Free Will Astrology: April 28 through May 5

ARIES [March 21–April 19] "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little," said Sydney Smith. This is especially apt for you. You're in a phase when giant leaps of faith are irrelevant, and fast, massive accomplishments are impossible. This is the season of incremental progress, a time when painstaking attention to detail is your best strategy. Inch by inch, Aries. Hour by hour.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] An engineering company has plans to grow flowers on the moon. Paragon Space Development intends to land mustard seeds inside a small greenhouse dome on the lunar surface by 2011. If all goes well, they will bloom within two weeks, and, thanks to the marvels of communications technology, we Earthlings will soon thereafter view one of the most iconic photographs ever seen. Paragon hopes the inspiring image of yellow blossoms on the lunar landscape will incite a new wave of space exploration. Take your cue from this, Taurus. Come up with a riveting new personal symbol: some photo or object that thrills your imagination and inspires you to outdo all your previous efforts in pursuit of an ambitious future goal.

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GEMINI [May 21–June 20] "A Pain in the Ash: Volcano Irritates Alaskans" was the headline of a story about how the people of Anchorage are dealing with the behavior of nearby Mount Redoubt. The volcano hasn't exploded yet, but it regularly burps clouds of ash that float around and wreak a lot of inconvenience. In accordance with your astrological omens, Gemini, let's use this situation as a metaphor for your life. The fact is, there's no sense in getting irritated or impatient with the primal force in your vicinity. Doing so would be a waste of your precious energy. Besides, cultivating calm equanimity is the best way to acquire the grace you'll need to respond appropriately when the primal force does go boom.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] If His Holiness the Dalai Lama had a Twitter account, I bet that this week he'd tweet something like this: "Nothing's permanent and we should never be attached to anything, but wow!—the goodness rising up now may send ripples through eternity!" What he'd mean is that while reality is always in flux, and it's wise not to cling to either its pleasures or sadnesses, the powerfully healing mojo that's moving through Cancerians' lives these days could have positive consequences.

LEO [July 23–August 22] America's Republican Party's has lost a lot of style points lately. Its national committee chairman Michael Steele went so far as to say, "We need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets." Your reputation isn't anywhere near as in need of rehabilitation, Leo, but it could still use some work. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to not only tidy up your stature, but also enhance your respectability and increase your influence.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] The coming weeks would be an excellent time to devote extra attention to your home-away-from-home—you know, the place that's second-best at making you feel like you truly belong here on this earth. Enhance the ambience in this alternate power spot, Virgo. Add beauty to the décor. And if you don't yet have such a sanctuary, then I suggest you hunt one down. You need to experience more of the pleasurable stimulation that comes from going back and forth between two different comfort zones.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] You may not literally have X-ray vision right now, but you certainly have a metaphorical version of it. With a little concentration, I bet you could peer beneath the surface of anything you want to. You have the power to see hidden agendas, invisible frameworks, and maneuverings that are unfolding behind the scenes. Please keep in mind that not all of the secret stuff is corrupt or insidious. Some of it is quite beautiful, even elevating. Don't push your enhanced perceptiveness to search exclusively for the worst in human nature.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] According to legend, this is the anniversary of the fallen angels' expulsion from Paradise. That's why, they said, it was so crucial for humans to be well-behaved at this time. To blindly indulge in sin and error would set up a resonance with the malevolent exiles, making oneself vulnerable to being preyed on by them. While you and I can chuckle at this quaint superstition, it does have a grain of truth for you to meditate on. At this juncture in your yearly cycle, you tend to be more receptive to bad influences than usual. That's why you should do everything you can imagine to attract good influences and cultivate experiences that give you the feeling that this world is a paradise.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] An Arizona woman was jogging in the woods when a fox ran out of nowhere and clamped down on her arm with its teeth. Unable to pry it loose, the woman ran back to her car, a mile away, with the fox hanging on. She drove herself to the hospital, where doctors removed the creature and treated her successfully. I imagine that right about now, you might feel a bit like she did, Sagittarius: bustling along energetically, in a state of alert, as some nagging vexation clings to you parasitically. Now, here's the good news: I predict that you will get rid of the pest, and will ever thereafter enjoy an enhanced confidence in your ability to function well under pressure.

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