SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I've tried a wide variety of meditative practices from many traditions. I've calmed myself through rhythmic breathing; watched bemusedly as the nonstop cavalcade of images paraded across my mind; visualized sacred mandalas and cultivated unconditional love; taken rigorous inventories to determine whether the integrity of my actions matches my high ideals. And that's just a few. But in 25 years, I've never heard of a meditation that asks me to go into a public place, take my attention completely off myself, and observe people with precise and compassionate objectivity. Luckily, you're in a perfect phase to pioneer this radical new mode. It'll energize you enormously.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): My friend Jane Heaven is an uncanny catalyst. Good things happen for me when she's around; interesting connections and fun challenges pop up. Why? It has to do with her curiosity and willingness to try new things. One night on her radio talk show on KPFA, she goaded me and five other guests not to speak but rather to sing everything we wanted to communicate. For the next two hours we improvised a cappella melodies and rhythms as we carried on our meandering discourse. I came away inspired to write two new songs, which I produced the next day. Now listen to this, Capricorn: Your own personal equivalent of Jane Heaven is either already in your life, waiting for you to ask for more direct help, or else is hovering close by, ready to be summoned.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): On a Star Trek rerun, a female starship captain 370 years in the future was considering a love affair with a 19th-century Irish bartender—or rather a hologram of the bartender in a realistic holographic re-creation of an Irish village. Though she felt an attraction, she wished several things about the man were different. Since she literally had the power to reprogram him, she did, creating an even more desirable character. But after their fling she felt remorse and sought advice from the ship's nonhuman doctor. "I've noticed you humans often try to change those you fall in love with," the doc noted. "Why is that?" Let this serve as a teaching story for you, Aquarius. You may feel like redesigning people you love in the coming weeks, but I suggest you change yourself instead.


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PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Songbirds are disappearing all over the world, in part due to deforestation. If current trends continue, the tunes of yellow-throated warblers and red-eyed vireos, along with many others, will be gone forever. Meanwhile, crows, starlings, and blue jays are enjoying a population explosion. You'll be hearing a lot more of their shrieks in the coming years. While you may not be able to do anything to prevent this, Pisces, being aware of it could help you avoid an analogous development in your personal life. In August, encourage your inner bird—the part of you that loves to take flight—to be melodious rather than shrill.


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