Free Will Astrology

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): I almost always urge you to see the glass as half-full, not half-empty. But this week I’m more cautious. Why? Because you may soon be pressured to buy into overly optimistic fantasies. Even people you trust may encourage you to place inflated faith in shaky promises. So ask lots of probing questions, please. On the other hand, however, there’s no need to adopt a sour, suspicious perspective. Being cynical will not automatically make you insightful. See if you can manage to be a cheerful skeptic, as generous and open-minded as you are alert for the hype.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A surfer from California recently collected his 15 minutes of fame when he rode his board for the 10,407th consecutive day. During those 28 years, Dale Webster never took a vacation. To keep his mornings free, he worked exclusively at low-paying night jobs. He surfed on the day his daughter was born and the day he passed kidney stones. His eyes now have scar tissue because he has gazed into the sun for so long. I nominate him to be both your role model and anti-role model, Taurus. It’s a perfect time to commit yourself with fierce passion to a long-term dream, but only if you promise not to let your devotion degenerate into manic obsession.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I lead a group called the Prayer Warriors. We petition God on behalf of people who need help in summoning divine intervention. Here’s the prayer we’ll be saying for your tribe in the coming months. Dear God: We beseech You to give a big, beautiful home to all Geminis who want one. If they aren’t allowed to have that for karmic reasons, please grant them a comfortable apartment with no obnoxious roommates. If You can’t manage that, bless them with a trailer that’s free of mildew. If that’s impossible, bestow on them a tent that doesn’t leak and a cheap place to pitch it. And if all that’s out of the question, please at least help them feel at home in the world wherever they are.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Antibiotics have been miracle drugs for over 60 years, but their potency is fading as bacteria evolve to become resistant to them. This has led some British doctors to revive a medieval approach to healing — placing maggots in open wounds. Seriously. The creepy creatures are fast and effective in cleansing infections. I’d like this to serve as your operative metaphor in the coming weeks, Cancerian. As you strive to mend old psychic lesions, call on the wisdom of the past — even if it involves a cure that makes you a bit uneasy.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The puzzle is not as difficult as you imagine. In fact, it has only seven pieces — far fewer than you’ve assumed. Perhaps you got thrown off by its simplicity; it *does* have a superficial resemblance to a more complicated puzzle from your past. The ironic thing is that you’ll never figure it out it as long as you’re so serious and stressed about it. To create the conditions that will lead to a solution, relax, have as much fun as possible, and assume that the puzzle will soon solve itself.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Most American children don’t want to grow up to be president anymore. The practice of politics is boring and sickening, they tell pollsters. There’s too much pressure and too much arguing involved. Despite this trend, I predict that in the coming weeks, a disproportionately large percentage of Virgo youngsters will fantasize about someday becoming President of the United States. I further predict that one of these kids will ultimately be elected Commander in Chief in 2044. As for you Virgo adults, I believe that no matter what country you live in, events in the coming days will awaken your dormant reserves of ambition and authority.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The time a rodeo cowboy has to stay on a bucking bronco to qualify: 8 seconds. The time a lion-tamer holds his head in a lion’s mouth: 7 seconds. The time it takes for a skydiver’s parachute to open: 6 seconds. The time it takes for thunder to travel a mile: 5 seconds. The time it will take, sometime in the coming week, for a divine intervention to reveal a galvanizing vision of your possible future: 10 seconds. The time it may take for you to fully understand the meaning of the vision: 4 months.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai wrote that "The soul is a search; the soul is a dance of searches for whatever is lost." Let that be your guiding thought in the coming weeks, Scorpio. The astrological omens suggest that it’s high time for you to go looking for a missing treasure. The best way to ensure that you find it is to feed and praise and give free reign to the part of you that you call your soul.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): What kind of archer do you want to be when you grow up, Sagittarius? Would you like to be: 1. the kind of archer who aims in the general direction of several big targets in the distance; 2. the kind who aims at a single medium-sized target in the middle distance; 3. the kind who aims at many small targets that aren’t too far away; 4. the kind who never aims at any target at all, but just enjoys the thrill of shooting lots of arrows everywhere? This is a perfect time for you to settle on one of these four options.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): My friend Katherine comes from an old Southern family that has recorded its history for generations. She says her great-great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth, was born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1852. Until she was 81 years old, Elizabeth suffered from asthma. Then she was cured completely, and lived free of it until she died at the age of 103. I nominate Elizabeth to be your inspirational role model for the next two weeks, Capricorn. Believe it or not, you now have the power to shed a burden or cure a malady that you’ve always feared was a permanent curse.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Welcome to the Happiness Season, Aquarius. The entire universe is now conspiring to provoke in you an abiding sense of joy and well-being. You can resist, of course; it’s your God-given right to use your free will to repel this influx of contentment. But in case you decide to cooperate with the cosmic trend, here are a few helpful thoughts to propel you. "Happiness is a state of going somewhere wholeheartedly, without regret or reservation." —William H. Sheldon. "I’d rather be a failure at something I enjoy than be a success at something I hate." —George Burns. "Happiness is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." —Helen Keller.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I predict that some of you overly sensitive Pisceans will soon be beaten down by the cold, cruel world. Maybe you’ll move in with your parents or flee to the middle of nowhere and live off the grid in a log cabin. Similarly, more than a few of you Piscean artists, actors, writers and musicians will get weary of the uphill battle to make a living from doing what you love. You’ll think about selling out, seeking dull but secure gigs in the corporate world. But I’m begging all of you not to give up. If you can manage to hold on a while longer, you will be blessed with a breakthrough no later than September 1. Here’s this week’s homework: Give names to the trees and plants you’re most familiar with. Address them with a fond greeting whenever you see

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