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): Swans, geese, and ducks molt all their flight feathers at once, which means they may be unable to fly for several weeks afterwards. We humans don’t do anything like that in a literal way, but we have a psychological analog: times when we shed outworn self-images. I suspect you’re coming up on such a transition, Aries. While you’re going through it, you may want to lie low. Anything resembling flight—launching new ventures, making big decisions, embarking on great adventures—should probably be postponed until the metamorphosis is complete and your feathers grow back.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In 2011 car traffic began flowing across Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, a newly completed span that joins the city of Qingdao with the Huangdao District in China. This prodigious feat of engineering is 26.4 miles long. I nominate it to serve as your prime metaphor in the coming weeks. Picture it whenever you need a boost as you work to connect previously unlinked elements in your life. It may help inspire you to master the gritty details that’ll lead to your own monumental accomplishment.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): An apple starts growing on its tree in the spring. By early summer, it may be full size and as red as it will ever be. To the naked eye, it appears ready to eat. But it’s not. If you pluck it and bite into it, the taste probably won’t appeal to you. If you pluck it and hope it will be more delicious in a few weeks, you’ll be disappointed. So here’s the moral of the story, Gemini: For an apple to achieve its potential, it has to stay on the tree until nature has finished ripening it. Keep that lesson in mind as you deal with the urge to harvest something before it has reached its prime.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Dear Rob: In one of your recent horoscopes, you implied that I should consider the possibility of asking for more than I’ve ever asked for before. You didn’t actually use those words, but I’m pretty sure that’s what you meant. Anyway, I want to thank you! It helped me start working up the courage to burst out of my protective and imprisoning little shell. Today I gave myself permission to learn the unknowable, figure out the inscrutable, and dream the inconceivable.—Crazy Crab.” Dear Crazy: You’re leading the way for your fellow Cancerians. The process you just described is exactly what I advise them to try in the coming weeks.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Picture yourself moving toward a building you haven’t seen before. Trust the initial image that leaps into your imagination. What type of path are you on? Concrete or dirt or brick or wood? Is it a long, winding way or short and direct? Once you arrive at the front door, locate the key. Is it under a mat or in your pocket or somewhere else? What does the key look like? Next, open the door and go inside to explore. Where have you arrived? See everything in detail. This is a test that has no right or wrong answers, Leo—similar to what your life is actually bringing you right now. The building you’ve envisioned represents the next phase of your destiny. The path symbolizes how you get here. The key is the capacity or knowledge you will need.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): My first poetry teacher suggested that it was my job as a poet to learn the names of things in the natural world. She said I should be able to identify at least 25 species of trees, 25 flowers, 25 herbs, 25 birds, and eight clouds. I have unfortunately fallen short in living up to that very modest goal, and I’ve always felt guilty about it. But it’s never too late to begin, right? In the coming weeks, I vow to correct for my dereliction of duty. I urge you to follow my lead, Virgo. Is there any soul work that you have been neglecting? Is there any part of your life’s mission that you have skipped over? Now would be an excellent time to catch up.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Here’s my nomination for one of the Ten Biggest Problems in the World: our refusal to control the pictures and thoughts that pop into our minds. For example, I can personally testify that when a fearful image worms its way into the space behind my eyes, I sometimes let it stimulate a surge of negative emotions rather than just banish it or question whether it’s true. I’m calling this is to your attention, Libra, because in the weeks ahead you’ll have more power than usual to modulate your stream of consciousness. Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says, “Don’t believe everything you think”? Make that your mantra.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the hands of a skilled practitioner, astrology can help you determine the most favorable days to start a new project or heat up your romantic possibilities or get a tattoo of a ninja mermaid. Success is of course still quite feasible at other times, but you might find most grace and ease if you align yourself with the cosmic flow. Let’s consider, for example, the issue of you taking a vacation. According to my understanding, if you do it between now and July 23, the experiences you have will free your ass, and—hallelujah!—your mind will then gratefully follow. If you schedule your getaway for another time, you could still free your ass, but may have to toil more intensely to get your mind to join the fun.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): What is your most hateable and loveable obsession, Sagittarius? The compulsion that sometimes sabotages you and sometimes inspires you? The longing that can either fool you or make you smarter? Whatever it is, I suspect it’s beginning a transformation. Is there anything you can do to ensure that the changes it undergoes will lead you away from the hateable consequences and closer to the loveable stuff? I think there’s a lot you can do. For starters: Do a ritual—yes, an actual ceremony—in which you affirm your intention that your obsession will forever after serve your highest good and brightest integrity.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): As someone who thrives on simple organic food and doesn’t enjoy shopping, I would not normally have lunch at a hot dog stand in a suburban mall. But that’s what I did today. Nor do I customarily read books by writers whose philosophy repels me, and yet recently I have found myself skimming through Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness. I’ve been enjoying these acts of rebellion. They’re not directed at the targets that I usually revolt against, but rather at my own habits and comforts. I suggest you enjoy similar insurrections in the coming week, Capricorn. Rise up and overthrow your attachment to boring familiarity.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The ancient Chinese book of divination known as the I Ching speaks of “catching things before they exit the gate of change.” That’s what happens when a martial artist anticipates an assailant’s movement before it happens, or when a healer corrects an imbalance in someone’s body before it becomes a full-blown symptom or illness. I see this as an important principle for you right now, Aquarius. It’s a favorable time to catch potential disturbances prior to the time they exit the gate of change. If you’re alert for pre-beginnings, you should be able to neutralize or transform brewing problems so they never become problems.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Neurophysiologists say that singing really loudly can flush away metabolic waste from your cerebrum. I say that singing really loudly can help purge your soul of any tendency it might have to ignore its deepest promptings. I bring these ideas to your attention, Pisces, because I believe the current astrological omens are suggesting that you do some really loud singing. Washing the dirt and debris out of your brain will do wonders for your mental hygiene. And your soul could use a boost as it ramps up its wild power to pursue its most important dreams.