Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Are you a gelatinous pool of longing yet? Are you a perfumed garden of madly blooming purple explosions? Are you throbbing and gooey and half-nauseous with that delicious sickness some people called love? If not, I don't know what to tell you. By all reckoning your gut should be swarming with drunk butterflies and the clouds should be taking on the shapes of mating horses. If you're not half-drowning in these symptoms, find a way to pry open the floodgates.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) You're primed to cancel a jinx in the coming days. In fact, I'm playing with the fantasy that you are now the living embodiment of a lucky charm. At no other time in recent memory have you had so much power to reverse the effects of perverse karma, bad habits and just plain negative vibes. Your hands and eyes are charged with good medicine. Other parts of you are, too, which means sexual healing could be in the works. But as you embark on your mission to cure everyone you love, remember the first law of the soul doctor: "Physician, heal thyself."

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) The Norwegians used to have a concept called svoermere, which meant something sweetly futile or deliciously unprofitable. While I can see the appeal that your particular version of svoermere has had for you, it's time to think about moving on. You have both a right and a duty to seek out more constructive pleasures that not only make you feel really good but also serve your long-term goals.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) It's Freedom from Want Week! During this uncanny grace period, you might actually feel perfectly content. It's possible that you'll be free from the obsession to acquire more security, more love, more proof of your greatness, more tchotchkes, more everything. You may even make the shocking discovery that you don't need nearly as much as you thought you did in order to be happy; maybe you have a lot to learn about getting more out of what you already have.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Would you like to spend the next 30 years working your assets off to make your bosses rich? If not, I suggest you start formulating Plan B immediately. The time is not exactly ripe to extricate yourself from the wicked game, but it's ripe to begin scheming and dreaming about how to extricate yourself. Here's a tip to get you in the mood. Assume that there's some validity in the meme that mythologist Joseph Campbell articulated: "Follow your bliss and the money will come." Then ask yourself, "Do I even know what my bliss is? Not my mild joy or diversionary fun but my unadulterated bliss?" Once you know that, you can follow it. And then, inevitably — although it may take a while — the money will follow.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) As the season of riddles kicks into high gear, I present you with a two-part quiz. Part 1: Since it has taken you your whole life to become the person you are today, is it reasonable to expect that you can transform yourself in a flash? Part 2: On the other hand, since you are more creative than you give yourself credit for, and in a phase when your ability to change is greater than usual, is it reasonable to assume that you must remain stuck in your old ways of doing things?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) So much to say and do. So little time. Is it OK if I pepper you with pithy hints? It's the only way to fit everything in. Here goes. There's strength in numbers, so travel in packs. Round up support and whip up group fervor. Always say "we," not "I." Add at least one new friend and bolster at least one old friendship. Think before you act, but always act instead of watching from afar. Avoid doing stupid things in smart ways. To court good luck, do charity work. To ensure that extra favors will come your way later this year, do extra favors now.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) The Biblical book of Isaiah prophesies a future time of undreamed-of harmony. "The wolf will romp with the lamb," reads one translation. "Cow and bear will graze in the same pasture, their calves and cubs will grow up together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox." I have it on good authority that you're now eligible for a preview of this paradisiacal state. To receive your free introductory offer, you need only meet one condition. You must vow not to harm any living thing — not even a cockroach. Not even the person you love best.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) You Sagittarians are famous for filling your cups too full. Sometimes this is cute. Sometimes it's a problem for those who don't like cabernet sauvignon sloshed on their hand-woven Persian rugs. This week, however, I predict there will be little or no hell to pay for overflowing. So go ahead and transcend your containers, you beautiful exaggerators. Express yourself like a fire hose. Now enjoy a few gems from your fellow Sagittarius, the extravagant poet and painter William Blake. 1. "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." 2. "Exuberance is beauty." 3. "You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough."

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Constant vigilance, my friend. That's what I advise. Be attentive to details you sometimes gloss over. Wake up a little earlier and prepare for each encounter with greater forethought. Stare a little harder into the hearts of all those whose hidden motivations might detour your destiny. Monitor every communication for hints that all is not as it seems. Most important, guard against the possibility that you may be overlooking a gift being offered to you in an indirect way.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) "Keep exploring what it takes to be the opposite of who you are," suggests psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of the book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. This advice is one of his ideas about how to get into attunement with the Tao, also known as being in the zone or getting in the groove or being aligned with the great cosmic flow. How would you go about being the opposite of who you are? That's an excellent question for you to muse on in the coming weeks. As you stretch yourself to embody the secret and previously unknown parts of you, I think you'll be pleased with how much more thoroughly that allows you to be in sync with the rhythms of life.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Internet addiction has risen to epidemic proportions in China. In early 2009, psychologists began offering an alleged cure that involved the use of electroshock therapy. Parents of 3,000 young people paid Dr. Yang Yongxin over $800 a month to hook their anesthetized teens up to machines that sent electricity through their brains to induce artificial seizures. After four months, the Chinese government intervened and halted the treatment, noting that there was no evidence it worked. This practice might sound comically barbaric to you, but I think it has a certain resemblance to the way you have been dealing with your own flaws and excesses: with inordinate force. In the coming weeks, I really think it's important not to punish yourself for any reason, even if it's in a supposedly good cause. The lesson of the Chinese experiment: Not only is it overkill, it doesn't even have the desired effect.


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