Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Do you ever feel an urge to kiss trees? Do animals sometimes talk to you? Do you have a special fascination with chocolate roosters, statues of pro wrestlers and conspiracy theories? Have you ever fantasized of being a transsexual spy? If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you’re most likely an extraterrestrial who has amnesia or is in disguise. The upcoming week will be fantastic because events will remind you of life on your home planet. If you answered no to three or more questions, you’re probably not an alien, but for maximum comfort you should act like one this week.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The world’s largest private bank, Citigroup, has agreed to stop financing projects that damage sensitive ecosystems and indigenous people. How did this impossible dream come to pass? The humble but dogged environmental group, Rainforest Action Network, creatively pestered Citigroup for years until the corporation gave into its demands. I see a comparable David-over-Goliath victory in your future, Taurus. For inspiration, recall Margaret Mead’s words: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has."

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is rising about a minute earlier each morning and setting a minute later every evening. As a result, you’re drinking in about 15 minutes more sunlight every week. The psychological effect of this steady influx has been slowly growing and, in concert with certain astrological influences, will soon reach critical mass. As a result, you will become sun-like: a luminous beacon of warmth. Everything you shine upon will look brighter, and your own beauty will be highly visible too. It will be a perfect time, therefore, to make a dramatic move that helps you pursue your dreams.

QUANTUM FLUX (also known as CANCER) (June 21-July 22): Many people have come to feel that nature is boring, notes educator Thomas Poplawski. Writing in "Renewal" magazine, he fingers television’s hyperactive imagery as the cause. In becoming addicted to this alternative reality, the mass audience has become numb to the more slow-paced entertainment value of trees and mountains and streams and clouds. Have you been contaminated? If so, this is a perfect astrological moment to seek the cure. I urge you to wander out into the wild places and stay there until you see how interesting they are.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If you eventually become a millionaire philanthropist at some later date, it will probably be because of the forces you set in motion during the next three weeks. If, in the 22nd century, there arises a religious cult that worships you as a sex god or love goddess, it will be because of a seed you germinate very soon. Finally, Leo, if you are ultimately destined to discover the key to eternal youth, it will have a lot to do with the spacious new question you begin to ask now. These are days of awe and mystery.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In order to live, you’ve got to be a demolisher. You take plants and animals that were once alive and rip them apart with your teeth, then disintegrate them in your digestive system. Your body is literally on fire inside, burning up oxygen you suck into your lungs. You didn’t actually cut down the trees used to make your house and furniture, but you colluded with their demise. Then there’s the psychological liquidation you’ve done: killing off old beliefs you’ve outgrown, for instance. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty, Virgo — just pointing out that you have a lot of experience with positive expressions of destruction. Can you think of other forms this magic takes? It’s your specialty these days.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): It’s a perfect time to launch an uprising against God. Due to a favorable alignment of your sign, the "rebel goddess" asteroid Lilith and Cruithne, Earth’s "second moon," you have special leeway with the Supreme Being. It’s almost certain that you won’t be punished if you bitch and complain to Him about the injustices he has allowed to fester in your life. Your angry protest may even get things changed for the better. Sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get the grease, even in divine matters.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Some branches of Eastern religions teach the doctrine "Kill out desire." In their view, yearning for earthly pleasures is at the root of all human suffering. The Western religion of materialism takes the opposite tack, asserting that the meaning of life is to be found in enjoying earthly pleasures. Its message is "Feed your raw longings like a French foie gras farmer cramming eight pounds of maize down a goose’s gullet every day." We here at Free Will Astrology walk a middle path. We believe there are many degrading desires that enslave you and a few sacred desires that liberate you. Your mission in the coming weeks, Scorpio, is to identify the sacred kind and pursue them with your wild heart unleashed.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Your power this week will come primarily from decisions not made, words not spoken, actions not taken and spaces not filled. Everything you need will arrive if you have created enough emptiness. Everything you love will thrive if it has the freedom to do and be nothing. To ensure that you never succumb to the pressure of Type A bullies who think every moment has to be filled with ambitious commotion, steal away often to stare dreamily out the window and listen to the sound of silence.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It’s time for a check-in, Capricorn. What progress have you been making in your work on this year’s major assignments? As I suggested last December, you’re most likely to attract good fortune in 2004 if you regularly break out of your comfort zone and go wandering in unfamiliar places. You’ll discover fresh secrets about how to feel happy and healthy whenever you try things you’ve never tried before. Alas, I fear many of you have yet to make a whole-hearted commitment to this thrilling quest. But if you have been waffling, it’s the perfect week to dive in. And if you did take the plunge a while ago, you’ll harvest a big reward any day now.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Since 1994, Mexico’s Zapatistas have evolved from a small guerrilla army fighting for the rights of indigenous people to an international cultural force whose battles are mostly waged with symbols and words. The Zapatista leader, who goes by the pseudonym Subcomandante Marcos, always appears in public wearing a mask. Periodically, his old mask wears out and he has to replace it with a fresh one. Rumor has it that he has gone through ten in ten years. I think this would be a good standard for all of us to live up to: to molt our persona, or social mask, once a year. It’s about that time for you, Aquarius, especially considering how much your inner world has transformed.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Normally I endorse the proverb that says, "You can’t cross a chasm in two short jumps." In your current state of grace, however, you just may be able to find a loophole in that cosmic law. The massive amounts of dumb luck that have been surging your way seem to be on the verge of mutating into out-and-out miracles. You could be the first anti- hero in your family line to turbo-charge a quantum leap of faith in mid-leap. Here’s this week’s homework: I dare you to unleash the smart animal within you that has been restricted because of the actions of the dumb animal in

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