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Free Will Astology

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “In a full heart there is room for everything,” said poet Antonio Porchia, “and in an empty heart there is room for nothing.” That’s an important idea for you to meditate on right now, Aries. The universe is conspiring for you to be visited by a tide of revelations about intimacy. And yet you won’t be available to get the full benefit of that tide unless your heart is as full as possible. Wouldn’t you love to be taught more about love and togetherness and collaboration?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): As I turn inward and call forth psychic impressions of what’s ahead for you, I’m seeing mythic symbols like whoopie cushions, rubber chickens, and pools of fake plastic vomit. I’m seeing popcorn shells that are stuck in your teeth and a dog that’s eating your homework and an alarm clock that doesn’t go off when it’s supposed to. But as I push further into the not-too-distant future, exploring the deeper archetypal levels, I’m also tuning into a vision of fireflies in an underground cavern. They’re lighting your way and leading you to a stash of treasure in a dusty corner.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” That’s the opening sentence of Charles Dickens’ bestselling novel A Tale of Two Cities. The author was describing the period of the French Revolution in the late 18th century, but he could just as well have been talking about our time — or any other time, for that matter. Of course many modern cynics reject the idea that our era is the best of times. They obsess on the idea that ours is the worst of all the worst times that have ever been. When your worried mind is in control of you, you may even think that thought yourself, Gemini. But in accordance with the current astrological omens, I challenge you to be a fiery rebel: Come up with at least five reasons why this is the best of times for you personally.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” said Pablo Picasso. That’s certainly true for me. I can purify my system either by creating art myself or being in the presence of great art. How about you, Cancerian? What kinds of experiences cleanse you of the congested emotions that just naturally build up in all of us? What influences can you draw on to purge the repetitive thoughts that sometimes torment you? How do you go about making your imagination as fresh and free as a warm breeze on a sunny day? I urge you to make a study of all the things that work for you, and then use them to the max in the coming weeks.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Our culture peculiarly honors the act of blaming, which it takes as the sign of virtue and intellect.” So said literary critic Lionel Trilling. Now I’m passing his idea on to you, Leo, just in time for the No-Blaming Season. Would you like to conjure up a surge of good karma for yourself? In the coming days, refrain from the urge to find fault. And do your best to politely neutralize that reflex in other people who are sharing your space, even if they love to hate the same political party or idiot fringe that you do. P.S.: For extra credit, engage in speech and activity that are antidotes to the blaming epidemic. (Hint: praise, exaltation, thanks.)

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): One of the reasons platinum is regarded as a precious metal is that it is so infrequently found in the Earth’s crust. A second reason is that there are difficulties in extracting it from the other metals it’s embedded in. You typically need ten tons of ore to obtain one ounce of platinum. That’s a good metaphor for the work you have ahead of you, Virgo. The valuable resource you’re dreaming of is definitely worth your hard work, persistence, and attention to detail. But to procure it, you’ll probably need the equivalent of several tons of those fine qualities.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): While doing research in South America four decades ago, anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss found an indigenous tribe whose people claimed they could see the planet Venus in the daytime. This seemed impossible to him. But he later consulted astronomers who told him that in fact Venus does emit enough light to be visible by day to a highly trained human eye. My prediction for you, Libra, is that in the coming months you will make a metaphorically equivalent leap: You will become aware of and develop a relationship with some major presence that has been virtually undetectable. And I bet the first glimpse will come this week.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Whether or not anyone has ever called you an “old soul” before, that term will suit you well in the coming months. A whole lot of wisdom will be ripening in you all at once. Past events that never quite made sense before will more clearly reveal the role they have played in your life’s master plan. Relatively unimportant desires you’ve harbored for a long time will fade away, while others that have been in the background — and more crucial to your ultimate happiness — will rise to prominence.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In most of my horoscopes I tell you what you can do to make yourself feel good. I advise you on how can act with the highest integrity and get in touch with what you need to learn about. Now and then, though, I like to focus on how you can help other people feel good. I direct your attention to how you can inspire them to align with their highest integrity and get in touch with what they need to learn about. This is one of those times, Sagittarius. I’m hoping you have your own ideas about how to perform these services. Here are a few of my suggestions: Listen with compassionate receptivity to the people you care for. Describe to them what they’re like when they are at their best. Give them gifts they can use to activate their dormant potential.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you’ve ever watched tennis matches, you know that some players grunt when they smack the ball. Does that help them summon greater power? Maybe. But the more important issue is that it can mask the sound of the ball striking the racket, thereby making it harder for their opponents to guess the force and spin of the ball that will be headed toward them. The coming weeks would be an excellent time for you to hunt down a competitive advantage that’s comparable to this in your own field of endeavor.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Many people seem to believe that all of America’s Christians are and have always been fundamentalists. But the truth is that at most 35 percent of the total are fundies, and their movement has only gotten cultural traction in the last 30 years. So then why do their bizarre interpretations of the nature of reality get so much play? One reason is that they shout so loud and act so mean. Your upcoming assignment, Aquarius, is to do what you can to shift the focus from smallminded bullies to big-hearted visionaries, whether that applies to the Christians in your sphere or any other influences. It’s time to shrink any tendency you might have to get involved with energy vampires. Instead, give your full attention and lend your vigorous clout to life-affirming intelligence.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): [WARNING: The following horoscope contains more than the usual dose of poetry.] Mirthful agitation! Surprising deliverance! I predict you will expose the effects of the smoke and mirrors, then find your way out of the labyrinth. Lucid irrationality! Deathless visions! I predict you will discover a secret you’d been hiding from yourself, then escape a dilemma you no longer need to struggle with. Mysterious blessings arriving from the frontiers! Refreshed fertility roused by a reborn dream! I predict you will begin to prepare a new power spot for your future use.

Homework: Comment on this line from a poem by Daniel Higgs: “Truth obscured by the symbols of truth.” Freewillastrology.com


Free Will Astrology – August 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The astrological omens suggest that you now have a lot in common with the legendary Most Interesting Man in the World — adventurous, unpredictable, interesting, lucky, one-of-a-kind. To create your horoscope, I have therefore borrowed a few selected details from his ad campaign’s descriptions of him. Here we go: In the coming weeks, you will be the life of parties you don’t even attend. Astronauts will be able to see your charisma from outer space. Up to one-third of your body weight will be gravitas. Your cell phone will always have good reception, even in a subway 100 feet underground. Panhandlers will give you money. You could challenge your reflection to a staring contest — and win. You’ll be able to keep one eye on the past while looking into the future. When you sneeze, God will say “God bless you.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim said the dreams we have at night are “the result of inner pressures which have found no relief, of problems which beset a person to which he knows no solution and to which the dream finds none.” That sounds bleak, doesn’t it? If it’s true, why even bother to remember our dreams? Well, because we are often not consciously aware of the feelings they reveal to us. By portraying our buried psychic material in story form, dreams give us insight into what we’ve been missing. So even though they may not provide a solution, they educate us. Take heed, Taurus! Your upcoming dreams will provide useful information you can use to fix one of your longstanding dilemmas.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When French composer Georges Auric scored the soundtrack for Jean Cocteau’s movie Blood of a Poet, he produced “love music for love scenes, game music for game scenes, and funeral music for funeral scenes.” But Cocteau himself had a different idea about how to use Auric’s work. For the love scenes he decided to use the funeral music, for the game scenes the love music, and for the funeral scenes the game music. In accordance with the current astrological omens, Gemini, I recommend that you experiment with that style of mixing and matching. Have fun! (Source: A Ned Rorem Reader, by Ned Rorem.)

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Piglet was so excited at the idea of being useful that he forgot to be frightened any more,” wrote A. A. Milne in his kids’ story Winnie-the-Pooh. That’s my prescription for how to evade the worrisome fantasies that are nipping at you, Cancerian. If no one has invited you to do some engaging and important labor of love, invite yourself. You need to be needed — even more than usual. P.S. Here’s what Rumi advises: “Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You’ve been making pretty good progress in the School of Life. By my estimates, you’re now the equivalent of a sophomore. You’ve mastered enough lessons so that you can no longer be considered a freshman, and yet you’ve got a lot more to learn. Are you familiar with the etymology of the word “sophomore”? It comes from two Greek words meaning “wise” and “fool.” That’ll be a healthy way to think about yourself in the coming weeks. Be smart enough to know what you don’t know. Cultivate the voracious curiosity necessary to lead you to the next rich teachings.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A few years ago, a Malaysian man named Lim Boon Hwa arranged to have himself “cooked.” For 30 minutes, he sat on a board covering a pan full of simmering dumplings and corn. The fact that no harm came to him was proof, he said, that Taoist devotees like him are protected by their religion’s deities. I advise you not to try a stunt like that, Virgo — including metaphorical versions. This is no time to stew in your own juices. Or boil in your tormented fantasies. Or broil in your nagging doubts. Or be grilled in your self-accusations. You need to be free from the parts of your mind that try to cook you.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): On a spring day in 1973, an engineer named Martin Cooper debuted the world’s first cell phone. He placed a call as he walked along a New York City street. The phone weighed two and half pounds and resembled a brick. Later he joked that no one would be able to talk very long on his invention, since it took a lot of strength to hold it against one’s ear. Think of how far that amazing device has come since then, Libra. Now imagine some important aspect of your own life that is in a rather primitive state at this moment but could one day be as natural and fully developed as cell phones have become. Are you willing to work hard to make that happen? Now’s a good time to intensify your commitment.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the coming weeks, you will lose some clout and self-command if you’re too hungry for power. Likewise, if you act too brazenly intelligent, you may alienate potential helpers who are not as mentally well-endowed as you. One other warning, Scorpio: Don’t be so fiercely reasonable that you miss the emotional richness that’s available. In saying these things, I don’t mean to sound as if I’m advising you to dumb yourself down and downplay your strengths. Not at all. Rather, I’m trying to let you know that the best way to get what you really need is to tailor your self-expression to the unique circumstances you find yourself in.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): For a while, French writer Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was very poor. He lived in a place that had no heat and almost no furniture. To enhance his environment, he resorted to the use of fantasy. On one of his bare walls, he wrote the words, “rosewood paneling with ornamental cabinet.” On another, he wrote “Gobelin tapestry with Venetian mirror.” Over the empty fireplace he declared, “Picture by Raphael.” That’s the level of imaginative power I encourage you to summon in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. So much of what you’ll need will come from that simple magic.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It’s an excellent time to overthrow false gods and topple small-minded authorities and expose fraudulent claims. Anyone and anything in your environment that do not fully deserve the power they claim should get the brunt of your exuberant skepticism. When you’re done cleaning up those messes, turn your attention to your own inner realms. There might be some good work to be done there. Can you think of any hypocrisy that needs fixing? Any excessive self-importance that could use some tamping down? Any pretending that would benefit from a counter dose of authenticity?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In old China, people used to cool themselves by sipping hot drinks. After taking a bath, they buffed the excess water from their skin by using a wet towel. When greeting a friend, they shook their own hand instead of the friend’s. To erect a new house, they built the roof first. You’re currently in a phase of your astrological cycle when this kind of behavior makes sense. In fact, I suspect you’re most likely to have a successful week if you’re ready to reverse your usual way of doing things on a regular basis.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I’m really tired of you not getting all of the appreciation and acknowledgment and rewards you deserve. Is there even a small possibility that you might be harboring some resistance to that good stuff? Could you be giving off a vibe that subtly influences people to withhold the full blessings they might otherwise confer upon you? According to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to work on correcting this problem. Do everything you can to make it easy for people to offer you their love and gifts.

Homework: Send news of your favorite mystery — an enigma that is both maddening and delightful. Freewillastrology.com


FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: June 28 – July 18

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If you play solitaire, your luck will be crazy strong in the coming weeks. If you have candid, wide-ranging talks with yourself in the mirror, the revelations are likely to be as interesting as if you had spoken directly with the river god or the angel of the sunrise. Taking long walks alone could lead to useful surprises, and so would crafting a new declaration of independence for yourself. It’ll also be an excellent time to expand your skills at giving yourself pleasure. Please understand that I’m not advising you to be isolated and lonely. I merely want to emphasize the point that you’re due for some breakthroughs in your relationship with yourself.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Are you in possession of a talent or interest or inclination or desire that no one else has? Is there some unique way you express what it means to be human? According to my understanding of the long-term astrological omens, the coming months will be your time to cultivate this specialty with unprecedented intensity; it’ll be a window of opportunity to be more practical than ever before in making your signature mark on the world. Between now and your next birthday, I urge you to be persistent in celebrating the one-of-a-kind truth that is your individuality.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “Message in a bottle” is not just a pirate movie cliche. It’s a form of communication that has been used throughout history for serious purposes. England’s Queen Elizabeth I even appointed an official “Uncorker of Ocean Bottles.” And as recently as 2005, a message in a bottle saved the lives of 88 refugees adrift in the Caribbean Sea on a damaged boat. Glass, it turns out, is an excellent container for carrying sea-born dispatches. It lasts a long time and can even survive hurricanes. In accordance with the astrological omens, I nominate “message in a bottle” to be your metaphor for the rest of 2012. Here’s one way to apply this theme: Create a message you’d like to send to the person you will be in five years, perhaps a declaration of what your highest aspirations will be between now and then. Write it on paper and stash it in a bottle. Store this time capsule in a place you won’t forget, and open it in 2017.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Every 10,000 years or so, reports the Weekly World News, hell actually does freeze over. A rare storm brings a massive amount of snow and ice to the infernal regions, and even the Lake of Fire looks like a glacier. “Satan himself was seen wearing earmuffs and making a snowman,” the story says about the last time it happened. I foresee a hell-freezes-over type of event happening for you in the coming months, Cancerian — and I mean that in a good way. The seemingly impossible will become possible; what’s lost will be found and what’s bent will be made straight; the lion will lie down not only with the lamb but also with the sasquatch. For best results, be ready to shed your expectations at a moment’s notice.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “In purely spiritual matters, God grants all desires,” said philosopher and activist Simone Weil. “Those who have less have asked for less.” I think this is a worthy hypothesis for you to try out in the next nine months, Leo. To be clear: It doesn’t necessarily mean you will get a dream job and perfect lover and ten million dollars. (Although I’m not ruling that out.) What it does suggest is this: You can have any relationship with the Divine Wow that you dare to imagine; you can get all the grace you need to understand why your life is the way it is; you can make tremendous progress as you do the life-long work of liberating yourself from your suffering.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A plain old ordinary leap of faith might not be ambitious enough for you in the coming months, Virgo. I suspect your potential is more robust than that, more primed for audacity. How would you feel about attempting a quantum leap of faith? Here’s what I mean by that: a soaring pirouette that sends you flying over the nagging obstacle and up onto higher ground, where the views are breathtakingly vast instead of gruntingly half-vast.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “The dream which is not fed with dream disappears,” said writer Antonio Porchia. Ain’t that the truth! Especially for you right now. These last few months, you’ve been pretty good at attending to the details of your big dreams. You’ve taken the practical approach and done the hard work. But beginning any moment, it will be time for you to refresh your big dreams with an infusion of fantasies and brainstorms. You need to return to the source of your excitement and feed it and feed it and feed it.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A Chinese businessman named Hu Xilin is the champion fly-killer of the world. Ever since one of the buzzing pests offended him at the dinner table back in 1997, he has made it his mission to fight back. He says he has exterminated more than ten million of the enemy with his patented “Fly Slayer” machine. And oh by the way, his obsession has made him a millionaire. It’s possible, Scorpio, that your story during the second half of 2012 will have elements in common with Hu Xilin’s. Is there any bad influence you could work to minimize or undo in such a way that it might ultimately earn you perks and prizes — or at least deep satisfaction?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): From the 14th through the 18th centuries, many towns in England observed a curious custom. If a couple could prove that they had gone a year and a day without ever once being sorry they got married, the two of them would receive an award: a side of cured pork, known as a flitch of bacon. Alas, the prize was rarely claimed. If this practice were still in effect, you Sagittarians would have an elevated chance of bringing home the bacon in the coming months. Your ability to create harmony and mutual respect in an intimate relationship will be much higher than usual.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “If I had my life to live over,” said Nadine Stair at age 85, “I would perhaps have more actual problems, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.” I suggest you write out that quote, Capricorn, and keep it close to you for the next six months. Your task, as I see it, will be to train yourself so you can expertly distinguish actual problems from imaginary ones. Part of your work, of course, will be to get in the habit of immediately ejecting any of the imaginary kind the moment you notice them creeping up on you.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Astronomer Percival Lowell (1855-1916) was instrumental in laying the groundwork that led to the discovery of Pluto. He was a visionary pioneer who helped change our conception of the solar system. But he also put forth a wacky notion or two. Among the most notable: He declared, against a great deal of contrary evidence, that the planet Mars was laced with canals. You have the potential be a bit like him in the coming months, Aquarius: mostly a wellspring of innovation but sometimes a source of errant theories. What can you do to ensure that the errant theories have minimal effect? Be humble and ask for feedback.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Throughout the 16th century and even beyond, European explorers trekked through the New World hunting for the mythical land of El Dorado: the Lost City of Gold. The precious metal was supposedly so abundant there that it was even used to make children’s toys. The quest was ultimately futile, although it led the explorers to stumble upon lesser treasures of practical value — the potato, for example. After being brought over to Europe from South America, it became a staple food. I’m foreseeing a comparable progression in your own world during the coming months: You may not locate the gold, but you’ll find the equivalent of the potato.

Homework: Make a prediction about where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing on January 1, 2013. Testify at Freewillastrology.com.


FREE WILL ASTROLOGY June 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Let’s waltz the rumba,” said jazz musician Fats Waller, suggesting the seemingly impossible mix of two very different types of dancing. That’s an excellent clue for you to follow up on, Aries. I suspect that in the coming weeks you will have an unusual aptitude for hybridization. You could do folk dancing and hip-hop moves simultaneously. It will make sense for you to do the cha-cha as you disco and vice versa. You’ll have a knack for bringing the spirit of belly dance into the tango, and for breakdancing while you do the hokey-pokey.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Have you been feeling a warm fuzzy feeling in your money chakra? I hope so. The cosmos recently authorized you to receive a fresh flow of what we might call financial kundalini. Your insight into money matters should be increasing, as well as your ability to attract the information and influences you need to refine your relationship with prosperity. It may even be the case that higher levels of economic luck are operating in your vicinity. I’m not saying you will strike it rich, but you could definitely strike it richer.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your core meditation is Oscar Wilde’s belief that disobedience is a primal virtue. Be ingeniously, pragmatically, and cheerfully disobedient, Gemini! Harness your disobedience so that it generates outbreaks of creative transformation that improve your life. For inspiration, read this passage by Robert Anton Wilson: “Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was denounced as fraud and folly. The entire web of culture and progress, everything on earth that is man-made and not given to us by nature, is the concrete manifestation of someone’s refusal to bow to Authority. We would be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent.”

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Some people tell me I’d invented the sounds they called soul,” said musician Ray Charles, “but I can’t take any credit. Soul is just the way black folk sing when they leave themselves alone.” I urge you to experiment with this idea, Cancerian. In my astrological opinion, you need to whip up a fresh, hot delivery of raw soul. One of the best ways to do that might be to leave yourself alone. In other words, don’t badger yourself. Don’t pick your scabs and second-guess your enthusiasms and argue yourself into a knot. Create a nice big space for your original self to play in.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Where’s the most convenient place to discover a new species?” asks The Second Book of General Ignorance. What do you think the answer is, Leo? The Amazon Rainforest? The high mountainous forests of New Guinea? Northwest Siberia? None of the above. In fact, your best chance of finding a previously unidentified life form is in your own garden. There are hundreds of thousands of species that science still has no knowledge of, and quite a few of them are near you. A similar principle currently holds true for your life in general. It will be close to home that you are most likely to connect with fascinating exotica, unknown influences, and far-out adventures.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Now and then my readers try to bribe me. “I’ll give you $1,000,” said a recent email from a Virgo woman, “if you will write a sequence of horoscopes that predict I’ll get the dream job I’m aiming for, which will in turn make me so attractive to the guy I’m pursuing that he will beg to worship me.” My first impulse was to reply, “That’s all you’re willing to pay for a prophecy of two events that will supercharge your happiness and change your life?” But in the end, as always, I flatly turned her down. The truth is, I report on the music of the heavenly spheres, but I don’t write the music myself. Still, I sort of admire this woman’s feisty resolve to manipulate the fates, and I urge you to borrow some of her ferocity in the coming weeks.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes in front of the sun and blocks much of its light from reaching our eyes. On a personal level, the metaphorical equivalent is when something obstructs our ability to see what nourishes us. For example, let’s say you’re in the habit of enviously comparing your own situation to that of a person you imagine is better off than you. This may blind you to some of your actual blessings, and diminish your ability to take full advantage of your own talents. I bring this up, Libra, because you’re in an especially favorable time to detect any way you might be under the spell of an eclipse — and then take dramatic steps to get out from under it.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Some secrets will dribble out. Other secrets will spill forth. Still others may shoot out and explode like fireworks. You won’t be bored by the upcoming revelations, Scorpio. People’s camouflage may be exposed, hidden agendas could be revealed, and not-quite-innocent deceits might be uncovered. So that’s the weird news. Here’s the good news: If you maintain a high level of integrity and treat the brouhaha as good entertainment, you’re likely to capitalize on the uproar. And that’s your specialty, right?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If you go to a psychotherapist, she may coax you to tell stories about what went wrong in your childhood. Seek a chiropractor’s opinion and he might inform you that most of your problems have to do with your spine. Consult a psychic and chances are she will tell you that you messed up in your past lives and need a karmic cleansing. And if you ask me about what you most need to know, I might slip you some advice about how to access your untapped reserves of beauty and intelligence. Here’s the moral of the story, Sagittarius: Be discerning as you ask for feedback and mirroring. The information you receive will always be skewed.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The state of Kansas has a law that seems more confusing than helpful. It says the following: “When two trains approach each other at a crossing, both shall come to a full stop and neither shall start up again until the other has gone.” From what I can tell, Capricorn, a similar situation has cropped up in your life. Two parties are in a stalemate, each waiting for the other to make the first move. At this rate, nothing will ever happen. May I suggest that you take the initiative?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Should you get down on your knees and beg for love and recognition? No! Should you give yourself away without seeking much in return? Don’t do that, either. Should you try to please everyone in an attempt to be popular? Definitely not. Should you dilute your truth so as not to cause a ruckus? I hope not. So then what am I suggesting you should do? Ask the following question about every possibility that comes before you: “Will this help me to master myself, deepen my commitment to what I want most, and gain more freedom?”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Do you know why flamingos have their distinctive orange-pink color? It’s because of the carotene in the shrimp and other food they consume. If they change their diet, their feathers turn dull grey. That’s a dramatic example of the adage, “You are what you eat.” Let’s use it as a prompt to contemplate all the stuff you take into the holy temple of your body, Pisces. Not just the sandwiches and chocolate bars and alcohol, but also the images, sounds, ideas, emotions, and energy you get from other people. Is the cumulative effect of all those things giving you the shape and color and texture you want to have? If not, this would be a good time to adjust your intake.

Homework: I invite you to go to my Facebook page and tell me what you like or don’t like about my horoscopes: http://bit.ly/BrezFB


Free Will Astrology — May 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): On the one hand, you’re facing a sticky dilemma that you may never be able to change no matter how hard you try. On the other hand, you are engaged with an interesting challenge that may very well be possible to resolve. Do you know which is which? Now would be an excellent time to make sure you do. It would be foolish to keep working on untying a hopelessly twisted knot when there is another puzzle that will respond to your love and intelligence. Go where you’re wanted.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): From an astrological perspective, it’s the New Year season; you’re beginning a fresh cycle. How would you like to celebrate? You could make a few resolutions — maybe pledge to wean yourself from a wasteful habit or self-sabotaging vice. You could also invite the universe to show you what you don’t even realize you need to know. What might also be interesting would be to compose a list of the good habits you will promise to cultivate, and the ingenious breakthroughs you will work toward, and the shiny yet gritty dreams you will court and woo.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “My father-in-law was convinced that his sheepdogs picked up his thoughts telepathically,” writes Richard Webster in his article “Psychic Animals. “He needed only to think what he wanted his dogs to do, and they would immediately do it. He had to be careful not to think too far ahead, as his dogs would act on the thought he was thinking at the time.” To this I’d add that there is a wealth of other anecdotal evidence, as well as some scientific research, suggesting that dogs respond to unspoken commands. I happen to believe that the human animal is also capable of picking up thoughts that aren’t said aloud. And I suspect that you’re in a phase when it will be especially important to take that into account. Be discerning about what you imagine, because it could end up in the mind of someone you know!

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your right brain and left brain have rarely been on such close speaking terms as they are right now. Your genitals and your heart seem to be in a good collaborative groove as well. Even your past and your future are mostly in agreement about how you should proceed in the present. To what do we owe the pleasure of this rather dramatic movement toward integration? Here’s one theory: You’re being rewarded for the hard work you have done to take good care of yourself.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): A South African biologist was intrigued to discover an interesting fact about the rodent known as the elephant shrew: It much prefers to slurp the nectar of pagoda lilies than to nibble on peanut butter mixed with apples and rolled oats. The biologist didn’t investigate whether mountain goats would rather eat grasses and rushes than ice cream sundaes or whether lions like fresh-killed antelopes better than Caesar salad, but I’m pretty sure they do. In a related subject, Leo, I hope that in the coming weeks you will seek to feed yourself exclusively with the images, sounds, stories, and food that truly satisfy your primal hunger rather than the stuff that other people like or think you should like.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): There are only a very few people whose ancestors were not immigrants. They live in Africa, where homo sapiens got its start. As for the rest of us, our forbears wandered away from their original home and spread out over the rest of the planet. We all came from somewhere else! This is true on many other levels, as well. In accordance with the astrological omens, I invite you Virgos to get in touch with your inner immigrant this month. It’s an excellent time to acknowledge and celebrate the fact that you are nowhere near where you started from, whether you gauge that psychologically, spiritually, or literally.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “When I’m good, I’m very good,” said Hollywood’s original siren, Mae West, “but when I’m bad I’m better.” I think that assertion might at times make sense coming out of your lips in the next few weeks. But I’d like to offer a variation that could also serve you well. It’s articulated by my reader Sarah Edelman, who says, “When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m batty, I’m better.” Consider trying out both of these attitudes, Libra, as you navigate your way through the mysterious and sometimes unruly fun that’s headed your way.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The Weekly World News, my favorite source of fake news, reported on a major development in the art world: An archaeologist found the lost arms of the famous Venus de Milo statue. They were languishing in a cellar in Southern Croatia. Hallelujah! Since her discovery in 1820, the goddess of love and beauty has been incomplete. Will the Louvre Museum in Paris, where she is displayed, allow her to be joined by her original appendages and made whole again? Let’s not concern ourselves now with that question. Instead, please turn your attention to a more immediate concern: the strong possibility that you will soon experience a comparable development, the rediscovery of and reunification with a missing part of you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Seventeenth-century physicians sometimes advised their patients to consume tobacco as a way to alleviate a number of different maladies, from toothaches to arthritis. A few doctors continued recommending cigarettes as health aids into the 1950s. This bit of history may be useful to keep in mind, Sagittarius. You’re in a phase when you’re likely to have success in hunting down remedies for complaints of both a physical and psychological nature. But you should be cautious about relying on conventional wisdom, just in case some of it resembles the idea that cigarettes are good for you. And always double check to make sure that the cures aren’t worse than what they are supposed to fix.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Outer space isn’t really that far away. As astronomer Fred Hoyle used to say, you’d get there in an hour if you could drive a car straight up. I think there’s a comparable situation in your own life, Capricorn. You’ve got an inflated notion of how distant a certain goal is, and that’s inhibiting you from getting totally serious about achieving it. I’m not saying that the destination would be a breeze to get to. My point is that it’s closer than it seems.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): When most Westerners hear the word “milk,” they surmise it has something to do with cows. But the fact is that humans drink milk collected from sheep, goats, camels, yaks, mares, llamas, and reindeer. And many grocery stores now stock milk made from soybeans, rice, almonds, coconut, hemp, and oats. I’m wondering if maybe it’s a good time for you to initiate a comparable diversification, Aquarius. You shouldn’t necessarily give up the primal sources of nourishment you have been depending on. Just consider the possibility that it might be fun and healthy for you to seek sustenance from some unconventional or unexpected sources.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You wouldn’t want to play a game of darts with an inflatable dartboard, right? If you were a smoker, you’d have little interest in a fireproof cigarette. And while a mesh umbrella might look stylish, you wouldn’t be foolish enough to expect it to keep the rain out. In the spirit of these truisms, Pisces, I suggest you closely examine any strategy you’re considering to see if it has a built-in contradiction. Certain ideas being presented to you — perhaps even arising from your own subconscious mind — may be inherently impractical to use in the real world.

Homework: Do you allow your imagination to indulge in fantasies that are wasteful, damaging, or dumb? I dare you to stop it. Testify at freewillastrology.com.


FREE WILL ASTROLOGY April 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Please study this testimony: “Born in a rancid, bat-infested cave at the base of the smoldering Sangay Volcano, I was raised by the half-bear demon princess Arcastia. At the age of four my training as a ninja shaman began when I was left naked and alone next to a stream of burning lava with only two safety pins, a package of dental floss, and a plastic bag full of Cheerios. My mission: to find my way to my spiritual home.” Now, Aries, I’d like you to compose your own version of this declaration: a playful, over-the-top myth about your origins that gives you a greater appreciation for the heroic journey you’ve been on all these years.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Our ancestors owned slaves and denied education to girls. What were they thinking? Time magazine asked renowned historian David McCullough if there was anything we do today that our descendants will regard as equally insane and inexcusable. His reply: “How we could have spent so much time watching TV.” I’ll ask you, Taurus, to apply this same exercise on a personal level. Think of some things you did when you were younger that now seem incomprehensible or ignorant. Then explore the possibility that you will look back with incredulity at some weird habit or tweaked form of self-indulgence you’re pursuing today. (P.S. It’s an excellent time to phase out that habit or self-indulgence.)

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “I can’t tell if I’m dealing well with life these days or if I just don’t give a sh– any more.” I stumbled upon that comment at someecards.com, and I decided to pass it along for your consideration. You may be pondering the same riddle: feeling suspicious about why you seem more relaxed and tolerant than usual in the face of plain old everyday chaos. I’m here to tell you my opinion, which is that your recent equanimity is not rooted in jaded numbness. Rather, it’s the result of some hard work you did on yourself during the last six months. Congrats and enjoy!

ANCER (June 21-July 22): What excites you, Cancerian? What mobilizes your self-discipline and inspires you to see the big picture? I encourage you to identify those sources of high-octane fuel, and then take extraordinary measures to make them a strong presence in your life. There has rarely been a better time than now for you to do this. It could create effects that will last for years. (P.S. Here’s a further nudge from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world is the triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it.”)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): While browsing in a bookstore, I came across a book and deck of cards that were collectively called Tarot Secrets. The subtitle of the kit was “A Fast and Easy Way to Learn a Powerful Ancient Art.” I snorted derisively to read that claim, since I myself have studied Tarot intensively for years and am nowhere near mastery. Later, though, when I was back home meditating on your horoscope, I softened my attitude a bit. The astrological omens do indeed suggest that in the upcoming weeks and months, you just might be able to learn a rather substantial skill in a relatively short time.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Writing in The New Yorker, Joanna Ravenna paraphrased German philosopher Nietzsche: “The best way to enrage people is to force them to change their mind about you.” I’d like to see you mutate this theory in the coming weeks, Virgo. If possible, see if you can amuse and entertain people, not enrage them, by compelling them to change their minds about you. I realize that’s a tricky proposition, but given the current astrological omens, I have faith that you can pull it off.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In 1892, when Wrigley was just starting out as a company, its main product was baking powder. Free chewing gum was included in each package as a promotional gimmick. But soon the freebie became so popular that Wrigley rearranged its entire business. Now it’s a multi-billion-dollar company that sells gum in 140 different countries — and no baking powder. Maybe there’s something like that on the verge of happening in your own life, Libra: What seemed like the main event could turn out to be secondary, or what seemed incidental might become a centerpiece. Is there something you are overvaluing at the cost of something you are undervaluing?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): People in intimate relationships are hypersensitive to negative comments from their partners. Psychologists say it takes five compliments to outweigh the effects of a single dash of derogatory criticism. I’m sure the ratio is similar even for relationships that aren’t as close as lovers and spouses. With this in mind, I urge you to be extra careful not to dispense barbs. They would be especially damaging during this phase of your astrological cycle — both to you and to those at whom you direct them. Instead, Scorpio, why not dole out an abundance of compliments? They will build up a reservoir of goodwill you’ll be able to draw on for a long time.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Researchers report that the typical man falls in love 5.4 times over the course of his life, while the average woman basks in the glow of this great mystery on 4.6 occasions. I suspect you may be close to having a .4 or .6 type of experience, Sagittarius: sort of like infatuation, but without the crazed mania. That could actually be a good thing. The challenging spiritual project that relationship offers may be most viable when the two people involved are not electrifyingly interwoven with every last one of their karmic threads. Maybe we have more slack in our quest for intimacy if we love but are not obsessed.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “I couldn’t wait for success,” said rich and famous comedian Jonathan Winters, “so I went ahead without it.” I love that approach, and I suggest you try it out. Is there any area of your life that is held captive by an image of perfection? Consider the possibility that shiny concepts of victory and progress might be distracting you from doing the work that will bring you meaning and fulfillment. If you’re too busy dreaming of someday attaining the ideal mate, weight, job, pleasure, and community, you may miss out on the imperfect but amazing opportunities that are available right now.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): On Reddit.com, Kaushalp88 asked the question, “What is the most badass thing that you have ever done, but that other people weren’t impressed by?” Here’s his own story: “I was at an ice-cream shop. At the exit, there was a small raised step I didn’t see. I tripped over it with my ice cream cone in my right hand. The ice cream ball sprung out of the cone. I instinctively lurched my left hand forward and grabbed it, but at the same time I was already falling toward the pavement. I tucked my head into my chest and made a perfect somersault, rising to my feet and plopping the ice cream back in the cone.” I suspect you will soon have comparable experiences, Aquarius — unusual triumphs and unexpected accomplishments. But you may have to be content with provoking awe in no one else beside yourself.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” So says a Swedish proverb. Can we talk about this, please, Pisces? Of course there are real hazards and difficulties in life, and they deserve your ingenious problem-solving. But why devote any of your precious energy to becoming embroiled in merely hyped-up hazards and hypothetical difficulties? Based on my analysis of the astrological omens, now is a propitious time to cut shadows down to their proper size. It’s also a perfect moment to liberate yourself from needless anxiety. I think you’ll be amazed at how much more accurate your perceptions will be as a result.

Homework: Do a homemade ritual in which you vow to attract more blessings into your life. Report results at FreeWillAstrology.com.


Free Will Astrology March 2012

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 weeks, 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 weeks. 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 weeks, 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 weeks 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!”?

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


Free Will Astrology – February 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Sad but true: A lot of people seem to be perpetually in a state of wanting what they don’t have and not wanting what they actually do have. I’m begging you not to be like that in the coming weeks, Aries. Please? I’ll tell you why: More than I’ve seen in a long time, you will have everything going for you if you want precisely what you do have — and are not full of longing for what’s unavailable. Do you think you can you manage that brilliant trick? If so, you will be amazed by the sublimity of the peace that will settle over you.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Of all the signs of the zodiac, Tauruses are the least likely to be arrogant. Sadly, in a related development, they’re also among the most likely to have low self-esteem. But your tribe now has an excellent opportunity to address the latter problem. Current cosmic rhythms are inviting you rather loudly and dramatically to boost your confidence, even at the risk of you careening into the forbidden realm of arrogance. That’s why I recommend Taurus musician Trent Reznor as your role model. He has no problem summoning feelings of self-worth. As evidence, here’s what he confessed when asked about whether he frequents music social networks: “I don’t care what my friends are listening to. Because I’m cooler than they are.”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “If Mark Twain had had Twitter,” says humorist Andy Borowitz, “he would have been amazing at it. But he probably wouldn’t have gotten around to writing Huckleberry Finn.” I think you’re facing a comparable choice, Gemini. You can either get a lot of little things done that will serve your short-term aims, or else you can at least partially withdraw from the day-to-day give-and-take so as to devote yourself with more focus to a long-range goal. I’m not here to tell you which way to go; I just want to make sure you know the nature of the decision before you.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You now have a special talent for helping your allies tap into their dormant potentials and latent energy. If you choose to use it, you will also have a knack for snapping lost sheep and fallen angels out of their wasteful trances. There’s a third kind of magic you have in abundance right now, Cancerian, and that’s the ability to coax concealed truths out of their hiding places. Personally, I’m hopeful that you will make lavish use of these gifts. I should mention, however, that some people may resist you. The transformations you could conceivably set in motion with your superpowers might seem alarming to them. So I suggest that you hang out as much as possible with change-lovers who like the strong medicine you have to offer.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Publishing a volume of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo,” said author Don Marquis, speaking from experience. Something you’re considering, Leo, may seem to fit that description, too. It’s a project or action or gift that you’d feel good about offering, but you also wonder whether it will generate the same buzz as that rose petal floating down into the Grand Canyon. Here’s what I think: To the degree that you shed your attachment to making an impact, you will make the exact impact that matters most. Give yourself without any expectations.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Comedian Louis CK told a story about his young daughter. She had a fever, and he gave her some Tylenol that was bubble gum flavored. “Ewwww!” she complained. Louis was exasperated. “You can’t say ‘ewwww,'” he told her. What he meant was that as a white kid in America, she’s among the most privileged characters in the world — certainly far luckier than all the poor children who have no medicine at all, let alone medicine that tastes like candy. I’m going to present a similar argument to you, Virgo. In the large scheme of things, your suffering right now is small. Try to keep your attention on your blessings rather than your discomfort.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I stumbled upon an engineering textbook for undergraduates. There was a section on how to do technical writing, as opposed to the literary kind. It quoted a poem by Edgar Allan Poe: “Helen, thy beauty is to me / Like those Nicean barks of yore / That gently, o’er a perfumed sea, / The weary way-worn wanderer bore / To his own native shore.” Then the book gave advice to the student: “To express these ideas in technical writing, we would simply say, ‘He thinks Helen is beautiful.'” Don’t take shortcuts like that, Libra. For the sake of your emotional health and spiritual integrity, you can’t see or treat the world anything like what a technical writer would.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Are you ready to start playing in earnest with that riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma? Are you looking forward to the rough and tumble fun that will ensue after you leap into the middle of that sucker and start trying to decipher its impossibly interesting meaning? I hope you are primed and eager, Scorpio. I hope you can’t wait to try to answer the question that seems to have no answer. Be brave and adventurous, my friend — and be intent on having a blast.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Lessons could come to you from unforeseen sources and unanticipated directions during the next few weeks, Sagittarius. They will also come in expected forms from all the familiar influences, so the sum total of your learning could be pretty spectacular. To take maximum advantage of the opportunity, just assume that everyone and everything might have useful teachings for you — even people you usually ignore and situations that have bored you in the past. Act like an eager student who’s hungry for knowledge and curious to fill in the gaps in your education.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “The consuming desire of most human beings is deliberately to plant their whole life in the hands of some other person,” said British writer Quentin Crisp. If you harbor even a small tendency in that direction, Capricorn, I hope that in the coming days you will make a concentrated effort to talk yourself out of it. In my astrological opinion, this is a critical moment in the long-term evolution of your healthy self-sufficiency. For both your own sake and the sake of the people you love, you must find a way to shrink your urge to make them responsible for your well-being.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): If you go to California’s Yosemite National Park this month, you might get the chance to witness a reddish gold waterfall. Here’s how: At sunset, gaze up at the sheer east face of the rock formation known as El Capitan. There you will see what seems to be a vertical river of fire, also known as Horsetail Fall. I nominate this marvel to be your inspirational symbol for the coming weeks. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will have the power to blend fire and water in novel ways. I encourage you to look at the photo here — bit.ly/fluidicfire — and imprint the image on your mind’s eye. It will help unleash the subconscious forces you’ll need to pull off your own natural wonder.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): After singer Amy Winehouse died, actor Russell Brand asked the public and media to scale back their derisive opinions about her struggle with intoxicants. Addiction isn’t a romantic affectation or glamorous self-indulgence that people are too lazy to overcome, he said. It’s a disease. Would you mock a schizophrenic for his “stupid” propensity for hearing voices? Would you ridicule a victim of multiple sclerosis for not being vigorous? I’m of the opinion that all of us have at least one addiction, although it may not be as disabling as Winehouse’s weakness for liquor and narcotics. What’s yours, Pisces? Porn? Sugar? Internet? Bad relationships? The coming weeks would be a very good time to seek help in healing it.

Homework: You can read free excerpts of my recent book at http://bit.ly/HotExcerpts. Tell me your thoughts: Truthrooster@gmail.com.


Free Will Astrology – January 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In North America, a farmer who grows wheat gets only five percent of the money earned by selling a loaf of bread made from his crop. When my band recorded an album for MCA, our contract called for us to receive just seven percent of the net profits. I encourage you to push for a much bigger share than that for the work you do in 2012. It will be an excellent time to raise the levels of respect you have for your own gifts, skills, and products — and to ask for that increased respect, as well.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): For much of the 19th century, aluminum was regarded as a precious metal more valuable than gold. It was even used for the capstone of the Washington Monument, dedicated in 1884. The reason for this curiosity? Until the 1890s, it was difficult and expensive to extract aluminum from its ore. Then a new technology was developed that made the process very cheap. In 2012, Taurus, I’m predicting a metaphorically similar progression in your own life. A goodie or an asset will become more freely available to you because of your increased ability to separate it from the slag it’s mixed with.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The coming year will be a good time for you to consider investigating the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Devotees of this religion call themselves Pastafarians. Their main dogma is the wisdom of rejecting all dogma. Having such a light-hearted approach to spiritual matters would be quite healthy for you to experiment with. For extra credit, you could draw inspiration from a church member named Niko Alm. He convinced authorities to allow him to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver’s license photo. Having a jaunty approach to official requirements and formal necessities will also serve you well.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life is an ambitious work that deviates from formulaic approaches to film-making. Some observers hated its experimental invocation of big ideas, while others approved. New York Times critic A.O. Scott compared the movie to Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, one of America’s great works of literature. Here’s what Scott wrote: “Mr. Malick might have been well advised to leave out the dinosaurs and the trip to the afterlife and given us a delicate chronicle of a young man’s struggle with his father and himself. And perhaps Melville should have suppressed his philosophizing impulses and written a lively tale of a whaling voyage.” Using this as a template, Cancerian, I urge you to treat 2012 as a time when you will be like Melville and Malick in your chosen field. Trust your daring, expansive vision.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I love the way they celebrate the New Year in Stonehaven, Scotland. A procession of revelers swings big flaming baskets around on the ends of long chains. I recommend that you carry out a comparable ritual as you barge into 2012, Leo. Symbolically speaking, it would set the perfect tone. The coming months should be a kind of extended fire festival for you — a time when you faithfully stoke the blaze in your belly, the radiance in your eyes, and the brilliance in your heart. Are you ready to bring all the heat and light you can to the next phase of your master plan? I hope so. Burn, baby, burn.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Historian David McCullough wrote The Greater Journey, a book telling the stories of ambitious young American artists who relocated to Paris between 1830 and 1900. They had to move away because their home country had no museums or art schools at that time. You Virgos may want to consider seeking a similar enlargement of your possibilities in the coming months. As you seek out the resources that will help you follow your dreams, be prepared to look beyond what you already know and what’s immediately available.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Professional basketball player Ron Artest petitioned the court to let him change his name to “Metta World Peace.” “Metta” is a Buddhist term that signifies loving-kindness and benevolence. When the new moniker finally became official, Metta World Peace sealed a radical shift away from his old way of doing things, symbolized by the time he leaped into the stands in the middle of a game to punch a fan in the head. The coming months will be an excellent time for you Libras to initiate a rite of passage that will expedite an equally dramatic transformation.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Many of the questions we had as children never got resolved or answered to our satisfaction. They still remain marinating in the back of our minds. Meanwhile, fresh queries keep welling up within us as the years go by. After a while, we’ve got a huge collection of enigmas, riddles, and conundrums. Some of us regard this as a tangled problem that weighs us down, while others see it as a sparkly delight that keeps making life more and more interesting. Where do you stand on the issue, Scorpio? If you’re in the latter group, you will be fully open to the experiences that will be flowing your way in 2012. And that means you will be blessed with a host of sumptuous and catalytic new questions.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The first half of 2012 will be an excellent time to for you to exorcize any prejudices you might be harboring toward anyone who lives or thinks differently from you. You’ll be able to see your own irrational biases with exceptional clarity, and are also likely to have exceptional success at scouring yourself free of them. This will give you access to new reserves of psychic energy you didn’t even realize you were shut off from. (P.S. I’m not saying you possess more intolerance or narrow-mindedness than any of the rest of us. It’s just that this is your time to deal brilliantly with your share of it.)

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In Botticelli’s painting The Birth of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love is shown arriving on dry land for the first time after having been born in the ocean. Naked, she is trying to cover her private parts with her hand and thigh-length hair. Her attendant, a fully clothed nymph, is bringing a cloak to cover her up. Analyzing this scene, art critic Sister Wendy suggests it’s actually quite sad. It symbolizes the fact that since we humans can’t bear the confrontation with sublime beauty, we must always keep it partly hidden. Your assignment in the coming year, Capricorn, is to overcome this inhibition. I invite you to retrain yourself so that you can thrive in the presence of intense, amazing, and transformative beauty.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The coming months will be an excellent time to take an inventory of your life to determine whether there are any ways in which you act like a slave. Do you find it hard to defeat an addiction that saps your energy and weakens your ability to live the life you want? Are there institutions that you help sustain even though they cause harm to you and others? Is it hard for you to change or end your relationships with people who are no damn good for you? Are you trapped in a role or behavior that is at odds with your high ideals? Discover what these oppressors are, Aquarius — and then summon all your intelligence and willpower to escape them.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): California engineer Ron Patrick put a jet engine in his silver VW Beetle. Now he’s got a 1,450-horsepower vehicle — but it’s not legal for him to drive on public highways. In the coming year, Pisces, I suspect you’ll be tempted to try something similar: create a dynamic tool with a modest appearance or a turbo-charged source of energy in a deceptively small package. But if you do, please make sure that you can actually use it to improve your ability to get around and make your life better.

Homework: To check out Part One of my three-part audio forecasts of your destiny in 2012, go to http://bit.ly/BigPicture2012.


Free Will Astrology – December 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This would be an excellent time to head down to Pucón, Chile and hire a daredevil to fly you in a helicopter into the caldera of the active Villarrica volcano, whereupon you would bungee-jump out of the copter down to within 700 feet of the molten lava. If that’s too extreme or expensive for your tastes, I urge you to come up a milder adventure that will still bring you a close encounter with primal heat and light — and maybe even some divine fire.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): As a mouse looks for food or shelter, it is flexible enough to fit through a hole as small as a quarter of an inch. You would really benefit from having a talent like that right now, Taurus. Of course, even if you are as slippery and pliable as you’ll need to be, you will also have to be on high alert for the inviting possibilities, some of which may be brief or subtle. For example, let’s say you spy an interesting-looking person with whom you’d love to chat. The window of opportunity may be open for less than ten seconds. Seize that moment! Refuse to get hung up in shyness. Don’t convince yourself that another chance will come along later.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): One of my Gemini acquaintances, Tara, has been playing a slow-moving game of tag with three friends since they were all in second grade together. They’re 27 years old now, and still live in the same city. Currently, Tara is “It,” and has been so for quite some time. But she confided in me that she plans to make a move very soon. She says she’ll sneak up on one of the other players during his lunch break at work, tag him, and run away before he can tag her back. I told her she’s likely to meet with success, since this is an excellent time for you Geminis to gain an advantage in pretty much any kind of game you’re playing.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know,” wrote philosopher Eric Hoffer. This is a good idea for you to contemplate right now. I realize it may be a challenge for you to figure out what you would rather not know and are afraid to know and might even be allergic to knowing. Still, I hope you’ll make the effort. Maybe you could enlist a smart ally who’d be skillful in helping you uncover the taboo truth. And maybe you could formulate an intention to be as objective as you’ve ever been.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Biologists say there are 680 species of trees and shrubs in the U.S. and Canada. By comparison, Lambir Hills National Park on the island of Borneo is the home of 1,175 species on its 128 acres. I suspect you will feel right at home in places like Lambir Hills in the coming days, Leo. Your own creative urges will be running hotter than usual, and are most likely to thrive in contexts that are themselves teeming with lush fertility and rich diversity. Please surround yourself with inspirational influences, thereby giving yourself the best possible chance to express yourself with vivid imagination.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home,” wrote philosopher Dagobert D. Runes. Your assignment, Virgo, should you choose to accept it, is to refute that assertion. In other words, I’m inviting you to travel to all of your usual haunts and treat everything that happens there with the attitude of a first-time visitor. Just assume that the familiar people and places in your life have stimulating gifts to give and lessons to impart. Remember, though, they can’t do that to the fullest unless you expect them to.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The human brain is composed of 30 percent protein and 70 percent fat. So it wouldn’t be incorrect to refer to you as a fathead. In order to nourish your brain cells, you’ve got to eat foods that provide two essential fatty acids your body doesn’t manufacture: omega-3 ALA and omega-6 LA. Since you’re now in a “brain-building” phase of your astrological cycle, I urge you to get more than your minimum requirements of these basics. If I may be permitted to resurrect a now-out-of-fashion slang term, I suggest that you also expose yourself to a lot of extraordinarily phat sources of intellectual stimulation.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The mawashi is the loincloth that Japanese sumo wrestlers wear while competing. It’s rare for the garment to come off, even in the heat of a match, but it did happen once in 2000, when a wrestler named Asanokiri suddenly found himself standing naked during his bout with Chiyohakuho. In conformity with sumo’s rules, Asanokiri was immediately disqualified. I don’t think you’re at risk for being rendered literally unclothed in the heat of a showdown or a plot twist, Scorpio. But I do advise you to take extra precautions to prevent a metaphorical version of that occurrence. Get your act very together, and keep it very together.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Dear Mr. Brezsny: My name is Sonny McGee and I own a website that caters to people who are addicted to playing poker. I’m a big fan of your horoscopes, and I’m wondering if you would like to advertise your work to our audience. Gamblers love astrology! Get in touch. – Sagittarian Wheeler Dealer.” Dear Wheeler Dealer: Thanks for your interest, but I’ll pass. I don’t like to encourage anyone to focus their gambling urges on trivial matters like card games, sports events, and lotteries. I prefer they direct that mojo to high-minded stuff like daring themselves to excel, pursuing exciting and idealistic adventures, and doing brave things to help save the world. By the way, it’s prime time for you Sagittarians to ratchet up your commitment to those kinds of gambles.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I hope you’re not so perversely attached to your demons that you’re inclined to keep providing them with a comfortable home. Why? Because the coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to permanently banish them from the premises. Yes, I know it may seem lonely at first without their nagging, disruptive voices chattering away in your head. But I really do encourage you to bid them adieu. By the way, as you plan your exorcism, you might want to include a humorous touch or two. They’re allergic to satire and mockery, you know.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The Beauvais Cathedral in northern France has been called “the most daring achievement of Gothic architecture.” Its soaring facades, carved wooden doors, stained glass windows, and astronomical clock demonstrate high artistry. There’s a problem with the place, however — it has never been completed. Work began in the year 1225, and experts are still talking about how to solve certain ongoing difficulties with its construction. I don’t know when this happy ending will occur, Aquarius, but I do expect that in 2012 you will be able to put the finishing touches on your own personal version of the Beauvais Cathedral. And now would be a good time to formulate definite plans to do so.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In my prayers, I’ve been negotiating with the Goddess to grant you the power to change the course of rivers, at least in a metaphorical way. I’ve also beseeched her to show you how to overthrow the Puppet Master and convert overwrought hawks into savvy doves. The Goddess seems to be seriously considering these appeals, and has even hinted she might offer you instructions on how to shape a new Adam out of one of Eve’s ribs, mythically speaking. In return, she does have one request: that you do what you can to make sure the sun rises on schedule for the next ten days.

Homework: Imagine what your life would be like if you licked your worst fear. Describe this new world to me. Go to RealAstrology.com and click on “Email Rob.”


Free Will Astrology – November 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Here’s Malcolm Gladwell, writing in The Tipping Point: “We need to prepare ourselves for the possibility that sometimes big changes follow from small events, and that sometimes these changes can happen quickly . . . Look at the world around you. It may seem an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push — in just the right place — it can be tipped.” You are now within shouting distance of your own personal tipping point, Aries. Follow your gut wisdom as you decide where to give a firm little push.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Welcome to the autumnal garden of earthly delights, Taurus. It’s a brooding, fermenting paradise, full of the kind of dark beauty that wouldn’t be caught dead in a spring garden. There’s smoldering joy to be found amidst this riotous flowering of moody colors, but you won’t appreciate it if you’re too intent on seeking bright serenity and pristine comfort. Be willing to dirty your hands and even your mind. Feel the moss on your back, the leaves in your hair, and the mist on your bare legs. (P.S. If you like, you can take what I just said as an elaborate metaphor.)

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Here’s a vignette described by columnist Thomas Friedman: “Ludwig Wittgenstein once remarked that if you ask a man how much is 2 plus 2 and he tells you 5, that is a mistake. But if you ask a man how much is 2 plus 2 and he tells you 97, that is no longer a mistake. The man you are talking with is operating with a wholly different logic from your own.” I’d like to suggest, Gemini, that for you right now the whole world is like the man who swears 2 plus 2 is 97. At least temporarily, you are on a very different wavelength from your surroundings. In order to understand what’s coming toward you, you will have to do the equivalent of standing on your head, crossing your eyes, and opening your mind as wide as it’ll stretch.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you want to grow vanilla beans, you have to pollinate the plant’s flowers within 12 hours after they bloom. In nature, the only insect that can do the job is the Melipona, a Mexican bee. Luckily, humans can also serve as pollinators, which they do on commercial vanilla farms. They use thin wood splinters or stems of grass to perform the delicate magic. I’m thinking that you resemble a vanilla bean right now, Cancerian. It is the season when you’re extra receptive to fertilization, but all the conditions have to be just right for the process to be successful. Here’s my advice: Figure out exactly what those conditions are, then call on all your resourcefulness to create them.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Even our most sophisticated drilling machines have barely made pinpricks in the earth’s surface. The deepest hole ever dug was 40,000 feet, which is just 0.2 percent of the planet’s 20-million-foot radius. I offer this up as a spur to your imagination, Leo. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to plumb further into the depths of anyplace or anything you’re intrigued by — whether that’s a subject you’ve always wondered about, a person you care for, the mysteries of life, or the secrets of your own psyche. You could reach the equivalent of five million feet into the Earth’s innards.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): National Geographic speculates that most of the species on Earth are still unknown and unnamed (tinyurl.com/UnknownLife). While 1.2 million life forms have been identified by science, there may be as many as 7.5 million that are not, or 86 percent of the total. I suspect that this breakdown is similar to the situation in your life, Virgo. You know about 14 percent of what you need to know, but there’s still a big frontier to explore. The coming months should be prime time for you to cover a lot of new ground — and now would be a perfect moment to set the stage for that grand experiment.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I suspect that you will have a minor form of good luck going for you this month. It probably won’t be enough to score you a winning lottery ticket or earn you a chance to get the answer to your most fervent prayers. But it might bring you into close proximity with a financial opportunity, a pretty good helper, or a resource that could subtly boost your stability over the long haul. For best results, don’t invoke your mild blessings to assist in trivial matters like finding parking places or avoiding long lines at check-out lines. Use them for important stuff.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Try to be surprised by something every day,” advises Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. That’s an inspirational idea for everyone all the time, but especially for you Scorpios right now. This is the time of all times when you have the best chance of tinkering with your rhythm so that it will thrive on delightful unpredictability. Are you brave enough to capitalize on the opportunity? I think you are. Concentrate your attention on cultivating changes that feel exciting and life-enhancing.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Dear Rob: I was born on November 30, and am quite attached to having it as a birthdate. But there’s a complication. While in Iraq in 2006, I was half-blown up by a bomb, and had a near-death experience. When I returned from my excursion to the land of the dead, I felt I’d been born anew. Which is why I now also celebrate September 24, the date of the bombing, as my second birthday. What do you think? Two-Way Tamara.” Dear Two-Way: I believe we’d all benefit from having at least one dramatic rebirth in the course of our lives, though hopefully not in such a wrenching fashion as yours. In fact, a fresh rebirth every few years or so would be quite healthy. If it means adding additional astrological identities to our repertoire, so much the better. Thanks for bringing up the subject, as it’s an excellent time for Sagittarians everywhere to seek out an exhilarating renewal.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Social climbers are people who are focused on gaining higher status in whatever circle of people they regard as cool, even to the point of engaging in fawning or ingratiating behavior. Soul climbers, on the other hand, are those who foster the power of their imagination, keep deepening their connection with life’s intriguing enigmas, and explore the intersection of self-interest and generosity toward others. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you could go far in either of those directions during the coming weeks, Capricorn — but not both. Which will you choose?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): An Australian man named Daniel Fowler has more giraffe tattoos on his shoulders than any other human being on the planet. So says the Universal Record Database at Recordsetter.com. Meanwhile, Darryl Learie is now the only person to ever be able to insert three steak knives into an inflated balloon, and Billy Disney managed to inject a world-record 31 sexual innuendoes into a rap song about potatoes. What could or should be your claim to fame, Aquarius? This would an excellent time to try to establish your reputation as the best at your specific talent.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “You have to know how far to go too far,” said poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. I reckon that’s good advice for you right now. You’re at a phase of your astrological cycle when you really can’t afford to keep playing by all the rules and staying inside the proper boundaries. For the sake of your physical and psychological and spiritual health, you need to wander out beyond the limits that you’ve been so faithfully respecting. And yet, on the other hand, it would be a mistake to claim you have a right to stop at nothing. Know how far to go too far.

Homework: Which of your dead ancestors would you most like to talk to? Imagine a conversation with one of them. If you’re so moved, tell me about it. http://freewillastrology.com.


Free Will Astology – October 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I’ve got a challenging assignment for you. In accordance with your current astrological omens, I am inviting you to cultivate a special kind of receptivity — a rigorously innocent openness to experience that will allow you to be penetrated by life’s beauty with sublime intensity. To understand the exact nature of this receptivity, study Abraham Maslow’s definition of real listening: to listen “without presupposing, classifying, improving, controverting, evaluating, approving or disapproving, without dueling what is being said, without rehearsing the rebuttal in advance, without free-associating to portions of what is being said so that succeeding portions are not heard at all.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Government officials in Southern Sudan are proposing to build cities in fantastic shapes. They say that the regional capital of Juba would be recreated to resemble a rhinoceros, as seen from the air. The town of Yambio is destined to look like a pineapple and the city of Wau will be a giraffe. I’m confused by all this, since I know that most of the people in South Sudan live on less than a dollar a day. Is that really how they want their country’s wealth spent? Please consider the possibility, Taurus, that there are also some misplaced priorities in your own sphere right now. Hopefully they’re nothing on the scale of what’s happening in South Sudan, but still: Allocate your resources with high discernment, please.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You have cosmic clearance to fall deeply, madly, and frequently in love, Gemini. In fact, it’s OK with the gods of fate and the angels of karma if you swell up with a flood of infatuation and longing big enough to engorge an entire city block. The only stipulation those gods and angels insist on is that you do not make any rash decisions or huge life changes while in the throes of this stupendous vortex. Don’t quit your job, for instance, or sell all your belongings, or dump your temporarily out-of-favor friends and loved ones. For the foreseeable future, simply enjoy being enthralled by the lush sexy glory of the liquid blue fire.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Among the surprises spilled by WikiLeaks some months back was the revelation that U.S. diplomats think Canadians feel “condemned to always play ‘Robin’ to the U.S. ‘Batman.’” If that’s true, it shouldn’t be. While Canada may not be able to rival the war-mongering, plutocrat-coddling, environment-despoiling talents of my home country America, it is a more reliable source of reason, compassion, and civility. Are you suffering from a similar disjunction, Cancerian? Do you imagine yourself “Robin” in relationship to some overweening “Batman”? This would be an excellent time to free yourself of that dynamic.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Enigmatology” is an infrequently-used word that means the study of puzzles and how to solve them. I’m invoking it now to highlight the fact that you need to call on some unusual and idiosyncratic and possibly even farfetched resources as you intensify your efforts to solve the puzzles that are spread out before you. The help you’ve called on in the past just won’t be enough for this new round of gamesmanship. The theories and beliefs and strategies that have brought you this far can’t take you to the next stage.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): This would not be a good time for you to read the book called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Enhancing Self-Esteem. In fact, it will never be the right time to read it. While it’s true that at this juncture in your life story you can make exceptional progress in boosting your confidence and feeling positive about yourself, you’re not an idiot and you don’t need idiot-level assistance. If there was a book called The Impish Guide to Accessing and Expressing Your Idiosyncratic Genius, I’d definitely recommend it. Likewise a book titled The Wild-Eyed Guide to Activating Your Half-Dormant Potential or The Brilliant Life-Lover’s Guide to Becoming a Brilliant Life-Lover.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “When I was born,” said comedian Gracie Allen, “I was so surprised I didn’t talk for a year and a half.” I suspect you will soon be experiencing a metaphorical rebirth that has some of the power of the event she was referring to. And so I won’t be shocked if you find it challenging to formulate an articulate response, at least in the short term. In fact, it may take you a while to even register, let alone express, the full impact of the upgrade you will be blessed with.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “During a game of Apocalypse against the Witchhunters,” reports Andrew_88 in an online forum, “I authorized my Chaos Lord to throw his vortex grenade at the oncoming Cannoness and her bodyguard. Safe to say he fluffed it and the vortex grenade scattered back on top of him. Then he proceeded to take out my allies, the Havocs, Land Raider, and Baneblade, before disappearing, having done no damage to my opponent.” I suggest you regard this as a helpful lesson to guide your own actions in the coming days, Scorpio. Do not, under any circumstances, unleash your Chaos Lord or let him throw his vortex grenade at anyone. He could damage your own interests more than those of your adversaries.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, it’s high time for you to receive a flood of presents, compliments, rewards, and blessings. You got a problem with that? I hope not. I hope you are at peace with the fact that you deserve more than your usual share of recognition, appreciation, flirtations, and shortcuts. Please, Sagittarius? Please don’t let your chronic struggles or your cynical views of the state of the world blind you to the sudden, massive influx of luck. Pretty please open your tough heart and skeptical mind to the bounty that the universe is aching to send your way.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I like how astrologer Hunter Reynolds encapsulates the Capricornian imperative. If you “can manage your ego’s erratic moods and uneven motivations well enough to offer a service with consistent quality,” he says, “the world confers social recognition and its accompanying material advantages on you.” The members of other signs may appear warmer and fuzzier than you, but only because you express your care for people through a “strictness of focus,” “disciplined work,” and by being a “dependable helpmate.” This describes you at your best, of course; it’s not easy to meet such high standards. But here’s the good news: The omens suggest you now have an excellent opportunity to function at your very best.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “Not being omniscient is a really big drag for me,” says poet Charles Harper Webb. I sympathize with him. My life would be so much easier and my power would be so much more graceful if only I knew everything there is to know. That’s why I’m going to be a little jealous of you in the coming weeks, Aquarius. You may not be supremely authoritative about every single subject, but you will have access to far more intuitive wisdom than usual, and you’ll be making extra good use of the analytical understandings you have. Bonus: You will also be absorbing new lessons at an elevated rate.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): John Tyler was President of the United States from 1841 to 1845. Believe it or not, two of his grandsons are still alive today. They’re Lyon Gardiner Tyler and Harrison Ruffin Tyler, born late in the life of their father, who was born late in John Tyler’s life. I invite you to find some equally amazing connection you have to the past, Pisces. How is your destiny linked to the long ago and faraway? I suspect you might find that distant history will be more vital and important than usual in the coming weeks.

Homework. At least 30 percent of everything you and I know is more than half-wrong. I’m brave enough to admit it. Are you? Describe your ignorance at FreeWillastrology.com.


Free Will Astrology – September 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I predict that in the coming weeks, you will be able to extract an unexpected perk or benefit from one of your less glamorous responsibilities. I also predict that you will decide not to ram headfirst into an obstacle and try to batter it until it crumbles. Instead, you’ll dream up a roundabout approach that will turn out to be more effective at eliminating the obstacle. Finally, I predict that these departures from habit will show you precious secrets about how to escape more of your own negative conditioning in the future.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Dear Astrologer: My life is stagnant and slow. It suffers bone-deep from a lack of changes, good or bad or in between. Why has my karma been deprived of all motion? Why must I go on frozen in such eerie peace and quiet? I seek your help. Can you cast a spell for me so that I will be happily disrupted and agitated? Will you predict my sorry state of stillness to be ended soon? Arvind Agnimuka, Taurus from Darjeeling.” Dear Arvind: Funny you should ask. According to my analysis, members of the Taurus tribe are about to be roused out of their plodding rhythm by a bolt of cosmic mojo. Get ready to rumble — and I mean that in the best sense of the word.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I found this unusual classified ad in a small California newspaper. “Wanted: Someone to travel backwards in time with me. This is not a joke. You must be unafraid to see the person you used to be, and you’ve got to keep a wide-open mind about the past — I mean more wide-open than you have ever been able to. I have made this trip twice before, and I don’t expect any danger, but there may be a bit of a mess. Please bring your own ‘cleaning implements,’ if you know what I mean.” As crazy as it sounds, Gemini, I’m thinking you’d be the right person for this gig. The astrological omens suggest you’ll be doing something similar to it anyway.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Of your five senses, which is the most underdeveloped? If you’re a typical Westerner, it’s your sense of smell. You just don’t use it with the same level of acuity and interest you have when you’re seeing, hearing, tasting, and touching. You may speak excitedly about an image you saw or song you heard or food you ate or massage you experienced — what they were like, how they made you feel — but you rarely do that with odors. You easily tolerate an ugly building or loud traffic noise or mediocre food or itchy fabric, and yet you feel a deep aversion to an unappealing smell. Having said that, I want you to know it’s an excellent time to upgrade your olfactory involvement with the world. You’d benefit greatly from the emotional enrichment that would come from cultivating a more conscious relationship with aromas.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Enlightenment is simply this,” said the Zen master. “When I walk, I walk. When I eat, I eat. When I sleep, I sleep.” If that’s true, Leo, you now have an excellent chance to achieve at least temporary enlightenment. The universe is virtually conspiring to maneuver you into situations where you can be utterly united with whatever you are doing in the present moment. You’ll be less tempted than usual to let your mind wander away from the experience at hand, but will instead relish the opportunity to commit yourself completely to the scene that’s right in front of you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In August 2009, 120 scientists and their helpers staged a BioBlitz in Yellowstone National Park. Their goal was to find as many new species as they could in one day. To their surprise and delight, they located more than 1,200, including beetles, worms, lichens, and fungi that had never before been identified. An equally fertile phase of discovery could very well be imminent for you, Virgo. All you have to do is make that your intention, then become super extra double-wildly receptive.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Two dangers threaten the universe: order and disorder,” said poet Paul Valery. I think that’s especially true for you right now, although the “danger” in question is psychological in nature, not physical, and it’s a relatively manageable hazard that you shouldn’t stay up all night worrying about. Still, the looming challenge to your poise is something that requires you to activate your deeper intelligence. You really do need to figure out how to weave a middle way between the extremes of seeking too much order and allowing too much disorder. What would Goldilocks do?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Readers of Reddit.com were asked to describe their lives in just six words. It would be a good time for you to try this exercise. You’ve reached a juncture in your unfolding destiny when you could benefit from a review that pithily sums up where you’ve been up until now, and where you’ve got to go next. To inspire your work, here are some of the most interesting from Reddit: 1. Early opportunities wasted, now attempting redemption. 2. Searching tirelessly for that one thing. 3. Living my dream requires modifying dream. 4. Must not turn into my mom. 5. Insane ambition meets debilitating self-doubt. 6. Do you want to have sex? 7. Slowly getting the hang of it. 8. These pretzels are making me thirsty.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Go where the drama is, Sagittarius, but not where the melodrama is. Place yourself in the path of the most interesting power, but don’t get distracted by displays of power that are dehumanizing or narcissistic. You are in a phase of your astrological cycle when you have a mandate to intensify your excitement with life and increase your ability to be deeply engaged with what attracts you. I urge you to be as brave as you once were when you conquered a big fear and to be as curious as you were when you discovered a big secret about who you are. For extra credit, be highly demonstrative in your expression of what you care about.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In his older years, after steadfastly cultivating his vices with the care of a connoisseur, the agnostic actor W. C. Fields was caught reading the Bible by an old friend. Questioned at this departure from his usual behavior, Fields said he was “looking for loopholes.” I suspect a comparable shift may be in the offing for you, Capricorn. In your case, you may be drawn to a source you’ve perpetually ignored or dismissed, or suddenly interested in a subject you’ve long considered to be irrelevant. I say, good for you. It’s an excellent time to practice opening your mind in any number of ways.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I watched a Youtube video that showed eight people competing in a weird marathon. They ran two miles, ate 12 doughnuts, then ran another two miles. I hope you don’t try anything remotely similar to that, Aquarius. If you’re in the mood for outlandish feats and exotic adventures (which I suspect you might be), I suggest you try something more life-enhancing, like making love for an hour, eating an organic gourmet feast, then making love for another hour. It’s a good time for you to be wild, maybe even extreme, about getting the healing you need.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In the out-of-print book *In Portugal,* A.F.G. Bell defines the Portuguese word *saudade* as follows: “a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness, but an indolent dreaming wistfulness.” In my astrological opinion, Pisces, it is imperative that you banish as much *saudade* from your system as you can. If you want, you can bring it back again later, but for now, you need to clarify and refine your desires for things that are actually possible. And that requires you to purge the delusional ones.

Homework: What’s the part of you that you trust the least? Think up a test whereby that part of you will be challenged to express maximum integrity. Testify at freewillastrology.com.


Free Will Astrology – August 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I love how the poet Rachel Loden describes her impressions of Daniel Borzutzky’s The Book of Interfering Bodies. She says that reading it is like “chancing upon a secret lake full of trembling lilies that projectile vomit both poems and petroleum.” I call this imaginary scene to your attention, Aries, because I’m wondering if you might encounter a metaphorically similar landscape in the coming weeks. The astrological omens suggest that you’re attracted to that kind of strange beauty, surreal intensity, and tenderness mixed with ferocity.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): This would be an excellent time to ripen and fine-tune your independence. Would you be willing to try some experiments in self-sufficiency that would inspire you to love yourself better? Is there anything you could do to upgrade your mastery of taking good care of yourself? By working on your relationship with yourself, you will set in motion a magic that will make you even more attractive to others than you already are.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Even if you don’t usually consider yourself a matchmaker, you could be a pretty good one in the coming weeks. That’s because you will have more insight than usual about how to combine things in harmonious and evocative ways. In fact, I suspect you will possess a sixth sense about which fragments might fit together to create synergistic wholes. Take maximum advantage of this knack, Gemini. Use it to build connections between parts of your psyche and elements of your world that have not been in close enough touch lately.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You already know what you need to know in order to make the dicey, spicey transition, Cancerian. Even more amazingly, you already have what you need. But for some reason, you don’t trust what you know and don’t believe you have what you need. So you’re still in a fretful mode, hunting far and wide for the magic key that you think still eludes you. I’m here to persuade you to stop gazing longingly into the distance and stop assuming that help is far away. Look underfoot. Check with what’s right in front of you.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): During my years as a singer in rock bands, I’ve had a theatrical approach to performing. On some occasions, I arrive on stage from the back of the club. Dressed in leather and rags and witchdoctor finery, with a rainbow of fake eagle feathers splayed from my coiffure, I climb into a grocery cart, stand up like a politician giving the V for Victory sign with my outstretched arms, and have my bandmates wheel me through the crowd. I highly recommend that you arrange to make an equally splashy entrance in the near future, Leo. Picture yourself arriving at your workplace or classroom or favorite cafe in resplendent glory, maybe even carried on a litter or throne (or in a grocery cart) by your entourage. It would be an excellent way to get yourself in rapt alignment with this week’s flashy, self-celebratory vibes.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When I was 19 years old, I was wounded by a shotgun-wielding assailant on the campus of Duke University. A few years ago, I revisited the scene of the crime. For two hours I sat there meditating on the exact spot where I’d been shot. Among the questions I pondered was this: Had there been any benefits that came out of that difficult event? The answer was a definitive YES. I identified several wonderful developments that happened specifically because of how my destiny was altered by the shooting. For instance, I met three lifelong friends I would not have otherwise encountered. My challenge to you, Virgo, is to think back on a dark moment from your past and do what I did: Find the redemption. (Read my full story here: http://bit.ly/StrangeBlessing.)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In her multi-platinum song “Tik Tok,” pop star Ke$ha claims that she brushes her teeth with whiskey — Jack Daniels, to be exact. In interviews, she has said this is not a glamorous fiction or rhetorical device; she really does it. “Jack Daniels is an anti-bacterial,” she told Vanity Fair. You might want to experiment with rituals like that yourself, Libra. At least for the next two weeks or so, it wouldn’t be totally crazy to keep yourself more or less permanently in a party mood. Why not prep yourself for unfettered fun from the moment the day begins? From an astrological perspective, you need and deserve a phase of intense revelry.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): English raconteur Quentin Crisp told the story of a veteran Hollywood film actor giving advice to a younger actor just getting started. “You’re at a level where you can only afford one mistake,” the wise older man said. “The higher up you go, the more mistakes you’re allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it’s considered to be your style.” I think this perspective is perfect for you to meditate on, Scorpio. The time is ripe to fuel your ambitions and gain more traction in your chosen field. And one of the goals driving you as you do this should be the quest for a greater freedom to play around and experiment and risk making blunders.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I have regular intimate communion with the Divine Wow (formerly known as “God”). Whether I “believe” in my Dear Companion is irrelevant — just as I don’t need to “believe” in a juicy Fuji apple while I’m eating it. That’s why atheists seem to me like goofy kooks, as fundamentalist in their own way as evangelical Christians. They have absolute, unshakable faith that there’s no such thing as our Big Wild Friend. Agnostics I can understand better; they’re like pre-orgasmic virgins who are at least open to the possibility of getting the full treatment. I offer these comments as a prelude to my prediction for you, Sagittarius, which is that you will soon have a very good chance to get up-close and personal with the Divine Wow. (If that offends you because you’re an atheist, no worry. Nothing bad will happen if you turn down the invitation.)

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): For more than 11 years, a New Jersey man named Jesus Leonardo earned an annual salary of about $45,000 by gathering up and cashing in horse-racing tickets that had been accidentally thrown away by the people who bought them (tinyurl.com/ScrapTreasure). I suggest we make him your role model and patron saint for the coming weeks. Like him, you are in line to capitalize on discarded riches and unappreciated assets. Be on the lookout for the treasure hidden in the trash.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You’re now in a phase of your long-term cycle when life will be extra responsive to your vivacious curiosity. That’s why I encourage you to ask riveting questions. Ask whom? God, if that’s your style; your higher self, if that works better; or sources of wisdom and vitality you respect, if you prefer that. Here are four queries to get you started: 1. “What is the most magnificent gift I can give to life in the next three years?” 2. “How can I become more powerful in a way that’s safe and wise?” 3. “How can I cultivate my relationships so that they thrive even as my life keeps changing?” 4. “What can I do that will help me get all the love I need?”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I was considering the possibility of getting me and my family members those GPS devices that allow you to locate your car if you’ve forgotten where you parked it. But then I had second thoughts. Wouldn’t that be one additional thing encouraging us to let our memories atrophy? The conveniences that technology provides are wonderful, but at a certain point don’t they start threatening to weaken our brain functions? I invite you to meditate on this issue, Pisces. It’s time to have a talk with yourself about anything — gadgets, comforts, habits — that might be dampening your willpower, compromising your mental acuity, or rendering you passive.

Homework: Find a new person or institution you can fiercely respect. Report on your triumph at http://www.freewillastrology.com.


Free Will Astrology – July 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When astronaut Buzz Aldrin flew to the moon and back on the spacecraft Apollo 11 in 1969, he was paid less than $8 a day. That has to stand as one of the most flagrant cases of underpaid labor ever — far worse than what you’ve had to endure in your storied career. I suggest you keep Aldrin’s story in mind during the next six months as you meditate steadily on the future of your relationship with making money. Hopefully it will help keep you in an amused and spacious and philosophical frame of mind — which is the best possible attitude to have as you scheme and dream about your financial master plan for the years ahead.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): After meditating on your astrological omens for the rest of 2011, I’ve picked out the guiding words that best suit your needs. They’re from mythologist Joseph Campbell: “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” Now here’s a corollary from Spanish poet Antonio Machado: “Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, nothing more; there is no road — you make the road by walking. Turning to look behind, you see the path you will never travel again.”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was a charismatic activist whose writing and speeches had a big impact on leftist politics in the first half of the 20th century. Unlike some of her fellow travelers, she wasn’t a dour, dogmatic proselytizer. She championed a kind of liberation that celebrated beauty and joy. “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution,” she is alleged to have told a sourpuss colleague. As you contemplate the radical transformations you might like to cultivate in your own sphere during the coming months, Gemini, I suggest you adopt a similar attitude. Make sure your uprisings include pleasurable, even humorous elements. Have some fun with your metamorphoses.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A while back I asked my readers to propose a new name for your astrological sign. “Cancer” has a bit of a negative connotation, after all. Many people suggested “Dolphin” as a replacement, which I like. But the two ideas that most captivated my imagination were “Gateway” and “Fount.” I probably won’t be able to convince the astrological community to permanently adopt either of these uplifting designations, but I encourage you to try out them out to see how they feel. This is a good time to experiment: For the next 12 months, you will have substantial potential to embody the highest meanings of both “Gateway” and “Fount.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The year’s half over, Leo. Let’s talk about what you want to make happen in the next six months. My analysis of the astrological omens suggests that it’ll be an excellent time to formulate a long-term master plan and outline in detail what you will need to carry it out. For inspiration, read this pep talk from philosopher Jonathan Zap: “An extremely effective and grounded magical practice is to identify your big dreams, the missions you really need to accomplish in this lifetime. The test of a big dream comes from asking yourself, ‘Will I remember this well on my death bed?’ If you have a big dream, you will probably find that to accomplish it will require a minimum of two hours of devoted activity per day.”

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “The passion to explore is at the heart of being human,” said Carl Sagan. “This impulse — to go, to see, to know — has found expression in every culture.” But Steven Dutch, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, disagrees. He says there’ve been lots of societies that have had little interest in exploration. Africans never discovered Madagascar or the Cape Verde archipelago, for example. Few Asian cultures probed far and wide. During a thousand years of history, ancient Romans ignored Russia, Scandinavia, and the Baltic, and made only minimal forays to India and China. Where do you personally fit on the scale of the human exploratory urge, Virgo? Regardless of what you’ve done in the past, I bet you’ll be on the move in the coming months. Your hunger for novelty and unfamiliarity should be waxing.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the coming months, it’s likely you will experience more action than usual — some of it quite expansive — in your astrological eighth house. Traditional astrologers call this the sphere of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but I refer to it as the realm of deep connection, altered states of awareness, and lyrical interludes that educate and enrich your emotional intelligence. Are you ready to have your habit mind rewired, your certainties reworked, and your pleasures reconfigured?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I hope that in the first half of 2011 you have been doing some devoted work on tidying up the messy old karma that had been interfering with the free flow of grace into your intimate relationships. If there’s still work to be done on that noble task, throw yourself into it now. The renaissance of togetherness is due to begin soon and last for many months. You don’t want any lingering ignorance, self-deceit, or lack of compassion to gum it up.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In 1498, Leonardo da Vinci completed one of his masterworks, the mural known as “The Last Supper.” Nineteen years later, the paint had begun to flake off, and by 1556 Leonardo’s biographer considered the whole thing to be “ruined.” Over the centuries, further deterioration occurred, even as many experts tried to restore and repair it. The most recent reclamation project, finished in 1999, lasted more than two decades. I hope that in the coming months, Sagittarius, you will show a similar dedication to the high art of regeneration. Please work long and hard on bringing vitality back into what has fallen into decay or stagnancy.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In a horoscope last year, I asked you Capricorns whether you ever obsessed on your longing to such a degree that you missed opportunities to actually satisfy your longing. In response, a reader named John G. sent me the following corrective message: “We Capricorns comprehend the futility of too much longing. We understand it can be a phantasm that gets in the way of real accomplishment. It’s like a telephone that keeps ringing somewhere but can’t be found. We don’t waste energy on dreamy feelings that may or may not be satisfied, since that energy is so much better funneled into mastering the details that will bring us useful rewards.” I’m here to tell you, Capricorn, that the coming months will be an excellent time to make use of the Capricornian capacities John G. describes.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you,” sang Bob Marley. “You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” How are you doing on that score, Aquarius? Have you been discerning in picking out allies whose value to you is so high that you’re willing to deal with their moments of unconsciousness? Have you created a family and community that bless you far more than they drain you? The next ten months will be an excellent time to concentrate on refining this part of your life.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Any minute now, you might start learning at a faster rate than you have since 2000. Any day now, you will be less bored than you have been since 2006, and any week now you will be expressing more spontaneity than you have since early 2010. Any month now, Pisces, you will find yourself able to access more of your visionary intelligence than you have since maybe 2007. What does it all mean? You may not feel an amazing, spectacular, extraordinary degree of personal unity tomorrow, but you will soon begin building toward that happy state. By December I bet you’ll be enjoying an unprecedented amount of it.

Homework: We’re halfway through 2011. Testify about what you’ve accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Freewillastrology.com.


Free Will Astrology – June 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The film The Men Who Stare at Goats tells the story of the U.S. army’s efforts to harness psychic powers for military purposes. It’s not entirely a work of the imagination. In fact, there’s substantial evidence that such a program actually existed. As the movie begins, a caption on the screen informs viewers that “More of this is true than you would believe.” I suspect there’ll be a comparable situation unfolding in your life in the coming weeks, Aries. As you experience a rather unusual departure from your regularly scheduled reality, fact and fiction may be deeply intertwined. Will you be able to tell them apart?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I dreamed you were a member of an indigenous tribe in what Westerners call New Guinea. You had recently begun to show unusual behavior that suggested you were developing enhanced cognitive abilities. You’d solved one of the tribe’s long-standing problems, were spontaneously spouting improvised poetry, and had been spotted outside late at night having animated conversations with the stars. Some of your friends and relatives were now referring to you by a new name that in your native tongue meant “the one who dances naked with the deities.” How would you interpret my dream, Taurus? I think it suggests you could be on the verge of growing an intriguing new capacity or two.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the far northern reaches of Ilulissat, a town in Greenland, the sun sets for good on November 29 every year and doesn’t rise again until January 13. Or at least that was the case until 2011. This year, to the shock of locals, sunlight broke over the horizon on January 11 — two days ahead of schedule. Though a few alarmists theorized that this disturbance in the age-old rhythm was due to a shift in the earth’s axis or rotation, scientists suggested that the cause was global warming: Melting ice has caused the horizon to sink. I expect something equally monumental to make an appearance in your world soon, Gemini. Can you handle an increased amount of light?

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’m not a big fan of the “No Pain, No Gain” school of thought. Personally, I have drummed up more marvels and wonders through the power of rowdy bliss than I have from hauling thousand-pound burdens across the wasteland. But I do recognize that in my own story as well as in others’, hardship can sometimes provoke inspiration. I think it may be one of those moments for you, Cancerian. Please accept this medicinal prod from the ancient Roman poet Horace: “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents that in times of prosperity would have lain dormant.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In his 1934 book Beyond the Mexican Bay, British author Aldous Huxley observed that “the natural rhythm of human life is routine punctuated by orgies.” He was using the word “orgies” in its broadest sense — not to refer to wild sex parties, but rather to cathartic eruptions of passion, uninhibited indulgence in revelry, and spirited rituals of relief and release. That’s the kind of orgy you’re due for, Leo. It’s high time to punctuate your routine.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do,” wrote the essayist Walter Bagehot. Personally, I don’t think that’s the supreme joy possible to a human being; but it definitely has a provocative appeal. May I recommend that you explore it in the coming weeks, Virgo? The astrological omens suggest you’re in an excellent position to succeed at an undertaking you’ve been told is unlikely or even impossible for you to accomplish.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): When people unsubscribe from my newsletter, they’re asked to say why they’re leaving. In a recent note, a dissatisfied customer wrote, “Because you are a crackhead who makes no sense. You sound like you write these horoscopes while you’re stoned on mushrooms.” For the record, I not only refrain from crack and magic mushrooms while crafting your oracles; I don’t partake of any intoxicants at any other time, either — not even beer or pot. I’m secretly a bit proud, however, that the irate ex-reader thinks my drug-free mind is so wild. In the coming weeks, Libra, I invite you to try an experiment inspired by this scenario: Without losing your mind, see if you can shed some of the habitual restrictions you allow to impinge on the free and creative play of your mind.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The roots of big old trees are your power objects. I advise you to visualize them in your mind’s eye for a few minutes each day, maybe even go look at actual trees whose roots are showing above ground. Doing this will strengthen your resolve and increase your patience and help you find the deeper sources of nurturing you need. Another exercise that’s likely to energize you in just the right way is to picture yourself at age 77. I suggest you create a detailed vision of who you’ll be at that time. See yourself drinking a cup of tea as you gaze out over a verdant valley on a sunny afternoon in June. What are you wearing? What kind of tea is it? What birds do you see? What are your favorite memories of the last 30 years?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If you’re a physicist or Wall Street broker, your assignment this week is to read the poetry of Pablo Neruda (bit.ly/NerudaSongs). If you’re a kirtan-chanting yogini or the author of a New Age self-help newsletter, your task is to read up on the scientific method (bit.ly/ScienceMethod). If you’re white, be black, and vice versa. If you’re yellow, be violet, and if red, be green. If you’re a tight-fisted control freak, try being a laid-back connoisseur of the mellowest vibes imaginable — and vice versa. It’s Mix-It-Up Month, Sagittarius — a time to play with flipping and flopping your usual perspectives, roles, and angles.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Describing muckraking journalist Peter Freyne, Senator Patrick Leahy said, “He knew the difference between healthy skepticism and hollow cynicism.” Mastering that distinction happens to be your next assignment, Capricorn. Can you distinguish between your tendency to make compulsive negative judgments and your skill at practicing thoughtful and compassionate discernment? My reading of the astrological omens suggests that you will have a successful month if you do. Not only that: The universe will conspire to bring you blessings you didn’t even realize you needed.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “There is time for work,” said fashion designer Coco Chanel, “and time for love. That leaves no other time.” I understand and sympathize with that perspective. But I’m going to beg you to make an exception to it in the coming weeks, Aquarius. In addition to getting a healthy quota of work and love, please do your best to carve out a few hours specifically devoted to engaging in unadulterated, unapologetic, unbridled play — the kind of flat-out, free-form, full-tilt fun and games that has the effect of permanently increasing your levels of liberation.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Although I myself have an intimate ongoing relationship with the Divine Wow, it’s perfectly fine with me if other people don’t. Some of my best friends are atheists and agnostics. But I must admit that I laughed derisively when I heard that the supposed genius named Stephen Hawking declared, with the fanatical certainty of a religious fundamentalist, that heaven does not exist. How unscientific of him! The intellectually honest perspective is, of course, that there’s no way to know for sure about that possibility. I bring this up, Pisces, as an example of what not to do. It’s particularly important right now that you not be blinded by your theories about the way things work. If you put the emphasis on your raw experience rather than your preconceived biases, you will be blessed with as much beauty and truth as you can handle.

HOMEWORK: Talk about a time when an unexpected visitation cracked open a hole in your shrunken reality so as to let juicy eternity pour in: Freewillastrology.com.


Free Will Astrology – May 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): To convey my vision of how best to proceed in the coming weeks, I’ll offer the following metaphorical scenario: Imagine that you are not a professional chef, but you do have a modicum of cooking skills. Your task is to create a hearty, tasty soup from scratch without the benefit of a recipe. You will need a variety of ingredients, but on the other hand you don’t want to just throw in a welter of mismatched ingredients without regard for how they will all work together. To some degree you will have to use a trial-and-error approach, sampling the concoction as it brews. You will also want to keep an open mind about the possibility of adding new ingredients in the latter stages of the process. One more thing: The final product must not just appeal to you. You should keep in mind what others would like, too.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Many artists want “to aim for the biggest, most obvious target, and hit it smack in the bull’s eye,” says Brian Eno, a Taurus genius renowned for his innovative music. He prefers a different approach. He’d rather “shoot his arrow” wherever his creative spirit feels called to shoot it, then paint the target around the place where it lands. That’s why his compositions don’t resemble anyone else’s or fit into any traditional genre — it’s Brian Eno-like music. Can I talk you into trying a similar strategy in the coming weeks and months, Taurus? I’d love to see you create a niche for yourself that’s tailored to your specific talents and needs.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When World War I ended in 1918, the victorious nations demanded crushing financial reparations from the loser, Germany. It took 92 years, but the remaining $94 million of the debt was finally paid last October. I hope this story serves as an inspiration to you, Gemini. If entities as notoriously inflexible as governments can resolve their moldering karma, so can you. In the next few weeks, I’d love to see you finally clean up any messes left over from your old personal conflicts.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I know how secretive you Cancerians can be because I’m one of your tribe. Sometimes the secrecy is a bit neurotic, but more often it serves the purpose of sheltering your vulnerable areas. I’m also aware of how important it is for you to be self-protective. No one is better than you at guarding your goodies, ensuring your safety, and taking care of your well-being. I would never shame you for expressing these talents and I would never ask you to downplay them. Having said that, though, I want to make sure that in the coming weeks they don’t interfere with you getting the blessings you deserve. It’s crucial that you allow yourself to be loved to the hilt. You simply must let people in far enough so they can do that.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): With a fortune of $27 billion, business tycoon Larry Ellison is the sixth richest person in the world. His monumental sense of self-importance is legendary. One of his colleagues says, “The difference between God and Larry is that God does not believe he is Larry.” Ellison seems to be what astrologers call an unevolved Leo — an immature soul whose ego is a greedy, monstrous thing. Evolved Leos, on the other hand, are very different. Are you one? If so, you do a lot of hard work on your ego. You make sure that in addition to it being strong, it’s beautiful and elegant. It’s not just forceful; it’s warm and generous. It gets things done, but in ways that bless those who come in contact with it. For you evolved Leos, this is Celebrate Your Ego Month.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Seventy-five percent of all adults confess they would like to have sex in the woods at least once in their lives, and yet only 16 percent say they have actually enjoyed that thrill. If you’re one of the 59 percent who would like to but haven’t, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to make it happen. Your capacity for pleasure in wild places will be at a peak, as will your courage for exotic adventures. In fact, I suggest that between now and May 21 you consider carrying out three fantasies that have been marinating in your imagination for many moons.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): It’s time for the Big Squeeze. All the contradictions in your life are coming up for review. You will be asked to deal more forthrightly with enigmas you’ve been avoiding, and you will be invited to try, try again to unravel riddles you’ve been unable to solve. Does all that sound a bit daunting? It could be. But the end result should be evocative, highly educational, and maybe even exhilarating. The scintillating play of opposites may caress you with such intensity that you’ll experience what we could refer to as a metaphysical orgasm.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the coming weeks, I would love to see you get excited about many different people, places, animals, and experiences. And I hope you will shower them with your smartest, most interesting blessings. Do you think you can handle that big an outpouring of well-crafted passion? Are you up for the possibility that you might blow your cover, lose your dignity, and show how much you care? In my opinion, the answer is yes. You are definitely ready to go further than ever before in plumbing the depths of your adoration for the privilege of being alive.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Here’s poet James Schuyler: “It’s time again. Tear up the violets and plant something more difficult to grow.” In my opinion, that’s almost the right advice for you these days. I’d prefer it if you didn’t actually rip out the violets to make room for the harder-to-grow blooms. Would it be possible to find a new planting area that will allow you to keep what you already have in the original planting area? One way or another, I think you really should give yourself a challenging new assignment.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Dear Dr. Brezsny: For five years my wife and I have been married but still have made no children. We have consulted uncountable physicians with no satisfying result. Please predict a happy outcome for our troubles. When will the stars align with her womb and my manhood? She: born December 31, 1983 in Chakdaha, India. Me: born January 7, 1984 in Mathabhanga, India. – Desperate for Babies.” Dear Desperate: I’m happy to report that you Capricorns have entered a highly fertile period. It’s already going strong, and will culminate between May 16 to May 23. I suggest you jump on this sexy opportunity. You couldn’t ask for a better time to germinate, burgeon, and multiply.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “Welcome home, beautiful!” I hope you hear those words or at least experience those feelings very soon. In my astrological opinion, you need to intensify your sense of belonging to a special place or community. You’ve got to grow deeper roots or build a stronger foundation or surround yourself with more nurturing — or all of the above. And that’s not all. As you bask and thrive in your enhanced support system, you also deserve to feel better appreciated for the wonderful qualities you’re working so hard to develop in yourself. Ask and you shall receive.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Whatever you have been trying to say, it’s time to say it stronger and clearer. You can no longer afford to hope people will read your mind or guess what you mean. Your communications must be impeccable and irresistible. A similar principle holds true for the connections and alliances you’ve been working to ripen. It’s time to raise your intensity level — to do everything you can to activate their full potentials. Starting today, you’d be crazy to tolerate shaky commitments, either from yourself or others. Be sharp and focused and unswerving, Pisces — keen and candid and to the point.

HOMEWORK: What famous historical personage were you in your past life? If you don’t know or weren’t really, make something up. Testify at www.freewillastrology.com.


Free Will Astrology – April 2011

Astrology symbols
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 weeks — 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, 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 over 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.

In addition to this column, Rob Brezsny offers expanded weekly audio horoscopes and daily message horoscopes. To buy access, go to realastrology.com. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1.877.873.4888 or 1.900.950.7700

© Copyright 2010 Rob Brezsny