Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19) You may be as flooded with briny emotion as a Pisces on a meandering binge. You might be as embedded in a labyrinth of your own creation as the Geminis who verge on being too clever for their own good. You may be as cagey a listener as a Scorpio who's searching for a hidden vulnerability in an ally. In other words, Aries, you're not exactly yourself. But it's one of those rare times when that's a good thing. Halloween costume suggestion: the opposite of what you think you are.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) In my ideal version of Halloween, we wouldn't scare ourselves with images of ghoulish skeletons. Rather, we'd confront more realistic fears, like the possibility that the effects we have on the world are different from our intentions, or that we have not yet reached our potential, or that people we like might completely misread and misunderstand us. Then Halloween would serve a more spiritually useful purpose. It would bring us face-to-face with actual dangers to our psychic integrity, whereupon we could summon our brilliant courage and exorcise the hell out of them.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) During this phase, you'll generate good fortune if you brainstorm and meditate about your relationship with work. Empty your mind of everything you think you know about the subject. Adopt a fresh and innocent perspective. Here are some questions to prime your investigations. 1) What's the quality of the experience you want to have as you earn a living? 2) What gifts do you want to give to life as you toil at challenging tasks that are interesting to you? 3) What capacities do you want to develop in yourself while doing your work?

CANCER (June 21-July 22) Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai witnessed the full range of experiences that life on this planet has to offer, from war to love and everything in between. During an interview he gave in Jerusalem in 1994, he said, "I can stand on my balcony and tell my children, ‘Over there I was shelled for the first time, and over there, to the right, just beneath those trees, I was kissed for the first time.'" I suspect his words will soon be meaningful for you. It's likely you'll have a breakthrough or epiphany near a place where you once suffered disappointment.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Author Gary Smalley says that the sexual nature of men is like a microwave oven, while women resemble a crockpot, the device that cooks food at low heat for a long time. Right about now, I'd advise Leo men to be like crockpots not only in the bedroom but everywhere else, too. To spot the subtle opportunities that will be available, you'll have to be gradual, deliberate and thorough. As for Leo women: I'm betting there are ways that you have fallen under the sway of the microwave meme. If I'm right, it's time to fully re-embrace the spirit of the crockpot.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "The more beautiful the bird, the poorer the singer," wrote L.M. Boyd. "Peacocks scream, macaws screech. Birds of paradise croak." Among the most interesting singers are birds that are far less spectacular in appearance: the black-capped chickadee, the willow thrush and the white-throated sparrow. Keep that in mind as you navigate your way through the coming week's dilemmas. My inclination is to favor inspiring singing over comely appearance, but you may have a different bias. The important thing is to recognize the nature of the options before you. Incorporate themes of plain beauty, secret genius, disguised power and open secrets.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) At a family planning conference in Beijing, a researcher from Ghana presented testimony about tribal issues that he had in part gleaned through interviews with dead ancestors. He said that spirit mediums had acted as his "translators." When met with skepticism from colleagues, he was defensive. "If I only heard from the living," he explained, "I wouldn't get a very good balance." His perspective would be smart for you to adopt right now. To make the wisest decisions and take the most righteous action, draw inspiration from what has passed away and from what's alive and in your face.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) "Behind every face, there are a thousand faces," says film director Bryan Singer, who worked on two of the X-Men movies. He deals with professional actors, who specialize in revealing the myriad faces beneath the surface. But I think his assessment applies to lots of people, especially you — although it must be said that you do have mad skills at hiding all the action going on beneath your surface. This Halloween, I urge you to make a break with tradition and show five or six of the real you's lurking below your poker face. Be inspired by Joseph Campbell's "hero with a thousand faces."

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown has a unique way of stimulating his imagination: He dons his gravity boots and meditates on complex storylines while inverted. It's also a good way to overcome writer's block. "You think differently upside-down," he says. Do you have an equivalent method for providing gentle shock therapy to your perspective? This is a good time to use it. If you don't already have a creative aid like that, hunt around for one. In the days ahead, it will come in handy.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) When Sheelah Ryan won $55 million in the Florida lottery, she used the money to create an organization dedicated to helping the disadvantaged. "I guess I've disappointed a lot of people," she told a reporter. "I could be traveling all over the world, or have a beautiful mansion on the ocean, or have a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce. But that's not my style." She's your role model for the coming weeks. When good fortune comes to you — and I'm almost positive it will — I recommend that you look for ways to share it. If you're generous as you tap in to your gift, there'll be more of the gift.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) When I did a performance in Santa Fe a few years ago, a woman in the audience came up to me after the show and made a sardonic proposal: Would I like to join her 12-step program for writers who are overly fond of vivid adjectives and adverbs? With all the uppity mock politeness I could summon, I told her that I was preposterously happy with my scintillating addiction to brazen language and didn't regard it as a raggedy problem that needed invasive correcting. Now I'm advising you to be like me and follow your heart when it tells you to be bigger, bolder and brasher than ever before. Right now, shiny intensity is your sacred duty!

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) I hope you won't merely wander around the frontier. I hope you'll undertake a meticulous yet expansive exploration of that virgin territory. Here are some tips on how to proceed: 1) Formulate specific questions about what you're looking for. 2) Develop a hypothesis for the experiments you want to carry out. 3) Ignore what doesn't interest you and pounce only on what stirs your fascination. Halloween costume suggestion: an alien anthropologist visiting Earth from another planet.


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