Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Seventh grader Michael Kawa's poem is about the official face he shows the world. "My mask helps me when I am scared and when I am embarrassed," he writes. "My mask tells me to act like someone else when I want to act like myself. My mask tells me I should go on the Big Dipper roller coaster when I really want to go on the little rides. My mask hides me from girls and fights. My mask hides my mad mind." Now I invite you to write about your own mask, Aries. It's the perfect time to take inventory of your persona--the official face you show the world--and to make changes to get it into closer alignment with the person you actually are in your depths.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The Season of Dreams begins now. While you're sleeping, you'll be working harder than usual as you dive deeper into your subconscious mind in quest of mythic stories that can transform your waking life. Here's a list of some of the dream themes you might encounter, along with possible interpretations. Dreams of the circus coming to town mean that maybe you should indulge a barely acknowledged need to do something that seems out of character. Dreams of having a picnic in a tree house may mean you'd benefit from not having your feet planted so firmly on the ground. Dreams of doing something unethical that makes everyone mad mean that you should explore ethical, constructive ways to express your rebellious urges. Dreams of fighting a king or queen who stole money from you might mean you should fight back against an authority that ripped you off.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you're doing work you love, Gemini, your prestige will rise in the next six months. If you're doing work you merely tolerate, you'll experience a sharp increase in inspirations about how to remedy the situation. In the event that you actually hate your current form of employment, I believe you'll face a crisis that will force you to either quit or negotiate significant changes. But whether your gig suits you pretty well or not so much, I encourage you to start whipping up some magic that will move you closer to your dream job.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Many of us who were born under the sign of Cancer have always felt trepidation about the fact that we're stuck with the same name as a disease. A while back I asked my readers to suggest alternate possibilities. One of the best ideas came from amateur astronomer Michael Bird. He said that within the constellation of Cancer the Crab there is a batch of 350 close-knit stars that are collectively known as the Beehive Cluster, and also as Praesepe, which is the Latin word for "manger." Either "Beehive" or "Manger" would serve our tribe well in the coming weeks. The astrological omens say it's time to give birth to and nurture a new brainchild, preferably with the support of an organized hive of our busy, buzzing allies.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Even if you don't literally take a journey to a distant place in the coming weeks, you will nevertheless be like a stranger in a strange land. I suggest that you adopt an attitude similar to that of an explorer. Here's a list of traveling instructions from Patrick Harpur, author of The Philosophers' Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination. "Don't believe everything you have been told, either for good or ill. Observe local customs; respect local gods. Talk less than you listen. Don't expect the inhabitants to speak your language; rather, try and speak theirs. Try to see as well as sightsee. Be polite but firm; take advice but do not be gullible. If in doubt, smile. Do not laugh at the natives, but do not be afraid to laugh. Do not be superior or aloof, but don't try to dress like a native. Don't join in the dancing unless you have learned the steps."

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The paradoxes are coming! The paradoxes are coming! It won't be enough merely to solve a few amusing brainteasers. You'll have to find a way to feel perfectly fine as you get squeezed by industrial-strength contradictions that might make a less intelligent person feel crazy. Can you do it? Is it possible for you to remain poised and magnanimous in the face of the pressure to think impossible thoughts and feel indescribable feelings? Can you see how all three sides of every story are equally valid? The potential rewards are substantial: a crispy epiphany, a funky treasure, and the equivalent of a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you own a Jaguar luxury automobile, it's an excellent time to redo the leather interior. If you live in a trailer park on the other side of the railroad tracks, the moment is right to cover up the faux wood paneling with fancy wallpaper. And if you don't fall into either of those categories, meditate on how you might redecorate the inside of your world, from the physical environments you frequent to the interior walls of your imagination.

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