Free Will Astrology

May 16, 2001 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): A renowned master of Indian classical music, Ali Akbar Khan plays the 25-stringed instrument called the sarod. Despite his traditional training, he's an innovative teacher. His students don't even have to pick up the sarod. He instructs them how to approach their own chosen instrument — cello, guitar or violin — the way he performs on his own specialty. This is a useful metaphor for you to keep in mind, Aries, as you enter a new grade level in the School of Life. In the coming weeks, translation should be your forte. Maybe you'll grasp the art of riding a motorcycle the way Sarah McLachlan sings or get the hang of a new interpersonal skill that's akin to the pitching ofRoger Clemens.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Some archaeologists think the Garden of Eden was on Bahrain, an island near Saudi Arabia. Others believe it was in the land that Saddam Hussein calls home. Being more inclined to the metaphysical mode of thinking, I'm of the opinion that the paradise mentioned in the Bible is an actual place located in what mystics call the inner plane, or what Australian aborigines refer to as the Dreamtime. In my view, this sanctuary is not a memory or myth, but rather a currently accessible travel destination for anyone who knows the landscapes of the soul. I bring this up, Taurus, because it's a perfect time for you to visit.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I congratulate you, Gemini, for purging the psychic toxins from your system. Rarely have you been so courageously decisive in jettisoning deluded hopes and haunted dreams. Let's hope it means you've risen to a higher octave of self-respect. It is too bad, though, that you had to perform so much heroism without a more appreciative audience. I'm also sorry to report that there's a bit more work to be done before the scouring will be complete. An old skeleton in your closet has begun doing funny things with your dirty laundry. I suggest you relocate the whole mess to a landfill or bonfire.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Fake smile alert! The pressures on you to be good, mind your manners and do your duty have begun to exceed the acceptable limits established by the Geneva Convention on Neurotic Niceness. As other people's thoughts and feelings threaten to overrun your hypersensitive nervous system, you must fight back. Therefore, my fellow Cancerian, please fix a steely gaze in your eyes and yell "Get out of my head!" as soon as possible. When and if you've done that, you'll have permission to carry out the following advice. I challenge you to make a bold, blazing stand on behalf of something your soul considers delicate and precious.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): My horoscopes don't always answer the question or solve the problem you think you need addressed. Instead, they may point you in unexpected directions. In a sense, they resemble the Oracle of Delphi in Greece two millennia ago. Back then, for instance, a man named Battus was given an audience with the Delphic prophet. He asked her for help in relieving his stuttering. She ignored his request but told him he would one day create a North African kingdom. Though he never lost his speech impediment, he did eventually establish the city of Cyrene in Libya. I say unto you, Leo, that while I can't offer a cure for the little vexation that's driving you crazy, I will predict that a discovery you make soon will become the key to a future masterpiece.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It'll be a good week to be far more spunky and nervy than usual. Therefore, I dare you to question God at length about her reasoning in designing your fate. I challenge you to act as if you have a surplus of good luck and charm as you pursue a goal you've always assumed was improbable. Finally, I encourage you to demand a signing bonus, swing from a chandelier, build an orphanage in Romania, hit flaming marshmallows with a Wiffle Ball (cq) bat, leave mash notes on the windshield of those you secretly admire and even try to pull off the equivalent of walking on water.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The Free Will Astrology Sainthood Search Committee is proud to announce it has officially bestowed honors on the following original sinners of the Libran persuasion: Rosemary Gartner, Forrest Bagilio, Martha Ammorako, and Ed Lemm. From now until forever, these naughty angels are authorized to place "St." in front of their names and to demand that the entire world treat them as holy wise guys and wise gals. If you would like to be considered for sainthood, all you have to do is prove that you've developed a successful working relationship with your own dark side. (These last few weeks have provided ample opportunity.) Send evidence to: Sainthood, Box 150247, San Rafael, CA 94915 or [email protected].

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the traditional telling of the Greek myth of Persephone, the maiden is dragged into the underworld by the brutish but wealthy god Hades, who makes her his queen. Her mother, the goddess Demeter, petitions the other gods for her release. They hammer out a compromise that allows her to spend half the year back home on the Earth's surface. An often-overlooked detail is that Persephone would have been allowed to completely escape Hades' hold had she not eaten the food of the dead, which he offered her when she first arrived. Chew on this story in the coming weeks, Scorpio. As you wander in the deep, dark labyrinths, I hope it'll inspire you to be discriminating about what influences you absorb.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To honor your forays to the frontiers of twisted earthiness, I'm offering you a horoscope built around the titles of country music songs. It's understandable, right about now, if you feel like singing, "I've Enjoyed About as Much of This as I Can Stand" or "You Just Hurt My Last Feeling." Maybe it'll help if I remind you that "Sometimes You're the Windshield, Sometimes You're the Bug." In light of the uproar, I suggest you hum a few bars of "I Just Can't Go on Dying Like This" as you work up the nerve to stop accepting "Too Much of Too Little." But before you break into the celebratory "Back to Bein' Me," unleash a wailing version of "You Were Only a Splinter in my Ass as I Slid Down the Banister of Life."

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Did your lover leave a velvet bag full of jewels or a 10-page ode to your beauty under your pillow? If not, why not? The astrological omens say it should have happened. And another thing, Capricorn: Did you recently liberate yourself from your oldest form of volunteer slavery and welcome the arrival of a delightful future shock? Again, I hope you did, because the planetary configurations make no sense otherwise. I suppose it is possible (and forgivable) that you're a week behind schedule. But if so, get out there and start collecting your juicy just desserts immediately.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I hope that in recent weeks you've perfected the art of lounging in one spot for long periods while staring blankly at the sky. I trust that you've also been channeling pages and pages of doodles from your subconscious mind, singing yourself lullabies not just at bedtime but whenever you feel unfathomable longings, and allowing lush fantasies to freely well up and interfere with your work. Assuming you have devoted yourself to these and other acts of self-renewal, I will now nudge you in the direction of the next phase of your astrological cycle: Picture yourself making love on the red leather seat of a Jaguar that's parked on the edge of a cliff overlooking a waterfall.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A person you barely acknowledge may soon provide a hot tip. An idea you once dismissed might begin emanating the fragrance of eternal truth. And I won't be surprised if you find useful information in your junk mail or cathartic wisdom in a TV sitcom. See what I'm driving at, Pisces? You can't predict where you'll find the valuable clues you need most. More than that — to borrow from the Bible — the last shall soon be first. What's the single most important question you have to find an answer for in the next five years? Deliver your best guess to