Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A newlywed couple I know is planning to go to Cuba for their honeymoon. That’s pretty risky. The American government has sternly discouraged us citizens from traveling there for years, and President Bush recently laid down even further restrictions. But I admire my friends’ desire to combine their romantic getaway with swashbuckling drama. It shows they intend to keep their relationship feisty, free from the ravages of excess comfort and convention. I suggest that you cook up a similar excursion, Aries. Love will thrive on adventure, and vice versa.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It’s a perfect time to reinvent the past. You’ll unearth interesting discoveries if you explore the old days with a critical, objective eye. Look for discrepancies between how you remember things and what really happened. Consider the possibility that some of your memories aren’t really your own, but other people’s interpretations that you’ve unconsciously absorbed. By Aug. 15, I hope you’ll be ready to correct the story you tell yourself about your history.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Responding to hate-mongers who want to ban gay marriage, the American Anthropological Association said, "The results of a century of anthropological research on households and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support for the view that viable social orders depend on marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution." In fact, the evidence suggests the opposite: "A vast array of family types, including families built on same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies." Make these thoughts your starting point, Gemini. There’s no need to be loyal to *any* of the narrow dogmas your culture tries to foist on you.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Is there a lack of money in your life? If so, and you do nothing but whine about it in the coming weeks, your energy levels will decline. If, on the other hand, you develop a plan to pad your bank account — even if that plan doesn’t ultimately work out — you’ll become better-looking and your health will improve. If you’re one of the lucky people whose financial life is thriving, and you do nothing but spend your money on yourself in the coming weeks, your energy levels will decline. If, on the other hand, you share your wealth, you’ll become better-looking and your health will improve.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You’ll be glad to know you’re coming to the end of the Suffering Season. If you’ve made it through these past few weeks with your sense of humor intact, you now have cosmic permission to give yourself a big shiny reward. Carry Henry Miller’s declaration around with you: "Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems painful can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such."

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Many creative people feel compelled to mirror the pain they witness. Greek poet Odysseus Elytis mourned this phenomenon, complaining that artists in its grip are like people with healthy legs who choose to limp along with broken crutches. "During the time of Buchenwald and Auschwitz," he said, "Matisse painted the most charming flowers and fruit ever made. They still speak more eloquently than the most macabre descriptions of the period. Their creator was faithful not to the tragedy but to the reaction that tragedy kindled in his conscience." I call on you, Virgo, to respond as Matisse did when you encounter troubled people in the coming days. The best gifts you can give them are your joy and vitality.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): This week I’ll give you nine of Darryl Cherney’s "20 Rules of Activism." Honed during his many years of protecting the environment, they should be useful to you as you fight for justice and liberation in your own sphere. 1. Never turn down help. 2. Don’t believe your own BS. 3. Speak in plain language. 4. Find the truth in what everyone says. 5. The most interesting things sometimes happen last. 6. Advance planning is overrated. 7. Seize the moment. 8. You never succeed the same way twice. 9. Surf the tidal wave.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The astrological omens suggest that I should urge you to be far bolder than usual. They even seem to be saying that the more brazen you are, the bigger your rewards will be. In fact, Scorpio, if I’m reading the signs accurately, you might want to draw your inspiration from the 40 starving artists in Paris who broke into an abandoned building near the Louvre a few years back. They built studios inside and have been squatting rent-free ever since. Now the city of Paris has bought the building and is paying $3.5 million to renovate it so that the artists can continue to thrive there. Be like them.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Developed by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the Waldorf system of education is designed to cultivate the soul as well as educate the intellect. Waldorf teachers say it’s crucial that young children aren’t pushed to master academic subjects prematurely. One sign that the time is ripe, they believe, is when a kid begins to spontaneously draw butterflies. This suggests that his or her soul has completed its chrysalis stage. I bring this up, Sagittarius, because every time I turn my meditations to you lately, I get visions of you drawing butterflies. Does it mean you’ve completed an adult version of the soul’s metamorphosis?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Though musician Stevie Wonder has been blind since birth, he has recently begun to drive a Rolls Royce. His "road" is a flat, empty airfield where he’s not in danger of crashing. I suggest you Capricorns draw inspiration from his example in the coming weeks. Create a safe place where you can experiment with an activity you’ve always avoided because of a supposed handicap or lack of natural aptitude.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You’ve been suffering from an excess of rational behavior and logical thinking, Aquarius. It’s high time for some poetry. I don’t so much mean *reading* poetry as *being* and *doing* poetry. Here are some ideas to get you started. Wash your feet in a river. Lie on a green hill and sing lullabies to the person you’ll be ten years from now. Eat the petals of a pansy or violet or nasturtium. Thank your mother for the pain she endured while birthing you. Give yourself a secret name, then spell it out on the ground with pine needles. Assume you have psychic abilities, and read people’s minds. Sip tea in the rain. Dream you’re a hawk soaring over a volcano.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Joan Borysenko is a medical researcher and psychologist who has written several books on how to synergize the efforts of mind and body in cultivating good health. I respect her work, but was appalled at a statement she made recently to an interviewer. "The most sobering discovery," she said, "is that we will never truly heal the wounds of our past." My own experience suggests that *some* people have suffered *some* irremediable hurts. But on countless occasions, I’ve also seen brave, dedicated souls completely fix what had been broken in them. In fact, that precise possibility is now looming for you, Pisces. In the coming weeks, you will have the power to make dramatic progress toward a spectacular cure that will put you in better shape than you were before you were wounded.


Here’s this week’s homework: What’s the situation in your life where it’s hardest for you to be loving? Practice being a master of compassion there in the coming week. Report your results to

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