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Free Will Astrology: March 7-13, 2012

ARIES [March 21–April 19] "Controlled hysteria is what is required," said playwright Arthur Miller in speaking about his creative process. "To exist constantly in a state of controlled hysteria. It's agony. But everyone has agony. The difference is that I try to take my agony home and teach it to sing." I hope this little outburst inspires you, Aries. It's an excellent time for you to harness your hysteria and instruct your agony in the fine art of singing. To boost your chances of success in pulling off this dicey feat, use every means at your disposal to have fun and stay amused.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] The Cherokee Heritage website wants people to know that not all Native American tribes have the same traditions. In the Cherokee belief system, it's Grandmother Sun and Grandfather Moon, which is the opposite of most tribes. They don't have "pipe carriers," don't do the Sun Dance, and don't walk the "Good Red Road." In fact, they walk the White Path, have a purification ceremony called "Going to Water," and perform the Green Corn ceremony as a ritual renewal of life. I suggest you do a similar clarification for the group you're part of, Taurus. Ponder your tribe's unique truths and ways. Identify them and declare them.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] In the coming weeks, the activity going on inside your mind and heart will be especially intense and influential—even if you don't explicitly express it. When you speak your thoughts and feelings out loud, they will have unusual power to change people's minds and rearrange their moods. When you keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, they will still leak all over everything. I urge you to take extra care as you manage what's going on within you.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] Artist Richard Kehl tells the story of a teenage girl who got the chance to ask a question of the eminent psychologist Carl Jung. "Could you please tell me the shortest path to my life's goal?" Without a moment's hesitation, Jung replied, "The detour!" I invite you to consider the possibility that Jung's answer might be meaningful to you right now, Cancerian. Have you been churning out overcomplicated thoughts about your mission? Maybe you should at least dream about taking a shortcut that looks like a detour or a detour that looks like a shortcut.

LEO [July 23–August 22] An old Chinese proverb says: "My barn having burned to the ground, I can see the moon." The speaker of those words was making an effort to redefine a total loss as a partial gain. The building might have been gone, but as a result, he or she had a better view of a natural wonder that was previously difficult to observe. I don't foresee any of your barns going down in flames, Leo, so I don't expect you'll have to make a similar redefinition under duress. However, you have certainly experienced events like that in the past. And now would be an excellent time to revise your thinking about their meaning. Are you brave enough and ingenious enough to reinterpret your history? It's find-the-redemption week.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." Numerous websites on the Internet allege that Greek philosopher Plato made this statement, which I regard as highly unlikely. But in any case, the thought itself has some merit. And in accordance with your current astrological omens, I will make it your motto for the week. This is an excellent time to learn more about and become closer to the people you care for, and nothing would help you accomplish that better than intensive interludes of fooling around.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves," said Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. His advice might be just what you need to hear right now, Libra. Have you struggled, mostly fruitlessly, to change a stagnant situation that has resisted your best efforts? I invite you to redirect your attention. Reclaim the energy you have been expending on closed-down people and moldering systems. Work on the unfinished beauty of what lies closest at hand: yourself.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In this passage from Still Life With Woodpecker, Tom Robbins provides a hot tip you should keep in mind: "There are essential and inessential insanities. Inessential insanities are a brittle amalgamation of ambition, aggression, and pre-adolescent anxiety—garbage that should have been dumped long ago. Essential insanities are those impulses one instinctively senses are virtuous and correct, even though peers may regard them as coo-coo." I'll add this, Scorpio: Be crazily wise and wisely crazy in the coming weeks. Honor the wild ideas that bring you joy and the odd desires that remind you of your core truths.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] I don't think you will need literal medicine this week. Your physical vigor should be good. But I'm hoping you will seek out some spirit medicine—healing agents that fortify the secret and subtle parts of your psyche. Where do you find spirit medicine? Well, the search itself will provide the initial dose. Here are some further ideas: Expose yourself to stirring art and music and films; have conversations with empathic friends and the spirits of dead loved ones; spend time in the presence of a natural wonder; and imagine who you want to be three years from now.

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Each of us is the star of our own movie. There are a few other lead and supporting actors who round out the cast, but everyone else in the world is an extra. Now and then, though, people whom we regard as minor characters suddenly rise to prominence and play a pivotal role in our unfolding drama. I expect this phenomenon is now occurring or will soon occur for you, Capricorn. So please be willing to depart from the script.

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] The "cocktail-party effect" refers to your ability to hear your name being spoken while in the midst of a social gathering's cacophony. This is an example of an important practice, which is how to discern truly meaningful signals embedded in the noise of all the irrelevant information that surrounds you. You should be especially skilled at doing this in the coming weeks, Aquarius—and it will be crucial that you make abundant use of your skill. As you navigate your way through the clutter of symbols and the overload of data, be alert for the few key messages that are highly useful.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] Shunryu Suzuki was a Zen master whose books helped popularize Zen Buddhism in America. A student once asked him, "How much ego do you need?" His austere reply was, "Just enough so that you don't step in front of a bus." Although I sympathize with the value of humility, I wouldn't go quite that far. I think that a slightly heftier ego, if offered up as a work of art, can be a gift. What do you think, Pisces? To what degree can you create your ego so that it's a beautiful source of power and an inspiration rather than a parasite that distorts the truth? This is an excellent time to ruminate on such matters.


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