ARIES (March 21-April 19): The guy in front of me in the grocery store checkout line today was wearing a T-shirt that said, "Sublimely tacky, yet refreshingly unrefined." That's a perfect lead-in to the astrological advice I'd like to convey this week, which is: You're most likely to be happy and successful if you stop trying to deny the fact that you're a beautifully messy mass of contradictions. It's high time for you to celebrate your inconsistencies and regard your mutability as a strength. I encourage you to invite all of your different sub-personalities to a big come-as-you-are party in your head.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Remember learning to read, back when you were six years old? One week the clumps of letters were indecipherable, and the next week you could actually make sense of them. You are now at a comparable threshold in the evolution of your emotional life. Feelings that have previously been obscure or puzzling will soon come into focus. You'll be blessed with an upgrade in your intuition about your friends' and loved ones' moods. Your power to enjoy intimacy will dramatically ripen.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Speaking to an audience at Harvard University, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made the observation that "sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged." While I do approve of you spending the next week exploring the frontiers of sensual pleasure, I'm not sure you should go as far as Scalia suggests. Or, if you do, make sure you really like and respect your fellow orgiasts. Your erotic adventures should never erode but should always support your spiritual values.


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CANCER (June 21-July 22): A million jobs have been lost since our fellow Cancerian, George W. Bush, became U.S. president. The nation's dangerously high budget deficit, now at record levels, is due to his spending hikes and tax cuts for the wealthy. He instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to go ahead and approve new pesticides without bothering to find out if they'd threaten endangered species. He ignored 49 retired generals and admirals when they asked him to take billions of dollars earmarked for his quixotic missile-defense shield and instead use the funds to protect potential terrorist targets like ports and nuclear facilities. Despite these and many other extremist actions, millions of Americans still plan to vote for him on November 2. While other Crabs like you and I won't have that much slack in coming weeks, we will get quite a lot. It may be time for us to try getting away with bold moves we haven't dared before.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the film Angels in America, the character named Belize describes his vision of heaven. It's not a spotlessly clean gated community where everyone wears white gowns and nothing ever changes. Rather, it's a "big city, overgrown with weeds, but flowering weeds. On every corner a wrecking crew, and something new and crooked going up catty-corner to that. Gusts of gritty wind, and a gray, high sky alive with ravens. Piles of trash, but lapidary like rubies and obsidian. Diamond-colored streamers. Voting booths. Dance palaces full of music and lights and racial impurity and gender confusion. All the deities are creole, mulatto, brown as the mouths of rivers." While that's not necessarily how I envision my ideal home, I love its implication that we should imagine paradise to be mysterious, intriguing, and in flux. Let Belize inspire you to be soulful and poetic, Leo, as you update your own vision of perfection—your conception of the good life.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The astrological omens are pretty odd right now. They seem to be suggesting that your luck will be good and you'll be in maximum alignment with the cosmic rhythms if you watch a lot of daytime TV, eat heaps of junk food, get no more than four hours of sleep a night, and argue with yourself loudly in public. Just kidding, Virgo. I was merely testing to see whether you've become overly gullible toward so-called authorities like me. The truth is that you should free yourself from influences that presume to tell you what to do. Get their voices completely out of your head so you can clearly hear the still, small voice of your fiercely tender intuition.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Each of us has a name given by God and given by our parents," writes the Israeli poet Zelda Mishkovsky. "Each of us has a name given by our sins and by our longing. Each of us has a name given by our enemies and by our love. Each of us has a name given by our celebrations and by our work. Each of us has a name given by the sea and by the stars." Your homework for the coming week, Libra, is to figure out all 10 names that Mishkovsky says you have. Your identity is ripe for expansion; your sense of self is ready to bloom.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Your recent "experiment" reminds me of the Malaysian performance artist who locked herself in a glass box with 2,700 scorpions, hoping to remain there for 30 days. After being stung by the poisonous arachnids seven times, she almost left early. Ultimately, though, she toughed it out. I figure you are at a point in your own adventure where you've managed to survive the equivalent of five stings, Scorpio. But in my opinion you've already proved your point. I suggest you finish the "experiment" immediately.

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