Free Will Astrology 

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I predict that by the year 2050 most everyone will have a sweet-tempered android or two that will function as best friend and personal servant, sometimes even as lover and spouse. The downside of this development, which will be regarded as an upside by most people 50 years hence, is that these artificial life forms will be programmed to act as if their owners can do no wrong. Our descendants may therefore have little incentive to cultivate intimate friendships with unpredictable humans who don't treat them like royalty. But that's then. This is now. Nothing would be better for you in the next few weeks than to intensify your quest for intimate friendships with unpredictable but trustworthy humans who treat you well but not like royalty.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): No one around you seems capable of seeing, let alone appreciating, the radical nature of your recent labors. To ensure that you don't take this as a sign that they're not worth much, I will name them. You've been learning, for instance, to love what you can't control. You're seeing that you don't need to imitate humorless drones and greedy jerks in order to match their proficiency. You're finding out that you can actually change yourself by adjusting other people's images of you. Finally, you're figuring out that sometimes it's to your advantage to slip through the cracks in the system.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The Greek philosopher Plato believed we suffer from amnesia about our real origins. He thought that the soul dwells in paradise before incarnating in a body, but loses all recollection of it at birth. "Anamnesis" was Plato's term for the process by which we might overcome our forgetfulness and recover the wonderful truth. In recent years, many people have experienced a dark variant of anamnesis, resuscitating childhood traumas they have long repressed. I say it's high time to revive the original sense of the word, Gemini — and you're the perfect candidate. The planets say you're on track to remember who you are and where you came from. Now get yourself to a comfy sanctuary and gaze at the inside of your mind until you're basking in your most pleasurably pivotal and reassuring memories.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I'm in a cranky, out-of-sync mood. So why don't I wait to compose your oracle until I've banished my blahs? Because that would go against the grain of everything I believe in. As a practicing artist and honorary female, I never try to power through with business as usual while ignoring my feelings. I'm devoutly committed to learning from my sour states. They almost always harbor valuable secrets that become available to me only if I treat them with patient respect. The trick, of course, is to not go too far and begin wallowing in them. There's a fine line between taking my suffering seriously and taking it too damn seriously. All of what I've just said is meant to serve as a model for you, Cancerian, as you navigate your way through this week.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The Relationships Olympics will get under way shortly. Your early compulsories include freestyle commitment, synchronized mind-reading, endurance kissing and the jealousy squelch. In a few days, if you make the cuts, you'll have earned the right to compete in the triple backward leap of faith and the sexual healing pentathlon. You have a realistic shot at a medal in both these categories — especially if you've studied and used all the secret tantric tips I've slipped you in recent months.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The planets are sentient beings whose intelligence is beyond our capacity to perceive. Still, they love to be acknowledged by humans. To assist you in remembering them in correct order (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto), I've cooked up mnemonic devices. In the following phrases, the first letter of each word corresponds to the first letter of a heavenly body. 1. Many Virgos' Errant Mirages Joyfully Sink Under Nimble Prodding. 2. Murky Valuable Emotions Might Just Solidify Upon Nuanced Persistence. 3. Melodramatic Victimhood Entirely Melts, Jettisoning Silly, Ugly Nostalgia Pains. 4. Monkish Virgos Embrace Muses Jubilantly, Spurring Utopian Nuzzle Perfection. (By the way, these phrases are magic spells specially designed for your use this week. And they really work!)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The past few weeks have been a test. They have only been a kick-ass, crazy-making test. Had this been an actual emergency, you would have been given poetic license to dance naked down a busy street at high noon while caterwauling a German translation of Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" in a Cajun accent. As I hope you can plainly see now, though, it makes no difference whether you truly went to hell and back or just performed a simulated version of that trip in the privacy of your own mind. The result in either case is exactly the same. You used to just be smart. Now you're freakin' wise.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If you were about to graduate (which in a sense you are), and you handed me your yearbook, this is what I'd write in it: "May you stay as fiercely cute as you are. May the transformations you bravely unleash next in your life be greeted with excitement and curiosity, not fear and resistance. May you think deep thoughts without becoming a pretentious know-it-all. May you stay on really good terms with G-spots, X-factors, and the C students who seem to be in charge of running everything. May you never have a cat food jingle running through your head while you make love. Adoringly, Your Secret Admirer."

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The Kiriwina society of the Trobriand Islands have a word, mokita, that refers to a truth everyone is aware of but no one ever talks about. Do you know what the mokita is among your own people? If you want your tribe to avoid becoming stagnant in the next few months, I believe you should lead the way in dealing more forthrightly with its least discussed but most draining limitation. Even if it means deflating the illusion you're most fond of. Even if it requires you to ask people you respect to explore mysteries they've staunchly ignored.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): As I woke up this morning, a voice from my dream said, "Tell Capricorn that the juggler should go for the jugular." Let's analyze the symbolism of that enigmatic oracle. A juggler is skilled at an art that looks simple but takes a lot of practice. With a light touch and burning concentration, the juggler improvises buoyant stability in the midst of bubbling flux. Maybe the informant in my dream was suggesting that this is the frame of mind you should be in as you close in on your prey.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Congratulations, you slippery survivor. You've reached the end of the Big Squeeze. You've served your time in the bottleneck. You may hereby relax your pinched expression, your puckered expectations and your anal sphincter. Now let the Hour of the Guinea Pig begin. A host of elegant experiments will soon be available for you to browse. Please research each one thoroughly before volunteering, and try to get yourself allied with researchers who have a wealth of adroit experience and a fondness for playing.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You want epic prophecy in the style of the ancients? Here it is, baby. You will soon take the first step in a rambling journey that will begin near the magic garage and lead you to the painted forest. There, after defeating the servants of the lazy wizard, you'll encounter a giant midget through whose influence you will be faced with too many choices. Will you opt for the golden eggs, O seeker, or the silver chalice? A blissful dunk in the river of forgetfulness or an ascetic vacation in the cave of knowledge? The key to fishy treasure in the haunted parking lot or the map to the pot of shoes at the end of the dark rainbow? Heed well these magic passwords, O pilgrim, for they will keep you focused when the decisions seem too momentous: slunky dunky poochy patchy goo … itchy crunchy wibblie wobblie boo. Tell what heroic deeds you plan to pull off before the year ends. Write to:

Speaking of Spirituality, Free Will Astrology

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