Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I urge you to spend 2008 turning all of your pretty good but half-developed notions into a few brilliant, fully formed ideas. While you're at it, melt down your hundreds of wishy-washy wishes and recast them into three driving desires. This is the Year of Pinpoint Aim, Aries, also known as the Year of Lasering Your Focus and the Year of Seeing with Fierce Clarity. Psyche yourself up for a major campaign to cut the crap so the essence can shine.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): My sensitive poet friend Carson taught criminals in a penitentiary how to write haiku poems. Novelist Margaret Atwood gave a class on the absurdist writing of Franz Kafka to engineers in British Columbia. And in 2008 I'll ask you to share your gifts with people you've always assumed wouldn't be receptive to you, let alone be able to benefit from your unique talents. Get ready to push past your boundaries in the coming months, Taurus. Extend your sphere of influence and appeal to a larger audience.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As I approached a pick-up truck from behind while out driving my car, I saw an unlikely bumper sticker. It said "Surf Colorado." But Colorado is a landlocked place, I thought to myself, more than a thousand miles from the ocean. At the next red light, I got closer to the truck and was able to read the fine print: "In your river kayak, you don't need an ocean to catch a wave." What a perfect message to convey to my Gemini readers, I mused, and resolved to write it into this horoscope. In fact, you are currently in a phase when you don't need an ocean to surf. Nor, for that matter, do you need a plane in order to fly, a soulmate to achieve romantic rapture, or money to be rich. Your imaginative powers are peaking at the same time as your resourcefulness.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Dear Rob: Help! When I give love I feel powerful but when I accept love I feel weak. So even though I dearly crave love, when someone tries to give it to me I run away. I'm afraid of the vulnerability that comes from being the recipient of the gift; I'm afraid of being in debt to the person who's offering it; I'm afraid of the loss of control that comes from not providing myself with everything I need; and I'm afraid that if I accept love, I'll get addicted to it, and then how will I cope if it goes away? What can I do? -Cowardly Crab." Dear Crab: In the coming weeks, the universe will conspire to help you find new ways to think about these riddles. You'll have tremendous access to the precise kind of courage you need.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I want to call your attention to a scene in the independent film Autism: The Musical. Neal is a 12-year-old autistic boy who has never spoken a complete sentence, not even to his beloved mother Elaine. He can barely form words. If you ask him to say "bar," he'll say "rahb." Elaine brings him to a therapist who guides autistic kids in using a machine that produces vocal sounds corresponding to words the kids type on a keyboard. For the first time, Neal's mom hears a message from her son: "Mom, I'm going to put you on the spot. You need to do more listening." I expect you will soon experience a metaphorically comparable event, Leo: A source you love will communicate with you in a novel way. Be receptive. Listen hard.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In 1954, the writer Albert Camus said, "A person's life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art or love or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened." In the first month of 2008, a humble astrology columnist, yours truly, used Camus' words to direct Virgos towards one of their primary tasks in the year ahead.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A few months ago I went to a costume party on the Cruise Ship Ecstatic, which was docked in San Francisco Bay. The theme was "The Ecstatic Muse: What is the future of your own turn-on?" I recommend you make that your meditation in the coming weeks, Libra. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you're overdue for a rigorous inventory of your approach to creating rapture, bliss, and joy. If in the course of your investigations you find you've been neglecting this essential aspect of your physical and mental health, take dramatic steps to upgrade your zeal. It's time to get more aggressive about feeling excited.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Internet pundit Ariana Huffington realized she was working too hard when she got so exhausted she passed out and broke her cheekbone on her desk. Resolved to give herself more slack, she decided to carry just two Blackberries with her at all times instead of the three that had been her constant companions. I request that you perform at least two similar acts of self-care in the coming week, Scorpio. They could come in the form of either eliminating complications, as Huffington did, or else adding luxurious treats. For example, you might want to arrange to be massaged in warm water by a team of charismatic healers singing you love songs and lullabies.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what your country can do for you. The same advice applies to your relationship with your family, job, closest companion, circle of friends, and favorite group. During this brief period when enlightened selfishness is the wise thing to pursue, don't get caught up obsessing on how you can serve them. Diplomatically request that they serve you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): When Doris Lessing was informed she'd won the Nobel Prize for Literature, she said, "I couldn't care less." What prompted her to be so blasé about receiving the world's foremost award for writers? Can you imagine what her state of mind was? I think you'll be able to after this week, Capricorn. You're likely to get a major ego stroke that isn't all that big a deal to you, mostly because you already know how valuable you are and don't need external confirmation of that fact.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): While riding my bicycle through a quiet neighborhood this afternoon, I saw two girls fiddling with the gate of a tall wooden fence. They were frustrated because it wouldn't open and let them inside. One kicked the gate. The other tried unsuccessfully to climb up to reach down over the top to the latch on the other side. Finally, the younger girl put her hand under the gate and managed to free some obstruction on the other side. The gate opened. "I got it! I got it!" she yelled, jumping up and down with exhilarated triumph. I foresee those words and that emotion flying out of you soon when you, too, finally open a metaphorical door that has been stuck.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The President of the United States is George W. Bush, but the Secret President of the United States is . . . well, I can't tell you, can I, because then he or she wouldn't be secret anymore, right? I can reveal this, though: The Secret President of the United States is working furiously behind the scenes to create a world in which generosity, not fear, is the prime motivator -- a world whose moral system is rooted in beauty, love, pleasure, and liberation instead of control, repression, propaganda, and profit. And the Secret President of the United States has a special assignment for you to carry out in the coming months, Pisces. Are you ready to become more of a leader than you've ever been before? Do you have the courage to be an inspirational role model who motivates people through the power of beauty, love, pleasure, and liberation?

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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