by Rob Brezsny
Find Rob Brezsny's "Free Will Astrology" online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): During an author tour a few years ago, I was a guest on San Francisco radio station KFOG. For a while, the host interviewed me about my book and astrology column. Then we moved into a less formal mode, bantering about psychic powers, lucid dreams, and reincarnation. Out of nowhere, the host asked me, “So who was I in my past life?” Although I’m not in the habit of reading people’s previous incarnations, I suddenly and inexplicably had the sense that I knew exactly who he had been: Savonarola, a controversial 15th-century Italian friar. I suspect you may soon have comparable experiences, Aries. Don’t be surprised if you are able to glean new revelations about the past and come to fresh insights about how history has unfolded.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Tease and tempt and tantalize, Taurus. Be pithy and catchy and provocative. Don’t go on too long. Leave ’em hanging for more. Wink for dramatic effect. Perfect your most enigmatic smile. Drop hints and cherish riddles. Believe in the power of telepathy. Add a new twist or two to your body language. Be sexy in the subtlest ways you can imagine. Pose questions that no one has been brave or smart enough to ask. Hang out in thresholds, crossroads, and any other place where the action is entertaining.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): American political leaders who have never been soldiers tend to be more gung-ho about sending U.S. fighting forces into action than leaders who have actually served in the military. So said former Marine captain Matt Pottinger in TheDailyBeast.com. I recommend that you avoid and prevent comparable situations in your own life during the coming weeks, Gemini. Don’t put yourself under the influence of decision-makers who have no direct experience of the issues that are important to you. The same standard should apply to you, too. Be humble about pressing forward if you’re armed with no more than a theoretical understanding of things. As much as possible, make your choices and wield your clout based on what you know firsthand.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Let’s hypothesize that there are two different kinds of freedom possible for you to pursue. One is simplistic and sterile, while the other is colorful and fertile. The first is characterized by absence or emptiness, and the second is full of rich information and stimulating experiences. Is there any doubt about which is preferable? I know that the simplistic, sterile freedom might be easier and faster to attain. But its value would be limited and short-lived, I’m afraid. In the long run, the tougher liberation will be more rewarding.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Some people believe that a giant sea serpent lives in a Scottish lake. They call it the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie for short. The evidence is anecdotal and skimpy. If the creature actually lurks in the murky depths, it has never hurt any human being, so it can’t be considered dangerous. On the other hand, Nessie has long been a boon to tourism in the area. The natives are happy that the tales of its existence are so lively. I’d like to propose using the Loch Ness monster as a template for how to deal with one of your scary delusions. Use your rational mind to exorcise any anxiety you might still be harboring, and figure out a way to take advantage of the legendary story you created about it.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “The soul should always stand ajar,” said 19-century Emily Dickinson poet in one of her poems, “That if the heaven inquire, He will not be obliged to wait, Or shy of troubling her.” Modern translation: You should keep your deep psyche in a constant state of readiness for the possible influx of divine inspiration or unexpected blessings. That way, you’re likely to recognize the call when it comes and respond with the alacrity necessary to get the full benefit of its offerings. This is always a sound principle to live by. But it will be an especially valuable strategy in the coming weeks. Right now, imagine what it feels like when your soul is properly ajar.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Some people wonder if I’m more like a cheerleader than an objective reporter. They think that maybe I minimize the pain and exaggerate the gain that lie ahead. I understand why they might pose that question. Because all of us are constantly besieged with a disproportionate glut of discouraging news, I see it as my duty to provide a counterbalance. My optimism is medicine to protect you from the distortions that the conventional wisdom propagates. Having said that, I’d like you to know that I’m not counterbalancing at all when I give you this news: You’re close to grabbing a strategic advantage over a frustration that has hindered you for a long time.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment,” said Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck. “This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath." While I appreciate Beck’s advice, I’m perplexed why she put such a heavy emphasis on lessons that arise from difficult events. In the weeks ahead, you’ll be proof that this is shortsighted. Your teachers are likely to be expansive, benevolent, and generous.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): A lathe is a machine that grips a chunk of metal or wood or clay and rotates it so that someone wielding a tool can form the chunk into a desired shape. From a metaphorical point of view, I visualize you as being held by a cosmic lathe right now. God or fate or whatever you’d prefer to call it is chiseling away the non-essential stuff so as to sculpt a more beautiful and useful version of you. Although the process may be somewhat painful, I think you’ll be happy with the result.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I’m hoping you will take maximum advantage of the big opportunity that’s ahead for you, Capricorn: an enhancement of your senses. That’s right. For the foreseeable future, you not only have the potential to experience extra vivid and memorable perceptions. You could also wangle an upgrade in the acuity and profundity of your senses, so that your sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch will forevermore gather in richer data. For best results, set aside what you believe about the world, and just drink in the pure impressions. In other words, focus less on the thoughts rumbling around inside your mind and simply notice what’s going on around you. For extra credit: Cultivate an empathetic curiosity with everything you’d like to perceive better.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): What kind of week will it be for you? It will be like you’re chewing gum while walking down a city street and then suddenly you sneeze, catapulting the gooey mess from your mouth onto the sidewalk in such a way that it gets stuck to the bottom of your shoe, which causes you to trip and fall, allowing you to find a $100 bill that is just lying there unclaimed and that you would have never seen had you not experienced your little fit of "bad luck." Be ready to cash in on unforeseen twists of fate, Aquarius.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Having served as executive vice-president of the Hedonistic Anarchists Think Tank, I may not seem like the most believable advocate of the virtues of careful preparation, rigorous organization, and steely resolve. But if I have learned anything from consorting with hedonistic anarchists, it’s that there’s not necessarily a clash between thrill-seeking and self-discipline. The two can even be synergistic. I think that’s especially true for you right now, Pisces. The quality and intensity of your playtime activities will thrive in direct proportion to your self-command.