FREE WILL ASTROLOGY 


;ARIES Here you come, dragging your exhausted but redeemed ass out of the deep, dark forest of symbols. The monkey demons fall off your back as you straggle toward the light. Your sunken eyes see wonders they were blind to before your ordeal. Your heart rages with a wild angelic love you've never tapped into before. As you realize the magnitude of your tough miracle, you feel glimmers of gratitude for the tests you had to endure. Maybe you should get totally lost more often.

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;TAURUS On the Internet's Leonard Cohen Forum, Lizzy says she once thought that making "a joyful noise unto the Lord" was the highest expression of spiritual praise. Now she feels that whispering one's appreciation is just as valid. Diane, going a step farther, suggests that even silence can be a powerful form of homage — maybe even more so than raucous celebration. My opinion? I think Diane might be right when it comes to plants and animals, with which you can achieve easy telepathic communion. But when dealing with the divine works of art known as human beings, the best way to express praise is loud and clear. Your assignment in the coming week is to do that for everyone you care about. More than ever before, you need to dispense vociferous approval and articulate adoration.

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;GEMINI "Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish," prayed Michelangelo. He exulted in the feeling of having too much to express. He thrived on the stimulus of his frustration; he used the sting of his inadequacy as fuel for his creativity. Are you willing to experiment with this approach? Do you have the nerve to love what's imperfect about your life? Are you brave enough to laugh at the probability that your yearning will never be completely fulfilled?

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;CANCER What were those LED devices that appeared at random outdoor locations around nine American urban areas in January? They turned out to be a promotional campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The citizens of New York, L.A., Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco and Philadelphia took the prank in stride, but Boston officials saw it as a terrorist threat. Is it a coincidence that this horoscope column has long appeared in newspapers published in all the above cities except Boston? I think not. It's evidence that the advice contained herein raises intelligence levels and helps users know the difference between real and imagined threats. So maybe you'll believe me when I tell you that the only threat you face right now is from the part of you that thinks a certain imagined threat is real.

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;LEO Here are the blessings I wish for you in the coming week: 1) not a sudden evacuation from a pitch-dark tunnel into a blinding light, but rather a gradual transition from frigid blackness to cool grayness to warm brightness; 2) not an eruption out of a claustrophobic squeeze into the middle of nowhere, but rather a natural evolution from an interesting limitation to an expansive possibility; 3) not a stressful rocket launch from the bottomless abyss to a scary peak, but rather an exhilarating joyride from the lower depths to the ringing heights.

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;VIRGO People with a fraction of your savvy and resources may try to manipulate you into serving their aims. Politely ignore their pressure. This is a time when you should be enjoying your hard-earned goodies with pure relish, not worrying about them or defending them or trying to adjust them to fit anyone else's specifications.

;;LIBRA Activists in the Pacific Northwest have sometimes resorted to extreme measures in their efforts to end the clear-cutting of old-growth forests. Among the most creative has been a woman known as La Tigresa. She has on occasion planted herself half-naked in front of lumberjacks bearing chainsaws and bulldozers, stopping them in their tracks with the sight of her bare breasts and regaling them with her "Goddess-based, nude Buddhist guerrilla poetry." Let her inspire you to be original, experimental and funny as you fight for a righteous cause that rouses your zealous idealism. It could be political in nature, as in La Tigresa'a case, or it could be personal, as in lobbying a loved one for more focus and intensity.

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;SCORPIO You've entered an Oscar Wilde–type phase. I urge you to get a sense of how the British author's paradoxical brilliance worked so you can put yourself in a similar frame of mind. Study the following Wilde-isms. 1) "I can believe anything provided it is incredible." 2) "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." 3) "If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh; otherwise they'll kill you." 4) "Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess." 5) "Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."

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;SAGITTARIUS Philosopher Jonathan Zap reports that the typical adult has a mood change once every 90 minutes. According to my reading of the omens, you've been below that average for the past few weeks, lumbering along at only a few emotional shifts per day. But that will soon be history, as your hormones conspire with cosmic rhythms to send you spiraling upward to the levels usually experienced only by people in the 13-18 age range: one mutation every 20 minutes or so. Don't worry. It won't last forever. And it could even be great fun if you respect and celebrate your inner teenager.

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;CAPRICORN "It's more fun to be the painter than the paint," mused actor George Clooney in Esquire magazine. Usually I agree. I much prefer to be a creator who shapes raw material into a beautiful artifact than the raw material itself. But for the next couple of weeks, I'm recommending the opposite for you. I think you'll have more fun being the paint than the painter.

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;AQUARIUS It's not completely dumb to sell your soul to the highest bidder for a while. And it's an all-right time to entertain iffy prospects for increasing your cash flow or to work hard to make your boss rich (as long as you get a percentage). But just because it's an OK time to do these things doesn't mean you should do them. Consider this: It's an even more favorable time for you to temporarily rent your good ideas to the highest bidder, to strike a deal with proven powerhouses that you know can increase your earnings, and to work your ass off in behalf of your own dreams.

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;PISCES "The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by other people's rules," says novelist Michael Korda, "while quietly playing by your own." That strategy works for many of the happiest people I know. It ain't easy, though. You've got to figure out how to be honest and genuine even though you're constantly performing; you've got to make your life a work of art that continually allows you to reinvent your innocent enjoyment of the game you're playing. You Pisceans are probably better suited for this cagey approach than any other sign. And it's currently a favorable time to get the hang of pulling it off.


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