Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong tells this story: "A guy walks up to me and says, 'What's punk?' I kick over a garbage can and say, 'That's punk.' So the guy kicks over a garbage can and says, 'That's punk?' And I say 'No, that's trendy.'" Keep this tale in mind in the coming week, Aries. There's no need and no excuse for you to be like the trendy guy. You should be like Billie Joe, the one who kicks over the garbage can the first time.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Traditional astrologers say Tauruses are rampant materialists. While it's true that members of your sign often have a robust relationship with money, I find that many of you also have a refined and vigorous appreciation of beauty. In fact, I think an aesthetically pleasing environment is crucial for your mental and spiritual health. In the coming week, you should devote extra time and care to this need. Purge ugliness from your surroundings. Introduce elements that excite your eye and stimulate your imagination. Your symbol of power: the thousand-year-old rose bush that grows next to the wall of Germany's Hildeshiem Cathedral.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): For one week, try this exercise: Each night before you fall asleep, review the day's activities in your mind's eye. As if watching a movie about yourself, strive to be calmly objective as you observe your memories from the previous 16 hours. Be especially alert for moments when you strayed from your purpose and didn't live up to your highest standards. If you're feeling adventurous, I also recommend that you spend a day doing a review of all of your life's highlights since your last birthday. Pick a time when you have a few hours to spare, lie back and close your eyes, and watch with compassionate gratitude as the amazing plot lines unfold.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Creativity is like driving a car at night," said E. L. Doctorow. "You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." I would add that life itself is also like driving a car at night. You're pretty much in the dark all the time except for what's right in front of you. Or at least that's usually the case. But for a few shining hours in the coming week, Cancerian, I believe you'll be able to see the big picture of where you're headed. It will be as if the whole world is suddenly illuminated by a prolonged burst of light; as if you're both driving your car and also watching your journey from high above.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Actress Lara Flynn Boyle was recently accused of acting oddly on a British Airways flight from Los Angeles to London. Witnesses have said nudity and extreme lack of inhibition were involved. When Boyle was confronted by reporters with the rumors, she refused to elaborate, noting simply, "My job is to entertain, and not to explain." I hereby declare that to be both your motto and mantra in the coming week, Leo.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): My friend Kathleen traveled to Maui with her nine-year-old daughter Ariel. They checked into an ocean-side condo. At 5 a.m. on their first morning there, Ariel crept over to Kathleen's bed and repeatedly whispered, "Let's go see the sea turtles." Rising out of the depths of sleep, Kathleen was torn. Part of her was peeved at the intrusion because she wanted to luxuriate in bed till late morning. Another part of her longed to glimpse the turtles, which only appeared in the cove once a day at dawn. Kathleen decided to join Ariel, conquering her annoyance and putting aside her desire for comfort. The payoff was worth it. Seeing the turtles while in a dreamy state was an unforgettable joy. I predict you will be faced with a comparable situation in the coming week, Virgo. I suggest you choose as Kathleen did.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): One of my ex-girlfriends had heart surgery when she was an infant. They opened her tiny chest, fixed the problem, and sewed her back up, leaving a two-inch scar on her skin. By the time she became an adult, the scar had grown along with the rest of her, stretching to eight inches. I regard this as a good metaphor for the way our early psychic wounds expand as we mature. Having said that, though, I'm happy to report that you now have en excellent chance to dramatically dissipate the lingering pain of an old trauma, as well as to shrink the scar it made. Please take maximum advantage of the healing energy available.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): While mountain biking, I spied a white horse engaged in odd behavior in a meadow. Over and over again, it took two steps forward and two steps back. Was it neurotic or distraught? I decided to sit and watch. Five minutes went by. Ten. Still it continued its routine. Finally I got inspired to pray for it. "Dear Goddess," I said, "please at least let that poor horse go three steps forward and two steps back." Moments later, the creature started doing exactly what I'd prayed for. Slowly, it made progress across the field. Now I'm saying a similar prayer for you: "Dear Goddess, please help Scorpios escape their treadmill-like pace, and go at least three steps forward for every two backward."

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