Free Will Astrology: November 18 to 24, 2009

ARIES [March 21–April 19] "A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us," wrote Emerson. My wish for you, is that you will have many such days. In fact, I hope that you will be blessed over and over again with the hair-raising thrill of having your imagination pricked, causing it to half-blossom, half-explode. To get the most out of the fantastic possibilities, set aside any tendency you might have to be a know-it-all, and instead open up your heart's mind and your mind's heart as wide and deep as they will go.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] In the beginning of his career, poet Linh Dinh loved to stay up late and write, sometimes till dawn. He was free to think thoughts that were harder to invoke during the hours when hordes of people were pouring their chattering thoughts out into the soup. Dinh's habits changed as he aged, though, in part because he got married and chose to keep more regular hours. But his early imprint has stayed alive inside him. "Now I can write at any time of the day," he says, "because I always carry the night inside of me." In accordance with your astrological omens, Taurus, I'm making that your prescription for the coming week: Carry the night inside you during the day.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Mark, a friend who lives in New Jersey, sent a package via UPS to Jerry, a friend of his who lives 30 miles away in Pennsylvania. The delivery arrived on time, so Mark was happy with the service. But in checking the tracking information online, he discovered a curious thing: His package was loaded onto three different airplanes, passed through five different UPS offices, and eventually traveled over a thousand miles in order to arrive at Jerry's house. I expect there'll be a comparable scenario in your world, Gemini: A wish will be fulfilled by a very circuitous route.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] Strictly speaking, I conclude that you would generate amazing cosmic luck if you translated the Beatles' song "Norwegian Wood" into Punjabi, wore shoes made of 18th-century velvet, or tried out for a Turkish volleyball team. I doubt you'll get it together to pull off those exotic feats, however, so I'll also provide some second-best suggestions. You won't receive quite as much cosmic assistance from doing them, but you'll still benefit considerably. Here are the backups: Begin planning where and when you'll take a sacred vacation in 2010; meditate on who among your current allies is most likely to help you expand your world in the next 12 months; decide which of your four major goals is the least crucial to pursue; and do something dramatic to take yourself less seriously.

LEO [July 23–August 22] The most popular hobby in America—even more popular than owning guns and pressing lawsuits—is cultivating fears. From agonizing about being lonely to ramping up paranoia about pandemic illnesses to worrying about the collapse of the economy, my fellow citizens love to fret. Outside the U.S., angst accumulation ranks almost as high on the list of pastimes. Luckily, you Leos are less likely to wallow than most of the other signs—especially these days. That's why I hope you'll take a leadership role in the coming weeks, when many people will be dipping even deeper than usual into the fetid trough of scaremongering. Please help dispel this trend! Be your most radiant and courageous self—even bigger and brighter than usual.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] An article in the Online Noetics Network profiled the work of Robert Muller, who served as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. It said that Muller is "one of the best informed human bein`gs on the planet," with an "encyclopedic grasp of the facts concerning the state of the world." And yet Muller doesn't keep up with the news as it's reported in the media. Instead, he simply talks to people, either in person as he travels, or on the phone, or through written correspondence. These interactions provide him with all the understanding he needs. I recommend that you try Muller's approach for a while, Virgo. Assume that you can get all the information you really need by gathering firsthand reports from people about what's actually happening in their lives.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] I think it's high time to mess with the tried and true formulas. In order to do the most good for the most people, you simply must create some cracks in the way things have always been done. You must push beyond your overly safe limits. But wait! Before you plunge ahead, make sure you understand this: If you want to break the rules properly, you've got to study them and analyze them and learn them inside out.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] "There's nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly," said Buckminster Fuller. I encourage you to make that your motto in the coming weeks, Scorpio. From what I can tell, you are capable of generating a transformation that will look impossible to casual observers. You have the power to change something that everyone said would never change.

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