Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Donald Rumsfeld never listens to anything except the voices inside his own head," wrote San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll. While this is an unfortunate situation, given the fact that the U.S. Secretary of Defense has so much power over others, it is not all that uncommon. Many people rarely consult any opinions besides those that originate in their own imaginations. And from time to time, all of us get temporarily hypnotized by the rants of the little voices in our heads. You're especially at risk for that to happen in the near future, Aries. There are two things you can do to ensure it doesn't. First, cultivate an ironic distance toward those inner voices. Evaluate what they say with rigorous objectivity. Second, listen really hard to people who are both thoughtful and humble.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Surveys show that 21 percent of the population say they're "regularly bored out of their minds." If those surveys included astrological data in their research, I bet they'd find that among Tauruses who suffer bouts of boredom, 85 percent are most susceptible to that state during the end of May and the first half of June. That's why I encourage you to make dramatic efforts to keep yourself stimulated and amused in the coming days. Don't fall prey to the lowest common denominator of plain old ordinary fate. Use your imagination to fill your schedule with novelty, intrigue, learning experiences, and high adventure.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?" That's the question asked by Marc Hedlund in the intro to his "Proverbs for Entrepreneurs" (http://snipurl.com/ndlv). Since you're experiencing new opportunities to bring more of the entrepreneurial spirit into your life and work, I thought I'd offer you a few of his suggestions. (1) Pay attention to any idea that won't leave you alone. (2) Give people what they really need, not necessarily what they say they need. (3) If you keep your brilliant ideas secret for fear they'll be stolen, people will hide their brilliant ideas from you. (4) Great things are made by people who share a passion, not by partners who have been talked into it.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Every one of us has at some time in the past created a monstrous thing--a terrible relationship, a big mistake in judgment, or a wrong move that damaged our credibility, integrity, or income. According to my reading of the astrological omens, it's a perfect time for you to atone for your own personal monstrosity--to make amends, seek forgiveness, and fix what's possible to correct. I also urge you to analyze the unconscious patterns that led you to act in such a distorted way. Any hard-won understandings you gain now will serve as beacons that'll help prevent you from veering so far off course again.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Author and peace activist Anne Herbert coined the suggestion, "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty." Recently I found myself driving behind a battered blue truck with a bumper sticker that had a variation on that advice: "Commit random acts of beautiful coolness." Now, just in time for your Season of Ingenious Compassion, Leo, I have borrowed from them both to create an oracle that's in perfect alignment with your astrological omens: Commit random acts of the coolest kindness and most intriguing beauty you can dream up.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Have you heard of the Lorax, the fuzzy yellow hero of the Dr. Seuss story? When a greedy factory owner moves into his idyllic little paradise and begins despoiling the forest, the Lorax complains on its behalf, saying, "I speak for the trees, because the trees have no tongues." Be like the Lorax, Virgo. Stand up for those who are too meek or weak or inarticulate to defend their own interests. It's the right thing to do, and besides, by doing so you will make connections that generate lucky breaks for you.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): William Vollman is an author who travels the world in search of crazy experiences to write about. In the course of his adventures, he has lived with prostitutes in Cambodia, hung out with rebel insurgents in Afghanistan, and almost died on two occasions, once while stuck in the Arctic's frozen wastes and once when caught in a crossfire in Bosnia. Despite having lived the equivalent of ten lifetimes, however, he's not jaded. Reviewing his work in The New York Review of Books, Michael Wood says Vollman has "seen it all but he still hasn't lost his innocence." Your assignment right now is to achieve a Vollman-esque state of open-minded freshness as you seek out adventures that are as feisty (though not as risky) as Vollman's. It's time for you to cultivate what Zen practitioners call beginner's mind.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): According to mythologist Michael Meade, real warriors are those who are experts at avoiding violence. They know how to prevent the escalation of conflict. They're skilled at resolving problems before they explode. In fact, Meade says, war breaks out only when there are no authentic warriors involved in the situation. In this spirit, Scorpio, I exhort you to cultivate your skills as a warrior. You can be instrumental in dispersing the brewing tension well before it erupts into a brawl.

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