Horoscope

ARIES (March 21–April 19): I suspect you'll be a genius of awkwardness in the coming week, Aries. What that means is that you'll have a knack for doing the half-right thing at the half-right time—and yet that's exactly what'll be necessary in order to bring about unexpected outcomes that are in everyone's best interests. In the short run you may make a perfect mess, but I bet that will ultimately add more beauty and intrigue to the big picture.

TAURUS (April 20–May 20): Dear Grandma and Grandpa of the Taurus this horoscope has been prepared for: I'm hoping you will bring your helpful influence to bear on our little darling's dilemma. I know that in your ow n past you once had to navigate your way through complications similar to those that Taurus is now facing. So even if you have died and are in spirit form, please bestow your advice and encouragement, whether that's delivered by phone, via telepathy, in dreams, or in person. One more thing: Please don't let your wise blessing get tainted by any lingering disapproval you might be harboring about the path our beloved Taurus has chosen. This is a time for your smart love, not your judgment.

GEMINI (May 21–June 20):In the language of archetypal psychology, the term hierosgamos means "sacred marriage." It may refer to a literal coming together of two people whose bond is a gift to God. Their love for each other serves as an inspiration to their community and galvanizes them both to express their wildest beauty. Because their union is dedicated to a higher cause beyond their personal happiness, they strive with ingenious devotion to transmute the dark, unripe aspects of their own nature. The term hierosgamos also has a bigger meaning, beyond the enlightened relationship of two intelligent people. It may refer to any merger of opposites that's precipitated through divine grace and that unleashes surprising healing in all directions. In the coming weeks, Gemini, you are a prime candidate to experience at least a metaphorical version of hierosgamos.

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CANCER (June 21–July 22): "A quiet evening alone with friends can be an ecstatic experience for Cancerians," say Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers in their book The Secret Language of Birthdays. "Yet many born under this sign have strange aspects to their personalities which must be periodically revealed in public." I suspect this description will be particularly apt in the coming weeks. You may feel an irresistible urge to express your eccentricities to a bigger audience. My advice is to make definite plans to unveil the most interesting versions of your oddness at times and places of your choosing. That way it won't unexpectedly pop out half cocked when it might cause embarrassment.

LEO (July 23–Aug. 22):"The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian," wrote philosopher George Santayana. I agree with him. That's why, as I analyze the astrological omens, I can confidently predict that you will have the right to claim all of the following titles in the coming weeks: the Beguiler With the Most Enticing Ideals, the Moral Authority With the Most Trustworthy Allure, and the Charmer With the Most Ethical Temptations.

VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): In the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel," a wicked stepmother convinces her husband that the only way the two of them will survive poverty and starvation is to take his children deep into the woods and abandon them. That way there'll be two fewer mouths to feed. The kids overhear the plan, and as the adults lead them into the middle of nowhere, Hansel, the son, surreptitiously leaves a trail of white stones. This allows him and his sister Gretel to find their way back home later. The stepmom is chagrined. A few weeks thereafter, she once again convinces her spouse to leave the children in the wastes. This time Hansel drops bread crumbs to mark the path, but they're eaten by birds and the kids have no way to get back. Moral of the story: When you get sucked away from your source, leave clues that are more like stones, not crumbs. Alternative moral of the story: Don't return to a source that doesn't want you there.

LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): "The ancient Greeks knew that learning comes from playing," writes Roger von Oech in his book A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative. Their word for education, paideia, he says, was close to their word for play, paidia. Your next assignment, Libra, is right in line with this theme. First, identify the teachings that will be most important for you to master in 2007. Second, figure out how to include play as a major component of your learning process.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21): You know those fuel-delivery planes capable of pumping gas into a larger plane that's already aloft? I think you'd benefit from enlisting the services of their metaphorical equivalent in the coming week. Given how high and fast you're soaring, it would be a shame for you to have to come all the way down to earth to fill up your tank. And yet it's clear to me that one way or another, you're going to have to replenish your supply of propellant.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22–Dec. 21): "Whether we are on the threshold of a Golden Age or on the brink of a global cataclysm that will extinguish our civilization is not only unknowable, but undecided," said Edward Cornish, president of the World Future Society. I bet that in the past year you've had comparable fantasies about the fate of your own personal destiny, Sagittarius. At times, it must have seemed as if you were teetering on the brink of a sulfurous abyss that was within shouting distance of the yellow brick road to paradise. Talk about conflicting emotions! But now that crazy-making chapter of your life story is coming to an end. No more teetering for you. No more inhaling noxious fumes from the infernal regions. I believe you have already been offered or will soon be offered an escort to the beginning of the yellow brick road. Let's hope you're not so addicted to the fascinating glamour of your pain that you turn down the escort.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22–Jan. 19): "The problem, if you love it," said Jiddu Krishnamurti, "is as beautiful as the sunset." He did not mean this ironically, nor was he indulging in sentimental wish-fulfillment. He was one of the toughest-minded spiritual teachers ever born. As you slip into a phase when your problems are especially gorgeous and entertaining, Capricorn, I urge you to remind yourself of his wise thought at least five times a day. Here's a second nugget for you to chew on often. It's a lyrical, hard-assed Zen proverb: "The obstacle is the path."

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20—Feb. 18): Your assignment in the coming weeks, Aquarius, is to become a coordinator of synchronicity and director of synergy in all the environments where you hang out. To begin, remind yourself of what those terms mean. Synchronicity is the wonderfully spooky feeling that comes when two or more events occur in a way that might superficially seem to be mere coincidence, but that is actually a sign of a deeper underlying pattern that transcends rational understanding. Synergy is when two power sources collaborate on a surprisingly energetic creation in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. (For more ideas on synchronicity and synergy, go to tinyurl.com/d2jqb and tinyurl.com/mows3.)

PISCES (Feb. 19—March 20): If you want to be in perfect alignment with the astrological omens, you will live your life in the coming weeks with a restless confidence that bigger is better. You'll risk going over the top, digging too deep, and stretching your limits beyond the comfort level. I suspect you'll even begin to resonate with the description once applied to Hong Kong by its last governor: "sparkling, noisy, argumentative, handsome, cluttered, exotic, interna tional— all the things a great city should be."

Homework Are you ready for an orgy of gratitude? Identify at least 10 of your best blessings; more is better. Tell me all about it by going to realastrology.com and clicking on "Email Rob."

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