives which need to be sharpened, the skinning knife, the camping knife, the filet knife, the steak knife, and the Swiss Army knife. Then you need to make sure that all your camping gear is ready to go. Unroll the sleeping bag, fluff it up, make sure it's warm enough. Are you with me so far as we get ready? Tent, canoe, maybe some emergency fishing tackle, just in case, and by now, your significant other is wondering whether you're going hunting or going to war. Since you're about to venture out into the wilderness, you need to make sure that you can handle any emergency, no matter how small or large, with ease. This much planning could take all week, and by the time the weekend gets here, and you think you're ready to go, it's obvious that the Mercury thing will make you forget one thing. So before you leave on this mythical (or real in my case) hunting trip, make sure that you've got everything you're going to need to be completely self-sufficient for the coming weeks. You'll b a lot happier. Food? Did we include that? Right. If you plan on catching or killing all your food, you might go hungry on this expedition, so make sure you take something nutritional to eat, too.

Taurus : If the planetary action this week hasn't done it already, you can just wipe that smug look off your face right now. Don't roll your eyes at me either, when you do that you can't read the rest of the message. Nothing is going to look like it will go right this week. All your plans seem to fall apart. Nothing is working out. It looks like the whole week will be a total disaster, a complete failure. And it's only Monday (or Tuesday or one day this week). It's not a complete disaster. It's gentle sweeping motion by the planets, a gradual shift in emphasis as to what is really important, and what just seem important right now. that's the fallacy of this week, that's the common Mercury misdirection. That's the planets in motion, doing what they do best. Now, after setting you up for really bad time, let me explain that it's not nearly as bad, dire or catastrophic as I make it out to be. Of course, I'm not wearing Taurus boots this week, either. If I was, I might change my song a little. I will over my own, sage advice, though. The stuff that's falling by the wayside, the (people, places, events) that you considered so important at the beginning of the week, and the part of the week that is really most important will change. So when it looks like it's all falling apart, realize it's part of giant conspiracy to pick you, and settle you on a more correct route. As that stuff tumbles in front of you creating an impassable blockage, just go another direction. If you're like me, you can just say, "I meant for that happen." Sometimes, people will even believe you.

Gemini : Although I'm rather fond of a good Gemini or two, I've only met one who really likes the planets when Mercury is retrograde, the sum total of Gemini's who do well during this time, is that one, and everyone else hates it. This is compounded by several other planets who all seem to be leaving footprints on your delicate Gemini backside. Someplace, some where, there's a Gemini who is getting by just fine this week. The rest of you, if it's not Mercury being in apparent backwards motion (and disturbing your fine order to the universe), then it's Mars leaning on you from a late degree of Virgo, or it's Jupiter himself, backwards in your own sign. One, or another, or maybe all of these are going to get you this week. Happy? Probably not. Distraught? A little. What to do with it? Imitate the actions of the planets themselves, back up and run over some old material. Any other sign, I'd suggest a more pedantic approach, but for the talented Gemini sign, a quick review session of old research might stand you in good stead. I know you think you're prepared for the week. But back up, just one more time, and run through that stuff, just quickly, and make sure you've got all the odd bits of paper, and marshal up all your stray data to make sure you can really prove your point. You'll be much happier if you're prepared this week.

Cancer : The real planet influence this week is hardly Mercury, but you can blame him if you want. It's like slow, downward spiral, a gradual decline into a morass that turns out to be an okay place. The real activity doesn't pick up until the weekend gets here, but in the meantime, it's like watching a weather map, and you're suffering from a "low level depression" as indicated by the little bar with arrows on it. Now, given that your a water sign, perhaps the finest of the Cardinal Water signs ever, you can do a little tinkering with the isobar, and you can certainly manipulate its boundaries. A little gerrymandering at a time like this is perfectly acceptable. It's the easiest way to escape the low level depression. There's at least one manic Cancer who will write to me this week and insist that her life is not bad at all, an, in fact, there is no depression whatsoever. I'll gratefully accept that statement, and I'll turn it around and suggest has it's proof -- solid evidence which suggests the little line on the astrology map can moved round and your Cancer self doesn't have to fall into a giant pit of despair. It's not like it's bad to begin with, it's just that there's this hint, a subtle nuance, of sadness. Get over it -- we'll both feel a lot better. Moving those lines around on the map is a simple gesture and relieves a lot of the problem.

Leo : it wasn't so long ago, I can remember the exchange of email rather well, and it came from a particular Leo who was not happy with that particular week's horoscope. I suggested that the good influences would outweigh the bad influences, and then this Leo suggested that I could get nothing correct. And that made me a little shy about suggesting anything good this week. But I will suggest that there are couple of invigorating little planet actions this week. Of course, Mr. Sun and Mr. Mercury dominate a section of the sky called Scorpio, and that's going to have some pejorative effect of the sweetest of Leo's. Actually, all Leo's are sweet, but I guess that's enough about that. Sure, Mercury is in a rather convenient position for you, but it could be worse, Mercury could be doing that little retrograde thing in Leo (as he's done before) so this isn't that bad. And the relative position of a few of the other planets makes this rather an amusing time, if you are willing to work with it. I would look at this week as a flirtation rather than a commitment. I would see this as a lively exchange of banter that doesn't have much substance. And if you get a special person promising just about everything to you this week, once again, take it as a light hearted exchange of information rather than a solemn oath. It's just one of those weeks when you can't take anything too seriously. Go at with that attitude, and I predict it will be a good week.

Virgo : A straight ahead astrologer will tell you not to commence a new business venture when Mercury is retrograde. While that's a great idea, not all great ideas can time things in way to suit you this week. And the new venture which is showing up this week isn't really a new venture, it's an old idea that's been kicking around in your head for a while. You get a little Mars action which really wants to put some new idea into action. I've talked about this before, where you are supposed to take notes, but not start anything new under an influence like this. This week to refer back to those notes, and see what Mercury ideas you've covered before, and see how these ideas might come into action now. There's just the oddest hint that there's something worth working on. There's just the oddest hint, maybe even it was a misaddressed email that you can use. This is one of those weeks when you can tease up an old project, put some hair spray on it (hair spray is a wonderful fixative) and put this old project to work for you in a new and better way. And if you're concerned about the astrological implications of starting a new endeavor when mercury is in a tail spin, remember that this is really an old idea that you're updating -- it's not really anything new. Add your spin to the old stuff and see if it doesn't develop rapidly.

Libra : If I was ever going to pick a week when the very best message I had for a single sign was "stay home," this would be the note to Libra this week. In the confines of your own castle (okay, so MY castle looks a lot like a single wide trailer built in the middle of the last decade, oops, two decades ago), you will feel safe. Within the walls of your own abode, you're going to feel like everything is okay. Mercury is like an assailant, but once you're safe at home, he can't get to you. He tries to attack your walls, but you can look down on him from the ramparts and peer over the castellated home front, look across your mote, and you're fine, safe from his various cannonades. So your safe at home -- the problems arise when you have to lower your drawbridge and venture forth unto the world to do battle with various other forces in your life. That's the source of much of this week's consternation. In my case, I have to go forth and do battle with fish, especially big lunkers. The idea o framing the business opportunities as a battle of wills is very y good because that's what it feels like. As long as you are safe at home, there's no way "they" can get to you. As soon as you get out, that's when the trouble starts. It doesn't have to be a bad week, but ask a monk how much fun he usually has.

Scorpio : There's a certain lift you get from this week. It's not like it's a particularly good time, no, not with Mr. Mercury being retrograde in your sign, but there's still a ray of hope in here. Certain mornings in late October, in Texas, there's a quiet calm to the surface of the lake. There's a stillness in the air at dawn, a slight chill to the atmosphere, the barest hint of a mist rising from the surface of the lake. There's a degree of hope, as you sit out there on the lake of life all by yourself. Everything is wonderful in Scorpio land. Then the week is going to break wide open. As soon as you have to encounter us, the rest of the 11 signs, as soon as you are face to face with interaction with other people, that beautiful image of the lake at dawn is gone. Long gone. Remember that Mercury rules communications, and right now, you're just dealing with unjust problems, and the whole source of the problem goes right back to the communications. If you could just communicate via telepathy, just wire that message straight into our brains, then the nuance of language, the written word, the telephone call, the voice mail, nay, even the fax machine, wouldn't screw it all up. Just for this week, as long as Mercury is doing his thing, as long as the best time of the year has started (Scorpio time), imagine that I'm sitting at the back of the Scorpio boat, and you're sitting in the bow seat, and we're looking out over the lake, and I'll just follow your unwritten, unspoken directions this week. Of course, I might be the only person who is taken proper directions from you, but at least I'm there for you. Good luck with the other, less enlightened folks this week -- they need help, and I'm not sure you're the one to do it.

Sagittarius : Some of the man made lakes in Texas are huge, and these bodies of water feel like an ocean, or a sea, at the very least. I was working with a boat full of tourists one time, going after fabled big bass, and it was quiet day. Venus was in Sagittarius, Mercury was Retrograde, and the Sun had just crept into Scorpio, like it is right now. I was determined to have some fun. At one point, as we were in a deep cove, and there had been relative quiet for a moment, I (mistakenly) decided to have some fun. "Look out! Shark!" One of the guys in the boat, a terrible fisherman with too much money and not enough experience jumped up, "Where? Where!" He almost sent us all tumbling into the lake. A few minutes later, after everyone calmed down, and the one guy really felt foolish, I had to ponder my mistaken attempt at levity. This is a week like that one time, the planets are in the same places, and an attempt at a joke this week -- while I find it really funny -- might not go over nearly as well as you think. First, the person will feel foolish then, at the end of the day, you don't get a tip. That's sort of a double payback. What's worse, that guy will definitely not be sending me any of his rich fishing buddies, either. I was going to video tape the whole thing, but once again, Mercury fouled that one up, and the batteries were dead so even prospects of blackmail didn't work. Don't yell "Shark!" this week if you don't mean it.

Capricorn : Where I live, in my home town, a pair of shorts, a Hawaiian shirt with a loud print, some sandals, that's every day office wear. Sure there are some guys in suits and ties, but they stand out,m look odd and are more the exception rather than the rule. But I ventured out of my home town for a business meeting, and I took what I needed for work, a lap top computer, a hand held, a cell phone, and a briefcase full of charts and graphs, ready to make my point in a corporate setting. However, I used to my local environment as I am, I just wore a nice shirt, shorts and I even put on my good sandals, the ones with the least mileage. I was a little out of place. This is a week when you need to stand up in front of a group of people, make a pitch, perhaps hawk yourself or your product, or even your employer, and there's no way you can do this wearing "Island dress." While one uniform works well in your own hometown, if you've ever noticed, there seems to be certain standards which are arbitrary at the least, and you've got a week when you're going to find that a little more thoughtful preparation will go a long way towards making your situation work well. Perhaps the inverse would be true, would you show up to meet me, ready to get on a boat and go out for some killer bass fishing, dressed in a suit with nice tie?

Aquarius : What's life without a little bit of tension? What's life without a little bit of feeling like there's just one too many things to do, and not quite enough time to get it all accomplished? You've got a week filled with a work load like that. There's a really easier answer, though, a simple solution to this problem of your week. Of course, first we should all address the obvious culprit, that would be the current disarrayed state of Mercury. Having duly noted his penchant for causing minor mischief, let's get about a solution for this week. What are your priorities? Fish, eat, sleep, work. Four items are on your list for this week. Notice the order that they have been put to you. I'm sure that one or two Aquarius folks will disagree with the relative order there, and you can substitute anything you want for "fish," but you get the idea. Now, there's one or two people who might not like the order that you've got your priorities in, but the Aquarius part of my chart thinks it's great. I have news for you, too, this is a week when you're not going to be able to get to everything on your list, so figure what's more important to your Aquarius self, then deal with the list in the proper order. Personally, I think you can get by just fine with no sleep, and as your week gets longer and longer, I'll suggest that I'm not the only one who has this way of looking at your life -- your employer, boss, or clients might just agree with me.

Pisces : The relative motion of the planets develops a certain kind of musical progression right now, almost like a very slow and faint march, something with an almost military beat to it, something that you can barely hear in the background. I'm reminded of a piece of classical music at this time, and those old (white, dead, European) composers would often dally with a bit of a martial rhythm to ad some back bone, a nit of ambiance, to their symphony. The Pisces musical group this week is like that, except that you can't quite make out what the real beat is. You can almost hear it, and being a good Pisces, you can feel that beat coming through, but it's as if the tone is just outside of the normal, audible range. That's a problem. It's as if there's a driving notation to this week, only you can't get on the same page as everyone else. Fortunately, for you, this isn't too much of a problem, nor is this such bad time. Be prepared to strike out on your own, listen to that Pisces drum machine with your own syncopated beat determining your pace for the week. You'll notice that there is a discordant noise emanating from the other signs, and there is certain lack of coordination with your beat this week. It's the mystical misanthropy of Mercury, doing his thing, and frankly, I would't be too worried about it because the main thrust of the Mercury time is going to slide right past you, leaving you untouched. You're fine this week, until you have to deal with us.

"Dispatch the most convenient messenger:
When haply he shall hear that she is gone,
He will return; and hope I may that she,
Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
Led hither by pure love. Which of them both
Is dearest to me, I have no skill in sense
To make distinction."
from Shakespeare's "All's Well that End's Well" [III.iv.60-67]

Mercury goes retrograde long about the middle of the week, but the way this week starts out, I'm sure I'll get notes from folks who suggest that the little one is, indeed, errant by Monday morning. Deal with it. I've got other things to do than worry about Mercury bring retrograde right now -- the usually warnings apply, though.

Aries : You're about to get a week of ease and grace. You're about to get a single moment of rest, relaxation, and relative comfort. Things are about to be really good -- only, it probably won't happen this week. I realize that it's not a good idea to start out your weekly prognostication thusly, but the problem has to do with the Sun, as much as anything. And as long as Old Sol is still kicking around in the sign which is on the opposite side of the zodiac from you, there are still some problems related you you. Then, Mercury himself will go out in the yard and bring back some road kill for you. There's your pet Mercury, standing over something that was hit on the highway this week, and Mercury is just about as proud as it can be at its minor trophy. So between the Sun and Mercury, there's going to be a prize that isn't too welcome this week, and this trophy will be delivered to your front door. When my cat drags in a bird or rodent and proudly proffers it up as some tangible evidence of her affection for me, I've learned the best thing to do is to praise her, thank her copiously, and then feed her something right out of the can of cat food because it means she won't be butchering her prize on the shag carpet in the living room. Blood stains are just murder to get out of that carpet. You're best bet is to praise whatever it is that gets brought up by Mercury and the Sun, and bring it on in, reward the hunter, and then hurriedly get that "thing" out of the house. The dumpster is a good place to put it, if you ask me.

Taurus : I once used a quote from the former English Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, from a November address to his countrymen. It went something like this, "Now is not the beginning of the end, nor is the end of the end, but it is the end of the beginning." My ability to quote accurately has been greatly impaired ever since the beginning of this year, but I've not lost the sense of the situation. It's the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. The novelty of the situation this week has worn off. The fun part is gone. In fact, in most Taurus circles, and most of the charts for Taurus for this week, the newness, that sense of wonderment that comes at the start of a new project is completely gone. It's just a tedious time. Fortunately, tedious has its merits, like, it's easily predictable. So my Taurus parts are going to put the shoulder to the cart, nose to the grindstone, the pedal to the metal, and get back to work. The fun part is done. In one book I wrote, an astrological text, the best part was that first line, "This book is dedicated to...." Everything past that was deliriously monotonous work, more like typing than an active act of being creative. But it is paying work, and as such, it does have its merits. So this is a week like that. Just do the work. Might be a bit boring, but you know, there's something to be said in favor of a little boredom, especially with the last few weeks' activity.

Gemini : When Mercury starts to describe an errant path through its route in the heavens, it also causes an undue amount of friction in the sign of the voluble Twins. Hey, don't blame me, I just report my observations. Mercury Retrograde ain't a happy time, and this one is going to hit the work scene worse than usual. Or better than usual. It's like you're busy explaining to a customer just exactly how a certain bait would be best, and this client of yours is busy not paying attention to you at all. "Bacon. Bacon works really good on number two hook. In fact, last week, I hooked some monster fish on that...." The client looks back at you in the boat, murmurs something unintelligible, and then ask, "So which lure am I supposed to work with? The Zara Thrusta? The Spook?" I know that you know that Gemini knows best this week. But I also know that Gemini doesn't get listening to this week. What's worse, this all happens at work. A month from now, that same person who wouldn't listen to you will be back, and what's worse, they will have that same ability to not listen to your expert advice. Me? I'm listening, but I understand the disposition of the planets right now, I know that you're ahead of the game. What I do on week like this is pay attention to what bait the other Gemini guides are using. But even then, I have to spy on them with binoculars in order to ascertain what's best. It would be a better time if more folks followed the Gemini lead this week, but alas, I fear it is not to be.

Cancer : Back yourself up and read the Gemini horoscope this week. Remember that you're not a Gemini, really, but this week, that advice about misinformation might feel like it applies to you. There's a chance, that doubling up on communications this week, as befits a Gemini, might stand you in good stead. And there's a better than average chance, that no matter what you do, that you wind up getting misunderstood. While I dislike misunderstandings of this nature just about as bad as you do, nothing is worse than having to go back later and say those magic words, "Oh baby, you were right, I was wrong, I'm sorry...." There's room a for a comedy routine in here, something about those familiar lines. In close, interpersonal relationships, when one partner says those lines, "You were right, I'm wrong, I'm sorry..." the person who hears this information is thinking, "All right, got him right where I want him!" And, the person uttering that demonstration of affection sees a light in his partners face, and he thinks, "All right! I got her right where I want her!" Gender based differences may vary with your own scenario, but the idea remains the same. Or was that "The Song Remains the Same"? In any case, watch what you expect out of your rehearsed speeches this week -- it might not turn out the way you expect it to go.

Leo : Some of my more technical and computer oriented acquaintances consider their computer to be an inseparable part of themselves. They just can't imagine life without the latest and greatest piece of technology. Seeing as how this is oft referred to as "bleeding edge technology" due to the way it attacks one's financial resources, sometimes it isn't the best idea to pin one's own self worth on a silly computer. I mean, it's just a bunch of plastic parts and highly refined silicone bits that happened to have been assembled in such a way that makes that one person happy. "You can have my (insert device, brand or name here) when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers!" While this is a good battle cry at certain times, you might want to reconsider this pitch, especially this week. There's no point in extolling the virtues of one piece of fishing tackle over another, especially if you really lack objective evidence to back this up. While my preferred Bass lure is a medium Zook Space Thruster, if I don't have a stringer full of five pound fishes to prove that this is the best lure, I might have to rethink my position. In the same vein, if you are busy trying to prove a point this week, about why your Leo "A" is better than their (any lesser sign's) "B," -- just make sure that you have proof to back up your claims. In fact, this week, as long as Mercury is toying with you, make sure you have evidence before you start making the apparent statements of fact for the lesser 11 (non Leo) signs.

Virgo : It looks like this a good week for you -- but it's not without a few small challenges. I would really like to place a large emphasis on the adjective "small" because the average Virgo listener will grasp that term and spend a lot of this week taking small challenges and making them into large problems. There's an easier way. Mercury is moving from a standstill into a backward motion this week. Mercury rules communication. Mercury means that your computer is more inclined to behave in a disruptive manor. It's an overall indication that you significant other, the cat, the dog, whomever, is likely as not to misread, misinterpret or generally misunderstand what your main intent was. Be extra cautious when using your expert Virgo communication skills this week. We (the other signs) are more likely to not quite grasp the real intent of your message. It means something different, or we get the wrong idea when you you use a really nifty little metaphor, simile, allegory or even some Texas hyperbole. This is not a week to exaggerate a claim for the sake of making the argument look good. This is not a week to use fancy words when plain words work just as well. This is certainly not a week to tell me how big the fish was. (So maybe this is a little bit of good advice for myself, too, you think?)

Libra : Pa Wetzel gets a special happy birthday nod this week, but that's about it for the good news. There's some stuff stirring up around the old homestead, and this "stuff" looks lot like one of my lesser batches of "Road kill chili." In fact, it has been suggested a time or two, by erudite and equivocating chili cook off judges, that some of my road kill chili would be best used either for asphalt repair in a Wal-Mart shopping center, or roof repair material in lieu of tar. I'm not sure that I'm overly fond of these analogies or references, but it's not like I haven't heard this before. And that's what the week looks like, it looks like it might be a delightful cauldron of good stuff bubbling up, a delicious aroma wafting through on the breeze. Then again, errant Mercury will take his toll, and that's when the judge returns a verdict that the Libra camp really doesn't want to hear. So as you're getting together the raw materials for this week, you might want to look for something else other than road kill as the main appetizer for your favorite dish. While it certainly fits with my idea of recycling, I'm not sure that possum parts are really what's best on the Libra fine dining menu this week. One or more judge this week will take task with the contents of your chili, and Mercury might make the same suggests to you about what to do with your batch as the last judge did with my batch. [Road tar indeed, there was only a little but on that raccoon's fur.]

Scorpio : Mercury going into an apparent backwards motion is not always a bad time, not if this is approached with a degree of caution, not bad if you're willing to work with the available energy, and not bad if you know what you're doing. Every Scorpio that I've ever met really does know what they are doing. Every one of them. Sometimes this destination and purpose is occluded from a normal sign's sight, but that's never bothered the Scorpio's. So this is a week like that -- it's like a fishing partner I've got, a fellow I fish with from time to time. I'm pretty sure this guy just uses me for my various bits of guiding experience, but it's a fine time nonetheless. He always has a secret map that he unfolds, a mysterious document that looks like a Texas Department of Wildlife map, and it seems to have some pretty arcane number, depths, locations, all marked on this map. But I never get a really good look at it because he claims it's proprietary information. Scorpio this week is going to feel like me, trying (with no luck) to peer over his shoulder at this mysterious store of data. It always feels like there is something that is being withheld, and the real trick is to go along with the game this week. Act like "they" know something, and act like whatever it is that "they" know is important. Mercury problems, nothing more.

Sagittarius : Venus enters our sign this week. Doesn't make a lot of progress, but she gets off to a good start doing what she likes to do best, and that's going to be stirring up some trouble. See: this Mercury period is not actually that wonderful. It's a time for pause and reflection, a time to consider some direction -- perhaps a chance to consider past misdirections, as well, and even a chance to consider some future ideas about what direction you want to take. Mercury is going to be stationary, then backwards in the sign which comes right before you. This is what I would call "not exactly a happy place," but with Venus beginning to kick Sagittarius around, it's not all bad either. So feel good this week, and if you should stop and pause, and have dark moments during this apparent lull in the action in Sagittarius, then don't worry about it too much. A little bit of listening to that baritone voice beckoning from the back of your mind, some strange tittering calling from a hidden recess of brain, a disembodied sound in the wilderness, listening that sort of thing isn't too bad this week. Giving in to it, though, that's another question. It's one thing to listen to the Siren's song, it's another thing to succumb to that incubus. (And don't tell me my mythology is confused, Mercury is retrograde -- it's allowed right now.)

Capricorn : Nothing is worse than getting a good night's rest, right before the Big Day, and getting work, and discovering that you exactly one day early. That's going to set a flavor, a sense, a style, a particular feeling to the way this Mercury Retrograde time is going to go for you. Sometimes, I would suggest, as it has been pointed out to me, sometimes, being early an serve as a detriment. Sometimes, it's better to be late than fashionably early. In fact, has it ever been called "fashionably early"? Or, better yet, the invitation for the party says, "Show up at 7:00 PM, and don't be late!" So operating with typical Capricorn efficiency, you're not late this week. But then, everyone else is. You show up n time, dressed in your party best, and the host (hostess, whatever) greets you, having just stepped out of the shower, "Hot damn, I'm glad your here, can you go and pick up the keg?" Sure, no problem. Except, the way this week works, not only do you get to pick up the keg, you also get dirt on your fine apparel AND you get to pay for the keg, as well. See what I mean? Sometimes, it really is better to be late. It's just Mercury, more than anything else, and he's just up to his old tricks.

Aquarius : There's a growing sense of "expectation" this week. It's growing on you, as a matter of fact. Or growing inside you, something like that. But the sense that "sumpin' fixin' t' happun'" is a very present feeling this week, all through Aquarius. The problem with this intermittent feeling of dread is that there are other, somewhat oblique, astrological references which are like a tasty piece of software, or tasty little BBQ treat. So the over - riding sense is one of dread, one that you can't quite put your index finger on. The other sense for the week is that there is some good stuff floating around, but it also feels like it's "just around the corner." Most FGS readers are apparently not noted for their patience, other than the way they all patiently wait for the weekly horoscope, but other than that, there is still a feeling of dread. It's more like an echo, or hint, rather than an out and out sense that something bad is about to happen. The trick with working with this kind of feeling is not to let it carry you away this week. Once you take that first step downward, once you begin that descent into the underworld, once you start the slow spiral into that funk -- you're fine Aquarius self is sunk. In Texas, after carefully observing a toilet flush, I was able to determine that this descent into the underworld has a counter clockwise twist to it. The question for the week, does this descent into the underworld in the Southern Hemisphere have a clockwise twist to it, and does that mean they subscribe to a version of the underworld?

Pisces : One of the more passionate females I dated used to like to fight. "Go ahead, get mad! You'll feel better if you yell a little...." Sure, I just always wanted to skip to the "kiss and make up part," but she insisted that we have us a good little row about the house first. In fact, she often enjoyed launching kitchen ware at me. Plates, according to here, were particularly satisfying because they crashed against the trailer's paneled wall with such force, the foundations felt as if they were quaking, and then the shards make such an explosive reaction to the sudden stop in flight.... I still don't get it, but she seemed to enjoy watching me dance and avoid the shrapnel, no small feat itself. "So, Fishing Guide, what's up with true confessions and the detritus of your past relationships, anyway?" It's a moment of such passion that I would suggest happens this week. In true Pisces fashion, though, perhaps you can escape some of the more traumatic events this week. Skip the physical abuse of your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, hater, dog or cat. Don't run to the kitchen cupboard in order to find missiles worthy of launching at your former lover -- the speed with which that person got under your skin and caused the irritation to begin with is going to just as quickly get out from underneath your skin, and all will be well. While a plate crashing into the wall is certainly a satisfying release of energy, cleaning it up later is always worrisome. This isn't a week that you want to have to shop for new China.

"To your protection, I commend me, gods!
From fairies and tempters of the night,
Guard me, beseech ye!"
From Shakespeare's Cymberline [II..ii]

Aries: The idea that Mars can have such a large impact in your life might come under scrutiny this week. Mars is in the sign of Virgo (Tropical Zodiac, established a long time ago). However, it would also suggest that there are some pretty heavy duty work related issues which command your attention right now. This is because there's an obnoxious spot light in your corner of the sky, and it's working you over pretty good. I was giving a lecture about astrology, it's a lot like teaching a class, and there was heckler who thought astrology and little green space aliens had a lot in common. While there might actually be a connection between dubious space aliens, little gray guys with pointed heads and lid less eyes, and astrology, there's still some connection that I can't quite understand. Rather than try to understand this sort of problem, when you're faced with heckler this week, try to overcome the problem with loving kindness and patience. I realize you would rather stomp this detractor into the ground with your big Aries boots, but given the way the planets are this week, such a forceful action might not be the best way to respond. Tread carefully in those dangerous waters.

Taurus: There is a time to play, and a time to play hard, and then there's always a time when you should play hard to get. This is one of those weeks, one of those times when a little coy behavior on the part of my fine Taurus friend would benefit you a lot more than being "easy." There are number of ways you can take this information. I've found that when you're like this, it can be quite fetching and captivating. That's the idea -- alluring from the distance. I realize that you want to jump into this situation with both feet, you want to get in there and stir up the mystical stew. Bat those long Taurus eye lashes instead, give us a "come hither" look, and adopt a little more distant attitude. This is a week to say a suggestive "maybe" (you know how to draw out that answer so it's got about 43 syllables in it). The odd influence right now, and this just gets more pronounced as the weekend gets here, has a lot to do with something other than yourself. But don't play our games, make yourself the boss, and you guys should be in command by being coy. Literary allusion for the week? "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell.

Gemini: Once again, I've slipped on the Gemini popularity poll. Not that it matters to me (well, it DOES matter to me, but I have to act like it doesn't, you know), but the news looks a little bleak. You're striving for attention right now, and you're trying to work out some last minute details, and between Pluto and Jupiter, stuck in a tough position for each other, you're going to find that it's not exactly the best of places to be. Gemini land is a little uncomfortable this week. Not a happy place. It could be worse, and that's about the best thing I can say. You're looking at one little planet over yonder in Virgo who is destined to give you fits this week. Now, a tantrum at the front of a bass boat is not a pretty sight, but when you're fishing, and nothing seems to be going your way, it's about all you can do. Of course, we're back to the problem for the week, and it's a pretty good indication that your fishing partner will just laugh at your anger which, in return, just makes you even more infuriated. Overcome this by either laughing or crying. Both are very effective tools, and given the Pluto - Jupiter thing, a little laughter this week would go a long way to helping you smooth over this rough spot.

Cancer: "Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak" (line 112 from T.S. Eliot's epic poem, "the Waste Land." Quoting Eliot at time like this is a little dangerous, but it reminds me of an adolescent relationship I had, and the girlfriend in question would sit on my chest and pound on me, suggesting that I never told her how I was feeling. This is a week when just such behavior is what I would expect out of Cancer. Your scenario may vary a little, but between a literary allusion, and my trailer trash personal life, you should have a good idea of just what sort of picture I'm painting here. And what's the result? Nothing. Both situations are kind of hopeless, if you ask me. Eliot's speaker never gets an answer, and neither did my chest beater. Now, you can be supremely frustrated by this week, or you can ignore the obvious distractions and get on with what you've got to do. The problem is expecting other people to react to your situation with anywhere near the respect or understanding that you desire. Me? I understand, but I'm special in that way, and I like Cancer a lot more than most. And I understand your unique predicament this week: no one SEEMS to be listening. The good news is that next week, they will wish they had listened to you this week.

Leo: This is one of those week's when you feel like there's a lot of evil hanging in the air. It's like a day when the atmospheric forces create a little meteorological lid for the town, and the exhaust fumes combine with the city dust, dirt and soot to create this almost impenetrable haze. It's like you can't see anything for all the air pollution. And to think, this is just the feeling, too. It could be worse, it could be like the pollen on the Blue Ridge Mountains -- that's what the name derives from, oddly enough. And this hazy atmosphere is looks like it will wreak havoc in your life this week. Fear not, oh mightiest of the Fixed Fire Signs, fear not. It's not nearly as bad as it seems. There's a cool breeze wafting its way up the river bottom from the coast, and this lovely breeze will sweep this haze out of the way. In other words, if your a little more patient than usual, this can turn into a good week. But you're going to have strong desire to stay close to home, stay indoors, and stay out of trouble, as best you can, during the week. This haze is not really choking your lungs this week, but it does tend to obscure your view. You might want to feel your way along, instead of boldly charging ahead.

Virgo: As much as I would like to hang your problems on particular planet, I can't do that right now. There's a widening pattern in the sky, and that pattern could indicate trouble from any of several sources. Which one is it? Best guess wins. I had an exchange of correspondence with a particular person, and I was bemoaning the fact that I felt like a door had been (metaphorically) slammed shut in my face. I was admonished that, "The good lord doesn't shut the door without opening another." Right, And that's great advice this week, but get yourself close to this monitor, so I can whisper in your Virgo ear, "WHY IS THE DAMN HALLWAY SO DARK?" Get the idea? Neither you, nor I are happy about this situation. There is a definitely some good news, though. Even though you feel like I do, and even though my Virgo senses suggest that this is a bad time, there's a degree of hope, a single ray of light, there's a perk coming. Like the metaphor previously alluded to, this comes when you least expect it. The problem with relief like this, is that it comes from a place where you really don't expect it, as well. There's no use in trying to second guess where this is coming from, or what it will look like, but there is hope -- just make sure you exercise ALL your options and keep them all open.

Libra: More Libra Birthdays, more good news, more interesting world events which shake you up some, but most of the stuff in the news shouldn't get to you too much. Don't let it rain on that special Libra parade. You guys have been through so much, the faithful readers, you and me, we've been through so much together. And the best part about this week is a little birthday type of surprise. While everyone else is feeling a little unbalanced, there's a degree of passion in the Libra chart for this week that looks good. There's a line from that Shakespeare play about Scottish history, though, which certainly bears a degree of reflection right now: "Boundless intemperance/In nature is a tyranny;" [Macduff -- IV.iii.68-9].... That's the simple caution right now, no big deal, but watch out for making a small problem into a big problem. And if you find yourself taking one wrong turn this week, even though it's a good time for you, stop, and don't exacerbate the situation by continuing on what seems like a fated path. You can always change. Besides, not everyone is going to be pleased with you're good fortune this week.

Scorpio: Your career -- not necessarily your job, but in some cases there is an overlap -- your career gets an extra highlight this week. There's a special little emphasis that the planets have to make you even more aware of what's going on. Then there is also Miss Venus in your sign right now. "Hey buddy, that's MS. Venus to you, you sexist pig!" Whatever. My nonchalant "whatever" reply is going to be a good lead to follow, too, when you have the same type of detractors following around after you, suggesting that everything you do is incorrect. So when some particular person decides to use your Scorpio self as a whetstone for sharpening their wit, be gentle, gracious and calm. As long as the planets are stacked this way, it would be a good idea not to strike back with typical Scorpio responses right now. Yes, Venus is nice to you, but Mercury is about to grind to a stop, so I really suggest that you take it easy. Enjoy the good graces of the morning star right now.

Sagittarius: Examining a Solar/Lunar chart for fishing, and applying that information as a fishing guide, I can successfully suggest that the time right around the Full Moon is a great time for a better catch. This week, what with the other stuff going, though, it's a great time for catfish fishing. Catfish can be really ugly, mostly head and skin, and since they are all bottom feeders, the catfish usually taste like the river bottom they've been feeding on. There is a definite upside to this, though, because fresh fried catfish is a culinary delicacy which remains unmatched in a part of the world. Too often, the restaurants use "farm raised" catfish, and while it's okay, concrete ponds lack that special "wilderness" flavor. In order to make this a good week, you've got to be willing to go the extra length and locate a fresh water stream, a clear, freshwater stream, and you've got to be willing to use some horrific "stinkbait." AS long as you are willing to go that extra distance this week, as long as you can embrace the adventure of the hunt, you can land some pretty decent dinner, and nothing can be better. But remember, this is a week when you're going to have to use some nasty bait in order to catch just what it is that you're looking for. Personally, I'm looking forward to fried catfish, and not that farm raised stuff, either. But it is a bottom feeder, and we all need to remember just what it is that we're going after this week.

Capricorn: Old musical allusions come to mind right now, and it's a simple refrain. "Everybody's workin' for the weekend...." While that's a nice idea, when the weekend first gets here, you're going to find that you are, at one point or another, mildly upset. One or two of my more emotional Cap friends will suggest that they are not "mildly upset" but "wildly distraught." But no sooner do they fire off a complaint to me than the situation changes. So the coming weekend might get off to a bad start, but it will more than smooth over -- given a little bit of time and distance. The rest of the week is relatively smooth. No big bumps in the Capricorn road. No major hurdles to clear. No huge conflagrations which need o be addressed. There might be a few minor problems, but if you didn't have that, then life would really be boring. Enjoy it, unlike everyone else, this is actually a [relatively] nice week.

Aquarius: I've watched this carefully, made some statistical analysis, and determined, from my own conclusions, that you guys are going to have a rather decent week. The problems with this week are twofold: 1] other people, and 2] communicating your ideas. Sounds simple enough. But despite all kinds of good influences right now, you just can't seem to get your wonderful ideas across to your companions right now. No matter what you do, it's as if you're speaking from the bottom of a bathtub. There's a high degree of folks who just don't agree with anything that you suggest right now, too. There's a fair number of your friends who figure that you're a little too manic this week, and some of these folks are determined to undermine some of your supposed happiness. Are you going to let them get to you? That's your decision. A trailer park can be a rather intimate setting, and one denizen's business soon becomes fodder for everyone's conversation. Some people would call this idle gossip. I prefer to consider it just the pulse of the park. This is a week when nefarious rumors abound, and rather than get caught up in the "He said, she said that he said..." routine, let it slide. Enjoy yourself. In fact, taking in a little bit of fishing this week might really help some.

Pisces: Emotions will run very high this week. And while you would like to look at the bright side, see the sun instead of the moon, and while you would like to imagine that every cloud has a silver lining, you're going to find, at one point or another this week, the glass will look not only half empty, but my dear (always favorite Mutable Water Sign) Pisces will see that glass as nearly empty and on the verge of a drought. A major drought. No water for miles and miles. It's a like the parched sands of West Texas, the endless vastness of nothing. And it's dry. The moment of no hope will not last long, and the planets will return you to your normal, regularly scheduled happiness soon enough. But during this one moment, probably in the beginning of the week, you're going to feel like you're on the edge of a virtual desert, and things really do look bleak. Alas, I have no secrets for getting through this period of momentary darkness, no little clue that can help shed light. But I do know that it's like cloud passing in front of the sun, and it will continue its scudding on into other signs, and thence to bother other folks. Don't let a moment of darkness ruin your whole week. It's just a chance to assess some situation that really does need a little examination right now -- nothing more. I promise.

"For some must watch, while some must sleep;
So runs the world away."
in Shakespeare's Hamlet (Act 3, scene ii)

Aries : "Boom boom boom," is the way the old blues number starts. Familiar with the tune? Doesn't matter much, whether the musical allusion gets you or not, the opening refrain, the three "boom" sounds is good for this week. There are three different planet groups which are struggling to overcome obstacles this week. And even though it's a not collision in the strictest sense of the word, it sure feel like one from an Aries point of view, hence the blues allusion. So here's Aries, not actually caught in the cross fire, but close enough to hear the loud reports from the struggle, and what Aries can gracefully refuse a good fight? Especially when the cause is just? But with some of the stuff floating around this week, I wonder if you shouldn't be concentrating your boundless, limitless Aries energy on a more useful project. Is there a better direction this week -- especially considering the influence of the planets, and their irascible drive? I would figure that you're not putting the right amount of focus on the correct project this week, and you might want to consider how you're expending your resources before you tackle something. Otherwise, the blues allusion might mean something else, like the song you could wind up singing this week. And no one sings the blues without living them first.

Taurus : Put the credit cards away right now. This is not a week to spending money on that one "thing" that you've had your finely tuned Taurus sense of taste focused on. "Easiest way to double your money is to fold it over and stick it back in your pocket," as the expression goes. It pains me to realize you won't be spending that cash on an astrologer this week, but between the two of us, that might be a good idea to skip the investment potential that your astrologer offers right now. Same for anyone else who is even less ethical than a decent Texas astrologer. Just fold that money over, place it back in a safe place, and hold tight. I understand that there are some purchases which are required by your lifestyle, but I still have to wonder about that right now. Best thing to do, given that there's this rather onerous stuff floating around right now, best idea, is just to put it all on hold for a spell. I'm not saying for a long time, but let's both wait a week before you decide to order up something really expensive because this is a week that your best laid plans could turn into nothing more than an expensive mistake.

Gemini : You might want to take a look at what song is alluded to in the Aries scope before we get much further. That's got a bit of musical information which could apply to you this week. Then we have to have our little Jupiter talk. Jupiter is a good planet, but he likes Sagittarius more than he likes Gemini, and he's opposed to Sagittarius right now because he is in Gemini. And there's a couple of other planets which make this an even worse stew. You've got the drive, you've certainly got the ability, but you lack a certain amount of cooperation from other people, and that's why the musical allusion in Aries is so important. After banging your head into an obstacle about three times this week, I would figure that you would figure that there's got to be a better way, a softer way, an easier, gentler way. Outright battle is like trying to assault a castle's rampart. A good Gemini does many things very well, but you're just not built for a long siege, and that's what this week can become, if you don't drop what doesn't work, adjust yourself, and move on the next task.

Cancer : I've used this image before, but I was really referring to another sign; however, this week, the image works for you. It's as if, Mr. Saturn, that grand old taskmaster, is sitting in the doorway. He's actually sitting in a Gemini threshold, but just work with us on this one.... he's standing there, making a lot of suggestions, but you feel like you can't really take any action with him poised right there, blocking your way. With all the weird stuff floating through the heavens right now, just about anything would help. Just about anything would be useful, and just about anything is the last thing you can expect. You're going to feel like someone [something, I guess, depending on your point of view] is blocking access. It's like trying to log on to check your e-mail, and discovering that you forgot your password. It's not a good thing. It's a frustrating experience. What's worse, through some foul up at the office, the credit card company ain't got a check yet, and that lack of payment is the real source of the problem, and even though there was a Virgo in charge, some how it all missed your attention, and we're right back at the beginning. Turns out you didn't forget your password, but it feels like you did. This all circumnavigates around the central problem, which is back to Saturn blocking your access. Work with this fellow, but remember, this is a week when Saturn is going to expect you to work.

Leo : Leo's typically love victory in a big way. This is a week, though, when you have to learn to enjoy the tiniest victories, and pretend like they are major campaigns brought to victorious conclusion because there was a master Leo at the head of the operation. It's a simple way to approach the week, but even the smallest of margins are what work this week. You will encounter a lot frustrating people this week, as if these folks all got together, had a convention, and all decided on what they could do to irritate you. Not in a big way, but certainly in a small way. So when you realize that they haven't entirely succeeded, then you know that you're getting ahead. But the problem with this week is to realize that yes, you are making some of headway against improbable odds, and that yes, there's a whole legion of idiots out there who look like there are very determined to undermine any progress that you make. It's almost enough to make you want to give it all up, go home, and not come out for while. But a good Leo won't shy away from a week like this. Face it with a smile, and remember you are making more progress than that legion of detractors, even if it doesn't feel like it.

Virgo : Here at the office, I sometimes bring in a candle of St. Michael, a little angel looking dude with an upraised sword as he is about to finish off some evil, or a dragon, or I don't know what. And I'm not interested in a theological discussion about burning candles to Saints, just consider the image of St. Michael and that fiery sword of his. St. Mike and Mars share a very common group of imagery, and that's important this week. I know that you would like to smite your foes with a mighty blow from your "Flaming Sword of Justice." If you pause for moment, though, you'll hear a tittering coming from the back of the gallery, "flaming sword -- tee - hee, he said 'flaming...'" In other words, while you're just all riled up and full of righteous indignation, the people around you are wondering what you're getting all worked up about. To them, it's not that big of a deal. To you, it's that image of the Saint, Mars with smoking sword swinging into action, and you're Virgo self ready to loudly display how right you are. Before you start swinging your sword around, though, there's a few little considerations to make. Like, is it really best to take a large broad sword into the work place and begin to demolish established practices? Is it really a good idea to lop off a few heads? Is there a better way to put this energy to work for you? And will there ever be an end to stupid questions from stupid astrologers since everything is just getting under your skin this week? Before you start swinging that sword around with your fury, see if you can't find a better outlet for some of the rage you've got bottled up this week. A little more cunning, a little less broad sword, makes for a much more effective way to get you point across.

Libra : Words can be very powerful. Ask any one who has ever received one of the backhanded compliments that a Virgo occasionally doles out, the "yeah, it's pretty good but you know, it could be better..." Or, another one of my favorites, the "you have such potential" which can be translated to you "you don't amount to much right now...." Of course, the subtext to these messages usually involves doing something that some body else wants. It's a tricky situation, at best. And why be worried about words or Virgo's this week? Because, if the best of the Libra qualities that you so often demonstrate are not in command right now, you could come across as sounding like one of them. It's not a happy picture. But with little foreshadowing from stars, and gentle reminder, you might be able to avoid making those mistakes this week. Choose your words with extra caution this week, or even better yet, don't say anything. It was Mark Twain who once observed, "The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause."

Scorpio : The relative influence of a couple of very Scorpio planets are at work this week, and the good news is that these two planets are working at cross purposes. Of course, cross purposes leaves the other signs feeling cross, but you're in a position of relative ease and grace right now. This is stuff which flares up on either side, but you, your Scorpio self, gets through this unstable energy with nary a scratch on you. That's happy news, indeed. Mercury is making a slow little pass at your sign right now, as is Venus, and for this week ["This week ONLY, act now!"] and nothing more comes to mind than one of those slow dances with the highly ornate steps, not a country line dance or a Cotton Eye Joe, but something older, like three or four hundred years old, something that reaches back in time to another place.... Sit back, enjoy the slow parade and ornate styles for the moment. Maybe take some notes on who is making eye contact with whom. As long as there's a slow Mercury pass coming along, make some slow Mercury connections. Consider looking after some details, revel in the Venus pleasure effect, and skip it all. Enjoy a slow witted week, and learn to enjoy watching the other folks try to figure out the dance steps. I'm not worried about Scorpio this week, other folks are dealing with Scorpio - like problems, and as the professed master of ceremonies, my fine Scorpio friend, you skate right on by.

Sagittarius : In general, this is supposed to be one of those times when a good Sagittarius will be looking at relationships in general, and particular relationship specifically, and possibly making some judgments about both. However, if you read this on regular basis, you're not inclined to be a "good" Sagittarius, but more than likely, you're one of us "bad" Sag type. "You're so bad," as one observer used to suggest. I supposed that a semantic discussion would be appropriate right now, of the various merits and values assigned to the words, "good" and "bad," but I wonder if this doesn't just devolve into some sort fruitless discussion. You are going to find yourself attracted to the "bad" side of things this week. Now, this can take one of two directions.... "This is a bad wine," she said, "where's it from? A vineyard in Brazos County? Tastes like paint thinner!" Or, it could be a little different. "Here, try this bad boy," the fishing guide suggested, "it works like a charm." In fact, that one lure did bring in a stringer full of fish. So when considering how to approach this week, put some thought into the definition of "bad" versus "good." That's going to make the difference in week that has a couple of tough little angles in it but they can either be "bad" or "bad." Ask your Sagittarius self which definition you want.

Capricorn : I am oft accused of doling out advice which seems to pander to certain stereotypes about each sign. Scorpio's intense, Sagittarius is clumsy, and Capricorn loves money more than people. You and I both know better than that. Maybe the part about the Scorpio is correct, at least, they would like to think so, but the rest of it? Okay, so the Sagittarius bit is good, too, but Cap? Let's move way beyond stereotypes purported to be true by other astrology writers because there's obviously (to me) a greater depth of character in the standard issue Capricorn. And that greater depth of character is going to get a chance to shine this week. The problem being, though, that sometimes your deep and introverted intellectual side doesn't get tapped often enough, and with some of the challenges coming up, that particular part of the Capricorn psyche that you've got carefully hidden away is going to be thrust into the white, hot, burning spot light -- and right up in from of everyone. Work on some of your snappy, off the cuff, quick comebacks. Nothing is worse than be faced with a situation where a really good comeback can save your day, save your business, and even save a little face. Work out a few of these in advance. "If that jerk says that, then I'll just tell him...." is how this routine works. And consider a few worst case scenarios for this week. Why? It's a tough time for some people, and sooner or later, you'll run into then this week -- best be prepared with snappy retort, something to put them in their places.

Aquarius : There's a simple problem for this week in normal, easy going, traditional astrology -- romance in Aquarius land is upset. Regrettably, for normal astrologers, you're not normal, and I wonder if there isn't an upset in another area of your life. It's as if you should be having problems with delicate, interpersonal relations, but, instead, of course, you know, my good Aquarius friends can't ever seem to behave in a way that fits the normal patterns and cycles. The middle of the week is particularly highlighted as a time when there's a fairly strong wind blowing. It's as if you've been trying to pass a tractor trailer (18 wheeler truck) on the highway, and as your Aquarius self goes blowing past this other vehicle, you realize that the problem with the driver is not the road, but this steady breeze (in places other than Texas, it would be called a high wind) is pushing your little truck around. So as you emerge from the shelter of a larger vehicle this week, and you slide out of the slipstream and comparative comfort of that pocket of less turbulent air space, get ready to steer a firm a course. You're going to want to have both hands on the wheel as you encounter forces which seem very determined to blow you off your chosen course. And even if this really isn't a problem with a significant other, it will be a challenge to keep yourself between the white lines this week. Don't let anything (anybody, lots of hot air) deter you from your path.

Pisces : There's a tension filled moment or two this week, and I can already feel some of the mail piling up, calmly assuring me how wrong I am that's it's not a moment or two, but something that's been happening all week, and the source of tension is invariably the fault of the astrologer for mentioning it. [Hey, they don't call me "Fishing Guide to the Stars" for no reason.] But this is like a time when you get a real fighter, a fighting fish, that is, on your hands, or line, as the case is supposed to be. And you can put this tension to work for you rather than against you. This week, my most excellent Pisces friend, you have to decide which end of the fishing pole you want to be on. And I heartily suggest that you make that decision right away. The sooner you decide that you're the guy operating the fishing the pole, the rod and reel, the sooner you get a chance to take control of a situation. Mars is on the far side of the wheel, opposite you, and he gets caught up in a nasty little confrontation with some other planets, and this isn't going to make you happy. But you can choose which side of the battle you want to be on -- are you pulling in the hook, or do you have that hook set firmly in your mouth -- that question is yours to resolve, but from my humble point as a great fishing guide, I would urge you to be the boss of the situation.

"I will not choose what many men desire
Because I will not jump with common spirits
And rank me with barbarous multitudes."
in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (Act II, scene ix)

Aries : It is, as I have suspected, a week for looking back and reflecting. It is a time for us to go back down that dusty trial (in my case the trail leads west to the barren parts of West Texas), and it is time reacquaint yourself with some old friends. It's a time to figure out just where you have been. Most good Aries don't spend too much time in deep mediation or deep reverie, or, for that matter, you don't spend too much time contemplating the source of your navel lint. But this is exactly what a week like this brings about. There's a certain feeling, a special moment, like having two cups of coffee after a really big Tex-Mex dinner. In the middle of the day. Your stomach tells you it's time to take a a nap. your brain, wired up with that delicious after dinner coffee, suggests otherwise. Which one wins this week? I suggest a little contemplative exercise. To some folks, it looks an awful lot like you're dozing. To some people, it might mean that you, in fact, asleep. But just beneath your eyelids, there are all sorts of spark flying, and you're not really asleep. It's that special place, in my case usually brought on by a good meal in South Austin, but in that special place, you are assessing the position you've found yourself in. Cut your losses and pack it in? Mount a thorough defense? It's one or the other, and good nap will clear your head and help with the decision process.

Taurus : I use a number of fancy techniques for generating a good horoscope (or even a bad one -- according to some distractors.) There's Eastern, Western, Egyptian and Aztec astrology to consider. Each method has its limits and strengths. But this week, I'm sticking to a very conventional, straightforward kind of Western Astrology: Venus is in Scorpio and that is on the opposite side of the wheel of the zodiac. Good or bad? Tat's up to you. It can be great. It can bring about many wonderful feelings. It can land someone new in your life, or it can excite an old friend and bring up new possibilities. There is a single watchword, though, for having Venus opposite you. You can learn to be a little less vocal about some of the old or new romance stuff that is kicking around. You can learn to be a little more tactful about anything that you choose to announce right now. It wouldn't hurt to back up and check with your buddies before explaining about their role in the current situation.

Gemini : A little tension is a good thing. It imparts a degree of character. It adds a little bit excitement. Some tension is good. In fact, sometimes, tension is required. One of the most common tasks of a working cowboy in Texas is repairing barb wire fences. This used to be done a truly romantic way, using a horse with a loop of the fence worse tightened by the horse backing up. This makes for a great scene in a movie or book, but in the real world, technological improvements like trucks and winches have improved the job immensely. But that barb wire fence needs the tension. so even though there's a little tension this week, it's supposed to be there. It's like stringing a fence line. And you're going to find that if there isn't any tension this week, you are more than able to tackle the task yourself, and inject a little tension where everything was going slack. time to tighten up the fences of life, and make sure that everything is as high strung as need be.

Cancer : You're not getting through this week without a few little perturbation in the usual routine. In other words, there are mutations occurring, and you need to adopt a more fickle nature in order to be better equipped to deal with what is going on. In plain language, things are changing. Rapidly. And even though there is a sleepy, small-town feel to this week, there is also something sinister lurking beneath the surface. This is like one of those old time horror movies, the kind which is considered so camp these days. But in its heyday, that genre of film really scared us. And the set up is pretty much the same, a sleepy town, you expect to Mr. and Mrs. America right there (even though their ethnic and religious persuasion didn't actually match the demographics, it was still what we all wanted to see), and then, unbidden, some sort of frantic terror erupts. This week, you can blame it atomic radiation, sunspots, the genetic tinkering, or even a mad scientist gone awry, but you just know that there is something poised, right beneath the surface of this week, like the monster which emerges from the lake, and this "thing" is ready to ravage the landscape (usually in miniature). You have been warned so I'll hope that you don't spend any time this week in unnaturally dark places, and you don't spend a lot of the week prying open passageways which are best left for someone else.

Leo : Invariably, I will hear from a Leo or two who claims that he or she really doesn't fit the mold which suggests that the Leo likes to be the constant center of attention. This particular Leo will claim that he or she really doesn't feel like thee world revolves around him or her. This Leo will then further the debate by pointing out, with a high degree of exactitude, just exactly why the world is not "Leo-centric" -- especially this week. Since it's only the cat and myself who read the mail, after the post office is done sorting it into a big bag, then it's obvious that this volume of Leo mail is trying to get my attention in a very Leo-like manner. So, as much as you claim that this week is bad, it really isn't. And as much as you claim that you don't feel like the center of the universe, you are, at least, for this week. This good feeling might extend into the next few weeks, but I'm concentrating on just one, narrow time, a single slot of seven days right now. Bask in the warm glow you receive from being at the center of everyone's world right now. It really is a good time for you guys, and I look forward to hearing nice things from the Leo camp this week.

Virgo : Right before the sun comes up in the morning (at least, up here in the Northern Hemisphere, that's the way it works), there's a little planet which can be assumed as a source of consternation. It Mars. And the real problem isn't with Mars himself, it's more with some other planets, but Mars is getting closer and closer to a point where he's going to do his best to irritate the whole situation. Now, I've just suggested that Mars will irk you. It's not really Mars (haven't we covered this already?), but it is the energy that he represents. And he's getting closer and closer to a point where he tangles it up pretty good with Mr. Pluto. Since both of these planets indicate the same type of energy, and since these planets are at odds with each other, I'm suggesting that you find a really good outlet for your extra steam. Good outlets are not like the "outlet mall" up on the interstate (I know there's one near you), but these are ways to vent your extra energy this week. Plan on some pretty early mornings, perhaps some late nights, and even a busy day or two. The busier you keep yourself, the better you're going to feel this week.

Libra : There is a degree of calm that we can all associate with birthdays this week. There is a degree of ease and grace that I can see for this week's events. It might be more like a lack of events. There are some Libra Birthdays this week, notably: Julie Andrews, Gene Autry, Crystal Bernard, Tom Bosely, Michael Douglas, Janeane Garofalo, Mark Hamill, Christopher Reeve, and Will Smith. Why the long list of birthdays? It's just to show that you do have a good birthday week, but alas, it is bereft of big celebrations. It's not without some small degree of jubilation, but it also doesn't have the big pyrotechnical display that we usually associate with a joyful celebration of another year passing. And for the rest of the Libra's out there, I'll promise that there are good things in store, it's just that there's little lull in the activity right now. If you are the type who can only see that glass is half empty, then you'll know that this is merely the calm before the big storm. But for the more hopeful type, it's the calm before some more celebrations. Either way, it's supposed to be a calm week, relatively speaking, for Libra Land.

Scorpio : I believe is was sexpot starlet who once suggested that, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful." (What could be more perfect for Scorpio this week?) This person was obviously not a Scorpio. Excess is wonderful, given the right time and place, but this is not the week for going overboard with good things. You might want to, it might be appealing, but excess has its downfall, and this is a week to be very wary of just such a shortcoming. Moderation is not always a Scorpio trait. Anything worth doing is usually worth doing to the extreme, and Scorpio is an extreme sign, if nothing else. But this is a week to put some limits on those extremes. This is a week to reel in those desires and make an attempt to govern yourself. As difficult as it may sound, a little bit of restraint this week is a good thing. You want to shoot for the middle of the curve, the vaunted "median average," the middle ground. Moderation is a watchword this week. Remember, in true Scorpio fashion, sometimes less is more. I know you'll thank me later.

Sagittarius : Strictly speaking, we are on the far side of the worst of this stuff. But in least strict manner, and no Sagittarius really likes structure too much, we are on the short side of all of this. Just as soon as one pressure eases up, another one appears to take it's place. It's a minor thing, one that's not too bad, and the worst is now behind us, but there's still a degree of pressure -- sort of like that feeling in the back of your head when you've been out late the night before, and you had a little too much fun. There's always that "morning after" feeling, the pressure behind the ocular sockets which indicates maybe you over extended yourself last night. This week has a feeling just like that. The problem being, it's going to feel like that all week long. Not just part of it, but all of it. It's not a peaceful, easy feeling either. There's something nagging at the back of your brain, like there's something you were going to do, but somehow, this task has escaped your attention. Before the end of your week, you will find yourself flipping through notes, double checking your calendar, maybe even going and looking your diary, trying to figure out just what it was that you forgot. It's there, you just have to give it a chance to catch up.

Capricorn : There's a rather ancient Grateful Dead lyric I like to hum from time to time, "Ain't no luck, I learned to duck." That's what this week is about for you. There are some times when standing up for your rights, making your position known, loudly asserting your opinion -- these actions just don't quite work right. If you get a little closer, I'll assure you that you are correct. But I have a basic understanding of the way the Capricorn psyche works, and I know that you occasionally need to be reassured that you are, indeed, correct. The problem is that this week, you're going to feel a need to enter into a conflicting situation. It's not a good idea. I've already assured you that you are right, but there are times and places when you can make your statement. This week isn't such a place. Before you shoot off your mouth, check the ammunition that you've got loaded in your brain. Even though your right, that doesn't mean that other people will necessarily agree with you. This is a good time to learn to duck.

Aquarius : In classical Greek Mythology, there are a couple of stories where the odd gods intervene on behalf of mere mortals. In a battle scene, what happens is that the deity cause the arrows and spears of the enemy to miss hitting the hero being protected. This is a week when you might feel like you've got just such a figure intervening on a cosmic scale. The missiles that are being tossed about all seem to to miss you this week. That's good news. There is a problem with this analogy, and that's the fact that the Greek Pantheon of deities held a lot of characters with remarkably human characteristics. So one has to be careful when entering this week. Piss off one of the gods from that Greek mythology, and you lose your protection. So when the missiles are flying -- and missing -- remember that it's only through the good graces of someone, someplace. Be careful, because your luck could change in the blink of an eye; although, I don't see it happening this week.

Pisces : I have this one Pisces client with a continually furrowed brow. She always has this look about her, an air of apparent calamity, something that just suggests that she is ready for the "next bad thing" to happen. She's worried about, even now. In fact, she's worried that I'm talking about this sense of foreboding at this point. worse yet, she even thinks I'll publish her name. I would never do that. But that sense of worry, that fear of impending doom, the destruction of civilization as we know it, the end of the world, all of that, is the farthest thing from your Pisces' brow. But you should be worried. I'm not forecasting the end of the world, and I'm especially not forecasting the end of Pisces as we know (or don't know) them. But I am suggesting that in the face of what you've got going on, you are seeming to be a little too happy. If I were you this week, I would be a little more worried than you have been. I'm not saying that anything bad will happen, but it's one of those weeks when a good attitude is worse than a bad one. A little preparedness goes a long way.

"There's small choice in rotten apples."
Hortensio in
Shakespeare's The Taming of the the Shrew (I.i.134)

Aries: Don't gloat. Arrogance does not become you this week. As the sun gradually eases on over into the sign of the scales, as this week unfolds and begins to develop, you've got the beginning of the half birthday time coming along. This presents you with a time when it's appropriate to figure out what has gone wrong, capitalize on the successes and get ready to get on down the road, preferably with some of your cronies. Or fishing buddies. There are "good" Aries and there are "bad" Aries. Because you're reading this, then you are obviously (tricky logic here) a good Aries. And being a good one, you know that you have surmounted some obstacles, made some headway, and you are in a good position right now. I've coaxed you this far, so you're doing okay. Just don't get too elated with your victories right now. The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner so don't gloat.

Taurus: Don't eat. Easy for me to suggest, I once had a girlfriend who called me "scrawny," so I can suggest that. But the way the week starts out, you're going to have a voracious appetite. Even if you're a vegetarian (heaven forbid the thought in rural Texas), you're going to find that if it isn't nailed down, it looks like food. This is a passing trend, though, and like so many other styles and trends, it quickly fades. By the end of the week, you're going to be looking at yourself and asking, "Self, why did I eat that whole package of Oreo cookies?" or "Lucky for my butt, this stuff only comes in pints." (I'm pretty sure that's an Amy's ice cream slogan.) You get the picture? It might not really be food, but the pleasure principle is certainly at work, but it fades fast. And then you're left with the aftermath of too much of a good thing. So take it easy and don't over indulge the more epicurean tastes that you have right now. A little extra moderation might go long way in making you feel better at the end of the week when your good senses return.

Gemini: Being a Gemini always has certain fun side effects, like the uncanny ability you have displayed in the past, that sense that you really can track about 14 things, all at the same time. This is a good ability to have, but there's a problem with the present moment and this skill: you're not really tracking all the things that you think you've got your eye on. It's like the juggling routine where the juggler gets three, then four, then five, then six objects going, then the performer tries to add a seventh and the hilarity ensues because the juggler (obviously not a Gemini) can't manage that many objects in the air at one time. You've got that same sense of dread this week, like you've heated up one too many branding irons, and you're getting ready to tackle a whole herd of cows. Only, you look around, and it seems like you're all alone. You, the 14 branding irons, the fire, several hundred cows. "Sure, I can do this, just watch me," a good Gemini will say. Only, this week, if you do the math, there is physically just not quite enough of you to get the job done. Each cow takes 15 minutes to wrestle and cook (well-done) a logo on its rump. That's an average of four cows and hour, and that's about 40 cows in a Gemini 8 hour work day. See what I mean about trying to do too much by yourself?

Cancer: Don't act in a rash manner this week. Nothing is worse than blowing your cool with one of your associates, only, after you get done blowing up, you have to go back and apologize because, guess what? It's a nightmare: they were right, and you're actions were "inappropriate." Don't you just hate that? Having to go back and beg forgiveness, no matter how right you're sure you were at the time, it's just an awful situation. There is a way to avoid this sort of scene, though. Don't act too hasty. Don't be so willing to give someone (even though, at the moment, it really seems like this person -- your target -- really deserves your ire) that little piece of mind. Cooler, calmer heads will prevails, if you only give yourself a chance to work it all out. This is one of those times when, if you're not carefully, you're going to find yourself operating without a full deck of cards. Don't get righteous when you don't have ALL the facts. And yes, Time will be on your side -- eventually.

Leo: I have a dual career. One the one hand, I'm a fishing guide. One the other hand, I'm an astrologer. I get to combine two great loves in my life into a single occupation. Means I don't have too many dull days because the fish are always biting in one field or another. Career choices like this are coming up for you. After what you've been through, the last few days, weeks, months, years, centuries and so forth, you've got to agree that little degree of reward is long overdue. This is a week when you can begin to see hat there is some good rewards for some of your efforts. You get something back. The only problem is, this reward that I'm talking about, it comes from hard work and something that you do for playtime. Combining work and play is a tricky thing, at best. But seeing as how you've been through the worst of it so far, I'm sure you're going to find a way to combine "work" with "play" and come up with a new way to do both. It's a good week for you to attempt just such a goal. Do your Leo best and enjoy the results.

Virgo: The planet Mars is often associated with War. And while this week starts out with a battle, it quickly becomes different flavor, almost right before your very eyes. As the week gets older, Mars continues to pick up speed in your sign. He's starting to cover some ground, and he's in the middle of the early degrees of Virgo by the end of the week. Good news? Sure. The battle itself might be lost, but the overall conflict is looking like a degree of mediation might bring about a happy resolution. Best way to approach this is to start talking. Cut your losses, let go of that approach which isn't working, and let's get back to the table where we can all talk. Discuss reasonable solutions, and this might involve a little bit of "give and take," and being the good Virgo that you are, you're going to feel like you're getting taken a little bit more than your receiving, but keep talking. The war isn't over yet, just the first battle. "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Winston Churchill's speech at the Lord Mayor's Day Luncheon London (November 10, 1942).

Libra: The official start date for Libra this year looks like it's about 12:28 PM (CDT) on September 22. Of course, this is a highly subjective time, and I;m figuring that my home town of Austin is the center of the universe, seeing as how it's the capital of Texas and all. In the days leading up to this momentous date and time, things are just a little rocky in Libra land. Then, all of a sudden like, life is supposed to be pretty good. of course, what happens at 12;29 PM on that date, is that a particular Libra sits down to her computer and shoots me off a letter telling me how rotten everything still is. So the time is an approximation, it's more a like a gray area that needs to be approached with a degree of caution. It does start to get a little better, the day to day situation should improve. There is still a single troubling series of thoughts, in poetry, this is called, "The long, dark night of the soul." In the real world, we usually refer to this as troublesome thoughts which won't leave you alone. Do your best to dismiss the unwanted thoughts. They won't go away, but the dark thoughts do recede as your activity and party planning gets underway.

Scorpio: I was endeavoring to use a handgun analogy last week, and this week reminds me a scene from a movie. You've got a revolver (six shot wheel gun). You are face to face with your nemesis. The question for the week, as you stare down the six inch long barrel of that Scorpio handgun, and the question you want to ask your adversary, is simple, "Did I fire five shots or six?" Is there one shot left in the chamber of that Scorpio "peace keeper"? Does your Colt double action Scorpio shooting iron have what it takes to finish the job? In a situation like this week, I'm reminded of that other important fact about the handgun I suppose you're using: it's weight. It's hefty piece of metal, and if it turns out that you are, indeed, out of bullets this week (but I rather doubt it), you can always reach out and use this weapon as a hammer. One way or another, I'm sure you'll win this week. But it is going to be a little on the tough go side, at least, at one point.

Sagittarius: My Sagittarius popularity rating is going to drop this week. Even though I have certain, very distinct and admirable Sagittarius qualities, and even though I rate Sagittarius as the very best of the Mutable Fire Signs, I fear my ratings are still going to drop this week. Within the first few degrees of Sagittarius (ten or twelve), there is a lot of planetary activity which impacting you in a strange way. Either it's really good, and you are getting a lot accomplished this week, or you're going to be feeling like you Gemini brethren, and you're going to be feeling like you're going a lot of places, but like that Gemini allusion, you ain't going to feel like you're really getting much accomplished. Sometimes though, in the midst of this much activity, there is a degree of satisfaction that "something" is getting accomplished. I'm not sure what your goal is this week, but whatever the goal is, I'll promise that you're getting there. It's like the time I set out for the lake, almost launched the boat and discovered that I didn't have enough gas, so we had to back track to the "Bait Barn and Surf Shop" (Padre Island.) Not only did we pick up the needed gas, but we also got a late message about where the fishing was the best. And the early surfers were coming in, and there was this one girl who was scantily clad, and you can guess the rest. It's a strange way to go about getting things done, but if you've got the energy, the results will be good.

Capricorn: Shakespeare had a thing against Capricorn's. I'm sure about that. Just check the Saturn reference in "Much Ado About Nothing." And Shakespeare also had a thing for the "Dragon's Tail," and that allusion is in "King Lear." Despite having two literary references against you this week, there is still something to be said for the way the week is going. It's got any number of little "road humps" which are devices designed by the city board of transportation to make sure you're bored with transportation. Road humps are designed to slow you down, especially when in a residential neighborhood. I lived close to road humps one time, a place in East Dallas. I also discovered that the road humps made for interesting little ramps to try jumping off from, under a reasonably high rate of speed, in either a big truck (only late at night), or on a stout motorcycle, just about any time. This week is full of such hurdles. And even though Shakespeare may not have liked what you've got coming up, and he might not have liked Capricorn's in general, I like ya'll just fine. And I'm sure the road humps this week are merely interesting starting points for you, not real hindrances.

Aquarius: This week is the downside of a cycle. Not a bad downside, mind you, just a slow and steady decay. This is like one the of those theories about entropy, and the the slow decay of the week is like that, too. It's not bad, but it's certain. Can't be escaped. And you also have certainty about you that assures you that you are the edge of a Very Big Breakthrough. You just know that you're close to seeing something completely and wholly. You just know that you're about to make a giant step forward. It's like, you're about the last boat out on the lake on the hot fall afternoon. Everyone else has retreated to the safety of the shoreline, usually to grab a beer and forget a the day's lack of success. But you're still out there, just fishing up a storm. You might not be actually catching anything, but you're whipping up that water with a frenzied action because you know, deep in your heart, that something is about to bust wide open. It is. In another week or so, you're going to be one happy camper. You are ever so close this week, too. Don't give up at the last minute.

Pisces: I usually like discussing the effect of Mars on a particular sign. Maybe it's because I have a strong Mars in my chart. Maybe it's because I like some of the more literary references to Mars, especially in medieval literature. Maybe it's the poetic and romantic version of Aries, the insouciant "main dude" of war in mythology. maybe it's the activity. Best of all, Mars delivers. I can count on Mars to up deliver something. The problem, this week, is that Mars is making his merry way through the sign that is opposite you. To add to this affectation of Mars, he is also making strange angles to other planets, and there is a lot of minor, albeit good, activity that lends focus to Mr. Mars. so you had better make peace with the little red orb right now. He's a strong contender this week, and I'm pretty sure you are going to be feeling his influence one way or anther. Is it for good of for ill? That's up to you. I have the most confidence in Pisces, and I trust that you're going to be doing well this week. Listen to those internal Martial Marching Mandates and see if you can't deliver the goods this week, too.

"Nature teaches beasts to know their friends."
Sicinius in Shakespeare's Coriolanus [II.i.6]

Even the less than average critters of the field are pretty savvy about who is their friends, and what other folks might eat them. And that's the way this week works. Of course, no FGS reader is ever "less than average." Polls indicate that the average FGS reader (hey, I've got astrology charts to prove this) are better looking and, more important, better informed. Why be so exact? Mars is in the final stages of making a transition from Leo into Virgo.

Aries : When there's a small change in the planet's placements, sometimes this is a felt as a big deal down here on planet Earth. Sometimes, it is a big deal. Other times, it's not nearly as important. This is one of those weeks when you can feel the tickle, the tug and the pull of various planets and you know that they are getting ready to do something. You get this feeling that I get when I ask Bubba, "What were you doing just then?" He gets this look, some would suggest that there's a slight tinge of guilt that passes over his face, and he quickly diverts my attention elsewhere. "Oh nothing." This is a week when you get that suspicious feeling that some one, I'm not naming names but some one named Bubba is a likely candidate, is up to something. For good or for ill? I just hope that you can get more information out of the person you might want to confront, catch red handed or even glance at this week, than I've been able to uncover.

Taurus : Take it a little bit easy this week. No two ways about it. You've got stuff that is just bubbling along in the pipeline of life, and there's nothing that you can do once the wheels are in motion. Once you've thrown the switch, once you've pressed the button, once you've done the deed, there's not a lot left over for you to manage. I've got more than one Taurus friend who will be "micro managing" this week, and the problem is, my Taurus friend who is trying to micro manage the situation, it's one of those deals that once you've started to the ball rolling, there's no turning back. In fact, once you set the pieces into play, you can't really change the outcome of the events. Divine intervention takes on a new meaning, now. Rather than pray that everything turns out, though, before you press the button, set the wheels in motion or send that stuff shooting down the pipeline, why not check once to be sure it's what you want to do. Ask yourself, "Self, (good Taurus way to address one's self), Self, have I planned for all contingencies this week?"

Gemini : There are good thing, just up ahead. There's also a minor source of trouble, right here and now. You can see how the progression goes, it's like working out a math problem, only, in this case, this week, you need to make sure that you show all of your steps. There's a Gemini tendency to jump to hasty conclusions, and you're going to be motivated to make such a leap this week. It's not a good time for that -- not at all. This is one of the weeks when thoughtful (of course, every Gemini I know is always thoughtful) action is better than jumping right to the end. In other words, work through the problem, and try to be a little more pedantic, pedestrian, perhaps even plebeian, but work through the whole process. Don't skip to the right answer because this week comes to you packaged up with a little surprise at the end. That's why you don't want to jump to the answer without having done the work yourself.

Cancer : The idea of friends keeps popping up this week. Just who are your friends? And the ones who you call friends, are they really friends or enemies? Doesn't much matter, either way, not this week, because you are likely to get to the two easily confused. Instead of being upset by this, consider it an act of atonement on some level. It's like reverse retribution, and its effect is rather good. Makes them wonder just what you're up to. Which, I might add, is an old Scorpio trick (learned that from my Ma). so don't try to sort out who is the friend and who is the enemy this week, just figure that you're going to treat them all like old buddies, and then let them sort it out amongst themselves. It's like a rival fisherman, and instead of competing with him, what you do is offer him a morning's worth of fishing -- with you. Show him a few good spots. Don't show him everything, but a friendly attitude is easy to affect this week, and you'll be pleasantly surprised by what turns out as you smooth over old troubles.

Leo : Rejoice, be glad, and go forth and do whatever Leo - like things you were planning to do with this week. It's a good time to be a Leo. It might not be the greatest time on the planet, but for a change, it's a good to be king (or queen, or whatever politically correct royalty you choose.) There are hints just all over the Leo astrology chart that this week has some rewards in it. There are hints that this week is full of promise. There are hints that you could even get lucky this week, and any Leo can take that to mean any number of different things. You can win the lottery, or maybe this involves another person, of your own selection, or maybe this merely means that you treated with a degree of respect which should always be accorded to the mightiest of the Fixed Fire Signs. Sure. Makes the week sound absolutely wonderful. It's Mars, and he's cleaning up as he makes his way on to bother other signs. And Saturn, which is going to have a bit of a "set to" with Mars, will do so in another sign, not one that affects Leo. With all this happy news for Leo, you should be warned -- some of the other signs you encounter this week might be less than overjoyed. You might try to tone it down, act like you really do feel our pain this week. It's one thing to share your joy this week, it's a completely different thing to shove your joy down our collective throats -- this usually results in a gagging sensation, and no Leo deserves that, especially not during a good week.

Virgo : Birthdays and the associated party atmosphere is good this week. Celebrations are good, too. You might try and develop a theme for the week, but that has to be one of your own choosing -- if it were left up to me, I would pick something soundly astrological and it would involve getting a birthday reading from me for a large amount of cash. And while there are a number of good planets lined up in a good way, there's one little problem area that will crop up, more towards the end of the week, but this is going to have slight effect on your attitude. And sense the marketing department keeps reminding me that "attitude is everything," you're going to want to address this attitude thing. That's why I suggested that you pick a theme for the week, and make it a happy, upbeat theme. Look on the bright side. Keep the chips up. Realize that there is a cloud or two on the Virgo horizon this week, but these clouds are more like shadows, little flickers, almost a trick of the afternoon sun rather than a serious and ominous problem. And like I've suggested, a really cool theme for the week would help. some television shows from the the last thirty years come to mind. Which one? I'll let you pick.

Libra : This is not a week that I want to instill a sense of dread, fear and trepidation in you, but there are some problems with this week which will have even the most dilettantish of conspiracy theorists foaming at the mouth. It's a rabid conclusion to the way things are going right now. Brush up on what you know about Area 51, Skunk Works, secret underground caverns filled with machinery, the resurrection of Elvis, and tie this all to what ever else is going on in your life at the moment. You're beginning to feel like some of the more arcane bits of fiction seem to have more truth than fiction in them. Black helicopters, the Star Chamber, all those UFO siting, everything. You might even notice dark, nondescript sedan parked down the street from your domicile this week. The old fashioned antenna gives them away -- every time. That's what this week feels like. There's a lighter, much more benevolent way of approaching this week, though, and as long as you are surrounded by secret anxieties, the company of good friends will help you along., Besides, when you're in a crowded, public place, it's a lot harder for THEM to listen in to what you're saying.

Scorpio : You are a sensitive soul, aren't you? And this is one of those weeks that will pressure your sensitive nature, perhaps push you to an extreme, the proverbial boiling point, as the week goes by. It's like there's some pressure building up, and you're not sure which direction you should take this sort of influence. I was going to try to stay away from the cliche expression about "pressure cooker," but that just seems to fit this Scorpio feeling right now. It just gets more heated and intense. The good news, if you choose to accept it, is that food stuffs which are prepared in a pressure cooker are always nice and tender. So whatever seems to under the close of scrutiny right now will, ultimately, turn out for the best. It's just a that you've got a week that feels like Houston in the middle of the summer. There is escape, and there is a way to let some of this steam off, but the best way to get through this hellish sauna like atmosphere is to sweat it out. Like Houston in the middle of torrid summer torpor, you're going to feel like you're seating bullets right now. It's okay, too,m because I know that this is going to turn out rather well, when it's all said and done.

Sagittarius : There's some disturbing mythology which has landed itself in my astrology. And some confusion. Pluto is a big player this week, and his ferry man is called Charon. In astronomy (remember, astronomy and astrology were separated several hundred years ago), Charon is the little object next to the thing we call Pluto in the telescope. And this week, the mythological boatman is a little upset. It's like a time when I was fishing with a friend, and I kept making one really bad pun after another. It wasn't a good morning for my friend's effort at fishing either, and he got rather upset at my scale of success. He jerked the rudder when I was standing in the middle of the boat, and I went in the lake. It was his answer to me not being "steered astray." On week like this, as Jupiter and Pluto face off against each other, there's a bit of a tug of war going on, and Sagittarius is likely to keep making jokes even when it's time to shut up. Think about that, and think about my buddy the ferry man, and make sure you don't wind up in the drink this week. And if you do? Just pretend that it was all good natured fun, perhaps PUNishment.

Capricorn : My favorite kind of camera is a disposable model, one that I can leave behind and not be worried about the investment. And when I get the pictures developed, all I do is toss the camera. These things are great. But the problem with a disposable camera is that it's not up to the job of doing that sort of tricky focusing which you might need this week. The little camera is good for a single "group" shot, but that's about it. It doesn't get the nuance of expression, and it certainly can't do those nice, clear and crisp pictures which show both the foreground and the background, not to mention the subject, with amazing clarity. If you are using an expensive camera this week, maybe one with a plethora of lens and attachments, a veritable grab bag of goodies, then you might be able to focus well this week. Other wise, you're going to find that part of your picture for the week is out of range. Either it's the details in the front, or the panoramic background gets a little muddled. With Mars and the Sun in Virgo by the end of the week, you're going to want to focus on what is most important. It also looks like your viewfinder (this would be a Venus influence now) is looking towards the relationship scenes for this week's picture.

Aquarius : I was thinking about a comic's routine, a mime routine, if I recall, and it goes something like this.... There's a spot light, a single white spot of light on a pretty dark stage, and the comic spends a lot of the stage time, chasing this spot light around. He keeps trying, and failing, to catch that little circle of light. It eludes his every grasp. The outcome is funny, and the antics are comical, but you can tell that the character is getting a little upset with the whole routine, and it would be nice if the nice guy running the spot light, if that person would just get a grip and settle down. This week is just like that routine, you keep chasing after that spot light, that single bit of illumination that should be centered on you, and no mater what sort of Aquarius antics you pull, all with a degree of comic relief, I hope, you just can't seem to land yourself in the center of the light. It does happen, eventually, but you ain't there yet. Most of this week, but I won't let you know which part, is spent trying to catch that elusive "15 seconds of fame" in the center of the little circle of light. Ever notice how that little circle of spot light looks like the Moon?

Pisces : As Water Signs go, Pisces is the very best Mutable Water Sign there is. Trust me, I am a professional, and I do know my water signs. Aren't you glad we got that out of the way? Why would I start out by telling you how wonderful you were unless there was catch to this? Is there? Sure. You saw it coming. As long as the Sun is over yonder in Virgo, you're face to face with little series of set backs one right after another. And if it wasn't for me, reassuring you that you are the best, then you'd start to doubt some of yourself. This period of time when you spend a little too much time to think about these minor details that seem to keep getting in your way, and this too much time that you spend thinking about it is like a big screen home video screen that throws up some rather unpleasant scenes on your internal screen. If it wasn't for the surround sound thing, you wouldn't don't yourself so much. But with that big sub woofer pumping out the subliminal music, you're beginning to wonder if "they" aren't right, and you're all wrong. I don't think so, it's just the planets, having a go at your mental imagery this week. It will be over soon enough, and you'll emerge (this comes as a surprise, I'm sure) as a victor. I knew you were right all along.

"O! here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh."
Romeo in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet [V.iii.109-11]

Know the source of the quote in the Sag Scope? Send me the source of that quote, maybe in its original language, just to make this worthwhile, and we'll see about getting you a custom (abbreviated) Fishing Guide to the Stars natal (el-cheapo) report, offer valid only through email.

Aries : I was looking for a different quote, something that I knew was from Mark Twain, but I never did find a real source for it. And despite having numerous reference books (along with many astrology texts), I couldn't find a real location for this quote. You're faced with a similar problem this week, you can't quite get to where it is that you're trying to get to. The answer to the question for the week, at least one of the answers, does come from Mr. Twain, in one of his various rumblings, "The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause." Pausing is not an Aries characteristic (that's just one of the many things we like about you), but a correctly timed pause this week would have a beneficial result. And I'm not the first one to suggest this for you, either. Mr. Twain said it first -- that much we both know. I don't have a source, other than my online database. So you might not have a source for your pause, either, but it doesn't mean that a good pause at the right time won't help you immensely.

Taurus : We have to look at a few facts about Romeo here. You wonder why I'm writing about Romeo? Must be something about inauspicious love this week, right? I was more interested in Romeo's facts. He was just a kid. In the play, he's probably only about 15 years old, but in Padua (same place that St. Anthony comes from) 15 was an adult, at the time of the play. Literary detectives are interesting, and this fact about Romeo has something to do with your week. You're going to be faced with the same type of troubles he's faced with. A passionate embrace, a scenario that leads to what feels like true love, and a world that feels like it's out to prevent you from achieving your goals. It's not really the world out to get you, though, but it is a lunar phase which seems to stand in your way, every time you turn around. Doesn't much matter what you try, you feel like you can't get ahead this week. Now look: Romeo met a tragic end. There's no reason for you to have a tragic end to this week, too, just ride it out and realize that it's passionate problem instead of a real (and difficult) situation.

Gemini : There's just the weirdest little bit of good luck which happens into your life this week. Now, if you are a good Gemini (you're reading FGS, you must be a good Gemini), you might be districted and miss this bit of fun. This little dose of good luck takes a degree of effort on your part in order to capitalize on it -- you've got to do something in order to make this good luck work. And there's one other problem with good luck and Gemini this week, you have so many things crying for your attention that you might just miss this one. That wouldn't work. That just wouldn't do at all. It's dangerous proposition to suggest that a Gemini pay attention to the details, but this is a week when there is at least one detail you don't want to miss. Romeo kicks off this week, so it's like that Romeo thing, remember? If he had just figured out that his girlfriend was asleep -- not dead -- they could have all lived happily ever after. Don't miss your cue.

Cancer : I'll be you're feeling a little restless right now, a little bit like, "There's someplace I'm supposed to be -- but no one told me where!" It's the missing things this week which you feel like are the most important. I worked at a used books bookstore for a little while. (It was losing proposition at best, invariably outspending my paycheck.) Folks would cart in box load after box load of books -- "Tells a lot about a person by what you buy back, huh?" asked one customer. But this week is like working in that used books bookstore, it's not what they're selling back that's important, not this week, it's what they left on the bookshelf at home that's important. It's like the sub text in most communications, it's not what you see, it's what you DON'T hear that is so important. Being aware that there's this inaudible message which leaves you a little restless. For that, there's no answer. However, if you can figure out how to put this restlessness to work, you might get to the real meat of the message for now. Remember, it's written between the lines, all week long.

Leo : In astrology, each of the signs are divided into little, ten degree slices. That makes each sign really three signs, e.g., early Leo, middle Leo and late Leo. Each slice of the Leo sky has a profound influence on it this week. The problem with each slice is that there is markedly different affect from each of these influences. One suggests you go fishing and eschew any kind of work this week. One suggests that you roll up your sleeves and tackle a big project which you have been putting off for some time. And one suggests that it's a good time for a road trip. If there was some way to combine all of these disparate influences this week, then you will have the week all rolled up into one, neat package. Unfortunately, if you're not a highly trained professional Astrology Fishing Guide, then it might be hard to say that a fishing trip to a far away destination, which is really a working trip and a big project, and a road trip, all wrapped up in one. Confused? I am. I would take this week and try to turn that one big deal into an amusing "game" of some kind. In other words, tackle work and turn it into play this week. You'll be amazed at how much you can get down, if you get right down to it.

Virgo : I have a couple of portable computing devices. One of them can plug into the digital phone thing, and I can log onto the web and work from any destination which has cellular and digital access. Pretty cool, right? The problem with this arrangement is that there are hills and valleys -- to this day -- which ain't got such access. One of the most picturesque spots on the planet is just north of the Big Bend area, in West Texas, and yes, it's just remote enough so that a the thoroughly modern method of communication, the cell phone, the digital thing, all of that -- just doesn't work. What happens? I get out a very analog device called a "pen" and I write on something called "paper." I realize it's not exactly a linear way of approaching business at the beginning of the age of information, but it works surprisingly well. Mars is in Leo, not for very much longer, but certainly for the time being, and as long as he's there, an analog approach to a digital problem will benefit you best.

Libra : I am hardly one who can find fault with searching for solace in the feed bag. It's not me who can suggest that something which is "chicken fried" should not be considered a "comfort food." I would never want to place an idea in a Libra's brain that some dish with cream gravy, perhaps chili cheese fries, or the dessert that invariably follows is a form of getting through the week. It's just not a healthy concept in a time and place where bean sprouts and macrobiotic restaurant are all the rage. But simpler cuisine choices are important this week. See, it's Venus and then little Mercury, too, and they both conspire to aggravate your appetite and emotions, and when both those things get riled up, there seems to be only one solution: comfort food. There's a place here, where the tacos are labeled "soft" but the whole mess is just dripping in grease. You bite in and the stuff squirts out, and runs down your arm to the elbow, and then drips back onto the plate. It is so good, you don't mind the fact that there's a cardiac care unit waiting on you. So be careful with how you deal with this Venus influence this week. You're tempted to excess, and I'm not sure it's the best way to go.

Scorpio : It's hard to cover all seven days, and be reasonably accurate for a good sign like Scorpio. But there is a certain gleam in your eye this week, and I'd like to think that this gleam will be there all week long. If it's not there all seven days, then I still figure, based on the relative position of the Moon and such, that this gleam will be with you for at least five out of those seven days. Makes for some interesting times. What are you going to do? Of course, being a slightly secretive Scorpio ("I'm not secretive, just cautious," you say), some of the rest of us are going to wonder just what the heck you're up to. The trick, this week -- right now, is to act like you've got a great secret. I know you're holding back, and you look like you might be ready to laugh at any moment, or unleash one of those typical Scorpio comments that cuts right to the core. Let's just pretend that this is a good thing, that "prepared to devastate" state you seem to be in. Keep with the merry glint in your steely Scorpio eye. Just don't tip your hand, not right away. If you're about to make a cutting remark, hold on to it for a little while, let's wait and see.

Sagittarius : I was going to suggest that this is the week that you finally make that big step, your mind expands, and you can see the whole picture rather clearly now. I was going to suggest that this is the week when old issues resolve themselves, and like so much that has been promised as the herald of the next millennium, it all finally gets here. But what's really happening is a little more pedestrian and pedantic and little less prosaic. All that high flown talk about "consciousness expansion" is really interesting banter. But what happens in the real world needs your attention right now. So much for the "higher mind" and worrying about your soul's destination right now. Get back to some basics. Clean house, and I'm suggesting this in a spirit of reality instead of a metaphorical or allegorical way of looking at the week. That doesn't mean take the whole week off and spend all your time cleaning, but you've got some nitty gritty stuff which needs looking after, so eschew some of the philosophical banter and, "chop wood, carry water."

Capricorn : "Work this" and "career that." These are taunts winging in from the Capricorn Camp, at this time of the year. You guys are ready to talk about anything else but the stuff that money is made of. Yet, if you would indulge me for just a moment, you're going to find that the smallest effort directed in an unusual fashion towards work, like having a pen and paper handy when that one moment of inspiration strikes, that's what makes all the difference in this week. It was like this "creative financing" problem I was wrestling with. When I finally arrived at a solution, a somewhat convoluted but nevertheless useful solution, I was in the middle of the lake, and I didn't remember to pack pencil and paper, I wasn't properly prepared for sudden inspiration. The off shore cash haven, the blind trust, the corporate shuffle, the circuitous route the cash took from a numbered Swiss bank account into my hands, all was lost. But if you are prepared this week, you'll find that you can retrace that route when the inspiration hits you. Remember, this flash of insight hits at the least convenient time, like the guy I was fishing with was pretty sure I was asleep.

Aquarius : I've never really been comfortable with the term "up hill battle" and this might be due to the fact that everything in my own life always feel like it's a struggle. Yet, this does seem like the best way to describe the way the week is going to go for you. I wouldn't make such a dire prognostication without a few bits of hopeful news, and I was using the term "up hill battle" with a slightly different spin attached to it. It's like a slow and gradual incline as the week progresses. This slope takes you up and up, ascending each day, getting to a new level. And with all this wonderful feeling stuff happening right now, you're going to wonder why I was calling it a battle. There are a few -- relatively minor -- points which will cause you to struggle, but in many cases, this week, you can side step the problem and keep climbing. And as each step takes you closer to the top of the week, the top of your climb, to the best moment in the week, you're going to discover that you're not there yet. It only continues to improve.

Pisces : Most of the Pisces I've polled have very little trouble with relationships. That's not exactly correct, but Pisces do seem to have fewer troubles with accepting their mate or partner as he (or she or it, in some cases) might be. This is a strength, usually, a benign gift for being Pisces. The problem is that this week, you've got a little difficulty accepting your mate, lover, pet (animal companion), whatever, for what they might be. Or what you might want to suppose they might be. This is one of those times when little things in life, minor annoyances come creeping to the top. It's like this really nasty looking stuff which is on the very top of a boiling pot full of crawfish. It's this really thick, textured stuff, spices, grease, more spices, peppers, garlic and so on. While it has a delightful aroma, the actual appearance can be a little off putting. This stuff floating on the top of the week is just like that mixture of Cajun spices: you just have to trust that the process will work out with an extremely rewarding return for your invested time. It's just that the process itself might not look too good. And crawdads aren't really in season, either, but it was such a delicious imagine, I couldn't resist.

"What fool Honesty is! and Trust, his sworn brother, a very simple gentleman!"
Autolycus in Shakespeare's Winter's Tale (IV.iv.595)

Aries : There are certain tasks in life which have to be done in order to properly enjoy yourself. It's like something as simple as sitting by the lake with a fishing pole. First, you have to gather up the fishing gear. Then, it would perhaps be best to pack a lunch. don't forget you're going to need a cooler full of a nice, refreshing beverage, too. Out by the lake, it can get mighty hot, and you want to make sure that you can extract as much pleasure from this outing as possible. What happens is it begins to feel like there is a significant amount of work that goes into pleasure. There's some planning, some preparation which I really think you need to consider this week. you can't just get out to that special place and expect everything to be perfect, no, it takes a little bit of work. The more effort you are willing to put into making this pleasurable experience, this week, the more fun it turns out to be. Making a list of the items you want to tote along is a good idea, perhaps a little light reading material, perhaps Solar/Lunar calendar, maybe a variety of bait. See what I mean? It takes thorough planning to enjoy yourself this week. Having read this though, I'm sure you'll enjoy a good week (with proper preparations).

Taurus : It's about time that you got a reward or two. It's about time that you got recognized for hard work, intense labor, and a lot effort that you've put into a project. It's about time that you finally got recognized for your efforts. Mars and Uranus do an uncomfortable send off to the week, and that sets a strange tone because I figure those two planets are basically incompatible. But this energy is a like a couple I know that quarrels constantly. It's their form of love and affection. They like it. And in the same way, you've got some one who is bickering but that's just the way this person decides to show that he or she secretly approves of the work that you're doing. You're getting recognized, it's just not in the way you expected it. "Bad press is better than no press," is one catch all phrase. But I prefer the way Oscar Wilde said it, "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." You get complimented this week, from on high, just don't expect it to be a straightforward voice of approval.

Gemini : Fate is a curious old idea. There are some schools of thought which suppose it's like a giant spider web, and Fate is the one who spins the web itself. Nothing is worse than being caught in Fate's web, unaware. Now, when you get caught in this web this week, try something different. Don't struggle. Don't thrash about. When you're stuck in this web, the spider finds you by your relative movement. It's like sending up a flare, telling the spider of Fate where to find you. Then you get wrapped up in spider webbing and devoured. Not a pretty sight. So, when Fate sets out to ensnare you this week, don't struggle with it. Panic, which is a wonderful reaction in certain situation, isn't really the best idea this week. You've got choices, and you can easily extract yourself from the mess by not moving a muscle. Make some assessments and then plan your next movie (and try to do so without calling attention to yourself).

Cancer : where do you turn for inspiration? What tickles your muse? What drives you to new levels of excellence? It varies from individual to individual, but we all have certain conscious and subconscious games we play in order to get the juices flowing. Tricks which we use to get our mind in gear, ramped up and running. I've found that the proper amount of cigars and coffee, especially early in the morning, seems to be the most effective route for me. Not enough coffee? I'm down, and I can't get away from the couch. Too much coffee? The mild soporific effect of a good cigar mellows out the moment, takes the edge off. While this sounds distasteful to a large number of the Crustacean set, it works for me. So it doesn't matter what tickles your muse, you're going to find that this is an excellent week to get that in gear. Something to lift you up, and then, something to tone it down, just a little bit. You've got a great thing going on with the Moon this week ("that's Ms. Moon to you, buddy!") Use her heavenly influence to your benefit. Don't forget the cigars, though, just to help keep it all in check.

Leo : One of my friends has an old truck with a rather "threadbare" muffler on it. We were working on the truck, just the other day, and we had taken it upon ourselves to replace the plugs and point. It's a really vintage truck which means it has one of those little electrical things in it, and when he tried to set the gap on the points he got quite a shock. 50,000 volts, right up the arm. A yell, a terse command to "disconnect the battery," and everything was okay again. Then we got around to testing our new implementation of a slightly advanced timing on the motor. Seems that our timing was a little off -- too advanced. If it had been a racing motor, it would have worked fine, but for an old farm implement, the truck acted true to its character and spit the muffler halfway across the parking lot. Timing and electrical stuff is important this week. As much as you want to tweak some motor in your life, make sure that you don't tax the system a little too much, or you're going to spend part of your week scouring wrecking yards, looking for a new used muffler for the vintage vehicle you were working on. (NB, the price of a new muffler was outrageous, more than the value of the vehicle itself.)

Virgo : It's a special Virgo birthday week. You know who you are, I hope that you enjoy this week. "The Virgo whose name must not be spoken." Sounds good to me. This is a week that's got an unusual little challenge in it. It's sort of like the lugubrious air which floats around Texas at the end of the summer.. The buzzing insects know that their days are numbered, but there just doesn't seem to be any respite from the heat. It makes for a lazy feeling to it all, but no Virgo would really like to be categorized as lazy, either. So it's too hot to do anything and yet, you're too full of good cheer not to do anything, so there's this "feeling" this "I can't put my finger on it" sense of energy. It's a New Moon, coming up, and while that bodes well for your coming year, the does zap a little bit of strength out of you right now. Since it is, officially, Virgo time, I would suggest some cool ice tea, a shady corner, a good book, and a pencil. You've got some ideas coming up so you will want to make note of them. But don't do anything too hasty y this week, it's a good time to relax some. You have earned a little bit of a birthday type of break.

Libra : The various lawn ornaments -- often displayed at Shady Acres Trailer Park -- are unique and unusual. Pink Flamingos, of course, are considered in good taste. So is a car,especially, if it is a classic, up on blocks. That means the vehicle is in various stages of "restoration work." Worn out tires are in abundance because they are so useful for many different things. They make good anchors for mailboxes. They make excellent planters. They also make really good mosquito hotels and breeding grounds. To that end, have you ever tried to get the last, little bit of water out of an old tire carcass? Unless there's a strategic (possibly painful) hole in the tire, it's just about impossible to get the last spoonful of water out of a tire. Fill it with concrete and plant a mailbox in it. Fill it with dirt and plant flowers. Do something with the tire this week because if you leave it unattended, it will only serve to breed vermin (mosquitoes). With Venus just beginning to grace your sing, this is a good time to consider some sort of home beautification project, like getting that last little bit of water out of the tire.

Scorpio : Ever use minnows as bait? Even if you have never actually used live little fish as bait, try to follow the symbolism here. "Work with me on this one." You want to catch some big fish. You use little fish to catch big fish. No jokes about sushi, not this week. In order to get the big stuff this week, you're going to be coerced into giving up some small stuff. There's a time to stand firm, and there's a time to concede that the other parties might be correct in their assumptions about small things. Now, put this in perspective. You've got to give up the little fish in order to get the big fish. Giving in on a minor point might bother you, but if you keep the big goal in mind, you'll do fine. Little fish get you big fish. Don't be afraid to sacrifice a few minnows so that you can land some rather large fish. And yes, this means it's a good week for live bait, too.

Sagittarius : Sagittarius is a great sign. I sometime feel that it embodies many of the most noble characteristics without having difficulty with the more detrimental aspects of greatness. And that's usually the case. But this week, even though I know how great you are, and I'm sticking up for you, I'm also suggesting that this week, you don't go around telling everyone. Let your CAREFULLY THOUGH OUT ACTIONS speak louder than words. Deeds, not words. This is not a good week to let some publicity person make up some statements for you to be quoted as saying. You run a high risk of coming off as an arrogant fool if you talk too much and let your mouth get ahead of what you are capable of doing. You have the noble qualities, use them, don't talk about them. Set your might Archer's sights on the lofty goals and ideals, but let your actions carry you through. The vocal nature of this week is brought to you by Jupiter, and yes, Jupiter is in Gemini, over on the other side of the zodiac right now. Jupiter can spur you to new heights, but be careful that you don't make claims that you can't live up to this week.

Capricorn : An astrology chart comes in the form of a wheel. And there are 12 spokes to this wheel, one for each sign. Then there are the cardinal points in the chart, too. Finally, the planets are displayed at certain points within this framework. Your wheel, this week, is little lopsided. It's path is not a smooth road. It's mostly a good road for you, but there is one, rather inconvenient, little protrusion on this wheel that makes it turn a little "out of round." It's like hearing a "tick tick tick" as you motor down the parking lot of life. Now, either there's a piece of gravel stuck in the tread of your tire, and it's no big deal, or, it's a metallic thing, of the long, slender and pointed variety. Either one can be a problem because the rock can come unstuck and rattle your fender, or even come off at a high rate of speed and cause a tiny little chip in a windshield. Or, the nail could be a slow leak, and not do too much damage, or you can yank it right out, and have a sudden impairment in your forward motion. It depends on the nature of the obstacle which is in your astrological wheel this week. And, it depends on how you deal with the problem. Going slow, and examining the problem before you set out is the best thing. My bet is that it's a rock, and you can dig it out of the treat with your car keys.

Aquarius : The week starts out with an electrifying jolt from Mars. Mars, the winner of wars, Mars, the subduer of continents, Mars, the angry red orb in the sky.... I'm sure you get the idea. He's on a little bit of tear, starting this week. It might actually have been felt last week, but you're really going to feel it as this week starts out. Mars has a little window of time that operates within, and this window is never more pronounce than the span of this week. So you're going to be energized. You're going to feel like conquering and subduing whole counties, if not whole continents. Of course, your battles brought about by Mars might be a little more local, too. That's also the problem this week. On the other end of the possibilities, it could be really localized, and it could just be you, and a mate, arguing over some arcane point about personal hygiene. Or a similar point that's important to you, but -- apparently -- not as important to them. As long as there's this jolt of juice from Mars, it's okay to express yourself. Just don't count on the results being exactly what you planned.

Pisces : I was stretched out on the couch, next to a fiancee at the time, and suddenly the cat springs up onto my chest (landing with all her claws, I might had), and looks over at the "other woman" and then the cat proceeds to make quite a bit of racket. I should have seen it from the start that it foretold of a doomed romantic encounter. After all, the cat was letting my date know that the cat came first, at least by her reckoning. Imagine the cat saying, "He's mine! I saw him first!" (Or something to that effect.) This week, you're like the cat, a fine and delicate sense of when to land on somebody's chest with your claws outstretched, a time to know when to loudly explain, "This is mine! I had it first!" Be careful about the outcome of such actions, though. Be prepared to lose a battle this week. Just like that cat did -- it's easy to scoop up a kitten and see how far she will fly when she's in the process of disturbing a romantic encounter. Now, the real question this week, are you the cat or are you the guy stretched out on the couch with the claws in his chest?