Free Will Astrology: May 13 through 19

ARIES [March 21–April 19] "Some people will never learn anything because they understand everything too soon," wrote Alexander Pope. Most of us have been guilty of jumping to conclusions so quickly that we don't bother to keep listening for the full revelation. This behavior has become even more common in recent years because we're inundated by fragments of slapdash information mixed with blips of superficial analysis. But please avoid falling prey to the syndrome in the coming week, Aries. More than ever before, you need to gather raw data thoroughly, weigh the evidence with great deliberation, and come to careful understandings.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] "The people of future generations will win many a liberty of which we do not yet even feel the want," said Max Stirner. That bracing prediction has special meaning for you right now, Taurus. You are becoming aware of freedoms that have not previously been on your radar screen. And as soon as you register the full impact of what they entail and how much fun they would be, you'll be wildly motivated to bring them into your life.

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GEMINI [May 21–June 20] I'm providing you with three metaphorical brain teasers to help you work your chutzpah back into shape now that you're on the road to recovery: 1) Was your fright attack provoked by a venomous snake or by a garden hose that resembled a venomous snake? 2) After your pratfall, when you heard one hand clapping, did you regard it as an unforgivable insult or a humorous teaching? 3) When your healing crisis finally climaxed in a cure, was the catalyst a placebo or real medicine? Please answer these riddles even if you've already begun to feel fine again. It'll help ensure that the healing will last a long time.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] The joke goes: "Why is a math book so sad? Because it has so many problems." But that's a distortion of the truth—the math book loves its problems. Its problems are its reason for being. Besides that, all of its problems are interesting challenges, not frustrating curses. Also, every problem has a definite answer, and all the answers are provided in the back of the book. Now, here's the most excellent news, Cancerian: I think you'll be like a math book soon.

LEO [July 23–August 22] "Dear Rob: I really didn't like a recent horoscope you wrote for me. I'm a Leo, and although your oracle was sort of true, I didn't want it to be true. So I went hunting among the other signs, hoping to find a different horoscope that appealed more to the healthiest aspect of my fantasy life. I settled on the 'scope for Cancer, as it piqued my interest with just the right hopeful twist and provided a highly motivating kick in the butt. Thanks! —Picky Choosy." Dear Picky Choosy: I approve of your efforts. These days, I would love all of my Leo readers to be as imperious as you've been in gathering only the influences you want—and shedding the rest.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] The scenario I'm about to describe is likely to happen only in your dreams or fantasies. But it will later have a correlation in your waking life and perhaps will be instrumental in preparing you mentally and emotionally for the triumph you'll be able to accomplish in your waking life. So here it is: A python will slither up and begin to coil around you. With an apparently irrational instinct that turns out to be quite smart, you will hiss loudly and then bite the snake, causing it to slip away and leave you alone.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] You would really benefit from a baptism right about now. Consider these questions as you design the ritual: Should you seek the help of a religious official, or do it yourself? Should the baptism be conducted in a Christian, pagan, Jewish, atheist, Buddhist, Hollywood, or free-form style? Is it enough just to sprinkle your head or should you go for full immersion? And if you choose the latter, will the dunking be more authentic if it's in a frigid river instead of a warm bath? These issues are for you to decide, not me. I insist only on this: Let the holy water wash you free of guilt, remorse, and any habit of mind that tricks you into being mean or careless toward yourself.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] After actor Woody Harrelson allegedly assaulted a paparazzo at New York's LaGuardia Airport, he issued a press release claiming it was an honest mistake. He had just completed filming Zombieland, in which his character had to fight off zombies. It was understandable that he mistook the pushy photographer for a zombie and naturally felt compelled to defend himself forcefully. As you shift back and forth between reality bubbles in the coming week, Scorpio, make sure you don't make a similar error. Keep clearly in mind that the laws of nature in one bubble may be quite different from the laws in the others.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] I'm not necessarily saying you fell into a hole a while back, but if you did, the time is right to extricate yourself. Your strength is returning, and help is in the neighborhood. Likewise, I'm not making a pronouncement that you did indeed cast a little curse on yourself during a careless moment. But if something like that did occur, you're entering an excellent phase to undo the mistake. You're awakening to how you went awry, and that's the first crucial step in correcting for the messy consequences.

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