Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): *Wabi-sabi* is your guiding principle this week, Aries. It’s a Japanese term for a kind of beauty that’s imperfect, transitory, and incomplete. In his book *Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers*, Leonard Koren says *wabi-sabi* differs from the Western notion that beauty resides in things that are "monumental, spectacular, and enduring." It’s about "the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral: things so subtle and evanescent they are almost invisible at first glance." Be calmly eager for these small wonders, Aries, that open up the secret joys concealed within the passing moments of your everyday routine.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you’ve gone to college in the United States, you’ve taken the SAT, a standardized test administered to high school students. Is it an accurate measure of intelligence? In a recent analysis, the *Princeton Review* determined that if the great Taurus writer, William Shakespeare, had submitted his "All the world’s a stage" speech for the essay section of the SAT, he would have flunked. Its language is too colorful. I suspect that you, too, may soon be judged or evaluated by one-dimensional minds, Taurus. Don’t take it personally. Take their off-kilter response as a sign that you need to work harder to situate yourself in environments that fully appreciate you.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I love my regular hikes to the top of idyllic Mohawk Hill. Green hills cascade in every direction. Red-tailed hawks soar overhead. But there is one blight: a gray metal storage structure surrounded by barbed-wire fence. At the climax of my ascent today, I rejoiced to find that this monstrosity had been improved. Artistic vandals had paid a visit, covering it with bright that was mostly indecipherable, except for one patch that clearly said "Test Your Strength." That brings me to the point of this week’s horoscope, Gemini. Your assignment is to carry out a legal version of what the vandals did: Bring dynamic, interesting disruption to a sterile, ugly scene, thereby testing your strength.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your symbol for the next four weeks will be the Great Wall of China. Centuries ago, it was a 4,000-mile-long defense system. In that respect, it was an apt metaphor for the formidable barriers you’ve built around yourself. But the modern version of the Great Wall is only one- third the size it once was, having been reduced over the centuries by people appropriating its stones for new building projects. This reduced state, I hope, is an apt metaphor for the way you’ll be dismantling your defense mechanisms between now and June 20.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "I knew that my God was bigger than his," bragged U.S. Army Lt. General William G. Boykin as he derided a Somalian guerrilla leader. "I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol." I can’t vouch for the accuracy of Boykin’s assertion, but I do know this, Leo: According to my analysis of the cosmic omens, your Supreme Being *really is* stronger, sweeter and sexier than everyone else’s Supreme Beings, at least temporarily. I don’t advise you to sic Him on anyone, though — not even on the jerks who seem to deserve it. There’d be hell to pay later if you did. But if you and your God show extra mercy and generosity in the coming weeks, you will accrue tremendous karmic credit, which you’ll be able to harvest beginning in August.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Can you wait a while to receive your vindication, recognition and reward? I hope so. If you insist on your prize immediately, it will be unfinished. If you’re patient, on the other hand, fate will be able to fashion you a riper and more useful blessing. Do you need further motivation, Virgo? Here’s some. One of the weak spots in your mastery of the game of life has been a lack of good timing, but lately you’ve been getting better at sensing the arrival of the perfect moment. Let this growing skill grow a little more.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I don’t want to encourage you to be a lazy, crazy, hazy drifter who careens from chance encounter to chance encounter without any specific intention in mind . . . but I do want to invite you to be an adventure-chasing, dream- intoxicated, passion-awakening wanderer who glides from experiment to experiment armed with the goal of opening your mind as far it can safely go. Head in the direction of the best smells and most intriguing mysteries, Libra.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Your fresh dilemma is actually a twisted old predicament in disguise. It’s a bit prettier than it was the last time you saw it, but just as knotty. Please don’t underestimate it. If you imagine you can force it to disappear overnight, you’ll make bumbling decisions and awkward moves. If, on the other hand, you assume you’ll need steady, prolonged effort, you will attract excellent luck and unexpected help. Be a humble warrior motivated not by hatred for the problem but by love for yourself.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Let’s talk about repression and suppression. When you repress a difficult feeling or thought, you drive it so deeply into your unconscious mind that you forget about it. And yet because this exiled material is of crucial importance, it refuses to remain buried. It ultimately re-emerges in disguise, often as an addiction or obsession, sometimes as an illness. Suppression, on the other hand, is a healthier mechanism. It involves you moving the problematic feeling or thought away from the center of your attention, but remaining aware of it. You’re not motivated by fear, but by the intention to deal with the challenge at a time of your choosing. In the coming week, Sagittarius, you’ll have to decide between repression and suppression. I hope you’ll pick the latter.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Professional handicappers say the odds are a billion-to-1 that any particular person will ultimately achieve sainthood, but a mere 70,000-to-1 that someone will be possessed by Satan. According to my reading of the cosmic signs, however, those figures won’t apply to you Capricorns in the coming weeks. I estimate that the odds of you flirting with diabolical forces will be 900 million-to-1, while the odds are 5-to-1 that you will perform services and bestow blessings that qualify you for sainthood.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In his book *Weird Ideas That Work,* business consultant Robert Sutton advises companies to have as much commitment to creativity as to stability. That’s why, in his opinion, they should hire a few free thinkers who enjoy bucking the status quo and are willing to fight for their unique ideas. I think everyone would benefit from heeding that advice; we all need people in our lives who regularly push us to question our assumptions. You Aquarians especially need this influence right now. Do you know any good troublemakers you can call on to get your dogmas disrupted? If not, find one.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): It has taken eight centuries, but the Dutch people have added 3,000 square miles to their country. They accomplished this feat not through the conquest of neighboring nations but by building dikes and moving great amounts of water, gradually transforming parts of the sea into livable land. Their dogged effort is a good metaphor for the work I propose for you, Pisces. Think of your unconscious mind as the sea and your conscious mind as the land. Can you imagine what it would entail for you to turn some of those watery depths into solid ground where you can take a stand? Here’s this week’s homework: What good thing would you have to give up in order to get a great thing? Testify at

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