Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): For last year's Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, artist David Best constructed the Temple of Joy. Made from recycled wooden pieces of dinosaur puzzles, this magnificent pagoda-like sanctuary took him weeks to perfect. Visitors were encouraged to write blessings and prayers on the walls as they meditated. At the end of the festival, Best burned his masterpiece to the ground. Model your own process after his in the coming weeks. Create sacred and beautiful magic out of whimsical stuff, use it for a while to achieve a sweet catharsis, then leave it behind.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I don't see physical danger in your immediate future, but you may be exposed to higher levels of psychic toxins than usual. Erect a protective barrier to shield yourself. Visualize a force field of violet light surrounding you everywhere you go. To add a touch of humor — which will dramatically bolster your defenses — imagine that the force field is augmented by rainbow-colored barbed wire, boomerang-wielding amazon warriors and a gang of wisecracking dragons.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I have a miracle to report. A large HMO in Northern California is now offering homeopathic treatment at one of its clinics. Most American doctors still regard this system of medicine as a kooky New Age craze, on a par with acupuncture and reiki, but here it has officially become a mainstream treatment. Who pulled this off? A versatile Gemini friend. For years he has been split, working as a doctor for the HMO and maintaining a private homeopathic practice. But recently he lobbied the HMO's administrators to let him practice both skills, and they agreed. Make him your role model. You're primed to create a role that'll blend talents you've always had to keep unconnected.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The recently released "World Wealth Report" came to a sad conclusion: The global supply of millionaires was up only 2.1 percent in 2002, the slowest rate increase in seven years. On a happier note — at least as far as we Cancers are concerned — my sources say that a disproportionate number of the new moneybags were born under the sign of the Crab. The trend of increasing wealth among our tribe has continued in 2003, but will soon peak. During these last few weeks of abundant financial luck, I suggest you intensify your efforts to cash in.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Begone blame! Atonement and absolution must reign! This is the best time in many moons to declare amnesty. Forgive everyone who has ever hurt you. Purge yourself of simmering resentments and remorse. Swear off revenge forever, including both vindictive acts and nasty thoughts. It's especially important that you let go of the guilt you've felt about your own failures. Remember when you were "it" while playing hide-and-seek as a child? Remember yelling out "ollie ollie oxen free"? Let that be your mantra this week. It means "all who are out can come in free."

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Two weeks ago I said the hawk will be your animal ally for the foreseeable future. This week I decided to seek contact with an actual hawk, hoping it might provide an omen about your evolving destiny. I hiked into the wilds and made myself comfortable, meditating on the question, "Is there a hawk out there with an oracle for Virgo?" After a red-tailed hawk began circling above, I uttered a series of mysterious sounds and the bird drew near. I made myself alert to every nuance of its behavior, receptive for a sign. Then it swooped down so close I could look it in the eyes. At that moment, it pooped. The oracle had been delivered: You have entered a phase when your power will come from purifying yourself of waste.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Tibetan Buddhist teacher Geshe Chekawa (1220-1295) specialized in bodhicitta, seeking enlightenment not for personal gain but as a way to serve others. On his death bed, he prayed to be sent to hell so that he might alleviate the suffering of the lost souls there. I'd like to contrast his life's work with your next assignment. Like Chekawa, you'll have an enormous capacity to help and inspire people. Unlike him, the best way to fulfill this potential is not to practice self-denial. Instead, be as radiant, expressive and as full of delight as you dare.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "Sometimes an orgasm is better than being onstage," says Mick Jagger. "Sometimes being onstage is better than an orgasm." There'll be no need to choose between these two forms of satisfaction in the coming weeks. They should both be readily available and supremely pleasurable. Your version of being "onstage" won't be like Jagger's, but it should afford you an equally fine chance to show off your animal magnetism and imprint receptive minds with your bright ideas.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility," said writer James Thurber. If he's right, your immediate future should be full of humor. You have finally wriggled your way out of the holy mess that was numbing your laugh reflex. You have mastered the tumultuous lessons that nearly scrambled your brains. Let the festival of peace and quiet begin! May you enjoy great convulsions of amusement as you joke about your close calls.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Nike will pay high school basketball sensation LeBron James $90 million to endorse its shoes for the next seven years. The company is betting that the young phenom, born Dec. 30, 1984, will live up to his hype when he begins playing with the pros in a few months. It's not unheard of for a Capricorn to ripen into his full potential early on, but what's more common is a long, slow build. You're still working to reach maturity in your chosen field. The good news is that once you finally do come of age, you'll stay in bloom long after others of your generation begin to wither. Here's more good news: You can ripen a lot in a short time.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Mark Seltman is a palm reader whose approach to his art is similar to my relationship with astrology. If he sees a character flaw indicated by a line on your palm, he won't make you feel like it's a curse you're powerless to resist; instead, he'll tell you what you can do to fix it or overcome it. An article about him on described how his daughter was born with a hand that suggested she'd suffer from low self-esteem when she grew up. In response, Seltman dedicated himself to building her confidence and competence. Now, years later, the warning sign in her hand at birth has disappeared; she's brimming with aplomb. Let this story inspire you. Tune in to a weakness or foible in your own makeup, then develop a long-term plan to triumph over it.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I was at a meeting of people planning to attend the Burning Man festival this August. During a break, my friend Johann did a demo of the laser light show he plans to unveil there. As dazzling emerald beams of light danced above our heads, someone said, "None of that impressive display would be visible if it weren't for the dust and particles in the air." "Yeah," Johann agreed, "you can't see lasers in a vacuum. They need to have something to reflect off. Flakes of our dead skin are essential to revealing the beauty." This will be your metaphor of power in the coming week. I hope it will help you find meaning and blessings in the residues of things that have passed away. Tell what you love or appreciate that no one else does. Testify at

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