Free Will Astrology

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Man will occasionally stumble over the truth," Winston Churchill once opined, "but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on." In other words, it's difficult for us to even accidentally be relieved of our delusions. They're so ingeniously constructed and hypnotically attractive that it's amazing we ever see anything as it really is. Now get out there and refute everything I just said. When you trip and fall over the lumpy truth, have the good sense to stay down there and examine it.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): How skilled are you at living on the edge between the light and dark, between delirious joy and haunted dreams, between forever and never? I guess we'll soon find out. People less interesting than you might try to guilt-trip you into giving up the virtuoso balancing act. There may be similar pressure from the voices in your head that represent the hidebound views of your relatives and ancestors. But I urge you — I dare you — to explore the itchy, intriguing adventures that are only available outside the niches everyone wants to herd you into.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I won't be surprised if you spot your doppelgänger this week or encounter an alter ego with a destiny that parallels yours. In addition, I fully expect that you will have an enlightening encounter with a shadow and an endarkening run-in with an idol. You will also either serve as a stand-in or substitute or else enlist someone to serve as a stand-in or substitute for you. I wonder if you might even brush up against an authentic soul twin who'll offer unprecedented opportunities for synergy and symbiosis? Be alert for the theme of the double everywhere you go.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): If I were your agent or your mom, I'd declare this Cancerian Makeover Week. I'd call in a masseuse to pound out all your knots, then send you to the hairdresser, nutritionist, psychotherapist, career counselor and the clothes store to change you around in every way. I'd make sure you were denied everything that's even half-bad for you. I'd force you to commune with five experiences guaranteed to stir up your receptivity, reverence and self-healing. I'd stop at nothing until you were thoroughly debugged, unlocked and retooled.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The Web domain name does not yet belong to anyone. Consider buying it. Other domains you might think about acquiring are,,, or Those are all poetically apt names for the Web site you may be moved to create after you live through the exotic adventures of the next few weeks.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I strongly suggest you move the furniture around. Why don't you move some of it right through the door and out of your life? This might whet your appetite to launch a full-scale purge of everything that no longer belongs under your roof — all the mismatched dishes, stained rugs, fading mementos, libidoless "joys," cracked mirrors, numbing symbols and obsolete dreams that have lost their meaning. It’s time for you to liberate your home of its dead weight.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The messenger god Hermes will be your archetypal companion for the next two weeks. As a facilitator of communication, he will help you lubricate your connections, strengthen your web of allies and bring disconnected parts of your life into greater harmony. But Hermes can also be a tricky thief. To be completely faithful to his spirit, you should also engage in a benevolent robbery or two. Suggested targets for your heists: a burden one of your companions is having trouble getting rid of; an illusion obstructing your ability to get closer to a valuable collaborator; and a symbol of an old mess that's preventing you from leaving the past behind.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The pay my feminist friend Riana earns as a stripper is 10 times what it was when she took care of senior citizens. Her increased income and leisure time allow her to devote herself to writing poetry with an intensity that was impossible before. Since she made this transition, she has published two books. But is there a price to pay for using her body in a way that's at odds with her politics? Has she lost her self-respect? Has her soul been twisted? Not as long as she mines the contradictions for her poetry, she says. So if it's true that any job you do requires some compromise, what kind of job and compromise would best serve your creativity? Begin this meditation now and keep it burning brightly throughout 2002.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To convey the true spirit of your current astrological omens, I need to borrow three German slang expressions. 1) Du wirst Bäume ausreissen. The literal meaning of this prediction in English is "You will rip out the trees." In other words, you will have amazing amounts of energy, initiative and strength. 2) Du wirst aus dem Häuschen sein. The literal translation: "You'll be out of your little house." To say it another way, you will expand beyond the confines of your comfy little boundaries to embrace a bigger and more complete embodiment of happiness. 3) Du bist ein Glückspilz. Literally: "You are a lucky mushroom," which implies that you are about to experience unexpected good fortune.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In order to make it through an imminent rite of passage, you won't have to endure whipping, spanking, yelling or passive-aggressive manipulation. This turning point may be the sweetest, richest ordeal you've ever had — and a prototype of the breakthroughs that will become more and more common for you in the years to come. Instead of having to learn your lesson through the shock of misery and pain, you are about to leap to a new level of mastery on the strength of your commitment to smart love and unsentimental integrity.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You are far from the sacred places of your ancestors. The songs of the land that sustained them and lived in the marrow their bones are unknown to you. But while this has limited your ability to feel at home on the planet, from now on it will also work to your benefit; your freedom from the ancient ways will increasingly enrich your spirit. Already you are tuning in to the fresh songs of the land that will sustain you for the rest of your days. You are drawing closer to the sacred places of your descendents. Welcome to the Terra Nova — the New Earth.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Do I detect a streak of megalomania running through you these days? Have you been instinctively pumping up your estimates of how much you're worth? Do you find yourself fantasizing about how much better the world would be if everyone were only more like you? If so, I forgive you. In fact, I actually encourage you. It's the astrological month of Sagittarius, when you have a cosmic right to stretch your limits as you enjoy uncanny levels of confidence. Please lionize, exalt, magnify, glorify and even aggrandize yourself. Name the ideal that is most exciting to you right now and describe how you will take practical steps to embody it in the coming months. Write:

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