Free Will Astrology (Jan. 18-24)

What do the stars have in store for you this week?

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Good news, Aries! During the next episode in the age-old struggle between the Impulsive You and the Farsighted You, I predict the latter will achieve a ringing victory. Hallelujah! I also foresee you overcoming the temptation to quit a project prematurely, and instead pushing on to complete it. There's more! You will refrain from knocking your head against an obstacle in the vain hope of toppling it. Instead, you will round up helpers to help you wield a battering ram that will produce the desired toppling.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You may not have a clear picture of where you'll be going in the next five years. The detailed master plan that your higher self devised for you before you were born might even be obscure. But I'm here to tell you that in the coming weeks, a new lucidity can be yours. You can summon an acute instinct about which way is forward, if only you will recognize the subtle ways it's speaking to you. In fact, I believe you will regularly know what move you should make *next* so as to expedite your long-term evolution. Life will be rewarding you with mysterious step-by-step guidance. Now please write a short statement affirming your intention to love, honor, and obey your intuition.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Do you believe in the existence of guardian angels and spirit guides and ancestors who can intervene in your behalf from the other side of the veil? Do you wonder if maybe your invisible friends from childhood show up in your vicinity now and then to offer you support and kindness? Or how about the animals you loved earlier in your life but who have since passed away? Is it possible their souls have never left you, but are available if you need their affection? Even if your rational mind tells you that none of these possibilities are authentic, Gemini, I suspect you will nevertheless be the beneficiary of their assistance in the coming weeks and months. Their influence will be even more potent if you proceed as if they are real.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Among your potential strengths as a human being are empathy, sensitivity, and emotional intelligence. You may or may not choose to develop these natural gifts. But if you do, they can be instrumental in helping you achieve the only kind of success that's really meaningful for you—which is success that your heart and soul love as much as your head and your ego. According to my astrological analysis, you are moving into a phase of your cycle when you will have extra power to ripen your empathy, sensitivity, and emotional intelligence—and thereby enhance your ability to achieve the kind of success that's meaningful for you.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Dear Rob the Astrologer: The computer firewall at my youth hostel is blocking your website. I am being told you practice 'Illegal Folklore and Insurrectionary Fairy Tales.' What the hell? Can you do anything at your end to get me access to your wonderful horoscopes? Maybe cut back a bit on your Illegal Folklore and Insurrectionary Fairy Tales? Haha. Just kidding. I love that crazy stuff. —Deprived Leo in Ireland." Dear Deprived: Many of you Leos have lately had problems getting all the Illegal Folklore and Insurrectionary Fairy Tales you need. I hope you will push hard to compensate. In my estimation, you currently have a strong need for dreamy stories that appeal to the Wild Child in you. They're essential to your mental and spiritual health.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life, Donald Miller acknowledges that fear can be a "guide to keep us safe." Being afraid may indeed have its uses and benefits. But Miller adds that it’s also “a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life." In my astrological opinion, Virgo, fear will be of service to you—a guide to keep you safe—about nine percent of the time in 2023. Around 83 percent of the time, it will be a manipulative emotion not worth acting on. For the other eight percent, it will be neither. Please plan accordingly.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Select two sticky situations in your world that you would love to reinvent. Let other annoyances and glitches just slide for now. Then cultivate a focused desire to do everything in your power to transform the two awkward or messy circumstances. Proceed as if you will have to do all the work yourself—that nothing will change for the better unless you take full responsibility. If you're absolutely sure this involves other people altering their behavior, consider the possibility that maybe your behavior needs to shift as well. 

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Three out of four toxic waste dumps in the US are located in predominantly African American or Latino communities. Two million tons of radioactive uranium tailings have been dumped on Native American lands. Three hundred thousand Latino farm workers in the US suffer from pesticide-related sicknesses every year. These travesties make me furious. More importantly, my rage motivates me to mitigate these travesties, like by educating my readers about them and donating money to groups crusading to fix the problems. In the coming weeks, Scorpio, I hope you will take advantage of your astrological potentials by using your anger constructively, too. Now is a favorable time for you to fight fiercely and tenderly for what's right.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I predict that love will bring you many AHA! moments in 2023. You can’t fully prepare yourself for them—and that's a good thing! The epiphanies will be brighter and deeper if they are unexpected. Your motivation to learn the available lessons will be wilder and stronger if you enjoy being surprised. So be ready for lots of entertaining rumbles and reverberations, Sagittarius. The adjustments you will be asked to make will often be strenuous and fun. The inspirations you will be invited to harvest will require you to outgrow some of your previous beliefs about the nature of intimacy and togetherness.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Some insects are helpful to humans. For example, ladybugs devour aphids, which are highly destructive to crops. Damsel bugs eat the pests called leafhoppers, and lacewings feed on the pernicious nuisances known as mealybugs. I also remind you that some bugs are beautiful, like butterflies, dragonflies, and jeweled beetles. Keep these thoughts in mind, Capricorn, as you contemplate my counsel. Metaphorically speaking, you will have experiences with bugs in the next three weeks. But this won’t be a problem if you ally yourself with the good, helpful, and beautiful bugs.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): What are "brain orgasms"? Can you seek them out and make them happen, or do you have to wait patiently for them to arrive in their own sweet time? When they occur, what should you do? Surrender into them with all your welcome fully unleashed? Or should you question whether they're real, be suspicious of their blessings, or dismiss them as irrelevant flukes? I encourage you to meditate on questions like these. That will raise your receptivity to the stream of brain orgasms that life will offer you in the coming weeks.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): My Piscean pagan friend Valie says God is stealthy yet blatant, like a green chameleon perched on a green leaf. After analyzing the astrological omens, I conclude that this is a helpful, all-purpose metaphor for you to use in the coming weeks. I encourage you to be alert for beauty that is hidden in plain sight. See if you can spy the miracles embedded within the ordinary. Ask life to pleasantly blow your mind over and over again. Here's your phrase of power: open secret.

Here's the homework: Ask life to bring you an insight that will help you ameliorate a long-running dilemma.

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