Free Will Astrology
ARIES (March 21-April 19): In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is a huge holy tree that links all of the nine worlds to each other. Perched on its uppermost branch is an eagle with a hawk sitting on its head. Far below, living near the roots, is a dragon. The hawk and eagle stay in touch with the dragon via Ratatoskr, a talkative squirrel that runs back and forth between the heights and the depths. Alas, Ratatoskr traffics solely in insults. That's the only kind of message the birds and the dragon ever have for each other. In accordance with the astrological omens, Aries, I suggest you act like a far more benevolent version of Ratatoskr in the coming weeks. Be a feisty communicator who roams far and wide to spread uplifting gossip and energizing news.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You have a divine mandate to love bigger and stronger and truer than ever before. It's high time to freely give the gifts you sometimes hold back from those you care for. It's high time to take full ownership of neglected treasures so you can share them with your worthy allies. It's high time to madly cultivate the generosity of spirit that will enable you to more easily receive the blessings that can and should be yours. Be a brave, softhearted warrior of love!
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I love and respect Tinker Bell, Kermit the Frog, Shrek, Wonder Woman, SpongeBob SquarePants, Snow White, Road Runner, and Calvin and Hobbes. They have provided me with much knowledge and inspiration. Given the current astrological omens, I suspect that you, too, can benefit from cultivating your relationships with characters like them. It's also a favorable time for you to commune with the spirits of Harriet Tubman, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, or any other historical figures who inspire you. I suggest you have dreamlike conversations with your most interesting ancestors, as well. Are you still in touch with your imaginary friends from childhood? If not, renew acquaintances.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "I never wish to be easily defined," wrote Cancerian author Franz Kafka. "I'd rather float over other people’s minds as something fluid and non-perceivable; more like a transparent, paradoxically iridescent creature rather than an actual person." Do you ever have that experience? I do. I'm a Crab like you, and I think it's common among members of our tribe. For me, it feels liberating. It's a way to escape people's expectations of me and enjoy the independence of living in my fantasies. But I plan to do it a lot less in 2017, and I advise you to do the same. We should work hard at coming all the way down to earth. We will thrive by floating less and being better grounded; by being less fuzzy and more solid; by not being so inscrutable, but rather more knowable.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Here's my declaration: "I hereby forgive, completely and permanently, all motorists who have ever irked me with their rude and bad driving. I also forgive, totally and forever, all tech support people who have insulted me, stonewalled me, or given me wrong information as I sought help from them on the phone. I furthermore forgive, utterly and finally, all family members and dear friends who have hurt my feelings." Now would be a fantastic time for you to do what I just did, Leo: Drop grudges, let go of unimportant outrage, and issue a blanket amnesty. Start with the easier stuff -- the complaints against strangers and acquaintances -- and work your way up to the allies you cherish.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): There are some authors who both annoy me and intrigue me. Even though I feel allergic to the uncomfortable ideas they espouse, I'm also fascinated by their unique provocations. As I read their words, I'm half-irritated at their grating declarations, and yet greedy for more. I disagree with much of what they say, but feel grudgingly grateful for the novel perspectives they prod me to discover. (Nobel Prize-winner Elias Canetti is one such author.) In accordance with the current astrological rhythms, Virgo, I invite you to seek out similar influences -- for your own good!
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Now would be an excellent time to add new beauty to your home. Are there works of art or buoyant plants or curious symbols that would lift your mood? Would you consider hiring a feng shui consultant to rearrange the furniture and accessories so as to enhance the energetic flow? Can you entice visits from compelling souls whose wisdom and wit would light up the place? Tweak your imagination so it reveals tricks about how to boost your levels of domestic bliss.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 2017, you will have unprecedented opportunities to re-imagine, revise, and reinvent the story of your life. You'll be able to forge new understandings about your co-stars and reinterpret the meanings of crucial plot twists that happened once upon a time. Now check out these insights from author Mark Doty: "The past is not static, or ever truly complete; as we age we see from new positions, shifting angles. A therapist friend of mine likes to use the metaphor of the kind of spiral stair that winds up inside a lighthouse. As one moves up that stair, the core at the center doesn't change, but one continually sees it from another vantage point; if the past is a core of who we are, then our movement in time always brings us into a new relation to that core."
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The Tao Te Ching is a poetically philosophical text written by a Chinese sage more than two millennia ago. Numerous authors have translated it into modern languages. I've borrowed from their work to craft a horoscope that is precisely suitable for you in the coming weeks. Here's your high-class fortune cookie oracle: Smooth your edges, untangle your knots, sweeten your openings, balance your extremes, relax your mysteries, soften your glare, forgive your doubts, love your breathing, harmonize your longings, and marvel at the sunny dust.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I recently discovered Tree of Jesse, a painting by renowned 20th-century artist Marc Chagall. I wanted to get a copy to hang on my wall. But as I scoured the Internet, I couldn't find a single business that sells prints of it. Thankfully, I did locate an artist in Vietnam who said he could paint an exact replica. I ordered it, and was pleased with my new objet d'art. It was virtually identical to Chagall's original. I suggest you meditate on taking a metaphorically similar approach, Capricorn. Now is a time when substitutes may work as well as what they replace.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "It is often safer to be in chains than to be free," wrote Franz Kafka. That fact is worthy of your consideration in the coming weeks, Aquarius. You can avoid all risks by remaining trapped inside the comfort that is protecting you. Or you can take a gamble on escaping, and hope that the new opportunities you attract will compensate you for the sacrifice it entails. I'm not here to tell you what to do. I simply want you to know what the stakes are.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "All pleasures are in the last analysis imaginary, and whoever has the best imagination enjoys the most pleasure." So said 19th-century German novelist Theodor Fontane, and now I'm passing his observation on to you. Why? Because by my astrological estimates, you Pisceans will have exceptional imaginations in 2017 -- more fertile, fervent, and freedom-loving than ever before. Therefore, your capacity to drum up pleasure will also be at an all-time high. There is a catch, however. Your imagination, like everyone else's, is sometimes prone to churning out superstitious fears. To take maximum advantage of its bliss-inducing potential, you will have to be firm about steering it in positive directions.
[Editor: Here's this week's homework:]
Homework: Tell a story about the time Spirit reached down and altered your course in one swoop. Go to RealAstrology.com and click on "Email Rob."