Free Will Astrology

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): A reader wrote the following letter to *Parade* magazine columnist Marilyn vos Savant: "When you’re asleep and dreaming about performing calorie-burning activities such as running, jumping and flying, do you burn more calories in reality as opposed to when you’re dreaming about doing something low-impact?" If you wrote me an inquiry like that, Aries, I’d say this: "Yes, definitely. In fact, what you do in your dreams this week will have at least as much impact on your waking life as anything you do in your waking life. Keep a pen and notebook by your bed so you can keep track of late-breaking developments."

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): This is the one of the shortest horoscopes I have ever written for you. That’s because there is just one simple message, which you should take to heart in a hundred ways. Are you ready? Trust yourself as you have never trusted yourself before. Trust your perceptions, your feelings and your body. Trust your bratty whims, your weird longings and your momentary lapses. Trust your ability to know exactly how to trust.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Gemini actress Angelina Jolie has a tattoo on her belly. It reads "Quod me nutruit me destruit," which is Latin for "What feeds me destroys me." I’m not sure I understand all of its implications, but here’s what I think are the two main messages: 1) If you grow too comfortable from soaking up nourishing experiences, you’ll blunt your lust for the kind of adventures that make you feel fully alive. 2) If you become addicted to what you enjoy, what you enjoy will mess you up. What do you think? In my dream last night, Jolie told me it’s the perfect astrological moment for her fellow Geminis to meditate on the meaning of her tattoo.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): It’s the season of high adventure. You have a sacred duty to flee your safety zones, wander out to the wild frontiers, and flirt with possibilities you’ve never entertained. To get you started, here are a few suggested activities: Fly in a hot-air balloon over Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park; run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain; go on a two-week meditation retreat in Pondicherry, India; read Thomas Mann’s *The Magic Mountain*; give laughing lessons to a cat; make love on a mountaintop; speak the words you’ve been wanting to say for years.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Say goodbye to the ghost. It has hung around far too long. In the early days, its teachings were useful, but now your relationship is fueled mostly by habit. Besides, there’s no value in continuing to pore over all the scenarios about what might have been. In order to banish this ghost, Leo, you don’t need to be cruel or angry. Simply inform it that its work is finished, and you’ve both got to move on. For best results, perform a ritual that formally severs your tie. You could tie a string between two objects, one that represents you and one that symbolizes the ghost, then use scissors to cut the connection.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): What I’m about to tell you is always important to keep in mind, but it’s especially crucial right now. *If you think you’re too small and insignificant to have a major impact, you’ve never spent the night in bed with a mosquito*. Let me put it a different way Virgo: In order for you to set in motion all the invigorating, far-reaching changes you now have the potential to initiate, you must believe you are as impossible to fight off as a mosquito in the dark.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Boanthropy is a type of insanity in which a person believes he or she is an ox. Fortunately, you won’t suffer from that in the coming week. But there is a possibility you will contract a case of hawkanthropy, in which you imagine you’re a huckster who must hawk your personality, talents and products like a Hollywood publicist on meth. My hope is that the warning you’re now reading will steer you away from this pathological condition. I assure you that it makes no sense for you to try too hard as you sell yourself. Let your work speak for itself, and don’t interrupt.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Introducing Adrienne Rich at a poetry reading in San Francisco in 2004, Francis Philips turned to her and said, "Thank you for your lovely, irreverent, unsettled, curious mind." It was a fitting tribute to a poet who for 50 years has stirred up good trouble with her rowdy yet disciplined work. By the end of this week, Scorpio, I would like to feel justified in saying the same thing to you: "Thank you for your lovely, irreverent, unsettled, curious mind." Now get out there and pull off the most healing mischief you can imagine.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I was watching MTV’s reality game show "Next." The camera recorded the adventures of a hot blonde as she went on a succession of brief dates with five strangers. After rejecting three guys, she met the fourth: an affable, goofy Sagittarius. "I’ve heard Sagittarians are workaholics," she told him just minutes into the date. "You’ve been misinformed," he replied, and went on to tell her that he had no job and really liked doing nothing in particular all day long. I bring this to your attention, Sagittarius, because I hope you’ll make a liar out of him in the coming weeks. Please work with as much intensity as you can possibly summon. (P.S. However, it would be fine for you to follow his example for a while in August.)

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Do you have an unconscious belief that the forces of evil are loud, vigorous and strong, while good is quiet, gentle and passive? If so, you’ll soon get vivid evidence that will contradict your theory. Are you secretly suspicious of joy because you think it’s inevitably rooted in wishful thinking and a willful ignorance about the true nature of reality? Do you fear that when you’re in the presence of love and beauty you tend to become softheaded, whereas you’re likely to feel smart and powerful when sneering at the ugliness around you? Get ready to see an alternative possibility.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): A golden eagle with a seven-foot wingspan shot down out of the overcast sky and dived at my friend Maura’s pet cockatoo, which was perched on the branch of an oak not 30 feet from her back door. Five of us watched with alarm from the outdoor table where we were sipping tea. We began howling, hoping to scare the giant predator away. And then the unexpected happened. The eagle did not attack the cockatoo, but settled down peacefully beside it. Nor did the cockatoo flee. The two sat there together like old friends for maybe ten minutes before the bigger bird flew away. In the coming week, Aquarius, I predict that you will experience a metaphorical version of this event.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Your meditation for the week comes from Friedrich Nietzsche. "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe," he wrote. "If you try it, you will often be lonely, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." This is an ideal time for you to put this prescription into action, Pisces, because during the current grace period you have the power to own more of yourself than ever before — and without getting lonely or scared. Here’s this week’s homework: It’s a shame so many of us try to motivate ourselves through abusive self-criticism. Are you guilty of this sin? How so, and what will you do to change? Write

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