Free Will Astrology
by Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): The film The Men Who Stare at Goats tells the story of the US Army’s efforts to harness psychic powers for military purposes. It’s not entirely a work of the imagination. In fact, there’s substantial evidence that such a program actually existed. As the movie begins, a caption on the screen informs viewers that “More of this is true than you would believe.” I suspect there’ll be a comparable situation unfolding in your life in the coming weeks, Aries. As you experience a rather unusual departure from your regularly scheduled reality, fact and fiction may be deeply intertwined. Will you be able to tell them apart?
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I dreamed you were a member of an indigenous tribe in what Westerners call New Guinea. You had recently begun to show unusual behavior that suggested you were developing enhanced cognitive abilities. You’d solved one of the tribe’s long-standing problems, were spontaneously spouting improvised poetry, and had been spotted outside late at night having animated conversations with the stars. Some of your friends and relatives were now referring to you by a new name that in your native tongue meant “the one who dances naked with the deities.” How would you interpret my dream, Taurus? I think it suggests you could be on the verge of growing an intriguing new capacity or two.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the far northern reaches of Ilulissat, a town in Greenland, the sun sets for good on November 29 every year and doesn’t rise again until January 13. Or at least that was the case until 2011. This year, to the shock of locals, sunlight broke over the horizon on January 11—two days ahead of schedule. Though a few alarmists theorized that this disturbance in the age-old rhythm was due to a shift in the earth’s axis or rotation, scientists suggested that the cause was global warming: Melting ice has caused the horizon to sink. I expect something equally monumental to make an appearance in your world soon, Gemini. Can you handle an increased amount of light?
CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’m not a big fan of the “No Pain, No Gain” school of thought. Personally, I have drummed up more marvels and wonders through the power of rowdy bliss than I have from hauling thousand-pound burdens across the wasteland. But I do recognize that in my own story as well as in others’, hardship can sometimes provoke inspiration. I think it may be one of those moments for you, Cancerian. Please accept this medicinal prod from the ancient Roman poet Horace: “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents that in times of prosperity would have lain dormant.”
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In his 1934 book Beyond the Mexican Bay, British author Aldous Huxley observed that “the natural rhythm of human life is routine punctuated by orgies.” He was using the word “orgies” in its broadest sense—not to refer to wild sex parties, but rather to cathartic eruptions of passion, uninhibited indulgence in revelry, and spirited rituals of relief and release. That’s the kind of orgy you’re due for, Leo. It’s high time to punctuate your routine.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do,” wrote the essayist Walter Bagehot. Personally, I don’t think that’s the supreme joy possible to a human being; but it definitely has a provocative appeal. May I recommend that you explore it in the coming weeks, Virgo? The astrological omens suggest you’re in an excellent position to succeed at an undertaking you’ve been told is unlikely or even impossible for you to accomplish.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): When people unsubscribe from my newsletter, they’re asked to say why they’re leaving. In a recent note, a dissatisfied customer wrote, “Because you are a crackhead who makes no sense. You sound like you write these horoscopes while you’re stoned on mushrooms.” For the record, I not only refrain from crack and magic mushrooms while crafting your oracles; I don’t partake of any intoxicants at any other time, either—not even beer or pot. I’m secretly a bit proud, however, that the irate ex-reader thinks my drug-free mind is so wild. In the coming week, Libra, I invite you to try an experiment inspired by this scenario: Without losing your mind, see if you can shed some of the habitual restrictions you allow to impinge on the free and creative play of your mind.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The roots of big old trees are your power objects. I advise you to visualize them in your mind’s eye for a few minutes each day, maybe even go look at actual trees whose roots are showing above ground. Doing this will strengthen your resolve and increase your patience and help you find the deeper sources of nurturing you need. Another exercise that’s likely to energize you in just the right way is to picture yourself at age 77. I suggest you create a detailed vision of who you’ll be at that time. See yourself drinking a cup of tea as you gaze out over a verdant valley on a sunny afternoon in June. What are you wearing? What kind of tea is it? What birds do you see? What are your favorite memories of the last 30 years?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If you’re a physicist or Wall Street broker, your assignment this week is to read the poetry of Pablo Neruda (bit.ly/NerudaSongs). If you’re a kirtan-chanting yogini or the author of a New Age self-help newsletter, your task is to read up on the scientific method (bit.ly/ScienceMethod). If you’re white, be black, and vice versa. If you’re yellow, be violet, and if red, be green. If you’re a tight-fisted control freak, try being a laid-back connoisseur of the mellowest vibes imaginable—and vice versa. It’s Mix-It-Up Week, Sagittarius—a time to play with flipping and flopping your usual perspectives, roles, and angles.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Describing muckraking journalist Peter Freyne, Senator Patrick Leahy said, “He knew the difference between healthy skepticism and hollow cynicism.” Mastering that distinction happens to be your next assignment, Capricorn. Can you distinguish between your tendency to make compulsive negative judgments and your skill at practicing thoughtful and compassionate discernment? My reading of the astrological omens suggests that you will have a successful week if you do. Not only that: The universe will conspire to bring you blessings you didn’t even realize you needed.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “There is time for work,” said fashion designer Coco Chanel, “and time for love. That leaves no other time.” I understand and sympathize with that perspective. But I’m going to beg you to make an exception to it in the coming weeks, Aquarius. In addition to getting a healthy quota of work and love, please do your best to carve out a few hours specifically devoted to engaging in unadulterated, unapologetic, unbridled play—the kind of flat-out, free-form, full-tilt fun and games that has the effect of permanently increasing your levels of liberation.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Although I myself have an intimate ongoing relationship with the Divine Wow, it’s perfectly fine with me if other people don’t. Some of my best friends are atheists and agnostics. But I must admit that I laughed derisively when I heard that the supposed genius named Stephen Hawking declared, with the fanatical certainty of a religious fundamentalist, that heaven does not exist. How unscientific of him! The intellectually honest perspective is, of course, that there’s no way to know for sure about that possibility. I bring this up, Pisces, as an example of what not to do. It’s particularly important right now that you not be blinded by your theories about the way things work. If you put the emphasis on your raw experience rather than your preconceived biases, you will be blessed with as much beauty and truth as you can handle.
Homework: Talk about a time when an unexpected visitation cracked open a hole in your shrunken reality so as to let juicy eternity pour in: Freewillastrology.com.
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