Russia's top astrologers are offering a mixed bag of predictions for 2014, with some seeing six months of instability and reforms leading to a quieter second half of the year and others saying conflicts will erupt in the second half.
"The first half of the year will be very dynamic and rich and filled with events for the whole Earth, including Russia," said Alexander Zarayev, head of the Russian Astrological School, according to Interfax. "Many changes and reforms may occur, particularly in the spring."
He said military conflicts and disasters are possible in the first half of 2014, but the second half will be quieter as reforms started in the first half come into effect.
Another astrologer, Pavel Globa, predicted that the Year of the Horse will bring many changes that will benefit energetic and active people. More conservative and sluggish people will find it harder to accommodate to the changes, he said in comments published on the Sobesednik.ru website.
He also warned about a buildup of aggressive sentiments in the country and in Russia's foreign policy in the second half of 2014. He said that Russia and China will have a tremendous influence on the global economy, and that the Russian people are capable of changing the course of events.
At least one astrologer who is already dead is also attracting attention this week. Baba Vanga, a blind Bulgarian mystic and clairvoyant who died in 1996, predicted that 2014 will become a year of conflicts and tensions, caused primarily by rapid political changes in the Middle East. New conflicts emerging there will give Russia a chance to assert its leadership in Europe and Asia, she said.
Vanga also said the situation in the restive Caucasus region, which at the time of her death was embroiled in the first Chechen conflict, might become more unstable, leading to more violence and loss of life. Curiously, some 40 years ago Vanga placed her hopes for Russia's future in a man named Vladimir, whom she predicted would ascend to power one day.