Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "If you hold your dreams too tightly, you'll crush their little ribs," was the message scrawled on the wall of a public restroom I visited today. I immediately recognized that as excellent advice for you. While I'm usually all in favor of cultivating a ferocious devotion towards one's goals and desires, I've noticed lately that your grasp on yours has turned into a manic clench. Please let them breathe better. Give them some slack. Maybe tell yourself a joke about how funny you look applying that death-grip.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): One of the most demanding and exhilarating transitions of 2007 is coming. Here are five tips to help you get maximum enjoyment out of it. (1) Be an early adapter, a quick study, and a resilient improviser. (2) Hang out in places where things are just beginning. (3) Intensify your commitment to the lessons that spontaneity can bring. (4) Be a specialist in uprisings and breakthroughs. (5) Give your generous attention to influences that are pure, innocent, and buoyant.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the quest for enlightenment, no experience is irrelevant. Meditating for days in a mountaintop sanctuary may work well for some seekers, while others are more likely to uncover hidden truths about the nature of reality as they microwave a burrito in a convenience store or play soccer in the living room with their drunk friends, using a rolled up pair of socks as the ball. Even if your spiritual search usually fits the first description, Gemini, I suspect it will more closely match the second in the coming weeks. The secrets of the Divine Wow are primed to reveal themselves to you in the midst of everyday chaos.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The U.S. Army has dramatically lowered its recruitment standards. Since 2004, the number of new soldiers who've entered the ranks even though they've committed a crime has risen by over 50 percent. I urge you to move in the opposite direction, Cancerian. According to my understanding of the astrological omens, your success in the coming months depends on you raising your expectations, demanding more excellence, and absolutely insisting on ethical impeccability. If you have a goal that seems to require you to lower your standards, I suggest you abandon that goal.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Problem-solving is highly overrated," says artist Chuck Close. "Problem-creation is far more interesting." Whether or not you're inclined to agree with that assessment, Leo, I invite you to make it your hypothesis in the coming week. In other words, put yourself in an experimental mood, and act as if problem-creation is where all the action is. How might your life be different if you were not chronically worrying about the dilemma of the hour, but instead were always on the lookout for the next tricky challenge that will awaken sleeping portions of your heart and mind?

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You're capable of pulling off some unprecedented mixing and matching in the coming weeks, Virgo. You could figure out a way to blend oil and water, metaphorically speaking. And you might find a logical loophole that allows you to reasonably compare apples and oranges. But those examples represent only the most obvious ways your skills at juxtaposition could work. You might also, for example, be a matchmaker for the son of a Saudi Arabian oil magnate and a Jewish goth performance artist, or convince the Dalai Lama to have a summit with Paris Hilton.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): On December 10 last year, 36,000 couples got married in Delhi, India. The mad rush to the altar was prompted by Vedic astrologers, who decreed that day to be an auspicious time to wed. I don't know enough about the Vedic system to judge whether its practitioners would also regard the coming weeks as propitious for ritual unions. But my reading of the omens says that from the perspective of Western astrology, it's very favorable for you Libras. If you've been thinking about deepening your commitment to a trustworthy partner, you've got cosmic mojo on your side–not just for romantic mergers, but also for business deals, artistic agreements, mutual oaths, and just about any splashy adventures in togetherness.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "Dear Rob: My plan has been to steal the man I love right out from under his wife's nose without feeling a raging case of the guilties. Here's what I've discovered thus far: You can only do something like this if you're not friends with his wife, and if you love the guy so much that the beating of your heart drowns out the drone of your conscience. Any advice? -Scorpio Under a Spell." Dear Scorpio: It's rarely a good idea to break up a committed intimate relationship by stealing one of its members, but it's an especially unfavorable time to pursue that goal now. May I recommend instead that you sublimate the urge by seducing your inner male? It's an excellent time for you Scorpios to get crazy sexy deep with the part of your psyche that feels like the opposite gender.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Poet Kay Ryan told the Christian Science Monitor that her poems often begin "the way an oyster does, with an aggravation." Her ultimate intention, however, is to liberate her readers. "I like to think of all good poetry as providing more oxygen into the atmosphere; it just makes it easier to breathe." I believe this progression from aggravation to liberation is a strategy you could profitably pursue in the coming days, Sagittarius. If you agree to absorb what's bugging you, you'll ultimately create an expansive new swath of breathing room for yourself and everyone around you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In The Book of Thoth, Aleister Crowley says that for Capricorns, the impulse to create can be so strong that it transcends logic, ignores tradition, and eschews foresight. It might even be "divinely unscrupulous, sublimely careless of result." Why is this urge so wild? The formula for Capricorn, he writes, is "the complete appreciation of all existing things . . . rejoicing in the rugged and barren no less than in the smooth and fertile." While his assessment might be a bit extreme, it does contain far more than a few grains of truth–especially as it applies to you in the coming weeks. Given the current astrological omens, I believe your will to create will be relentless, majestic, and primordial.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): According to the macrobiotic approach to diet, the healthiest food for you to eat is that which has been grown near you, or at least in the same latitude. Unless you live in the tropics, for instance, bananas shouldn't be on your menu. Let's make that meme your Metaphor of the Week, Aquarius. According to my interpretation of the omens, all your best bets will be local and homegrown. You should pluck pleasures that are close by, and avoid temptations beckoning from a distance. You should trust clues that arrive from sources you can personally verify, and be skeptical of those from friends of friends of friends.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Summing up his ongoing attempts to understand the truth about reality, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll wrote, "I am grasping one hair at the end of the tail of a very large tiger, whose exact nature and intentions are not known to me, nor will they ever be. I can only hope to describe a few things about the hair. And I could be wrong." While this is in general an apt description of the quest most of us are on, I think it's overly modest in light of your current astrological omens. For the foreseeable future, Pisces, I bet you'll have the tiger's entire tail in your clutches, and your ability to extrapolate from it to surmise the nature of the whole tiger will be extraordinary.

In addition to this column, Rob Brezsny offers EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES designed to inspire you. To buy access, go to RealAstrology.com.

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