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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "The passion to explore is at the heart of being human," said Carl Sagan. "This impulse – to go, to see, to know – has found expression in every culture." But Steven Dutch, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, disagrees. He says there've been lots of societies that have had little interest in exploration. Africans never discovered Madagascar or the Cape Verde archipelago, for example. Few Asian cultures probed far and wide. During a thousand years of history, ancient Romans ignored Russia, Scandinavia and the Baltic, and made only minimal forays to India and China. Where do you personally fit on the scale of the human exploratory urge? Regardless of what you've done in the past, I bet you'll be on the move in the coming months. Your hunger for novelty and unfamiliarity should be waxing.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) In the coming months, it's likely you will experience more action than usual – some of it quite expansive – in your astrological eighth house. Traditional astrologers call this the sphere of sex, drugs and rock & roll, but I refer to it as the realm of deep connection, altered states of awareness and lyrical interludes that educate and enrich your emotional intelligence. Are you ready to have your habit mind rewired, your certainties reworked and your pleasures reconfigured?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) I hope that in the first half of 2011 you have been doing some devoted work on tidying up the messy old karma that had been interfering with the free flow of grace into your intimate relationships. If there's still work to be done on that noble task, throw yourself into it now. The renaissance of togetherness is due to begin soon and last for many months. You don't want any lingering ignorance, self-deceit or lack of compassion to gum it up.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) In 1498, Leonardo da Vinci completed one of his masterworks, the mural known as "The Last Supper." Nineteen years later, the paint had begun to flake off, and by 1556 Leonardo's biographer considered the whole thing to be "ruined." Over the centuries, further deterioration occurred, even as many experts tried to restore and repair it. The most recent reclamation project, finished in 1999, lasted more than two decades. I hope that in the coming months you will show a similar dedication to the high art of regeneration. Please work long and hard on bringing vitality back into what has fallen into decay or stagnancy.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) In a horoscope last year, I asked you whether you ever obsessed on your longing to such a degree that you missed opportunities to actually satisfy your longing. In response, a reader named John G. sent me the following corrective message: "We Capricorns comprehend the futility of too much longing. We understand it can be a phantasm that gets in the way of real accomplishment. It's like a telephone that keeps ringing somewhere but can't be found. We don't waste energy on dreamy feelings that may or may not be satisfied, since that energy is so much better funneled into mastering the details that will bring us useful rewards." I'm here to tell you that the coming months will be an excellent time to make use of the Capricornian capacities John G. describes.

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