Free Will Astrology

Nov 2, 2005 at 12:00 am
ARIES (March 21-April 19): I myself have not played the fantasy role-playing game Nox. From the review of it in Fortean Times, though, I surmise you might want to check it out. It could prepare you well for the coming week — maybe teach you a few tricks that would come in handy. The reviewer of Nox says that in the game you have to weave your way through booby-trapped mazes and haunted libraries as you try to foil the schemes of an evil necromancer. An army of magic spiders may be at your command, but it won’t necessarily be of assistance as you wade through a swamp rife with lethal stinking cabbages. Sound familiar?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined," wrote psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. This is always true, but it’s especially apt for you Tauruses right now. You have arrived at a three-way fork in the road, and which way you go will have a big impact on your future capacity to exercise your free will. To make the best choice, you’ve got to have maximum power to define yourself. Don’t let anyone, whether it’s an enemy or a loved one or a so-called expert, take charge of determining the contours of your identity.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the 1670s a British naturalist named Robert Plot discovered what we now recognize to be the first dinosaur fossil ever found by a scientist. It was the femur of a megalosaurus, though back then no one knew what it was. Taxonomist Richard Brookes, a contemporary of Plot, made an educated guess. He believed it was the petrified scrotum of Adam, the first man. I believe a comparable scenario will soon unfold in your life, Gemini. Through ignorance or inexperience, a potentially rich discovery may initially be misidentified. It will be your job to reject premature conclusions.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The ancient Greek mythic hero Orpheus possessed an abundance of what we today call emotional intelligence. His feelings were profound, well-wrought and lyrical, and he had a virtuoso talent for arousing sublime passions in others. The music he played on his lyre inspired warring soldiers to stop fighting. Wild animals listened raptly. Workaholics ceased their compulsive toil. When he gave concerts in the underworld, even the cold-hearted rulers of that infernal realm were charmed. None of us will ever soar to the same heights of emotional intelligence as Orpheus, of course, but this week you Cancerians can get closer than ever before.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Woolly mammoths, relatives of the elephant, have been extinct for 10,000 years. But several fully intact specimens have been discovered in Alaska and Siberia, well-preserved in ice. A few daring men have cooked and eaten the meat. They claim that it has a decent taste. I bring this to your attention, Leo, because it provides an apt metaphor for your imminent future. I believe you’ll be offered an ancient meal, in a manner of speaking — an exotic form of nourishment that originated long before you were born. It’ll be more than food for thought — it’ll be ambrosia for the soul.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Members of your tribe are even more likely than usual not to be given their proper credit or just due — which is exactly why you should fight with wild intensity to get it. If people try to claim your work as their own, protest loudly. If your strenuous efforts aren’t rewarded as they should, give yourself the reward. If your ideas are plagiarized, your style ripped off or your product copied without your permission, fight back with tactful ferocity.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In one of his books, the Dalai Lama challenges readers to go just ten minutes without having a negative thought about another person. When I told this to my acquaintance Arthur, he said, "What a simplistic, overrated fraud that Dalai Lama dude is. It’s totally easy to go 10 minutes without dissing someone." Your assignment, Libra, is to submit to a marathon version of the challenge: See if you can go seven whole days without having a negative thought about anyone. There’s a good selfish reason for doing so: It helps you cultivate a state of mind in which peaceful contentment is a natural condition.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution 20 years before he finally published a book about it. Why did he wait? Here’s one theory: In contrast to his radical ideas, Darwin was a conservative Victorian squire who cared deeply about his reputation. I believe you’re facing a dilemma comparable to Darwin’s. The changes you’re going through will definitely mess with the status quo when you start openly expressing them. So will you postpone your coming-out party, hoping that time will somehow make the new you more palatable? I’m not sure that approach would do anyone much good.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Dear Dream Doctor: Last night I dreamed I was taking care of a suicidal priest. Part of my job was to keep him occupied in order to make sure he didn’t kill himself. As we played the child’s card game called War, I noticed that the clothes I was wearing were moldy rags. Suddenly I was startled by a bright light. What does it all mean? —Spooked Sagittarius." Dear Spooked: When you stop clinging to the tattered, worn-out delusion that has functioned as your faith all these years, you will find a far more vibrant faith that is based on reality and that truly nurtures your soul.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Actress Sarah Jessica Parker recently told the San Francisco Chronicle about her new perfume, Lovely. It’s "a fragrance that has social skills," she said. "It doesn’t dominate a room. It doesn’t cling to a person who hugs you. It’s sexy, but not ‘of-the-moment.’ It’s a timeless thing." This is a perfect description of your assignment in the coming days, Capricorn. Be like a memorable but subtle fragrance that has social skills. Work every room you’re in, but do it with understated grace. Give every person you encounter a strong impression of your uniqueness, but without hitting them over the head with it.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Isaac Newton was one of the most influential scientists who ever lived. He developed the theory of gravity, and made many other revolutionary contributions to physics and mathematics. And yet his consuming interest for the last 20 years of his life was alchemy. Similarly, Arthur Conan Doyle is renowned for his stories about Sherlock Holmes, but in his own mind his most important gift to the world was his research into the paranormal and his ideas about spirituality. What about you, Aquarius? Is there a gap between the way the world perceives you and how you see yourself? This is a perfect moment to do something about it.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "Dear Rob: It’s my goal to become a Texas Congressman by 2016 and a senator by 2028. I have a lot of original ideas about how to make the world a better place, and I’ve decided that the best way to make them happen is by becoming a force in national politics. Do you have any advice on how to proceed? -Pisces Who Doesn’t Need to Marry a Blond, Blue-Eyed Cheerleader with Six-Pack Abs." Dear Pisces: It’s funny you should ask, because this is an ideal time for you to go on a vision quest that will reveal glimpses of the best ways to spend your life in the next 20 years. Here’s this week’s homework: Unleash an outrageous boast about how you’re going to pull off a certain feat that you’ve previously lacked the chutzpah to attempt. Testify at