This week there was a weird news story. Apparently a senior figure in the Roman Catholic church has predicted that Pope Benedict XVI will be dead within a year.
It’s not the kind of thing you’d expect a priest to say, because the only person who knows the future is God. Though it does seems that the basis for the prediction is talk of some plot or conspiracy to assassinate the Pontiff.
As an astrologer I am of course interested in such predictions, though I do try to be rational. On the surface it might seem an easy prediction to make, given that the Pope is going to be eight-five in April. However from a statistical point of view, it’s not obvious at all. Benedict XVI must surely have the best health care that money can buy, and as far as I know, he’s in good shape, given his age. When you look at the actuarial tables, you find that an American male, aged 85, has a life expectancy of 5.65 years. So you’d expect the Pope to live to his ninety-first year, though of course he might die earlier and he might die later.
From an astrological view, predicting death is frowned upon, though up until the modern era every astrologer worth their salt would try their hand at it. Though one had to be careful – if you went about Rome or Avignon in the Middle Ages saying that the Pope was going to die you could end up being tortured to death.
As far as my own studies are concerned, I believe that in some cases it is possible to predict someone’s death, within a window of a few years. Though it’s a hit and miss exercise, and you would of course never try to predict a client’s death. There are two reasons for this. Firstly you don’t want to scare people. And secondly, there’s a danger of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy – the prediction itself could drive someone to an early grave.
Anyway, here’s your forecast for the week starting on Monday February 13…
March 20 to April 19
You’re probably not feeling your normal self. It’s difficult for you to assert yourself, and you may not be sure about your next step. And perhaps indecisiveness is the real problem – if you had a single plan, that you were confident about, it would be so much easier to get things done. However sometimes it’s OK to be indecisive. The overall picture might be unclear and there’s no way of knowing which way is the best way. So it’s probably best to stay put. Nonetheless, if an opportunity comes your way you must be able to take advantage of it, and in this light there’s one particular person who you need to talk to. They’re close at hand, though don’t expect them to hang around for ever. It’s possible that we’re talking about romance, but there might be a business dimension. And perhaps what’s really important is trust. Someone is prepared to make a commitment, that could form the basis of a useful partnership. But you yourself don’t have to agree to anything, at least not until April. A secret communication has many meanings, but there’s only one meaning that counts.
April 20 to May 20
Starting off with money, and you’re losing focus. There are other things going on, which seem more important. For example, talking with friends, having fun, planning your next adventure. However as every Taurus should now, financial pressures are always there, and every second of every day the Sword of Damocles is hanging over you. And if you’re careless it could fall – and healing the financial wound could be very difficult. Sorry to sound melodramatic, but with Mercury, your finance ruler, making a conjunction to Neptune in Pisces there are some very real dangers to contend with. There could be serious confusion, and you may not be too sure how much money you’ve got and how much money you owe. You also need to be careful in your social life. The people around you are not necessarily a good influence. On the whole their ideas are bad and if you follow their lead you could get yourself into big trouble – and the younger you are, the bigger the problem. In this light you should make an extra effort to steer clear of intoxicating people and intoxicating substances.
May 21 to June 20
The focus is on Mercury, your ruling planet. At the beginning of the week it changes sign, from Aquarius to Pisces. This sign-change is going to have an impact on your career, and on the whole way you interact with the outside world. You’ll want to make a name for yourself, and you’ll want to be able to communicate your message. This is great, and I’m sure you can be successful, provided you understand your weak spots. You’re someone who functions best on a mental rather than emotional level, and you need to logically understand what’s going on around you. This means that if your environment is emotionally charged, you could quickly become lost. You try to be logical, but the sands under your feet are always shifting. And in terms of your work, be careful. A perfectly ordinary situation could get very complicated very quickly. The situation is more favourable if your career has a creative flavour – for example, if you’re a writer, artist or musician. You’ll be very imaginative and your inspirations could set you apart from the crowd. And whatever your profession, a telepathic communication gives you a crucial advantage.
June 21 to July 21
The beginning of the week could be tricky. You’ll be more emotional than usual, and your response to perfectly ordinary events might be inappropriate. I’m not saying that anyone will notice – it’s more your internal reactions that matters. You might, for example, start brooding, or worrying needlessly. And because you’re a Cancerian, there’s a certain tendency to wear your heart on your sleeve – in other words, your feelings are fairly transparent, and it’s probably the case that the more you try to hide them, the more transparent they become. Under these circumstances, you need to be open about your feelings, rather than let them build up. Your honesty will be appreciated, and in most cases disagreements can be nipped in the bud. Looking at your spirituality, and there’s a conjunction between Mercury and Neptune, in Pisces. This conjunction makes you sensitive to the ebb and flow of wider trends, that have a collective and even supernatural nature. In your heart you know what the universe wants, and in your own small way you can help provide it.
July 22 to August 22
Do you walk through a swamp if you don’t have to? There’s a situation close by that’s certainly very complicated, and once you’re in it, it’s going to be difficult to get out of it. Or put another way, it might be a case of curiosity killing, or at least inconveniencing, the Leo. You are a big cat, aren’t you? And you function best when things are nice and simple. So this week concentrate on what you know and understand – it’s certainly not a time for exploring. When dealing with other people, it’s a similar picture. You have expectations about how people should behave, and these expectations are quite reasonable. If you find that someone is behaving strangely you should probably avoid them, unless you feel that it’s your duty to intervene. Looking at your finances and it’s a similar picture. Things aren’t as simple as they seem, and if you take take risks, or even take other people’s advice, there could be trouble. In particular, you mustn’t agree to anything, either verbally or in writing – because things can change very quickly. There’s also an outside chance of deception.
August 23 to September 22
Mercury, your ruler, moves into Pisces, where it makes a conjunction to Neptune. Unfortunately Pisces is not the greatest sign for Mercury to be in. Mercury is a rational and logical planet, while Pisces is emotional and chaotic. So for the next couple of weeks it’s going to be difficult to work out what’s going on, especially if you’re surrounded by other people. It might nonetheless be the case that the power equation is going against you, and you might get drawn into a situation that runs counter to your best interests. So it might be a good idea to avoid social situations, especially if you’re dealing with individuals who are strong and opinionated. As far as close relationships are concerned, your partner could be very confusing. When talking, they’ll move from one subject to the next, in an almost random way, and getting them to answer questions will be hard work. If you’re not in a relationship, and you’ve got romantic ambitions, then you have to be careful. It’s so easy to reach the wrong conclusions, and you shouldn’t take what someone says at face value. Flights of fantasy might be fun, but they can also be dangerous!
September 23 to October 22
Everything is connected. What’s going on in the world, what other people are thinking and feeling, have an impact on your state of being, physically, mentally and spiritually. This might seem surprising. Perhaps you feel that you can skim the surface, not having to take anything too seriously. Normally this might be the case, but this week the boundaries are weak, and your sensitivity mustn’t be underestimated. So whatever you’re doing, keep it simple – and also think through the consequences of your actions. On a different note, you might feel that now is the time to do a great deal of tidying up. Or call it an early spring clean, if you’re in the northern hemisphere. However right now it would probably be a waste of time to do a lot of tidying up. Because things will get messy again very quickly, and you’ll have to start all over again. No, it might be best if you allow the garbage to pile up, for a few more weeks. You can then develop the best plan for getting rid of it. Finally, it’s important to have a healthy diet. Junk food, and chemical additives, should be avoided.
October 23 to November 21
The truth is staring you in the face. It’s not difficult to understand, and your next move should be obvious. However Scorpio is possibly the most stubborn sign of the Zodiac, and once you’ve decided on a particular action it can be difficult to budge you, even when it’s quite obvious that you’re in the wrong. And this week the issue becomes particularly important. A chain of circumstances will show you the error of your ways, and you’ll have a clear opportunity to make amends. But will you take the chance? Will the Scorpio express train trundle on, towards the cliff? It’s up to you, and if you have the humility to admit that you’ve got it wrong, the Universe will reward you. On a lighter note, you’re going to be very creative. You’ll be able to make the most of your imagination, and create something that’s truly amazing. So what’s your number one creative skill? How can you make the most of it? Finishing with your love life, and communication is key. Through subtle gestures you can tell the other person exactly how you feel, and there’s certainly no need to shout, or make a scene. Indeed words are probably unnecessary.
November 22 to December 21
There’s a conjunction between Mercury and Neptune, in a crucial sector of your solar chart. A sector that represents the absolute foundation of things. This conjunction is a confusing influence, and you may be unsure about where exactly you belong. However it’s sometimes possible to think too much, and to worry about non-existent problems. Not just because it’s more relaxing, but also because too much thinking can lead you to make mistakes. You worry about something, you wonder if you can fix it, you take action, and you find that the overall situation gets much worse. So let the thoughts pass over you, and concentrate on the here and now. I should also say that communications with your family need to be handled with care. Family members have got lots to say, and you yourself are pretty talkative. Unfortunately lines could get crossed, and messages could get mixed up. This means that you have to be very clear and you must make sure that your words can’t be misinterpreted. As far as romance is concerned, partners are in a dream, and they need some guidance. But can you provide it? If you’re a single Sagittarian, don’t believe anything that anyone says – at least not immediately.
December 22 to January 19
Your social life needs tweaking. Some of your friends are on poor form, and others are being less than helpful. Perhaps you need a break from them? Perhaps you need to say thank you and good bye? Anyway, at the beginning of the week you’ll be able to make your decision. There’s also a question of your personal development. It’s possible that your social life is holding you back. To an extent you’re doing the same thing, day after day, week after week, and a change of friends could bring a change of direction. On a related note, there’s a conjunction between Mercury and Neptune, in the communication sector of your solar chart. There is something you want to say, but actually saying it could be difficult. So perhaps you should bide your time – the message might not be as urgent as you think, and in a few weeks time it might be much easier to deliver. This particularly applies to close relationships – if you tell your partner something important over the next week, they might not understand what you’re talking about. It even works both ways – your partners spoken and unspoken signals are going to be pretty meaningless, unless you’re a psychic.
January 20 to February 18
You start the week being preoccupied by career and status. You’re wondering whether or not you’re going in the right direction, and at work things might not be perfect. You’ll perhaps notice that colleagues and workmates are being secretive, and it might also appear that they’re not pulling their weight. However it’s important not to jump to conclusions. Right now a lot of people are going through a bad patch, and by the end of the week they’ll be feeling a whole lot better. Under these circumstances it might be better to wait rather than act. Turning to money, and some Aquarians might be entering a danger-period. Mercury is moving into your solar second house, which is connected with finance, and here it makes a conjunction to Neptune. Try as you might, it will be difficult to understand your finances, and it’s possible that you’re misled into making a mistake. Under these circumstances, you should avoid making new investments, and when buying things you must make sure that you’re not paying too much. And while you’re at it, be careful of your belongings – because right now they’re much easier to lose than you realise.
February 19 to March 19
The storm is raging, boats are being smashed to smithereens on the rocks, and you’re right in the middle of it, calm and serene. It’s because you have a natural understanding of emotional realities, and whatever the emotional temperature, you know how things are going to end up. So in many respects you’re a bystander, watching events that have no direct impact on you. Nonetheless you can benefit from the situation. While other people are going round in circles, you can work out the best course of action – and in a business setting, your calmness will seem very attractive. Indeed with Mercury moving into your star sign people will be seeking your advice, and they’ll be happy to reward you. As the week progresses you’re going to be increasingly in control, and at the same time your demands will seem very reasonable. The romantic picture is similarly favourable, and if you’re single it does seem that someone new is heading in your direction. They don’t know what they want, and if you tell them what to do they’re unlikely to object.