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free will astrology

by Rob Brezsny

TAURUS (Apr. 20-May 20): Yes, I knowthat the bull is your totem animal. But I’m hopingyou’re willing to expand your repertoire,because it’s a ripe time for you to take on someof the attitudes of the king of beasts. Considerthis. The naturalist and shaman Virginia Carpernotes that lions have strong personalities butcooperate well. They’re powerful as individualsbut engage in constructive group dynamics.In many cultures, they have been symbols ofnobility, dignity and spiritual prowess. To adoptthe lion as a protective guardian spirit buildsone’s ability to know and hunt down exactlywhat one wants. Would you like more courage?Visualize your lion self.GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In 2011, Imay do a tour of North America, performingmy show “Sacred Uproar.” But for the foreseeablefuture I need to shut up and listen. I’ve gotto make myself available to learn fresh truthsI don’t even realize I need to know. So, yeah,next year I might be ready to express the extrovertedside of my personality in a celebrationof self-expression. But for now I have a sacredduty to forget everything I supposedly believein and gratefully shuck my self-importance. Bythe way, Gemini, everything I just describedwould be a good approach for you to considertaking in the next three weeks.CANCER (June 21-July 22): Is it truewhat they say — that you can never havetoo many friends? If you don’t think so, it’s agood time to re-evaluate your position. And ifyou do agree, then you should go out and getbusy. According to my reading of the astrologicalomens, you’re likely to be extra luckyin attracting new connections and deepeningexisting alliances in the coming weeks. Thefriendships you strike up are likely to be unusuallystimulating and especially productive. Totake maximum advantage of the favorable cosmicrhythms, do whatever you can to spruce upyour inner beauty.LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I have compileda set of four affirmations that I think will keepyou on the right track in the coming weeks.Try saying them at least twice a day. 1. “I amcultivating Relaxed Alertness, because thatwill make me receptive to high-quality cluesabout how to proceed.” 2. “I am expressingCasual Perfectionism, because that way I willthoroughly enjoy being excellent, and not stressabout it.” 3. “I am full of Diligent Indifference,working hard out of love for the work andnot being attached to the outcome.” 4. “I ampracticing Serene Debauchery, because ifI’m not manically obsessed with looking foropportunities to cut loose, those opportunitieswill present themselves to me with grace andfrequency.”VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The GreatWall of China is the largest human constructionin the world, stretching for almost 3,900 miles.But contrary to legend, it is not visible from themoon. According to most astronauts, the Wallisn’t even visible from low Earth orbit. Keepthis in mind as you carry out your assignmentin the coming week, Virgo. First, imagine thatyour biggest obstacle is the size of the GreatWall of China. Second, imagine yourself soaringso high above it, so thoroughly beyondit, that it disappears. If performed regularly, Ithink this exercise will give you a new powerto deal with your own personal Great Wall ofChina.LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the early1990s, actors Johnny Depp and Winona Ryderwere engaged to be married. In honor of theirlove, Depp got a tattoo that read “WinonaForever.” After the relationship fell apart,though, he had it altered to “Wino Forever.” Ifyou’re faced with a comparable need to changea tattoo or shift your emphasis or transform amessage anytime soon, Libra, I suggest puttinga more positive and upbeat spin on it — somethingakin to “Winner Forever.”SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In theBering Strait, Russia and America are 2.5 milesapart. The International Date Line runs throughthe gap, meaning that it’s always a day later onthe Russian side than it is on the American. Isuggest you identify a metaphorically similarplace in your own life, Scorpio: a zone wheretwo wildly different influences almost touch.According to my reading of the omens, it’s anexcellent time for you to foster more interactionand harmony between them.SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I havea group of colleagues who half-jokingly, halfsincerelyrefer to themselves as the ShamanicHackers of Karmic Justice. The joking part ofit is that the title is so over-the-top ostentatiousthat it keeps them from taking themselves tooseriously. The sincere part is that they really doengage in shamanic work designed to help freetheir clients from complications generated byold mistakes. Since you’re entering the seasonof adjustment and atonement, I asked them todo some corrective intervention in your behalf.They agreed, with one provision: that you aidand abet their work by doing what you canto liberate yourself from the consequences ofwrong turns you made in the past.CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): TheWeekly World News reported that a bluessinger sued his psychiatrist for turning him intoa more cheerful person. Gloomy Gus Johnsonclaimed he was so thoroughly cured of hisdepression that he could no longer performhis dismal tales with mournful sincerity. Hispopularity declined as he lost fans who hadbecome attached to his despondent persona. Isuspect you may soon be arriving at a similar crossroads, Capricorn. Through the intervention of uplifting influences and outbreaks of benevolence, you will find it harder to cultivate a cynical attitude. Are you prepared to accept the consequences that may come from being deprived of some of your reasons to moan and groan?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Educational specialist Howard Gardner believes IQ tests evaluate only a fraction of human intelligence. He describes eight different kinds of astuteness. They include the traditional measures — being good at math and language — as well as six others: being smart about music, the body, other people, one’s own inner state, nature and spatiality. (More here: bit.ly/Shrewd.)

I bring this to your attention, Aquarius, because you’re entering a phase when you could dramatically enhance your intelligence about your own inner state. Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to know yourself much, much better.

PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20): South Carolina now requires subversive people to register with the state if they have the stated intention of overthrowing the government of the United States. I have no such goal, so I remain free to operate unlicensed in South Carolina. I am, however, participating in a movement to overthrow reality — or rather, the sour and crippled mass hallucination that is mistakenly called “reality.” This crusade requires no guns or political agitation, but is instead waged by the forces of the liberated imagination using words, music and images to counteract those who paralyze and deaden the imagination. I invite you to join us. You’re entering a phase when you may feel an almost ecstatic longing to free yourself from the delusions that constitute the fake “reality.”

ARIES (Mar. 21-Apr. 19): “Although obstacles and difficulties frighten ordinary people,” wrote French painter Th’odore G’ricault, “they are the necessary food of genius. They cause it to mature, and raise it up…. All that obstructs the path of genius inspires a state of feverish agitation, upsetting and overturning those obstacles, and producing masterpieces.” I’d like to make this idea one of your guiding principles, Aries. In order for it to serve you well, however, you’ll have to believe that there is a sense in which you do have some genius within you. It’s not necessarily something that will make you rich, famous, popular or powerful. For example, you may have a genius at washing dogs or giving thoughtful gifts or doing yoga when you’re sad. Whatever your unique brilliance consists of, the challenges just ahead will be highly useful in helping it grow.

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