Bill Meridian looks at what the stars have in store for you this week.
January 23 to January 29
In July, there will be a major configuration of planets at degrees known as the world points. Planetary activity in these areas affects the world in general. Many national charts and historical horoscopes for the Middle East, including those for the UAE and Iran, have planets at the world points. Developments here are likely to intensify. Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was sworn in for his second term last August 5, in the morning before a lunar eclipse. Matters that start so soon before an eclipse rarely go to plan. He will be under great pressure and probably face a serious challenge to his position. A fall from power could create an instability that would the Middle East. This will be seen by the world as a threat to the Strait of Hormuz, so activity over the coming months is likely to support the price of oil.
ARIES (March 20-April 18) You are motivated to get work done and have the support of superiors, but communications need to be clear. Mercury suggests that others may misunderstand your requests. TAURUS (April 19-May 19) You have solid long-term plans. Big institutions and companies are receptive, though staff must be organised to complete tasks and superiors may need to be convinced of your vision.
GEMINI (May 20-June 19) Communications and work plans proceed well. This is a good time to travel. In the days around the 19th, expect the unexpected, possibly from authority figures. Appointments may be altered and plans may need to be changed. CANCER (June 20-July 21) You want to move ahead, but focusing on a single goal is difficult as you're easily distracted. Thinking of far off-places appeals more than chores. Your ideas are not fully formed. Stay grounded.
LEO (July 22-Aug 21) The full Moon is in your sign on the 30th, and with Mars nearby, this should boost productivity and energy levels. It should be a lively weekend, though other planets suggest disagreements in your workplace. VIRGO (Aug 22-Sept 21) This is a good week to resolve bureaucratic matters as officials are much more accessible and agreeable now, as are work superiors; if you have ideas or wish to discuss your salary, do so now.
LIBRA (Sept 22-Oct 22) You greatly desire to expand your boundaries, either socially or intellectually. Move about and make yourself available to people, study new subjects. This is a fine time to plan a marketing strategy. SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 20) You may have to resolve disagreements at work and play stemming from cultural differences. Just focus on getting the job done well, or on the central activity, and differences will evaporate.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 21-Dec 22) This is a good week for work and travel. The travel could be physical or mental. A new course of study may greatly expand your horizons; a new language is especially recommended. CAPRICORN (Dec 23-Jan 19) Communications and travel loom large. Early in the week, there is a lack of clarity. Appointments may be missed. Tempers may be short on the 25th. Take care driving, and avoid gossip.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) Venus is strong for you on the 27th and 28th. There is a temptation to consume too much; this could apply to food, clothes or luxury items. Rows over disbursements or spending may arise. PISCES (Feb 19-March 19) In the days around the 25th, your social life will pick up. There may be a surprise visitor or an unexpected invitation. Senses of humour are at a peak. This is the time to take a recreation break.