By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Here's my favorite thing about being an astrologer: I've been able to study my own horoscope to discern what qualities I lack, and then try to correct those lacks. For instance, I have no planets in Aries in my natal chart. But armed with that knowledge, I've worked to develop the strengths you Rams are famous for: a single-minded sense of purpose, a fiery knack for burning away the obstacles to dreams, a restless passion to keep reinventing yourself, and a reverence for adventures that compel you to build more courage. In 2003, I urge you to recommit yourself to cultivating all these beautiful talents, which are your birthright. Identify the part of you that's weakest, and use your native Aries dynamism to bolster it.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Professional trend analysts are touting the concept of "medievalizing" for 2003. They say we'll retreat into feudal self-protectiveness, cloistering ourselves from war, terrorism, and economic recession. It's the old concept of cocooning, multiplied tenfold. According to my astrological analysis, you Bulls are already well underway in pursuing a healthier version of this homing instinct. You're being driven mostly out of love, not fear. As a result, you're raising the art of nesting to new aesthetic heights. I predict that you will continue to become more comfortable in profound and enlivening ways.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Sand castles are icons of ephemerality. They're best built in the wet sand left behind on the beach when the tide goes out; they're demolished when the tide comes back in a few hours later. I'd like to make them one of your sacred emblems for 2003. In doing so, I don't mean to imply that your certainties will be any less transitory than usual. Rather, it's my way of urging you to capitalize on the fleeting nature of all things, which should be one of your specialties in the coming months. As the Buddhist monk and genius Thich Nhat Hanh says, "Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible."
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CANCER (June 21-July 22): I make a distinction between emotions and feelings. Emotions are instinctual reactions, often negative, that aren't necessarily appropriate to the events that seem to stimulate them. For instance, you can just as easily become angry, sad, or jealous when you've misinterpreted a person's actions as when you have understood them correctly. Feelings, on the other hand, are one-of-a-kind responses that arise in resonance to the unique qualities of a specific moment. You may, for example, be filled with a wistfully sweet sense of loss as you take a walk in the misty twilight after achieving a dream that commanded your attention for a long time. With these ideas as a guide, Cancerian, I suggest you make your emotions more objective in 2003, even as you cultivate the idiosyncrasies of your feelings.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I predict that you will come into possession of some real magic in 2003: something equivalent to pixie dust or mystical beans or an enchanted potion. But coming into possession of it and being able to use it successfully are two separate matters. There's no guarantee you'll know how to make it work for you. Here are a few guidelines that should help: (1) Don't speak about your lucky stuff to anyone unless they absolutely need to know. (2) Before using it to change your life, practice with it once or twice in a low-risk situation. (3) Make sure it harms no one.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Tony was the roughest, toughest dude in my high school class. He organized midnight drag races down suburban streets when he was 14, sold vodka on the playground at 15, and shaved his pimples off with razor blades in the boys' bathroom at 16. He took boxing lessons throughout his adolescence, and by the time he graduated, he'd gotten two girls pregnant. I lost touch with him when I moved away. Years later, though, I ran into a mutual friend who'd stayed in contact with Tony. My friend said he'd become a policemanand a pretty good one at that. Let Tony's transformation serve as one of your guiding metaphors for 2003, Virgo. I predict that the most unredeemed part of youyour inner Tonywill undergo an amazing conversion.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Your lucky number for 2003 will be 1.6180339887, also known as phi. In his book The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number, astrophysicist Mario Livio asserts that it has been a key factor in creating many beautiful objects, from the Mona Lisa to Stradivarius violins to the Great Pyramid. Also known for hundreds of years as the divine proportion, 1.6180339887 is renowned as exquisitely harmonious and useful. I believe that everything I just said about it, dear Libra, should be applied to the effects you can have on your world in the coming months.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): As public schools continue to decline and private schools become more expensive, increasing numbers of parents are home-schooling their children. I predict that an analogous phenomenon will arise in 2003. Called the "home-church" movement by Christians and the "home-synagogue" movement by Jews, it will consist of people creating altars and conducting worship sessions in their own abodes. Seekers pursuing this approach to spiritual communion will be their own priests, priestesses, and rabbis. There will be a disproportionately high percentage of Scorpios leading this phenomenon.