FREE WILL ASTROLOGY 


ARIES I suspect you'll be a genius of awkwardness in the coming week. What that means is that you'll have a knack for doing the half-right thing at the half-right time — and yet that's exactly what'll be necessary in order to bring about unexpected outcomes that are in everyone's best interests. In the short run you may make a perfect mess, but I bet that will ultimately add more beauty and intrigue to the big picture.

TAURUS Dear Grandma and Grandpa of the Taurus: I'm hoping you will bring your helpful influence to bear on our little darling's dilemma. In your own past you once had to navigate your way through complications similar to those that Taurus is now facing. So even if you are in spirit form, please bestow your advice and encouragement, whether that's delivered by phone, via telepathy, in dreams or in person. One more thing: Please don't let your wise blessing get tainted by any lingering disapproval you might be harboring about the path our beloved has chosen. This is a time for smart love, not judgment.

GEMINI In archetypal psychology, the term hierosgamos means "sacred marriage." It may refer to a literal coming together of two people whose bond is a gift to God. Their love for each other serves as an inspiration to their community and galvanizes them to express their wildest beauty. Because their union is dedicated to a higher cause, they strive with ingenious devotion to transmute the dark, unripe aspects of their own nature. The term hierosgamos also has a bigger meaning: It may refer to any merger of opposites that's precipitated through divine grace and that unleashes surprising healing in all directions. In the coming weeks, you are a prime candidate to experience at least a metaphorical version of hierosgamos.

CANCER "A quiet evening alone with friends can be an ecstatic experience for Cancerians," say Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers in The Secret Language of Birthdays. "Yet many born under this sign have strange aspects to their personalities which must be periodically revealed in public." In the coming weeks, you may feel an irresistible urge to express your eccentricities to a bigger audience. My advice is to make definite plans to unveil the most interesting versions of your oddness at times of your choosing. That way it won't unexpectedly pop out half-cocked when it might cause embarrassment.

LEO "The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian," wrote philosopher George Santayana. I agree. That's why I can confidently predict that you will have the right to claim all of the following titles in the coming weeks: the Beguiler with the Most Enticing Ideals, the Moral Authority with the Most Trustworthy Allure and the Charmer with the Most Ethical Temptations.

VIRGO In the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel," a wicked stepmother convinces her husband that the only way the two of them will survive poverty is to take his children into the woods and abandon them. That way there'll be two fewer mouths to feed. The kids overhear the plan, and as the adults lead them into the middle of nowhere, Hansel surreptitiously leaves a trail of white stones. This allows him and his sister to find their way back home. A few weeks thereafter, the stepmother again convinces her spouse to leave the children in the wastes. This time Hansel drops breadcrumbs to mark the path, but they're eaten by birds and the kids have no way to get back. Moral of the story: When you get sucked away from your source, leave clues that are more like stones, not crumbs. Alternative moral of the story: Don't return to a source that doesn't want you there.

LIBRA "The ancient Greeks knew that learning comes from playing," writes Roger von Oech in his book A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative. Their word for education, paideia, he says, was close to their word for play, paidia. Your next assignment is right in line with this theme. First, identify the teachings that will be most important for you to master in 2007. Second, figure out how to include play as a major component of your learning process.

SCORPIO You know those fuel-delivery planes capable of pumping gas into a larger plane that's already aloft? I think you'd benefit from the services of their metaphorical equivalent in the coming week. Given how high and fast you're soaring, it would be a shame for you to have to come down to earth to fill up your tank. Yet it's clear to me that one way or another, you're going to have to replenish your supply of propellant.

SAGITTARIUS "Whether we are on the threshold of a Golden Age or on the brink of a global cataclysm that will extinguish our civilization is not only unknowable, but undecided," said Edward Cornish, president of the World Future Society. I bet that in the past year it must have seemed as if you were teetering on the brink of a sulfurous abyss that was within shouting distance of the yellow brick road to paradise. Talk about conflicting emotions! But now that crazy-making chapter of your life is coming to an end. No more teetering for you. I believe you have already been offered or will soon be offered an escort to the beginning of the yellow brick road. Let's hope you're not so addicted to the fascinating glamour of your pain that you turn down the escort.

CAPRICORN "The problem, if you love it," said Jiddu Krishnamurti, "is as beautiful as the sunset." He did not mean this ironically, nor was he indulging in sentimental wish-fulfillment. He was one of the toughest-minded spiritual teachers ever born. As you slip into a phase when your problems are especially gorgeous and entertaining, I urge you to remind yourself of his wise thought at least five times a day. Here's a second nugget for you to chew on often. It's a lyrical, hard-assed Zen proverb: "The obstacle is the path."

AQUARIUS Your assignment in the coming weeks is to become a coordinator of synchronicity and director of synergy in all the environments where you hang out. To begin, remind yourself of what those terms mean. Synchronicity is the wonderfully spooky feeling that comes when two or more events occur in a way that might superficially seem to be mere coincidence, but that is actually a sign of a deeper underlying pattern that transcends rational understanding. Synergy is when two power sources collaborate on a surprisingly energetic creation in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

PISCES If you want to be in perfect alignment with the astrological omens, you will live your life in the coming weeks with a restless confidence that bigger is better. You'll risk going over the top, digging too deep and stretching your limits beyond the comfort level. I suspect you'll even begin to resonate with the description once applied to Hong Kong by its last governor: "sparkling, noisy, argumentative, handsome, cluttered, exotic, international — all the things a great city should be."


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