The year 1979 is swiftly coming to the end, every passing hour bringing us closer to that bewitching moment in time when, during 60 seconds, all of us, willy-nilly, will leave the '70s behind and enter a new decade. And as the New Year enters we will greet it with hopes for happiness and health, with our wishes and with our dreams, sometimes with new resolutions. And many of these dreams and desires will be about love and love relationships.

All of us to whom the '70s were good in that department of life, where love was given and reciprocated, approach this New Year's Eve with joyful anticipation and a great sense of excitement. But to many of us whose hearts were broken -- when love was given but not returned, or accepted and then tossed away -- this New Year's Eve is something to be dreaded, to be slept through or hopscotched over. Memories, like good sheepdogs, nip at us and bring us back to the fold, where the mind is going weird, in circles, trying to answer the eternal question: "Why?"

Why this love of their love, the heart of their hearts, suddenly went away? Would it have been different had this word remained unspoken, had certain things remained unsaid? Would this love had lasted if this action were not taken, that argument bypassed, this moment of anger repressed? And the most gnawing question of all: "What did I do wrong? Where did I fail?"

It is said that in the spring a young man's fancy turns to love. But I find it is during this holiday season, more than at any other time of the year, that both men and women turn their thoughts to love and to love relationships. It is during the holiday season that I am virtually besieged with questions about the compatability of various Sun signs. "I am a Gemini, and she is a Virgo. We are not supposed to be compatible, but we are getting married. Should we?" Or, "I am Pisces; he is Cancer. We are supposed to be compatible, but we are breaking up. Shall I avoid in the future anyone who is a Cancer man?'

And I counter these questions with: "You just told me that you are a Democrat and she is Republican," or "You just told me that you are Presbyterian and she is Episcopalian. What else do you have in common?"

It is never enough to compare Sun signs alone. Just as every person has many sides to his or her nature and cannot be evaluated quickly on the basis of one facet of his personality, so the chart of each person, in addition to his Sun, contains nine other planets and two Moon nodes. All of these planets are in a particular sign of the Zodiac, they aspect each other in certain ways. All of them are distributed in a person's chart, forming particular patterns; and all of these factors combined make each and every chart unique.

The Sun is a masculine principle -- the animus. The Moon is feminine -- the anima. And thus when man's thoughts turn to love it is his Moon and his Venus (another feminine principle) that influence his choice of a woman much more than his Sun sign. The man is searching for the representation of his anima. Conversely, in a woman's chart it is her Sun -- the animus, and her planet Mars -- another masculine principle -- that influence her choice of a man.

Mars and Moon, however, are but passions and feelings, they are instinctual. They make him feel that her eyes are like no eyes that he has ever seen, while his mustache is the most exciting thing that she has run across. These feelings, however, are evaluated by the conscious thinking, the mind, and it is represented by the planet Mercury. Is this man's Mercury afflicting his Moon? If so, then his conscious thinking will fight his unconscious concept of what he likes in a woman.

Thus, for example, the lady whose Sun falls on his Moon will have to bear the brunt of that conflict. This man will be attracted to the woman and yet he will immediately begin to fight her. She is simply externalizing his inner conflict. And if he finally rejects her, maybe after a series of arguments, no one is at fault. He simply was unable to solve his own inner conflict.

And where is her Mercury? Is it in Taurus? Leo? Cancer? Gemini? Zodiac? According to the sign Mercury is in, an individual will think in a certain way, and this mode of thinking will be modified even further by the aspects this Mercury receives from other planets and by its placement on the person's chart.

Thus the lady love might have Mercury in a sign that is not compatible with his at all. For example, if hers is in Virgo and his in Gemini, she will like detail, be critical, and perhaps scientifically oriented. He, however, will like to look at things briefly, skim quickly over the surface, and will like to chat about this or that in a general way -- all of which the Mercury in Virgo will object to -- strenuously.

In such a case we have two people whose hearts are turned to love while their love is not compatible with their mentality. He will begin to feel that he simply cannot stand (much longer, anyway) her desire to get to the bottom of EVERYTHING, while she will begin to feel that he is terribly superficial and it is hopeless to expect any conversation in depth.

But they continue to see each other -- her Sun is on his Moon, this is called a Karmic link -- and they hope for the best. After all, they still love one another, her eyes are still the most beautiful that he has ever seen and his mustache is just as exciting to her as it was at the very beginning. But bigger and bigger sparks are flying whenever they discuss anything (their Mercuries clashing) and each is trying to change the other's way of thinking.

What will happen if they finally give up the hopeless battle and decide that since they cannot celebrate, they will try at least to do things together?