Free Will Astrology: January 14 through 20


ARIES [March 21–April 19] According to some historians, Barack Obama won’t be the first American president with African ancestry. As many as six previous presidents may have had black ancestors, with Warren Harding and Dwight Eisenhower being the most likely. None of the others claimed their heritage, however, choosing instead to pass as pure white. Obama is the first to acknowledge his bloodline. In the coming weeks, I see you as being in a position with certain metaphorical resemblances to Obama. You’ll have the opportunity to thrive by celebrating a truth that no one before you has been brave enough to take advantage of.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] This week’s advice comes to you entirely from Thelonious Monk (and it all happens to be in perfect alignment with your astrological omens): 1) “Don’t play everything or every time. Let some things go by. What you don’t play can be more important than what you do play”; 2) “A note can be as small as a pin or as big as the world; it depends on your imagination”; 3) “Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along and do it”; and 4) “A genius is the one most like himself.”

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] It’s a favorable time for you to phase out at least 60 percent of your stale old fears. The cosmos is poised to assist you in this noble cause if you’ll exert even a modicum of effort. What’s that you say? You secretly believe that you’d be bored if you didn’t have your worries to entertain you? Well, try this: Simply replace your hackneyed, knee-jerk fears with a slew of silly and outlandish ones. They’ll allow you to feel the friction you rely on to feel alive, but they won’t bog you down with heavy stagnancy. For example, you could contract automatonophobia, the fear of ventriloquist’s dummies, or apeirophobia, the fear of infinity.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] Maurice Krafft has made a career of filming places where hot lava is flowing. National Geographic describes him hiking across the crater floor of Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano that’s sacred to the Maasai people in Tanzania. The ground is not erupting in torrents of fire and burning liquid rock, but it is constantly bubbling and exuding. Through long years of experience, Krafft knows exactly where to walk so that his shoes don’t catch on fire. If you are going to attempt a metaphorically similar adventure in the coming weeks, Cancerian, make sure you’ve studied the ins and outs of the terrain. This is no time for guesswork or naive faith.

LEO [July 23–August 22] The world’s record for most people running in a “Stiletto Sprint” is 265. (That’s how many put on three-inch high heels and competed in an 80-meter race in Australia last September.) It’s quite possible that your imminent future will have metaphorical resemblances to that event, Leo. If you want to strive for a certain goal, you may have to take on some limitation or handicap. My advice? Don’t spend a minute resenting the imposed impediment. Just push ahead with cheerful equanimity and liberated pluck. You can win your equivalent of the Stiletto Sprint.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] “Dear Rob: I have the golden eggs—they’re shiny and big and beautiful. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they’re taking waaayyyyy too long to hatch. I’ve been giving them all the love and care I can possibly spare—keeping them warm, playing them Mozart symphonies, thinking good thoughts toward them—but they’re still just sitting there, inert. Any suggestions to speed up the process? —Impatient Virgo.” Dear Impatient: From my understanding, the golden eggs are valuable exactly as they are now. You really don’t need them to hatch yet.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Mexican scientists have discovered a way to transform tequila into diamonds. The catch is that the diamonds produced are too small to be used for jewelry. But they do have numerous practical uses—in surgical instruments, for example. You now have it in your power to preside over a comparable alchemical change, Libra. What could you do that would be like turning lead into gold or tequila into diamonds?

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] A number of philosophers have proposed that humans suffer from a collective amnesia about where we come from and what we’re doing here on Earth. Other thinkers have suggested that our amnesia goes even further and is more personal, blocking us from remembering our previous incarnations. Modern psychologists note that for most of us, the experiences we have before we learn to speak are virtually inaccessible to our memories. That’s the bad news, Scorpio. The good news is that at least some of your amnesia will fade in the coming year, allowing you to glimpse and maybe even gaze steadily upon previously hidden panoramas. And it all starts soon.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] According to expert gerontologists, Keith Richards (a Sagittarius) should have passed on to the next world a decade ago. The man has abused his body so thoroughly that his continued survival is a mystery. You’re currently in a position to achieve equally stupendous feats yourself, Sagittarius. You have a dogged capacity to keep pushing—even in areas where you’ve been flighty or sketchy in the past. I’d say this is an excellent time to deepen your commitment to your dreams in very practical ways.

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] In one of his journal entries, Henry David Thoreau wrote about stumbling upon a single stalk of corn deep in the woods. It looked out of place there, so far from any cornfield, growing next to a pine tree. And yet it was doing just fine. How did its seed get there? I suspect you will soon make a comparable discovery, Capricorn: a blaze of vitality that seems out of its element but is perfectly beautiful. Should you pluck it or engage with it or simply admire it? The freshest part of you knows the answer.

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] This could be an epic year to be an Aquarius. I’m hoping you won’t be satisfied with merely coasting along on the positive vibes that will be flowing in abundance. Instead of just enjoying your rising popularity, why not use your popularity to double your clout? How about using your high levels of mental acuity to figure out ways to enhance your emotional intelligence? While this year will probably be pretty good no matter what, with some regular tweaks of your willpower you could make it amazingly great.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] If you’re reading this horoscope, you’re not a Sudanese man kidnapped by a militia and forced to do heavy labor 18 hours a day or one of the 27 million other victims of human trafficking around the world. But you may be yoked and subjugated in a less literal way, perhaps to an addictive drug or an abusive relationship or a job that brings out the worst in you. The good news is that the coming months will be a favorable time for you to escape your bondage. Maybe it’ll help you muster the strength you need, Pisces, if I inform you that your freedom won’t be anywhere near as hard to achieve as that of the Pakistani boy tied to a carpet loom in a dark room or the Nigerian woman who’s beaten daily as she toils in the sugarcane fields for no pay.

Homework: What’s the best question you could ask life right now? Tell me by going to and clicking on “E-mail Rob.”