Free Will Astrology
ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Drama Queen or Drama King within you is secretly plotting to raise the emotional stakes to record levels. For that inner extremist, mere adventure might not be enough; thunderous histrionics and romantic excess may be considered essential. While I have no problem with you enjoying a fevered fling, I don't think it's necessary to cross the line into delirious hysteria and volcanic excess. So here's what I'm going to suggest: Take your inner Drama Queen or Drama King for about ten rides on an actual roller coaster. That way he or she may not need to make your whole life into a roller coaster.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): There was a personalized California license plate on the yellow Hummer I saw today. It said "U Move." I took this to be the driver's announcement that he was king of the road and had no obligation to watch where he was going. He seemed to be saying that if you had a problem with him, you should get the hell out of his way. In the moment, I took this to be an idiotic communication from a belligerent jerk, but when I studied your astrological aspects for the coming week I realized it was actually a good motto for you to adopt. For a limited time only, you have the right to proclaim the following to anyone who thinks you should be anywhere else besides where you are: "No, you move."
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Let's say you were somehow able to travel to a comet as it approached the sun. Let's say you also brought a container in which you were able to capture all of the vapor from the comet's 5,000-mile gaseous tail. The container wouldn't have to be any bigger than a wine bottle, because there's not much actual stuff in the tail. This hypothetical project is a good metaphor for the work you have ahead of you in the coming week, Gemini. Vast volumes of hot air will contain only a tiny bit of rarefied substance. And yet that bit will be interesting and useful.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Can you keep your balance and your dignity while trying to sit on two fences at once? Can you be a friend to all, a servant of none, and a freestyle wheeler-dealer all at the same time? As you're flattered and criticized for the oddest reasons, and as people try to manipulate you and impress you, can you keep your ego from inflating and deflating like a hyperventilating lung? The answer to these questions is a definite maybe, Cancerian. For best results, be as dispassionate as a Buddhist monk and as brave as a drunk without actually getting drunk.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Please speak the following series of declarations at least once a day in the coming week: "I want to drink in the brilliance of someone's beautiful eyes today. I want to dream of the kind of intimacy I will someday be worthy of. I want to learn to enjoy everything that I do and everything that happens to me, even if it's not what I expected or thought I needed. I want the end of every story to be quickly followed by the beginning of the next story. I want to go home to a home I have never known."
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The average person throws out 19 pounds of garbage per week. Between now and August 24, however, you have license to exceed that figure by a large margin. In fact, Virgo, the cosmos would love you to carry out a Great Purge. So take full advantage of this opportunity to lighten your load. Get rid of every last scrap of dross and clutter, give away anything that has outlived its usefulness, and unburden yourself of outmoded necessities that have been sitting untouched in a closet or storage unit for more than a year. As much as you possibly can, free yourself of the unnecessary residues of your past.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A panel of 23 astrologers headed by yours truly has named you Window Shopper of the Month for August. I know that may sound premature, given the fact that you have not yet done much browsing this month. But the astrological omens are clear. We're confident you'll justify our faith and do what's necessary to earn your title. To get you pointed in the right direction, here are some things you might want to fantasize about acquiring: a silk lantern, a stained glass window, a bird's nest, black pearls, 2,000-year-old honey, photos of smoke rising from ritually consecrated fires, a compass that once belonged to a great explorer, and anything else that simultaneously evokes your love of beauty and your sense of wonder.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): John Madden was a successful pro football coach who understood the value of taking things both seriously and not very seriously at all. He was a hard-working master of strategy and motivation who drilled his team relentlessly so they'd develop the discipline necessary to excel. But he also understood how critical it was to inject playfulness into the mix, even during high-pressure moments. There was one stretch in the 1970s when he prepared his players for each game with a fierce pep talk, but then refused to let them leave the locker room until running back Mark van Eeghen could summon a belch. I recommend this dual approach to you, Scorpio. As you wade in to your upcoming dates with destiny, draw liberally on the leavening power of teasing and whimsy.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, it would be an excellent time for you to put on your best clothes and clean toilets at a leper colony in India, or give exuberant foot massages to workers at a sewage disposal plant, or sing songs, sip champagne, and play card games with patients at a psychiatric hospital. Adventures like those would put you in close alignment with your highest possible destiny. Do they strike you as too extreme? If so, figure out alternatives that will work for you: Conjure up your most expansive and generous energy as you carry out taxing tasks that benefit other people.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You've probably heard tales about people who buy an old desk at a thrift store or a used jacket at a yard sale, then find a big stash of money in it when they get it home. You may also know the story of author Byron Katie, who was wallowing in depression on the floor of a halfway house when she had the epiphany that ultimately transformed her into a brilliant, rich, successful teacher. I believe your fate in the coming weeks will have elements of both of those motifs.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Early American politician and inventor Benjamin Franklin said, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." And yet for one period of his life, he frequently stayed up all night reading books. Make him your role model in the coming week, Aquarius. Use his example to inspire you to rebel against one of your mottoes or refuse to obey your own well-worn advice. At least temporarily, the best thing you can do for your mental health is experiment with alternatives to policies you usually regard as inviolable.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Wasting your time and getting caught up in trivial details might feel like the most natural thing to do in the coming week, but I'd love to steer you away from doing that. Please please pretty please take heed of this proverb from ancient Rome: "The eagle does not catch flies." In other words, avoid lowering yourself to pursue rewards that don't really interest you or nourish you. And please please pretty please also listen to the advice of this Nepalese proverb: "Conduct short rituals for minor gods." Translation: Acknowledge the second-tier powers-that-be, but don't prostrate yourself in front of them for hours.
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