SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Wrap your imagination around this innovation, if you can: a gas-electric hybrid SUV that's a luxury car but gets more than 40 miles per gallon and produces almost no smog-forming emissions. Lexus has created this marvel, and it'll go on sale in early 2005. I'm certainly not suggesting you should buy it, but I do think it's an apt symbol for the frame of mind you should cultivate in the coming weeks: lavish yet efficient; high-quality and responsible; richly expansive but smartly disciplined.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): According to Harper's Index, many Americans believe that "politics and government are too complicated to understand." In fact, the average citizen thinks about politics just nine minutes a day. In my astrological opinion, Capricorn, your life should belie those statistics in the coming weeks. Your personal happiness will grow brighter if you deepen your understanding of the way government works. You will reap unexpected blessings from trying to affect the political process, whether it's on the local or national level. And what if you're not an American? My advice is the same. You may not have as much compensatory work to do as we Americans, but you will still benefit from intensifying your awareness of how your government impacts your destiny.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The 17th-century Pilgrims were religious dissidents at odds with the Church of England. Persecuted for their beliefs, some set sail for the New World in the Mayflower, seeking a sanctuary to practice their spiritual principles in peace. They sighted land after 66 days. A few of them wanted to cruise south along the coast to Virginia, where the English crown had promised them a grant of land. But the majority overruled them in order to address the most pressing problem: They had run out of beer. And that's why the Pilgrims ended up settling on the first place they saw, the cold, rocky shore of what's now Massachusetts. Upon landing, they built a brewery. This vignette is an apt metaphor for your near future, Aquarius. You, too, will be driven by idealism to seek a haven where you can more purely be yourself, but you will ultimately respond to pragmatic concerns as well.


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PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): One of the poets who performed at the poetry slam I just saw described how she used a needle and thread to sew up the wound from her suicide attempt. It seems that a few minutes after she slashed her wrist, she changed her mind and decided she wanted to live. I don't foresee anything nearly as melodramatic happening in your life, Pisces, but I do worry you might sabotage yourself and then regret it. Now that you know you're susceptible to making that error, however, I hope you'll forestall it altogether. Love yourself wildly and take care of yourself fiercely in the coming days.

HOMEWORK What's the one thing you would change about yourself if you could? And why can't you? Write: freewillastrology.com.

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