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Free will astrology

Week of August 31

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Weekly World News suggests that we celebrate a new holiday this week, National Hate Day. For 24 hours, it would be socially acceptable to drain off the rancid opinions, bitter spleen, and sickening ideas we've been hoarding. While every sign of the zodiac can profit from this massive purge of psychic pus, no one has as much need or would experience more healthful benefits than you Aries. For best results, add a touch of humor to your howls, and don't you dare actually hurt anyone. Screaming gibberish into a lavender-scented pillow is especially recommended.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts," wrote American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. "They come back to us with a certain alienated majesty." The first part of your assignment, Taurus, is to identify other people's brilliant creations that remind you of good ideas of your own that you've failed to develop. The second part of your assignment is to do something–anything!–to correct for your neglect. Get started on your own masterpiece.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In 1957, when Melba Patillo Beales was 15 years old, she and eight other students volunteered to be the first African Americans to integrate all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. For months, she and her cohorts were spat upon, beat up, and threatened with death by bigots. Her grandmother stayed awake all night holding a loaded shotgun, guarding the family home against assaults. Years later Beales wrote Warriors Don't Cry , a memoir of that traumatic time. I have a psychotherapist friend in Seattle who gives copies of this book to certain clients who are inclined to inflate their own suffering. "Read about Beales' ordeal," she tells them, "and you'll feel less overwhelmed by your own problems." That's your assignment, Gemini. Study people whose lot in life is far worse than yours. Get some perspective.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Praising actor Jim Carrey at the MTV Movie Awards, Will Ferrell proclaimed "This man's versatility makes Thomas Jefferson look like a big fat idiot." That's rather hyperbolic, considering that Jefferson was not only President of the United States, but also an architect, author, musician, horticulturist, lawyer, archaeologist, inventor, surveyor, and mathematician. Let's say, to be more accurate, that Carrey is maybe five percent as versatile as Jefferson. That will help you get a realistic understanding of my meaning when I tell you that though you may not make Jim Carrey look like a big fat idiot in the coming weeks, you'll have the potential to match his multifaceted, adaptable, puttylike resourcefulness.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): When offered a choice between dueling interpretations, you should opt for elegant and generous stories over vulgar, boring, and unimaginative tales. While the no-nonsense, just-the-facts approach may seem to explain everything just fine, I assure you that there will always be catalytic enigmas lurking beneath the surface. This is one time when poet John Keats' rule will be in full effect: "If something is not beautiful, it is probably not true." Transcend the obvious, please. Rebel against the ravaging numbness of plain old everyday ugliness.

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