FREE WILL ASTROLOGY 


ARIES (March 21-April 19) Don't tell me you have nothing to be thankful for. Your parents could have named you "Hooligan" or "Lightsaber" or "Flu," and they didn't. There are no photos floating around the Internet that show you riding a pig in the nude. No one has ever broken up with you via text message. Now please keep going in the direction I've pointed you. Create an ongoing list of all the things in your life that work pretty well and make you feel at home in the world. It's Massive Explosions of Gratitude Week for you; you can attract even more good fortune into your life by identifying the good fortune you already enjoy.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Sometimes a great idea whose time has come springs up in two places at once. In the 1850s, for instance, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace independently happened upon some of the key concepts of evolution. And in the 1840s, Urbain Le Verrier and John Couch Adams virtually duplicated each other's predictions of the planet Neptune, although they knew nothing about each other's work. I suspect a similar phenomenon is about to happen in your sphere. Act fast if you'd like to get the credit you deserve, like Darwin and Le Verrier, and not suffer the fate of Wallace and Adams.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Before she died at the age of 101, photographer Ruth Bernhard attributed her longevity to her restlessness. "Never get used to anything," she advised. I recommend that approach to you right now. You're in a phase when thinking big and wild and free will be rewarded. To improve your physical health and boost your mental hygiene, unfamiliarize yourself with the people and things you've grown accustomed to. Sneak away from your habits.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) "We are all stupid," wrote Mark Twain, "just on different subjects." Ain't that the truth? Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I think about all the blanks in my education and the ignorance that pockmarks my understanding. The good news for me — and for all of you — is that we're now in an astrological phase that's ideal for getting a crash course in any subject we're dumb about. If you're brave and humble, you could fix several holes in your intelligence.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) You should definitely not attempt to reroute a mighty river anytime soon. I don't recommend trying to change the location of a mountain, either, or commanding the wind to obey you, or shooting a flaming arrow at the sun. On the other hand, it wouldn't be a bad idea to turn one of your so-called liabilities into an asset or use a stumbling block as a shield. And you might have pretty good luck if you try to convert an adversary into an ally. In conclusion, seek modest gains that involve reversals and switcheroos.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "If you removed all of the homosexuals and homosexual influence from what is generally regarded as American culture," said author Fran Lebowitz, "you would pretty much be left with Let's Make A Deal." I offer this as a prod for you to deepen your understanding of the complexities of gender. If you identify yourself as a heterosexual, meditate on the qualities you express that are commonly thought of as the specialty of the opposite sex. Consider the possibility that you are actually 65 percent female, 25 percent male and 10 percent neither, or maybe 15 percent female, 70 percent male and 15 percent transgender. If you regard yourself as gay, explore the hypothesis that a part of you is secretly kind of straight. Open your mind to the possibility that human beings come in hundreds of different genders.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Poet Jack Spicer was a native Californian who wrote most of his poetry while living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He did, however, spend a short time on the East Coast. "Like most primitive cultures," he reported after returning home, "New York has no feeling for nonsense." I don't agree with that. Some of the best nonsense I ever experienced transpired during a November night in 2005 on New York's West 23rd Street. In any case, your assignment in the coming week is to avoid primitive environments that have no feeling for nonsense. You need a maximum dose of silly, goofy, loopy bursts of diversion. I promise it'll make you both smarter and wiser.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Your world is going to get very wet in the coming days. At least I hope it will. There are wrong moves you could make that would keep things pretty dry, or else move you away from the imminent deluge. But I hope you will go with the cosmic flow and allow yourself to get the full benefit of the replenishing flood. You need to feel the deep moisture that's beyond language. You need to be carried along in the fertile surge and returned to the source of your emotional life.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) "If your actions speak louder than words," rants TV pundit Stephen Colbert, "then you're not yelling loudly enough." That's a funnier variant of the advice I have for you, which is as follows: The coming week is a time for crafty talk, not impulsive deeds; a time for intense discussion, not brash exploits. Engaging in almost any kind of negotiation, even if it's heated and convoluted, is better than leaping into an adventure prematurely. You and yours will have to express a lot of ideas and feelings in order to uncover the understandings that should be at the root of your next moves.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Studies suggest that one out of every 10 men and one out of every 20 women carry around an excess of anger — so much so that they're capable of damaging property in an outburst. If you're one of these rageaholics, you now have a window of opportunity to calm way, way down. The cosmos is conspiring to relieve you of a significant amount of your chronic aggravation. And even if you're not among the world's most furious people, I hope you will take advantage of this grace period. You have the power to purge at least 20 percent of the ever-simmering agitation that you accept as normal. How to begin? Meditate on what it would mean for you to love yourself better.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) "The seed cannot sprout upwards without simultaneously sending roots into the ground," says an ancient Egyptian proverb. Keep that thought in mind as you head into the thick of your new phase of growth. What part of you needs to deepen as you rise up? What growth needs to unfold in the hidden places as you gravitate toward the light? How can you go about balancing and stabilizing your ascension with a downward penetration?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) According to Harper's Index, an Iowa farmer can generate an annual revenue of $300 per quarter acre by growing corn to produce ethanol. If the farmer instead puts a wind turbine on that same patch of land, however, he could earn $10,000 per year. Please meditate on that scenario as a metaphor for your own life. Are you underutilizing one of your resources? Are you failing to fully capitalize on your potentials? Have you accepted a low-yield reward in a situation that could bring you much, much more? If so, what are you going to do about it?

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