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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Not bad for a few weeks' work, or play, or whatever it is you want to call this tormented, inspired outburst. Would it be too forward of me to suggest that you've gone a long way toward outgrowing the dark fairy tale that had been haunting your dreams for so long? And yet all this may just be a warm-up for your next metamorphosis, in which you make an audacious new commitment to becoming what you really want to be when you grow up.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) This week I'm taking a break from my usual pep talks. I think it's for the best. If I deliver a kind-hearted kick in the butt, maybe it will encourage you to make a few course corrections, thereby making it unnecessary for fate to get all tricky and funky on you. So here you go, Taurus: 1) The last thing you need is someone to support your flaws and encourage you in your delusions. True friends will offer snappy critiques and crisp advice. 2) Figure out once and for all why you keep doing a certain deed that's beneath you, then gather the strength and get the help you need to quit it. 3) It's your duty to stop doing your duty with such a somber demeanor and heavy tread. To keep from sabotaging the good it can accomplish, you've got to put more pleasure into it.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) The German word weltratsel can be translated as “world riddle.” Coined by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, it refers to questions like “What is the meaning of existence?” and “What is the nature of reality?” According to my reading of the astrological omens, you're now primed to deepen your understanding of the world riddle. For the next few weeks, you will have an enhanced ability to pry loose useful secrets about some big mysteries. Certain passages in the Book of Life that have always seemed like gobbledygook to you will suddenly make sense. Here's a bonus: Every time you decipher more of the world riddle, you will solve another small piece of your personal riddle.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” So wrote George Bernard Shaw in his book Man and Superman. From the hints I have gleaned, you are now in an ideal phase to be the sort of unreasonable man or woman who gets life to adapt so as to better serve you and your dreams. Even if it's true that the emphasis in the past has often been on you bending and shaping yourself to adjust to the circumstances others have wrought, the coming weeks could be different.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) In his book Word Hero, Jay Heinrichs offers us advice about how to deliver pithy messages that really make an impact. Here's one tip that would be especially useful for you in the coming days: Exaggerate precisely. Heinrichs gives an example from the work of the illustrious raconteur, American author Mark Twain. Twain did not write, “In a single day, New England's weather changes a billion times.” Rather, he said, “In the spring I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of four-and twenty hours.” Be inspired by Twain's approach in every way you can imagine. Make things bigger and wilder and more expansive everywhere you go, but do it with exactitude and rigor.

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