Free Will Astrology

Apr 3, 2002 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): I'm thankful that 2002 is turning out to be the year of your homecoming. Many of you have the blueprints for your dream home or are well on your way to creating a rich new sense of community. Virtually all of you have deepened your understanding of what your mission is. That alone has made you feel less restless and more at home than you've ever been. Next step: Update any tradition that has lost its emotional power.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you're normal, it would take a solid month of yelling at the top of your lungs to generate enough energy to boil water for a pot of tea. But you're not normal these days. Your anger is of a higher quality than usual and your ability to channel it is far more concentrated. You could probably heat up three cups of Earl Grey with a mere eight hours of hollering. But might I talk you into making more productive uses of such primal force? You could change the circumstances that are pissing you off.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Ancient Chinese astrologers believed that 70 percent of all omens were bad. There's never been a survey of their modern Western counterparts, but a majority of them also focus on doom and gloom. Fortunately, a few astrological mavericks like me are conjuring up a tradition of boom and zoom. I believe we are the wave of the future. Would you care to join our cause? It's prime time for you to get the hang of expecting the best. "Can you afford not to make/the magical study/which happiness is?" (Thanks to poet Charles Olson for asking that potent question.)

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The astrological omens suggest that it's special dispensation week for you. Dull karmic necessity will be taking a break in your vicinity. An oppressive rule of thumb is ripe for one of its periodic exceptions. I suspect you'll be given at least partial exemptions from several ponderous cosmic regulations — perhaps even the law of gravity itself. Not only are you likely to get clearance to fly in your dreams far more than usual. I bet you'll also receive unexpected boosts from unseen helpers whenever you attempt quantum leaps of faith.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I've channeled many first-class spirits in my time: Thomas Jefferson and John Keats and Virginia Woolf. So I was confused and annoyed when I woke up this morning with the voice of Barbie in my groggy head. "I refuse to channel a plastic doll with an impossible figure!" I moaned. Barbie was undeterred. "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful," she cooed. "Go ahead," I sighed, burying my face in my pillow. "I am a Leo," she began, "and like many members of my tribe, I'm a little too dependent on my charisma. My charm can become an excuse for laziness. But no more. This April, I will be adventurer Barbie full time. I will be astronaut Barbie and safari-leader Barbie and Himalayan-expedition Barbie. Tell my fellow Lions I dare them to follow my lead." Oddly, her advice jibes with your astrological omens.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The "Consumer Education for Teens" Web site has helpful hints for anyone contemplating a new tattoo. For instance, artists at most parlors won't brand you with the name of your lover unless you agree to have it done in green or red. That way, if romance ever fades, it'll be relatively easy to convert the now offensive name into the image of a flower. While I admire the farsightedness of such a policy, I must note that it tends to undermine the tattoo recipient's faith in the long-term viability of the relationship. This is exactly the kind of subtle sabotage you should eschew in the coming weeks as you rev up your undying devotion to a beautiful cause. I advise you to do the metaphorical equivalent of getting that tattoo done in all the colors of the rainbow.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A muse may be a provocative person or a lyrical spirit or the mysterious voice of an autonomous part of your own brain. Each of us has one. Poets and musicians may be in more conscious contact with theirs, but with a little work anyone can access their personal source of creative inspiration. It's a perfect moment to upgrade your relationship with your muse. If the current office-holder is unwilling to undertake a deeper, hotter collaboration with you, consider seeking out a more enthusiastic candidate.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I had never played a video game until recently. Then I bought "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Having heard that vicious mayhem characterizes most games, I've been pleased to find that I don't have to kill anyone as I help Harry navigate his way through a series of nonviolent conflicts. Even more delightful is how closely his experiences mirror the game of life. Harry and I sometimes have to repeat a lesson 20 times before we master it. There's no guidebook to study, so we have to figure everything out through trial and error. Best of all: The rules keep changing. What works to get us through one tight spot isn't necessarily relevant in the next one. Sound familiar, Scorpio? This is an apt description of your current situation.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To paraphrase French poet Charles Baudelaire: Genius is nothing more or less than childhood recovered — a childhood now equipped for self-expression with an adult's capacities. I thought I'd dangle this tempting notion in front of you now that you're so close to the fountain of youth. Maybe it'll encourage you to slurp, not just sip, from those healing waters. Between gulps, you might want to wail the chorus of Bob Dylan's song "My Back Pages": "I was so much older then/I'm younger than that now."

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In Ruth Manning-Sanders' fairy tale "The Small-Toothed Dog," a homely male dog saves a wealthy man from thieves. In gratitude, the man asks the dog what reward he'd like. "Will you accept a fish that speaks 12 languages?" he says. "Or a goose that lays golden eggs? Or a mirror in which you can see what anyone is thinking?" The dog refuses them all and leaves, promising to return soon to deliver his ultimate request. In the end, the man's daughter gives the dog what he wants most: her hand in marriage. In so doing, she frees him from a curse and he changes into a handsome prince. I urge you to make this your guiding myth for a few weeks. Don't grab the first bait that's offered. Hold out for what you really want.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I don't take drugs, but I've known people who do. I've noticed a curious evolution among the experimenters in recent years: It has become unusual for them to take just one substance at a time. Some of the many blends I've seen include Prozac and pot, "smart" drinks and vodka, No-Doz and Valium. This is amazing to me. One mind-altering blast isn't enough? I suppose it's just another symptom of the larger cultural trend toward multitasking, like people who eat breakfast and gab on cell phones while driving, or who ricochet among three different sexual partners. All this is meant to serve as context for your oracle this week, which is: Concentrate on one reality at a time. Avoid mixing and matching.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The astrological powers that be have declared that you have a cosmic mandate this week to slip away from the vision-narrowing routine and climb to the mountaintop — or at least to a mountaintop perspective. There I predict you will receive the exhilarating benefits of viewing the big picture from on high. You will prune away all but one goal, pledge to devote yourself to it utterly, and formulate a step-by-step strategy to achieve total victory by next December. How do you promise to cave in to the demands of spring fever? Tell all at