Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): One of the greatest superpowers a human being can have is the ability to change herself in accordance with her intentions. Let’s say you’re tired of feeling shame about something there’s no good reason to feel shame about, and you decide to do whatever it takes to dissolve that shame, and you succeed in doing it. Or let’s say you no longer want to attract bad listeners and flaky collaborators into your life, and you resolve to transform that pattern, and you ultimately achieve your goal. These are acts of high magic, as amazingly wizardly as anything a shaman does. It so happens, Aries, that this superpower is especially accessible to you right now.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your story is taking a hotter and wetter and more cosmically comical turn. The splendor and the rot are all mixed up. The line between your strengths and liabilities is hair thin. But have no fear. One of your dormant talents will activate in the nick of time. Your wild guesses will shed bright light whenever the darkness creeps in. And you’ll have even more emotional intelligence than usual. P.S. If your psyche tingles like a funny bone that has been tapped, it means that unanticipated help or useful information will arrive within 12 hours.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “The more you do what you want,” says Santa Fe artist Erika Wanenmacher, “the more magic happens.” And what she wants, in part, is to be surprised by how life’s random events ask to be included in her creative process. During her long walks along the irrigation ditch near her home, for example, odds and ends on the ground call to her, suggesting that she use them in her art pieces -- heart-shaped rocks, miniature liquor bottles, bent spoons, parts of toys. One of her gallery pieces, “Spell Wall,” consists of amulets made from this found stuff. “I’ll make whatever I want,” Erika says. “Out of whatever I want. About whatever I want.” She’s your role model, Gemini. Borrow from her perspective. Go in quest of unexpected clues that make you feel loose and free and fertile.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Needing a creative disruption in my routine, I hiked into a forest I’d never visited. The late afternoon light was wan and the wind was chilly. In places, the trail narrowed to a scruffy rut barely big enough for me to walk on, leading me to wonder if I was reading my map wrong. Three times this happened, but always the wider path resumed. Were there bobcats here? When I spied a flash of fur in the distance, I wished I’d researched that subject before I’d come. Still I pressed on. Then I came upon a single segment of a wooden fence, inexplicable in this remote area. One end of its upper slat had come loose and fallen. Moved by a whimsical urge to insert order into the midst of my disorientation, I fixed the slat. My mood brightened, my anxiety dissipated, and the rest of my hike was filled with small epiphanies. Everything I just described, my fellow Cancerian, is an apt metaphor for your week ahead.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):I believe that in the coming weeks you’ll enjoy experiences that have an emotional resemblance to those referred to in this passage by French novelist Gustave Flaubert: “I want to cover you with love, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh ... I want you to be astonished by me, to confess to yourself that you had never even dreamed of such transports ... When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours. I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them.” Please note, Leo, that I’m not necessarily saying the pleasures you gather in will stem from an engagement with an actual lover. They might. But your delight may also have a more mysterious origin.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It’s not just our era that has a tormented relationship with time. Many cultures have been frustrated by its tyranny. During France’s July Revolution in 1830, for instance, rebels shot guns at public clocks. While I think that’s too extreme for you, I do recommend that you perform a ritual to empower yourself as you wrestle with the passage of the hours and days and weeks. How about smashing a cheap alarm clock with a hammer? Or spending an entire day without ever referring to a timepiece? Or taking 10 deep breaths as you imagine you’re inhaling eternity and exhaling the grinding tick-tock? It’s a perfect moment to claim more freedom from temporality.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):I agree with football coach Lou Holtz, who said, “The problem with having a sense of humor is often that people you use it on aren’t in a very good mood.” It’s possible to work around this difficulty, however. What you have to do, before you unleash your levity, is conjure up empathy for the sourpuss in question. You should also make sure that your intention is not to mock or poke at the person, but instead offer a potential escape from his or her locked energy. By my calculations, you could be an expert at this kind of psychic judo right now. For best results, practice on yourself. Whenever you’re headed toward a negative thought or emotion, nudge yourself away with a jest or wisecrack.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Do you know what you’re really worth? Not as measured by your bank account and luxurious possessions. Not as reflected by your boss’s or parents’ or enemies’ images of you. Not as distorted by what you wish you were worth or fear you’re not worth. I’m talking about taking an illusion-free inventory of the skills you have that are fulfilling to you and useful to others. I’m talking about your wisdom more than your knowledge, your self-love more than your popularity, your ability to be good more than to look good.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The surest way to beat the system, my dear, is to elude it and erect your own system. The strategy most likely to leave your competitors babbling in the mirror, sweetheart, is to go completely over their heads. That doesn’t mean, darling, that you should be a remote and grandiose narcissist who listens to no one but yourself. Smile sweetly as you describe why your way is the best way, you gorgeous genius. Enlist worthy collaborators through the irresistible force of your guileless charisma.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “A neurosis is a secret that you don’t know you are keeping,” wrote theater critic Kenneth Tynan. Your assignment is to uncover one of those secrets in yourself. It may not result in an instantaneous cure of your minor personality glitch, but it will be a potent first step that will set in motion a series of healing events. Be brave, Capricorn. I guarantee that any ugliness you might find lodged deep inside you will be entangled with surprising beauty.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Seventy percent of the world’s fresh water is locked away in Antarctica’s ice, which is 7,000 feet thick. Let’s hope it remains that way for the foreseeable future. If global warming melted that giant slab even a little, sea levels all over the planet would rise and coastal lands would be inundated. As for your frozen areas, however: I’d really like to see at least 30 percent of them thaw. Would you consider doing whatever it takes to release a mini-flood of summery feelings?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):While walking in an unfamiliar neighborhood, I saw a huge red wooden chair on someone’s front lawn. It was big enough for a 20-foot-tall giant. An equally oversized martini glass was perched on the arm of the chair. Nearby was a sign that read, “I have flying monkeys at my command, and I’m not afraid to use them.” I assumed this scene was the handiwork of an adorable crazy person who’s an admirer of The Wizard of Oz mythology. I also flashed on how I could totally see you sitting in that chair. Metaphorically speaking, you too have flying monkeys at your command. I just hope you use them to accomplish good deeds, not evil ones.