Free Will Astrology: December 22 through 28

ARIES [March 21–April 19] "There's always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in," wrote Graham Greene. I'll add to that: There are at least three moments in adulthood when a new door opens and invites the future in. I'm guessing that one such breakthrough lies ahead for you. What can you do to encourage fate's summons? Surrender to the truth of what you love.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] If oil companies were given permission to sink their drilling rigs into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the petroleum they produced would ultimately lower gasoline prices by four cents per gallon. To my mind, that's not a good trade-off. Let this serve as a metaphor for you in 2011. Don't share your pristine wilderness or soulful beauty with exploitative types who offer iffy rewards. Instead, hold out for those who appreciate you profoundly and whose own gifts help you to thrive.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Freud said that among all human endeavors, there were three "impossible professions" that inevitably yielded unsatisfying results: child-rearing, the governing of nations, and psychoanalysis. My own experiences don't entirely confirm this. My parents raised me pretty well. Of the psychotherapists I've consulted in my life, two were excellent healers and none were damaging. But even those projects were sometimes fraught with unsolvable riddles and maddening uncertainties. I bring this up, because I think 2011 will be a time when you will generate far more success than usual in your own versions of "impossible professions." Unsolvable riddles, chronic frustrations, and maddening uncertainties won't be completely absent, but they could very well be at an all-time low.


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CANCER [June 21–July 22] "We have to believe in free will. We have no choice," said Isaac Singer. I encourage you to adopt that puckish thought as your motto in 2011. This will be our year to intensify our ability to carry out our plans—but always with good humor and a sense of irony. One of the best ways to deepen our command over our own unconscious impulses and the caprices of fate will be to take ourselves—and everything else, too—less seriously.

LEO [July 23–August 22] The coming year will be a time to think big. That doesn't mean you should be rash, reckless, or unrealistic. Your dreams should be carefully wrought and anchored in a detailed understanding of how things actually work. Learn from Snoop Dog. The rapper wanted to rent all 62 square miles of Liechtenstein so he could film his music video there. Liechtenstein authorities turned him down, but only because his team didn't ask far enough in advance. Had he been better organized, the whole country could have been his.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] An Oregon man named Don Wesson stopped his truck by the side of the road and took home a 40-pound rock that caught his eye. For years, he used it as part of a border to prevent his dog from messing up his garden. Then he saw a TV show about meteorites and brought the rock to scientists. They told him it was a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite that had fallen to earth and originally came from the asteroid belt. Other experts told him he could probably sell the exotic artifact for as much as $40,000. I predict a metaphorically similar development in your life during the coming year: the discovery of a valuable old thing from far away that you will underestimate at first.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Richard Grossinger is my friend, my teacher, and the brilliant author of numerous books. (His latest is called 2013.) He is also a humble adept in the high art of gratitude. On his website, he has a page devoted to expressing vivid appreciation for the 71 best teachers of his life. His testimony is a riveting and touching reminder of how each of us is a creation of all the important people we've loved and hated. Compiling such a list should, I think, be a rite of passage for anyone who aspires to be an authentic human being. There will never be a better time than 2011 for you to do this work yourself, Libra.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] "Just when I found out the meaning of life," said comedian George Carlin, "they changed it." I'm hoping that will be one of your top inspirational jokes in 2011. If all goes well, you will no longer be content with all your answers to the question "What is the meaning of life?"—either because "they changed it," as Carlin suggested, or because it's no longer interesting or useful to you. This is very good news, in my opinion. You will have the invigorating privilege of going off in search of fresh answers to the riddle of the ages!

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] The United Nations has declared that 2011 will be the International Year of Chemistry—a time to honor the role chemistry plays in our lives. Meanwhile, you Sagittarians will be celebrating your own personal Year of Chemistry, although in a different sense of the word—the sense that means natural attraction, spontaneous connection, intuitive allure, and uncanny synchronicity. Don't let this abundance of grace make you overconfident, and don't just sit back and let it run wild. Be a master chemist intent on rigorously cultivating the very best experiments.

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