Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In 2001, a man was out walking his dog alongside the River Ivel in England when he stumbled upon an unexpected treasure: a 1,200-year-old gold coin bearing the image of King Coenwulf, who ruled the long-defunct kingdom of Mercia from 796-821. The coin was auctioned off three years later, earning its finder more than $200,000. I nominate this vignette as your Official Metaphor of the coming weeks, Aries. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you too will soon discover an old valuable that will ultimately bring you good fortune.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): My Taurus friend Allie just put a new bumper sticker on her car: "I can’t remember if I’m the good twin or the evil one." It’s almost as if she intuitively guessed one of the key themes you Bulls will soon be wrestling with: how to tell the difference between your strong, beautiful, inspiring qualities and your unripe, unlovely, debilitating ones. It won’t be as easy as you might imagine. There are sides of your personality that are a blend of both the good and the bad, for one thing. And your virtues sometimes mutate into vices, and vice versa. Proceed on this exploratory mission with a tough but open mind.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Anybody can become angry — that is easy," said Aristotle. "But to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy." I agree with Aristotle. Those who are able to express anger with maximum integrity are as brilliant as any Nobel Prize winner and as saintly as Gandhi and Mother Teresa combined. Can you imagine yourself rising to that challenge, Gemini? Your assignment in the coming week is to try to master the art of constructive wrath.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In his new book, *The Naked Woman* (available thus far only in the U.K.), biologist Desmond Morris says that women have four G-spots. He calls the other three the A-Spot, C-Spot and U-Spot. I thought you Cancerians should know about this fantastic news. You’re in the thick of the Season of Bliss, when you should be expanding your capacity to give and experience all sorts of pleasure. I suggest lots of hands-on research to expand your erotic possibilities. Don’t stop there, though; explore the frontiers of feeling good in every way you can imagine.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself," wrote motivational author Orison Swett Marden. "It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone." Personally, I think that’s a bit overstated. In my experience, divine grace in the form of unexpected assistance is usually involved when a golden opportunity shows up. On the other hand, most of us do underestimate how much power we have to make good things happen. This is the time and place, Leo, to stop underestimating. Your will is stronger than you realize.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Time for a poetry break, Virgo. You’ve gotten way too serious and literal. Read the following advice with the right side of your brain, please. *Imagine you have a guardian angel who resembles the celebrity you love most. Sing your favorite commercial jingle with reverence. Recall and relive the last day of your childhood. Drink the tears of someone you love. If you come upon a lamp with a genie in it, don’t wish you had a magic wand. Speak aloud what the poet John Keats wrote: "I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination." Refer to yourself as the "Earth-Shaking, Record-Breaking, Love-Erecting, Truth-Correcting, Mind-Expanding, Justice-Demanding Bolt of Liquid Lightning."*

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In 2002, physicists at Middle Tennessee State University were able to transmit electric signals through coaxial cable at four times the speed of light, even though the equipment they used was cheap stuff from Radio Shack. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you now have the potential to pull off an almost equally amazing feat at a very low cost. So don’t assume you need complicated, sophisticated resources this week, Libra.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): According to philosopher George Santayana, "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." Let’s make sure that doesn’t become an apt description of you in the coming weeks, Scorpio. I have no problem with you redoubling your already-intensive efforts. In fact, I encourage you to take your dogged approach to new levels that are unprecedented even for you. Just make sure that you stay hyper-focused on your worthy, noble goals. Show all of us the meaning of *enlightened obsession.*

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, that a crocodile had you trapped in its clenched jaws. The situation would be hopeless, right? No, not at all. If you had the presence of mind to jam your fingers into the beast’s eyeballs, it would release you immediately. Similarly, Sagittarius, the predicament in which you actually find yourself these days is not as dire as you might imagine. Escape will be surprisingly easy if you let your instinct for survival guide you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Why do human beings have no more genes than worms? Why do black sheep have a better sense of smell than white sheep? Why do men have nipples? Why do Capricorns ask fewer questions than any other sign of the zodiac? I don’t know the answer to any of those queries, but I do know that it’s time for you to challenge the premise of that last one. Even if there’s a grain of truth in the theory that you’re not a gung-ho practitioner of the spirit of inquiry, that’s got to change. For the next six weeks, you should be the most persistent and imaginative question-asker in all of creation.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Shamans and mystics down through the ages have insisted that the invisible universe is more vast and real than the visible one. In recent years, modern astronomers have adopted a similar perspective. According to the prestigious science journal *Nature*, the new consensus is that the cosmos is composed of 23 percent dark matter and 73 percent dark energy, which are utterly concealed from our five senses and undetectable by any known instruments. The stuff we can actually perceive — stars, planets, trees, clouds, buildings, chocolate candy, other people — is a mere four percent of everything there is. I bring this up, Aquarius, because it’s an excellent time to cultivate your relationship with all that is unseen. Using your sixth sense, see if you can tune in to and fall more deeply in love with the Great Mystery.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I’ve assembled three experts to provide you with astrologically apt counsel for the coming week. First, here’s writer Christopher Morley: "Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity." Here’s your second advisor, German writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "A person should hear music, read poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul." Finally, Pisces, here’s a crucial tip from Oscar-winning actress, Katherine Hepburn: "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." Here’s this week’s homework: If you could change your astrological sign, what would you change it to and why? Write

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