Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I’d love to see you risk making brilliant mistakes in the coming weeks, Aries. I hope you’ll plunge into imaginative adventures without worrying about whether they’ll have practical benefits. I look forward to cheering you on as you explore forbidden zones, dabble with unfamiliar pleasures and try intriguing experiments that make you tingle all over. Now here’s a tip, courtesy of Mark Twain, which should help you take maximum advantage of the mischievous opportunities ahead: "Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more."

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Italian poet Dante Alighieri finished his masterpiece The Divine Comedy before he died. But when his sons, Jacopo and Pietro, assembled the manuscript for publication, they realized that parts of it were missing. They searched the house for days, to no avail. Only after they had given up hope did help arrive. The spirit of Dante appeared in Jacopo’s dream and showed his son a hiding place in his old bedroom wall. Upon awakening, Jacopo went to the spot his father had pointed out and found the lost papers. I offer this story as a gift to you, Taurus. I believe that some time in the next three weeks, you will have a comparable experience. What form might it take? Maybe the dead will assist you in locating a valuable. One of your dreams could provide a missing clue that will solve a mystery. It’s conceivable you will receive a legacy from a departed loved one. And maybe all of these possibilities will come to pass.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Last January, an Indiana man named Randy Fletcher came home from work early and found his wife in bed with another man. In March, after working for years to restore his 1956 Chevy to mint condition, he wrecked it on a country road when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer. The capper came in May, when his beloved dog fell ill and had to be put down. But on July 17, two days after his divorce was final, his luck changed: Fletcher won $1 million in the state lottery. Your recent hardships haven’t been anywhere near as harsh as his, Gemini, nor will your imminent reward be as monumental. But I do expect that you will soon be compensated handsomely for your trouble.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A poultry expert has come up with a revolutionary use for the feathers that are left over when chickens are slaughtered. David Emery has built a machine to turn the damp, dirty refuse into a strong, light fiber that’s suitable for making auto parts and medical instruments. I believe you will possess a similar capacity for ingenious transformation in the coming weeks, Cancerian. Though your work may not always be fun or easy, you will be an alchemical wizard with the power to metamorphose muck and dregs into useful stuff.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "The pace of change is accelerating," says futurist Ray Kurzweil. "We’re doubling the paradigm shift rate, the rate of progress, every decade." I agree with Kurzweil. By my estimate, half of what you know today will be obsolete in five years. Isn’t that exciting? What could be more pleasurable than continually molting your old perspectives and growing fresh ways to see the world? That’s the good news, Leo. Now here’s the great news: The coming months will be an ideal time to formulate and jump-start an aggressive five-year plan to keep your education continually up to date.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "To the mind that is still," said the ancient Chinese sage Lao Tzu, "the whole universe surrenders." This is true all the time, of course, but in the coming weeks it will be even more intensely true for you. According to traditional astrologers, that would be a problem. They believe that advising Virgos to keep their minds still is like ordering Niagara Falls to stop splashing 600,000 gallons of water per second over its precipice. But here’s my nontraditional perspective: It may be harder for you Virgos to quiet your mind, but if and when you actually accomplish it, the universe surrenders more completely to you than to any other sign. (On March 29, 1848, an ice jam stopped the flow of water over Niagara Falls for several hours.)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Hydrogen is an explosive, highly inflammable gas. Oxygen is an essential ingredient in sustaining any blaze. But when the two are mixed together in the right proportion, they form water, which is the opposite of fire. You should regard this as an apt metaphor for the opportunity you will have in the coming weeks, Libra. To get started in taking advantage of this promise, meditate on this question: What two fiery elements can you combine to bring a soothing, moistening influence into your life?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Materialism is our culture’s dominant ideology. It’s the specious doctrine that physical matter is the only reality and that nothing can be said to exist unless it’s perceivable by our five senses or detected by instruments we’ve created. Paradoxically, the proponents of materialism warn us to be skeptical about all phenomena that they don’t recognize as real, even as they fanatically avoid skepticism about their own fundamentalist assumptions! I urge you to undertake an inquiry into the ways your outlook on the world has been hemmed in by this crippling superstition, Scorpio. Begin immediately. In 2005, you’ll be offered abundant help from spiritual sources. If you’re overly influenced by materialism, you’ll have trouble recognizing and accessing those riches.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): According to my reading of the astrological omens, you have recently fulfilled the first part of the Dalai Lama’s theory that "not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck." It may take a few weeks for the second part--the "wonderful stroke of luck" part — to fully take effect. But I bet you’ll get a glimpse of its early stages in the coming week. Don’t spend even 10 seconds lost in regret about not getting what you want. Start uncorking your gratitude immediately.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Guitar World magazine says that Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille played the worst guitar solo of all time. Forbes put the Chevy Vega on its list of the worst cars ever made. Poet Bob Holman selected William Topaz McGonagall as the worst poet in history. decided that a humorous passage in my memoir, The Televisionary Oracle, deserved second place in its Bill O’Reilly Bad Sex Writing Contest. With these examples as your inspiration, Capricorn, I invite you to figure out what thing you’re not so good at — maybe even so bad that you’re the worst ever. Why? Because you’re entering the season of humility, that’s why. You should celebrate all the flaws and failures that prevent you from turning into an arrogant know-it-all. Besides, if you have fun mocking your own shortcomings, you might convince fate to kick your ass very gently during the imminent karmic adjustment.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I don’t know if you’re interested — lots of seemingly more practical matters are soaking up your attention right now — but it’s my duty to inform you that you can make more progress towards spiritual enlightenment in the next three weeks than you’ve made in the previous ten months. Alert, relaxed listening should be the radical act at the heart of your drive towards illumination. Ferocious curiosity should be your normal state of awareness. "Thou shalt be aggressively receptive" should be your main commandment.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): If you’re average, you have more than 1,400 dreams a year. But there have been few weeks in 2004 when you’ve had as many vivid, memorable, and useful dreams as you’re likely to enjoy in the coming days. Pay close attention, Pisces! No other sources — not psychics, psychotherapists, good books, or wise teachers — can provide you with as much useful information as your dreams will. They will be intimate, artful, playful communiqués from your soul, designed to give you answers to critical questions that you are just beginning to formulate. Here’s this week’s homework: Pretend to already be something you’re on your way to becoming. Report your results to