Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I dreamed I was with the Dalai Lama and three Aries friends. We were walking in the middle of the night through a neighborhood of boarded-up buildings and burned-out cars. A siren wailed nearby. We passed a group of skinheads in the midst of a drug deal. The Dalai Lama squatted down on the sidewalk near a pile of garbage. "This is the perfect place to meditate," he said. "If we can feel tranquility and compassion here, we will be able to do it anywhere." I knew I had to tell you about it; I was sure it would inspire you to do what was best for yourself in the coming week. I later analyzed the astrological omens; my suspicion was confirmed.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Are there useful generalizations you can make about people simply by knowing their age? Maybe. But in the coming week, any sweeping assumptions you make based on age will lead you astray. Cultivate the company, therefore, of old fogies who are at least several years your senior and whippersnappers who're at least several years younger. Wear clothes, listen to music and seek adventures that are supposedly not appropriate for your generation. Fantasize about who you were at 10 and who you'll be at 80.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The gods will soon accelerate your education — both the bookish variety and the kind that involves your street smarts. Take matters into your own hands by offering yourself a host of do-it-yourself classes. Here are some suggested titles. 1) "Using Slapstick Comedy for Conflict Resolution and Mediation." 2) "How to Create Dynamic Seminars in Which You Make Money Teaching the Weird and Special Things You Know." 3) "Negotiating with a Pain in the Ass in Order to Banish a Pain in the Heart." 4) Applying the Principles of Naked Skydiving to the Art of Running a Successful Relationship."

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I think that precognition and ESP exist. They occur regularly in the lives of everyone I know. Just last night, I had a vivid dream of a friend I hadn't seen in 10 years, and then today he sent me an e-mail, having tracked down my address. Most of this fun, spooky stuff is pretty useless. Was there any value in receiving a psychic preview of my old buddy's effort to get back in touch? Nah. Luckily for you, though, you will depart from the norm in the coming weeks. Not only will your telepathy be operating at a high level; it'll also be unusually practical.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I hope you say more goodbyes in the next week than you have in the previous 11 months combined. It's past time to bid adieu to all the things that no longer serve you — and even to some things that do serve you but demand too high a price in return. Say au revoir to your obsolete game plans and adios to your outmoded assumptions. Bark sayonara at your rickety psychological crutches and auf Wiedersehen at the symbol that reminds you of your deepest resentment. Whisper begone, nuisance at all illusions that divide you against yourself.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon was once asked why 90 percent of the books in his chosen field were so bad. "Ninety percent of everything is crap," he replied (or, by some accounts, "90 percent of everything is crud"). My own estimate of the crud factor is in the 75 percent range, but I do agree that most fields of endeavor and spheres of activity are dominated by mediocrity. That's the bad news. The good news is that the rare pockets of excellence are now far more visible to you than usual. They're also more available and usable. Pluck and enjoy all the noncrappy treasures.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): It's an ideal time for you to develop a more intimate relationship with pronoia. The opposite of paranoia, pronoia says that life is constantly conspiring to shower you with blessings. Evidence tending to confirm this theory is now mounting in your vicinity. To get yourself in sync with the cosmic trends, I suggest you make a list of "Things That Don't Suck." A San Jose, Calif., newspaper recently offered its version, which included the following: "Eating someone else's food out of the refrigerator and not getting sick. Buying someone a great gift and keeping it for yourself. Losing your virginity to someone completely out of your league." Now make your own list. I'm sure you can do better.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): For you, 2002 is shaping up as the Year of Colonizing the Frontiers. I could also say that it's the Year of Bringing the Outside Inside. I'll add that this summer will be the Season of Turning Gold into Lead and Then Back Into Gold, But an Even More Pure Gold Than You Started With; July will be the Month of Losing Your Place in Order to Find a Missing Link; and the next seven days will be the Week of Running Through a Sprinkler Dressed in Formal Wear.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Did you ever notice how much better you look in some mirrors than others? The mirror in your bathroom may reflect back an image of yourself you don't wholly approve of, while the restroom mirror at a local restaurant may prompt you to exclaim, "That's exactly how I imagine myself" or "I had forgotten how attractive I am." Just as some mirrors bring out the best in you while others reflect the worst, the same is true about people and situations: Some have a seemingly magical power to accentuate the finest sides of your personality; others exaggerate qualities you'd prefer to disown. It's now crucial to surround yourself with the very best mirrors.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It's time for the Beauty and Truth Game Show. To win a heart-to-heart session with a really good listener, plus a sweet insight that will make you as sexy as the Dalai Lama, please expound on the meaning of the following epigram: Friendship is the best training for love. If you put this principle into dynamic action within the next 20 days, you'll also receive a juicy chance to become smarter about the mysteries of intimacy.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I laughed till I cried as I watched you keep playing the game of love after the rules had changed. I gasped till I hyperventilated as you stirred up a fresh problem to avoid solving an overripe one. I rolled my eyes until I saw stars as you studied the difference between oppressive self-control and liberating self-control. I shook my head until I got a crick in my neck as you tried to get a stand-in to feel your feelings for you so you wouldn't have to feel them yourself. But now all that's behind us, isn't it? Today I'm ready to cheer until I'm hoarse as you trade in a dried-out, banged-up old obsession in favor of a fresh, juicy one.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In an interview with Suzy Hanson on, science writer Michael Shermer described how he asked a researcher on creativity, "What does it take to be a creative genius and reach the top of your field?" The first rule, said the expert, is to spend 10,000 hours mastering your chosen set of skills. I propose, Pisces, that it's now an excellent time for you to begin your 10,000 hours in service to a vocation that's calling to you. The expansive, luck-inducing planet Jupiter will soon enter your astrological House of Diligence, and it will remain there until August 2003. Come play at my freshly redesigned Web site. It's at While you're there, send me an e-mail about the best news you've heard all