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Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): July is Reinvent Your Family Month, and today begins Home Improvement Week. Your short-term assignment is to beautify your sanctuary. Get rid of stuff that tends to keep you locked into sterile memories, and fill the place with fresh symbols and accessories that make you excited about the future. That should get you in the mood for the more demanding task, which is to change whatever needs to be changed in order to create the exact family feeling you have always wanted.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You need to laugh more this week than you’ve ever laughed before. I’m not exaggerating, Taurus. Mirth is not just food but also medicine for your soul. It’s an absolute necessity, not a luxury. I’m talking about amusement as a way of life, not a pleasant diversion; as the attitude that underlies everything you do, not just an occasional escape into frivolity. You probably have some ideas about where to begin, but in order to fulfill your assignment, you’ll also have to track down *new* laugh-inducing stimuli; you’ll have to expand your capacity to be delighted.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once. Wouldn’t you agree? And that’s one reason I’m authorizing you to repeat a naughty or excessively rowdy adventure from the past, Gemini. Here’s another reason: The same series of actions that had an awkward result way back when will lead to a breakthrough this time. That’s what I predict, anyway — especially if you add a little tenderness to your mischief this time around.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I propose that you conduct a radical experiment for the next three weeks. Between now and July 22, try on the theory that life is on your side. Assume that all of creation is conspiring to give you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. At least once every day, speak these words with passionate sincerity: "I believe that reality is a sublime comedy staged for my education and amusement, and that there is a benevolent conspiracy to liberate me from my ignorance and help transform me into the unique masterpiece I was born to be."

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Astronomers recently discovered a planet-like world orbiting the sun beyond Pluto. They called it Sedna, a name they said was derived from the Inuit deity that created the Arctic’s sea creatures. She is the Dark Goddess, embodiment of the wild female potencies that are feared yet sorely needed by cultures in which the masculine perspective dominates. Shamans from the world above swim down to her underwater home to sing her songs and comb her long black hair. If they win her favor, she gives them the magic necessary to heal their suffering patients. In the coming weeks, Leo, Sedna is your special ally. Call on her power as you work to cure the part of you that you’ve thought would always be wounded.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): This may be the turning point your grandchildren will tell stories about years from now: The time you leap over the abyss to the other side of the Great Divide and begin your life in earnest. On the other hand, this moment of truth may end up being nothing more than a brief awakening when you glimpse what’s possible on the other side of the Great Divide, but then tell yourself, "Nah, that’s waayyyy too far to jump." In that case, your grandchildren will have to be content talking about what delicious cookies you used to bake or what your favorite sports team was. It will all depend on how brave you’ll be.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The Monster Raving Loony Party is a political party that nominates candidates for British elections. Here are a few of its proposals: Anyone using a cellular phone in a theater must be squirted with silly string; joggers should be required to run on giant treadmills that generate electricity for public use; and Britain should be towed 500 miles south to improve the climate. I call on you, Libra, to create a branch of the Monster Raving Loony Party in your own locale. Or at least inject some medicinal teasing into the political intrigues you’re having to navigate. The astrological omens say you now have a knack for lightening up group dynamics that have become way too heavy.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The astrological omens are telling me you need a vacation from media babble. That’s probably the only way you’ll be able to tune in to the crucial messages that are being sent out by the still, small voice within you. Do you have the will power to carry out this heroic discipline? I dare you to unplug your television and keep your radios turned off. Avoid films. Don’t even open up a newspaper or magazine. It would also be great if you’d boycott computers. But if that’s impossible — if you have to stare at a computer screen for the sake of your work — then check your e-mail just once a day and don’t surf the Web aimlessly. Create a silence that’s deep enough for the still, small voice to be heard.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Gypsy Rose Lee (1914- 1970) was not a stripper in the sense we think of it today. Her more precise title was *striptease artist.* During her performances, she never actually took off all of her clothes. Her style was rooted in the advice her mother gave her: "Make them beg for more — and then don’t give it to them." While I don’t suggest you apply for a gig at a strip club this week, Sagittarius, I do recommend that you incorporate some of Lee’s approach in your own chosen field.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The emotions in your vicinity are about to get very interesting. Here’s a rapid-fire flurry of advice to match the fluttery, fluctuating rhythm you’ll be navigating. Day 1: Don’t fight the problem; make yourself bigger than it. Day 2. Become better acquainted with the part of yourself that sometimes does things unconsciously. Day 3: Allocate more funds and resources for foreign affairs. Day 4: A little rebellion will prevent a debilitating weakness from erupting. Day 5: Prove your love not with sentimental sweetness but with exuberant adventure. Day 6: Talk about the two things you never talk about.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): This will be a bad news, good news kind of week, Aquarius. But the bad news will be small in proportion to the good news, and may even be necessary for the good news to occur. For instance, a mosquito might keep you up all night. That, in turn, could lead you to call in sick for work, spend the day rethinking your whole life, and decide to make a dramatic move that will change everything for the better.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): My Piscean friend Risa dreamed that the Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh wanted to give up his celibacy to pursue a romantic relationship with her. She was flattered — the man is a brilliant saint who has written more than 20 books — but she ultimately decided to stick with her husband. The night after she told me this dream, I dreamed that my three best Piscean friends were making love with Mother Teresa, Buddha, and the 16th-century Kabbalist holy man, Isaac Luria. From this evidence, as well as certain astrological data, I conclude that you Fish are in the midst of trying to integrate your spiritual and sensual yearnings. To expedite this exciting process, I suggest you murmur exuberant prayers during your sexual encounters this week. Here’s this week’s homework: Chant this string of magic words five times a day: "Bravo Viva Kudos Whoopee Eureka Hallelujah Abracadabra." Report results to

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