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 21April 19): Machismo is a term that refers to the aggressive demonstration of stereotypical masculine qualities. Feminismo, on the other hand, signifies a potent expression of what are usually thought of as feminine traits. These include sensitivity, receptivity, emotional intelligence, a knack for nurturing others, a drive to create beauty, and a skill for building relationships. This will be important for you to keep in mind in the coming months, because 2005 will be the Year of Feminismo for Aries both male and female. Are you ready to supercharge your feminine qualities?
TAURUS(April 20May 20): All of us have a dark sidea part of our psyches that is unripe, a bit crazed, and out of sync with our highest values. If you try to suppress it or deny its existence, it controls you surreptitiously. If you acknowledge its presence and cultivate a relationship with it, you may be able to harness some of its raw power for good causes. You've got to love it without overindulging it; give it voice without allowing it to possess you. I mention all of this, Taurus, because 2005 should be the year you dramatically upgrade and refine the role that your dark side plays in your life.
GEMINI(May 21June 20): To guide your journey in 2005, I've selected two quotes. I suggest you write them out and keep them in your wallet or under your pillow for the next 10 months. The first is from mythologist Joseph Campbell: "The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature." Your second keynote comes from the ancient Chinese sage Lao-tzu: "Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found." Now here's your homework, Gemini: Meditate on how these themes articulate two angles of approach to the same joyful work.
CANCER(June 21July 22): Since 1991, my Cancerian friend Jared has donated blood to a local blood bank 105 times. He volunteers as a big brother to fatherless kids and donates 20 percent of his salary to charity. Yet I've never once heard him ask anyone for help. Vanessa, another Cancerian friend, compulsively takes care of all her friends, bringing them home-cooked meals and thoughtful gifts whenever they're down. I know she sometimes suffers bouts of depression herself, but as far as I'm aware, no one brings her treats. Jared and Vanessa are going to be the poster children for my crusade to bring balance to your life in 2005. You simply must stop giving more than you receive; you've got to expand your capacity to accept assistance and blessings from other people.
LEO(July 23Aug. 22): This should be the year you devote yourself to maddening and glorious details, Leo. I encourage you to dive into the mysteries of intricacy as you master the thousand and one practical matters that will ultimately make your dreams come true. You might want to memorize the following quote from philosopher William James: "I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible, loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillaries."
VIRGO(Aug. 23Sept. 22): I'm not given to extravagant tastes, but I do allow myself one unreasonable habit: a craving for organic grapes in the wintertime. If they're available in the stores at all, two bunches of pesticide-free Concords can set me back as much as a three-course meal at my favorite Thai restaurant. But they're good for me, and I'm pretty self-controlled the rest of the time, so I regard my appetite for the grapes as an acceptable form of self-indulgence. I mention this, Virgo, because I believe you have cosmic permission in 2005 to raise your quota of healthy greed. In fact, I suggest you brainstorm right now about the salubrious pleasures you plan to demand more of in the coming months.
LIBRA(Sept. 23Oct. 22): "Curiosity did not kill the cat," reports John Olson in Free Stream Velocity, his book of prose poems. "Boredom killed the cat." Let that be your rallying cry in 2005, Libra. In the coming months you will have a sacred duty to elude all situations that make your eyes glaze over. To meet your dates with destiny, you must not tolerate blah or ho-hum in any form. "Curiosity was born with the universe," Olson reminds you. "It redeems and is erotic."
SCORPIO(Oct. 23Nov. 21): Srinivasa Ramanujan was one of India's greatest mathematical geniuses. He lacked formal training and his work was thought peculiar by his fellow mathematicians, but he made dramatic breakthroughs that are highly regarded. He attributed his success to the Hindu goddess Namakkal. She appeared regularly in his dreams, where she revealed innovative formulas he had only to verify when he awoke. I hereby appoint Ramanujan to be your official role model for 2005. May he inspire you in your quest to establish a practical alliance with a benevolent deity, imaginary friend, or guardian angel. If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, this ally will provide you with a steady stream of useful clues about how to fulfill the mission you came to earth to carry out.