Free Will Astrology: Wednesday, April 21 through 27

ARIES [March 21–April 19] "Although obstacles and difficulties frighten ordinary people," wrote Théodore Géricault, "they are the necessary food of genius. They cause it to mature, and raise it up. . . . All that obstructs the path of genius inspires a state of feverish agitation, upsetting and overturning those obstacles, and producing masterpieces." I'd like to make this idea one of your guiding principles. You'll have to believe that there is a sense in which you do have some genius within you. It's not necessarily something that will make you rich, famous, or powerful. For example, you may have a genius at washing dogs or giving thoughtful gifts. Whatever your unique brilliance consists of, the challenges just ahead will be highly useful in helping it grow.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Yes, I know that the bull is your totem animal. But I'm hoping you're willing to expand your repertoire, because it's a ripe time for you to take on some of the attitudes of the king of beasts. Consider this: The naturalist and shaman Virginia Carper notes that lions have strong personalities but cooperate well. They're powerful as individuals but engage in constructive group dynamics. In many cultures, they have been symbols of nobility, dignity, and spiritual prowess. To adopt the lion as a protective guardian spirit builds one's ability to know and hunt down exactly what one wants. Would you like more courage? Visualize your lion self.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] In 2011, I may do a tour of North America, performing my show "Sacred Uproar." But for the future, I need to shut up and listen. I've got to make myself available to learn fresh truths I don't even realize I need to know. So next year, I might be ready to express the extroverted side of my personality, but for now, I have a duty to forget everything I supposedly believe in and gratefully shuck my self-importance. By the way, Gemini, everything I just described would be a good approach for you to consider taking in the next three weeks.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] Is it true what they say—that you can never have too many friends? If you don't think so, it's a good time to re-evaluate your position. And if you do agree, then you should go out and get busy. You're likely to be extra lucky in attracting new connections and deepening existing alliances in the coming weeks. The friendships you strike up are likely to be unusually stimulating and especially productive. To take maximum advantage of the favorable cosmic rhythms, do whatever you can to spruce up your inner beauty.

LEO [July 23–August 22] I have compiled a set of four affirmations that I think will keep you on the right track: 1) "I am cultivating Relaxed Alertness, because that will make me receptive to clues about how to proceed"; 2) "I am expressing Casual Perfectionism, because that way I will enjoy being excellent, and not stress about it"; 3) "I am full of Diligent Indifference, working hard out of love for the work and not being attached to the outcome"; and 4) "I am practicing Serene Debauchery, because if I'm not manically obsessed with looking for opportunities to cut loose, those opportunities will present themselves to me with grace and frequency."

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] The Great Wall of China is the largest human construction in the world, stretching for almost 3,900 miles. But it is not visible from the moon. According to most astronauts, the Wall isn't even visible from low Earth orbit. Keep this in mind as you carry out your assignment. First, imagine that your biggest obstacle is the size of the Great Wall of China. Second, imagine yourself soaring so high above it, so thoroughly beyond it, that it disappears. If performed regularly, I think this exercise will give you a new power to deal with your own personal Great Wall of China.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] In the early 1990s, actors Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were engaged to be married. In honor of their love, Depp got a tattoo that read "Winona Forever." After the relationship fell apart, though, he had it altered to "Wino Forever." If you're faced with a comparable need to change a tattoo or shift your emphasis or transform a message anytime soon, Libra, I suggest putting a more positive and upbeat spin on it—something akin to "Winner Forever."

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In the Bering Strait, Russia and America are 2.5 miles apart. The International Date Line runs through the gap, meaning that it's always a day later on the Russian side than it is on the American. I suggest you identify a metaphorically similar place in your own life, Scorpio: a zone where two wildly different influences almost touch. It's an excellent time for you to foster more interaction and harmony between them.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] I have a group of colleagues who half-jokingly, half-sincerely refer to themselves as the Shamanic Hackers of Karmic Justice. The joking part of it is that the title is so over-the-top ostentatious that it keeps them from taking themselves too seriously. The sincere part is that they really do engage in shamanic work designed to help free their clients from complications generated by old mistakes. I asked them to do some corrective intervention in your behalf. They agreed, with one provision: that you aid and abet their work by doing what you can to liberate yourself from the consequences of wrong turns you made in the past.

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