Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): There are several ways to break an egg. You can knock it against the edge of a pan or strike it with a knife. You can squeeze it hard enough to crack it or hurl it at a disgusting politician. Professional Easter egg painters pierce both ends of it with a needle in order to drain the stuff inside. Is one method better than the others? Not in general, of course, though if you're planning to cook the egg, you shouldn't open it via a high-velocity encounter with the kitchen wall. Your assignment in the coming week, Aries, is to do the metaphorical equivalent of breaking open an egg in a way that's exactly appropriate for how you'll use it.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "In my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." President George W. Bush spoke those words to the press during his meditations on overhauling Social Security, but I could have easily said the same thing about my job. This week, for instance, I'm going to catapult my benevolent propaganda in three different ways. Ready for the onslaught? (1) "The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken," said Samuel Johnson. (Which is why you should break a budding bad habit now, even though you can barely feel it.) (2) To wake yourself up from the trance you've been in, pinch yourself with both hands as you simultaneously kick yourself in the butt. (3) "Every act of becoming conscious is an unnatural act." -Adrienne Rich.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Two storks have built nests on a golf course in Krogaspe, Germany. That in itself is odd, since storks usually construct their brooding areas up high, in trees or buildings. But what's even more unusual is that the birds are attempting to hatch golf balls they've stockpiled in the nests. I present this vignette as a cautionary tale for you, Gemini. In the coming weeks, you'll have to be in very close touch with your intuition so that you don't end up in a similar position: trying to nurture and grow something that will never be able to respond to your care. Be picky about whom and what you offer your blessings to.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You need a new launching pad. Not rocket fuel--you've got plenty of that. Not a reliable internal guidance system or a strong hull or redundant safety features. You've got all those things. The only essential that's lacking is the right place for you to blast off. So shop around in the coming days, Cancerian. Except for that key factor, you're more than ready to get your project off the ground with a bang. Ideally, ignition and lift off will happen no later than July 14.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Hardly anyone takes photos with film anymore. Digital cameras have become the instrument of choice for both pros and amateurs. As a result, businesses that sell film are becoming obsolete. "I refer to myself as a buggy whip salesman or a blacksmith," said the owner of one such shop, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle. During the next 10 years, I predict that just about every one of us will face a similar prospect: Something we sell or a task that we do well will become irrelevant. This week is a perfect astrological time for you to muse about what that is likely to be for you, and then start making plans about how you'll adjust when your skill or product is no longer needed.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Sharks have a bad reputation among many people, but to the native people of the Hawaiian island of Niihau they are na'aumakua, guardian spirits. I propose that they serve as your tutelary animal in the coming week, Virgo-- protectors and guides that will inspire you to be tough-minded and fully at home as you hang out higher in the food chain than you ever have before.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Dave Chappelle's show on TV's Comedy Central has been enormously popular. The DVDs of both his first and second seasons have been bestsellers. And yet on the eve of season three's debut, Chappelle mysteriously absconded, temporarily leaving the future of his gig in doubt. A reporter from Time magazine hunted him down in South Africa, where he confessed he'd fled for a spiritual retreat. He said he needed to get away from the complications of his success so he could take a personal inventory and make sure his intentions were still pure. I bring this up, Libra, because I expect that you, too, will be moving up in the world. Are you ready to deal with the complications of your success? Prepare yourself. Reflect on what your motivations really are and how well your integrity is holding up.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In my astrological opinion, you need to take a long, relaxing excursion down a sun-drenched stream of consciousness. So please consider interrupting your slog through the shady swamps. Stop poking around in the mud and slime for the treasure you imagine is there. Leave your props and accessories behind, head out into the open, and scout around for the best natural flow you can find. It's high time for you to float and muse as you gaze into the vault of the great unknown.

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