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Rockie Horoscope

Major atmospheric changes ahead: The sun enters Aries (the spring equinox) on Friday at 10:49 p.m. PST. Saturday afternoon (2:41), the sun and the Aries moon meet to launch a new lunar cycle. Late that night, Mars moves from "let it be" Taurus to "let's talk it over" Gemini. Suddenly alternatives become not only rational, but feasible. And on Wednesday, degenerate Pluto does its annual backflip. Will the flap about steroids in sports take a back seat for the next five months? Will pedophiles and the pulpit become a dead issue for a while? Or are these matters going underground, only to rise like the phoenix in September?

Aries

The spring equinox arrives with a novel twist. It's been quite a few years, 1989 to be exact, since your independent Mars ruler visited open-minded, versatile Gemini in time for your birthday. With Mercury in your sign adding pertinent details and reliable sources to the mix, this would be an excellent time to consider alternative approaches, make a fresh start and take a lighter, brighter approach to your daily routine. So much for same-old, same-old, carved-in-stone modes of thinking. Now you can be witty as well as wise.

Taurus

The Aries new moon Saturday might introduce a brand-new element to your social scene, perhaps a person or a reason that'll intensify your political involvement. But before you get carried away, remind yourself that your romantic Venus ruler is being zapped by hypnotic Neptunian forces and that, under these circumstances, you could easily confuse idealistic with realistic. If you're choreographing a ballet, no problem, but if you're visualizing a new look or updating/fudging your r??sum??, the outcome can be quite disappointing.

Gemini

Once every two years, intrepid Mars travels through Gemini and ratchets up the intensity of your everyday experiences. Try to remember the last time you had such big balls or were as willing to add an exciting unknown to your scene. You'll have until your annual Cinco de Mayo hangover disappears to enjoy and/or exploit these physical and psychological surges of energies. Mars in your sign also helps sharpen your skills so that you can more easily achieve your current goal. It's a good time for minor cosmetic surgery and dental work, too.

Cancer

With the change of the seasons, Moon Children might sense that something crucial to their well-being is about to occur. This feeling is never stronger than when the astrological new year begins. Spend a moment this weekend considering which of your long-term life goals you would like to attain next, and direct the new-moon magic you make to that end. You're more in control (thank Saturn in your sign) than you think. However, you may feel frustrated when the "leap before you look" Aries sun hits a Saturn-like snag next weekend. Steel yourself.

Leo

Even before the fiery Aries sun enlivens the general atmosphere, the Lion's spirits could rise dramatically. Chances are you'll be tempted to direct this boost of energy to an artistic or a romantic goal, but if you do, you could be courting disillusionment. Protect yourself from the hype you're liable to hear from an impressionable partner or a well-intentioned co-worker. Take everything with a grain of salt until you discover the truth, or a reasonable facsimile, midweek. This way, you may be able to elude the depression scheduled to descend on you next weekend.

Virgo

The Aries new moon this weekend can stir up action in your houses of partnerships and other people's money. Who are you targeting next and for how much? This would be an excellent time to launch a project with outside financing, raised by someone, e.g., an Aries with chutzpah and determination, not traits commonly associated with the modest Virgin. But you may surprise yourself after aggressive Mars enters Gemini and offers an array of alternative career choices that haven't been available during the past two years.

Libra

You have more in common right now with an artistic Taurus or an Aquarius than you imagine, even though it's a fervid imagination that links you to them. While your Venus ruler is besotted with Neptunian dreams and schemes, there's no limit to what you can envision when prodded by these inventive folks. So make an effort to get together this weekend and see what miraculous, fabulous, gorgeous, glamorous ideas you come up with. But be aware that it will take a lot of labor (hopefully not yours) to transform a concept into a product.

Scorpio

A new moon in your house of romance and risk is too tempting a prospect to pass up. No matter what you're offered this weekend, be it a game of chance, a game guy or dame, take it. You could be over your head in another week, but until an obstacle (such as a lack of sufficient funds) arises, there's no reason you can't play. If life at home feels a bit woo-woo, lay the blame on impressionable Neptune in New Age???ish Aquarius for mystifying the atmosphere. But if you're as resourceful as Scorpios are reputed to be, you'll already have a feng shui master on speed dial.

Sagittarius

The burst of heat that this weekend's Aries new moon brings to your domestic scene may be modified in another week by circumstances beyond your control. Until then, give your imagination free rein and consider the many changes you'd like to make. Perhaps you'll start with an argumentative roommate who personifies what having Mars in your Gemini house of partners means? Rubbing each other the wrong way is a natural expression of this once-every-two-year transit. If you show some patience, you could soon be rewarded with exciting escapades and heavy doses of passion.

Capricorn

"Be prepared" is not only the Boy Scouts' motto, it's your modus operandi as well. If I told you that in another week your Saturn ruler will be tested by the militant Aries sun, will you start defending your turf, your co-worker or your legal position now? Or will you go all soft inside and succumb to the pretty pictures your lover (or child) is painting to gain your attention? You know, the ones that'll invariably cost more than you want to pay. And will money spent for love or art cushion the stark reality of what lies ahead?

Aquarius

Adventurous Aries new-moon energy promises that you'll find money where and when you least expect it. Whether that promise holds true depends in part on just how gullible Neptune in Aquarius is making you. You might not want to question a relative's or your landlord's motives or doubt heartfelt advice about home decorating, but you should. On the other hand, who wouldn't want to sleep in a bedroom that looks like the Garden of Eden, pesky viper and all? Oops, is that a friendship going south?

Pisces

Like your Virgo complement, you're about to feel the effects of having Mars visit mutable Gemini for the first time in two years. Are things running smoothly at home? Not for much longer. When was the last time you fought with a neighbor? Martian aggressiveness can pay off if you need to act instead of letting a stagnant situation drift along, but it can sharpen the peaceful Piscean viewpoint along with your tongue. Pluto, ruler of rescue and rehabilitation, turns retrograde in your Sag midheaven until August 30. Don't push for career advancement until then.

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