Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19) You say you not only want to be loved, but that you also want to love? Then learn the fantasies and symbols and beliefs that hold people's lives together. Be interested in feeling the crushing weight and deep comfort of their web of memories. Every now and then, dive in and swim along in their stream of consciousness. And yes, be willing to accompany them when they're writhing in their personal hells as well as when they're exploring the suburbs of paradise. All these tasks will be worthy of your time in the coming weeks.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Right now you're like a sulking cherry tree that hasn't bloomed for years but then inexplicably erupts with pink flowers in mid-autumn. You're like a child prodigy who lost her mojo for a while and then suddenly recovers it when her old mentor comes back into her life after a long absence. You're like a dormant volcano that without any warning spurts out a round of seemingly prophetic smoke signals on the eve of a great victory for the whole world.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) "Dear Rob: Thanks for being a continued source of careful thinking! With the help of you and the rather ruthless teachers who are my friends and loved ones, I'm learning the lessons that are most important — like how rigorous I have to be in figuring out my intentions, how impeccable I have to be with formulating my desires and how precise I have to be in expressing myself. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to being an aimless street punk. But in the end I prefer this tough path I've chosen. — Hard-Working Gemini." Dear Hard-Working: This is an excellent phase to concentrate on what you named: rigorously figuring out your intentions, impeccably formulating your desires and expressing yourself precisely.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) The British playwright Colley Cibber, born 55 years after Shakespeare died, thought that the Bard's historical drama Richard III needed improvement. He made extensive revisions, transposing scenes and inserting new material. For 150 years, Cibber's version was widely performed, effectively replacing Shakespeare's rendition. I suggest you borrow Cibber's strategy in the coming weeks. Take something you like and personalize it; make it into your own. Be sure to acknowledge the original, but have fun blending your influence with the prototype to create a useful and amusing hybrid.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) The corny but sometimes useful adages of folk wisdom are still being created in the 21st century. Their breeding ground is no longer the tavern or marketplace, as in centuries past, but rather the Internet. I've plucked one of these funky gems out of the ether for you to contemplate: "Noah's Ark was built by amateurs, while the Titanic was built by professionals." How exactly does this apply to you? You're in a phase when a good imagination will count for more than strict logic; when innocent enthusiasm will take you further than know-it-all expertise; and when all the work you do should have a playful spirit fueled by a beginner's mind.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) To extract enough gold to make a wedding ring, a mining company must process a ton of ore. In a similar way, many writers generate a swamp of unusable sentences on their way to distilling the precise message they really want to deliver. Please keep these examples in mind as you evaluate your own recent progress. It may seem like you're moving at a crawl and producing little of worth. But according to my analysis of the omens, you're on your way to producing the equivalent of a gold ring.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Were you a tiger in one of your past lives? If so, it's an excellent time to tap into that power. If you have never lived the life of a tiger, would you be willing to imagine that you did? During the coming week's challenges, you will really benefit from being able to call on the specific kind of intelligence a tiger possesses, as well as its speed, perceptivity, sense of smell, charisma and beauty. Your homework is to spend 10 minutes envisioning yourself inhabiting the body of a tiger.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Your circumstances aren't as dire as you feared. The freaky monster in the closet is bored with spooking you and will soon be departing the premises. Meanwhile, one of your other tormentors is about to experience some personal sadness that will soften his or her heart toward you. There's more: The paralysis that has been infecting your funny bone will miraculously cure itself, and the scheduled revelation of the rest of your dirty secrets will be summarily canceled. I hope you're not feeling so sorry for yourself that you fail to notice this sudden turn in your luck. It may take an act of will for you to wake up to the new dispensations that are available.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) "Jazz music is an intensified feeling of nonchalance," said playwright Françoise Sagan. Keep that in mind during the coming week. Whether or not you listen to jazz, do whatever's necessary to cultivate intensified feelings of nonchalance. It's extremely urgent for you to be blithe and casual. You desperately need to practice non-attachment as you develop your ability to not care so much about things you can't control. You've got to be ferociously disciplined to transcend the worries and irritations that won't really matter much in the big scheme of things.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) "There are two rules for ultimate success in life," wrote L.M. Boyd. "First, never tell everything you know." While that may be conventional wisdom about how to build up one's power, I live by a different principle. I find that as I divulge everything I know, I keep knowing more that wasn't available to me before. The act of sharing connects me to fresh sources. Open-hearted communication doesn't weaken me; it feeds my vitality. This is the approach I recommend to you in the coming days. Tell everything you know.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Writing in The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik named two literary characters that well-educated people tend to identify with. "Men choose Hamlet because every man sees himself as a disinherited monarch," he said, while "women choose Alice `in Wonderland` because every woman sees herself as the only reasonable creature among crazy people who think that they are disinherited monarchs." That's funny in light of your current omens, which suggest that you're a reasonable creature who clearly sees how much you're like a disinherited monarch. There's a good chance you will have excellent intuition about what to do to restore yourself to power.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) "Dear Rob: Help! I have a sinking feeling that the man I love is almost but not quite courageous enough to be truly and deeply intimate with me. What should I do? — Downcast Piscean." Dear Downcast: Ask yourself if there's anything you can change about yourself that will help him feel braver. For instance, is there any way, however small, in which you're manipulative, untrustworthy, dishonest or unkind? If so, fixing that in yourself could allow your lover to feel a lot closer. It's an excellent time for Pisceans to alter their inner states in order to alter the world around them.

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