Free Will Astrology: December 1 through 7

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Stephen Hawking believes it would be dangerous to get in touch with extraterrestrial creatures. "If aliens visit us," he says, "the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans." Those who've studied the teeming evidence for UFOs would say that his warning is too late. Some mysterious non-human intelligence has been here for a long time. Aside from that, though, let's marvel at the stupidity of the physicist's lame advice. As any mildly wise person knows, exploring the unknown is not only an aid to our mental and spiritual health—it's a prerequisite. That'll be especially true for you Aries in the coming weeks.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] "At times, although one is perfectly in the right, one's legs tremble," wrote philosopher V.V. Rozanov. "At other times, although one is completely in the wrong, birds sing in one's soul." That may have been the case for you last month, Taurus, but these days it's the exact reverse. If your knees are wobbly, you're off-center or far from the heart of the matter. If, on the other hand, birds are singing in your soul, it's because you're united with the beautiful truth. There are a couple of caveats, though: The beautiful truth won't be simple and bright; it'll be dense and kaleidoscopic. And the birds' songs will sound more like a philharmonic orchestra pounding out Beethoven's Fifth Symphony than a single flute playing a quaint folk song.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Are there any actors who have impersonated as many different types of characters as Gemini Johnny Depp? From rogue agent to chocolatier, from psychotic barber to astronaut, he is a model of inconsistency. You now have a poetic license to follow his lead. There have been few times in the last two years when you've had this much freedom to be so mercurial and mutant.


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CANCER [June 21–July 22] A tattoo now adorns the neck of Rihanna. It says "rebelle fleur," which is a French phrase meaning "rebel flower." The grammar police protested, saying she should have rendered it correctly—as "fleur rebelle"—since in French, adjectives are supposed to follow, not precede, the nouns they refer to. But I'm guessing Rihanna knew that. She was double-asserting her right to commit acts of insurrection. Let's make "rebelle fleur" your keynote in the coming days. Break taboos, buck tradition, and overthrow conventional wisdom—always with blithe grace and jaunty charm.

LEO [July 23–August 22] Research by psychologists suggests that positive superstitions may be helpful. Reporting in Psychological Science, they discovered that people who think they are in possession of good luck charms outperform people who don't. "Superstition-induced confidence" seems to act in ways akin to how placebos work: It can provide a mysterious boost. Just for the fun of it, Leo, put this finding to the test. Get yourself a magical object that stimulates your power to achieve success.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Carl Jung said that we are all connected to each other via the collective unconscious. Your psyche and my psyche have taproots that sink deep into the memories of the entire human race. According to my reading of the omens, your taproots are now functioning more vigorously than they have in a long time. You're in more intimate contact than usual with the primal pool of possibilities. And what good is that, you may ask? Well, it means you have the power to draw on mojo that transcends your personal abilities. Could you make use of some liquid lightning, ambrosial dreams, or healing balm from the beginning of time?

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] If you want to get a gallon of milk directly from the source, you have to squeeze a cow's udder more than 300 times. I recommend you use that as a metaphor for your task in the days to come. It's going to take a lot of squirts or tweaks to get the totality of what you want. Be patient as you fill your cup. There's no way you can hurry the process by skipping some steps.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth," says the Bible. That doesn't mean what most people think it does. The word translated as "meek" is the Greek word praus, which in ancient times didn't mean "weak-willed, passive, mild." Rather, it referred to great power that was under rigorous control. For example, soldiers' warhorses were considered praus. They heeded the commands of their riders, but were fierce warriors that fought with tireless fervor. In this spirit, Scorpio, I'm predicting you're about to get very "meek": offering your tremendous force of will and intelligence in disciplined service to a noble cause. (Thanks to Merlin Hawk for the info I used in this 'scope.)

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Nietzsche wrote a book called Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is. I'd love it if in the next few weeks you would think a lot about how you are on your way to becoming what you were born to be. Current astrological omens suggest you will have special insight into that theme. For inspiration, you might want to borrow some of Nietzsche's chapter titles, including the following: "Why I Am So Wise," "Why I Am So Clever," and "Why I Am a Destiny."

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] During some of her concerts, Capricorn singer Hayley Williams has worn a tank top that says "Brand-New Eyes." I encourage you to consider making that your own principle for a while. By declaring your intention to view the world with refreshed vision, you will be able to tune in to sights that have been invisible to you. You will discover secrets hidden in plain view and maybe even carve out a window where before there had been a thick, blank wall.

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Much of my recent book, Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia, is rated PG. Some is R. But there's one story that's X—not in the same way that porn is, though. While it's uninhibited in its rendering of ecstatic eroticism, it's a feminist meditation on spiritual intimacy, not a heap of vulgar stereotypes. Still, when the book came out, I couldn't bear the thought of sending copies to certain relatives of mine who are a bit prudish. So I came to an honorable compromise: Using a razor blade, I sliced out the nine pages in question and gave my loved ones the remainder. May I suggest you consider a comparable editing of your efforts? Your main object right now is to win friends.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] In the waters off the coast of Africa, the small fish known as the bearded goby has always been preyed upon by jellyfish—until recently. Now this formerly mild-mannered species, whose diet used to consist of phytoplankton, has overthrown the status quo: It is feasting on the jellyfish that once feasted on it. Scientists aren't sure why. I foresee a comparable development in your life, Pisces. How it will play out exactly, I'm not sure. Maybe you'll gain an advantage over someone or something that has always had an advantage over you. Maybe you will become the topdog in a place where you've been the underdog. Or maybe you'll begin drawing energy from a source that has in the past sucked your energy.

Homework: What if you didn't feel compelled to have an opinion about every hot-button issue? Try living opinion-free for a week. Report results by going to and clicking "E-mail Rob."

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