Free Will Astrology
Free Will Astrology Week of January 30
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible," said poet Theodore Roethke. For the foreseeable future, Aries, you could and should be a person like that. I'm not saying that you will forevermore be a connoisseur of amazements and a massager of miracles and a magnet for unexpected beauty. But if you want to, you can play those roles for the next few weeks. How many exotic explorations and unlikely discoveries can you cram into your life between now and March 1? How many unimaginable transformations can you imagine?
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): North America's most powerful and iconic waterfall is Niagara Falls, which straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada. In 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed to shut down the American side of this elemental surge for a few months. They performed their monumental magic by building a dam made with 27,800 tons of rocks. Their purpose was to do research and maintenance on the stony foundation that lies beneath the water. I'm thinking that you Tauruses could accomplish a metaphorical version of that feat in the coming weeks: some awesome task that allows you to peer beneath the surface and make refinements that enhance your stability for a long time.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): National Geographic reports that dung beetles have an intimate relationship not only with the earth but also with the stars. Scientists in South Africa found that the bugs use the Milky Way Galaxy to orient themselves while rolling their precious balls of dung to the right spot for safekeeping. The bright band of starlight in the sky serves as a navigational aid. I nominate the dung beetle to be your power animal in the coming weeks, Gemini. It will be prime time for you, too, to align your movements and decisions with a bigger picture and a higher power.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): You should go right ahead and compare oranges and apples in the coming week, Cancerian. Honey and butter, too: It's fine to compare and contrast them. Science and religion. Bulldogs and Siamese cats. Dew and thunderclaps. Your assignment is to create connections that no one else would be able to make . . . to seek out seemingly improbable harmonies between unlikely partners . . . to dream up interesting juxtapositions that generate fertile ideas. Your soul needs the delight and challenge of unexpected blending.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The collection called Grimm's Fairy Tales includes the story "The Devil and His Grandmother." In one scene, the devil's grandmother is petting and rubbing her grandson's head. Or at least that's what the English translations say. But the authors wrote in German, and in their original version of the text, grandma is in fact plucking lice from the devil's hair. Your job in the coming week, Leo, is to ensure that no one sanitizes earthy details like that. Be vigilant for subtle censorship. Keep watch for bits of truth that have been suppressed. You need the raw feed that comes straight from the source.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In her book Jung and Tarot, Sallie Nichols notes that the sixteenth card in most Tarot decks portrays lightning as a hostile force: "jagged, zigzag strokes that slash across the sky like angry teeth." But there's one deck, the Marseilles Tarot, that suggests a kinder, gentler lightning. The yellow and red phenomenon descending from the heavens resembles a giant feather duster; it looks like it would tickle and clean rather than burn. I suspect you'll be visited by a metaphorical version of this second kind of lightning sometime soon, Virgo. Prepare to be tickled and cleaned!
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Years ago, "bastard" was a derisive term for a child born to unmarried parents. It reflected the conventional moral code, which regarded a "birth out of wedlock" as scandalous. But I think we can safely say that this old dogma has been officially retired. According to recent statistics compiled by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), over 40 percent of the kids born in the U.S. are to unmarried mothers. Just goes to show you that not all forbidden acts remain forbidden forever. What was unthinkable or out of bounds or not allowed at one time may evolve into what's normal. I bring this up, Libra, because it's an excellent time for you to divest yourself of a certain taboo that's no longer necessary or meaningful.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): While trekking up Mount Katahdin in Maine, naturalist Henry David Thoreau had a "mountain-top experience" that moved him to observe, "I stand in awe of my body." You're due for a similar splash of illumination, Scorpio. The time is right for you to arrive at a reverent new appreciation for the prodigious feats that your physical organism endlessly performs for you. What could you do to encourage such a breakthrough? How can you elevate your love for the flesh and blood that houses your divine spark?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): How do you like your caviar? Do you prefer it to be velvety and smooth, or would you rather have it be full of strong, fishy taste? If it's the first option, beluga caviar is your best option. If the second, sevruga should be your favorite. What? You say you never eat caviar? Well, even if you don't, you should regard the choice between types of caviar as an apt metaphor for the coming week. You can either have velvety smoothness or a strong taste, but not both. Which will it be? Set your intention.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Dear Astrology Guy: I have been reading your horoscopes since I was 19. For a while, I liked them. They were fun riddles that made me think. But now I've soured on them. I'm sick and tired of you asking me to transform myself. You just keep pushing and pushing, never satisfied, always saying it's time to improve myself or get smarter or fix one of my bad habits. It's too much! I can't take it any more! Sometimes I just want to be idle and lazy. Your horoscopes piss me off! - Crabby Capricorn." Dear Crabby: I've got some good news. In the coming week, you are completely excused from having to change anything about yourself or your life. Stay exactly the same! Be frozen in time. Resist the urge to tinker. Take a vacation from life's relentless command to evolve.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Young art student Andrzej Sobiepan sneaked into Poland's National Museum with a painting he had done himself and managed to surreptitiously mount it on one of the walls. It hung there for a while before authorities noticed it and took it down. "I decided that I will not wait 30 or 40 years for my works to appear at a place like this," he said. "I want to benefit from them in the here and now." This is the kind of aggressive self-expression I'd like to see you summon in the coming weeks, Aquarius. Don't wait for the world to come and invite you to do what you want to do. Invite yourself. P.S. The English translation of Sobiepan's Polish last name means "his own master." What can you do to be more of your own master?
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Before any system can leap to a higher level of organization, says poet Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, it has to undergo dissolution. "Unraveling or disintegrating is a vital, creative event making room for the new," she declares. Guess what time it is for the system we all know and love as YOU, Pisces? That's right: It's a perfect moment to undo, dismantle and disperse . . . as well as to unscramble, disentangle and disencumber. Be of good cheer! Have faith that you will be generating the conditions necessary for the rebirth that will follow. "To change from one reality to another," writes Wooldridge, "