Free Will Astrology

ARIES [March 21–April 19] In the coming weeks, life will beguile you with secrets and riddles but probably not reveal as much as you'd like. In my opinion, your task isn't to press for shiny clarity, but rather to revel in the luxuriant mysteries. Let them confer their blessings on you through the magic of teasing. And what is the nature of those blessings? To your mind, stimulate your imagination, teach you patience, and nurture your connection with eternity.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Butterflies recall at least some of what they've learned during their time as caterpillars. The metamorphosis they go through is dramatic. And yet they retain the gist of the lessons they mastered while in their earlier form. I see something comparable ahead for you in 2011, Taurus. It's as if you will undergo a kind of reincarnation without having to endure the inconvenience of actually dying. Like a butterfly, the wisdom you've earned in your old self will accompany you into your new life. Are you ready? The process begins soon.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] What nourishes you emotionally and spiritually, Gemini? I'm not talking about what entertains you or flatters you or takes your mind off your problems. I'm referring to the influences that make you stronger and the people who see you for who you really are and the situations that teach you life-long lessons. I mean the beauty that replenishes your psyche and the symbols that consistently restore your balance and the memories that keep feeding your ability to rise to each new challenge. Take inventory of these precious assets. And then make a special point of nurturing them back.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] Two-thirds of American elementary-school teachers spend their own money to buy food for their poor students. Meanwhile, there's a 50 percent chance that an American kid will resort to using government aid. Those facts make me angry and motivate me to volunteer to distribute free food at the local food bank. I encourage you to summon your own reasons to get riled up on behalf of people who have less luck than you do. It's always therapeutic to stretch your generosity and spread your wealth, but doing so will especially redound to your advantage in the coming weeks. Unselfish acts will bring profound selfish benefits.

LEO [July 23–August 22] According to some sources, Socrates practiced the art of sculpture as a young man. But he abandoned it early on, deciding that he wanted to "carve his soul rather than marble." Can I interest you in turning your attention to that noble task? It would be a fine time to do some soul-carving. Soul-scouring, too, would be both fun and wise, as well as soul-etching and soul-emblazoning and soul-accessorizing. I highly recommend that you enjoy a prolonged phase of renovating and replenishing your most precious work of art.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] In her haunting tune "One Blood," singer Lila Downs confesses that "the deepest fear [is] my desire." I personally know many Virgos who make a similar lament. Is there any way in which you are scared of the power of your longing? Do you ever find yourself reluctant to unleash the force of your passion, worried that it could drive you out of control? If so, the coming weeks will be prime time to face down your misgivings. It's time to liberate your desires, at least a little.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Here are your words of power: hybrid, amalgamation, composite, aggregate, ensemble. Now here are your words of disempowerment: welter, mishmash, patchwork. Strive to accentuate the first category and avoid the second. Your task is to create a pleasing, synergetic arrangement from a multiplicity of factors, even as you avoid throwing together a hash of diverse influences into an unholy mess. Be calculating and strategic, not rash and random, as you do your blending.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] On Facebook, I posted this excerpt from a Pablo Neruda poem: "Our love is like a well in the wilderness where time watches over the wandering lightning. Our sleep is a secret tunnel that leads to the scent of apples carried on the wind." In response, a reader said this: "I once found a well in the desert. There was a rope and a bucket. The bucket had a small hole in it. While pulling up the bucket of water, about half of it drained. But I suppose a decent bucket would have been stolen. So a bucket with a small hole was perfect; I got what I needed!" I'm here to tell you, Scorpio, that like Gamboa, a bucket with a small hole is probably what you need right now.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] You've arrived at a delicate yet boisterous turning point when one-of-a-kind opportunities are budding. I'm going to give you seven phrases that I think capture the essence of this pregnant moment: 1) wise innocence; 2) primal elegance; 3) raw holiness; 4) electrifying poise; 5) curative teasing; 6) rigorous play; and 7) volcanic tenderness. To maximize your ability to capitalize on the transformations that are available, I suggest you seek out and cultivate these seemingly paradoxical states of being.

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