By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
It's that time of year again, time to light the Chanukah candles. Starting on Friday at sundown light the one that represents Light. On Saturday evening, light #2 for Knowledge, then it's #3 for Justice, #4 for Mercy, #5 for Holiness, #6 for Love, #7 for Patience and #8 for Courage. The Sagittarius new moon on Wednesday is another occasion to celebrate as is the winter solstice. Capricorn begins on Thursday, the 21st, a few minutes after an earth-shaking square between bombastic Mars and unpredictable Uranus. Before you know it, it'll be Christmas.
Aries: Mar. 20 - Apr. 19
It may take a while before you realize that an opportunity you've been fantasizing about is going to materialize, probably before your birthday comes around. So take a minute during the Sagittarius new moon period on Wednesday to imprint some of those images on your conscious mind. Then, by the time the moon becomes full, you'll be so much closer to experiencing what you've been longing for. Forget about making New Year's resolutions; the first of your life-altering changes could take place as soon as Old Man Winter checks in.
Taurus: Apr. 20 - May 20
Feel free to coast through the rest of the holidays, showing up if the occasion calls for your physical presence but keeping to yourself when you feel like it. The pressures brought to bear on the rest of the population somehow pass the Bull by this year. But if you do want to share in the spirit of the season and celebrate with significant others (less significant as time goes by, eh?) why not recreate a happy childhood memory? Saturn standing guard around your family tree ensures that the nutty relatives won't show up.
Gemini: May 21 - Jun. 20
Even if you're on hiatus for the holidays, you won't refuse to help a colleague deal with a difficult situation at work. Just be careful around the solstice; it's difficult to predict what could happen when assertive Mars in your house of allies squares off against disruptive Uranus. But thanks to your receptive Mercury ruler a welcome sense of stability returns in the nick of time. Come Christmas Day you could finally get the confession you've been longing to hear. Is it a gift from the gods or the ghost of Christmas past?
Cancer: Jun. 21 - Jul. 22
The winter solstice can strike a familiar chord deep in the Moon Child's psyche, a reminder that fairly soon summer, your season to shine, will be here. But for now, while the planets are congregating on the far side of the zodiac, your attention is being drawn to the people you work and play with. One may provoke your curiosity or give your creativity a boost; another could help you organize your latest project so that every aspect is adequately covered. Is it the season or are folks being unusually cooperative?
Leo: Jul. 23 - Aug. 22
If timing is indeed everything, then for the rest of the year you are one lucky Lion. This holiday season is notable because of the cornucopia of powerful planets in your zone of recreation and romance. Since impressive amounts of passion, intelligence and physical strength are at your disposal, seriously consider the best ways to use them. Athletes should compete where and when they can; pundits should find a soapbox to pontificate from. The same thing goes for comedians and actors. Lovers just need to be their own sweet selves.
Virgo: Aug. 23 - Sep. 22
The prelude to Christmas can often become too jittery a time for a finely-tuned Virgin. But once the sun enters Capricorn and the stabilizing earth element infiltrates the atmosphere, things calm down. There'll still be questionsWhen? Where? Who?but you won't feel as pressured to come up with answers that suit the rest of the relatives. If you'd like to experience a transformation, take some time on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when your Mercury ruler aligns with respected Saturn and regenerative Pluto, for yourself.
Libra: Sep. 23 - Oct. 22
Settling scores or making amends? For the Scales, as the old year dwindles down and you look ahead to the new, it's important to know that you've balanced the books. Although you might not see evidence yet of the luck Jupiter will bestow on you throughout 2007, you may already sense that new vistas are about to open up. Along with receiving interesting opportunities to expand your area of expertise, you're likely to travel more, acquire a new set of wheels, connect with other communicators, etc. As for love; it comes, it goes, it returns.
Scorpio: Oct. 23 - Nov. 21
Suspecting that there's a secret that someone has been keeping quiet about is part and parcel of the Scorpio mindset. Trying to unearth it successfully, without causing embarrassment to anyone involved, is something else entirely. It seems that you've managed to squeeze yourself into a tricky position, halfway between two powerful forces represented by two notable personalities. Both of them can do you a lot of good, but you can't appear to favor one over the other. Play fair; the situation resolves itself after Christmas.
Sagittarius: Nov. 22 - Dec. 21
It may seem trivial, just another thing to take care of during an already busy holiday season. However, celebrating the Sagittarius new moon can affect what happens to you, not only for the rest of this year, but for all of January as well. So, before you blow off this opportunity, take a moment on the 20th to think about what you want purely for yourself; not for your family, not for your friends, not for the rest of humanity. Along with having prosperous Jupiter in your sign, isn't there something else that'll satisfy your soul?
Capricorn: Dec. 22 - Jan. 20
Like Cancer, Libra and Aries, the other cardinal signs, you can't help but respond to seasonal changes more than the rest of us do. Your internal clock is more sensitive, your priorities are more demanding, your memories more deeply embedded. So come the winter solstice and the onset of Capricorn solar energy, you could feel that you're being rejuvenated or revived. That your Saturn ruler is currently supported by Pluto's power to transform, serves to strengthen that sense of being reborn. Not so next winter.
Aquarius: Jan. 21 - Feb. 18
Since Aquarius is known as the sign that looks to the future, make sure you take time on the 20th to acknowledge the last new moon of the old year. It'll take place in your far-seeing Sagittarius house of hopes and wishes, social groups and professional associations. And, with fortunate Jupiter in Sag for all of 2007, the 11th house is where your best chances for satisfaction and growth will spring from. This should help you handle the news that when it comes to partnership matters, more dues need to be paid.
Well, not all Fish can be named "Man of the Year" or be included on another critic's Top Ten list. But there's enough attention centered at the top of your solar chart, the place where your reputation is made, to single you out for something you've accomplished this year. Consider it a gift from the cosmos at large. As for specifics, the one that stands out (and for which you should probably take cover) is the excitement due when energetic Mars provokes unpredictable Uranus in your sign on the 21st. A thrill a minute.