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Free Will Astrology

Don't be afraid of the Metal Men, Taurus.

(April 20-May 20)
The hydrochloric acid in our digestive system is so corrosive it can dissolve a nail. In other words, you contain within you the power to dematerialize solid metal. Why is it so hard, then, for you to conceive of the possibility that you can vaporize a painful memory or bad habit or fearful fantasy? I say you can do just that, Taurus---especially at this moment, when your capacity for creative destruction is at a peak. Try this meditation: Imagine that the memory or habit or fantasy you want to kill off is a nail. Then picture yourself dropping the nail into a vat of hydrochloric acid. Come back every day and revisit this vision, watching the nail gradually dissolve.

(May 21-June 20)
Now and then I include comments in these horoscopes that might be construed as political in nature. For instance, I have always endorsed a particular candidate in the American presidential elections. Some people are outraged by this, saying, in effect, "How dare you?! What do your political opinions have to do with my life?!" If you feel that way, you might want to stop reading now. It's my sacred duty to tell you that the twists and turns of political and social issues will be making an increasingly strong impact on your personal destiny in the months ahead. To be of service to you, I will have to factor them into my meditations on your oracles. Now let me ask you: Is it possible that your compulsive discontent about certain political issues is inhibiting your capacity for personal happiness?

CANCER (June 21-July 22) If you were a poker player, the odds would now be far better than usual that you'd be voted one of the 50 sexiest poker players in the world. If you were a physician volunteering your services in Haiti or Sudan, there'd be an unusually high likelihood that you'd soon be the focus of a feature story on a TV news show. And even if you were just a pet groomer or life coach or yoga teacher, I bet your cachet would be rising. Why? According to my reading of the omens, you Cancerians are about to be noticed, seen for who you are or just plain appreciated a lot more than usual.

(July 23-August 22)
No other country on the planet has a greater concentration of artistic masterpieces than Italy. As for the place that has the most natural wonders and inspiring scenery per square mile: That's more subjective, but I'd say Hawaii. Judging from the astrological omens, Leo, I encourage you to visit one or both of those two hotspots---or the closest equivalents you can manage. (If you already live in Italy or Hawaii, you won't have far to go.) In my opinion, you need to be massively exposed to huge doses of staggering beauty. And I really do mean that you NEED this experience---for your mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

(August 23-September 22)
Healer Caroline Myss coined the term "woundology." It refers to the practice of using our wounds to get power, sympathy and attention. Why give up our pain when we can wield it to manipulate others emotionally? "I am suffering, so you should give me what I want." When we're in pain, we may feel we have the right to do things we wouldn't otherwise allow ourselves to do, like go on shopping sprees, eat tasty junk food or sleep with attractive people who are no good for us. In this scenario, pain serves us. It's an ally. Your assignment, Virgo, is to get touch with your personal version of woundology. Now is a good time to divest yourself of the so-called "advantages" of holding on to your suffering.

(September 23-October 22)
As an American who has lived most of my life in the US, I write these horoscopes in English. But for years they have also been translated into Italian for the zesty Italian magazine Internazionale. Over the years, my readership there has grown so sizable that an Italian publisher approached me to create an astrology book for Italians. Late last year Robosocopo appeared in Italy but nowhere else. It was an odd feeling to have my fourth book rendered in the Italian language but not in my native tongue. I suspect you'll be having a comparable experience soon, Libra. You will function just fine in a foreign sphere---having meaningful experiences and maybe even some success, "in translation."

(October 23-November 21)
You can gain more power---not to mention charisma, panache and love---by losing some of your cool. This is one time when too much self-control could actually undermine your authority. So please indulge in a bit of healthy self-undoing, Scorpio. Gently mock your self-importance and shake yourself free of self-images you're pathologically attached to. Fool with your own hard-and-fast rules in ways that purge your excess dignity and restore at least some of your brilliant, beautiful innocence.

(November 22-December 21)
This week will be a time when you might want to get ahold of a toy you loved when you were a kid, and actually play with it again; a time when you could speak so articulately about an idea you're passionate about that you will change the mind of someone who has a different belief; a time when you may go off on an adventure you feared you would regret but then it turns out later that you don't regret it; a time when you might pick out a group of stars in the sky that form the shape of a symbol that's important to you and give this new constellation a name, and a time when you could make love with such utter abandon that your mutual pleasure will stay with you both for several days.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19) The Norwegian film Twigson is about a boy who feels so friendless and isolated that he seeks companionship with a talking twig. In the coming weeks, I encourage you to be equally as proactive in addressing the strains of your own loneliness. I'm not implying that you are lonelier or will be lonelier than the rest of us; I'm just saying that it's an excellent time for taking aggressive action to soothe the ache. So reach out, Capricorn. Be humbly confident as you try to make deeper contact.

(January 20-February 18)
During one of 2010's Mercury retrograde phases, astrologer Evelyn Roberts wrote on Facebook that she was doing lots of things you're "not supposed to do" during a Mercury retrograde: buying a new computer; planning trips; making contracts; signing documents. Why? She said she always rebels like that, maybe because of her quirky Aquarian nature. More importantly, she does it because what usually works best for her is to pay close attention to what's actually going on rather than getting lost in fearful fantasies about what influence a planet may or may not have. During the current Mercury retrograde, Aquarius, I recommend her approach to you.

(February 19 - March 20)
Damon Bruce is a San Francisco sports talk-show host I listen to now and then. He told a story about being at a bar and seeing a guy with a tattoo of a life-sized dollar bill on the back of his shaved head. Bruce was incredulous. Why burn an image of the lowest-denomination bill into your flesh? If you're going to all that trouble, shouldn't you inscribe a more ambitious icon, like a $100 bill? My sentiments exactly, Pisces. Now apply this lesson to your own life.

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