Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

It’s a great privilege to live in a free country. You’re fortunate if you have the opportunity to pursue your dreams without having to ward off government interference or corporate brainwashing or religious fanaticism. But that’s only partly useful if you have not yet won the most important struggle for liberation, which is the freedom from your own unconscious habits and conditioned responses. Becoming an independent agent who’s not an unwitting slave to his or her past is one of the most heroic feats a human being can accomplish. And you, Aries, will have more mojo to do that in 2009 than you’ve had in a long time.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

American financier Jim Rogers evaluates life as many devout capitalists do: under what circumstances can he achieve the most wealth? That’s why he relocated to Singapore. “If you were smart in 1807, you moved to London,” he said two years ago, “if you were smart in 1907, you moved to New York City, and if you are smart in 2007, you move to Asia.” With that as your spur, Taurus, I’d like you to identify the driving force of your life. The desire for more money? More power? Wisdom? Love? Status? None of the above? The next step is to meditate on the environment and the conditions that would be most conducive to you fulfilling your quest. In 2009, you’ll have exceptional potential to create the ideal context for your success.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

When I was 19, I read Alan Watts’ The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. After that, I was sure there was nothing else I needed to know in order to live intelligently. It was, I thought, a compendium of the best insights worth knowing. My certainty eventually faded, thank Goddess. In its place came the understanding that life’s mystery just keeps getting deeper and vaster as one grows older — that it’s idiotically arrogant to ever think you’ve got it all figured out. A healthier approach is to cultivate a capacity to be endlessly surprised. I hope you’ll do that in 2009, Gemini. The flood of novel ideas and fresh perspectives surging your way will warrant it.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

“Dear Rob: These last few months have been absurdly full of pluses and minuses, ups and downs, lefts and rights. There have been so many good things happening and yet, so many obstacles, too. It often feels like we Crabs are being rewarded and punished at the same time. I’m wondering where it’s all going and when it will end? A happy ending? A sad ending? No ending? Will zero ever equal one? —Agitatedly Neutral.” Dear Agitated: You’re at the climax of a long balancing process. I suggest you take this opportunity to tally up the valuable lessons you’ve learned in the relentless back-and-forth. Your graduation to a less ambiguous chapter of your life story will be more robust if you work hard to extract the meaning from experiences you’ve tended to see as random or confusing.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

Here’s an update on the world’s tigers: Fewer than 5,000 are living in their natural habitats, while the U.S. alone has more than that number in zoos. Let’s use that fact as a starting point for your meditations, Leo. How much of your animal essence is in captivity, and how much is running free? Is your inner lion able to wander at will through places where it feels at home, or is it trapped in a confined space it would never stay in if allowed to choose? Keep coming back to these questions during 2009. It will be an excellent time to spring the great cat in you from conditions that make it pace in neurotic circles.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

In 2009, you’ll receive a lot of help, some unexpected, whenever you phase out your trivial desires so that you can better pursue your truly important desires. The coming months will also be an excellent time to shed unrealistic fantasies so you can be freer to concentrate on the realistic kind. While these are not quite once-in-a lifetime opportunities, Virgo, they may be the once-in-a-decade variety. Why not draw up a plan for how you can take maximum advantage of the specific luck that will be flowing your way?

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

“God calls you to the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,” wrote Frederick Buechner. You’re free to ignore that call, of course. You can pretend that you don’t really know what brings you deep gladness, and you can act as if the world’s deep hunger is of no concern to you. But if you hope to be proud of the life you have lived when, many years from now, you shed your mortal coil, I advise you to at least experiment with using Buechner’s formula as a working hypothesis. The coming year will be en excellent time to do just that.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Studies suggest that the average person who reaches old age has been upset with some family member or another for a total of 30 years. Is that a standard you’d like to match, Scorpio? If not, you will have an excellent chance to reduce any inclination you might have to hold grudges in 2009. The coming months will bring you ripe opportunities to dissolve tensions between you and your kin. You will also be more skilled than usual at navigating your way with grace and diplomacy through complications involving the home and domestic issues.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

“Dear Rob: I have followed my nose most of my life, weaving from pleasurable diversion to interesting crisis and back. I’ve honestly had a great time and wouldn’t change a thing. But lately I’ve been getting strong hints from life that maybe the game is changing for me. More and more I’m feeling like the grasshopper in that old fable — you know, with no resources stored up and winter coming on fast — while all the steady, hard-working ants are sitting pretty. So here’s my question: Do I really have to stop enjoying myself and get down to business, whatever that means?  Are there any real jobs for grasshoppers? — Shaky Sagittarius.” Dear Shaky: If there will ever in your life be a time when you could figure out how to be both a grasshopper and ant simultaneously, it will be in 2009. Start meditating on how to get the best of both worlds.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

The Swiss are building a 35-mile railroad tunnel through the Alps. It’ll take another nine years to finish carving out the path through the mountain, and will ultimately require the removal of 24 million tons of rock. I suggest you regard this masterpiece, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, as an inspirational symbol. The coming months will be prime time for you summon the willpower necessary to get really serious about an equally ambitious project.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

I’ve got three quotes for you. I hope you’ll write them out and keep them in a prominent place for the duration of 2009. They’ll set the right tone for everything you do. The first is from psychologist Abraham Maslow: “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.” The second quote comes from choreographer Agnes DeMille: “Dance in the body you have.” The third is from historian Gerald Sorin: “When Reb Zusye went to heaven, God didn’t ask him why, in his life on earth, Zusye wasn’t Moses, but why he wasn’t even Zusye.”

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

What would it take for you to collaborate with the forces of change? Not in a resigned, resentful way. Not with a sense of defeat, wishing things could stay the same forever. Rather, what would you have to do in order to feel eager about adjusting to the ongoing shifts? Is there any way you might even learn to experience exhilaration and gratitude in the face of the eternal flux? Your assignment in 2009, Pisces, is to become an expert surfer of the beautiful, playful, blessed waves.

To check out my expanded audio forecast of your destiny in 2009, go to RealAstrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

Most people spend their entire lives immersed in three modes of awareness: waking, sleeping and dreaming. But there are many other modes that have been explored down through the ages by the pioneers of consciousness. Some of them aren’t very interesting to me — like those sought out by people who use cocaine or methamphetamines, for instance — while others are states I aspire to inhabit, like lucid dreaming, deep meditation and a visceral perception of the fact that love is the fundamental law of the universe. I bring this line of thought to your attention, Aries, because I believe that in 2009 you will have excellent opportunities to open up your mind to levels of consciousness that are beyond the basic three. No drugs are necessary to take advantage — only a driving curiosity to tune in to realities that are currently outside of your field of vision.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

In the original Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1787, each black slave living in America was counted as three-fifths of a person. Seventy-eight years later, the Thirteenth Amendment conferred the missing two-fifths on all who had, up until then, been regarded as partial humans. I predict that a comparable milestone will come for you in 2009, Taurus. Where in your life have you been marginalized or perpetually unfinished? What fragmented role have you been compelled to play? What situation has prevented you from being all you can be? You will have an excellent chance of completing the circuit in the coming months.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

According to the novelist John Gardner, there are just two kinds of stories in literature: you go on a journey, or a stranger arrives in your world. According to my analysis of your destiny in 2009, you will reap rich rewards by including both of those plotlines in your life story. So let the brainstorming begin, Gemini: What’s the best journey you could choose for yourself — a journey that will educate, challenge and delight you? And what can you do to attract the best kinds of strangers into your world — strangers who will educate, challenge, and delight you?

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

To get ready for 2009, I invite you to fantasize in depth about the fertile alliances that might be possible for you to cultivate in the coming months. These lively, inspiring bonds could be with people you haven’t met yet. They could be with acquaintances you barely know but would like to know better. And they could be with friends, collaborators and loved ones you’re already intimate with but want to become even closer to. The coming year has the potential to bring revolutionary advances in the quality and intensity of your relationships, so it will be smart for you to work hard on making that happen.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

“What do I long for?” should be a core question for you — always, of course, but especially in 2009. Are you adventurous enough to look beyond the status symbols your ego is attached to and the transitory wishes that constantly flit through your imagination? If so, you’ll prime yourself to establish a root connection with your soul’s deepest yearnings. And when you’re in daily touch with those primal motivators, the obstacles in your life will seem less overwhelming, the lies you tell yourself will dissolve, and you will consistently have crisp intuitions about what your next move must be. Life may not necessarily be a breeze, but it’ll be profoundly magical.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

When I predict that liberation will be one of your primary tasks in 2009, Virgo, I’m not speaking about it in the usual way. The definition I’m working with is one that the writer David Foster Wallace articulated: “The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.” I hope you’ll be moved to add other nuances and flourishes to that approach as you experiment with it liberally in the coming months.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

“I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free.” That was Michelangelo talking about how he approached his work as a sculptor. He didn’t build the statue, in other words, but got rid of the unnecessary stuff that was surrounding it. I suggest that you try this approach in 2009. You have the potential to create a great thing — maybe even two great things — by chiseling away the extraneous material that’s obscuring their unique beauty.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

In 2009, don’t just tune in to your hunches now and then. Be more diligent and intense than that. Check in with your intuition at least three times a day on all 365 days of the year. Be precise in the questions you pose it. Gather its clues craftily. Have fun as you joke and play with it. Conscientiously experiment with the suggestions it provides. This will be the year you can establish a steady, reliable connection with your inner voice. Be devout in your dedication to the cult of your intuition!

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Want to supercharge your luck in 2009?  Get yourself some vivid new superstitions. The more outrageous they are, the more likely it is they’ll generate lots of crazy sweet karma. You might want to draw inspiration from pro football player John Henderson, for instance, who swears he can trick destiny into working in his favor if his trainer smacks him in the face before each game. Former hockey player Bruce Gardiner might also be a worthy role model. To rev up his good fortune, he always shoved his hockey stick into a toilet prior to skating out onto the ice. JUST KIDDING, Sagittarius! In fact, I hope you will make 2009 your least superstitious year ever. Let’s drink a toast to lucid logic, impeccable objectivity, and cool, clean reason! Add some compassionate sarcasm and loving satire into the mix, and you will generate lots of crazy sweet karma.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

The most expensive bat mitzvah in history took place at New York’s Rainbow Room in November 2005. David Brooks, a billionaire defense contractor, spent $10 million on his daughter’s rite of passage. Among the stars he hired to perform at the bash were Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Nelly and 50 Cent. Promise me, Capricorn, that if you get wealthy in the coming year, you won’t blow your money on ridiculous “luxuries” like that. Here’s a secret: The more high-minded you are in cultivating your dreams, the greater the likelihood is that you’ll get richer quicker.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

Imagine you’re driving down a very wide highway that’s 50 lanes across even though there are no lines dividing one lane from another. Speed limit signs aren’t posted, and some vehicles are zipping along in zigzag paths at over 100 mph while others crawl along like old-lady turtles. Now and then you’ve got to weave your way through a congested area where many on-ramps all feed into the road simultaneously. You haven’t seen an off-ramp yet, and you’re not sure where to get off anyway. I figure, Aquarius, that 2008 had some resemblance to the scenario I just described. Luckily, I predict that no later than your birthday, you will find an off-ramp and exit onto an uncluttered backroad with great scenery.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

“How do you slay the dragon?” journalist Bill Moyers asked mythologist Joseph Campbell in an interview. By “dragon,” he was referring to the dangerous beast that symbolizes the most unripe and uncontrollable part of each of our lives. In reply to Moyers, Campbell didn’t suggest that you become a master warrior, nor did he recommend that you cultivate high levels of sleek, savage anger. “Follow your bliss,” he said simply. Personally, I don’t know if that’s enough to slay the dragon — I’m inclined to believe that you also have to take some defensive measures — but it’s definitely worth an extended experiment. Would you consider trying that in 2009?

Homework: Make three predictions about your life in 2009. Tell me at RealAstrology.com; click on “Email Rob.”

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

What I foresee for you in 2009 is an upgrade in your approach to creating and maintaining your alliances. I envision you having dramatically enhanced intuition about how to connect with people in satisfying and interesting ways. I picture you being able to push beyond your habit-bound ways of conducting your relationships, ensuring that you’ll be entertained and moved by them more than ever before. If I could give you a symbolic holiday gift to inspire you in this work, it might be a long, thick golden thread interwoven with a long, thick silver thread. Happy Holy Daze, Aries!

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

Happy Holy Daze, Taurus! If I were gong to give you a holiday gift, it might be a ticket to go visit your imaginary friend — you know, the invisible ally you’ve been neglecting … the sweet, fierce companion who lives in the threshold between the light and dark … the “other you” who abides there patiently on the cusp between waking and dreaming, hoping that someday you will fully embrace your relationship. Don’t worry, your imaginary friend isn’t demanding or possessive in the least, but mostly just wants you to think of your link every now and then so that you might feel less alone.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

One of your most fun assignments in 2009 will be not only to think way outside of the box but also to think way outside of the bigger and more interesting (but nonetheless boxy) boxes that all the outside-the-box thinkers customarily think inside. That’s why, if I could give you a Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice and Kwanzaa gift, it would be a nice, clean, square, white box punched full of big holes with ragged edges where the inside has burst into the outside. Happy Holy Daze, Gemini!

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

In the Broadway play “Passing Strange,” the narrator Stew says, “You know how one morning you wake up as an adult and you realize your entire life is based on a decision you made as a teenager?” If that description applies to you, Cancerian, 2009 will be the best year ever to do something about it. In the coming months, you will have the power to correct errors or misjudgments you made way back when. You’ll be able to figure out how to start over in an area of your life that you’ve always assumed you were doomed to accept just the way it is. You may even find that you can, in a sense, change the past and reconfigure your memories.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

Happy Holy Daze, Leo! If I could give you one gift for the holidays, it might be a magic object to add to your love altar — something like a pomegranate resting on red velvet, or a golden heart-shaped magnet, or Pablo Neruda’s book 100 Love Sonnets. What? You don’t have a love altar? Well, then please begin creating one as soon as possible, and continue building it throughout 2009. For the next 12 months, the time will be right to get smarter, wilder and kinder in your approach to creating intimate connection.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

“My deepest emotional wound has also been the source of inexhaustible blessings.” I’m not going to tell you why that statement is true for me — it’s way too personal — but I assure you that it’s one of the fundamental facts about my destiny. Could you make a similar assertion, Virgo? Is it possible to interpret your life in such a way that you could see how a painful experience you suffered in the past has also given you tremendous insight, inspiration and vitality? 2009 will be an excellent year to make that leap of understanding. And the time around the solstice — right now! — is a perfect moment to get started.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

At Salon.com’s forum “Table Talk,” participants were urged to come up with a six-word sentence that captured the essence of their lives. One person wrote, “Broke. Payday. Broke. Payday. Broke. Payday.” Another said, “Oh, no, not again. Again. Again.” But the testimony I really wanted to call your attention to is this: “I never learned how to swashbuckle.” Why is this pertinent for you? Because I believe that if you have a similar regret — that you’ve never mastered the art of swashbuckling — you will have an excellent chance to fix that problem in the coming months. In fact, I’m tempted to name 2009 as the Year of the Swashbuckle for you Libras. If I could give you a symbolic holiday gift to get you started, it might be a superhero’s costume created by a top fashion designer. Happy Holy Daze!

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Happy Holy Daze, Scorpio! If I could give you one symbolic gift to set the right tone for 2009, it might be a clear glass vase with a potato growing partially submerged in water, allowing you to see its gnarly roots. I’d hope that would inspire you to put diligent yet playful effort into getting reacquainted with and exploring your own personal source code — you know, the master plan of your life that you formulated before you were born. The coming months will be an excellent time to cultivate a wise innocence as you get to the bottom of who you really are.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Let’s say that on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus hopes to deliver toys to every child who believes in him. Thanks to the fact that his distribution area stretches over many time zones, he’ll have at least 24 hours to accomplish this feat. Still, that means he’s got to visit approximately a thousand homes per second. I don’t know what astrological sign Santa is, but if he’s a Sagittarius he’ll have the highest possible chance at success. Beginning any day now, and lasting throughout 2009, your tribe will have the potential to move faster, think more quickly, and multitask better than every other tribe. If I were going to give you a symbolic holiday gift, it would be greased lightning. Happy Holy Daze!

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

Four out of every five people testify that if such a thing were possible, they would buy more time. If you’re one of those four, I’m here to tell you that conditions in the coming months will provide some interesting opportunities. While you may not be able to actually purchase more of that precious commodity, it’s quite possible that you’ll be able to legally steal it, barter for it, and even create it from scratch. I’ve got to be cryptic here, because the promise I’m hinting at is, of course, not true in a strictly literal sense: You’ll have to tweak your imagination and think a bit sideways and upside-down in order to cash in on the temporal expansions that will be available.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

When she applied for admission to New York University as an undergraduate, Rehka Malhotra was rejected. Years later, after she’d become a well-known Brooklyn DJ, that same school invited her to teach a class, “Pop Culture: South Asians in the U.S.” “It was the sweetest revenge,” she told Good magazine. I predict a comparable development for you in the coming year, Aquarius. You will find power in a place where you were formerly weak, or you will achieve success in a situation that once shut you out.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

Happy Holy Daze, Pisces! My gift to you is advice about the coming year. First, read this quote from W.H. Auden’s book The Dyer’s Hand. “A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish.” With this as your touchstone, I urge you to be a gourmet in your approach to daydreaming during 2009. It will be time for you to make your fantasy life into an art form instead of a chaotic, unconscious diversion. If you put more intention into your generation of mental images, you will find yourself better able to create what you really want.

Homework: What’s the one feeling you want to feel more than any other in 2009? Go to RealAstrology.com; click on “Email Rob.”

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
It’s an ideal time for you to throw a party for all the people you’ve ever been and all the different selves who live within you now. Invite the teenager who once seethed with frustrated potential and the 4-year-old who loved nothing more than to play. Include the hopeful complainer who stands in the shadows and dares you to ask for more, as well as the brave hero who comes out every now and then to attempt seemingly impossible feats of happiness. Don’t forget any of the various personalities who have contributed to making you who you are. Celebrate your internal diversity. Marvel at how good you are at changing.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Novelists and actors make a living by using their imaginations to create fictional stories. In recent years there has emerged a new group of workers whose pretending skills also earn them money. They make imaginary weapons, armor, potions and other computer-generated gear to sell to people who play online role-playing games like World of Warcraft. I bring this to your attention, Taurus, because you’re in a favorable phase to put your imagination to work in practical ways that increase your prosperity and security. As soon as you’re finished reading this horoscope, start brainstorming about specific things you could do to convert fantasies into real-world wealth.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
I’m pleased to be able to offer you a Zen riddle that will prepare you well for the immediate future. Study it, meditate on it, and refer back to it often when dealing with upcoming challenges. Question: What did the big chimney say to the little chimney? Answer: nothing. Chimneys can’t talk. I don’t want to explain all the nuances of this helpful conundrum, Gemini, because it’ll serve you better if you come to your own conclusions. But I’ll get you started with this hint: Be vigilant for trick questions, and don’t let those trick questions frame the debates you engage in. Do you know what red herrings and straw men are? Don’t get distracted by them.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I’ve got three related questions for you, Cancerian. 1. Are there any roles you play in which your selfish and unselfish tendencies overlap? 2. What situations allow you to be most completely yourself as you provide a fine service to others? 3. Which of your skills generate the most blessings and gifts? The next 12 months will be a favorable time for you to identify these roles, situations and skills, and cultivate them to the max. You’ll have prime opportunities to express your special genius while doing good deeds.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
What country has more sand than any other? With its vast deserts, Saudi Arabia has got to be near the top of the list. Nevertheless, the Saudi government forbids the export of sand, worrying that it might eventually run out due to its construction industry’s demands for the stuff. This irrational fear reminds me of you, Leo. You, too, have a certain bountiful resource that will never be depleted — and yet you’re chronically worried that it will. Please adjust your thinking. It’s an excellent time to get more realistic about the true nature of your abundance.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
After meditating on how best to energize your love life, I decided to direct you to this passage from John Welwood’s book Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart: “Everyone knows perfect love in their heart, for the human heart is a direct channel through which absolute love pours into this world. At the same time, human relationships are imperfect expressions of that love. This creates a painful gap between the perfect love we know in our hearts and the imperfect, incomplete ways it is expressed in our relationships. When we imagine that relative human love should be something it is not — absolutely unconditional — we suffer disappointment and wind up distrusting love itself. We also hold grievances against others for not loving us rightly or against ourselves for not having won that love. This gives rise to a universal human wound — the sense of not feeling loved for who we are.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
“I was walking down the street agonizing over what to do about a particularly troublesome person in my life,” writes Tai Moses in her blog (aerophant.com), “when I saw a playing card laying facedown on the sidewalk. I turned it over.” It was a joker. Her thoughts immediately turned to the words of the philosopher Alan Watts: “When you get the message, hang up the phone.” I hope you’ll be inspired by Moses’ experience, Libra. For now, the best approach to take with your knotty dilemmas is to welcome them as wild cards and X-factors that will bring you interesting experiences and valuable lessons — and just stop worrying about them.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
In one episode of the TV show “Seinfeld,” Elaine couldn’t get her favorite Chinese restaurant to deliver take-out food to her apartment. The manager said her neighborhood was just beyond the boundary of where his drivers were authorized to travel. But Elaine was determined. She went over to the apartment building across the street, which was within the restaurant’s delivery zone, and set up an alternate home for herself in a janitor’s closet. I suggest you adopt a similar strategy, Scorpio. If you can’t get what you want in the place where you are, shift your location.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
There are 300,000 surveillance cameras set up all over the city of Beijing, spying constantly on its citizens. London, a supposed bastion of democracy, has 500,000 such cameras. I highly recommend you don’t visit either place in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. It’s crucial for you to avoid influences that make you feel self-conscious or guilty. You’ve got to hang out in spots where you’re not being watched, scrutinized and evaluated. While you’re at it, you might also want to tell your Inner Critic to shut the hell up. You need wide-open, judgment-free spaces, both without and within.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
In California’s recent election, citizens voted to liberate poultry. Proposition 2 passed, mandating that from now on farmers cannot confine chickens in cages where they’re unable to spread their wings. Meanwhile, in the same election, voters decided to make it illegal for gay people to be married, a right that had previously been granted by the California Supreme Court. How odd is it that chickens got a measure of freedom while gays had one of their precious freedoms cut away? I’m warning you to be wary of a metaphorically similar scenario looming in your personal life, Capricorn: in which one liberty is upgraded while another is sacrificed. Fight to make sure there’s no net loss.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Would you like to consistently be in the right place at the right time in the coming weeks? Personally, I’d love you to have that knack. It would make my job more enjoyable, since I could fall asleep each night with the comforting thought that you are meeting your dates with destiny while you’re at the height of your powers. So what is  the best way to ensure that you will have impeccable intuition and a great sense of timing? Here’s what I say: Set aside all expectations about what the past implies and what the future may bring. Instead, cultivate a desire to recognize and respond to the raw truth of each new moment.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
There’s a new elective surgery that makes it impossible  ever to blush again. It’s an expensive procedure that involves boring a hole in your armpit and cutting the nerve endings that are responsible. I wouldn’t recommend it for you, even though you’re entering a phase when you’ll be more prone than usual to blushing. Why? Because, according to my projections, your main reason for blushing in the coming days will be due to receiving sudden, unexpected or long-withheld praise. I believe it’ll be a time when you’re acknowledged for the good things you do. Blush away!

Homework: Before bed on the next five nights, remember everything that happened during the day. Do it with compassion and objectivity. Report results to FreeWillAstrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

The European Union has had rules banning the sale of ugly carrots with knobby protrusions, cucumbers that are grossly curved, and equally unaesthetic specimens of 24 other fruits and vegetables. Recently that changed, however. The stiff standards were relaxed. “It makes no sense to throw perfectly good products away, just because they are the ‘wrong’ shape,” said the EU’s commissioner for agriculture. I suggest you make a metaphorically similar shift, Aries. It’s time for you to expand your capacity to welcome some fine, useful things that happen to look a bit imperfect.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

In the Broadway play “Passing Strange,” the narrator praises the healing power of mysterious songs, saying: “You know when the music goes right over your head, bypasses your mind, and strengthens the part of you that’s most beautiful?” That’s the kind of nourishment I encourage you to seek out in the coming week, Taurus. You need soul-toning experiences that elude your rational understanding — encounters with wise animals, waking dreams, unpredictable love, exotic music and twilight whispers that blissfully boggle your imagination.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

According to the imaginative reporters at the Weekly World News, the devil doesn’t sit by passively as people beseech God for help and consolation. Using his own version of stealth technology, the evil one “intercepts or jams” up to one-third of all prayers on their way heavenward. Timid and fuzzy prayers are the easiest for him to block. Just in case there’s a grain of truth in this claim, Gemini, take special measures when you send out appeals for assistance in the coming days. You need and deserve attention from higher powers, both the earthbound and divine kind. To ensure that the devil (or one of his surrogates) can’t interfere, formulate your messages concisely and communicate them with crisp confidence.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

Lame-duck U.S. President George Bush is mostly dreaming of his retirement these days, although he takes time out now and then to create executive orders that undo environmental protections. Barack Obama is planning hard for the monumental recovery he hopes to lead when he assumes the presidency, but his time won’t come until January 20. Meanwhile, all the things that have been falling apart under Bush’s watch are continuing to fall apart, only bigger and badder. Writes Josh Marshall in Talkingpointsmemo.com, “We’re paying mightily for having no captain at the helm at one of the most perilous points in our recent national history.” In regard to your own personal life, Cancerian, please avoid acting like America. Don’t wait for some formal deadline before you make your moves. Expedite the transition from the old order to the new with the force of 1,000 ecstatic activists.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

“It’s better to be clumsy than clever,” says an ancient Chinese book called Poets’ Jade Splinters, “better plain than affected, better crude than weak, better eccentric than vulgar.” That’s a good prescription for you to use in the way you live your life in the coming days, Leo. Here’s another observation from the same text that should also be helpful: “Inspiration enters at the border between hard work and laziness.” That suggests you’ve got to work hard and discipline yourself in order to earn the right to inspiration, but often the inspiration flows in when you’re goofing off or giving yourself some slack. (Source: tinyurl.com/5qu7fv.)

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

In 1952, renowned modern composer John Cage created the infamous “4’33”.” It’s a “song” that consists of four minutes and 33 seconds of pure silence. Recently, a San Francisco performance artist, Jonathon Keats, did a remix of that tune and made it available as a ring-tone. I’d love for you to be inspired by those two geniuses in the coming week, Virgo. It’ll be an excellent time for you to come to a perfect stop, fill yourself with stillness and bask in the healing power of undiluted nothingness.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

I urge you not to Google the word “duh,” Libra. If you do, you’ll mark yourself as a conformist trend-slave, joining more than 33 million people who have already done it before you. Furthermore, you will be in danger of wasting the potential the cosmos is offering you, which is to reap rich rewards by exploring brave new frontiers on the edges of your awareness. So please be insanely curious about stuff you’ve never heard of and people you’ve never met. Research subjects that tantalize your imagination and stick your nose in where it supposedly doesn’t belong. But don’t Google “duh.”

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Researchers have determined that you’ve got longer than you imagine to salvage food that has dropped on the floor. Bacteria don’t get a foothold and start growing on your pizza or muffin for at least 30 seconds. Keep that in mind as an all-purpose metaphor in the coming days, Scorpio. Anything that you fear has already been spoiled or tainted may actually be possible to restore and redeem. You probably have more time than you thought.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

I got an invitation through MySpace to audition for an upcoming production of the “Vagina Monologues.” While I was honored to be asked, I wasn’t sure that the kind of audience members who would come to see the “Vagina Monologues” would want to hear me, a man, expound on the central topic. Upon reading the fine print, however, I found out that the producers were indeed seeking some male actors. The metaphorical moral of the story, Sagittarius, is to be open to invitations, opportunities and requests that may at first seem odd, misdirected or irrelevant.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

From 1987 to 2006, Alan Greenspan was chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve and a major force in shaping the world’s most powerful economy. When the recent troubles hit, Congress called on him to testify. With shocking humility, he confessed that there had been a flaw in his model of reality. All those years, he’d believed that “free, competitive markets are by far the unrivaled way to organize economies.” Now, he saw he was wrong. While I’m sorry for the collective pain his mistaken ideas have unleashed, I’m elated for him personally: How many 82-year-old men are open to the possibility that their philosophy of life needs adjustment? For that matter, how many people of any age are receptive to changing their ideas about how the world works? I invite you to take your inspiration from Greenspan, Capricorn. Be curious about how your own major theories might need revision. Doing this heroic deed will energize you with good karma and fresh mojo.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

What’s the healthiest, holiest rebellion you could launch, Aquarius? What would be the most constructive way to channel your longing to live in a more perfect world? How might you overthrow the status quo in ways that would so thoroughly enhance the greater good that even the people bent on preserving the status quo would benefit? Given the fact that you are in a phase when your trouble-making skills are dovetailing very nicely with your ability to bestow blessings, these are excellent questions for you to consider.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

A column in the Washington Post called, “The Style Invitational,” has identified the “Top 10 New Religions.” I’m calling your attention to two that might be attractive to you in the coming months, a time when you’ll probably have urges to transform and expand upon your spiritual practices. First, there are the Oxymormons, who engage in polygamous monogamy. The second group is the Salivationists. They speak in tongues like some other sects, but they also speak in drool.  A third option, of course, is for you to whip up your own brand-new, totally unique religion using just the parts you really like from all of the other traditions. However you do it, Pisces, I encourage you to be playfully creative as you get more disciplined about your relationship with the Divine Wow.

Homework: You know what to do and you know when to do it, but you’ve been trying to hide that fact from yourself. Why? Write: FreeWillAstrology.com.

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