Free will astrology

Free will astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19):
We’re halfway through 2008. It’s a perfect moment to take inventory of how well you’re capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities. So let me ask you, Aries: Are you working your ass off in order to stoke the fire in your belly? In other words, are you doing everything you can think of to get more motivated? Are you trying hard to supercharge your ambitions and refine your passions? If so, this will be the year when you finally figure out how to do what you love to do a majority of the time — and how to get rewarded by the world for doing it. It’s high time to answer your highest calling.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
We’re halfway through 2008. It’s time to take inventory of how well you’re capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities. So let me ask you, Taurus. Have you been climbing out on a limb in order to think outside of the box? Have you been having adventurous fun while experimenting freely? I hope so. Playing around with smart gambles has been and will continue to be the secret to your success. Note well the adjective "smart" in the previous sentence. Dumb gambles and poorly thought-out risks should not be part of your game plan.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
How well are you capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities, Gemini? Now that we’re halfway through 2008, let’s take an inventory. I’m hoping that six months from now, you’ll look back and make the following declaration: "This year I’ve learned more about togetherness and collaboration than I’d picked up in the previous five years combined. I’ve finally registered the fact that a successful alliance of any kind requires as much hard work as any job. Most of my important relationships are better and more interesting, and the rest have faded away. I’ve surprised myself with how creative I’ve been in finding interesting ways to handle commitment."

CANCER (June 21-July 22):
We’re halfway through 2008. It’s time to take inventory of how well you’re capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities. So let me ask you, Leo: Have you been redefining your relationship to your job so that it better serves the real you? Are you invoking all your imaginative powers so as to get into a position in which you will love work more than ever before? I hope you’ve been doing those things, because it means you’ve primed yourself to attract lots of help in accomplishing those changes.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
We’re halfway through 2008. It’s time to take inventory of how well you’re capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities. So let me ask you, Leo: Have you been redefining your relationship to your job so that it better serves the real you? Are you invoking all your imaginative powers so as to get into a position in which you will love work more than ever before? I hope you’ve been doing those things, because it means you’ve primed yourself to attract lots of help in accomplishing those changes.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
How well are you capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities, Virgo? Now that we’re halfway through 2008, let’s take an inventory. I’m hoping that six months from now, you’ll look back and make the following declaration: "I’ve learned more about love in the past 12 months than maybe I ever have. I’ve also become far more skilled in the art of making myself happy. And I’ve finally figured out how to purge some of the martyr-like aspects from my generosity, which means I’m better able to give without strings attached and I’m more attractive to interesting people who are inclined to give me things I really want."

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
How well are you capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities, Libra? Now that we’re halfway through 2008, let’s take an inventory. I’m hoping that six months from now, you’ll look back and make the following declaration: "It’s so funny that in order to find out where I truly belong, I had to change my ideas about where I truly belong. Feeling at home on this planet and in this life wasn’t possible until I got cured of my delusions about what it would feel like to be at home on this planet and in this life. I had to lose some of my certainties in order to gain more security."

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
How well are you capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities, Scorpio? Now that we’re halfway through 2008, let’s take an inventory. One of the most important things you’re doing, I hope, is increasing your effectiveness as a communicator. What do I mean by that? While it’s true that you Scorpios gather information more skillfully than any other sign, you aren’t necessarily as blessed when it comes to sharing information. In part that’s because you believe that keeping secrets enhances your personal power. And in part it’s because you sometimes forget that other people aren’t as clued in to what’s happening below the surface as you are. Your mandate in the coming months is to overcome those challenges as you learn to express yourself with ever-greater candor and clarity and clout.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
How well are you capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities, Sagittarius? Now that we’re halfway through 2008, let’s take an inventory. I’m hoping that six months from now, you’ll look back and make the following declaration: "I’m on much friendlier terms with money than I’ve ever been. I’m sure it’s because I have a more rooted and relaxed understanding of my true value, and am not so attached to what other people think I’m worth. I’ve declared my independence from the conventional wisdom’s distorted worship of superficial appearances. Ironically, as I’ve shaken off the sickening influence of materialism, I’ve upgraded my ability to create material success."

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
How well are you capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities, Capricorn? Now that we’re halfway through 2008, let’s take an inventory. Your self-image is in the midst of an exhilarating expansion, right? Your excitement about being alive is growing steadily, right? Your devotion to cultivating an inner sense of freedom is getting more intense every day, right? You have an ever-increasing clarity about what life experiences you need in order to feel powerful, right? If you’re falling short in any of these projects, start making up for lost time immediately.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
How well are you capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities, Aquarius? Now that we’re halfway through 2008, let’s take an inventory. By now, you should have banished at least half of the ghosts that were pestering you. By August, you should have neutralized, dissolved, or rendered irrelevant a load of weird karma, and said goodbye to parts of your past that were bogging you down. By January 1, 2009, I hope you will have laid to rest a broken dream, escaped a dead end, and ended your relationship with a lost cause. If you have spent the last six months earnestly engaged in doing this tough, messy work, it won’t be anywhere near as tough and messy during the next six months.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
How well are you capitalizing on this year’s unique opportunities, Pisces? Now that we’re halfway through 2008, let’s take an inventory. You’re getting better connected to your community than you ever have before, right? You’ve become far more purposeful and crafty about forging the alliances you need to be effective, right? You’re developing smart strategies for upgrading your unique gifts and givng them to the right people, right? You’re working hard to create niches for yourself that suit your temperament and needs, and you’re no longer leaving it to other people to shape those niches for you, right?

Homework
: Make a prediction about what your life will be like in the second half of 2008. Share it with me at uaregod@comcast.net.

Free will astrology

Free will astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

"Successful representations of reality become more important than the reality they represent," writes W. Daniel Hillis at The World Question Center (tinyurl.com/ywth3). Examples: paper money supersedes gold; a painting has more value than the landscape it depicts; the status that an achievement brings begins to overshadow the achievement. The coming days are an excellent time for you to contemplate how this phenomenon might be in play in your life, and whether it’s causing any distortions you need to correct. Start with this meditation: Is there any way in which you’ve become so focused on the map that you have neglected the territory?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

While driving in suburbia, I saw a sign in the yard of a home whose grounds were being renovated. It was an ad for the landscaping company that was doing the work. "Mesmerize visitors with your garden," it read. Judging from your astrological omens, Taurus, I think you’re in an excellent position to do just that. It’s your turn to enthrall and enchant people with your metaphorical "garden," whether that’s a gourmet meal you cook, an outing you plan, a set of songs you sing, a report you prepare, or any other fine demonstration of your beauty and talents.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

"The best time for me is when I don’t have any problems that I can’t buy my way out of," said Andy Warhol. If that formulation is true, you’re going to have a light warm breeze of a week, Gemini — a time so smooth and easy and free you may wonder if the gods made a mistake and bestowed the sublime karma of some beatific saint on you. Here’s my prediction: The only problems you’ll have will be those you can buy your way out of. And they won’t even be very expensive.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

In the film War Games, a hacker taps in to a remote mainframe and begins to play a game he finds there. As it turns out, the mainframe is an artificially intelligent supercomputer that serves as hub of operations for the U.S. Air Force, and the game has real-world consequences. The hacker inadvertently triggers a cascade of events that could launch an actual global conflagration. After many scary plot turns, the danger of disaster dissipates when the supercomputer makes a momentous decision: The only way to win the game is to not play it. That approach could work well for you, my fellow Crab. The game you’re playing is nowhere near as dangerous as the one in War Games, of course, but why not play to win?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

ButlersGuild.com named Mr. Ravi Shankar as its Butler of the Year. Serving as Head Butler of the Qasr Al Sharq hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Shankar "always acts with complete integrity in everything he does." Your simple yet arduous assignment, Leo, is to be worthy of that same description. Are you up to the challenge? Can you be morally and ethically impeccable, between now and noon on June 18, in every single thing you do and say and think? Do you have the willpower to be absolutely free of hypocrisies, deceits and manipulations? Can you refrain from speaking derisive or careless words about anyone, while at the same time being rigorously authentic and intent on telling the deepest truths?

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

"The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable," said journalist Finley Peter Dunne. In that spirit, Virgo, here are your assignments for the coming week: 1. Critique and question and agitate the parts of yourself that are complacent or addicted to convenience. 2. Give help, sympathy and encouragement to the parts of yourself that are off-center or out-of-focus. 3. Shake up the static, habit-entranced situations you see around you. 4. Be generous and creative with those who are suffering.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

"I’ve been all over the world and have lived among every kind of culture," wrote Dan Liebert on mcsweeneys.net, "and I can say, without any hesitation, that the most ignorant, rude, selfish and self-centered people on Earth are babies." I agree with him, though I’ve got to add that it’s senseless to get mad at babies for being such jerks. Their brains simply aren’t sufficiently well-developed to be any different. This line of thought can be applied to a whole range of bad behavior by people who have technically reached adulthood: They engage in ill-advised actions not out of evil intent but because they’re emotionally immature. Keep that in mind as you deal with anyone who’s doing unreasonable things. Be the composed adult who’s in charge of leading the big babies.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Danny Anderson was out feeding his horses in Prosser, Wash. when a rattlesnake slithered into the barn. Anderson took a shovel and decapitated it. The dangerous creature was neutralized, right? Not quite. When Anderson reached down to pick up the severed head a few minutes later, it pulled off a nightmarish move seen only in horror films: It came back to life just long enough to bite him. Luckily, Anderson was fine after a trip to the hospital to receive anti-venom treatment. The metaphorical moral of the story, as far as you Scorpios are concerned: When your brave efforts finally eliminate a threat, don’t let down your guard or get overconfident. Be absolutely positively sure that it’s really gone.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

You really have no right to tear yourself down. Badmouthing yourself is a first-degree sin, and so is being mean to yourself or depriving yourself of the care you need to thrive. This is always true, of course, but in the coming week it’s more crucial than ever that you refrain from even the subtlest forms of self-abuse. To be anything less than an imaginative lover and nurturer toward yourself could upset the cosmic equilibrium so profoundly that everyone else would suffer, too. Therefore, you owe it to the rest of us to shower yourself with blessings.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

Pumice, which is created by volcanic eruptions, is filled with holes, which means that it’s sometimes light enough to glide on the surface of a body of water. I urge you to use this floatable rock as a metaphor. Think of the heaviest burden you’re carrying — an apparently insoluble problem, a thankless responsibility, a task that seems impossible — and imagine over the next few days that it is changing into a hunk of pumice. When the transformation is complete, visualize yourself throwing it into a fast-flowing river, and then watch as it gets carried away, ultimately turning into a tiny, bobbing speck that disappears over the horizon.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

In his song "Bird on a Wire," Leonard Cohen says, "Like a bird on a wire / Like a drunk in a midnight choir / I have tried in my way to be free." Your assignment, Aquarius, is to wail, moan or croon your own personal version of that song. Here’s how I suggest you proceed. First, identify specific actions you’ve taken to advance your quest for liberation. Include even the modest accomplishments and goofball attempts. Second, imagine the strategies you’ll pursue in the future to get more leeway and latitude for yourself. You might want to start by purging your mind of beliefs that place unwarranted limitations on you. Now start singing!

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):

It’s an ideal time to stir up fresh insights about important people whose charms you’ve grown numb to . . . to mutate your perspectives about situations you’ve become overly familiar with . . . to come up with revised interpretations for past events about which new information has emerged. To get in the right frame of mind, study these novel definitions of common words, supplied by readers of The Washington Post in response to a contest. Airstrip: to pretend to take off your clothes. Algebra: lingerie worn by mermaids. Blunderbuss: to French-kiss your boss’s wife at the office Christmas party. Bumbling: butt cheek piercings. Fulcrum: a supermodel’s big meal. Flagellation: beating on your political opponent by questioning his patriotism.

Homework: Where in your life do you push harder than is healthy? Where do you not push hard enough? Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com

Free will astrology

Free will astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19):
Since authoring the book Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success, Penelope Trunk has written a blog that offers further advice. Recently she wrote about a subject I’d love for you to think about: mentors. You’re in a phase when you have a heightened knack for identifying and attracting and learning from the guides you need. Here’s one of Trunk’s most crucial points: To take maximum advantage of your teachers, ask them what questions you should be asking them. Don’t assume you always know what you need to find out. (You can read Trunk’s post at tinyurl.com/5ofj9x.)

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
"Woodsman Claims: ‘Lady Bigfoot Kept Me as Her Love Slave!’" That was the headline of a report in the Weekly World News. In addition to providing fascinating details about the man’s captivity, the article also had a helpful section on the jobs most likely to get someone kidnapped by a female sasquatch. They included lumberjack, surveyor, landscape artist, and ornithologist. In my astrological opinion, that list should be amended, at least for the next few weeks, to note that Taurus lumberjacks, surveyors, landscape artists, and ornithologists are especially susceptible. Why do I say that? Because according to my projections, many of you Tauruses will be swept up in or profoundly influenced by powerful feminine energy.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
"The truth is always more interesting that your preconception of what it might be," says author Steven Levy. Journalists "should not have the stories written out in their heads before they report them. Preconceptions can blind you to the full, rich human reality that awaits you when you actually listen to your subjects and approach the material with an open mind." I think that’s an excellent strategy to use even if you’re not a journalist — and especially for you right now, while you’re in a phase when the healing shock of the new is available everywhere you go.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):
Whatever you do, Cancerian, DON’T open the door of that closet that hasn’t been opened in years. DON’T poke your nose into the funny business that has been going on behind the scenes. DON’T peek inside Pandora’s other box, or pick the fruit of temptation off the tree of knowledge, or rush in, like a trusting fool, where angels fear to tread. DON’T do any of these controversial, forbidden things, my dear Crab — unless you want to risk embarking on some enigmatic, elemental, enlightening adventures.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
I happen to like The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull, a CD by sludge rockers Earth. But I’m not urging you to get a copy of it so much as I’m suggesting that you carry out a metaphorical equivalent of what the album’s title describes. This is a perfect time for you to create something sweet in a situation that once scared the sleep out of you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
In the ancient text known as the Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters, the Buddha is quoted as saying, "My doctrine is to think the thought that is unthinkable, to practice the deed that is unperformable, to speak the speech that is inexpressible, and to be trained in the discipline that is beyond discipline." Those happen to be your tough assignments in the coming week, Virgo. You will actually have a good chance at succeeding if you refuse to be excessively sober and serious in your approach. The more fun you have and the more playful your style is, the greater the likelihood is that you will pull off subtle yet spectacular feats that may seem impossible to more no-nonsense people.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
"Dear Dr. Brezsny: I love my weekly dose of astrological wit, but I’ve got to say that if I had all the fun and revelry you predict, I wouldn’t be a morose meandering malcontent, as I am now. And if I had even half of the flirting and romance that your prophecies promise, I certainly wouldn’t be home on Saturday nights playing World of Warcraft. I must conclude that you’re living in a different dimension than I am. So how do I get over there to where you are? – Up-in-the-Air Libra." Dear Up-in-the-Air: Funny you should mention this. Due to a rare crack in the space-time continuum, there’s currently a wormhole between my dimension and the dimension where up-in-the-air Libras live. Come on over! You’ll know you’re near the portal when you feel an urge to exuberantly leap up off your feet for no reason.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
Please join me in a boycott of horoscope columns and astrology books that insinuate all Scorpios are cruel, perverted, power-mad jealousy freaks. Let’s refuse to read those propagandists until they cease and desist from brainwashing the masses into directing bigotry toward your tribe. It’s true that there are some less-evolved Scorpios who speed up their cars to run over small animals and treat romance as a game in which there can be only one winner. But do we demonize all scientists simply because a few mad physicists created weapons of mass destruction? Of course not. I hereby proclaim June to be Scorpio Pride Month — a time to celebrate your winning qualities, especially your unparalleled skill at helping to activate the dormant potentials of people you care about. Promise me you’ll do that even more intensely than usual.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
"Take time to stop and smell the flowers," says an old homily. Albert Hoffman, the Swiss scientist who discovered LSD and lived to age 102, had a different approach. "Take the time to stop and be the flowers," he said. That’s my advice to you, Sagittarius. Don’t just set aside a few stolen moments to sniff the snapdragons, taste the rain, chase the wind, watch the hummingbirds, and listen to a friend. Use your imagination to actually BE the snapdragons and rain and wind and hummingbirds and friend. It’s time to not just behold the Other, but to become the Other.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
What Martin Luther King Jr. said about epic struggles in the political arena is also apt for you in your private life, especially now: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." I recommend that you translate his advice into the intimate details of your relationships. If you really do that with the irresistible force of your burning conviction, you will prove another one of King’s excellent thoughts: "Unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
Scientists used to believe that a butterfly has no recollection of its previous life as a caterpillar. The pupa breaks down into primal goo during its metamorphosis, they said, erasing all trace of its caterpillar brain. But new research suggests that there is in fact continuity. At least some of what the caterpillar learned remains available to the butterfly. As you carry out your own personal mutation in the coming months, Aquarius, I believe you will experience a similar process, thus ensuring that the New You has most of the wisdom that the Old You possessed.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
It’s Blame All Your Problems on God Week. You have license to shun responsibility for the pain you feel and the messes you’ve made, and instead ascribe it all to the Divine Mischief Maker. The secret of achieving success in this enterprise is to act as if your dilemmas really do have nothing to do with anything you’ve done, but have been entirely caused by God’s mistakes, his intentional cruelty, or his wicked sense of humor. By the way, Accept Total Responsibility for Your Problems Week is coming up next, and to observe that holiday correctly you will have to be thoroughly sincere about this week’s. P.S. It’s crucial that you really do blame everything on God, and not on actual human beings. P.P.S. If you’re an atheist, it’s Blame All Your Problems on Your Parents Week.

Homework: Talk yourself into being proud about something you’ve always felt sheepish or shy about. Testify at RealAstrology.com. Click on "Email Rob."

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