Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Is the planet running out of oil? Some experts say yes, others say no. Secretly, part of me hopes we are. If forced to use less of the tragically magic fuel, we'd get at least some relief from the ongoing catastrophe of global warming. But the whole discussion may become irrelevant in light of the existence of oil shale. It's a rock that when heated releases the abundant oil hidden within it. Though expensive to access, two trillion barrels of the stuff lie untapped beneath the surface of America's Rocky Mountains. "That's more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world," reports The Denver Post. This is an apt metaphor for your life, Aries. You may seem to be running out of a resource that has energized you for a long time. The truth is, there's more to be had, but you'll have to work harder to get it.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A few people look at the world through rose-colored glasses. Many, on the other hand, peer out through crap-colored glasses. Both are unable to see the world as it really is, but instead allow their perceptions to be filtered through a distorted lens. Your assignment, Taurus, is to take off the colored glasses--whatever hue they may be--so that you can gaze at your surroundings with fresh, lucid, fixation-free eyes.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's Makeover Season, Gemini. This would be a perfect astrological moment to get your whole body tattooed, start wearing wigs of varying color and length, and have a cosmetic surgeon reshape your face to resemble that of your favorite celebrity. JUST KIDDING! I was exaggerating. The omens do suggest it's a good time to experiment with your physical appearance and make adjustments in your persona, but not as drastically as I first suggested.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Listen to poet Robert Bly's description of you: You came into this world as a radiant package of cosmic wonders, as an unspeakably sublime bolt of primordial resonance, as a barely coalesced jumble of blinding beauty--and yet all your parents wanted was a good little girl or a good little boy. You should mourn for that discrepancy, advises Bly. He encourages you also to mourn for the fact that you then constructed a false personality in order to please your parents and thus be able to survive emotionally. Now here's what I have to say about all that: It's a perfect astrological time to express your grief for these calamities, then heal yourself from their damage and start becoming the marvel you were born to be.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Some psychologists believe it's pretty easy to get people to think they remember specific events that didn't actually occur. I don't have the expertise to determine whether or not that's true. But just in case it is, let's see if we can take advantage of it. The astrological omens are in our favor: They suggest that your memories are especially malleable right now, and that your imagination is so robust that it could overwhelm so-called objective reality with its inventions. Here's what I propose: Visualize in detail, complete with a sensation of effusive emotions, the fabricated memory of some unbelievably happy experience that happened to you when you were four years old.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): New Scientist magazine reports that athletes who suit up in red uniforms seem to be more successful than those who don't. In the 2004 European soccer tournament, for instance, red-garbed teams scored an average of one more goal per game than the others. Since you're now in a phase when winning is even more important than usual, why not try every little thing that might give you an edge, including the wearing of red clothes or accessories? As long as your motives are benevolent and your compassion is as strong as your will to power, I have no problem encouraging you to lust for victory. What else might get your competitive juices flowing and evoke passivity in your opponents?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Thinking outside of the box to find creative solutions to obstinate problems sometimes leads to brilliant breakthroughs. Other times it results in laughable breakdowns. And in some cases, it generates changes that are a blend of brilliant breakthrough and laughable breakdown. You're now flirting with this third variety. So is there anything you can do to nudge your innovations more in the direction of breakthrough and away from breakdown? Yes. First, make sure your experimental urges are driven by expansiveness and generosity, not revenge, envy, or fear. Second, trust the feelings in your body to give you important clues. Third, get your ego out of the way as much as is humanly possible.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): After playing in bands for years, I ripened into a half-decent songwriter and singer. My last project World Entertainment War was signed to a contract with MCA Records and released a CD, but meager sales precipitated my exit from the music business in 1995. Fast forward to this week. While scavenging around the Web via Google, I made an unexpected discovery: On many music lyric sites, one of the songs I wrote, "Marlboro Man Jr.," has for years been mistakenly credited to Blink-182, a band that has sold over 10 million records. I was shocked. How could it have taken me so long to find out? This incident should serve as a metaphor for you, Scorpio. Find out whether your work, ideas, or energy have been used by or attributed to other people without your knowledge.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To boost to your romantic fortunes, it's sometimes helpful to take an inventory of what has worked and not worked for you in the past. Now is a good time to do that. I suggest you survey memories of your old successes and failures, and extract some fresh insights that you can apply to the conundrums that love is currently asking you to solve. Another strategy you might try is to take yourself about ten times less seriously. Even intimacy's most demanding tests will be far easier if you can laugh about them. To aid in this quest, try the Dead Celebrity Soulmate Search at http://snipurl.com/nghr. (It told me my best romantic matches would have been Lucrezia Borgia, Mata Hari, and Agatha Christie.)

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This would not be a good week to cast a curse on God in revenge for what you think are his mistakes. Nor would it be a favorable time to draw blasphemous cartoons of saints, or pretend that atheism is any less of a faith-based belief system than religion. In fact, if I were you, Capricorn, I would utter a few prayers, purify your motives, and do some really good deeds--just in case there's even a slim possibility that divine help is abundantly available to you right now. (P.S. From what I can tell, there's more than a slim possibility.)

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): As far as the astrological powers-that-be are concerned, you have permission to play hooky. Whether their authorization will carry any weight with your boss and the people who depend on you, I can't say. But the pure cosmic fact of the matter is that you should devote as much time as possible in the coming days to avoiding responsibility, following your whims, and indulging in sweet pleasures that in no way serve the values of the cold, cruel workaday world. It's time to wander out into a field of wildflowers and chase butterflies. Or something similar.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I dare you to call everyone "mom" or "mommy" this week. I'm serious. Pretend as if every single person you meet has the potential to give you some mothering. Expect the entire universe and everything in it to treat you with nurturing attention and thoughtful care. You may experience some disappointments along the way, of course. There'll be some people who don't quite understand the game or want to play it. But I bet you'll be surprised by how many lively folks do respond to your invitation to treat you as their lovable child, their winsome little babycakes.have plagued you for many moons. You also possess the ability to achieve marvelous states of relaxed stillness that will fill you with expansive new understandings of the way life really works.

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