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By Jon Campbell
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TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "We are attracted to people who express the qualities we deny or repress in ourselves," says creativity expert Shakti Gawain. Using this idea as your hypothesis, Taurus, take an inventory of the people you're most drawn to. Ask yourself whether they have talents and dreams that you secretly wish could come fully alive in you. If you find this to be the case, consider the possibility that it's time to transform your secret wishes into definite plans.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Seeing as how you're at the peak of your popularity and in the harvest phase of your yearly cycle, why not suggest to your friends that they organize a celebration in your honor? A parade could launch the festivities, with you riding in a red Cadillac convertible followed by floats depicting the turning points in your life. When you arrive at the banquet hall, you'll be carried on a litter to a throne. You'll eat a gourmet dinner featuring your favorite food while a series of allies comes to the microphone to describe what they like most about you. To conclude the party, a band will play a set of songs written especially for you. These are merely suggestions, Gemini. You may have different ideas about how you'd like to be glorified. Just make sure you communicate them clearly to the proper people.
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CANCER (June 21-July 22): I'm a direct descendant of Genghis Khan (1162-1227), the Mongol leader who controlled an empire stretching from Hungary to Korea. The funny thing is, you might be one of his progeny, too. Geneticists have determined that there are millions of us worldwide, owing to our forefather's prolific sowing of wild oats over an extensive area. Of course it's natural that we have mixed feelings about him He and his troops did all the nasty things a conquering army usually does. But he was also a good manager who codified laws, advanced religious freedom, and promoted ethnic diversity. Even if Khan isn't officially your ancestor, Cancerian, you're now primed to imitate his more enlightened side. As you expand your territory and authority, fantasize about the ways your new clout will allow you to give greater gifts.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I never take drugs. If I were a Leo, however, I might travel to Britain this week and smoke some pot. (Possession of the stuff in small amounts is no longer illegal there.) If that's impossible for you, find other ways to gently blow your mind. Go on a three-day meditation retreat, make love for six consecutive hours, and read the poetry of Mary Oliver while swinging on a swing. Or make atonement to a person you once wronged, assume that everything you think you know is only half-right, and give away money to someone in need. Or all of the above.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The Indian activist Gandhi led many peaceful rebellions against oppressive governments, first in South Africa and later in British-controlled India. At first he called his strategy "passive resistance," but later disavowed that term because it had negative implications. He ultimately chose the Sanskrit word satyagraha, meaning "love force" or "truth force." "Truth ('satya') implies love," he said, "and firmness ('agraha') is a synonym for force. 'Satyagraha' is thus the force which is born of truth and love." According to my reading of the astrological omens, Virgo, satyagraha should be your word of power in the coming weeks. Your uprising against the forces of darkness has got to do more than say "no." A fierce, primal yes should be at the heart of your crusade.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): By 2005, you'll be enrolled in a new School of Life, beginning a fresh course of study that will delight the innocent, open-hearted kid in you. But much of 2004 will be like taking a long final exam based on material you've studied forever. On some days the test questions may bore you into a stupor, while on other days they may electrify you into a state of red alert. Here's a clue that could help you keep those extreme states to a minimum in the coming months, as well as ensure that you'll ace the exam: Leave your normal routine and get away from it all as often as is practical. While you wander in the great unknown, you're likely to attract the exact experiences you'll need to solve the toughest riddles.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Let's do a check-in, Scorpio. What progress have you been making in your work on this year's biggest opportunity? As I suggested last December, 2004 will be an excellent time to build the kind of network you've always wanted. New alliances will be yours for the asking. Existing collaborators will be extra receptive to deepening your connections. You'll tend to get lucky whenever you try to interest people in helping you express your talents for the good of all. If you've been lagging behind in cashing in on this trend, step up your efforts immediately. You now have the power to make up for lost time.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): April is Feedback Month. In the coming weeks, everyone from your best friend to the janitor at work may barrage you with hints of what they think about you. A few of the reports will be fairly accurate representations of you, while others may resemble the reflections you get from funhouse mirrors. If you just relax your ego muscles and watch the mad rush of images as you would a comic movie, however, the overall experience will be rejuvenating.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Free will is there for the taking, like wild blueberries," writes poet Ellen Doré Watson, "a trifle more sour than we remember." In other words, Capricorn, your mouth might pucker and your eyes may squint when you first sample the ripe crop of free will that you'll come upon this week. But once you've experienced the sensation for a while, it'll start tasting sweeter. By this time next week, you'll be amazed at how delicious it is.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In my astrological opinion, you now have a sacred duty to cause good trouble. Please carry out at least two kinds of benevolent mischief from the following list. (1) Break taboos that serve no useful purpose. (2) Circumvent rules that are rotten or harmful. (3) Expose the manipulators who are trying to get everyone to buy into their delusions. (4) Trick people into rebelling against influences that are bad for them. (5) If you see friends or loved ones who are running on autopilot, give them lessons on how to wake up.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Piscean actress Mercedes Ruehl won the Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1991 movie The Fisher King. Taking the stage at the awards ceremony, she exclaimed, "I shall never waitress again, and you are my witnesses!" She was almost 43 years old at the time. I foresee a comparable breakthrough for you in the coming months, Pisces. It may not be quite as dramatic as Ruehl's, but it will definitely free you forever from a task that has stifled or demeaned your spirit. And you can lay the groundwork for this victory now.
HOMEWORK What's the weird thing you do or think that's too strange to reveal to your friends and loved ones? (Your secret's safe with me.) Testify at: beautyandtruth.comfreewillastrology.com.