Mainly, the week is about Mercury, the negotiator. The little speedster is accelerating at more than a degree a day, making up for the lost time it spent in retrograde last month. On Friday, Mercury in entertainment-oriented Leo squares Jupiter in Scorpio, an aspect that often involves media moguls and their ever-expanding influence. On Sunday, Mercury meets Saturn: a sobering thought at best, at worst a major obstacle. Monday's confrontation with faith- or fan-based Neptune usually means there's a “spin” (some dare call it a lie) in the works. The sun moves out of celebrity-obsessed Leo late Tuesday/early Wednesday for a 30-day transit through discriminating Virgo. Midday Wednesday, Sol meets Luna at the Virgo new moon. Then on Thursday, Mercury forms a mutually supportive trine to regenerative Pluto in high-spirited Sagittarius.


Is it work or is it play? Just because you're serious about what you're doing doesn't mean you can't have a fine old time in the process. This week, while perceptive Mercury passes through your house of creativity and recreation, achieving results might not be as important as appreciating the steps you're taking. Whether it helps you tie up loose ends or answer questions that have been lingering at the back of your mind, this mercurial surge of brainpower could keep you organized for the rest of the year.


Even if none of it turns out to be the answer you want to hear, this week you'll gather more information about a family or real estate matter that has consumed you. Anytime a bunch of planets congregate in your fiery Leo nadir (the womb-to-tomb area of your solar chart), passions are bound to erupt. However, once the sun enters earthy Virgo and the Virgo new moon signals the start of something new, the intensity of those emotions may subside. Nonetheless, while your Venus ruler remains in Leo, know that some sparks will continue to fly.


A busy week, as your Mercury ruler contacts the planets that have a significant impact on your decision-making process. Watch what evolves as the Messenger opens another avenue of communication when it squares Jupiter on Friday. Over the weekend, you may realize the limitations that responsible Saturn imposes, but on Monday, when idealistic Neptune takes center stage, you might believe that anything you undertake is possible. Next Thursday, Mercury (and you) receives support and a possible resolution from powerful Pluto in your house of partners.


The new moon in early Virgo could introduce a new element into your regular pile of checks to cash and bills to pay. After the sun leaves playful and often extravagant Leo, you should notice that you're adopting a different attitude about financial matters, one more in keeping with the well-organized, “pay attention to the details” Virgo vibe. Whether this change will ultimately make a difference depends on if you're affected or not by the variety of planetary connections Mercury makes now that it's finally speeding along.


If an entire spectrum of ideas are coming at you fast and furiously and you're feeling overwhelmed, recognize the fact that speedy Mercury in your sign is attracting those ideas from four very different planetary energies. That being the case, maybe it'll be better to wait until next Thursday before you act on what you're thinking. Besides, the Virgo new moon midweek can alter the atmosphere when it adds another level of accountability to complicated financial matters as well as to routine trips to the market.


Most Virgins won't notice the impact the Virgo new moon makes on their day-to-day life. Unless your birthday falls really close to the Leo cusp, this lunation is likely to affect the area of your solar chart, the mysterious 12th house, that's hidden from view. Intrigued? Well, if you normally work behind the scenes or spend a lot of time in hospitals, darkrooms or ashrams, you're probably comfortable with these experiences. If not, then you may learn more about them and how you react than you knew before.


Feel like you're about to embark on a memorable spending spree? It's incentive enough that your Venus ruler is in luxury-loving Leo and trailing right behind information-gathering Mercury. What can really get you into the shops and onto the Net is how both planets are being provoked this week by expansive and expensive Jupiter in your Scorpio money house. You'd have to be a self-abnegating saint to resist the temptation to go all out and indulge your every whim. Or to favor your colleagues with goodies they don't expect.


The temptation to spend more than you normally would may grow as first Mercury and then Venus challenge generous Jupiter in your sign. No matter if you're binging on expensive back-to-school gear or enhancing your family's good name by contributing to a community project, it'll be hard to resist an opportunity to make a big splash. As pragmatic as the Virgo new moon might be, because it takes place at the top of your solar chart, where your reputation is made, it won't diminish the desire to extend your influence despite the cost.


This week's activities revolve around little Mercury and the questions that are raised when it contacts your gigantic Jupiter ruler on Friday. Matters concerning communication, sales or education can dominate discussions, especially those involving mentors and colleagues. But if Saturn raises a red flag on Sunday when it joins the conversation, prepare for some significant backpedaling. You might also incur unexpected expenses midweek when the two benefics, lucky Venus and even luckier Jupiter, test each other. Too much of a good thing rarely is.


It's usually an annual event only, so when curious Mercury meets your Saturn ruler on Sunday, pay attention to what's going through your mind, noticing if you're duly impressed by what you're hearing or reading. Mental dexterity may be one of your innate gifts, but even the smartest Goat in the herd shouldn't count on having it on hand all the time. This way, when the pragmatic Virgo new moon comes up with a project involving other people's money, e.g., an inheritance, you won't skim over the small print.


If your partner is determined to have his or her own way, then step back, shut up and see what happens when acquisitive Venus in your Leo marriage house tests the limits of Jupiter's generosity. The results can bring in more goodies than anticipated or wind up costing more than anyone bargained for. But taking chances seems to be the M.O. of choice right now. However, after the analytical Virgo new moon adds a note of caution to the astrological atmosphere, the situation could change. Not a lot, just enough.


It happens around this time every year: During the annual meeting of the sun and moon in Virgo, another partnership matter is raised. Sometimes it entails a situation at work, sometimes it centers on living together, and sometimes it doesn't concern you as much as it does your mate. The area affected pretty much depends on whether you're a February or a March Fish and on what degree of Pisces you have rising. However, it's safe to assume that you'll see and think more clearly the further into perceptive, practical Virgo we get.

LA Weekly