Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Delilah is a left-wing pagan hippie who makes big bucks as an X-ray technician in a large hospital. She’s a pacifist, but serves as president of the local chapter of the American Legion. She has been engaged forever to a dreadlocked man 25 years her senior, though he looks her age because he has practiced sex magic and eaten nothing but wheat grass and lived outside for decades; on the other hand, she loves to flirt with young businessmen with buzz cuts. Like her, you can and should be a cheerful master of contradictions.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Of the many brave adventurers I met during my visit to the Burning Man festival, Taureans comprised a large proportion. One was Melissa Whitman, who leaves soon for a year-long stay in Madagascar, where she’ll be the only female and lone English-speaker among a team working to save the scops owl from extinction. Though she’s afraid of heights, she’ll have to climb tall trees at night to study the birds in their natural habitat. Another courageous Taurus was Jennifer, an art therapist for the criminally insane. She risks her life daily. Why did I encounter so many daring Bulls? Is it because the expansive planet Jupiter is cruising through your astrological House of Extravagant Self-Expression? Whatever the cause, I urge you to sync up with the audacious vibes now available to your tribe.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In her book, Simply Sophisticated: What Every Worldly Person Needs to Know, Suzanne Munshower lists the requirements for an elegant home. You should have at least one needlepoint pillow, she says. The thread count of your sheets should be 200 per inch or more. Your bookcases, if visible to guests, must have no paperbacks, and your bathroom accessories should be ceramic. Now that you’ve heard Munshower’s ideas, please rebel against them. You should add elements to your home to make it more playful and less formal, more in tune with what delights you and less concerned with what others think.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In its original use, the phrase "priming the pump" meant that a hand-operated water pump didn’t provide a steady, abundant flow until you first lubricated it with a little water. In modern parlance, it’s often a way of saying that to make money you have to invest some, or that in order to get lots of goodies you have to give some. To take maximum advantage of the current astrological potentials, regard "priming the pump" as your metaphor of power.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): When I’m not writing this column, I’m a performance artist. For a recent show, I bought eight jars of pigs’ feet at the grocery store, 200 pair of white underpants at Costco, and 20 alarm clocks at the drugstore. None of the clerks expressed the slightest interest in the reasons for my peculiar and prodigious orders. Their numbness was deeply disturbing to me. How could they have so thoroughly repressed their natural curiosity? In the coming week, you must avoid behavior like that. Awaken your innocent longing to know everything you can about the unexpected marvels that life brings.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): During my recent visit to the Burning Man festival in Nevada, I drank in an abundant array of confounding sights and enriching adventures that I’ll remember forever. The last surprise I saw before heading home was among the most modest, but it’s a perfect choice to serve as your ruling symbol for the coming week: a sign that read "The Very Tidy Pirates" above an image of a bad-ass dude wearing an eye patch and apron and wielding a vacuum cleaner and feather duster. I hope this inspires you to be wildly disciplined, neatly rowdy and boisterously organized.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): When you have achieved great victories in the past, they have often happened because of your graceful willpower or fine intelligence. At other times they have been the result of your unflagging commitment to creating harmony. But none of those skills will be your main source of power during the turning point just ahead. As you pull off this next big triumph, your secret weapon will be your flourishing imagination.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Beginnings and endings will be overlapping in the near future. They will demand that you grow rapidly. It won’t always be easy to tell them apart, either; you’ll have to become wiser faster in order to understand the clues. Here are two meditations to guide you: 1) Which of the long-running dramas of your life have run their course? 2) What struggling dreams are aching to resurrect themselves and bloom again as if for the first time? Once you figure out the answers to those questions, act dynamically to nurture what’s being born and expedite the dissolution of what’s dying.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Dear Dr. Brezsny: With the help of a flood of pithy coincidences, I’ve become aware that the Universal Mind recently lost her train of thought. I believe we are now under the care of a substitute ‘Universal Mind,’ and that’s causing the laws of karma to not be enforced as strictly as usual. Cosmic slack is available in extravagant amounts. Tell your readers so they may take advantage of it by aggressively reconfiguring their little slice of reality to reflect their deepest needs. —Opportunistic Sagittarius"

Dear Opportunistic: I totally agree with your assessment, especially for Sagittarians. Karma now has a reduced power to whip your fate this way and that; your willpower has more room than usual in which to maneuver. I call this phase "Freedom from Cosmic Compulsion."

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This is a week you could make the bogeyman cry. That’s because your anger is smarter and your fears are weaker than they’ve been in many moons. You also have access to a high level of courage, which is made even more potent because it’s rooted in quiet confidence, not blustering egotism. As you fight evil in the coming days, your forceful actions will no doubt be fair and enlightened. I authorize you to induce tears in bogeymen, out-of-control tyrants and the devil himself.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Every August, the temporary city of Burning Man sprouts up in the Nevada desert. More than 30,000 freaks and mutants drop their inhibitions for a week as they interact with entertaining rituals that transpire in hundreds of "theme camps." If you ever go, you’ll be able to eat fresh sushi off the naked bellies of clowns posing as supermodels, play a giant game of billiards using bowling balls, and take a joyride on a wheeled version of Captain Hook’s schooner as it sways with scores of sweaty dancers dressed like characters from your dreams. Burning Man won’t come around again until August 23, 2004, but you need to have your mind blown and blown and blown now. Find a worthy substitute.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Every act of genius, said psychologist Carl Jung, is an act contra naturam: "against nature." Indeed, every effort to achieve psychological integration requires a knack for breaking out of the trance of normal daily life. The 18th century mystic Jacob Boehme agreed. The great secret of divine magic, he asserted, is "to walk in all things contrary to the world." My teacher, Paul Foster Case, believed that living an ethical and enlightened life required one to reverse the usual ways of thinking, speaking, and doing. What’s your position on this approach? It’s time for you to redefine your relationship with what I call sacred rebellion. To learn why novelist Tom Robbins said, "I’ve seen the future of American literature and its name is Rob Brezsny," check my Web site at

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