Free Will Astrology

Aug 22, 2001 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Cut out the following testimonial. Photocopy it 50 times and hand it to anyone who's in a position to advance your grand experiment. Dear Big Shot: It is with unabashed glee that I recommend this hot-blooded self-starter for the jobs of alligator wrestler, fire-eater, icon smasher, fun generator or CEM (Chief Executive Maverick). Due to a benevolent conspiracy of astrological influences, this uncanny innovator is currently oozing courage, nerve and a what-the-hell, try-anything-once, hold-nothing-back feistiness. If there's a task you're too timid to try yourself, assign it to this go-for-broke pioneer. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I sought out prophecies from a Siberian shaman and a Yaqui bruja and the reincarnated wizard from Atlantis who hangs out at the local post office. Amazingly, they all foresaw the same upcoming events: an earthquake in Turkey, Calvin Klein's arrival in Tajikistan, a new nickname for George W. Bush ("Taliban of the Environment") and, last but not least, revolution in your love life. All of the sages I consulted are given to hyperbole, so I'm not sure you should start planning for candlelight dinners with long-stemmed roses and Molotov cocktails. But just in case, why not spruce up your approach to evoking passion in members of your favorite gender?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Just in time for the happy occasion of you coming down to earth, I've developed a new form of meditation called muditation. The absolutely best way to do it is to meander over to a place where there's a plentiful source of rich mud. Doff your clothes, throw yourself in and roll around. Keep sloshing until you're purged of your urges to make too much sense and are filled with visions of very practical actions you can take to fulfill your dreams. Also recommended: Chant the mantra "Goo is life!" If this is too extreme for your tastes, please at least daub mud on your forehead, cheeks, and chin, then fantasize about the practical actions you can take to fulfill your dreams.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In this week's adventures in chemistry, rash and passionate reds will mix it up with cool and funky blues. Rolling thunder in your soul will either harmonize or clash with the hum of your heavy mental machinery. Your best animalistic hormones will begin swirling through you about the same time your control mechanisms kick into high gear. The result? Worst-case scenario: You act like a beastly bureaucrat. Best-case scenario: You become a sexy, disciplined catalyst.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I'm quite proud of my airline barf-bag collection. Having traveled more than 35,000 miles in the last 15 months, I've snagged 37 varieties. Most of them are little more than unmarked white containers with meek designs. One model stands out above all the rest, however. The gourmet bag offered by the tiny Chiavare airline in Italy is decorated with a robust Salvador Dali-esque logo of a cobra coiled around a tower of clocks. I keep it on my mantel as a symbol of artistry and flair in a field where imagination is virtually nil. I urge you to procure a comparable talisman this week. It should embody your commitment to rebel against bland mediocrity as you express your idiosyncratic genius.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Here are this week's four homework assignments. 1) Draw, paint, sculpt or buy a new mask for yourself that expresses the inner wildness you're hiding. 2) Fantasize about calmly telling a previously unspeakable truth to a person who has you tied up in knots. 3) Exercise every day for the next eight days, but only by doing activities that give you pleasure. You must not be bored as you move your body. 4) Write a short story about what your life would be like if you were a dragonfly or flamingo or cougar or any animal you love.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): As a veteran psychonaut who has, without resorting to drugs, explored hundreds of altered states of consciousness in the last 15 years, I believe the following assertion has great credibility: It's not so terrible to lose your mind (at least temporarily). What's bad is not capitalizing on it, like by escaping the stunted realities that caused you to lose your mind in the first place; or by exploring surprising emotions that may lead you to the roots of your future superpowers; or by narrating your life story into a beat-up tape recorder as you sprawl on the floor in a pool of your own tears and then selling the whole beautiful mess to a Hollywood screenwriter. P.S. To be frank, neither sanity nor insanity are all they're cracked up to be. I prefer postsanity myself. Care to join me?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): By no means do I listen to all the voices in my head. Some have hidden agendas they're expert at disguising; others are too influenced by my irrational fears to be trusted. There is, however, a certain inner voice that never fails me. It sounds like a woman in her 40s. I can hear her only if I turn down the volume of the mass media echoing in my brain, and only if I am clear that what was true for me in the past may no longer be true now. As I woke up this morning, this cagey sibyl spoke. "Tell Scorpios," she murmured, "that it's an excellent time to tune in to the soft-spoken voice in their heads that gives advice about how to gain power over themselves, not over other people."

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I predict that in the next four weeks, your supposedly "tragic flaw" will lose fully one-third of its power to sabotage you. Your skill at distinguishing between authentic truth-telling and flowery bullshit will be growing at a rapid rate. Your vices will become both more interesting and forgivable. You'll develop a perky willingness to do the half-right thing when it's downright impossible to do the totally right thing. Finally, you will steadily expand your capacity to receive nourishing surprises. I only hope that you can deal with such absurd abundance.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In another 2,100 years, the Age of Capricorn will begin. If you've been able to prolong your life through nanotechnology and immortality drugs, you'll feel perfectly at home in the world at that time. In the meantime, though, you should maybe get acclimated to the peculiar institutions of the Age of Aquarius. Let's start with channeling. In your case, it would be a mistake to try to access, say, a 10,000-year-old warrior from the 13th dimension. So let's go with something earthier. Try channeling in the spirits of Capt. James Cook and Ferdinand Magellan. They might inspire you to take maximum advantage of all the exploratory energy that'll be available to you in the coming weeks.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The divine omens decree that something resembling a wedding should now take place in your life. This doesn't necessarily mean a trip to the altar. You could just as well marry your fortunes to a new business partnership or a good long-term gamble or a stuffed animal you'll really be able to rely on. The gods ask only that you commit yourself to a union that's more dynamic and disciplined than you've ever been able to pull off.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): For years I've made regular trips on Highway 101 in my home county of Marin, Calif. As familiar as this corridor is, there's one landmark in the town of Larkspur that never fails to pique my love of mystery. It's a small drawbridge over a lagoon about a hundred yards east of the road. What makes it unusual is that the movable section of the span is always pointed straight up. Never once have I seen any traffic pass over it. And yet in my dream last night, the impossible had happened: The two sections of the Larkspur bridge were connected. What's more, seven of my best Piscean friends were striding triumphantly across it. I believe this is a prophecy concerning your imminent future: A passage has opened up between two parts of your life that have never before been linked. You've had lots of practice in applying the principle of "less is more." But now it's time to testify about the times in your life when more has been more. Write