ARIES (March 21–April 19): A Malaysian woman survived a showdown with a tiger. Kaliyama was working as a rubber tapper when the big cat slinked up behind her and wrapped its jaws around her leg. "Amma! Amma!" she cried out, invoking the name of the mother goddess. The tiger let go, backed off a step, and glared at her. Summoning her courage, she gazed back at it. After a few minutes of this staring match, the tiger departed, leaving Kaliyama in peace. I advise you to use a similar approach in your engagement with a beastly influence, Aries. Ask for the goddess's help, then let your essence beam out through the windows to your soul.

TAURUS (April 20–May 20):In the game known as Rock Paper Scissors, each player pumps a fist twice and then displays his or her hand in one of three different shapes: flat to indicate a piece of paper, a fist to symbolize rock, or index finger and middle finger extended for scissors. Each of the three can beat just one of the other two. Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, and rock smashes scissors. For centuries, in many cultures, this game has been used by pairs of people to settle small decisions, such as who will wash the dishes this time or who will run to the store to get beer. Though it's not usually invoked to determine matters of great importance, you might consider bucking tradition this week. It may be impossible to solve knotty questions through common sense and negotiation. Why not try the Rock Paper Scissors approach?

GEMINI (May 21–June 20): Sixty percent of Nigeria's population lives below the poverty line. Yet according to the World Values Survey, published in New Scientist magazine, Nigerians are the happiest people on the planet. How can that be? It may have something to do with the survey's conclusion that "the desire for material goods is a happiness suppressant." Sounds to me like the conclusion the Buddhists came to a long time ago: Craving for earthly riches is the source of a lot of suffering. Luckily, you Geminis are in a phase when you have great power to shift your pursuit of satisfaction away from transitory, ephemeral, ultimately useless pleasures and toward the truly gratifying, eternal ones.



Free Will Astrology is a weekly horoscope published every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST.

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CANCER (June 21–July 22): In 1982 I moved into a new home in Santa Cruz. It was just a funky old cottage that had once been a barn, but I was ecstatic to have it. As I opened the front door to begin my first day there, a violet-crowned hummingbird bolted inside in front of me, stayed for a few minutes, then departed. I regarded its visit as a phenomenally good omen, and it turned out to be just that. During my years in that house, I wrote my first book, recorded my first music album, fell in love with the woman I married, and helped conceive my daughter. Almost exactly 24 years later, I'm meditating on your horoscope as I sit in my current abode. "Send me a sign," I just said to the gods. "What's in the works for Cancerians?" Now a violet-crowned hummingbird is dancing exuberantly in front of my window, peering in, lingering a long time. I take it to mean you're at the beginning of a great opening.

LEO (July 23–Aug. 22): According to the organization Human Rights Watch, there are currently 2,225 American convicts condemned to life sentences for crimes they perpetrated as teenagers. In contrast, the entire rest of the world has only 12 prisoners in a similar situation. I favor the more lenient approach that prevails on the planet outside of the U.S.—not just for criminals but for everyone. Though most of us didn't commit felonies when we were young, we all made big mistakes that caused problems for us as well as others. Should we suffer for our sins forever? I hope not. It so happens that the coming days will provide fresh opportunities for you Leos to atone for and correct the wrong turns you made way back when.

VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): Help Wanted: looking for a smart operator who has expertise in both rebellion and compromise. Must be willing to break taboos, if necessary, in order to help people, but must also be a sensitive and empathetic collaborator who's skilled at creating harmonious solutions. Are you a rugged individualist with a strong sense of self, or are you a community builder who can get along with a wide variety of human types? Both, hopefully. Be a good listener who expresses yourself clearly.

LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): If you set your mind to it, you could break the world record for most ketchup sipped through a straw in three minutes, or the greatest distance pushing a tangerine down a highway with one's nose, or the most jumps on a pogo stick in the rain at dawn while wearing a leather jumpsuit. For that matter, Libra, you now have the boldness, physical vigor, and slightly crazed chutzpah to accomplish a whole range of precedent-breaking feats, from halting an abuse of power you've been putting up with to overthrowing the soggy status quo that has watered down the passions of everyone in a group you care about.

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