FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, May 15, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When I hike up to a nearby ridge, I admire a certain oak tree. Unlike its companions, pointed skyward, it’s growing sideways out of the hill. It’s robust and flourishing, yet in staunch rebellion against its community’s standards. I call it the Aries oak, because it reminds me of you at your best: unique and healthy, bucking the status quo but never in a way that damages you, not fiercely independent but casually and blithely so. I suggest you aim to strengthen your alignment with this ideal in the coming weeks.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The theme of the book Women Who Love Too Much has become familiar: If you ignore your own needs, being too generous to someone who doesn’t appreciate it, you make yourself sick. But philosopher Blaise Pascal disagrees: “When one does not love too much, one does not love enough.” He was primarily addressing psychologically healthy saints, but it’s a good ideal for the rest of us. Your assignment this week is to explore the middle ground between these two positions. Experiment until you discern what amount of giving is just right for you.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): To paraphrase one of Amy Gerstler’s poems, this week will taste like cough syrup. Sorry to have to report that, Gemini. But on the other hand, the bitter flavor will be offset by a sweet aftertaste lent to the mix by a secret ingredient I’m not yet at liberty to divulge. And the unpleasantness of the medicine going down will be even more compensated for by the tonic effects that will begin rippling through your life as early as next week.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): An Italian law student, Antonella Magnani, was in the last stages of pregnancy as her final exams approached. She hoped the two rites of passage would not overlap, but fate had other plans. She was in the hospital at the exact time of her test. The examiners refused a postponement, but agreed to conduct their questioning in the delivery room. I believe this scenario is an apt symbol for the dual challenge you will soon face. In a sense you’ll be giving birth as you take a final exam. (Magnani had a healthy baby and got a good grade.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Just in time, I’m happy to add a new term to your vocabulary: kairos. It’s Greek for “time of destiny, critical turning point, propitious moment for decision or action.” And you’re at that exact phase. Kairos refers to a special season outside of normal time; its opposite is chronos, which refers to the drone of the daily rhythm. When you’re in kairos, you have the power and duty to act like the sovereign of a sacred land.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I predict you will have a lavish amount of composure this week. It won’t be tainted by arrogance or feelings of superiority or fueled by a need to prove anything to anyone. Rather, your poise will flow from your strong new link to your soul’s code — the life blueprint you decided on before you were born. One more thing: While you will be calm, you won’t be passive or laid back. This will be an electrifying variety of relaxation.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Dear Dr. Brezsny: Does astrology work differently in Texas? Libras in Texas seem unlike Libras everywhere else. Normal Libras love beautiful things, seek harmony, and see opposing points of view. But Texan Libras seem to love only big and loud beautiful things, seek harmony only if it serves their purposes, and acknowledge other viewpoints only to help win arguments — which they love to start. Your opinion?


Dear Natural-Born: I was born in Texas and have three planets in Libra, so I’m not objective enough to comment. However, many non-Texan Librans will soon exhibit the behavior you describe. But I think that’s a good thing: an antidote for Libras’ sometimes-excessive politeness.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): On those rare occasions when journalists report a UFO sighting, they dryly describe eyewitness accounts. But their juices flow with the derisive dismissals of skeptics. Like: “Astronomy professor X said that even trained pilots can be fooled into thinking the planet Venus is a flying saucer.” I wish this approach were applied to other kinds of news. Imagine a CNN anchorman regurgitating the words he heard at a Pentagon news conference, then asking leftist scholar Noam Chomsky for a skeptic’s perspective. This is exactly the approach you should take to every story you hear this week. Make it your burning mission to get alternate points of view.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Among many fine tips for creating poetry, John Hewitt provides one that would be useful for you during the coming week. “Write the worst poem you can possibly write,” he advises. “Use clichés and pretentious words, and beat your reader over the head with your point. Felt good, didn’t it? Now get back to work. The point is, don’t be afraid to write a bad poem. If it takes a hundred bad poems before you can produce a poem you like, fine, get that hundred out of the way.” You’re entering a phase when you may have to wade through a heap of junk before you find the gem you really want. (See

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Novelist H.G. Wells once said, “If we want to have an educated citizenship in a modern technological society, we need to teach them three things: reading, writing, and statistical thinking.” In my own list of essential expertise for today’s educated person, I’d include reading and writing but replace statistics with the science of cultivating happiness or the art of carrying on a healthy intimate relationship. I bring this up, Capricorn, because you’re now in a phase when you can learn a lot in a short time about those last two skills.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Many men believe they’ll find romantic happiness only with a woman who resembles a supermodel or film star. Tragically, their libidos were imprinted at a tender age by our culture’s narrow definition of female beauty. They steer clear of many fine women who don’t fit their absurd ideal. This addiction to a physical type is not confined to hetero dudes. Many straight women wouldn’t think of dating a bald, short guy no matter how interesting. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, with sincere effort, people can shed the outmoded imprints that prevent them from being turned on by otherwise attractive partners. You are in a phase in which you have increasing power to do that.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You need the soul medicine that only a wild place can provide. Civilized habits are eating away at your instinct for happiness. The insidious taint of commercialism is infecting even your purest desires and noblest ambitions. You owe it to your sanity to run away to a power spot immune to human manipulation — a sanctuary where nature is so big and intense it will dissolve the petty obsessions in which your ego is twisted. What are you waiting for? Leave as soon as possible, and don’t come back until you’re scoured clean.

Homework: If you knew you were going to live to 100 in good health, what three additional careers would you pursue? Testify at

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