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Free Will Astrology

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Our elders know you don't find the answer by asking thousands of questions," says an essay on the website of the environmentalist group The Last Tree (thelasttree.net). "The wise way is to ask the right question in the beginning." I recommend this approach for you in the coming weeks, Virgo. Given the sparkly mysteriousness that now confronts you, I know you may be tempted to simultaneously try a lot of different routes to greater clarity. But the more effective strategy in the long run is to cultivate silence and stillness as you wait expectantly for the intuition that will reveal the simple, direct path.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In a review of James Gleick's book The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, The Week magazine reported that "the world now produces more information in 48 hours than it did throughout all human history to 2003." From that dizzying factoid, we can infer that you are more inundated with data than were all of your ancestors put together. And the surge will probably intensify in the coming weeks. You are in a phase of your astrological cycle when you'll be asked to absorb and integrate a voluminous amount of interesting stuff. Don't be hard on yourself if you sometimes need to slow down to digest what you've been taking in.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In his poem "Ode to the Present," Pablo Neruda tells us how to slip free and clear into the luxuriously potent opportunity of the present moment. The here-and-now is so ripe and willing, he says, so malleable. "Take a saw to its delicious wooden perfume," he continues, and then "build a staircase. Yes, a staircase. Climb into the present, step by step, press your feet onto the resinous wood of this moment, going up, going up, not very high ... Don't go all the way to heaven. Reach for apples, not the clouds." Such good advice for you, Scorpio! It's a perfect time to learn more about the magic of the present moment as you free yourself from "the unrepairable past." (Read the poem at bit.ly/NerudaOde.)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Seminal psychologist Carl Jung wasn't afraid of applying his scholarly analytical skills to the phenomena of pop culture. Late in life, he even wrote a thoughtful book on UFOs called Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies. To be as thorough and careful as he could possibly be about such an elusive subject, he wrote an afterword to his main argument, to which he added an epilogue, which in turn was followed by a concluding supplement. I hope that you are as scrupulous in wrapping up loose ends in the coming week, Sagittarius, especially when you're dealing with enigmas and riddles. As you seek resolution and completion, go well beyond the bare minimum.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): A great deal of land in the Netherlands has been reclaimed from the sea by human effort. But the system of dikes that holds back the primal flow is not a foolproof or permanent guarantee against flooding. That's why more and more people are building homes that can float if they have to. "We are actually trying to move away from fighting against the water," says architect Koen Olthuis. "We are beginning to make friends with the water." I recommend you adopt this as a useful metaphor, Capricorn. During the coming months, you should be doing a lot of foundation work. What can you do to add buoyancy?

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