Free Will Astrology: February 23 through March 1, 2011

ARIES [March 21–April 19] “Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization,” said George Bernard Shaw. It’s very important that you be more discerning than newspapers in the coming weeks. You can’t afford to confuse a minor mess with a major snafu; it would be a big mistake to treat a small temporary detour as a permanent loss of momentum. Please keep your melodramatic tendencies in check, even as you appreciate the entertainment value of your ever-shifting story.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] I know many Tauruses who are skilled at selling services, but less adept at presenting themselves. They don’t mind being pushy and strategic, as long as they can remain a bit shy about showing others exactly who they are. If this is true about you, I propose that you work on changing it. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to be bold about expressing the totality of your beauty and making sure that everyone who matters to you gets to see it in its full glory.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] You won’t get nervous if you have to deal with more success than usual, right? You won’t run away if a power spot you’ve been cultivating for yourself finally starts providing you with the opportunities you’d been hoping for, right? I just hope you’re ready to handle the good stuff that’s available, Gemini. Please don’t confuse this enjoyable stress with the other kind.

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Revised and expanded 2009 edition of Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] In “The Possible Human,” Jean Houston describes amazing capacities that are within reach of any of us who are brazen enough to cultivate them. We can summon enormous power to heal ourselves; develop an acute memory; cultivate an acute perceptual apparatus that can see “infinity in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower”; and practice the art of being deeply empathetic. Guess what, Cancerian: The next six months will be one of the best times ever for you to work on developing these superpowers. To get started, answer this question: Is there any attitude or belief you have that might be standing in the way?

LEO [July 23–August 22] The depths are calling to you, Leo. Can you hear their subtle melodies? Don’t worry: I’m not referring to the icky, stinky, creepy depths; I don’t mean that you’ll have to lose yourself in a chaotic miasma, or wander speechless in a claustrophobic maze. No: The deep place I’m talking about is maybe the cleanest, most well-lit abyss you’ve ever had the complicated pleasure to explore. I’m not saying there’ll be no hairy riddles to deal with; but I am saying that even the hairy riddles will be interesting, at least a little fun, and helpful in your efforts to purify yourself.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] I’m no fan of the climate change that’s rocking every corner of the planet. In fact, I oppose it; I protest it; I resist it. However, I do need to acknowledge that there is at least one upside: The world is becoming more fragrant. Scientists say that as carbon dioxide levels rise, plants will release more aromatic chemicals known as “biogenic volatile organic compounds.” The smell of growing vegetation could intensify by as much as 40 percent in the coming decades. This situation is not a precise metaphorical match for your upcoming destiny, Virgo, but I do see some similarities. Things are going to be getting hotter for you, emotionally speaking—and that will be stimulating, often even pleasurable, to your senses.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] An interviewer asked me, “What is the most difficult aspect of what you do?” Here’s what I said: “Not repeating myself is the hardest thing. And yet it’s also a lot of fun. There’s nothing more exciting for me than to keep being surprised by what I write. It’s deeply enjoyable to be able to feed people clues they haven’t heard from me before. And when I focus on doing what gives me pleasure, the horoscopes write themselves.” I hope this helps you in your own life right now. If you’re afraid that you’re in danger of repeating yourself, start playing more. Look for what scrambles your expectations in entertaining ways. Decide that you’re going to put the emphasis on provoking delight in yourself, not preserving your image.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] I am a big fan of your analytical intellect, and would never advise you to shove it out of the way so that your emotional intelligence can rule uncontested. But this is one time when I think the latter needs to get more say than the former. In that light, please consider the following counsel from my Facebook friend Sophia Veleda: “I do not consider emotions to be the dirty redheaded stepchild of the frontal cortex. Our emotional selves are more intuitive, faster, smarter (by means of being able to take in more data at once), and just as capable. The frontal cortex is as likely to make errors due to data omission as the emotional center is likely to get a degree of magnitude wrong.”

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