Free Will Astrology 

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In a past life you may have been a peasant who worked as a scullery maid at a rural castle and never traveled more than five miles from home. Perhaps you were the sickly bastard child of a nun and monk, confined to bed and taught by private tutors in a remote section of a monastery. That would explain why you now have the privilege of being a proud, free, strong-willed and adventurous Aries. You must have paid your karmic debt last time around. Get ready to capitalize on the old days in the next few weeks. You're about to harvest a blessing that you earned during your difficult past.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In 1997, Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to persuade more than 100 countries to ban deadly land mines. When she held a press conference at the end of a dirt road near her Vermont farmhouse, she was barefoot and wore jeans and a tank top, reflecting the unassuming nature that had served her so well during years of dogged efforts to change the world. I nominate this ordinary hero to be your role model. Your gradual, matter-of-fact persistence will give you the power to make a fundamental improvement in the way your environment reflects your ideals.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Feeling daunted by looming decisions? You'll discover helpful clues in places where you'd normally never look. In fact, the further outside your usual sphere you go, the more likely you are to find exactly what you need. Pore over the journals of American pioneers Lewis and Clark; ask a professional baker to create a loaf of bread from scratch right in front of your eyes; gaze at the planet Jupiter through a powerful telescope; go to a high perch where you can see for miles and miles.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The passage below was written by the poet James Tate. As you read it, I'd like you to imagine that it describes an unfinished metaphor for a situation you're actually involved in. Then write a few sentences in which you speculate on what will happen next. Here's the passage. "Mostly we were able to ignore the hairy thing in the corner. It seemed to be leaking some green fluid, but we could walk around that. It gave off an unpleasant odor, a cross between Limburger cheese and a decomposing skunk, but we never mentioned it. We didn't seem to have a plan for getting rid of it. It wasn't really hurting anybody. And then one day I thought I heard it singing. And another day it seemed to say I love you."

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Below are events that the cosmos is conspiring to put on your schedule in the coming weeks. You could postpone them until later in the year, but you'll have the best results if you surrender to their necessity in the near future. 1) Open your heart as far as it'll go without ripping it apart. 2) Dive into a whirlpool of emotions without being pulled to the bottom or swept away. 3) Deepen and intensify a juicy relationship with a worthy ally, but without distorting your relationship with yourself. 4) Get smarter about love than you ever dreamed possible.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You may be able to elude the cosmic jokes that are brewing in your vicinity. Your intelligence is both crafty and practical these days, and it could very well keep you consistently in the right places at the right times. But in order to grab an extra advantage in your guerrilla battle with the forces of mischief, I suggest you indulge regularly in a good, long primal scream. Go out in the middle of the woods or find a sanctuary where no one will call the cops: Just find a way to unleash a soul-cleansing howl that will flush away your festering anxieties. There's no better technique for making yourself unappealing to rascally demons and pests.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "After several hours of careful rumination and a difficult weighing of the possibilities," said a character on the TV show "Frasier," "I have decided to be playful today." This is the exact approach I recommend for you. Be disciplined in your preparations for a wild release. Carefully organize the events that will allow you to explode in joyous spontaneity. Think long and hard about how you can bring more fertile, rejuvenating chaos into your life.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Here's one of my favorite paradoxes. All of us are eminently fallible nobodies. We're crammed with delusions and base emotions. We give ourselves more slack than we ever give anyone else; we're brilliant at justifying our irrational biases with seemingly logical explanations. And yet it's equally true that every one of us is a glorious creation unlike any other in the history of the world. We're all stars with inexhaustible potential, gods and goddesses in the making. I suspect you will vividly embody this paradox this week, as you range from the ignominious depths to the breathtaking heights.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To celebrate his birthday last month, 7-year-old Sagittarian Michael Wong-Sasso invited 40 kids to a party at his favorite spot: the Sunshine Canyon Landfill near Los Angeles. "I like putting trash where it belongs," he told a reporter. "I like making the world cleaner. Recycling is good for all the people in the world." I hope that you are infected with a similar passion in the coming week. This is an excellent time for you to get really excited about throwing away stuff you no longer need. Staging a bash at your local garbage dump may be a bit much, but how about getting together with your friends and sympathizers for a purge-the-junk party?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You'll be able to squeeze blood out of a turnip this week. You'll derive dramatic lessons from seemingly ordinary events. You'll get more done in less time and draw more delight than usual from familiar pleasures. Sleep will be deeper and your dreamers richer; you may be able to go to bed later and wake up earlier. Your body will extract more nutrients from the food you eat and you'll be able to suck secrets from even the most impenetrable mysteries.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Your birthday season begins now. It doesn't matter whether the official date is today or in 25 days: You have astrological permission and poetic license to launch the celebration immediately and not finish up until February 18. To start off, present yourself with something luxurious, sensual and elegant. Two days later, treat yourself to something bold, brash and bright. Next, how about a legal high? And after that, maybe a secret weapon, followed by a magical tool and then a map to buried treasure. Before you're done almost four weeks from now, I hope you will have blessed yourself with at least seven exciting surprises.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Good news for all you hard-driving stress managers who think you're wasting time if you're not doing two tasks at once: In the next few weeks, you'll be working hard even while you're fast asleep. Due to an unprecedented confluence of your unconscious and conscious minds, your dreams will produce a number of lucid revelations about your knottiest dilemmas. Have a pen and notebook by your bed to scrawl down fleeting gems. Clear your schedule each morning so you can devote at least 30 minutes to problem-solving while your nighttime insights are still fresh. Even if you don't remember your dreams, their rich afterimages will be with you subliminally, giving your analytical mind a boost. Want to know more about my music CD and book? Check out these page on my Web site: www.freewillastrology.com/cds/ and

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