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Free Will Astrology

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): If you go into a major art museum that displays Europe's great oil paintings, you'll find that virtually every masterpiece is surrounded by an ornate wooden frame, often painted gold. Why? To me, the enclosure is distracting and unnecessary. Why can't I just enjoy the arresting composition on the naked canvas, unburdened by the overwrought excess? I urge you to take my approach in the coming weeks, Aries. Push and even fight to get the goodies exactly as they are, free of all the irrelevant filler, extraneous buffers, and pretentious puffery.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle," said the 13th-century poet Rumi. More prosaically put: Evaluate people according to the nobility and integrity of the desires they're obsessed with. Do you want to hang around with someone whose primary focus is to make too much money or please her parents or build a shrine to his own ego? Or would you prefer to be in a sphere of influence created by a person who longs to make a useful product or help alleviate suffering or make interesting works of art? It's an excellent time to ponder these issues, Taurus — and then take action to ensure you're surrounded by moths that favor beautiful candles.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In Santa Cruz there used to be a nightclub that featured live rock bands on a big stage but enforced a strict policy forbidding its patrons from dancing. The one time I went there, the music was loud and infectious, and I naturally felt the urge to move in vigorous rhythm. Moments after I launched into my groove, a bouncer accosted me and forced me to stop. I think this situation has certain resemblances to the one you're in now, Gemini. Some natural response mechanism in you is being unduly inhibited; some organic inclination is being unreasonably restrained or dampened. Why should you continue to accept this?

CANCER (June 21-July 22): During the time a blue crab is growing to maturity, it is very skilled at transforming itself. It sheds its exoskeleton an average of once every 18 days for an entire year. You're in a phase with some similarities to that period of rapid ripening, Cancerian. Your commitment to change doesn't have to be quite as heroic, but it should be pretty vigorous. Could you manage, say, two moltings over the course of the next 30 days? If done in a spirit of adventure, it will be liberating, not oppressively demanding.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Progress isn't made by early risers," wrote author Robert Heinlein. "It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." That's exactly the kind of progress you are in an excellent position to stir up in the coming weeks. You don't have to match the stress levels of the Type A people who might seem to have an advantage over you, and you won't help yourself at all by worrying or trying too hard. The single best thing you can do to supercharge your creativity is to think of yourself as a "happy-go-lucky" person while you go around dreaming up ways to have more fun.

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