Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Metaphorically speaking, I foresee glacier ice melting and molten rock flowing in your immediate future, Aries. I expect that hard solids will become fluid, that permanent fixtures will be in flux. This is a good thing, believe me. Though it may unnerve you at first, you will have the power to change things you never thought could be changed in a hundred years. You will have the freedom to create new vessels for energy that has outgrown its old vessels.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Here's the problem as I see it: You're not feeling sufficiently confident to trust your unique insights, and so you haven't dared to communicate them. But it's crucial that you do speak up. Even though you may not be as knowledgeable about the big picture as other people are, you possess a missing piece of the puzzle that they've got to have. You may even be an outsider or a latecomer with relatively little credibility in the eyes of those in the inner circle, but still: You know something they don't know and need to know.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "I wish I had a holy grail to quest for, even if it was really small," writes my Gemini reader Marta, who describes herself as a "wannabe Prometheus." I have good news for her, as well as for all the rest of you wannabe Prometheans who have been pining for a raison d'être, a burning desire, or a not-quite-impossible dream to throw yourself into with 110 percent commitment: Look out of the corners of your eyes to spot the strange attractor (also known as the unauthorized magic) that is bobbing ever so seductively on the far horizon.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): According to a report in The Onion, behavioral scientists in Chicago have proved that many people are in fact not entitled to their opinions. "On topics from evolution to immigration reform, we found that 38 percent of the opinions people expressed were so off-base and ill-informed that they actually hurt society by being voiced," said one researcher. I'm betting, however, that only a small proportion of these unfounded beliefs and spurious theories will originate from Cancerians in the coming weeks. Your tribe is likely to be more scrupulous in your data-gathering and more rigorous in your reasoning than the rest of the population. In fact, I suggest you regard yourself as a role model whose job it is to demonstrate the beauty of thinking deeply.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Can you feel the moon tugging at the fluids in your body? Usually, you can't. Are you aware of how large-scale cultural influences affect your day-to-day rhythms? Again, that's typically beyond your capacity to sense in any immediate way. But this week, you just might be able to do both of those things. You're more attuned than usual to the subtle currents that are unfolding within you. You're also more alert to the impact that big cosmic energies and long-term historical trends are making on your unconscious mind. I advise you to take maximum advantage of this extra sensitivity. You could discover important clues about how to position yourself to thrive in the face of upcoming social transformations. (PS: Listen reverently to the secrets your body tells you.)

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Writing on Salon.com, Scott Rosenberg recalled how, in his youth, he loved to play the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. "You'd have to choose not one but two 'alignments' for your character," he mused. "Good and evil, of course, but also 'law' and 'chaos.' And among the people I ran with, 'chaotic/good' was the thing to be, because it let you trust other people and still have fun." Your assignment in the coming week, Virgo, is to adopt the "chaotic/good" approach for the character you will be playing in your actual life.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Plagued by back problems, my friend Eduardo went to a psychic healer in Brazil. He got his treatment while seated on a chair in a room crowded with other patients. The shaman massaged Eduardo's spine for a few minutes. Suddenly, out of nowhere, streams of black mud appeared all over his back. Was this some sort of stage magic? The healer announced that the mud had been the cause of the pain, and that he had exorcised it from Eduardo's body. My friend rested there a while, musing on the improbable event that had apparently happened, and enjoying a new feeling of ease in his back. His bewilderment at the mystery of his own cure turned to stupefaction when he saw what the shaman pulled from the next patient's belly: an old shoe. Now here's an odd coincidence, Libra: One of the best gifts you can give yourself right now is to visualize a psychic healer (or your guardian angel) removing a load of mud and an old shoe from your body.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The experiment I'm proposing is something you should try only if you're feeling adventurous. Don't do it if you're in a timid or self-pitying mood. Here it is: Empty yourself out completely, and do it gladly. With impish daring, lower your expectations all the way down to zero. Surrender every remnant of hope you might be tempted to cling to. With a jaunty nonchalance, pretend you have nothing to lose. And then open an enormous welcome in your heart for the messy, unpredictable sweetness of life exactly as it is. Say yes to the beauty of ambiguity and paradox. Free yourself to accept every person and every situation on its own terms. If you try what I've suggested, I bet you will be united with a potent blessing you didn't even know you needed.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Right now, you have what it takes to be a liberator. You can free people who are enslaved to their fears. You could also be a bridge-builder who provides wandering souls with the means to escape from the middle of nowhere. If you're feeling especially heroic, you might even be able to serve as both a liberator and bridge-builder. To do so would almost certainly require you to be more of a leader than you've ever been before. But if I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, you have more than enough cosmic juju at your disposal to do just that.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Dear Rob: In your book Pronoia, you say, 'The universe always gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.' I have a different view. I often find that I disagree with what the Universe decides is best for me. But that turns out to be a good thing. It's fun for me to always be arguing with God! I learn a lot and generate a lot of high energy from trying to outmaneuver the divine will. What do you think about that? —Cagey Capricorn." Dear Cagey: Whatever works! I think your approach may be especially useful for your fellow Capricorns to try now. Thanks for articulating it.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I want to call your attention to the title of a Christian-themed inspiration book by John Ortberg: If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. You don't really need to read it, because simply meditating on the theme will yield all the insight you need. To jump-start your intuition, I'll add a corollary: If you want to talk to a burning bush, you should initiate the conversation. Don't wait for the bush to break the ice.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "Dear Rob: I love your compassionate contrarianism. Your horoscopes are so spiritual, they're practical. They're so earthy, they're cosmic. They're anti-hero horoscopes for heroes, or maybe heroic horoscopes for anti-heroes. Here's my question: Do you have any advice for my psychotherapist? You're doing a better job than he is, and I'd like to give him some tips from you. —Pisces Gamer." Dear Gamer: Tell your psychotherapist that what you Pisceans need these days is a dose of reversalism. That means you should experiment freely with seeing the other side of every story and tuning in to the opposite of what you've tried before.


HOMEWORK Compose an exciting prayer in which you ask for something you're not "supposed" to. Go to RealAstrology.com and click on "E-mail Rob."

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