Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Bible says you should kill adulterers, homosexuals, and brides who aren't virgins (Leviticus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 22:21). But I beg you not to do any such thing. The good book also asserts that it's OK to beat your servants as long as you don't go too far and murder them (Exodus 21:21). Again, I ask you to ignore this advice. I furthermore pray that you won't circumcise your heart, as recommended in Jeremiah 9:26. In general, Aries, it's an excellent time to free yourself from insidious absurdities that seeped into your brain from outmoded books, stale traditions, or sketchy teachings and theories you opened yourself to when you were younger. Seek out the inspiring shock of freshly minted wisdom.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Hotel employees in the U.K. report a dramatic upsurge in naked sleepwalking by their guests. They're not referring to people who merely get out of bed and stumble around their rooms in the dark. These are bare, dream-drunk explorers who wander down the halls, knock on strangers' doors, and visit the reception desk. In the coming week, please monitor any tendencies you might have to engage in this type of behavior, or, for that matter, in any slumbering adventures. The astrological omens suggest you may be inclined to carry out complex actions or make important decisions while not fully conscious. All week long, keep asking yourself this question: "Am I truly awake right now?"

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's an excellent time to seek out new allies, expand your social network, and make connections with influences that will motivate you to grow smarter and stronger. Here are the kinds of connections you might want to be on the lookout for: 1. hard workers who find everything funny; 2. down-to-earth idealists who place no emotional value on having expensive possessions; 3. nerds who are cocky in mysterious ways; 4. humble perfectionists who obsess over the integrity of every little thing they do and then mock themselves for being so conscientious; 5. couples who hold hands and jump into big puddles with their nice clothes on; 6. sympathetic listeners who will kindly kick your ass if you need it.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Some readers get mad when I quote leaders they consider immoral. If you're like that, you may be upset that this horoscope cites Jack Welch. He was the longtime CEO of General Electric, which makes critical components for more nuclear weapons systems than any other company. (So says the Academy-Award-winning documentary film Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons, and Our Environment.) In my defense, my policy is to learn from everyone, even villains and adversaries I disagree with. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to adopt that same attitude. I suggest that you gather information from every useful source as you rev up and fine-tune your ambition. Now here are Welch's rules for success: 1. Control your destiny or someone else will. 2. Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it would be. 3. Be candid with everyone. 4. Change before you have to.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Jon Carroll described the behavior of certain young spiders in the Sacramento Delta. When one of these "spiderlings" is ready to leave its birthplace and go in search of adventure, it spins out a long gossamer strand, climbs aboard, and leaps into the unknown. Floating in mid-air, it's carried by the wind to who-knows-where, eventually landing in its new homeland. While I'm normally a big advocate of having goals and making plans, this is one of those rare times when I advise you to act more like the spiderlings.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Secrets are always bad, right? They are the lynchpins of corruption, the evil mechanisms by which unethical power-mongers do their dirty deeds. In the sphere of intimate relationships, secrets are lies of omission that insidiously corrode the trust between people. So there again: nasty, awful things. But in the coming days, Virgo, I'd like you to entertain the possibility that secrets can also be blessings. To jumpstart your redemptive meditations, read these thoughts from philosopher Sissela Bok's book Secrets: on the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation: "We are all experts on secrecy. From earliest childhood we feel its mystery and attraction. We know both the power it confers and the burden it imposes. We learn how it can delight, give breathing space and protect."

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): British pop star Kate Nash sent a message in a song to a guy she had a crush on. "I wish that you knew when I said two sugars, actually, I meant three." In other words, her idea of a soulmate is someone who reads her mind and knows what she needs even if she isn't clear about what she needs. This is the opposite of the way you should proceed in the coming weeks, Libra. Don't assume that the people whose love you crave are telepathic geniuses with a perfect understanding of your every nuance. Spell it all out.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): This is one of those rare times when your empathy could undo you unless you adhere to the following guidelines. 1. Squelch any attraction you might have to fascinating ruins, sexy decay, or appalling beauty. 2. If you have been sucked into the sphere of a good-looking monster or seductive tyrant, yank yourself free. 3. Break your gaze the instant you sense you're falling under the sway of a flaming narcissist. 4. Suppress the temptation to think this thought: "I'm bored with my hell; I want to hang out in your hell for a change.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): On the morning of May 4, 2004, film producer Rielle Hunter woke up to find herself, by her own admission, fully enlightened. Soon she had become "addicted to higher consciousness," and was unable to get involved with anything unless it expanded her awareness. If such a sequence of events were ever going to occur for you, Sagittarius, it would start soon.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You would stir up exciting changes in your approach to life in you took time in the next few weeks to find out more about the crowning achievements of your most intriguing ancestors. It will also be a favorable time for you to engage in dreamy conversations with the historical figures you admire most, and to muse in luxurious detail on memories of events that were crucial in making you who you are. For extra credit, have fun imagining who you were in your last two incarnations. The past has gifts to give you, Capricorn. Go gather them up.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): According to the book The Meaning of Tingo, Filipinos make use of the Tagalog term "layogenic" to refer to a person who looks really attractive from a distance, but not so good close-up. I'm guessing that in the coming week you may encounter more than one phenomenon that could fit that description. That's why I suggest you stop undervaluing the people, things, and experiences that are right in front of you. They might not seem as spectacular as the far-off phantasms. But unlike the phantasms, they really are pretty fine.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Musician Sarah McLachlan told the crowd at one of her concerts: "I feel great about singing really depressing songs." In the U2 song "A Man and a Woman," Bono sings, "The only pain is to feel nothing at all." They are your role models in the coming week, Pisces. I hope they inspire you to feel grateful for your capacity to experience such intense emotions. You're lucky to be so sensitive! You're blessed to have so much vital force! So please celebrate your talent for feeling melancholy and overwhelmed. Congratulate yourself for being such a connoisseur of guilt, confusion, and anxiety. You're more alive than other people. You've got a soul as big and wild and deep as the Amazon River.

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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