Free Will Astrology

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) was a virtuoso violinist as well as a master showman. Not content to dazzle audiences with his technical wizardry, he sometimes resorted to tricks to evoke even greater levels of astonished appreciation. Before one concert, he partially sawed through three of his violin’s strings. When they broke in the midst of his first piece, he finished using just the remaining string. I’m telling you this story, Aries, because you may soon enter a Paganini-like state. You’ll be at the top of your game, yet also tempted to add extra glitz to your shtick. If you can’t restrain yourself from going over the top, make sure you don’t sacrifice any of your substance as you pump up your style.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): From an astrological perspective, it won’t be a good week to make big decisions based on what you read in newspaper horoscope columns. Similarly, the cosmic rhythms won’t be aligned in your favor if you sit down in the middle of an intersection and beg an angel for a sign about which way you should go. On the other hand, you shouldn’t rely on the advice of practical experts or logical analysts to direct you, either. Their influence would be equally wrong. In my opinion, there’s only one thing you can trust right now: your body. You should formulate specific questions and invite your body to reveal the answers through its feelings and sensations.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): My Gemini friend Thomas will be throwing a big party for himself soon. He’ll be celebrating his graduation from a local college where he has been taking classes since 1993. His many years of matriculation can be explained in part by the sheer enjoyment he gets from being a student. The other reason for the delay is that he has had trouble passing a certain course necessary for his degree. But he’s doing well in the course this time; his teacher has told him he’ll probably pass. I believe his imminent completion is something like what’s unfolding in your life. Whether or not you’re formally enrolled in school, you’re about to complete lessons you’ve studied for a long time.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The government of Uzbekistan has jailed over 6,000 people for their political or religious beliefs. With the help of a large secret police force, its dictatorial ruler ruthlessly suppresses all opposition movements and independent media. Meanwhile, the United States has steadily expanded its military assistance to the Central Asian nation, increasing its contributions 1,800 percent since 2001. According to my reading of the astrological omens, this is a perfect example of behavior you should avoid in the coming weeks. Do not, under any circumstances, support anyone or anything that squelches freedom or inhibits vitality, even if they purport to be doing it in a good cause.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Isaac Asimov once said something that should be especially meaningful for you: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka! I have found it!’ but rather ‘That’s funny …’" According to my analysis of the astrological omens, your imminent destiny should lead you to some fascinating adventures that begin with, "That’s funny." Be hungry for what piques your imagination and tickles your love of mystery. Attune yourself to anything that seems out-of-place or oddly juxtaposed.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When’s the last time you really gave yourself permission to watch a sunrise or sunset for more than a few seconds? I bet this activity has fallen so far off your list of things to do that if left to your own devices you may not treat yourself to it for months. That’s just one reason I feel called to do an intervention. The other reason has to do with your current astrological omens. They say that you desperately need to be lifted up out of the everyday trance and exposed to sublime beauty; that you need to commune with our home star, the source of all the energy that fuels your life.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet," said author Toni Morrison, "then you must write it." In the event that you’re a writer, Libra, I direct her counsel to you. It’s timely advice. But if you’re not a writer, take heed instead of the following: If there’s a world you want to live in or a gift you want to receive or a deed you want to benefit from or an adventure you want thrust upon you, make it yourself.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do," said English journalist Walter Bagehot. I don’t agree with that in general, but it could temporarily be true for you, Scorpio. There may be no other activity that will generate as much satisfaction as refuting the low expectations others have had of you. Even classic thrills like sex, drugs and rock and roll may not generate feelings equal to the bliss you’ll enjoy when you accomplish what some supposedly knowledgeable person said was impossible.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Some readers complain when I draw inspiration from a public figure they consider a bad person. Once I cited philosopher Bertrand Russell, and Patti G. went ballistic: "Russell was a terrible father! How dare you give him any credence?" Here’s how I usually respond to these grumbles: If I refused to learn from people unless I agreed with everything they had ever said and done, I would never learn from anyone. What about you, Sagittarius? Have you set up your life so that everyone is either on or off your good list? The astrological omens suggest it’s an excellent time to dole out more slack, and to cultivate a capacity to derive help and insight from people who aren’t perfect.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In all of North America, from Oaxaca, Mexico to Canada’s Prince Edward Island, there is only one state, province, or territory that does not yet have a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant. It is Nunavut, in northern Canada, which the Inuit people inhabit at a density of about one person per 3,300 square miles. You should be like Nunavut in the coming week, Capricorn: unspoiled by mediocre food, vulgar entertainment, crass commercialism and cheap plastic *anything*. Be like a vast, pristine empire that’s immune to soul-deadening crap.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): As a performer in Canada’s Daredevil Opera Company, Tom Comet set a world record for juggling chainsaws. He threw and caught three of them 44 times while they were turned on and full of gasoline. Though there’s no need for you to take that big a risk, Aquarius, you’re likely to have a similar ability in your own chosen field. Whether you’re managing to be all things to all people or trying to be in several places at once, I bet you’ll demonstrate an extraordinary skill at juggling.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A group of 12 workers in Derby, England bought a lottery ticket last December. They stuffed it in a plastic beaker at their workshop and forgot about it. Two months later, one of them read in the newspaper that the jackpot prize was still unclaimed. He tracked down the old ticket they’d bought and realized it had the winning numbers. Soon he and his cohorts were collecting the British equivalent of $9.6 million. I regard this as a metaphor for a situation in your life, Pisces. You have not yet claimed a goodie that has been available to you for some time. Remedy that oversight, please. Here’s this week’s homework: Choose an ancestor with whom you’d like to have a closer relationship. Try to contact his or her spirit in your dreams. Testify at

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