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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

by Rob Brezsny

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “I am a man of fixed and unbending principles,” said American politician Everett Dirksen, “the first of which is to be flexible at all times.” That’s the kind of playful and resilient spirit I urge you to aspire to in 2010, Capricorn. I think you’re most likely to have a successful year if you regularly explore the joys of improvisation. The more empirical and less theory-bound you’re willing to be, the better you’ll feel. Practicing the art of compromise doesn’t have to be galling, I promise you; it may even turn out to be more fun and educational than you imagined possible.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):Who and what do you hold most dear,Aquarius? I encourage you to get clearabout that. Once you do, I hope you’llmake a vow to bestow extra care andattention on them in 2010 — I meanliterally write out a one-page oath inwhich you describe the inner states youwill cultivate in yourself while you’re intheir presence and the specific actionsyou’re going to take to help them thrive.Nothing else you do will be more importantto your success in 2010.PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20):The philosopher Nietzsche said there wasno middle ground: You either said “yes”to life or you said “no.” You either celebratedyour vitality, enjoyed your powerand thrived on challenges, or else youpracticed constant self-denial, hemmedyourself in with deluded rationalizationsand tormented yourself with indecision.I’m not so sure it’s always as clear-cutas that. While I’m usually in the “yes tolife” camp, I’ve gone through “no to life”phases, as well as some extended “maybeto life” times. What about you, Pisces?Whatever you’ve done in the past, I hopethat in 2010 you will take maximumadvantage of the cosmic rhythms, whichwill be encouraging you to give life a big,resounding, ongoing YES.ARIES (Mar. 21-Apr. 19):One of my favorite landscape paintersmakes a livable wage from selling herart. She has had many gallery showingsand has garnered much critical acclaim.That’s the good news. The bad news isthat she feels obligated to keep churningout more landscape paintings — evenwhen her muse nudges her to take adetour into, say, abstract expressionism orsurrealistic portraits. Galleries don’t wantanything from her except the stuff thathas made her semi-famous. “Sometimes Ifantasize about creating a series of ‘SockPuppet Monkeys Playing Poker,’” she toldme. If she were an Aries, I’d advise herto do what I think you should do in 2010:Listen to what your version of the sockpuppet monkeys are urging you to do.TAURUS (Apr. 20-May 20):My Taurus friend Jill had a dream inwhich she stopped by a blackberry bushon a summer afternoon. All the ripeblackberries were too high on the bush,just out of reach. She stood there gazinglongingly up at them for a long time.Finally three people in medieval garbcame by, as if having stepped out of adeck of Tarot cards — a warrior, magicianand priestess. “I really want thoseblackberries,” she said to them. “Couldyou give me a boost?” They stoopeddown to make their backs available. Sheclimbed up, but still couldn’t reach theberries. “Oh well, we tried,” she said.“Follow us,” said the priestess, and shedid. After a while they came to anotherbush whose blackberries were lower andeasy to pluck. Then the four shared thefeast. After analyzing the omens for 2010,Taurus, I’ve come to the conclusion thatJill’s dream is an apt metaphor for yourbest possible destiny in 2010.GEMINI (May 21-June 20):“We should not think of our past asdefinitely settled, for we are not a stoneor a tree,” wrote poet Czeslaw Milosz.“My past changes every minute accordingto the meaning given it now, in thismoment.” I suggest you make abundantuse of this wisdom in 2010. Accordingto my reading of the astrological omens,you will have unprecedented power tore-vision and reinterpret your past. Keepthe following question in mind as you goabout your work: “How can I recreatemy history so as to make my willpowerstronger, my love of life more intense,and my future more interesting?”CANCER (June 21-July 22):I think everyone should always have animprobable quest playing at the edgesof their imagination — you know, someheroic task that provokes deep thoughtsand rouses noble passions even if it alsoincites smoldering torment. I’m talkingabout an extravagant dream that’sperhaps a bit farfetched but not entirelyinsane; a goal that constantly rouses youto stretch your possibilities and open yourmind further; a wild hope whose pursuitmakes you smarter and stronger even ifyou never fully accomplish it. The comingyear would be an excellent time tokeep such an adventure at the forefront ofyour awareness.LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):A guy who goes by the name of “Winter”has made it his goal to visit everyStarbucks in the world. According to hiswebsite, he has thus far ordered drinksin 9,874 stores. His project contrastsdramatically with an acquaintance ofmine who calls herself “Indian Summer.”She is in the midst of a global pilgrimageto the hundreds of sites listed inColin Wilson’s book The Atlas of HolyPlaces and Sacred Sites, including cavepaintings, dolmens, medicine wheelsand temples. Guess which of these twoexplorers I’m nominating to be one ofyour inspirational heroes in 2010.VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):Scientific studies have proved what weall knew already: A person who’s onlymildly interesting to you will probablybecome more attractive if you drink acouple of pints of beer. What if I toldyou, Virgo, that in 2010 you couldregularly create the same effect withoutdrinking the beer? I have it on goodastrological authority that this will be thecase. Due to fundamental shifts in yourrelationship with the life force, and havingnothing to do with how much alcoholyou consume, the entire world will oftenbe at least 25 percent more attractive toyou than it ever was before.LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):Your limitations will be among yourgreatest assets in 2010. Yes, you heard meright, Libra; I’m not speaking ironically orsarcastically. During the coming months,you will be able to benefit from circumstancesthat you might otherwise imaginewould prevent you from operating withmaximum freedom. It might requireyou to look at the world upside-down orwork in reverse to your habitual thoughtpatterns, but you could actually generateinteresting opportunities, vital teachingsand maybe even financial gain by capitalizingon your so-called liabilities.SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):“Dear Rob: I sure don’t like so muchGod stuff mixed into my horoscopes. Canyou cut it out, please? I understand it’scommon for the masses to believe in anUltra Being, but you? Pul-lease. You’resmarter than that. I just can’t abide allthe ‘Divine Wow’ this and ‘CacklingGoddess’ nonsense that you dispense; itdoesn’t jibe with the practical, sensible,unsuperstitious, non-mushy world I holddear. —Sally Scorpio.” Dear Sally: Ipredict that many Scorpios will havesensational, ongoing, up-close and personalcommunion with the Divine Wowin 2010. You’re free, of course, to call itsomething else, like an unprecedentederuption of creative energy or a breakthroughin your ability to access yourown higher powers.SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):You Sagittarians may wander farther andwider than the other signs of the zodiac,and you may get itchier when requiredto stay in one place too long, but youstill need a sense of belonging. Whetherthat comes from having a certain buildingwhere you feel comfortable or awilderness that evokes your belovedadventurousness or a tribe that givesyou a sense of community, you thrivewhen you’re in regular touch with ahoming signal that keeps you grounded.According to my analysis, 2010 will beprime time for you to find or create orrenew your connection to a source thatserves this purpose well.

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