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Free Will Astrology

Take the winding road, Cancer

(October 23-November 21)
“I cannot seem to feel alive unless I am alert,” wrote author Charles Bowden, “and I cannot feel alert unless I push past the point where I have control.” Yikes! That’s a pretty extreme approach. But I suggest that you consider trying it out in the coming week. If you hope to seize even one of the multiple opportunities that are swirling in your vicinity, you will need both supreme focus and a loosey-goosey willingness to respond to novelty. So don’t tense up and blank out and try to wrestle the mysterious flows into submission. Use your sixth sense to find the groove, and relax into it.

Scorpio Birthdays:
Gregor Ash, Margot Durling, Stewart Legere, Eva Madden-Hagen, Jason Michael MacIsaac. Send to [email protected].

(November 22-December 21)
"Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried," said Winston Churchill. He was defending his favourite political system, asserting that its imperfections are superior to the flaws of monarchy, plutocracy, anarchy, theocracy and the rest. I invite you to use a similar gauge as you evaluate the belief system that's at the center of your life. Does it sometimes lead you astray, cause you to see things that aren't really there, and fill you with confusion---but in ways that are more life-enhancing than any other belief system you know of? Or is your belief system actually kind of toxic? Should you consider replacing it with another set of organizing principles? If it's the latter, now would be a good time to begin making a change.

(December 22-January 19)
Connie Post, my beloved former editor at the Dayton Daily News, sent me a haiku-like poem that I'd like you to ponder: "November trees/which are living?/which are dead?" I'm hoping this will put you in the mood to mull over an even bigger question, namely: What parts of your own life are withering and what parts are thriving? In my astrological opinion, it's very important that you know the difference, and act accordingly.

(January 20-February 18)
Numerologists say the number 10 signifies completion, wholeness, totality. It could rightly serve as your lucky number in the coming weeks---a symbol of your power to draw long-term processes to a climax on your own terms. But you might also want to consider using 11 as your emblem of good mojo. That number denotes the drive to surpass the success you've earned before---to transcend easy triumphs and conventional wisdom so as to reach for a more challenging conquest. Either way, Aquarius, I think you'll be flying high for the foreseeable future, so there's no need to worry about which way you should go. If you do choose 11, the risks will be somewhat greater and the rewards more interesting.

(February 19-March 20)
In Moby Dick, Herman Melville suggested that ideally a person should be a "patriot to heaven." Poet Gary Snyder wrote, "I pledge allegiance to the soil/one ecosystem/in diversity/under the sun/with joyful interpenetration for all." Seminal environmentalist Edward Abbey said, "My loyalties will not be bound by national borders...or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language or culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time." I recommend you experiment with this perspective in the coming weeks, Pisces. You don't have to tone down your love for your tribe or country. Just see if you can expand your sense of belonging...extend the borders of your comfort zone...and feel at home everywhere you go.

(March 21-April 19)

Where I live, 35 percent of all high school students confess (or brag) that they have engaged in binge drinking, which is defined as imbibing five or more alcoholic drinks in a two-hour period. According to my reading of the omens, your inner teenager may soon be longing to flirt with that kind of intense and total release. Can I talk him or her out of it? As much as I sympathize with the younger you's need to escape the numbing effects of the daily grind, I'm asking the adult you to step in and assert your authority. Try to find a more constructive approach to liberation.

(April 20-May 20)

Why did feathered dinosaurs evolve wings? Paleontologists in Britain have a new theory: It added to their sexual allure. The head researcher at the University of Manchester speculated that "maybe they ran around with their arms outstretched to show off how pretty their feathers were." Eventually those forearms became wings that came in handy for flying. In other words, the power of flight did not originate from the urge to fly but rather from the urge to be attractive. Oddly enough, Taurus, this approach to understanding evolution would be useful for you to meditate on in the coming weeks. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you could develop some interesting new capacities as you work to enhance your appeal to people who matter.

(May 21-June 20)

On the subject of being divided, novelist Iris Murdoch wrote the following: "He led a double life. Did that make him a liar? He did not feel a liar. He was a man of two truths." Whether you deserve the generosity of that interpretation still remains to be seen, Gemini. It is possible that your version of doubleness will be rooted in deceit or delusion rather than sincere and honest duality. Of course I'm rooting for the latter. Please do all you can to ensure that you're being authentic, not manipulative.

(June 21-July 22)

My friend Ariel's six-year-old daughter Juno doesn't understand why anyone would build streets that run in a straight line. Isn't it more fun if the highways and biways are crooked and curvy? Shouldn't people want to get to where they're going by veering this way and that, relishing the playful twists and turns? That's where the best action is, says Juno, and I agree: in the tweak, in the twirl, in the winding way---not in the beeline route that leaves no room for improvisation. That's especially true for you right now, my fellow Cancerian.

(July 23-August 22)

Would you be delighted if I arranged to get an offshore oil-drilling rig named after you? Probably not. Would you celebrate if you won a prestigious all-expenses-paid vacation to the hottest war zones in Afghanistan? I doubt it. So don't accept dubious honors and gifts like those, Leo. Be clear that you're not interested in ego strokes that are irrelevant to your long-term dreams. If you hope to get the prize you're aiming for, you will have to say a definitive no to supposedly good things that you don't really want.

(August 23-September 22)

The nature of the game is changing. Do you know which game I'm referring to? I mean the one that everyone's playing but no one's acknowledging they're playing. The rules of the game had held steady for quite some time, but recently they began to shift. Now even the game's rewards are in the process of metamorphosing. My advice? You don't necessarily need to splash a big dose of raw candour all over the place, but I do recommend that you at least tell yourself the truth about what's going on.

(September 23-October 22)

My Facebook friend Robert Goldberg has come up with terms for you Libras that puts a more positive spin on your reputation as a fence-sitter. He suggests "fence dancer" or "fence warrior." You don't always deserve to be bestowed with those honourable titles, of course. Sometimes you really do molder there in your intermediate position, paralyzed by indecision and unable to do what's in the best interests of anyone, including yourself. But on other occasions---like now---you have the power to use your in between status dynamically, coordinating the opposing interests to work as a whole that's greater than the sum of the parts.

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