Free Will Astrology

Sep 1, 2004 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): With gleeful regularity, the tabloids have been publishing photographic proof that numerous female celebrities have cellulite. Recent additions to the list include 23-year-old Christina Aguilera and 22-year-old Britney Spears. I predict that this trend will lead to a revolutionary shift in perception: Cellulite will be regarded as a mark of beauty — a seductive tattoo provided by nature itself. Many women will actively seek to cultivate it. I urge you to adapt this vignette as your official metaphor of the week, Aries. Take something you’ve thought of as a weakness or embarrassment, and turn it into an asset.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): After consulting with my think tank, I’ve decided to temporarily decommission the bull as your power animal. Until the equinox, the rabbit will take its place. It’s the only creature that makes symbolic sense for you right now, when both your libido and fertility are turned up to record levels. There’s also another reason why the rabbit suits you. In many mythic traditions, the creature is regarded as a crafty trickster that uses playful stratagems to turn every situation to its advantage. This approach should be your modus operandi in the coming weeks.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Historians estimate that at least 25 percent of all the gold ever mined lies at the bottom of the oceans, stuck inside ships that have sunk. Similarly, Jungian psychologists believe that in the depths of our psyches, there are great treasures moldering away, unclaimed by our conscious egos. For you Geminis, this September is the diving season — the time when you’re most likely to be successful if you descend into the murky abyss and try to retrieve those lost riches.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft has been flying around the planet Saturn recently. Reporting on its explorations, a story in *USA Today* had the headline, "Saturn Offers More Mystery, Less Certainty." I photocopied it and sent it to my astrological colleagues, many of whom suffer from a misguided certainty about Saturn’s meaning. They dogmatically insist it’s a harbinger of contraction and limitation. But my research suggests that Saturn can actually be a benevolent guide that pushes you to be more true to yourself. It helps you shed trivial goals that distract you from your high-priority dreams. I wanted you to know these fun facts, Cancerian, since the ringed planet is in your sign, and will remain there, nudging you to develop the discipline that leads to more freedom, until July 2005.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In 1810, an inventor in London originated the technique of sealing food in tin cans to keep it fresh. His idea came into wide use in 1846, when companies began to mass-produce food in cans. But there was no such thing as a can opener until 1858. For 12 years, then, consumers had to make awkward use of hammers and chisels to liberate their food from the new-fangled containers. This is an apt metaphor for your current situation, Leo. Some time ago, you got hold of a potentially valuable resource, but you have yet to discover how to make it work for you in the best possible way. The coming weeks should change that, though.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In Greek mythology, Narcissus was the gorgeous demigod who had no desire for intimate relationships but fell desperately in love with his own reflection. From his name comes the word "narcissist," which refers to a person who is excessively self-involved and compulsively craves admiration. I’ve always suspected that Virgos are the least narcissistic sign in the zodiac. In fact, I sometimes get a mischievous urge to advise you to be *more* of a narcissist — like now, for instance. Here’s an experiment I wish you would do: Spend 20 minutes in front of a mirror telling yourself how beautiful you are.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran author William Faulkner (1897-1962) regarded his book, *The Sound the Fury*, as his "most splendid failure." For a long time, the public didn’t do much to dissuade him from that view. The book sold just 3,300 copies in the 15 years after it was published, and by that time most of Faulkner’s other books were out of print. I believe the current state of your fate has some resemblances to that time in his life. On the other hand, your destiny in the next 12 months will have more in common with what happened for Faulkner in 1949, when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and sales began to pick up. Just as *The Sound and the Fury* had much to do with his award, I believe one of your own "splendid failures" will be a key to the renaissance you’ll enjoy.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In reviewing the film, *Catwoman*, the *San Francisco Chronicle’s* Mick LaSalle coined a phrase that describes a mood many of you Scorpios are now prone to: festive pessimism. Frankly, my dear, I would love to talk you into shedding that state. It may give you an aura of murky intrigue, but it’s so much less than what the astrological omens say you could possess. The cosmos wants to bless you with an abundance of emotional riches right now. If you agree to suspend some of your jaded attitudes and cynical ideas, you’ll be showered with experiences that will justify a full-blown outbreak of festive optimism.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Soon the stakes will be higher, the rewards greater, and the judges tougher. You’ll have a chance to show who you *really* are in a bigger, bolder way, and that will be exhilarating. But you’ll also be *expected* to show who you *really* are in a bigger, bolder way, which could be daunting. The key to success is for you to concentrate so hard on the fun parts of the challenge that you’ll render the scary parts irrelevant.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Between North and South Korea is a long, narrow strip of land called the DMZ. Designed to be a buffer zone where all human activity is prohibited, it has accidentally become a nature preserve beloved by white-naped cranes. The area is a paradise for the birds because it has an abundance of undisturbed marshland and is free of predators. Luckily, the cranes are so lightweight that they’re in no danger of detonating the many land mines buried throughout the 370-square mile area. Everything I just described is an apt metaphor for a situation or state of mind that’s now available for your use, Capricorn.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "If you want to give God a good laugh, tell Him your plans." So says an old Yiddish proverb. While that rule often holds true for most people, I believe you’ll be exempt from it in the coming weeks. God is currently very receptive to your schemes, especially if they emphasize your readiness to give more beauty, truth and love to the world. In fact, the more precisely you formulate an intention to be generous and soulful in everything you do, the more likely it is that the Creator will laugh *with* you, not *at* you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes," says "Dilbert" cartoonist Scott Adams. "Art is knowing which ones to keep." According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Pisces, August was your time to embody the first part of Adams’ formula. During these past few weeks, I hope you gave yourself permission to unleash many fertile booboos. September, on the other hand, should be devoted to carrying out Adams’ second proposal. Which of August’s missteps might have marked the raw, imperfect appearance of ideas that will eventually turn out to be useful and brilliant? Here’s this week’s homework: Imagine that ten years from now you might want a new career or line of work. What will it be? Testify at