Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Steven Forrest, author of The Inner Sky and Skymates, is the most brilliant astrologer alive. And he says the most dangerous life an Aries can live is a safe one. To develop courage is your most crucial assignment, and there's no better way to do that than by regularly pushing into unknown territory. If you tolerate boredom, then you're inviting the universe to come and kick your ass — to force you, through unpleasant distractions, to summon more boldness. To protect yourself as you pursue the real magic, you must regularly face your fears.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Late at night when there's no traffic, I like to stride down the middle of empty roads that by day are crawling with cars. I dance, pirouette, sing songs made up on the spot, fling my arms up in prayer, and generally celebrate my sovereignty over a territory that usually belongs to heavy machines and their operators. In the coming week, be inspired by my example. Seize power in a spot where you normally have little influence. If only for an hour, and even if you're the sole inhabitant, act like you own the place. With all your heart, imagine that you are its ruler and rule-maker. This will allay any anxiety that might be gnawing at your confidence.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I dreamed you were chanting softly as you shambled through an autumn meadow at night. Your feet were bare. You wore a white robe and carried a white candle. Standing on a hill above you, I was sad to hear these mournful words coming from your lips: "Which is worse: to never be truly loved or to be loved for the wrong reasons?" Filled with compassion, I unleashed three ringing whistles in the direction of the rising moon. As if emerging from the silver disc itself, a swan swooped down and dropped a bundle in front of you. Inside was a book. You opened it and read the following text aloud with quizzical amusement: "Which is better: to be bursting with inexhaustible love or to feel the whole universe eternally pouring its love into me?" Then I woke up.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You now have a chance to investigate hairy imperfections that are pregnant with perfectly fascinating possibilities. So are you ready? Of course not — you can't really prepare for stuff like this. Where you're headed, apparent breakdowns will mutate into breakthroughs; each spiritual emergency will spawn a spiritual emergence; scary trails will lead you, if you keep your sense of humor, to sacred trials.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In modern culture, we use the terms "fate" and "destiny" interchangeably. According to scholar Zecharia Sitchin, however, the people who lived in ancient Sumer distinguished between them. Nam, the Sumerian term for "destiny," is fixed and unalterable, while namtar, or "fate," can be massaged, played with, even cheated. You now have a prime opportunity to slip away from a destined path and start bustling down a fateful shortcut.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Is it true that you're fantasizing about being possessed by blind, reeling obsession? That's what my spies tell me. They say you're so weary of the meticulous approach you usually cultivate that you secretly wish you could be taken and shaken, flipped and flopped, zoomed and boomed by a flood of uncontrollable feelings. While I appreciate your yearning for an outbreak of head-spinning passion, I believe you can arrange for it to occur in less drastic fashion. I beg you to dream about indulging in a refined spree, a discerning bacchanal, a measured mania.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Evelyn Glennie is one of the world's most renowned percussionists. She has performed with many top orchestras, has released 13 albums and has won a Grammy. She is also profoundly deaf. Most people imagine her hearing difficulty is a huge obstacle to playing music, but it's so irrelevant to Glennie's work that it's barely mentioned on her Web site. Let's make this the starting point for your meditations this week. Is there any activity you've assumed you'll never do because of what you consider a natural barrier or incapacity? It's time to reconsider that dogma. Make Evelyn Glennie your patron saint.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If I can't talk you out of shooting apples off the heads of trusting volunteers, can I at least convince you to use toy darts with rubber suction cups on the end? Would you consider trading in your warped bow and off-brand arrows for a state-of-the-art set? When this much is at stake, you shouldn't remain fanatically committed to outmoded promises you made when conditions were very different. Or if you do, you shouldn't rely on resources that just happen to be lying around. (P.S. Are you sure I can't talk you into aiming at more useful and interesting targets?)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I'm going to suggest an "as if" exercise, Sagittarius. It's meant to take place entirely in your mind's eye and most definitely not be acted out, at least not yet. Here's my proposal: Spend four days imagining what your life might be like if you decided you were no longer saving yourself for a mythical "later." See yourself doing exactly what you long to do most, passionately carrying out the mission you came here to accomplish. During this brief sabbatical, you will banish all excuses about why you can't possibly follow your bliss. You will act as if you are aligned with the heart of creation — as if you're a genius in love with your life.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I hereby appoint you the official role model in charge of demonstrating what it means to be a smart lover in every situation. (Yes, every situation, not just those that directly involve romance.) I also bestow upon you the demanding title of "Enforcer of Amazing Grace," hoping this will incite you to call on reserves of smoothness and poise and beneficence you didn't know you had. Finally, I exhort you to be fiercely committed to seeing the best in everyone, even if you have to dig deep to find it. In giving you these huge responsibilities, I'm acting on clues provided by the astrological omens. They say that generosity of spirit is the key to you getting what you really want.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I bet that even if you're not literally far from home these days, you're on an odyssey of some sort. You're being led away from familiar feelings and ideas. You're in transit to an unknown country. You're changing but you're not yet sure how. During this time of wandering, I recommend that you adopt a new "travel name" — a special alias that will help bring home to you the seminal power of this phase. One name you might want to consider is the Nigerian Uzoma, which means "born during a journey."

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): If you were Bob Dylan, would you have licensed your poetic anthem, "The Times They Are A-Changin'" to be used in a commercial by a Canadian bank? Or are you more like Beck, who turned down Miller Beer's plea to buy one of his songs for $300,000? You will soon face a quandary, that will ask you to meditate on questions like these. To couch your looming decisions in even more universal terms: Do you have anything in common with the young woman in the fairy tale who gave up the work she adored in order to win the love of a prince? Or do you have a clear idea of how to stay true to what's most valuable, even if an interesting temptation is calling you away? Would you have to violate your spiritual principles in order to get cosmetic surgery? If not, what kind would you start with? Tell all at

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