Free Will Astrology: March 5 through 11

ARIES [March 21–April 19] This is Celebrate Your Broken Heart Week, Aries. Even if your heart's not exactly shattered at the moment, it's undoubtedly been so at some time in the past. So why celebrate? Because having a broken heart is one of the best things that can happen to you. It strengthens your humility, which makes you smarter. It demonstrates to you that you have a tremendous capacity for deep feelings—far more than you're normally aware of. It breaks down defense mechanisms that have desensitized you to the world's secret beauty. It should also inspire you to treat other people's hearts with great care, making it more likely that you'll be able to create intelligent intimacy in the future. Here's what I conclude: A broken heart is a gift that the world gives you to awaken you to the truth about what matters to you most.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] In the Tsonga language of South Africa, the term rhwe means "to fall asleep on the floor while drunk and naked." According to my analysis, you may now be unusually susceptible to exhibiting rhwe-like behavior. That's because the astrological omens suggest you're in a prime time for the kind of extravagant socializing that may lead to extremes you rarely express. There are more constructive ways to channel this energy than through rhwe, however. Your challenge will be to make sure that your discernment and self-discipline are at least partially engaged as you run half-wild and seek prodigious fun. (The info about rhwe comes from a book about quirky words, The Meaning of Tingo by Adam Jacot de Boinod.)

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] "When friends stop being frank and useful to each other," wrote literary critic Anatole Broyard, "the whole world loses some of its radiance." Make sure that doesn't happen anytime soon, Gemini. In fact, regard this horoscope as a warning beacon that motivates you to action. Intensify your intention to keep your best alliances frank and useful; infuse a dose of raw candor into any relationship that's in danger of becoming lazy or dishonest.


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CANCER [June 21–July 22] In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, prayer flags are sets of brightly colored sacramental cloths that are inscribed with holy words and images of deities. They're not designed for indoor use in solemn ceremonies; instead they're hung outside, where the wind blows their blessings to the heavens and all over the world. I recommend that you draw inspiration from this practice. It's a perfect time to take your spiritual yearnings out of the closet, away from the church and temple and mosque, and beyond all sheltered, temperature-controlled settings. Build a shrine in the wilderness, Cancerian. Sing a hymn from a mountaintop, shower money on the river goddess, or create your own homemade prayer flags and hang them from a tree.

LEO [July 23–August 22] According to the automaker Saab, this year's sedan has 2,157 features that are different from last year's, including snake-eye headlamps and a clamshell hood. Your assignment in the coming weeks, Leo, is to be roused by Saab's willingness to depart from tradition. Speaking on behalf of the cosmic powers-that-be, I am asking you to commit to making 21.6 changes in your life, which is a mere one percent of Saab's total. If that's too much to handle, would you consider making 2.16 changes? A good place to start might be to add your own personal metaphorical version of snake-eye headlamps.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "The moon asked me to meet her in a field tonight," wrote the mystic poet Hafiz (as translated by Daniel Ladinsky). "I think she has amorous ideas." You might soon feel a similar suspicion, Virgo. According to my reading of the astrological omens, seductive offers will be coming your way—and not just from the moon. Secret suitors may emerge from the shadows. Temptations could lure you toward the far ends of your imagination. The sheer profusion of invitations you'll receive might make you giddy and agitated.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] A Brazilian man told his wife that he wanted a divorce. Consumed with wrath, she laced his orange juice with a sedative and then sliced off his penis while he was unconscious. Fortunately, surgeons successfully reattached the organ. Later, the man absolved his wife of her sin, and they reconciled. "She was stressed, and I understand her reasons," he said. I hope his saintly feat inspires you to be equally magnanimous, Libra. It's a perfect moment to forgive people whom you thought you never could—to go way beyond your previous limits in extending tolerance, mercy, and slack.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In his book Starbucked, Taylor Clark claims there's a woman who goes into a Seattle Starbucks every day during the morning rush and orders a "decaf single grandé extra vanilla two-percent extra caramel 185-degrees with whipped cream caramel macchiato." Maybe her request seems overly fussy and demanding, but in the next 12 days, I encourage you to be equally as exacting in asking for what you want. You have a poetic license to be extremely specific as you go about your quest for fulfillment.

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