Free Will Astrology

ARIES (MARCH 21-APRIL 19): Here's how rock critic Aidin Vaziri described the stage set when hip-hop artist 50 Cent played in San Jose: "an urban wasteland that looked like it was designed by Disney (complete with an overturned police car, graffiti-covered trashcans and the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty)." I hope you don't take this the wrong way, Aries, but there's a certain resemblance between that environment and yours. The so-called chaos you're surrounded by is either imaginary or artificial or both. It may be seductively well-made, and therefore hard to resist, but you can walk away from it any time you choose.

TAURUS (APRIL 20-MAY 20): You have the potential to be a great wizard in the coming week. Here's how to fulfill that promise: (1) Renounce grandiose fantasies of transforming lead into gold or frogs into soul mates. (2) Think small, be specific, get extremely pragmatic, and don't make up stories based on inconclusive evidence. (3) Take everything that's dreamy and hazy and bring it down to earth. (4) Don't bitch about the limitations; love them and use them to your advantage. (5) Treat idealism as a distraction unless it can be translated into concrete acts that do some good for actual human beings.

GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20): A respected medical journal reports that one out of four people thinks that "scientists have already found a cure for cancer, but that this cure is being withheld by the health care industry because it makes more money treating the illness." There are a lot of paranoid theories like this going around. Millions believe in the existence of elite puppet masters who manipulate our shared resources to serve their own power and wealth rather than the public good. I'm not smart or crazy enough to evaluate these theories. But I do know that for you right now, Gemini, it's crucial to be extremely skeptical of every authority, expert, and leader. You should express similar discernment toward those who present themselves as hip, high-status, or special. It will be to your advantage to disrespect hierarchies and become a devotee of pure democracy.

CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22): "All I learned in the three colleges I attended," says my friend Davey, "was how to beat the system by using its own rules against it." "All I learned in college," declares author Miravi Bhuna-Giva, "was how to make up sh--." "All I learned in college," asserts late-night TV talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, "was how to drink while standing on my head." All these educational experiences are highly recommended for you in the coming weeks, Cancerian. You're in a phase when you'll have luck and grace if you act like an eager student, whether you're trying to perfect the art of squeezing more perks out of the game of life or mastering goofy tricks that will make more people want to invite you to their parties.

LEO (JULY 23-AUG. 22): Do you have total confidence in your ability to swing lawn chairs around with your teeth? Can you safely eat broken glass, withstand people riding bicycles over your belly, and smash bricks with your head? If so, you don't need my advice this week. But if you're not sure you're capable of pulling off the kinds of feats I named, please resist the temptation to try them. For that matter, don't even think of submitting to other strenuous tests that are at the edge of your ability. This is a time for you to lay low and recharge, not throw yourself into trials by fire. Be modest and self-protective, not brazen and reckless.

VIRGO (AUG. 23-SEPT. 22): You have weathered a turning point in your relationship with darkness, and will never again be tempted by its strange attractions. Did you hear what I said? You have had your last encounters with hellish monsters that unleash torment for the fun of it. You will never again get mixed up with events that resemble crawling through caverns filled with the souls of the damned. In the future, you may on occasion have weird dreams about owls and spiders and snakes, but they will be good weird. Congrats, Virgo.

LIBRA (SEPT. 23-OCT. 22): "If the Angel decides to come it will be because you have convinced her, not by tears but by your humble resolve to be always beginning; to be a beginner." So said the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, as if speaking to your exact needs right now. Let me offer this addendum: The Angel wants to come very badly. She is passionate about offering you the novel assistance she has dreamed up just for you.

SCORPIO (OCT. 23-NOV. 21): Painter Henri Matisse (1869-1954) departed so recklessly from the traditions of his art form that some critics believed he threatened to undermine civilization. That seems unbelievable to us today. Can you imagine any modern painter, musician, writer, or filmmaker being accorded power like that? I can't. Those whose creative expression carries the greatest clout do their work in the areas of business and technology. Having said that, I'll now make an exception: You currently have the potential to wield a dramatic influence with your creativity in every realm except business and technology.

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