Free Will Astrology: September 23 through 29

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Jonathan Lee Riches is renowned for filing numerous lawsuits in U.S. courts. Some of his targets are actual living people, like Martha Stewart and Steve Jobs, but he has also gone after defendants like Nostradamus, the Eiffel Tower, the ex-planet Pluto, the Appalachian Trail, and the Garden of Eden. This would be a good time for you to draw inspiration from his example. I don't mean that you should become a litigious fanatic, but that you should seek redress from those people, places, and things that have not had your highest interests in mind. This could take the form of a humorous message or a compassionate prank. Remember, too, that old saying: Success is the best revenge.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] This would be an excellent time for you to learn how to brew your own beer or build your own telescope. Your ability to master practical new skills is at a peak, and your need to develop more self-reliance is more pressing than usual. Once you raise your confidence levels, you might even move on to more challenging tasks, like concocting your own homemade flu shot or reconfiguring the way your brain works.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Novelist James Patterson has signed a deal with a publisher to churn out 17 new books between now and the end of 2012. (By comparison, it took me six years to write my first book, nine years to write my second, and five years for my third.) You Geminis will have James Patterson–like levels of fecundity for at least the next four weeks. I suggest you employ that good mojo to create a masterpiece or two.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] As I gaze out the window of my home office, I see a vast wetland crossed by a creek that originates in the bay. At high tide, the creek is as wide as a river; at low tide, it's as narrow as a village street. Its hues are a constantly mutating blend of gray, green, blue, and brown, and at sundown and sunrise, they're joined by tinges of pink, purple, and orange. As a Cancerian, I find this spectacle to be both comforting and invigorating. It's a reflection of my own ever-shifting moods, a reminder that I'm a watery creature whose fluidic changeability is natural and healthy. What I wish for you is that you surround yourself with prompts that help you to be at peace with who you really are.

LEO [July 23–August 22] What exactly is a "wild goose chase," anyway? Does it refer to a frenetic and futile hunt for an elusive prey that's never caught? Or might it also mean the meandering pursuit of a tricky quarry that, after many convoluted twists and turns, results in success and generates a lot of educational fun along the way? Either definition could apply to your wild goose chase in the next three weeks, Leo. Which one will ultimately win out will probably depend on two things: 1) How well you detect the false leads you get, or 2) How determined you are to be amused, rather than frustrated, by all the twists and turns.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Your time is up, Virgo. No further stalling will be allowed. We need your answer now: Will you or will you not take advantage of the messy but useful offer that is on the table? Please take advantage of this chance to prove that you love yourself too much to get hoodwinked and abused by perfectionism. Be brave enough to declare your allegiance to the perspective articulated by the mathematician Henri Poincaré: "There are no solved problems. There are only more-or-less solved problems."

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] This is an excellent time to celebrate the pleasures of emptiness . . . to extol the virtues of the blank slate . . . to be open to possibilities but committed to none . . . to bask in the freedom of not having to be anything, anyone, or anywhere. Are you smart enough to need no motto to live by? Are you resourceful enough to rely on nothing but the raw truth of the present moment? If so, you will thrive in the coming days.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] During the dialogue about health care in the U.S., certain highly relevant facts are never discussed. For example, it's ludicrous for right-wingers to fear that a government-run health system would infect our capitalist system with socialism. The truth is, America has long had the biggest socialist enterprise in the world: its sprawling military establishment, which is completely paid for by taxpayer dollars and run by the government! Another fact is this: The smartest strategy for financing universal health care (as well as dramatically improving the economy) would be to reduce military expenditures. Americans don't seem to realize that their huge military empire is a case of overkill: It girdles the globe in ways that are unprecedented in the history of civilization. I bring this to your attention, Scorpio, to illustrate the way that a serious discussion can be thrown off course and rendered unproductive when it ignores critical information. Please make sure nothing like that happens in your personal sphere in the coming weeks.

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