Free Will Astrology: January 28 through February 3

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Don't tell me you have nothing to be thankful for, Aries. Your parents could have named you "Hooligan" or "Lightsaber" or "Flu," and they didn't. There are no photos floating around the Internet that show you riding a pig in the nude. Now, please keep going in the direction I've pointed you. Count your blessings up to at least 101. Create an ongoing list of all the things in your life that make you feel at home in the world. Why do this now? Because it's Massive Explosions of Gratitude Week for you—a time when you can attract even more good fortune into your life by aggressively identifying the good fortune you already enjoy.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Sometimes, a great idea whose time has come springs up in two or more places at once. In the 1850s, for instance, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace independently happened upon some of the key concepts of evolution. And in the 1840s, mathematicians Urbain Le Verrier and John Couch Adams virtually duplicated each other's predictions of the previously unknown planet Neptune, although they knew nothing about each other's work. I suspect a similar phenomenon is about to happen in your own sphere, Taurus. Act fast if you'd like to get as much credit as you deserve, like Darwin and Le Verrier, and not suffer the fate of Wallace and Adams, whose efforts were more invisible.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Before she died at the age of 101, photographer Ruth Bernhard attributed her longevity to her restlessness. "Never get used to anything," she advised. I recommend that approach to you: You're in a phase of your astrological cycle when thinking wild and free will be rewarded. To improve your physical health and boost your mental hygiene, unfamiliarize yourself with the things you've grown accustomed to. Find good excuses to be unpredictable.


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CANCER [June 21–July 22] "We are all stupid," wrote Mark Twain, "just on different subjects." Ain't that the truth? Sometimes, I get overwhelmed when I think about all the blanks in my education and the ignorance that pockmarks my understanding. The good news for me—and for all of you, my fellow Cancerians—is that we're now in an astrological phase that's ideal for getting a crash course in any subject we're dumb about. If you're brave and humble, you can fix several holes in your intelligence.

LEO [July 23–August 22] You should definitely not attempt to re-route a river anytime soon. I don't recommend trying to change the location of a mountain, either, or commanding the wind to obey you. On the other hand, it wouldn't be a bad idea to turn one of your so-called liabilities into an asset. And you might have pretty good luck if you try to convert an adversary into an ally or move sideways in order to advance your pet cause. In conclusion, Leo, seek modest gains that involve reversals and switcheroos.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "If you removed all of the homosexuals and homosexual influence from what is generally regarded as American culture," said author Fran Lebowitz, "you would pretty much be left with [the TV game show] Let's Make A Deal." That's an exaggeration, but it contains a large grain of truth. I offer this as a prod for you to deepen your understanding of the complexities of gender, Virgo. If you identify yourself as a heterosexual, meditate on the qualities you express that are commonly thought of as the specialty of the opposite sex. Consider the possibility that you are actually 65 percent female, 25 percent male, and 10 percent neither—or maybe 15 percent female, 70 percent male, and 15 percent transgender. If you regard yourself as gay, explore the hypothesis that a part of you is secretly kind of straight. Open your mind to the possibility that human beings come in hundreds of different genders.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Poet Jack Spicer, a native Californian, wrote most of his poetry while living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He did, however, spend a short time on the East Coast. "Like most primitive cultures," he reported after returning home, "New York has no feeling for nonsense." I don't agree with that. Some of the best nonsense I ever experienced transpired on a November night in 2005 on New York's West 23rd Street. In any case, your assignment is to avoid primitive environments that have no feeling for nonsense. You need a maximum dose of silly, goofy, loopy bursts of diversion.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Your world is going to get very wet in the coming days. At least, I hope it will. There are wrong moves you could make that would keep things pretty dry, but I hope you will go with the cosmic flow and allow yourself to get the full benefit of the replenishing flood. You need to be carried along in the fertile surge and be returned to the source of your emotional life.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] "If your actions speak louder than words," rants TV pundit Stephen Colbert, "then you're not yelling loudly enough." That's a funnier variant of the advice I have for you, Sagittarius: The coming week is a time for crafty talk, not impulsive deeds; a time for intense discussion, not brash exploits. Engaging in almost any kind of negotiation, even if it's heated and convoluted, is better than leaping into an adventure prematurely. It's my opinion that you and yours will have to express a lot of ideas and feelings in order to uncover the understandings that should be at the root of your next moves.

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