Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Writing in Poetry Flash, critic Andy Brumer reminisces about the creative writing class he took with poet Stan Rice at San Francisco State University. "I remember sitting in class," he muses, "thinking this teacher is working harder at teaching than I am at learning." Don't let such laziness overcome you. You're entering a phase when the educational possibilities are rich. To take advantage of them, you'll have to match the high intensity and fertile imagination of your teachers. (P.S. Your teachers may be in disguise, not necessarily calling themselves teachers.)

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you're a carpenter, this is a perfect moment to get that 115-piece titanium-covered drill bit set you've had your eyes on. If you're a potter, it's time to get a state-of-the-art ceramic saw. If you're a political activist gearing up for a new direct-mail campaign against corporate corruption, you might consider buying Utne's mailing list. And if you're none of the above, I suggest you acquire whatever tool will help you rise to the next level of professionalism in your chosen field.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When the bearded dragon lizard sits upright and cocks its head toward the heavens, Australian aborigines know that rain will fall the next day. When massive buds appear on the queen wattle plants, even the youngest members of the tribe can prophesy with confidence that brushfires will break out soon. I have a different system of signs that tells me how to read your moods and trends. Last night I dreamed my oldest Gemini friend told me, "The bee fertilizes the flower it robs." Because I have had the same dream other times over the years, usually late in May, I have come to understand its predictive meaning: Many Geminis all over the world will soon commit a benevolent "theft."

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Soon Saturn will enter Cancer, where it will remain until July 2005. During that time you will have excellent opportunities to become more skilled in finishing what you start. You'll find it easier to calm your restless heart and commit yourself to a single choice out of the hundreds of options that interest you. Say goodbye to mediocre pleasures and misaligned priorities. In the next two years, you will attract unexpected help any time you stop fiddling around on the peripheries and head straight to the core of the matter. Best of all, you'll finally figure out beyond a doubt where you truly belong — as opposed to being half-sure of where you sort of belong.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You've primed to commune much more intimately with the hidden source of power that fuels your life. In fact, you're close to meeting the requirements defined by visionary poet William Blake. He wrote: "Unless the eye catch fire, God will not be seen. Unless the ear catch fire, God will not be heard. Unless the tongue catch fire, God will not be named. Unless the heart catch fire, God will not be loved. Unless the mind catch fire, God will not be known." Your eye, ear, tongue and heart are on the verge of igniting. Do whatever's necessary to make that happen, and your mind will burst into flame.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): More than seven centuries before a few European men dared to sail beyond the safe boundaries of their known world, entire Polynesian families crossed vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean in catamarans. The first humans to arrive in Hawaii, they were led by "wayfinders." These miracle workers navigated the uncharted seas by reading star positions, discerning weather patterns and interpreting the ocean's colors and movements. I want to make a connection between you and those pioneering souls. In recognition of the brave, exploratory urges now ripening in you, I hereby give you the honorary title of "wayfinder."

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You will continue to be the beneficiary of expansive cosmic energies. In last week's horoscope, I compared these gifts to the power of the spoken Hawaiian language to open the heart and eyes of those who hear it. This time I propose several Hawaiian names for you to adopt as your own. You are hereby authorized to call yourself Kaohinani, which means "gatherer of beautiful things." You may also refer to yourself as Makaike, "to see with keen powers of observation;" or E'e'e, "to keep climbing over everything, as an active child;" or Wai-puhia, "wind-blown water, especially the spray of a waterfall."

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 1991, hikers in the Italian Alps discovered the largely intact body of a man who died 5,000 years ago. He'd been preserved in a glacier that had recently begun to melt. Since then, many women have asked to be given some of the iceman's frozen sperm so that they might become pregnant by him. (The director of the museum where his body is kept has so far turned down all requests.) I suggest you pursue a metaphorically analogous quest in the coming weeks: Try to fertilize yourself through an intimate encounter with the past.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): My acquaintance Jerry likes to play his guitar for the spinner dolphins that hang around Maui's La Perouse Bay. When he runs out of songs, he often joins them for a convivial swim. One day four months ago, a commotion at sea moved Jerry to interrupt his concert. Paddling out for a closer look, he found a woman swimmer surrounded by the dolphins. The normally friendly creatures had hemmed her in, as if herding her. But when Jerry showed up, they parted their tight circle to let him through and he was able to escort the woman back to shore. The two hit it off instantly, began dating, and recently got married. I predict that like Jerry, you'll soon receive extraordinary, maybe even nonhuman, help with your love life.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In 752, the Japanese Empress Koken wrote a lyrical poem in praise of the eupatorium plant, whose leaves turn a vivid shade of yellow in summer. Recently, scientists punctured the illusion she was under, demonstrating that the lovely foliage of the eupatorium is caused by a virus. But this shouldn't diminish our appreciation of either the poem or the plant. I've noticed that a lot of the world's beauty forms in response to a wound. I expect you're in the midst of that very process right now.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Our planet is running out of many essential resources, including fresh water and oil. The Weekly World News has reported yet another crucial shortage: the global supply of supermodels. "The original generation of supermodels is fading," the paper says, "and very few new ones are coming along to replace them. Soon the supermodel as we know it may become extinct." Many Aquarians are exceptionally attractive right now, and likely to become even more so in the coming months. Might you therefore consider launching a career as a supermodel? I suggest you look for ways to use your growing beauty to help save the world.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A century ago, the Hawaiian sugarcane industry required a ton of water to produce a pound of sugar. Since then, improvements in irrigation techniques have drastically reduced the excess. The ratio of water to sugar is now 1-to-1 In a similar development, it used to take me about 2,000 words of exploratory free-writing to arrive at a single 120-word horoscope. These days I typically have to churn out no more than 400 words in the process of distilling your weekly oracle. In yet another related development, I predict you'll soon make a comparable move toward less waste and greater efficiency in your own area of expertise. There's a place you need to go, but your fear is holding you back. Where is it? Testify at

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