Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Ernest Hemingway said that his best work was a very short story consisting of six words: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn." Alan Moore's brief masterpiece of fiction is, I think, just as good: "Machine. Unexpectedly, I'd invented a time." Here's another gem, written anonymously: "The last man on earth heard a knock on the door." Your assignment in the coming week, Aries, is to be as pithy as these terse geniuses. Proceed on the assumption that your effectiveness will thrive in direct proportion to your brevity and conciseness. Assume that you will be most likely to get what you want if you use the fewest words and the most minimal actions necessary.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Too bad 90 percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation," said Henry Kissinger. I'm tempted to draw a similar conclusion about physicians, cops, lawyers, performance artists, and a host of other professionals with whom I've had direct contact. Whether or not you agree with me, please be very picky in the coming days, Taurus. As you seek out "experts" to help or counsel you, make sure they are at the top of their respective fields. Do background research, get personal references, and try to experience them when their guards are down.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Do you realize that you now have a great potential to instigate ringing surprises? Your knack for healing the seemingly unhealable is at a peak, as is your ability to accomplish the impossible, get insight into the incomprehensible, and feel equanimity amidst the uncontrollable. What do you plan to do with all that mojo, Gemini? I suggest that you act like a character in a fairy tale who has been given three wishes. Not two or four, but three.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Dear Rob: My mother tells me I'm fat but feeds me pork rinds. My strongest supporter is a person I want to wrap up like a mummy, put in a canoe, and push out into the middle of the lake. My exuberant imagination has taken me hostage, violating its own principles. I'm so completely ambivalent and indecisive about everything that even my addictive nature can't figure out what to be addicted to. I'd embrace my contradictions if I could, but I can't because they've got me surrounded like a pink-haired, cross-dressing SWAT team frothed up on Red Bull. Can you point me in the direction of the exit from this circus-like hell? - Crazy Crab." Dear Crazy: I detect a lot of wit and style in your meditations. Maybe that's the purpose of this limbo you're temporarily lost in: It's an opportunity to build your skill at being lively and feisty and smart no matter what your outer circumstances are.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I love this excerpt from "The Seeker," a poem by Rilke in his Book of Hours (translated by Robert Bly): "I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and I still don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song." Here's my own personal variation: "I am circling around love, around the throbbing hum, and I have been circling for thousands of days, and I still don't know if I am a wounded saint, or a rainy dawn, or a creation story." Please compose your own version of this poem, Leo. It's an excellent time to fantasize about what you're circling around and what force of nature you might be.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your role model is Tilly Trotter, a blind, 74-year-old grandmother who lives in the UK. She took up archery two years ago despite her handicap. Recently she pulled off a rare feat, shooting her arrow so precisely that it split another arrow already lodged in the target. Among archers, this is called a Robin Hood. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you now have the power to do something similar, Virgo: overcome a disadvantage in order to accomplish a riveting triumph that would be difficult even for those who don't have to deal with a limitation like yours. You're primed to carry out your personal version of a Robin Hood.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Here's transpersonal psychologist Roger Walsh, writing in the December 2001 issue of IONS Review: "This is the first time in history that publicly acknowledging that you follow two or more distinct spiritual traditions would not have you burned at the stake, stoned to death, or facing a firing squad. We tend to forget what an extraordinary time this is, that for the first time in history we have the entirety of the world's spiritual and religious traditions available to us, and we can practice them . . . without fear." I advise you to take full advantage of this extraordinary freedom, Libra – especially now, while you're in a phase of your astrological cycle that's conducive to expanding your spiritual repertoire. Think about adding some ideas and practices and magic from outside your established belief system.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In her natal horoscope, Icelandic chanteuse Bjork has the sun, moon, and Neptune in the sign of Scorpio. Here's how she describes what it's like being her: "I have to re-create the universe every morning when I wake up, and kill it in the evening." Sound familiar? That's a pretty good summary of the temperament of your tribe, and especially so right now, as you navigate your way through the astrological House of Resurrection.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Most astronomers are irrationally prejudiced against us astrologers. They typically deride our ancient art without ever having read any of the masters whose work articulates the core principles of astrology. It's the equivalent of speaking about the theory of relativity without ever having studied Einstein. Despite their disdain, I don't hate them back. On the contrary, I celebrate their efforts to understand the universe, and I make abundant use of the information they've gleaned. Be like me in the coming week, Sagittarius. Appreciate those who don't appreciate you, especially if they are doing good work that can benefit you and others.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This would be a good week to celebrate failure – to laugh about the comic horror stories of your past defeats, to gain a new appreciation for the prickly lessons you learned, and to let go of any regret, shame, or anger you might still be lugging around. I'd even recommend that you and your friends stage a Brag About Your Failures party. Try to outdo each other as you render in ignominious detail the things that went wrong, the mistakes you made, and the people who let you down. I think you'll be amazed at how effectively this will dissolve the karma left over from those misadventures – and help free you from their ghostly clutches.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Maybe you've conceived a child at some time in your life. Maybe you never have or never will. Whatever the case, even if you're a man, I invite you to visualize the experience. Imagine that a force of nature has germinated, and that you are carrying another life within you. Try to approximate the uncanny twinge that a pregnant woman senses when her fetus first moves. This exercise will be a simulation of and rehearsal for the psychic quickening you will soon enjoy.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In her journals, Sylvia Plath said there are two different ways to be free of desires. The first is when you are "dead and rotten inside and there is nothing in the world." The second is when you are "so full and rich and have so many inner worlds that the outer world is not necessary for joy, because joy emanates from the inner core of your being." In the past, Pisces, you have had a few encounters with the dead and rotten state. But I believe you are now in a phase when the full and rich condition will prevail. During this grace period, you will not really need anything beyond what you already have. My advice? Start the celebration!

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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