Free Will Astrology

ARIES If you live to be 90 years old, you will have spent a total of eight months sitting in your car stopped at red lights. In addition, you will have wasted 10 months standing in lines at stores, banks and government agencies, and you will have lost almost two years killing time while hoping that a certain phone call, letter or e-mail will arrive. That's the bad news. The good news is that few of those agonizing pauses will be racked up in the near future. This is one time when "no waiting" is the rule. You could make three months' progress in 15 days.

TAURUS I once knew a psychic who worked with people in comas. He contacted their spirits, which were wandering in limbo between this world and the next, and tried to convince them to either fully return to their bodies or else let their bodies die and formally exit to the other side. The task you now face is nowhere as dramatically life-and-death as that, but it's comparable in a sense: Being neither here nor there is a futile state that you shouldn't continue to accept. Do what's necessary to make the knotty choice with as much grace as possible.

GEMINI Plato said God was a geometer who created an ordered universe imbued with mathematical principles. Galileo wrote, "To understand the universe, you must know the language in which it is written. And that language is mathematics." Stephen Hawking says that by using mathematical theories to comprehend the cosmos, we're trying to know "the mind of God." But philosopher Richard Tarnas proposes a different model than these three. In his book Cosmos and Psyche, he suggests that God is an artist — more like Shakespeare than Einstein. Your assignment is to practice seeing the world as a sublime work of art crafted by a master of storytelling.

CANCER "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware," wrote philosopher Martin Buber. That's something you're on the verge of proving. Any day now you will discover the hidden truth about a treasure you didn't know you've been searching for; you will stumble upon the answer to a riddle you hadn't even realized you desperately need to solve.

LEO I had a dream about my three closest Leo friends. In the dream, they wriggled out of cocoons that were hanging from a large tree. They were covered with feathers and their arms had turned into wings, though they still had human faces. Once they were free of the cocoons, they soared away. As I watched their ascent, my own arms began to transform into feathered wings. I felt that I, too, would soon be able to fly. Here's how I interpret my dream: You're ready to take off, and your flights will serve as inspiring examples to other people.

VIRGO Did you ever get one of those e-mails informing you that you've won the lottery in the Netherlands or that your government is trying to locate you in order to give you the assets of a distant relative who died and left you an inheritance? In the coming week, you should be alert for messages that contain authentic versions of those phony come-ons. According to the astrological omens, you've become eligible for benefits you don't know about or have barely guessed the existence of.

LIBRA The World Conservation Union says that one out of every eight of the Earth's plant species is facing extinction. The threat is even higher in the U.S., where 29 percent are at risk. You may imagine this has no impact on your personal life, but I believe your deep self experiences it with tremendous sadness and loss. You might consider revitalizing your connection to the plant world. Try singing to a forsythia bush. Hug a cherry tree. Say a prayer for a garden. Eat a salad or drink chamomile tea with reverent gratitude. Buy a new African violet for your home.

SCORPIO Your power animal is the Hawaiian fish known as the humuhumunukunukuapuaa. It has two spines, and that'll be a good symbol for you in the coming days: You'll need to have a powerful backbone as you weather challenges to your integrity and authority. It's also able to wedge itself into tight spaces to seek refuge from its adversaries. That has a metaphorical resemblance to a skill I hope you'll cultivate. Finally, it looks like a pig and makes pig-like grunts. You'll benefit from having a similar ability to confound people about what kind of animal you are. Having multiple identities will keep you strong.

SAGITTARIUS I'm not in the least sorry about that time 15 years ago when Brandon and Anah and I jumped on the roof of a stranger's BMW at 3 a.m. and belted out songs from "West Side Story." Nor do I have any regrets about burning 37 dollar bills and kissing 32 people's asses at 2003's Burning Man festival during my Sacred Uproar Revival show. I'm also at peace with scores of other past actions that lacked decorum and dignity. According to my analysis, it's a good time for you to do something similar: Celebrate the outrageous, extreme, uninhibited things you've done that caused no harm and raised the levels of fun in your world. Then go out and do some more.

CAPRICORN Things you DON'T particularly need right now: excuses to procrastinate; urges to retreat into hardened positions and fixate on the way things used to be; a willingness to politely tolerate control freaks; fantasies about changing the personalities of people you love. Things you DO need: a windy day, a meadow and a dragonish kite; more raw curiosity and better questions; a slightly irrational diversion that fires up your imagination; an idiosyncratic altar in your bedroom; more gratitude for and intimacy with your muse; finger paint and five large sheets of paper so you can illustrate your life story.

AQUARIUS Actress and talk show host Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968) had a lot to say. According to her biographer Joel Lobenthal in his book Tallulah!: The Life and Times of a Leading Lady, she sometimes spoke nonstop for hours, and in the course of one especially loquacious day uttered upwards of 70,000 words. Let's make her your role model for the coming week. I believe it's your sacred duty to express even more thoughts, jokes, observations and stream-of-consciousness messages than you usually do. Fluency is your middle name.

PISCES My best friend in high school was James, a Piscean artist. His work was so wild and beautiful that it scared his parents. Instead of seeing him as he was — a budding creative genius — they thought he was mentally ill. They confined him to an asylum and forced him to undergo shock treatments. Since they thought I was a bad influence, they forbade us from having contact. I lost track of him when I went to college, and later he dropped out of sight. This week I decided to Google James. I was ecstatic to find that he's an inventor and philanthropist living in Florida, having made loads of money from his numerous creations. In line with your astrological omens, I nominate him to be your inspiration. May his triumph over his past rouse you to recover some of the fullness of the brilliance that was suppressed and wounded when you were young.

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