Free Will Astrology

Mar 21, 2001 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your birthday is your personal New Year's Day, the launch of a fresh astrological cycle. As you approach this glorious holiday, I'd like to provide two assignments that will help you take maximum advantage of the hatching energy. First, promise yourself that you will be voraciously observant. Each day, find at least three details you've never previously noticed about the familiar environments you inhabit and travel through. Secondly, use all your ingenuity to figure out how to be motivated by fun rather than conscience or guilt. Everywhere you go, substitute "I want to" for "I should" as you cultivate a relentlessly experimental capacity for joy.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I dare you to unleash a convulsive confession, Taurus. I challenge you to dredge up every last festering seed of unacknowledged truth. Grab a pen and paper or put your hands on your keyboard and write nonstop until you've churned out a piercingly tender testimony about your raw secrets, wild sorrow, unspeakable guilt and strange yanks of destiny. If there's any smoldering joy or hidden pride or unclaimed triumphs in there, mix that in, too. Send the whole mess to me at Box 150247, San Rafael, CA 94915. I will conduct a ritual of purification, burning your offerings in my sacred cauldron. As I do, I'll think fiercely compassionate thoughts about you and visualize all the reasons why you deserve much more of the smartest kind of love.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It would be a great week to learn a foreign language while playing chess by cell phone as you improve your skills in operating a forklift and retrain yourself to breathe deeply from your diaphragm. You might also consider writing with more crazed freedom in your journal as you increase your time on your exercise bike and listen to music-sampler CDs so as to track down a new selection of songs to inspire you. In other words, Gemini, bust through the limitations you've previously set on how much intense versatility you can muster. You won't believe how much you can get done during the next seven days.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I bought an unassembled piece of furniture at Ikea. I'm not stupid, I told myself. How hard could it be to put together? Many frustrating days later — beset by poor instructions, missing pieces and parts that barely fit together — I'd discovered a valuable new secret of magic. Cursing alone didn't work; neither did prayer alone. But if coordinated in short bursts of alternating rhythm, flinging both curses and prayers turned out to be an excellent way to attract divine help. I'm convinced I'd still have a pile of wood on the floor if it hadn't been for the supernatural interventions I was able to conjure. I recommend this approach to you during the coming days, Cancerian, when you'll have to perform the equivalent of constructing an Ikea entertainment center.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Don't bother trying to use logic to figure out the plot twists this week. If you do, you'll miss the point every time. A better approach would be to cultivate what the poet John Keats called "negative capability." In other words, learn to dwell comfortably "in the midst of profound uncertainties, mysteries and doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason." If there's any sense to be made of upcoming events, Leo, it'll be on the offbeat, in the odd coincidences, and out of the corner of your eye.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I haven't hitchhiked at all in recent years, but when I was 18-22 years old,

.it was my preferred means of travel. The first key to success — not always feasible — was to have a woman companion. The second rule: Stand right in front of a spot that's easy for a car to pull over to and stop. In other words, make it hassle-free for your potential benefactor to give you the gift of a ride. A similar approach is advisable in many other situations where you're angling for an offering: Remove all obstacles that stand in the way of you getting the object of your desires. I urge you to keep that uppermost in your mind during the coming week, Virgo.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You will attract a lot of cosmic assistance if you apprentice yourself to the arts of sacred intimacy in the next few weeks. As encouragement, here are three riddles for you to chew on: 1) What are the qualities in yourself that tend to sabotage your love life? 2) What exactly would you have to do to achieve an elegant balance between giving too much and being too self-centered? 3) Could you actually thrive on the fact that a close, loving relationship periodically churns up the dark sides of both partners?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Prickles, twitches, itches and stings: They're not always bad, and may even serve a worthy purpose. My allergy to freshly cut grass, for instance, meant I never had to waste my Saturday afternoons mowing the lawn when I was a teenager. And that creepy-crawly sensation that came over me when I first met my sister's smooth-talking fiance: If I had heeded it, I wouldn't have lent him the money that he never paid back. Moral of the story, Scorpio: Make your icky feelings work for you this week.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Cut out this oracle and place it in an envelope along with the ace of hearts, a petal from five different roses, a half-burned dollar bill and a beautiful photo of yourself that's been kissed by the person who understands you best. On the envelope, write the following: "I am more capable of surprising myself than I ever knew. I am both wiser and more innocent than I've given myself credit for. Now I am ready to receive revelations that will make me happier and more useful to other people." Put this packet under your pillow for three nights, Sagittarius. You will have dreams and visions that give you clues about how to launch the next great story of your life.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Basements, closets and caves are your power spots this week, Capricorn. Midnight is your lucky color and inward is your lucky direction. Your magic verbs are dig, descend and disclose. Your frontier concept is "anamnesis," which means putting an end to amnesia. In light of the deep, dark riches that await you at the core of everything, here are the action steps I recommend: Delve into ancient trunks and reread old journals. Remember your ancestors and fantasize about your past lives. Stare at your navel and reminisce about what life was like when you still had an umbilical cord attached there.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In January of 1994 I took a three-day workshop with the mythologist and storyteller Michael Meade. So potent were the changes he helped catalyze in me that I'm still working on them more than seven years later. I periodically refer to the 60 pages of notes I took back then. They serve as a continuing source of mystery and teaching. I'm bringing this up, Aquarius, because for the next few weeks there is a window of opportunity for you to find an educational experience that'll play an equally transformative role in your own life. Now here's a taste of Meade's ideas: Addictions are poor substitutes for the rituals you need but have not yet found.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): If you could win a free Porsche just by eating a bowl of live cockroaches, would you do it? How about if you could get an innocent man freed from prison by hanging upside down with your legs tied to a tree branch? Would you live in a cave without bathing for a month if that would win the heart of an incredibly attractive person you adore? Those may all be ridiculous hypothetical situations, Pisces, and yet they're only slightly more outlandish than the choices you imagine your life is forcing you to make right now. Please try to see that in order to get what you want it's not necessary to make a sacrifice as big as the one you fear. Take a trip in your imagination to the future, where you will visit the person you'll be four years from today. What is the most important message you have to convey to him or her?