Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Dear Rob: Have your apprentices been composing your column lately? Or have you outsourced the writing to Vedic fortune-tellers in Calcutta? The horoscopes just don’t sound like you. They’re, I don’t know, goofier or something. Have you been smoking more dope than usual? — Lonely for the Old Rob.” Dear Lonely: I always write every horoscope, and I never take drugs. In fact, I think it’s YOU that have changed. Many of you Aries have been so deeply immersed in mutation lately that you don’t realize how much you’ve mutated. You assume everyone around you is different only because you don’t know how different you’ve become.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “I am in continuous pursuit of the color red,” says artist Andy Goldsworthy, whose specialty is creating large outdoor sculptures made of natural objects. “As I approach the source of the color red, the more I understand it.” That’s why he’s so fond of red rocks, whose hue comes from iron, the same element that makes our blood red. Your next assignment, Taurus, is to develop a more intimate and expansive relationship with red. Color therapists say that it inspires vigor, zeal, determination, and primordial longing. But don’t just let the experts define your connection with red. Find your own meanings, too.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In his poem “The Two Trees,” William Butler Yeats says that one tree is holy and grows within the heart. Its branches and trembling flowers thrive on joy. The changing colors of its fruit please the stars, and its leaves give the waves their melody. The second tree has broken boughs and blackened leaves, and is full of “the ravens of unresting thought.” I bring this to your attention, Gemini, because in the coming week it really is up to you and your free will which of these two trees you spend most of your time with. The astrological configurations have nothing to say on that matter.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you cooperate with the cosmic rhythms in the coming weeks, they will stimulate some interesting changes in the way your brain works. Here are a few of the developments you can expect: a five-point rise in your IQ; a boost in your ability to solve puzzles; a growing knack for heading off bad moods before they even erupt; a sixth sense for distinguishing between what people say they’re doing and what they’re actually doing; and a dramatic improvement in your ability to know what you don’t want.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Leo writer J.K. Rowling is the second-richest woman entertainer in the world because of her seven best-selling novels about Harry Potter. It wasn’t easy for her in the beginning, however. Her first book in the series was rejected by eight publishers before Bloomsbury decided to risk it. I nominate Rowling to be your inspirational role model for the rest of 2007, Leo. According to my analysis of the omens, you should be working (and playing) hard to produce an enduring creation that may take a while to make its mark.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Jaeyana Beuraheng, a mother of eight, decided to travel from her small village in southern Thailand to Malaysia for a day-long shopping trip. But she accidentally boarded the wrong bus, transferred to another wrong bus, and ended up in a distant city where everyone spoke a language she didn’t understand. Her money ran out, and she started begging in the streets. Accused of being an illegal immigrant, she was given shelter in a social services hostel. Years went by. Finally three people from her village visited the hostel by chance, and she was able to communicate in her native tongue. Through their assistance, she went home. The moral of the story, as far as you’re concerned, is this: Whatever wrong turn you made, and however long ago it was, you’re ready to go back home.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you don’t want to peter out with a whimper in September, you should exit with a bang as soon as possible. In another couple of weeks, you’ll have to answer to fate, whereas right now fate still has to answer to you. So pull out your calendar and schedule splashy goodbyes, last laughs, and colorful climaxes that leave no room for misinterpretation. Give going-away gifts to part-time nemeses so that they can’t possibly go away mad. And make sure that the Day of Reckoning happens on your home turf.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Physicist John Cramer has made progress in his research into the feasibility of time travel. But he can’t take his work to its next phase without an infusion of $20,000. You might want to consider donating, Scorpio. If you did, and he managed to perfect time travel in his future experiments, you’d no doubt be high on the priority list to use the new technology. And that means you could go back and correct for the wrong turn you made in April, which I’d really like to see you do. If you don’t have the inclination to contribute to Cramer’s research, at least try this alternative: Go to each person affected by your deviation and make a thoughtful attempt at atonement and correction.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To avoid getting set in my ways, I have a policy of changing my religion regularly. I’ve tried every variation of all the biggies, but in recent years I’ve preferred creating my own. In July my chosen faith was the First Church of the Last Chance. This month it’s the Tempestuous Temple of Babbling Benevolence. Given that your personal spiritual tradition is a little worn around the edges, Sagittarius, you might consider a similar approach. It’s time to experiment! Whatever fresh religion you invent, I hereby name you the Chief Rabbi, High Pope, and Dalai Lama of it. (P.S. Want to borrow two of my current commandments? 1. Thou shalt serve humanity while having lot of fun. 2. Thou shalt find the hot spot in your soul where your deepest longing and wisest compassion overlap.)

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Welcome to the Season of Temporary Insanity, Capricorn. According to my analysis of the omens, your imminent immersion in lunacy, delirium, and freakiness won’t hurt a bit —- and may even stir up exotic varieties of pleasure and amusement. For best results, keep the following advice bubbling and frothing in the back of your mind. (1) “Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.” — Edgar Degas. (2) “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” — Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks. (3) “All of us are crazy good in one way or another.” — Yiddish saying. (4) “You are either losing your mind — or gaining your soul.” — Julia Cameron.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Are you unsure about whether you should leap into a lasting bond with a certain numinous creature you’ve been fooling around with? If so, you might be interested in obtaining a Sacred Certificate of Short Duration Marriage. It’s available at This convenient license can provide you with the security of knowing that your commitment doesn’t have to be forever. Maybe that will free you to hurl yourself headlong into the experience. It’s just a suggestion, Aquarius. Do you have any other areas in your life where you’d like to achieve maximum combustion while maintaining a sense of safety and security?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Mahatma Gandhi called his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth. I suggest that you give the same title to the next chapter of your own epic quest. From an astrological perspective, it’s an excellent time to make the experimental pursuit of truth your top priority and greatest joy. The best way to launch the process is to exuberantly suspend all of your fixed ideas about the way the world works. Be a cheerful skeptic who loves evocative questions. Be an innocent and curious explorer who thrives on getting your mind blown by unexpected insights.


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