Martial law or the second American Revolution? For the first time in the 230-year history of the United States, born on the Fourth of July, 1776 – and according to the system of secondary progressions known as “a year for a day” – Mars will go retrograde. On July 22, 2006, the planet representing war, uprisings and individuality reverses direction at 19 degrees of Libra, the sign of alliances, compromise and the justice system. This is no sudden reversal; progressed Mars has been practically stationary for years. But summer 2006 marks a turning point; what happens in the next 70-plus years, while Mars is retrograde, is anybody's guess. On that note, here's the forecast for 2006, based on the transiting, not the progressed, planets. For Mercury retrograde dates, read Gemini.


If 2005 felt like a slowpoke of a year, with not enough happening to suit an adventurous, impatient Aries, you'll be pleased to learn that in 2006 your transiting Mars ruler does NOT go retrograde nor does it remain in one fixed sign (value-conscious Taurus) for six long months. Come mid-February, when Mars enters mutable, movable Gemini, this cooling-your-heels period is finis. During the rest of the year, Mars races through the next six signs, winding up in footloose Sagittarius, a hot-to-trot fire sign like your own. Best for romance: May through August.


The fire down below that has provided motivation, physical energy and temper tantrums for the last six months goes out when aggressive Mars exits Taurus just after Valentine's Day. Since you'll remain protected by generous Jupiter in your partnership house, you needn't worry that you'll be left on your own. Certainly not while your attractive Venus ruler visits Taurus in June or your Virgo house of romance and recreation in September. Schedule vacations accordingly. Best for financial finagling: May and June.


There may be more to the rhythm of the Twins' life than your Mercury ruler's retrograde schedule; nonetheless, here it is: From March 2 to 25, an issue concerning your career and/or a family situation could be stuck in limbo. A financial matter may be delayed while the Messenger backtracks through your Cancer money house from July 4 to 28. During the Halloween weekend, in the midst of major astrological events, Mercury turns retrograde in Scorpio until November 17. Where's the love? Starting at the summer solstice, peaking in October.


The eclipses of 2006 can significantly affect the Moon Child, so make a note: a lunar eclipse on the Ides of March, a total solar eclipse on the 29th, a partial lunar eclipse on September 7, another solar event just hours before the autumnal equinox. Restrictive Saturn in your Leo money house continues to teach the value of a dollar, while lucky Jupiter in your Scorpio house of romance risk says, “Take a chance.” Spruce up and lie back in mid-July, when both sociable Venus and Mercury retrograde are in your sign.


Check the Cancer forecast for eclipses, reminding yourself that the lunar ones increase your power while the solar ones diminish it. Saturn in your sign can be a bummer, but it could also strengthen your backbone (the Leo sore spot). Expansive Jupiter in your Scorpio home base preaches “spend, spend,” but be aware that the jolly giant tends to exaggerate. Neptune in your Aquarius marriage house continues to weave a magic spell, more so while artistic, affectionate Venus joins him during March. Money comes in fits and starts.


Read Gemini for your Mercury ruler's retrograde timetable, adding a couple of weeks before and after for dotting i's and making repairs. There's activity in your career zone (for the first time in two years) while assertive Mars transits your Gemini midheaven from mid-February through mid-April. However, Pluto opposing from home can put you in a tricky position, playing one determined force against another. Relationships continue to be erratic (except during April, when loving Venus visits your Pisces house of partners). As for money, another balancing act.


Since your amenable Venus ruler visits every sign in 2006, you'll have a shot at everyone: primarily, for the first two months, a respectable Capricorn; romance and/or recreation with an Aquarius in March; partnering with an Aries in May; traveling with a congenial companion in June; and bonding with your boss in the summer. Save October for yourself; that's when Venus, passionate Mars and the creative sun get together in your sign. As for finances, not to worry: Protective Jupiter has your money house covered.


The best news is that prosperous Jupiter remains in Scorpio until Thanksgiving, although while it is retrograde from March through June, you might not be quite as fortunate as you have been. However, Jupiter transiting your Sagittarius money house through 2007 will extend your run of good luck for another year. As long as unpredictable Uranus inhabits your Pisces house of risky ventures, nothing is a sure bet, but the odds improve while romantic Venus passes through in April. Opportunity knocks around your birthday; let it in.


2006 begins and ends with magnetic Venus in your house of income and assets. However, her charms might not attract a hot-blooded romantic interest until May or an agreeable partnership arrangement until she transits Gemini in late June and early July. Meanwhile, Mars passing through your marriage house in March could cause discomfort and unrest. If you intend to travel in early summer, when your Jupiter ruler is tested by Martian militancy and Saturn's regulations, be extra cautious. You don't need problems with the authorities.


The year starts off very well because fortunate Venus is in Capricorn until March; the next month, in your Aquarius house of assets, is also good, although you may wind up with more stuff than you bargained for. The goddess adds luster to romance while she transits sensuous Taurus in June. A partnership mindset may intensify in midsummer, but because your Saturn ruler is stressed-out then, keep a watchful eye on joint investments. Curry favor with receptive clients in October; reward yourself in December, when Venus is back in your sign.


It might not seem like a big deal, but having access to Chiron's healing powers gives Aquarians born in January a gift from the gods. Heavenly blessings are available to all while affable Venus visits your sign in March. June and July may be difficult because idealistic Neptune is threatened by a double dose of problems, i.e., Mars and Saturn in your Leo partnership house. Plus a turn of current events may exacerbate your dilemma. Finances continue to be governed by your Uranus ruler weathering Pisces' fluctuations.


One way to deal with Mercury retrograde in Pisces during March is to celebrate your birthday someplace where time stands still. Since precious little progress will be made during the retrogression, feel free to escape. If you want progress, wait until energetic Mars transits your Cancer house of creativity and romance in May. In July, Mercury's retrograde period could coincide with a visit from a former lover, because Venus is also in Cancer. Mercury's third reversal occurs while transiting your Scorpio house of foreign travel in November.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.