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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) I bet that in the next five months you will be obliged to carry more responsibility than you have in the past. You will find it hard to get away with being lazy or careless. I suspect that during this time you will also have the privilege of wielding more influence. The effect you have on people will be more pronounced and enduring. In short, your workload will be greater than usual – and so will your rewards. To the degree that you serve the greater good, you will be a major player. As for next few weeks, you should concentrate on the work and service and responsibility part of this equation.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Do you know what a "binky" is? It's what a rabbit does when it gets so crazily happy that it exuberantly leaps up into the air, stretching and twisting its body as it flicks and flops its feet. I'm not sure if lexicographers would allow us to apply this term to humans, but I'm going to predict that you'll soon be having some binky-inducing experiences. You're entering the Joy and Pleasure Season – a time when abundant levels of fun and well-being might be quite normal.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) You know that area on your back that you can't quite reach if you want to scratch it? It's called your acnestis. I propose that we make it your featured metaphor of the week. Why? Because I suspect you will have to deal with a couple of itchy situations that are just beyond your ability to relieve. Yes, this may be frustrating in the short run. But it will ultimately make you even more resourceful than you already are. By this time next week, you will have figured out alternative solutions that you haven't even imagined yet.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) "We need new friends," said essayist Logan Pearsall Smith. "Some of us are cannibals who have eaten their old friends up; others must have ever-renewed audiences before whom to re-enact an ideal version of their lives." Smith could have been talking about Sagittarians in early 2013. According to my interpretation of the astrological omens, you need some fresh alliances. Their influence will activate certain potentials that you haven't been able to access or fully express with the help of your current circle.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) A San Francisco writer named Maneesh Sethi decided he was wasting too much time on the Internet. His productivity was suffering. So he hired a woman to sit next to him as he worked and yell at him or slap his face every time his attention wandered off in the direction of Facebook or a funny video. It worked. He got a lot more done. While I would like to see you try some inventive approaches to pumping up your own efficiency, I don't necessarily endorse Sethi's rather gimmicky technique. Start brainstorming about some interesting yet practical new ways to enhance your self-discipline, please.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) "Ronnyjohnson618" is a guy who posts his opinions on a wide variety of Youtube videos. Many times, he claims to be an expert in the field he's commenting on. Responding to a live-music performance, he says he's a conductor for an orchestra. Offering his opinion about a mimosa plant, he asserts that he is a botanist. Beneath other Youtube videos, he declares he is a meteorologist, chemist, psychologist, soldier and geometry teacher. I love this guy's blithe swagger; I'm entertained by the brazen fun he's having. As you express yourself in the coming week, I recommend that you borrow some of his over-the-top audacity. Create a mythic persona. Imagine your life as an epic story. Play the part of a hero.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) The earliest performance artist on record was the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope. In one of his notorious stunts, he wandered around Athens with a lit lantern during the daytime, claiming to be looking for an authentic human being. I recommend that you undertake a similar search in the coming days. You don't have to be as theatrical about it, but I think it's important for you to locate and interact with people who are living their lives to the fullest – devoted to their brightest dreams, committed to their highest values, and sworn to express their highest integrity.

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