Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): W.S. Merwyn has a poem in which he recounts the surprising counsel of his teacher John Berryman: "he suggested I pray to the Muse/get down on my knees and pray/right there in the corner and he/said he meant it literally." This is perfect advice for you, Aries. Whether you're an artist or businessperson or leisure specialist with a trust fund, you could really use the rousing intervention of a divinely tender goad. Keep in mind that your source of inspiration need not be an actual human being. The composer Robert Schumann had long conversations with his imaginary friends, Florestan and Eusebius, (all cq) who provided valuable ideas for his musical scores. One last thing: If you send out your fervent benediction and get no response, consider putting out a casting call for replacements.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): What I wish for you this week, Taurus, is that you'll refuse to be easily satisfied; that you'll be a bitchy perfectionist; that you'll be itchy to know more about the maneuvering going on behind the scenes. Frustration, I hope, will be your fuel. Barely sweetened lemonade, I trust, will be your drink of choice. These are blessings, my dear, not curses. I pray that you'll pick your scabs until they bleed so the healing process can start over — the right way this time.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Oppressively nice, sentimental comfort addicts are giving happiness a bad name. They must be stopped — and you, Gemini, are the right person for the job. A robust Nietzschean joy is about to roar through you, bringing fresh, rowdy notions about how to apply the metaphor of ingenious foreplay to everything you do. Please do not waste this euphoric deluge on any of the 1,000,001 numbing little diversions that pass for pleasure in our ecstasy-starved culture. Hold out for primordial rapture.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): As my great-aunt Sophie, the 88-year-old aerobics teacher, once told me, "The greatest gift you can give your ego is to make it understand it's totally insignificant in the cosmic scheme of things." My ex-ghoulfriend Elizabeth was perhaps getting at the same idea when, after torturously teasing me for three hours, she scrawled on my mirror in lipstick, "Sometimes you enjoy it more when you don't understand it." And then there's my astrological colleague Antero Alli. (cq) He believes that all of life's goodies are more possible to attain if you're willing to regularly abandon all hope and become utterly empty. The moral of the story, my dear: There may be no moral of the story until you give up every idea you've always been attached to about what the moral of the story is.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Do you have the horsepower to bolt from 0-80 mph in 10 seconds flat? If not, get it. Do you have the brakes to slow smoothly to 35 mph in another three seconds flat? If not, why not? Do you have the boisterous subtlety to shift from a playful murmur to a no-nonsense roar and back to a cryptic stage whisper in order to prove your points to your captive audience? I think you do. Would you consider carrying a sledgehammer and Krazy Glue with you at all times in case you're inspired to assemble a delicate monument in the same place where you make an unscheduled demolition? I hope so.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When I urge you to engage in an orgy of refurbishing and restructuring, Virgo, I don't so much mean that you should reuse the elastic from old underwear or turn empty prescription bottles into Popsicle molds. That would be fine, but I'm thinking primarily of less literal, more poetic forms of recycling. Like dusting off slightly faded dreams and refitting them with futuristic replacement parts. Or planting an autumn garden of earthly delights in the compost of summer's aging successes.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the coming months I'd love for you to dream up lots of new rituals. The traditional ceremonies and observances bequeathed to you by your family may push your nostalgia button, but they often miss your funky soul button. Just imagine if you had up-to-date rituals designed not for the person you were years ago but for the fresh self you've become. I think you'd be surprised to find how much power they'd give you to tune in to and influence the invisible forces that shape your life's long-term cycles. To get you in the mood to brainstorm, let's conduct a miniature rite of passage. On a piece of paper, list the major obstacles that seem to prevent you from creating a more complete and interesting version of success. Then burn that paper while chanting, "I will crush those puny impediments like cockroaches beneath my shoe!"

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If you would just let go of that cliff edge you're so desperately clinging to, you'd plummet a grand total of about six inches — not 5,000 feet, as you seem to believe. Not that I want you to stop spouting all the agitated, inspired poetry you've been fitting in between primal screams. But do you think that maybe you could find a way to keep us all equally entertained without imagining yourself in mortal danger?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Reality," according to gonzo philosopher Robert Anton Wilson, (cq) "is what you can get away with." Faithful readers of my column profit from this formula all the time, getting away with far more reality than the uninitiated. This week the pickings are especially rich for you Sagittarians. To achieve the most outrageously rich results imaginable, use these four simple techniques: 1) Rehearse successful outcomes in your mind's eye. 2) Expand your ability to feel gratitude and appreciation. 3) Don't demand all-or-nothing answers; accept partial solutions. 4) Interrupt your negative trains of thought by forcing yourself to visualize the crazy sweet adventures you plan to enjoy someday.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You're far smarter than you suspect. You know more than you know you know. This will soon become thrillingly obvious, as backlogs of suppressed, forgotten and spanking-new wisdom surge into your conscious awareness. Try not to spontaneously shriek with triumph every single time a miraculous insight overwhelms you; it could alienate the people who'd benefit most from your influence. But I do forgive you in advance if you become even more maddeningly omniscient than an ordinary know-it- all. I'm quite happy that you'll often have at least three answers for everything — and they'll all be correct.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Are you vying to be the most modern dinosaur on your block? Or are you simply too far ahead of your time for any of us to read accurately? Is your main job in life to inspire us all to reinvent our attachments to the old ways? Or is it to lead the charge toward the scary future that most of the rest of us are too cowardly or narrow-minded to envision? I'm hoping that this week we'll find out the answers to these big questions once and for all.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The past few weeks have brought odd victories. You haven't so much solved as you've outgrown mysteries that have frustrated you for quite a while. You've received rewards that you no longer care about as much as you once did. And you've finally lost interest — thank the goddess — in hide-and-seek shenanigans that you'd been addicted to. As wistful and curious as these breakthroughs have been, they'll seem like prologue to what comes next. Get ready to tackle the most useful and fascinating problems you've had in eons

Send your proofs of telepathy, reincarnation, dark matter, and black holes to Rob "I'll Believe Anything" Brezsny at

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