Free Will Astrology

Mar 5, 2003 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "It was the biggest mistake I ever made, yet it was the best thing that ever happened to me." That's how my Aries friend Ron referred to his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. He got involved with her for all the wrong reasons, he said, and they stayed together only because he held on so tightly to his delusions about her. But in the painful months since they broke up, he has harvested a wealth of wisdom about himself. "My time with Susan was like getting my Ph.D. in relationships," he concluded. Though the details of Ron's story may differ from yours, you're ready to make a similar conclusion: One of your big boo-boos was actually a stroke of great fortune.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Once the full impact of Einstein's theory of relativity became clear, an admiring journalist interviewed him about the process by which he'd arrived at the revolutionary breakthrough. "How did you do it?" the journalist asked. "I ignored an axiom," Einstein replied. He didn't say he'd ignored an opinion or theory, but rather an idea so well-established that it was regarded as self-evident. Furthermore, Einstein didn't say he rebelled or fought against the axiom, he simply acted as if it weren't there. Follow his example exactly in the coming week.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You're a most inventive talker, but it doesn't always work to your advantage. Sometimes you sabotage your brilliant verbal forays by going on for so long that your listeners tune you out. Other times you undermine your persuasiveness by sounding too damn smart, thereby intimidating the very people you're trying to convince. But none of this will be a problem for you in the coming days. You'll have a sixth sense about when to let your mouth slip into creative hyperdrive — and when to slow it down. Your ability to win friends and influence people will zoom to its highest levels in many moons.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): As I compose this horoscope, I'm sitting in my car with the engine off, stuck on the Golden Gate Bridge between San Francisco and Marin County. Traffic came to a dead halt 40 minutes ago due to a big accident. My situation is much like the predicament you’re in. Through no fault of your own, you've been stopped while crossing a metaphorical bridge. As you wait for the obstruction to be cleared, don't grind your teeth and curse. Instead, take advantage of the temporary interruption by doing something useful.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): A flower arranger named Stacie wrote me about her latest creation. She'd walked into the dry woods and gathered big purple thistles, gnarled berry vines, spiny horehound seedpods and numerous plants with burrs. After she assembled it all into a bouquet back home, she gave it a title, as if it were a sculpture. She called it Ode to Prickly Things: My Beautiful Fear. Though she hadn't known it, she had assembled a perfect artistic expression of the subtle dread she always carried with her. To see it embodied so visibly was like an exorcism. From that day on, she felt much freer of her chronic anxiety. You should perform a ritual or make some art that gives you power over the thing you're most afraid of.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Empty your mind of everything it thinks it knows about where you belong. Once you've created a wide-open space, launch an inquiry into the nature of your true home. Here are questions to guide you. 1) What's the first place you think of when you hear the word "sanctuary"? 2) What environments bring out the best in you? 3) Do you have what you might call power spots? What do they feel like? 4) What places on the planet captivate your imagination, even if you've never even been there? 5) Is it possible there may be a future home that's a more meaningful version of home than the place where tradition comforts you?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Billie Holiday believed a singer should never sing a song the same way twice. Tantric sex teachers say an artful lover never makes love the same way twice. The only Zen master I know — whose name I can't tell you because she changes it every week, and I haven't heard the latest one — likes to quote the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus: "You cannot step into the same river twice, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you." These ideas are always useful to keep in mind. But during the next three weeks, they should be your constant meditation.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Writer Michael Tortorello has complained about the "national delight deficit." My friend Lanny bemoans the public's shrinking attention span for stories about joyful events and satisfying breakthroughs. I have marveled at the pathological tendency of many educated people to equate cynicism with intelligence. It's in the context of this stupefying collective addiction to dank moods that I give you your assignment: You are now primed to harvest an abundance of pleasure, mirth and fun. Please don't keep it all to yourself; try to infect everyone you meet.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Ocean floors are not flat and level. In some places, underwater mountains rise to tremendous heights. Hawaii's Mauna Kea is taller than Mt. Everest, for instance, though only its uppermost part pokes above the sea's surface. Other submarine peaks, like the recently mapped Atlantis Massif in the Atlantic Ocean, are completely hidden beneath the waves. Let these be your metaphors of power in the coming weeks. You'll soon discover and explore your own mysterious equivalent of underwater mountains.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you're a Capricorn journalist, this is the week you could get a Pulitzer Prize-winning scoop from a drunken slaughterhouse worker about a likely E. coli outbreak. If you're a Capricorn parent, you'll have a lightning bolt of insight into the destiny of your child, forever changing the way you guide him or her. If you're a Capricorn songwriter, I bet you'll channel a melody or lyrics that will become one of your signature songs. And if you're any other kind of Capricorn, you'll be the beneficiary of a rich revelation that will be as valuable to you as a huge windfall.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Id" is a psychoanalytic term. It refers to the part of your mind that harbors your instinctual needs and drives. On one hand, your id is the source of tremendous amounts of psychic energy. On the other hand, it's almost totally unconscious: The primal, dynamic core of your life force is mostly invisible and unknown to you. For most people, this is a good thing. It would be painful and scary to be fully aware of the id. In the coming week, however, you will benefit from being in conscious contact with this high-voltage potential. I suggest you begin immediately. Mindful that your id is like a smart but wild animal, invite it to show itself.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Astrology asserts that humans are puppets of cosmic forces that are beyond our power to affect, right? Wrong. In fact, the opposite is the case: Studying the nature of archetypal energies helps us direct them in constructive ways. In her book, Making the Gods Work for You, astrologer Caroline Casey suggests that with enough ingenuity we can actually get divine powers to be our collaborators. Here's another way to say it: Ask not what your planets are doing to you, but what you can do with your planets. You've never been in a better position to persuade the cosmic forces to serve your free will. What's the single most important question you'd like to resolve before you die? Write: