Even if you're home for the holidays, surrounded by your nearest and dearest, affectionate Venus, by flipping into reverse on Christmas Eve, could signal a sudden change of heart. Que sera sera; you'll deal with it. Nonetheless, the music should sound exceptionally fine as Mercury (the lyric) and Neptune (the melody) form a harmonious sextile. Christmas Day could be fairly uneventful, primarily because the sociable Libra moon is void from about 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST/11 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. If you're lighting Hanukkah candles, here's the sequence: Sunday, the first night, is for light; Monday's candle is for knowledge; Tuesday's is justice; Wednesday honors mercy; Thursday's is holiness; Friday is for love; New Year's Eve is patience; and on the first night of the new year, light the candle for courage.


Sorry to say, but the gift you really want to receive, the one you'd give yourself, might not arrive in time. It's not a matter of availability or willingness – you've had promises aplenty from generous Jupiterian partners – and the future still looks bright. No, blame your frustration on restrictive Saturn successfully blocking shots that your single-minded Mars ruler would like to take. On Tuesday, the two troublesome planets clinch their fixed-square aspect, which, for you, may feel like a chokehold. Patience.


Knowing the ebb and flow of your Venus ruler's movements should help you through the holidays. Early Saturday, Venus in sociable Aquarius turns retrograde until the Super Bowl. The cosmos might not go “clunk,” but your well-laid plans could still take a dive. If you're prepared for the random changes of heart that follow, you should be able to go with the flow. However, there's a possibility that aggressive Mars in your sign will provoke a nasty scene Tuesday, when a complicated family/real estate matter comes to a head. Have mercy.


Only Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius and Pisces natives have the solar system's official blessing this Christmas Eve. Team up with those folks so you can make the most of the pleasures offered when your Mercury ruler and spiritual Neptune form a positive alignment. The music will be more exquisite, the message more meaningful, in the company of compatible signs. But should some Sagittarians ask to tag along (and while Mercury travels through their neighborhood, they might), let them. One can provide comic relief, another may shed some light.


You don't need any more letters soliciting charitable contributions to hammer home the fact that this is the time to give 'til it hurts. There's enough planetary activity in your house of work, service, health and small animals to keep those concerns front and center through the end of the year. But if you're feeling a financial pinch (and with restrictive Saturn in your money house, why wouldn't you?), you could donate your time instead of a check. Remember, protective, prosperous Jupiter in your home zone ensures that you won't lack for comfort or joy.


July Leos could be so filled with the Christmas spirit that they're reacting more like sympathetic Moon Children to the needs of the less fortunate. No doubt they're the folks who are feeling the weight of Saturn in your sign. However, Lions born in August are probably regaling in the majesty of the season and the luxuries that accompany it. If you really want to stand out (and since your sun ruler favors inventive Uranus, you should), do something for a loved one that no one has ever done (or given) before. Originality and creativity may count more than the price tag.


If you like what you read for Gemini, hop onboard for a spiritual, musical Christmas Eve high. But if you can't let go of a convoluted experience from the past, feel free to revel in revenge, retribution and, let's hope, redemption – the stuff that juicy family sagas are made of. While your Mercury ruler sits on your nadir (the lowest point in your chart), you'll have no trouble dredging up memories and emotions that may have been buried since childhood. A ploy to use whenever there's a tribal get-together you want to avoid.


You might experience more than a momentary sense of displacement and disappointment as affable Venus shifts gears early Christmas Eve day. Don't let your ruling planet's reversal upset plans for the holiday week or, since Venus flips in the womb-to-tomb area of your chart, affect the way you feel about a relative. (However, as this tumultuous year ends, that's easier said than done.) During the next six weeks, or until Venus faces forward again, your landlord or realtor could play a significant role in your day-by-day comings and goings.


One of the joys (or curses) of gift-giving time is that it energizes your second house and your ability to generate money. Whether this tendency helps or hinders your involvement in a walk-on-eggs relationship is something your passionate Mars co-ruler will eventually determine. But not during this holiday week, while Mars is being restrained by Saturn's heightened sense of propriety and tradition. The problematic square aspect between the planets that represent sons and fathers comes at an inopportune time for everyone except athletes and their coaches.


Be grateful that you can turn on a dime and go with the flow, particularly if Venus' about-face on Friday throws almost every other sign into a panic. And while it's not your job to improvise alternative plans, it's something you do well. This week, you are also adept at inventing excuses or, if you prefer, reasonable rationales. Count on eloquent Mercury in your sign to provide the appropriate words for whatever occasion does pop up. However, since Mercury is fast approaching its annual meeting with secretive Pluto, please don't inadvertently spill the beans.


As 2005 winds down, let it go. The last week of the last month of the old year is also the last quarter of the lunar cycle that began when December began. Except for exchanging gifts, feasting, toasting and graciously accepting happy-birthday wishes, wait until the Capricorn new moon on the 30th before initiating anything new. That event, even more than January 1, marks the beginning of the cycle – be it for a lunar month or a solar year – that'll have a major impact on your personal life. So what are you wishing for?


It won't last forever, about another five years, but while idealistic, artistic Neptune is in Aquarius, make the most of the high points it offers. Appropriately enough, one of those opportunities arrives on Christmas Eve, when expressive Mercury and Neptune align. Although that might not be the best present you receive this holiday season, it's the one that could make you appear more glamorous, perhaps a bit more spiritual, than you really are. Fooling some of the people some of the time is also a gift; put it to good use while you can.


The few times during the year that the creative sun favors inventive Uranus in your sign are moments to savor. They can present an opportunity to put your innate intuition to work so that you'll come up with something unique or so ahead of its time that it truly is “far out.” One of those relatively rare occasions arises on the 28th, so try to stay tuned for the idea that'll finish off 2005 in style. If it also adds to your reputation at work, so much the better, but if there is absolutely no practical application, if it's as ephemeral and abstract as those you often get, that's okay, too.

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