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Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology 

ARIES After viewing Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1662, diarist Samuel Pepys called it "the most stupid, ridiculous play I ever saw in my life." Philosopher Voltaire had an equally dim view of Shakespeare's Hamlet. "One would imagine this piece to be the work of a drunken savage," he wrote in 1768. Pepys' and Voltaire's opinions of the Bard ultimately became a minority view, of course. Many modern analysts regard his work as among the best in English literature. In the coming months, I predict there will be a similar evolution in the consensus about events of your own past. Both you and others will come to think highly of things once considered worthless. Redemption begins now.

TAURUS To celebrate this royal phase of your astrological cycle, I would love to create a "Master of the Universe" crown for you to wear, at least in your imagination. Since I'd like it to conform to your exact needs and specifications, I'm soliciting your input. Please visualize in great detail the kind of regal headpiece you want, then communicate a vision of it to me telepathically. When it's done, I will set it on your head in a dream and ask you to not take it off for five days and five nights.

GEMINI I advise you not to take any of the following actions in the coming week: getting a vanity license plate that says 2GD4U or SUX2BU; pretending you know stuff you don't; doing anything that will later require you to tell someone, "I can explain everything"; getting cosmetic surgery that makes you resemble your favorite celebrity; cleverly mocking people who haven't had the same luck and privileges you've had. On the other hand, I do recommend that you engage in actions like the following: giving theater tickets to a homeless vagabond; doing a day-long impersonation of the person you want to become; tapping into your talent for healing mischief as you comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable; buying yourself a gift that will compel you to stretch your capacities; doing a storytelling performance for the people at an old folks' home; climbing a tree and singing songs that inspire you to move more rapidly toward the future.

CANCER The National Climatic Data Center has confirmed that the weather went crazy in the U.S. last year. From Fresno's 21 consecutive days of 100-degree temperatures to record rainfall in Las Vegas, Wichita, Kan., and Pensacola, Fla., extreme conditions became commonplace. For you, the coming weeks will have a metaphorical resemblance to last year's profusion of weather anomalies. You can expect events that are akin to hailstorms from sunny skies and triple rainbows at dawn. It won't be a problem as long as you vow to be entertained, not thrown off course, by the interesting outbreaks of wild phenomena.

LEO "Human beings are often unable to receive because we do not know what to ask for," writes Malidoma Some in Of Water and the Spirit. "We sometimes can't get what we need because we do not know what we want." Your task in the coming week is to make sure you don't fit his description. How? Devote yourself to the glorious quest of decoding your most fundamental riddle: What is it you want more than anything else? Once you know, take a pledge to put that desire at the center of your life.

VIRGO It will be a rather animalistic week — or at least it should be. I suggest that you learn to feel more trust in your primal instincts; find out more about the part of you that doesn't use words. If you've got the luxury to experiment, see what it's like when you give your inner beast permission to express all of its creativity. The coming days will also be prime time to befriend lone wolves, horse around with wise old owls, welcome back lost sheep, play possum with jackasses and flirt with sacred cows.

LIBRA Indian director T. Rajeevnath is in the early stages of planning his 11th film. It will be a story about Nobel Peace Prize-winner Mother Teresa. Among the small group of actresses he's considering to play the title role is none other than the American celebrity Paris Hilton. Apparently Rajeevnath can sense something in Hilton that is invisible to many of the rest of us. I urge you to be like him in the coming days. Be on the lookout to find value in things that no one else esteems. Find the hidden beauty that everybody has missed. Hunt for riches in the least likely places.

SCORPIO I swear the woman standing near me at the museum was having an erotic experience as she gazed upon van Gogh's Irises. She wasn't touching herself. But she was apparently experiencing waves of delight, as suggested by her rapid breathing, shivering muscles, fluttering eyelids and sweaty forehead. Fifteen minutes later, I saw her again in front of Fragonard's The Fountain of Love. She was only slightly more composed. In a friendly voice, I said, "This stuff really moves you, doesn't it?" "Oh, yeah," she replied, "I've not only learned how to make love with actual flowers and clouds and fountains, I can even make love with paintings of them." Your assignment in the coming weeks is to take a page from this woman's Kama Sutra: Figure out how to achieve rapturous communion with absolutely everything.

SAGITTARIUS "They say a thing is holy if it makes you hold your tongue," muses a character in John Crowley's fantasy novel Engine Summer, speaking of the difference between his culture and another. "But we say a thing is holy if it makes you laugh." Let this be a seed thought as you re-evaluate and take inventory of what constitutes holiness for you. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will thrive if you spend quality time in sacred space seeking out uncanny experiences that kindle feelings of adoration and awe and amusement.

CAPRICORN You will soon experience an upsurge in brainpower — perhaps as much as a 10-point increase in your IQ. I believe the events that heighten your intelligence will involve you doing something brave and resourceful. It's possible, for instance, that you'll dive into a frigid river to save a drowning child or race into a burning building to rescue a beloved animal. Or perhaps your courage will be more subtly expressed: You will offer forgiveness to someone who has wronged or you will speak the difficult but necessary words that everyone has been afraid to articulate.

AQUARIUS I'm not necessarily advising you to vent your frustrations by going out after midnight and filling up random strangers' mailboxes with ice cream. Nor do I suggest that you express any of your itchy, inarticulate emotions by using felt-tip markers to scrawl "The people in this place eat kittens" on the wall of an institution that messed with you. Both of those actions might get you arrested, and the proper way to channel your angst is not to do something that sabotages you but rather that elevates and enlightens you. So please figure out an ingenious, constructive way to get your dark yayas out.

PISCES Of all the arguments made in favor of getting regular exercise, I rarely hear the one that's most important to me: Do it because it strengthens and tones the power of your will. When you get used to rousing yourself out of your physical inertia, the habit carries over into the mental and spiritual sphere. You find it easier to force yourself out of your comfort zones and push toward the next frontier. You're less likely to procrastinate and accept mediocrity, and you actually enjoy challenging yourself with worthy goals that require strenuous effort. It's now the will-building season for you. You know what to do.

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