Week of December 29, 2006

CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): Your sins are pretty mild, Capricorn. Still, you have from time to time violated some of your own highest standards; you have on occasion failed to live with impeccable ethical integrity. That’s the bad news. The good news is that in 2007 you will have the best chance ever to atone for past mistakes. If done well, your corrective actions will win you a permanent vacation from the hell that those mistakes have sometimes trapped you in.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18): There are still places in China where plagues of locusts periodically descend in Biblical proportions. A few years ago, farmers in the region of Xinjiang fought back, gathering an army of 10,000 chickens in anticipation of the invading hordes. The bird soldiers were trained for two months, and when the showdown came, they acquitted themselves admirably. This vignette is an apt metaphor for a challenge you’ll face in 2007. While in general the year should bring an abundant amount of sweet luck and high adventures, there will be a locust visitation or two. I urge you to assemble your own personal equivalent of a chicken army. What might that mean, practically speaking? Here are some possibilities: (1) Be well-prepared for natural anomalies. (2) Ally yourself with the enemy of your adversary. (3) Get others to help you fight your battles.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20): You’re not wearing a chastity belt right now, right? You don’t have on shoes that are so tight that they constrict your sense of adventure? And please tell me you’re not lugging around toxic beliefs about the impossibility of experiencing authentic joy in this “sick, twisted, miserable world we live in.” But if by chance you have victimized yourself with any of the debilitations I just named—or any other form of self-torture for the matter—please take this opportunity to unburden yourself. The time has come for you to explore the mysteries of pleasure, happiness, and outright euphoria. I hope that in 2007, you will fully exploit the new title I now anoint you with: Bliss Warrior.
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19): “When the first settlers arrived in the New World, they were terrified by the vast open spaces,” says Peter Anastas in the film Polis Is This. “They wanted to remake this unkempt paradise into a big English garden.” This is a scenario you should NOT imitate in 2007, Aries. Wander out into the unknown with a cracked grin and a wild heart. Let it work its elemental magic on you. Don’t be too eager to turn the frontier into a comfy hang-out.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20): Though millions of other people may be flirting with glamorous badness and crafty nastiness in 2007, I bet you’ll have a minimal attraction to negativity, no matter how interesting it might allegedly be. Drama kings and drama queens may try to seduce you into the crazy chaos they stir up through their addiction to pain, but you’ll be pretty immune to their temptations. Seemingly reasonable people might hope you’ll buy into their gloom and doom, but you’ll be too smart for that. Congratulations in advance for your determination to be free of the stupid suffering that so many people love to entertain themselves with.
GEMINI (May 21-Jun 20): “Dear Rob: Did you ever hear of that monstrous experiment in which a monkey actually died from lack of touch? I often feel like that poor creature. For a while I thought I was being selfish to want more love, but now I’m sick of that idiotic intellectualized self-denial, and refuse to pretend I’m a self-sufficient saint who can go through life feeling a chronic grey bathwater haze of half-assed passion. Is there any hope? -Deprived Gemini.” Dear Deprived: Good news! The possibility that you’ll be inundated with love is higher in 2007 than it has been for years. Here are two tips to make it more likely that you’ll be in the right places at the right times to capitalize: (1) Make yourself supremely lovable; (2) increase your capacity to give love.
CANCER (Jun 21-Jul 22): I nominate you to be the zodiac’s most successful complainer in 2007. According to my analysis of the omens, you could excel at formulating brisk critiques and constructive dissent. You may even have a genius for bringing the bracing intelligence of the heart to bear on situations that are paralyzed by mind games. If you manage to fulfill the potential I’m prophesying, you’ll set in motion far-reaching ripples of benevolent change. More power to you, Cancerian! May your grumbles and squawks and protests be imbued with lyrical persuasiveness.
LEO (Jul 23-Aug 22): My beautiful and talented Leo friend Alisha had a traumatic experience early in her romantic history. At age 17, she fell in love with the garbage man who hauled away her family’s trash every Saturday. Through her persistent efforts, the two of them started dating, even though her parents hated his surly vulgarity, his permanently dirty fingernails, and the fact that he couldn’t read. After a whirlwind affair, alas, he broke up with her. Ever since, even as Alisha has learned to make better choices, she has carried the tragicomic embarrassment of having been dumped by a mean, illiterate garbage man. But I predict that in 2007 she’ll be healed: Delightful adventures in love will utterly expunge that old twinge. Moreover, I believe many of you Leos will find comparable romantic redemption.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22): In Kabbalah, the tree of life is the primary symbol of the universe. In Norse mythology, the World Tree links heaven to earth and shelters all living things; beneath it lies a magical well with water that confers special powers on those who drink it. The ancient Chinese spoke of a peach tree that bore a single fruit once every three millennia, and provided immortality to anyone who ate it. In the mythic tradition of modern science, trees have a crucial role in maintaining the ecological health of the planet. I mention all this, Virgo, because in 2007 you’ll benefit tremendously from deepening your relationship with trees—both the actual and mythical kinds. Get to know them better. Learn from them. Plant some. Put a picture of a favorite tree on your altar. Hug one now and then.
LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22): According to The Onion newspaper, the Catholic Church has abolished the traditional “blessed” status of the meek. The new official story is that the meek shall *not* inherit the earth. One Church official was quoted as saying, “Everything about the meek, from their quiet demeanors to their utter lack of can-do spirit, goes against Church philosophy.” I can’t confirm the accuracy of The Onion’s report, but it does underscore a point I want to drive home to you in 2007: It’ll be a favorable time for you to get tough with the docile, submissive aspects of your own psyche. Humility’s fine; that can stay. But you should take aggressive measures to lose any tendencies you might have to be passive. Capitalize on the fact that events in the coming months will help you tap into reserves of courage that have previously been inaccessible.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21): In 2007, you’ll need to find the power to do the half-right thing when it’s impossible to do the totally right thing. To help you do that, remember this advice from Abraham Lincoln: “The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject anything, is not whether it have any evil in it; but whether it have more of evil than of good. There are few things wholly evil, or wholly good. Almost every thing is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.”
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21): Not everything you feel in 2007 will be new, but you’ll have a lot more novel emotions than in a typical year. Not everything you do will be creative and imaginative, but I suspect you’ll often be improvising your way smartly through experiences that have no precedent. You may not be relentlessly reinventing yourself, but I bet you’ll be imitating your old shticks and tricks less than you ever have before.