FREE WILL ASTROLOGY 


ARIES Five years ago, I began making daily bike rides. Early on, I realized I'd regularly have to deal with loose dogs running toward me with the intent to bite. For protection, I armed myself with pepper spray and yummy treats. In all that time, I'm happy to report, I've squirted just one dog in the face. On the other hand, I've doled out hundreds of dollars' worth of canine snacks. Here's how this relates to your imminent future: When a beastly influence shows up, you may think you should bring out your equivalent of pepper spray. But I bet that offering treats will serve you better.

TAURUS Many critics consider Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) to be one of the 20th century's best composers. He is most famous for "Bolero," an orchestral piece that was originally written as the accompaniment for a ballet. Ravel's major inspiration for "Bolero" was a visit to a cacophonous steel mill. He's your role model for the coming week. I foresee you drawing creative excitement from events that are rife with noise and commotion. May your messy encounters lead you to produce great work, interesting surprises or both.

GEMINI This week I highly recommend that you NOT sit on a photocopier to create images of your buttocks. For reasons too complex to go into here, doing so would put you out of alignment with the cosmic flow. However, now is an excellent time for you to make other strong statements that involve your backside, at least metaphorically. For instance, you will attract fate's favors whenever you get your ass in gear to get to the bottom of things. Luck will also flow your way in direct proportion to how earnestly and rigorously you kick your own butt.

CANCER Some studies report that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol regularly is good for your heart. Other research says that's not true. Similarly, the frequent use of cell phones either raises the risk for brain cancer or it doesn't; prayer on behalf of sick people either helps them or it doesn't. Different scientists have come to opposite conclusions on both issues. In fact, contradictory opinions about a wide range of health concerns are now routine. That's just one reason you should tune out experts as you tune into your own body. Seek insight into how to promote your physical well-being by trusting your still, small inner voice, not loud, confident authorities.

LEO You may soon have a dream of beating up the person you were five years ago. This would be a good omen. It means you're ready to wean yourself completely from a stale old self-image. If you dream of feeding caviar and champagne to a donkey, it's also a positive sign. It means you're beginning to recognize that the hard-working beast in you needs to be treated more luxuriously. And if you dream of yelling at a bunch of kids to go clean up their messy bedrooms, that's an auspicious portent as well. It signifies your readiness to discipline the irresponsible habits and organize the unruly impulses of your inner child.

VIRGO "People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing," said motivational author Dale Carnegie. Those should be your words to live by for the rest of 2006. It's time for you to become almost ruthless in your intention to enjoy yourself as you carry out your life's work. I'm tempted to go so far as to say that you should disentangle yourself from any commitment in which duty overshadows pleasure. Your drive to do good deeds and be of use to people will ultimately fall short unless you love what you do.

LIBRA You've slipped into the Anything-Goes Zone. It resembles a duty-free store in an international airport, a speakeasy during Prohibition and the more benign areas of the Twilight Zone. There you may experience events that seem to happen off the record and days that take place outside of time. You could feel like you're in a buffer zone or waiting room — a nerve-wracking sanctuary where you're safe, yet filled with doubts and questions. At least half the cards will be wild. Exceptions to the rules will be the rule. My advice? Experiment ingeniously.

SCORPIO Recently, less than 5 percent of the world's astronomers voted to demote Pluto from a planet to a "dwarf planet." Mythologist Roxanna Bikadoroff says there's poetic justice in calling Pluto a dwarf planet: In fairy tales, dwarves are often magicians who possess hidden storehouses of riches and act as agents of creative transformation. They typically live beneath bridges, which are symbols of transitional thresholds, and are masters of in-between states. They bestow blessings on anyone who is able to pass their demanding tests. This is an apt symbolic description of you at your most potent, which I expect you to be during the coming weeks.

SAGITTARIUS An adventurer named Brian Walker has plans to climb aboard a homemade missile and launch himself 20 miles into the sky using a giant crossbow. According to Wired magazine, he has figured out all the angles, including how to descend, and will probably pull off the feat without killing himself. It so happens that you also have the potential to propel yourself higher, farther and faster than maybe you've ever gone, though in a safer and more metaphorical way. What's the closest symbolic analogue you have to a giant crossbow?

CAPRICORN Help! Pluto's not a planet any more! Won't that disastrously tweak astrological theory? Actually, no. Nothing whatsoever has changed about Pluto in its role as a revealer of cosmic portents. All that has shifted are the ideas of 424 astronomers who were at the International Astronomical Union's conference. Still, it's important to note how many millions of people take this tiny group's delusions seriously. Let this be a reminder for you to be very discriminating about whose definitions you choose to believe. Be more aggressive in giving your own names and frames to life's mysteries.

AQUARIUS You don't need any special climbing skills to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. It's the highest walkable mountain in the world. But that doesn't mean it's easy. You've got to be in good physical shape. To avoid altitude sickness, you must ascend gradually enough to acclimatize yourself to steadily decreasing levels of oxygen. This happens to be an apt metaphor for your fate. You have a chance to begin a project that could lead you to a summit with inspiring vistas. You don't need to master any exotic new skills to do it, and can pull it off as long as you're patient, take good care of yourself and are willing to both respect your limits and push yourself harder than usual.

PISCES "There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept," said Ansel Adams. That advice should be uppermost in your mind as you follow your bliss to the next fork in the road. Although you've got good intuitions about the hopeful scenario that's fueling you, the fantasy still needs to be fleshed out. Unless you make it specific and detailed, it will eventually fizzle. Here's your assignment: By the equinox, create a vivid image of a well-crafted, intricately imagined goal.


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