Free Will Astrology: April 11-17, 2012

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Some people misunderstand the do-it-now fervor of the Aries tribe, thinking it must inevitably lead to carelessness. Please prove them wrong in the coming weeks. Launch into the interesting new possibilities with all your exuberance unfurled. Refuse to allow the natural energy to get hemmed in by theories and concepts. But also be sure not to mistake rash impatience for intuitive guidance.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] There is a possibility that a pot of gold sits at the end of the rainbow. The likelihood is small, true, but it's not zero. On the other hand, the rainbow is definitely here and available for you to enjoy. Of course, you would have to do some more work on yourself in order to gather in the fullness of that enjoyment. Here's the potential problem: You might be under the impression that the rainbow is less valuable than the pot of gold. So let me ask you: What if the rainbow is the real prize?

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] "It's eternity in a person that turns the crank handle," said Franz Kafka. At least that should be the case, I would add. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that a lot of people let other, lesser things turn the crank handle—like the compulsive yearning for money, power, and love, for example. I challenge you to check in with yourself sometime soon and determine what exactly has been turning your crank handle. If it ain't eternity, get yourself adjusted.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] For a white guy from 19th-century England, David Livingstone was unusually egalitarian. As he traveled in Africa, he referred to what were then called "witch doctors" as "my professional colleagues." In the coming weeks, Cancerian, I encourage you to be inspired by Livingstone as you expand your notion of who your allies are. For example, consider people to be your colleagues if they simply try to influence the world in the same ways you do, even if they work in different jobs or spheres. What might be your version of Livingstone's witch doctors? Go outside of your usual network as you scout around for confederates who might connect you to exotic new perspectives.

LEO [July 23–August 22] The flag of California features the image of a grizzly bear, and the huge carnivore is the state's official animal. And yet grizzly bears have been extinct in California since 1922. Is there any discrepancy like that in your own life, Leo? Do you continue to act as if a particular symbol or icon is important to you even though it has no practical presence in your life? If so, this would be a good time to update your attitude.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] The cartoon character Felix the Cat made his debut in 1919. He was a movie star in the era of silent films and eventually appeared in his own comic strip and TV show. But it wasn't until 1953, when he was 34 years old, that he first got his Magic Bag of Tricks, which allowed him to do many things he wasn't able to do before. I bring this up, Virgo, because I believe you're close to acquiring a magic bag of tricks that wasn't on your radar until you had matured. To ensure that you get that bag, though, you will have to ripen even a bit more.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] I have one child, a daughter, and raising her conscientiously has been one of the great privileges and joys of my life. Bonus: She has turned out to be a stellar human being. Every now and then, though, I get a bit envious of parents who've created bigger families. If bringing up one kid is so rewarding, maybe more would be even better. I asked an acquaintance of mine, a man with six kids, how he had managed to pull off that difficult feat. He told me quite candidly, "My secret is that I'm not a good father; I'm very neglectful." I offer up this story as a way to encourage you, at this juncture in your development, to favor quality over quantity.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] I expect there will be some curious goings-on this week. A seemingly uninspired idea could save you from a dumb decision, for example. An obvious secret might be the key to defeating a covert enemy. And a messy inconvenience might show up just in time to help you do the slightly uncool but eminently right thing. Can you deal with this much irony, Scorpio? Can you handle such big doses of the old flippety-flop and oopsie-loopsie? For extra credit, here are two additional odd blessings you could capitalize on: a humble teaching from an unlikely expert and a surge of motivation from an embarrassing excitement.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Some of our pagan forbears imagined they had a duty to assist with nature's revival every spring by performing fertility rituals. And wouldn't it be fun if it were even slightly true that you could help the crops germinate and bloom by making sweet love in the fields? At the very least, carrying out such a ceremony might stimulate your own personal creativity. In accordance with the astrological omens, I invite you to slip away to a secluded outdoor spot, either by yourself or with a romantic companion. On a piece of paper, write down a project you'd like to make thrive in the coming months. Bury the note in the good earth, then enjoy an act of love right on top of it.

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