Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I don't take drugs or alcohol, but I love to get high. Astrologer Caroline Casey states my belief perfectly when she says that we all need regular doses of vastness. So how do I crack open the doors of perception? Engaging in extreme horseplay is one way. Recently, for instance, three friends and I radically altered our consciousness in the middle of a cold night on the sidewalks of New York City's Chelsea district. Oblivious to the taxis roaring by, we drove ourselves cheerfully insane as we did Appalachian square dances, channeled slapstick imitations of dead comedians Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks, and taught each other chaotic meditation techniques we'd learned from various fake shamans. I urge you to be inspired by this example, Aries. You're overdue for a dose of vastness that's unleashed by raucous fun.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taurus philosopher Bertrand Russell gave this testimony about what motivated him: "Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and an unbearable pity for the suffering of humanity." To be in maximum alignment with cosmic rhythms, Taurus, I suggest that you boil down your desires to a slightly altered version of Russell's: a longing to both give and receive love, a hunger for knowledge, and a yearning to alleviate the suffering of your fellow humans.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Only about 20 percent of the population is capable of deriving the full benefit of my horoscopes. That's because most people don't speak the language of metaphor, which is a staple of my writing. Luckily, you're among the minority that appreciates the symbolic approach to communication, and so you'll be able to use the following oracle: You can't possibly defeat or outmaneuver the ogre who's monopolizing the treasure you covet. If you're smart, you'll realize that you should transfer your longing to a different treasure.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Physics instructor David Willey can safely walk barefoot across fields of broken glass. He can also dip his fingers into vats of molten lead and lie sandwiched between two beds of nails without incurring injury. There's no magic involved, he says. He relies solely on his understanding of science. Metaphorically speaking, these are the kinds of feats you'll be able to pull off in the coming week, Cancerian. Like Willey, you shouldn't depend on guesswork or luck. Do as he has done, which is research the laws of nature and use them to accomplish seemingly impossible tricks.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The federal government of the United States has been dominated by rightwingers for years. But an opposite trend is now sweeping through the other America. Leftist leaders have recently come into power in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, and Uruguay. This bears a certain resemblance to an adjustment that will soon be taking place in your life. Wherever you have become too one-sided, the other side will begin exerting a strong counterpoint. If any of your beliefs have become too dogmatic or unilateral, evidence will pour in to shake up your certainty. Don't worry: This is a good and healthy thing. You'll feel more flexible and free when the revolution comes.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The New York Times' Deborah Solomon interviewed Peter Watson, author of Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud. "What is the single worst idea in history?" she asked him. "Without question, ethical monotheism," he replied. "The idea of one true god. The idea that our life and ethical conduct on earth determines how we will go in the next world. This has been responsible for most of the wars and bigotry in history." Personally, I disagree with his curious assessment. I think history's most terrible idea is the theory that some groups of people are smarter and better and deserve more rights than others. The coming week is a good time for you to meditate on these themes, Virgo. Which ideas do you consider bad ones, both those on a global scale and those that have at one time or another infected your belief system? (P.S. It's also a perfect moment to fight those bad ideas.)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I was meditating on your horoscope as I rode my bike up a trail to the top of a hill. "Give me a sign," I asked the great mysterious intelligence known as nature. "Bless me with a symbol that will illuminate Libra's imminent future." My request was soon answered. I came upon a bare oak tree in whose low-hanging branches was nestled a radio-controlled toy airplane. Why was it there? Its flight path had obviously gone astray, but it didn't seem damaged. There was no one in sight. Why had its operator abandoned it? Here's how I interpreted the omen's meaning for you and your life, Libra: You experienced a minor glitch while engaged in some amusing activity, and that caused you to give up on the fun prematurely. It's time to go back and solve the problem, then resume your enjoyment.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's lost self," wrote Irish playwright Brendan Francis Behan. Let these words serve as your guiding light in the coming weeks, Scorpio. They should inspire you to be brave enough to confront the feelings of isolation that fester in your depths. That will in turn motivate you to reconnect with the parts of your psyche you were cut off from during times of trauma and unconsciousness in the past.

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