Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

This is an excellent time to study the book #Assholeology: The Science Behind Getting Your Way — and Getting Away With It#. In fact, the cosmos would not only look the other way if you acted on the principles described therein; the cosmos is actively encouraging you to be a successful jerk. APRIL FOOL! It’s true that you’re in a phase when it makes sense to be a little extra selfish and eager to bend the world to meet your needs. But according to my analysis, it’s crucial that you do this politely and graciously.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

It’s a great time to get breast implants, a penis enlargement, a nose enhancement (if your nose is too tiny) or surgery to elongate your tongue. Anything you could do to yourself in order to stick out further and make a bigger impression would be in harmonious alignment with the astrological omens. APRIL FOOL! Everything I just said was a dirty lie. Here are the facts: It’s high time to work creatively and appreciatively with what nature has given you, not try to force it to accommodate some soulless desire.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

Between now and April 16, you really should try to party every night. You should experiment with at least 100 different altered states of consciousness, and talk to at least 500 fascinating people, and explode with at least 800 fits of laughter, and change your mind at least 1,000 times. You need massive stimulation, Gemini. You need record-breaking levels of variety and mood swings. Be everywhere! Do everything! APRIL FOOL! While it’s true that this might be one of those times that the visionary poet William Blake was referring to when he said, “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” please take care you don’t end up slobbering face-down in the gutter without any pants on, halfway along the road of excess. Remember the goal: to actually reach the palace of wisdom.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

You have cosmic permission to brag like a coked-up pimp. You have poetic license to swagger and show off like a rock star who has sold his soul for $30 million. You have my blessing if you’d like to act as if everyone in the world should be more like you. APRIL FOOL! I was exaggerating a little. It’s true that you have every right to seize more authority and feel more confident and spread your influence farther and wider. But the best way to do that is to explore the mysteries of humble courage and ply the art of magical truth-telling and supercharge your willpower with a big dose of smart love.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

What is your most far-fetched desire? I dare you to pursue it. What is the craving that would take you to the frontier of your understanding about yourself? I urge you to indulge it. Which of your primal wishes intimidates you as much as it enthralls you? I beg you to embrace it. APRIL FOOL! I don’t really think you should try to carry out your most extreme fantasies. Maybe in a few weeks, but not now. I do hope, however, that you spend some time this week getting to know them better.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

If you develop symptoms like a dry mouth, twitching eyebrows, sweaty palms, or goose bumps in places you don’t usually get them, you may be suffering from a malady called anatidaephobia, which is the fear that you are being watched by a duck. So please, Virgo, try to avoid places where ducks congregate. APRIL FOOL! I lied. The truth is, you will not contract an exotic affliction like anatidaephobia any time soon. You may, however, notice yourself experiencing waves of seemingly irrational elation; you may frequently feel like something oddly good is about to happen. Why? Because, according to my analysis of the omens, you are more likely than usual to be watched by secret admirers, future helpers, interesting strangers and your guardian angel.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

If you’re a straight man, this would be a good time to ask Halle Berry on a date. If you’re a straight woman, you’ll have a better-than-usual chance to get Jake Gyllenhaal to go out with you. If you’re a gay man, you might want to try your luck with Adam Lambert; and if you’re a lesbian, I encourage you to propose a rendezvous with Portia de Rossi. APRIL FOOL! I lied. It’s never a good time to try to hook up with unavailable dream girls or dream guys. I will say this, though: You now have extraordinary power to turn yourself into a better partner, ally and lover. And that suggests it’s well within your means to cultivate a more exciting kind of intimacy.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

“Dear Rob: I just walked in on my boyfriend of over a year in bed with another woman. My mind is beyond blown; it’s a splay of sparks in a drenched sky, a fireworks display in a downpour. Any advice on moving forward? Shocked Scorpio.” Dear Shocked: I’ll tell you what I’d like to tell all Scorpios right now: Start plotting your wicked revenge. APRIL FOOL! The truth is, revenge would be a dumb waste of your precious time. Any surprises that come your way in the coming days are basically disguised gifts from life to get you back on course. Use their motivational energy wisely and gratefully.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

It’s an ideal time for you to explore the intimate wonders of ecosexuality. Nature’s libidinous pleasures are calling to you. How about trying some erotic experiments with trees and waterfalls? Or skinny-dipping in wetlands and doing skyclad seduction dances for the clouds? Or making out with oyster mushrooms right where they grow up out of a fallen log? APRIL FOOL! It’s true that this is a good time to expand your sexual repertoire and seek out new sensations of intimate bliss, but it’s quite possible to accomplish that by confining your erotic communion to human beings.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

The astrological omens are practically screaming for you to go out and buy a luxurious new home in your ideal neighborhood. Preferably, it should have every feature you’ve ever dreamed about, whether that’s a cinema-scale theater room or a spa with a sauna and hot tub. If you have to go deep into debt to make this happen, that’s fine. APRIL FOOL! I lied, sort of. It is an excellent time for you to upgrade your domestic scene, either by making comfortable and attractive changes in the décor of your current home or by enhancing your relationships with your family and roommates. But there’s no need to make crazy expenditures that will cripple you financially. In fact, cheap is probably better. That’s what the astrological omens are really suggesting.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

It’s absolutely critical for you to be consistent and uniform right now. You must be pure, homogeneous and regular. Don’t you dare dabble with anything that’s even vaguely miscellaneous. APRIL FOOL! Everything I just said was a lie. In astrological fact, the best way to thrive is by being a cross between a mishmash and a medley . . . by being part hodgepodge and part amalgamation. Your strongest impact will come from blending the most diverse influences. The best elixir will result from mixing several different potions.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

I hope you take full advantage of this unusual moment in your astrological cycle, Pisces. According to my interpretation of the cosmic signs, it’s prime time to unleash an ocean of tears. And not just the kind of moisture that wells up out of sadness, either. I hope you will give even more time to crying because of unreasonable joy, sobbing due to cathartic epiphanies, weeping out of compassion for the suffering of others, and blubbering activated by visions of the interconnectedness of all life. Let it flow! APRIL FOOL! I slightly overstated the possibilities. Yes, it will be a wonderful time to feel profound states of emotion and surrender to the tears they induce. But you need to get a few things done, too, so don’t risk drowning.

Homework: Describe what you’d be like if you were the opposite of yourself. Write www.freewillastrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

Were you under the impression that the sky is completely mapped? It’s not. Advances in technology are unveiling a nonstop flow of new mysteries. In a recent lecture, astronomer Joshua Bloom of the University of California described the explosion of wonder. One particular telescope, for example, detects 1.5 million transient phenomena every night, and an average of 10 of those turn out to be previously undiscovered. Reporting on Bloom’s work, Space.com compared astronomers’ task to “finding a few needles in a giant haystack night after night.” I see this challenge as resembling your imminent future, Aries. Mixed in with all the chatter and hubbub, there are some scattered gems out there — rich revelations and zesty potentials. Will you have the patience to pinpoint them?

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

If you’re thinking of calling on a ghost to provide you with information, make sure you know how to banish it when you’re finished milking it. If you’re considering a trek into the past to seek some consolation or inspiration, drop breadcrumbs as you go so you can find your way back to the present when it’s time to return. Catch my drift, Taurus? It’s fine to draw on the old days and the old ways, but don’t get lost or stuck there.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

From an astrological point of view, it’s a favorable time for people to give you gifts and perks and blessings. You have my permission to convey that message to your friends and associates. Let them know it’s in their interest to be generous toward you. The truth, as I see it, is that they will attract rewards for themselves, some unexpected, if they help you. So what’s your role in this dynamic? Be modest. Be grateful. Be gracious. At the same time, rake it all in with supreme confidence that you deserve such an outpouring.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

Nobel Prizes are awarded to geniuses in a variety of fields for work they’ve done to elevate science and culture. But have you heard of Ig Nobel Prizes? The Annals of Improbable Research hands them out to eccentrics whose work it deems useless but amusing. For instance, one recipient was honored for investigating how impotency drugs help hamsters recover quickly from jet lag. Another award went to engineers who developed a remote-control helicopter to collect whale snot. In 2000, physicist Andre Geim won an Ig Nobel Prize for using magnetism to levitate a frog. Unlike all of his fellow honorees, however, Geim later won a Nobel Prize for his research on a remarkable substance called graphene (tinyurl.com/NobelGraphene). I think you’ll soon have a resemblance to him, Cancerian. Some of your efforts will be odd and others spectacular; some will be dismissed or derided and others will be loved and lauded.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

If you have ever fantasized about setting up a booth at the foot of an active volcano and creating balloon animals for tourists’ kids, now is an excellent time to get started on making that happen. Same is true if you’ve ever thought you’d like to be a rodeo clown in Brazil or a stand-up comedian at a gambling casino or a mentor who teaches card tricks and stage magic to juvenile delinquents. The astrological omens suggest that playfulness and risk-taking would synergize well right now. There’s even a chance that if you found a way to blend them, it would lead to financial gain.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

You’ve arrived at a phase in your cycle when you’ll have the opportunity to scope out new competitors, inspirational rivals and allies who challenge you to grow. Choose wisely! Keep in mind that you will be giving them a lot of power to shape you; they will be conditioning your thoughts about yourself and about the goals you regard as worthy of your passions. If you pick people of low character or weak values, they’ll bring you down. If you opt for hard workers with high ideals, they’ll raise you up.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

“There’s no key to the universe,” writes Swami Beyondananda. But that shouldn’t lead us to existential despair or hopeless apathy, adds the swami. “Fortunately, the universe has been left unlocked,” he concludes. In other words, Libra, there’s no need for a key to the universe! I offer you this good news because there’s a similar principle at work in your life. You’ve been banging on a certain door, imagining that you’re shut out from what’s inside. But the fact is that the door is unlocked and nothing is stopping you from letting yourself in.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

When you travel to Mozambique, the Ministry of Fish and Wildlife gives you a warning about the frequency of human encounters with lions out in nature. “Wear little noisy bells so as to give advanced warning to any lions that might be close by so you don’t take them by surprise,” reads the notice you’re handed. I’m certain, Scorpio, that no matter where you are in the coming week — whether it’s Mozambique or elsewhere — you won’t have to tangle with beasts as long as you observe similar precautions. So please take measures to avoid startling goblins, rascals and rogues. If you visit a dragon’s domain, keep your spirit light and jingly. If you use a shortcut that requires you to pass through the wasteland, sing your favorite nonsense songs as you hippety-hop along.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Few things make me more excited than being able to predict good tidings headed your way. That’s why, as I meditated on your upcoming astrological aspects, I found myself teetering on the edge of ecstasy. Here’s what I foresee: a renaissance of pleasure . . . an outbreak of feeling really fine, both physically and emotionally . . . and an awakening of your deeper capacity to experience joy. Here’s your mantra for the week, generated by my friend Rana Satori Stewart: yum yum yum yum yum / yum yum yum yum yummy yum / yum yum yum yum yummy yummy yum yum.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

CNN reported on two neo-Nazi skinheads from Poland, a married couple, who discovered they were actually Jews. It turned out that during World War II, the truth about their origins had been hidden by their parents for fear of persecution. Years later, when the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw informed them that they were members of the group they had hated for so long, they were shocked. Since then, they have become observant Jews who worship at an Orthodox synagogue. The new perspective you’ll be getting about your own roots may not be as dramatic as theirs, Capricorn, but I bet it will lead to a shift in your self-image. Are you ready to revise your history? (More info: tinyurl.com/Ex-skinheads.)

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

My astrological colleague Antero Alli says that a lot of good ideas occur to him while he’s taking a shower. He also finds frequent inspiration while riding his bike.  Why, then, does he not enjoy biking in the rain? He doesn’t know. I bring this up, Aquarius, because you’re entering a phase of your cycle when flashes of insight and intuition are likely to erupt at a higher rate than usual. I suggest you aggressively put yourself in every kind of situation that tends to provoke such eruptions — including ones, like maybe riding your bike in the rain, that you haven’t tried before.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

A Canadian man named William Treble once found more than a thousand four-leaf clovers in a single day. Niamh Bond, a British baby, was born on the tenth day of the tenth month of 2010 — at exactly 10:10 a.m. and 10 seconds. My friend Allan told me he was driving in suburbia the other day when two white cats bolted across the road right in front of him. And yet, as lucky as all that might sound, it pales in comparison to the good fortune that’s headed your way, Pisces. Unlike their luck, which was flashy but ultimately meaningless, yours will be down-to-earth and have practical value.

Homework: What is the first thing you want? What’s the last thing? Are they related in any way? Testify at Truthrooster@gmail.com.

 

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)
Like Bob Dylan in his 1962 song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” you’ve done a lot of rough and tumble living lately. You’ve “stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains.” You’ve “stepped in the middle of seven sad forests.” You’ve “been out in front of a dozen dead oceans.” Maybe most wrenching of all, you’ve “seen a highway of diamonds with nobody on it.” The good news is that the hard rain will end soon. In these last days of the downpour, I suggest you trigger a catharsis for yourself. Consider doing something like what Dylan did: “I’ll think it and speak it and breathe it / And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it.”

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)
Mythologist Michael Meade says that the essential nature of every human soul is gifted, noble and wounded. I agree. Cynics who exaggerate how messed-up we all are, ignoring our beauty, are just as unrealistic as naive optimists. But because the cynics have a disproportionately potent influence on the zeitgeist, they make it harder for us to evaluate our problems with a wise and balanced perspective. Many of us feel cursed by the apparent incurability of our wounds, while others, rebelling against the curse, underestimate how wounded they are. Meade says: “Those who think they are not wounded in ways that need conscious attention and careful healing are usually the most wounded of all.” Your task in the next few weeks, Taurus, is to make a realistic appraisal of your wounds.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)
Metallica frontman James Hetfield brashly bragged to Revolver magazine that he was proud his music was used to torture prisoners at the U.S. military’s detention camp in Guantanamo Bay. I urge you to make a more careful and measured assessment of the influences that you personally put out into the world. It’s time to find out how closely your intentions match your actual impact — and to correct any discrepancies. How are people affected by the vibes you exude and the products you offer and the words you utter and the actions you undertake?

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)
“In the absence of clearly defined goals,” said Cancerian writer Robert Heinlein, “we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” If this description is even a partial match for the life you’re living, now is an excellent time to address the problem. You have far more power than usual to identify and define worthy goals — both the short-term and long-term variety. If you take advantage of this opportunity, you will find a better use for the energy that’s currently locked up in your enslavement to daily trivia.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)
As I was mulling over your astrological omens, I came across a short poem that aptly embodies the meaning of this moment for you. It’s by Richard Wright, and goes like this: “Coming from the woods / A bull has a lilac sprig / Dangling from a horn.” Here’s one way to interpret this symbolic scene: Primal power is emerging into a clearing from out of the deep darkness. It is bringing with it a touch of lithe and blithe beauty — a happy accident.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
As I see it, you have one potential enemy in the coming weeks: a manic longing for perfection. It’s OK to feel that longing as a mild ache. But if you allow it to grow into a burning obsession, you will probably undo yourself at every turn. You may even sabotage some of the good work you’ve done. My recommendation, then, is to give yourself the luxury of welcoming partial success, limited results, and useful mistakes. Paradoxically, cultivating that approach will give you the best chance at getting lots of things done. Here’s your motto for the week, courtesy of Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
When I was 9 years old, one of my favorite jokes went like this: “What’s worse than biting into an apple and finding a worm? Give up? Biting into an apple and finding half a worm.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, Libra, that’s a good piece of information for you to keep in mind right now. If and when a serpent offers you an apple, I hope you will sink your teeth into it with cautious nibbles. I’m not saying you shouldn’t bite, just that you should proceed warily.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Normally, we think of a garbage dump as a spot where we go to get rid of trash and outworn stuff we no longer need. It emits a stench that wafts a great distance, and it’s a not a place where you wear your finery. But there is a dump in northern Idaho that diverges slightly from that description. It has the usual acres of rubbish, but also features a bonus area that the locals call “The Mall.” This is where people dispose of junk that might not actually be junk. It has no use for them any more, but they recognize that others might find value in it. It was at The Mall where my friend Peter found a perfectly good chainsaw that had a minor glitch he easily fixed. I suspect that life may be like that dump for you in the coming week: a wasteland with perks.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
According to Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, time “is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.” I believe he meant for that statement to be true for all of us. Luckily for you, though, you’ll soon be getting a temporary exemption. For a while, you’ll be more like the tiger than the one the tiger devours; you will have more in common with the fire than with the one consumed by the fire. In other words, Sagittarius, you will have more power than usual to outwit the tyrannies of time. Are you ready to take advantage? You’re primed to claim more slack, more wiggle room, more permission.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
San Francisco band Smash-Up Derby approaches its music-making with a spirit that might be useful for you to emulate in the coming week, Capricorn. Each of its songs is a blend of two famous tunes. Typically, the instrumentalists play a rock song while the singers do a pop hit with a similar chord progression. Imagine hearing the guitars, bass and drums play Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” while the lead vocalist croons Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” The crucial part of the ongoing experiment is that it works. The sound coming from the stage isn’t a confusing assault. You could pull off a challenge like that: combining disparate elements with raucous grace.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Last August,. I wrote you a horoscope that spoke of opportunities you’d have to upgrade your close relationships. I said you’d be tested in ways that would push you to get more ingenious and tenacious about collaborating with people you cared about. Hoping to inspire you, I cited two people I know who have successfully re-imagined and reinvented their marriage for many years. In response, one reader complained. “Yuck!” his e-mail began. “I thought I was getting a horoscope but instead I got a sentimental self-help blurb in the style of Reader’s Digest.” I took his words to heart. As you Aquarians enter a new phase when you could do a lot to build your intimacy skills, I’ll try something more poetic: “Succulent discipline and luminous persistence equals incandescent kismet.”

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)
If I had to come up with a title for the next phase of your astrological cycle, it might be “Gathering Up.” The way I see it, you should focus on collecting any resources that are missing from your reserves. You should hone skills that are still too weak to get you where you want to go, and you should attract the committed support of allies who can help you carry out your dreams and schemes. Don’t be shy about assembling the necessities, Pisces. Experiment with being slightly voracious.

Homework: What is the thing you’re so ignorant about that you barely know you’re ignorant about it? Testify at www.freewillastrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

“Dear Mr. Astrologer: Like the god Prometheus, I stole fire from the gods and gave it to people who sometimes make awful use of it. As punishment, the gods chained me to a rock on the beach, and arranged for an eagle to come daily to eat my liver. Luckily, the liver grows back every night. Unluckily, the eagle always returns to devour it again. I’m used to it by now; it doesn’t hurt as much as it once did. But I’m still eager to get out of my predicament. Any suggestions? Aries in Limbo.” Dear Aries: Your rescue is scheduled for no later than your birthday, possibly before. In the meantime, the best thing you can do to prepare for your release is to feel gratitude for all you’ve learned during your ordeal.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

Your meditation for this week comes from writer H. P. Lovecraft. “What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world’s beauty, is everything!” While that’s always good counsel, I think it’s especially apt for you right now. You’re in a phase of your astrological cycle when you’d be smart to evaluate your own worth, based less on what job you do and more on who you are. Practice thinking this healing idea: The soulfulness you embody and express from moment to moment is the single greatest measure of your success as a human being.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

One of my favorite peculiarities about the English language is the idiosyncratic words it uses to characterize groups of specific animals. For example, the correct term for many owls gathered together is not “flock” but “parliament”:  a “parliament of owls.” Likewise, we say a “rabble of butterflies,” a “prickle of hedgehogs,” a “shrewdness of apes” and a “murder of crows.” If I had to come up with a comparable term for the human members of your tribe, it might be something like a “zeal of Geminis” or a “charm of Geminis” or a “romp of Geminis” or an “exaltation of Geminis.” All those words capture part of the glory that will be you, especially for the next few weeks.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

The roots of the lotus are anchored in muck at the pond’s bottom. Its leaves float on the water and its dramatic flower rises above on a thick stem. It’s an evocative plant that is featured in many ancient myths. For Buddhists, it was an emblem of enlightenment: beauty ascending from the mud. In India, a thousand-petaled golden lotus symbolized the miracle of creation. To the Egyptians, it represented rebirth. Even modern science has contributed to building the mystique of the lotus, having determined that its seeds can remain viable for many centuries. It’s not a fragile marvel! In the 16th-century Chinese folk tale “Monkey,” a teacher instructed the hero on how to achieve a long life. “Even amidst fierce flames,” he said, “the Golden Lotus can be planted.” For the foreseeable future, Cancerian, the lotus is your power object.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

“Picture a very complicated combination lock, one that requires dialing up eight different numbers to open,” writes Arianna Huffington. “You have seven of the numbers, but the lock still won’t open until you hit upon that final number. One-eighth may not seem as ‘big’ as seven-eighths, but without the final click of the combination, the tumblers won’t fall into place.” Sound familiar, Leo? In my astrological opinion, you have dialed up the first seven numbers but you don’t know what the eighth is yet; until you discover it, the lock will stay closed. Where should you look for the missing info? It’s now within your reach, and it wasn’t before.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

In the coming week, it’s very important that you stay out of other people’s hells — even if they invite you in with a big welcome, and even if you’re tempted to join them there in their infernos as a misguided way of proving your love. Be compassionate, Virgo, but don’t be manipulated or foolish. The best thing you can do to help others is to cultivate your own mental health with ingenuity, trusting in its radiant power to heal by example.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

“Two paradoxes are better than one,” said physicist Edward Teller. “They may even suggest a solution.” I hope this gives you a glimmer of appreciation for the sparkling contradictions you’re surrounded by, Libra. It would be understandable if, up until today, you felt they were crazy-making stressors that served no good purpose. But now, maybe you will be motivated to stand on your head, cross your eyes, and try to see how the tangy riddles might actually be used to untangle each other.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Despite the wealth and renown he has accumulated during his influential career, musician Brian Eno is a big fan of raw simplicity. Speaking about R&B, soul music and psychedelia, he said, “These earlier eras of pop music were characterized not by the search for perfection but by bizarre enthusiasms, small budgets, erratic technique, crummy equipment and wild abandon.” Would you consider playing with that approach in the coming weeks, Scorpio? It’s not necessarily something you should do all the time, but right now I suspect it’s a formula for the most interesting kind of success.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Research Digest Blog asked eminent psychologists to write about the theme “one nagging thing you still don’t understand about yourself.” One expert wondered why he always overestimates how much work he can get done. Another pondered the fact that he falls prey to his own irrational biases even though he’s well aware he has them. A third said he can’t fathom why it’s so easy for him to learn some things and so hard to learn others. What would your answer be, Sagittarius? This is an excellent time, astrologically speaking, to see if you can get to the bottom of a truth about yourself that has always eluded you. (To read the story, go here: tinyurl.com/DontKnowYet.)

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

I suspect that you will either be spectacularly right or breathtakingly wrong in the coming days. Which way it goes will all depend on whether you’re observing and responding to the actual events unfolding in front of you or else are more focused on the images dancing around in your imagination. Of course, it’s always a good idea to get your biases and projections out of the way so you can see life as it really is, but it’s especially crucial now. So much is contingent upon your ability to be acutely perceptive and crisply objective.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

In the old fairy tale, the character known as Rumpelstiltskin had the power to spin straw into gold. That skill has a metaphorical resemblance to the wizardry you could pull off in the coming weeks: transforming seemingly ordinary or worthless stuff into a valuable asset. Although your work might seem a bit miraculous and make some people wonder if you’ve used hocus-pocus, the fact is that it may at times feel tedious or extremely demanding to you. Be gutsy in your mastery of the intricate details, Aquarius. I’ll be thinking of you as the Gritty Magician.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

“Good things may come to those who wait — but they’re mostly just the things left behind by those who hustle and bustle.” That message was in the fortune cookie I got with my Chinese take-out food tonight. It happens to be a perfect fit for your current astrological omens, so I’m handing it over to you. In the coming week, I don’t recommend that you sit around patiently and watch how the trends ripen. I don’t think you should bide your time or be cautious in making a commitment. Be proactive, Pisces — maybe even gung ho. Carpe the freaking diem.

Homework:
What do you want to be when you grow up? Testify at www.freewillastrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

”The most fundamental form of human stupidity is forgetting what we were trying to do in the first place,” said Friedrich Nietzsche. So for instance, if you’re the United States government and you invade and occupy Afghanistan in order to wipe out al-Qaida, it’s not too bright to continue fighting and dying and spending obscene amounts of money long after the al-Qaida presence there has been eliminated. (There are now fewer than 100 al-Qaida fighters in that country: tinyurl.com/forgetwhy.) What’s the equivalent in your personal life, Aries? What noble aspiration propelled you down a winding path that led to entanglements having nothing to do with your original aspiration? It’s time to correct the mistake.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

The Carnival season gets into full swing this weekend and lasts through Mardi Gras next Tuesday night. Wherever you are, Taurus, I suggest you use this as an excuse to achieve new levels of mastery in the art of partying. Of all the signs of the zodiac, you’re the one that is most in need of and most deserving of getting immersed in rowdy festivities that lead to maximum release and relief. To get you in the right mood, read these thoughts from literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin. He said a celebration like this is a “temporary liberation from the prevailing truth and from the established order,” and encourages “the suspension of all hierarchical rank, privileges, norms and prohibitions.”

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

When Bob Dylan first heard the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, he only made it through the first few tunes. “Turn that s— off!” he said. “It’s too good!” He was afraid his own creative process might get intimidated, maybe even blocked, if he allowed himself to listen to the entire masterpiece. I suspect the exact opposite will be true for you in the coming weeks, Gemini. As you expose yourself to excellence in your chosen field, you’ll feel a growing motivation to express excellence yourself. The inspiration that will be unleashed in you by your competitors will trump any of the potentially deflating effects of your professional jealousy.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

Jungian storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estes says one of her main influences is the curanderisma healing tradition from Mexico and Central America. “In this tradition a story is ‘holy,’ and it is used as medicine,” she told Radiance magazine. “The story is not told to lift you up, to make you feel better or to entertain you, although all those things can be true. The story is meant to take the spirit into a descent to find something that is lost or missing and to bring it back to consciousness again.” You need stories like this, Cancerian, and you need them now. It’s high time to recover parts of your soul that you have neglected or misplaced or been separated from.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

You’ve been pretty smart lately, but I think you could get even smarter. You have spied secrets in the dark, and teased out answers from unlikely sources, and untangled knots that no one else has had the patience to mess with — and yet I suspect there are even greater glories possible for you. For inspiration, Leo, memorize this haiku-like poem by Geraldine C. Little: “The white spider / whiter still / in the lightning’s flash.”

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

I wouldn’t try to stop you, Virgo, if you wanted to go around singing the Stone Roses’ song “I Wanna Be Adored.” I wouldn’t be embarrassed for you if you turned your head up to the night sky and serenaded the stars with a chant of “I wanna be adored, I deserve to be adored, I demand to be adored.” And I might even be willing to predict that your wish will be fulfilled — on one condition, which is that you also express your artful adoration for some worthy creature.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

”The difference between the right word and the almost right word,” said Mark Twain, “is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” Because the difference between the right word and the almost right word will be so crucial for you in the coming days, Libra, I urge you to maintain extra vigilance toward the sounds that come out of your mouth. But don’t be tense and repressed about it. Loose, graceful vigilance will actually work better. By the way, the distinction between right and almost right will be equally important in other areas of your life as well. Be adroitly discerning.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

”Dear Rob: In your horoscopes you often write about how we Scorpios will encounter interesting opportunities, invitations to be powerful, and creative breakthroughs. But you rarely discuss the deceptions, selfish deeds and ugliness of the human heart that might be coming our way — especially in regards to what we are capable of ourselves. Why do you do this? My main concern is not in dealing with what’s going right, but rather on persevering through difficulty. — Scorpio in the Shadows.” Dear Scorpio: You have more than enough influences in your life that encourage you to be fascinated with darkness. I may be the only one that’s committed to helping you cultivate the more undeveloped side of your soul: the part that thrives on beauty and goodness and joy.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

In his parody music video “Sickest Buddhist,” comedian Arj Barker invokes a hip-hop sensibility as he brags about his spiritual prowess. Noting how skilled he is when it comes to mastering his teacher’s instructions, he says, “The instructor just told us to do a 45-minute meditation / but I nailed it in 10.” I expect you will have a similar facility in the coming week, Capricorn: Tasks that might be challenging for others may seem like child’s play to you. I bet you’ll be able to sort quickly through complications that might normally take days to untangle. (See the NSFW video here: tinyurl.com/illBuddhist.)

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

In his parody music video “Sickest Buddhist,” comedian Arj Barker invokes a hip-hop sensibility as he brags about his spiritual prowess. Noting how skilled he is when it comes to mastering his teacher’s instructions, he says, “The instructor just told us to do a 45-minute meditation / but I nailed it in 10.” I expect you will have a similar facility in the coming week, Capricorn: Tasks that might be challenging for others may seem like child’s play to you. I bet you’ll be able to sort quickly through complications that might normally take days to untangle. (See the NSFW video here: tinyurl.com/illBuddhist.)

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

The sixth astronaut to walk on the moon was engineer Edgar Mitchell. He asserts that extraterrestrials have visited Earth and that governments are covering up that fact. The second astronaut to do a moonwalk was engineer Buzz Aldrin. He says that there is unquestionably an artificial structure built on Phobos, a moon of Mars.  Some scientists dispute the claims of these experts, insisting that aliens are myths. Who should we believe? Personally, I lean toward Mitchell and Aldrin. Having been raised by an engineer father, I know how unlikely it is for people with that mindset to make extraordinary claims. If you have to choose between competing authorities any time soon, Aquarius, I recommend that, like me, you opt for the smart mavericks instead of the smart purveyors of conventional wisdom.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

If I were you, Pisces, I’d make interesting fun your meme of the week. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will be fully justified in making that your modus operandi and your raison d’être. For best results, you should put a priority on pursuing experiences that both amuse you and captivate your imagination. As you consider whether to accept any invitation or seize any opportunity, make sure it will teach you something you don’t already know and also transport you into a positive emotional state that gets your endorphins flowing.

Homework: Though sometimes it’s impossible to do the right thing, doing the half-right thing may be a viable option. Give an example from your own life: www.freewillastrology.com.

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