ARIES (March 21-April 19): I predict that after Castro dies in 2003, Cuba will become both a haven for American corporations seeking cheap labor and a more exotic version of Nevada, complete with legalized gambling and prostitution. Booming tourist trade from its northern neighbor will ultimately turn the island nation into a wealthy “paradise of vice.” I also suspect that these developments may have analogies to your destiny in 2003. You’re likely to be angling for your own personal Cuba: a new frontier to try out your dreams of expansion, a free zone where you can be more daring and experimental than usual.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Jack prays every day for five years to win the lottery, but never hears from God or hits the jackpot. Finally, God wakes him up in the middle of the night. “Jack, is that you who’s been praying so hard to win the lottery?” the Supreme Being booms. “Yes, Lord, desperately!” God pauses for a moment, then says thoughtfully, “Jack, I’ll tell you what. I want you to meet me halfway. Buy a ticket, OK?” Let this joke be a prod, Taurus, that will keep you from making the same mistake Jack was guilty of.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I have a psychic vision about your life in 2003. I see you adopting a secret identity as a superhero. Your mythic name will be the Amazing Underdog, and you will have two superpowers: the ability to steal unexpected victories in situations where everyone underestimates you, and the ability to defeat evil and save the world through modest, persistent effort made with absolute integrity. Are you up for the assignment? If so, don’t tell anyone about it.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Upon completing The Book of Ephraim, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Merrill believed he’d finished writing about the rejuvenation of his spiritual life, which had been unfolding for several years. But he was wrong. When he and a friend picked up the Ouija board soon thereafter, Merrill was given notice that he had more to do. “3 OF YOUR YEARES MORE WE WANT,” barked the Ouija spirits, who apparently dwelt in a realm with odd spelling rules and no lowercase. “WE MUST HAVE / POEMS OF SCIENCE THE WEORK FINISHT IS BUT A PROLOGUE.” If you consulted the Ouija board right now, Cancerian, I bet you’d channel a comparable message concerning your own path. Here’s my prediction: A labor of love you expected to climax soon will ask you?perhaps even command you?to give it more time.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the future, it won’t be the material treasures you accumulate that will win you the most bragging points. It won’t be the important people you know or the deals you’ve swung or the knowledge you’ve amassed or your mate’s attractiveness. No, what will be most boast-worthy in the world to come will be your success in wrestling your shadow?how thoroughly you can tame the ignorant, flawed, selfish aspects of your own nature. Each of us is given an equal share of that leaden stuff, but some are more relentlessly ingenious in transmuting it into gold. And it’s now prime time for you, Leo, to make rapid progress toward mastering that powerful magic.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?” Philosophers long ago stopped trying to solve these questions, says biologist E.O. Wilson, believing them to be unanswerable. Scientists subsequently stepped forward to fill the vacuum, and now act as supreme arbiters of the mysteries that once belonged to philosophers. I regard this as a loss. Though the scientific method is a tremendous tool for understanding the world, many scientists refuse to use it to study phenomena that can’t be repeated under controlled conditions or that can’t be explained by current models of reality. And I say it’s impossible to explore the Big Three Questions without taking into account all that stuff. Which brings me to the crux, Virgo: Your assignment in 2003 is to bring the disciplined objectivity of the scientific method into areas of your life that are invisible, subtle, secret, and soulful.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the coming week, steep yourself in the sounds of gossamer melodies as much as possible, preferably while bathing in soft, golden light and sipping hot, sweet tea. Move and think and read slowly in the safest places you know while exulting quietly in the soothing touch of velvet or cashmere next to your skin. In February you can careen wildly out to the edges of reality, bedecked in vivid accessories and on the prowl for delightful upheavals; but for now devote yourself to the cultivation of luminous, murmuring pleasures that comfort you all the way down to the bottom of your life.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I predict that in 2003, researchers will use genetic engineering to develop high-yield soy and corn crops that thrive on toxic sludge and acid rain. I further predict that many of you Scorpios will produce analogous marvels in your personal lives. Some of you will exploit your old psychic garbage to create barriers that’ll prevent the influx of more psychic garbage in the future; some of you will be driven by your nightmares to generate bright blessings; and some of you will turn your most acute pain into your hottest inspiration.
SAGITARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I predict that beginning next summer, many films that are released on DVD will be offered with three different possible endings. Consumers will be able to choose the climax that appeals to them most. This new wrinkle in the entertainment industry will have a parallel in the actual lives of Sagittarians in 2003. I predict that you will come to a crossroad at the tail end of a big adventure, and there you will take a long pause as you decide which way to go in order to complete your journey. Many of you will then try out all three possible endings before committing to one.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I predict that marijuana will eventually be legalized for no other reason than that the government needs the money gained from taxing and selling it in state-run stores. Similarly, you Capricorns will be tempted in 2003 to set aside certain long-held opinions or traditions in order to be available for new financial opportunities. It’s not my job to tell you whether it’s right or wrong for you to do that; I just want you to be fully prepared for the choice you’ll be facing.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I’ve been having dreams about rock star Eminem. In one, my mom beat Eminem’s mom at arm wrestling. In another, he took me to the house in Detroit where he lived as a child, which happened to be next door to where I grew up. In a third, Eminem and I collaborated on a music CD that was loved by the critics but shunned by consumers. What do these dreams mean? Since Eminem is the celebrity whose influence I regard as the most contrary to mine, my unconscious mind may be suggesting that I should deal more proactively with those I disagree with. Or maybe I’m being shown that my adversaries and I have similarities that I’ve been unwilling to acknowledge. I bring this up, Aquarius, because my analysis of 2003’s omens reveals that you, too, should identify the person who is most unlike you in the world?your Eminem?and ask the same questions I am.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): At a recent workshop, facilitator James Baraz told the following story. A woman came to a Buddhist teacher seeking advice about a certain problem. The teacher made a wise recommendation, but the woman objected that she couldn’t follow it because of another problem she had. The teacher offered a second solution, which the woman also rejected, saying it would be impossible to carry out because of yet another difficulty. Once more the teacher described a course of action she could take to minimize the original dilemma, and the woman named yet another problem that would prevent her from implementing it. Finally the teacher ended the conversation, saying, “When your intention to change is greater than your intention to stay the same, then you will change.”
Homework: For five minutes, visualize the best possible thing that could happen to you in 2003. Then spend an hour carrying out a task that’ll lead to the best possible thing actually occurring. www.freewillastrology.com.