Rob Brezny's Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In his book And They All Sang, Studs Terkel interviewed jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. "When people say, ‘I don't understand your music,'" reported Gillespie, "I say, ‘Don't try to understand it, just try to feel it.'" That's excellent advice for you as you weave through the complicated, uncanny, revelatory weeks ahead. Full comprehension of the meaning of this era may not be available until later. But that won't be a problem if you live as if life were a song you love.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Dear Dr. Brezsny: I dreamed that an angel who looked like Angelina Jolie was teaching me how to gather energy in the sky and release it in the form of lightning bolts. It required great upper arm strength because I had to make broad sweeping motions to gather the necessary electricity into a vortex that would serve as my launching area. I was exhilarated, though nervous about how much force I had at my disposal. What does it mean? — Taurus With Goose Bumps." Dear Taurus: Your dream is a symbol of the situation many Bulls are facing now. You have enormous energy at your disposal. But don't use your lightning bolts to intimidate those who have offended you. Instead, put on a demonstration of strength, impressing everyone — adversaries and allies alike — with your ability to command great power responsibly.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Last Christmas, I had dinner at a sushi restaurant in San Rafael, Calif. The place was deserted except for a drunk at the bar, me and my friends, and the table next to us with Sean Penn, Robin Wright and their daughter. I wanted to compliment Robin on various films and tell Sean how much I loved his articles in the San Francisco Chronicle about his travels in Iraq, but I decided not to. Don't follow my example this week. Express your appreciation to those who inspire you, even at the risk of appearing foolish. Explore the emotions of admiration and respect, and pay homage to your influences.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The mayor of Las Vegas has suggested a novel idea for discouraging graffiti on highway walls. Oscar Goodman envisions televised spectacles in which the vandals' thumbs are cut off. His proposed punishment goes too far for my tastes, but I'm wondering if you might approve of it. Lately you've been having bouts of overreaction, entertaining extreme fantasies in response to circumstances that don't necessarily warrant them. I'm not saying your emotions are unjustified, nor do I recommend repressing them. I'm asking you to let some time pass before you take action on your feelings.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): An executive at the U.K.'s biggest pharmaceutical company admitted that most prescription medicines aren't effective. "The vast majority of drugs only work in 30 or 50 percent of the people," said Allen Roses of GlaxoSmithKline. His explanation: Many patients have idiosyncratic genes that prevent the medicines from functioning. In my opinion, there's a similar principle at work regarding everything that conventional wisdom says is good for you. Right now, more than ever, you'll benefit profoundly from not only questioning authorities and experts but giving them the third degree.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Elegant, shimmering silk comes from the cocoon of a worm larva. Typically the cocoon is dunked in boiling water to kill the pupa inside before it can chew its way out. Another precious material with gross origins is ambergris. It's a foul-smelling excrement that sperm whales vomit. Years of sun exposure while floating on the ocean transforms it into an aromatic, waxy substance that's a major ingredient in perfume. Silk and ambergris are your personal power symbols in the coming weeks. You'll turn crap into treasure.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Mirrors should think longer before they reflect," said French filmmaker Jean Cocteau. That's especially true this week for you. Don't believe every bit of feedback about yourself, either from mirrors or any other source. Be skeptical of every image that people have of you, and don't sit passively while they barrage you with their expectations. In order to further upgrade your integrity (a project I hope you're in the midst of), you may have to make yourself immune, at least temporarily, to what everyone thinks of you.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Imagine that you're a circus acrobat whose specialty is working high in the air. You're skilled at swinging from one trapeze to another with utmost confidence in your timing and concentration and grip. I believe that your life has now brought you to a transition that's metaphorically similar to the moment of being in between trapezes. Don't think too hard as you soar across the abyss; trust your instincts.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarian Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress. Serving seven terms, she was an outspoken warrior who fought for the rights of minorities and the poor. "My greatest political asset, which professional politicians fear," she said, "is my mouth, out of which comes all kinds of things one shouldn't always discuss for reasons of political expediency." Yet one of Chisholm's most famous exploits was her visit to segregationist George Wallace after he was shot. Supporters complained, but years later Wallace helped her win over congressmen when she sponsored legislation to give domestic workers a minimum wage. Be like Chisholm: Even as you open your big mouth to articulate controversial truths, reach out to those who disagree with you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Readers sometimes ask about Ophiuchus, the supposed 13th constellation. They've heard that it messes up the whole zodiacal system. Here's the truth: The proponents of Ophiuchus are self-described debunkers who hate astrology. If they did even a smattering of honest investigation, they'd see how irrelevant their theory is. Let this serve as a cautionary tale. Right now it's crucial that you get your facts straight before critiquing anyone. Make sure that those who want to analyze you do the same.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Fashion designer Ennio Capasa was asked if he found his work difficult. "If it wasn't difficult I wouldn't enjoy it," he said. That's the kind of activity you will specialize in this week. The more it stretches your capacity and forces you to dig deeper for stamina, willpower and resourcefulness, the happier you'll be — and the more successful, too.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Life is stark at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, even for the people who aren't imprisoned there. Newsday reports that there are 23 men for every woman among the 2,800 free Americans. Raccoon-sized rats are fixtures; the base's border is littered with underground mines. But there's now a Starbucks, Pizza Hut and miniature golf course.

I don't want to make light of the situation, but I do want this to serve as a metaphor for you. What's the most desolate, forbidding area of your psyche? Build the equivalent of a miniature golf course there.

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