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Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Every day, 5 million lightning bolts flash on our planet. At any given moment, 2,000 thunderstorms are raging. While you may not be in the literal presence of one of these elemental outbreaks in the coming week, you will channel a similar kind of energy: You'll be fiercely and tenderly alive with the blended force of primal fire and water. This doesn't necessarily mean you'll careen out of control; you may be able to express the booming power in its most constructive form, cleansing and clarifying everything you touch.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): My investigation reveals that you have committed two spankable offenses. I will not authorize any enforcers to turn you over their knees and apply their palms forcefully to your buttocks — not yet, anyway. First I want to give you a chance to atone, by filling in the gaps in your understanding and ripening the attitudes that led to your deviation from the righteous path. Or would you prefer to avoid the hard work of making amends and instead just accept a spanking?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This horoscope may be banned in parts of Louisiana, South Dakota and Arkansas, as well as a number of other areas around the world in which silky uproarious techniques of sacred yumyum are considered dangerous to the status quo. You have the potential to be a genius of love in the coming weeks. You are poised to discover higher forms of pleasure that would make plain old ordinary hedonism irrelevant. A previously unimaginable level of erotic mastery is within your reach. Now memorize this coded message: freesurgingfearlesswideawakerapturewrestler. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Help wanted: Practical dreamers with high emotional intelligence needed to become experts in the following subjects: the art of possessing abundant resources without feeling greed or a sense of superiority; the science of cultivating luxurious comfort in a way that does not lead to spiritual sloth; and a knack for enjoying peace and serenity without diluting one's ambition. Applicants should be Cancerian. Send evidence of your skills to Poised Plenitude, c/o freewillastrology@hotmail.com.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Your natural scent is strong and good these days. Your body is more flexible than usual and your willpower is extraordinarily supple. Even when you're tired, your voice is a healing melody; when you're well-rested, your words can disperse tensions that have lingered for a long time. Your ability to protect and inspire others reminds me of a mother dispensing snappy wisdom to her children. And your courage is teeming with innocent savvy. You could hypnotize an agitated rattlesnake or gently crack open a closed mind.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Do you have affluenza? The PBS TV show "Affluenza" (www.pbs.org/kcts/affluenza/) defined it as follows the bloated, sluggish, unfulfilled feeling that results from struggling to keep up with the Joneses; the stress, overwork, waste, and indebtedness caused by an addiction to consumer goods. Signs that you suffer from this malady include the following: 1) You'll pay more for a T-shirt if it has a cool corporate logo on it. 2) You're willing to work 40 years at a job you hate so you can accumulate lots of stuff. 3) You believe that if you buy the cocktail dress, the cocktail party will come. If you have even a mild version of affluenza, seek a cure in the coming days. The astrological time is ripe to learn about having fun and living successfully without spending lots of money.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): On my 20th birthday, I found a big bag in a vacant lot in Durham, N.C. Odd symbols adorned the outside. Inside were taxidermically preserved specimens of a hummingbird, snake, bat, lizard, frog and praying mantis. I sought the counsel of my roommate, who was knowledgeable about strange phenomena. He speculated that the animals were raw materials for a magic spell, and said the symbols were ancient alchemical formulas. Maybe it was coincidence, but the next month was a miracle. I met two new lifelong friends, discovered the person who became my greatest teacher — and got a glimpse of my life's purpose for the first time. If you're alert, you will come upon a comparable treasure this week.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): By a margin of 4-1, my Scorpio readers have voted to impose on me a six-week ban on all references to maddening ambiguity. You're weary of grappling with enigmas wrapped inside conundrums. You want earthy instructions and simple truths. Maybe I'll start obeying your orders next week, but I'd be remiss if I didn't let you know that you're about to be offered odd gifts from people in transition, benevolent interventions that require major course corrections and mysterious help from the Great Beyond.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To the naked eye of the casual observer, there won't seem to be enough love or money or other good stuff to go around this week. But if I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, you will be able to magically stretch and expand the resources to fulfill not only your own needs but those of a small multitude. Just assume, then, that you'll have the same mojo that Jesus allegedly had when he fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "New studies of the brain suggest that play may be as important to life as sleeping and dreaming," writes Stuart Brown in National Geographic. Science is on the verge of confirming what we play activists have always preached: To be a healthy master of reality, you have to play every day. This is always true, but it's twice as true for you right now. Study Brown's definition: "Play is spontaneous, pleasurable behavior that has no clear-cut goal and does not conform to a stereotypical pattern."

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Are you afraid of what you want? Are you suspicious of success? Are you suffering from a hope deficit? Do you tend to go numb when in the presence of possibilities that should excite you? Then this week will be a boon. You will have the chance to pull off a rare form of exorcism — an exorcism not of grotesque demons and dumb-ass ghosts, but rather of the jaded cynicism that subtly corrodes your intelligence. Take this opportunity to cleanse yourself of the reflexive doubts that the world around you has brainwashed you into regarding as normal.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The daily grind is on the verge of crushing your spirit; you're way too close to giving in to the petty pressures of everyday insanity. You're ready to indulge in what French poet Charles Baudelaire called "a taste for the infinite." More than that: You desperately need to cultivate a voracious hunger for the infinite. Call it going back to your spiritual roots if you like. Think of it as talking to God or expanding your consciousness or meditating till your heart melts into a state of union with your eternal source. You've got to get yourself some deep and intimate communion with the Divine Wow.

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