Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A few years ago, the Cambodian government decided that the country's karaoke bars had become hotbeds of vice. To suppress their evil influence, the prime minister called out the army's bulldozers and demolished them. Keep that in mind as an example of how NOT to proceed in the coming week, Aries. While the astrological omens do suggest that you should phase out bad and inferior influences from your life, they also warn against resorting to overkill. As you rightfully purge the weird karma lingering in your vicinity, don't create a new batch of weird karma.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "The secret to success is to always be in love," said educator and ex-army officer John H. Stanford. "Staying in love gives you the fire to ignite other people, to see inside other people, to have a greater desire to get things done than other people." Did Stanford mean that you should be forever infatuated with some irresistible human being? Or was he referring to a more all-purpose phenomenon, like being in love with life? I urge you to meditate with great diligence and exuberance on this matter, Taurus, because you are, in my astrological opinion, going through a phase when love is EVERYTHING. It's the question and the answer, the hammer and the nail, the dreamy necessity and the pragmatic mystery.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): There's an old Motown song, "You Really Got a Hold on Me," that has these lyrics: "I don't like you, but I love you . . . I don't want you, but I need you." Is there anyone or anything fitting that description in your life, Gemini? If so, this is a good time to take inventory of your relationship, and change it if you don't like what you see. A question you might want to ask yourself: Is there a noble purpose in enduring the painful discrepancy? Or are you addicted, feeding a bad habit because of an old wound that you wrongly think you can heal through this torment?

CANCER (June 21-July 22): For my friend Leslie, the year 2003 was great for her personally, but terrible for five of her friends. One was committed to a mental institution and given shock therapy, while the others were lost to jail, heroin, political persecution, and a religious cult. Ever since then, Leslie has made it her specialty to monitor her friends' fortunes and offer them extra attention if they have veered off course or gotten into trouble. While that's a demanding responsibility to sustain all the time, I suggest you consider taking it on in the coming weeks. According to my reading of the omens, your allies could really benefit from your focused feedback.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Success is dangerous," said Picasso. "One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility." Sorry to start your horoscope with a warning, Leo, especially given how much beautiful success you've generated recently. But the astrological omens suggest you may soon be tempted to turn your spontaneous outpourings into pat formulas. And that would be a shame. There's still a lot more fresh hot mojo brewing within you, and it'll reach its highest expression if it keeps surprising you. Trust what's fresh, uncategorizable, and at the frontiers of your understanding.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When big egos bluster and bounce off the walls, you're a master at cleaning up the messes. When glory hogs get careless about the details, you're good at patching up the resulting holes. And when people with stunted emotional intelligence try to assert their control-freak fantasies without acknowledging anyone's feelings, you can be the savior who steps in to prevent full-blown chaos from breaking out. I admire these skills of yours, Virgo, and I hope that you invoke them if necessary in the coming week. But I also want to make sure you know that you've been granted a poetic license to have a bigger ego than usual, and to flirt with being a benevolent glory hog, and to maybe even play around lightheartedly with your own control-freak fantasies.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Someone calculated the mass of all the data that flows over the Internet in the course of a year. The trillions of terabytes of information tip the scales at a mere .00004 ounce. I suspect that a similar disjunction will occur in your life during the coming days. Maybe you'll create a weightless miracle with incredible staying power. Or perhaps you will oversee a potent and intense and profound change that will be difficult to measure and almost invisible to casual observers.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It's an excellent time to clearly and precisely define what heaven on earth would look like for you. So study the following mission statement, written by my reader Darla Fremos, then compose your own. "In my perfect world," says Darla, "I'd spend the mornings lying in long grass filled with fragrant flowers at the edge of a lake high on a hill above a sleepy town. I'd read books that tickled my soul, eat snacks that satisfied my wildest hunger, and use my eyes to make love with clouds, hummingbirds, breezes, and other temporary allies. After a noon siesta, I'd take a leisurely walk along a birch-lined road to my command center, where I'd join my team of associates as we spent the next eight hours managing my global network of activists working to end poverty and hunger."

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