FREE WILL ASTROLOGY 


;ARIES Hundreds of years ago, the Native American tribe known as the Seneca had a rule of thumb about when to sow seed corn. You had to wait until the weather was warm enough to lie naked in the dirt without discomfort. I believe a similar principle applies to your plans to start a certain new enterprise. Hold off until you're able to take off all your clothes in a natural setting and stretch out on the ground without shivering.

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;TAURUS It's been too long since you visited the middle of nowhere. You've been a fixture in the heart of a well-defined somewhere for quite some time. But now, you need the enriching confusion of the cosmic HUH?! It's prime time for you to wander out into the fertile chaos of the WHAT THE HELL!? zone. Have fun! Now please repeat and repeat and repeat after me, slowly building from a smirking giggle to a cackling belly-laugh, WHERE AM I AND HOW DID I GET HERE?!

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;GEMINI This would be a good week to give out free ice cream to the underprivileged or sing show tunes to a captive audience at a retirement home. In fact, the cosmos will be very favorably disposed toward you if you do anything to increase the pleasure you bring other people. Here are some other ways you might proceed: Think deeply about what a loved one needs most; deliver sincere praise to people you've never praised before; or do a good deed anonymously, ensuring that the recipient of your blessing doesn't know who gave it.

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;CANCER Charles Darwin called Thomas Malthus a "great philosopher," and said his theory of evolution was based on Malthus' ideas. Yet Malthus advocated genocidal measures to control population growth. In "Essay on the Principle of Population," Malthus wrote: "Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country, we should build villages near stagnant pools, and encourage settlement in marshy and unwholesome situations." So the evidence is clear that Darwin's theories had a grotesque pedigree. Should we therefore dismiss them altogether? Not necessarily. What's useful is not always derived from what's good. Is there a comparable situation in your own life? Are there essentials you benefit from though their origins are problematic? The time is ripe for coming to terms with weirdness.

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;LEO The water you drink is roughly three billion years old. The stuff your body is made of is at least 10 billion years old, probably older, and has been as far away as 100,000 light-years from where it is right now. The air you breathe has been literally everywhere on the planet, and has slipped in and out of the lungs of almost every human being who has ever lived. There's much more evidence I could offer to prove to you that you're an infinite and eternal creature, but suffice it to say that you're much greater and older and bigger and wilder and freer than you have ever imagined. The experiences you'll soon have will give you a deep sense of how true that is.

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;VIRGO It's the perfect time to kill off old habits that bring you down and to sever bad connections that bring out the worst in you. Therefore, I suggest you invite skeletons to come out of the closet and monsters to crawl out from beneath the bed for a nice long heart-to-heart talk full of tough love. In every decay there'll be beauty; in every loss there'll be a glimmer of future joy.

;;LIBRA If we were going to equate your relationship options with varieties of ice cream, we might say that in the next eight weeks you will have a choice between black raspberry, caramel toffee bar, cherry chip, cookie dough, strawberry cheesecake, cashew praline parfait, peanut butter truffle and good old vanilla. Oddly enough, vanilla might turn out to be the most gratifying. Of all the varieties, it would certainly have the best aftertaste.

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;SCORPIO The secret you're looking for, the secret you think you desperately need, does not exist — at least not officially. Unofficially, however, it's very real. It's alive and hot and exciting. But it's in the care of people you don't notice or value. It's something you'd normally regard as cheap and insignificant. So let me ask you: Can you change the way you use your eyes? Will you drop the opinions that get in the way of you seeing the truth? The secret you're in quest of, the resource that might solve so many problems, will be easy to pluck if you'll just change your mind about matters that you imagine have nothing to do with the secret.

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;SAGITTARIUS Flora, a Komodo dragon in a British zoo, recently became pregnant and hatched five babies without ever having had contact with a male. This is the first recorded virgin birth among her species. She's your power animal for the coming weeks. Whether you're female or male, you too now have the power to spawn a beautiful brainchild without being intellectually or emotionally fertilized by anyone. That doesn't mean you should avoid the kind of intimate interactions that would fructify you. I urge you to seek those out in abundance. But you don't need them in order to be a fount of creativity.

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;CAPRICORN The bumper sticker I saw today said, "Having abandoned my search for the truth, I'm now looking for a good fantasy." Though it's meant to be sarcastic, it's actually a useful piece of advice for you right now. Consider this: The truth is overrated. It's so complicated and ever-shifting that it's impossible to pin down. To earnestly pursue it is often a waste of your valuable time and energy. Besides, why bother trying to understand the nature of reality when it's more important and productive to aggressively shape the nature of reality? As another bumper sticker says, "Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself." In light of these meditations, I suggest that you drum up some fresh, fun, fabulous fantasies.

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;AQUARIUS Writing in American Scientist, professor of neuroscience Irving Biederman says that human beings are literally addicted to learning new ideas. At the moment when we grasp a concept we've been grappling with, our brains experience a rush of a natural opium-like chemical, boosting our pleasure levels. I suggest that you take advantage of this fact to get really high in the coming week. Your ability to master challenging new information is at a peak, which means your access to natural opiates will be abundant.

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;PISCES A pound of gold weighs less than a pound of tumbleweeds. That's because the weight of gold is measured by the troy system of measurement, in which there are 12 ounces in a pound, whereas the weight of tumbleweeds is assessed according to the avoirdupois system, in which a pound consists of 16 ounces. Still, you'd probably rather have a pound of gold than a pound of tumbleweeds, right? Keep this in mind as you decide what resources to go after in the coming week.

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