Free Will Astrology: December 24 through 30

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Most people spend their entire lives immersed in three modes of awareness: waking, sleeping, and dreaming. Other modes, explored down through the ages by the pioneers of consciousness, aren't very interesting to me—like those sought out by people who use cocaine or methamphetamines, for instance—while others are states I aspire to inhabit, like deep meditation and a visceral perception of the fact that love is the fundamental law of the universe. I bring this line of thought to your attention because I believe that in 2009 you will have excellent opportunities to open up your mind to levels of consciousness that are beyond the basic three. No drugs are necessary to take advantage—only a driving curiosity to tune in to realities that are currently outside your field of vision.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] In the original Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1787, each black slave living in America was counted as three-fifths of a person. Seventy-eight years later, the Thirteenth Amendment conferred the missing two-fifths on all who had up until then been regarded as partial humans. I predict that a comparable milestone will come for you in 2009, Taurus. Where in your life have you been marginalized or perpetually unfinished? What situation has prevented you from being all that you can be? You will have a chance of completing the circuit in the coming months.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] According to John Gardner, there are two kinds of stories in literature: 1) You go on a journey; and 2) A stranger arrives in your world. According to my analysis of your destiny in 2009, you will reap rich rewards by including both plotlines in your life story. So let the brainstorming begin: What's the best journey you could choose for yourself—a journey that will educate, challenge, and delight you? And what can you do to attract the best kinds of strangers into your world—strangers who will educate, challenge, and delight you?

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] I invite you to fantasize about the fertile alliances that you can cultivate in the coming months. These lively, inspiring bonds could be with people you haven't met yet. They could be with acquaintances you barely know but would like to know better. And they could be with friends and loved ones you're already intimate with but want to become closer to. The next year has the potential to bring revolutionary advances in the quality of your relationships, so it will be smart for you to work hard on making that happen.

LEO [July 23–August 22] "What do I long for?" should be a core question for you in 2009. Are you adventurous enough to look beyond the status symbols your ego is attached to and the transitory wishes that constantly flit through your imagination? If so, you'll prime yourself to establish a root connection with your soul's deepest yearnings. And when you're in daily touch with those primal motivators, the obstacles in your life will seem less overwhelming and you will consistently have crisp intuitions about what your next move must be. Life may not be a breeze, but it'll be profoundly magical.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] When I predict that liberation will be one of your primary tasks in 2009, I'm not speaking about it in the usual way. I'm describing that of the writer David Foster Wallace: "The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day." I hope you'll be moved to add other nuances and flourishes to that approach as you experiment with it liberally in the coming months.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] "I saw the angel in the marble, and I carved until I set him free." Michelangelo said about how he approached his work as a sculptor. He didn't build the statue, but got rid of the unnecessary stuff that was surrounding it. I suggest that you try this approach in 2009. You have the potential to create a great thing—maybe even two great things—by chiseling away the extraneous material that's obscuring their unique beauty.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In 2009, don't just tune in to your hunches now and then. Be more diligent than that. Check in with your intuition at least three times a day on all 365 days of the year. Be precise in the questions you pose it. Gather its clues craftily. Experiment with the suggestions it provides. This will be the year you can establish a steady, reliable connection with your inner voice. Be devout in your dedication to the cult of your intuition!

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Want to supercharge your luck in 2009? Get some new superstitions. The more outrageous they are, the more likely it is they'll generate lots of crazy sweet karma. You can draw inspiration from pro-football player John Henderson, who swears he can trick destiny into working in his favor if his trainer smacks him in the face before each game. Another example is former hockey player Bruce Gardiner, who, for luck, shoved his hockey stick into a toilet before skating out onto the ice. JUST KIDDING! Actually, I hope you will make 2009 your least superstitious year ever. Let's drink a toast to logic, impeccable objectivity, and cool, clean reason! Add some compassionate sarcasm and loving satire into the mix, and you will generate lots of crazy sweet karma.

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