Free Will Astrology 

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Philosopher David Pearce is committed to the abolition of suffering. We've got a long way to go before accomplishing that goal, but he believes it's possible with the help of technology. More than two millennia ago, Buddha also articulated a vision for the cessation of suffering. His methods revolve around psychological and spiritual work. It's an excellent time to contribute to this noble enterprise. Your level of suffering is low these days, which could give you a natural boost if you set in motion some long-term strategies for reducing the pain that you experience and the pain that you cause.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) I don't mean to sound melodramatic, and I certainly don't want to encourage you to do something foolish, but if you've been pondering the possibility of storming the castle, this would be a good time to do so. What exactly am I implying with the phrase "storming the castle"? Well, anything that involves a brave effort to fight your way into the command center of the empire, a heroic attempt to take back the sanctuary you were exiled from or a playful adventure in which you work your way into the heart of the king or queen.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) "Let us not underestimate the privileges of the mediocre," wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. "Life becomes harder and harder as it approaches the heights — the coldness increases, the responsibility increases." In the next two months you'll be in a prime position to renounce some of the "privileges" of your laziness. Please hear me out. I'm not saying that your lackadaisical attitudes are any worse than mine or anyone else's. But there come times in everyone's cycle when he or she has a chance to outgrow those lackadaisical attitudes so as to reach a higher level that's both more demanding and more rewarding. This will be one of those times for you.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) According to a poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, there are as many people who give credence to astrology as call themselves Catholic. Believers in reincarnation are another sizable minority; their numbers equal those who put their faith in the Pope and in the planetary omens. Based on this evidence, we can safely conclude that at least some supposedly woo-woo notions are no longer just for woo-woo-ers. You can't be considered a New Age weirdo if you're receptive to the possibility that the world is a long way from being all figured out. That's good news for you. Your belief system is ready to crack open and allow a surge — maybe even a flood — of new data to rush in.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) How are your wooing skills? Have you enhanced your seductiveness in any way during the last few months? I'm not just speaking about your power to corral love and sex and tenderness and thrills. I'm referring to the bigger project of enticing all the resources that would be helpful as you pursue your quest to become the best and brightest version of yourself. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to ramp up your efforts.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "We should feel excited about the problems we confront and our ability to deal with them," said philosopher Robert Anton Wilson. "Solving problems is one of the highest and most sensual of all our brain functions." I wholeheartedly agree with him, which is why I expect that in the coming weeks you will be getting even smarter than you already are. The riddles you'll be presented with will be especially sexy; the shifts in perspective you'll be invited to initiate will give your imagination the equivalent of a deep-tissue massage.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) "Dear Rob: I've been listening to your audio messages on my laptop. And I've noticed a curious thing: My cat goes NUTS trying to get to you. She never shows any interest in the other videos and music I play. But when your voice comes on, she does everything she can to try to get into my computer, to find the source of your voice. What's going on? Libralicious." Dear Libralicious: Maybe it's because in all versions of my recent Libra horoscopes, I've been putting subliminal messages designed to draw out your tribe's inner feline. You have a mandate to be graceful and inscrutable and sleek.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This would be an excellent time for you to do a lot less. You're entering a phase when you can actually help your long-term goals by being less ambitious. The point is not to give up your drive to succeed, just to put it to sleep for a while. Let it recharge. Allow it to draw energy from the deeper psychic sources that it tends to get cut off from when it's in the frenzy of the daily rhythm. Do you have the courage to not work so much, not try so hard and not push so relentlessly?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Cartoon character Homer Simpson is on record as saying that whenever he learns something new, it pushes some old stuff out of his brain. For example, when he took a course in home winemaking, he forgot how to drive. But I don't see this being a problem for you as you enter the High-Intensity Educational Season, a time when your capacity to find and absorb new teachings will be at a peak. If you push hard to learn new lessons, you will certainly not expel old lessons. On the contrary, you'll dramatically enhance the power and brightness of what you've already learned.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Take what you really need, but don't take what you just sort of want. Haggle with life, yes, but insist only on the specific essentials and forgo irrelevant goodies. A similar principle applies as you seek the information you crave: Formulate precise questions that will win you the exact revelations that are necessary to help your cause and that won't fill your beautiful head up with useless data.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) One of the Jonas Brothers got married last month. Up until then, 22-year-old Kevin Jonas was a virgin, having pledged himself to abstinence until his wedding day. Humorist Andy Borowitz "reported" that when Jonas and his bride returned from their honeymoon, he had shocking news. "To be honest, sex was not worth the wait," Borowitz quoted Jonas. "After we did it, I was kind of like, that's it?" I doubt Jonas actually said that, but if he had, I would protest. How could he reach a definitive conclusion based on so little experience? Wouldn't it be wise to consider the possibility that over time he might uncover secrets and plumb mysteries that are unknown to him in his unripe state? Learn from his apparent mistake. In the coming weeks, cultivate a humble, innocent, curious attitude not just about sex, but about everything.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) I have a friend who does modern-day cave paintings. She hikes into underground caverns and abandoned gold mines and creates murals. Only a few friends know about her hobby. She says it's pleasurable to offer a gift to the earth without expectation of recognition or money. I don't normally recommend such behavior for Pisceans; I believe you should err of the side of self-promotion to compensate for your self-deprecating tendencies. But try it in the coming weeks. I think you'll conjure up an epiphany or two if you offer life your favors without worrying about whether they'll be returned.

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