Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Hundreds of years ago, the Native American tribe known as the Seneca had a rule of thumb about when to sow corn seed. You had to wait until the weather was warm enough to lie naked in the dirt without discomfort. I believe a similar principle applies to your plans to start a certain new enterprise, Aries. Hold off on the launch until you’re able to take off all your clothes in a natural setting and stretch out on the ground without shivering.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It has been too long since you visited the middle of nowhere. You’ve been a fixture in the heart of a well-defined somewhere for quite some time. But now, Taurus, you need the enriching confusion of the cosmic "Huh?" It’s prime time for you to wander out into the fertile chaos of the "What the hell?" zone. Have fun! Don’t forget to writhe! Now please repeat and repeat and repeat after me, slowly building from a smirking giggle to a cackling belly-laugh, "Where am I and how did I get here?"

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This would be a good week to give out free ice cream to the underprivileged, or sing show tunes to a captive audience at a retirement home. In fact, the cosmos will be very favorably disposed toward you if you do anything to increase the pleasure you bring other people. Here are some other ways you might proceed: Listen raptly to allies who’ve lost their way; think deeply about what a loved one needs most; deliver sincere praise to people you’ve never praised before; or do a good deed anonymously, ensuring that the recipient of your blessing doesn’t know who gave it.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Charles Darwin called Thomas Malthus a "great philosopher," and said his theory of evolution was based on Malthus’ ideas. Yet Malthus advocated genocidal measures to control population growth. In "Essay on the Principle of Population," Malthus wrote: "Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into houses, and court the return of the plague." So the evidence shows that Darwin’s theories had a grotesque pedigree. Should we therefore dismiss them altogether? Not necessarily. What’s useful is not always derived from what’s good. Is there a comparable situation in your own life, Cancerian? Are there essentials you benefit from even though their origins are problematical?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The water you drink is three billion years old, give or take five million years. The stuff your body is made of is at least ten billion years old, probably older, and has been as far away as 100,000 light years from where it is right now. There’s much more evidence I could offer to prove to you that you’re an infinite and eternal creature, Leo, but suffice it to say that you’re much greater and older and bigger and wilder and freer than you have ever imagined. The experiences you’ll soon have will give you a deeply felt sense of how true that is.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It’s the perfect time to kill off old habits that bring you down and to sever bad connections that bring out the worst in you. Therefore, I suggest you make an undercover search-and-destroy visit to the murkiest parts of the underworld. When you get back, invite skeletons to come out of the closet and monsters to crawl out from beneath the bed for a long heart-to-heart talk full of tough love. And in general, don’t you dare avert your gaze from any song and dance that might half-scare you and half-inspire you into triumphing over evil.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If we were going to equate your relationship options with varieties of ice cream, we might say that in the next eight weeks you will have a choice between black raspberry avalanche, caramel toffee bar heaven, cherry chip ba-da-bing, grandma’s cookie dough, New York strawberry cheesecake, cashew praline parfait, peanut butter truffle and good old vanilla. Oddly enough, vanilla might turn out to be the most gratifying. Of all the varieties, it would certainly have the best aftertaste.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The secret you’re looking for, the secret you think you desperately need, does not exist — at least not officially. Unofficially, however, it’s very real. It’s alive and hot and exciting. But it’s in the care of people you don’t notice or value. It’s something you’d normally regard as cheap and insignificant. So let me ask you, Scorpio: Can you change the way you use your eyes? The secret you’re in quest of, the resource that might solve many problems, will be easy to pluck if you’ll just change your mind about matters that you imagine have nothing to do with the secret.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Flora, a Komodo dragon in a British zoo, recently became pregnant and hatched five babies without ever having had contact with a male. This is the first recorded virgin birth among her species. She’s your power animal for the coming weeks, Sagittarius. Whether you’re female or male, you too now have the power to spawn a beautiful brainchild without being intellectually or emotionally fertilized by anyone. That of course doesn’t mean you should avoid the kind of intimate interactions that would fructify you. On the contrary, I urge you to seek those out in abundance. But my point is that you don’t need them in order to be a fount of creativity.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The bumper sticker I saw today said, "Having abandoned my search for the truth, I’m now looking for a good fantasy." Though it’s meant to be sarcastic, it’s actually a perfectly useful piece of advice for you right now. Consider this: The truth is overrated. It’s so complicated and ever-shifting that it’s impossible to pin down. To earnestly pursue it is often a waste of your valuable time and energy. Besides, why bother trying to *understand* the nature of reality when it’s more important and productive to aggressively *shape* the nature of reality? In light this, Capricorn, I suggest that you drum up some fresh, fun, fabulous fantasies.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Writing in *American Scientist*, professor of neuroscience Irving Biederman says that human beings are literally addicted to learning new ideas. At the moment when we grasp a concept we’ve been grappling with, our brains experience a rush of a natural opium-like chemical, boosting our pleasure levels. I suggest that you take advantage of this fact to get really high in the coming week, Aquarius. Your ability to master challenging new information is at a peak, which means your access to natural opiates will be abundant.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A pound of gold weighs less than a pound of tumbleweeds. That’s because the weight of gold is measured by the troy system of measurement, in which there are 12 ounces in a pound, whereas the weight of tumbleweeds is assessed according to the avoirdupois system, in which a pound consists of 16 ounces. Still, you’d probably rather have a pound of gold than a pound of tumbleweeds, right? Keep this in mind as you decide what resources to go after in the coming week. Here’s this week’s homework: What was the pain that healed you most? Testify at

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