Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Here you come dragging your exhausted but redeemed ass out of the deep dark forest of symbols. The red-eyed monkey demons fall off your back as you straggle toward the light. Your sunken eyes see wonders they were blind to before your ordeal. Your heart rages with a wild angelic love you've never tapped into before. And as you realize the magnitude of your tough miracle, you feel glimmers of gratitude for the rude tests you had to endure. Maybe you should get totally lost in limbo more often.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): On the Internet's Leonard Cohen Forum, Lizzy says she once thought that making "a joyful noise unto the Lord" was the highest expression of spiritual praise. Now she feels that whispering one's appreciation for the majesty of creation is just as valid. Diane, going a step further, suggests that even silence can be a powerful form of homage–maybe even more so than raucous celebration. My opinion? I think Diane might be right when it comes to plants and animals, with which you can achieve easy telepathic communion. But when dealing with the divine works of art known as human beings, the best way to express praise is loud and clear. Your assignment in the coming week is to do that for everyone you care about. More than ever before, you need to dispense vociferous approval and articulate adoration.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish," prayed Michelangelo. He exulted in the feeling of having too much to express. He thrived on the stimulus of his delicious frustration; he used the inspiring sting of his nagging inadequacy as a fuel for his boundless creativity. Are you willing to experiment with this approach, Gemini? Do you have the nerve to love what's imperfect about your life? Are you brave enough to laugh at the probability that your yearning will never be completely fulfilled?

CANCER (June 21-July 22): What were those square LED devices that suddenly appeared at random outdoor locations around nine American urban areas in January? They turned out to be the main ingredients of a silly promotional campaign for the TV show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." The citizens of New York, L. A., Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia took the prank in stride, but Boston officials saw it as a terrorist threat. Is it any coincidence that this horoscope column, Free Will Astrology, has long appeared in newspapers published in all the above cities except Boston? I think not. It's evidence that the advice contained herein raises intelligence levels and helps users know the difference between real and imagined threats. So maybe you'll believe me when I tell you, Cancerian, that the only threat you face right now is from the part of you that thinks a certain imagined threat is real.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Here are the blessings I wish for you in the coming week: (1) not a sudden evacuation from a pitch-dark tunnel into a blinding light, but rather a gradual transition from the frigid blackness to cool grayness to warm brightness; (2) not an eruption out of a claustrophobic squeeze into the middle of nowhere, but rather a natural evolution from an interesting limitation to an expansive possibility; (3) not a stressful rocket launch from the bottomless abyss to a scary peak, but rather an exhilarating joyride from the lower depths to the ringing heights.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): High-level financial officials from the U.S. government recently visited their Chinese counterparts, scolding them for having a booming economy and strong currency that's threatening the American economy. Here's what Alan Abelson wrote about the meeting in Barron's. "There's something hilarious about the world's biggest debtor, whose currency is sagging, lecturing a country that runs a humongous trade surplus and boasts a cool trillion in foreign reserves." You may soon get metaphorically similar pressure, Virgo. People with a fraction of your savvy and resources may try to manipulate you into serving their aims. Politely ignore their pressure. This is a time when you should be enjoying your hard-earned goodies with pure relish, not worrying about them or defending them or trying to adjust them to fit anyone else's specifications.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Activists in the Pacific Northwest have sometimes resorted to extreme measures in their efforts to end the clear-cutting of old-growth forests. Among the most creative has been a woman named Dona Nieto, also known as La Tigresa. She has on occasion planted herself half-naked in front of marauding lumberjacks bearing chainsaws and bulldozers, stopping them in their tracks with the sight of her bare breasts and regaling them with her "Goddess-based, nude Buddhist guerrilla poetry." She's your role model, Libra. Let her inspire you to be original, experimental, and funny as you fight for a righteous cause that rouses your zealous idealism. It could be political in nature, as in La Tigresa'a case, or it could be personal, as in lobbying a loved one for more focus and intensity.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You've entered an Oscar Wilde-type phase. I urge you to get a sense of how the British author's paradoxical brilliance worked so you can put yourself in a similar frame of mind. Study the following Wilde-isms. (1) "I can believe anything provided it is incredible." (2) "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." (3) "If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh; otherwise they'll kill you." (4) "Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess." (5) "Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much." (6) "Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul."

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