Free Will Astrology: October 21 through 27

ARIES [March 21–April 19] "The clouds are the most fertile part of the sky," writes Guy Murchie. Microbes with short life cycles live there in abundance, "eating, breathing, excreting, floating, swimming, competing, reproducing." Next time you look up at a puffy cumulus, see it as a large city that hosts a teeming host of living things. Speaking of invisible fecundity, let's turn our attention to you, Aries. You are largely unaware of how much creative energy has been building up within you. Your homework is to tap into it and unleash it.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] My friend, Alcea, a pagan priestess, is a responsible sort who has humble respect for the power of the spirit realms. She thinks there can be value in seeking help from the beings who dwell on the other side of the veil, but you've got to be careful. They can be as misguided as the less evolved characters who live on the material plane. That's why Alcea is especially impeccable around this time of year, when the veil between the worlds is thinner and our dimension is more accessible to the spirits. Having said all that as a caveat, Taurus, I want to let you know that this would be an excellent time for you to call on the help of your most intelligent, interesting, and loving ancestors.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] "He who loves 50 people has 50 woes," said Buddha. "He who loves no one has no woes." Even if you agree with this sour observation, I urge you to override the warning it implies. Now, more than ever, you can and should attract rich benefits into your life by expanding the frontiers of your empathy—even if it means you will feel the hurts of others more deeply. And what exactly are those rich benefits? Here's one: Getting close-up views of the ways people suffer will help you avoid suffering like that yourself in the future.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] In the film Postcards From the Edge, the character played by Meryl Streep made a monumental declaration: "Instant gratification takes too long." I know exactly what she meant. Sometimes, I wish I could have what I want before I have to endure even a moment of frustrated longing. I bring this up, my fellow Cancerian, because in the coming week we may get our yearnings satisfied before we fully express them. Of course, there could be a downside to this situation: Since the magic will be materializing so quickly, you'd better be very sure you really want what you even start to wish for.

LEO [July 23–August 22] Cement is the most common human-made material in the world. Combined with water to make concrete, it is a fundamental ingredient in buildings and roads. And yet no one knew its structure until recently. A group of scientists figured that its strength comes not from its orderliness but from its messiness. At the atomic level, cement's molecules display both regular geometric patterns and random variation. It's in these chaotic areas that water molecules bind with the cement, creating a structure that's both flexible and robust. This is the kind of foundation I urge you to work on in the coming weeks, Leo—a configuration that will endure exactly because it has a lot of give.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] In my dream last night, the High Priestess from the Tarot deck gave me the following message: "Tell Virgos that when their deep hunger starts to stir, they should not eat from the bowl of delicious seeds. That meager meal would not satisfy their deep hunger. Rather, they should plant those seeds and let them grow up. The resulting harvest will satisfy their deep hunger."

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] It's an excellent time to see if you can remove some of the neurotic twitches from your erotic itches. You could use all your ingenuity to talk yourself out of the guilt you feel for having a certain desire—a desire that, if acted out, would hurt no one, and that is therefore, by definition, healthy. Here's another possibility: You could invoke the full powers of your imagination as you free yourself from things that prevent you from experiencing maximum pleasure, like old wounds, simmering anger, rank egotism, and limiting beliefs.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] The astrological vibes suggest that you open yourself wide, try everything, and give freely. I urge you to adapt as your motto an exhortation that once came out of the mouth of Dennis the Menace: "Hey! Wake up! Let's go everywhere and do everything!" More than any other phase in many moons, Scorpio, this is your moment to make "YES!" your battle cry. The world is asking you to be bigger than the old you, wilder than five blood oaths put together, and as strong as the full moon rising over a mountain.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] The average middle-class person alive today has more goodies than the kings and queens of times past. Even during this time of economic retrenchment, most of us have a higher standard of living than 99 percent of all who've ever walked the planet. I don't mean to discount the suffering of those who've lost their jobs and homes, but I think it's helpful to keep our collective deprivations in perspective. Keep this in mind, Sagittarius. As you wander in the limbo between the end of one chapter of your life story and the beginning of the next chapter, it'll really help to stay conscious of how blessed you are. Halloween costume suggestion: a saint tending to the needs of the dispossessed and underprivileged.

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