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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY for the Week of Jan. 26, 2012

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LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "There are works which wait, and which one does not understand for a long time," said Oscar Wilde. "The reason is that they bring answers to questions which have not yet been raised; for the question often arrives a terribly long time after the answer." I predict that sometime soon, Leo, you will prove that wisdom true. You will finally learn the brilliant question whose crucial answer you got years ago. When it arrives, you will comprehend a mystery that has been churning in the semi-darkness all this time.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Shedding is healthy — not just for cats and dogs and other animals, but also for us humans. Did you know that you shed thousands of particles of dead skin every hour? And just as our bodies need to shed, so do our psyches. I bring this up, Virgo, because you are in an unusually favorable phase to do a whole lot of psychic shedding. What should you shed exactly? How about some of these: old ideas that don't serve you any more, habits that undermine your ability to pursue your dreams, compulsions that are at odds with your noble intentions, resentment against people who did you wrong a long, long time ago, and anything else you carry with you that keeps you from being fully alive and radiant. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, the price of freedom and aliveness is eternal shedding.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): According to research published in the journal Psychological Science, many people are virtually allergic to creative ideas. When asked to consider a novel proposal, they're quite likely to reject it in favor of an approach that's well-known to them. (More info here: tinyurl.com/3oor4nq.) This could be a problem for you in the coming weeks, Libra, since one of your strengths will be your ability to come up with innovations. So it won't be enough for you to offer your brilliant notions and original departures from the way things have always been done; you will also have to be persuasive and diplomatic. Think you can handle that dual assignment?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "A single sunbeam is enough to drive away shadows," said St. Francis of Assisi. I'm afraid that's an overly optimistic assessment. In many circumstances, just one ray of light may not be sufficient to dispel encroaching haze and murk. Luckily for you, though, there will be quite an assortment of sunbeams appearing in your sphere during the coming weeks. Here's the complication: They won't all be showing up at once, and they'll be arriving in disparate locations. So your task will be to gather them all up and unite them so they can add to each other's strength. If you do that successfully, you'll have more than enough illumination to chase away any darkness that might be creeping around.