Free Will Astrology

ARIES [March 21–April 19]
The Onion reported on a South Carolina man who was so grateful for what God had done in the previous week that he put an extra $5 in the collection plate at church on Sunday. (He was especially pleased with the nice weather and how well his kids had behaved.) I expect that by February 18, Aries, you too might feel the urge to give the Supreme Being a tip, or whatever the equivalent might be in your world. Among the extra perks you could be blessed with: a deeper connection with an important resource; the heating-up of a promising alliance; a social upgrade that will make you feel more at home in the world; and a vision of where to go next with your ambitions.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20]
If you're a member of the Isoko people in Nigeria, you have three intimate spirit guides: Omo, your guardian angel; Obo, who helps you get things done; and Ivri, who pushes you to fight for your rights. As an exercise, Taurus, I urge you to imagine that these three allies are working on your behalf in the coming weeks. It's high time for you to lay claim to all the vigorous assistance and special favors that you deserve. While you're at it, ask a few actual humans to aid your cause, too.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20]
HappyWomanMagazine.com sought out several supermodels for advice about spirituality. "Buddhists have the best religion," said Ilize Bergeron. "They don't believe in heaven or hell or God, and they don't pray. Plus, Buddhism is so mysterious that you could probably fool your boss into giving you lots of random days off work for religious holidays." In light of your current astrological omens, Gemini, you might want to draw inspiration from Ilize's perspective. In the coming weeks, you need to feed your spiritual side, but in ways that are fun, light-hearted, uncomplicated, guilt-free, and unburdened by concerns of reward and punishment.

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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]
"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive," wrote Mark Twain. "But it is the lightning that does the work." According to my analysis of the omens, Cancerian, your job right now is to be like the lightning, even if other people's thunder is temporarily hogging all the credit. It may take a while, but your bolts of pure energy—not their noisy hype— will ultimately be appreciated as the most important factor in the group success.

LEO [July 23–Aug. 22]
Daniel Tammet is a savant who can quickly perform complex mathematical calculations in his head: Every number up to 10,000 has a special feel for him. He experiences 37 as a warm, lumpy goo, while 89 invokes visions of snow falling. Although I don't normally have this relationship with numbers, I did get a vivid psychic vision of 77 while meditating on your current omens. It appeared to me as two people bobbing and tumbling while wearing scuba gear and trying to make love underwater in a heated swimming pool. Assuming this is an oracle, what does it signify? Maybe it's time for you to seek a new kind of union in the depths. Or perhaps you should get more playful in your approach to sex. It might also mean you should enjoy playing with deep emotions.

VIRGO [Aug. 23–Sept. 22]
After studying your astrological omens, I decided to do a mid-winter ritual on your behalf. Waking at dawn, I took a frigid hour-long bike ride to the top of Mount Tamalpais. As I ascended, I murmured a prayer: "I give the energy of this cold, hard labor to Virgos. May it inspire them to meet their own tasks with exuberant stamina." When I began the ride, I was miserably uncomfortable. Within 10 minutes, I had broken a sweat and was thoroughly warm. Soon the endorphins kicked in, and the climb to the top was blissful. That's the progression I wish for you.

LIBRA [Sept. 23–Oct. 22]
The planet's biggest annual orgy of pollination is about to take place: A million beehives from all over America and Australia are on trucks headed to a 600,000-acre patch of almond orchards in California's Central Valley. For the next three weeks, 40 billion bees will be in service to the almond flowers as they facilitate the mixing of male and female. This scene could rightly serve as your metaphor of the week, Libra: You too are primed for a tremendous pollination event—a time of intense mingling in service to fertility.

SCORPIO [Oct. 23–Nov. 21]
One goal of meditation is to empty the mind of its obsessive thoughts, rationalizations, and images. Alas, much of the media functions as a reverse-meditation machine: Not only does it stir up your own mental clatter, it also floods you with the seething surge of other people's private pandemoniums—and it delivers this rattling racket with brilliant color and crystalline sound, driving it deep into your psyche. Keep this in mind throughout February, which is Clean Out Your Brain Month. Cut way back on your media intake; snack lightly rather than gorging continually.

SAGITTARIUS [Nov. 22–Dec. 21]
"There are two things to aim at in life," wrote essayist Logan Pearsall Smith. "First to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second." As you've probably already guessed, Sagittarius, one of your main challenges in 2008 is to be one of the wise who accomplish that second thing. And you're about to experience a major turning point in your ability to pull it off.

CAPRICORN [Dec. 22–Jan. 19]
"Personally, I would sooner have written Alice in Wonderland than the whole Encyclopedia Britannica," said Capricorn writer Stephen B. Leacock. I encourage you to adopt a similar attitude in the coming weeks. Unleashing your heated creativity will be more important to your success than gathering the cool facts. Being an irrepressible devotee of the wild mind will be more practical than marching in lockstep to logical necessity.

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18]
You're reading a horoscope column that's designed not only for the benefit of true believers, but also for people who don't necessarily buy into the validity of astrology. If you're one of those who enjoys my writing even though you're skeptical of my attempts to divine oracles from the planetary positions, I thank you for being willing to find value in an approach that your rational mind may regard as questionable, and for evaluating the information I present here on the basis of its usefulness rather than on where it originates. By the way, Aquarius, the attitudes I just described will serve you in good stead in your dealings with the whole world during the coming week.

PISCES [Feb. 19–March 20]
Neither God nor the gods are dead, but they've virtually disappeared because so few people are capable of carrying on authentic relationships with them anymore. The materialist delusion rules our world: Millions believe that nothing is real unless it can be perceived by the five senses. So what can the deities do, having been banished from our midst? Psychologist Carl Jung said the gods have no recourse but to worm their way into our lives as sickness and pathology. And that's how you may encounter them in the coming days, Pisces. But get this: As soon as you recognize them for what they really are, they can be themselves again, whereupon they will bestow the exact blessings you need in order to become a smarter version of yourself.

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