Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "When you reach the top, keep climbing." This Zen proverb is especially applicable to you, Aries. Though you may feel as if you’ve accomplished as much as you can for now, I assure you that even more progress is not only likely, but desirable. So don’t bask in the afterglow yet. Claim the once-impossible prize — even at the risk of being called greedy. In the process, you might finally break the taboo that you’ve been keeping a secret from yourself.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): More than 240,000 people died in the earthquake that struck Tangshan, China in 1976. The relief effort was negligible compared to the help that has arrived in response to the tsunami disaster of a few weeks ago. One explanation for the difference is that there has been a dramatic globalization of consciousness. Thirty years ago no one had heard of the butterfly effect — the theory that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Japan can affect the weather in Texas. Now millions understand the principle. Your assignment in the coming week, Taurus, is to pursue this line of thought further than you ever have.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In 1718, a top Lutheran official in Eisenach, Germany sent a letter to the town administrators of nearby Ostheim-vor-der-Rhoen, mandating them to choose a new priest for the local congregation. Due to human error, the mail didn’t arrive until 2004, too late to fulfill its function. I regard this as an apt metaphor for a scenario that will soon unfold in your life, Gemini. You too will finally receive a long-

delayed delivery. Unlike the German message that was 286 years tardy, however, yours won’t be completely useless. On the contrary, it might be curiously fresh. In the big picture, its seemingly belated arrival may even be perfect timing.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Is it too late for you to make another New Year’s resolution? Not according to my astrological analysis. In fact, I think it’s a perfect time to conjure up a few resolutions with financial themes. Try saying this one aloud, Cancerian, and see how it feels: "I resolve to win the lottery this year." Or how about this: "I resolve to find wads of hundred-dollar bills that careless drug dealers have accidentally dropped on the sidewalk." Here’s another that might suit you: "I resolve to make a fortune on eBay by selling deeds to real estate on the planet Venus." If none of those feels quite right, try this: "I resolve to spend the coming weeks filling the holes in my understanding about how to generate, save and invest money."

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Bibliophile Anne N. Marino loves the "welcoming mysteriousness" of those buildings where large collections of books are housed for public use. "Walking into a library," she wrote in the *San Francisco Chronicle*, "I’m filled with a sense of belonging; my mind becomes clear, my heart rate slows; I can think." Your assignment in the coming week, Leo, is to identify the places that make you feel like that, and then spend as much time as possible inside of them.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Eminem recently received a tribute from the Raelians, a UFO cult that preaches nonviolence. They bestowed the title of "honorary priest" on the hip-hop star for his anti-war video, "Mosh." Was he proud and pleased? I doubt it, though he and his camp had no comment. I imagine you’ll soon be getting a similarly meaningless "reward" or unwanted recognition for your good work, Virgo. Don’t let it stir up your old fear that you will never get the understanding and appreciation you deserve. Instead, have faith that what I’m about to predict will come to pass: It may take a while, but you will eventually receive a truly gratifying payoff for your recent breakthrough.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If I’m reading the astrological omens correctly, Libra, fun and games will be at a peak in the coming weeks. The hormones that induce playful experimentation will be at record levels, and you’ll be as uninhibited and as unconcerned with people’s reactions as it’s possible for you to be. I hate to risk dampening your enthusiasm by even a miniscule amount, but I’ve got to mention one caveat. There may be a few people who resent your buoyant vitality. Be alert for their passive-aggressive attempts at sabotage so you can craftily work around them.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the years before scientists finally figured out the structure of DNA, physicist Erwin Schrödinger helped define the parameters of the quest. He theorized that the chromosome contains both the blueprint for life and the power to create what the blueprint delineates. Within this mysterious powerhouse, in other words, is both the "architect’s plan and the builder’s craft." I urge you to meditate on the chromosome as a metaphor for the work you have ahead of you, Scorpio. It’s time for you to make or find something that will serve as both architect’s plan and builder’s craft in the coming months.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): It’s illegal for women to drive cars in Saudi Arabia. Religious fundamentalists there have managed to twist public policy to reflect their wacky beliefs. (Does that sound like any other country you know?) But one Saudi woman, Hanadi Hindi, has refused to be shut out of the fun of piloting her own vehicle: She learned to fly planes in Jordan, and has been hired by a billionaire Saudi prince to work for his private airline. I nominate her to be a source of inspiration for you, Sagittarius. If there is a desirable role to which you have been denied access, don’t waste your time and energy fighting the problem: Simply leap to the next level.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Ludacris is "a well-rounded hedonist who pursues a balanced lineup of vices and addictions," says Nathan Rabin in his review of the hip-hop star’s CD, *The Red Light District*. I suggest that you treat Ludacris as your partial role model in the coming week, Capricorn, even as you also regard him as your anti-role model. Here’s what I mean: You should be a well-rounded hedonist, but not by pursuing vices and addictions. Instead, seek out excitement that resonates with your noblest ideals, pleasures that thrill your soul as well as your body, and blissful adventures that enhance the health of you and everyone else you encounter.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Before going to sleep last night, I studied your astrological aspects for the coming week and asked my dreams to send me clues about what information you needed. I awoke with the answer. In my dream, I was at a mass birthday party for hundreds of Aquarians. Everyone was drinking tea made from an herb called Job’s tears as the goth band Lake of Tears performed. Then I gave a poetic speech on how crying can achieve the same effect as orgasm. As the dream climaxed, I led everyone outside into the drizzly night. We looked skyward and let the raindrops drench our faces as we did a mass singalong of "Cry Me a River," each of us lost in a private ritual of relief and release.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): According to *U.S. News & World Report*, 74 percent of the population believes that "if a prayer goes unanswered it probably didn’t fit into God’s plan." I hope you don’t adopt such a wimpy attitude about your own divine petitions in the coming weeks. The way I understand the current astrological omens, God may ignore your pleas for now, but is not ultimately opposed to granting them. Frankly, I suspect that the Creator needs you to change something about yourself before you will get your wish. Here’s this week’s homework: What’s the best, most healing trouble you could whip up right now? Testify at

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