Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The 3-year-old in you wants to waddle over to that big old spiderlike thing up ahead and stomp on it. The scientist in you would like to capture it, perform experiments on it, and study it to find out more about its nature and intentions. The poet in you might prefer to observe it as it goes about its business, allowing it to play upon your imagination and give you ideas for how you could benefit from becoming more like it. Which of these three aspects of your psyche, I wonder, will win out?

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Forget about how romance has been portrayed in every movie you've seen. Exorcise your unconscious belief that the nature of love was pretty thoroughly revealed in your parents' relationship. Free your mind of all obviously pornographic images, as well as the bizarre ideas about eros that pass for normal in fashion magazines and religious dogma. Finally, Capricorn, wash your brain clean of all other degraded, cynical, stupid, and lazy notions about the nature of intimacy. In the place of all you've flushed, plant this thought from Rainer Maria Rilke: "For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation."

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): An intensive analysis of your astrological aspects reveals that you desperately need to work on your kissing skills. I'm not saying they've deteriorated, but neither have they been steadily improving. And that's unacceptable -- especially now, when the Smooching Season is about to kick into high gear. What can you do? REHEARSE! STUDY! Practice and explore new techniques by Frenching the back of your hand, or watching romantic movie scenes, or puckering up to pictures of beautiful people in magazines (no need to invest in a blowup doll). And to catch up on the latest trends in tongue licking and other state-of-the-art developments, I highly recommend the book The Art of Kissing by William Cane.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): So begins the dangling time of the year for you, Pisces. Reminds me of that old Camper Van Beethoven song in which the singer croons over and over, "Everything seems to be up in the air at this time." Hopefully you'll be crafty enough to at least maneuver yourself into a comfortable position: not suspended upside down over a precipice, for instance, but upright, well-balanced, and not too far off the ground.

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