Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It’s not easy to distinguish rich clues from the misleading trivia. You'll have to be a perceptive detective as well as a good listener. I've devised a test that will train your mind for the challenge. Of the following truths, only three can serve as metaphors to help you live a happier, fuller life in the coming days. Which are they? 1) Toupees for dogs are sold in Japan. 2) The first American flags were made of hemp. 3) Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left. 4) About 0.7 percent of the world's population is currently drunk. 5) Buzz Aldrin was the first man to wet his pants on the moon. 6) You're more likely to be attacked by a cow than a shark. 7) The Saguaro cactus doesn't grow branches until it's more than 70 years old.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Life is for most of us one long postponement," wrote Henry Miller. "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," observed John Lennon. "Kids have the good sense to choose one lollipop today over three lollipops tomorrow," said author Wayne Dyer. I hope these three quotes make you feel itchy and repentant. I hope they fire you up with an urge to be disloyal to the crippling religion of dutiful procrastination. Cultivate a voracious appetite for freewheeling spontaneity.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "I know the way you can get/When you have not had a drink of Love," begins a poem by the ecstatic Sufi poet Hafiz (rendered by Daniel Ladinsky). "Your face hardens,/Your sweet muscles cramp./Children become concerned/About a strange look that appears in your eyes/Which even begins to worry your own mirror." I send this out to you as a tender warning and a gentle prod. Please hunt down a drink of Love that will begin to quench your longing. Hint: If you're fixated on thinking that it has to come from a romantic or sexual encounter, it will elude you.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In the coming weeks, I bet you'll be tempted to straddle the fine line between charisma and BS, between creativity and fakery, between dreaming up wildly useful innovations with your fertile imagination and just making stuff up to get your way. Having received this warning from me, however, maybe you'll be conscientious about staying on the brighter side. Every time you tell a little fib in order to make room for a great truth, you'll do so with impeccable integrity. Whenever you pretend to know and be things you haven't actually perfected yet, you'll be picking up tips that will eventually make you an authentic master.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Many pro baseball players now have theme songs. As home run king Barry Bonds strides to the plate, stadium loudspeakers reverberate with Dr. Dre's "Next Episode." Seattle's Bret Boone favors "Elevation" by U2, and Atlanta's Andruw Jones prefers "Last Resort" by Papa Roach. This is an excellent idea for all of us nonballplayers to adopt — especially as you head into the heart of your personal high-ambition season. Even if you've had a personal anthem in the past, it's time to find a fresh one that embodies the attitude you want to bring to your new success cycle. Steer away from tormented rants like Pink's "Missundaztood," and head in the direction of declarations of independence like India.Arie's "Video" or Mary J. Blige's "No More Drama."

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Behind your back, your imaginary friend is plotting with your inner child to overthrow your guilty conscience. Your future self has traveled into the past to enlist the spirits of your ancestors in a conspiracy to unlock your sleeping genius. The superhero you used to fantasize about being when you felt most helpless has been brought to life by the mad scientist in your psyche's basement.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Some of your cohorts have been acting so 20th century lately; they've been trying to get away with antiquated ways of thinking that are irrelevant in the face of the future shock we're all wrestling with. Ask those folks to snap out of their trances immediately. Where you're going, you can't afford to be collaborating with anyone who ignores wake-up calls. You've got innovators to meet and shape-shifters to learn from.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The black water of Rio Negro and the yellowish-brown water of Rio Solimoes converge near the Brazilian city of Manaus. For a few miles they refuse to blend, flowing side by side as if intent on maintaining their autonomy. This two-toned phenomenon happens to be the official beginning of one of the world's longest and sexiest rivers, the Amazon. I hereby name it your official metaphor of the moment. Will the unmingled flows in your life eventually mix, as the Amazon's do? Or will they remain separate indefinitely? That depends: What do you want?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I have a personal opinion about which side is more at fault in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, but so what? It would contribute nothing to the only important issue — how to stop the killing and foster a lasting peace. A similar principle is at work in your own sphere: As long as blame dominates the discussion, as long as everyone is attached to the correctness of their analysis, then the smartest solution is impossible to even imagine. Serve love, not vindication.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This week brings Turn Beauty Inside-Out Day. How to celebrate? Ridicule the epidemic compulsion to worship physically attractive people. Spit at airbrushed photos of celebrities who have parlayed extensive cosmetic surgery and a squadron of stylists to create the illusion of outward perfection. Once you have all that healthy rebellion out of the way, enjoy Turn Beauty Inside-Out Day in a more constructive manner. You might start by organizing an Inner Beauty contest among your cohorts. You'll probably win. Right now, you are the fairest of them all. You're psychologically gorgeous, spiritually lovely and ethically ravishing.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I don't usually encourage acquisitive behavior. But you deserve a special dispensation — if you're motivated by your soul's hunger, not your ego's greed. Find a way to pull that off, and you'll you have license to gather up a huge cache of goodies. It shouldn't be too hard to do just that, since the available treasures have little appeal to your need for status and a lot of appeal to your longing for meaning.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): On an episode of the TV show "Even Stevens," overachieving teenager Ren decides she needs to display more school spirit by joining the pep squad. It'll look good on her résumé when it comes time to apply for college. Unfortunately, peppiness doesn't come naturally to Ren. The head cheerleader has to lecture her on improving her attitude, admonishing her to "reach deep down inside and find your perky place." There are far more profound reasons for you to follow this same advice right now. You can't imagine how important it is for you to practice being devoutly cheerful, sublimely upbeat and fiercely optimistic. Tell me the worst habit that infects your thinking; the most important way you need to retrain your mind. Write:

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