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Free Will Astrology

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Liminality" is a term that refers to the betwixt and between state. It's dawn or dusk, when neither night nor day fully rules. It's the mood that prevails when a transition is imminent or a threshold beckons. During a rite of passage, liminality is the phase when the initiate has left his or her old way of doing things but has not yet been fully accepted or integrated into the new way. Mystical traditions from all over the world recognize this as a shaky but potent situation — a time and place when uncertainty and ambiguity reign even as exciting possibilities loom. In my estimate, Virgo, you're now ensconced in liminality.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The Argentinian writer Antonio Porchia said there were two kinds of shadows: "some hide, others reveal." In recent weeks, you've been in constant contact with the shadows that hide. But beginning any moment now, you'll be wandering away from those rather frustrating enigmas and entering into a dynamic relationship with more evocative mysteries: the shadows that reveal. Be alert for the shift so you won't get caught assuming that the new shadows are just like the old ones.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Every winter, hordes of ants have overrun my house. At least that was true up until recently. This winter, the pests stayed away, and that has been very good news. I didn't have to fight them off with poison and hand-to-hand combat. The bad news? The reason they didn't invade was because very little rain fell, as it's supposed to during Northern California winters. The ants weren't driven above ground by the torrents that usually soak the soil. And so now drought threatens our part of the world. Water shortages may loom. I propose that this scenario is a metaphor for a dilemma you may soon face, Scorpio — except that you will have a choice in the matter: Would you rather deal with a lack of a fundamental resource or else an influence that's bothersome but ultimately pretty harmless?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You're entering one of the most buoyant phases of your astrological cycle. Your mandate is to be brash and bouncy, frothy and irrepressible. To prepare you, I've rounded up some exclamatory declarations by poet Michael McClure. Take them with you as you embark on your catalytic adventures. They'll help you cultivate the right mood. McClure: "Everything is natural. The light on your fingertips is starlight. Life begins with coiling — molecules and nebulae. Cruelty, selfishness, and vanity are boring. Each self is many selves. Reason is beauty. Light and darkness are arbitrary divisions. Cleanliness is as undefinable and as natural as filth. The physiological body is pure spirit. Monotony is madness. The frontier is both outside and inside. The universe is the messiah. The senses are gods and goddesses. Where the body is — there are all things."

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