.Free Will Astrology, Week of Dec. 7

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky wrote, “To be free, you simply have to be so, without asking permission. You must have your own hypothesis about what you are called to do, and follow it, not giving in to circumstances or complying with them. But that sort of freedom demands powerful inner resources, a high degree of self-awareness, and a consciousness of your responsibility to yourself and therefore to other people.” That last element is where some freedom-seekers falter. They neglect their obligation to care for and serve their fellow humans. I want to make sure you don’t do that, Aries, as you launch a new phase of your liberation process. Authentic freedom is conscientious.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The term “neurodiversity” refers to the fact that the human brain functions in a wide variety of ways. There are not just a few versions of mental health and learning styles that are better than all the others. Taurus musician David Byrne believes he is neurodiverse because he is on the autism spectrum. That’s an advantage, he feels, giving him the power to focus with extra intensity on his creative pursuits. I consider myself neurodiverse because my life in the imaginal realm is just as important to me as my life in the material world. I suspect that most of us are neurodiverse in some sense—deviating from “normal” mental functioning. What about you, Taurus? The coming months will be an excellent time to explore and celebrate your own neurodiversity.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Poet Jane Hirshfield says that Zen Buddhism is built on three principles: 1. Everything changes. 2. Everything is connected. 3. Pay attention. Even if you are not a Zen practitioner, Gemini, I hope you will focus on the last two precepts in the coming weeks. If I had to summarize the formula that will bring you the most interesting experiences and feelings, it would be, “Pay attention to how everything is connected.” I hope you will intensify your intention to see how all the apparent fragments are interwoven. Here’s my secret agenda: I think it will help you register the truth that your life has a higher purpose than you’re usually aware of—and that the whole world is conspiring to help you fulfill that purpose.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Author Flannery O’Connor wrote, “You have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it.” I will add a further thought: “You have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it and strive to transform it into a better place.” Let’s make this one of your inspirational meditations in the coming months, Cancerian. I suspect you will have more power than usual to transform the world into a better place. Get started! (PS: Doing so will enhance your ability to endure and cherish.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Many sports journalists will tell you that while they may root for their favorite teams, they also “root for the story.” They want a compelling tale to tell. They yearn for dramatic plot twists that reveal entertaining details about interesting characters performing unique feats. That’s how I’m going to be in the coming months, Leo, at least in relation to you. I hope to see you engaged in epic sagas, creating yourself with verve as you weave your way through fun challenges and intriguing adventures. I predict my hope will be realized.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Venus is too hot and dry for humans to live on. But if travelers from Earth could figure out a way to feel comfortable there, they would enjoy a marvelous perk. The planet rotates very slowly. One complete day and night lasts for 243 Earth days and nights. That means you and a special friend could take a romantic stroll toward the sunset for as long as you wanted, and never see the sun go down. I invite you to dream up equally lyrical adventures in togetherness here on Earth during the coming months, Virgo. Your intimate alliances will thrive as you get imaginative and creative about nurturing togetherness.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): As far as I’m concerned, Libran Buddhist monk and author Thích Nhất Hạnh was one of the finest humans who ever lived. “Where do you seek the spiritual?” he asked. His answer: “You seek the spiritual in every ordinary thing that you do every day. Sweeping the floor, watering the vegetables and washing the dishes become sacred if mindfulness is there.” In the coming weeks, Libra, you will have exceptional power to live like this: to regard every event, however mundane or routine, as an opportunity to express your soulful love and gratitude for the privilege of being alive. Act as if the whole world is your precious sanctuary.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A reader named Elisa Jean tells me, “We Scorpio allies admire how Scorpios can be so solicitous and welcoming: the best party hosts. They know how to foster social situations that bring out the best in everyone and provide convivial entertainment. Yet Scorpios also know everyone’s secrets. They are connoisseurs of the skeletons in the closets. So they have the power to spawn discordant commotions and wreak havoc on people’s reputations. But they rarely do. Instead, they keep the secrets. They use their covert knowledge to weave deep connections.” Everything Ella Jean described will be your specialties in the coming weeks, Scorpio.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Of all the signs in the zodiac, you Sagittarians are least likely to stay in one location for extended periods. Many of you enjoy the need to move around from place to place. Doing so may be crucial in satisfying your quest for ever-fresh knowledge and stimulation. You understand that it’s risky to get too fixed in your habits and too dogmatic in your beliefs. So you feel an imperative to keep disrupting routines before they become deadening. When you are successful in this endeavor, it’s often due to a special talent you have: your capacity for creating an inner sense of home that enables you to feel stable and grounded as you ramble free. I believe this superpower will be extra strong during the coming months.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorn author Edgar Allan Poe made this mysterious statement: “We can, at any time, double the true beauty of an actual landscape by half closing our eyes as we look at it.” What did he mean? He was referring to how crucial it is to see life “through the veil of the soul.” Merely using our physical vision gives us only half the story. To be receptive to the full glory of the world, our deepest self must also participate in the vision. Of course, this is always true. But it’s even more extra especially true than usual for you right now.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquarian theologian Henri Nouwen wrote, “I have discovered that the gifts of life are often hidden in the places that hurt most.” Yikes! Really? I don’t like that idea. But I will say this: If Nouwen’s theory has a grain of truth, you will capitalize on that fact in the coming weeks. Amazingly enough, a wound or pain you experienced in the past could reveal a redemptive possibility that inspires and heals you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Piscean novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen says it’s wise to talk to yourself. No other conversational partner is more fascinating. No one else listens as well. I offer you his advice in the hope of encouraging you to upgrade the intensity and frequency of your dialogs with yourself. It’s an excellent astrological time to go deeper with the questions you pose and to be braver in formulating your responses. Make the coming weeks be the time when you find out much more about what you truly think and feel.

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