Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year," said essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. That's my first suggestion for you this week, Aries. Now, while you're at the energetic peak of your astrological cycle, is a good time to cultivate a knack for identifying the specific gift that each day has to offer you. You will also resonate well with the cosmic rhythms if you make use of another Emersonian gem: "Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm." Where does your purest enthusiasm lie? And how will you use it to fuel your ascent to a series of great and commanding moments?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "In the human heart new passions are forever being born," said French writer Francois de La Rochefoucauld. "The overthrow of one almost always means the rise of another." I suppose that's true. We all have longings that come and go as we evolve. But I'd also like to propose an equally valid and contradictory truth: In every human heart there are a few passions that last a lifetime. They're with us from the moment we're born, and nothing can dilute their intensity. Our destiny revolves around them. These are the passions I hope you will define with precision and nurture with alacrity during the next eight weeks.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you have trouble resisting the urge to stay current with news about famous actresses, you may have a mental illness. A team of psychologists has certified "Celebrity Worship Syndrome" as an actual psychiatric condition. Now please listen to me closely: It is imperative that you stifle this malady during the next 25 days, even if you have a mild case of it. Your fantasy life needs to soar into unknown frontiers where more of the details of your own personal talents will be revealed, and you can't afford to be weighed down with fantasies about rich and charismatic people you don't know.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Dear Brother Rob: We wanted you to know that our exceedingly sweet, holy, and pious dog, Magdalene, told us tonight that she feels you are a direct descendant of Melchior, one of those famous Bethlehem astrologers/magi mentioned as bringing gifts to the baby Jesus way back when! That's so cool! Raucous peace to you! -Gabriel and Deana." Dear Gabriel and Deana: I'm honored! Give my thanks to Magdalene. Does she have any messages for my Cancerian readers? I've been having visions that they will soon be getting gifts from the past and revelations about their heritage and updates concerning their birthrights.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): We all tend to project onto other people the unattractive aspects of ourselves that we refuse to acknowledge. We're also drawn to anyone who expresses the fully activated versions of our own sleeping potentials. Everywhere we go, then, our vision is clouded by the disowned psychic material that is floating around our unconscious minds. That's the bad news, Leo. The good news is that in the next eight weeks you will have an enhanced ability to get access to the liabilities and powers that are buried beneath the surface of your awareness. As a result, your ability to see the objective truth about the world around you should grow dramatically.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "The ermine is so fastidious that he will allow himself to be caught by hunters before he will take refuge in a muddy spot," wrote Leonardo da Vinci in his Bestiary. The legendary behavior of this small mammal has a resemblance to certain Virgos. Let's hope you're not one of them. To avoid getting trapped in the coming days, you will have to be willing, even eager, to get dirty. Here's your motto: The miracle is in the mess.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A friend recently said to me, "You really try hard to avoid conflict, don't you?" That surprised me. In my own perception of myself, I'm pretty combative, at least in the privacy of my own imagination. The injustice and suffering I see in the world make me mad, and I'm constantly plotting to overthrow the ignorant forces that are at the root of that bad stuff. It's true that I almost never express naked hostility or engage in outright combat with anyone. But that's because I think that the best way for me to fight the ugliness is to whip up lavish doses of beauty and truth and love. Sorry to be talking about myself so much, Libra, but it's in a good cause: I urge you to be like me in the coming week.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I don't usually recommend that you text-message a cohort who's sitting a few feet away from you in a meeting, or use your cell phone to call the cell phone of the person you're lying next to in bed. But this would be a good week to do things like that. It's an excellent time, you see, to experiment with how you communicate, to try alternate methods of conversing, to awaken unfamiliar responses as you engage with familiar people. You might want to write a letter in longhand to a comrade you see all the time, or sit down at a table together and exchange messages by drawing pictures rather than talking.

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