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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) When a Navajo baby laughs for the first time, everyone in the community celebrates. It’s regarded as the moment when the child completes his or her transition from the spirit realm into the physical world. The person who has provoked the baby’s laughter is charged with planning the First Laugh Ceremony, a party to commemorate the magical event. I foresee a comparable development in your life. You won’t be laughing for the first time, of course, but I suspect your sense of humor will reach a new ripeness. How? Maybe you will be able to find amusement in things you have always taken too seriously. Maybe you will suddenly have a deeper appreciation for life’s ongoing cosmic jokes. Or perhaps you will stumble upon reasons to laugh longer and harder and louder than you ever have before.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Would you like to be free from the experience of getting criticized? Do you think it might be nice if no one ever accused you of being wrong or off-track? If so, here’s how you should proceed, says American writer Elbert Hubbard: “Do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” But I’m afraid I can’t recommend that behavior. In the coming weeks, you have a sacred duty to your Future Self to risk being controversial. I urge you to take strong stands, speak raw truths and show your real feelings. Yes, you may attract flack. You might disturb the peace. But that will be an acceptable price to pay for the rewards you receive. This is one time when being courageous is more important than seeking harmony.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) “Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any,” said writer Mark Twain. How do you respond to that impish nudge? Are there any geniuses and heroes out there whom you consider to be worthy of your respect? If not, I urge you to go out in search of some. At this phase of your evolution, you are in special need of people who inspire you with their greatness. It’s crucial for you to learn from teachers and role models who are further along than you are in their mastery of the game of life. I also believe it would be healing for you to feel waves of admiration and reverence.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) “Everyone has something to hide,” declared Russian author Anton Chekhov. Is that true? Do even you have something to hide? I’m going to say that for 90 percent of you, the answer is yes. There are secrets you don’t want anyone to find out about: past events you are reluctant to disclose or shady deeds you are getting away with now or taboo thoughts you want to keep sealed away from public knowledge. I’m not here to scold you about them or to encourage you to spill them. On the contrary, I say it’s time to bring them fully into your conscious awareness, to honor their importance to your life story, and to acknowledge their power to captivate your imagination.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) A German chemist named Felix Hoffman had a prominent role in synthesizing two very different drugs: aspirin and heroin. In analyzing your astrological omens for the coming months, I see you as having a similar potential. You could create good stuff that will have the power to help and heal; or you could generate borderline stuff that will lead to a lot of problems; or you could do both. How it all plays out really is up to your free will. For best results, set your intention to go in the direction of things like aspirin and away from things like heroin.

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