Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I love it when you forget all your troubles and get lost in thoughts about your friends' problems. I love it when you place your entire focus on the heat steaming from your cup of coffee or on the sun reflecting on a puddle or on the mysterious expression gracing the face of a stranger. In fact I love it whenever you prove how much you love being here on earth by taking your attention off yourself, and giving it to everything else. The coming week will be a perfect time to specialize in this consummate art.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Hunters recently killed a 50-ton whale off the coast of Alaska. While cutting it apart back on shore, they found a metal projectile lodged in its blubber from an older attack. Later research revealed it had been manufactured around 1890. That means the whale was at least 115 years old, and had been carrying around the projectile for over a century. I bring this to your attention, Taurus, in the hope that it will inspire you to meditate on your own ancient wound. When you pass on to the next world many years from now, I'd hate for you to still be infected with the hurt that befell you in your youth. It's an ideal time to take aggressive corrective action. Heal it!

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Reality is that which when you stop believing in it, it doesn't go away," wrote novelist Philip K. Dick. I urge you to apply that benchmark to your own experience in the coming week, Gemini. You can generate a lot of creative energy by figuring out what is objectively true about your circumstances and what is merely illusion that's propped up by misperceptions and misunderstandings. You've got tremendous power to strip away the fantasies, both positive and negative, that are preventing you from living with 100 percent of your intelligence in the real world.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Wealthy playboy Lapo Elkann is one of Italy's most eligible bachelors. But he told W magazine that if he ever decides to tie the knot, he would choose an Israeli woman. "For them, every day is a beautiful day," he said. "Because when you are in a climate of war, you take nothing for granted." Your next assignment, Cancerian, is not to put yourself in a battle zone, but rather to cultivate love with the same intense ingenuity and inexhaustible resourcefulness you might if you were living in a battle zone.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Stories interest me more than beliefs. I'd rather hear you regale me with tales of your travels than listen to you recite your dogmas. Filmmaker Ken Burns agrees with me. He's worried about the increasing number of people who love theories more than stories. "We are experiencing the death of narrative," he told the San Francisco Chronicle. "We are all so opinionated that we don't actually submit to narrative anymore. That's the essence of YouTube: Abbreviate everything into a digestible capsule that then becomes the conventional wisdom, which belies the experience of art." Your assignment, Leo, is to help reverse this soul-damaging trend. Spout fewer opinions and tell more stories. Encourage others to do the same.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Dear Rob: I have eight distinctly different voices in my head. There's a hurt, oddly puffed-up voice that complains about everyone who has ever done me wrong. There's an hysterical voice that nags me with the thought that nothing I could ever do or say will make any difference to anyone, so why bother. Then there's the still, small voice. It has more gravity and feels more honest. It gives me useful instructions about specific things I could do to live a more meaningful life. The only trouble is, the other voices always blabber so loud I tend to neglect the only one that's actually helpful. Any advice? – Drowned Out." Dear Drowned: Set aside five minutes each morning and five minutes before bed. Whisper "Shut up, all the rest of you!", and then listen reverently to the still, small voice.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Weirdness is humanity's way of overcoming the ever-increasing pressure to live nine-to-five lives," says Bob Rickard, founder of Fortean Times, a magazine that reports on anomalous events. "We need craziness, it's that simple." I second that emotion, Libra — especially for you right now. You don't realize how much juicy psychic material you've been repressing as a result of sticking to dry duty and routine. In order to recover lost secrets from your fertile depths, you're going to have to specialize for now in the mysterious, the curious, and the uncanny. It will help if you put yourself in situations that are outside your understanding.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The sharks in German aquariums weren't reproducing fast enough. Their keepers hired scientists to come up with the shark equivalent of aphrodisiacs. The most successful inducement to love was music -- especially Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body," Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry," and Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It." I suggest you play tunes like those for you and your chosen ones, Scorpio. It's an excellent time to coax out more of the tender, romantic sides of your inner shark, as well as the inner shark of anyone you're attracted to

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In the nick of time, a wild card will appear. It will reverse the meaning of a series of events that seemed to be railroading you towards an unhappy ending. What will be the nature of that wild card? Maybe some missing evidence will trickle in, bringing the big picture into a rosier focus. Maybe you will realize how valuable your problem has actually been. And perhaps the wild card will be a divine intervention that shatters a mental block, thereby correcting a misapprehension you'd been under. In any case, Sagittarius, there will be an unexpected twist at the last turn of the plot, and it will lead you to at least a semi-happy ending.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): A marathon séance took place at the Burning Man festival last August. Top psychics managed to channel floods of data from dead celebrities. Among the fascinating revelations they retrieved: Princess Diana would like Gwyneth Paltrow to play her in a movie about her life; John Lennon would have preferred it if the Beatles' song "All You Need Is Love" was not used in a TV commercial for diapers; Ronald Reagan regrets having invaded the tiny nation of Grenada in 1983; and Nostradamus neglected to mention in his quatrains that in mid-November of 2007, Capricorns will enter a phase when they're likely to get a lot of useful information from what's seemingly dead and gone and past.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): On September 13, 1759, a small contingent of British troops took less than an hour to rout a few thousand French troops in a battle near Quebec City. It was a turning point in the history of North America, leading to events that ensured English speakers would dominate the continent. I foresee a comparable pivot just ahead for you, Aquarius. Seemingly small events that last a short time will yield momentous consequences. To help guarantee that they unfold in your favor, be like the British troops were back then: well-prepared, highly disciplined, and very lucky.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): If you chew coca leaves, you get a mild buzz, comparable to coffee, because your body metabolizes only tiny amounts of the plant's alkaloids. But in cocaine, which is made from processed coca leaves, those same alkaloids are highly concentrated. Snorting or smoking the stuff gives your bloodstream a potent blast. Bolivia's president Evo Morales wants the world to know the difference between the two. "The coca leaf is not cocaine," he says. He pledges to completely legalize coca in his country, citing its traditional uses as a food and medicine predating the European invasion. Is there a comparable scenario in your life, Pisces? Something that's bad for you when done to excess, but good for you in its understated natural state? It's a favorable time to commit yourself to its healthy use.

In addition to this column, Rob Brezsny offers EXPANDED WEEKLYÊAUDIO HOROSCOPES andDAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES

designed to inspire you. To buy access, go to RealAstrology.com.

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