Free Will Astrology

Sep 26, 2001 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the wake of the tremendous variety of intimate connections that bloomed for me at the Burning Man festival, I've resolved to renounce all the boring old words to describe relationships. For evermore, I won't refer to my companions as "friends," "soul mates," "co-workers," "lovers," "partners" or "colleagues." I'll strive to conjure a unique term for each person I bond with. Sonora will be my lushbuddy, Diana my humbaby, Pax my plot hatcher, David my freewheeler, Sunyata my pirouette teacher. As you enter into an astrological phase when making new allies will be exceptionally fun and full of grace, Aries, I urge you to try on a similar attitude.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Here are three of my deepest spiritual aspirations: 1) To develop the capacity to thrive in the midst of raging contradictions; 2) to be discerning as I protect myself from people's flaws while at the same time being generous as I celebrate their beauty; 3) to refrain from dividing the world into two groups, those who help and agree with me and those who don't. I mention these nearly impossible goals, Taurus, because it so happens to be a perfect time for you to make great headway in accomplishing them.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In response to our culture's ever-rising levels of noise and frenzy, rites of purification have become more popular. Many people now recognize the value of taking periodic retreats. Withdrawing from their usual compulsions, they go on fasts, avoid mass media, practice celibacy or even abstain from speaking. While I approve of such cleansing ceremonies, I believe we should balance them with an equal and opposite custom: the Bliss Blitz. During this celebration of wonder, we also tune out the numbing banality of the daily grind, but instead of shrinking into asceticism, we indulge in uninhibited explorations of joy, release and expansion. I'm happy to announce, Gemini, that it's high time for you to enjoy a Bliss Blitz.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): We Crabs are renowned for tenacity but not for courage. It's true that our propensity to keep plugging away at a prickly task can look a lot like heroic resolve, but too often it's rooted in a lazy fear of change. Sorry to sound so harsh, but I'm hoping that by spilling the uncomfortable truth I'll incite you to demand bolder actions from yourself in the coming weeks. As I watched a 60-foot-tall wooden effigy get consumed in flames at the Burning Man festival a few weeks ago, I prayed that the elemental metaphor of fire would inspire me to incinerate all obstructions to my feistiest bravery. I now extend that same prayer to you.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The New York Times recently reported that the basic laws of physics, perhaps even the speed of light, may evolve as time goes on. Aside from dissipating the theological majesty of science, this possibility also invites the delightful hope that every axiom might be equally subject to transformation. Take the seemingly immutable patterns that rule your relationship with money. What if you could actually mutate them into a healthier form? The astrological omens suggest that this is the perfect moment to do just that.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Having been a spiritual seeker since I was in my teens, I long ago figured out the best possible conditions for meditation: be perfectly still and silent in a tranquil sanctuary in my home. Or so I thought until recent upheavals in my life taught me a different approach. Now my most intoxicating revelations from God come as I speak my prayers aloud during long, vigorous walks. I highly recommend this peppier approach to you, Virgo. The astrological omens suggest you'll reap sweet breakthroughs if you get your body more involved in your quest for divine communion.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I won't be surprised if you're accused of suffering from delusions of grandeur. You yourself may even wonder whether the lofty fantasies that have been sweeping into view are over the top. But as your official reality checker, I assure you that while some of your wild imaginings may be too much for you to actually manifest any time soon, many of them are within your power to accomplish if you'll just give them time to unfold. I choose to believe that you're now experiencing premonitions of grandeur.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In my entire life, I have never had as much fun as I did at the Burning Man festival a few weeks ago. For the first time, I felt totally at home on this planet. I was blessed with transformative encounters with dozens of fascinating allies who shared my spiritual and political values. Before I returned home in my rented RV, though, I had to do a major purge. I left 16 garbage bags at a dump, unloaded our "gray water" and "black water" at another waste disposal unit, then spent six hours cleaning the vehicle. According to my astrological reckoning, Scorpio, you're now at a similar phase. The glory and grace must now give way to scouring and sanitizing.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I collected an embarrassment of rich epiphanies at the Burning Man festival a few weeks ago. To mention a few: eating sushi off the naked bellies of gorgeous friends while dancing to the music of the best band I'd never heard before; facilitating the marriages of hundreds of people to themselves in a performance I did at a chapel made entirely of recycled plastic; exorcising my most ferocious nemesis at the inner demon rodeo; and hearing my new ally Pax tell how he witnessed an idealistic 18-year-old woman initiate events that led to the overthrow of the repressive Bulgarian government in 1996. But as crazily abundant as my surprising blessings were, Sagittarius, I suspect that you will outdo me in the coming weeks. It's your very own prime time.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): At the recent Burning Man festival, shock-jock (and Capricorn) Howard Stern challenged me to an ass-kissing contest. As you might guess, everyone who had their butts bussed in our showdown far preferred my technique to his. I was declared the hands-down champion of the world. Since then, though, evidence has emerged that my competitor was not the real Stern, but a look-alike impersonator. Now my victory is in question, my dominion ambiguous. I predict that you will soon experience an analogous progression, Capricorn: Apparent triumph will become clouded by doubt. The proper response is not to feel deflated, but rather to redouble your efforts. (In that spirit, I hereby challenge the real Howard Stern to a supreme kiss-off.)

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Toronto astrologer Richard Geer once asked me, "What are your minimum requirements for paradise?" Now that I've been to Burning Man, the freak festival in the Nevada desert, I know. In my wonderland, I'd be able to dance to hot music any time of the day or night. Everywhere I'd go I'd encounter perky allies who are my equals and who, like me, are creators rather than spectators. Money would be unnecessary; exchanges of goods and services would proceed by bartering; generosity would be the ruling spirit. Danger levels would be low: I'd feel utterly safe and without fear. What about you, Aquarius? Now that you're in a phase when you have more power to bring heaven down to earth, I urge you to write down your own minimum requirements for paradise.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In the Qabalah, every Hebrew letter is assigned a number. Every word is also a number derived from the addition of its letters. Gematria is the practice of finding hidden resonance between seemingly unrelated words that have similar numerical values. Of the many poetic truths revealed through this art, one is particularly apropos right now: The Hebrew words for both "serpent" and "messiah" add up to 358. For you, it means that the part of your life you regard as sexy, slippery, elusive and thorny is the key to your next adventure in illumination and salvation. Tell us about a time when an unexpected event cracked open a hole in your shrunken reality so as to let juicy eternity pour in, at