TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The Web site trendwatching.com coined the term "snobmoddity" to describe the exaltation of ordinary consumer goods into chic luxury items. Go into any supermarket in the Western world and you can buy scores of exotic varieties of bread, water, lettuce or coffee. Salt is the next likely candidate to become a snobmoddity, say the experts at trendwatching.com. They predict that you "will one day insist on having Saharan desert sand in your children’s sand box, and Saharan desert sand only." You're way ahead of the curve on this, and you'll raise this practice to new levels of beauty and grace in 2003.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): 2003 will be a year full of interjections and exclamations. You'll unleash comments like "aha!" and "hey!" and "wow!" and "huh?!" with uncanny frequency. Of the many interruptions that will arrive to make your life interesting, some will be fun and others frustrating. The proportion of fun to frustrating will depend on your ability to be adaptable without being a pushover. To work yourself into prime condition for the quick-change artistry you'll be invited to perfect, 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 10 "It" List for 2003. In the face of war and economic uncertainty, she says, we'll all be more receptive to astrology's intuitive, nonlinear modes of knowing. This worries me. While I love the ancient art, I grieve at the superficial version of it that dominates mainstream culture. Instead of awakening wise intuition, it too often tempts people to escape into superstitious irrationality, stimulating their fear and cramping their free will. If you do use astrology in 2003, please do so responsibly. Trust your hunches, interpret your dreams and troll for gems in the depths of your subconscious during meditation. But keep your analytical reasoning faculty in top working condition too.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Before I slept last night, I asked my subconscious mind to give me a prophetic dream 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 successfully putting together 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 dream means: In the coming months, you'll concentrate deeply on figuring out who you really are; you'll make many breakthroughs as you create a more integrated identity.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I've got two famous moments from fairy tales for you to use as symbols of power in 2003. The first is from "The Emperor's New Clothes." It's when the young boy, trusting his own eyes, refuses to buy into the sham and states plainly that the emperor is naked. The second comes during The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy and her entourage are at the palace of the Wizard, begging him for boons he's not disposed to grant. Then the little dog Toto pulls back the drapery to reveal the ordinary man who is secretly manipulating machinery to sustain the illusion of wizardry. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," the man barks through his loudspeakers. But his fraud has been exposed. 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 the groundwork for happiness. I think 2003 is the most favorable time in years for you to master this principle and apply it to create the life you want.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Some modern astrologers never even look at the sky. Their relationship with the planets is based entirely on mental constructs they've built by reading books, meditating and studying with teachers. As an antidote, 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, not just theorized about by the mind. I urge you to bring this kind of approach to every mystery you're attracted to. Gather more of your knowledge through direct perception and less from secondhand stories that have been predigested for you.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You were born to be a hunter. Not the banal version of that archetype, not the gunman who shoots helpless animals for sport. Rather I'm referring to your tireless search for meaningful expansions that nourish your soul; your courageous eagerness to go anywhere and try anything in order to discover delicious truths; your restless seeking of initiatory adventures that educate the wise animal in you. In 2003, I suggest you raise your expression of the hunter's arts to a higher octave.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): 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 with a more constructive attitude. You'll be inclined to regard them as learning opportunities instead of inconvenient distractions. On many occasions they'll be interesting and energizing, not dull and draining. You'll be less likely to let your ego get all wrapped up in the outcome of your arguments, and should therefore enjoy them as if they were entertaining games. Congratulations in advance.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I recently asked my readers, "What influence do you not want to bring with you into 2003?" Bridjet wrote, "The influence I don’t want to bring with me is the silly notion that when you fall in love with someone, and they fall in love back, that 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 supreme 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. That's the standard I urge you to aspire to.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "Dear Rob: I dreamed I was gazing through a camera with a telephoto lens. I spied a distant tree with a bird's nest that contained 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: You've had a prophetic dream for your entire tribe. In 2003, you Fishes will have an opportunity 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 overcome your natural tendencies in order to earn a double blessing. Make a list of your anti-resolutions. What weird habits, incorrigible vices and controversial actions do you promise to cultivate in 2003?