Free Will Astrology: April 17-23, 2013

ARIES [March 21–April 19]: The writer Oliver Burkeman has some helpful advice: "When you assume your current preferences won't alter, you'll make bad decisions: embarking on a career or marriage, say, not with a view to its durability, but solely based on how it makes you feel now." I am not predicting that you are about to make the kind of bad decision Burkeman refers to; I'm sure this warning will derail any temptation you might have to make short-sighted moves.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20]: Help from the invisible world is available to you right now. Of course you won't be able to use it, let alone tune in to it, if you don't believe in it. So if you are very sure that reality consists of nothing more than what your senses reveal, I suggest that you temporarily suspend that belief. And if you have had direct experiences with blessings that come from the unseen realm, be aware that the imminent delivery is quite different from those you have known in the past.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20]: In her book A Monster's Notes, Laurie Sheck describes the nuances of the term "ghost" in the German language. A mediocre wine may be called unghostly, she says. A witty, lively person is rich in ghostliness, whereas a dull, blank type has no ghost in him. I suspect you will have some pretty fine ghostliness working for you in the coming weeks. And there's a good chance that part of your extra-special mojo will arise from your creative engagement with energies that resemble the more traditional definition of "ghost."

CANCER [June 21–July 22]: A commercial for The Cosmopolitan luxury resort in Las Vegas shows an elegant woman at a sumptuous feast, holding her dinner plate up to her face so she can lick it clean. A well-dressed man on all fours serves as a chair for a chic woman, who applies her makeup while gazing into the mirrored surface of a high-heeled shoe. An 80-year-old woman pats the butt of her handsome young dance partner. At the end of the ad, a catchphrase appears: "Just the right amount of wrong." Let that be your mantra in the coming week.

LEO [July 23–Aug. 22]: Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity had radical implications for the field of theoretical physics, but remained unproven for three years, when a British physicist verified its accuracy with evidence gathered during a solar eclipse. The New York Times assigned a journalist to cover the revolution—a sports reporter whose specialty was golf. His article was less than illuminating. The moral of the story, as far as you're concerned: When big developments are underway, show up at full strength, with all your powers engaged.

VIRGO [Aug. 23–Sept. 22]: "Never to get lost is not to live," writes Rebecca Solnit in her book A Field Guide to Getting Lost. In fact, she says that not knowing how to get lost is unhealthy. These are useful ideas to consider right now. It will probably do you good to get at least semi-lost. As you wander around without a map or compass, I bet you will stumble upon important teachings. At the same time, I hope you will put some thought into how you're going to get lost. Make sure there's a method in your madness.

LIBRA [Sept. 23–Oct. 22]: In the English language, "low man on the totem pole" is an idiom that refers to a person who has the worst job or the least status. But it's an incorrect metaphor. The creators of totem poles were indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest, and for them the figure at the bottom was the most important one. I foresee the possibility of a similar situation arising in your sphere. Be alert for something that has been beneath or behind "more important" matters that should perhaps get higher priority.

SCORPIO [Oct. 23–Nov. 21]: In his book Karmic Traces, Eliot Weinberger describes the life of naked mole rats, an animal which never leave its underground tunnels. Normally you have nothing in common with them. But I'm hoping you will have one: According to Weinberger, the naked mole rats "change direction by somersaulting." I think this would be an excellent strategy for you. There's no need to be lackadaisical and fitful and full of doubts. Just spring into action, and move on with a renewed sense of purpose.

SAGITTARIUS [Nov. 22–Dec. 21]: Philosopher John Searle unleashed a witty dig about the famous philosopher Jacques Derrida, calling him "the sort of philosopher who gives bullshit a bad name." One of your fun assignments in the coming week is to give bullshit a good name. How? Engage in creative verbal expressions that boost morale and propagate delight and lubricate worthwhile connections. Make up noble fictions that are more accurate and useful that the literal truth. Spread uplifting gossip that heals and invigorates.

CAPRICORN [Dec. 22–Jan. 19]: "The ideal piano player is the one who wants to be the piano," says a character in Thomas Bernhard's novel The Loser. "I say to myself every day when I wake up, I want to be the Steinway." Your assignment is to apply this attitude to your own personal situation. Immerse yourself in the skill you're working to perfect—disappear into it. In your imagination, become completely united with the thing or person or experience you desire.

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