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COLUMN

Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Members of the Nevada Republican Party have concocted a bizarre version of family values. A large majority of them are opposed to gay marriage and yet are all in favor of legal brothels. Their wacky approach to morality is as weird as that of the family-values crowd in Texas, which thinks it's wrong to teach adolescents about birth control even though this has led to a high rate of teen pregnancies. My question is, why do we let people with screwed-up priorities claim to be the prime caretakers of "family values"? In accordance with the astrological omens, I urge you to reject the conventional wisdom as you clarify what that term means to you. It's an excellent time to deepen and strengthen your moral foundation.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) There's a term for people who have the ardor of a nymphomaniac in their efforts to gather useful information: infomaniac. That's exactly what I think you should be in the coming week. You need data and evidence, and you need them in abundance. What you don't know would definitely hurt you, so make sure you find out everything you need to know. Be as thorough as a spy, as relentless as a muckraking journalist and as curious as a child. P.S.: See if you can set aside as many of your strong opinions and emotional biases as possible. Otherwise they might distort your quest for the raw truth. Your word of power is empirical.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Of all the signs of the zodiac, you're the best at discovering short cuts. No one is more talented than you at the art of avoiding boredom. And you could teach a master course in how to weasel out of strenuous work without looking like a weasel. None of those virtues will come in handy during the coming week, however. The way I see it, you should concentrate very hard on not skipping any steps. You should follow the rules, stick to the plan and dedicate yourself to the basics. Finish what you start, please! (Sorry about this grind-it-out advice. I'm just reporting what the planetary omens are telling me.)

CANCER (June 21-July 22) The epic breadth of your imagination is legendary. Is there anyone else who can wander around the world without ever once leaving home? Is there anyone else who can reincarnate twice in the span of few weeks without having to go through the hassle of actually dying? And yet now and then there do come times when your fantasies should be set aside so that you may soak up the teachings that flow your way when you physically venture outside of your comfort zone. Now is such a moment. Please don't take a merely virtual break in the action. Get yourself away from it all, even if it's only to the marvelous diversion or magic sanctuary on the other side of town.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) In Norse mythology, Fenrir was a big bad wolf that the gods were eager to keep tied up. In the beginning they tried to do it with metal chains, but the beast broke free. Then they commissioned the dwarves to weave a shackle out of six impossible things: a bear's sinews, a bird's spit, a fish's breath, a mountain's root, a woman's beard and the sound a cat's paws make as it walks. This magic fetter was no thicker than a silk ribbon, but it worked very well. Fenrir couldn't escape from it. I invite you to take inspiration from this story. As you deal with your current dilemma, don't try to fight strength with strength. Instead, use art, craft, subtlety and even trickery. I doubt you'll need to gather as many as six impossible things. Three will probably be enough. Two might even work fine.

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