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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

ARIES (March 21-April 19)

“Life is best organized as a series of daring ventures from a secure base,” wrote psychologist John Bowlby. Some of you Aries enjoy the “daring venture” part of that formula, but neglect the “secure base” aspect. That’s why your daring ventures may on occasion go awry. If you are that type of Ram, the first half of 2014 will be an excellent time to correct your bad habit. Life will be offering you considerable help and inspiration in building a strong foundation. And if you already appreciate how important it is for your pursuit of excitement to be rooted in well-crafted stability, the coming months will be golden.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Here’s a tale of three renowned Taurus brainiacs: Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and Bertrand Russell. They all had IQs over 175 and all made major contributions to philosophy. Yet all three were physically inept. Kant had trouble keeping a sharp point on his writing instrument, the quill, because he was clumsy using a knife. Mill was so undexterous he found it a chore to tie a knot. Russell’s physical prowess was so limited he was incapable of brewing a pot of tea. Chances are that you are neither as brilliant nor as uncoordinated as these three men. And yet, like them, there is a disconnect between your mind and body — some glitch in the way the two of them communicate with each other. The coming year will be an excellent time to heal the disconnect and fix the glitch.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

A horticultural company in the UK is selling TomTato plants to home gardeners. Each bush grows both cherry tomatoes and white potatoes. The magic was accomplished through handcrafted hybridization, not genetic engineering. I foresee a comparable marvel in your long-term future, Gemini. I’m not sure about the exact form it will take. Maybe you will create a product or situation that allows you to satisfy two different needs simultaneously. It’s possible you will find a way to express two of your talents in a single mode. Or perhaps you will be able to unite two sides of you that have previously been unbonded. Congratulations in advance!

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

“To destroy is always the first step in any creation,” said the poet E. E. Cummings. Do you buy that idea, Cancerian? I hope so, because the cosmos has scheduled you to instigate some major creative action in 2014. In order to fulfill that potential, you will have to metaphorically smash, burn, and dissolve any old structures that have been standing in the way of the future. You will have to eliminate as many of the “yes, buts” and “I can’ts” and “not nows” as you possibly can.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

When did you first fall from grace? Do you remember? It has happened to most of us. We spend time being privileged or cared about or respected, and then, suddenly, we no longer are. We lose our innocence. Love disappears. Our status as a favorite comes to an end. That’s the bad news, Leo. The good news is that I think the months ahead may be time for you to climb back up to one of those high states of grace that you fell from once upon a time. The omens suggest that even now you’re making yourself ready to rise back up — and sooner than you think, there will be an invitation to do so.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Leonardo da Vinci created the painting *St. Jerome in the Wilderness* around 1480. It now hangs in the Pinacoteca Vaticana, a museum in Vatican City. For several centuries, though, the treasured work of art was missing. Legend tells us that in the early 19th century, Napoleon’s uncle found the lower half of the painting in a junk shop in Rome. Years later he stumbled upon the top half in another back alley, where it was being used as a wedge in a shoemaker’s bench. I foresee the possibility of a comparable sequence unfolding for you in 2014, Virgo. You just may manage to restore a lost beauty to its proper place of honor, one step at a time.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

The Italian painter Tintoretto (1518-1594) was a Libra. He worked with such vigor and passion that he was nicknamed Il Furioso — The Furious. One of his crowning achievements was his painting *Paradise,* which is 74 feet long and 30 feet tall — about the size of a tennis court. It adorns a huge wall in the Doge’s Palace, a landmark in Venice. I propose that Tintoretto serve as one of your inspirational role models in 2014. The coming months will be an excellent time for you to work hard at crafting your own personal version of paradise on earth. You may not be so wildly robust to deserve the title “Il Furioso.” But then again, you might.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Between 2002 and 2009, Buddhist monk Endo Mitsunaga spent a thousand days meditating as he did a ceremonial walk around Mount Hiei in Japan. In 2006, English writer Dave Cornthwaite took 90 days to skateboard across the entire length of Australia, a distance of 3,618 miles. The first man’s intentions were spiritual, the second man’s adventurous. The coming months will be prime time for you to contemplate both kinds of journeys, Scorpio. The astrological omens suggest that you will generate extra good fortune for yourself by seeking out unfamiliar experiences on the open road. To get yourself in the mood, ruminate on the theme of pilgrimage.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Many farms in California’s Tulare County grow produce for supermarket chains. Here’s the problem: Those big stores only want fruits and vegetable that look perfect. So if there are brown spots on the apples or if the zucchinis grow crooked or if the carrots get too big, they are rejected. As a result, 30 percent of the crops go unharvested. That’s sad because a lot of poor people who live in Tulare don’t have enough to eat. Fortunately, some enterprising food activists have begun to work out arrangements with farmers to collect the wasted produce and distribute it to the hungry folks. I gather there’s a comparable situation in your life, Sagittarius: unplucked resources and ignored treasures. In 2014, I hope you take dramatic action to harvest and use them.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Derrick Brown has a poem entitled “Pussycat Interstellar Naked Hotrod Mofo Ladybug Lustblaster!” I hope that at least once in 2014 you will get up the nerve to call someone you love by that name. Even if you can’t quite bring yourself to utter those actual words, it will be healing for you to get to the point where you feel wild enough to say them. Here’s what I’m driving at, Capricorn: In the coming months, you will be wise to shed any inhibitions that have interfered with you getting all of the free-flowing intimacy you’d love to have.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

“Artists who are content merely to hone their gifts eventually come to little,” says the Belgian writer Simon Leys. “The ones who truly leave their mark have the strength and the courage to explore and exploit their shortcomings.” I’d like to borrow that wisdom and provide it for you to use in 2014, Aquarius. Even if you’re not an artist, you will be able to achieve an interesting kind of success if you’re willing to make use of the raw materials and untapped potential of your so-called flaws and weaknesses. Whatever is unripe in you will be the key to your creativity.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

In 2014, you will have the mojo to escape a frustration that has drained you and pained you for a long time. I mean you can end its hold on you for good. The coming months will also provide you with the chance to activate and cultivate a labor of love that will last as long as you live. While this project may not bloom overnight, it will reveal its staying power in dramatic fashion. And you will be able to draw on the staunch faith you’ll need to devote yourself to it until its full blessings ripen.