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For January 2011

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CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)

When I was about 22, a friend took me to meet his guru. I had about five minutes with her. We sat down on a yoga mat in a big, empty room. She looked at me and said instantly, "You have maturity. You lack confidence."

Your charts this year are all about gaining confidence that you may not know you lack. Maturity is something you've possessed very nearly forever and could frankly do with a little less of; confidence is a challenge in a world that always seems to have the upper hand. The basis of confidence is within, if we're to learn anything from the lives of people who have had absolute power but who were totally insecure. You are having to learn this confidence as you go, even as you encounter experiences that keep shaking you up, rattling your sense of identity and, in the end, serving to push you out of your shell.

I suggest that you begin to associate confidence with vulnerability. I know that all the common "wisdom" goes the opposite way, that the more piled on with defenses a person is, the more confident they seem (to some). Yet that's not actually true; it's an illusion, at best. True confidence arises from being close to your edge, and willing to stay there—and that is a vulnerable place. As you get to that spot where you realize you're not emotionally secure, slip into it like a hot bath. If you reach the spot where your concept of your identity is crumbling, allow the concept to fall away and your true self to come through.

When you find yourself tasked with a challenge that calls on you to take leadership but don't necessarily feel qualified, remember that most of leadership is about responding to an authentic calling, and listening to people as much as you might speak to them.

As for being able to do with a bit less maturity: Gradually, as the years press on, you're figuring out that a deep element of the meaning of life is your ability to enjoy and appreciate each moment as it passes, each human encounter, each small step toward freedom. That's what we usually think maturity specifically denies. In the subtle words of the poet Ginsberg, remind yourself: I have become another child. I wake to see the world go wild.

Speaking of...

  • Eric Frances Coppolino predicts the year ahead.


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