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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) “Everything is unique,” said the 19th-century authors known as the Goncourt brothers, who wrote all their books together. “Nothing happens more than once in a lifetime. The physical pleasure that a certain woman gave you at a certain moment, the exquisite dish that you ate on a certain day – you will never meet either again. Nothing is repeated, and everything is unparalleled.” Of course, this is always true. But I suspect you will be more intensely aware of it in the coming days than you have in a long time. In part that’s because the sensations and experiences headed your way will be so piquantly unique, so exquisitely fresh. And in part it’s because you’ll be wide-awake to the novel pleasures that are possible when you appreciate the fact that everything changes all the time.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul,” said environmentalist Edward Abbey. The “ruin” doesn’t happen all of a sudden, because of a single small failure to translate sincere intentions into good works. Rather, it’s the result of long-running laziness or passivity – a consistent inability to do what one’s passions demand. If there is even a shred of this tendency in your make-up, now is an urgent time to shed it. According to my astrological analysis, you simply must carry out your soul’s mandates.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) I would, of course, never advocate burning all copies of the book Faking It: How to Seem Like a Better Person Without Actually Improving Yourself. I’m a staunch defender of freedom of speech, even if the speech offends my moral sense. On the other hand, my freedom of speech allows me to advise you to strenuously avoid that book and any influence that resembles it. In my astrological opinion, you need to actually become a better person in the coming weeks, not just pretend you are. Here’s a good place to start: Don’t just pay lip service to the idea of supporting others’ freedom of speech. Help them claim and express that freedom, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Every one of us is born with up to 150 new mutations that make us different from both of our parents. Most of those genetic alterations are neutral in their effects. Some are negative and a few may be beneficial. I bring this to your attention because you’re entering a phase when it’s possible to take more advantage of your positive mutations than you ever have before. Can you guess what they are? Try to, because you’re primed to tap in to their fuller potential.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Dictionary.com says there are 19 words in the English language with no perfect rhymes. Among them are six words that are useful in constructing this week’s horoscope for you: cusp, glimpsed, depth, rhythm, gulf, and opus. I like the fact that none of them rhyme because it’s symbolic of the task you have ahead of you. You’re on the cusp of a shift in your rhythm that will take you out of your depth, compelling you to close the gulf between you and a resource that will be crucial for you to have access to in the future. You’ve glimpsed what needs to be done – the creation of a new opus – but in order to accomplish it, you will need to be motivated by a frustration that feels like having to rhyme unrhymeable words.

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