Fireworks for Bastille Day, but they're likely to be the romantic rather than the pyrotechnic kind. While loving Venus confronts passionate Pluto and hot-to-trot Mars stands his ground, the heat is bound to rise. Not only fire signs but everyone is liable to get burned. Maybe you'll wise up Tuesday, when the sun meets retrograde Mercury on its way back through Cancer; pay attention, there's a message in this madness. After Venus enters comfort-me Cancer Tuesday night, things should cool down.


Whether you take time to sweet-talk or proceed directly to bed depends on how determined you are to cement the connection between intensely passionate Pluto and your horny Mars ruler before Mars leaves your Leo house of romance and risky games on the 22nd. Since agreeable Venus is also in the mix, it shouldn't be difficult to achieve your goal. However, news about the family or your landlord could become a major distraction around the 18th. Can you wait until Mars enters pragmatic Virgo before dealing with the dreary details?


Would you be surprised to learn that Venus signed you up for the Love Connection? There's a lot of romantic action this weekend, starting with a dramatic, downright operatic confrontation between your ruling planet's gentle nature and Pluto's extremism. This annual event, fortunately or not, may be mitigated by heroic Mars' assuming a leading role as befits his placement in Leo. Things quiet down a bit after Venus moves into cozy, comfy Cancer on the 18th, but that shift shouldn't interrupt the benefits streaming from generous Jupiter in your partnership zone.


Quick, before adorable, affectionate Venus leaves Gemini on the 18th, hit on everyone you think you have a chance with. Seriously, while the goddess is in your sign, her appeal is so strong it can make you practically irresistible. But if this window of opportunity didn't open soon enough, you could try again next April. Why the heads-up? Because flirtatious Venus might create a problem when she opposes inflexible Pluto in your marriage house this weekend. While a fit of jealousy is to be expected, an angry relative's reaction is not.


Happy birthday. Crabs celebrating this week could discover that they're smarter than they think. Whether it's your intuition working overtime or the nature of the information you receive makes little difference; the brain is engaged. Crabs who finished their birthday cakes a while back are in for another present. Devastating and/or delightful Venus enters Cancer on Tuesday, but the transit lasts only three short weeks. Of course, you'll use the extra appeal for romantic ends, but don't neglect to turn up the charm on other occasions, e.g., the sales meeting.


Since there's only one more week to benefit from having purposeful Mars in your sign, direct that energy to the area of your life that needs the most help. Or else schedule surgery. Mars won't be back in Leo for another two years, so if your teeth need work, now is the time to fix them. Drilling, cutting, burning and abrading are other specialties that the fiery planet governs. Mars also adds heat to romantic or purely sexual relationships, especially ones that might take place this weekend. After this dynamo enters pragmatic Virgo, you may want to make money instead of love.


Currently there are a slew of planets, along with your Mercury ruler, in your house of hopes and wishes, associates and organizations, the folks with whom you share a common goal. Might this mean greater participation in the coming elections? While Mercury is retrograde until the 28th, you'll have time and reasons to sort through your options; and until mid-August, when Mercury enters Leo, the sign of leadership, to make a commitment. Mars, in Virgo as of the 22nd, provides more physical stamina than you've had in two years. The better to canvass the neighborhood.


Given a choice – while Venus is still cavorting with the Twins, you'll have plenty of alternatives – pick the brains over the brawn. Your ruling planet connects with Martian machismo fairly often, but this weekend, the goddess encourages you to confront mysterious Pluto in the sign of the Sage. But don't take too long deciding; Venus enters career-conscious Cancer on the 18th, the same time that the sun-Mercury conjunction in your midheaven offers invaluable insights into what's going on with you and your boss. Or you and your parents.


The image of a wary Scorpion scurrying along on cloud nine may seem incongruous, but while Mars and Pluto, your co-ruling planets, are on favorable terms with each other, it could happen. You can be that happy! And if you get an invitation from amenable Venus in your house of sex and other people's money, could you avoid temptation? Before the week is over, both Mars and Venus will move on, so if you're going to partake, do it ASAP. Venus becomes more conservative in Cancer, and Mars, in Virgo. Picky, picky, picky.


Who thinks about making money in the summer? The smart Sag should. This year, while Mercury is retrograde in your house of joint financial matters, is the time to reevaluate the investments you've made and the insurance policies you're still paying for. Also, matters related to an inheritance you've already collected on and those that have yet to come through. Do you really need Grandma's hard-to-transport dining-room set? Chances are you'll grow more sentimental after Venus enters maternal Cancer on the 22nd.


Subtle changes in the planets' positions can lead to big changes for you. Romantic Venus, in your Cancer marriage house as of the 18th, is much more couple-friendly than when the goddess traipses through variety-loving Gemini. And adventurous Mars, in earthy Virgo from the 22nd through September 7, may offer incentives to go beyond the constraints imposed on you, but also to do it in an interesting, intelligent, yet cautious earth-sign way. FYI: This opportunity for a major breakthrough won't come around again until July 2008.


Once solar Leo begins on the 22nd, your goose is cooked. That's also when horny Mars abandons playful Leo and begins a seven-week stint in Virgo, primarily serving your financial interests, perhaps with a sexual escapade thrown in for good measure. However, you must have learned from prior summers that while the sun is in Leo, attention must be paid to your partner. Maybe not the one you're bedding, but the one who shares the rent or the office you work out of. Mid-August is when this arrangement should pay off.


The tension generated by a problematic work-home situation eases up after this weekend. However, you're liable to become bold, even brash, with a loved one after feisty Mars enters your Virgo marriage house next weekend. The same can be said for the spouse in the house. Sometimes, friction is a good thing, but if it doesn't generate further action, if you're only fighting and not making up, take comfort in the sweetness and sociability that came with Venus' entrance into Cancer, a supportive, sensitive water sign like your own.

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