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What Lies Ahead: How My Agnostic Self Got Hooked To The Magic Of Predictions

16/06/2016 12:38 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
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Few people know this about me, but I am an avowed horoscope addict. I'm the most irreligious person you'll ever meet -- well, maybe not the most, but I'm certainly quite strong in my faith about no greater power, no big guy in the sky, no prayers. I turn up my nose at "cleanses" and anything that smacks of what I call "hocus pocus mumbo jumbo." I tell you all this so you better understand where I'm coming from with respect to horoscopes. I'm an agnostic, I'm every agnostic; I'm Mulder and Scully, I want to believe.

I first came across Susan Miller in one of the many profiles written about her. And there are several. Astrologer to the stars, with over six million people visiting her (admittedly poorly designed) website Astrology Zone, Miller has a cult following -- she's enormous in the US, where she is from, and growing steadily over here in India. Her horoscopes are monthly events, #longreads on your outcome that month, detailing everything you might feel, think or do. When you discover a friend is also a Susan Miller addict, you instantly feel that same frisson that comes from knowing someone else loves the same book you do or the same movie. There's more of us! There are probably loads more, but Miller has a way of addressing her horoscopes so that it seems like she's just talking to you. That, combined with the bad design of her website, feels like you've stumbled upon something underground and private. No wonder that when she was recovering from an injury, fans across the world tweeted and Facebooked at how upset they were at this delay.

[I]t seems like [Susan Miller's] just talking to you. That, combined with the bad design of her website, feels like you've stumbled upon something underground and private.

Then too, she seldom tells you any bad news. Months are glorious possibilities because Miller says they are, every date on the calendar whizzing by with oh, you're so popular this month or oh, you're going to have so much money. There are warnings built in, of course -- flood insurance has been a popular theme for her these past few months, but it's mostly all good. Perhaps this is why sceptics have such a hard time believing: how can any year be as nice as you're saying it is? But horoscopes have a trick to reading them, like a Magic Eye picture, you have to sort of squint and read between the lines to see what they mean. It's a knack, but it can be learned.

All this to say, I was hugely excited when I got my hands on Miller's book The Year Ahead: 2016. Of course, I skipped straight ahead to look at my own particular forecast (Sagittarius, if you're interested. A banner year for most of us) but then I went back to read the beginning, the stuff that applies to all the signs. All of us.

The same sceptics argue: but is it true and to them I say, some of it is. For some of us. Not all predictions fit one hundred per cent, of course, how could they be? But enough of it happens for you to return to her over and over again.

I hold Miller up in front of me like a talisman, especially in these troubled times. Let there be hope.

In big reveals: publishing and information is going to change and evolve even more this year, with a lot more stuff going online and virtual reality becoming an even bigger deal, especially for colleges and the like. Mercury is going to go retrograde (which is apparently the main reason all my gadgets kept breaking last year, said my astrology savvy friends) and which means you shouldn't make any expensive purchases during the time of the retrograde. Finally, of great interest (to me anyway): thanks to Jupiter being in Virgo, there'll be lots of tiny flowers as prints, handcrafted details are going to be huge and there'll be emphasis on great fits. (Which is a comfort coming on the heels of all these boxy dresses and blouses I see everywhere.)

Everyone sort of wants to know their future, right? Maybe that's why an allergic-to-spirituality person such as myself finds such comfort in them. I hold Miller up in front of me like a talisman, especially in these troubled times. Let there be hope. The rest of this year is going to be great. Susan told me so. Sometimes that's all you need.

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