Free Will Astrology
by Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): “We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us,” writes novelist Robert R. McCammon. “We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow path and told to be responsible.” That’s the bad news, Aries. But now here’s the good news: The next 12 months will offer you a series of excellent opportunities to re-magic yourself. If you have not yet caught wind of the first invitation, I bet you will soon.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “When given a choice between owning an object and having an experience,” says art critic Holland Cotter, “I always choose the experience.” He prefers to spend his money on adventures that transform his sense of self and his understanding of the world. I recommend that approach to you in the coming weeks, Taurus. The most valuable “possessions” you can acquire will be the lessons you learn, the skills you hone, and the relationships you ripen.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In Marcel Proust’s novel Swann’s Way, the narrator speaks of how profoundly he is inspired by an older writer named Bergotte: “Each time he talked about something whose beauty had until then been hidden from me, about pine forests, about hail, about Notre-Dame Cathedral…with one image he would make that beauty explode into me.” I bring this to your attention, Gemini, because in the coming days I suspect a great deal of beauty will explode into you. Why? I think it’s because you’re more receptive than usual to being delighted and enchanted. The triggers could be anything: exciting people, eavesdropped conversations, good books, surprising music, and who knows what else?
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Little horses cannot carry great riders.” So says a Haitian proverb. Now, in accordance with the astrological omens, I’m urging you to meditate on its meaning for your life. Here are four possible interpretations: 1. Are you a “little horse” trying to carry a “great rider” who’s too much for you? 2. Are you a little horse that could grow into a bigger, stronger horse worthy of a great rider? 3. Are you a “great rider” who is in need of a horse that is big and strong enough to serve your big, strong ambitions? 4. Would you like to be a “great rider,” but you can’t be one as long as you have a horse that is too small and weak?
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Declare victory, Leo. Even if victory is not quite won yet. Even if your success is imperfect and still a bit messy around the edges. Raise your arms up in elated triumph and shout, “I am the purified champion! I am the righteous conqueror! I have outsmarted my adversaries and outmaneuvered my obstacles, and now I am ready to claim my rightful rewards!” Do this even if you’re not 100-percent confident, even if there is still some scraping or clawing ahead of you. Celebrate your growing mastery. Congratulate yourself for how far you’ve come. In this way, you will summon what’s needed to complete your mission and achieve final, total victory.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Give special attention to what will last the longest. That’s my main recommendation for you in the coming weeks. Devote less of your energy to transitory pleasures and short-term hopes. Turn away from the small obsessions that demand far too much of your energy. Withdraw from the seemingly pressing concerns that will soon start to fade because they really aren’t that important. Instead, Virgo, devote your love and intelligence to the joys and dilemmas that will animate your life well into the future. Express reverence and care for the mysteries that will teach you and teach you and teach you for years to come.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): My favorite bridge in the world is the Golden Gate Bridge. In the hundreds of times I have driven on it over San Francisco Bay, it has never let me down. I’ve always gotten from one side to the other without any problem. In addition to its reliability, it uplifts me with its grandeur and beauty. What’s your most beloved bridge, Libra? I suggest that in the coming weeks you make it your lucky charm, your magical symbol. Why? Because the next chapter of your life story requires you to make a major crossing. You will traverse a great divide. Having your favorite bridge as a shining beacon in your imagination will inspire your strength and courage as you travel.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): U2’s Bono has called Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” “the most perfect song in the world.” It is mournful and triumphant, despairing and uplifting. It’s a riddle that improbably offers cathartic release. Over 300 recording artists have done cover versions of it, and it has even been the subject of books. And yet it was a challenge for Cohen to compose. He wrote more than 80 verses before choosing the few he would actually include in the final version, and in one famous session he resorted to banging his head on the floor to stimulate his creative flow. “To find that urgent song,” he said, took “a lot of work and a lot of sweat.” I nominate “Hallelujah” to be one of your sacred symbols for the next 12 months, Scorpio. From your strenuous effort, I predict, will come masterful creations.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Let me outline the breakthroughs I hope to see for you in the coming months. First, what is pretty good about you will not interfere with what is potentially great about you, but will instead cooperate with it and boost it. Second, your past accomplishments won’t hold back your progress; you will not be tempted to rely on them at the expense of your future accomplishments. And third, the brave ideas that have motivated you so well won’t devolve into staid old dogmas; you will either renew and reinvigorate them or else move on to a new set of brave ideas.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you are in even moderate alignment with cosmic rhythms during the next 12 months, you will be a connoisseur and master of recycling. I’m speaking metaphorically here. What I hope is that you will reanimate worn-out inspirations and convert faded dreams into shiny new fantasies. You will find ways to revive alliances that went off track. A once-vibrant shtick or trick that lost its cool could be retrieved from the ash heap of history and turned into a fresh, hot asset. Gear yourself up for some entertaining resurrections.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I wish I could tell you that your power animal this month is the eagle or dolphin or panther. Having a glamorous creature like that as your ally might boost your confidence and charisma. To be paired with one of them might even activate dormant reserves of your animal intelligence. But I can’t in good conscience authorize such an honor. That’s not what the astrological omens are suggesting. In fact, your power animal this June is the bunny rabbit. Please understand that there is no shame in this. On the contrary. You should be charmed and appreciative. It signifies that you will be fertile, fast, a bit tricky, and very cute. (To read an essay on the mythology of the rabbit as trickster, go here: http://tinyurl.com/rabbittrickster.)
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The Buddhist meditation teacher Chogyam Trungpa said that one of the best ways to become fearless is to cultivate tenderness. As you expand your heart’s capacity to feel compassionate affection for the world, you have less and less to be afraid of. That’s the opposite of the conventional wisdom, which says you become brave by toughening up, by reinforcing your psychic armor. Of all the signs of the zodiac, you Pisceans are best set up to benefit from Trungpa’s method—now even more than usual.
Homework: What other sign would you want to be if you could take a vacation from your actual sign? Why? Write: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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