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Free will astrology

Week of March 19

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): The 1906 earthquake that hit San Francisco also demolished downtown Santa Rosa, about 50 miles to the north. During the rebuilding process, Frank Doyle, a local businessman who referred to himself as a "champion of the future," pushed a radical agenda. "When we construct our new downtown thoroughfare," he said, "let's make it wider than it has been in the past. That way it will accommodate the promising technological innovation called the automobile." Draw inspiration from Doyle's prescience, Aries. As you regenerate and rejuvenate your world, do the equivalent of creating wider roads. Be a champion of the future. [Thanks to Daniel Osmer's piece in the Fall 2008 issue of Lilipoh magazine for the info.]

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Among medieval alchemists, there were some who tried to make a fortune by literally converting lead into gold. But the authentic practitioners of the art were interested in a subtler kind of experimentation: ripening and beautifying the shadowy aspects of their own psyches. That explains their motto: "For a tree's branches to reach to heaven, its roots must reach to hell." Among other things, that means you have to dig deep and work hard on redeeming your less flattering qualities in order to earn the right to exalted states of consciousness and spiritual powers. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to carry out this alchemy.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt drew up an index to categorize the discomfort caused by stinging insects. The attack of the bald-faced hornet is "rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door." A paper wasp delivers pain that's "caustic and burning," with a "distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut." The sweat bee, on the other hand, can hurt you in a way that's "light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm." In bringing this to your attention, Gemini, I hope to inspire the rebel in you. Your homework is to create an equally nuanced and precise index of experiences that feel good. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will be able to call on tremendous reserves of intelligence as you identify the numerous modes of pleasure that are available to you, and define them in exquisite detail.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A famous Youtube video shows a small crab perched on top of a giant jellyfish that's swimming in the ocean. (It's here: tinyurl.com/6ulpoe.) Apparently this is a common phenomenon. The species known as the graceful rock crab not only grabs free rides on jellyfish, but also steals food from them as it does. This creature is your role model, Cancerian. See if you can develop a safe and symbiotic relationship (perhaps temporarily) with a big stinging blob. At the very least, wrangle some benefit out of a clueless behemoth.

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