Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You missed the annual Summer Redneck Games this year, but it's a good time to begin prepping for 2003. Held every July in East Dublin, Ga., this alternative Olympics features a watermelon-seed spitting contest, bobbing for pigs' feet, the bug-zapper spitball competition, the armpit serenade and the mud-pit belly-flop. You may not have had a chance to develop an aptitude in these areas before, buy your talent could grow exponentially in the coming months. With Jupiter in your astrological House of Hog Heaven, you will excel at activities that involve losing your dignity for the sake of having goofy fun.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I have cast a judicious and discerning love spell that will be triggered in the heart of anyone who reads the following mantra: blisssavvy. Soon you'll be in the grip of a sizzling yet moist vortex of tender devotion. You'll be moved to commit sagacious acts of lust and thoughtful outbreaks of horny compassion. Don't worry that it will lead you to do impulsive things you'll regret later. I made sure it'll inspire behavior that is in strict accordance with your highest ideals and best intentions.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As global warming continues, ice from Alaska to Central Asia is melting. Scientists are excited about gathering all the ancient artifacts and fossils that are being exposed by the thaw. I see an analogous process going on in your own life. A deep freeze is losing its grip on parts of your past. Repressed memories are becoming accessible again. Stories from long ago are returning for another look, perhaps even a reinterpretation. The historical evidence may now have a very different meaning.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's a good time to moonlight for a few days at Taco Bell. Doing so would dramatically boost your levels of empathy for people who aren't as fortunate as you. Your part-time gig selling junk food to regular folks would also increase your humility, which would diminish your false pride and boost your soul's confidence. Wearing a grimy uniform while immersed in greasy air for a short time would make you feel tremendously grateful about the blessings in your life you take for granted.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "The strong, independent part of me resisted the embarrassing truth for a long time," my Leo friend Lannie told me, "but I finally came to accept that I'm someone who craves overwhelmingly vast amounts of love. Ever since I totally surrendered to this need, it doesn't nag me all the time, like it used to. In fact, it feels kind of comforting, like a source of sweetness that never goes away. I never thought I'd say this, but I've come to treasure the feeling of having a voracious yearning for love." I've quoted her testimony at length because it's prime time for you to master the skill she now owns.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When I scream "get naked!," I don't mean you should immediately fling off all your clothes, though I'm not opposed to you doing that. Instead, strip away your defense mechanisms; dismantle the armor around your heart; slip off your boxing gloves before making love; remove the shoes that don't belong to you — you know, the ones you were going to walk a mile in but have ended up wearing for a million miles; shed knee pads you put on so as to kiss anyone's butt; dispose of the chastity belt; get rid of the aluminum foil hat you donned to protect you from telepathic mind-control experiments; take off the blinders that are diminishing your eyesight, as well as your rose-colored glasses.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The promise breakers and love fakers and delusion makers are no fun, but ultimately you'll thank them for helping to clarify your goals. The idea stealers and reverse healers and greedy feelers are hazardous to your happiness in the short run, but eventually they'll strip away your dangerous naivete and inspire you to devise smarter protections for your heart, health and wealth. It's one of those weird times when mediocre, apathetic, unconscientious people will be your greatest teachers.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): This would be a good time to launch a building project on the scale of India's Taj Mahal or Egypt's Great Pyramid. You should at least begin some magnificent creation. There's a decent chance you could wangle 20,000 helpers to work for you night and day for the next 20 years. You could probably even corral a team of holy men and wild women to consecrate your quest, as well as a squadron of psychotherapists and masseuses to soothe you during the challenges you'll face as you assemble your masterpiece.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): More than any other sign of the zodiac, you Centaurs have the potential to help people laugh at themselves. Yet this sublime skill is never mentioned as a Sagittarian specialty in the astrological textbooks. It's rarely even recognized as a valuable asset by the experts who describe what constitutes a stellar human being. I, on the other hand, put it at the top of my list of desirable traits. Inducing people to take themselves less seriously is one of the most sacred and healing gifts you can give them. Why mention this now? Our culture's myopia may have discouraged you from fully developing this superpower, but it's a perfect moment to make up for lost time.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I'm a little nervous that your pet obsession will turn you into its pet. On the other hand, it's one of the best obsessions you've ever been possessed by, so for now I won't try to interfere with the interesting mess you're making. I've also detected some strange yet juicy luck in your vicinity, but it may not become fully available unless you play around a lot, experiment freely and maybe even stir up a ruckus. Whipping up a bit of chaos is a small price to pay for an entertaining burst of divine assistance.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In the coming weeks, you'll either be a Betweener or Beyonder. Which do you prefer? The Betweener tries to be loyal to both sides, but in a pinch plays both sides against the middle. The rules of the game are important, but she reserves the right to ignore the rules at critical junctures. The Betweener values the rewards that the system offers but refuses to be crushed by its compromises. The Beyonder, on the other hand, operates completely outside the parameters. She's immune to the seductions of the inner circle; her magic comes from tinkering in the frontiers. The Beyonder is driven by her signature dreams, not by success as defined by others. She's excited by the prospect of finding keys and signs and treasures that are invisible to those who live in the thick of the system.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "Dear Dr. Feelgood: Why you are so relentlessly nice to us hypersensitive Pisceans? Did you fall in love with one and are you secretly trying to woo her? Did you run over a Pisces cat and swear you'd make it up to us human Pisces? Please give me a reason to believe you're not just coddling us Fishes. —Forever Drunk with a Thousand Feelings." Dear Drunk: Your imagination is the organ you use to generate mental pictures of things that don't exist yet. It is, therefore, the single most important asset you posses; it's what you use to shape your future. I feel that if I can help keep your imagination teeming with positive visions, you're more likely to create a life that's in line with your highest values. If you had a little baby clone of yourself to take care of, what would be your child-rearing strategy? Tell all at

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