Welcome mat in front of house

Home sweet home?

Mars, planet of conflict and strife, enters the zodiac sign of Cancer on July 13. This could transform the peaceful sanctuary that you come home to into an occupied territory. Mars will be here through August 27, so expect to spend a lot of time putting out fires raging between loved ones, in-laws and aggressive neighborhood pets. The good news about Mars in Cancer is that it favors the culinary arts. If there were ever a time to take a cooking class or to try your luck on Top Chef, then this would be it.


ARIES (March 20-April 18)

You can expect a lot of family drama this week thanks to the new moon occulting Mercury in the zodiac sign of Cancer. This will involve a querulous sibling, rancorous in-law or bleating black sheep. You'll want to steer clear, but that may not be an option. The best thing to do is listen to what this person has to say with an open mind and heart. Just because the delivery is wrong doesn't mean the message isn't right — and it could be something worth heeding.


TAURUS (April 19-May 19)

Be careful what you say on Monday and Tuesday, because it can (and will) be used against you. It's always wise to plead the fifth when Mercury is in retrograde. Whether you spoke out of turn or your words are being taken out of context, it doesn't really matter. You can't control what people think and the more you try to explain, the deeper you will sink. Adopt the quicksand rule, which is to stop struggling and relax. Someone will be along soon (either July 16 or 17) to lend a hand.


GEMINI (May 20-June 19)

Mercury cazimi on July 9 will bring a flash of brilliance. This is when you will see your way out of that corner you painted yourself into. But don't expect to act on this insight right away. Not only is your timing off — Mercury doesn't come out of retrograde until July 20 — but the circumstances aren't as conducive as they could be. Take this time to formulate a step-by-step plan. Connecting the dots will lead you out of the maze and back into the free and clear.


CANCER (June 20-July 21)

You have a stellium of planets gathering together in your zodiac sign. A stellium is when there are four or more planets in one sign. If there was ever a time to go for what you want, then it would be now. Not only will you achieve whatever you set your mind to, but you'll fulfill your heart's desire as well. Your most auspicious dates are July 9, 17, 19 and 20. Don't waste them by putting off for another time what you can do on these days.


LEO (July 22-Aug. 21)

You always want to be especially careful when the sun (your ruler) is traveling through the part of your solar horoscope that pertains to secret enemies and self-undoing. But this isn't quite as cloak-and-dagger as it sounds. Oftentimes, it's in our efforts to avoid disaster that we run headlong into it. Everyone makes mistakes, takes short cuts for the sake of expediency or tells a white lie. Show total transparency in everything you do, and you'll get through this time with barely a rap on the knuckles.


VIRGO (Aug. 22-Sept. 21)

You were born under a zodiac sign that can't say "no" to people in need. You'll stop what you're doing to help out a friend or an old lady cross the street. It's in your nature. What's not in your nature is to ask for anything in return, which is why you sometimes feel used and abused. Charity rewards those who give of themselves, and this could materialize as money, a favor or benefit by midweek. It's nice, but the richer reward will be your rekindled faith in humanity.


LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 21)

You recently experienced real problems in your romantic and professional relationships — and you were a good sport while these people acted out in crazy ways. Thankfully, Jupiter in Cancer shows that you are no longer at the mercy of their volatile moods and reckless actions. Not only do they realize what a good thing they have, but they also know that they can't make it without you. You're glad that they finally came to their senses. They can compensate you for the trouble they put you through.


SCORPIO (Oct. 22-Nov. 20)

Different zodiac signs are inspired in different ways. Earth signs are inspired by money, air signs by the people they meet and fire signs always blaze into life when the conversation centers on them. Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are inspired by images through memories, dreams and fantasies. With the new moon in Cancer, this gives you easy access to the right side of your brain. Spend quality time with your imagination and it will return the favor by endowing you with rich ideas, profound thoughts and soulful insights.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 21-Dec. 20)

Feeling like you've been taken advantage of these days? It's to be expected when the moon occults the sun in the part of your solar horoscope that relates to debts — financial, emotional or karmic. You've been there for other people, but it doesn't feel like they've been there for you. During times like this, it's important to remember that what you're feeling is just a feeling — and feelings change. The mood will lift by next week. Meanwhile, don't do anything rash. You don't want to cut off your nose to spite your face.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 18)

You've recently become a little self-absorbed, putting in long hours at the office while you chase after the almighty dollar. It happens to the best of workaholics — and this would be fine if you lived alone, but you don't. Listen to loved ones when they say that they miss spending time with the real you, and work with associates who want to help shoulder the burden. Life can be lonely at the top, but it doesn't have to be. Take this opportunity to change the outcome before you get there.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 19-Feb. 17)

You're a big believer in mind over matter, which gives you keen intellect and non-stop energy. But sometimes you can wind up running on empty, and that's when your body will pull the plug on that supposedly impervious mind of yours. If you find yourself nodding off in the middle of the day or fueling up on whatever is in the refrigerator, then you need to reexamine your health regimen. Treat your body like the temple it is — and it will shelter, protect and nurture you.


PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19)

You're often accused of being adrift or at sea, but this all changes when Mars — the planet of "I want that" — enters the part of your solar horoscope that pertains to love and romance on July 13. Mars is famous for elbowing its way to the front of the line. If this means pushing some boney a** b**** to one side or stepping on the toes of some possessive "friend," then you'll do it. You're playing for high stakes in love, and you won't settle for second best.

More horoscopes

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Your annual love horoscope for 2013


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