Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty designed to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and thereby slow global warming. Though 157 nations have ratified it, a notable exception has been the United States, which is the planet's leading polluter. To their credit, millions of American citizens have launched a grassroots movement to rebel against the federal government's puzzling stubbornness. One hundred sixty-six cities have agreed to the Kyoto Protocol. I suggest you take a similar approach in your own sphere, Aries. When a powerful authority acts stupid or when a foggy bureaucracy threatens to paralyze progress, take matters into your own hands. Ignore the mediocrity at the top as you mobilize everyone else to do what's right.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The Fortean Times reported on the odd case of Dixie, a British donkey that brays backwards. Instead of the usual hee-haw, she expresses herself with the sound of haw-hee. I nominate her to be an inspirational role model for your own inner donkey in the coming week, Taurus. Encourage that tireless, steady, hard-working part of you to be playfully deviant, fond of reversals, and on the lookout for upside-down and inside-out forms of expression--while still remaining devoted to completing the demanding tasks at hand.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Motivation will almost always beat mere talent," says businessman Norman R. Augustine. You've been a victim of that fact on several occasions, Gemini. People with less skill than you have won out because they had more raw drive than you. Now I'm alerting you to the possibility that the same damn thing could happen again soon unless you take vigorous action. Please ask your imagination to come up with a batch of fresh, hot ideas for ramping up your ambition.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Antonio Favaro (1847-1922) edited a 20-volume work that collected the writings of seminal astronomer Galileo Galilei. "There's not the slightest doubt that Galileo was involved with astrology," Favaro wrote. "He was famous for his great ability in that art, so that distinguished people consulted him with complete confidence, in many cases asking for horoscopes and predictions." Celebrating the re-emergence of this lost truth, I hereby proclaim Galileo to be my spiritual forefather and the patron saint of my efforts to integrate the aims of science and mysticism. I urge you to follow my lead, Cancerian. Forge new links to inspirational role models from the past. Turbocharge your quest for success by drawing on the example of those who fulfilled dreams that resembled yours. Connect your destiny to heroes and teachers who remind you of you.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Psychotherapists talk about how each of us has a false self and an authentic self. When we're in the grip of the false one, we don't love ourselves unless other people love us. We're addicted to status and other superficial standards of success, and we chase after all sorts of meaningless desires that can't possibly bring any lasting gratification. When we're anchored in our authentic self, on the other hand, our motivations are rooted in a love of life. We pursue our dreams because they're interesting and exciting, not in order to impress anyone. The coming weeks will bring a showdown between your false self and authentic self, Leo. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the authentic one.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Actress Jennifer Connelly confessed to Esquire magazine that she gets a lot done while enjoying conjugal relations with her husband. "I like to read a book while having sex. And talk on the phone. You can get so much done. If the room's dark enough, I like to do some online shopping." In the coming week, Virgo, I suspect you'll be tempted to indulge in a Connelly-style marathon of multitasking. And though that might feel natural and wise, I'm here to advise you against it. To place yourself in maximum alignment with cosmic rhythms, you should specialize in diving deep into one fascinating mission at a time.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Americans who decry the flow of "illegal" immigrants into their country choose to ignore important details, like for instance the fact that each year the illegals pay about $6.4 billion into the Social Security fund. Use this as a starting point for your own meditations in the coming week, Libra. Is there any way in which you actually benefit from people or things you complain about? Are there influences that you resist or oppose even though they ultimately enhance your environment? Correct the flaws in your logic about your adversaries and scapegoats.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 1837, Frederick Froebel started the first school for four and five year olds in Germany. He called it "kindergarten," or child's garden, and made it into a paradisiacal sanctuary where teachers read kids poetry and stories, led them in singing songs, and oversaw them as they gardened and played outdoors. Government authorities later shut the place down, citing the "dangerous freedom" of the experiment. I expect you may soon run into comparable opposition as you practice your own personal brand of "dangerous freedom," Scorpio. How should you respond? Do whatever it takes to keep your dream alive, even if it means you have to cool it for a while. Just as the concept of kindergarten eventually revived and thrived, so too must your innovation.

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