free will astrology

free will astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):
A few months after America invaded Iraq in 2003, soldier Brian Wheeler wrote the following to help us imagine what it was like over there: “Go to the worst crime-infested place you can find. Go heavily armed, wearing a flak jacket and a Kevlar helmet. Set up shop in a vacant lot. Announce to the residents that you are there to help them, and in the loudest voice possible yell that every Crip and Blood within hearing distance is a PANSY.” As a character-building exercise, Aries, I highly recommend you try something like this yourself. APRIL FOOL! I was just kidding. What I just said is not an accurate reading of the astrological omens. But this is: Get out of your comfort zone, yes, but with a smart gamble, not a crazy risk.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):
According to a recent poll, God’s approval rating has dipped below 40 percent for the first time on record. My research suggests the new low is due in part to a disproportionate amount of dissatisfaction by those born under the sign of Taurus. Can you fix this please? If you’re one of the discontent, please see if you can talk yourself into restoring some of your faith in the Divine Wow. APRIL FOOL! The real truth is, I encourage you to be skeptical in regard to all authorities, experts and topdogs, including God. It’s an excellent time in your cycle to go rogue, to scream, “I defy you, stars!” Be a rabble-rousing, boat-rocking doubter.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):
Photographer Darrin Harris Frisby doesn’t think people should smile in photographs. He regards it as “superficial and misleading.” In the greatest portraits ever painted, he says, the subject’s gaze is almost always neutral, “neither inviting nor forbidding.” Did Rembrandt ever show people grinning from ear to ear? No. Did Vermeer, Goya, Titian, Sargent or Velasquez? Nope. Make that your guiding thought in the coming week, Gemini. Be a connoisseur of the poker face. APRIL FOOL! I lied. The truth is, in the coming week you will have more than ample reasons to be of good cheer. You should therefore express delight extravagantly.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):
Back in 1835, a newspaper known as The New York Sun resorted to an extreme measure in order to boost readership: It ran a story about how the renowned astronomer Sir John Herschel had perfected a telescope that allowed him to see life forms on the moon, including unicorns, two-legged beavers that had harnessed fire, and sexually liberated “manbats.” If I’m reading the astrological omens correctly, Cancerian, you temporarily have license to try something almost equally as wild and experimental to “boost your readership.” APRIL FOOL! I lied about the unicorns. Don’t refer to clichéd chimeras like them. But it’s fine to invoke more unexpected curiosities like fire-using beavers and sexually liberated manbats.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):
In his documentary film Prohibition, Ken Burns reports on the extreme popularity of alcohol in 19th-century America. He says that the typical person older than 15 years of age drank 88 bottles of whiskey a year. In light of the current astrological omens, Leo, I suggest you increase your intake to that level and even beyond. APRIL FOOL! I lied. It’s not literal alcoholic spirits you should be ingesting in more abundance, but rather big ideas that open your mind, inspirational sights and sounds that dissolve your inhibitions, and intriguing people who expand your worldview.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
A woman in Euclid, Ohio, claims her house is haunted by randy ghosts. “They have sex in my living room,” Dianne Carlisle told a TV news reporter. “You can see the lady’s high-heeled shoes.” I suspect you may soon be dealing with a similar problem, Virgo. So consider the possibility of hiring an X-rated exorcist. APRIL FOOL! The naked truth is that you will not be visited by spooks of any kind, let alone horny ones. However, you would be smart to purify and neutralize old karma that might still be haunting your love life or your sex life. Consider performing a do-it-yourself exorcism of your own memories.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
In Karley Sciortino’s NSFW blog Slutever.com, she announces that “This blog is intended to trick strangers into thinking my life is more exciting than it actually is.” I highly recommend you adopt that approach, Libra. Do whatever it takes — lying, deceiving, exaggerating, bragging — to fool everyone into believing that you are a fascinating character who is in the midst of marvelous, high-drama adventures. APRIL FOOL! I wasn’t totally sincere about what I just said. The truth is, your life is likely to be a rousing adventure in the coming days. There’ll be no need to pretend it is, and therefore no need to cajole or trick others into thinking it is.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
”Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem,” said author William Gibson, “first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by a–holes.” This is a good time to check in with yourself, Scorpio, and see if Gibson’s advice applies to you. Lately, the jackass quotient seems to have been rising in your vicinity. APRIL FOOL! I was half-joking. It’s true that you should focus aggressively on reducing the influence of jerks in your life. At the same time, you should also ask yourself rather pointedly how you could reduce your problems by changing something about yourself.


SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
Do not under any circumstances put on a frog costume, go to a shopping mall and ride around on a unicycle while reciting erotic poetry in German through a megaphone. APRIL FOOL! I lied. That wouldn’t be such a terrible use of your time. The astrological omens suggest that you will be visited by rather unusual creative surges that may border on being wacky. Personally, though, I would prefer it if you channeled your effervescent fertility in more highly constructive directions, like dreaming up new approaches to love that will have a very practical impact on your romantic life.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan is stirred to the point of rapture by Jay Gatsby’s silk shirts. “I’ve never seen such beautiful shirts before,” she sobs, burying her face in one as she sits in his bedroom. I sincerely hope you will have an equivalent brush with this kind of resplendence sometime soon, Capricorn. For the sake of your mental and even physical health, you need direct contact with the sublime. APRIL FOOL! I half-lied. It’s true that you would profoundly benefit from a brush with resplendence. But I can assure you that plain old material objects, no matter how lush and expensive, won’t do the trick for you.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
Last December a woman in Tulsa, Okla., made creative use of a Walmart. She gathered various ingredients from around the shelves, including lighter fluid, lithium and drain cleaner, and set up a meth lab right there in the back of the store. She’s your role model for the coming week, Aquarius. APRIL FOOL! I lied, kind of. The woman I mentioned got arrested for illegal activity, which I don’t advise you to do. But I do hope you will ascend to her levels of ingenuity and audacity as you gather all the resources you need for a novel experiment.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):
A Filipino man named Herbert Chavez has had extensive plastic surgery done to make himself resemble Superman. Consider making him your role model, Pisces. I hope he inspires you to begin your own quest to rework your body and soul in the image of your favorite celebrity or cartoon hero. APRIL FOOL! I lied. In fact, you’d be wise to avoid comparing yourself to anyone else or remolding yourself to be like anyone else. The best use of the current cosmic tendencies would be to brainstorm about what, exactly, your highest potentials are, and swear a blood oath to become that riper version of yourself.

Life is a bitch and then you die. APRIL FOOL! Here’s the truth: Life is conspiring to give you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HORSCOPES. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at  1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.

free will astrology

free will astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):
Not bad for a few weeks’ work, or play, or whatever it is you want to call this tormented, inspired outburst. Would it be too forward of me to suggest that you’ve gone a long way toward outgrowing the dark fairy tale that had been haunting your dreams for so long? And yet all this may just be a warm-up for your next metamorphosis, in which you make an audacious new commitment to becoming what you really want to be when you grow up.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):
This week I’m taking a break from my usual pep talks. I think it’s for the best. If I deliver a kind-hearted kick in the butt, maybe it will encourage you to make a few course corrections, thereby making it unnecessary for fate to get all tricky and funky on you. So here you go, Taurus: 1. The last thing you need is someone to support your flaws and encourage you in your delusions. True friends will offer snappy critiques and crisp advice. 2. Figure out once and for all why you keep doing a certain deed that’s beneath you, then gather the strength and get the help you need to quit it. 3. It’s your duty to stop doing your duty with such a somber demeanor and heavy tread. To keep from sabotaging the good it can accomplish, you’ve got to put more pleasure into it.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):
The German word Weltratsel can be translated as “World Riddle.” Coined by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, it refers to questions like “What is the meaning of existence?” and “What is the nature of reality?” According to my reading of the astrological omens, Gemini, you’re now primed to deepen your understanding of the World Riddle. For the next few weeks, you will have an enhanced ability to pry loose useful secrets about some big mysteries. Certain passages in the Book of Life that have always seemed like gobbledygook to you will suddenly make sense. Here’s a bonus: Every time you decipher more of the World Riddle, you will solve another small piece of your Personal Riddle.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):
”The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” So wrote George Bernard Shaw in his play Man and Superman. From the hints I have gleaned, Cancerian, you are now in an ideal phase to be the sort of unreasonable man or woman who gets life to adapt so as to better serve you and your dreams. Even if it’s true that the emphasis in the past has often been on you bending and shaping yourself to adjust to the circumstances others have wrought, the coming weeks could be different.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):
 In his book Word Hero, Jay Heinrichs offers us advice about how to deliver pithy messages that really make an impact. Here’s one tip that would be especially useful for you in the coming days: Exaggerate precisely. Heinrichs gives an example from the work of the illustrious raconteur, American author Mark Twain. Twain did not write, “In a single day, New England’s weather changes a billion times.” Rather, he said, “In the spring I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” Be inspired by Twain’s approach in every way you can imagine, Leo. Make things bigger and wilder and more expansive everywhere you go, but do it with exactitude and rigor.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
”Liminality” is a term that refers to the betwixt and between state. It’s dawn or dusk, when neither night nor day fully rules. It’s the mood that prevails when a transition is imminent or a threshold beckons. During a rite of passage, liminality is the phase when the initiate has left his or her old way of doing things but has not yet been fully accepted or integrated into the new way. Mystical traditions from all over the world recognize this as a shaky but potent situation — a time and place when uncertainty and ambiguity reign even as exciting possibilities loom. In my estimate, Virgo, you’re now ensconced in liminality.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
The Argentinian writer Antonio Porchia said there were two kinds of shadows: “some hide, others reveal.” In recent weeks, you’ve been in constant contact with the shadows that hide. But beginning any moment now, you’ll be wandering away from those rather frustrating enigmas and entering into a dynamic relationship with more evocative mysteries: the shadows that reveal. Be alert for the shift so you won’t get caught assuming that the new shadows are just like the old ones.


SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
Every winter, hordes of ants have overrun my house. At least that was true up until recently. This winter, the pests stayed away, and that has been very good news. I didn’t have to fight them off with poison and hand-to-hand combat. The bad news? The reason they didn’t invade was because very little rain fell, as it’s supposed to during Northern California winters. The ants weren’t driven above ground by the torrents that usually soak the soil. And so now drought threatens our part of the world. Water shortages may loom. I propose that this scenario is a metaphor for a dilemma you may soon face, Scorpio — except that you will have a choice in the matter: Would you rather deal with a lack of a fundamental resource or else an influence that’s bothersome but ultimately pretty harmless?

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
You’re entering one of the most buoyant phases of your astrological cycle. Your mandate is to be brash and bouncy, frothy and irrepressible. To prepare you, I’ve rounded up some exclamatory declarations by poet Michael McClure. Take them with you as you embark on your catalytic adventures. They’ll help you cultivate the right mood. McClure: “Everything is natural. The light on your fingertips is starlight. Life begins with coiling — molecules and nebulae. Cruelty, selfishness, and vanity are boring. Each self is many selves. Reason is beauty. Light and darkness are arbitrary divisions. Cleanliness is as undefinable and as natural as filth. The physiological body is pure spirit. Monotony is madness. The frontier is both outside and inside. The universe is the messiah. The senses are gods and goddesses. Where the body is — there are all things.”

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
You know those tall, starched white hats that many chefs wear? Traditionally they had 100 pleats, which denoted the number of ways a real professional could cook an egg. I urge you to wear one of those hats in the coming weeks, Capricorn — or whatever the equivalent symbol might be for your specialty. It’s high time for you to express your ingenuity in dealing with what’s simple and familiar . . . to be inventive and versatile as you show how much you can accomplish using just the basics.


AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
As I was driving my car in San Francisco late one night, I arrived at a traffic signal that confused me. The green light was radiant and steady, but then so was the red light. I came to a complete stop and waited until finally, after about two minutes, the red faded. I suspect you may soon be facing a similar jumble of mixed signals, Aquarius. If that happens, I suggest you do what I did. Don’t keep moving forward; pause and sit still until the message gets crisp and clear.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):
A woman named Joan Ginther has won the Texas Lottery four times, collecting more than $20 million. Is she freakishly lucky? Maybe not, according to Nathaniel Rich’s article in the August 2011 issue of Harper’s. He notes that Ginther has a Ph.D. in math from Stanford, and wonders if she has used her substantial understanding of statistics to game the system. (More here: tinyurl.com/LuckAmuck.) Be inspired by her example, Pisces. You now have exceptional power to increase your good fortune through hard work and practical ingenuity.

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Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HORSCOPES. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at  1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.

free will astrology

free will astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):
This week you may learn the real reason the tortoise beat the hare, why two of the three blind mice weren’t really blind, and the shocking truth about the relationship between Cinderella’s fairy godmother and the handsome prince. Myths will be mutating, Aries. Nursery rhymes will scramble and fairy tales will fracture. Thor, the god of thunder, may make a tempting offer to Snow White. The cow’s jump over the moon could turn out to have been faked by the CIA. An ugly duckling will lay an egg that Chicken Little claims is irrefutable proof the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse is imminent. Sounds like a rowdy good time for all!

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):
”Roots and wings. But let the wings grow roots and the roots fly.” That was written by Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez, and now I’m passing it on to you. It will serve as a keynote for the turning point you’re about to navigate. In the coming weeks, you’ll generate good fortune by exposing your dark mysterious depths to the big bright sky; you’ll be wise to bring your soaring dreams down to earth for a pit stop. The highs need the influence of the lows, Taurus; the underneath will benefit from feeling the love of what’s up above. There’s one further nuance to be aware of, too: I think you will find it extra-interesting to interweave your past with your future. Give your rich traditions a taste of the stories that are as-yet unwritten.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):
Is it possible you were a spider in a previous life? If so, please call on the abilities you developed back then. You need to create an extra-big, super-fine web, metaphorically speaking, so that you can capture all the raw materials you will be needing in the coming weeks and months. If you’re not sure whether you are the reincarnation of a spider, then simply imagine you are. Stimulate daydreams in which you visualize yourself as a mover and shaker who’s skilled at snagging the resources and help that you require.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):
British writer Kenneth Tynan asked a movie director about how he’d film an advancing army. Did it matter whether the action went from right to left across the frame or left to right? “Of course!” said the director. “To the Western eye, easy or successful movement is left to right, difficult or failed movement is right to left.” The director showed Tynan an illustrated book as evidence. On one page, a canoe shooting the rapids was going from left to right, while a man climbing a mountain was headed from right to left. Use this information to your benefit, Cancerian. Every day for the next two weeks, visualize yourself moving from left to right as you fulfill a dream you want to accomplish.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):
Hanadi Zakaria al-Hindi is the first Saudi Arabian woman to be licensed to fly a plane. But there’s an absurd law in her country that prohibits women from driving cars, so she needs a man to give her a lift to the airport. Is there any situation in your own life that resembles hers, Leo? Like maybe you’ve advanced to a higher level without getting certified on a lower level? Or maybe you’ve got permission and power to operate in a sphere that’s meaningful to you even though you skipped a step along the way? Now would be a good time to think about whether you should do anything about the discrepancy, and if so, how to do it.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Recent scientific studies have confirmed what Native American folklore reports: Badgers and coyotes sometimes cooperate with each other as they search for food. The coyotes are better at stalking prey above ground, and the badgers take over if the hunted animal slips underground. They share the spoils. I suggest you draw inspiration from their example, Virgo. Is there a person you know who’s skilled at a task you have trouble with and who could benefit from something you’re good at? It’s prime time to consider forming symbiotic relationships or seeking out unusual partnerships that play to both parties’ strengths.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
How did the Vikings navigate their ships through rough northern seas on cloudy and foggy days? Medieval texts speak of the mysterious “sunstone,” a “Viking compass” used to detect the hidden sun. Modern theories suggest that this technology may have been Iceland spar, a mineral that polarizes light, making it useful in plotting a course under overcast skies. Do you have anything like that, Libra? A navigational aid that guides your decisions when the sun’s not out, metaphorically speaking? Now would be an excellent time to enhance your connection with whatever it is that can provide such power.

 
SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
If you set up two mirrors in just the right way, you can get a clear look at the back of your head. You’re able to see what your body looks like from behind. I suggest you try that exercise sometime soon. It will encourage your subconscious mind to help you discover what has been missing from your self-knowledge. As a result, you may be drawn to experiences that reveal things about yourself you’ve been resistant to seeing. You could be shown secrets about buried feelings and wishes that you’ve been hiding from yourself. Best of all, you may get intuitions about your soul’s code that you haven’t been ready to understand until now.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
According to my Sagittarius friend Jonathan Zap, the Greek playwright Aristophanes had an ambivalent attitude about divine blessings. He said that no great gift enters the human sphere without a curse attached to it. I’m sure you know this lesson well. One of last year’s big gifts has revealed its downside in ways that may have been confusing or deflating. But now here comes an unexpected plot twist, allowing you to add a corollary to Aristophanes’ formulation. Soon you will find a second blessing that was hidden within the curse in embryonic form. You’ll be able to tease it out, ripen it, and add it to the bounty of the original gift.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
Writing in the science magazine Discover, Corey S. Powell says, “There’s an old joke: If you tell someone the universe is expanding, he’ll believe you. If you tell him there’s wet paint on the park bench, he’ll want to touch it to make sure.” In accordance with the astrological omens, Capricorn, I invite you to rebel against this theory. I think it’s quite important for you to demand as much proof for big, faraway claims as for those that are close at hand. Don’t trust anyone’s assertions just because they sound lofty or elegant. Put them to the test.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
It’s an excellent time to better appreciate your #@%(!)* vexations and botherations. In fact, let’s go ahead and make this Honor Your #@%(!)* Irritations and Annoyances Week. To properly observe this holiday, study the people and things that irk you so you can extract from them all the blessings and teachings they may provide. Are you too tolerant of an annoying situation that you need to pay closer attention to? Is it time to reclaim the power you’ve been losing because of an exasperating energy drain? Does some jerk remind you of a quality you don’t like in yourself? Is there a valuable clue or two to be gleaned from a passive-aggressive provocateur?

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):
Seahorses have an unusual approach to reproduction. It’s the male of the species that cares for the eggs as they gestate. He carries them in a “brood pouch” on his front side. Of course, it’s the female who creates the eggs in the first place. After analyzing the astrological factors coming to bear on your destiny, Pisces, I suspect you will benefit from having a seahorse-like quality in the coming weeks. Whatever gender you are, your archetypal masculine qualities should play an especially strong role as you nurture a project that’s in its early developmental phases.

Homework: What was the pain that healed you most? What was the pleasure that hurt you the worst? Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com.

Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HORSCOPES. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at  1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.

free will astrology

free will astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):
”Controlled hysteria is what is required,” said playwright Arthur Miller in speaking about his creative process. “To exist constantly in a state of controlled hysteria. It’s agony. But everyone has agony. The difference is that I try to take my agony home and teach it to sing.” I hope this little outburst inspires you, Aries. It’s an excellent time for you to harness your hysteria and instruct your agony in the fine art of singing. To boost your chances of success in pulling off this dicey feat, use every means at your disposal to have fun and stay amused.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):
The Cherokee Heritage website wants people to know that not all Native American tribes have the same traditions. In the Cherokee belief system, it’s Grandmother Sun and Grandfather Moon, which is the opposite of most tribes. There are no Cherokee shamans, only medicine men and women and adawehis, or religious leaders. They don’t have pipe carriers, don’t do the Sun Dance, and don’t walk the Good Red Road. In fact, they walk the White Path, have a purification ceremony called Going to Water, and perform the Green Corn ceremony as a ritual renewal of life. I suggest you do a similar clarification for the group you’re part of and the traditions you hold dear, Taurus. Ponder your tribe’s unique truths and ways. Identify them and declare them.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):
In the coming weeks, the activity going on inside your mind and heart will be especially intense and influential — even if you don’t explicitly express it. When you speak your thoughts and feelings out loud, they will have unusual power to change people’s minds and rearrange their moods. When you keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, they will still leak all over everything, bending and shaping the energy field around you. That’s why I urge you to take extra care as you manage what’s going on within you. Make sure the effect you’re having is the effect you want to have.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):
Artist Richard Kehl tells the story of a teenage girl who got the chance to ask a question of the eminent psychologist Carl Jung. “Professor, you are so clever. Could you please tell me the shortest path to my life’s goal?” Without a moment’s hesitation Jung replied, “The detour!” I invite you to consider the possibility that Jung’s answer might be meaningful to you right now, Cancerian. Have you been churning out overcomplicated thoughts about your mission? Are you at risk of getting a bit too grandiose in your plans? Maybe you should at least dream about taking a shortcut that looks like a detour or a detour that looks like a shortcut.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):
An old Chinese proverb says: “My barn having burned to the ground, I can see the moon.” The speaker of those words was making an effort to redefine a total loss as a partial gain. The building may have been gone, but as a result he or she had a better view of a natural wonder that was previously difficult to observe. I don’t foresee any of your barns going down in flames, Leo, so I don’t expect you’ll have to make a similar redefinition under duress. You have, however, certainly experienced events like that in the past. And now would be an excellent time to revise your thinking about their meaning. Are you brave enough and ingenious enough to reinterpret your history? It’s find-the-redemption week.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
”You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Numerous websites on the Internet allege that Greek philosopher Plato made this statement, which I regard as highly unlikely. But in any case, the thought itself has some merit. And in accordance with your current astrological omens, I will make it your motto for the week. This is an excellent time to learn more about and become closer to the people you care for, and nothing would help you accomplish that better than getting together for intensive interludes of fooling around and messing around and horsing around.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
”When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves,” said Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. His advice might be just what you need to hear right now, Libra. Have you struggled, mostly fruitlessly, to change a stagnant situation that has resisted your best efforts? Is there a locked door you’ve been banging on, to no avail? If so, I invite you to redirect your attention. Reclaim the energy you have been expending on closed-down people and moldering systems. Instead, work on the unfinished beauty of what lies closest at hand: yourself.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
In this passage from “Still Life With Woodpecker,” Tom Robbins provides a hot tip you should keep in mind. “There are essential and inessential insanities. Inessential insanities are a brittle amalgamation of ambition, aggression, and pre-adolescent anxiety — garbage that should have been dumped long ago. Essential insanities are those impulses one instinctively senses are virtuous and correct, even though peers may regard them as coo-coo.” I’ll add this, Scorpio: Be crazily wise and wisely crazy in the coming weeks. It will be healthy for you. Honor the wild ideas that bring you joy and the odd desires that remind you of your core truths.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
I don’t think you will need literal medicine this week. Your physical vigor should be good. But I’m hoping you will seek out some spirit medicine — healing agents that fortify the secret and subtle parts of your psyche. Where do you find spirit medicine? Well, the search itself will provide the initial dose. Here are some further ideas: Expose yourself to stirring art and music and films; have conversations with empathic friends and the spirits of dead loved ones; spend time in the presence of a natural wonder; fantasize about a thrilling adventure you will have one day; and imagine who you want to be three years from now.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
Each of us is the star of our own movie. There are a few other lead and supporting actors who round out the cast, but everyone else in the world is an extra. Now and then, though, people whom we regard as minor characters suddenly rise to prominence and play pivotal roles in our unfolding drama. I expect this phenomenon is now occurring or will soon occur for you, Capricorn. So please be willing to depart from the script. Open yourself to the possibility of improvisation. People who have been playing bit parts may have more to contribute than you imagine.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
The “cocktail party effect” refers to your ability to hear your name being spoken while in the midst of a social gathering’s cacophony. This is an example of an important practice, which is how to discern truly meaningful signals embedded in the noise of all the irrelevant information that surrounds you. You should be especially skilled at doing this in the coming weeks, Aquarius — and it will be crucial that you make abundant use of your skill. As you navigate your way through the clutter of symbols and the overload of data, be alert for the few key messages that are highly useful.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):
Shunryu Suzuki was a Zen master whose books helped popularize Zen Buddhism in America. A student once asked him, “How much ego do you need?” His austere reply was “Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.” While I sympathize with the value of humility, I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think that a slightly heftier ego, if offered up as a work of art, can be a gift to the world. What do you think, Pisces? How much ego is good? To what degree can you create your ego so that it’s a beautiful and dynamic source of power for you and an inspiration for other people rather than a greedy, needy parasite that distorts the truth? This is an excellent time to ruminate on such matters.

Your imagination is the single most important asset you possess. Listen to the podcast: http://bit.ly/YourProphecy.

Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HORSCOPES. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at  1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.

free will astrology

free will astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):
At one point in his book The Divine Comedy, the Italian poet Dante is traveling through purgatory on his way to paradise. American poet T.S. Eliot describes the scene: “The people there were inside the flames expurgating their errors and sins. And there was one incident when Dante was talking to an unknown woman in her flame. As she answered Dante’s questions, she had to step out of her flame to talk to him, until at last she was compelled to say to Dante, ‘Would you please hurry up with your questions so I can get on with my burning?’ “ I bring this to your attention, Aries, because I love the way you’ve been expurgating your own errors and sins lately. Don’t let anything interfere with your brilliant work. Keep burning till you’re done. (Source: “A New Type of Intellectual: Contemplative Withdrawal and Four Quartets,” by Kenneth P. Kramer.)


TAURUS

(April 20-May 20):
If you’ve been holding yourself back in any way, Taurus, now’s the time to unlock and unleash yourself. If you have been compromising your high standards or selling yourself short, I hope you will give yourself permission to grow bigger and stronger and brighter. If you’ve been hiding your beauty or hedging your bets or rationing your access to the mother lode, you have officially arrived at the perfect moment to stop that nonsense.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):
In the cult blaxploitation film The Human Tornado, the main character, Dolemite, brags about his prowess. “I chained down thunder and handcuffed lightning!” he raves. “I used an earthquake to mix my milkshake! I eat an avalanche when I want ice cream! I punched a hurricane and made it a breeze! I swallowed an iceberg and didn’t freeze!” This is the way I want to hear you talk in the coming week, Gemini. Given the current astrological configurations, you have every right to. Furthermore, I think it’ll be healthy for you.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):
Astrologer Antero Alli theorizes that the placement of the sign Cancer in a person’s chart may indicate what he or she tends to whine about. In his own chart, he says, Cancer rules his ninth house, so he whines about obsolete beliefs and bad education and stale dogmas that cause people to shun firsthand experience as a source of authority. I hereby declare these issues to be supremely honorable reasons for you to whine in the coming week. You also have cosmic permission to complain vociferously about the following: injustices perpetrated by small-minded people, short-sighted thinking that ignores the big picture, and greedy self-interest that disdains the future. On the other hand, you don’t have clearance to whine about crying babies, rude clerks or traffic jams.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):
L.A. Weekly praised the music of drone-noise band Barn Owl. Its review said that the listening experience is “akin to placing your ear against the Dalai Lama’s stomach and catching the sound of his reincarnation juices flowing.” That sounds a bit like what’s ahead for you in the coming week, Leo: getting the lowdown on the inner workings of a benevolent source … tuning in to the rest of the story that lies behind a seemingly simple, happy tale … gathering up revelations about the subterranean currents that are always going on beneath the surface of the good life. It’s ultimately all positive, although a bit complicated.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
In the coming days, you could do a lot to develop a better relationship with darkness. And no, I don’t mean that you should do bad things and seek out negativity and be fascinated with evil. When I use that word “darkness,” I’m referring to confusing mysteries and your own unconscious patterns and the secrets you hide from yourself. I mean the difficult memories and the parts of the world that seem inhospitable to you and the sweet dreams that have lost their way. See what you can do to understand this stuff better, Virgo. Open yourself to the redemptive teachings it has for you.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Sister Jessica, a character in Frank Herbert’s Dune books, says, “The greatest and most important problems of life cannot be solved. They can only be outgrown.” I encourage you to use that theory as your operative hypothesis for the foreseeable future. Here are some specific clues about how to proceed: Don’t obsess on your crazy-making dilemma. Instead, concentrate on skillfully doing the pleasurable activities that you do best. Be resolutely faithful to your higher mission and feed your lust for life. Slowly but surely, I think you’ll find that the frustrating impediment will be drained of at least some of its power to lock up your energy.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
A few years ago, the Hong Kong company Life Enhance sold briefs and boxer shorts that were supposedly designed by a master practitioner of feng shui. On the front of every garment was an image of a dragon, which the Chinese have traditionally regarded as a lucky symbol. To have this powerful charm in contact with your intimate places increased your vital force — or so the sales rap said. By my estimates, Scorpio, you’re not going to need a boost like that in the coming weeks. Without any outside aids whatsoever, your lower furnace will be generating intense beams of magical heat. What are you going to do with all that potent mojo? Please don’t use it on trivial matters.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
There are times in your life when you do a lot of exploring in the outer world, and other times when your pioneering probes are directed primarily inward. In my astrological opinion, you’re currently more suited for the latter kind of research. If you agree with me, here’s one tack you might want to take: Take an inventory of all your inner voices, noticing both the content of what they say and the tone with which they say it. Some of them may be chatty and others shy; some blaring and others seductive; some nagging and needy and others calm and insightful. Welcome all the voices in your head into the spotlight of your alert attention. Ask them to step forward and reveal their agendas.


CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
The Oxford English Dictionary, an authority on the state of the English language, adds an average of two new words every day. In the coming weeks, Capricorn, I’d like to see you expand your capacity for self-expression with equal vigor. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’re due for an upgrade in your vocabulary, your clarity, and your communication skills. Here’s one of the OED’s fresh terms, which would be a good addition to your repertoire: “bouncebackability,” the ability to recover from a setback or to rebound from a loss of momentum.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
We turn to Dr. Seuss for help in formulating your horoscope this week. He told a story of dining in a restaurant with his uncle, who was served a popover, which is a puffy muffin that’s hollow on the inside. “To eat these things,” said his uncle, “you must exercise great care. You may swallow down what’s solid, but you must spit out the air!” Drawing a lesson from these wise words, Dr. Seuss concluded, “As you partake of the world’s bill of fare, that’s darned good advice to follow. Do a lot of spitting out the hot air. And be careful what you swallow.” I expect your coming week will be successful, Aquarius, if you apply these principles.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):
You should be like a rooster, Pisces: dispensing wake-up calls on a regular basis. You should be nudging people to shed their torpor and shake themselves out of their stupor. What’s your personal version of “Cockadoodle-doo!”? It shouldn’t be something generic like “Open your eyes!” or “Stop making excuses!” Come up with attention-grabbing exclamations or signature phrases that no intelligent person can possibly ignore or feel defensive about. For example: “Let’s leap into the vortex and scramble our trances!”?

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