Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): My friend's uncle, an Aries entrepreneur, is in Iraq, investigating the possibility of building a new Disneyland-like theme park in Baghdad. My acupuncturist's cousin, also an Aries, is hoping to become the first full-time clown in Antarctica. Another Aries I know is a psychotherapist who's seeking to donate his services in war-torn Congo. I nominate them all to be your role models. It's time to consider plying your best skills in places you've never imagined might need them.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Ancient Hawaiians had a sport they called "Lele Kawa," in which they dived off cliffs into the ocean. "Pu'u Keka'a," a tall volcanic cinder cone on Maui, was a perfect place from which to jump, but everyone avoided it. Legend held it was a taboo place, where the souls of the recently dead left the earth and ascended into the spirit world. But that all changed one day in the 19th century when a great warrior, King Kaheliki, climbed to the top of Pu'u Keka'a and plunged into the sea, shattering the taboo and mutating the myth. Since then, hundreds of other divers have tried it. You now have the courage and daring to make a comparable shift in the way things have always been done in your sphere.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Mokuola is a small island off the coast of the big island of Hawaii. In the old days it was reputed to have curative powers. Seekers who went there in quest of healing had to help stir up the magic; they couldn't just lie back and expect the spirits do all the work. One way a visitor could ensure a long life, according to legend, was to swim underwater around the island three times. This emphasis on a participatory style of healing parallels a situation in your life. Although you're now within reach of a rejuvenating influence, you'll have to collaborate with it aggressively in order to coax out its full benefits.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): As the sun set on a gorgeous spring day a few weeks ago, my companion accidentally left her purse beneath the Western world's biggest Buddha statue near a Maui beach. Whoever found it chose not to return it. On a chilly night last January, I lost my wallet on a litter-strewn street in a San Francisco slum. The woman who found it spent an hour on the phone until she tracked me down, then drove 20 miles to deliver it to me personally. The moral of the story: It's preferable to lose something of value in a poor, homely place than in a rich, beautiful place.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Even on Hawaii's most elegant beaches, the water can be wild. Rip currents and rogue waves come out of nowhere, sweeping swimmers out to sea. Locals echo the travel guides: Never turn your back on the ocean. In general, it's a good idea to observe similar caution when dealing with any force of nature. But this is one of those rare times when you could actually get away with turning your back on the ocean, metaphorically speaking. Maybe that's because you yourself are, at least for now, a force of nature.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your sense of mission should be heating up. Your tribe needs you more than usual. Your potential is ripening at the same time it is becoming most useful to your cohorts. But there will be adversaries and agents of confusion you'll have to outwit. In order to be a radiant instigator of beauty and truth for your allies and a cagey master of strategy when dealing with your competitors, I recommend the paradoxical approach Jesus described: Be as pure and harmless as a dove and as wise as a serpent.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I've writing this horoscope in Maui, where I've fallen in love with the Hawaiian language. It doesn't matter that I don't understand the literal meaning of many Hawaiian words. Their melodious, expansive rhythms have a magical effect that's both soothing and stimulating. While listening to a native speaker, I find myself perceiving my surroundings more vividly. My defense mechanisms subside, my heart opens and I relax into a more receptive relationship with the whole world. I predict that a similar mood will soon bless you, whether or not you hear Hawaiian.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I know a sailor who was aboard a submarine that bombarded Iraq with missiles last March. He said that in the days leading up to the attacks, the crew's regular entertainment featured a steady diet of porn videos authorized by the top brass. The sailor figured this was a weird form of motivational psychology meant to pump up the testosterone levels of his fellow warriors as they prepared to unleash America's destructive fury. He felt terribly conflicted about it. While he believed then and believes now that the war on Iraq was the right thing to do, he hated this pathological approach to psyching up the troops. He refused to watch the porn and tried to talk other sailors into boycotting it. In the spirit of his integrity, I urge you to renounce the philosophy that the end justifies the means. You can't afford to do bad things while following your heart.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Many of you have a tortured relationship with discipline. You know you need it if you hope to fill your life with epic adventure. But you sometimes resist planning ahead and marshaling your resources, feeling that would interfere with having more immediate, short-term fun. Trouble is, though, when you avoid planning and marshaling, the short-term fun you get caught up in is often trivial and unsatisfying. But you’re now in a phase when you can make a dramatic shift in your relationship to discipline, rendering most of what I just said irrelevant.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Suggested reading list for the coming weeks: 1) Dealing with People You Can't Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst, by Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner. 2) Never Be Lied To Again, by David Lieberman. 3) Cut the Clutter and Stow the `Stuff, by Lori Baird. 4) Everything You Know Is Wrong, by Russ Kick. 5) You're a Genius — And I Can Prove It!, by Kimberly Kassner. 6) Journal entries or notes you wrote to yourself between March and May, 2001.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You're entering puberty again! It'll be on a higher octave than last time, so you'll have more savvy to deal with the hormonal rush. To facilitate this unpredictable foray into serious goofiness, I'm happy to present you with the wisdom of sixth-grade girls I know, gleaned from sayings they've scrawled on their backpacks and binders. Enjoy. Understand the groove. Learn as if you'll live forever. Explain yourself wildly, not carefully. Wake up — but not too fast, or you might hurt yourself. Question authority, including the authority that told you to question authority. It's all so funny — how can you not be laughing? When you shout "halaluya," never spell it right. Live the freakiest truth. Give me chocolate or I'll scream.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A German woman who recently died bequeathed her nephew $275,000. Trouble is, he's a homeless man who wanders around a lot. Executors of the woman's will have not yet been able to locate him. This resembles a situation in your own life. Even now, a rich source of blessings is trying to track you down and attract your attention. So far you've been oblivious. Let's hope you wake up to the presence of the gift very soon. Make a list of your five top pleasures, then go out and find a brand-new one to be number six. Testify at

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