Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19) At New York's Museum of Modern Art, I brought my face to within a few inches of Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night." Its stars were throbbing and voluptuous. The night sky shimmered with currents of spiraling energy. In the foreground, the cypress tree flared like a shadowy flame. Fierce, innocent, nourishing, reckless, unfinished, this priceless work drank my attention for a long time, constantly refreshing my eyes with its ceaseless movement. It was exactly what I wish you to be like in the coming week.

the coming week.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Hundreds of years ago, the Roman Catholic Church conjured up the concept of "Limbo." It was supposedly a murky realm between heaven and hell that housed the souls of babies who died before they were baptized and righteous people who lived before the time of Christ. Later "limbo" also came to have a nonreligious meaning, referring to the state of uncertainty experienced by a person who is waiting for a resolution. Last November, the Church formally retired the concept of Limbo, declaring it to be an outmoded hypothesis. In the coming weeks, you will have an excellent opportunity to escape your own personal version of limbo.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) I intoned a Hindu prayer and did a sacred Sufi dance as I stood inside a Native American medicine wheel and carried out parts of a Buddhist ritual while holding a Wiccan wand and Christian cross. My intention was to seek divine favor in helping you open to the possibility that you can expand your spiritual life considerably in the coming months, especially if you go exploring for inspiration outside of the beliefs and rituals that have nourished you up until now.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) The British government recently legalized civil partnerships for gay couples, giving them the same rights and privileges as married heterosexuals. Regard this as a vitalizing symbol for what you yourself can accomplish in the coming weeks. Unions that you never thought possible will be within your power to create. Previously unimaginable connections will become normal and natural. You will have the potential to be a catalyst, mediator and lubricant for a host of fresh combinations.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) On behalf of Saturn, Lord of Karma, I invite you to take advantage of an opportunity to make substantial reductions in your debt — your karmic debt, that is, not your financial debt. (Though I have it on good authority that lowering your karmic IOU will have a ripple effect that will ultimately alleviate struggles with money you might be suffering from.) This is one of the best times ever for fixing mistakes you made in the past, atoning for pain you have caused and correcting imbalances that resulted from your careless behavior.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) I've discovered a new way to stimulate my psychic powers. I simply eat large amounts of wasabi, the bracing horseradish-like paste that's traditionally served with sushi. Its astringent potency seems to crack open an interdimensional wormhole in my brain through which news of the future pours in. After meditating on the astrological factors coming to bear on you, I ingested the stuff to give my divinations some extra oomph. Here's what I came up with: You need the equivalent of the wasabi approach right now — some gentle shock, self-administered, that will extend the range of your normal perceptions.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) While riding my bike out in the wilds, I passed an oak tree growing on a hillside. On the slope below it, one of the tree's thick roots poked up through the ground, then re-entered the earth. I immediately thought of you and your imminent future. Your roots will soon be exposed, giving you a vivid glimpse at what's been going on below the surface all this time. The foundations of your life, normally hidden, will be at least partially open to your exploration and study.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Balding, 5-foot-tall, heavy-set, 61-year-old actor Danny DeVito is not renowned as an embodiment of male beauty. That's what made his appearance on an episode of Friends so amusing. He played a stripper dressed as a cop. The spectacle of him dancing provocatively as he removed his clothes was appalling, fascinating, funny and ultimately harmless. I predict you will have at least two experiences that fit this description in the coming week.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) In an interview with The New York Times, the Dalai Lama spoke of how he deals with sexual feelings. As a monk who has taken a vow of celibacy, he said he'd prefer not to experience that appetite at all. "If you itch, it's nice to scratch it," he mused, quoting the Buddhist teacher Nagarjuna. "But it's better to have no itch at all." This counsel applies to a wide variety of situations. I suggest that you take an inventory of your needs and urges and compulsions, and try to dissolve those that have little meaning or purpose for you in the big picture of your destiny.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) The San Francisco 49ers recently endured one of their worst seasons ever. As the losses piled up, coach Mike Nolan continued to profess an optimism that seemed deluded. After an especially galling defeat, however, he finally confessed he was a little down. In response, San Francisco Chronicle sportswriter Ray Ratto exulted, "At least Mike Nolan isn't calling a chemical fire the aurora borealis anymore." You have suffered from the reverse problem: It's like you've been gazing at the aurora borealis and theorizing it's a chemical fire. This attitude is now becoming untenable. Your pretty good luck is evolving into damn fine blessings. It's time to acknowledge the beautiful truths in all of their glory.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) German scientist Juergen Zulley specializes in research about the hours we spend unconscious in our beds every night. He has concluded that a lack of sleep can make you stupid, fat and sick. It weakens memory, decreases a hormone that helps control cravings for food, and undermines the function of your heart, digestive system and circulation. I would add that sleep deprivation reduces the time you spend dreaming, which compromises mental hygiene. All of these would be major problems in the next two weeks. You need to sleep more than usual. Get at least eight hours a night. More would be better.

More would be better.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Officials in the California coastal city of Malibu recently updated their manual on emergency preparedness. In the event of a tsunami, they advised, surfers should not try to ride the tidal waves, but should flee inland. While that might be good counsel from a literal perspective, on a metaphorical level I think you should do the opposite in the coming week. As the tidal wave of opportunities flows toward you, don't run away. Instead, do your best to surf it.

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