Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "I was the wife of Vlajko Stojiljkovic, deceased, who was indicted at the Hague War Crimes Tribunal. First, I assure you that the indictment was politically motivated and utterly without merit. Secondly, I need to transfer our vast fortune out of the country. The funds are in excess of 64 million U.S. dollars. Can you help? Are you trustworthy? I can offer you 30 percent. Please forward your contact info to me a.s.a.p. I am grateful. —Glorja." Dear Aries, there’s a good chance you’ll soon get a money-related offer that’s as bogus as the above communiqué. Do not take it! Much more reliable financial opportunities are on their way.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I heard a radio interview in which someone defined an oracle as "a technology for broadening the listening field." That’s a good description of the horoscope you’re now reading. Its intention is to expand the scope of what you pay attention to, to alert you to the fact that you have more options than you realize and to give you license to change your mind about anything and everything. To help accomplish this, print the following oracular words on your palm, then hold your palm to your ear for a few minutes: *luminous marrow murmurs lightning praise*.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Due to a rare conjunction of three potato-shaped asteroids in your astrological House of Productive and Forgivable Gaffes, you have cosmic license to make a lot of really cool mistakes. I’ve gathered some witty remarks you can invoke to disarm anyone who might be critical of your messy experiments: 1) "You’re just jealous because the little voices are talking to me and not to you." 2) "When I have to choose between two evils, I enjoy picking the one I’ve never tried before." 3) "Do you have a clear conscience? A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." 4) "I don’t suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it."

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Here’s what George Sheehan wrote in *Running and Being,* his book about running: "If you want to win anything — a race, your self, your life — you have to go a little berserk." For a limited time only, I’m endorsing that strategy for your personal use, Cancerian. While I do love your sensitivity and subtlety, right now I’d like to see you get half-crazy in a ferocious devotion to the noble dream you love best.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I drove through a cloud today. It enveloped the Golden Gate Bridge. When I left the lush green hills of Marin County, the day was sunny. When I arrived in the lush urban mesh of San Francisco, the day was sunny. But in between I crept through thick white haze. I could barely see, and had to turn on my headlights and slow down. But there was no danger. I didn’t erupt with anxiety. And in a few minutes I had moved through it. Let my experience serve as a metaphor for your week, Leo. It’s like you’ve just gotten on a passageway that will take you from a soft lushness to a harder lushness, and on the way you’ll have to navigate almost blindly.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "The important thing," said French naturalist Charles DuBois, "is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." Did he really mean *at any moment*? Like while we’re in a convenience store buying beer? While we’re lying in bed ready for sleep and reviewing the events of the day? While we’re adrift in apathetic melancholy, watching too much TV and neglecting our friends? At any moment? I say yes. At all times and in all places, Virgo — especially this week — be ready to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You could grow moonflowers in a toxic waste dump, Libra. You could lift the spirits of a child who has been raised in grievous poverty. That’s how much regenerative power you possess right now. You might even be able to locate underground water in a desert, or resurrect a dead dream, or alleviate half of your deepest suffering. I’m not absolutely sure you could transform lead into gold, but I do know that now is one of your best chances ever to pull it off.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Since walking on the moon in 1971, astronaut Edgar Mitchell has cultivated an interest in the paranormal. Once, he asked Buddhist lama Norbu Chen to attempt a psychic healing of his mother, who was legally blind. Norbu’s magic worked. Mom’s sight returned, and she was ecstatic. A few days later, however, she discoved to her horror that Norbu wasn’t a Christian like her. "My mother believed that if such healing didn’t come from a Christian," says Mitchell, "then it must come from Satan." She then had a dramatic relapse, completely losing the gift Norbu had bestowed. The moral of the story, Scorpio: Don’t let your beliefs get in the way of your healing.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Poet William Carlos Williams said his creative technique could be summed up in the phrase, "No ideas but in things." He wanted to see the world as it really was, without imposing theories about what anything meant. In the essay "Rucksack Poetry: How Haiku Found a Home in America," Andrew Schelling captures Williams’ approach: "There you stand, inhabiting your body with animal clarity, wide-open senses, and no preconception or abstract idea can touch the experience itself." In accordance with the astrological omens, Sagittarius, your assignment is to find or create five pure moments during which you embody that state.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Dear Rob: Has the Goddess placed a global embargo on new love? I’m not a cynic; it’s just that no one in my acquaintance has experienced new love in a long time. In other words, is Cupid on strike? Has romance boycotted our planet? —Out-in-the-Cold Capricorn." To the best of my knowledge, there are no embargos, strikes, or boycotts like the ones you propose. I’ve noticed that some of my Capricorn cohorts have experienced recent dry spells, but according to my astrological reckoning, a deluge will soon change all that.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Everything’s a learning experience, right? I mean, let’s say you absent-mindedly wander down to the bus station to see if your ship has come in. Maybe the shock of being in the wrong place at the wrong time will motivate you to do some research on the *actual* place where your ship is likely to dock. Or let’s say that in your quest for the "real thing," you somehow end up paired with a replacement or substitute that initially disappoints you but that eventually turns out to give you access to a far more interesting version of the real thing than you ever imagined.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Bill Gates makes 125 dollars a second. Toupees for dogs are sold in Japan. The oldest goldfish that ever lived was 41 years old and named Fred. Now please forget all of the preceding factoids, Pisces. In fact, purge them so thoroughly that it will be as if you never knew them in the first place. Doing that will be the perfect warm-up for your next big assignment, which is to clear out a nice big empty space in your brain. There are lots of fresh hot ideas poised to flow into you in the coming weeks. You’ll have to make more room for them. Here’s this week’s homework: Write a short essay on “How I Created Something Out of Nothing.” Go to and click on “Email

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