We weathered December’s Mercury retrograde and emotion-packed lunar eclipse: fouled-up travel and communications won’t rain on our parade... weeeell, maybe a little snow and sleet. But the solar eclipse January 4th in goal-oriented Capricorn opens 2011 with a thunderclap, eclipsing other eclipses in intensity and igniting rescue flares in tandem with a potent Pisces pairing of Jupiter and Uranus, while aspects from vibrant Venus and nebulous Neptune make a messy ménage-à-too-many. Unexpected head-over-heels romance or at least lust perfumes the air from the Arctic Circle to the Australian Outback. Fear not, situations, people and (most) moods will stabilize after the Full Moon on the 19th. And for those keeping track, numerologically 2011 is a sturdy, reliable, building-block 4 Universal Year; in tandem with a Rabbit Chinese Year, we’ll think more about settling down than uprooting, seeking culture and snuggly comfort (or the comforts of home) when we travel.
ARIES (March 21—April 20)
Holiday cheer overflows, offering a recipe for career success making you flavor of the month. Biz battles have you butting more horns than Arien Seth Rogen as the Green Hornet in this month’s mega-release. Invite pals who can keep up with your superpowers to provocative, distinctive locales, even fellow Ram Kevin Sites’ hot zones like Syria. Schuss the Kandahar track in Garmisch, Bavaria (right); at least play spectator at the Ski Jumping World Cup outside Cracow or a Naples football match. Jog their traditional ethnic nabes alone come dawn, drawing energy from cultural interaction: superheroes always recharge in private behind the mask.
TAURUS (April 21—May 20)
Career and money matters are no longer dammed up, making you Bulls busy beavers. A trio of orbs trysts with that eclipse in your ninth house of foreign affairs: You might travel unexpectedly on business, or entertain out-of-town fatcats with a newly fattened expense account. Whatever you do, wherever you go, open your mind and expand your horizons -- as fellow Taurean Cher sings in Burlesque, “add a little smoke.” Fire your imagination: jetting on a wing and a prayer with your church group to a Lourdes pilgrimage or an alumni edu-cruise to the Galapagos can be Darwin-win situations.
GEMINI (May 21—June 21)
Freud would have a field day with you, hon, torn between pursuit of pleasure and structured pragmatism. You’re not unlike Gemini-ruled Iceland, a simmering caldera surrounded by frost. Take advantage of deals there while the cash and cachet sashay back into your life. Meanwhile you’re so sickeningly domestic you might as well tie the knot despite knots in your stomach at the thought of being tied down (well, for more than overnight research). Propose a getaway to such Twin destinations as London and Lombardy or win at love attending the Australian Open in Melbourne (right) -- just make absolutely sure you’ve found your soul-mate, not cell-mate.
CANCER (June 22—July 22)
Moonchildren typically moon over family but whether you’re morose over mortgage or mommy issues, home is not where the heart is. So escape---and expand, hell, leave your comfort zone like Cancerian Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Food. The world’s your oyster, so don’t retreat into your shell. You’ll find unexpected luck abroad, perhaps biz-related; even taking courses in a foreign language or craft could have career benefits. Bringing the brood engenders brooding, but with a planetary ménage-à-trois making merry in your Marriage House, your mate needs attention. A Tunis tune-up or Dutch treat gets you smoking again, or take potluck with Kayak and Facebook flash sales.
LEO (July 23—August 23)
Poor puss, with astro-activity in your Dickensian (Work)house of ruts and routines, your roaring sounds more desperate drama queen than King of the Jungle. Focus on quickie getaways. Party-hearty in Leo-locales Madrid, Manhattan or Miami (among the latest Real Housewives). Late January, toss your mane with your main squeeze and squeeze those little hedonistic incentives during “low” high season: suite upgrade, free couples massage, real bubbly beside the bath. Belly up to bountiful bacchanals (San Francisco Dine Around Town, Key West Food & Wine Fest, Taos Winter Wine (right), Beaver Creek Master Chef Classic, DC Restaurant Week...). Run laps or you’ll sit too heavily in the lap of luxury.
VIRGO (August 24—September 23)
Virgoans get a (mostly) unwarranted rep and rap for being fussy prudish neat freaks. You just want yourself, loved ones -- the world -- to fulfill the Army motto, “Be all that you can be.” Several orbs highlight your Hedonism House, so play hooky for nookie someplace glam like St. Moritz (Switzerland’s so clean and efficient), and hey hey in the hayloft (perhaps literally, via sustainable agritourism in Virgin-ruled Brazil or Brindisi). Tightening that money belt to hoard for the horde back home? Take off for an artsy weekend, from Reel Music in Portland to the Palm Beach Poetry Festival (you might get soulful with a Kennedy or Trump).
LIBRA (September 24—October 23)
You’re wondering if she sells seashells by the Seychelles seashore (right); the children ask, “Qu’est-ce que c’est Kissimmee?” Give them the slip so you and your significant other can slip into something more comfortable, like thousand-count sheets in Vienna (shag mit Schlag?). Remember to buy the kids expensive baubles (no, not the bellboy). You should opt for something family-oriented or at least cultured, like the Sundance Film Festival (single Librans would get Big Love alongside big air in Utah). Okay, fine, wait for that Atlantis anniversary cruise. The Lost City isn’t down there but lose yourself anyway.
SCORPIO (October 24—November 22)
You’re January’s kid charisma, but feel less like taking testosterone test drives through estrogen-ous zones as the juices flowing are more creative and recreational than procreational. You seek new outlooks and adventures: sampling street food in Cambodia, shredding slopes during Catalonia’s World Snowboarding Championships, off-roading in Cappadocia. You’re uncharacteristically yakking and yukking it up, displaying a sudden aptitude and appetite for apps. Skip the Skype occasionally, don’t be a TwitPicker or Virtual Tourist, unless it nets a Raveable deal. And hide -- alone -- in your hotel during the eclipse and celestial mating aspecting Venus in your sign; the electricity could spark something you’ll regret.
SAGITTARIUS (November 23—December 21)
You Saggies are always late with presents, but not for want of generosity. Buy those handheld digital luggage scales: A tricky troika of planets treks through your Values and Valuables House -- you’ll be packing excess exotica from your sojourns, whether Serbia or South Africa. You’ll also need to gauge your self-worth and weightier family commitments, but no scales can do that. Exploring your genealogical roots might lift the scales from your eyes. Or trust your instincts: visiting estranged siblings and friends might effect reconciliation. If Britney Spears can unleash a grittier, more mature sound, maybe other enlightened Centaurs will start galloping toward growth this winter.
CAPRICORN (December 22—January 20)
With the eclipse casting a blazing spotlight on your Ego House, me, myself and I sound like ideal travel companions. But the best are besties, who’ll book some outrageously decadent Baja California retreat. Personal power is at its peak: You have a yen to make a buck and your mark. Just beware becoming a mark for Euro-trashy speculators, who could shake shekels loose through Internet travel scams. Your ruler, stern stable Saturn, goes retro the 26th, prompting sober introspection even when you’re drunk on success. Now take that solo sojourn, testing your boundaries, perhaps through hands-on voluntourism in Goat-ruled Afghanistan or Albania. Yes, you.
AQUARIUS (January 21—February 18)
Your sign represents humanitarian causes yet you’re toting emotional baggage (which costs more than $25 to check) as you’re on a major guilt trip. Perhaps you feel you’ve let down friends or haven’t contributed enough to the world. Meditate somewhere that puts the Ambien in ambience. Go yoga and local herbs; plant them, even better. No transformational personal odyssey is too odd. Fellow Aquarian Sarah Palin’s Alaska gets you back to nature if not basics. Or be truly intrepid: go Golden Gobi Guesthouse in frigid Mongolia, commune with the monks in Luang Prabang, or seek out the original Rastafari in Aquarius-ruled Ethiopia (right). Crop circles, Stonehenge, pyramids, Nasca lines -- there’s something greater. Right?
PISCES (February 19—March 20)
You’re feeling gung-ho about the old gang, so impromptu visits or group trips appeal. After seemingly months of swimming upstream without even the reward of a good spawn, you’re no longer flopping about the fishbowl. Still, you sense your eternal karmic tug is about to roll in like the tides. So escape somewhere watery (natch!), whether the coast or a cruise (make it a yacht or intimate ship, not one of those octo-decked leviathans). Your pals may carp, Fishies, but coax them to some misty, mysterious offseason spot, like Piscean-influenced Galicia, Calabria or Normandy, and you’ll all feel you’re on another voyage of self-discovery. Promise!