by Rob Brezsny
Find Rob Brezsny's "Free Will Astrology" online one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Thinking inside the box will be a crime against your nature in the coming weeks. The last place you want to be is in a pigeonhole. I advise you to stay far away from tight squeezes, claustrophobic "sanctuaries," and "convenient" confinements. If you're in a one-size-fits-all situation, you simply won't be able to access your highest intelligence. So then where should you be? I am rooting for you to wander into the wild frontiers where unsanctioned wonders and marvels await you. I'd love for you to find virgin terrain and uncharted territories where the boring old rules don't apply.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Mike Finnigan is a veteran keyboardist and blues vocalist who has toured with more than 20 major acts, including Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Leonard Cohen, and Los Lonely Boys. There's a primal quality to his singing. It's gritty and fluid and tempestuous, almost feral at times. I understand perfectly why Bonnie Raitt has called him a "tall drink of bacon." The sound he makes with his voice is that lush and tasty. Can you guess his astrological sign? It's Taurus, of course. I'm naming him your patron saint this week because you yourself are as close as you have ever come to being a tall drink of bacon.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): French painter Henri Matisse thought highly of his own work. He tended to ignore critics because he didn't think they understood his art well enough to produce intelligent critiques. There was one person whose opinion he was willing to heed, though; a single colleague who he said had earned to right to evaluate and assess his art: Pablo Picasso. I encourage you, Gemini, to come up with your own short list of people whose judgment you totally trust and respect. It's a good time to seek out their feedback on how you're doing.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): How is it possible that you have come so far and worked so diligently only to be resigned now to hanging out in limbo, waiting around for the lucky break that may or may not ever arrive? I'm here today to escort you out of this infernal place. If you resist, my assignment is to drag you out. Why am I so adamant? Because I am sure it's a mistake for you to be passive and hope for the best. You need to resume working diligently, focused for now on what's right in front of you without worrying too much about the big picture. In my opinion, that approach will lead you to unforeseen help—and a clarification of the big picture.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Your levels of personal magic are high. The radiance beaming out of your eyes is extra sparkly. There's an artistry to the way you are expressing yourself. Without even trying, you're exuding natural charisma and animal magnetism. In light of all these advantages, I suspect you will have an elevated capacity for both giving and receiving pleasure. In fact, I predict that your ability to feel really good and make other people feel really good will be at a peak. I hereby designate this the Week of Supreme Bliss.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The BBC reported on an expert who combs Switzerland's Risoud Forest to find the spruce trees whose wood can be made into the highest quality violins. After years of experience, Lorenzo Pellegrini knows which few trees will produce instruments with the most resonant tones. They grow slowly and have few knots. They need to have had enough water to grow strong, but not so much water that they're mushy. Your task in the coming weeks, Virgo, has a certain resemblance to the master tree-picker's work. It's time for you to start selecting and gathering the raw materials you will use to craft your own lyrical story in 2014.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Here's the bad news: For all of us, including you, there is a gap between our intentions and our actual effects. Here's the good news: Now is your special time to narrow that gap. More bad news: All of us, you included, are periodically guilty of sending out mixed messages. We confuse people with our ambivalence; what we say is sometimes different from what we feel. More good news: Now is your special time to reduce your mixed messages to as close to zero as possible. One more taste of bad news: Like all of us, you are a bit hypocritical. You engage in behavior that you criticize in others. You don't practice what you preach. One last piece of good news: Now is your special time to work on being forthright, genuine, and consistent.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "I am very fond of strawberries and cream," said author Dale Carnegie, "but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn't bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish." That's a good teaching story for you, Scorpio. In order to get your desires fulfilled by the people who have the power to do that, you should give them what they actually long for—not what you long for, nor what you wish they would long for. This is always true, of course, but it's especially applicable to what's going on in your life right now.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Touted as a prime source of "kick-@ss spirituality," author Danielle LaPorte has advice that's good for you to hear. "You will always be too much of something for someone," she says, "too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy." But that's exactly as it should be, she adds. It would be a mistake to "round out your edges," because then you would "lose your edge." And I'm here to tell you that you need all of your edge right now, Sagittarius. It's time to ignore people's mediocre expectations and push past their limits. To be true to yourself, you will probably have to be too much of something for several someones.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Going into my spiritual mentoring session with the priestess, I had the intention of discovering truths about myself I didn't know before. That meant stirring up revelations about my ignorance as well as my potentials. I wanted assistance in facing my flaws as well as in tapping into my dormant powers. It worked. Her guidance was a potent catalyst. I was able to shed the debilitating nonsense stories I'd been telling myself about who I am. I awakened strengths that had been asleep. What I wish for you, Capricorn—indeed, what I predict for you—is a comparable experience. To expedite matters, go out in search of a person, adventure, or breakthrough that can help provide you with the kind of prod I received.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I bet people will be gossiping about you more than usual. Is there anything you can do to ensure that it's mostly benevolent gossip? Yes, there is. First, make sure that when you gossip about others, you are unfailingly positive in your comments. If you don't have anything good to say about someone, don't say it. Second, be on your best behavior. Communicate clearly and don't even think about taking unethical shortcuts. Finally, contribute more inspirational energy than usual to every group you're part of. Be an effervescent team player.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Maybe your ego isn't big enough. I'm serious. Is it possible that you could benefit from being more proud of yourself? Would it be healthy for you to give yourself more credit for the struggles you have weathered and the skills you have mastered and the beauty you have managed to forge out of the chaotic raw materials that life has given you? I've got a good feeling about this, Pisces. I can imagine you summoning the playful courage you will need to express more confidence. I can even picture you beginning to fantasize about embarking on certain stirring adventures you've never believed you were strong enough to try before now.