Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Give each of your two closest companions a gift. It should fire up their ambitions, not appeal to their urges to be comfortable. It shouldn't be a practical necessity or ho-hum consumer fetish, but rather an adult toy or provocative tool. It should be an imaginative boon they've been hesitant to ask for, an extravagantly beautiful thing that expands their self-image, a surprising intervention that says, "I love the way you change me."

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Close your eyes and visualize yourself walking in nature. Feel the resilient strength of your leg muscles and the touch of the air on your face. Breathe deeply as you quietly exult in the motion of your arms swinging rhythmically. Gaze slightly upward, taking in the far horizon and the sweep of the sky. Now imagine that the wind becomes noticeably stronger. Nearby branches wave, unleashing a rising whoosh. Your heartbeat quickens; your flesh prickles with a reflexive alertness. What you're experiencing is a primal excitement at the growing energy around you; a heightened awareness of the sheer aliveness of the world. Everything I just described is a perfect metaphor for the turning point that will arrive this week.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Many Geminis are almost too multitalented for their own good. One of my friends is a fine actress, singer, dancer and poet. Another has expertise in forestry, medieval music, city planning, and graphic arts. They find it difficult to concentrate on just one field of endeavor because they can't bring themselves to ignore the rest. They never get really polished at any one thing and have trouble earning a wage commensurate with their talent. If this describes your own fate even a little, it's now a favorable time to make a change. In the coming months it will be far less painful than usual — possibly even unexpectedly pleasurable — to commit yourself to a single path.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Production should have already begun for the new crop of dramas due to be unveiled in September. But you haven't even decided on the scripts yet! Better make your choices soon. I hope you pass up the story about the bright light who prostitutes her talent because she's afraid of failing in her quest for her real dream. Ditto the show about the moody innocent who turns down a whirlwind journey and retreats to his safe little cave. The best script is the reality show in which the hero carries on a brave struggle to balance her security needs with her longings for adventure.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I foresee a future when women will fill half of all leadership roles instead of 10 percent of them, when their earnings and time spent doing child care will equal men's, when women's orgasms are as frequent as men's and when most guys understand that misogyny is hazardous to their own health. Until then, I urge you, regardless of gender, to work with tender ingenuity as you stir up and flesh out female power. To do so will be especially rewarding in the coming weeks. Your intelligence, sex appeal and happiness will flourish in direct proportion.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Looks like the Season of a Million Emotions hasn't wiped you out completely. Though it may be hard to tell because of the puddles of tears by your bed and the piles of ashes from your burnt offerings, you've managed to maintain a modicum of poise. You're not spitting into the wind and throwing stones at heaven while trying to dance naked on the roof with a hangover, right? That’s a sign you've escaped a trap you've always been a sucker for. I bet that if you can just hold on to your sanity for another eight days or so, you'll finally graduate from the University of Senseless Pain, where you've been matriculating for way too long.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You're climaxing a phase of development that's been unfolding for many moons. Soon you'll be tying up loose ends and resolving unfinished business; by October you'll launch a whole new cycle. While you're basking here in the glow of your full bloom, you'd be wise to wrap things up with a flourish. What beauty do you want to leave behind as you depart from this era? What blessings will you bequeath to express your gratitude for all the formative experiences you'd had?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I predict you will soon win at least one of the following: a Congressional Medal of Honor, a blue ribbon from a local fair, a Nobel Prize, a report card with all A's, an honorary degree from a major university or a plaque commemorating your service beyond the call of duty. If my prediction doesn't come true, you have cosmic permission to forge homemade versions of any of the above. You may also go down to the trophy store and buy yourself the biggest, shiniest trophy. Get it engraved with a title like "Supreme Champion Love God/Goddess" or "Tricky Master of Lush Wisdom" or "Deepest Feeler of the Year."

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): One of the advantages of being an astrologer is that when I'm tired of being myself, I can easily take a vacation. My knowledge of the zodiac allows me to slip away from the claustrophobic confines of my own horoscope and impersonate other astrological configurations. I return from this sabbatical with a renewed love for the unique puzzle that is my innate personality. You should take a similar break in the coming week. I dare you to follow the advice in at least three of the other signs' horoscopes.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Where two tributaries of a river blend into one — that's one of your power spots this week. Where the tree meets the ground is another magic symbol, along with the boundary where cloud and sky join, the double darkness where your shadow overlaps a friend's shadow and the sweet spiral time when night gives way to the dawn. You will tap into the ripest inspiration in the liminal areas; you'll find the truths you need most wherever one web of mystery merges with another.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In second grade I got the best marks in my class, and was extremely polite and well-behaved. That's why my fellow students were shocked when I perfected the art of making farting noises by cupping my hand in my underarm and rapidly squeezing. I could do it so surreptitiously that my teacher never guessed the source. I regard this as a sign of great wisdom. It was a recognition that being good all the time can be dangerous to one's mental health; that we all have a dark side that needs to be exercised now and then. I found a way to rebel against my glossy image without doing harm to myself or anyone else. In the coming weeks, find or create a safe place for your evil twin to get its ya-yas out: something resembling a gym or playpen.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Here are further signs that the apocalypse may have already occurred. 1) An environmental organization sent me five free Jennifer Lopez-themed refrigerator magnets as a promotion for its new ecological initiative. 2) A blind German psychic has announced that he can divine the future by fondling people's naked butts. 3) Recent polls report that for a majority of Americans, vacations are exhausting and debilitating. 4) My mother just got her first toe ring and my dad casually announced he believes that "everyone is a performance artist." 5) The Piscean tribe is finally ready to discover why there is a rowdy, regenerative power in proclaiming to the world, "I am empty of all hope and I don’t know anything!" What's the title of the book you'd like to write? What's the name of the rock band you'd be in? What do you call your guardian angel? Testify at

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