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Free Will Astrology 

ARIES "When the only tool you have is a hammer," said psychologist Abraham Maslow, "you tend to treat everything as if it were a nail." It will be crucial for you not to regard everything as if it were a nail in the coming weeks. I suggest you make sure your toolbox is filled with screwdrivers, wrenches, drills, crowbars and chisels, as well as hammers. You might also want to expand your definition of what a tool is. Remember that old TV show MacGyver? The hero used a paper clip to short-circuit the launch of a missile and a candy bar to plug up a leak of corrosive acid.

TAURUS It's perfectly fine for you to have dreamy eyes in the coming days — wistful, hopeful, liquid eyes that are more focused on the fantasies within than on the sights without. Muse to your heart's content. Wander over to paradise in your imagination. Entertain utopian visions. As much as is practical, give yourself permission to visit LaLa land, where you can explore infinite possibilities, imaginary adventures and "forbidden" topics that up until now you haven't dared to play with.

GEMINI Poet Kay Ryan told the Christian Science Monitor how she cultivates the inspiration to write. She rouses the sense of a "self-imposed emergency," thereby calling forth psychic resources that usually materialize only in response to a crisis. She visualizes hypothetical situations that galvanize her to shift into a dramatically heightened state of awareness. This would be an excellent technique for you to try. It's quite possible that simulating an imaginary crunch will prevent a real crunch.

CANCER Psychotherapist James Hillman and essayist Michael Ventura wrote the book We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse. In it, they propose that resolving our problems may not necessarily come from sitting in a room talking about our feelings with a trusted counselor. Instead, the best approach might be to go out into the world and do good works like helping the underprivileged or fighting for social justice. That happens to be the right prescription for you in the coming weeks. As you marshal your moral force and collaborate with other people who are motivated by altruism, you'll heal your own personal pain.

LEO It may be a good idea for you to hang around a blacksmith or pay a visit to a foundry. You would benefit from gathering firsthand evidence of how metals can be melted, bent, cut and worked. That might boost your confidence as you seek to reshape a certain situation in your life that to the naked eye seems utterly fixed and impossible to change. You have more power than you know, but in order to use it you'll have to believe in it more zealously.

VIRGO In early spring, some of our forebears made love in newly seeded fields, hoping to magically propitiate the growth of the crops. Right now would be an excellent time for you to perform a similar ritual on behalf of what you love. If you're game, find a secluded outdoor spot on a warm day. Bring a partner if one's available, or take the earth or sky as your lover. Then carry out a rite of pleasure in which you offer up the spiritual essence of your bliss to the health and success of a beloved person or creature or situation that you want to thrive in the coming months.

LIBRA The spirits of some of your dead ancestors are in your psychic vicinity, eager to make appearances in your dreams. They're hoping to fill you in on a number of subjects that will help you navigate your way through the labyrinthine terrain ahead. They have interesting speculations about what might work and not work for someone of your genetic make-up, and they also have perspectives that will help you put your upcoming decisions in a richer historical context. Even if you're a materialistic, scientific person and scoff at the idea of dead ancestors providing useful information, I urge you to adopt a playful open-mindedness and at least pretend it's possible.

SCORPIO As you enter the season of unleashed desire, here are a few guidelines to help you navigate your way through the interesting complexities ahead. 1) Consider the possibility that you have a lot to learn about what you really want. 2) Find out whether your chronic anger is obstructing the full bloom of a potentially beautiful desire. 3) Be careful about desiring experiences you don't understand. 4) Meditate on the likelihood that some of your desires are superior to others, and that maybe you should cultivate those superior desires with more determination that you do the mediocre ones.

SAGITTARIUS In contemplating your astrological omens, I'm reminded of Terence McKenna's comment about a friend who "hurled herself into the abyss and discovered that it was a feather bed." If you can summon the courage to dive into the scary depths, I do believe you'll be pleasantly surprised at the comfy, luxurious digs that await you at the end of your descent.

CAPRICORN In his book False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear, Dr. Marc Siegel argues that our circumstances are far better than we've been conditioned to believe. In fact, only a fraction of our culture's histrionic pessimism is justified. Alas, the collective delusion that life is totally messed up has seeped into your personal life (as it has into mine and everyone's), tainting even your most intimate moments. But in the coming weeks, it's crucial that you fight to undo the brainwashing. Opportunities will be coming your way that will remain inaccessible if you're too busy indulging in knee-jerk cynicism. So please resist the hypnotic temptation to look for the worst in everything. Be a fiercely buoyant nonconformist.

AQUARIUS Two friends of mine teach elementary school. They agreed to help me conduct a survey to determine how many first-graders eat worms, and what astrological signs they are. Among the 68 kids whom my buddies asked, seven boys bragged about their odd culinary habit. One girl also confessed, though with a little embarrassment. Of these eight, five were Aquarians. I wasn't surprised, seeing as how your sign is renowned for being eccentric. I was also quite pleased. It made it easier for me to broach the unusual suggestion I have for you, which is that maybe you, too, should eat worms. This is the most direct way I can think of for you to carry out your current cosmic assignment, which is to come way down to earth.

PISCES Some people imagine that I'm a bohemian mystic who lives outside the system and disdains conventional wisdom. That's half-true. I'm also a disciplined artist with a fondness for analytical thinking and a commitment to self-mastery. In accordance with your current astrological omens, I will emphasize the latter approach this week. No matter how flowing and unbound you love to be, it's high time for you to inject more organization and logic and self-regulation into your rhythm. Your Tarot card is the Emperor, "he who sets in order."

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