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Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Three Aries starlets have recently stopped dying their hair blond: Mandy Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker and Reese Witherspoon. I suggest you draw inspiration from their example. Stop all pretending. Throw off your disguises. Be as natural as you dare to be. Beginning Nov. 22, "Know thyself," will be your battle cry, and the best way to prepare for that day is to make "Be thyself!" your mantra for now.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): On a song from his multi-platinum album, *Get Rich or Die Trying*, hip-hop artist 50 Cent sings, "I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love." Your assignment, Taurus, is to do the opposite: Be into making love, not having sex. You still have a lot to learn about making love with your heart completely open and your mind full of innocent wonder. There’s more you could do to invoke the divine presence while in your intimate embraces. Are you brave and humble enough to go to the next level?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): For years, the walls of many public restrooms were inscribed with the graffiti, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." My Gemini friend Ross has personally decorated scores of bathroom walls with the saying, "A Gemini needs emotions like a fish needs a bicycle." He thinks your tribe can function just fine without messy emotions. I disagree. Though you certainly don’t need to wallow in the swampy tumult that some people seem addicted to, you do periodically require mysterious, overwhelming feelings. This is one of those times.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you’re fully alive, the answer to the question, "What is the meaning of life?" keeps evolving. So what’s the answer for you these days? Only you can decide, of course, but I’ll offer a suggestion based on my astrological analysis. It’s from philosopher Tom Morris. "The meaning of life," he says, "is creative love. Not love as an inner feeling, not as a private sentimental emotion, but love as a dynamic power moving out into the world and doing something original."

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Legendary underwater explorer Sylvia Earle was named a "Hero of the Planet" by *Time* magazine in recognition of her pioneering efforts to preserve marine sanctuaries. Because she holds so many diving records and has spent so many hours submerged in the ocean, she is known as "Her Deepness." You should consider making this practical idealist your role model in the coming weeks, Leo. Her adventures are perfect metaphors for bold excursions into the intriguing abyss; devoted cultivation of the beauty that lies below; and in-depth care for your life’s submerged mysteries.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): If you’d like to be in harmony with cosmic rhythms, Virgo, spend quality time thinking about the future of your education. I’m not just referring to plans for school. You should ruminate about which people you’d like to learn from and how to hone your listening skills. I also urge you to freshen up your mind by emptying it of at least ten of your entrenched opinions. Now write this gem from William Butler Yeats on a piece of paper and carry it with you till Dec. 1: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): *The Great Gatsby*, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best-known novel, was not the author’s first choice as a title. He wanted to call it *Trimalchio in West Egg*, but was overruled by an editor. Similarly, *Gone with the Wind* was originally *Tomorrow Is Another Day.* *Valley of the Dolls* was *They Don’t Build Statues to Businessmen.* I hope that hearing of these shifts inspires you to rename your own life story, Libra. The events of recent months have changed your long-term plot lines so much that you really do need a new title.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "A new idea is delicate," wrote author Charles Brower. "It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person’s brow." And that’s exactly why you should be so protective of your budding innovations this week, Scorpio. They may ultimately evolve into breathtaking brainstorms if they’re given room to grow. Don’t discuss them with anyone except sensitive people who respect you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "This is what I believe," wrote D.H. Lawrence. "That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will try always to recognize and submit to them." You’re now in especially close touch with the deepest sources of your life, Sagittarius, so it’s an excellent time to write your own creed. Also, more gods than usual are coming forth into the clearing of your known self. Pay close attention to their whispers and screams.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "True beauty doesn’t reveal itself until the winds of time have had their say," says graphic designer Todd Dominey. "Beauty is in the cracks, the worn spots, and the imperfect lines." Your assignment, Capricorn, is to be on high alert for this phenomenon. Avoid being seduced by fresh shiny beauty. It would distract you from the more hard-to-find stuff — the worn, imperfect, cracked beauty that alone can feed your soul right now.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Conventional wisdom says the best problems are those that place us under duress. But pain frequently generates no gain. There is, furthermore, another class of problem that neither feeds on nor generates angst. On the contrary, the delightful dilemma is fun and invigorating, and blooms when we’re feeling at home in the world. Imagine a life for yourself, Aquarius, in which the majority of your quandaries match this profile. Try out the theory that your most useful problems come when joy is your predominant state of mind.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Leo Alard was the first Hispanic to become an Episcopalian bishop in this country. His pioneer spirit emerged early on. As a young priest in the 1960s, he headed a racially integrated parish in Cattahoochee, Florida. The bigots of the KKK didn’t look favorably on his work, and on one occasion they burned a cross on the church lawn. Alard, who was supervising a youth group on that particular night, brought the class out and had everyone toast marshmallows over the fire. I urge you to regard Alard as your hero in the coming week, Pisces, and imitate his genius. Capitalize fiercely on every apparent setback, making full use of playful humor and resourceful unpredictability. Here’s this week’s homework: What experience have you been denying yourself even though it would be good for you and wouldn’t hurt anyone? Write a note giving yourself permission. Share at

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