Free Will Astrology 

ARIES (March 21-April 19): My New Year's resolution for you is to wean yourself from Us vs. Them thinking; to stop dividing the world into two groups: those who like you and help you and share your opinions, as opposed to everyone else. This will not only be your personal contribution to world peace; it will also be an excellent tonic for your physical and mental health. Four out of five witch doctors agree that learning from outsiders and adversaries is the top cause of a long and happy life. And it so happens that the astrological omens suggest 2001 will be prime time to make that attitude a key part of your strategy for success.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I'm dismayed when I hear other astrologers dispense dopey propaganda about Tauruses being hard-core materialists with little interest in transcendent mysteries. Statistics may show that you Bulls aren't the most regular attendees of church and synagogue and mosque, but that's only because many of you prefer to express your spiritual impulses through useful actions rather than lofty gestures. Then, of course, there's the fact that Buddha, one of history's most divinely inspired geniuses, was a Taurus. Having said this, though, I also want to note that you're in a phase when epiphanies from the great beyond are most likely to swoop like lightening. Expect a subtle, supernal miracle.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): O, ye seeker of prosperity, it pains me to disclose that for your entire life you have had a greater chance of being struck by a falling bag of peanuts sucked out of a 747 passing overhead than you have had of winning the lottery. But it makes my heart glad to reveal that this curse has been lifted, at least temporarily. Suddenly, a dazzling new wonderland of economic opportunities is open to you. The odds that you'll win something or find buried treasure or receive an inheritance or get a raise are now far better than the odds that you'll be bonked by the falling peanuts.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Celibacy has long been a pillar in the lives of certain religious devotees. Christian monks and nuns, for instance, shun sex and marriage in order to focus their libidos on their relationship with God. Without panning their approach, I'd like to praise spiritual work that not only doesn't avoid intimate relationship, but makes it a linchpin. Teachers John and Jennifer Welwood (check out John's book Love and Awakening) describe a seeker's path that thrives on the heroic challenges of loving an actual person. I mention this, Cancerian, because a window of opportunity is now open for you to create synergy between your longing for God and your connection with a beloved companion.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Most of the 12 Labors of Hercules were glamorous tasks: hand-to-hand battle with a lion, the capture of a white bull, freeing Prometheus from his chains. But he also had to become a kind of super janitor for one of his assignments, tidying up after 3,000 oxen whose stables had not been cleaned in years. I'm afraid your own hero's journey is likely to take a comparable detour during the next couple weeks, Leo. The bright side: If you do the job without resentment, then you'll be rewarded with a far more noble struggle.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): My horoscope column reaches 9 million readers in five languages and 122 publications. In praise of my recent book, The Televisionary Oracle, novelist Tom Robbins (of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Jitterbug Perfume fame) wrote "I've seen the future of American literature and its name is Rob Brezsny." The Utne Reader has named me a "Culture Hero" and the inspirational SARK (cq)(author of Succulent Wild Women) called me a "word wizard for the soul." But I hope you realize, Virgo, that I'm boasting so brazenly only because I want to be a feisty role model for you. In fact, my New Year's resolution is to coax you into becoming a bigger, badder booster and promoter of your own wonders. Your first step: Spend an hour describing your beautiful qualities into a tape recorder.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Though January is only about half over, I'm presenting the Dream of the Month award to a Libran chef, Frida Haslam of Portland. She recently called my hotline to report a dream she called "The Unfinished Soufflé." In the dream, she was preparing a spinach soufflé. After baking for some time, it still had one spot in the middle that remained raw. Most of the delicate egg dish was ready, though, and Frida was afraid that if she kept it in the oven much longer it would burn. What to do? She took it out, carefully cut away the fully cooked parts, and served them to her family. The rest she threw out. By the way, Libra, Frida's dream is a perfect metaphor for your life in the coming week.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Astronomers rarely lower themselves to examine evidence for UFOs. Many of them, however, put their faith in an equally improbable source of alien contact: They use radio telescopes to search for broadcasts coming from planets circling distant stars. Two years ago there was a burst of excitement at Australia's Parkes Observatory when a distinctive signal began to recur at the same time every evening. An extraterrestrial homing beacon? Nah. It turned out to be coming from a microwave oven used to prepare dinner by workers elsewhere in the building. The moral of the story, as far as you Scorpios are concerned: Whatever you imagine has an exotic, far-off, or unfamiliar origin actually has its roots very close to home. The open secret is right in front of you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If I ever write a self-help tome called The Reverse Psychology of Getting Everything You Want, it will discuss the following paradoxes, all of which are useful for you to meditate on: 1) People are more willing to accommodate your longings if you're not greedy or grasping. 2) A good way to achieve your desires is to cultivate the feeling that you've already achieved them. 3) As you work with all your might to manifest your dreams, you must understand that they'll probably be changed by your pursuit of them. 4) Be careful what you wish for; if your wish does materialize it will require you to change in ways you didn't foresee.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Dear Dr. Brezsny: I was jealous when I saw your ’scope for Taurus a while ago, the one predicting "nonstop hot sloppy love." Being that I'm a desolately single Capricorn and every Capricorn I know is riding in the same lonely boat, I'd like an update on where we stand. Is there any hope? —Solitary Goat." Dear Solitary: I'm not saying it won't happen before this, but you could rightly expect nonstop hot sloppy love this May and again next October. And the results will be richest if you start clearing the space for them now. To begin: Incinerate any ancient romantic karma that's still messing with your heart.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): If this was the Middle Ages, the metaphor I'd use for your horoscope would be an image that your castle is about to be besieged by marauders. I'd counsel you to get ready to pour burning oil or hurl boulders down on them from your battlements. But since this is a more civilized age and the impending crisis is nowhere near as epic, I'll assume a less-histrionic tone. I will advise you to start building irrefutable arguments fueled by impeccable logic. They'll be your best defense against the adversaries and pests that will be arriving to harass you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Curious about the uproar going on behind your eyes, I made a telepathic investigation. In that 17-ring circus you call your brain, I detected a tractor pull, chess match, underwater psychotherapy session, cock fight in a snake pit, drunken gamelan orchestra, teenage make-out party, protest march and a whole lot of other commotion. Personally, I enjoyed it, but then I'm a notorious lover of ambiguity. You may be having more chaotic and unsettling effects on people who like their reality neatly sliced and diced. Possible solution: Hang around with more ambiguity lovers. Describe how you've fought off the seductive power of trendy cynicism without turning into a gullible Pollyanna. Box 150247, San Rafael, CA 94915 or

Speaking of Spirituality, Free Will Astrology

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