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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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ARIES (March 21-April 19) "Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings," says poet Muriel Rukeyser in her poem "Elegy in Joy." "Not all things are blest," she continues, "but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in the seed." I urge you to adopt this perspective in the coming weeks. Be extra sweet and tender and reverent toward anything that is just sprouting, toward anything that is awakening, toward anything that invokes the sacredness of right now. "This moment," sings Rukeyser, "this seed, this wave of the sea, this look, this instant of love."

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) As you seek more insight on your current situation, consider the possibility that the bad guys may not be as bad as they seem. They might simply be so deeply under the spell of their own pain that they can't see straight. And as for the good guys: I wonder if they are as purely good as they would like you to imagine. It might be the case that they are at least partially serving their own self-interest, while pretending to be utterly altruistic. If there's any truth to these speculations, you'd be wise to stay uncommitted and undecided for now. Don't get emotionally riled up, don't get embroiled in conflict and don't burn any bridges.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Here's your mantra: "I get fresher under pressure." Say it 10 times right now, and then repeat it in 10-repetition bursts whenever you need a tune-up. What it means is that you stay cool when the contradictions mount and the ambiguities multiply. And more than that: You actually thrive on the commotion. You get smarter amidst the agitation. You become more perceptive and more creative as the shifts swirl faster and harder. Tattoo these words of power on your imagination: "I get fresher under pressure."

CANCER (June 21-July 22) "Stories happen to those who tell them," said the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. Modern radio journalist Ira Glass goes even further. "Great stories happen to those who can tell them," he has said. Let's make this strategy a centerpiece of your life plan in the weeks ahead. I have a suspicion that you will need first-hand experience of novel, interesting stories. They will provide the precise nourishment necessary to inspire the blooming of your most soulful ambitions. One way to help ensure that the best stories will flow your way is to regale receptive people with transformative tales from your past.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) "Dear Rob: I'm spreading the word about Beer Week in your town, and I'd love to see you and your beer-loving readers at some of the events. Any chance you can include some coverage of Beer Week celebrations in your upcoming column? Cheers, Patricia." Dear Patricia: I don't do product placement or other forms of secret advertising in my horoscopes. To allow it would violate the sacred trust I have with my readers, who rely on me to translate the meaning of the cosmic signs without injecting any hidden agendas. It is true that Leos might be prone to imbibing great quantities of beer in the coming week, simply because they'd benefit from lowering their inhibitions, getting in touch with their buried feelings and expanding their consciousness. But to be frank, I'd rather see them do that without the aid of drugs and alcohol.

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