It's the end of the Universe as we know it — Your 2012 cultural horoscope

2011 may have been insane, but 2012 is shaping up to be downright frenetic. With all the buzz around the Mayan calendar, and our obsession, once again, with the end of the world in mind, here is a brief overview of what to expect in 2012 (if we get through it, that is). Not since the cultural revolution and the swinging 60’s have the planets above been in such a similar positioning—remember that whole age of Aquarius ditty? Assuming we don’t engage in senseless nuclear warfare with our enemy du jour, 2012 is looking to be like one for the books.

As the year kicks off, the biggest influence for Aries comes courtesy of the planet of change, Uranus. This is looking to be an exciting year as long as you’re willing to roll with the punches. That laissez faire act you have been holding on to is going to be tested. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn to sit with the anxious energy you’re scheduled to feel the entire year. Try not to fill your time with your normal stockpile of chores and activities. Reflect on who you are and the way you choose to express your voice. This is an excellent time to revisit old projects you thought had been developed to the hilt. It seems there is a chance to breathe new life into it, just like Jennifer Saunders has in reviving the Absolutely Fabulous franchise into a movie. We have to admit the world is a lot more colorful with Patsy and Edina back in play. Go with the flow this year. You’ll thank us.

There’s a lot to look forward to in 2012, Taurus. Pluto trines the sun for the first quarter of the year, making you attractive to people with influence that can help you advance your agenda. As we approach spring, Jupiter, planet of luck, is on your side giving you the a green light that to take advantage of every opportunity in sight for personal growth, or towards a goal you have been building towards creatively. Whenever Jupiter is around, things will go your way so push forward and who knows. That script you’ve been tweaking could turn out to be the next DARK KNIGHT trilogy. Not that you have ever been one to feel a lack of confidence, and so we’re not so sure you need this, but expect a serious boost in your ego department. 2012 will play out in a way that is encourages you to tap into your confidence. You really can make your visions a reality. Do it before the world ends.

This year Geminis are encouraged to tap into their extra sensory powers. A door to life’s tacit dynamics opens as Uranus passes through your sign for the year. What does that mean? Trust your instincts, you’re like a pigeon from Boston that accidentally ended up in Nicaragua, you’ll have no problem finding your way home (why you would want to go back to Boston is another question in itself.) If you focus this insight onto a project at work there is a great chance of financial success. But that all depends on whether you can keep your self-destructive tendencies in check. You may call it unbridled passion, but everyone else sees it as another episode in your life. We can’t believe we’re saying this, but look to fellow Gemini Angelina Jolie as inspiration. She channeled her craziness into an independent film. And after IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY, our world will never be the same.

As much as you love your little shell, Cancer, this year you’ll have to trade it in for a bigger, more bold, model. You’re ruled by the moon and you’re susceptible to Uranus changing the lay of the land, plus and you have Jupiter on your side. This is a year of personal growth on steroids, Barry Bonds chic. Unexpected changes between lovers and at the workplace are on the menu, as is a busy social calendar mid year. Take full advantage of the attention that will fall on you as it’s key to developing work projects, you may even fall in love. If you’re already committed we see this becoming quite a test for you. Maybe there’s something to the buzz surrounding the film SHAME. Towards the last quarter of the year, Saturn will transit your sign, forcing you to make decisions on relationships in a black and white manner. That’s Saturn’s thing. Don’t fight it. Be the change! (sorry, we were dying to say that.)

Can a Leo ever have a bad time? No, really? Well if it’s almost impossible for them to have a bad time, they can at least expect a bi-polar year ahead. The first half of the year starts off like a Katrina and the Waves top ten hit as they still feel the residual energy from the eclipses of late 2011. These vibrations carry through as Uranus, ruler of your opposite sign, Aquarius, squares off with Pluto. If you feel like the golden child, it’s because you are, with positive vibes in the personal relationship area, and professional gratification galore. But don’t take this time to be idle and bask in your personal glory, make the most of it before Saturn transits your sign in the fall. All the fun will take a downward turn. So the more proactive you are early on, the better chance you have of mitigating any stress that will come to the surface in your life. Then again, Leo’s like to look at the glass half full. You may decide to just trim the fat from your life and move on. Not every situation in life has to resemble The Art of Fielding.

This year Virgo, your powers of persuasion are off the charts. Please do not abuse this too much. Pluto will trine the Sun, making it damn near impossible for anyone, even the Pope to say no to you. You’ll find offers pouring in for help and professional advancement that you didn’t even solicit. It’s a fat cat’s life, so how do you plan on using it? While others begin to fear Saturn’s orbit in the fall, you’ll be busy reaping the business rewards he will present. Your ego will be on overdrive, but if anyone knows how to handle that it’s you, darling Virgo. But if you’re looking for a role model, someone to that will help you focus all this amazing energy into a productive year, may we suggest Kenny Powers in his third and final season of East Bound and Down. You’re Virgo, everyone else is, well, out.

Kanye West said it best; rather, he just said it in a song, “N-n-now that that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger.” This needs to be your mantra Libra, for the world as you knew it is about to end, and a new one will open up. How you choose to absorb all of this is up to you. The powerful effects Uranus will have as it squares off with Pluto will create some stressful energy in your life from the very start of the year. Please don’t get all Mayan and fatalistic here, just know that you will be called to act early on in 2012. Important decisions at work and the home front with family and even lovers will present themselves. You probably wont like what is being presented, but again, it wont kill you. You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone, which can be artistically freeing if you choose to embrace it. Competition is high this year for you, but you have survived this long and kept your passion. It may feel like the world devolved into THE HUNGER GAMES, but this too shall pass. Buck up!

The astral gods have it in for you Scorpio, you lucky and dubious insect you. Your ruler, Pluto, is a major player this year—dwarf planet status be damned—so you can expect a deluge of opportunities to appear. Sometimes your sensitive demeanor can get the best of you professionally, however, but thanks to the planetary alignment your confidence is through the roof. Have faith that you’re going in the right direction with your vision. What starts as a small idea can flourish into a complicated and brilliant saga. Downton Abbey started with one small idea. Oh and as if this was a shock to anyone, pay attention to your hearts libidinous desires, looks like you’ll be unlocking passions and behavior you didn’t know existed in you. Like really, Scorpio? Sex is going to get hotter for you this year? How is that fair?

Every Sagittarian should buy a journal and keep a detailed record of the goals they have set for 2012. You’re looking to have one helluva track record. Feisty and playful as you are, it’s no secret Sagittarians have a burning desire for mammoth success—we offer Nicki Minaj, and the release of her sophomore album in 2012, as an example. You can expect a lot of difficult changes and people from all parts of your life to appear at odd times. As you progress through the year the random happenings will slowly start to look more like an intentional and well-crafted mosaic; intelligent design, really. There will be a flurry of activity around you for the year so we strongly suggest you keep your nose on the grind. That seems to be the best way to handle the chaos as it comes your way. So when you do decide to look up at the end of the year, you’ll have something to be proud of. Success is the best revenge.

Pluto, wielding much chaos and confusion in the air, will be setting off intense series of actions in the early degrees of your sign, Capricorn. 2012 is shaping up to be a very out with the old in with the new, moment for you. Be ready to shed your former identity, it was never a complete version of who you were anyway. The changing energy around you is set to put you in touch with a deeper and honest version of your personality. One that is naturally confident and a tad intimidating, own it, this isn’t a bad thing. People have been waiting for you to behave in a way that they have expected of you, and maybe just never realized. Add Uranus to the mix and no one will know what to do with you as you decide that you might want to break from conventional ways of handling situations. Go for it, it’s about time people realized you’re not as predictable as they thought. You appreciate Portlandia. Nobody saw that coming.

With your ruling planet, Uranus, changing the layout of the land and rules of the game, expect love to be rekindled in some of your older relationships, at the same time new dynamics and relationships will enter your realm. You’re not one to shy away from social gatherings and life’s larger personalities, but you haven’t experienced anything like you’re about to this year. Eccentrics are drawn to you like a moth to a flame, and they’re stoking your creative fire. Expect the more unconventional side of life to be the norm. Aquarians have the ability to make everything look effortless when they want to, this should be your MO for the year. That long-term project has a great chance of coming to a successful close. Maybe it’s a book like The Marriage Proposal. It wouldn’t surprise us to see your face on a billboard in Times Square.

It’s all about Pluto and an eighteen month transition that will leave the planet in sextile position with the Sun. Basically Pisces, you’re going to experience a blossoming like that of a swan in your personal life. The quiet narrative running through your head will take center stage, and you’ll feel more confident expressing it aloud. As a result, your relationships will deepen. People will feel a more intense connection with you, almost like a hip, liberal deity. That all happens in the beginning of the year, but as Pluto is joined by Saturn in October, your work ethic will come more to the foreground. Everyone loves what you create when you put your mind to it. MELANCHOLIA offered hope in its own depressing way. Use the first half of the year to let your ideas incubate, execute in the latter half, and give the world something to talk about.