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.Free Will Astrology: Week of October 11

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Indigenous Semai people of Malaysia have an unusual taboo. They try hard not to cause unhappiness in others. This makes them reluctant to impose their wishes on anyone. Even parents hesitate to force their children to do things. I recommend you experiment with this practice. Now is an excellent time to refine your effect on people to be as benevolent and welcoming as possible. Don’t worry—you won’t have to be this kind and sweet forever. But doing so temporarily could generate timely enhancements in your relationship life.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taurus author Shakespeare reshaped the English language. He coined hundreds of words and revised the meanings of hundreds more. Idioms like “green-eyed monster” and “milk of human kindness” originated with him. But the Bard also created some innovations that didn’t last. “Recover the wind” appeared in Hamlet but never came into wide use. Other failures include, “Would you take eggs for money?” and “from smoke to smother.” Still, Shakespeare’s final tally of enduring neologisms is impressive. With this vignette, I’m inviting you to celebrate how many more successes than flops you have had. The time is right for realistic self-praise.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I hope beauty will be your priority in the coming weeks. I hope you will seek out beauty, celebrate it and commune with it adoringly. To assist your efforts, I offer five gems: 1. Whatever you love is beautiful; love comes first, beauty follows. The greater your capacity for love, the more beauty you find in the world. —Jane Smiley. 2. The world is incomprehensibly beautiful—an endless prospect of magic and wonder. —Ansel Adams. 3. A beautiful thing is never perfect. —Egyptian proverb. 4. You can make the world beautiful just by refusing to lie about it. —Iain S. Thomas. 5. Beauty isn’t a special inserted sort of thing. It is just life, pure life, life nascent, running clear and strong. –H. G. Wells.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I read a review that described a certain movie as having “a soft, tenuous incandescence—like fog lit by the glow of fireflies.” That sounds like who you are these days, Cancerian. You’re mysterious yet luminous; hard to decipher but overflowing with life energy; fuzzy around the edges but radiating warmth and well-being. I encourage you to remain faithful to this assignment for now. It’s not a state you will inhabit forever, but it’s what’s needed and true for the foreseeable future.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The published work of Leo author Thomas de Quincey fills 14 volumes. He inspired superstar writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, Nikolai Gogol and Jorge Luis Borges. Yet he also ingested opium for 54 years and was often addicted. Cultural historian Mike Jay says de Quincey was not self-medicating or escaping reality, but rather keen on “exploring the hidden recesses of his mind.” He used it to dwell in states of awareness that were otherwise unattainable. I don’t encourage you to take drugs or follow de Quincey’s path, Leo. But I believe the time is right to explore the hidden recesses of your mind via other means. Like what? Working with your nightly dreams? Meditating your ass off? Having soul-altering sex with someone who wants to explore hidden recesses, too? Any others?

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo journalist H. L Mencken said, “The average person doesn’t want to be free. He wants to be safe.” There’s some truth in that, but I believe it will be irrelevant for you in the coming months. According to my analysis, you can be both safer and freer than you’ve been in a long time. I hope you take full advantage! Brainstorm about unexpected feats you might be able to accomplish during this state of grace.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran philosopher and writer Michel Foucalt aspired to open up his readers’ minds with novel ideas. He said his task was to make windows where there had been walls. I’d like to borrow his approach for your use in the coming weeks. It might be the most fun to demolish the walls that are subdividing your world and keeping you preventing free and easy interchange. But I suspect that’s unrealistic. What’s more likely is partial success: creating windows in the walls.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): More and more older people are transitioning to different genders. An article in The Guardian ( describes how Bethan Henshaw, a warehouse worker, transitioned to female at age 57. Ramses Underhill-Smith became a man in his 40s. With this as your starting point, I invite you to re-evaluate your personal meanings of gender. Please note I’m not implying you should change your designation. Astrological omens simply suggest that you will benefit from expanding your ideas. Here’s Scorpio singer Sophie B. Hawkins, a mother who says she is omnisexual: “My sexuality stems from an emotional connection to someone’s soul. You don’t have to make a gender choice and stick with it.”

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarian author Mark Twain said that in urgent or trying circumstances, uttering profanities “furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” I will add that these magic words can be downright catalytic and healing—especially for you right now. Here are situations in which swearing could be therapeutic in the coming weeks: 1. when people take themselves too seriously; 2.when you need to escape feelings of powerlessness; 3. when know-it-alls try to limit the range of what can be said; 4. when people seem frozen or stunned and don’t know what to do next. In all these cases, well-placed expletives could provide necessary jolts to shift the stuck energy. PS: Have fun using other surprises, ploys and twists to shake things up for a good cause.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In Roman mythology, Venus was goddess of love, desire and beauty. Yet modern science tells us the planet Venus is blanketed with sulfuric acid clouds, has a surface temperature of 867 degrees Fahrenheit and is covered with 85,000 volcanoes. Why are the two Venuses out of sync? Here’s a clue, courtesy of occultist Dion Fortune. She said the goddess Venus is often a disturbing influence in the world, diverting us from life’s serious business. I can personally attest to the ways that my affinity for love, desire and beauty have distracted me from becoming a hard-driving billionaire tech entrepreneur. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. How about you, Capricorn? I predict that the goddess version of Venus will be extra active in your life during the coming months.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Thousands of heirloom food species are privately owned and hoarded. They once belonged to Indigenous people but haven’t been grown for decades. Descendants of their original owners are trying to get them back and grow them again—a process they call rematriation—but they meet resistance from companies and governmental agencies that commandeered the seeds. There has been some progress, though. The Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin has recovered some of its ancestral corn, beans and squash. Now would be a good time for you Aquarians to launch your own version of rematriation: reclaiming what was originally yours and that truly belongs to you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I like Piscean poet Jane Hirshfield’s understanding of what “lies at the core of ritual.” She says it’s “the entrance into a mystery that can be touched but not possessed.” My wish for you right now, Pisces, is that you will experience mysteries that can be touched but not possessed. To do so will give you direct access to prime riddles at the heart of your destiny. You will commune with sublime conundrums that rouse deep feelings and rich insights, none of which are fully explicable by your logical mind. Please consider performing a homemade sacred ritual or two.

Homework: What burden are you too attached to?


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