AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18): Several of my friends have given names to their cars, and I know many other people who have bestowed appellations on their homes, their vacuum cleaners, their favorite trees, and their genitals. In Norse mythology, the god Thor affectionately called his magic golden hammer by the name Mjollnir. It so happens that this would be a ripe time for you to experiment with this approach, Aquarius. I think you’ll find that as you name your home and car as well as every plant, toaster, traffic light, crow, and cloud, that the whole world will become more alive and friendly and helpful.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20): “We are what we pretend to be,” wrote author Kurt Vonnegut, “so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” This is excellent advice to keep at the forefront of your awareness during the coming weeks, Pisces. Here’s how I interpret his statement: There’s not necessarily anything wrong with playing a role if that role is in alignment with your highest values. In fact, to make believe that you are the person you want to be is an excellent strategy for actually becoming the person you want to be.
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19): My friend Rose comes from a large extended family that does not include a single millionaire. There’s no chance she will inherit a windfall from a dead relative.
On the other hand, many religious devotees, humanitarians, and do-gooders have graced both sides of her family line. She regards her own idealistic aspirations as being a result of the legacy they left her; she thinks of herself as having received an inheritance composed of spiritual wealth. What about you, Aries? What are the special gifts of your heritage? What talents and capacities have you been blessed with by your ancestors? It’s time to intensify your efforts to make use of them.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20): Do you have a forbidden fantasy? Is there some adventure you wish you could let yourself have, but you lack the money or spunk to attempt it? Have you been nursing an impossible dream that is no closer to fulfillment now than it was when you first conjured it up years ago? If so, Taurus, the time has come to resolve your relationship with it. Either renounce it and forget it forever, or else take a bold, practical step toward making it come true. P.S. You have more courage than you realize.
GEMINI (May 21-Jun 20): Fashion designer Rick Owens toiled in relative obscurity for years while perfecting his “glunge” look, which mixes glamour with grunge. Now he has his own acclaimed clothing line in Paris. Recently an interviewer asked him, “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned?” His reply: “We’re all freaks.” I’d like you to take that idea to heart, Gemini. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’ll benefit from fully acknowledging how odd, idiosyncratic, irregular, and mysterious you really are—and learning to love that fact. This week’s second assignment is also spurred by Owens. “What’s your definition of beauty?” he was asked. “With fitness, grooming and an open heart,” he said, “Absolutely anyone can be wildly attractive.” Work on that, too. Revel in your wildly attractive freakiness.
CANCER (Jun 21-Jul 22): After torrential rains caused flooding in the small town where I live, the Thai restaurant was one of the few downtown businesses that was spared catastrophic damage. The maitre d’ explained to me why as I ordered my to-go dinner tonight. “We’ve always hated our tile floor. It makes the place feel sterile, and it’s slippery. People lose their footing if there’s even a little wet spot. But when the three feet of floodwater poured in, our tile floor held up. All the stores around us had wooden floors that were destroyed.” This is your metaphor of the week, Cancerian. Something in your life that you have regarded as a problem will become a saving grace.
LEO (Jul 23-Aug 22): You may not realize how significant a role that architecture plays in shaping your moods, ideas, and decisions. I’m here to remind you that it does. The quality of the indoor space you regularly inhabit deeply influences what goes on inside your mind and body. It’s not just the structure of the buildings I’m talking about, of course, but also the decor, the furniture, the carpets, and the colors. In 2006, it will be important for you to become more aware of this fact, and to be aggressive about putting yourself into environments that bring out the best in you. As a gift to yourself, spend some time inside the most uplifting building you know.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22): I decided to work on your horoscope while out in nature today. Armed with my notebook of astrology data, I found a fallen tree to use as a chair on the muddy bank of Ross Creek. As I gazed into the rain-swollen torrent and thought about you, a little voice in my head said I should give you the following message: To invoke the awareness that will help you formulate this week’s most important questions, spend quality time watching water flow through the earth, watching clouds stream through the sky, and watching thoughts glide across your mind’s eye.
LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22): “Though the human body is born complete in one moment, the birth of the human heart is an ongoing process,” writes John O’Donohue in his book Anam Cara. In other words, your capacity for love is forever on the brink of expanding. Your potential to be transformed by compassionate intimacy is inexhaustible. Your emotional intelligence is always ready to awaken more thoroughly, to ripen more brilliantly. Of course you can resist the ongoing pressure to give birth to more heart wisdom. Shrinking back from the relentless upheaval, you can reject the demanding bliss you’re offered and retreat into safe numbness. Which way will you choose, Libra? This week will be a turning point.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21): This isn’t always the case, Scorpio, but right now you have a certain resemblance to that type of wild iris know as blue-eyed grass. Its stem isn’t hardy enough to hold up more than one flower blossom at a time; before a new bloom sprouts, therefore, the old one has to wither. Similarly, you can’t and shouldn’t try to work on more than a single labor of love, at least for the next week. Devote all your concentration and care to it, ignoring the other possibilities. And don’t worry: This narrowing of your focus is a good thing.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21): The American Dialect Society has chosen the best new words of 2005. Winning in the “most creative” category was “whale tail,” which refers to the top of a thong showing above the waistband of pants or a skirt. But the fresh coinage that’s most meaningful to you right now, Sagittarius, is “truthiness.” It’s the quality people embody when they assert concepts that they wish to be true instead of sticking to the facts. In his TV show on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert articulated a perfect example: “Who’s Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was finished in 1914? If I want to say it happened in 1941, that’s my right. I don’t trust books. They’re all fact, no heart.” It’s always important for you to avoid truthiness yourself and protest it when it spills from others. But it’s especially crucial now. Arm yourself with factiness.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): Good news, Capricorn. Right now your financial prospects look almost as bright as those of the oil industry, whose earnings grew 42 percent in the last three months of 2005. There is a caveat, however. If, like the companies that sell gasoline, you attempt to capitalize on bad news and profit at the expense of the collective well-being, your money situation will suffer. To gather all of the good economic fortune that’s available, you’ve got to redouble your efforts to maintain high levels of integrity.