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Retrograde Mercury tends to return events from the recent past to the forefront. The Pisces full moon on the 21st brings what began at the Virgo new moon two weeks ago to fruition. And while the sun-Saturn square challenges the establishment, the planetary aspect we really have to watch out for is the square between militant Mars and treacherous Pluto. What a weekend! Let's hope that harmonious Libra will usher in another round of peace negotiations. The autumn equinox arrives Sunday, the 22nd at 9:56 p.m. PDT. The count-your-blessings, shop-till-you-drop Venus-Jupiter square falls on the 24th, F. Scott Fitzgerald's birthday. Is living well still the best revenge?

Aries

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Equinox and solstice points tend to affect the cardinal signs more than the folks who aren't. However, this week's change of season packs an additional punch for Aries, since it is accompanied by a challenging square between your impetuous Mars ruler and dogmatic Pluto. If you remember what happened in March 2001 when these forces of desire met, you'll be able to trace what has developed since and what still needs to be worked out. The final resolution is set for Valentine's Day, if that's any help.

Taurus

You're about to be carried away. Bulls let their imaginations soar while your Venus ruler and idealistic Neptune interface this weekend. Artistic aims and romantic love take center stage, but not in an easygoing way that suits the Taurean temperament. Since Venus is taking root in sexy Scorpio, you're liable to be lured into someone else's drama. Fascinating, for sure; however, it may wind up costing a small fortune only because Venus gets tested by generous Jupiter midweek.

Gemini

If not an undeclared war, then an internal conflict. Mars in your house of domestic affairs challenges Pluto in your house of allies and enemies on Sunday. Brash and brazen might not be your customary style, but do you want to succumb to blatant manipulation without offering some sort of resistance? It would be nice if the arrival of peaceable Libra signaled an end to the struggle, a truce you can both live with. Daydreams flow from your Mercury ruler's link to idealistic Neptune Monday night. Soulful songs, too.

Cancer

Moon children may have an unusual reaction to the full moon this weekend. Nothing especially weird is in the air, it's just that the imaginative Pisces moon often evokes visions of faraway places, strange-sounding names and the motion of the ocean. Because Mercury is retrograde, you know you shouldn't make travel plans, but you can dream and research future destinations. The autumnal equinox, i.e., solar Libra, may bring a significant shift in priorities - less "me," more "we." Less "Who am I?" More "Wheremy family?"

Leo

Nobody likes to confront their personal limitations or have limits imposed on them, especially the king of all creatures. Therefore, while your sun ruler is being tested by stern, government-sponsored Saturn this weekend, don't assume it's the full moon in Pisces, the sign of the martyr, that's making you weepy and willing to sacrifice something you value. The moon is simply the emotional outlet for the frustration you might be feeling because sun-Saturn contact is restrictive, demanding and a consummate drag. Patience, good advice on the 27th.

Virgo

Well, there's not much you can do to mitigate the anger springing from aggressive Mars in your sign. However, someone related to your domestic scene, e.g., a landlord or family member, might set up a situation this weekend that provides an appropriate target for your rage. For good or for ill, there's nothing quite as forceful as a Mars-Pluto square. Or you could apply that energy to repairing something that's sorely amiss. Harmonious Libra should bring some relief and reconciliation by the 27th.

Libra

Your deepest desires and loftiest ideals are within your grasp. Who wudda' thunk it? While your Venus ruler is tested by protective Jupiter and artistic Neptune this week, you may be forced to change your approach so that you can express the creativity that lies buried within. You might also find the people who'll support your efforts, who are willing to participate in the internal drama that's about to unfold. Yet, somewhere in the mix, there's a birthday party that needs to be planned. No more surprises.

Scorpio

Although you might already be entangled in the web spun by your co-ruling planets - pushy Mars challenges power-crazed Pluto this weekend - there's always the possibility that you won't turn out to be your own worst enemy. Uncomfortable as the square aspect can be, if it only exacerbates a money matter between you and an acquaintance, you'll emerge relatively free from harm. For a glimpse into the background and timing, read for Aries. For an alternative way to go while Venus is in Scorpio, read for Libra.

Sagittarius

A couple of things can come to a head this weekend, and while they may be interrelated, you'll probably respond differently to each one. If the restrictive sun-Saturn square affects your partner more than you personally, show some compassion. However, there's no deflecting the criticism aimed your way when acerbic Mars in your career midheaven challenges Pluto in your sign. Who's insisting you reinvent yourself? Meanwhile, there's a tearful Pisces full moon welling up over a family matter or a plumbing problem.

Capricorn

Indecision makes you antsy; however, there's no sense in forcing issues this weekend. Too much is up in the air, and because the perfectionist Virgo sun is challenging your Saturn ruler, too much could be at stake. Consider, instead, the possibility of pursuing your education, either learning more about a hobby you delight in or taking a course to qualify for a higher position at work. You can sign up after Mercury turns direct, thereby increasing your chances of successfully following through, of not dropping the ball or changing horses in midstream.

Aquarius

Succumbing to a seductive offer, going with your artistic inclination or simply following wherever a good-looking sexy beast leads are some of the possible scenarios arising this weekend from Venus' square to impressionable Neptune in your sign. While there's lots of potentially scary stuff around, none of it need reach you. You've got a protective partner looking out for you and professional financial advice to check on. Nonetheless, right about now you might want to see what's in store for your rising sign.

Pisces

If you can keep a favorite fantasy alive and well, that would be the most pleasant way to get through the week. Affable Venus reaching out to your Neptune ruler puts affectionate acts, art appreciation and socializing high on your list. When Mercury adds its two cents' worth, you become even more expressive. But of what? The inspiring thoughts pouring out of you or the petty problems your partner is all too willing to share? The annual full moon in Pisces magnifies all your reactions - the good, the bad and the blah.

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