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): "I have tried in my way to be free," sings Leonard Cohen in his song "Bird on a Wire." In other words, he has done the best he can to liberate himself from his unconscious patterns, bad habits, and self-delusions. He hasn't been perfect in his efforts, but the work he has done has earned him a measure of deliverance from his suffering. I recommend you follow his lead, Aries. Do your best to bring more relief and release into your life. Get rid of things that hold you back. Overthrow a pinched expectation and ignore a so-called limitation or two. By this time next week, I hope you will be able to say sincerely, "I have tried in my way to be free."
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm," wrote the novelist Willa Cather. According to my reading of the astrological omens, Taurus, you're in a phase of your cycle when storm-learning isn't your priority. The educational experiences you need most will unfold when you're exploring the mysteries of peace and serenity. In fact, I suspect that the deeper you relax, the more likely it is that you will attract life-changing teachings — lessons that can transform your life for the better and fuel you for a long time.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Is there a message you've wanted to deliver for a long time but haven't been able to? Are you bursting with thoughts or feelings that you've been longing to express but can't find the right way to do so? Have you spent months carrying around a poignant truth that you have felt wasn't ripe enough to be revealed? If your answer to any of those questions is yes, I believe the time will soon be at hand to make a move. But it's important that you're not impulsive or melodramatic as you initiate your breakthrough communications. For best results, be full of grace and balance.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Bees and other insects can see ultraviolet light, which is invisible to humans. When they look at flowers, they detect designs on the petals that you and I cannot. For example, the evening primrose appears completely yellow to us, but it calls seductively to bees with a flashy star pattern at its center. Many of the secret signs that flowers offer the pollinators are meant to guide them to where the pollen and nectar are. Let's use this as our metaphor of the week, Cancerian. I am not predicting that you will be able to perceive a broader spectrum of light. But I do believe you will discern cues and clues that are hidden from most people and that have been imperceptible to you in the past.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "I was six years old when my parents told me that there was a small, dark jewel inside my skull, learning to be me." So said the Leo science fiction writer Greg Egan in his story "Learning to Be Me." Let's pretend that you, too, have a small dark jewel inside your skull that's learning to be you. It's a good metaphor for what I believe has been happening all these years: You have been gradually mastering the art of being the best Leo you can be. It hasn't been easy. You weren't born knowing how to be your beautiful, radiant, courageous self, but have had to work hard to activate your potentials. Now you're moving into an especially critical phase of the process: a time when you have the chance to learn how to love yourself with greater ingenuity.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Dear Astrology Guy: Please tell me why I have to work so hard — meditate, reflect, read, analyze, poke, prod, investigate — to discover truths about myself that must be obvious to others. Why is it so hard for me to see where I need healing and where I need to let go? Why is it such an ordeal to grasp what is interfering with my wholeness when I can quickly pinpoint what other people's issues are? -Overworked Virgo." Dear Overworked: I'm happy to report that you Virgos will soon be offered a gush of revelations about who you are, how you can heal, and what strategies will best serve your quest to minimize your anxiety. Are you prepared to absorb some intense teachings? For best results, make yourself extra receptive.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): One of the world's best race car teams is McLaren. It wins about 25 percent of the events in which it competes. Its skilled drivers account for much of its success, but its technicians are also pretty sensational. During a pitstop in the middle of a race, they can change all four tires on the car in less than three seconds. Do you have helpers like that, Libra? If you don't, it's time to intensify your efforts to get them. And if you do, it's time to call on them to give you an extra boost.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Let's try an experiment. It's risky, but I'm hoping you will do it with such flair that there will be no karmic blowback. What I propose, Scorpio, is that you have fun expressing more confidence than usual. I invite you to strut a bit, even swagger, as you demonstrate your command over your circumstances. Enjoy acting as if the world is your plaything . . . as if everyone around you secretly needs you to rise up and be a bigger, bolder version of yourself. The trick, of course, will be to avoid getting puffed up with grandiose delusions. Your challenge is to be more wildly devoted to embodying your soul's code without lapsing into arrogance.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I suspect that you are longing to take a quantum leap of faith, but are also afraid to take that quantum leap of faith. You sense the potential of experiencing a very cool expansion, while at the same time you hesitate to leave your comfort zone and give up your familiar pain. In light of the conflict, which may not be entirely conscious, I suggest you hold off on making a gigantic quantum leap of faith. Instead, experiment with a few bunny hops of faith. Build up your courage with some playful skips and skitters and bounces that incrementally extend your possibilities.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Hoaxes exposed! Bluffs called! Secrets revealed! Whitewashes uncovered! Curses banished! Taboos broken! Those are the headlines I expect to see emblazoned in your Book of Life during the coming weeks. Can you handle that many holy disruptions? Will you be able to deal with the stress that might come from having so much raucous success? These are important questions, because if you're not up to the challenge, you may scare away the transformations. So steel your resolve, Capricorn. Mobilize your will. Do what's necessary to harvest the unruly blessings.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The French novelist Flaubert declared that if you hope to write a book, you should first read 1,500 books. A Roman author named Petronius believed that the imagination does not work at its peak power unless it is inundated with reading material. I suggest you adopt their advice and apply it to your own field, Aquarius. Whatever skill or subject you want to master, expose yourself lavishly to the efforts of other people who have already mastered it. Flood yourself with well-crafted inspiration.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Should you be worried that a venomous spider has crawled into your shoe while you were sleeping? Just in case, should you flip your shoe upside-down before putting it on each morning? My studied opinion: hell, no. The chances of you being bitten on the foot by a venomous spider lurking in your shoe are even less than the possibility that you will be abducted by an alien who looks like Elvis Presley and forced to sing a karaoke version of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" at an extraterrestrial bar. And if you are going around filled with delusional anxieties like that, you will definitely interfere with life's current predilection, which is to give you a cleansing respite from your fears as well as immunity from harm.