Prepare for Aggression 

For the week of March 21-27, 2012.

Don't be surprised if you or those around you are speaking in harsher tones. Planetary patterns strike a strident chord this week. Gone is the soothing, throaty voice of Venus, who "speaks low when she speaks love." She's pulled away from her perfect union with Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto, and as she separates, her dulcet tones lessen (yes, I really miss her presence), causing hearts to grow less fond and interactions to turn more aggressive. Also be prepared for increasingly jarring interruptions and intrusions that fray nervous systems already overloaded from the intensity of the dual retrograde of Mercury and Mars. But that's not all. Nervous systems are also challenged by unpredictable shifts of circumstance, some of which manifest as complete reversals of fortune (some for better, some for worse), and some that are simply breathtakingly senseless. It's not an easy week. But it's still possible to skillfully navigate the days and nights, especially if you're willing to be kind, first.

Not only is Venus ending her brief and powerful participation in the Grand Trine between Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto, but Mars, still retrograde until April 14, is also pulling away, and as a result, the vim and vigor of the last few weeks — the "I can do anything" attitude — is dissipating. Remember, Mars has been retrograde in Virgo since January 23. (I know — who could forget?) And since that time we have been reviewing the details of things set in motion since mid-November. Don't be surprised if you start to experience retrograde fatigue during these final weeks. Mars thrives on motion, and three months of Mars moving behind instead of ahead is taking a toll on even the most patient among us.

Mercury Retrograde is also upon us, but the good news is that this retrograde continues to be anything but normal. While the snafus associated with a retrograde are still likely to occur, the stagnant "why won't anything move?" signature is missing. Lots of things are moving — even things you wish would hold still. And that's because Uranus dominates how the retrograde plays out — at least for this week. Uranus is conjunct Mercury, in Aries, and on March 20, the Sun joined forces with both Mercury and Uranus, as it moved into Aries, signaling the start of spring.

Mercury symbolizes all things related to communication. Uranus represents innovation and invention. The Sun signifies the fire of life. And when all three combine in an astro mélange-a-trois, nobody and nothing is moving backward. Period. Especially not in Aries, the fiery Sign of forward motion and irrepressible action. This powerful alliance is sure to stir strong desires for reform and revolution of all sorts, not just political, although protests for freedom are likely to surge in frequency and intensity. Also expect personal protests, in the form of divorce or defiance. This triple conjunction inspires the need to break free from whatever enslaves, whether the shackles that bind are real or imaginary.

As you work your way through the week, do your best to make kindness your first response. It's easy to forget, especially when the air is charged with revolution, that we are all in this caldron of change together.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.

ARIES Rather than spending valuable time and energy modifying your behavior around the needs of others, try something bold: Delight in your strength and revel in your intensity.

TAURUS You're still in a highly inspired state of mind, so continue to allow yourself to polish your dreams and visions. Be aware that the details of your plans aren't obstacles to be overcome; they are part of the creative process.

GEMINI Emotionally charged conversations with colleagues could put you in a tizzy, but don't believe everything you hear. Use a discerning ear to grasp the bigger picture.

CANCER Own your ambition, and let it teach you more about who you are. Contemplate your motive for recognition, and allow that insight to create a deeper understanding of what's needed for your success.

LEO While you're seldom seen as a revolutionary, at the core, your innate creativity drives a desire for positive change. Devote yourself to do doing whatever is necessary to live in the heat of that creative fire.

VIRGO You're still in an identity crisis, as Mars Retrograde continues to focus on refining your image. Continue to participate in this process, and eventually you'll feel reborn and renewed.

LIBRA Be willing to release any stagnant relationship patterns that keep you mired in old behavior that no longer serves you. Let go of how it should be, and you'll have a much easier time coping with what is.

SCORPIO Work-related issues could challenge your natural cool, especially decisions by others that seem based on emotion rather than reality. Breathe, deeply, and consider every angle, before you reply.

SAGITTARIUS Seize the creative moment, and make your mantra, "I gotta be me. I gotta be free." And then do whatever it takes to stay true to that intention.

CAPRICORN There's a revolution occurring deep within, and it's quite likely that your external world needs to accommodate the internal changes. Just remember to "make nice" with the other children.

AQUARIUS You won't be able to hold back your opinions, and repressing your ideas will only have you blurting things you might later regret. So share your ideas, confidently, and try to listen to others with the same intensity.

PISCES Stay open to surprising opportunities to improve your finances. Just be sure to avoid get-rich-quick schemes. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

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