Free Will Astrology 

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Wouldn't it be fun to be a whistle-blowing, boat-rocking watchdog? Wouldn't it be cool to be a rabble-rousing, lie-detecting gadfly? Lord knows we need all the dissent we can get these days, especially from a thorough muckraker such as you. Of course you wouldn't want to jeopardize your cash flow, social status or free lunches, right? So take steps to cover your assets before you raise a hell of a good fuss.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): To the superficial observer you may appear to be a burbling mess of confusion, an amorphous hodgepodge lacking clear focus, a well-meaning bumbler taking lazy baby steps in a circular path. But the eyes of the wise see a very different scene, which is captured beautifully by the poet Carolyn Forché in this line from her book, The Angel of History: "like grapes ripening in the fog."

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): To expedite the influx of amour during this peak in your romantic biorhythms, I offer you a few love spells. No. 1: Prick a fig with a pin 13 times as you murmur the words "sex laugh," then sleep with the fig under your left armpit. No. 2: Watch cloud formations until you spy one that looks like mating horses, then blow a giant kiss in its direction. No. 3: Using frosting, write the name of the lover you adore on a slab of red Jell-O, then devour the whole mess without using your hands. No. 4: If by some remote chance the first three spells don't have the desired effect, try this — become a great listener. Cultivate in yourself the exact qualities you're so attracted to in others. Determine your chosen one's most important goal and figure out how you can help achieve it.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): By the time I was 18, my rebellious enthusiasm for self-invention had inspired me not just to question authority, but to give it the third degree. My distrust extended beyond secular powers such as high school teachers and American presidents and imperious scientists. I also banished priests, rabbis, and gurus from my sphere of influence. No middlemen were going to get between me and the Divine Wow. To this day, I believe my bubbly skepticism has kept my spiritual work honest. Now mystical activist Andrew Harvey has beautifully described this approach in a book. In The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine Using the World's Mystical Traditions, he calls for an end to religious go-betweens. It's a perfect moment, Cancerian, to call on this text or any other assistance to build your very own hotline to God.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Is it really healthy to have a shrill, 25-words-or-less opinion about everything, as radio talk shows seem to imply? Would anyone mind if I just served as a compassionate witness about the hot-button issues, please? Can I simply sit on the fence in the midst of the wars of words and beam articulate sympathy at both sides? Yes, I can. I will. This week I'll act as if it's possible to be a tactful, graceful freedom fighter without hating anyone. Maybe this'll inspire you to do the same, Leo. Maybe as you wade into the crises facing your friends and associates, you'll lobby for vibrant peace, neutralizing all tendencies toward spite-spewing partisanism.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): If you're not part of the grueling solution, then you're probably part of the insidiously comfortable problem. If you're not conspiring to commit smart fun, then you're almost certainly colluding with the disingenuous repression. If you're not trying to rally support for a tough investigation, then you'll end up assisting the bland cover-up. Got all that? Here's the kicker. If you're not mad about how unconstructively you've used your anger in the past, then you won't be motivated to wield it more creatively this week. Sorry to sound like such a hard ass, Virgo, but the truth is remarkably unambiguous these days. Go ahead and be upset with my candor if you need to be. If you're not a little pissed off at me now and then, I'm doing something wrong.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): There's a tempting labyrinth full of IQ-boosting tests on your left. On your right is a seemingly serene panorama that's actually full of booby traps. To the rear there's a wild pack of know-nothings eager to block your path to the soul kitchen. In front of you is a sign that reads "Virgin Birth: 200 Miles." How can you possibly expect me to know what the best course of action would be, Libra? This phase of your life is a stellar example of what Jawaharlal Nehru (cq), former prime minister of India, once said: "Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will." If you absolutely forced me to cast a vote for what you should do, I'd say start by checking out the tempting labyrinth.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): An irrelevant troublemaker has grown weary of harassing you. Even better, an unscratchable itch in your soft underbelly has subsided. Now you can concentrate on a much more interesting and provocative torment, Scorpio — a dilemma that has been waiting patiently for your loving attention. Actually, it's an ancient black hole dressed up in a new, improved package. Up until now, you've never quite identified or described it correctly. But I predict that you're finally primed to find the right name for it. When you do, you'll already be halfway toward a cure.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): As you work your genius to the bone in preparation for Delivery Day, I'll ask that you take a meditation break. Ready? You are becoming very relaxed. All tension is flowing out of you. Deep breaths fuel your magic lungs with sacred oxygen. Every cell in your gorgeous body purrs with luminous gratitude. It's as if your hormones are having lucid dreams about superconductors; as if your brain and heart have fallen in love with each other. You're growing very calm but you're not drifting off to sleep. In fact, you've never felt more alert in your life. As you bask here in poised joy, you will stimulate a flow of pictures in your mind's eye. You'll imagine that your most crucial lifelong project is entering a phase when it'll reveal vital new clues about how to accomplish it.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Imagine my surprise when I peered into my crystal ball in quest of a prediction for your imminent future. There was an image of a veiled Arab woman in orthodox Muslim dress. She was windsurfing expertly under a sparkling sky near a Hawaiian beach. I'm guessing this symbolic scene means that a repressed, modest, conservative part of you is about to come out and play. More than that: You may be ready to drop an inhibition or two in order to learn a skillful new approach to getting your ya-yas out.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Your maverick urges and outlaw sympathies are maturing nicely, decreasing the odds that you'll rob a bank and flee to Tahiti. Now you're more likely to express your renegade longings in more wholesome ways. Like what? Like by rebelling against seemingly nice people who use politeness and openness to manipulate everyone into doing things their way. Like by winning your autonomy back from spiritually bankrupt characters who follow the rules too compulsively. My fist is clenched against my chest in tender salute to you as you take whatever extreme measures are necessary to prove that freedom must be reinvented and reclaimed every day of your life.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): This is weird. The thing that's most intriguing about you has formed an unholy alliance with the thing that's most worn out about you. My urgent advice is to untangle them fast. I wonder if this is related to another fact I've noticed about you.. Your defense mechanisms have been fascinating lately, almost attractive. But it's a kind of allure that most normal people are afraid to touch, let alone caress. Do you know any abnormal people whose intelligent devotion you could call on to help remove your armor? What political issue have you changed your mind about in recent years? Do you regard this shift as a sign of spineless inconsistency or robust flexibility? Write:

Speaking of Spirituality, Free Will Astrology

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