Horoscope

ARIES(March 21-April 19)
Scientists at the Crazy Wisdom Institute of Applied Surpriseology have discovered the existence of the Clown Chakra. Located between the Gut and Sex Chakras, it houses the sense of humor and determines one's capacity for spiritually cleansing laughter. Sadly, it's largely shut down in most people, resulting in the current global epidemic of taking things too damn seriously. Judging from the astrological omens in 2002, however, I'm happy to say that you have great prospects for success in opening your Clown Chakra. To spur this exciting development, I suggest you give yourself a holiday gift like Clown Act Omnibus, a book by Wes McVicar that explains how to perform 200 clown stunts.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
You're always the hardest worker in the zodiac, but in 2001 you've really outdone yourself. As a reward, I wish I could send you wacky yet meaningful holiday gifts that would hint at the relief and release you have ahead of you. To show my appreciation for your buoyant mastery of minutiae, I'd give you a grain of wild rice with your name written on it. To honor the constructive attitude you've maintained while carrying out demanding midcourse corrections, I'd buy you a ship captain's hat topped with a propeller. To acknowledge how relentless you've been as you've grappled with your shadow, I'd buy you a gold lamé wrestling uniform. And to celebrate you for being so practical in your spirituality, I'd write a book for you called How to Start Your Own Religion.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
If I were going to give you holiday gifts that would inspire you to fulfill your potential in 2002, here's what they'd be and why: a magnifying glass to enlarge your capacity to read between the lines, a wooden duck decoy as a hint about how to bag the big game you've been hunting for, a ship's anchor to prod you into being more concrete as you seek greater stability, and lessons in a martial art so as to toughen you up in a way that also relaxes you.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22)
What would be the perfect present for me to give you this holiday season? I believe it would be an elegant 18-inch-square black-velvet-covered wooden box with absolutely nothing in it. Around the outside would be gold foil ribbon on which was written the words "The Fertile Treasure of Emptiness." In offering you this gift, I'd hope it might encourage you to reverently purge your mind of all assumptions and expectations as you enter 2002. As I handed it to you, I'd gaze into your eyes and communicate telepathically everything I know about how to render the past irrelevant. Then I'd whisper, "May you cultivate a naked, unconditioned, freewheeling hunger for fresh experience."

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Among the gifts you'll receive this holiday season, there may be junk like a Three Stooges' talking clock or a video of a fire in a fireplace or a mailbox in the shape of a cow. You're so intense and unfathomable these days that even the people who love you may be stumped about what you'd really like. I urge you to show them this horoscope, in which I'll offer them the following advice. First, they can give you anything that nurtures your sleep and dreams, like a pillow-top mattress or luxurious sheets or aromatherapy pillows. Second, they can bless you with an iron cauldron or silver chalice or Native American dream-catcher to symbolize the receptivity you'll need to build in 2002.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Duplicate this horoscope a few times and slip a copy onto the desk or pillow of everyone who's planning to give you a holiday gift. Then they'll know not to get you stuff that astrologers usually recommend for Virgos, like briefcases and closet organizers and day planners. Rather, they will realize that the very best way to prepare you for 2002 will be to feed your need for education that nurtures your idealism and strengthens your social circle. For example, they might offer you gift certificates to workshops taught by practical visionaries.

LIBRA(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
If you really wanted to, you could become a top elephant trainer in 2002. You could be the creator of the world's biggest balloon sculptures or the grower of record-breaking 200-pound pumpkins or the climber of redwood trees higher than the Statue of Liberty. In other words, Libra, you'll have what it takes to work on a larger scale than ever before. If you're inclined to seek mastery in less physical ways, you'll have just as much success. How about, for instance, drawing up a 10-year blueprint of your life? To inspire your efforts, I suggest you make yourself this holiday gift: a collage of you standing on a mountaintop with a halo as big as a merry-go-round.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Here are a few of the gifts I'd love to get you this holiday season: a hand-loomed Turkish shower curtain trimmed with precious stones, a mud-cloth journal crafted from Ghanaian textiles and Italian paper, ceramic and silver spice jars from Peru, and a wool patchwork ottoman made from the traditional ground covering used by shepherds in Kyrgyzstan. By offering you these domestic yet exotic gifts, Scorpio, I'd hope to inspire you to expand your sense of home in 2002, to relax as you extend your reach, to travel far and wide whether or not you ever leave your natural habitat.

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