Checking the Signs

Checking the Signs

The Sun enters the powerful fire sign Leo from July 23-August 22. Leo energy focuses on the will, selfhood, pride, and strength. Your totem, the Lion, is one of the most self-assured of the zodiac's symbols. The dog days of summer in baseball take place during this cycle, as Leo's sun-drenched domain reigns supreme.

Let's take a look at one of the more melodramatic Leos, left fielder Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants.

A dramatic fire sign Leo, born July 24, 1964, Bonds seeks appreciation for his unique abilities. Recognition is Leo's reason to be, and Leos like Barry can't tolerate staying in the background for long. He needs to shine and take charge. Like a proud peacock, those quasi-arrogant-trance/glance-flowing epic home runs echo Leo's hunger for admiration.

Big dreams, with the vitality to bring them into being, are the heart of Leo. The desire for stardom and heroism runs deep in their psyches. "All the world's a stage," and Bonds is not content to be just one of the team.

With an aloof Moon (planet of emotions) in detached Aquarius, his head argues with his heart, creating disharmony and imbalance. This sets up a rather conflicted personality: a spotlight seeker who craves attention, yet shuns it. Being at cross-purposes with himself, his conscious intentions conflict with subconscious emotional drives. It's as if he turns his feelings on and off at will. Thanks to a couple of planets in variable Gemini, his disposition changes like the winds at AT&T Park. Just when you think there's no hope thawing the surly iceberg, he'll be as welcoming as his plush Laz-E-Boy recliner.

Just turning 42 years old on July 24, 2006, Bonds is also dealing with his astrological mid-life crisis. Questioned if he'll play next season in a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, his typical Leo pride responded, "You ride life until the wheels fall off, baby, know what I mean?"

While Leos can be overbearing, they can also be some of the most generous, radiant, and loyal people on the planet. Commanding and demanding, King of the Zodiac Barry Bonds is a prime example of that undeniable blend.

Aries -- (March 21-April 19) Schedule your yearly health checkup once the Sun moves into Virgo on the 22nd. This signals a special time of vigor and wellness. You enjoy leading an active, athletic lifestyle, but you also need to find new ways to relax, such as a hobby.

New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle is a fiery Aries.

Taurus -- (April 20-May 20) Most of the month is relegated to spending time at home or vacationing with family members. Get back in the game when the Sun moves into Virgo on the 22nd, ushering in a cycle of creativity and romance.

Baltimore Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez is a determined Taurus.

Gemini -- (May 21-June 20) With Mars in energetic Virgo all month, you are likely to give most of your attention to family and domestic matters. This is the perfect time of year to indulge in some belated "spring cleaning." Twins that have been looking for their dream home could get lucky this month.

New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes is a speedy Gemini, one of the swift leaders in stolen bases.

Cancer -- (June 21-July 22) Financial matters predominate, as you are concerned with paying off any debts this summer. This would be a good time of year to make a budget, as you are very aware of financial security. Cancers like to know that all bases are covered, and surprises are never welcome when it comes to finances.

Nurturing the Oakland Athletics pitching staff is Cancer catcher Jason Kendall.

Leo -- (July 23-August 22) Happy Birthday, Leo Lions! With Mercury and Venus in your charismatic sign mid-month, your best bet for success is using your characteristic charm and magnetism. Financial gains near the New Moon in Virgo on the 23rd look promising.

Left fielder Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants is a temperamental Leo. (See above.)

Virgo -- (August 23-September 22) Though others may look at August as downtime, that's not the case for you. This is peak time for goal setting. The New Moon in your industrious sign on the 23rd emphasizes, energy, focus and progress.

Behind the scenes, as well as behind the plate, San Diego Padres catcher Mike Piazza is a humble Virgo, leading NL catchers with 16 home runs.

Libra -- (September 23-October 23) Things appear in a holding pattern for you now, so the last week in August is a perfect time to go on vacation. You prefer getaways to romantic places where you can lie on the beach by day, then dance the night away.

Texas Rangers pitcher Vicente Padilla is a balanced Libra.

Scorpio -- (Oct 24-November 21) You may be given additional responsibilities at work, when Mercury, Venus, and the Sun in Leo transit your 10th house of career, status, duty, and profession. You have cultivated an excellent reputation for yourself, and now it's beginning to pay off.

Powerful Scorpio pitcher Francisco Liriano of the Minnesota Twins is an amazing 12-2 so far with an ERA below 2!

Sagittarius -- (Nov 22-Dec 21) This is a busy, yet fruitful month for you. Mars' energy drives your career ambition now, which is extremely undeniable. New Moon in Virgo on the 23rd is likely to coincide with a work-related honor or the task of extra responsibilities.

Slugger Ryan Howard, first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies, is an optimistic Sagittarius.

Capricorn -- (December 22-January 19) Few people are as frugal or responsible about money as you are, and you might find yourself at odds with a mate over important financial issues, especially mid-month. Regardless of your talent for managing money, diplomacy is needed.

All-Star closer B.J. Ryan of the Toronto Blue Jays is a pragmatic Capricorn.

Aquarius -- (January 20-Feb 18) Although your career is moving along at a steady clip, there may be some challenges with co-workers envious of your success. Your test is to remain detached from any bad vibes.

All-Star closer Derrick Turnbow of the Milwaukee Brewers is an eccentric Aquarius.

Pisces -- (Feb. 19-March 20) Use the New Moon in Virgo on the 23rd as a springboard to greater understanding between yourself and a partner. With the Sun joining Saturn in Leo through the 23rd, you are concerned with getting and staying healthier. Exercising can give you the stamina to take care of other demanding areas in your life.

First baseman Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox is an intuitive Pisces.

Andrea Mallis, Sports Astrologer, is a devoted baseball fan and writer. Andrea has appeared on ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN News, ESPN2 Cold Pizza, Baseball Tonight, and ESPN All Night Radio. She's written for Major League Baseball magazines, ESPN.com Page 2, mlb.com, as well as appearing on local TV and radio shows. Andrea was recently featured in "FantasyLand," a book on fantasy baseball. For more information please visit www.virgoinservice.com. Please mention mlb.com and receive 10% off on all astrological services. Feel free to check out Andrea's sports astrology blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.