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Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Go against the flow. Buck the system. Push the river. Entertain the possibility that everything you know is at least half-wrong. Do you catch my drift, Aries? What I’m trying to tell you is, champion the underdog. Ignore the obvious. Disprove the conventional wisdom. Bet on the dark horse. Be a devil’s advocate. Shall I continue my rant until you have absolutely no doubt what your mission is? Buy a new goldfish and name it “Jaws.” Figure out a way to lick your own elbow. Eat with your non-dominant hand. Say prayers while you’re having sex. Acquire a pet mosquito. Watch TV while standing on your head.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Very few raindrops are actually raindrop-shaped. A far greater number take the form of doughnuts. These doughnutty raindrops are your power objects, Taurus—your magical symbols. I hope they inspire you to look for the wide-open spaces in the middle of every stormy downpour. I trust they will alert you to the possibility that there’ll be windows of opportunities at the heart of the drizzle.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The more time you spend playing games in the coming days, the smarter you’ll be. Miniature golf, Monopoly, Twister, gin rummy, paintball, scavenger hunts, tag, Dungeons and Dragons—doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it moves you to engage in exuberant fun for no other reason than because it feels so good. Playing games will be the Truth and the Way, the secret to enlightenment, the key to cultivating robust health and making good decisions. Make this Chinese proverb your motto: A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): For years, I lived 13 miles from the top of Mt. Tamalpais, the highest peak in the San Francisco Bay Area. Every day I gazed at it from afar through my window or while riding my bike in the hills, marveling as it glided through its ever-shifting relationship with the sky. It was a remote yet familiar beacon, an awe-inspiring touchstone against which I could measure my own undulating rhythms. Now I’ve moved to a new home at the foot of Mt. Tam. I feel as if I’ve become part of it—am embedded in its protective and majestic aura. It’s no longer an objective gauge, but rather an intimate tone and texture in my subjective experience of myself. I predict that you will soon undergo a comparable shift, Cancerian: from being there to being here; from outside to inside; from strength absorbed at a distance to power felt up close.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Biologists say the speed of thought in the human brain is normally 150 miles per hour. But I’m guessing that in the coming weeks, ideas and intuitions will be zipping around your grey matter at a higher rate. It’s even possible they’ll break the sound barrier on a regular basis (761 miles per hour), meaning you may hear sonic booms coming from inside your skull. Don’t be alarmed if this occurs; in fact, be excited. It’s a sign that your intelligence is heating up, burning off tired old beliefs and outmoded theories in the process.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Acting on the authority vested in me by the Prophets for Profit Syndicate, and speaking on behalf of the planetary rhythms, I can assure you of this: If your cash flow has been too slow and you remain passive about it in the coming weeks, it will corrode your mental health. If you lift a finger to upgrade your relationship with money, on the other hand, cosmic forces will rush to your aid with unexpected support. Therefore, in the name of all that’s holy, I hereby declare the beginning of a new age in which you conspire and agitate and work hard for a new wage.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo,” writes the poet Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks. “You might say, ‘The world outside is vast and intricate. There are wheat fields and mountain passes and orchards in bloom. At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding.’ You ask the embryo why he or she stays cooped up in the dark with eyes closed. Listen to the answer. ‘There is no other world. I only know what I’ve experienced. You must be hallucinating.’” Now I say to you, Libra, that you are the embryo Rumi and Barks are addressing. Consider the possibility that they’re telling the truth. Come out and take a look around.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Women are traps that lay for men everywhere,” said Franz Kafka, “in order to drag them into the infinite.” If you find this idea sexist or heterosexist, formulate your own version. One way or another, you need to get lured or yanked into a bracing experience of boundless possibilities…into a delightfully shocking immersion in eternal truth…into a whirlwind tour of sublime, brain-scrambling beauty. If an uncanny woman will do the job for you, great. If an amazing man works better, or maybe a magical member of an in-between gender, seek that person out. Play hard with the limitless, Scorpio.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): According to the esoteric spiritual tradition of Western hermeticism, you have a personal Holy Guardian Angel who’s always ready to give you help, as well as to lovingly kick your ass. Modern scientists snort derisively at this notion. They’re fundamentalist materialists, denying the possibility that something can exist if it’s not perceptible by our five senses or by instruments that humans have invented. If your temperament and training align you with the scientists’ ideology, I’ll ask you to temporarily suspend your skepticism so that you might join other Sagittarians in trying the following experiment: Act as if you have a personal Holy Guardian Angel whose job it is to help you lose your illusions, liberate you from suffering, and make you smarter. What clarifying questions will you ask the HGA? What precise assistance will you request?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In May 1941, Adolf Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess made an unauthorized attempt to seek peace with Britain. He flew there alone from Germany, parachuting onto a Scottish farm as his plane crashed. According to some accounts, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was quickly informed of Hess’s odd visitation, but deferred taking action because he was too absorbed in a Marx Brothers movie. I expect there’ll soon be a metaphorically comparable event in your sphere, Capricorn. My advice? Be like Churchill. If loose cannons or obsessed messengers or self-important proselytizers demand your attention, put them on hold and stay engrossed in whatever’s amusing you.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In 2000, I logged 34,000 miles during my travels across America to meet my readers. During a three-year stretch earlier in my life, I was a homeless gypsy, sponging off friends and staying in hostels from Vermont to South Carolina, from Italy to Greece. But in recent years I’ve gone on extensive pilgrimages of another kind, carried out through imaginal exercises, lucid dreams, and shamanic meditations. According to my reading of the omens, Aquarius, you can generate rich blessings for yourself by getting away from it all in either of these two directions. What’s better, to head out into far-flung places in the outer world or the inner world? It doesn’t matter.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): One historian has figured out that during the last three and a half millennia, humans have been at peace throughout the world for only 230 years—less than seven percent of the time. How would you rate your own personal proportions of war and peace, Pisces? I certainly hope you’re serene, centered and secure far more than seven percent of your life. But whether or not you are, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to boost your average dramatically. The actions you take and the attitudes you adjust could set in motion changes that will make peace a more common everyday experience. How hard are you willing to work to establish a Pax Pisces?

Homework: Who’s the person you’d most like to meet and have a drink with? Why? Testify at