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Brussels, Friday, November 10, 2006

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Turning the Tide

MOST people in the United States do not know what they have [probably] avoided with this week's election miracle, basically because they're not quite up to considering such a possibility. We Americans tend to be extremely naïve about politics, and always greet the future with hope and a barbecue. That's why it's possible for abuses of the kind we've witnessed endlessly for six years (more, really) to go on unchecked until finally someone, some other factor, speaks up -- and even that is extremely rare.
I have been wondering every single day when we would get the message of the torture and sexual abuse of prisoners in Iraq (whom we were supposedly saving from tyranny). I've been wondering when we would get sick of seeing American GIs bashing in the doors of poor Iraqi families; when we would get fed up with the Guantanamos and extraordinary rendition and torture flights; when we would finally find compassion for our sons and daughters coming home with missing limbs, brain trauma, blind and deaf, or packed on ice in metal caskets.
I have wondered every day when we would figure out that we possessed responsibility for the lives of up to a quarter million Iraqis (so far) who have been killed and maimed under bombs or in the crossfire, and the generations of people throughout the Middle East who will be inhaling the residue of our depleted uranium shells for a century.
And I've wondered when we would sicken at the cost of this mayhem, now estimated at more than two trillion dollars (that is to say, $2,000,000,000,000.00 and counting) -- a cost that will be borne by our grandchildren and their children, in addition to economically strangling the current generation of Americans. That is not money. It is the life force energy of our people, because money is generated by human effort and creativity.
I have also been wondering when we would notice that gay-bashing went from a relatively contained problem to a vast national movement. And, just personally, between you, me and the world, if I were a parent and heard that the public schools were teaching a religion-based "abstinence only" program to my children, I would be back with a legal team and seek a federal injunction to stop it.
Apparently, some of this -- we don't know what or how much -- got through to some people the past few weeks. Americans tend to vote their emotions. We are an emotionally cut-off society, and behold, something came through; we actually felt something and responded. Thankfully, there were too many separate races on the ground for Karl Rove to steal them all. Convicting Saddam on a Sunday did not work. The "Rev." Ted Haggard turning out to be gay helped the gay and lesbian cause a lot. The timing was impeccable. The heroic woman I kept seeing in the charts for this time of year turned out to be a male prostitute.
Yet understood properly, this week's election victory is strictly symbolic; it is a statement of intent; an unfulfilled promise. It is, to borrow from Martin Luther King, a check that has not yet cleared the bank. The war, widely supported by Democrats and renounced by nearly none of them, even as the layers of fraud have poured out of the closet, will most likely go on for a long time. Long after we leave Iraq, the mayhem will continue (remember Cambodia). Even Marco Polo, who traveled the region (then known as Iraq, as it is today) in the 13th century, commented in his diaries on the brutality of the country's people against one another when they lack a strong leader.
The measures that the Bush administration has put in place to disembowel our Constitution still exist, and will exist, for years. Halliburton still has its contract to build prison camps in the United States. Dick Cheney is still breathing. And I'll accept that Bush will leave office on Jan. 21, 2009, the day after someone else is inaugurated. Not the day before, an hour before, or five minutes before.
The Good Guys?

The image that most Americans have of their country is based on World War II movies, which always have us coming in to save the day. We tend to remember Patton and forget about Coming Home or Born on the 4th of July. Patton is the truth and Coming Home is just the result of an unfortunate 25-year era filled with dope, longhaired hippies, groovy chicks and protests. The United States is always the good guys. For this reason only, we can go into Iraq claiming to be doing the world a big favor, swearing it has nothing to do with Halliburton, oil or the vicious hatred of Muslims that has in recent years become a holy sacrament.
It is true that millions of people, most of them sporting plenty of gray hair, protested the imminent war on Feb. 15, 2003, under that blazing Leo Full Moon. But the other half of the country, the one that doesn't come out on a cold day and march in the streets, was sure enough that Bush was right about Saddam being the one who took out the World Trade Center, that they agreed we better go in and clean things up -- just like we did in 1942. Just like Grandpa Sam and Uncle Howard did.
While we think we're saving the day, someone else is busy stealing it from us. It may be that on Tuesday, we stole it back. Maybe. Maybe. I have participated in politics too long to be sure of anything of the kind. Everyone I know in politics agrees this is big news. Bigger than Fitz indicting Rove. Bigger than Dick Cheney quitting. Equivalent to what dumping Bush in 2004 would have meant.
Yet we have seen Democrats collapse, even under just a little pressure, time and time again. And we have seen how manipulative the Current Occupant is. Even as it promises cooperation with the new Congress, the Bush administration is trying to push through the old Congress the Bolton nomination as permanent US delegate to the United Nations, and something called the Terrorist Surveillance Act, which would institutionalize spying on Americans.
Ah yes, all in good faith. And that is what we can actually see and hear. We don't know if Nancy Pelosi has quietly been issued a death threat by one of Dick Cheney's flunkies. Hey, it's easy. And all we need is something vaguely resembling a second 9/11, or something worse, for all bets to be off.
Besides congratulations on turning out the vote, congratulations on caring, and my deepest gratitude to the bloggers who kept the issues alive and really pulled this one out more than anyone, here is what I am saying.
This is not the time to think we won and it's all gonna be chill. It's the time to start participating more intensely, with greater sobriety and less hope. We need to stalk our congressional representatives, be on a first name basis with their aides, know what their local offices look like, and actually know what is happening in our government. We have earned the potential for influence; that is different than power.
Will we use it? Politics is tedious, hard work, and most people who get involved are extremely neurotic, and they confuse power and pleasure. You lose more rounds than you win. It's not like eating ice cream or taking your dog to the beach. Until you get really, really good at it, politics is nowhere near as much fun as going to work.
But somebody has to do it. I nominate us.
Mercury Transit of the Sun

Now that I have that off my chest, Tuesday and Wednesday were certainly interesting days astrologically. I would go so far as to say they were promising and in many ways completely strange. From a distance, however, it did not look too hopeful -- it all looked very slippery to me. I guess it's just a matter of who slipped.
Retrograde Mercury in Scorpio made an exact conjunction to Venus in Scorpio. This was exactly 90 degrees from Neptune in Aquarius -- the cosmic happy pill we've all been swallowing since the late 1990s, sending a little shockwave through that energy pattern. Simultaneously, everything aligned on another plane of space: Venus and Mercury were parallel Neptune (somewhat like an exact conjunction, but subtler); and the next day, Mercury crossed the disk of the Sun, called a transit (a parallel plus a conjunction simultaneously). Each one of these events is rare; putting them together is extraordinary, and something extraordinary happened.
For Aries Point fans, the focus of this activity was right at the center of the fixed signs, which are on a 90-degree harmonic with the first degree of the zodiac. In other words, the midpoint of the fixed signs is directly connected to the beginning of the cardinal signs. So the superaspect involving the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Neptune also picked up the Aries Point, amplifying its effects many times. I completely missed this, the total sum, before the fact, and have only put it together in the past couple of days.
[Think of it this way: 1 Aries is 45 degrees from 15 Taurus, a semi-square (much like a square). That puts the two into a high-energy relationship. Thus, the 1 Aries, 1 Cancer, 1 Libra and 1 Capricorn (collectively, the "Aries Point") are all related to 15 Taurus, 15 Leo, 15 Scorpio and 15 Aquarius, the heart of the fixed cross. Tuesday's astrology occurred at around 15 Scorpio and 15 Aquarius, relating it directly to the Aries Point. The operative aspects are semi-square (45 degrees) and sesquiquadrate (135 degrees). Thank you Madalyn at Astrolabe for explaining the Uranian astrology to me.]
Of all these events, the Mercury transit of the Sun is the one that points to the beginning of a new era, particularly given where it was placed in relation to the Aries Point. Think of Mercury etching a line across the Sun, or as Mercury eclipsing the Sun. The small meets the great; the Mercury boomerang that has been thrown at us again and has again finally came back and clocked the King (the Sun) on the head.
Consider that at every defining moment of the Bush administration, Mercury has been the most prominent planet, and the alignments have been strikingly well timed and precise. The two events we're most familiar with were the election of 2000 and the coup d'etat of Sept. 11.
With the first, Mercury stationed direct in the last degree of Libra the night of the 2000 election, just as the polls closed in Florida. Bush, who lost the popular vote and should have lost the electoral vote, won the presidency.
With the second, Mercury was rising, exact to the degree, in Libra, just as the Sept. 11 incident manifested. An event that required the governments negligence to happen at all became the weapon used against us over and over again.
These are old examples -- but they are salient, and they fit a much larger pattern. The sequence of events Tuesday into Wednesday fits the pattern closely, with a grouping of exact aspects tightly focused on Mercury at center stage.
The Future

Unless we are playing Nostradamus, we cannot really say what this holds for the future. There are too many X-factors involved, one of which is how desperate people will react when their situation becomes genuinely desperate. But we can generally describe the climate: the progressed Sun of an important United States chart now in Pisces (since election day 2004), which is just another way of saying that we've got some things to talk about here beside the rising tide. We will get to some of them next week.
And hey, maybe it was all written in the stars after all. Here are my comments on 2006 from Parallel Worlds.

In This Issue

I asked Judith Gayle, the Planet Waves news editor (and editor of Political Waves), to pull together a basic lesson in congressional civics. This, she valiantly did on the way out the door to visit her family in California. Jude has been a tireless guardian of truth on the Planet Waves team, relentlessly pushing the edge of awareness. That article is first, followed by links to additional articles she has selected. Jude does not enjoy the readership scale of truthout -- but she should. She is one of the sanest, most assertive voices speaking to the current political climate. She will be taking a break for a few weeks, but her daily service is posted by blog or Google Groups list.

I've included an FAQ from a British paper that helps explain what the House of Representatives is.
I've posted a recent Garrison Keillor article as well -- he has been just brilliant lately (as usual), one of our greatest American literary treasures.

Here some additional news items selected by Jude that cover this week's developments.
Today's horoscope is the short version, courtesy of Woman magazine, and the birthday report for Scorpios will be available Monday -- I'm a little too close to the end of today's wick right now to plot out anyone's astrology for a year. Thank you Scorpios who are have solar returns this weekend for your patience.
Planet Waves will be daily next week for the third week, as I am again standing in for Yasmin Boland.

Congressional Civics Lesson, Part One
By Judith Gayle of Political Waves

We have the Senate
-- in what the newsies are calling a "seismic" political change. AP has called Virginia for Webb and Montana for Tester... Allen has conceded; can't help but wonder what dirt a thorough recount might find in VA and that may be one of Allen's considerations in this issue-- but Conrad Burns in MT refuses to give.

So while the matter of the Senate winds slowly toward conclusion, and a whole new set of political variables, the House is in turmoil and flurry of activity trying to figure out who gets to do what. Their internal campaign season has just begun.

For twelve long years, the Democratic party has been either hobbled or, more recently, powerless. We haven't worried about infighting and internal issues very much... the Blue peccadillo's have been so tame and listless compared to the Red. And whatever was going on in the Blue camp meant little compared to what the Reds were doing to the nation and the world. All that changed on Tuesday night. We've got a whole new ball game.

Eric has suggest that we take a look at how Congress works, what it does, with an eye to the House. House Representatives are elected every two years, their number proportionate to their states population. The Speaker of the House is elected by the members. The House was designed by the Founders to be sensitive to, and speak for, the public, as opposed to the Senate that speaks for the state government. That makes the House more partisan and more emotional -- the Senate can distance from public sentiment in its workings; it's members are elected every six years, and are insulated somewhat from constant fund-raising and campaigning.

In order to pass legislation, a bill has to be approved by both bodies of Congress. The two were designed to be check and balance on the other, and on presidential power. 

According to Wiki:
The House was granted its own exclusive powers: the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach officials, and elect the President in electoral college deadlocks. The Senate, however, can propose amendments to spending bills, try impeached officials, and choose the Vice President in an electoral college deadlock. The Senate and its members generally have greater prestige than the House since Senators serve longer terms (six years) in a smaller body and (in most cases) represent larger constituencies than Representatives.
The House has authority over the money -- the old notion that the House is the lower body while the Senate is the higher had to be reconsidered after watching Tom DeLay "hammer" the system over the last years. Greed and corruption found its match in Tom -- and he kept the House in line, the money flowing into the right hands, the committees salted with his buddies and the oversight overlooked. The House Speaker also sets the agenda of those pieces of legislation of which it approves -- so in Very Red hands the House simply did nothing at all with the Democrats propositions and bills -- they went under-reported, overlooked and virtually dead in the water.
The Speaker is the chair of his or her party's steering committee, which chooses the chairmen of standing committees. The Speaker determines which committees consider bills, appoints most of the members of the Rules Committee, and appoints all members of conference committees.

The House uses committees (as well as their subcommittees) for a variety of purposes, including the review of bills and the oversight of the executive branch. The appointment of committee members is formally made by the whole House, but the choice of members is actually made by the political parties. Generally, each party honors the preferences of individual congressmen and congresswomen, giving priority on the basis of seniority.
The Chairmanship of committees is a big deal, as the committees set agenda and provide oversight -- for instance, in the Senate John McCain has expected to take over as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee when John Warner stepped down next year. If the Senate is Blue, that won't happen -- one of their own will take that position. Biden, perhaps. BIG difference. BIG.

So there's our little civics lesson -- the House controls the money, its portion of oversight and it also has the power to propose impeachment, which is why all the fuss about subpoena powers has dominated the conversation these last weeks.

The Senate also has powerful committees responsible for oversight of the executive, subpoena power and the responsibility of vetting and deciding nominations; as well, the president cannot ratify a treaty without their "advice and consent." There are two Senators from each state -- and the Vice President is designated President of the Senate, with the ability to break a tie with his/her vote... which is why MT and VA are important here -- it puts the Dems PAST Uncle Dicks vote. In order for a bill to become law -- lets say passed up through the House -- it requires a 2/3rds majority of Senate approval.

If you do the math, in the likely event that the Dems take the Senate, they will STILL need friendly Pubs in order to move their agenda. We're looking at potential gridlock. And in order to overcome a presidential veto -- of which, until now, stem cell has been Bush's only "power of the pen" moment [if you discount signing statements] -- the Dems fall woefully short without Republican assistance.

In my mind, the gains we've made in the last days are clearly more about visibility than about the "hammer" power the Pubs have enjoyed. There will be an actual debate on our issues -- missing these last years. The cogs will turn more slowly. Those who have been afraid of climbing on the Blue Train will be encouraged again... we may see defections, many of them. If the public approves of what the Blue tries to do in Congress, and sees the Republicans as impediment to reform it makes the mix much more fertile for '08. But first... the Dems have to figure out who they are [and frankly its a little late in the game, as we know.]

The behind the scenes battle that has interested me most has been between Clintoneque, big-money K-Street shmoozer Rahm Emmanuel, and Howard Dean with his 50 State plan. Emmanuel is leader of Democratic Leadership Council, stumping for the moderate and centerist -- Dean is a progressive. Emmanuel has gotten the publicity... but Dean has done the grassroots work he's famous for. This is still the split -- corporate coziness and mainstream "stay the course" politics or populist, progressive sentiment. I've included a note from Howard, below, that says what I think needs saying -- that says what I think needs shouting!

The Rahm Emmanuel proponents want to shift to the middle-ground, citing a new group of Blue Dog Democrats, moderate on social issues -- the Old Guard folks like Murtha and Kennedy and Kerry want something with more blood flowing through its veins. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi has vowed to make nice... today she lunches with the Dubby and says she wants civil discourse.

We'll see how long that lasts. I don't take exception with the need to work together... the numbers tell the tale; we need one another. But slapping a Blue face on a Red agenda is nonsense -- and if there isn't a real hands-across-the-aisle movement within the first few days then I say pull out the stops and don't dilly-dally to see if the Pubs come around. 

The election was a mandate on the war -- Rummy's leaving and the Bush-proposed kinder, gentler Rummy isn't going to change that and the Congress can push and prod but not change much but tone. If Presidential power has never been obvious before, Bush and Iraq has brought it to the forefront -- if all the Blue can accomplish is limiting his acquisition of MORE, then... that's still progress!

And -- regarding that New Rummy -- its obvious to everyone with an understanding of the Bush Dynasty that Pappy's back... that Junior has screwed the pooch again and Old George had to come pick up the pieces; we can think of the last six years as Dubbys "frat years" -- now the grown ups have come to town. GHWB is more a gentleman, more a diplomat, more a pragmatist... but he's still a Bush and he's still a power-monger. The Red doesn't need a face lift -- it needs a post-mortem.

So now... the real game begins.

Americans wants change -- she's made that profoundly clear. And we can't afford more than a few days playing out a range war in the House or the Senate among the various shades of Blue.

FAQ The House of Representatives
The Guardian, Thursday November 9, 2006
Link to Original

What is the balance of power between the House of Representatives and the Senate?
As far as proposing and voting laws, the Senate and House of Representatives are equal. Both can initiate and block legislation. They have to meet to reconcile their differences, but that often goes nowhere. If they agree on a bill and the president vetoes it, both chambers must vote by a two-thirds majority to override the veto. Both can launch inquiries and issue subpoenas.

The Senate has some special powers: it must ratify international treaties and confirm the president's choice of top officials and senior judges. In the event of impeachment, the House plays prosecutor, but the Senate is the judge.

The House speaker is third in line in the presidential succession. The speaker also has much more control of her chamber than the majority leader in the Senate, whose members are more independent.

Now the Democrats control the House, can they change things?

They control the House agenda. They will assume control of the powerful committees and can reintroduce a system of checks and balances absent from the Bush presidency. Before the election, Democrats pledged to examine the administration's conduct of the war in Iraq and national security matters, including surveillance operations and implementation of the recommendations of the congressional report into 9/11.

What about the domestic agenda?

Nancy Pelosi, the new Democratic speaker of the House, said the priorities would be to "restore civility, integrity and fiscal responsibility. We will start by cleaning up Congress, breaking the link between lobbyists and legislation, and commit to pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending." She promised to raise the minimum wage, promote stem-cell research, research alternative fuel sources and fight privatisation of social security.

Are the Democrats united?

Despite the discipline and unity shown during the campaign, there are divisions. Many of the committees will be under the control of a liberal old guard in the House. However, many of the new entrants stood on platforms that would be deemed socially conservative in some Liberal areas such as San Francisco. Democrat candidates ran successfully across the country on pro-life, pro-gun, tough-on-immigration tickets.

Can President Bush ignore the new Democratic force?

With the president retaining a veto over legislation passed by the House, there may be limits to what can be accomplished. But the House can work to stymie the administration's agenda too, and it can force the president's hand by sending him legislation he has little choice but to veto. ++

What's right and good doesn't come naturally. You have to stand up and fight for it - as if the cause depends on you, because it does. Allow yourself that conceit - to believe that the flame of Democracy will never go out as long as there's one candle in your hand.
~ Bill Moyers

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

A Hint of Possibility in the Air
By Garrison Keillor, The Chicago Tribune
Wednesday 08 November 2006
Link to Original

So now we have thrown some rascals out and left some rascals in power and sent some new folks to Washington to learn the art of rascality, and what in the end, after all the hoopla, will really change? Or will the town drunk continue to run the municipal liquor store?

Perhaps there will be some rational debate on the war. The voters have said they don't want the 30 Years War that Vice President Dick Cheney envisions, so it's time for him and his friend to start making other arrangements. This happens all the time in the real world. If you can't accomplish the mission, then you accept it and find a graceful way out.

The health insurance crisis may be addressed, and the crippled behemoth that is Homeland Security. And surely Congress will rediscover the use of the subpoena and require public servants to account for themselves under oath. This would be a novelty. After six years of ingenious spin, we could get a history lesson while we're still young enough to profit from it.

People still care deeply about our government, despite every invitation to disillusionment. This is the astonishment. For my generation, the first big blow was the failure of Washington to get to the truth about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and then its inability to change a disastrous course in Vietnam. You stand at the majestic polished wall with the 57,000 names on it, and you look across the river to Arlington, and here, within one mile, are two enormous aching sorrows, and a mile behind you is the U.S. Supreme Court, which threw the election of 2000. Some people killed our president and got away with it; men were shipped off to die in a lousy war promulgated by Democrats afraid to be called weak on communism; and an election was stolen, no protest. And yet we still stroll down to the church and cast our ballots. We live on hope.

Forty years ago I drove to Baltimore for a friend's wedding and then, on a powerful urge, veered off toward Washington. It was night. I drove through a confusing grid of diagonals and circles, saw the great dome illuminated, drove up to it and parked and walked in. You could do that then. A few cops stood around, and you strolled past them and into the rotunda, and stood dazed and humbled in this space where great men had moved. The tragedy of secession was played out in these halls, and the New Deal was launched, and FDR was carried up here after Pearl Harbor to declare World War II, after which wise men designed the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe and the GI Bill of Rights that built an American middle class.

It has been a long time since we had reason to be proud of these people, though they are essentially the same people as those who accomplished great things. So what's wrong?

One problem with Congress is that 90 percent of it is ceremonial and so little has to do with elucidation. The Honorable meets with representatives of the American Beer Can Association, the Swizzle Stick Foundation, the League of Tutu Manufacturers, and poses for photos and listens to their pitches, and then goes to the floor and proclaims Eugene P. Fenstermaker Day, and then to a subcommittee hearing to read a two-page statement praising the arts as a triumphant manifestation of the human spirit, and then back to the office to welcome 10 fat men in beanies and the 4-Hers from Hooperville, then off to the banquet of the American Ferret Federation, and seldom during the day is the Honorable ever challenged or questioned or asked to listen to anything that wasn't vetted and paid for. The Great Personage is either regarded with servile deference or heartily abused by bloggers. This is not a good life for an inquiring mind.

You meet congressmen in private and they're perfectly thoughtful and well-spoken people, nothing like the raging idiots they impersonate in campaign ads, and you think, maybe Congress needs more privacy. Send them off on unchaperoned trips to see the world firsthand. More closed-door caucuses where they can say what they think without worrying that one stray phrase may kill them.

Or maybe Congress simply needed more Democrats. We are a civil bunch, owing to our contentious upbringings. With a smart, well-spoken woman for speaker instead of that lumbering, mumbling galoot who covered for the Current Occupant, perhaps life will get more interesting. Maybe they'll do something good. It's possible.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, November 10, 2006, #636 - By ERIC FRANCIS

Scorpio Birthday Report will be published Monday. Thank you for your patience.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Strange times, yes? Suddenly it seems everything is so meaningful and every emotion reaches deep into the core. But you may have your doubts as to the truth of what others are feeling. This is not a time to press the issue, but rather to do your best to trust yourself. Having faith in love mainly means faith in your ability to love. Family Focus: Teach kids that there are at least two sides to every discussion.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You certainly have your hands full. If you have the feeling that you really lack any clue as to where others stand or what their intentions are, take the question on board and make sure your own motives are clear, and that your real needs are on the table. Stick to what matters most to you, the rest will work out. Family Focus: Don't let financial pressures get to you. A solution is around the corner.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Try to stay out of the chaos at work, even though you seem to be in the middle of it. Practice detachment, don't argue, say as little as possible and listen very carefully. A whole plot is unfolding, in which you only play a supporting role, if you could call it that. If you don't make things worse, they will get better. Family Focus: Whatever kids tell you, you'll need to interpret like Sherlock Holmes.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Anything, everything and everyone can feed your inspiration. Even the most boring people you meet will remind you that the only way to succeed is to dare. When it comes to encounters with those the very closest to you, remember to state your feelings sincerely, but also to be mindful of the limits of words. Family Focus: Children may make no sense at all this week; keep your sense of humor.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
You may need to spend extra time out of the house, particularly if you feel the walls are closing in. I suggest you do anything you need to do to keep your outlook positive, and to keep focus on solutions rather than problems. A little change of perspective will go a long way toward improving your state of mind. Family Focus: It may yet be a few weeks before you understand a complex emotional matter.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You will need to endure another week or two of this strange confusion. However, you're in the midst of the perfect psychic weather to investigate your feelings deeply, particularly where a matter from the distant past, or even childhood, is concerned. The clues you seek will come your way, if your eyes and ears are open. Family Focus: You are now free to leave a difficult emotional burden behind.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You need to guard your emotional stability this week, and beware of influences that knock you off balance. Over the next few days you may need to stop and adjust yourself quite a few times. Above all else, it's vital that you monitor how you're feeling at all times, so that you can do something about it if you need to. Family Focus: Don't let a financial crisis bother you much -- it will work out very well.
(Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
This may well be the strangest week of your life, which is saying a lot for a Scorpio. But it will lack nothing for intrigue, surprise turns of events and entertainment value -- if you can keep a little detachment and give people space to work out their stuff. There is, however, one thing not to compromise on, which is integrity. Family Focus: Learn about your own psychology from how children behave.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You are managing quite nicely to stand apart from all the weirdness -- as usual. Being someone with the natural gift of perspective, it's easier for you to take a philosophical approach. A partner or close loved one may not, however, have that advantage -- and I suggest you set the example rather than try to intervene. Family Focus: Stop small problems before they become big ones.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You had better stay out of the politics involving several of your friends. The issues are not what they seem and you'll only go down a road you won't like if you allow yourself to be dragged into the drama. You've come so far improving your life the past week, don't let others mess up the gains you've made. Family Focus: Focus on honesty, both what you hear and what you say.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The astonishing shuffle going on in your professional life can be worked entirely to your advantage, and even the most mischievous players will wind up being agents of fortune. The ingredients for success are careful maneuvering, being alert to what everyone is doing, and trusting your instincts. If others push your limits, don't push back. Family Focus: Pay a little more attention to what's going on at home -- just a little.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
That certain others are doubting themselves is no reason for you to have any misgivings about yourself. You seem poised to take some unusual risk in the next couple of weeks, yet it would be intelligent to know exactly where everyone stands before you do so. Count on the support of only the most reliable people in your life. Family Focus: Children now sense even what parents seldom speak about.

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