Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "The face is the most erotic part of the body," says fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Try out that perspective for a while, Aries. Your assignment in the coming week is to enjoy getting excited by faces that captivate your imagination. This isn't just about pure physical beauty, of course. You should also be alert to the titillating wisdom and arousing compassion that are revealed in their features . . . as well as the ripples of inscrutable emotions and the flows of secret knowings.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Lately, it's as if you've been riding a roller coaster on which you're forbidden to scream. It's as if you've been trying to suppress your laughter as you watch a series of the funniest stand-up comedians on the planet. It's like you've been ordered to sit stiffly in a chair and keep your feet motionless while your favorite band plays the dance music you love best. I hope you won't put up with this predicament any longer, Taurus. Either scream, laugh, and dance, or find another way to escape any situation that's keeping you clamped down.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "I do not wish to hear about the moon from someone who has not been there," wrote 19th-century wit Mark Twain. That's an extreme statement of how important it is to formulate conclusions based on firsthand knowledge rather than on hearsay and random opinions. In the coming weeks, this principle will be even more crucial to your mental health than it usually is. In my astrological opinion, you need to significantly increase the proportion of information you acquire through your direct perceptions, as well as from people who've had intimate contact with the things you're curious about.

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

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CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Dear Rob: Do you have any tips on dealing with fear that paralyzes you? Like, say I need to tell a certain someone how I really feel. My heart keeps telling me to do it. My mind keeps telling me to do it. But my fear makes me put it off again and again. And I don't have much time before the window of opportunity closes. Please help! I don't want to miss out! – Cowardly Cancerian." Dear Soon-To-Be-Courageous Cancerian: In accordance with cosmic rhythms, which are conspiring to assist you in summoning hidden reserves of chutzpah, I hereby assign you to actually do the thing you fear at one of these times: Friday, August 10 between 7 and 9 p.m.; Saturday, August 11 between noon and 2; Sunday, August 12 between 3:30 and 6 p.m.; or Monday, August 13 between 6 and 8 p.m.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I predict that you will dream about at least three of the following things in the coming week: a flying carpet, a genie's lamp, the food of the gods, a wizard's wand, healing ointment, a silver chalice, and enchanted mud. "So what?" you might be saying. "What do dreams, no matter how fun they might be, have to do with my pursuit of happiness in the cold, cruel world of my waking life?" And I say unto you, Leo, that these dreams will mysteriously transform your psyche in such a way that you'll be able to accomplish magic that may have seemed impossible before.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Why fight for rights that are already yours, Virgo? Why sacrifice yourself for the benefit of people who wouldn't fully appreciate your gifts? And why are you even thinking about dividing when you should be multiplying? Any of these acts would be a crime against yourself. So listen up: You just have to hold out a little longer. If you can avoid running up a big karmic debt in the next few days, if you can refrain from hurting yourself in a misguided attempt to fix situations that can't be fixed, you'll be home free. Soon the whole cast of monsters, demons, and goons will pack up their inane torture devices and go trundling back to the hells where they came from.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): When you see a shoot- ing star, you're usually looking at a piece of cosmic debris that's 30 to 60 miles away and no bigger than a grain of rice. As it streaks through the atmosphere, the compression of air in front of it creates a shock wave, generating enough heat to send a bright light to your eyes. Sound like something you want to emulate, Libra? I believe that in the coming weeks, your smallest actions, like those of shooting stars, could produce dramatic, far-reaching effects.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "Dear Rob: In the past few weeks, life has been opening me up over and over again, as if I were a rose that couldn't stop blooming. Every perception hits me with a soothing bolt of clarity. Every conversation is gracefully sculpted, as if composed by a higher power. I'm listening and actually hearing what people really mean. I feel accountable for each word that comes out of my mouth. It's amazing. Do you have any tips for keeping this state going on forever? I'm afraid I'll slip back into a duller, more self-absorbed state. – Scorpio On Fire." Dear Scorpio: Don't cling. Don't be grasping or anxious. Instead, do what is potentially every Scorpio's specialty: Die and be reborn every day. Again and again, kill off the magic that's working so well and artfully resurrect it in a transformed version.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In Infinite Jest, novelist David Foster Wallace imagines what life will be like in the future. One big change is that the years will no longer be known by numbers. The naming rights will have been sold to corporate sponsors. What might have been 2013 and 2014, for instance, will be the Year of Dairy Products from the American Heartland and the Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. I thought it might be fun to borrow that idea for your horoscope, especially in light of the fact that imminent events may play a big role in defining the main themes of 2007. Will this turn out to be your Year of Fertility Rites in the Wild Frontier? Or maybe the Year of Your Inner Animal's Intelligence Upgrade? Or the Year of Your Fantastic Voyage to the Cosmic Lost and Found? We'll soon find out.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Certain religions, whose names I won't mention, have given prayer a bad name. It has come to be associated with sentimentality, desperation, delusion, greed, and wishful thinking. But I prefer to define prayer as an intention to align your emotions and thoughts with the highest possible good. Can you give that definition a whirl? I hope so. It's Big Wild Prayer Week, a time when you will have an extraordinary ability to get in sync with almost unimaginably catalytic currents of cosmic beauty and truth.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Desire is not an occupation," croons the lead singer of the industrial rock band KMFDM. But I beg to differ, at least as far as you're concerned. For the immediate future, it would definitely not be totally crazy for you to play hooky from your job and stop doing all the busy work you usually do so that you could fully devote yourself to exploring the riddles of your deepest longings. I'm not just talking about the yearning for love and sex, but every single one of your bone-aching, abyss-tempting, reality-crunching hungers.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I'd like to see you permanently lose at least 50 percent of your chronic aggravation. And I have an idea about how you might do that. Choose a day when you've got the leisure time to spend one intense half hour cursing about everything that annoys, frustrates, and upsets you. For those 30 minutes, you'll allow yourself to unleash tremendous ferocity as you commune with visions of your outrage. Giving yourself that permission— so my theory goes—would drain the backlog of vexation you've been carrying around. If you do it right, your spirit will be purged of the sour heaviness of background rage for at least eight weeks, probably longer.

Homework If you knew you were going to live to 100 in good health, what three additional careers would you pursue? Testify at RealAstrology.com and clicking on "Email Rob.".

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