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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): African-American jazz singer Billie Holiday was the great-granddaughter of a slave. By the time she was born in 1915, black people in the American South were no longer “owned” by white “masters,” but their predicament was still extreme. Racism was acute and debilitating. Here’s what Billie wrote in her autobiography: “You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.” Nothing you experience is remotely as oppressive as what Billie experienced. But I’m wondering if you might suffer from a milder version of it. Is any part of you oppressed and inhibited even though your outward circumstances are technically unconstrained? If so, now’s the time to push for more freedom.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): What resounding triumphs and subtle transformations have you accomplished since your last birthday? How have you grown and changed? Are there any ways you have dwindled or drooped? The next few weeks will be an excellent time to take inventory of these things. Your own evaluations will be most important, of course. You’ve got to be the ultimate judge of your own character. But you should also solicit the feedback of people you trust. They may be able to help you see clues you’ve missed. If, after weighing all the evidence, you decide you’re pleased with how your life has unfolded these past 10 to 11 months, I suggest you celebrate your success. Throw yourself a party or buy yourself a reward or climb to the top of a mountain and unleash a victory cry.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Monmouth Park in New Jersey hosts regular horse races from May through November. During one such event in 2010, a horse named Thewifenoseeverything finished first, just ahead of another nag named Thewifedoesntknow. I suspect that there’ll be a comparable outcome in your life sometime soon. Revelation will trump secrecy. Whoever is hiding information will lose out to anyone who sees and expresses the truth. I advise you to bet on the option that’s forthcoming and communicative, not the one that’s furtive and withholding.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You have both a poetic and a cosmic license to stretch yourself further. It’s best not to go too far, of course. You should stop yourself before you obliterate all boundaries and break all taboos and smash all precedents. But you’ve certainly got the blessings of fate if you seek to disregard some boundaries and shatter some taboos and outgrow some precedents. While you’re at it, you might also want to shed a few pinched expectations and escape an irrelevant limitation or two. It’s time to get as big and brave and brazen as you dare.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): When I was 19, a thug shot me in the butt with a shotgun at close range. To this day, my body contains the 43 pellets he pumped into me. They have caused some minor health problems, and I’m always queasy when I see a gun. But I don’t experience any routine suffering from the wound. Its original impact no longer plagues me. What’s your own personal equivalent of my trauma? A sickness that racked you when you were young? A difficult break-up with your first love? The death of someone you cared about? Whatever it was, I suspect you now have the power to reach a new level of freedom from that old pain.

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