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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "When looking for a book, you may discover that you were in fact looking for the book next to it." Italian writer Roberto Calasso told that to The Paris Review, and now I'm passing it on to you. But I'd like you to expand upon its meaning, and regard it as a metaphor that applies to your whole life right now. Every time you go searching for a specific something – a learning experience, an invigorating pleasure, a helpful influence – consider the possibility that what you really want and need is a different one that's nearby.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) At least once a day, a cell in your body mutates in a way that makes it potentially cancerous. Just as often, your immune system hunts down that dangerous cell and kills it, preserving your health. Do you understand how amazing this is? You have a vigilant protector that's always on duty, operating below the level of your awareness. What if I told you that this physical aspect of your organism has an equivalent psychic component? What if, in other words, you have within you a higher intelligence whose function it is to steer you away from useless trouble and dumb risks? I say there is such a thing. I say this other protector works best if you maintain a conscious relationship with it, asking it to guide you and instruct you. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to deepen your connection.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Some rules in the game of life don't apply to you and can therefore be safely ignored. Do you know which ones they are? On the other hand, do you understand which of the rules in the game of life are crucial to observe if you want to translate your fondest dreams into real experiences? To recognize the difference is a high art. I'm thinking that now would be an excellent time to solidify your mastery of this distinction. I suggest that you formally renounce your investment in the irrelevant rules and polish your skills at playing by the applicable rules.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) "Don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter," wrote the Persian mystic poet Rumi. "It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." I think you're like that winter garden right now. Outwardly, there's not much heat and flash. Bright ideas and strong opinions are not pouring out of you at their usual rates. You're not even prone to talking too loud or accidentally knocking things over. This may in fact be as close as you can get to being a wallflower. And yet deep beneath the surface, out of sight from casual observers, you are charging up your psychic battery. The action down there is vibrant and vigorous.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) "When you come right down to it," says religion writer Rabbi Marc Gellman, "there are only four basic prayers. Gimme! Thanks! Oops! and Wow!" Personally, I would add a fifth type of prayer to Gellman's list: "Do you need any assistance?" The Creator always needs collaborators to help implement the gritty details of the latest divine schemes. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you would be an excellent choice to volunteer for that role right now – especially in tasks that involve blending beautiful fragments, healing sad schisms, furthering peace negotiations and overcoming seemingly irreconcilable differences.

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