Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Most people spend their entire lives immersed in three modes of awareness: waking, sleeping, and dreaming. But there are many other modes that have been explored down through the ages by the pioneers of consciousness. Some of them aren’t very interesting to me — like those sought out by people who use cocaine or methamphetamines, for instance — while others are states I aspire to inhabit, like lucid dreaming, deep meditation, and a visceral perception of the fact that love is the fundamental law of the universe. I bring this line of thought to your attention, Aries, because I believe that in 2009 you will have excellent opportunities to open up your mind to levels of consciousness that are beyond the basic three. No drugs are necessary to take advantage — only a driving curiosity to tune in to realities that are currently outside of your field of vision.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the original Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1787, each black slave living in America was counted as three-fifths of a person. Seventy-eight years later, the Thirteenth Amendment conferred the missing two-fifths on all who had up until then been regarded as partial humans. I predict that a comparable milestone will come for you in 2009, Taurus. Where in your life have you been marginalized or perpetually unfinished? What fragmented role have you been compelled to play? What situation has prevented you from being all you can be? You will have an excellent chance of completing the circuit in the coming months.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): According to the novelist John Gardner, there are just two kinds of stories in literature: you go on a journey, or a stranger arrives in your world. According to my analysis of your destiny in 2009, you will reap rich rewards by including both of those plotlines in your life story. So let the brainstorming begin, Gemini: What’s the best journey you could choose for yourself — a journey that will educate, challenge, and delight you? And what can you do to attract the best kinds of strangers into your world — strangers who will educate, challenge, and delight you?

CANCER (June 21-July 22): To get ready for 2009, I invite you to fantasize in depth about the fertile alliances that might be possible for you to cultivate in the coming months. These lively, inspiring bonds could be with people you haven’t met yet. They could be with acquaintances you barely know but would like to know better. And they could be with friends, collaborators, and loved ones you’re already intimate with but want to become even closer to. The coming year has the potential to bring revolutionary advances in the quality and intensity of your relationships, so it will be smart for you to work hard on making that happen.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “What do I long for?” should be a core question for you — always, of course, but especially in 2009. Are you adventurous enough to look beyond the status symbols your ego is attached to and the transitory wishes that constantly flit through your imagination? If so, you’ll prime yourself to establish a root connection with your soul’s deepest yearnings. And when you’re in daily touch with those primal motivators, the obstacles in your life will seem less overwhelming; the lies you tell yourself will dissolve; and you will consistently have crisp intuitions about what your next move must be. Life may not necessarily be a breeze, but it’ll be profoundly magical.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When I predict that liberation will be one of your primary tasks in 2009, Virgo, I’m not speaking about it in the usual way. The definition I’m working with is one that the writer David Foster Wallace articulated: “The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.” I hope you’ll be moved to add other nuances and flourishes to that approach as you experiment with it liberally in the coming months.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free.” That was Michelangelo talking about how he approached his work as a sculptor. He didn’t build the statue, in other words, but got rid of the unnecessary stuff that was surrounding it. I suggest that you try this approach in 2009. You have the potential to create a great thing — maybe even two great things — by chiseling away the extraneous material that’s obscuring their unique beauty.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 2009, don’t just tune in to your hunches now and then. Be more diligent and intense than that. Check in with your intuition at least three times a day on all 365 days of the year. Be precise in the questions you pose it. Gather its clues craftily. Have fun as you joke and play with it. Conscientiously experiment with the suggestions it provides. This will be the year you can establish a steady, reliable connection with your inner voice. Be devout in your dedication to the cult of your intuition!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Want to supercharge your luck in 2009? Get yourself some vivid new superstitions. The more outrageous they are, the more likely it is they’ll generate lots of crazy sweet karma. You might want to draw inspiration from pro football player John Henderson, for instance, who swears he can trick destiny into working in his favor if his trainer smacks him in the face before each game. Former hockey player Bruce Gardiner might also be a worthy role model. To rev up his good fortune, he always shoved his hockey stick into a toilet prior to skating out onto the ice. JUST KIDDING, Sagittarius! In fact, I hope you will make 2009 your least superstitious year ever. Let’s drink a toast to lucid logic, impeccable objectivity, and cool, clean reason! Add some compassionate sarcasm and loving satire into the mix, and you will generate lots of crazy sweet karma.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The most expensive bat mitzvah in history took place at New York’s Rainbow Room in November 2005. David Brooks, a billionaire defense contractor, spent $10 million on his daughter’s rite of passage. Among the stars he hired to perform at the bash were Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Nelly, and 50 Cent. Promise me, Capricorn, that if you get wealthy in the coming year, you won’t blow your money on ridiculous “luxuries” like that. Here’s a secret: The more high-minded you are in cultivating your dreams, the greater the likelihood is that you’ll get richer quicker.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Imagine you’re driving down a very wide highway that’s 50 lanes across even though there are no lines dividing one lane from another. Speed limit signs aren’t posted, and some vehicles are zipping along in zigzag paths at more than 100 mph while others crawl along like old-lady turtles. Now and then you’ve got to weave your way through a congested area where many on-ramps all feed into the road simultaneously. You haven’t seen an off-ramp yet, and you’re not sure where to get off anyway. I figure, Aquarius, that 2008 had some resemblance to the scenario I just described. Luckily, I predict that no later than your birthday, you will find an off-ramp and exit onto an uncluttered backroad with great scenery.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “How do you slay the dragon?” journalist Bill Moyers asked mythologist Joseph Campbell in an interview. By “dragon,” he was referring to the dangerous beast that symbolizes the most unripe and uncontrollable part of each of our lives. In reply to Moyers, Campbell didn’t suggest that you become a master warrior, nor did he recommend that you cultivate high levels of sleek, savage anger. “Follow your bliss,” he said simply. Personally, I don’t know if that’s enough to slay the dragon — I’m inclined to believe that you also have to take some defensive measures — but it’s definitely worth an extended experiment. Would you consider trying that in 2009?