Tim Stephens.cover.J#7B6373
Note: this is NEXT WEEK’S forecast. To read the present week’s column, please scroll down to “RECENT POSTS” on the right margin, and click on “April 26 – May 2, 2015.”

ALL TIMES/DATES ARE PDT (Pacific Daylight Time Zone). PDT is 8 hours “before” Greenwich (England). (As long as Britain is also on Daylight time.) For example, when it is noon PST, it is 8 pm in England. The “World Clock” in the right margin gives you some clues. (You can also Google “time zone converter.”)


START NOTHING: 6:49 pm Mon. to 4:13 am Tues., 10:51 am to 11:16 am Thurs., and 1:35 pm to 4:22 pm Sat.




Mercury retro:


In case I forget to mention it in your weekly forecast below, Mercury turns retrograde May 18 through June 11, so we all should, even now, focus more on completing projects than on starting big new ones. If you start anything now, make sure it’s something you can complete well before then. (E.g., plant the garden now, but don’t start extensive renovations.)
Every time there’s a Mercury retrograde, I always receive a few panic-y emails, telling me that the writer, unemployed, has been offered a job, and shouldn’t they take it? Yes, of course, rent has to be paid and food bought. But think of such a job as temporary, as it will turn out that way, perhaps after some months, even after a year or three. If you’re a professional concerned with your career’s future, and you can exist for awhile on savings, it would be better to wait, and return to your job search after June 11.


They should add a new clause to the criminal code, and call it “”pinprick genocide,” specifically to cover police killing black victims.


BTW, A reader wrote that in 2014 a black cop did shoot and kill a white man (contradicting the Washington Post story I mentioned last week) – and the news story is on Youtube. However, the cop’s face is never shown, nor his name, and one commentator opined that he was Hispanic, not African American. Still, I tend to believe this story more than the Washington Post one – I mean, not one white shot by a black cop in ten years, 3,653 days and nights, among a citizenry of 300,000,000 plus?


Stephen Harper’s recent budget was a slick piece of Machiavellian-ism. Harper’s a master of the bait-and-switch. Before you vote for him so you can grab the financial candy he’s dangled (he’s stated in ads that his promised tax goodies will only be implemented if he’s re-elected) remember this: about 5 years ago during an election campaign he also made a financial promise to Canadians not to abolish income trusts. As soon as he was elected, he abolished them, wiping out the savings of many, particularly of seniors, who were heavily invested in them. Now, as then, he’s made seniors the object of his most significant promises. (Yes, I know, my emotions and opinions almost guarantee I’ll call this election incorrectly – and make a few enemies!)



Aries.svgARIES March 21-April 19
Continue to chase money and to seek out bargains, Aries. But keep the lid on spending – you’re likely too fast and loose with money now. Your friendship zone brightens this week, as affectionate conversations and short trips spring up. (And remember one thing: you’re lucky in romance and creative ventures until mid-August.) Thursday starts almost 4 weeks of domestic affection, and brings a great interval for home decoration or gardening – but act quickly, as May 18 brings a slow-down and indecision. Chase mysteries, listen to your hunches, and look beneath appearances Sun./Mon. – you could find/open a treasure chest, especially Sunday. Finances, intimate desires inspire your actions. Your intellectual, mellow, understanding side visits Tues. (a bit confusing or indecisive, or something from your background, your secret side, impedes you) and Wed. (splendid, charge ahead). Far travel, cultural venues, higher learning, law, social systems, and love are featured these two days – Thursday, too, in the morning (evening in Europe). Friendship and love might “hold hands.” Your ambitious side emerges Thursday pm to Saturday afternoon. Be dutiful. These few days are successful, but watch for disruptive factors or “accidents” (or rebellious feelings) Fri. night. Someone might not be telling the truth. Don’t trust rumors.

taurus weekly forecastTAURUS April 20-May 20
Your energy, charisma, clout and effectiveness remain at a yearly high, Taurus. Start important things, tackle tasks that formerly intimidated you, see and be seen, impress people, ask favours – they’ll be granted, within reason! However, realize a slow-down and “backward trend” will start in mid May (technically, May 18) so make sure your new projects are short-term, and can be completed (or at least solidly placed on “stage one”) in the two weeks ahead. Your sexual magnetism continues high (since early April) for one more week. But more importantly, your home, real estate, security and “emotional grounding” bring you major luck until August, These two might combine: for instance, a sexual affair could lead to a live-in situation. Still, be a little wary of “lust” – look for flaws, unintended consequences, before you leap into any magnificently physical obsessions. Money’s good. Relationships fill Sunday/Monday (Sunday’s best). Argument might mask attraction Monday: careful here; hot stuff. Subconscious promptings, heightened intuition, large finances, sexual yearnings, mysteries and investigation, fill Tues. (a bit confused, be patient) and Wed. into Thursday morning (a beautiful period: take a chance on love or money). Understanding, intellectual pursuits, far travel, law and love visit Thurs. noon to Saturday – love, sweetness, disruption, wisdom, and misrepresentation, all mingle.

Gemini.svgGEMINI May 21-June 20
Continue to lie low, rest, contemplate and plan. Face yourself: what have you done right, what wrong, and what has brought you to your present stage? Your charisma is low (notice how people don’t return your phone calls) so stay out of popularity contests – and really, any competitive or hustle-bustle scene. Be spiritual, and charitable – toward others and yourself. Despite all this, some people find you attractive, mostly those younger than you. Calls and emails result. Tackle chores Sunday/Monday. (Sunday’s better – watch possible cuts, bruises Monday.) Protect your health; eat, dress sensibly. A period of indecision and delay will come, technically, from May 18 to June 11. (Technically – the slowdown will be evident a few days, even a week, earlier.) So plan ahead, and don’t start projects that will take weeks to complete – they might end up abandoned. Relationships stymie and confuse you Tuesday, but welcome and reward you Wed. through Thurs. morning. Be a detective Thursday noon to Saturday afternoon – treasures lie hidden, but fool’s gold lies around, too. Applies to finances, investments, sex, intimacy, health (diagnosis) and lifestyle changes: when/if committing, make sure everything is clear and aboveboard. Saturday night brings gentle love, wisdom. Your money will improve.

Cancer.svgCANCER June 21-July 22
Wishes can come true, Cancer! The days ahead bring a boost in popularity, social delights, flirtation and friendly romance, entertainment, optimism and bright plans for the future. You might have a good, clean plan of action, and another one that promises a bigger, easier reward, but something’s subtly wrong with it. Pick the first goal/plan. Much talk, paperwork arises in administration, management, or government-related zones, this month and next. Before reacting too quickly and hugely, realize that much of what is intended or implied will not come about, at least not without major revisions. So be patient, wait: you’ll eventually be glad you did. So far, your rising popularity has involved your career, work mates; but from Thursday onward you’ll be popular at home, too, and with “purely social” friends. Sunday (better) and Monday bring romance, beauty, pleasure pursuits, creative surges and speculative urges. Go ahead, take a chance! Tackle chores Tuesday (careful, don’t day dream around machinery) and Wed. through Thurs. morning – a splendid interval for work and health – and money, which is your “lucky theme” until August. Relationships fill Thurs. noon to Saturday eve. Be diplomatic and co-operative, or you could alienate potential allies. Grab opportunities. Two friends, whom you consider “made for each other,” might disagree.

Leo icon, Luck ForecastLEO July 23-Aug. 22
Be ambitious, Leo, but avoid all unsavory methods. You are so lucky this year that rejection by one source will lead to acceptance by (or your stumbling onto) an even better source. Unless, that is, you withdraw and brood; then nothing good comes. Life rewards those who live it. Your friends are plentiful and in evidence, a great thing – but don’t let them talk you into a long project that will surely stall within a few weeks. A new influence, starting Thursday, draws you away from the crowds, to intervals of sweet solitude – something you’ve lacked for the past 10 months. (Indulge this; everyone needs moments of rest, of psychic rebuilding.) Your domestic situation rises Sunday/Monday. Sunday’s better – inspired and lucky, whereas Monday could hold a bit of friction – or hot, sudden attraction. (Dodge both; this is a fight or love “match” you don’t need, and would ultimately lose.) Real romance dances in Tuesday to Thursday morning – and despite Tuesday’s stumbles, when you might seek intimacy at the wrong time – Wed. and Thurs. could pluck your heart-strings with a true, strong chord. Pleasure, sports, gambling, creativity and leading charming kids – all bless you, too. Tackle chores Thurs. pm to Sat. – you’ll get loads accomplished, could impress the bosses. But take care Fri. night, Sat. dawn, when disruption or confusion could impede progress.

Virgo.svgVIRGO Aug. 23-Sept. 22
You feel mellow, wise. You see the connections between abstract things, such as law and order, love and marriage. The accent remains on far travel, intellectual pursuits, law, cultural scenes and rituals, and life philosophy. Be a little cautious about plunging into any of these things – a trip abroad, a university entrance, and (especially!) a lawsuit. Realize that a period of indecision and delay starts soon (technically, May 18, but you’ll see it earlier) – so don’t start big projects now; if you must start a significant project soon, wait until June 11 onward. Higher-ups already favour you; don’t let this flatter you into starting that big project – be patient! Thursday begins 4 weeks in which your hopes and optimism gently waft higher, in which social joys, friendly romance and a simple love of life kiss your heart. Sunday (better) and Monday bring errands, casual friends, letters, emails, calls, visits and trips – complete paperwork, or watch it grow into a confusing, disheartening pile. Be curious, ask questions, explore. But be home by Tuesday to Thursday noon, embrace family, consider security and retirement: fix doors, invest in retirement programs, etc. Tuesday’s difficult, could end with confusion between you and spouse, but Wed.’s superb – charge ahead. Chase romance, pleasure, creative and speculative options. Love is strong, could grow into conjugal bliss, but again it might be hard to understand another or be understood. If love descends into confusion, that’s okay. It’s just practice for “the big one.”

Libra.svgLIBRA Sept. 23-Oct. 22
Life holds many secrets, and you can discover some valuable ones. But there’s a catch: if you do go this route, if you research or investigate, you’ll probably find good, “innocent” secrets, and other ones, that tempt you – to invest, to lust. Avoid these. It’s easy to tell: if (before May 12) your searching discovers something you can use for profit or personal satisfaction, it is probably wrong and will turn to bite you. If it just makes you think, “Huh! Never knew that,” then it’s a good secret. Profitable or intimacy-inducing secrets/discoveries will appear, but not until May 12 onward, so be patient. A trend of delay and indecision lies ahead (May 18-June 11) so don’t start any big projects now – stick to anything that can be completed in a week or so. Thursday begins 4 weeks of lucky career developments and favour from higher-ups. Chase money, higher earnings, sell items and look for bargains Sunday/Monday. (Sunday’s better.) Errands, information, paperwork, communication and short trips fill Tues. (be alert; confusion might arise) and Wed. into Thurs. morning (a splendid interval: be curious, make friends). Your domestic arena calls Thurs. noon to Sat. eve – home, garden, kids, nature, power naps – all bless you, but don’t play with electricity or plumbing Fri. night, Sat. morning.

Scorpio.svgSCORPIO Oct. 23-Nov. 21
You start this week with vim and vigor, and high charisma. Start things, but avoid launching any venture which can’t be completed in 7 to 10 days. (May 18 to June 11 bring indecision, second thoughts, and interminable delays – not a good atmosphere for a fledgling project. Financial and intimacy-oriented – sexual – ventures will be most vulnerable to this slowdown.) One of the best “starts” you can plunge into now would be relationships, dealings with the public, relocation, or negotiations/contracts. Be diplomatic, co-operative and eager to join. Sunday’s better – Monday might hold a co-worker confrontation, or a feisty mate. Chase money carefully Tuesday, and buy nothing for love, pleasure, art or sports. But buy whatever you like, and redouble efforts to make money, during a splendid Wed. through Thurs. morning. Thursday afternoon to Sat. eve brings friends, errands, visits, trips, paperwork and communications. Be curious and friendly. But avoid trying to combine romance and sex Fri. night, Sat. morning. Thursday begins four weeks of sweet, gentle relationships, perhaps a lasting love. Although it might not involve the same person, a former intimate partner might appear later in May and early June. So might an investment opportunity (particularly in machinery or work/employment). Avoid these – romance, and/or a gentle, almost intellectual love is the far better choice.

Sagittarius.svgSAGITTARIUS Nov. 22-Dec. 21
Work, work, work – ugh. Well, just plunge in and get it done. However, DON’T take on new jobs, and shun what might seem to be creative work. Also, avoid starting a big project that you can’t reasonably finish in a week, for a period of delay, indecision and “wandering steps” looms, from May 18 to June 11. (An old flame or former spouse might re-appear around that time. If so, maintain an attitude of scepticism.) Protect your health; eat and dress sensibly. Thursday starts 4 weeks of sweet intimacy, and mild good luck in finances, investments, debt. Be mildly sceptical of promises now – though intentions are good, others might not be able to fulfill them. Retreat, lie low, rest and contemplate Sunday/Monday. Don’t overwork Monday: could affect your health or temper. Your energy and charisma rise sharply Tues. to Thurs. morning. Tuesday might be a little irksome, but below the irritation is confusion: for example, you might be trying to get an agreement before the groundwork’s done. But Wed. into Thurs. morn is a superb period to get things done, to buy machinery or computer hardware/software, to run errands, to impress others. Chase money or seek good purchases Thurs. pm to Sat. eve. But steer away from buying high-tech, computers, electrical equipment, or any visual or plumbing related items Fri. night or Sat. morning.

Capricorn.svgCAPRICORN Dec. 22-Jan. 19
You’re riding a winning streak, Cap. Romance, beauty, pleasure, creative and speculative ventures, charming kids, sports and games bring you luck now to late May. Thursday begins a 4-week streak of affectionate relations, also, in love, marriage, business, even in dealings with the public. Others will be gracious, receptive. Career opportunities might wink at you – wink back! At present, there’s lots of talk about work, and many small tasks – co-workers understand and aid you. However, don’t start any large projects before June 12. (Delays and indecision arrive May 18 – even earlier – to June 11.) Sunday/Monday bring wish fulfillment, popularity, flirtation, friendly romance, entertainment, optimism and a bright future. Sunday’s better – you might pursue an attractive person too determinedly Monday. Tackle neglected obligations Tues. (careful, you could get sidetracked) and Wed. to Thurs. noon (a splendid period – you’ll accomplish, will gain from contacts with civil servants, institutions, agents and charities.) Rest deeply, protect your health. Your energy and charisma soar Thurs. pm to Sat. eve – you’ll attract others, will get your way. Start nothing that you can’t complete in a few days. A talkative person could throw you off your schedule or deflect you from your goal late Fri., early Sat.

Aquarius.svgAQUARIUS Jan. 20-Feb. 18
The accent remains on home, family, garden, nutrition, Mother Nature, security, real estate, foundations and retirement. Take many naps. As you settle down and contemplation comes, look at your life, consider who and what is growing, and who/what is stale, has outlived their “stay.” Prune your life, projects and relationships like a garden. Don’t start big new projects (e.g., landscaping, renovations) as a slow-down looms, May 18 to June 11. (That period might also bring an old flame to you, a sweet person. Two signals that you should give this person a wide berth: 1) if you have to travel or commute constantly to see him/her; 2) if he/she’s so restless that only a casual love affair could result. If you’re already in a romance, expect some indecision and foot-shuffling to occur, but this will fade and love will swoop in again. Late May into June will be a time to discuss possible marriage or co-habitation. (Not quite yet.) Co-workers become affectionate Thursday onward, for 4 weeks. Be ambitious Sunday/Monday. (Sunday’s better). Your popularity rises Tues. to noon Thursday. Entertainment, flirtation, high hopes about the future, social joys, and a general freshness and life-joy enter. Tuesday’s a bit irksome, but Wed. and Thurs. are splendid – invite someone home, or to cucumber sandwiches in the garden. Thursday pm to Sat. eve brings quietude, weariness. Retreat, rest, plan, meditate. Your energy returns Sat. night.

Pisces.svgPISCES Feb. 19-March 20
It’s a busy time, but not an important one. Dive into phone calls, emails, errands, paperwork, and all those small things. Make a huge list, and go until it’s all crossed out. (In about a week – technically May 18, but you’ll feel it sooner – a 24-day period will arrive that can cause real chaos with just the things you’re handling – mail, calls, paperwork, etc.) A domestic situation or puzzle might confront you: if so, be patient, let it solve itself (by late June, maybe July). This is not the best time to buy furniture and other domestic items, as you might change your mind about them later – i.e., too late. Thursday starts a 4-week streak of sweet pleasure, romantic notions, art appreciation, and small creative urges. This streak won’t rule, but it will wind in and out of your daily business, making life a joy! A wise, mellow mood floats into you Sunday/Monday. Sunday’s best; Monday might get a little hectic. Think deeply; your understanding’s strong. Your ambition, career, neighborhood reputation and prestige relations come to the forefront Tues. (is that potential partner worthwhile, or not?) and Wed. into Thursday morning (a great interval – you might not get a promotion if you ask for it, but your request will be noted – favourably, even very favourably). Life’s fun side appears Thurs. pm to Sat. eve – get out, mingle, join a group affair, flirt, entertain. Note: that person who shows Fri. night, Sat. morning, is not the right one. Wait, observe.

The End.

There are moments in life that appear to be a dream, while there are moments in dreams that are as real as reality. Yet we always know, after a moment, which is which, and when we believe we have found which, we believe it utterly. In the beautiful complexity of life, the early sun in September on a horse field, and horses about, on an island somewhere, the grass long and laden with dew; or suddenly somewhere else, on a rusting freighter, in a hot, salty bay, the sun sparkling, the orange iron all around offering the healthy odor of rust. Like the scent of new mown lawns, gorged with the green bruising of the blade, and for some reason, pleasing…
Years ago, when the U.S. was deciding how and whether to help the rebels in Libya, I wrote here that America had lost the Middle East. Sure, the shelling helped, but it came after a long, long wait, that implied the bombers made a purely pragmatic decision and displayed, too well, that the white nations, led by the U.S.A., had no warm feelings toward the Libyan people. It was a major insult. Following the war, which the U.S. should have immediately and loyally (loyal to the ideal of freedom and democracy) followed with a huge, broad push to reconstruct the nation. There should have been a whole new economic model, with U.S. payment of construction projects to bring roads and electricity to everyone. This would give a wage to almost anyone, and many would work and, hopefully, spend. If they spent everyone was saved. But, in a broad wave of “idealism,” an anti-war movement –more like a stirring – the American forces were withdrawn from the wars they had, initially, ignited. They left without providing their host country with any reward, any net improvement in their infrastructures or their lives. This was their secondary mistake in Libya – enough to lose it. It was their mistake in Iraq and Afghanistan, also. These are not Romans.
They showed self-indulgence, as the American people approved of these troop withdrawals, so the politicians and the armed forces used this as permission by omission of refusal, to skip the rebuilding stage, and to withdraw more immediately. This saved them from a task less noble than war, and let them steer more of their budget toward weapons development. When everyone serves everyone in this way, a circle forms that churns out a kind of emotional oil, and a circle that does not seem to grow nor to vary. The circle shuts out or dims the effects of the outside world. This is a dangerous self-indulgence for any creature, much less an army and a nation. This is ISIS’s hope to win: that the U.S. does not want to send 200,000 troops and heavy armament back into Iraq and ultimately, maybe, Syria. Even then, it is very possible the U.S. would lose.

The Middle East is a land of almost boundless human resources — that is, cannon fodder — and were things to go badly they could incite millions to rise against a common enemy.
When you are poor, possess nothing, but are young, you value nothing but adventure, preferably the kind that will bring you something good to eat, and very preferentially if a pink satin bedroom was involved, and a clean, fresh woman, especially a special kind of woman he couldn’t tell you but he knew the kind as soon as his soul locked onto – onto those eyes, ye, but there was more. It was as if something magic surrounded the right girl, so he began to consider her a miracle even before their eyes met.
When you are poor and young, and your society forbids you any intimacy or openness with women, and you have been told, enlightened, or got there yourself, that the U.S.A. has kept you poor, and that you will go to heaven as holy warriors, many people, with a stomach full of anger and resentment, will sign up.
The historical wave seems to surge against the U.S. I think they’ve lost the Middle East.