Free Will Astrology: May 6 through 12

ARIES [March 21–April 19] When they pray, Muslims face the Kaaba, a cube-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Every mosque around the world typically has a niche that shows the precise direction of that holy place. Recently, however, worshippers have discovered that many of the older mosques in Mecca have niches that aren't pointing the right way. They're concerned that their prayers in the past weren't aimed correctly. Is it possible that there's a comparable scenario in your life, Aries? Might you be filled with righteous intentions, but not quite delivering them to the correct location? If so, this is an excellent time to make adjustments.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Recently, many British people with unfortunate surnames have changed them. There are now 40 percent fewer Shufflebottoms, while the numbers of Cockshotts and Smellies have also declined. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the government has re-branded its War on Terror, shifting to the more palatable "Overseas Contingency Operation." I hold these examples up for your inspiration. It's a good time to alter any name or title you've outgrown.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] I'm going to quote some advice I found on the Internet, "15 Fun Things to Do During a Big, Important Test": 1) Bring your own private cheerleaders in uniform. Have them cheer whenever you answer a question. 2) Haul in a large, flamboyant idol. Set it next to you and pray to it often. 3) Bring a friend to give you a massage the entire time. Insist this person is needed because your thoughts flow properly only when your circulation is enhanced. 4) Every now and then, clap twice rapidly. If the teacher asks why, say, "The light bulb that goes on above my head when I get an idea is hooked up to a Clapper. DUH!"

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] Buster Posey is a baseball player for the San Francisco Giants. The poetic incongruity of his name is an apt symbol for your future: You'll be called on to be like a "Buster"—a macho, pushy dude who gets things done—but you will also find power in being as delicate and innocent as the small flower bouquet known as a posey. Sometimes, it'll make sense to be one or the other. On other occasions, you'll benefit from being in both modes simultaneously.

LEO [July 23–August 22] The Amazing Race is a reality-TV show in which two-member teams compete for money and prizes by doing odd feats in exotic locales. One especially awesome task they performed was carrying 50-pound wheels of cheese down a hill in Switzerland. Everyone started out hauling the wheels on cumbersome wooden backpacks, but hardly anyone was able to make it to the bottom without falling and breaking the backpacks, and having to manually herd the runaway cheese the rest of the way. I foresee a similar fate for you. You'll be asked to do things that are both fun and frustrating, all in a cause that will be worthwhile.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] A successful manager in baseball history was Casey Stengel, whose New York Yankees teams won the championship seven times. Before the 1953 season, when the Yankees had already won four consecutive World Series, he said, "If we're going to win the pennant, we've got to start thinking we're not as smart as we think we are." I hope some version of those words come out of your mouth, Virgo. As crafty as you are, you'll have to become even more so to pull off the victory that's almost within your grasp.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] This notice appeared on a bulletin board at a local nightclub that features hip-hop DJs: "Missing: my great-grandmother's necklace, which dropped off my neck while I was krump dancing last Saturday. It might have happened when I was doing a head spin. The necklace has three strands of pearls and a pendant engraved with 'To Florence, 1927.' Contact Monique." I think it's possible that you'll soon have an experience somewhat akin to Monique's. Playing exuberantly in a very modern style could result in you losing something from the old days. Unlike Monique, though, I bet your loss will be liberating.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] BBC reported on the growing number of "spiritual tourists" who shop around in their search for inner peace. "We are entering a world," said one expert, "where people aren't interested in whether something is true or not, or whether they believe it or not, but whether it works." That would be a good prescription for you in the coming months, Scorpio. I recommend that you reject any idea or practice unless it has the practical value of making you feel more at home in the world and more accepting of yourself.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] For a few days, dissolve every burst of anger that rises up in you. Wrestle it into submission. Attack it with love bombs. If you can eradicate the fury at its source, that would be best. But the most important thing is to use all your ingenuity to keep your hostility, irritation, and snark from reaching the surface and spilling out. And why should you try this seemingly impossible experiment? Because according to my analysis of the omens, it would bring unexpected improvements in your physical and mental health.

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