Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):
One of my favorite landscape painters makes a livable wage from selling her art. She has had many gallery showings and has garnered much critical acclaim. That’s the good news. The bad news is that she feels obligated to keep churning out more landscape paintings — even when her muse nudges her to take a detour into, say, abstract expressionism or surrealistic portraits. Galleries don’t want anything from her except the stuff that has made her semi-famous. “Sometimes I fantasize about creating a series of ‘Sock Puppet Monkeys Playing Poker,’ “ she told me.

If she were an Aries, I’d advise her to do what I think you should do in 2010: Listen to what your version of the sock puppet monkeys are urging you to do.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

My Taurus friend Jill had a dream in which she stopped by a blackberry bush on a summer afternoon. All the ripe blackberries were too high on the bush, just out of reach. She stood there gazing longingly up at them for a long time. Finally, three people in medieval garb came by, as if they had stepped out of a deck of Tarot cards — a warrior, magician and priestess. “I really want those blackberries,” she said to them. “Could you give me a boost?” They stooped down to make their backs available. She climbed up, but still couldn’t reach the berries. “Oh, well, we tried,” she said. “Follow us,” said the priestess, and she did. After a while, they came to another bush whose blackberries were lower and easy to pluck. Then the four shared the feast. After analyzing the omens for 2010, Taurus, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jill’s dream is an apt metaphor for your best possible destiny in 2010.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

“We should not think of our past as definitely settled, for we are not a stone or a tree,” wrote poet Czeslaw Milosz. “My past changes every minute according to the meaning given it now, in this moment.” I suggest you make abundant use of this wisdom in 2010. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will have unprecedented power to re-vision and reinterpret your past. Keep the following question in mind as you go about your work: “How can I recreate my history so as to make my willpower stronger, my love of life more intense, and my future more interesting?”

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

I think everyone should always have an improbable quest playing at the edges of their imagination — you know, some heroic task that provokes deep thoughts and rouses noble passions even if it also incites smoldering torment. I’m talking about an extravagant dream that’s perhaps a bit farfetched but not entirely insane, a goal that constantly rouses you to stretch your possibilities and open your mind further, a wild hope whose pursuit makes you smarter and stronger even if you never fully accomplish it. The coming year would be an excellent time to keep such an adventure at the forefront of your awareness.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

A guy who goes by the name of “Winter” has made it his goal to visit every Starbucks in the world. According to his Web site, he has thus far ordered drinks in 9,874 stores. His project contrasts dramatically with an acquaintance of mine who calls herself “Indian Summer.” She is in the midst of a global pilgrimage to the hundreds of sites listed in Colin Wilson’s book “The Atlas of Holy Places and Sacred Sites,” including cave paintings, dolmens, medicine wheels and temples. Guess which of these two explorers I’m nominating to be one of your inspirational heroes in 2010.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

Scientific studies have proved what we all knew already: A person who’s only mildly interesting to you will probably become more attractive if you drink a couple of pints of beer. What if I told you, Virgo, that in 2010 you could regularly create the same effect without drinking the beer? I have it on good astrological authority that this will be the case. Due to fundamental shifts in your relationship with the life force, and having nothing to do with how much alcohol you consume, the entire world will often be at least 25 percent more attractive to you than it ever was before.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

Your limitations will be among your greatest assets in 2010. Yes, you heard me right, Libra; I’m not speaking ironically or sarcastically. During the coming months, you will be able to benefit from circumstances that you might otherwise imagine would prevent you from operating with maximum freedom. It might require you to look at the world upside-down, or work in reverse to your habitual thought patterns, but you could actually generate interesting opportunities, vital teachings, and maybe even financial gain by capitalizing on your so-called liabilities.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

“Dear Rob: I sure don’t like so much God stuff mixed into my horoscopes. Can you cut it out, please? I understand it’s common for the masses to believe in an Ultra Being, but you? Pul-lease. You’re smarter than that. I just can’t abide all the ‘Divine Wow’ this and ‘Cackling Goddess’ nonsense that you dispense; it doesn’t jibe with the practical, sensible, unsuperstitious, non-mushy world I hold dear. — Sally Scorpio.” Dear Sally: I predict that many Scorpios will have sensational, ongoing, up-close and personal communion with the Divine Wow in 2010. You’re free, of course, to call it something else, like an unprecedented eruption of creative energy or a breakthrough in your ability to access your own higher powers.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

You Sagittarians may wander farther and wider than the other signs of the zodiac, and you may get itchier when required to stay in one place too long, but you still need a sense of belonging. Whether that comes from having a certain building where you feel comfortable or a wilderness that evokes your beloved adventurousness or a tribe that gives you a sense of community, you thrive when you’re in regular touch with a homing signal that keeps you grounded. According to my analysis, 2010 will be prime time for you to find or create or renew your connection to a source that serves this purpose well.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

I’m happy to announce that 2010 could be the year when you become a more expert communicator. It’s not that you do a bad job now; it’s just that there is always room for improvement, and this will be an excellent time to attend to that. Life will be bringing you an abundance of experiences that will help you learn to listen better, cultivate more tact, read people’s body language like a pro, and consistently speak about the elusive truth with language that’s both kind and effective.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

Whom and what do you hold most dear, Aquarius? I encourage you to get clear about that. Once you do, I hope you’ll make a vow to bestow extra care and attention on them in 2010 — I mean literally write out a one-page oath in which you describe the inner states you will cultivate in yourself while you’re in their presence and the specific actions you’re going to take to help them thrive.  Nothing else you do will be more important to your success in 2010.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

The philosopher Nietzsche said there was no middle ground: You either said “yes” to life or you said “no.” You either celebrated your vitality, enjoyed your power, and thrived on challenges, or else you practiced constant self-denial, hemmed yourself in with deluded rationalizations, and tormented yourself with indecision. I’m not so sure it’s always as clear-cut as that. While I’m usually in the “yes to life” camp,” I’ve gone through “no to life” phases, as well as some extended “maybe to life” times. What about you, Pisces? Whatever you’ve done in the past, I hope that in 2010 you will take maximum advantage of the cosmic rhythms, which will be encouraging you to give life a big, resounding, ongoing YES.

To check out my expanded audio forecast of your destiny in 2010, go to RealAstrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

What influences do you really, really need to say goodbye to? The next six months will provide you with ample motivation and opportunity to finally bid those farewells. What long-term cycle really, really needs to be drawn to a close, no more hemming and hawing, all loose ends tied up and all mixed signals clarified? Again, the time between now and the middle of June will bring you the necessary inspiration to make it happen. But it’ll take deep thought and sustained work and an expanded sense of humor, so get started soon.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

According to astronomer Mark Whittle, the big bang began in silence. Soon it crescendoed into a majestic major third chord, 50 octaves below middle A. Then it transformed, over the course of a million years, into a wistful minor third chord. In my vision of the first two-thirds of 2010, the music of your life will have a similar pattern: It begins with silence. Next, it progresses into a lush major feel, with spirited and complex contrapuntal themes. Then in June, it evolves into a dreamy, contemplative phase. By late September, however — unlike the big bang — you will move into a third act, in which the music of your life returns to the lively mood it had at the start, only now with the gravitas that the reflective phase has instilled.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

I have good astrological reasons to suspect that a year from now, your empire will be bigger. The resources you have at your disposal will be more substantial, the influence you wield will be more meaningful, and the responsibilities you oversee will be more demanding. You can’t, however, just sit back passively and expect fate to make it all happen for you. You will have to work your assets off: get better organized, clarify your game plan, and commit to taking better care of yourself. None of that is mandatory, of course. Being a lazy wanderer with no mission statement is definitely an option. If you do go in that direction, though, don’t complain to me next December about how you feel like you’re made of cookie dough.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

You will need to learn a lot in 2010, Cancerian. You’ll be in a phase of your long-term cycle when it will be wise to enhance your problem-solving skills and increase the knowledge you have at your disposal. So let me ask you: What can you do to gently shock yourself into prying open your mind? What is it that you don’t know but need to know? By the way, the coming year will also be a good time for you to offer yourself up as a teacher. In fact, sharing your knowledge and problem-solving skills will make you more receptive to what you need to learn.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

Do you know any world travelers, shamanic healers or visionary entrepreneurs? If not, there’s a good chance you’ll meet some in 2010, possibly even forge alliances with them. Crafty activists, brilliant artists and deep thinkers may come your way as well. Another possibility is that cohorts and comrades you’ve been linked to for some time will embark on mind-expanding quests that blow your mind as well as theirs. One way or another, Leo, the coming year will bring you more than the usual benefits and challenges that come from being in relationships.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

I was in my first rock band in North Carolina in the 1970s. We did a mix of cover tunes by David Bowie, Lou Reed and Patti Smith, plus original hippie-punk songs and my poetry rants. Controversy arose virtually every time we performed, especially in places like the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh (where we competed with the cacophony of mooing cows) and frat parties (where we endured the shouted insults of drunken jocks). It wasn’t until I moved to California that I synced up with an audience that appreciated my idiosyncratic musical sensibilities. According to my reading of the omens, Virgo, 2010 could bring you a comparable transition: finding listeners or hooking up with collaborators who are a better fit for your unique qualities.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

I’m always befuddled by astrologers who preach the gospel of doom and gloom when they talk about the influence of Saturn. My experience is that the ringed planet provides the greatest gift imaginable: motivation to become the person you were born to be. It steers you away from pursuing goals that aren’t in alignment with your soul’s code. It pressures you to give up vain fantasies that, even if fulfilled, wouldn’t make you happy. That’s why I’m happy to report to you the following good news: As Saturn travels through your sign for much of the time between now and October 2012, I expect that you will be prompted and prodded to cut away the irrelevancies that distract you from claiming your birthright.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Comedian Chris Rock has a joke that plays on the stereotypes about your sign: “Most Scorpios die while they’re making love!” (Only he uses the f-word instead of “making love.”) I understand the source of his satire. There are more than a few grains of truth in the notion that Scorpios revel in the enigmas of eros and death. On the other hand, I wouldn’t reduce your mystique to such a simple formula. I’d prefer to say something like this: You’re sexy when you’re letting go of your staunch self-control. Or: You’re an expert at transcending humdrum modes of awareness by stimulating intense pleasure. Or: If fully harnessed, your orgasmic power could kill off any destructive compulsions you might be harboring. And by the way, 2010 will be one of the best years ever for you to cash in on these capacities.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

According to my analysis of your astrological omens, 2010 isn’t a year to get your head in the clouds, but rather to grow deeper roots. Your job, as I see it, isn’t so much to explore the heights, but the depths. I think you should focus on getting to the bottom of things, not the top. Your instrument of choice should be a microscope, not a telescope. Your specialty won’t be playing spectacular guitar solos but rather groovalicious bass lines.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

I’m happy to announce that 2010 could be the year when you become a more expert communicator. It’s not that you do a bad job now; it’s just that there is always room for improvement, and this will be an excellent time to attend to that. Life will be bringing you an abundance of experiences that will help you learn to listen better, cultivate more tact, read people’s body language like a pro, and consistently speak about the elusive truth with language that’s both kind and effective.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

I’ve known some practical, sensible, well-grounded Aquarians in my life. They’re outnumbered, though, by the dominant subtype of your tribe: the imaginative, idiosyncratic improvisers with lightning reflexes and high-flying notions. But even if you belong to the latter group, in 2010 you’ll be gaining the capacities of the former. In fact, I think this will be the year you get more things done than you ever have before. Attention to detail will be your specialty. You’re likely to excel in mastering the part of genius that comprise 98 percent perspiration.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

The pop star Pink is a successful singer. Not only does she have a great voice, she has also sold 32 million records and won two Grammy’s. Recently, she added what I think is an extraneous element to her live performances: a trapeze act. At the MTV Video Music Awards last September, she delivered her song “Sober” while swinging through the air and hanging upside down 60 feet off the ground. I was perplexed as I watched her, thinking to myself, “Doesn’t she have confidence that her song and her singing can stand alone?” In 2010, Pisces, I urge you not to follow her lead. There’s no need for you to go way overboard as you try too hard to give too much. Just sing your songs.

Homework: If you’d like to enjoy my books, music and videos without spending any money, go here: http://bit.ly/7Cj8rY

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

I don’t understand why the astronomers responsible for naming new-found objects are so devoid of flair. Here’s a prime example: They found a blazar, or blazing quasi-stellar object, in a faraway galaxy. It’s powered by a supermassive black hole that’s 10 billion times larger than our sun. Why did they give this fantastic oddity the crushingly boring name “Q0906+6930”? Couldn’t they have called it something like “Queen Anastasia” or “Blessed Quasimodo” or “Gastromopolopolis”? I trust you won’t be as lazy in your approach to all the exotic discoveries you’re going to be making in 2010, Aries. Start getting your imagination in top shape. Make sure it’s primed and ready for your upcoming walkabout to the far reaches of reality.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

Scientists say that pretty much everywhere you go on this planet, you are always within three feet of a spider. That will be an especially useful and colorful truth for you to keep in mind during 2010. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to take maximum advantage of your own spider-like potentials. It’s going to be web-spinning time, Taurus: an excellent phase in your long-term life cycle to weave an extended network — with you at the hub — that will help you catch an abundance of the resources you need.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

I don’t normally recommend that you worry too much about what others think of you. In 2010, however, you could benefit from thinking about that subject more than usual. Judging from the astrological omens, I suspect that you’ll be able to correct misunderstandings that have negatively affected your reputation. You might even have the power to shift people’s images of you so that they’re in relatively close alignment with the truth about who you actually are.

Here’s the best news: You may be more popular than you’ve ever been.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

I’m hoping that you will get out more in 2010. And I mean way out. Far out. Not just out to the unexplored hotspots on the other side of town (although that would be good), but also out to marvelous sanctuaries on the other side of paradise. Not just out to the parts of the human zoo where you feel right at home, but also out to places in the urban wilderness where you’ll encounter human types previously unknown to you. In conclusion, traveler, let me ask you this: What was the most kaleidoscopic trip you’ve ever taken? Consider the possibility of surpassing it in the next 12 months.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

One of the 20th century’s greatest scientific minds was Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Planck. He knew that in his field, like most others, ingenious innovation doesn’t automatically rise to the top. The advancement of good new ideas is hampered by the conservatism and careerism of scientists. “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light,” he wrote, “but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” In 2010, Leo, there’ll be a similar principle at work in your sphere. Influences that have been impeding the emergence of excellence will burn out, dissipate or lose their mojo. As a result, you’ll be able to express and take advantage of innovations that have previously been quashed.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

Twenty-two percent of American rightwing fundamentalists believe that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ. On the other hand, 73 percent of the people who read my horoscopes think that if there were such a thing as an Anti-Christ, he would be an American rightwing fundamentalist. But I’d like to discourage speculations like that among the Virgo tribe in 2010. According to my reading of the omens, you should take at least a year off from getting worked up about your version of the devil. Whoever you demonize, just let them alone for a while. Whatever you tend to fault as the cause of the world’s problems, give your blame mechanism a rest. As much as possible, create for yourself an Enemy-Free Zone.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

I’m hoping that 2010 will be the year you do whatever it takes to fall more deeply in love with the work you do. I’d like to see you reshape the job you have so that it better suits your soul’s imperatives. If that’s not possible, consider looking for or even creating a new job. The cosmos will be conspiring to help you accomplish this. Both hidden and not-so-hidden helpers will be nudging you to earn your livelihood in ways that serve your highest ideals and make you feel at peace with your destiny.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” is a jazz tune composed in 1931 by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills. In accordance with your long-term astrological omens, I propose that we make that song title your motto in 2010 — the standard you’ll keep referring to as you evaluate which experiences you want to pursue and which you don’t. Please proceed on the assumption that you should share your life energy primarily with people and situations that make your soul sing and tingle and swing.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

 I hope you will get more sleep in 2010. And eat better food, too. And embark on some regimen like meditation that will reduce your stress levels. In general, Sagittarius, I hope you will learn a lot more about what makes your body function at optimum levels, and I hope you will diligently apply what you learn. That doesn’t mean I think you should be an obsequiously well-behaved pillar of the community. On the contrary, what I’m envisioning is that by taking better care of yourself you will make yourself strong enough to run wilder and freer.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

Even if you don’t plan to go to school in 2010, I suggest you make plans to further your education. Your current levels of knowledge and skill may be quite impressive, but they simply won’t be enough to keep you growing and adapting forever. Eventually, you’re going to need to learn more. And the coming months will be a perfect time, from an astrological perspective, to get that process underway. Here are a few questions to jumpstart your meditations: What ignorance do you find yourself having to increasingly hide? What subjects captivate your imagination and tantalize your future self? What skills and know-how do your competitors have that you don’t?

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

Imagine that money is not just the literal cash and checks you give and receive, but that it is also an invisible force of nature like gravity or electromagnetism. Then imagine that it’s possible for this primal energy to be favorably disposed toward you — that on some occasions its rhythms may be more closely aligned with your personal needs. Can you picture that, Aquarius? I hope so, because there is a sense in which this seeming fantasy will be an actuality for you during much of 2010. How well you’re able to capitalize will depend in part on how high you keep your integrity levels. Are you prepared to be more impeccably ethical, fair, and honest than you’ve ever been?

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

Have you been toiling away earnestly at the exhausting homework that life has dumped on you this past year? Have you kept the faith even when you’ve been fooled and confused? Have you applied yourself with a pure heart to the maddening details and puzzling riddles you’ve been asked to master? If you’ve been less than conscientious at doing these tasks, the next two months will bring you a series of tricky final exams. But if you have been doing your due diligence, then you’re on the brink of graduating from boring old problems that you have been studying and studying and studying for a long time. Do we dare hope that you will soon be free of a history that has repeated itself ad nauseam? Yes, I think we do dare.

Homework: Create a title that captures the essence of what you hope to accomplish in 2010, like “The Year I Figure Out What I Really Want” or “The Year I Become a Modest Super-Hero.” FreeWillAstrology.com

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

“Indignation is one of the most rewarding of emotions,” writes Theodore Dalrymple, “as well as one that automatically gives meaning to life … There is nothing like irritation to get the juices circulating and the mind working.” Of all the ideas that have made me irritable and indignant in recent weeks, this one steams me the most. I disagree so completely that I am practically beside myself with paralyzing rage. And as I plunge my attention further and further into his ridiculous proposal, I feel the tension coursing through my body. I sense my mind becoming swampy, my perceptions distorted. There’s a good chance that I am inducing in myself a state of stressed-out stupidity. Please don’t follow my example, Aries. It’s possible that sour fury could be useful to you at other times, but right now you should avoid it. If you want your intelligence to work at peak efficiency in the coming days, you’ll need long stretches of tender, lucid calm.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

The evidence is incontrovertible: You have definitely acquired more power in 2009. Whether that means you are now sitting in a corner office bossing around a gaggle of subordinates, I don’t know. What I do know is that you are in greater charge of your own destiny. You know yourself much better, and are smarter about providing yourself with what you need, when you need it. You have gained access to enormous new reserves of willpower, in part by harnessing the energy of your obsessive tendencies. Blind fate just doesn’t have the same control over your life as it used to. More than ever before, you’re making decisions based on what’s really good for you rather than on your unconscious compulsions.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

I trust you’ve traveled all over creation in 2009 — or have at least exposed yourself to a wide range of novel sights and sounds near your home turf. I pray that you’ve escaped one shrunken niche, two narrow perspectives, and three low expectations. I’m also hoping that in these last 12 months, you have regularly sought out pleasant jolts and breathtaking vistas that have inspired you to see the big picture of your unfolding destiny. If you haven’t been doing these things with the eager abandon you should have, please take the next flight to the other side of the world. Eat unfamiliar food, meet people who are very different from you, listen to strange music, climb a mountain, and get your mind blown.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

So how are you doing with your year-long resurrection project, Cancerian? Have you been taking care of the finishing touches these past few weeks? If not, do so soon. It’s high time for you to officially and definitively rise from the dead. Your wandering in the underworld is at an end. Your mourning for broken dreams should be complete. In January, the age of exploration will begin; make sure your reborn spunk is ready for action by then.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

I bet your relationship life will be a source of revolutionary teachings in 2010. Adventures in intimacy and partnership will draw you into some highly educational fun and games. You will be invited to dramatically expand your understanding of the nature of commitment. You will also be asked to dig deeper to discover your real desires, which up until now have been partially camouflaged by more superficial longings that were grafted onto you during the darker days of adolescence. How should you prepare for the interesting tests of the next 12 months? How can you get yourself in shape to earn the demanding gifts that will be within reach? Now is an excellent time to start thinking about those questions.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

Whenever the tide goes out, the creek I live next to loses a lot of its water to the bay. It becomes a narrow trickle surrounded by stretches of mud. From a distance, the mud looks like a wet black desert, but if you get up close you’ll see it’s covered with tiny furrows, pits, and bulges. This is evidence that many small creatures live there, although only the hungry ducks and egrets know exactly where to look to find them. Be like those birds, Virgo. As you survey your version of the mud flat, ignore anyone who tells you that it’s barren. Go searching for the rich pickings.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

It seems to me that in 2009 you’ve learned to love the fact that all the world’s a stage. You’ve found roles that have been fun to play, and you’ve expressed yourself with the nuanced zeal of a skilled actor in an elaborate theatrical production. I have very much enjoyed seeing you reveal the full range of your inner riches. If I were going to award Oscars to the astrological signs, you Libras would get the prize for “Best Performance of One’s True Self.”

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

“The nature of the work is to prepare for a good accident,” said filmmaker Sidney Lummet. He was talking about the craft of creating movies, but he could have also been advising you on how to make the most of the coming week. Your task, as I see it, is to set in order everything that can be set in order. Get very organized. Make sure you’re well-rehearsed. Be warmed up and highly alert. That way you’ll be ready to respond with graceful intensity when serendipitous opportunities arise within the framework you’ve put in place.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

One of your top accomplishments in 2009 is the way you have united parts of yourself that had not previously been very well connected. It seems you decided that you were tired of being split up into fragmented sub-personalities that had different agendas. Somehow you managed to convince them all to work together in a common cause. Now I’m quite impressed with the new spirit of cooperation that’s at work in your depths. I predict it will lead to an unprecedented singleness of purpose in 2010.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

In his book The Way of Transition, William Bridges defines the “neutral zone” as “that in-between time, after you’ve let go of your old life and before you have fully discovered and incorporated your new life.” Sound familiar? Maybe the neutral zone where you’re currently simmering isn’t as dramatic as that — maybe you haven’t been stripped of every single certainty and you’re not wandering in limbo. But I suspect you have at least let go of one aspect of your old familiar rhythm and have yet to ease into the one that’ll be familiar in the future. My advice? Don’t rush it. Get all you can out of this unique and educational time in the neutral zone.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

In 2009, the cosmic powers-that-be have been conspiring to get you to expand your self-image and enlarge your understanding of your place in the world. So I trust that in these last 12 months you have started a business or organized a support group or reinvented your physical appearance or begun your masterpiece — or done something to initiate a new phase in your long-term cycle. If for some reason you’ve been remiss about doing this work, I suggest you scramble to make up for lost time. And if you have been taking advantage of the abundant cosmic help, it’ll soon be time to move on to phase two: consolidation.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

To prepare for his turn to hit, a Major League baseball player slips a doughnut-shaped piece of metal over the top of his bat, making it a few pounds heavier than it normally is. He then takes a number of practice swings. The theory is that when he removes the doughnut and strides up to home plate to actually hit against a pitcher who’s throwing the ball at 90 miles per hour, the bat will feel lighter and he’ll be able to swing faster. As you prepare for your own equivalent of going up to bat, Pisces, I urge you to use this as your operative metaphor.

Homework: Send me predictions for your life in 2010. Where are you headed? Go to FreeWillAstrology.com; click on “Email Rob.”

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

When Carolee Schneeman was a kid, her extravagant adoration of nature earned her the nickname “mad pantheist.” Later, during her career as a visual artist, she described her relationship with the world this way: “I assume the senses crave sources of maximum information, that the eye benefits by exercise, stretch, and expansion towards materials of complexity and substance.” I hope that you’re attracted to that perspective right now, Aries. To be in most productive alignment with the cosmic rhythms, you should be in a state of nearly ecstatic openness, hungry to be stretched — like a mad pantheist.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

“Dear Rob: Last night my son and I were star-gazing. When we focused on the constellation Cassiopeia, an owl started hooting. Then a brilliant shooting star zipped by as a huge bat flew right over our heads. Was this a bad omen? Bats are creepy — associated with vampires. And in Greek mythology Cassiopeia got divine punishment because she bragged that she and her daughter were more beautiful than the sea god’s daughters. But I don’t know, maybe this blast of odd events was a good omen. Owls are symbols of wisdom and shooting stars are lucky, right? What do you think? Are we blessed or cursed? — Spooked Taurus.” Dear Spooked: The question of whether it’s good or bad luck is irrelevant. Here’s what’s important: You Tauruses are in a phase when the hidden workings of things will be shown to you — the mysterious magic that’s always bubbling below the surface but that is usually not visible.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

The week ahead will be a ripe time to pull off magic reversals. May I suggest that you try to transform dishwater greys into sparkling golds? Or how about recycling the dead energy of a lost cause in such a way as to generate raw fuel for a fresh start? I’m confident, Gemini, that you’ll be able to discover treasure hidden in the trash, and that you’ll find a way to unleash the creative zeal that has been trapped inside polite numbness. Now ponder this riddle, please: Do you think there’s any mystical significance in the fact that the word “stressed” is “desserts” spelled backwards?

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

Lately you remind me of the person Robert Hass describes in his poem “Time and Materials”: “someone falling down and getting up and running and falling and getting up.” I’m sending you my compassion for the times you fall down, and my admiration for the times you get up, and my excitement for the times you run. It has probably become clear to you by now that the falling down isn’t a shameful thing to be cursed, but rather is an instrumental part of the learning process that is teaching you marvelous secrets about getting back up and running.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

“I burn for no reason, like a lantern in daylight,” writes poet Joseph Lease. I think that’s a succinct formulation of one of your central issues, Leo. Burning for no reason, like a lantern in the daylight, can be the cause of either failure or success for you, depending on subtle differences of emphasis. This is how it can be failure: When you’re mindlessly and wastefully burning through your prodigious reserves of fuel without any concern for the benefits it may provide you and others. This is how it can be success: When you are exuberant and self-disciplined in shining your light and radiating your warmth just because it feels so good and so right and so healthy, and without any thought about whether it’s “useful” to anyone.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

In one of his short poems, John Averill (twitter.com/wiremesa) describes a scene that I think captures the essence of your current astrological omens: “Today is the day of the photo of moonrise over Havana in a book on a shelf in the snowbound cabin.” Here’s a clue about what it means: The snowbound cabin is where you are right now in your life. The moonrise over Havana is where you could be early in 2010. How do you get there from here?

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

An estuary is a bay where the salt water of a sea mixes with the fresh water of rivers. These days you remind me of such a place. You are two-toned, Libra. You’re dual-purpose and double-tracked. You’re a hybrid blend of the yes and the no, the give and the take, the extravagant and the traditional. And somehow this has been working out pretty well for you. You’re not so much a dysfunctional contradiction as an interesting juxtaposition. You’re not being crushed by a squeeze of opposites so much as you’re getting massaged by the oscillating throbs of complementary influences. Keep doing what you’ve been doing, only more so.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Big shiny egos with flashy tricks may be mucking around in everyone’s business, calling narcissistic attention to themselves as they pretend to do noble deeds. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll be doing the hard, detailed work that must be done to serve the greater good — quietly and unpretentiously improving people’s lives without demanding major tribute. That approach will stir up some sleek, silky karma that will come in handy when you undertake the building of your masterpiece in 2010.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

“Dear Rob: I love to be proven wrong. That’s not an ironic statement. I actually get excited and feel creative when I acquire new information that shows me I’ve been operating under a misunderstanding. One of my very favorite life moments occurs when I am convincingly liberated from a negative opinion I’ve been harboring about someone. As you can tell, I’m quite proud of this quality. The way I see it, emotional wealth and psychological health involve having so much self-respect that I don’t need to be right all the time. — Sagittarian Freedom Fighter.” Dear Freedom Fighter: Thanks for your testimony. The capacity you described is one that many Sagittarians will be poised to expand in 2010. And this is an excellent week for them to start getting the hang of it.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

In an early version of the tale of Pinocchio, friendly woodpeckers chiseled his nose back to its original size after it had grown enormous from his incorrigible lying. From a metaphorical perspective, Capricorn, a comparable development may soon occur in your own life. A benevolent (if somewhat rough) intervention akin to the woodpeckers’ assistance will shrink an overgrown, top-heavy part of your attitude, allowing you to proceed to the next chapter of your story with streamlined grace.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

“There is light enough for those who wish to see,” wrote French philosopher Blaise Pascal, “and darkness enough for those of the opposite disposition.” I’m hoping you will align yourself with the first group in the coming week, Aquarius. More than ever before, what you choose to focus on will come rushing in to meet you, touch you, teach you, and prompt you to respond. Even if all the smart people you know seem to be drunk on the darkness, I encourage you to be a brave rebel who insists on equal time for the light.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

White dwarfs are small and extremely dense stars. They’re typically no bigger than the Earth but as heavy as the sun. You currently have a resemblance to one of those concentrated balls of pure intensity. I have rarely seen you offering so much bang for the buck. You are as flavorful as chocolate mousse, as piercing as the scent of eucalyptus, as lustrous as a fireworks display on a moonless night. Personally, I’m quite attracted to your saucy and zesty emanations, and I think most people with strong egos will be. But some underachievers with lower self-esteem may regard you as being more like astringent medicine. My advice: Gravitate toward those who like you to be powerful.
Homework: Meditate on the difference between your fearful fantasies and your accurate intuitions. For inspiration, listen to my free podcast at http://bit.ly/unqAj

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