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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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ARIES (March 21-April 19) Like Bob Dylan in his 1962 song "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," you've done a lot of rough and tumble living lately. You've "stumbled on the side of 12 misty mountains." You've "stepped in the middle of seven sad forests." You've "been out in front of a dozen dead oceans." Maybe most wrenching of all, you've "seen a highway of diamonds with nobody on it." The good news is that the hard rain will end soon. In these last days of the downpour, I suggest you trigger a catharsis for yourself. Consider doing something like what Dylan did: "I'll think it and speak it and breathe it / And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it."

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Mythologist Michael Meade says that the essential nature of every human soul is gifted, noble and wounded. I agree. Cynics who exaggerate how messed up we all are, ignoring our beauty, are just as unrealistic as naive optimists. But because the cynics have a disproportionately potent influence on the zeitgeist, they make it harder for us to evaluate our problems with a wise and balanced perspective. Many of us feel cursed by the apparent incurability of our wounds, while others, rebelling against the curse, underestimate how wounded they are. Mead says: "Those who think they are not wounded in ways that need conscious attention and careful healing are usually the most wounded of all." Your task in the next few weeks is to make a realistic appraisal of your wounds.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Metallica's frontman James Hetfield brashly bragged to Revolver magazine that he was proud his music was used to torture prisoners at the U.S. military's detention camp in Guantanamo Bay. I urge you to make a more careful and measured assessment of the influences that you personally put out into the world. It's time to find out how closely your intentions match your actual impact - and to correct any discrepancies. How are people affected by the vibes you exude and the products you offer and the words you utter and the actions you undertake?

CANCER (June 21-July 22) "In the absence of clearly defined goals," said Cancerian writer Robert Heinlein, "we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it." If this description is even a partial match for the life you're living, now is an excellent time to address the problem. You have far more power than usual to identify and define worthy goals - both the short-term and long-term variety. If you take advantage of this opportunity, you will find a better use for the energy that's currently locked up in your enslavement to daily trivia.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) As I was mulling over your astrological omens, I came across a short poem that aptly embodies the meaning of this moment for you. It's by Richard Wright, and goes like this: "Coming from the woods / A bull has a lilac sprig / Dangling from a horn." Here's one way to interpret this symbolic scene: Primal power is emerging into a clearing from out of the deep darkness. It is bringing with it a touch of lithe and blithe beauty - a happy accident.

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