Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Writing in Poetry Flash, critic Rusty Morrison speculates that "the sublime can only be glimpsed by pressing through fear's boundary, beyond one's previous conceptions of the beautiful." That's a good theme for you to experiment with right now, Aries. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you're very close to making contact with splendor you'll remember all your life. (And I don't use that fancy word "splendor" lightly.) You'll need a lot of playful courage to make the boundary-crossing. But I know you can do it if you keep heading in the direction of what's scarily meaningful.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination," wrote Anaïs Nin. "Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic." I share Nin's perspective, Taurus; I know from experience how maddeningly slow the truth-gathering process can be. But I'm pleased to inform you that you're in a phase when missing puzzle pieces will become available at a faster rate than usual. Be alert for the subtle onslaught.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Whatever is not an energy source is an energy sink," writes novelist Marge Piercy. Is it really that unambiguous? Can you divide every single person, event, and institution into those that suck your vitality and those that pump you up? I think it's usually more complicated than that. There are many things that simultaneously suck and pump. But for you right now, Gemini, I believe it is that clear-cut. Proceed accordingly. Be ruthlessly discerning in deciding what influences you invite into your sphere.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Dear Rob: I like to take my daughters to the playground. While they hang out in the sandbox, I've often tried to make it across the monkey bars—you know, those overhead bars where you go hand over hand while your body dangles below. In hundreds of attempts, I've failed every time. My hands hurt, I feel heavy and out of shape, and I give up quickly. But last Saturday the spell was broken. I asked the gods of the playground to help me out. As I jumped up to grab the monkey bars, the idea popped into my head that I should bend my legs instead of leaving them dangling down. I got a swinging motion going, and made it across easily. After all those years of frustration, I couldn't believe such a little change made such a big difference. —Cancerian Reporting from the Trenches." Dear Cancerian: Thanks for your testimony. I think it's exactly what your fellow Crabs need to hear.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You've arrived at the re-create-yourself-from-scratch phase of your cycle. To celebrate, I've gathered three apt pieces of advice for you to scrawl on a piece of paper that you'll put under your pillow. (1) "Almost everything comes from almost nothing." —Henri-Frédéric Amiel. (2) "The best way to predict your future is to create it."—Peter Drucker. (3) "Leap and the net will appear."—Zen saying.

VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): In the language of the Hopi Indians, koyaanisqatsi means "crazy life," "life in turmoil," or "life out of balance." It's usually invoked to describe a culture that's in disarray because of corruption and lack of vision. In the horoscope you're now reading, however, I'm using it to identify a chaotic state that each of us periodically goes through in our personal life. It's a phase when we lose our moorings, when we're out of touch with our moral center. On the one hand, it's uncomfortable and disorienting. On the other hand, the brain-scrambling it stirs up is often a blessing. It flushes out mental habits that no longer serve us. It provokes creative innovations by rearranging the contents of our psyche. According to my reading of the omens, this is such a time for you, Virgo. Happy koyaanisqatsi!

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):The muskmelon is a fruit that continues to ripen after it's picked, whereas a watermelon stops ripening the moment it's plucked from the vine. As you enter your own personal harvest season, Libra, keep that difference in mind; it'll be a useful metaphor. Some of the "crops" you've been growing all these months are like muskmelons, while others are like watermelons. Do you know which are which? Let the watermelon-like fruits of your labors stay on the vine until you're absolutely sure they're fully mature.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If this was 1700 and you lived in London, or if it was 1800 and you lived in Philadelphia, I'd tell you: Go west, young man or young woman. The astrological omens imply that your most useful adventures lie in the direction the sun travels. But we could also interpret the oracular advice to "go west" not as a literal mandate to head out on the road, but rather as a metaphorical exhortation to follow the sun in your heart. So what does that expression mean to you? If you followed the sun in your heart, would you align yourself with a life-giving source of light and energy? Would you do something that fills you with warmth and vitality? Would you answer a call that's coming to you from the most practical manifestation of divine intelligence you know? Or all three?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): A Sagittarius reader named Sarah Morehouse sent me an announcement. "I've just discovered that I'm . . . ummm . . . cough . . . RULER OF THE WORLD," she said. "Don't panic. I'm planning to be a benign dictator. But here are two immediate changes. First: We will no longer separate reverence and amusement. Every one of us must regard humor as holy, and infuse our moments of solemn awe with giggles and snorts. Secondly: All of us are artists. That's right: Each and every one of us is now a certified creator of smart beauty, deep spiritual meaning, and good-natured practical jokes." Queen Sarah went on at length, but I'll stop there so I have room to point out this truth: Of all the signs of the zodiac, you Sagittarians are in the most perfect position to embody her new laws. In the coming weeks, you should regard them as your mandate.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This would be a perfect moment to send 100 roses to someone you love. Oddly enough, it'll also be an excellent time to send 100 roses to someone you love to hate. In other words, the karmic ledger needs to be kept in balance. You've got to make sure that all the opposites in your life are given their proper due. Each side of every paradox deserves your equal attention. What's the payoff? An exotic and lyrical brand of harmony will be yours if you expand your mind to encompass the yin of every yang, and vice versa.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Consider writing an entertaining advertisement about yourself in order to attract the resources you'd like to play with. Or think about buying the domain name "showerblessingson[putyournamehere].com," then setting up a website where the world can send you business offers, marriage proposals, free gifts, and invitations to travel. The point is, Aquarius, that the upcoming weeks will be a perfect time to get very aggressive and highly specific about asking for what you need. Rev up the fun-loving parts of your imagination.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):If you're a gardener who loves your plants, you're merciless toward weeds. Even if you have a deep reverence for all forms of life, you don't waver in your drive to yank out the hairy bittercress that's crowding your tomatoes. You don't feel twinges of guilt as you eliminate the chickweed near your squash. I advise you to use a similar approach as you nurture your little growing things in the coming days. Safeguard them from anything that would distract them from their instinctive purpose or weaken their power to become more thoroughly themselves.

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