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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "I don't know what I'm looking for," sings Brendan Benson in his bouncy pop song, "What I'm Looking For," "but I know that I just want to look some more." I suspect those words could come out of your mouth these days, Virgo. I worry that you've become so enamored with the endless quest that you've lost sight of what the object of the quest is. You almost seem to prefer the glamour of the restless runaround - as painful as it sometimes is. That probably means you're at least somewhat out of touch with the evolution of your primal desires. Check back in with the raw, throbbing source, please.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) When it's flood season, the Amazon River rises as much as 60 feet. At that time, the adjoining forests earn their name - varzea, a Portuguese word meaning "flooded forests." The river's fish wander far and wide, venturing into the expanded territory to eat fruit from the trees. In the coming weeks, Libra, I imagine you'll be like those fish: taking advantage of the opportunities provided by a natural windfall.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Provocative new influences are headed your way from a distance. Meanwhile, familiar influences that are close at hand are about to burst forth with fresh offerings. It's likely that both the faraway and nearby phenomena will arrive on the scene at around the same time and with a similar intensity. Try not to get into a situation where they will compete with or oppose each other. Your best bet will be to put them both into play in ways that allow them to complement each other.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Are you desperate for more companionship? Have your night dreams been crammed with soulful exchanges? Are you prowling around like a lusty panther, fantasizing about every candidate who's even remotely appealing? If so, I have some advice from the poet Rumi: "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." In other words: To foster the search for intimate connection, identify the patterns within yourself that are interfering with it. By the way, this is good counsel even if you're only moderately hungry for closer connection.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) If you live in the United States, your chocolate almost certainly contains insect parts. The Food and Drug Administration understands that the mechanisms involved in making chocolate usually suck small passersby into the works, which is why it allows manufacturers to include up to 60 bug fragments per 100 grams of chocolate. A lot of basically positive influences have a similar principle at work: Unpalatable ingredients get mixed in with the tasty stuff, but not in such abundance that they taint the experience. This week you may be unusually tuned in to the unpalatable side of some good things in your life. Don't overreact.

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