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Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Love isn’t as simple as you wish it would be. On the other hand, it’s nowhere near as complicated as you fear it is. My advice to you is to extinguish any itch you might have to compel love to serve any agenda at whatsoever. Instead, bow down before it with all the innocence you can muster, and declare yourself ready to be its humble student and servant. Celebrate through surrender.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Dear StarMan: I want to be a famous actress like Scarlett Johansson. I know my natural talent is as good as hers, but I’m not especially beautiful. Can you look into my future and see if I’ll ever make it big in Hollywood? Would it help if I got cosmetic surgery? —Taurus Dreamer." Dear Taurus: It’s a favorable time for you Tauruses to explore ways you might be kidding yourselves about your destiny. So let me ask you this: Does the dream you articulated express the primal truth about your purpose here on earth? Instead of saying, "I want to be a famous actress," try this desire on for size: "I want to be a good actress."

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When I was in Seattle recently, I was impressed with the extravagant requests of three seedy-looking homeless guys downtown. Their cardboard signs made it clear they wanted far more than the usual alms. "Need cash to buy fuel for my Lear jet," read one. "Girlfriend needs liposuction — please help defray costs" and "Desperately need new set of golf clubs for golf date with Donald Trump" said the other two. Draw inspiration from these cheeky fellows. Dream really, really big; ask for more than you’ve dared to before.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Is your schedule too rigid to allow magic to seep in? Then mutate that schedule, please. Is your brain so crammed with knowledgeable opinions that no fresh perceptions can crack their way in? Then flush out some of those opinions. Is your heart so puckered by the stings of the past that it can’t burst forth with any expansive new invitations? Then unpucker your heart, for God’s sake.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Picture a bridge that once upon a time allowed cars to cross over a river, but that now has nothing but hard dirt and scrubby bushes beneath it. In other words, the river that once compelled the building of the bridge has dried up. This is a useful symbol for you. Metaphorically speaking, you’re thinking about erecting a bridge over a barrier that won’t be a barrier much longer. If you wait a while, it won’t be necessary to do all that work.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Jeff Greenwald (ethicaltraveler.org) has traveled extensively all over the planet for the last quarter of a century. "Do the citizens of the world revile us Americans more each year?" I asked him. He said that though millions upon millions have come to despise the U.S. government, most don’t actually hate us, the American people. That’s because they know firsthand the corruption and tyranny of their own countries’ politicians, and so they don’t hold our awful government against us. Let this distinction serve as a guide for you, Virgo. The time is right for you to fight inept institutions and rotten traditions and bad ideas, but without hating anyone.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Emilio Estevez was experiencing writer’s block as he worked on a screenplay about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. In his desperation to get unstuck, he jumped in his car and started driving north along the California coast. He stopped at the first random motel that had a vacancy, vowing to plow ahead on the screenplay there. The motel clerk recognized Estevez and asked him what he was up to. When he told her about his stalled project, she gasped. She had been at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 4 and 5, 1968, the place and time Kennedy was killed. Estevez felt his writer’s block dissolving. In the ensuing days, he wrote up a storm. I predict, Libra, that you’re about to experience a similar synchronicity.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Last year actress Michelle Rodriguez was arrested for drunk driving in Hawaii. She was given the choice of spending five days in prison or doing 240 hours of community service. She surprised everyone by choosing to be incarcerated. Rodriguez said, "I’m a gypsy. I can see beauty in a jail cell." While I’m not predicting you’ll end up behind bars in the coming week, Scorpio, I do suspect you’ll have a bout with limitation. If you do, regard it as an invitation to expand your ability to find beauty in challenging circumstances and to cultivate your skill at creating opportunities for yourself in the midst of perplexity.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Miami’s Hotel Victor has a "vibe manager" on the staff. This person’s job is to ensure that the hotel’s ambiance is soothing and cheerful. As I see it, Sagittarius, one of your important tasks right now is to be a vibe manager for the environments you share with people. (It’s in your selfish interests to do so.) In addition to keeping the atmosphere relaxing, however, you should also keep it invigorating. Don’t let comfort lapse into stagnancy.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "It’s not whoring if you do it for free," read both of the matching T-shirts on a couple I saw at a San Francisco café. Being a curious sort, I went up and asked them what exact activity they were referring to. "He loves to give away his top-notch psycho-spiritual advice," the woman said, pointing to her companion, "and I love to give out compliments without expecting anything in return. Need any free advice or compliments?" Her earnest statements were in sharp contrast to the glib humor of the T-shirt quip. The next day, as I meditated on your astrological omens, I realized my experience with them was a foreshadowing of the oracle I should give you: Be both playful and sincere as you deepen your commitment to generosity.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Your job," my philosophy teacher Norman O. Brown told me back in 1981, "is to find the holy in the mundane, and, failing that, to create the holy in the mundane." I’ve done my best to carry out his directions all these years. Now I’m going to ask you to do your part, Aquarius. Believe it or not, one of your important tasks in the coming week is to feel awe and reverence while you’re in the midst of the everyday routine. Penetrate to the deeper layers as you seek out divine beauty that gently shocks you into a state of heightened awareness.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In her role as DJ Debi Newberry in the film Grosse Pointe Blank, Minnie Driver defines the term shakabuku as a swift spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever. I think you’re due for one of those blessings-in-disguise, though I also believe you can avoid it if you really want to. One way to prevent its delivery would be to hide in your room and ferociously repress every unruly emotion that threatens to rise to the surface. A preferable strategy would be to figure out why you might need a swift spiritual kick in the head and then take action to change the awkward situation that would require the kick’s arrival. Here’s this week’s homework: At least 30 percent of everything you know is half-wrong. Can you guess what it is? Testify at

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