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): On my fifteenth birthday, I finally figured out that eating dairy products was the cause of my chronic respiratory problems. From that day forward, I avoided foods made from cow's milk. My health improved. I kept up this regimen for years. But a month ago, I decided to see if my long-standing taboo still made sense. Just for the fun of it, I gave myself permission to gorge on a tub of organic vanilla yogurt. To my shock, there was no hell to pay. I was free of snot. In the last few weeks, I have feasted regularly on all the creamy goodies I've been missing. I bring this up, Aries, because I suspect an equally momentous shift is possible for you. Some taboo you have honored for a long time, some rule you have obeyed as if it were an axiom, is ripe to be broken.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who won a Nobel Prize in Economics, says that consulting experts may be useless. In his study of Wall Street traders, he found their advice was no better than information obtained by a chimpanzee flipping a coin. Meanwhile, psychologist Philip Tetlock did a 20-year study with similar results. He found that predictions made by political and financial professionals are inferior to wild guesses. So does this mean you should never trust any experts? No. But it's important to approach them with extra skepticism right now. The time has come for you to upgrade your trust in your own intuition.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I'm a big fan of logic and reason, and I urge you to be, too. Using your rational mind to understand your experience is a very good thing. The less stock you put in superstitious head trips and fear-based beliefs, the smarter you will be. Having said that, I recommend that you also make playful use of your creative imagination. Relish the comically magical elements of your mysterious fate. Pay attention to your dreams, and indulge in the pleasure of wild fantasies, and see yourself as a mythic hero in life's divine drama. Moral of the story: Both the rational and the fantastical approaches are essential to your health. (P.S. But the fantastical needs extra exercise in the coming weeks.)
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Sorry, Cancerian, you won't be able to transform lead into gold anytime soon. You won't suddenly acquire the wizardly power to heal the sick minds of racists and homophobes and misogynists. Nor will you be able to cast an effective love spell on a sexy someone who has always resisted your charms. That's the bad news. The good news is this: If you focus on performing less spectacular magic, you could accomplish minor miracles. For example, you might diminish an adversary's ability to disturb you. You could welcome into your life a source of love you have ignored or underestimated. And you may be able to discover a secret you hid from yourself a long time ago.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Cosmopolitan magazine is famous for offering tips on how to spice up one's sex life. Here's an example: "Take a few of your favorite erotically appealing flavor combinations, like peanut butter and honey or whipped cream and chocolate sauce, and mix up yummy treats all over your lover's body." That sounds crazy to me, and not in a good way. In any case, I recommend that you don't follow advice like that, especially in the coming days. It's true that on some occasions, silliness and messiness have a role to play in building intimacy. But they aren't advisable right now. For best results, be smooth and polished and dashing and deft. Togetherness will thrive on elegant experiments and graceful risks.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You are not as broken as you may think you are. Your wounds aren't as debilitating as you have imagined. And life will prove it to you this week. Or rather, let me put it this way: Life will attempt to prove it to you—and not just in some mild, half-hearted way, either. The evidence it offers will be robust and unimpeachable. But here's my question, Virgo: Will you be so attached to your pain that you refuse to even see, let alone explore, the dramatic proof you are offered? I hope not!
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Kenneth Rexroth wrote a poem called "A Sword in a Cloud of Light." I want to borrow that image. According to my astrological analysis and poetic intuition, you will generate the exact power you need in the coming weeks by imprinting your imagination with a vision of a sword in a cloud of light. I don't want to get too intellectual about the reasons why, but I will say this: The cloud of light represents your noble purpose or your sacred aspiration. The sword is a metaphor to symbolize the new ferocity you will invoke as you implement the next step of your noble purpose or sacred aspiration.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Every autumn, the bird species known as the Clark's Nutcracker prepares for its winter food needs by burying 30,000 pine nuts in 5,000 places over a 15-square-mile area. The amazing thing is that it remembers where almost all of them are. Your memory isn't as prodigious as that, but it's far better than you realize. And I hope you will use it to the hilt in the coming days. Your upcoming decisions will be highly effective if you draw on the wisdom gained from past events—especially those events that foreshadowed the transition you will soon be going through.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Can you imagine what it would be like to live without any hiding and pretending? How would you feel if you could relax into total honesty? What if you were free to say exactly what you mean, unburdened by the fear that telling the truth might lead to awkward complications? Such a pure and exalted condition is impossible for anyone to accomplish, of course. But you have a shot at accomplishing the next best thing in the coming week. For best results, don't try to be perfectly candid and utterly uninhibited. Aim for 75 percent.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It's a favorable time to gather up resources and amass bounty and solicit help and collect lots of inside information. I won't call you greedy if you focus on getting exactly what you need in order to feel comfortable and strong. In fact, I think it's fine if you store up far more than what you can immediately use—because right now is also a favorable time to prepare for future adventures when you will want to call on extraordinary levels of resources, bounty, help, and inside information.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Extravagant wigs became fashionable for a while in 18th-century England. They could soar as high as four feet above a woman's head. Collections of fruit might be arrayed in the mass of hair, along with small replicas of gardens, taxidermically stuffed birds, and model ships. I would love to see you wear something like that in the coming week. But if this seems too extreme, here's a second-best option: Make your face and head and hair as sexy as possible. Use your alluring gaze and confident bearing to attract more of the attention and resources you need. You have a poetic license to be shinier and more charismatic than usual.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): One of your anti-role models in the coming weeks is the character that Piscean diva Rihanna portrays when she sings in Eminem's tune "Love the Way You Lie." Study the following lyrics, mouthed by Rihanna, and make sure that in every way you can imagine, on psychological, spiritual, and interpersonal levels, you embody the exact opposite of the attitude they express: "You're just gonna stand there and watch me burn / But that's all right because I like the way it hurts / You're just gonna stand there and hear me cry / But that's all right, because I love the way you lie." To reiterate, Pisces, avoid all situations that would tempt you to feel and act like that.