Free Will Astrology (5/25/16) 

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ARIES (March 21-April 19) To convey the best strategy for you to employ in the coming weeks, I have drawn inspiration from a set of instructions composed by aphorist Alex Stein: Scribble, scribble, erase. Scribble, erase, scribble. Scribble, scribble, scribble, scribble. Erase, erase, erase. Scribble, erase. Keep what's left. In other words, you have a mandate to be innocently empirical, robustly experimental and cheerfully improvisational – with the understanding that you must also balance your fun with ruthless editing.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) "One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being," wrote Taurus memoirist May Sarton. That's a dauntingly high standard to live up to, but for the foreseeable future it's important that you try. In the coming weeks, you will need to maintain a heroic level of potency and excellence if you hope to keep your dreams on track and your integrity intact. Luckily, you will have an extraordinary potential to do just that. But you'll have to work hard to fulfill the potential – as hard as a hero on a quest to find the real Holy Grail in the midst of all the fake Holy Grails.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) "Whatever you're meant to do, do it now," said novelist Doris Lessing. "The conditions are always impossible." I hope you take her advice to heart. In my astrological opinion, there is no good excuse for you to postpone your gratification or to procrastinate about moving to the next stage of a big dream. It's senseless to tell yourself that you will finally get serious as soon as all of the circumstances are perfect. Perfection does not and will never exist. The future is now. You're as ready as you will ever be.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) French painter Henri Matisse didn't mind being unmoored, befuddled or in-between. In fact, he regarded these states as being potentially valuable to his creative process. Here's his testimony: "In art, truth and reality begin when one no longer understands what one is doing or what one knows." I'm recommending that you try out his attitude. In my astrological opinion, the time has come for you to drum up the inspirations and revelations that become available when you don't know where the hell you are and what the hell you're doing.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Proposed experiment: Imagine that all the lovers and would-be lovers you have ever adored are in your presence. Review in detail your memories of the times you felt thrillingly close to them. Fill yourself up with feelings of praise and gratitude for their mysteries. Sing the love songs you love best. Look into a mirror and rehearse your "I only have eyes for you" gaze until it is both luminous and smoldering. Cultivate facial expressions that are full of tender, focused affection. Got all that? My purpose in urging you to engage in these practices is that it's the High Sexy Time of year for you. You have a license to be as erotically attractive and wisely intimate as you dare.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others," wrote editor Jacob M. Braude. Normally I would endorse his poignant counsel, but for the foreseeable future I am predicting that the first half of it won't fully apply to you. Why? Because you are entering a phase that I regard as unusually favorable for the project of transforming yourself. It may not be easy to do so, but it'll be easier than it has been in a long time. And I bet you will find the challenge to reimagine, reinvent and reshape yourself at least as much fun as it is hard work.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) "Never turn down an adventure without a really good reason," says author Rebecca Solnit in her book The Far Away Nearby. That's a thought she had as she contemplated the possibility of riding a raft down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon. Here's how I suspect this meditation applies to you: There have been other times and there will be other times when you will have good reasons for not embarking on an available adventure. But now is not one of those moments.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Russian poet Vera Pavlova tells about how once when she was using a pen and paper to jot down some fresh ideas, she got a paper cut on her palm. Annoying, right? On the contrary. She loved the fact that the new mark substantially extended her life line. The palmistry-lover in her celebrated. I'm seeing a comparable twist in your near future. A minor inconvenience or mild setback will be a sign that a symbolic revitalization or enhancement is nigh.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Norway is mountainous, but its neighbor Finland is quite flat. A group of Norwegians has launched a campaign to partially remedy the imbalance. They propose that to mark the hundredth anniversary of Finland's independence, their country will offer a unique birthday gift: the top of Halti mountain. Right now the 4,479-foot peak is in Norway. But under the proposed plan, the border between countries will be shifted so that the peak will be transferred to Finland. I would love you to contemplate generous gestures like this in the coming weeks. It's a highly favorable time for you to bestow extra imaginative blessings. [PS: The consequences will be invigorating to your own dreams.]

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) I believe that every one of us should set aside a few days every year when we celebrate our gaffes, our flaws and our bloopers. During this crooked holiday, we are not embarrassed about the false moves we have made. We don't decry our bad judgment or criticize our delusional behavior. Instead, we forgive ourselves our sins. We work to understand and feel compassion for the ignorance that led us astray. Maybe we even find redemptive value in our apparent lapses; we come to see that they saved us from some painful experience or helped us avoid getting a supposed treasure that would have turned out to be a booby prize. Now would be a perfect time for you to observe this crooked holiday.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Sometimes the love you experience for those you care about makes you feel vulnerable. You may worry about being out of control or swooping so deeply into your tenderness that you lose yourself. Giving yourself permission to cherish and nurture can make you feel exposed, even unsafe. But none of that applies in the coming weeks. According to my interpretation of the astrological omens, love will be a source of potency and magnificence for you. It will make you smarter, braver and cooler. Your words of power will be this declaration by Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, translated by Lena Jayyusi and Christopher Middleton: "When I love/I feel that I am the king of time/I possess the earth and everything on it/and ride into the sun upon my horse."

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) In November 1916, at the height of World War I, the Swedish schooner Jönköping set sail for Finland, carrying 4,400 bottles of champagne intended for officers of the occupying Russian army. But the delivery was interrupted. A hostile German submarine sunk the boat and the precious cargo drifted to the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The story didn't end there, however. More than eight decades later, a Swedish salvage team retrieved a portion of the lost treasure, which had been well-preserved in the frosty abyss. Taste tests revealed that the bubbly alcoholic beverage was "remarkably light-bodied, extraordinarily elegant and fantastically fresh, with discreet, slow-building toasty aromas of great finesse." I foresee the potential of a similar resurrection in your future. How deep are you willing to dive?

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