The love of wicked men converts to fear
That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both
To worthy danger and deserved death.
King Richard in Shakespeare's Richard II (V.i.66-8)

It's a little bit of bleak sounding quote, but it has a purpose as this week unfolds, and it's more about hanging around with a bad crowd which ain't none too good as opposed to hang out with the good guys....

Aries : You're running at a furious pace right now, and this furious pace can turn into a blind pursuit. That's all I'm trying to warn you about this week, just make sure that you know exactly where it is that you're going, my fine Aries friend, because that's important right now. Destinations need to be firmly etched in your mind at a time like this, or you tend to wander all over the place, looking a little lost. And lost Aries ain't a pretty sight. It's like having a confused fishing partner, a feller who claims to know the very best spot only, he can't seem to find it. You're kind of like that under this undue influence from Mars and the Sun. You know where you want to be, but you have a tendency to forget your destination before you ever get started. This can lead to either amazing hilarity, or, more likely, some serious confusion as you scratch your head, cock it sideways and try to figure out just where it was that you were going. As long as you've got this little Fire/Mars and whatever thing going on upstairs, down here, pick a single direction and stick to it. You'll find you get a lot more accomplished this week if you do.

Taurus : Consider the fishing hook. It's a simple device, with a very elegant design, years, perhaps even thousands of years have gone into it's continual refinement. It's a basic shape, but in recent years, much thought has gone into making it work a little better. And although the point of this week's message is like the fishing hook in elegance and scope, there's a more recent addition (say, within the last thousand years or so) that is important. It's what this week is like. It's a good week, and gets better. Follow the hook from its eye where you tie the line down its gleaming shank. Then across the bend, and finally, when the weekend gets here, there's a little barb on the very end. That's what you have to be careful about. The week starts well, gets better and better as the Sun moves in Virgo, then there's a little catch, right at the very end. Because this can vary from individual to individual, the actually timing might be different by minutes, or even half a day, but it does happen. There's always a catch. But the overall picture, provided you look out for the bard, is very good.

Gemini : In my never ending search to further the astrological lore at my disposal, and to fill up some of the blank pages which beckon to me, I've made some interesting notes over the years. One of them comes to mind right now, and it has to do with the relative position of the Sun, as a matter of fact, and since this is Sun Sign Astrology, I was going to address the fact that the Sun moves in Virgo this week. Normally, this isn't too good for you. And at close to the exact movement that the Sun makes this transition in Virgo, there's going to be a little bump in your road. Slow down, negotiate the bump with care and Gemini - like dexterity, then get back up to speed as soon as you can. You're going to find that you get propelled along with a certain degree of momentum this week, and one of the important things to do with the idea that the "Sun is in Virgo" is to keep pushing forward with some of your many faceted plans. It may feel like you're starting to encounter some obstacles, but do the Gemini thing, and don't let them get in your way too long. You can easily get ramped back up by the end of the week.

Cancer : There's am important image which comes to mind to properly characterize what the general feeling for this week is like, it's a picture of a fisherman, gently nodding off in the front of the boat, with a hook and line idly gracing the water in front of him. That's what this week starts out like for Cancer, a moment of reverie that looks suspiciously like a nap. But in that wonderful Cancer brain, there's a lot at work. Ticking away, almost as if it's in the strata of memory below the conscious level, there's a hint, an echo, a suggestion that there's something at work. Just what is it? That's up to the Cancer fisherman to catch. By the end of the week, something is going to nibble at the Cancer's bait, then it's going to strike. Its will suddenly jerk the Cancer fisherman awake -- it's not like you're not expecting this, but as it pulls you wake, don't forget the problem that eluded you, it looks like you've got an answer about the same time you set that hook.

Leo : After the last few weeks, you've got to be expecting something big this week. I would like to take the time to suggest that there are no big deals this week. Officially, sure there are some big deals, but between you and me, my fine Leo friend, there really isn't THAT much going on. Sure, there's a bump or two in the night, but the summer sun in Texas still has that lingering effect in the twilight hours, alternately a rosy glow and the deep hues of purple, and sometimes even a golden flavor to it all, and the sunset hour is the magic hour. Although Venus is the evening star, and Mars is only visible right before sun up, the two planets are really pretty close, astrologically speaking. And for a change, these two guys are having a nice affect on you. There is one day this week which is really good for fishing, according to the solar and lunar tables I swiped from the back of a fishing magazine. I figure that this really applies in your case, too. There's one period of time this week which is good for you. Make use of it. Then relax and enjoy that evening glow. Like I stated, I figure here really are no big deals this week and it's time to concentrate some efforts around the homestead, except for that one foray on the optimal day for fishing.

Virgo : There's a tiny accelerator card in one of my computers. It bypasses the existing chip and runs the machine at something like four times as fast as it ran before. When I first dropped the card into the computer, there was an amazing acceleration. It felt like I was sitting a real drag racer, rushing down the race track at close to the speed of sound. This is a week like sitting in the same seat as I was sitting in. There's sudden, almost overpowering rush of power which seems to come out of no where, and this feeling of speed nails you back in your seat. "Wow," you exclaim, the Gee forces pulling your face back, taking all the loose skin and making it tight, "wow." Perchance you don't feel the acceleration quite like this, but you do feel a certain degree of get up and go this week. There's a sudden blast that sends you rocketing forward. It's a subtle thing, at first, this quickening, but then it really does nail you back. It's like sitting in a drag racer, and it's like watching yourself in slow motion. The light goes green (Virgo time), you hit the switch, and you slowly build up a head of steam, and then, all of a sudden, you're hurtling along at a scary pace. This week: watch for it.

Libra : I'm sure I've made allusions to the quantity of coffee which is required to keep me going, the 13 cups of thick sludge which I need in order to crank my eyelids open on the sultry summer mornings in Texas. There's also a fine line between that 12th cup and the 14th cup. After number 14, there's a good chance that I can vibrate into an alternate dimension because I'm moving just a little faster than anyone else. You need to watch the coffee intake because you've got a week just like the magical transition between number 13 and number 14. Too much coffee man, and that's what this week is like, and you're out, so far ahead of everyone else, that no one can keep up with you. It's as if you've vibrated into the next dimension, or stepped across some threshold that no one else is aware of. The line between those two amounts of caffeine is tricky point to negotiate. It's taken me years of practice, and a few failed attempts in order to get there myself. So this week, try to figure out what's too much and then don't go there. If you do, you'll find that no one seems to hear you, see you, or even listen to you.

Scorpio : Constraints are a good topic this week. And when I discuss "constraints" I'm talking about a narrowing of the flow. A restraint, now that would be different. That would suggest something that gets cut off completely. So let's take our little words games and apply them to this week. There's a certain constraint, probably in your cash flow, this week. It's not a complete blockage, that would be a restraint in your cash flow, but you do want to consider cutting back on certain nonessential items. There are a few luxuries that I would consider cutting out of your budget this week. "Like what is luxury and what is a necessity, oh wondrous fishing guide to the stars?" I always like the way you smirk when you address me thusly. Anyway, luxury? That would be new tires for the truck. Necessity? Bait so you can fish this weekend. See the difference? There are some thing which you just have to have, and other things you can always live without. Figure out which is which this week.

Sagittarius : One of the hardest lessons I've ever had to learn was how to listen to a seasoned professional fishing guide. Perhaps it was this one fellow down on the Gulf Coast who knew every square inch of that Texas beach, every centimeter of marsh, wetland, inlet and every minute millimeter of the intercostal waterway. Perhaps it was this one guide who taught me I really don't know everything about all the local terrain. Sure, I studied maps and tide tables, and sure, I knew the exact placement of the planets, but when it came to actually fishing on his turf, I had to realize that he knew more than I did. So when you're face to face with a situation like this, go ahead and admit that you can learn something from an old salt. You will be surprised at what kind of reward there is for learning when to keep your Sagittarius mouth shut. It's a good time for us Sagittarius types, but we're all tending to running off the mouth at a time when our mouths should be firmly closed around the bit, and we need to let someone else show us the correct path. I'd suggest bridal path, but the term leaves a bad taste in most Sagittarius mouths.

Capricorn : I just like the way this week lines up for Capricorn. One way or another, it just looks good. Maybe not great, but not bad at all. The various planet placements bode well for you. And I no sooner suggest that it's a good week when one Capricorn saddles up to the word processor and then emails me a lengthy response about how everything is so terrible right now. Must be the Moon. In relative terms, though, there are a number of good starts this week. And what could be better than getting a good start on something? I can't promise that this is like fishing, where a good start always insures a bountiful catch, but if you can adopt a slightly longer term way of looking at it, yes, it does bode well for you. Put your best foot forward. Get off to a good start. Get up early and work late. Put in a little extra time to get a few of the spurious details out of the way. Realize you might not actually reap any rewards, but you're getting some good sowing done. Then, with a little luck and patience, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see a return on your invested time, as quickly as two weeks hence. Save the hate mail for me, for that time.

Aquarius : For a long time, part of the general public (John Q. Public was its name, I believe) had a good laugh at a character who espoused "Deep Thoughts." These were rather random potshots at the then-current "New Age Speak" and similar groupings of words. Aquarius never goes for the median average, and that's one characteristic that is common to all of you guys. But this is one of the weeks when some of the median average stuff, the deep thoughts of the public, seem to make a degree of sense. You're going to spend part of this week pondering unponderables, and perhaps, if you put that good sense of humor to work, you'll be making merry of some of the deep thoughts. In other cases, though, there is a degree of self-examination which is required, and you're going to want to find somebody to bounce a few ideas off. Be careful, though, because some of your deep thoughts might just get translated to some other sign as a metaphysical mind game.

Pisces : One of the minor problems with being human is that "people need people." And that's one of the hassles you've got this week. You want to be alone, but you also want to be around other people. This sort of conundrum lead to a point where a Zen Master couldn't unravel the riddle. And rather than trying to be a Zen Master (just about every Pisces I know is far beyond a pedestrian "Zen Master" anyway), perhaps try being in two places at once. This leads to a bass boat, but you kind of figured I would work that in. Ever watch two fishermen in a boat, not speaking to each other, both self-absorbed in their own world? The fish, the lake, the bait, the boat. They can sit for hours like that with nary a word betwixt them. That's what I suggest for this week. You want to to be around people, but you also want to be alone to clear your head of a few matters. So perhaps this is the best solution, the front of your fishing boat. If football were further along, another analogy would be good, too. Like watching a football game with your buddies, but not saying much. You're in the company of friends, but the level of discourse is such that you might as well be alone. Time for some Pisces Male Bonding this week, one way or another.

"There is no virtue like necessity"
John of Gaunt in Shakespeare's Richard II (I.iii.278)

Always did like the skinny I got from some of Shakespeare's names.

Aries : In as much as this is supposed to be another one of those weeks where everything stacks up in a good way for you, it doesn't quite work like that. Good, sure. Great? There's even that possibility. But you've got to guard against one Aries trait which shows up pretty commonly on days like this week has: too much enthusiasm. I don't want to to put damper on your boundless intemperance, but you've getting a little too excited about some of the stuff that is going on, and you'll find that you're excitement makes other people wonder. In fact, they wonder a lot. You can imagine what they are saying, "Why's he/she so happy right now?" and "why's she/he so excited about this product?" You can always claim that you fell for the marketing hype, but I still believe that the other, non-Aries personalities are going to be a little guarded about your overall attitude. So try, if you can, and tone it down some. It's good, you're good, it's just the rest of us aren't always swept away in the same flood of feelings that you get. Be gentle with us, for our sake.

Taurus : Some ways of approaching an astrology forecast like this week would spell out doom and gloom. Others will offer nothing but hope, light and merriment. I would like to take the politically correct middle ground, and point to a bell curve. Let's examine the most common stuff going on. Saturn leaves your sign, good. Jupiter is in your second house, also good. Bunch of stuff in Leo Squares you: bad. Venus is in Virgo: good. Pay attention to the gradually shrinking moon and be aware that she's going to make a lot of people a little tense right now. Not a big tense -- just a little tense. And be aware that there's this stuff in Leo agitating you, too. Not aggravating, just agitating. Get all this stuff figured out, and apply a balm from Venus to help ease the inflamed planetary rash caused by this set up. Got all that? Don't let minor disturbances ruin an otherwise good week. There's a lot of everything going on, and it depends on what you do with the pieces you're going to receive right now. I always try to let the good triumph over what ever else is going on, and I'll hope you try the same this week.

Gemini : Saturn is oft times considered a bummer of a planetary influence. There is no polite way to address what he can do to a sign. But he is not without some degree of reward, too. In strictest terms, Saturn is just now entering the Tropical Zodiac Sign of Gemini. You've got a feeling of impending doom about this one, right? You should. In some astrology circles, Saturn is considered a bad, bad planet, and the Ringed Wonder brings nothing but turmoil, oppression, and general malaise. Oh well. Oh woe is Gemini. In ongoing research though, Saturn isn't all that bad. He does however, impart a degree of discipline. Not every Gemini mind set is really fond of the discipline thing, so I'm not sure you're going to like it. But a little hard work, straightening up column of figures, a little book keeping, as it were, will help with Mr. Saturn's ill-timed arrival.

Cancer : Ever get the feeling that you're just about the only smart person that you know? Ever get the feeling that life would be a lot smoother if other people would only really listen to you? Ever get the sense that you have a much greater understanding of the inner workings of the world, and if you put in charge, then events would just flow much easier? Ever get tired of asking yourself inane question? It's a simple problem this week, brought about by a unique little arrangement in the heavens, most notably Venus in her shining glory at sunset, and what this does is make you right, ever so correct. That's the good news. As soon as I suggest there is good news, then I will also suggest that there is something else about to happen, right? Right. Back to the question and answer period, at the beginning of the scope... folks apparently aren't listening to your sage advice. Keep counsel to yourself. That sounds almost Victorian in tone, but perhaps your stentorian tone doesn't seem to work, either. You may be absolutely correct, but you're going to find that it falls on ears that ain't willing to listen this week. Keep it to yourself, and be prepared to pop up later with those words we all hate so much (especially when you are so right): "I told you so."

Leo : In the old St. Paul's Cathedral, in London (England, long live the Queen and so forth) there was a panel which depicted the "Dance of St. Paul" which was a way of warding off certain, inevitable things in life. It was particularly popular during the plague years and similar times. "Hey, what's up with the macabre talk?" the most excellent Leo asks. Simple: it's a time (thanks to Mars) of high activity. Doing a little St. Paul routine might help a lot. Mars means you've got to get out and do something strenuous. So trying something like St. Paul's little dance number might actually be really useful in warding off calamitous events this week. It's going to be a good birthday time, but you've still got to do something useful with your energy. You're wound up and you really need to vent some of this energy. Failure to do so results in another saint's dance, St. Vitus. Figure out one routine or the other, and enjoy it. It will help you keep upbeat this week. And here's a happy birthday to that one dancing Leo....

Virgo : Before you rise up in a single, coherent Virgo like arm and threaten to chop my head off, or worse yet, threaten to start on certain extremities and then move up to a decapitating stance towards your astrology fishing buddy, consider what I'm working with this week. I've got some skinny guy (John the Gaunt) telling us that there ain't no time like the present, and I'm looking at the weekly series of charts to help plot the location of several planets, and I'm going back through my copious notes to see where I have erred in the past with Virgo prognostications. Ya'll don't like Venus that much, or, you don't like the things that I say about Venus and the way the books tell me it will affect your sign. Venus is visible shortly after sundown, in an increasingly harder to find location. This foretells, allegedly, that you've got romance on the Virgo event horizon. Practical application of facts (and a ton email) suggests that it ain't yet. So get something or someone lined up in your sights, but don't pull the trigger and spring the trap just yet. "Timing is everything," or so the old expression says.

Libra : Libra's are known for their ability to turn a single task into a shared group activity. I would suggest that it's a cue you're supposed to follow this week, to a certain extent. To what extent exactly? That's subject to your own, personal interpretation. There is conflicting resources at your hands this week, those delicate Libra hands which work so well to bring everyone together, usually. In fact, I would suggest that this is a good week to fish alone. I realize you think it's more community oriented sport making it a more Libra-like endeavor, but this week is an unusual one. Working alone lends itself to some bragging rights. It's okay to talk about the big fish that got away, but this week, you can land a trophy worth bragging about -- only -- you have to work by yourself in order to be the center of your friends' attention.

Scorpio : There are questions in the Scorpio life, and these are questions which are likely to faced this week, questions that can have a simple and direct answer, an answer like "yes" or "no." It's more like a binary situation, in computer terms. Delving into a little bit of history is a good thing, Scorpio's like to delve, and I'm going to shy way from Texas history and look at a binary decision from American History. There was a time when a certain signal was sent it. A basic, binary proposition. Some computer guys think it was the first binary operation in American history. This week starts out like that for Scorpio, too, a basic situation (might be more than one) which can be dealt with as an on/off question. "One if by land and two if by sea," is the answer. You get to pick one or the other, but you can't have a land and a sea assault both. You might, however, be careful that you don't start any revolutions. The impact of your decision could be that far ranging.

Sagittarius : I was once accused of always writing hopelessly happy news for Sagittarius. While I would patently deny that, in reviewing some of the work, it does look like I've been a bit optimistic about the Sagittarius slice of sky. But this week, it's going to be another one of those happily good weeks, and I'm not being overly optimistic, either. In some signs, subtly is an important concept. With Sagittarius, though, we usually need to be hit over the head in order to gain our attention. It's not a bad thing, it's just the way Sagittarius is wired. And this week, that hit over the head is coming along. This is a time with just such an astrological bonk on the head. I really hope that it's a figurative point when someone bounces something off the Sagittarius head rather than literal. Perhaps an astrological helmet -- to protect the Sagittarius cranium would be best this week. However, protective headgear or not, this is a good week. There's just one too many good things lined up for our benefit this week, so enjoy the parties.

Capricorn : In the trailer park where I live, there's this absolutely gorgeous female, and me being male, I would be misrepresenting the facts if I didn't just come out and admit that I was attracted to this distant neighbor. Because her trailer is on the far side of the compound, it's a little awkward to say, "I was just passing by," or "I couldn't help but noticing," or any other similar line that is commonly used as an icebreaker. There's another problem, too, and that the idea that one should never, ever date within one's own trailer park. There's a place just up the road, that's okay. There's an apartment complex, across the street, that's okay, too. But not in the same grouping of buildings. Don't date your neighbors. It's bound to be in the rules someplace. This is a week in the Capricorn Trailer Park when you might be tempted by such a scenario. It's okay to look, but do us both a favor and don't touch.

Aquarius : This is supposed to be a good week, but there are some problems with it. You're not sleeping well. You're a little edgy, and you can't put your finger on what it is that's bothering you. It's like drinking one cup too many of a certain restaurant's coffee. The coffee is a vile brew of restaurant grade beans, more suited for paint remover than anything else. It's the stuff that gives coffee the unique sobriquet "jitter juice" because that's the way ya'll are left feeling. Nothing seems to work quite right. Try to stay away from endeavors that require a steady hand. Your normally steely nerves are a little jangled right now. This is a good week for activities which require lots of energy but not much eye/hand coordination. Emotional balance is a little off, as well. There is a good outlet for this type of energy, but be aware that' there's a vague, disgruntled feeling that's going to haunt you. Look on the bright side, football season has started, and that's another good outlet for this energy.

Pisces : Romance is a great thing, it's that feeling of true love, that feeling of abandonment of the finer faculties of your brain, that feeling that everything has a rosy glow around it. In fact, that glow might be more like the purported effect of radiation, and it might look like some hideous glow of a dark glob instead of pink and healthy critter. In fact, what is happening, is that you're involved with a relationship, and you're getting to see the real side of them (or it, as the individual case may be). There's a human side to every relationship, even if it's merely a relationship with an inanimate object, for example, a computer. Or perhaps it's a little more animated, like a dog or a cat. But the nature of this relationship [and I'm not pointing any fingers, but it looks like it is romance] is coming under a close scrutiny right now. The problem is your Pisces brain has developed an unholy attention to detail, and the object of your scrutiny might not like the close examination. Or you might not like the results of that examination. It's like finding the long dead critter the cat brought in as an offering -- it was intended as a good thing, but the offering isn't always so well received.

"There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet (II.ii.49)

Eclipse leaves us in a curious state of affairs.

Everybody wish fredlet a happy birthday.

Aries : There was this one Aries, and I sat down to do a reading for her, and I was meandering along, "And Aries is oft accused of being rash," to which she replied, "Right on." "And headstrong, and stubborn, and tenacious," I said. "Right on," she said. "And there are sometimes troubles learning to listen to other people," I continued. "Right on," she said. I was beginning to feel like I was not being paid the proper attention, so I tossed in a ringer, "And the Pope is really the Antichrist," I mused. "Right on," she said. An astrologer with less integrity than I have would have just slipped into a mindless babble mood at this point. "I was joking about that last one," and I got back to what was important in the chart at the time. What's important in your chart this week is that you're not paying close attention. Make sure that you really understand what is coming out of other folks' mouths. Make sure some unwitting and unscrupulous astrologer isn't just feeding you a line. Given a hypothesis, test it yourself to determine the accuracy.

Taurus : Given the tone of the financial music that is playing right now, I wonder if this is really a good time to consider that second mortgage. I know that you have been working on some refinancing stuff, a chance to restructure some debt, but I'm not too sure that this is the week to actually get out there and sign some papers. Of course, the exact moment of signing has tremendous significance in some branches of astrology. It does look like, what with Mercury doing his thing in a good place for you, it does look this is a good week to talk about it. "Enter a discussion," as they say. Consider what you can do to get out from under that debt load that you've been struggling with. And if you are the rare Taurus (c'mon, I know one of you is like this) with no debt whatsoever, then this isn't a good week to take on any additional payments. Don't sign up for something, not quite yet. Those "easy monthly payments" aren't quite what they look like.

Gemini : Drag Racing is a motor sport that is peculiar to America. It's a form of racing that could only, at the very best, be called a truly American sport. Where else would the cars we drive on the street take on the fat tires, the appearance of the monstrous amount of horsepower lurking beneath the hood, where else would this be openly displayed? And, in at least one form, this is a useful sport because it allows the driver to get from one stop light to the next, quicker than anyone else in the pack. I would also suggest that a three (or six or nine or even twelve) second spring from the "Christmas Tree" to the photo finish line is the perfect sport for a Gemini, and I really mean it this week. You guys are in a hurry to get someplace, only, after that little parachute comes out of the back of your drag racer, you're not sure where you are supposed to go next. Rather than offer some dubious advice, I would suggest that this is the week you want to turn around, head back down to the starting line again, line yourself back up and have a another go at beating some of the top defenders in your racing class. You can do it this week, if you're willing to work at it. Go Team Gemini!

Cancer : There is welcome relief, right here on the Cancer horizon, even this week. Mars has been a threatening and sometimes unwelcome influence, and he's off to bother other signs. This is a fortuitous event for you. It's time to finally slow down some, assess the direction you've been charging off into, and consider making some changes. Of course, what with the Moon doing her thing right now, I'm not too sure that you really want to make any drastic changes this week, but a little bit of thought about heading in a new direction is a good idea. There's "tangent" at work right now, an idea that sprouts from an idea that came from a former idea that goes back to what you were addressing under the Martian influence. Rather than get circular on you, I'd suggest that you follow this thought process and consider it a vine, growing on the side of trailer that is firmly ensconced in a particular park. There are a lot of branches to the ivy, and each one leads in a different direction. Now that Mars has made an exodus, you can leisurely follow each branch of thought to see where it leads. That's why Hamlet is so important to you this week.

Leo : Mars is bound and determined to heat things up right now. Mars is like using a welding torch to warm up a can of beans while you're working in the garage. Properly done, this can yield up a most delightful dish, but getting the right temperature to the can is a tricky problem. Most welders would prefer to use a drive through restaurant instead of taking a chance on burning their lunch. It's not an easy task because there's also the Oxygen and Acetylene flavor that would infect a BBQ effort of this nature. So as long we're dealing with Mars being in Leo, I strongly urge you to be careful about how you choose to use this welding torch ability that has you heated up. You can, if you're delicate enough, heat up the beans real well. If you're not, this is a week when you find that you've overcooked half you meal and the rest of it is still cold. Finesse is required [and a deft hand].

Virgo : This week, we need to practice a little used form of astrology that originated some place besides the Mediterranean area. This isn't Western astrology we're looking at this week, more along the lines of Mesoamerican astrology. Perhaps it's drawn from the Southwest, as well, long before the white guys ever showed up. Venus is not always kind. And this is one week when the alternative definition of Venus, calling her a creature of war as opposed to the mistress of love and light, is better. In plan terms, it ain't a particularly good week. Venus might influence you to make a hasty decision this week, and I would suggest you put off the idea of declaring war over some outrage you've experienced this week. There is a time to plot revenge, and there is a time to get revenge. Maybe just some plotting is a better idea. Consider the full consequences of your actions before you act.

Libra : We all have weeks when it's our turn to shine, and there is the strangest little hint that this is just such a time for you. It's not like there's a big break in here, it's more like an unlikely opportunity that sort of pops up. I was just pulling a boat out of the lake, and friendly angler came up to swap stories. The fight in the fish got better, the fish got larger, and the stories were rich with biblical proportions. This lead to an opportunity for us to get together and and have some ice tea, a little lunch (chicken fried steak, if I recall correctly). Just such a break happens this week, and it's not where you would normally look for such an alliance. There's a chance for something to work out even better than you had thought. From some unexpected quarter this week, you've got a chance to forge a union that might just work to your advantage. You're going to discover an unlikely ally in an unlikely arena, and this has some rather good prospects in the future. Don't be rash when dismissing seemingly improbable tales this week -- some them might actually be true.

Scorpio : I've always liked Shakespeare's Falstaff. The character was a willing "partner in crime" and one who was certainly not adverse to a decent double cross if there was a chance of some gain. "Honor among thieves," is the expression, although I'm not sure Falstaff really adhered to it. One of Falstaff's tragic flaws was he never realized when he should cut his losses and just abandon the whole idea altogether. That's what you share with Falstaff this week. There are a few problematic areas where you need to just cut an idea loose and move on. The problem you're really facing this week is figuring what to cut loose and what is really so important that you're willing to risk a confrontation. There's a bit with Falstaff in one the King Henry plays where a corpse moans, Falstaff come up and buries a dagger in the not-quite-dead-yet corpse, and Falstaff actually saves the day. The problem you have this week is determining what needs to be cut loose and what corpse could use a judicious sticking just to make sure it doesn't rise up again.

Sagittarius : This is a good week. Promise. I know, I know, "You always say nice things about Sagittarius. Is it because you are one?" At the risk of pandering to my own sign, I'm just trying to be fair. But this really is a good week for Sagittarius. There's an increasing sense that some activity is required of you right now, only, you're just not sure what it is. You feel like you're supposed to be doing something, only the exact definition of "something" is none too clear. That creates a problem. You know it's time for a road trip, but you're not sure of the destination. When this happens, I try and find a decent fire sign which I'm compatible with, and I goad them into taking their vehicle, and I get them to pick the destination. It sounds a little passive aggressive, but I just trust that the various positive influences right now will lead us to where ever it is that we are supposed to be. Mars is about to make a great statement for Sagittarius, and if it hasn't, it's something that you will be feeling soon. Be packed and ready to go.

Capricorn : When you watch some people this week, as you struggle with some small misfortune that inevitably falls your way, watch their eyes. There seems to be a softening around the edges, especially at the creases and the outer corner of the eyes, you see, it's like folks have real sympathy for whatever your complaint is this week. Or they should have some sympathy, no matter how minor a complaint that it is. It's a week when you certainly deserve a small degree of compassion. Now, you may not actually hear it in our tone of voice, but if you watch closely, you will notice that you do, indeed, evoke some heartfelt empathy for whatever the minor plight is this week. And the problem itself? It looks like it's really no big deal, more like a little bump in the highway of life. It's just as you describe the circuitous route you have to take avoid this problem, you will see that softening in their eyes. Every little bit helps this week.

Aquarius : Payback time! Well, almost. Not quite, but so close you can taste it. This isn't necessarily revenge, per se, although, to at least one person, it will look like that. I tend to regard a time like this as you get set up for "payback time," as a period where you can see the fine hand of Fate wheeling in your direction. It's like that guy who won last week's fishing tournament (Bass Masters) and he was gloating. This week, you can see that he's going to come up with an empty stringer, and he will be forced to eat his words because there's nothing on his stringer to fry up. Now, remember that this is the fine hand of fate doing this, so you have to make sure that you don't gloat at his misfortune. Don't rub it in. Don't smirk -- too much. You really should remain as sportsmanlike as possible this week, and regard this as a karma thing instead of acting like it was their just desserts.

Pisces : Back to school time for you guys. No two ways about that. It's time to haul yourself down the "5 and 10" store and load up on things like pencils, and erasers, and perhaps those big yellow pads for taking notes on. Since this is the new millennium, you might want to look at computer diskettes, too. In fact, a whole new computer system would be wonderful, as well, but that's getting to a point where you're starting to push it. See, there are limits to this week, and there are some constraints. So the idea of getting everything lined up for back to school is a wonderful idea, the whole concept of getting out and gather supplies is a good thing. It's hunting down the cash to pay for it all -- that might come up a little short. Between hunting and gathering, though, I'm sure you're going to forage out an existence just fine. There might be some limits, but money isn't everything, not if you shop wisely.

I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players; mark it. You say
Right, sir; o' Monday morning; 't was so indeed.

Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet (II.ii.512-3)

Aries : It starts out as a week when you feel like it's going to have any number of bad side effects. And yet, rolling around in the back of the Aries brain, thumping off the sides of your cranium, as it were, you're also going to find that there is a high degree of hope about the whole mess. You know that something good is about to happen, but you're just not sure what it is. As we all march towards the weekend, you're going to find that things start looking up. As the slow procession of the planets moves forward, you're going to find that you are easily able to lift your eyes toward the heavens. Just be careful as your attitude might be improving, as you lift your eyes heavenward, you might make a small mistake about where your feet are. Nothing is worse than tripping over your own soles. That's the only trouble this week, too, in a headlong rush towards the weekend, you might trip yourself up.

Taurus : There is a certain ease and grace which is just missing from this week. There is a certain degree of normal mannerism and ways of speaking that no one seems to be willing to follow up on this week. There's a certain inability of people to be nice to each other. And this will have a lasting side effect on the much maligned Taurus because folks just can't seem to be nice to you. What's going to take this bad situation to a new low is the week kicks off with lots of promise but quickly deteriorates. Now that you're aware that this week falls apart, or never even gets up and gets ready to roll in the first place, deal with it accordingly. It's like pulling dead minnows out of the bait bucket, and you're just not sure what to do with them. You're thinking, "This is not good for bait," but given the right equipment and a little ingenuity, you know, you can use those dead minnows for something. I've heard they look good on pizza.

Gemini : You need to start out this week with a degree of caution in your head. Steel which gets passed through the flame, heated up and cooled off, is considered to be stronger because it has been tempered. This week, you're going to have yet another Gemini experience which is like that tempering process. One minute, you're literally bursting with energy. The next, you can't seem to get up and go. At one point, you are so excited about some new possibilities on your personal event horizon that you can barely, if at all, contain that excitement. The next moment, you just want to take a nap because you are feeling world weary, and even the last round of excitement has finally got you down. You just need to sleep it all off. Then again, something else comes along and sparks that Gemini excitement nerve again, and you're off and running with a new idea. I've watched this behavior before. It's like a fishing buddy who invariably uses three different fishing poles, all at the same time. I've never seen fish strike all three at once, so I'm not worried that you want be able to handle a similar set up. But I do wonder about you from time. What happens if they all hit at the same time?

Cancer : There's a little Fang Sway trick I've learned while living in Shady Acres Trailer Park (one of Austin's finest mobile home communities), and it has to do with getting the correct alignment on a homestead so that the house is lined up with the earth's energies, the relative position of absolute north, the good vibes, and, in my case, how to keep the morning sun from loudly pouring in the bedroom window. Nothing seems to be worse than having the summer sun some creeping in the blinds and loudly announcing itself to the cat. And no sooner does the cat hear the sunlight than she's up on the bed, loudly letting me know it's time to feed her. There are some adjustments to make to a household which can prevent this. Consult with your favorite Fang Sway book, and see what you can do to line up your house better. Sometimes, something as simple as a trophy fish in the front hallway can help a lot. Other times, it requires a minor adjustment to the trailer's actual north-south and east-west orientation. So consider some rearrangements this week, something to make the energy flow a little more smoothly. As far as the cat is concerned, I'm still looking for an automatic can opener for her, then she'll let me sleep in.

Leo : It's always something, and this week, it's really something. Just about the time you begin to feel settled because it looks like Ms. Venus will quite fooling around with your head and heart, Mr. Mars joins you. It just goes to show that there is a divine and perverse sense of humor at stake here. It's not all bad, either, because there is the briefest shining moment this week when everything comes together. Not just in small way, but in a grand Leo is the greatest kind of way. There is the one moment when it everything looks like the whole world is okay. That means you get a brief chance to advance your own agenda, the briefest of moments when folks who look like they are paying attention, really are. There's just the smallest margin when the whole world is lined up and listening to you. Make us of this stellar influence. Do your best to work this moment to your advantage. One of the problems with having more than just Leo in your chart, though, is that you might realize when you had your Leo moment a little too late. Just be prepared with an acceptance speech, though, should you be called upon.

Virgo : Birthdays are important when one studies astrology, and there are schools of thought which often denigrate this philosophy and age old science. This is a week which will serve to make it that more clear, just how it all works because you can see for miles and miles, you are way ahead of the curve, this week. One of the problems with being on the advanced edge of the times is that other folks tend to lag behind you. The preponderance of the planets I'm looking at are actually in the sign which comes before you. In traditional astrology, this isn't so good. However, after years of research, we have been able to determine that there is an advance placement at work for you. The problem? You Virgo's are always quick to point out flaws with my prognostications, and the problem is that the rest of the 11 signs aren't quite up to where you're at this week. Keep to yourself. Make mental notes, or scribble spurious bits of information down on miscellaneous scraps of paper, tucked away in your Virgo pockets. You're squirreling away information, and this stuff will pay off, in the very near future. Like as early as next week.

Libra : "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" is line from some almost forgotten poet. It's also a line from almost forgotten poetry. And while the poet and his poetry may be forgotten, it's a sentiment that I hope is not lost on you this week. There's a certain sense of playfulness which pervades the summer air, and this sense of fun, perhaps it's twinged with a melancholy lassitude, stays with you all week. Like the short summer months, however, this all encompassing sense of abandonment and amusement is going to suddenly come to a rather abrupt end. It's like a dog who has been racing along on a long leash, sort of like the one my neighbor has tied up in his backyard. The end of this week is like that tether, and you're going to feel like a tether ball as you get bounced back into some reality at the very end of the week. When does the end of the week come, exactly? When does this reality grab you up short? Like the dog, when do reach the end of the rope? That depends on the individual chart, but the furthest extension for any Libra is the end of the weekend. I just hope you're not running at top speed when you discover the end of the leash this week.

Scorpio : There's nothing worse than a grumpy Scorpio, one who just grouses about, grabbing and complaining about relatively insignificant hurts and injuries. There's nothing quite as bad as one who complains about the tiniest nick or scratch, and makes this injury sound like a major medical trauma. The lurid details, the blood squirting everywhere, yes, it really was a terrible accident. This week is full of that sort of energy for my dear Scorpio. She's going to have a minor mishap, like getting a fishhook embedded in the end of a finger. What's worse, the best tool for removing this object from the tender flesh of the fingertip is a pair of rusty pliers I would grab out of my trusty tacklebox. This doubles the horror for the Scorpio -- seeing the rusty needlenose pliers approaching the offending fishhook. Relax, because this week, the pain is going to be worse for whomever it is that is operating on you rather than you, the Scorpio. The less you complain this week, the more you chew on your lower lip and keep the annoying chatter to yourself, the better off you're going to be. There's a time coming when you get to pay us back, but the amount of complaining should be kept to a minimum.

Sagittarius : There's a musical allusion to a fish that I'm fond of. Both the fish and the song. It's called "5 Pound Bass," and it's a song by local favorite Robert Earl Keen. What's important about this song and this week? "Up before the sunrise..." and full of energy, anticipation, looking forward to catching some breakfast, just feeling good all over again. It's not just the sport of fishing, either, it's the thrill of the hunt. And it's looking forward to breakfast, a little pan fried delicacy. To be fair, bass isn't a particular treat, but when you're hungry on a summer morning in Texas, and you land that huge fighting fish, dropping him in a frying pan at a fishing camp just makes it all taste that much better. What's this got to do with your week? You week is like that song, full of energy, activity, and a chance for some personal gain. Check the song out, if you get a chance. It's worth listening to. And that one tune really does cover what this week is supposed to be like.

Capricorn : We're going to be making a move this week, you and me, Capricorn and astrologer, and this move is an astrological journey. It involves a couple of the planets, and it's like picking up a trailer at a Shady Acres, and moving it out of town. You've always wanted to have place, out in the country, and this is a week when you can make something like this happen. To be more precise, this is a week when the astrology stuff lines up so you can get on the horn and start making the arrangements. You've got to have a septic built out in the country, and you need to get some water and electricity arranged, so think about digging a well, and there's the local electricity cooperative you've got get to run a line in for you. And while you're at it, might as well get the place wired for about three phone lines, and what's a decent place in the country without a little cable TV? Look at a satellite dish, too, and compare the costs. As you can see, this little astrological move, this idea you and I share has some problems. It's starting to turn into a big task. Fortunately, you're up to it this week.

Aquarius : This is the kind of week when you want to retire away from the maddening crowd, get away from the rush of people all trying to tell you what to do, and take a break from it all. A quiet weekend with the added benefit of no cell phone, and no internet connection comes to mind. In fact, you really want to get as far away as possible. Given the unusual nature of the Aquarius mind set, and given the even more unusual nature of what is going on astrologically, I was thinking about a particular bed and breakfast spot I know. It used to be a great place for fishing but some of the fishing holes seem to be a little fished out now. It's a B & B on the dark side of the moon. That's about the best place for you to be this week. I realize we can't all escape there, if we all could, then the place would be over crowded, but it's the thought that counts. Whatever it is, you do need to do something to get away, if it's only something as simple as showing up for work with music and earphones, listening to "Dark Side of the Moon" -- but keep dreaming about the little B & B.

Pisces : One of the nicest things about working with birthdays, which is what an astrologer does, is that calendars make the greatest of toys for us, and the calendars become pretty good for accumulating and storing large quantities of useless information. There is a forgotten Saint, a Jewish Holy Day, or similar feast day associated with this one, one of the days this week. I think. I sure hope so. And if there isn't such a high holy day associated with one of the days this week, you can always do what one of my student friends did, make one up. While I was in school, we all had "St. Bernice" to call on. She was the patron saint of late papers, long hours cramming for finals, and the occasional saint for tired college professors. Best of all, she could be used whenever needed, and she could molded to fit just about any situation. Now, my friends and me, we've already used Saint Bernice (apparently the saint ran a brothel in Roman times), but given you're Pisces mind's ability to work along spiritual lines, I'm sure you can come up with a good one. Make your own saint or high holy day this week, and use that for a celebration -- it's also a convenient excuse, if you need it this week.

"When Fortune means to men most good,
She looks upon them with a threat'ning eye."
Pandulph in Shakespeare's King John (III.iv.119-20)

July 24 is the Feast Day of Christina the Astonishing, which is a name that might have been applied to a date I had. She's the patron saint of psychiatrists, and the lore suggests she was awakened from her coffin by the aromatic nature of the crowd. Before 1969, the 25th of July was the Feast Day of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. And surfers. (Surf Board surfers, not the web.)

Aries : There is a general conflagration in the heavens above this week, as we get ready for yet another one of those celestial events. It's not like there hasn't been one right after the other, full of portent and wonderment, and other things, too. It's not like the heavens haven't had many suggestions of things good going on for a spell, like all of this month. And it's not like these late eclipses have a lot to do with you, but in this case, they really do. It's a relationship eclipse, and that means there will be some good things delivered via the heavens. I tend to take much more pedestrian view of this, however, and I wonder if the good stuff won't be delivered by truck. In fact, the way the week looks, it seems like a truck is passing in front of your place and something falls off. Rush right out and grab that package. You can return to sender, or, if it looks good, you might just keep it as a surprise gift from the heavens. Or the back of a truck.

Taurus : I was looking for a quote for the week, and what I kept coming back to has nothing to do with everyone's week, but it applies to Taurus, what with everything going on. There's the approaching feeling about an eclipse about to happen, there's Venus (the planet voted most likely to be affiliated with Taurus) in Leo, at a harsh angle to you, and there's this thought: "Young Cassius over there, he has a lean and hungry look about him" (JC, I.ii.194). That's what I would be wary about this week., Now, the problem being, is just who is addressed in this statement? Is it you, the fine Taurus reader who has a lean and hungry look about you? Or is it your opponent, instead, who looks like they are about to gobble you up? Or is there a softer side to this statement, dare I suggest even a sensual portent in the remark old Julio makes? This week, you are either bait, or baited, and I would like to think that you get to make the decision yourself.

Gemini : We have established, through careful observation and collating the data, that an average Gemini (although there is nothing ever average about a Gemini) moves at approximately four time the speed of everyone else in the occupying a similar place in the space - time continuum. In other words, Gemini's fidget a lot. Call it nervous energy. Now, while you guys are moving in one direction, or maybe two or three right now, the rest of us are looking like a herd of cattle without any one around to drive us. The question for this week is, "Are you strong enough to herd the rest of us along?" It's daunting task, and I'm not sure that even a single Gemini can keep up with all the task associated with driving this herd, this astrological herd. What I would watch out for, is a good start to the week, and as you build up momentum, you begin to think to your Gemini selves, "Hey, this is easy." I would just caution you from time to time, especially as we get closer to the weekend, to check back over your shoulder and make sure that the rest of us are really following you. Sometimes, we need a little extra "motivation" -- that's the real job of the cowboy. This week, my fine Gemini cowboy, make sure you are attending to all your duties.

Cancer : I wonder if this isn't the final throes of Mars doing some sort of a staged wrestling match with the Cancer psyche that's getting to you this week. Mars makes the last of his passes at your soul right now, and it's not been a polite trip, not the whole way. Mars usually means lots of activity, but he has a different effect on each sign. I've observed that Cancer's typically don't exactly get along with Mr. Mars. Since he's almost done with you, that means the degree of excitability, irascibility, the general stentorian tone of the past weeks finally settle down a bit. Regrettably, this is not without one last shout. There's got to be one last little blast to say good bye to Mars and his ways. It's like a celebratory firecracker which has been left over from the celebration at the beginning of the month. And that's one I never did understand because I would never typify a Cancer as the loud and obnoxious type. So there's one round left to fire off, and it looks like it happens this week. The closer to the weekend, the louder the report gets. I'm just trying to offer a little bit of a warning, and you do know what I'm talking about.

Leo : I have one Leo friend, and she invariably reads my horoscope in the morning, and before she has time to think about it, she fires off an e-mail, telling me all about the woe, the trials and tribulations, how awful everything is, and so on. She can turn any astrological event into a bad news item. Even good news turns into something that somehow, in that Leo brain, gets twisted around. It's always "their fault," or "the boss is picking on me" or "my boyfriend is a jerk." So this week is a bad week for that one Leo. The rest of you? It's a great time. You are tempted by just about every temptation that is known to Leo Land, and there are few temptations that you didn't know about, but you get to have them, too. The upcoming series of events promises to let you act in a rash manner, a behavior pattern which is not consistent with your normal way of acting, and that's going to make these various delicacies which traipse before you that much more alluring. Normally, I would suggest that you reel in your appetites, but this week? Why bother. There's no way any of us can contain a Leo this week.

Virgo : The office chair person is a cat. She's also a Virgo. At least, she has many Virgo-like qualities. This week, however, she's not very Virgo like. It's summer time around here, and she sheds a lot of her coat. Sometimes I wonder why she isn't bald because so much fur is coming off her. In fact, just to touch her, not even pet her, just to lay a hand on her back (gently now), raises a huge cloud of loose cat fur. Just like the office manager here, you're not very Virgo like this week. Doesn't matter if your a messy Virgo, then you'll be one of the clean freaks this week. And the opposite applies, too. If you are the interminable tidy type of Virgo, you'll be a mess this week. The planets are having a good chuckle at your expense. Notice that it's just a chuckle, not belly laugh, or even a guffaw. Ride with this cosmic joke. Go ahead and let the opposing forces in your life play havoc with some of the stuff that's going on. Go ahead and let chaos reign in your ordered (Virgo) universe. There is a pay off in here. There is hope. and there is method to your madness. It's just not a week when "normal" seems to work for you. So whatever is normal, go ahead and do the opposite, and have some fun with it.

Libra : As I have recorded in previous horoscopes, there are enough eclipse references in Shakespeare's canon to provide a whole army of scholars enough fodder to stay busy for many, many campaigns. And for most of these guys, an eclipse is considered an evil omen, a portent that nothing good will come of it. I find this, in your case, and this week, just not true. So despite the weighty conclusions of 400 years of Elizabethan play acting and scripting, I just don't think you're going to get hammered this week. Or next week. In fact, there is something which is coming back at you, but it's more like a bad investment which is finally beginning to pay off. Suddenly, the stock price jumps up, suddenly, the entity is back from the brink of extinction, and suddenly, everything starts to work itself out in a much more positive way. This is, of course, weighed against 400 years of tradition, but sometimes, a good Libra is willing to fly in the face of tradition. Doing so, right now, might have some unexpected good results.

Scorpio : The long term view is the best for my fine Scorpio friends. The long range, "take a step back and look at the big picture" way of approaching this time is going to be best for you. It's not bad, just the getting mired in the minor details day to day is going to obscure what the big plan is. You can get so caught up in looking at the small stuff that you completely forget that there is a "big picture." I'll keep reminding you to stop, pause, reflect, step back away from the edge, and marvel at the view. Not the stuff that's right in front of you, but the overall scene. Focus is mighty important to a Scorpio, but I suggest that this is a week when the microscopic, micro - management style of looking at things just doesn't work. Assess what a the goal is, don't worry about how you get there. If you spend too much time looking at the map, you'll never see some of the landmarks along the route. In fact, you might miss an important turning point if you are too busy consulting the paper in front of you. Looking out the window counts this week.

Sagittarius : Bass fishermen are an odd lot. Some of their behavior defies normal logic, although, it can be easily justified for the sport. Sometimes, a fisherman can't manage to get up for work at a reasonable hour, but when the alarm clock goes off for a weekend tournament, boom! The guy's out of bed with an amazing spring in his step. That's called passion, as much as anything. It can infect the very soul of the fisherman. Long hours, dubious return on investment, no coherent logic to any of the machinations, it all adds up to a private form of lunacy. Ask any fishing widow. This week, you get just such an infection, one which takes up residence in a part of your body very close to your soul. It might even feel like you're on fire with a new sense of purpose in life. I don't want to slow you down any, but you'd better take a hard, and cold, look at this new "thang" you've become some embroiled with. Is it really right for you? Is this a true passion or is it just an obsession? Is it true love where a soul meets a soul's mate? Or is this just Fortune, throwing some goodness your way, more like icing on a cake as opposed to a full meal deal? Ask yourself these questions before you commit to the new passion with too much monetary investment.

Capricorn : I just have such mixed emotions about what to say for this week. I think it goes back to a strict textual interpretation of the quote at the beginning of the week, something about Fortune, and how Fortune is good to you, but you're just not sure that the old lady Fate is really dealing you a good hand right now. In the grand scheme of things, yes, you are getting a good hand. But it's a hand that requires some deft management this week in order to tease out the best return. Some would call this a bluff. I would call it a calculated challenge based on the odds, what cards are already showing, and what's your chance to draw out what it is that you are looking for. I do think that you're going to emerge from this week as a victor. I do feel like you can figure out that the odds really are in your favor, only, you've been playing low-ball for so long that you're not sure you can pull it off. And I do suggest that you actually "run the numbers" this week before you place that wager. Make sure you care getting the most from what weird stuff gets handed to you. And remind me to miss the poker game with the Capricorn this week as I have no more money to lose to you guys.

Aquarius : You're either going to love me this week, or you will certainly hate me, but I don't see a lot of middle ground in here. I don't see a lot of room for vacillating. I don't see a lot of room for anything that remotely looks mediocre. It's either a stupendously wonderful week or it's an alarmingly bad week. I tend to look on the bright side, and I tend to see this as a wonderful opportunity for you to advance your cause. Of course, in an effort to advance your cause, like a good game of chess, you might have to sacrifice a pawn or two. While you might you think in your Aquarius mind that this is a big sacrifice, it's really not. It's not nearly the big loss that you think that it is. Don't be afraid to relinquish some of your assets in order to gain the upper hand, it's all moving at a good pace, and I will promise that you get out of this intact. But there will be a challenge or two that will tax your systems this week. The more strategic planning you can work in, the better it gets. After all -- it's only a game.

Pisces : There are times like this when it pays to not pay attention to yourself. There are times like this when some selfless work, a charitable Pisces hand lent in a particular direction, some travail that offers no compensation, is best. This would be just such a time. The planets are conspiring (I know you hate that hint of a conspiracy, but there you have it) to make your life even more interesting than it has been. The best solution for a long, hot summer week (it's summer time in Texas) is the find something you can do for someone other than yourself. There's a catch to this week, and it will likely get you in the end, so go ahead and get your good deed out of the way. Personally, I like the organizations which donates game taken in sporting events to help feed hungry people. While that may appeal to my basic sentiments, I'm not sure that you've really got a freezer full of Bambi's daddy that you want to donate to a cause. But do check with your internal Pisces indicator and see what you can do help someone out this week. A certain fishing guide I know can always use a little helping Pisces hand, too, come to think of it. Send money.

This is excellent foppery of the world, that
When we are sick in fortune-often the surfeits of our
Own behavior-we make guilty of our disasters the
Sun, moon, and stars, as if we were the villains on
Necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves,
Thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance,
Drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience
Of planetary influence, and all we are evil
In, by divine thrusting on.
Edmund in Shakespeare's King Lear (I.ii.121-9)

The eclipse is not much more than a few hours old at the beginning of the week. Makes for an interesting time. Is it the fault of the planets, or is it us?

Aries : The sign of the Ram always evokes a certain degree of military imagery, the rank and file of a parade ground with soldier all dressed up and marching smartly along. Of course, the commander has to be an Aries. So imagine yourself in that position, only, as you look out on your ranks of soldiers, no one seems to be following your direction too well. That's a problem. Doesn't mean that you're not a good leader, it just means that discipline has fallen off as of late. In fact, this is a week when no one seems to have any desire to follow your obviously superior ability to lead. I take that back, I'll follow your lead, but that's because I know that you know what is best. So this week, as you try to lead your minions into battle, or even across the parade ground, realize that not too many of us are following along like we are supposed to. In fact, most of the Aries Army is not willing to do anything which it's supposed to do this week. You're kind of like a leader stuck without troops to command. So do your best this week, but realize that you are probably working with a vacuum when it comes to getting your subordinates to do your bidding. Might consider just doing it all by yourself this week, sometimes, that's the only way to get the job done right.

Taurus : Taurus is nothing, if not a practical sign. And given the way the heavens look for you, I would suggest that you get a new form of communication going because it looks like you're going to need it. The clearest image I had for you for this week, given the movement of Saturn, Jupiter and even that pesky eclipse thing, was a picture of a Taurus in Tulsa, talking to me via Dixie Cups and string. It's long way to Tulsa from Austin, so that has to be some mighty strong string, but it could work. While this might sound like a primitive form of communication, it does work. And every other form of communication within the sign of Taurus is going to be a bit problematic right now. So consider the more antiquated forms of getting your message across. Sometimes, the old ways are the best ways.

Gemini : Conventional astrology suggests that you start looking to buy a house. Right now. In fact, maybe you should have already made a pass at the Real Estate section of the paper, just to find what it is that you're looking for. So much for the straight ahead stuff. I would suggest, given these uncertain times, perhaps the conventional wisdom of the ages doesn't really apply to Gemini right now. I know this one Gemini girl who had the nicest, sleekest, coolest travel trailer which she lived in. It was great. Having been held captive in it on occasion, I can tell you it had everything that a Gemini life needed as a support system. There was a cable TV, three phone lines, two computers, crystals and herbs, and slightly psychotic cat, and a mobile phone. Best of all, this travel trailer could be hitched up, and it was possible to relocate it in any number of different directions. Sort of depended on the Gemini mood at the moment. This is an important consideration, too. So if the conventional wisdom of the moment suggest your buy a house, I'd consider looking at something that mobile enough to suit your true, Gemini needs. And if you're looking for a good "premanufactured home (on wheels)," remember, here at Shady Acres, we can always make good recommendations.

Cancer : There's a "Lawn Service" here at Shady Acres Trailer Park, and some of the residents like myself wonder why. It's not like there's much of a lawn that requires attention, but the lawn service comes once a week, about the same time, and first, there's a mower, then there's a weed whacker, and finally a blower. Of course, all this racket always comes at time when me and the cat would rather be asleep. Or the cat would rather be silently hunting birds. Or something. But your week is sort of like that ill-timed lawn service. Just when you thought everything was going to quietly work out, there's a noisy disruption, just like the leaf blower, and this racket starts up at the worst possible moment. No matter how hard you try to time things, there's going to a be a service interruption at the worst possible time. It's not going to render your situation completely hopeless. When I'm on the phone, though, is the most likely time for the mower to start. Best solution for this week? "I'll call you right back as soon as the noise abates."

Leo : There is always one Leo who feels forgotten because her birthday is so early in the Leo scheme of things. Happy birthday (and you thought we forgot!) The deal is that Leo starts about Saturday, but the time right before Leo starts isn't too swift. There's a lot going on, only, it's not going on in such a manner as to include you. That's really irritating. Nothing is worse than hearing a party in the next trailer, and not getting invited. Now, with the Sun making a grand entrance into Leo, and since Venus is already here in your sign, this party will overflow the neighbor's trailer, and suddenly, just about the the time Leo starts, you get recognized for your birthday month. Then it's party time. So don't sit there and mope just because you're sure that everyone forgot. It's just a few days, and it's almost like a surprise party. It has a more of an accidental nature to it rather than being a real surprise, but you know, on some occasions, results count -- keep that in mind.

Virgo : The Full Moon usually brings out a few strange and discordant elements in the Virgo psyche. This full moon is even more so, due to the relative position, eclipse thing, and all that. There are few elements kicking around in Virgo land which are making you a little unhappy at this very moment. Not much I can do about that, other than report the facts. And as long as the Sun himself is headed toward Leo Land, you'd better gird your loincloths for the duration. You have vague rumblings coming from someplace beneath the surface of your conscious mind, and you have a hard time answering these vague ministrations, much less identifying where they are coming from. The place I've stayed in London, the particular guest bedroom I'm given, is about 13 stories above the Underground. That means, at some strange hour of the day or night, there is an inaudible noise which indicates the train is passing below me. Way below. That's what this week is like. You can get used to the noise, after a while, it's just the subway. By the end of the week, you should be able to ignore the vibrations, and you'll find that it can even gently lull you to sleep.

Libra : In the early part of the week, Libra is going to be surly. Surly to bed, surly to rise. Then, as the heavens themselves get a better grip on the nature of Libra reality, attitudes improve. It's not the usual way for Libra this week, and there's a rather strange dichotomy in the way the planets spilt up the chore of dictating what kind of week you're going to have. The last little lunar loops gave you a moment to pause and reflect. I'm not too sure that you liked what you saw when you looked at the reflection. It's not always a pretty sight when the Moon plays fast and loose with your appearances. So the surly beginning of the week isn't all bad, but it's like a friend's hair (he lives about a half mile away), it never seems to respond to standard grooming choices. He's tried combing it, brushing it, gluing it in place with gelatinous substances, he even tried Moose. Nothing worked. finally, and fashion being what it is, he went with style that it's just supposed to look that way. Works for him, and you might try that this week, too, the idea that just letting it alone works best.

Scorpio : How I wish I could get away with a two or three word horoscope for this week, especially for Scorpio. I was going to try to do this in verse, as well, but my poetic license needs to be updated. Some would say upgraded, too. It's about as good as it's going to get for the Scorpio Sign. It's a good week. Maybe not a great week, and in part of Texas, I can see that my dear old Scorpio Ma is going to be complaining about the heat, the humidity, what your father is doing today, all that sort of nonsense. But it's merely words, and the underlying message is still that it's a good week, and that applies to a lot of this sign, not just one Scorpio in particular. There will be a fair amount of loud complaints from the Scorpio camp, but if you can complain, that means that you are alive and doing well. It also means that you're in a good enough position to see where other are wrong. And this is all coming as a courtesy of the little eclipse pattern, and, for that matter, Mercury and Venus also play a role in you feeling better.

Sagittarius : There is a persistent, almost pesky notion about this week. It's like getting back to your trailer with an armload of groceries, and seeing the telltale flashing light on the answer machine. Or it's like being caught up in a wonderfully creative moment when the words are just all coming together for that article, and the background operations keep telling you that there is an e-mail message which demands you attention. What's worse, this is like a time when you drop everything to answer the machine, and the message is merely a repeat of all the old messages you've got backed up on the tape. Or the e-mail message is something about how you didn't answer the last message in two seconds, so the sending party just resent the same message every 30 seconds until they got some kind of a response. It's like everyone is trying to get your attention, and the hassle is that this usually comes at an inopportune moment for you. Best advice for the week? Ignore them. Just ignore the message which seem to be urgent, unless, of course they come from or the Texas Lottery Commission. And for my cut, I'm only asking for 1%.

Capricorn : There are times when you feel like you have been unfairly taken advantage of. There are times when it feels like everyone has a different agenda for you, only, you didn't get a copy of what they all wanted. There are times when you you seem to mistrust just about everything that you hear about yourself. This isn't one of those times. But it could be. The apparent actions of others are a problem right now. In fact, you worry that other people are trying to coerce you into something that you're not too sure that you want. And there's been this persistent problem with communications, too. Ever have a mail server eat your messages? "But I did send you a note!" you complain, "the server must've eaten it." This evokes an image of systems administrator, some place, who has his gaping mouth full of bytes of data. In this case, it's your data. Now, that's all the yucky stuff, and it's all out of the way by the end of this week. So whatever message you try to get across, try keeping a carbon copy someplace safe. You'll thank me later.

Aquarius : An eclipse like last week is sure to rattle your teeth a little. Not in the real world, but in a metaphorical sense. It's sure to have some kind of effect on you as it shakes up your world, a little. You've got a long–forgotten past problem, something you tossed out a few months back, like so much old garbage and you just set this stuff outside your trailer door. At the time, it was the most expedient route for dealing with this trouble. Here at Shady Acres, we have a rodent problem. Raccoon and Opossum, to be precise. The problem with the eclipse, it's like the trash I set out last January, the Mother Raccoon discovered it during the eclipse and now I've got old love letter, coffee grounds, and a few cigar butts scattered over the "backyard." The park's management is none too pleased with me, although the cat thinks it's great. And the other furry denizens of the trailer park think it's wonderful. So you've got something that you should have hauled off to the city dump which is back to haunt you. Put on your waders and gloves, and get ready to clean up your mistake.

Pisces : I'd rather not call it the fault of the planets this week. I'd rather not call it a problem week, either. In fact, I'd rather not say there is much ill about this week. Of course, there are a lot of things I would rather be doing, and fishing with a Pisces always comes to mind. And in keeping with the idea that it's not such a bad week week, I would suggest that there are other things you would rather be doing right now, some place you would rather be, perhaps, sipping a cool beverage in the shade of an awning, overlooking the lake rather than sweltering in the hot sun. It's just that there's a degree of energy lent to you via the eclipse pattern which means you're going to get something good from this mess. There's a promise of some wonderful events right now, the trick is to make sure that you don't let your sensitive, emotional Pisces side take over and in a burst of creative output, you don't make promises which there is no way you can keep. As a fishing guide, it's one of my favorite lines, "You should have been here yesterday, the fish were really biting then." You might need just such an excuse this week.

"I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me."
Beatrice to Benedick in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (I.i.131)

Anytime a Shakespeare character makes such a statement, you can bet that the character will be in love by Act IV. Just always seems to work out that way. Mercury may be retrograde, but Venus is moving forward and she has arrows like Cupid this summer.

And then there's always the eclipse on the 16th, but I think that news will be covered next week -- if I can get around to it.

Aries : In person, I've often suggested that Mercury Retrograde is a good time to hop in bed and pull the covers up over your head. That's a great idea. It's a pleasant thought. There's one problem with it. As soon as you pull the covers up over your head, your feet stick out. Even for the short Aries, I promise, your feet will stick out, and the cold AC will send shivers down your spine. Actually, I think the shivers start from your feet, but you get the idea, "shivers up your spine." So even if you're avoiding something right now, it has a way of catching up with you. And making an effort to avoid the problem is only going to get you in worse trouble. So as long as this is going on, you might as well face the facts, confront the problems, and embrace them. Hey, you might even try to give your problem a hug. You'd be surprised at what that does. It sort of disarms it for a moment. And since your problem is in the same condition you are, you can take advantage of that. So eschew my usual "pull the covers over your head" advice right now, and get out there and face the music. Ore the problem. oO, if you live where I do, the music might be the problem. But go ahead and confront that situation. The confrontation might yield a delayed response, even that is better than getting shivers.

Taurus : I watched a card trick on the street of New York City one time, the con man kept shuffling the three cards, daring anyone to pick the ace. It's a version of the old shell game, and the ace was really up his sleeve. I'm not joking. It was in his palm when folks would try and guess where it was on the box top he had set up for his "game." He could always pick it out, but the poor target could never find the right card. That's because it wasn't really on the box top. This week is like that old shell game. It's a scam, really, the game. So games of chance are out because the other guy is stacking the odds against you. All bets should be off. You're not going to be able to guess where the card is, you're not going to get the right one because it really isn't there. In your fine, Taurus mind's eye, you know exactly where everything should be. This problem has to do with how you convey what you know to other people. It's like we've all got the card in our palm where you can't see it. Doesn't matter how much you pay attention to details, there will always be one which will slip from your grasp. Instead of worrying about it, though, realize that you are right, it's just going to take the rest of us a week or two to catch up. And if your play along with the shell game this week, be prepared to get taken.

Gemini : Yes, darling Gemini, it is is supposed to be a good one this week. There are number of little influences which are bound and determines to make you a happy camper now. It wasn't so long ago that one Gemini found himself with a certain herbal remedy called "happy camper." The primary, all-natural, substance in this herbal remedy was caffeine. Personally, I prefer a strong cup of black coffee, a little bitter and acrid in flavor. That seems to work better than any of the herbal stuff. Besides a strong cup of coffee usually helps clear the sludge out of the brain's plumbing, too. It's like a mental form of raw lye I've used to get the pipes unstopped and get the drains flowing again. This is the sort of treatment you need. You've got one too many projects which all need to be attended to, and you've got one too many projects which you don't have enough time for. Pick what is most important this week, slam down the coffee, and get on with it. There is only so much Gemini to go around and a little tighter focus on your mental image would help a lot.

Cancer : The first time I saw a movie version of "Much Ado," I was moved to tears at the beauty of the opening scene. The lyrical little song, "Cry no more," the guys returning from the recent wars, the pageantry, the prosody, the rhapsody, the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, and, of course, I liked the babes in the movie, too. What? You thought I was without prurient interest in what's on the screen? This is a week which is likely to move you to tears, as well. I only hope that they are happy tears, like mine. I can see those old Cancer eyes watering up and getting ready to spill forth. Ocular orbs leaking moisture. It's nice sentiment. With Mars and Mercury, though, I wonder if it's all that it can be this week. It does look like emotions are high. And it does look like you could be moved to tears. And while we're at it, it does look like there is also a prurient interest which is working itself into this whole week thing, too. Enjoy the passion and pageantry of the movement. Nothing is more exciting than watching a Cancer type of person swept away in a moment of feelings.

Leo : The little planet which rules communication may, in fact, be causing a delay in your life right now, but I have some good news, even though everything else is looking pretty bad. The planet voted mist likely to make you feel a little better about yourself is making an entrance into Leo this week. Let's give a warm Leo round of applause to Venus. Okay, so she really doesn't do that much, and her beneficial effects are diametrically opposed to the other stuff still in Cancer. But it's a good start. So this week, there's a gradual warming trend in Leo, as your heart begins to thaw out from the unlikely summer chill it's been in for the last few weeks. This is the beginning of some good time. Or, at the very least, this week will presage some good times about to happen. Fortunately, the planets' behavior is predictable, even if a good Leo isn't, and the planets are full of promise this week. Despite everything else that is going on, you're going to start feeling better.

Virgo : I was tempted to address this week to just one special Virgo, but I've found that doing so alienates a huge number of others. So I won't do that. By and large, though, this is a good time for lots of folks. Virgo people don't seem to like the whole Mercury Retrograde thing, but there's something about this one which seems to have softened up in the past few minutes, and it's suddenly feeling a lot better. While the lingering effects might not yet be over, like a bad movie with spectacular special effects, the worst is done with. The rest of this week, all you have to do is put with bad acting and a poor script. By going through the motions this week, you get a chance to let some of these things work themselves out. Like that bad script, there are still a few elements which have to get resolved. And even though the acting isn't any good, and even though the intricacies of the plot don't grab your attention, paying attention this week is what's important. Remember, the little one is still up to his old tricks right now.

Libra : I like the world of the computer. It's a simple place, and there are some absolute answers. There are simple equations, and ultimately, the whole problem is reduced to a set of ones and zeros. Too bad I can't reduce your week to a set of numbers, a simple "on and off" equation with a single solution. But you do have a problem or two that you're facing right now, and those problems need to be reduced to the barest of elements. Strip away all the excess baggage on your problems. Remove the "collateral" parts of the equation. Reduce this whole mess to a single, simple situation. By going to the heart of the trouble, you're going to be able to see your way out a whole lot easier. In case you're wondering, it's all those planets in another Cardinal sign which are making this whole mess so tough. Get to the bottom of the problem before you start building a solution.

Scorpio : I'm pretty sure that Beatrice is a Scorpio. Who else would get it all so wrong, and yet, in the end, get it all so right? Must be a Scorpio thing. It's one of the characteristics, to be that saucy. The problem with this week is that you are, indeed, a saucy one with some rather droll and sardonic observations about what is going on in the world. The problem is that there is an edge to some of your sarcasm, and that edge is little sharper than you think. "Don't EVER underestimate a Scorpio," is one of the rules here at the Fishing Guide to the Stars headquarters, office and trailer park. The problem with this idea, though, is that some one in your immediate vicinity is underestimating you. Don't hit them with your stinger, or, in other words, don't zing them so hard that they have trouble getting back up. Despite the war of words in "Much Ado," the two work it out. You want to look like Beatrice this week, not that fellow who was chasing her. He had to eat his own words, in the worst way.

Sagittarius : This is the beginning of an interesting cycle for Sagittarius. Having an errant Mercury just brings up old business which needs to be attended to. Old business like former girlfriends, or old boyfriends who get in touch with you, "Just to see what you're up to these days...." But that's not what this cycle is really about. I like invoking the the two main players in "Much Ado" because because they both have sparkling wit in their retorts to one another. Regrettably, your sparkling wit this week is going to leave a little to be desired. In other words, you will come up with the perfect reply, the perfect snappy comeback, about 15 minutes too late. That's why I like e-mail so much, I can wait to send the answer until I've had time to digest the message and formulate the perfect response. However, this is a week that involves a lot of conversation instead of witty response via written and electronic form. So watch the attempts at being a sparkling conversationalist, and watch the attempts to be a sensational sensationalist this week, and try to stick to the plainer, more simple and direct message.

Capricorn : if you are willing to check out a tape of the play, Much Ado About Nothing, perhaps one of the better cinematic versions of the story, you'll find that there is much witty repartee between these two love stricken characters. And it's just that sort of "one-upmanship" which the two main characters enjoy which is what this week is like. The real trick, and this is an important Capricorn detail, is that there is an evil character is lurking throughout the play. He's a bad guy with a bad attitude, and he's just plain old mean. Nothing he likes more than other folks misfortune. Funny thing is, he claims to have been born under Saturn, and that's your guiding star. In as much as you would like to, this isn't a time to be the mean one. Try some of the ripostes which the two star crossed lovers use, and see if that doesn't help some. Unlike some signs, though, a barb or two in your replies doesn't work well right now. There's a major amount of planets in the sign which is opposite you, and you want to make sure that this doesn't tickle you in the wrong way. Try to be cute and clever, and settle for one of those two. Down right mean doesn't work.

Aquarius : To start the week out with a quote from Shakespeare's "Much Ado" is a good thing because this is particularly appropriate for the way you feel this week. A little later in the week, as the events begin to unfold and get rolling along, this sort of banter between two characters is what you feel like. The problem with that play, and the problem between the two characters is that there is an intense feeling, a strong emotional response to some of what is going on, only, it takes the better part of two acts for these two folks to get together. It's not without some good plot complications, too, but then that's why it's all considered high theater, or high drama, or classics or something. Which is also, just in review, the way part of your week will feel. It's either high drama with a happy resolution, or we don't quite get to the "everything works out in the end" part by the end of this week. But that is coming, almost as if this whole week was scripted.

Pisces : By just about any standards, this is supposed to be a good time. By just about any gauge, this is a nice time for the sign of the fish. By just about any method you choose to measure it, this is a good week. Regrettably, though, anything that starts out this good has to have a catch in in it. It's like a fishing hook, a seemingly harmless piece of hardware, but there's a little barb on the end of it, and that pointed little sucker can catch you when you least expect it. Being the nice fishing guide that I am, I'll warn you about the barb and the point of the hook, long before it has a chance to dig itself into your hand. Looks like it will be going on this week. As the week rounds itself out, and the closer to the weekend we all get, and despite the fact that Mercury is about to settle down and straighten up, there's still that one little kicker coming. Just remember., that barb can be your friend, or it can draw blood.

"Good Monsieur Lavache, give my Lord Lafeu this letter. I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure."
Parolles from Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well [V.ii]

Aries : There a certain dredging motion that this week looks like, perhaps the River Authority has decided it's time to clear the ship channel. The bad news is the catfish this week will be murky tasting. The good news is everything will eventually settle. But you're dealing with the murky water of a Mercury Retrograde and it's not happening in the best possible place in your own chart. This is a time when you head on down to the local flea market and scout out some pretty incredible artwork for your walls -- something to spruce up the trailer. The good news is that you make an excellent find. The bad news is that it's not what you're really looking for. If you can just keep from purchasing that Black Velvet artwork this week, you'll be much happier because you can get it for about half price when Mercury rights himself.

Taurus : The communications systems in your own, personal Taurus life is in the toilet right now. There's just not an easy way to explain this. Between Mercury and various other planet movements, I just don't know how to explain it. It's not that folks don't listen, and it's not that folks don't care, but what your mouth is saying, and what they are hearing are two different things. I was going to go for a musical notation, something gentle to properly evoke this feeling, but there's no lyrics which spring to mind. It's not a Country song, and it's not a Rock and Roll song, either. It's something light and gentle, and you feel good, it's just that no one else around you seems to understand this. It's like some of that musical baby food stuff which loses and gains in popularity, something without much meat to it, and lyrics that are certainly not devastating, not by any standard. So just take it easy and listen to the music in your head. Don't try and explain it, though, the message will come across as a garbled transmission.

Gemini : There is one Gemini who is loving me right now. There is this one Gemini who thinks that I'm just the greatest thing since sliced bread. Of course, I have to wonder what she thought about before sliced bread, but I guess that's a different question. And this Gemini didn't have the greatest of birthdays, but I'm still high on her list. In fact, I'm going to be pretty high on a lot of Gemini lists right now. It's Jupiter as he makes his way into the sign of the Twins. And Jupiter, like the ubiquitous twins, guaranteed to double your pleasure and double your fun. There is that virulent little Mercury problem right now, but that's just in passing, and it's not such a big deal. Really.

Cancer : Mercury Retrograde usually results in one of many things: a highly agitated state. Nothing much works for this other than the fact that you wind up with a high degree of frustration, a similar degree of pent up energy which just can't seem to find a way out. With all the planets in Cancer right now, you're going to feel like I did last week, when I was on a friend's bass boat. I had a big feller, and with Mercury's help, the story gets better (10 pound bass, really), and I was just about to get him landed. We fought for hours (mercury -- minutes) and he was tired and close to the boat, and my Virgo fishing buddy had the net out, and I was just about to pull in trophy looking fish, suitable for framing, when he did a little back flip, and he got himself unhooked. Hook slipped clean out of his mouth, and away he went. By now the fight had stretched into a tale about a fight that lasted hours, and he gained another few pounds. But I did have witness, and he even said, "big fish," just to validate that I had one. This week, are you the one that got away or the depressed fisherman?

Leo : The Fourth of July is a great time to party. It's an American tradition. It's a time when we all head out on the open road and find places where small explosive devices which offer more noise than actual payload are sold by migrant arms dealers. The problem this week is that you have a tendency to order up more ammunition for the big Fourth of July celebration than you really need. And you have an urge to stockpile some of these minor armaments, perhaps not in a way that is altogether healthy. If you're not extra careful this week, it's a like a time when I was driving along in the truck, after having just made a major purchase of such fireworks, and Bubba threw a burning cigar butt into the bed of the truck. Next thing you know, it feels like we're under attack as the stuff in the back of the truck turned into a mobile fireworks display. Poor Bubba! He was cowering on the floorboard of the truck. You want to make sure that you don't toss out any stray cigar butts this week, real or metaphorical, and you want to make sure you don't set off any wars, real or metaphorical, this week. Don't get the celebration mode confused with the war mode. It's a Mars and Mercury thing, in case you're wondering.

Virgo : There's a Leo Moon on July 4th. Least ways, there is one in Texas. And seeing as how this is a big deal, it looks like you're about to set to enjoy a good party. There is one Virgo who lives close at hand, and she's been complaining about the lack of merriment in her life. I'm working on that right now. It's supposed to be a good party. In fact, there's a nice little vacation thing, a sweet spot right in the middle of your week which suggests that you do, indeed, get some much needed rest. The problem with a holiday and a party in the middle of the week, and the words "Mercury Retrograde," usually means that something will go wrong. Try to enjoy the week for what it is, rather than trying to force it to be something that it doesn't want to be. It is a good time to play, a good time to renew old acquaintances. Any week with a big build up like this is also going to have a small let down at the end, but I'm not worried about that, and Virgo shouldn't be worried about that, either. Looks like there will be plenty of food left over at the end of the bash, enough grub to keep you happy for while.

Libra : This week, what with all the planets which are stockpiled in Cancer, there's not a lot of good that I can tease out of the week, not at first. But lest I let you down about this, let me explain my position, there's a major amount of astrological forces working at odds against you. And in the first part of the week, this is going to be pretty harsh. But this week is just like a firecracker, too, one of the ones with a long, delayed fuse. The deal is this: you've got to be extra careful with that fuse, because it will go off, eventually. The problem is that the time delayed fuse doesn't go off just when you want it to go off. It takes a little longer to get where you want it to get. And if you get impatient this week, it just makes matters that much worse. So watch that fuse of yours this week, the firecracker at the end of it can either make a loud noise, display brilliant colors, or generate a huge cloud of choking smoke. Which will it be? That's up to you, the Libra Firecracker.

Scorpio : One summer's day, many years in the past, as I frolicked on the Fourth of July, I can remember my Scorpio Mom attempting to extol the virtues of fire safety in the hot weather -- at least it was a dry wit to go with a dry heat. This is a week just like my mother's Scorpio scolding, the good sense of the Scorpion this week will hit a lot of deaf ears. Perhaps the individuals are deaf from firecrackers too close to the ear drum. Perhaps they are deaf because they don't believe the Scorpio. Perhaps it's a Mercury Retrograde induced deafness. Me, I'd listen to a Scorpio this week because the little insect class sign is full of good advice. Regrettably, the other signs don't quite get it. The biggest challenge this week is not going to be this week, it's going to be at some date in the near future when a stern looking Scorpio (that would be yourself) needs to bite back the famous refrain, "I told you so." Remember us later, and maybe just smile to yourself. No need to gloat.

Sagittarius : The last time there was a configuration in the sky, a week like this, I know exactly what happened to me: I was at a Lawn Mower Race, Lawn Mower Drag Racing, to be precise, and I had all sorts of attention from pit bunnies. More attention than I really knew what to do with. Pit bunnies are like groupies, only different. There's the tang of two stroke oil in the air, the scent of unburnt hydrocarbons wafting through, leaving its sweet smell, some would suggest the aroma is better than BBQ. Our "pit boss" doubles as a master of ceremonies on the BBQ grill, as well, so we were doubly taken care of. Then the pit bunnies, scantily clad nubile young nymphettes drifting about, with the merest touch of grease on their bare flesh. It really is exciting. And that's what this week promises. There's a major amount of stuff in Cancer, and that, for some reason, bodes well for Sag. Strange romance from strange places. Remember that Mercury is retrograde, though, and even though she hands you a phone number, it might not be the right one.

Capricorn : There's a plant which sits by the desk, by the window, in the trailer by the lake. My cat seems to think that the plant offers her a degree of invisibility. She can sit for hours under this plant and "hide" while watching the bird feeder tacked up the tree outside, another trailer park modification. The plant was a gift from a certain Capricorn, as a matter of fact, and it's a big hit with the cat. And on some occasions, I forget to water her plant. This is a week when you might forget to water the plant, too. The leaves droop, the little white flower like bud doesn't look too good either. Even the cat is calling attention to the fact that her favorite hiding place is getting a little dry. This week, due to the pile up of planets in the sign opposite you, you have a tendency to let certain regular functions go unattended to. It's time to make sure that you check your list of normal activities and make sure that you attend to everyone of them, not forgetting even the simplest of tasks like tending to your house plants. Or garden, as the case may be.

Aquarius : It's a time for a change, and I'm sure you will warm up nicely to the idea of a change. Therein is the good news. And Mercury Retrograde isn't always a good time for most signs, but you get by unscathed this week. Therein is more good news. And as soon as I start with the good news, you get a little suspicious, waiting for the other side of the coin. It might just come up tails this week, and that's the problem. Being the usual Aquarius, you called it correctly. The problem is that everyone around you, especially at work, is not as nice about the way the week is working out. In fact, the more you call it "tails" the more they get upset that you're so right, all week long. In other words, don't be rubbing our collective noses in the fact that you're getting by with nary a problem this week. I do believe, if you do encounter troubles, that you can trace the problems back to your cohorts rather than any mistake you make.

Pisces : Despite what the doomsday folks suggest, all is not lost. At one point, long about the middle of this week, you're going to feel like a fish out of water, you're going to get that gulping feeling, that sense that some one (I'm not naming names but a certain fisherman looks like a good candidate) has removed you from the water, and you're Pisces gills are sucking air -- not your native habitat. The water and air thing is due to Mercury in a Water Sign, but not your sign. What's going to happen is that you are going to give your Pisces body one great shake after that guy pulls the hook out of your mouth, and then you'll flop back into the lake of life. Breath that water, and swim away. There's a message this week, too, about which bait you take. Just because something looks particularly appetizing, that doesn't mean you should chomp down on it with all your might. Go a little easier and see if you can't avoid being a fish out of water.

"Well, every one can master a grief but he that hath it."
Benedick in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (III.ii.28)

Jupiter saunters into Gemini this week. And July 1st, is an eclipse, sort of. But what does it all mean? Read on and find out.

Aries : There are times, when you're fishing, or pursuing a similar type of activity, when the odds are just stacked against you. As weeks go, this is just "one of them weeks." Doesn't matter what bait you try, nothing is biting. Doesn't matter whether your working with a topwater lure, live bait, spinner, or trying to grab something off the bottom, nothing seems to be lined up to make any of this work for you. You feel like you should never have left the house. Regrettably, the whole reason you packed up and went fishing was to escape something at home. So it looks like every place you turn, there's nothing going your way. It could be a minor irritation like a dead battery in the boat, but this is the sort of thing that only becomes apparent after you are in the middle of the lake. "Bite the bullet" as they say, "suck it up." You're going to have to make some decisions this week, even though you don't like Mercury's position, and it's time to figure out whether you should fish or cut bait. With Mars where he is, I would suggest the fishing. Sharp tools are a problem this week, and that means it could be a word processor or a filet knife. Or both. Go easy and lower your expectations. And if you do get stranded, just consider a great time for some contemplation. Not that you need it, but you might as well make the most of the idle moments.

Taurus : There are some weeks when watching and listening is preferable to actually taking part in the occasion. In this case, it looks like a particularly well written dialogue bit from a modern playwright, perhaps something by Tom Stoppard (famous for Rosecranz and Guildenstern are Dead, Shakespeare in Love, and the Evidence of Love). If the literary reference doesn't make sense, don't worry. It's what this whole week is like where you find yourself listening to a conversation, trying to jump in, and then finding yourself hopeless in over your head. Or on a different page. Or even in a different textbook. In fact, you're going to feel like this week is like a conversation wherein the players are all on a different point of reference -- at least a different point of reference for you. You can try and make sense of it all, or you can surrender to the situation itself. Realize that it all doesn't make sense, and you might begin to feel a little better. In fact, remember what happens in good, sparkling dialog this week, and try not to interfere with the whole process. It's going to work out, but it's going to work at according to some playwright's agenda, and that's going to feel like it's not of your own making this week.

Gemini : I like the idea that Jupiter is fast approaching your sign. It's the lucky star, you know. And I like the concept that things are going to be on an upswing soon enough. And I like the major planet action next to you in Cancer. I don't like Mercury being retrograde, and between Mercury and Jupiter, it looks like you get a little balled up this week. A friendly reptile collector I know has the neatest snake for a pet, a "ball" python. And that's what you look like this week. It's a predatory (if you're mice) critter, but when the snake gets handled, it just balls itself up into a knot. That's what this week is like for you. You just have so much to do, but the words aren't coming out quite right. You have so much to say, but folks just ain't understanding what it is that you are trying to convey. You're just like my buddy's pet snake, all tied up into a condition that doesn't let you strike out, doesn't let you throw your long sinewy coils around your prey, and you can't seem to do much but choke out incorrect answers. Be patient, there are good things happening in your sky, it's just going to take a little while to get it to a point where the rest of us can understand you.

Cancer : It is a hot time for my fine Cancer friends. Yes, there is the Mercury thing, but you know my drill about that at this point, and if you don't know the drill, I've got plenty of material posted some place on the web about Mercury and its apparent backward motion. But that's just about the least of your problems right now. It's a Mars thing. Mars is hot and fiery planet in mythology. And Cancer is cool, calming, serene sign in the same mythology. And the two just don't always mix well. So we've got that, plus a fresh start Moon thing, all this week. Throw this mess in an astrology blender and what comes out? Something that looks a lot like a Cancer Brain that has been treated like it was going to be beef jerky. Blended beef jerky. A beef jerky milkshake comes to mind, and at first, it sounds a little upsetting, but work out the details, the beef jerky has all that sodium you need to help with the extra sweat from work this week. And it has enough preservatives to embalm you which will help preserve you this week. And it also has calcium which build strong bodies, 12 ways. I just hope my tag line is the correct one for milk. You're getting a start this week, it's just not coming from the usual places. Part of this is a dip into your past, and part of it is the heat of Mars, helping you make some decisions. All of this is coming out of the astrology bass blender, this week.

Leo : Mars and the Sun move real close to each other this week, and, in fact, spend a lot of the week looking like it's a fraternal hug of some sort. This weird collusion happens in a position that might not be the best for you. Between Mars, the Sun, and a few other assorted bits of Astrological Lore (perforce must include Mercury), it's not the best of all weeks coming along. It's like getting a chance to play a spot in Las Vegas, only to discover that the billing was for Las Vegas, New Mexico rather than the other one in Nevada. It's a minor slip up on the part of your Leo Booking Agent, but when you agreed to go, in the first place, you were expecting a grand ball room, and you get the lounge of a run down motel, someplace in the middle of no where. I happen to really like some of the trout fishing in New Mexico, so I would go ahead and take the appointment. But that's me, and I'm in the mode of "Mercury is retrograde so let's make the best of this...." You might want to double check what ever your agent comes up with this week, a little bit of background "fact verification" would certainly be useful.

Virgo : It's an old public speaking trick, the one where you overcome stage fright by imagining that everyone in the audience is without a stitch of clothing. Might work for some, but from the audiences, I've seen, I would rather not imagine these folks without their clothes on, for the most part. Given your basic Virgo instincts this week, and looking at the various charts for this week, what with Mercury doing his retrograde thing, you are going to find that the week is like that scary public speaking gig. Worse, you get up to the podium, start to talk, and you imagine that it is you without the clothes, not the crowd. While I would listen with rapt attention to you talk when you didn't have any clothes on, I'm not sure that you're going to feel too comfortable about the whole thing. It's one thing to stand at the podium and expound at length about a favorite topic, it's quite another, so I would suspect, to stand at the front of the class and imagine that you ain't got a stitch of clothing on. With the relative position of the planets, that could happen this week, and fortunately for you, there are enough of us in the Virgo fan club that you'll get by.

Libra : There's a certain type of irascible Libra behavior this week. It's not like everything is absolutely wonderful, what with some of the stuff going on over in Cancer, what that's doing is putting a sublime pressure on you. It's like a dull throb, kind of like waking up when there's a county trash truck emptying the dumpster right outside your trailer's bedroom window. Perhaps you had a little too much fun the night before, and perhaps this just increases the dull, thudding noise in your head. It could be the noise of the lift mechanism, or it could be the fact that you didn't get a chance to sort through all the wonderful stuff that one of your neighbors just threw out. And the condition you're in this week, astrologically, you don't quite get enough time to tend to all the details that you want to get around to, hence the dull throb in your head. Some aspirin, maybe a little coffee, dare I suggest something stronger? There is a still that recurring thought that there is something you didn't quite get around to this week, and that's a treasure which looks like you're going to miss. Sometimes, you just have days when you can't seem to work it all in, and that's this week.

Scorpio : There are some Mercury retrogrades which hit you like a dump truck. In fact, there was that one, last year, which you wrote to me and suggested that it was like sitting at the business end of the dump truck as it unloaded its cargo of fertilizer equivalent, right on top of your head. I need to remind you about that because that is not what this week is like. In fact, it's kind of a good time, with a lot of the similar events going on, only this week, you're a little better prepared for the dump truck of Mercury Retrograde, and as soon as you hear the obnoxious "beep beep beep" of the truck going in reverse, you're going to calmly shift positions. By moving a few feet to the left, you'll find that the load gets dumped on someone else. So try and be neighborly this week, explain to your friends and enemies, that this week, you're here with a shovel, to help them out of the mess they created. This is a week when it should all land on another sign. Not all Mercury antics are bad, see? Just listen for the telltale warning beep, coming up this week.

Sagittarius : Before this week is up, my dear Sagittarius, you will believe the things that I say about Mercury being Retrograde. While that's a bit of a grandiose statement, sooner or later, it will get you. There are some other planets who are moving and shaking which causes this Mercury time frame to look that much more exciting. I wonder if the correct term, though, isn't "exacting" instead of "exciting." Maybe you can get back to me and let me know which one is turned out to be. The way I was looking at it, I kind of figured that this week would exact a toll on you, sooner or later. It's either the Moon, her compatriots in Cancer, or just the general feeling of the times. But before I drift off to slippery analogies and faulty metaphors, let me just suggest that there is some fire left in some old coals you left for dead a while back. The BBQ Pit of Love has something stirring, and this is a week that you might want to take a look at some past embers before you move on. Exactly.

Capricorn : You've got a week like I just had, coming right up. There was this rather large bass, just sitting there in a pile of brush, on the bottom of the lake. The sonar fish finding radar located this big fellow. I would drag a minnow past him, he would sniff at it, and then go back to taking a nap. I would drag a special Mystic Sarah Spook past him, he would stir a little, perhaps roll one eye at the bait, and then go back to sleep. Or whatever it is that big fish do when they ain't biting and fighting. This is one of those weeks when no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to catch the eye of your target. In the latter part of the week, there's a New Moon in Cancer, and that's going to cause some of the frustration. And Mr. Moon is going to have an impact as he slides right on past each of those planets in Cancer, hence, more of that frustration. How to deal with it? As much as I wanted to jump in after that particular fish, I'm also aware that I can't swim as well as he can. Patience goes a long way towards success this week. I'll get him next week, and so will you.

Aquarius : Aquarius is a funny old sign, and I'm never too sure what to make of it. As I was fiddling with this week's chart for Aquarius, I kept paying strict attention to little bumps in the Aquarius Road of Wonder, and these little speed bumps reminded me of some slang that is derived from South of the Border. Down there, a speed bump is referred to as a "Sleeping Policeman." And there are some sleeping policemen in your chart right now. It's more like a time when you want to slow down, just a bit, take a good look at what it is that you are working on, and then stop, make a careful assessment about what is going on and then proceed. Take it easy and slow. This is a week when one of those sleeping policemen might wake up, and I don't think the dormant problem is too happy about having an Aquarius drive over him. This is coming to you courtesy of the FGS Legal Assistance Center and the planets in Cancer, most notably, that little Mercury fellow who would be the one to wake up the comatose problem.

Pisces : "dot dot dot -- and Mercury is retrograde -- dot dot dot" And so forth and so on. It's a week like that. It sort of begins in the middle of sentence with an ellipse (the dot dot dot thing) and it sort of goes onward with that feeling. This week, it's nothing more than a series of "dot dot dot" episodes. Sort of like a feeling that there is nothing quite finished. Nothing is quite started, either. It's like being caught in the middle of a conversation, only you're not too sure about who said what to whom. You can try to jump in and join this conversational thread this week, but it seems to leave you hanging, and you're also going to discover that you're just a little afraid of jumping into the conversation this week because whatever you do want to say won't quite fit in the pattern that everyone else is apparently following. It's not a bad time, it's just that your personal timing feels like it's a little off. It's like that old Ford Truck I had, "It ain't hitting on all 8 cylinders," I told the mechanic. "No wonder, Bubba, it's only got a six cylinder engine...."

"There was never yet philosopher
That could endure toothache patiently."
Leonato in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (V.i.35)

You just got to have a sense of humor about it all because there feels like there is a deity some place, a minor godhead figurine, some place, having a good chuckle at us right now. Mercury is heading into a retrograde position this week, but I'm not naming names.

Aries : I did a little research into your chart for this week. There's just about the oddest amount of stellar gravel causing you no small amount of discomforting problems. There's just the tiniest hint that this is all going to work, eventually. There's just the meanest little tickle that you get right now from the planets. You better be grateful for all the Aries in your chart because some other signs might react badly to this situation this week. The errant little Mercury, combined with the rest of the planets visible at sunset are going to do their dead level best to make you uncomfortable. Not miserable, it looks like that feeling is reserved for other signs, but you are going to experience a degree of discomfort this week as the planets exert a little bit of a planetary review this week. It's Mercury, and it looks like it's a theme for the next week. Review time.

Taurus : After what you've been through lately, you don't really want to back up and go old over material at a time like this. However, my dear Taurus lover, it's time to consider this action. I've been playing this one piece of music that starts out with the nicest little harp, an angelic sound. And your week looks like it starts out just like this. Of course, the post millennium music is a bit strange, and while this one piece starts out with a melodic strain, just like this week, it quickly decomposes into a hard driving rock beat. The technique is called "looping" and it involves taking a single musical phrase and repeating it over and over. So your week goes from harps to harsh harpsichords, and the tune keeps getting looped back until you get it right. By the end of the week, thanks to this mercurial influence, you're going to be feeling like you are living in a tape loop stuck playing the same harsh chords over and over. It sounds like you have to hear the message about three or four times until you finally understand what the message actually means -- "Loops of Fury."

Gemini : There is one blond haired, blue eyed Gemini with a precocious mouth, and this one Gemini claims that Mercury is really okay when it's retrograde. This one Gemini seems to be an anomaly in life. Mercury's evil backspin is going to take everything that is going on, and slam it into the ground. It's what a catfish must feel like when it gets caught and drug ashore. Gasping for water, the huge gills pumping air and unable to breathe, the poor old feller has just met his match with the delicious catfish stink bait. Just like that catfish, Gemini needs to be careful about what seems so alluring. A little extra caution is useful this week. Just because someone runs something past you that is so tantalizing, it doesn't mean that now's a good time to take the bait. Be careful about what ideas are flaunted right now because ideas are a great bait for catching Gemini's, and you don't want to get hooked into going someplace where you don't really belong, not this week.

Cancer : One of my dear Cancer buddies took one look at a Mercury pattern, listened to some of my advice, and then promptly had an accident at home. I think he slipped while he was cleaning the tub and got nasty little cut from the tap on his scalp. So with this Mercury and Mars and Venus thing all happening in Cancer, right at a Cancer time for birthdays, it's the little things that Cancer has to watch out for. Like the tap in the tub. Even if you resolve not to go out and engage in any dangerous activity this week, that sort of danger can crop up in the mildest of places. Of course, and I'm sure this note was lost on my Cancer buddy, but the blood did wash off easy, and it was only a slight scalp wound, and he could always comb his hair over the scratch. Of course, I've always been told that my scars make me look "ruggedly handsome" but I tend to doubt the sources at times. The point is that this is a week that you can try to avoid the confusion and multiple mishaps associated with everything else going on, or you can just jump right in, and enjoy the confusion. It won't go the way you want it to, but it will go the way it's supposed to, this week.

Leo : I want you to get prepared to dig down deep in that wonderful Leo soul that you've got. I want you to be prepared to get to the very heart of the matter in that wonderful Leo heart you've got. I want you to get ready to get in there with the best of them, because you are a Leo and you are the best, and get prepared to go shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, "mano a mano" with them. It's the weirdest of the witching hours this week. There is all sorts of strange stuff kicking up in your chart. Mysterious stuff. Unbidden stuff. Strange ideas come up out of no where and bonk you on the head. It's not really out of nowhere. It's from the "other side" of your wonderful Leo psyche. It's like that mythological character who was born out of that deity's brain, sort of hatched right out of his head. It's all this stuff kicking around in the sign which comes before you, and it's making you a little skittish because you can't figure out where all this stuff is coming from. Relax and blame it all on Mercury going retrograde. That might not be the real problem, but Mercury is convenient scapegoat this week.

Virgo : I sent out a press release one time to announce my arrival in a particular town. Not a large town, a little town in South Texas. So an astrologer from Austin was coming to visit, and the media needed to be there. I didn't get much of a bite from news team. I didn't get a lot of attention., There was one tiny problem with the press release, it had the wrong date on it. Since I usually work on weekends, the news cameras all showed up on the press releases's date: the middle of the week. When I got around to correcting it, the guys in the newsroom had been burned, and for some reason, they all chose to ignore me. Nothing could be worse. This week, make sure all the details are correct. Nothing is worse than being ignored at a time like this. It's that Mercury thing, and he's promising to confuse some of the dates on your calendar. You might want to get someone else to take a look at your material before you press "send."

Libra : Conventional cowboy wisdom suggests that you get back on that horse which just bucked you off. Before the bones begin to ache, before the pain really sets in, perhaps before your bones have been set, jump right back up on that critter who just unloaded you. It's a great idea. In the rodeo arena of life, this is wonderful advice. There is a pile up of little planets causing trouble for kind hearted Libra this week. Rodeo advice might not be the best stuff to look at. If you do wind up with a mouthful of sawdust and dirt, I might suggest that the concept of getting back on the horse is wonderful. The idea is great. The actual practice, though, might best be left to another week. However you get tossed off the bucking bronco in your life, maybe this isn't a week to saddle up and try again. Maybe this is a week when you want to take a little inventory of your body parts and decide that you'll let the horse win this round. It's not defeat, you might have lost a battle, but you ain't going to lose the war.

Scorpio : Stock car racing was born from a time when there was little modification to the vehicle. You just rolled one off the showroom floor and took it to the race track for a Sunday afternoon test drive, at over a 100 miles an hour. The nice thing about stock car racing is that it affords the very best of metaphors for the week: racing under a caution flag. The yellow flag means that there is trouble some place, some one else has piled up a car, spun out of control, or leaked a bunch of oil and fuel onto the track. Makes for slick times. With Mercury doing his thing, it's like racing under the caution flag. If you are a cunning example of a Scorpio, you'd consider this a good time to "pit," that is, pull in and take on extra fuel, maybe change your tires, that sort of routine maintenance you so don't lose your position in the field of cars. As long as Mercury is doing his thing in Cancer, consider that you're racing under a yellow flag. Use this caution time to advance yourself on the track, and remember, go down the straight and hang a left, then go down the straight and hang left. Repeat as needed to win.

Sagittarius : There are weeks that no amount of brilliance is as good as a convenient back door. In some circles, the term back door has an ominous connotation, suggesting secret ways to penetrate computer defenses. I'm referring to a more mundane back door, like the one on the back of this trailer. There are no steps, and the overgrowth is such that slipping out the back door means I wind up in a tangle of vines with little sharp barbs on them. You might just want to clear a path to your back door this week, though, because we've got all sorts of weird stuff coming up. I used to worry about getting an invitation to be on a daytime TV talk show. With a week like this, I'm more worried about getting served with some legal paperwork. And I think the image is pretty clear. The charges will be dropped in about three weeks, and until then, when some one comes knocking on the door, especially the guys in bad suits, I might just slip out the back door. It's a good plan for this week, anyway.

Capricorn : You get off to rousing good start this week. But.... "The best laid plans of mice and men/gang oft a gley/and lea' us naught but grief and pain/ for promised joy." (Bobby Burns wrote that ditty, and it fits, too.) Be a little more careful with what you expect out of folks this week. There's some high hopes in the Capricorn camp, but those high hopes are like counting the money for the big bass tournament before you ever get off on the trip. And that's not something you can do this week. You'll find that the concept is good, but the implementation might be a little lacking. Therein is the problem for this week. Great ideas, good attitude, but not quite enough of you to make sure that everything is done correctly. That leads to a degree of frustration. I know you're planning on winning, but don't count the money until you have it in your hands.

Aquarius : No doubt you've seen the picture of me standing by the black velvet Elvis painting, and in the background, you can see my desk. I cleaned it up for the photo shoot in the trailer. Right now, it's covered with miscellaneous paperwork, old bills, a few fishing lures and some unanswered letters as well as a computer terminal and keyboard. Sounds like the Aquarius desk this week, too. As long as the planet's are where they are, you can do one of two things, you can just walk away from the desk and not tend to anything that demands your attention right now, or you can sit yourself down, get out the checkbook, and start making out checks for the folks who need them. (You would want to include a little something for me, wouldn't you?) There is a myriad of minor details which all demand your attention this week, and it's like sitting down at the desk and sorting through piles and piles of paperwork, earrings, fishing lures, that odd spinning reel you wanted to fix, and actually doing some of the work. I suggest that you start attending to some of this right now because it looks like you've gotten a little behind on the necessary paperwork, and it needs your attention. Now.

Pisces : I've detected a certain trend over the years. From the feedback from the land of Pisces, perhaps the pond of Pisces would be a better term, I've determined that -- according to them -- Mercury going retrograde does not affect them at all. I would never doubt my fine Pisces examples of humanity. Never. I know I can trust them to convey exact information for the sake of astrological research. There would be no chance of any obfuscation here at all. And no mixed messages. But that's what I wonder about because this seems to have an adverse effect on the rest of us, and why does my sampling of Pisces get by unscathed? There are many good things kicking up dust in the heavens for my favorite mutable water sign (Pisces), but there is that cautionary note about the errant little planet's pattern this week, too. Of course, I've been assured numerous times that it won't effect you at all so I'm not too worried, and Pisces needn't be, either.

"Bait the hook well:
this fish will bite."

Claudio in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing [II.iii.109]

    Free stuff is always popular. Send Kramer [Fishing Guide to the Stars] the correct lyrics, source of the song, and the author, mentioned in the Aquarius weekly forecast, and get a chance to get in the running for a free [abbreviated] Planet Profile, custom crafted from your own birth data, deep in the heart of the Texas hinterland.

Aries : The idea of living in a trailer court like "Shady Acres" is that I can simply unplug the trailer from the electrical outlet, undo the phone line, hitch up the house to the big Lincoln (460 cubic inch V-8), and be gone. The reality of the situation is a lot different. There are a number of fishing knickknacks scattered in the living room, and a picture on the wall which would surely fall were I to try and move the house. Then there's the temporary porch which a lot more permanent with its view of the river. And there's some yard art I would hate to leave behind, including an old refrigerator that doesn't work but makes for a great place to store live bait. As much as you want to uproot yourself right now, it's not a good idea. There's a lot more work involved than just hitching up the home and moving on. Make sure that you check everything, all aspects of moving before you pick up and split. You might find that the idea of moving locations isn't nearly as easy as you thought. You've got more roots here than you think.

Taurus : In Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," Act I, scene iii, Don John makes a proclamation about Saturn in his chart: "I wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest thou art, born under/Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I/cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's/jests; eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure; sleep when I am/drowsy, and tend on no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man/in his humour." Saturn is still an influence in your chart this week, and there is some mortifying mischief that you need to be up to. It's that simple. I hate to use a long quote because it burns up too much bandwidth, but I couldn't think of a better example of what your week is like. Now, in that play, the character ain't the happiest of guys. But there is a dark bit of comedy which I associate with him. And there's a dark bit of comedy in your life right now. Embrace it. Use it. And laugh when you are merry.

Gemini : As usual, there is one Gemini who complains bitterly about everything I've committed to print lately. I wouldn't want to suggest that the particular Gemini needs to see about getting himself committed, either, but there's a thought. Gemini thoughts are also very transient things, a quick glimpse, a brilliant idea, and then it's on to something else. I would like give you a task this week, due to the influence of the planets. Try and write down some of those great ideas. These thoughts will occur when you're at home, whatever the Gemini home looks like, usually, though it's a trailer with the wheels still on it, ready to roll, just in case. In case of what? Nothing this week. I tend to believe that Gemini's think best in the shower because that's when my one bitter Gemini friend always comes up with pithy one liners to hit me with. Figure some way to commit this stuff to memory instead of calling up your astrologer fishing buddy and leaving a message on his machine, this week.

Cancer : I've grown fond of basing my astrological predictions on observed cycles. Rather than depend on a book to tell me what I'm going to translate into a weekly horoscope, I let the stars be my guide and I work with verifiable results from what I've actually seen. My fine Cancer reader, the two of us have been down this road before. It looks like a long, straight piece of two-lane blacktop highway that shoots for miles in one direction. It looks like a route I remember from West Texas. It looks like there is no hope in sight. It looks bleak, and then, all of a sudden, there is a flurry of activity. One minute, you're thinking, "What are those vultures doing circling overhead like that?" And the next minute, you top a small rise, and there is activity of the best kind. Everywhere. It's like stumbling into a movie set, only this is real. From a truly bleak week to a weird and fun week, everything changes overnight. There is an oasis with a cantina, and the music is blaring. It's going to be party time soon.

Leo : There are dark days and then there are really dark days. And sometimes, even the best of intentions don't seem to get you anywhere. You're going to feel like this week is slowly grinding to a halt, and you're also going to feel like this week is slowly sliding downhill, out of control. As a fisherman, I respond with glee when I see a water skier wipe out. This week, you're going to feel like you're the water skier, at some point. What makes it worse, is that there's a fisherman nearby, and that person has absolutely no sympathy whatsoever for your wipe out. Nothing is worse than to find a good Leo with no one to feel sorry for them. In the picture I've suggested, you're going to notice that there is an appalling lack of sympathy for the majestic Leo. So float to the top, wait until the boat circles around again, make sure the line doesn't get caught in the prop, and think about a cute one line joke about all that lake water you just ingested. No one else will have any sympathy this week, so you're going to have to laugh about it yourself in order to get the last laugh.

Virgo : There is a strange movement afoot right now, something or someone is trying to thrust you in the blindingly bright light of the of the public's glare. A little limelight isn't too bad. Just be careful about what you say when you talk to the media. There's always a chance of a slip up. You never can tell. It's the off the record, on the record comments which become confused this week. It's not all that bad, but suggesting that to a Virgo is a little dangerous. I was caught on camera one time, saying something that was strictly supposed to be off the record. I was trying to confide to a reporter and the message got hopelessly garbled. To be sure, I was quoted exactly, but what was left out was more important. So when the reporter, the media, or even a simple e-mail message shows up, weigh your response carefully. You never know what will be used out of context this week.

Libra : I played around with the Libra chart and I came up with some ideas, but none of them were any good. It reminds me of an evening when I was sitting in a place, listening to a solo country and western act dispiritedly go through the numbers while trying to play music. It wasn't a whole lot of fun. Suddenly, there's a tap on my shoulder, I look around, and there's one of those typically Texan fellow, probably an oil field worker, about seventeen feet tall, and he had a menacing look in his eyes. I was worried. That's just what this week feels like with the relative movement of the Moon and the pesky Mars and Venus thing at the end of the week. You're going to get the same "sinking" feeling I had as I looked at this behemoth with forearms larger than my legs. Libra's can be diplomatic, and this is a week when just diplomacy can save you. I did some quick talking, bought the guy a beer, and didn't worry about after a while. But there was still that initial feeling of sheer fright, and you have to overcome that feeling this week in order to get to the party.

Scorpio : I was delving into a brief flirtation with some classic Greek literature, and in the translations, I kept finding references to a "rosy fingered dawn" and similar terms. Of course my ancient Greek is rusty. So is my modern Greek, for that matter, and it doesn't matter, but this week, just like that over used expression in Greek Classic, you've got a rosy dawn that's arching its way towards you. In no uncertain terms, this starts this week, and as the week gets older, like that mythical day beginning, it just gets better and better. Unfortunately, there are a few Scorpio people out there (hi Mom) who will insist that it isn't that good. It is. Just trust whatever deity is responsible for dragging the sun up in the morning and setting in its place. There is a good day coming in Scorpio land, one that is over due, and that's going to be this week.

Sagittarius : Some of the great words of wisdom handed down through various sources has to do with leading the herd, and then, occasionally, looking back to make sure that the herd you're leading, is actually following you. Maybe it's Pluto. Maybe it's the relative movement of Mars and Venus into Cancer at the tail end of the week, but whatever influence you care to ascribe this to, you do need to remember to check back occasionally, and make sure that whatever you're leading is actually following you. The advantage to being leader, in the case of the herd, is that you don't have to eat dust. The problem is that sometimes, whatever it is that you're attempting to do, it might get a little sidetracked on the way, a diversion can be something as simple as a copse of trees that offer some shade or patch of fresh lawn that needs to be mowed (cow food). So pay a little extra attention this week, and make sure that your minions are actually doing what they are supposed to do. Like I always tell my webmaster, "The beatings will continue until the moral improves."

Capricorn : Take this week, and look at it on a piece of paper. Now, draw a line right down through the middle of the week. Lengthwise or sideways, doesn't matter much. Just figure that you are going to cut this week in two. One half of the week, maybe it will be every night, is good. The other half, maybe it will be every day, isn't so hot. Or maybe it's too hot. It is a scorcher of a summer in Texas, and that means maybe the heat gets to you a little too much. Or, you can look at it the other way, and say that the week is bad until Wednesday, and good after that. Or maybe I have this in reverse, and it's good until Thursday, and then it gets bad. It's all done by halves. Cut it in half. By the end of the weekend, Venus and Mars move in tandem, and they move into the sign that is opposite you on the wheel. That's the good news, or the bad news. And that's why I keep suggesting that this week is half good and half bad. Which half is most important? That's up to the Cappy mindset to determine.

Aquarius : There's a lyric that keeps floating through my head, but I know that I'm way too young to remember the source of this song fragment, but it goes something like this, and please hum along, "Venus and Mars are all right tonight...." Get it? I can't place it myself, but I think that it has a great deal of meaning for you this week. Venus and Mars are doing something, and they are acting in unison to help you. This weird union in the sky actually occurs about once every year or two, but this time it's of special importance to you. After what you've been through, it's about time that you got a lift from the planets. And that's what is going this week. A gentle little shove is coming in from two distinctly opposite forces. By the end of the week, you can see these two planets, right after sunset. Take a gander at them, and thank your lucky stars that they are moving in an orderly direction to help out my good Aquarius friend. (Venus and Mars. They are often called the love planets, if you really need a hint.)

Pisces : We've got us a backwards week in the way the days stack up. It all starts with a fizzle, and then it builds to mighty and roaring crescendo. While this backwards kind of movement works well in certain literary circles as well as classical music, I wonder if it works for the mighty fish sign. That's for you to decide. It's a week which starts out with a degree of frustration. A week that nothing seems to line up right. A week that reminds me of the time the boys in the back had too much beer and tried to drop a big American V-8 motor into a small, imported car. Didn't fit. After much work, though, we all managed to rig it up so that this little bug of a car had lots of horsepower. Didn't steer too well, but for some stoplight to stoplight fun, it was great -- until the brakes wore out. And that's what this week feels like, at the end of it, suddenly, you find yourself hurtling along, and your brakes don't feel like they are going to stop Team Pisces. You win the race, it's just the slowing down after that big crash-endo.

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!" Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream [III.ii.115]

Aries : There's a certain degree of expectancy you've been feeling, it's like a feeling that "something big" is about to happen. Like it hasn't happened already? I know you would agree with me on this one. I had some soft music on the sound system, and it's one of those pieces that gets louder and louder as the song goes on. It's a little trick from classical music, but I would hardly call this one piece classical, unless sampling an orchestra and looping it back is a classical music. But I doubt it. And that musical notion of looping back a tune, sort of like a musical "instant replay" is the way this week is going to feel. It's ground you know you've covered before, and it's the same message, only, there's a slightly different feeling to it. So you've got an instant replay, and suddenly, this is a better time because there's a new depth to some of the tune, something you haven't heard before. That expectancy? I'll promise that you're going to get some things delivered before too long. Even later this week, maybe.

Taurus : There's a certain sentiment which many greeting card companies would have us all believe are associated with a special time of the year. Birthdays are what I'm thinking about. Good times, good cheer, a little too much beer, that sort of thing. I'm sure you catch the idea now. And this was supposed to be last month, but for some reason, all the good times associated with a birthday type of celebration is catching up with you this week. So pretend you're Gemini, and pretend that it is really your birthday because all that good cheer, camaraderie, and its associated merriment is around you right now. The waning aspect of Saturn and Jupiter is breaking up therefore, the good times are right here. Right now. It's a good week to play some. You've been worried about this work thing, and Saturn has only made this worse. I know you deserve a break, and after the way the planets have treated you, this is a good week to play some.

Gemini : There is one Gemini who is letting me know that she is NOT amused by my weekly prognostications about what the planets are doing. And the reason for this one Gemini who is not pleased has to do with the ongoing theme of Saturn and Jupiter in the preceding sign of Taurus. In Solar Astrology, that puts those two in the 12th House. So Mars, Venus, and the Sun are all in Gemini, bringing about all kinds of new and exciting events which are occurring at a rapid pace, and those two slug planets are still poking along in Taurus, and still creating a bit of interference for the sign of the twins. To make this whole astrological melee that much worse, the mighty little Mercury is sliding around in Cancer. So there is lots of things going on around Gemini, and despite what's actually happening in the sign, there's still an underlying feeling that there's something over there which is better. Doesn't much matter where you are in life, my fine Gemini friend, all that astrological interference makes wherever you're not look like the place to be. Have a good birthday and don't worry about.

Cancer : The week begins with the thinnest sliver of a Moon in your sign. This portends well for you the beginning of your week. There is another influence, too, and that's Mercury, riding close to that slice of Moon Pie, visible right after sundown. What's it mean? You're all worked up over some issue this week, and whatever that issue is, you have a strong urge to communicate what it is that's bothering you about the problem. As long you feel like telling everyone, you might want to work with a good editor before you send the material out to the media. Nothing is worse than finding a typographical mistake, right in the middle of your piquant purple prose. So before you send your message out, run it through the spell checker on last time. Or, try doing what I do, I read my horoscopes aloud, usually to my cat. She lets me know if I make any errors, and she's particularly good about checking the astrological conditions of the planets. Both of us agree that Mercury is in Cancer, and we both agree that this means communications are important this week. Just check to make sure your brain is engaged before dropping the word processor into gear.

Leo : This is the tail end of a strange time for you guys. There's the oddest little kick that you get from the planets this week, too, a strange little reminder that there is something which you left buried in the back yard of your life, and your dog insists on digging it up and dragging it up onto the porch. It's actually a little different around here, and the story I like to tell is about the time my cat caught a bat. Austin is home to one of the largest urban colonies of Mexican Free Tail Bats in North America. Bats look like rodents with wings, and that makes them a natural enemy of the cat. Fair prey, I guess. The good news is that the offering the cat drug in one evening was still alive and flapping, so I thanked the cat, and set the bat back outside where it could flee to freedom and eat more bugs. But you've still got a surprise like this coming along. Something that you least expect, and you can either make a big Leo deal out of it, or you can just pick the critter up and set it free. Just make sure that you thank the cat for her deeds -- I had to.

Virgo : These are strange times to be a human on this planet. In fact, it's a strange to be floating around in any cosmic interpretation of life as you understand it. And that's the secret to making the most of this week. You've been under a little bit of pressure despite all my wonderful admonishments about how good things are supposed to be. And this little bit of pressure is more on a social scale than any other kind of influence. Now, you can take this information do one of a couple of things with it, but the best action this week is to make an attempt to interact with as many people as possible. It could be something as simple as one of my old jokes, a line I use on that cute check out person at the grocery store: "How is your job different from a wagon driver? The wagon driver only has to look at one horse's tale at a time...." Sometimes, a simple "hello" or a friendly smile goes a lot further than any number of growling remarks which might be justified, but still don't manage to get anything done any faster.

Libra : There are a varieties of love in the world. There's the way you love your brother, and there's the strong feeling you have for your familial units, and then there's that feeling you have for that special someone. Then, of course, there's always a love that I have for a particular dish at a special restaurant, and the piquant hot sauce in one place is something that I dearly love. There's also that first cup of coffee in the morning, and the way one can certainly love that, too. Yes, "love is a many splendor'd thang." In particular, love of a good plate of decent BBQ comes to mind this week. Of course, BBQ is a traditional Texas thing, and it might not be love of BBQ that affects you this week, but it could be. Or it could be something just like that, a particular dish that is more tasty and more delicious, and just better in all respects than anything else in your life. I don't want to kill you appetite, either, but this is a week when you're feeling so good that you might just bite off a little more than you can chew. And that the caution about the love of BBQ and this week. In fact, if you're going whole hog on some Pork Ribs, you might want to be careful about the bones, because this week doesn't need to turn into a many splintered thing.

Scorpio : Bushwhacked is a nice term for this week. Just when everything felt like it was going to be okay, just when everything felt like it was going to straighten out and just as you were sure that life was getting marginally better, you're going to feel like a certain individual, we're not naming names but I'm sure you get the idea, this individual comes along and rains on your parade in a big way. It's not a big deal, and this "rains on your parade" concept might be more like a subtle spring shower. In fact, it might be more like the weather in my home town, one of those days that clouds boil and bubble overhead, but at the very best, all it does is sprinkle, and even then, it's not much more than humidity as opposed to real rain. There's never a rainy day without some hope of sunlight, and as the week draws to a close you're going to find that there is a single golden ray of sunshine burning it's way through the clouds. I promised it would be good, just give it time. It's like one of those spring days.

Sagittarius : My little sister's birthday is coming up this week, and I realize that not every Sagittarius has a Gemini sister who has a birthday that pretty regularly gets forgotten, but this week is like that in that you forget something that's mighty important, and at the last minute, you're off and running, trying to remember what that person's favorite color is, or what was the hobby she really enjoyed last time you talked to her, or what it was that she was looking for, or what kind of pet she had so you could get a doggie treat for her cat. Or a cat treat for her dog. I know that not every Sag will encounter this exact same problem right now, but due to the relative orbit of planets passing though Gemini, all of us are pretty inclined to get so busy that we're going to forget something important. Sagittarius is a great sign, but unless there's that degree of Virgo in your chart, preplanning and foresight are not exactly our strengths. So get prepared to do some last minute shopping, and be forewarned that you're going to make two trips this week: one to the corner convenience store at 3:00 AM to buy that special gift (chocolate usually works) and second trip to get the package in the mail for overnight delivery. Good luck with the mission.

Capricorn : My native tongue is Texan, which is a dialect often associated with English, but not always. And in Texas, there are some rather curious ways of pronouncing words. The idiom varies greatly from one place in the state to another. When I'm in West Texas, I tend to drawl a lot. East Texas has a more Southern, almost Cajun flavor to its language, and of course, most of the border towns have the Spanish language as popular, if not more so, than the English. It doesn't much matter what part of the state you're in though, because you're going to find that your language is clear and concise. Unfortunately, you might ruffle a few feathers while making your point -- especially this week. As long as Mercury is in Cancer, that would be opposite you, I would consider being very careful about what the message is, and I would be careful about the language that you choose. Certain epithets are wonderful in some forms of communication, but there are times when such phrases are best left unused.

Aquarius : Most Aquarius characters are not excitable types. Most Aquarius people remain cool, calm and collected in times of trouble. In fact, this might be due to the "fixed" quality associated with your sign. Other astrologers would call you "stubborn" but I prefer "constant." And the planets are still stirring things up, but for some reason, it looks pretty good from where I sit, and it looks pretty good for you. The big issues have either been dealt with, or you have done all that you can do, so there are smaller, more fun little items which require your attention. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, and more specifically in Texas, life is heating up with the weather. It's always a safe prognostication to suggest that it looks like it will be a hot summer. It's just that a little Mars and Venus action is making your summer of love heat up even more right now. Go ahead and let loose a little. Tell them I said it was okay, and I'll promise that you will have some fun.

Pisces : There's the big picture view which is really required this week. The over all scene. The image which encompasses as much as you can possibly fit into your Pisces vision. The good news has a lot to do with the way you look at this big picture. "Good news? Yeah, right," I can hear your Pisces cynicism and dripping irony. But if you can just step back from the tedious and immediate little problems, you'll see that there aren't nearly as many big problems out there which require your attention. It's all a matter of how you look at this week. If you were another sign, I might not suggest that the current events look that good, but some how, some way, through some force of nature, perhaps a Deus Ex Machina, the goodness in this week will outweigh the problems. At least, it's supposed to. Little planets cause great excitations in your sign, and the stuff over yonder in Gemini is serving up what could be good. Of course, just like Puck at the beginning, you might make a few errors, but somehow, your errors this week all have a happy ending.