FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, November 19, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): To prepare you for your upcoming encounters with inexpressible mystery, I offer you part of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech: “Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words ... to revelations unattainable by reason. It is like that small mirror in fairy tales — you glance in it, and what you see is not yourself; for an instant you glimpse the Inaccessible, where no magic carpet can take you. And the soul cries out for it.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Do one thing that scares you every day,” counsels novelist Kurt Vonnegut. That’s easy for a Scorpio like him to say, but is it good advice for you Tauruses, who typically thrive on peace and safety? Usually I would say no; I’d suggest you face your fears no more than once a month. But the coming weeks will see a departure from your usual rhythms. You can do a lot to ensure your long-term peace and safety through regular encounters with unpredictable experiences that will scare up your hidden reserves of courage.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): At one point in Steve Martin’s novella, The Pleasure of My Company, the character Daniel says, “The real me and a false one were competing against each other.” San Francisco Chronicle reviewer David Kipen comments, “You could easily read the whole novella as the story of this competition between real and false Daniels.” This could describe your adventures in the coming weeks. The deep, genuine version of you will be struggling for supremacy with the artificial, fragmented one.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Dear Mr. Brezsny: I’m a feminist in a post-feminist era, a warrior poet when poetry is deemed irrelevant in war, a lone wolf amid yapping coyotes. I’ve been a firefighter, journalist, and janitor — and damn good at all three, not that anybody noticed. Why is my success with men like that of a goat trying to herd trucks? Why is the only luck I have the ‘avoided falling piano at the last second’ kind? Are there any cake raffle winnings in my future? — Anti-Heroic Crab”

Dear Anti-Heroic: These mournful conditions will improve when you devote a concentrated time to becoming emotionally self-sufficient. During that period, vow to draw all the love you need from either yourself or whatever passes for God or Goddess in your world. Now would be the perfect moment to begin.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a “keeper of the old stories.” She believes that feeding the soul with nourishing tales is a great healing art. Her repertoire is filled with myths and fairy tales that “cut ... doors in previous blank walls, openings that lead to the dreamland, ... to love and learning, ... back to our own real lives.” I advise you to get some of this good stuff, Leo. Feast on unpredictable stories that replenish your innocence and rekindle your sense of wonder. Estes’ book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, has some good ones. Try “Skeleton Woman” or “Sealskin, Soulskin.”

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Cameron Diaz, born under the sign of Virgo, hates to give autographs to fans. In fact, Autograph Collector magazine named her the least approachable celebrity entertainer. Another Virgo luminary, Shannon Elizabeth, was ranked right behind Diaz in her stinginess. To redeem your tribe’s reputation, I urge you to give away your autograph to anyone and everyone in the coming week. Such a generous display would also dovetail nicely with the astrological omens that suggest you should engage in playful acts that make you feel like a star.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Many plants used for prescription drugs originate in tropical rainforests, and these ecosystems probably harbor other undiscovered healing herbs. But a recent study suggests that weeds growing in accessible places near human settlements may be an equally important source of medicine. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology reports that the Highland Mayans of Chiapa “rely almost exclusively on disturbed areas for medicinal plants, even in communities ... adjacent to ... primary forest.” This intriguing scenario is an apt metaphor for you in the coming days. The best goodies are more likely to be close at hand in the midst of familiar clutter, not in far-off enclaves of peace and plenty. (Thanks to for this info.)

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): To supply newsprint for the average Sunday New York Times, about 63,000 trees must die. Is that a worthy sacrifice? Maybe. To keep your body fueled with caffeine for a year, over a thousand plants must give up their lives. Is that a worthy sacrifice? Possibly. To make sure your freshly hatched dream will ultimately reach full bloom, at least three of your tired old illusions will have to croak. Is that a worthy sacrifice? Hell, yes. Let the mercy killing begin.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You’re not awakening from a coma or anesthesia; it’s not quite that dramatic. But the effect will be similar. Events you’ve been blind to will suddenly become visible. You’ll become a magnet for clues you’ve been repelling. Your emotional numbness will recede, allowing a flood of feelings to come rushing into your awareness. The net effect may be confusing at first: too much information too fast to make sense of it. But be patient, and by this time next week the mess will have evolved into a web of fresh insights.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “I go through the canned-goods department of my soul,” mused columnist Jon Carroll, “and I write down how many cubes of spiritual bouillon I have left.” I suggest you take a similar tack this week. Add a touch of self-mocking frivolity as you make a profound inventory of your current relationship with the Great Mystery. Mix in a few wacky, winsome questions with your heartfelt yearning for deeper understanding. As Carroll queried: “Who am I? Why am I here? Is there an entity greater than myself? If there is, how can I get it to like me?”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “Satan is broke!” declared the Weekly World News. “He’s selling back souls at half price to avoid bankruptcy.” This is an amusing riff dreamed up by one of the comic geniuses who write for the notorious tabloid. But there is a metaphorical grain of truth in it. The omens suggest that a huge window of opportunity has opened for those who need redemption. It is a favorable moment for lost souls to find themselves, for black sheep to return to the fold, and for troublemakers to mend their ways. I’m letting you know, Aquarius, because your tribe is in the best position to facilitate rehabilitations and restorations of all kinds — both for others and for yourself.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I’ve finally got my relationship problem figured out,” wrote Melinda. “It has been a lifelong, insidious misunderstanding of what I’m entitled to, combined with a fear of abandonment that has made me grab onto the wrong companions.” Likewise, the coming months will be favorable for you to discern the hidden karma that has been keeping you from getting the love you want. A good way to begin your search will be to take inventory of your fear of abandonment and your misunderstanding of what you’re entitled to.

Homework: Describe what you’re ever so thankful for. Tell all at

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