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by Carol Willis


Hint: If you know your Rising Sign, also called the Ascendant, read your horoscope for that sign, as it will often give you a better reading than for your Sun sign. To find out your Rising Sign, ask an astrologer to calculate your birth chart. You'll need full birthdate, exact time of birth as shown on the birth certificate, and city/state/country of birth.)

ARIES (March 21-April 20) (or Aries Rising):
Aries has new communication opportunities opening up. Do not be arrogant or dictatorial unless you want to blow all your supporters away. Asking for others' ideas is a winning plan, and together you brainstorm powerful visions and directions that have real pizazz and wider appeal. The name of the game is to have fun, and keep it light and bright this month. Go on vacation if you can. Enjoy children. Lots of love could be on the horizon, just right for the taking.

TAURUS (April 21-May 20) (or Taurus Rising):

Taurus enjoys their comfortable home and beautiful garden in August. Brighten up the scene with touches of sunny yellow to lift your mood high and overcome the doldrums of lots of work. Bring fresh-cut flowers into the house. Spruce up your front door with brass fixtures and lighting. Finances should be picking up now that Jupiter has gone into your solar 2nd house of money. New telephones, computers, software, language tapes, books and magazines get the nod.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21) (or Gemini Rising):
An exciting and lucky month for very open conversations, study, teaching and writing. See any opposition to your ideas as a stimulus to refine them and develop a better mode of operation. You have invisible help now, and your karmic bank account from WAY back pays dividends. You clarify and refine your sense of mission and purpose, which makes you money and yields greater prestige in the future. It's your time and hour with Jupiter in your sign for the next year -- go for it!

CANCER (June 22-July 22) (or Cancer Rising):
You'll navigate challenging negotiations, contracts, and other interactions this month. Be diplomatic. Dig deep to draw on past experience. Analyze contracts to ferret out "gotchas," and create flexibility for contingencies. Get as much legal support as you need. Cash flow improves. Make a special purchase of something colorful and beautiful to raise your spirits and inspire confidence: jewelry, clothing, art, home decor, or concert/theatre tickets. A touch of metallic gold in your environment enhances finance.

LEO (July 23-August 23) (or Leo Rising):
Leo is still feeling the fallout from the solar eclipse from July 30-31. Body and health issues may demand attention this month, especially since Mars has also just entered Leo. Heart and spine are the more vulnerable areas for Leo, so easy does it in anything strenuous or requiring physical exertion. Make sure you're getting enough vitamins, calcium and magnesium. Passion, enthusiasm, and flamboyance run very high this month for Leo. You're the birthday kids!

VIRGO (August 24- Sept 23) (or Virgo Rising):
Virgo continues mocking up their next steps, and makes plans to make their dreams and ambitions come true. Revel in peaceful solitude. Clean up your act before your birthday. "Completion" is your mantra. Sort through all that has happened in the past year, and mock up your new year that begins with your birthday. Make a clean sweep of the past and clear the decks for all the good coming your way. You've worked long and hard to prepare yourself. Now your masterful teaching abilities will carry the day.

LIBRA (Sept 24- Oct 23) (or Libra Rising):
August is a month for Libra to be in contact with friends; perhaps some networking and brainstorming are in order for friends to help each other achieve their goals? Would you benefit from a power buddy to check in with, and make sure each other stays grounded, in order, on-track, and "on purpose"? Your care for others is a great blessing to them.

SCORPIO (Oct 24 - Nov 21) (or Scorpio Rising):
Your career and reputation may undergo radical changes following the July 30-31 eclipse, but hang in there, since you make beneficial changes that more closely align with your intuitive sense of truth. Prepare to impress others with your presence, charm, and good looks! You could plan a trip abroad in connection with looking after a beloved's well-being.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 - Dec 21) (or Sagittarius Rising):
August is a very inspiring month spiritually for Sag this year, giving just the shot of vitality and extra confidence you want and need. You may be traveling abroad, taking classes, or just "at large" and "on the loose" in the cosmos, with spirit soaring. Your heart is open wide and you radiate love everywhere. Your lucky colors this month are yellow and gold. You and your companions appreciate each others' sense of humor. Let the good times roll!

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 - Jan 19) (or Capricorn Rising):
Deepen your sense of mission and purpose, rethinking every facet and aspect of it. Feel the essence of it in your heart, then *release* it to the universe, and watch it begin to manifest in a new kaleidescope of patterns daily. This is your special window of time to "make a wish upon a star - makes no difference who you are - everything your heart desires will come to you" in its own perfect time, hour and form. Make a wish! Mock up your future!

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 - Feb 18) (or Aquarius Rising):
Relationships are still changing, becoming more enlightened, distinctive, and free with Uranus and Juno in your sign. Relationships are a large focus this month, and you could get very lucky in love, especially if going on vacation, traveling by air, or around books and studies. Expect that friends may cancel plans at the last minute, being overwhelmed with this and that, so may not make good traveling buddies now.

PISCES (Feb 19 - March 20) (or Pisces Rising):
This is a good month for Pisces to review the area of personal vitality, confidence, and well-being, especially related to handling work stresses. Take a playful attitude and change your office around to shift the energy, create space, and get rid of clutter. Enroll a member of your staff to assist you in co-creating a more vital environment starting with the physical arrangement, then moving on to emotional and communication patterns.

(C) Copyright by Carol Willis, 2000. All rights reserved.
Carol Willis, MA Professional Astrologer since 1970
Sunnyvale CA (408) 734-9110
For free subscription to my monthly astrology column and related articles, send message SUBSCRIBE ASTROLIST-L in the body only (subject line blank) to

Stones & the Inner Being
by John Baumann
Snowflake Obsidian

Snowflake obsidian is a black volcanic glassy rock containing spherulite inclusions of a white or grayish-white mineral that resembles snowflakes on its surface. Mined in Utah, it is a favorite cabochon stone of rock hounds because of its translucent patterns.

Snowflake obsidian acts on the Inner Being to strengthen CONSISTENCY. Consistency is the emotional steadiness that comes from being a levelheaded, balanced and even-tempered person. It is the ability to keep your emotions on a steady course, on an even keel, so that you don't have wild mood swings. It is the ability to rein in your emotions, especially in stressful situations, and keep them from getting out of control. And it is also the ability to be your best for those around you, on an ongoing basis.

If you are a consistent person, you don't have a lot of severe ups and downs. You usually behave in the same manner under the same circumstances, and you don't fluctuate drastically in your motivations and behavior. You behave predictably to people who know you well, because you always act in a manner that reflects who you really are. Your emotional composure keeps you from suddenly flitting from one way of being to another, or from one attitude to another. And if you are going to change, you let those around you know by doing it in a gentle and gradual way.

Consistency has both a doing side and a knowing side. The doing side is operating your life in a consistent and even-tempered way. The knowing side is recognizing what is consistent, both in yourself and others. It is being able to see consistency in people so that you know who you can count on to be consistent. These two aspects of consistency work together as one duality. This means that as you develop the ability to recognize consistency in people, you also become a more consistent person yourself.

When you know that someone close to you is a consistent person, you feel comfortable and relaxed with him. You know you can be yourself around him because you don't have to worry about him flying off the handle, for example, if you should happen to say the wrong thing. You have faith in his stability, and you know you can count on him to be steady, centered and emotionally unruffled almost all the time. You also know that on the rare occasions when he does get emotionally upset, there is always a good reason for it.

If you have trouble being consistent, you spend a significant amount of time not operating at your best. You tend to be erratic and changeable in your behavior, and your life is sometimes chaotic and out of control. You find it difficult to hold on to relationships because you can be loving and demonstrative one day, and cold and uncaring the next. Others can't possibly know what to expect from you because you never do things the same way twice. Also, you often respond in ways that you yourself can't predict, and this produces a great deal of confusion in your life.

BECOMING MORE CONSISTENT: If you want to become a more consistent person, look at changing your perspective in a couple of areas. Become more aware of people's emotional limitations, including your own, and become familiar with the kinds of things people find emotionally difficult to handle. Learn to evaluate people's composure and emotional stability, including your own, in unusual or surprising situations. Work at maintaining your own emotional composure in difficult situations, including situations where you get caught off guard. Learning to expect the unexpected makes you a more consistent person because it helps you know how to handle surprises.

You can also add to the consistency of your thoughts and ideas by learning to build individual pieces of knowledge into a larger structure. There is an internal consistency that comes from having pieces fit and work well together in a way that makes sense. For example, if you try to put together a logical argument, but something about it is inconsistent and doesn't make sense, the whole argument is invalid because it is not cohesive. Whenever you build anything, whether it is a logical argument or a physical house, each piece must fit with everything that has been put in place before. Learning to integrate things into a functioning cohesive system enhances consistency.

To increase your level of consistency, use a little self-discipline to keep yourself organized. Being organized puts you in control of your own affairs and gives you a great deal of stability as a person. It allows you to operate more consistently because it keeps your life running smoothly and prevents things from getting out of control.

Carry a piece of snowflake obsidian with you to help you become a more consistent person, and to help you recognize consistency, both in yourself and in others.

John Baumann has been exploring the properties of crystals and stones for over ten years. Questions about stones may be sent to P.O. Box 2834, Sedona, AZ 86339. See also home page