Free Will Astrology

ARIES [March 21–April 19]
In his book The Primary Colors, Alexander Theroux writes that yellow is the color of "early bruises, forbidding skies, dead leaves, dental plaque, foul curtains, speed bumps, and callused feet." And yet, he muses, yellow is also the color of "the generous sun, butter, candlelight, ripening grain, translucent amber, and spring itself." I suspect that in the coming week, Aries, you will have encounters with a situation that is as paradoxical as yellow. Whether your experience is more like wrapping yourself in foul curtains or basking in the generous sun may depend largely on whether you summon a determination to see the best in everything.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20]
Speaking on the authority of the expansive planet Jupiter, I hereby free you from all inferior temptations. In the coming weeks, you will, by cosmic decree, be enticed by only the finest, most uplifting temptations. That doesn't mean you should automatically succumb to the charms of those temptations. The more important point is that you should allow them to influence you, to change you around every which way. Trust that the impact they have on you, as they invite you to follow them, will inspire you to express yourself more beautifully and upgrade your relationship with yourself.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20]
Last August, a woman in Pennsylvania experienced a miracle when she cut open an eggplant. The seeds were arrayed in the shape of the word "God." Felicia Teske regarded it as a divine sign that had been sent to comfort her for some difficulties she had recently experienced. She felt deep gratitude for the gift. Nevertheless, she cooked up the vegetable and served it to her family for dinner, though not before saving a slice that she offered for sale on eBay. I urge you to follow Felicia's lead in the coming week, Gemini. Magnetize yourself to epiphanies and breakthroughs that will simultaneously feed your soul, your body, and your bank account.

CANCER [June 21–July 22]
You could be like a thunderstorm that rejuvenates a parched landscape. At the same time, you have the power to express yourself like a thousand-foot waterfall. Why not take advantage of both these potentials? Be both helpful and charismatic, nurturing and alluring. Be of humble service as you flout your magnificence. This is one of those grace periods when you can do good and look good and feel good. I hereby dub thee the Flow Master.

LEO [July 23–Aug. 22]
For years, rural villagers in China's Henan province cooked and ate the giant bones they found buried in the earth. They believed they were ingesting what was left of flying dragons, thereby drawing on the creatures' healing powers. But a year ago, scientists from the big city informed the villagers that the magic bones were actually the skeletal remains of dinosaurs, not dragons. In the wake of this revelation, some people have stuck to their belief in the curative properties of the bones, while others have decided that they were deluded and moved on. I expect that you will soon come to a comparable fork, Leo: You'll discover surprising, possibly disruptive information about a source whose energy you've drawn on for a long time. Will you leave it behind, or will you reinvent your relationship? I don't know what the right decision is—only that you should trust your own intuition, not anyone else's.

VIRGO [Aug. 23–Sept. 22]
A study by the University of London's Institute of Psychiatry concluded that overindulgence in text messaging and e-mailing typically leads to a 10-point loss in IQ, whereas pot smoking causes a decline of only four points. You probably won't have to worry about either of those dangers for a few weeks, though, Virgo, since you're entering an astrological phase when your mind will be working more efficiently than usual. In fact, given how smart you'll just naturally be, you could actually afford to kill off some brain cells. Even if you toke up while texting, your IQ is likely to be above your normal level.

LIBRA [Sept. 23–Oct. 22]
In China's Zhejiang province, many of the cities specialize in making a single product. For example, Datang township manufactures one-third of all the world's socks. Wenzhou creates 70 percent of the cigarette lighters on the planet, and Songxia has cornered the market on umbrellas, churning out 350 million per year. I'm not necessarily saying that you should copy their approach, Libra. But if you have recently had inklings about cultivating a certain specialty you'd love to pursue with more intensity, the coming weeks will be an ideal time to set that process in motion.

SCORPIO [Oct. 23–Nov. 21]
"Dear Rob: Three and a half weeks ago, I had a dream that I was an archaeologist excavating hell. I took comfort in the fact that I was just a visitor, not a permanent resident, but my stay there was . . . well, hellish. Whenever I found an interesting artifact buried in the hot dirt, it would spontaneously ignite. I narrowly avoided getting burned again and again. Anyway, my actual waking life has pretty much felt like that ever since the dream. Yesterday, though, I felt the torment lifting. And then last night I dreamed of floating in a fireproof boat along an underground molten river of lava that eventually took me out to a green meadow under blue skies. Whew!—Sizzled Scorpio." Dear Sizzled: Your journey parallels that of many of your fellow Scorpios. Welcome back from hell!

SAGITTARIUS [Nov. 22–Dec. 21]
While traveling long distances, birds are constantly napping. They can close one eye at a time, allowing one side of the brain to sleep. I hope you'll be inspired by their technique in the coming weeks, Sagittarius—not by literally snoozing in midair as you soar across abysses during your leaps of faith, of course. Rather, I'm suggesting that you become a master of inducing utter relaxation for brief spells between each of your daring, heart-pounding exploits. Stay poised, good-natured, and full of grace even while you're in the thick of adventure.

CAPRICORN [Dec. 22–Jan. 19]
Your symbol of power in the coming week is a book by businessman Robert Rodin entitled Free, Perfect, and Now: Connecting to the Three Insatiable Customer Demands. He talks about how important it is for a company to provide cheap prices, excellent quality, and quick responses. That's a good formula for you to remember as you brainstorm about how to generate greater interest in the products and services and experiences you create. But I also encourage you to meditate on the theme of free, perfect, and now in its widest sense. How can you bring more of the exuberant spirit of that mantra into everything you do?

AQUARIUS [Jan. 20–Feb. 18]
You now have the potential to do in your own field what painter Joe Bravo has done in his: branch out in unexpected directions and claim territory that few people have ever explored. Bravo executes his works of art not on canvases but on tortillas, some of which are almost three feet in diameter. He earns as much as $3,000 for his masterpieces. In your own sphere, Aquarius, what would be the equivalent to painting on tortillas? This is a perfect time to make a move.

PISCES [Feb. 19–March 20]
In his book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, religious scholar Mircea Eliade speaks of Qaumaneq, a special capacity that may be magically obtained by Eskimo shamans. It's "a mysterious light the shaman feels inside his head, an inexplicable searchlight, a luminous fire. It enables him to see in the dark, both literally and metaphorically speaking, even with closed eyes, allowing him to see through darkness and perceive things that are hidden from others." Even if you're not an Eskimo shaman, Pisces, you now have the potential to wield a power with resemblances to Qaumaneq.


Homework Finish this sentence: "The one thing that really keeps me from being myself is _______." Send to Brezsny's Astrology, P.O. Box 150628, San Rafael, CA 94915.

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