FREE WILL ASTROLOGY 


;ARIES In 1986, an accident at the Chernobyl power plant in the Ukraine caused a nuclear meltdown. Radioactive waste spewed into the air, making the area uninhabitable. Twenty years later, humans are still absent, but wildlife is thriving. Native animal populations have multiplied, and species that had disappeared before the disaster have returned in abundance. Birds are even nesting in the "sarcophagus" built over the exploded reactor. Not that everything's peachy — there are many problems lingering from the original devastation — but the situation in Chernobyl is a metaphor for something in your personal life. A place within you that endured a trauma has rebounded surprisingly, though it's still wounded. Take inventory, then raise the ante on the healing process.

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;TAURUS The U.K. is populated by hordes of "overweight, alco-pop-swilling, sex-and-celebrity-obsessed television addicts," according to the Rough Guide to England. I recommend, therefore, that you avoid traveling to that part of the world if you're a sensitive person who's susceptible to taking on the attitudes of the people around you. You should exorcise any impulses you might have to indulge in excessive consumption of bad food, numbing intoxicants, superficial sex, dumbed-down entertainment and mindless gossip about famous lightweights. For that matter, you should seal yourself off from influences that tend to bring out the worst and the mediocre parts of you.

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;GEMINI The wife of pro baseball pitcher Chris Benson has made public her desire to experience a wide array of erotic diversity while remaining faithful to her husband. "I would like to have sex with Chris in every major league stadium in North America," Anna Benson told the press. She's your role model for the coming week. Your assignment is to expand the variety and explore the frontiers of your familiar pleasures.

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;CANCER A reader named Amanda Jarosz has offered an alternative to the name for this astrological sign: Canswer, a blend of "can" and "answer." It's not a viable long-term solution, but it would make a lot of sense in the immediate future. Here's why: You'll be able to get a useful answer to just about any question as long as you craft it with thoughtful precision. So for example, "How can I get more love?" is a sloppy formulation that won't yield fruitful insights, whereas "What long-term plan can I set in motion that will help me earn more of the care and blessings I deserve from doing what I'm good at?" will.

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;LEO A few weeks ago, 8-year-old Harrison Vonderau was playing golf with his dad on a course in Cleveland when he shot a hole in one. Father and son experienced an even more shocking delight 20 minutes later when the boy scored yet another hole in one. It was an almost unbelievable accomplishment for anyone, let alone a kid. Harrison is your role model for the coming week. I predict that a young part of you — either your inner child or your inner teenager — will score an unlikely and spectacular coup, the equivalent of two holes-in-one.

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;VIRGO Of all the times in your life when you have been in captivity, this has to be one of the least arduous and frustrating ever. I'll go so far as to say that I have rarely seen a more beautiful prisoner than you; for a drudge in bondage, you're ravishing. As hard as it may be to contemplate, however, it's almost time to escape. Your dark though sexy night of the soul will soon come to an end. Don't you dare linger any longer than you have to.

;;LIBRA USA Today did a profile on business guru Doug Hall, who's famous for his unconventional approaches to stimulating creativity. One of his techniques is "left brain, right brain storming." It's done with a team that blends people who specialize in rational, linear thought (left brain) and those who are skilled at letting their imaginations go a little crazy (right brain). May I suggest you try it out? It's a perfect time to undo your attraction to what has always worked before, and start heading in the direction of the unknown future.

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;SCORPIO Physicists at Washington University in St. Louis have found that introducing disorder into certain messy situations may actually spawn order. It happened as they worked with a network of interconnected pendulums that were all waving around chaotically. When they brought random forces to bear on the tumult, the pendulums locked into sync. The physicists' results may not necessarily imply a universal law you should invoke in every circumstance, but it does happen to be applicable to you. The more unpredictable, effervescent and unruly you are — especially in the face of confusing circumstances — the better chance you will have of generating elegant success, and maybe even some beauty, truth and love too.

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;SAGITTARIUS My ultimate hope is for there to be 6.5 billion different religions — a singular form of worship for each person on the planet. It happens to be a perfect time for you to advance that cause: to break out of the pack and fashion your own unique spiritual path. It's also an excellent time to dream up a new political party that intimately reflects every one of your idiosyncratic views, and to identify yourself as a member of a brand new racial or ethnic group that has never before been defined. Whip up your own niches!

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;CAPRICORN My bike has developed an unfortunate glitch. When I ride up hills, the chain gets lodged in the transmission. If I act the instant I hear the grinding noise, I can fix the problem and keep from lurching to a halt: I temporarily pedal backward; doing that frees the chain from its stuck place. So as I ascend, I'm able to push forward for long stretches, but now and then have to pedal in reverse, slipping backward a bit. This is similar to the rhythm your life has right now. It's OK to bitch about it, but you should also feel grateful for the way it's building your strength and character. P.S. I predict you will reach the top by September.

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;AQUARIUS The often-inebriated Calamity Jane character on HBO's TV show Deadwood uttered words that are important for you to take to heart. I'll paraphrase her observation in order to streamline her drunken syntax: "Every day you have to figure out how to live all over again." Of course this is always true, but it's even more intensely apt for you right now. The good news is that you'll be unusually skilled at deciphering the ever-changing rules of the master game, and you're also likely to have maximum fun while doing so.

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;PISCES "Anger or bitterness toward those who have hurt you will block your path to higher ground," said inspirational author Vernon Howard. "You can have anger toward people or you can have freedom from people, but you can't have both." I suggest you make that one of your guiding thoughts in the coming week. An undreamed-of burst of liberation is now possible for you if you compel yourself to experiment with radical generosity on the wild frontiers of forgiveness.

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