Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Weekly World News suggests that we celebrate a new holiday this week, National Hate Day. For 24 hours, it would be socially acceptable to drain off the rancid opinions, bitter spleen, and sickening ideas we've been hoarding. While every sign of the zodiac can profit from this massive purge of psychic pus, no one has as much need or would experience more healthful benefits than you Aries. For best results, add a touch of humor to your howls, and don't you dare actually hurt anyone. Screaming gibberish into a lavender-scented pillow is especially recommended..

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts," wrote American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. "They come back to us with a certain alienated majesty." The first part of your assignment, Taurus, is to identify other people's brilliant creations that remind you of good ideas of your own that you've failed to develop. The second part of your assignment is to do something–anything!–to correct for your neglect. Get started on your own masterpiece.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In 1957, when Melba Patillo Beales was 15 years old, she and eight other students volunteered to be the first African Americans to integrate all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. For months, she and her cohorts were spat upon, beat up, and threatened with death by bigots. Her grandmother stayed awake all night holding a loaded shotgun, guarding the family home against assaults. Years later Beales wrote Warriors Don't Cry, a memoir of that traumatic time. I have a psychotherapist friend in Seattle who gives copies of this book to certain clients who are inclined to inflate their own suffering. "Read about Beales' ordeal," she tells them, "and you'll feel less overwhelmed by your own problems." That's your assignment, Gemini. Study people whose lot in life is far worse than yours. Get some perspective.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Praising actor Jim Carrey at the MTV Movie Awards, Will Ferrell proclaimed "This man's versatility makes Thomas Jefferson look like a big fat idiot." That's rather hyperbolic, considering that Jefferson was not only President of the United States, but also an architect, author, musician, horticulturist, lawyer, archaeologist, inventor, surveyor, and mathematician. Let's say, to be more accurate, that Carrey is maybe five percent as versatile as Jefferson. That will help you get a realistic understanding of my meaning when I tell you that though you may not make Jim Carrey look like a big fat idiot in the coming weeks, you'll have the potential to match his multifaceted, adaptable, puttylike resourcefulness.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): When offered a choice between dueling interpretations, you should opt for elegant and generous stories over vulgar, boring, and unimaginative tales. While the no-nonsense, just-the-facts approach may seem to explain everything just fine, I assure you that there will always be catalytic enigmas lurking beneath the surface. This is one time when poet John Keats' rule will be in full effect: "If something is not beautiful, it is probably not true." Transcend the obvious, please. Rebel against the ravaging numbness of plain old everyday ugliness.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Editors at the prestigious UK medical journal Lancet have called for the legalization of LSD and other psychedelic drugs. They're not envisioning a thousand totally buzzed freaks dancing deliriously at an outdoor festival, however. Rather, they want to make it possible for researchers to carefully explore the therapeutic benefits of altering consciousness. "The blanket ban on psychedelic drugs continues to hinder safe and controlled investigation of their potential benefits," they said. Be inspired by their example, Virgo. What taboo is it high time for you to break in a discerning way? What inhibition no longer serves you, even though at one time it might have kept you safe and sane? What conventional wisdom based on fear has infected you, preventing you from experimenting with exciting possibilities?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I really encourage you to have a celebration. The planets are urging you to revel and rejoice, too. I wouldn't be surprised if God Herself is rooting for you to whip up festivities worthy of a jubilee. So what are you waiting for? What? You say you don't have anything to celebrate? I beg to differ. How about extolling the end of your addiction to a time-wasting delusion? Or maybe the loss of a "privilege" that encouraged you to be lazy, or the end of a false hope that kept you stuck in the past? How about if you throw a party to express your gratitude at finally being forced to embrace a creative limitation that will ultimately set you free?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): What happens to buttered toast when it accidentally falls off a table? According to folk wisdom, it's more likely to land buttered face down, and hence create a bigger mess than if it had fallen dry side down. In a research paper published in the European Journal of Physics, Robert A. J. Matthews scientifically verified that this folk wisdom is accurate. Or at least it is when conditions are normal. But conditions are far from normal for you, Scorpio. Cosmic assistance and good luck are flowing your way in such abundance that they're rendering some laws of nature temporarily irrelevant. If you knock your toast off the table each morning for the next 15 days (and it's quite possible you will, given how excitable you are), it's not likely to ever fall butter-side down.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "If you want to upset the law that all crows are black," wrote William James, "you mustn't show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white." Philosopher Jonathan Zap applies this idea to his ruminations about telepathy. He says that if there is even one irrefutable case in which two minds have communicated with each other at a distance and without the aid of technology, then telepathy must be a fundamental human capacity. I believe this is an important line of thought for you to consider, Sagittarius. Why? Because you've entered the Season of the White Crow.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you were at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert right now, you might be racing your souped-up tricycle through a miniature golf course-style maze while dressed in a superhero costume, after which you'd enjoy a sushi dinner served on the naked belly of a good-looking clown. Or maybe you'd be exploring the benefits of a short duration marriage to a temporary soulmate selected for you by a seven-year-old girl deity sitting on a neon green plastic throne surrounded by a circle of flame. Since you're probably not at Burning Man, however, you've got to find other ways to carry out your astrological mandate, which is to enjoy semi-crazy acts of liberation you'd normally never try.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Why just ask the donkey in me to speak to the donkey in you when I have so many other beautiful animals and brilliant colored birds inside that are all longing to say something wonderful and exciting to your heart?" That's the question Daniel Ladinsky asks in his translation of a poem by the Persian mystic poet Hafiz. I'd like you to ponder it, Aquarius. You're in a phase when you have an exceptional ability to bring out the best and brightest in your allies. Uncoincidentally, doing that will result in your allies having a magical ability to bring out the best and brightest in you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): If you're alert, people whose magic you had become deadened to will reveal stirring secrets. Places you've visited a thousand times may seem to have undergone an overnight transformation, exposing you to a series of mini-awakenings that ultimately add up to a full-blown aha. You may find yourself penetrating to the heart of mysteries that you previously didn't even realize were mysteries. By week's end, if you're brave enough to keep welcoming the surprises, you will be ripped free from an especially sneaky illusion and reunited with a lost fragment of your soul.

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