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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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LIBRA: Jim Henson


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Here are some ways to get more respect:  1. Do your best in every single thing you do – whether it's communicating precisely or upholding the highest possible standards at your job or taking excellent care of yourself. 2. Maintain impeccable levels of integrity in everything you do – whether it's being scrupulously honest or thoroughly fair-minded or fiercely kind. 3. On the other hand, don't try so compulsively hard to do your best and cultivate integrity that you get self-conscious and obstruct the flow of your natural intelligence. 4. Make it your goal that no later than four years from now you will be doing what you love to do at least 51 percent of the time. 5. Give other people as much respect as you sincerely believe they deserve. 6. Give yourself more respect.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) The German poet and philosopher Friedrich von Schiller liked to have rotting apples in his desk drawer as he worked; the scent inspired him. Agatha Christie testified that many of her best ideas came to her while she was washing dishes. As for Beethoven, he sometimes stimulated his creativity by pouring cold water over his head. What about you? Are there odd inclinations and idiosyncratic behaviors that in the past have roused your original thinking? I encourage you to try them all this week, and then see if you can dream up at least two new ones. You have officially entered the brainstorming season.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) It's expensive for the U.S. to hold prisoners at its Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba: $800,000 per year for each detainee. That's 30 times more than it costs to incarcerate a convict on the American mainland. According to the Miami Herald, Guantanamo is the most expensive prison on the planet. How much do you spend on locking stuff up? What does it cost, not just financially but emotionally and spiritually, for you to keep your secrets hidden and your fears tamped down and your unruly passions bottled up and your naughty urges suppressed? The coming weeks would be a good time to make sure the price you pay for all that is reasonable – not even close to being like Guantanamo.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) What time is it, boys and girls? It's Floods of Fantastic Gratitude Week: a perfect opportunity to express your passionate appreciation for everything you've been given. So get out there and tell people how much you've benefited from what they've done for you. For best results, be playful and have fun as you express your thanks. By the way, there'll be a fringe benefit to this outpouring: By celebrating the blessings you already enjoy, you will generate future blessings.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Telling the whole deep truth and nothing but the whole deep truth isn't necessarily a recipe for being popular. It may on occasion provoke chaos and be disruptive. In an institutional setting, displays of candor may even diminish your clout and undermine your ambitions. But now take everything I just said and disregard it for a while. This is one of those rare times when being profoundly authentic will work to your supreme advantage.

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