Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19) I don't take drugs or alcohol, but I love to get high. So how do I crack open the doors of perception? Engaging in extreme horseplay is one way. Recently, for instance, three friends and I radically altered our consciousness in the middle of the night on a New York City sidewalk. We drove ourselves cheerfully insane as we did Appalachian square dances and channeled slapstick imitations of Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks. I urge you to be inspired by this example. You're overdue for a dose of raucous fun.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Philosopher Bertrand Russell gave this testimony about what motivated him: "Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge and an unbearable pity for the suffering of humanity." I suggest that you boil down your desires to a slightly altered version of Russell's: a longing to both give and receive love, a hunger for knowledge and a yearning to alleviate the suffering of your fellow humans.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Most people don't speak the language of metaphor, which is a staple of my writing. Luckily, you're among the minority who appreciate a symbolic approach to communication, so you'll be able to use the following oracle: You can't possibly defeat or outmaneuver the ogre who's monopolizing the treasure you covet. If you're smart, you'll realize that you should transfer your longing to a different treasure.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) Physics instructor David Willey can safely walk barefoot across broken glass, dip his fingers into vats of molten lead and lie sandwiched between two beds of nails without incurring injury. There's no magic involved; he relies on his understanding of science. Metaphorically speaking, these are the kinds of feats you'll be able to pull off in the coming week. Like Willey, you should research the laws of nature and use them to accomplish seemingly impossible tricks.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) The U.S. government has been dominated by right-wingers for years. But an opposite trend is sweeping the other America. Leftist leaders have recently come into power in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay. This resembles an adjustment that will soon take place in your life. Where you have become too one-sided, the other side will begin exerting a strong counterpoint. If any of your beliefs have become too dogmatic, evidence will pour in to shake up your certainty. This is a good thing. You'll feel more flexible and free when the revolution comes.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) The New York Times' Deborah Solomon interviewed Peter Watson, author of Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, From Fire to Freud. "What is the single worst idea in history?" she asked him. "Without question, ethical monotheism," he replied. "The idea of one true god. … This has been responsible for most of the wars and bigotry in history." I disagree. I think history's most terrible idea is the theory that some groups of people deserve more rights than others. The coming week is a good time for you to meditate on these themes. Which ideas do you consider bad ones, both those on a global scale and those that have infected your belief system? It's a perfect moment to fight those bad ideas.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) I was meditating on your horoscope at the top of a hill. "Give me a sign," I asked nature, "a symbol that will illuminate Libra's imminent future." I soon came upon an oak tree in whose low-hanging branches was nestled a radio-controlled toy airplane. Its flight path had obviously gone astray, but it didn't seem damaged. Why had its operator abandoned it? Here's how I interpreted the omen's meaning for you and your life: You experienced a minor glitch while engaged in some amusing activity, and that caused you to give up on the fun prematurely. It's time to go back and solve the problem, then resume your enjoyment.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) "At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's lost self," wrote Irish playwright Brendan Francis Behan. Let these words serve as your guiding light in the coming weeks. They should inspire you to be brave enough to confront the feelings of isolation that fester in your depths. That will in turn motivate you to reconnect with the parts of your psyche you were cut off from during times of trauma and unconsciousness in the past.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Professor Robert Crease asked physicists to name the 10 most beautiful experiments of all time. One winner was Galileo's legendary proof of the nature of gravity, in which he dropped two objects of different weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Another was Isaac Newton's prism, which broke sunlight into a spectrum of hues. I invite you to be inspired by the spirit of these experiments. Come up with a hypothesis that will help you gather useful data about a question that's crucial for you to explore.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Right before Christmas, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that slashed funding for student loans, child care and health benefits for the elderly and poor. Vice-President Dick Cheney aborted his trip abroad in order to race home and cast the tie-breaking vote. I suggest that you regard the 51 Scrooges who committed this sin as your anti-role models in the coming days. You can't afford to be anything but generous to the deprived and disadvantaged — including the parts of your own psyche that you sometimes neglect.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium. John Walker invented the match. Wilhelm Roentgen first identified X-rays. What do they have in common? They all refused to take out patents in connection with their innovations, believing that they shouldn't profit from something that rightfully belongs to everyone. They're your role models: Let them inspire you to give away your brilliance for free. (I probably shouldn't tell you this, but there'll be a big reward for you if you do.)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) You've entered the most enigmatic phase of your astrological cycle, and I think you're about to have a lot of fun. You should look forward to your travels in the abyss. Here are some guidelines to help you get the most out of the coming days. 1) Do the things that are hardest to do, but do them as if they were a great privilege. 2) Stay in connection with your dark side, but don't let that turn into an endorsement of your dark side's fantasies. 3) Brainstorm about how to disarm and neutralize your adversaries without fighting them.


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