SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): It took six years for Mark Salzman to write his novel Lying Awake. When it was done, he told The New Yorker about the tortures he'd put himself through as he fought against writer's block. During one stretch, he shut out distracting sounds by wrapping a towel around his head. To discourage his cats from crawling on his lap as he wrote, he covered his lower body with aluminum foil. But nothing worked until he fled to a quiet cabin in the woods. "It was like waking from a bad dream," he said, "the removal of all the reminders of art as a profession, as a way of making money or gaining a reputation. The book wrote itself in five weeks." I suspect that after enduring a period akin to Salzman's arduous warm-up, Sagittarius, you're about to have a cathartic five-week breakthrough of your own.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your imminent future reminds me of the archaeologists in Scotland who celebrated when they thought they'd found the remains of a ninth-century Viking village. Upon further review, however, they realized it was actually the site of a suburban patio from the 1940s. Like them, Capricorn, you will probably be disappointed in your initial forays into the mysterious depths; what you unearth will rouse hopes that are quickly dashed. Unlike the archaeologists, though, you will eventually locate treasure lying beneath the discredited discovery—if you keep digging, that is.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Be born into the right family. Choose your chromosomes wisely." So begins a list in which Aquarian heiress Paris Hilton details her secrets of success. "Develop a way of entering a room that looks almost royal—but not snobby," she continues. "Never have only one cell phone when you can have many. Eat only the worst junk food or the most fabulous food there is, but nothing in between. Only sleep in Egyptian cotton sheets with a 400- to 600-thread count." I offer you these definitions, Aquarius, in the hope that they'll inspire you to compose your own list. It's an ideal time for you to get very specific about how you plan to achieve happiness and fulfillment.


Free Will Astrology is a weekly horoscope published every Wednesday at 3pm EST.

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PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): It's check-in time, Pisces. What progress have you been making in your work on this year's major assignment? As I suggested last December, 2004 will be prime time for learning much, much more about the arts of intimacy. So have you been shedding bad habits and unripe attitudes that in the past interfered with your ability to get the closeness you want? Have you sought teaching from experts who are wise about relationships? Have you vowed to seek unions only with emotionally intelligent people who take responsibility for their own darkness?

HOMEWORK: If you became ruler of the world, what three decrees would you issue immediately to begin the mass healing? Write: beautyandtruth.com

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