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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Happy Holy Daze, Aries! I meditated on what holiday gifts might motivate you to take maximum advantage of your astrological opportunities in 2001. Here's what I came up with.
1. An antique slot machine. It would serve as a symbolic statement that all of your impulsive risks and "odds are stacked against you" gambles are things of the past.
2. A golden hammer to inspire you to engage in a refined smashing of taboos.
3. A World Passport. It might prod you to fulfill the cosmic omens that are suggesting you should travel far and wide.
4. A Three Stooges Shower Curtain, featuring likenesses of Larry, Moe and Curly: Just because you'll need to be goofier on a regular basis more than ever before.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The coming year may bring a motley parade of exaggeration and extravagance. You could be offered heaps of things you don't need, making it hard to focus on the truly valuable boons that'll also be available. Want to prevent this future from occurring? You can. All you have to do is rouse the force of your will to new heights. With a clear vision of what you really need and a burning intention not to get distracted by inferior or irrelevant gifts, you will guide your fate in the direction of felicitous abundance, not useless excess.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In Jon Rappoport's book, "The Secret Behind Secret Societies," hypnotist Jack True is quoted as claiming that he rarely practices his craft anymore. Most of his clients, he explains, are already in a light trance when they come to see him. "I mainly find myself doing reverse-hypnosis these days," he adds. "I do things to wake people up." I've noticed this mass-hypnosis problem myself, Gemini. The good news is that your tribe doesn't suffer from it more than any other sign. The great news is that 2001 will be a breakout year for you, meaning you'll have extra impetus to shed automatic behavior and escape from the spells you've been under. To aid your liberation, I pledge to slip lots of wakeup calls into your horoscopes in the coming months.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): I would never try to talk you into being as predatory and cold-blooded as a shark. On the other hand, I'd dearly love for you to develop a rougher, tougher determination to succeed in this cruel, crazy world. How about if we work on making you maybe 10 percent as predatory and cold-blooded as a shark? I promise we'll stay utterly respectful towards the other 90 percent of you that is more like a mermaid, dolphin or crab. If you're game for trying this approach in 2001, I suggest you buy this holiday gift to inspire you: a wireless, radio-controlled, helium-filled flying shark. It's available at (800) 843-0762.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In my meditations about what holiday gifts you'd benefit from, I keep seeing how crucial it'll be for you to make beauty a more routine part of your life in 2001. And I do mean it'll be crucial, not just pleasant. To cultivate optimum health, you'll need frequent exposure to delightful grace, gorgeous elegance and primal loveliness. I trust you have an intuitive sense of which objects and experiences will accomplish this best. If not, find out. Here's a simple suggestion to get you started: Buy refrigerator magnets that replicate French Impressionist paintings. They're available at (800) 225-5592 or Boston's Museum of Fine Arts online shop.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Happy Holy Daze, Virgo! I've been meditating on what symbolic holiday gift might help you ward off the pesky little demons of unwanted thoughts in 2001. Ideally, this boon would inspire you to keep your substantial mental powers focused and grounded. It would discourage you from getting ensnared in 10,000 trivial diversions, and thereby allow you to fully exploit your brilliant attention to detail. I think I've come up with an object that should do the trick: a statue of Rodin's "The Thinker" seated on a tractor. If no one will buy it for you, give it to yourself.
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LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Astrologer Caroline Casey has an interesting take on the influence of our solar system's largest planet. She says that Jupiter's message to us is always "I will make everything bigger." The proper response to this invitation/threat, Casey suggests, is to become very clear about what parts of your life you'd like to expand, and then to prune those aspects that you don't want to see grow. This will be a key task for you in the coming months, Libra, because Jupiter's power to enlarge and amplify everything will be sweeping through your life with extra force.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I know you adore enigmas wrapped within conundrums, Scorpio. They're like soul food for you. But 2001 may satiate even your voracious hunger. Since you're liable to see several events that you previously thought had zero chance of happening, I suggest you get yourself a holiday gift that'll prepare you: an electric flying pig with a 17-inch wingspan. It's available at (800) 843-0762. Or how about the "Detective Lab" kit from MuseumTour at (800) 360-9116? It teaches aspiring sleuths to hone their observational powers and meticulously gather evidence. Given the tantalizing mysteries you'll encounter in the coming months, it could be the perfect plaything.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Last week's horoscope urged you to buy yourself an engagement ring in preparation for getting married to yourself in 2001. What I didn't suggest until now is that a self-wedding ritual would be an act of transformative magic that'll almost certainly induce the arrival of a challenging new consort or the renaissance of an existing intimate relationship. In light of that sweet hope, let me offer a suggestion about what to give yourself for the holidays: two rubber duckies to ensure that your future togetherness always includes lots of playtime, and the ultimate manual for creating a spiritually vital relationship, John Welwood's book, "Love and Awakening."
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): One of the blessings I hope you can harvest in 2001 is a growing skill in the right use of memory. What would that involve, exactly? On the one hand, it would mean you'd cultivate a strong grasp of historical patterns; you'd be a keen student of the twists and turns of your own life's journey. On the other hand, you wouldn't force every new event to be evaluated solely in terms of what has happened in the past; you'd recognize that some experiences may be mostly fresh. The best gift to give yourself this holiday season -- the object that'll symbolize your subtle task -- is a two-way mirror.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You Aquarians aren't renowned for having green thumbs. Some astrologers consider your tribe to be dead last in the zodiac's "best gardener" rankings. Judging from the astrological aspects in late 2000 and the first half of 2001, however, I believe you've already been possessed by a fertility god or goddess. (Don't worry: It's a mostly benevolent, not demonic, takeover.) This means you're likely to be quite potent whenever you lend your vibes to the magic of sprouting and growing. It also suggests your creative output and romantic fecundity will soar to all-time highs. To nurture these wonders, I suggest you give yourself the gift of a homemade altar this holiday season. Pack it with symbols of lush abundance, like packages of seeds and photos of rain forests.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Are birds motivated to chirp their lovely melodies from the sheer joy of being alive and as a way to impress potential mates? Maybe a little. Mostly, though, their crooning is a way to stake out their turf. We might conclude from this that singing provides an instinctual way to build and express authority. That's one reason I hope you'll be belting out a lot more tunes in 2001 -- in the shower, in the car while driving, in the middle of boring committee meetings or any time you need to invoke more command. Consider getting yourself a home karaoke machine as a holiday gift.
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Guerrilla ritual time, everyone. Sometime on the solstice, Thursday, Dec. 21, let's all devote five minutes to visualizing the fulfillment of our most holy desire. freewillastrology.com.