Free will astrology for the week of September 17th 

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ARIES (March 21-April 19):
I won't go so far as to say that you are surrounded by unhinged maniacs whose incoherence is matched only by their self-delusion. That would probably be too extreme. But I do suspect that at least some of the characters in the game you're playing are not operating at their full potential. For now, it's best not to confront them and demand that they act with more grace. The wiser strategy might be to avoid being swept up in their agitation, as you take good care of yourself. If you are patient and stay centred, I bet you will eventually get a chance to work your magic.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
Many of the heroes in fairy tales survive and thrive because of the magical gifts they are given. Benefactors show up, often unexpectedly, to provide them with marvels — a spinning wheel that can weave a cloak of invisibility, perhaps, or winged shoes that give them the power of flight, or a charmed cauldron that brews a healing potion. But there is an important caveat. The heroes rarely receive their boons out of sheer luck. They have previously performed kind deeds or unselfish acts in order to earn the right to be blessed. According to my analysis, Taurus, the coming weeks will be prime time for you to make yourself worthy of gifts you will need later on.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
We humans need nourishing stories almost as much as we require healthy food, clean air, pure water, and authentic love. And yet many of us get far less than our minimum daily requirement of nourishing stories. Instead, we are barraged with nihilistic narratives that wallow in misery and woe. If we want a break from that onslaught, our main other choices are sentimental fantasies and empty-hearted trivia. That's the bad news. But here's the good news: Now is a favourable time for you to seek remedies for this problem. That's why I'm urging you to hunt down redemptive chronicles that furnish your soul with gritty delight. Find parables and sagas and tales that fire up your creative imagination and embolden your lust for life.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):
Now is an excellent time to close the gap between the Real You and the image of yourself that you display to the world. I know of two ways to accomplish this. You can tinker with the Real You so that it's more like the image you display. Or else you can change the image you display so that it is a more accurate rendition of the Real You. Both strategies may be effective. However you go about it, Cancerian, I suggest you make it your goal to shrink the amount of pretending you do.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
Born under the sign of Leo, Marcel Duchamp was an influential artist whose early work prefigured surrealism. In 1917, he submitted an unusual piece to a group exhibition in New York. It was a plain old porcelain urinal, but he titled it Fountain, and insisted it was a genuine work of art. In that spirit, I am putting my seal of approval on the messy melodrama you are in the process of managing. Henceforth, this melodrama shall also be known as a work of art, and its title will be "Purification." (Or would you prefer "Expurgation" or "Redemption?") If you finish the job with the panache you have at your disposal, it will forevermore qualify as a soul- jiggling masterpiece.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Some people express pride in gross ways. When you hear their overbearing brags, you know it's a sign that they are not really confident in themselves. They overdo the vanity because they're trying to compensate for their feelings of inadequacy. In the coming weeks, I expect you to express a more lovable kind of self-glorification. It won't be inflated or arrogant, but will instead be measured and reasonable. If you swagger a bit, you will do it with humour and style, not narcissism and superiority. Thank you in advance for your service to humanity. The world needs more of this benign kind of egotism.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
The rooster is your power animal. Be like him. Scrutinize the horizon for the metaphorical dawn that is coming, and be ready to herald its appearance with a triumphant wake-up call. On the other hand, the rooster is also your affliction animal. Don't be like him. I would hate for you to imitate the way he handles himself in a fight, which is to keep fussing and squabbling far beyond the point when he should let it all go. In conclusion, Libra, act like a rooster but also don't act like a rooster. Give up the protracted struggle so you can devote yourself to the more pertinent task, which is to celebrate the return of the primal heat and light.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
Since you seem to enjoy making life so complicated and intense for yourself, you may be glad to learn that the current astrological omens favour that development. My reading of the astrological omens suggests that you're about to dive deep into rich mysteries that could drive you half-crazy. I suspect that you will be agitated and animated by your encounters with ecstatic torment and difficult bliss. Bon voyage! Have fun! Soon I expect to see miniature violet bonfires gleaming in your bedroom eyes, and unnamable emotions rippling through your unfathomable face, and unprecedented words of wild wisdom spilling from your smart mouth.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
The Adamites were devotees of an ancient Christian sect that practiced sacred nudism. One of their central premises: How could anyone possibly know God while wearing clothes? I am not necessarily recommending that you make their practice a permanent part of your spiritual repertoire, but I think you might find value in it during the coming weeks. Your erotic and transcendent yearnings will be rising to a crescendo at the same time. You will have the chance to explore states where horniness and holiness overlap. Lusty prayers? Reverent sex? Ecstatic illumination?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
One of your key themes in the coming weeks is "grace." I suggest that you cultivate it, seek it out, expect it, and treasure it. To prepare for this fun work, study all of the meanings of "grace" below. At least two of them, and possibly all, should and can be an active part of your life. 1. Elegance or beauty of form, movement, or proportion; seemingly effortless charm or fluidity. 2. Favour or goodwill; a disposition to be generous or helpful. 3. Mercy, forgiveness, charity. 4. A temporary exemption or immunity; a reprieve. 5. A sense of fitness or propriety. 6. A prayer of blessing or thanks said before a meal. 7. An unmerited divine gift offered out of love.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
Be good, but not necessarily well-behaved. Be extra exuberant and free, but not irresponsible. Be lavish and ardent and even rowdy, but not decadent. Why? What's the occasion? Well, you have more-or-less finished paying off one of your karmic debts. You have conquered or at least outwitted a twist from your past that had been sapping your mojo. As a reward for doing your duty with such diligence, you have earned a respite from some of the more boring aspects of reality. And so now you have a mandate to gather up the intelligent pleasure you missed when you were acting like a beast of burden.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
"I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love." That's the mantra that Frank O'Hara intoned in his poem "Meditations in an Emergency," and now I'm inviting you to adopt a modified version of it. Here's how I would change it for your use in the coming months: "I am the least difficult of passion artists. All I want is to give and receive boundless, healthy, interesting love." To be frank, I don't think O'Hara's simple and innocent declaration will work for you. You really do need to add my recommended nuances in order to ripen your soul's code and be aligned with cosmic rhythms.

Homework: What's your favourite method for overcoming the inertia of the past?


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