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Free will astrology

Week of September 18

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SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): A poet friend of mine hatched a scheme for writing a book in record time. He bought a round-trip ticket for a Greyhound bus that would take him from Oakland, California to New York City and back. He vowed that over the course of those nine grueling days and 6,000 miles, as he ate stale sandwiches from vending machines in bus stations and slept sitting up surrounded by strangers, he would churn out an epic-length poem about the experience of traveling cross-country on the most populist form of transportation. The experiment worked. His book was witty, shocking, and entertaining. I urge you to give yourself a comparable assignment, Sagittarius. Invoke the magic of a strict deadline to create something beautiful that will last a long time.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I would love to place an elegant gold crown on your head. I have the urge to declare you monarch of the expanding realm, maker of new laws, and re-shaper of the collective vision. Are you up for wielding that much power? Can you handle an increased level of responsibilities? Or would you prefer to preside over a smaller domain, content merely to keep the daily grind from erupting into chaos now and then? It's mostly up to you. What do you want?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Unable to control his appetite for prostitutes, New York's Governor Elliot Spitzer destroyed his career. Many observers were aghast at the incomprehensibility of his sacrifice. But Phillip Weiss, writing in New York, said he understood. Spitzer desperately "wanted some 'strange'" — novelty that's hard to get when you make love with just one person for many years. That's not the kind of variety I advise you to consider in the coming weeks, Aquarius. According to my reading of the omens, it will be prime time for you to seek out some "strange," but not through multiple lovers. Rather, embark on travels outside your usual haunts, entertain surprising ideas unlike any you've been willing to think about before, and pursue unpredictable encounters with people who have a lot to teach you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In a story about author Gore Vidal in The Independent, Archie Bland reported on an event that happened just after Vidal's parents were married. While traveling to their honeymoon, dad told mom, "'There's something very important I want you to know." Mom grew radiantly expectant, imagining he was about to profess his love with a thrilling intensity. But dad had something else in mind. "I have three balls," he confessed. In the coming week, Pisces, I suspect that one of your expectations will meet a fate similar to mom's hope. But don't fret. In the long run, the revelations that come are likely to be more interesting and valuable to you than the "I have three balls" shocker.