FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, January 2, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I predict that in 2003 you’ll be the zodiac’s most ingenious lover. Instead of relying on the same old shticks, you’ll be constantly coming up with fresh tricks. Your passion will intensify and become more creative and you’ll enjoy a wider variety of pleasures. Wait, there’s more! You’ll have a sixth sense about what your intimate companions want and a seventh sense about how to give it to them in interesting ways.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): coined the term “snobmoddity” to describe the exaltation of ordinary consumer goods into chic luxury items. You know the phenomenon. Go into any supermarket in the Western world and you can buy scores of exotic varieties of bread, water, or coffee. The experts at predict that you “will one day insist on having Saharan desert sand in your children’s sand box, and Saharan desert sand only.” Already the zodiac’s master of bringing high art to life’s most familiar things, you’ll raise this practice to new levels of beauty, grace, and soulfulness in 2003.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I predict that 2003 will be a year full of interjections and exclamations. You’ll unleash lots of comments like “aha!” and “hey!” and “wow!” and “huh?” Of the many interruptions that will make your life interesting, some will be fun and others frustrating. The proportion of fun to frustrating will depend on your ability to adapt without being a pushover. To get into prime condition for the quick-change artistry you’ll be asked to perform, intone the following mantra a thousand times: “Viva bravo whoopee ooooooh eureka hallelujah.”

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A trend analyst I know has put astrology on her Top Ten “It” List for 2003. In the face of war and economic uncertainty, she says, we’ll be more receptive to astrology’s intuitive, nonlinear wisdom. This worries me a little. I love the ancient art but grieve at the superficial version of it that, in mainstream culture, too often provides not wisdom but an escape into superstitious irrationality, stimulating fear and cramping free will. If you use astrology or any of the other intuitive ways of knowing the world in 2003 — please, Cancerian, do so responsibly. Trust your hunches, interpret your dreams, and troll for gems in the depths of your subconscious mind during meditation. But keep your good old analytical reasoning faculty in top working condition, too.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Before sleep last night, I asked my subconscious mind for a prophecy about the destiny of the Leo tribe in 2003. Near morning, I dreamed that Corinne and Geoff, two Leos I know, were sitting at a table beneath a sign that read, “Assembling the I.” Corinne was finishing a jigsaw puzzle that depicted her own face. Geoff had almost solved a Rubik’s Cube whose six sides each had an image of him. Here’s what I think this means: In the coming months, you’ll concentrate deeply on figuring out who you really are and make many breakthroughs in creating a more integrated identity.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Two famous fairy-tale moments to use as symbols of power in 2003: first, from “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the point when the young boy, trusting his own eyes, states plainly that the emperor is naked. Second, the climactic scene in The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy and friends are at the wizard’s palace, begging for boons he’s not disposed to grant. Then Toto the dog pulls back the drapery to reveal an ordinary man manipulating machinery to sustain the illusion of wizardry. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” he barks through his loudspeakers. But it’s too late: His fraud has been exposed. I propose, Virgo, that you make Toto and the young boy your role models in the coming months.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Buddhists believe that intention is the root of all karma, both bad and good. If your actions are motivated by aversion, grasping, or confusion, you sow the seeds of suffering. When you’re moved by generosity, kindness, and truthfulness, on the other hand, you lay groundwork for happiness. In my opinion, Libra, 2003 is the most favorable time in years for you to master this principle and use it to create the life you want.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Some modern astrologers never look at the sky, basing their predictions on mental constructs they’ve built by reading, meditating, and studying with teachers. As an antidote to this blindness, Daniel Giamario has developed a more experiential astrology. In his workshops, he takes students to wilderness areas far from civilization’s light pollution, where they observe the actual movements of heavenly bodies all night long. He believes, as I do, that planetary energies can be felt in the body. In 2003, I urge you Scorpios to bring this kind of approach to every mystery that attracts you. Gather more knowledge through direct perception and less from second-hand stories.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You were born to be a hunter. Not the banal gunman who shoots helpless animals for sport. Rather I’m referring to your tireless search for meanings that nourish your soul, your courageous eagerness to go anywhere and try anything in order to find delicious truths, your restless seeking of adventures that educate the wise animal in you. As the world around you sinks deeper into obsession with comfort and consolation in 2003, Sagittarius, I suggest you raise your expression of the hunter’s arts to a higher plane.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I predict that in 2003 you will become more skilled at getting the most out of conflict. That’s not to say you’ll experience more discord than usual; rather, you will approach disagreements constructively, regarding them as learning opportunities, often finding them interesting and energizing. You’ll be less likely to let your ego get all wrapped up in the outcome and should therefore enjoy the arguments as if they were entertaining games. Congratulations in advance, Capricorn.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I recently asked my readers, “What influence do you not want to bring with you into 2003?” Bridjet’s nominee: “The silly notion that when two people fall in love, you should become a single, unified organism.” In psychological jargon, what Bridjet refers to is called enmeshment. It’s when two people become such a we that neither person keeps working on being a me. Though our culture idolizes this pathological state as the model of romantic love, it’s often a dead end. Here’s a healthier model: two strong, well-defined individuals choosing to interweave their unique destinies. I urge you to aspire to that standard.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “Dear Rob: I dreamt I was gazing through a camera’s telephoto lens. In a distant tree I spied a bird’s nest with two big eggs. A cat had just arrived and was carefully settling down on them to keep them warm. What does it mean? — Piscean in Santa Cruz.” Dear Piscean: I believe you’ve had a prophetic dream for the entire Piscean tribe. I believe that in 2003, you Fishes will have a chance to nurture an influence that you’ve previously been inclined to mess with or destroy. Or else you will forge a close alliance with a budding thing whose nature is very different from yours. Or maybe both. In either case, you’ll be invited to earn a double blessing by overcoming natural tendencies.

Homework: Make a list of your anti-resolutions. What weird habits, incorrigible vices, and controversial actions do you promise to cultivate in 2003?

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