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): There's something resembling a big red snake slithering around in your mind these days. I don't mean that literally, of course. I'm talking about a big red imaginary snake. But it's still quite potent. While it's not poisonous, neither is it a pure embodiment of sweetness and light. Whether it ends up having a disorienting or benevolent influence on your life all depends on how you handle your relationship with it. I suggest you treat it with respect but also let it know that you're the boss. Give it guidelines and a clear mandate so that it serves your noble ambitions and not your chaotic desires. If you do that, your big red snake will heal and uplift you.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In my astrological opinion, almost nothing can keep you from getting the love you need in the coming days. Here's the only potential problem: You might have a mistaken or incomplete understanding about the love you need, and that could interfere with you recognizing and welcoming the real thing. So here's my prescription: Keep an open mind about the true nature of the love that you actually need most, and stay alert for the perhaps unexpected ways it might make itself available.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "People fall so in love with their pain, they can’t leave it behind," asserts novelist Chuck Palahniuk. Your assignment, Gemini, is to work your ass off to fall out of love with your pain. As if you were talking to a child, explain to your subconscious mind that the suffering it has gotten so accustomed to has outlived its usefulness. Tell your deep self that you no longer want the ancient ache to be a cornerstone of your identity. To aid the banishment, I recommend that you conduct a ritual of severing. Tie one side of a ribbon to a symbol of your pain and tie the other side around your waist. Then cut the ribbon in half and bury the symbol in the dirt.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again," said painter Joan Miró. "You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life," he added. The coming days are likely to bring you none of the former kind of experiences and several of the latter, Cancerian. It's a numinous time in your long-term cycle: a phase when you're likely to encounter beauty that enchants you and mysteries that titillate your sense of wonder for a long time. In other words, the eternal is coming to visit you in very concrete ways. How do you like your epiphanies? Hot and wild? Cool and soaring? Comical and lyrical? Hot and soaring and comical and wild and cool and lyrical?
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): There's a new genre of erotic literature: dinosaur porn. E-books like In the Velociraptor's Nest and Ravished by the Triceratops tell tall tales about encounters between people and prehistoric reptiles. I don't recommend you read this stuff, though. While I do believe that now is a good time to add new twists to your sexual repertoire and explore the frontiers of pleasure, I think you should remain rooted in the real world, even in your fantasy life. It's also important to be safe as you experiment. You really don't want to explore the frontiers of pleasure with cold-blooded beasts. Either travel alone or else round up a warm-blooded compassion specialist who has a few skills in the arts of intimacy.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The saxifrage is a small plant with white flowers. It grows best in subarctic regions and cooler parts of the Northern Hemisphere. The word "saxifrage" is derived from the Latin word saxifraga, whose literal meaning is "stone-breaker." Indeed, the plant does often appear in the clefts of stones and boulders. In his poem "A Sort of a Song," William Carlos Williams celebrates its strength: "Saxifrage is my flower that splits the rocks." I nominate this darling little dynamo to be your metaphorical power object of the week, Virgo. May it inspire you to crack through blocks and barriers with subtle force.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You're not being swept along in a flood of meaningless distractions and irrelevant information and trivial wishes, right? I'm hoping that you have a sixth sense about which few stimuli are useful and meaningful to you, and which thousands of stimuli are not. But if you are experiencing a bit of trouble staying well-grounded in the midst of the frenzied babble, now would be a good time to take strenuous action. The universe will conspire to help you become extra stable and secure if you resolve to eliminate as much nonsense from your life as you can.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Sweetness is good. Sweetness is desirable. To be healthy, you need to give and receive sweetness on a regular basis. But you can't flourish on sweetness alone. In fact, too much of it may be oppressive or numbing. I'm speaking both literally and metaphorically: To be balanced you need all of the other tastes, including saltiness, sourness, bitterness, and savoriness. From what I understand, you are headed into a phase when you'll thrive on more bitterness and savoriness than usual. To get an idea of what I mean, meditate on what the emotional equivalents might be for bitter tastes like coffee, beer, and olives, and for savory tastes like mushrooms, cheese, spinach, and green tea.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): When you procrastinate, you avoid doing an important task. Instead, you goof off, doing something fun or simply puttering around wasting time. But what if there were a higher form of procrastination? What if you could avoid an important task by doing other tasks that were somewhat less important but still quite valuable? Here's what that might look like for you right now: You could postpone your search for the key to everything by throwing yourself into a project that will give you the key to one small part of everything.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In his utopian novel Looking Backward, American author Edward Bellamy wrote a passage that I suspect applies to you right now: "It is under what may be called unnatural, in the sense of extraordinary, circumstances that people behave most naturally, for the reason that such circumstances banish artificiality." Think of the relief and release that await you, Capricorn: an end to pretending, a dissolution of deception, the fall of fakery. As you weave you way through extraordinary circumstances, you will be moved to act with brave authenticity. Take full advantage.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "I have your back" is an American expression that could also be rendered as "I'm right behind you, ready to help and defend you" or "I'm ready to support you whenever you've got a problem." Is there anyone in the world who feels that way about you? If not, now would be an excellent time to work on getting such an ally. Cosmic conditions are ripe for bringing greater levels of assistance and collaboration into your life. And if you already do have confederates of that caliber, I suggest you take this opportunity to deepen your symbiotic connection even further.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Over a hundred countries around the world celebrate a holiday called Independence Day, memorializing a time when they broke away from another nation and formed a separate state. I encourage you to create your own personal version of this festival. It could commemorate a breakthrough moment in the past when you escaped an oppressive situation, a turning point when you achieved a higher level of autonomy, or a taboo-busting transition when you started expressing your own thoughts and making your own decisions with more authority. By the way, a fresh opportunity to take this kind of action is available to you. Any day now might be a good time to declare a new Independence Day.