Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19) “Too much happiness can make you unhappy,” reported journalist Marta Zaraska in The Washington Post. Citing research by psychologists, she concluded that being super-extra cheerful can make you selfish, gullible and more prone to stereotyped thinking. On the other hand, she said, maintaining merely moderate levels of happiness is pretty damn good for your mental and physical health. So here’s the takeaway, Aries: The astrological omens suggest you’re due for a surge of joy and pleasure. Just be careful it doesn’t spill over into rash, delirious excess. Here’s your watchword: well-grounded delight.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) In the 19th century, the Grimm brothers gathered more than 200 old fairy tales from a variety of sources and published them in an unprecedented collection. Many of their stories are still popular, including “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “Hansel and Gretel” and “Rapunzel.” Around the same time they did their work, a storyteller named Franz Xaver von Schönwerth assembled his own compendium of fantastic myths, fables and folklore. Unlike the Grimm brothers’ book, his work faded into obscurity. But it was rediscovered in 2011, and 500 lost fairy tales are now finding their way into newly published books. I foresee a comparable phenomenon happening for you in 2015, Taurus. Forgotten stories will return. Raw material from the depths will resurface. Interesting news from the past will come flowing into the present.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Your first task is to ascertain the half-truth, the whole half-truth, and nothing but the whole half-truth. Only then will you be able to find the other half of the truth. I realize it may be frustrating to use this approach. You’d probably prefer to avoid wrangling with the deceptions and misdirections. But I think it’s the only way to jostle loose the hidden or missing information. For best results, be a cunning and unsentimental detective who’s eager to solve the mystery. Don’t focus on finding fault or assigning blame.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) One of the ingredients that makes yoga mats so soft and springy is the chemical azodicarbonamide. The same stuff is added to the soles of shoes. There’s a third place where it’s used, too: in the burger buns sold by McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and other fast-food joints. I’m not suggesting that you order a big supply of azodicarbonamide and ingest it. But I do hope you will consider the metaphorical equivalent: doing whatever’s necessary to make yourself bouncy and fluffy and pliable and supple and resilient.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) “There are two kinds of light,” said author James Thurber, “the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” Lately you have been an abundant source of that first kind of light, Leo. The fire in your heart and the gleam in your eyes have not only brightened the mood wherever you’ve gone. They have also clarified confusing situations, warmed chilly attitudes and healed dispirited allies. Thank you! In the coming weeks, I’d love to see you continue on your hot streak. To help ensure that you do, keep your ego under control. Don’t let it pretend that it owns the light you’re emitting. With a little introspection, you will continue to generate illumination, not glare.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Studies suggest that 57 percent of all people with access to the Internet have engaged in the practice known as ego-surfing. This modern art form consists of searching Google for mentions of one’s own name. This is a suspiciously low figure unless we factor in the data uncovered by my own research — which is that a disproportionately small amount of Virgos go ego-surfing: only 21 percent. If you are one of the 79 percent of your tribe who does not indulge, I invite you to remedy the situation. It’s an excellent time to risk exploring the potential benefits of increased self-interest and self-regard.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) When I started writing horoscopes many years ago, I was a good astrologer but an unexceptional writer. Eventually, the practice of composing 12 packets of pithy prose every week allowed me to improve my authorial skills. The stuff I composed in the early years wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t want to present it as my work any more. So should I feel guilty that I got paid and appreciated for those old efforts even though I was less than perfect? Did I get away with something I shouldn’t have gotten away with? I don’t think so. I was doing the best I could at the time. And even my unpolished astrological musings were helpful to many people. Now, Libra, I invite you to apply these meditations to you own unfolding destiny.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) You may already know what I’m about to tell you. It’s a core principle at the root of your Scorpio heritage. But I want to focus your attention on it. In the coming months, you’ll be wise to keep it at the forefront of your conscious awareness. Here it is, courtesy of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “You have it in your power to invest everything you have lived through — your experiments, false starts, errors, delusions, passions, your love and your hope — into your goal, with nothing left over.”

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) “A savage desire for strong emotions and sensations burns inside me: a rage against this soft-tinted, shallow, standardized and sterilized life.” So says Harry Haller, the protagonist of Herman Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf. His declaration could serve as an interesting point of reference for you in the coming months, Sagittarius — not as a mood for everyday use, but as a poetic inspiration that you periodically call on to invigorate your lust for life. My invitation has a caveat, however. I advise you not to adopt the rest of Harry Haller’s rant, in which he says that he also has “a mad craving to smash something up, a department store, or a cathedral, or myself.”

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) I have lived near an open space preserve for five years. Up until the last two months, it has been a peaceful, quiet place. But then the coyotes moved in. Just after dusk every evening, a pack of them start yipping and yowling in the distance. At first I found the racket to be eerie and unsettling. It activated some primal unease in me. And yet the coyotes have never actually been a problem. They don’t roam into my neighborhood and try to bite people or prey on pets. So now I’ve come to relish the situation: The wild things are close and exciting, but not dangerous. I’m guessing this has a metaphorical resemblance to what your life will be like in the next six months, Capricorn.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vt., are really a single town that straddles the border between the United States and Canada. Many of the people who live there have dual citizenship, but they’re still supposed to carry their passports with them at all times. I suspect you may experience a metaphorical version of this split in the coming months, Aquarius. You will be in a situation that has a split down the middle or a seemingly unnatural division. Whether it turns out to be a problem or an opportunity will depend on your adaptability and flexibility.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) When a dead tree topples over in the woods, its withered branches may get entangled with the branches of a living tree that’s standing nearby. As years go by, the living tree must grow the best it can with the decaying wood trapped in its midst. Has something like that ever happened to you? Are you still carrying the rot that other people have burdened you with? If so, the coming months will be an excellent time to get disentangled. A tree isn’t capable of freeing itself from the dead weight of the past, but you are — especially in the first half of 2015.

Homework: What’s the one feeling you want to feel more than any other in 2015? Tell all: [email protected].

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