Free Will Astrology: October 17-23, 2012

ARIES [March 21–April 19] When Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro laid waste to Peru in 1532, his soldiers found green stones on the land. Were they emeralds? A priest who was traveling with them gave them bad advice. He said that the way to determine whether they were merely colored glass or else precious gems was to test their hardness by pounding them with hammers. In this manner, many actual emeralds were shattered into fragments. Learn from this mistake, Aries. Make sure you recognize treasures for what they are.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Someone at Reddit posted a question to the community: Could anyone help him re-create the aroma of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland? He said he loved that smell. If only he could get that fragrance to permeate his house, he testified, he'd always be able to work at peak efficiency. You might want to follow his lead, Taurus. It's a good time to identify and gather all the ingredients you would need to make sure your environment inspires you to the max.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] If you asked me to be your personal adviser, I would prescribe supplements to build up your immune system. I'd insist that you eat nothing but healthy food and get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Finally, Gemini, if you sought my counsel, I'd urge you to use your exuberant imagination in concert with your disciplined intellect as you design a long-term plan to charge up your well-being.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] "Dear Free Will Astrologer: I found your website by accident today and was drawn in fast and hard. No matter what I did I could not escape and get back to my work. Your messages were too interesting for my own good. Many hours went by until finally I was able to pull myself out of the vortex. How did this happen? — Freaked Out." Dear Freaked: I was born under the sign of Cancer the Crab, and it so happens that the people of my tribe are currently emanating an intriguing and inscrutable aura. We're at the peak of our ability to attract and seduce. Many of us are using our power benevolently, but our mysterious mojo could still be a bit unsettling.

LEO [July 23–August 22] The past is headed your way bearing gifts, Leo. I recommend that you make yourself available for its blessings, which might be delivered to you in unexpected ways. For example: The spirit of a dead loved one could impart an enigmatic but useful tip in the middle of the night. An abandoned dream you assumed was gone forever might return to grant you a wish. Are you ready to let history reward you in its own unique style?

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Just for you, it is Shark Week. During this dicey holiday, you should be wary of all sharks, especially the kind that look like human beings. On the other hand, I'm not opposed to you getting to know some sharks better. They could teach you some valuable lessons on how to get what you want. Not that you would ever be as cold-blooded and predatory as they are, of course. But it might be energizing to your ambitions if you add just a bit of shark-like thinking to your repertoire.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Visualize yourself heading out on a high adventure with interesting people—but all the while being distracted by the memory of a trivial insult you experienced earlier that day. Picture yourself getting intimate with a lover who inspires you to lose your self-consciousness—up until the point when you decide to interrupt your fun by answering a phone call from some random person. Finally, Libra, understand that in getting you to envision these parodies of your current inclinations, I'm hoping to shock you into making sure that nothing like them happens.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Sometime soon, you might dream of being naked at a public event like a class at school or a committee meeting. I think this would be an excellent omen, so I hope it comes to pass. It would signify that you're ready to shed the disguises that have been making it problematic for you to reinvent yourself.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] As you cross the great water in search of the unknown treasure, navigate by the light of the clouds. That's your dreamy oracle, Sagittarius. What does it mean? Well, the work you do to figure it out is essential to activating its potential, so I don't want to give away too much. But here are three further hints to inspire you on your quest. 1. Be willing to go a long way to find a secret you don't even know you're looking for. 2. Consider the possibility of cultivating faith in a goal that you don't quite yet grasp in its entirety. 3. Rely on shadows and reflections to give you accurate information you can't get directly from the thing that's casting shadows and being reflected.

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Everyone has some kind of power. What's yours? In the coming days, I suspect there will be some crisis and opportunity regarding how you use it. Maybe you will be invited to assume more authority or exercise greater influence. Maybe your ability to wield your particular clout will be questioned or doubted and you will be challenged to either stand up and express it with more integrity and purpose or else relinquish it. For best results, take a moment right now to visualize the precise power you would love to command.

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