Free Will Astrolosy

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Now that you're coiled deep inside the heart of the subterranean maze, I think you know what to do. Reverently slip into a state of expectant meditation. Humbly bow to the power of the uncanny mystery. Breathlessly utter the surprising password. And then cackle uproariously as the Secret of Secrets refuses to unveil itself for the hundredth time. Rise up and dance like a drunken monkey, celebrating your release from the maddening obsession. Gibber, "I just don't care anymore!" with blind joy as you claim your ecstatic liberation from the unfulfillable vow. And then sigh with orgasmic gratitude to be purged of the impenetrable riddle and launched into a future where you'll never feel as tortured again.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You don't need more answers, my ripe friend. Not yet at least. By January you might. But right about now you need better questions — especially about alliances, interdependence and joint interests. To get you started, here's the Question of the Week: Are those really flaws that are bugging you about the people whose destinies are entwined with yours, or just incompletely developed talents? And now here's the Question of the Year: Are those really flaws that are bugging you about yourself, or merely incompletely developed talents? Now here's a gem from psychologist Carl Jung that should inspire even more good questions: "The best political, social and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others."

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Tantric scientists at the Institute of Whirled Consciousness have shown that prospects for world peace will rise dramatically if a mere 750,000 Geminis (about

the number who read this column) do a meditation in which they visualize Jesus, Mohammed and Moses performing a Three Stooges routine for an audience of Oprah Winfrey, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Teresa. Interestingly, the researchers also predict three transformations in your personal life if you participate in this experiment. First, you'll experience a dramatic boost in intelligence about one of the dumbest aspects of your life. Second, you'll lighten up your attitude about a ridiculously dogmatic belief. Finally, you'll bring a big dose of feminine wisdom to bear on an overly masculine influence.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Till the end of your days, you will require more down time than most people. You'll always vacillate erratically between hiding your feelings and revealing them too freely. You'll worry too much and carry stress in your belly and judge yourself too harshly and periodically isolate yourself from the nourishing sources you need most. Or maybe none of the above, Cancerian. What if I told you that all the behavior I just described does not have to be a lifetime curse? What if I suggested that while those tendencies might feel congenital and permanent, you can transform them? For clues on how to proceed, meditate on the pithy clues you've gathered during your current growth spurt.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I invoke Brigid, Celtic goddess of the undying flame, and ask her to unleash thrilling clarity in your heart. I pray to Chantico, Aztec goddess of fire, that she might awaken creative fertility in the most familiar and comfortable places in your life. I call on Ilmarinen, the magical smith of the Finnish pantheon, to appear to you in a dream and forge a talisman that will quicken your quest to deepen love. Finally, I offer a bribe to the Lakota trickster god Inktomi, in the hope that he will shake the ground with his wise laughter and make you pregnant with a vivid vision about who you could become by 2004.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): To my great delight and your eternal benefit, Virgo, you are less boring right now than you have ever been. Your problems are absolutely fascinating, your sins are totally original, and your muse is not in the mood to leave you alone anytime soon. All of these fun facts will come in handy this week, when the fundamental rule will be: They who are most unpredictable yet trustworthy will commandeer the greatest influence. My conclusion: Flaunt your rich chaos with integrity, baby. Seduce benefactors and helpers into your sphere on the strength of your imaginative disruptions in routine.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Whether or not you're a pinko peacenik, you may be alarmed at how faithfully the news media is parroting the U.S. government's party line about the war. It's not entirely the journalists' fault. They have no access to even civilian satellite photos of Afghanistan because the Pentagon owns exclusive rights to them and isn't sharing. Furthermore, few Western reporters have been able to see what's going on for themselves in the war zones; most rely on military PR spokesmen to spoon-feed them propaganda. This information lockdown reminds me of a similar situation in your personal sphere, Libra. You're out of the loop; at least one of your reliable sources has dried up. In order to make enlightened decisions about your future, you need to aggressively seek out richer data.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You could really use about twice as much elbowroom and five times as much headspace. You deeply deserve a brand-new red toy and a poetic license and a blank check. You would greatly benefit from diving in over your head and feeding a telepathic flirtation and singing a fresh freedom song and fashioning a mask that fits your new face and drumming up a self-made lucky break. I like your attitude so much these days, Scorpio, that I'm going to interpret the astrological omens as suggesting you have an excellent chance to claim all the above.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The next seven months of your life will be a turning point that's roughly analogous to the pregnant moment in evolution when dinosaurs and early mammals shared the Earth. The metaphor is not a perfect fit, though. As your reptile brain and primate brain vie for ultimate control of your desires and fears, a third force will also be muscling in. You might call it your angelic brain or Higher Self. The outcome of this three-way struggle will determine whether you'll enter into a New Dark Age or a Golden Age. My recommendation: Feed the dinosaur well but keep it on a short leash; groom and pamper the mammal; give the angel your heart and soul.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you don't want to peter out with a whimper in December, I suggest you exit with a bang as soon as possible. In another two weeks, you'll have to answer to fate, whereas right now fate still has to answer to you. So pull out your calendar and schedule splashy goodbyes, last laughs and colorful climaxes that leave no room for misinterpretation. Give going-away presents to part-time nemeses so that they can't possibly go away mad. Most importantly, forgive everyone their trespasses, including yourself.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In the remaining weeks of 2001, you will be the beneficiary of something between a trickle and a flood of generosity. It will be in direct proportion to the generosity that you yourself have doled out in the past 11 months. Is karmic justice really that precise, you ask? Well, yeah. Even more so: For every gift you've given with strings attached, you will receive a gift with strings attached. Blessings you've bestowed unconditionally, on the other hand, will generate the same in return. Now what does all this tell you, Aquarius, about how you might want to shape your relationship with magnanimity and compassion in 2002?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In my spare time I manage a company called Vicarious Fantasies. For a modest price, my fun-loving crew and I live out the fantasies of people who don't have the time or courage or imagination to do so. Our only stipulation is that enacting our clients' dreams won't require us to break the law or hurt anyone. Now if it were any other time, Pisces, I might invite you to sample our services. But it so happens that this is a historic moment in your relationship with your fantasies. If you don't start living them out with a feistier devotion, they will begin to become impossible.

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