Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Current human life expectancy is already at 78 years, and it’s steadily increasing. So if you’re 22 you could easily be here for another 60 revolutions of the Earth around the sun, and if you’re 45, you’ve got a minimum of 33. So what are you going to do with all that precious, spacious time? Is there another career or two you might want to pursue? A far-flung locale where you’d like to live for a while? An adventure that may take a long time to get ready for? Have fun visualizing the enormous magic you could accomplish little by little in the next three decades.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Naturalist John Burroughs was addressing your current needs when he wrote: "The lesson which life constantly enforces is ‘Look underfoot.’ You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Every place is the center of the world." Let’s finish up this little pep talk, Taurus, with some advice from Theodore Roosevelt: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Never test the depth of the water with both feet," the old saying goes, and usually I endorse such an approach. But not now. For the next two weeks, Gemini, you’re exempt from that and just about every other cautionary rule. As far as I can tell, your future is so wide open that the only guiding principles you need are those that give you permission. Here’s an example you might like, formulated by sex researcher Alfred Kinsey: "The only unnatural sex act is one you cannot perform."

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Until recently, Indonesians thought their country consisted of about 17,000 islands. But in February of 2003, an analysis of satellite images found more than a thousand undiscovered islands, bringing the total to 18,108. I suspect that you’re on the verge of making a comparable breakthrough about yourself, Cancerian. There’s much more of you than you ever imagined. Many previously unknown territories will soon come into view. It will be as if you have unearthed a new world right in the midst of the old one.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Lions and jaguars can roar, but they can’t purr. Cheetahs and snow leopards can purr, but can’t roar. Now and then a tiger in captivity learns how to produce a sputtering imitation of a purr, but as a rule, every species of feline does one or the other but not both. To meet your dates with destiny in the coming week, you’ll have to be like a kind of cat that doesn’t exist in nature: one that purrs with sublime contentment and roars with fierce authority.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your theme this week is *careen- stable.* Here’s Rebecca Rusche to explain. "In high school, my mom used to let me use her VW Beetle to go to basketball practice. One night after practice, a friend and I were chatting and drinking Coke when we decided to see how fast we could get the Beetle going down a nearby dirt road. Soon we were careening at 65 mph, shouting ‘careen!’ every time we hit a bump and went flying into the air. When we arrived back at the gym half an hour later, we saw my Coke can sitting on the front bumper next to the license plate. I nudged it softly to see if it was lodged in there somehow, but it fell right off — wasn’t stuck at all. I thought, ‘There must be a word for this magic,’ and thus ‘careen-stable’ was born. It came to mean anything that maintains its poise in the midst of wild, fast movement."

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A couple from Houston had been trying to conceive a child for ten years. Finally, with the help of in vitro fertilization and fertility drugs, Jeffrey and Sheryl McGowen succeeded extravagantly. Two eggs were implanted in Sheryl, and both split. Nine months later she gave birth to two sets of identical twins. "I think God has a sense of humor," said Jeffrey. "He took a vacation, and when he got back from it he answered all of my prayers at once." Keep this story in mind, Libra. It will help prepare you for what God does for you upon returning from vacation.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "Poets should welcome all opportunities to become befuddled," writes poet Linh Dinh in *The American Poetry Review.* "To not know what’s happening forces one to become more attentive." Whether or not you’re a poet, Scorpio, I heartily recommend this approach to you in the coming weeks. The feeling of having wandered off the path will be a sign of grace. To be confused will be a blessing. The only possible way you could miss out on the gifts that life wants to send you is if you act like a know-it-all who’s in complete control.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You can stir up sweet synchronicities by intensifying your connection with anyone who is an alternate version of you. So negotiate with your evil twin, Sagittarius. Inspire and incite your alter ego. Throw a bone to one of your imitators and leap to the next level with a kindred spirit. Slip in and out of the fourth dimension with your soul twin, send a message in a bottle to your future self, and pose a riddle to your shadow.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Visualize a tall, thick, steel column that has been forged to serve as part of the foundation of a huge building. It’s hauled to a construction site by a truck, held vertically by a crane, then driven into the ground by an enormous pile driver. Eventually, the bottom of the pillar is planted deep in the earth, destined to become a key part of the superstructure that will hold together tons of concrete, wood, and steel. Have you got that picture in your mind’s eye, Capricorn? I think you’re a lot like that pillar right now. Though you’re weary of being pounded by the pile driver, you know it’s in a worthy cause. And the good news is that the pounding is almost finished.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "If you removed all of the homosexuals and homosexual influences from American culture, you would be pretty much left with the TV game show, ‘Let’s Make a Deal.’" So proclaimed famed wit Fran Lebowitz. I’d wager that similar statements can be made about the cultures of every country where this horoscope is read. So wherever you live, Aquarius, let Lebowitz’s observation be the starting point for your meditations this week. Think of all the beauty, creativity, and vitality that live in the world around you because of people whose relationships with gender are different from the standard models. For that matter, think of all the interesting experiences that come your way because of your own refusal to strictly adhere to gender stereotypes.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "Don’t rub the lamp unless you’re ready for the genie." Nine out of the ten astrologers I polled for this horoscope said that this is excellent advice to give you right now. The tenth stargazer sneered, "Most Pisceans are *never* ready for the genie." My perspective is different from both the majority and the minority. I say, go ahead and rub the lamp immediately. Why? Because I’m privy to this bit of inside information: Nine out of the ten voices in your head are currently chanting, "I’m totally, absolutely, beyond-any-doubt ready for the genie." Here’s this week’s homework: Imagine yourself gazing into the eyes of the person you were ten years ago. What do you want to say to him or her? Testify at

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