Decoroscope from Inner Space

Decoroscope is the annual edition of Inner Space, written for Canadian House and Home. Unlike my usual psychologically oriented horoscopes, and the emphasis in Inner Space on relationships, this column works with mundane images and ideas for one’s actual home environment. Who better to ask for help than a specialist — Ursula Fugger, my friend and colleague in Toronto, who helped come up with tangible images from the sensory world, based on traditional astrology. Enjoy!

Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Yours is the sign that moves from dark to light in a moment, and the coming seasons are marked by this very contrast. While you may be enduring in the dark night of the winter, before long you’ll be wanting an environment that is clear, clean and bright. Use metals like stainless steel contrasted with bright red objects like vases. Remind yourself of your perseverance and independence by putting a magnificent cactus plant into your environment, and let a sharp new set of knives be the symbol of the spiritual path you will invariably embark on this year. When traveling, bring your own pillow, and you will always feel at home. A renovating job is best left to professionals.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Taurus is the volcano of the zodiac: the serene, majestic mountain that is in truth hot and fiery deep in its core. Because this year finds you going the deepest emotionally and spiritually you have in many years, emphasize the most natural inner aspects of yourself. We could symbolize these in all organic fabrics, perhaps a little more rough against your skin than you normally prefer; you’ll grow to love them. One room must become your ashram, decorated in yellow and pale blue to remind you that you are always in a relationship with sun and sky. Plant strong mint, fresh tomatoes and daisies this spring, and take at least one trip to a high mountaintop this year. Group encounters in your home are more important than ever. .

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Two Andy Warhols are better than one, but if you’re not quite there yet, search out the most impressive youth or student artist in your city and make an investment in their paintings, the larger the better. Look for colors you’ve never seen before, and have no words to describe — that’s how you’ll know you have the right artist; and please maintain the relationship, as this could become a mutually important turning point. Invest in new communication equipment such as a mobile phone or home phone — do some research and get the best you can afford (don’t just walk into the store), and make sure it’s beautiful as well as durable, since we know what happened to your last phone. Get the economical calling plan to match. Plant parsley so the scent fills your garden or window box, and start a hazel tree growing in your yard.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The New Age is back, and you need at least one monstrously impressive, breathtaking crystal in some central location in your home. Where you are has a tendency to be the center of the world, not just your world, and the trend of people coming to visit from far away picks up tempo this year. Make sure that your guest space is up to your standards; indeed, make it the nicest room in the house. Get away from wood décor and see how it feels to work with aluminum and other smooth substances, which reflect the clear and gentle way you wish to relate to the people in your life. You need a magnificent rug you’re not afraid to have people walk on. Set a palm tree in the most wide-open space that you have.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
This is the year to kiss and make up with orange. The sky shifts to fiery tones, bringing out the same quality in you; these are the colors that will remind you that the more chances you take in life, the more successful you’ll be. You know this, but this is the year to remember. If you’re an artist or creative person of any kind, plan your biggest exhibition, and you can start with one room or your main living area being devoted to a kind of personal gallery space. Even if you’ve never done something so outrageous, devote the year to creating a series of art pieces, and don’t be afraid to take any similar risks. Plant sunflowers in your garden, and get rid of the window dressing and let the sun shine in. Serenity is around the corner.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
The idea is to remove obstructions of all kinds, simplify the details and generally, expand your space. Indeed, you’ve figured out by now that you need more space than you currently have, whether you get it by increasing the size of where you live, or clearing out the interior. This is a mental metaphor: it has been way too easy to get lost in thought the past few seasons, and this is a symbol of freedom. Keep your art investments to simple pen and ink drawings, which express clear, vivid ideas to live by. Make room for something or someone real to come into your life. Use clean, clear colors to remind yourself that you’re clear about what you want. Invest in at least one marble object, and place ferns of every variety in your home.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
The lyrics are as important as the music and the ideas behind life are as important as living itself. Intellectually and spiritually, you will be reaching in many new directions this year, and you need your study or reading space to reflect the ideas you hold the most dear. Your sign is usually associated with beauty and aesthetics, but now the landscape of thought is the one you will be exploring. Put into storage any book you have not touched in three years. Create an office made of sleek lines, smooth, expensive work surfaces and place a sweet-smelling tree in the space. Consider replacing every art piece in your home with something new — truly new, created recently, by a young person.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You will be able to afford just about anything you want this year, but stick to what makes you feel good about yourself. Most of this will be surprisingly inexpensive and at the same time, tend to come from exotic places. Anything knotted by hand, such as macramé; cane furniture — but black, and for the big indulgence, a wrought iron gate with a functioning lock. Speaking of locks, embark on an upgrade and improvement program, and make sure that every door latches smoothly and cleanly. This will remind you to protect and value what you have. Self-esteem is something you usually take for granted, but this year, keep the reminders everywhere. In plants, go for the dangerous kind: nightshade, oleander and fox glove.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
With Jupiter coming home to your sign this year, now is the time to create a homecoming for yourself. You can work from two directions: nostalgia, or your ideal of perfection, because both the future and past are calling. How about both: what was your idea of a dream room as a child? That is what you need to create, in the color and style that you wanted the very most — likely to be a medley of violes, purples and yellows. There’s also something in you that wants everything to be useful, or to have had an important use. Place an antique steamer trunk in your workspace, and use it for everyday storage, imagining the places it’s been and people whom it has served. Get plants with a strong essence: clove, sage, leeks and anything with the scent of nutmeg. Have you considered riding a moped or motorcycle? Try renting one on a spring weekend and see where you go that day.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
I see a bed made before the 20th century coming into your life. Your obsession with things ancient is not just a matter of style — it’s a matter of connection with history, as well as something that reminds you of the transience of time. At the same time, you will benefit from connecting with some of your deepest values: strong fabrics of good substance, which have more value for their strength than for fashion. Acquire some large stones from a garden shop and create an altar space inside your home, because you will be experiencing a spiritual connection, and connection to the cosmos more deeply than in many years past, and the altar will become your living tribute to your relationship. Plant pine and holly, and clean out the basement.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Try everything in silvery white, contrasted by indigo blue — and experiment with synthetic fabrics from Nylon to Rayon. Honor your respect for science and progress, creating a space with a futuristic flare. Your typically social tendencies go beyond all limits this year as Jupiter comes back to the region of your chart associated with friends and community. Creating some kind of collective space with a large table for the discussion of ideas and experiences that nobody will forget, and others will be describing to their friends. Use electric light in ways that seem brash and glaring, but succeed in creating an unlikely harmony. Try taking care of plants — not often your strong suit, but even Aquarius has native plants: iris, morning glory and linden trees come to mind.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Pisces is the original substance that defies analysis. Remind yourself of this with mirrors that create strange illusions, and things that recall the ocean, which is the home to all the elements. Because this year brings a most unlikely professional breakthrough, you must reward yourself with spaces and clothing that seduce you into leisure and relaxation. Natural fibers, such as cotton and linen, in shades like ivory and pale pink will have that effect. Place a photograph of a beach that stretches for miles in your working space, which will remind you to visit one. Plant orchids and lotus, and begin a feather collection, because your spirit needs to soar.


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