Free Will Astrology

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In 2005, a band called the Mountain Goats released the album The Sunset Tree. They dedicated it "to young men and women anywhere who live with people who abuse them." In this spirit, I'm dedicating your horoscope to those of who promise to sever your connection to people who abuse you and to those of you who vow to never again tolerate a relationship with anyone who treats you with chronic disrespect. The next eight weeks will be prime time for you to ask for more good magic from all your intimate alliances.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Twice a year you enter a short-lived phase in your astrological cycle when tough challenges are the best gifts you can possibly receive. This is one of those times. To honor this richly disconcerting moment, I offer you three gems from sages who understood how to get the most out of their trials. Psychologist C.G. Jung: "We need difficulties; they are necessary for our health." French diplomat Jean Monnet: "If you have a problem you cannot solve, enlarge the context." Albert Einstein: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Your power animal is the queen bee, which lays up to 2,000 eggs a day in the spring. Like her, you are stupendously fertile. In fact, you're capable of so much creative expression that it could take months for you to ripen all the new life that you're now spawning. Just because you have this potential, however, doesn't guarantee that you will use it well or completely. There's a first important step you can take to help ensure that you do: Treat yourself with the same care and reverence and optimism you would a woman who's nine months pregnant.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Sri Lankan-born overachiever Suresh Joachim has a fascinating hobby: He attempts outlandish feats that get him written up in the Guinness Book of World Records. Among his many successes, he's the current champion in the category of marathon TV watching. Given your current astrological omens, Pisces, you could exceed his mark of 70 consecutive hours. You have the potential to achieve miraculous levels of laziness. It's my duty to inform you, however, that this same tendency could be directed in more constructive directions, even if you're less likely to be cited for them in the Guinness book. For example, your capacity for breakthrough meditation is at a peak. With a few hours of intense prayer and self-examination, you could dissolve complexes that have plagued you for many moons. You also possess the ability to achieve marvelous states of relaxed stillness that will fill you with expansive new understandings of the way life really works.

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