Free Will Astrology

Oct 3, 2001 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): If at any time in the coming week you find yourself fantasizing that you were Franz Kafka in a past life or snacking on crunchy, chocolate-covered grasshoppers or driving a mud-spattered Ford Pinto station wagon through the streets of Belfast looking for an apartment where you've heard there's a Buddhist orgy going on, you'll know beyond a doubt that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. While it's true that you will benefit from being unlike your usual self and doing things you don't normally do, scenarios such as those are just too far gone. Rebel against yourself in ingenious, constructive ways, please.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It's Soul Retrieval Week, Taurus. You will attract the help of divine and human allies alike whenever you take measures to reclaim missing pieces of your soul. Are there relatives, either dead or alive, who stole some of your precious essence? Go into deep meditation and negotiate with them for its return. Did you lose a portion of your innocence during a traumatic upheaval a while back? Find it and restore it. Have the betrayals of people you once trusted caused your beauty to dim? Fill your warrior heart with outrageous, courageous love and fight for the restitution of your lost gifts. Your hour of psychic unification is at hand.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Oceans are not exactly teeming with life. In fact, they're mostly barren and could rightly be called "wet deserts." Likewise, not all your emotions, even those that come in floods, are fertile. Some are automatic reactions that have discharged thousands of times since they were first programmed into you many years ago. They're mechanical, not organic. They became fixtures when you were a very different person than you are now. Having provided this warning, however, I'm happy to inform you that you're now ripe to experience a host of fresh, rich, totally original feelings. You're far more open than usual to the rejuvenating waters of life.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Studies of the mating behavior of fiddler crabs reveal that it is not necessarily the biggest, most handsome guy who gets the girl, but rather the quickest to act. In a typical scenario, several males surround a female in response to her signal of readiness. She then picks the one who is first to begin waving his huge claw at her. Moral of the story, as far as you human Crabs are concerned in the coming week: Do not procrastinate about pulling off your best song and dance. Being expeditious will count for far more than you can imagine.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "I arise in the morning," E.B. White once said, "torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." I hereby relieve you, Leo, of the confusion that assailed White. The planetary configurations make it clear that beginning in three weeks, you will be in the most graceful alignment with fate if you push hard to rectify, refine and regenerate everything you touch. Between now and then, however, you should put a strong emphasis on pure, heedless enjoyment. Ironically, this is the best possible way to get yourself in shape for the coming reformation.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): National Geographic magazine reports that one of the longest names possessed by any location is a lake near Webster, Mass.: Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. It's a Nipmuck Indian word that translates as "you fish on your side; I fish on my side; nobody fishes in the middle." I offer you this term, Virgo, to describe the dicey détente you've had to maintain lately and also to introduce a humorous wrinkle that may help you break up the excess tension that's built up around the standoff. According to my reading of the astrological omens, the time is right to find a way for both sides to do some fishing in the middle.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A palette is a tray on which an artist lays out pigments in preparation for applying them to a canvas. Is there a metaphorical equivalent in your own life? Perhaps it's a journal where you temper the insights and emotions you use to create your fate. Maybe it's a sanctuary in your inner world where you gravitate when it's time to organize a departure from tired old story lines. Or it could be a web of allies with whom you collaborate to translate your ideals into reality. Whatever your palette is, Libra, it's time to expand its size and increase the variety of pigments you have to choose from.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Welcome to Madame Taboo's House of Reverse S&M — the only place in the world where you can dissolve your attraction to sadism and masochism in a safe, caring, pain-free environment. Leave your inhibitions at our virtual doors and come on in. We're sure you'll enjoy having your manias massaged by our skillful reverse psychologists. They'll tenderly divest you of your compulsions to punish and be punished. By the time you leave Madame Taboo's, you won't have any interest in carrying on relationships with manipulative people who are obsessed with power issues.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Hey, times change. Customs that once seemed perfectly normal and reasonable may eventually look pretty goofy. For instance, the pillows of the ancient Egyptians were made of stone. Chinese emperors used an aphrodisiac composed of the tongues of a hundred peacocks spiced with chili powder. There was a time in Holland when apprentices trained for four years to be hat-makers but just three years to be surgeons. I offer you these examples, Sagittarius, in the hope they'll rouse you to explore the possibility that there may be equivalent practices in your own life. Now, while your mental hygiene is so robust, is a perfect time to critique your excesses and correct wayward habits.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The Bible quotes the radical 1st century religious activist Jesus Christ as follows: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." My sense is that Jesus did not expect us to summon a warm, fuzzy feeling toward those who offend us, but rather simply to act toward them in ways that we ourselves would like to be treated. This is especially important for you to take to heart right now, Capricorn, while you're at the height of your power to help or hurt. Weirdly enough, being kind and generous to everyone, even your adversaries, is not only the morally correct thing to do; it's also the best possible strategy for advancing your selfish goals.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Procure five hairs from the tail of a sleeping wolf. If that's impossible, close your eyes and simply visualize doing it. Next, go back into the past and spend a few hours with a departed hero whose life work inspires you. Or, if you have not yet mastered time travel, enjoy a meditation in which you pretend to carry out my suggestion. Finally, study this passage from Brian Swimme's lecture, "The Cosmological Significance of the Imagination," then make a change in your life based on it: "In recent centuries, the word 'imagination' referred primarily to make-believe. But when we examine the power of imagination within the evolution of the Earth, we learn something surprising — with respect to the dynamics of evolution, the imagination is as important as gravity, natural selection, or the second law of thermodynamics."

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): At 11 a.m. on Sept. 7, a million British children participated in an experiment called the giant jump. For a minute they leaped up down, hoping to find out whether they would trigger an earthquake. Results are still being sorted, but early reports suggest that in some places there was the equivalent of a 3.0 temblor. I'd like to propose a more constructive mass research project, Pisces. In light of the fact that it's a perfect time for your tribe to bring more soul to your relationships, I'll ask all of you to carry out the following: At exactly 4 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 7, spend 10 minutes visualizing in exquisite detail what it would look, sound, smell and feel like if you were engaged in an intimate partnership that satisfied and challenged you to your depths. Homework: What redemptive changes have you made in your life in response to the events of Sept. 11? Write: