Free Will Astrology: May 9-15, 2012

ARIES [March 21–April 19] In one of your past lives, I think you must have periodically done something like stick your tongue out or thumb your nose at pretentious tyrants—and gotten away with it. At least that's one explanation for how confident you often are about speaking up when everyone else seems unwilling to point out that the emperor is in fact wearing no clothes. This quality should come in handy during the coming week. It might be totally up to you to reveal the truth about an obvious secret or collective delusion. Can you figure out a way to be relatively tactful?

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Taurus actor Daniel Day-Lewis will star as American president Abraham Lincoln in a film to be released later this year. Hollywood insiders report that Lewis basically became Lincoln months before the film was shot and throughout the entire process. Physically, he was a dead ringer for the man he was pretending to be. Even when the cameras weren't rolling, he spoke in the cadences and accent of his character rather than in his own natural voice. It might be fun for you to try a similar experiment in the coming weeks, Taurus.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] The idea of a housewarming party comes from an old British tradition. People who were moving would carry away embers from the fireplace of the home they were leaving and bring them to the fireplace of the new home. I recommend that you borrow this idea and apply it to the transition you're making. As you migrate toward the future, bring along a symbolic spark of the vitality that has animated the situation you're transitioning out of.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] My friend Irene has a complicated system for handling her cats' food needs. The calico, Cleopatra, demands chicken for breakfast and beef stew at night, and all of it absolutely must be served in a pink bowl on the dining-room table. Caligula insists on fish stew early and tuna later. He wants it on a black plate placed behind the love seat. Nefertiti refuses everything but gourmet turkey upon waking and beef liver for the evening repast. If it's not on the basement stairs, she won't touch it. I'm bringing your attention to this, Cancerian, because I think you could draw inspiration from it. It's in your interests, at least temporarily, to keep your loved ones and allies happy.

LEO [July 23–August 22] The moon's pale glow shimmers on your face as you run your fingers through your hair. In your imagination, 90 violins play with sublime fury, rising toward a climax. You part your lips and open your eyes wide, searching for the words that could change everything. And then suddenly you remember you have to contact the plumber tomorrow, and find the right little white lie to appease you-know-who, and run out to the store to get that gadget you saw advertised. Cut! Cut! Let's do this scene again. It's possible that your tendency to overdramatize is causing you to lose focus. Let's trim the 90 violins down to 10.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "We all need a little more courage now and then," said poet Marvin Bell. "That's what I need. If you have some to share, I want to know you." I advise you to adopt his approach in the coming days, Virgo. Proceed on the assumption that what you need most right now is to be braver and bolder. And consider the possibility that a good way to accomplish this goal is by hanging around people who are so intrepid and adventurous that their spirit will rub off on you.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] In the Byrds' 1968 song "Fifth Dimension," the singer makes a curious statement. He says that during a particularly lucid state, when he was simply relaxed and paying attention, he saw the great blunder his teachers had made. I encourage you to follow that lead, Libra. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, now would be an excellent time for you to thoroughly question the lessons you've absorbed from your important teachers. You will earn a healthy jolt as you decide what to keep and what to discard.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] What are the most beautiful and evocative songs you know? What are the songs that activate your dormant wisdom and unleash waves of insight about your purpose here on earth and awaken surges of gratitude for the labyrinthine path you have traveled to become the person you are today? Whatever those tunes are, I urge you to gather them all and listen to them while at rest. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you need a concentrated dose of the deepest, richest, most healing emotions you can tap into.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Tourists rarely go to the South American nation of Guyana. That's mostly because much of it is virgin rain forest, and there are few amenities for travelers. In part, it's also due to the reputation-scarring event that occurred there in 1978, when cult leader Reverend Jim Jones led a mass suicide of his devotees. Last year, after travel writer Jeff Greenwald announced his trip to Guyana, his friends responded with a predictable joke: "Don't drink the Kool-Aid!"—a reference to the beverage Jones spiked with cyanide before telling his followers to drink up. But Greenwald was glad he went. The lush, tangled magnificence of Guyana was tough to navigate but a blessing to the senses and a first-class adventure. Be like him, Sagittarius. Consider engaging with a situation that offers challenging gifts.

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Come on, man. "5D," also called "Fifth Dimension," on the album of the same title (The Byrds' third full-length LP) was released in the summer of 1966 (it also included "Eight Miles High," Gene Clark's last sessions with the Byrds before splitting to go solo (he returned briefly in the fall of 1967) and Jim (later Roger) McGuinn's extraterrestrial rockabilly fantasia "Mr. Spaceman"). By '68, the band, by now without founding drummer Michael Clarke (no relation to Gene Clark) and rhythm guitarist David Crosby (yes, THAT David Crosby), and under the sway of hippie-cowboy renegade Gram Parsons (no relation to later Byrds member Gene Parsons) had moved into full-fledged country and western with the "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" LP. Get your rock and roll history straight, man. 5D was straight '66, early psychedelia; by '68 the Byrds were moving rightward musically, toward good ol' C & W. They even played the Grand Ole Opry in '68.

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