Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "I’ve been practicing radical authenticity lately," my Aries friend Steve told me. "I’m revealing the blunt truth about unmentionable subjects to everyone I know. It’s been pretty hellish — no one likes having the social masks stripped away — but it’s been ultimately rewarding." I said, "I admire your boldness in naming the currents flowing beneath the surface, but I’m curious as to why you imply they’re all negative. To practice radical authenticity, shouldn’t you also express the raw truth about what’s right, good and beautiful? Shouldn’t you unleash the praise and gratitude that normally go unspoken?" Steve sneered. He thought my version of radical authenticity was wimpy. I hope you don’t. You have an astrological mandate to be honest in both ways.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): One of my favorite obscure holidays is International Moment of Frustration Scream Day. Observed every Oct. 12, it’s meant to release pent-up tension resulting from the gap between what we have and what we think we want. Since your gap is particularly gaping right now, you would especially benefit from throwing yourself into this fierce enjoyment with all your angst unfurled. The holiday’s founders, Thomas and Ruth Roy, suggest that everyone should go outside sometime during the day and yell for 30 seconds. I hope the sound of you bellowing Bulls will be heard around the world.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It looks like you’re poised to put the finishing touches on something that will last a very long time — an expression or creation that will be a defining monument to your essential self. This masterpiece should not only reflect what’s excellent and successful about you; it should also acknowledge the role that your failures have played in growing your beauty.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): This is one of those rare moments when laziness can be an asset. Fate is conspiring to rejuvenate you; all you have to do is make sure you don’t get in the way. Follow the advice of the Zen master who said, "Don’t just do something, sit there!" Empty yourself of ambitions. Burn your to-do list. Tell your monkey mind you’re taking a sabbatical from its obsessive leaping and shrieking. Feel absolutely no guilt as you practice the art of making yourself a tabula rasa.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): According to author Colin Wilson, synchronicities are meaningful coincidences that are created by the unconscious mind to jar the conscious mind into a keener state of perception. They imbue us with a powerful sense that there are hidden meanings beneath the surface of everyday life; they lead us to suspect that a huge, benevolent intelligence is always working behind the scenes, weaving connections that are invisible to us in our normal state of awareness. You will be awash in synchronicities in the coming week; you will get proof that everything is far more intertwined than you’ve ever dared to imagine.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): If you want to place yourself in alignment with the current cosmic trends, you will seek out more than the usual amount and quality of your favorite physical sensations. Compose a list of your top five, then write out a proposed plan for getting those needs met and met and met. For instance, if you normally have a massage every once in a while, arrange to have at least two in the coming week, and make sure you enlist the services of the very best masseuse or masseur you know. Use the same approach to sex, food, sleep, aromas, beautiful sights and any other experience that thrills your body.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about," wrote Libran Oscar Wilde, "and that is not being talked about." You won’t have to worry about the latter problem in the next two weeks. The number of discussions about your character and behavior will probably exceed that of any other 14-day period in the past five years. Fortunately, a relatively high percentage of the gossip flying around will be benevolent and even flattering. It will be a good time, therefore, for a marketing campaign or networking blitz.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You are potentially a genius. Maybe not in the same way that Einstein and Beethoven were, but you do possess some skills that are exquisitely unique. You are a work of art unlike any other that has ever lived. Furthermore, the precise instructions you need to ripen into that glorious state have always been with you, even from before you were born. In the words of psychologist James Hillman, you have a soul’s code. You might also call it the master plan of your heart’s deepest desire; the special mission that the Divine Wow sent you here to carry out; the blueprint that contains the secret of how to be perfectly, gracefully, unpredictably yourself. Now here’s the really good news: You’re at a turning point when you have extraordinary power to tune in to and activate untapped areas of your soul’s code.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Every year the Color Marketing Group (CMG) at issues a report that identifies the new colors coming into fashion, as well as their symbolic meaning. From their long list, I have selected the specific hues you should surround yourself with if you’d like to be in harmony with cosmic forces during the rest of 2003. 1) Lemon Meringue. "Silver flirts with gold in this zesty confection reminiscent of vintage roadsters," says CMG. 2) Shimma. "A shimmer, a shake, a lustrous flake, this pearlized metallic adds a savvy crackle to your communications." 3) Iron Ore-ange: "The influence of copper on orange creates a sophisticated background with primal undertones." 4) Exploring Khaki. "This safari green recalls rain forest moss and buried treasure."

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Given how fresh and strong you’ve been feeling lately, you may not be in the mood to initiate a showdown with the Problem That Refused to Die. Why risk getting demoralized by that boring old energy drain when you’re so peppy? I’ll tell you why: You now have a new and unprecedented advantage over the Problem That Refused to Die. You may not be able to kill it off completely, but then again, you might. And you will at least be able to dramatically limit its power to mess with you.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "No work is more worthwhile than to be a sign of divine joy and a fountain of divine love." So says mystic and scholar Andrew Harvey, and I fervently agree. Not everyone is cut out for such an exacting career, of course. The pay isn’t great, the hours are long, and the heroes who make it their main gig rarely get the appreciation they deserve. It’s best to try it out for a while on the side without quitting your day job. And this is the best time in years for you to work hard at being a sign of divine joy and a fountain of divine love.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Your flavor of the week will be ginger-peach or vanilla-clove or some other blend of piquant spiciness and smooth sweetness. The kitchen accessory that best symbolizes your special skills will be a thick sponge that has an abrasive surface on one side for scrubbing dirty pots. The recurring dream you’re most likely to dream for the last time, triumphing forever over the trauma that originally spawned it, is the nightmare in which you feel like a cornered animal. Your haiku of power will be "melodious struggle where the soul turns crap into fertilizer." What image best symbolizes the love you want in your life all the time? Put that image in a prominent place in your