Free Will Astrology (12/23/15) 

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ARIES (March 21-April 19) The raw materials you have at your disposal in 2016 may sometimes seem limited. You might not have access to all the tools you wish you did. You could be tempted to feel envy about the vaster resources other people can draw on. But I honestly don't think these apparent inhibitions will put you at a disadvantage. Within your smaller range of options, there will be all the possibilities you need. In fact, the constraints could stimulate your creativity in ways that would have never occurred if you'd had more options.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) You know what physical hygiene is. But are you familiar with imaginal hygiene? Educator Morgan Brent defines it like this: "Imaginal hygiene is the inner art of self-managing the imagination, to defend it from forces that compromise, pollute, colonize, shrink and sterilize it, and to cultivate those that illuminate, expand and nourish it." It's always important for everyone to attend to this work, but it's especially crucial for you to focus on it in 2016. You will be exceptionally creative, and therefore likely to generate long-lasting effects and influences out of the raw materials that occupy your imagination.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Your mind sometimes works too hard and fast for your own good. But mostly it's your best asset. Your versatility can sometimes be a curse, too, but far more often it's a blessing. Your agile tongue and flexible agenda generate more fun than trouble, and so do your smooth maneuvers and skillful gamesmanship. As wonderful as all these qualities can be, however, I suggest that you work on expanding your scope in 2016. In my astrological opinion, it will be a good time for you to study and embody the magic that the water signs possess. What would that mean exactly? Start this way: Give greater respect to your feelings. Tune in to them more, encourage them to deepen and figure out how to trust them as sources of wisdom.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) Swedish movie director Ingmar Bergman won three Academy Awards and was nominated for eight others. Numerous filmmakers have cited him as an important influence on their work. His practical success was rooted in his devotion to the imagination. "I am living permanently in my dream, from which I make brief forays into reality," he said. Can you guess his astrological sign? Cancer the Crab, of course! No other tribe is better suited at moving back and forth between the two worlds. At least potentially, you are virtuosos at interweaving fantasy with earthy concerns. The coming year will afford you unprecedented opportunities to further develop and use this skill.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Avoid pain and pursue pleasure. Be kind, not cruel. Abstain from self-pity and ask for the help you need. Instead of complaining, express gratitude. Dodge time-wasting activities and do things that are meaningful to you. Shun people who disrespect you and seek the company of those who enjoy you. Don't expose yourself to sickening, violent entertainment; fill your imagination up with uplifting stories. Does the advice I'm offering in this horoscope seem overly simple and obvious? That's no accident. In my opinion, what you need most in 2016 is to refresh your relationship with fundamental principles.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Many of the atoms that compose your flesh and blood were not part of your body 12 months ago. That's because every year, 98 percent of you is replaced. Old cells are constantly dying, giving way to new cells that are made from the air, food and water you ingest. This is true about everyone, of course. You're not the only one whose physical form is regularly recycled. But here's what will be unique about you in 2016: Your soul will match your body's rapid transformations. In fact, the turnover is already underway. By your next birthday, you may be so new you'll barely recognize yourself. I urge you to take full charge of this opportunity! Who do you want to become?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) The English word "ain't" can mean "am not," "is not," "are not" or "have not." But it ain't recognized as a standard word in the language. If you use it, you risk being thought vulgar and uneducated. And yet "ain't" has been around since 1706, more than 300 years. Most words that are used for so long eventually become official. I see your journey in 2016 as having resemblances to the saga of "ain't." You will meet resistance as you seek greater acceptance of some nonstandard but regular part of your life. Here's the good news: Your chances of ultimately succeeding are much better than ain't's.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) My old friend John owns a 520-acre farm in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Blueberries are among the crops he grows. If he arranges their growing season so that they ripen in July, he can sell them for $1.75 a pint. But if he designs them to be ready for harvest in late summer and early fall, the price he gets may go up to $4 a pint. You can guess which schedule he prefers. I urge you to employ a similar strategy as you plot your game plan for 2016. Timing may not be everything, but it will count for a lot.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) In 1803, the U.S. government bought a huge chunk of North American land from the French government. At a price of three cents per acre, the new republic doubled its size, acquiring what's now Louisiana and Montana and everything between. I don't think you'll add that much to your domain in 2016, but it's likely you will expand significantly. And although your new resources won't be as cheap as the 1803 bargain, I suspect the cost, both in terms of actual cash and in emotional energy, will be manageable. There's one way your acquisition will be better than that earlier one. The Americans bought and the French sold land they didn't actually own – it belonged to the native people – whereas your moves will have full integrity.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) The coming year will be a favorable time for you to nourish a deeper devotion to truth, beauty and goodness. Anything you do to make your morality more rigorous will generate benefits that ripple through your life for years to come. Curiously, you can add to the propitious effect by also cultivating a deeper devotion to fun, play and pleasure. There is a symbiotic connection between the part of you that wants to make the world a better place and the part of you that thrives on joy, freedom and wonder. Here's the magic formula: Feed your lust for life by being intensely compassionate, and vice versa.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) I predict that 2016 will be your Year of Fruitful Obsessions. In giving this positive spin to the cosmic tendencies, I'm hoping to steer you away from any behavior that might lead to 2016 being your Year of Fruitless Obsessions. One way or another, I think you'll be driven to express your passions with single-minded intensity. Focused devotion – sometimes verging on compulsive preoccupation – is likely to be one of your signature qualities. That's why it's so important to avoid wasteful infatuations and confounding manias. Please choose fascinations that are really good for you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Your symbol of power in 2016 will be the equal sign: =. Visualize it in your mind's eye every morning for 20 seconds. Tattoo it on your butt. Write it on an index card that you keep under your pillow or on your bathroom mirror. Gestures like these will deliver highly relevant messages to your subconscious mind, like "Create balance and cultivate harmony!" and "Coordinate opposing forces!" and "Wherever there is tension between two extremes, convert the tension into vital energy!" Here are your words of power in 2016: "symbiosis" and "synergy."

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