Street Smart Chicago

Free Will Astrology: Week of March 10, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “He in his madness prays for storms, and dreams that storms will bring him peace,” wrote Leo Tolstoy in his novella “The Death of Ivan Ilych.” The weird thing is, Aries, that this seemingly crazy strategy might actually work for you in the coming days. The storms you pray for, the tempests you activate through the power of your longing, could work marvels. They might clear away the emotional congestion, zap the angst, and usher you into a period of dynamic peace. So I say: Dare to be gusty and blustery and turbulent. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of March 3, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Actress Blythe Baird writes about the problem that arises when her dog sees her eating a peanut-butter-and-chocolate-chip bagel. Her beloved pet begs for a piece and becomes miserable when it’s not forthcoming. Baird is merely demonstrating her love, of course, because she knows that eating chocolate can make canines ill. I suspect that life is bestowing a comparable blessing on you. You may feel mad and sad about being deprived of something you want. But the likely truth is that you will be lucky not to get it. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of February 25, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Just one species has a big enough throat to swallow a person whole: the sperm whale. If you happen to be sailing the high seas any time soon, I hope you will studiously avoid getting thrown overboard in the vicinity of one of these beasts. The odds are higher than usual that you’d end up in its belly, much like the Biblical character Jonah. (Although, like him, I bet you’d ultimately escape.) Furthermore, Aries, I hope you will be cautious not to get swallowed up by anything else. It’s true that the coming weeks will be a good time to go on a retreat, to flee from the grind and take a break from the usual frenzy. But the best way to do that is to consciously choose the right circumstances rather than leave it to chance. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of February 18, 2015

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Old paint on a canvas, as it ages, sometimes becomes transparent,” said playwright Lillian Hellman. “When that happens, it is possible to see the original lines: a tree will show through a woman’s dress, a child makes way for a dog, a large boat is no longer on an open sea.” Why does this happen? Because the painter changed his or her mind. Early images were replaced, painted over. I suspect that a metaphorical version of this is underway in your life. Certain choices you made in the past got supplanted by choices you made later. They disappeared from view. But now those older possibilities are re-emerging for your consideration. I’m not saying what you should do about them. I simply want to alert you to their ghostly presence so they don’t cause confusion. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of February 11, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Love is a fire,” declared Aries actress Joan Crawford. “But whether it’s going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.” I disagree with her conclusion. There are practical steps you can take to ensure that love’s fire warms but doesn’t burn. Start with these strategies: Suffuse your libido with compassion. Imbue your romantic fervor with empathy. Instill your animal passions and instinctual longings with affectionate tenderness. If you catch your sexual urges driving you toward narcissists who are no damn good for you, firmly redirect those sexual urges toward emotionally intelligent, self-responsible beauties. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of February 4, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Bible’s Book of Exodus tells the story of the time Moses almost met God. “Show me your glory, please,” the prophet says to his deity, who’s hiding. “You cannot see my face,” God replies, “but I will show you my back parts.” That’s good enough for Moses. He agrees. I hope that you, too, will be satisfied with a tantalizingly partial epiphany, Aries. I’m pretty sure that if you ask nicely, you can get a glimpse of a splendor that’s as meaningful to you as God was to Moses. It may only be the “back parts,” but that should still stir you and enrich you. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of January 28, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Do you know Emily Brontë’s novel “Wuthering Heights”? At one point, the heroine Catherine tells her friend about Edgar, a man she’s interested in. “He wanted all to lie in an ecstasy of peace,” Catherine says, “and I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee. I said his heaven would be only half alive; and he said mine would be drunk: I said I should fall asleep in his; and he said he could not breathe in mine.” If you’re a typical Aries, you’re more aligned with Catherine than with Edgar. But I’m hoping you might consider making a temporary compromise in the coming weeks. “At last, we agreed to try both,” Catherine concluded, “and then we kissed each other and were friends.” Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of January 21, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The next four weeks could potentially be a Golden Age of Friendship… a State of Grace for Your Web of Connections… a Lucky Streak for Collaborative Efforts. What can you do to ensure that these cosmic tendencies will actually be fulfilled? Try this: Deepen and refine your approach to schmoozing. Figure out what favors would be most fun for you to bestow, and bestow them. Don’t socialize aimlessly with random gadabouts, but rather gravitate toward people with whom you share high ideals and strong intentions. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of January 14, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You love autonomy. You specialize in getting the freedom and sovereignty you require. You are naturally skilled at securing your independence from influences that might constrain your imagination and limit your self-expression. But here’s a sticking point: If you want the power to help shape group processes, you must give up some of your autonomy. In order to motivate allies to work toward shared goals, you need to practice the art of interdependence. The next test of your ability to do this is coming right up. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of January 7, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. His novel “Of Mice and Men” helped win him the award, but it required extra persistence. When he’d almost finished the manuscript, he went out on a date with his wife. While they were gone, his puppy Toby ripped his precious pages into confetti. As mad as he was, he didn’t punish the dog, but got busy on a rewrite. Later he considered the possibility that Toby had served as a helpful literary critic. The new edition of “Of Mice and Men” was Steinbeck’s breakout book. I’m guessing that in recent months you have received comparable assistance, Aries—although you may not realize it was assistance until later this year. Read the rest of this entry »