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): German theologian Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a central figure in the rebellion against the Catholic Church that led to the Protestant Reformation. You'll never guess where he was when he was struck by the epiphany that became the core axiom of his new religion. I'll tell you: He was sitting on the toilet in the Wittenberg Monastery. The Holy Spirit gave him the crucial knowledge then and there, or so he testified. In this spirit, Aries, keep a very open mind about where you will be and what you will be doing when your illuminations arrive this week.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your task is to uncover the semi-happy ending that was hidden back in the story's beginning. Once you do that, you may be able to create a graceful and honorable climax. In fact, I don't think you will be able to bring about the semi-happy ending any other way. It's crucial that you return to the original flash of inspiration—the time when all the plot lines that eventually developed were first germinating. You need to remember fate's primal promise. You've got to read the signs you missed in the early going.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you play poker, the odds are one in 649,740 that you will get a royal flush. That's an ace, king, queen, jack and ten of one suit. As for drawing a straight flush—any five consecutive cards of one suit—the odds are one in 72,192. Judging from the current astrological omens, Gemini, I'd say your chance of getting one of those hands is far better than usual—maybe one in 88,000 for the royal flush and one in 8,888 for the straight flush. But those still aren't great odds. On the other hand, getting a flush—all five cards of the same suit—is normally one in 509, but these days it's pretty likely for you. The moral of the story, not just for when you're playing cards, but in whatever you do: Expect really good luck, but not miraculous, out-of-this-world luck.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place," wrote the poet Rumi. This is excellent advice for you right now, Cancerian. You are nearing the peak of your power to express yourself with beautiful accuracy. You have more skill than usual at understanding and conveying the interesting truth. As a result, you're in a position to wield extra influence. People are receptive to being moved by your heart-felt intelligence. So please do more than simply push for greater efficiency, order, and discipline. Those things are good, but I hope you will also be a radiant role model who exemplifies what it means to be soulful.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Golden Rock is a Buddhist holy site in Burma. It's a small pagoda built on top of a giant boulder that in turn seems to be precariously balanced at the edge of a down-sloping bed of rock. How does the boulder remain stationary? Why doesn't it roll off the edge? It appears to defy gravity. Legend says that it's held in place by a single strand of hair from the Buddha's head. I suspect that many of you Leos will soon have access to a tricky asset with resemblances to that magic strand. True, it might be merely metaphorical. But if used correctly, it could become a key element in a future foundation.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It's Soul-Searching Season: a good time to go in search of your soul. To aid your quest, I'll offer a few lines from "A Few Words on the Soul," a poem by Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska. "We have a soul at times," she says. "No one's got it non-stop, for keeps. Day after day, year after year may pass without it. For every thousand conversations, it participates in one, if even that, since it prefers silence. It's picky: our hustling for a dubious advantage and creaky machinations make it sick. Joy and sorrow aren't two different feelings for it. It attends us only when the two are joined. We can count on it when we're sure of nothing and curious about everything. It won't say where it comes from or when it's taking off again, though it's clearly expecting such questions. We need it but apparently it needs us for some reason too." (Translation by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. Read the whole poem here: http://tinyurl.com/SearchSoul.)
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "I do not believe in God," said Mexican painter Diego Rivera, "but I believe in Picasso." My poet-musician friend Tanya has a similar philosophy. "I don't believe in God, or even Goddess, for that matter," she says. "But I do believe in Patti Smith." Do you have a God-substitute, Libra? Or, if you do have faith in a Cosmic Wow, is there also a more approachable, second-tier source of divinity you love? According to my reading of the astrological omens, you would really benefit from feeling an intimate kind of reverence right now—a tender devotion for something higher and brighter that awakens the sleeping part of your lust for life.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): This would be an excellent time to stage staring contests with yourself in the mirror. There's a high likelihood that you will win every time. I think you'll also have great success whenever you try to read your own mind. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you've got an uncanny knack for plucking buried secrets and self-deceptions out of their hiding places. One more thing, Scorpio: Have you ever considered how fun it might be to wash your own brain and kick your own butt? Now would be an excellent time to experiment with those radical acts of healing.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness," writes novelist Chuck Palahniuk. "We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace." Your assignment in the coming days, Sagittarius, is to prove Palahniuk wrong. As the surges of sweetness flow through you, as your secret joy ripens into bright blooming bliss, imprint the sensations on your memory. Vow to remember them for the rest of your life. Make these breakthrough moments into talismans that will serve as magical spells whenever you need rejuvenation in the future.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein had his priorities straight. This is what he said about his profession: "In philosophy the race is won by the one who can run slowest—the one who crosses the finish line last." It's my belief, Capricorn, that a similar rule should apply to you in the coming days—no matter what project you're working on or goal you're trying to accomplish. Proceed slowly enough to be absolutely thorough, meticulous, and conscientious. As you make your way to the finish line, be as deep as you dare.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In Samuel Beckett's novel Molloy, the main character talks about a long overland journey he took on foot and by bicycle. Before the trip, he had read somewhere that when people are lost in a forest, they often imagine they're moving in a straight line when in fact they're going in a circle. That's why, during his own travels, he intentionally walked in a circle, hoping thereby to go straight. Although this might sound like a loopy strategy, Aquarius, I think it will make sense for you to adopt in the coming week. Your apparent path may be very different, maybe even opposite, to your actual path.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Are you in competition with someone who is doing mediocre work? Do you find it incomprehensible that anyone would pay attention to that weak expression instead of flocking to your beautiful vibe? If so, here's my advice. Withdraw your attention from your inferior opponent. Don't waste a minute feeling jealous or resentful or incredulous. Instead, concentrate your energy on making your production so strong and smart and irresistible that you simply overshadow and overwhelm your rival's.