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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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LEO: Charles Bukowski


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) A few years ago, a Malaysian man named Lim Boon Hwa arranged to have himself "cooked." For 30 minutes, he sat on a board covering a pan full of simmering dumplings and corn. The fact that no harm came to him was proof, he said, that Taoist devotees like him are protected by their religion's deities. I advise you not to try a stunt like that – including metaphorical versions. This is no time to stew in your own juices. Or boil in your tormented fantasies. Or broil in your nagging doubts. Or be grilled in your self-accusations. You need to be free from the parts of your mind that try to cook you.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) On a spring day in 1973, an engineer named Martin Cooper debuted the world's first cell phone. He placed a call as he walked along a New York City street. The phone weighed two and half pounds and resembled a brick. Later he joked that no one would be able to talk very long on his invention, since it took a lot of strength to hold it against one's ear. Think of how far that amazing device has come since then. Now imagine some important aspect of your own life that is in a rather primitive state at this moment but could one day be as natural and fully developed as cell phones have become. Are you willing to work hard to make that happen? Now's a good time to intensify your commitment.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) In the coming week, you will lose some clout and self-command if you're too hungry for power. Likewise, if you act too brazenly intelligent, you may alienate potential helpers who are not as mentally well-endowed as you. One other warning: Don't be so fiercely reasonable that you miss the emotional richness that's available. In saying these things, I don't mean to sound as if I'm advising you to dumb yourself down and downplay your strengths. Not at all. Rather, I'm trying to let you know that the best way to get what you really need is to tailor your self-expression to the unique circumstances you find yourself in.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) For a while, French writer Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was very poor. He lived in a place that had no heat and almost no furniture. To enhance his environment, he resorted to the use of fantasy. On one of his bare walls, he wrote the words, "rosewood paneling with ornamental cabinet." On another, he wrote "Gobelin tapestry with Venetian mirror." Over the empty fireplace he declared, "Picture by Raphael." That's the level of imaginative power I encourage you to summon in the coming weeks. So much of what you'll need will come from that simple magic.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) It's an excellent time to overthrow false gods and topple small-minded authorities and expose fraudulent claims. Anyone and anything in your environment that do not fully deserve the power they claim should get the brunt of your exuberant skepticism. When you're done cleaning up those messes, turn your attention to your own inner realms. There might be some good work to be done there. Can you think of any hypocrisy that needs fixing? Any excessive self-importance that could use some tamping down? Any pretending that would benefit from a counter dose of authenticity?

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