Free Will Astrology

Oct 18, 2000 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): For some of you Aries, this is a perfect moment to dive deeply into stories of other people's suffering. Stretching your capacity to feel empathy and compassion will actually make you a smarter person. And what about the rest of you Rams? I suggest you actively fight against any perverse fascination you may have for tales of cheating spouses, child abuse, drunken fugues, lost love and crazy violence. For you, the time is right to cultivate an attraction to the themes of redemption, rebirth and renaissance. And which category do you fall into? I can't tell you that. Only your own intuition knows for sure.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I've got a suggestion for an alchemical experiment, Taurus. Let's see if we can transmute some of your notorious stubbornness into dynamic patience. It may be a relatively easy conversion. What makes success even more likely is that you're now in a situation that'll serve perfectly as the laboratory. It has to do with the door on which you've been knocking and knocking and knocking. As your discouragement reaches a peak this week, you'll be tempted to give up and walk away. And yet this is the exact moment when you'll have the most power to perform amazing acts of abracadabra, mutating your frustration into faith and the resistance of those on the other side of the door into receptivity.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Like a tiger ready to pounce, you may inspire in onlookers a tendency to be very polite and cooperative this week. Like a drunken saint, you might spread an agitated form of good cheer that's both entertaining and unsettling. Like a visionary caffeine addict, you may dominate discussions with fine ideas that'll be difficult to actually carry out. Like a crazy but charismatic networker, you may be given to blurting out both the god-awful and exalting truths, putting you on the edge between pushing people away and winning them over. Halloween costume suggestion: Siamese twins, one of whom is bright and peppy and the other dark, chaotic, and creative.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): According to biologist Francis Crick (cq), our nightly dreams consist of nothing more than hallucinations produced as the brain flushes out metabolic wastes. Of the many arguments that can be mustered against this appalling ignorance, none is more forceful than the life of Harriet Tubman. After escaping from slavery in 1849, she helped organize the Underground Railroad and personally led 300 slaves to freedom. Few history books note that she relied on her dreams to provide specific information about where to find safe houses, helpers, and passages through dangerous territory. I bring this up, Cancerian, because your own dreams will be ripe with very practical guidance in the coming weeks. Watch them closely, and consider reading Robert Moss' book Dreaming True.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I foresee three sexy opportunities for you this week, Leo. 1. You can graduate from being merely smart and become wiser in a way that will make life better for everyone close to you. 2. You can retire any temptations you have to act like a know-it-all so that you may slip luxuriously into the role of a feel-it-all. 3. By rousing your innocence, you can find a hard-to-spot yet obvious key that would ultimately make you feel more home in the world than ever before.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): There's no reason to be jealous of those people whose careers resemble meteors, geysers, floods or volcanoes. Today they may look down on your glacial tempo with scorn. Later, when they're smoldering embers or drenched piles of rubble, your inexorable progress may strike them as a thoughtful work of art. But I should be ashamed of myself for trying to motivate you with revenge, Virgo. You don't need that base emotion to jiggle your pride. Besides, your meticulous pace will probably double in the coming months because of natural causes that have nothing to do with your pride.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Producers of a movie often have it shown to test audiences before it's released. Sometimes they'll even change the ending or cut out scenes if a majority of viewers hiss or yawn. I suggest that you try something analogous this week. Seek out feedback about the budding idea or product you're aching to unleash. Try to solicit the reactions of at least a few people who aren't predisposed to telling you everything you want to hear. On the other hand, don't assume that every single critic is a genius.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Hallelujah and glory be to the great Mobius strip in the sky. You Scorpios have been chosen to receive a shocking privilege — the chance to reincarnate without even having to die! This week is the time. Your home is the place. The womb of creation goes into labor and out pops a new, improved version of the jaded old you. Don't be afraid. It'll be more fun than any ordeal you've ever had. The pleasure will outstrip the pain, I guarantee it! (P.S. Please feel no shame if you immediately have to seek out some metaphorical diapers.)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I sometimes feel like a Sagittarius in training, probably because my rising sign is Sagittarius. Like you, for instance, I normally exude expansive joviality, but now and then fall into a mood that causes me to downplay all that's wonderful in my life and instead obsess on the one tiny thing that's wrong. This happened recently when I lost sight of my new book's generally good reviews and fretted over the lone slam it got. (Village Voice critic Emily Jenkins wrote it off as "the ravings of a manic show-off.") I bring this up, my dear, because I believe you should be extra vigilant in guarding against this tendency in the coming weeks. As a preventive measure, be a fanatical practitioner of gratitude.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The Hebrew word nabal refers to a person who's so tenaciously focused on practical matters that he becomes impractical. I fear, my dear Capricorn, that you're veering dangerously close to this fate. For the sake of the bottom line, I beg you to forget about the bottom line for the next few days. Wander through the world like a teenage poet. Luxuriate in your whims and honor your fantasies. Be a sweet, playful fool so you won't turn into a sour, workaholic fool.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Following last May's fires at the Los Alamos nuclear labs, artist Erika Wanenmacher scrounged the grounds for half-burnt objects that might serve as raw materials for her sculptures. From her booty she fashioned a beautiful gift for me: a primitive knife. As soon as I touched it, I knew it had major mojo. That night, I dreamt it helped me fight off a giant, two-headed scorpion. Since then, I've dreamt of the magic dagger two more times. First I used it to slash through a thicket where a thief had hidden my wallet, then to sever a leather cord that was keeping me tethered to a person who disliked me. Now, in solidarity with your lust for liberation, Aquarius, I'll employ my benevolent weapon in a ritual for you. As I raise it over my head, I offer its help in cutting away a part of your life that is burdensome or outworn.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Got your bag of tricks packed? How about your visa for the wild side? I hope you're bringing lots of gifts to dispense, in case you need to curry favor in the outlying areas where the rules are a little loose. It also wouldn't hurt to take along stuff like a snake bite kit and extra shock absorbers. Not that you'll have to use them necessarily. It's just that you're going to be offered chances to score some magic cookies and secret shortcuts, and it would be a shame to have to miss out on them just because you're unprepared for the unexpected. Send reports of fresh T-shirt and bumper sticker slogans to