Free Will Astrology
Free Will Astrology Week of Dec. 21
ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the fictional world of the wizard Harry Potter, muggles are people who have no magical powers. Because of their deficiency, certain sights may be literally invisible to them, and certain places inaccessible. I'm going to boldly predict that you Aries people will lose at least some of your muggleness in the coming year. A part of your life where you've been inept or clueless will begin to wake up. In ways that may feel surprisingly easy, you'll be able to fill a gap in your skill set or knowledge base.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): On Jan. 15, 1885, Wilson Bentley photographed his first snowflake. Over the course of the next 46 years, he captured 5,000 more images of what he called "tiny miracles of beauty." He was the first person to say that no two snowflakes are alike. In 2012, Taurus, I suggest that you draw inspiration from his example. The coming months will be prime time for you to lay the foundations for a worthy project that will captivate your imagination for a long time—and perhaps even take you decades to complete.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In her memoir Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, Gabrielle Hamilton suggests my horoscopes were helpful to her as she followed her dream to create her New York City restaurant, Prune. "I killed roaches, poisoned their nests, trapped rats, stuffed their little holes with steel wool and glass shards," she wrote, "while my girlfriend ... walked through the place 'purifying' it with a burning sage smudge stick and read me my Rob Brezsny horoscopes in support." I would love to be of similar service to you in the coming months, Gemini, as you cleanse whatever needs to be cleansed in preparation for your next big breakthrough. Let the fumigation, purgation and expiation begin!
CANCER (June 21-July 22): In 1992, 30,000 Americans signed a petition asking the governor of Hawaii to change the name of Maui to "Gilligan's Island." Fortunately, the request was turned down, and so one of the most sublime places on the planet is not now named after a silly TV sitcom. I'm urging you to avoid getting swept up in equally fruitless causes during the coming months, Cancerian. You will have a lot of energy to give to social causes and collective intentions in 2012, but it will be very important to choose worthy outlets that deserve your intelligent passion and that have half a chance of succeeding.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The Palace of Versailles once served as home for French kings and their royal courts, and was the hub of the French government. To this day it remains a symbol of lavish wealth and high civilization. Set on 26 acres, it has 700 rooms, 67 staircases, 6,000 paintings and 2,100 sculptures. The grounds feature 50 fountains and 21 miles of water conduits. And yet the word "Versailles" means "terrain where the weeds have been pulled." Prior to it being built up into a luxurious center of power, it was a marsh in the wilderness. I nominate it to be your inspirational image for the coming year, Leo: a picture of the transformation you will begin.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A guy named George Reiger is a certifiable Disney freak. He has covered his skin with 2,200 tattoos of the franchise's cartoon characters. If you plan to get anything like that much thematic body decoration in 2012, Virgo, I recommend that you draw your inspiration from cultural sources with more substantial artistry and wisdom than Disney. For example, you could cover your torso with paintings by Matisse, your arms with poems by Neruda and your legs with musical scores by Mozart. Why? In the coming months it will be important for you to surround yourself with the highest influences and associate yourself with the most inspiring symbols and identify yourself with the most ennobling creativity.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the Classical Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, the word teocuitlatl literally meant "god poop." It was used to refer to gold, which was regarded as a divine gift that brought mixed blessings. On the one hand, gold made human beings rich. On the other hand, it could render them greedy, stingy and paranoid. So it was potentially the source of both tremendous bounty and conflict. I suspect that in 2012, Libra, you will have to deal with the arrival of a special favor that carries a comparable paradox. You should be fine—harvesting the good part of the gift and not having to struggle mightily with the tough part—as long as you vow to use it with maximum integrity.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): What spell would you like to be under in 2012? Be careful how you answer that; it might be a trick question. Not because I have any interest in fooling you, of course, but rather because I want to prepare you for the trickiness that life may be expressing in your vicinity. So let me frame the issue in a different way. Do you really want to be under a spell—of any kind? Answer yes only if you're positive that being under a spell will help you manifest your biggest dream. And please make sure that whoever or whatever is the source of the spell is in the service of love.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The Environmental Working Group wrote the Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change and Health. It concluded that if every American avoided eating cheese and meat one day a week, emissions would be lowered as much as they would be by removing 7.6 million cars from the roads. This is the kind of incremental shift I urge you to specialize in during 2012, Sagittarius—whether it's in your contribution to alleviating the environmental crisis or your approach to dealing with more personal problems. Commit yourself to making little changes that will add up to major improvements over the long haul.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Suzan-Lori Parks is a celebrated American playwright who has won both a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant. During the time between November 2002 and November 2003, she wrote a new short play every day—a total of 365 plays in 365 days. I think you could be almost as prolific as that in 2012, Capricorn. Whatever your specialty is, I believe you will be filled with originality about how to express it. You're also likely to have the stamina and persistence and, yes, even the discipline necessary to pull it off.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Pigeons are blessed with an extraordinary ability to find home, even if they're hundreds of miles away. They have an internal compass that allows them to read the Earth's magnetic field, and they also create a "map of smells" that gives them crucial clues as they navigate. A team of scientists performed some odd experiments that revealed a quirky aspect to the birds' talent: If their right nostril is blocked, their innate skill doesn't work nearly as well. (It's OK if their left nostril is blocked, though.) What does this have to do with you? Well, Aquarius, you've been like a homing pigeon with its right nostril blocked, and it's high time you unblocked it. In the coming months, you can't afford to be confused about where home is, what your community consists of or where you belong.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): One of Alexander the Great's teachers was Aristotle, who was tutored by Plato, who himself learned from Socrates. In 2012, I'd love to see you draw vital information and fresh wisdom from a lineage as impressive as that, Pisces. In my astrological opinion, you need much more than a steady diet of factoids plucked from the Internet and TV. You simply must be hungry for more substantial food for thought than you get from random encounters with unreliable sources. It will be time for you to attend vigorously to the next phase of your life-long education.
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