FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, April 10, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I’m scouring herbal textbooks and tantric literature for a labor-intensive aphrodisiac — a stimulus to inspire you to work hard at becoming a fantastic lover. Not that your amorous skills are inferior, but there’s room for improvement. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to apply yourself to this worthy project. If I do run across that aphrodisiac, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, pursue the leads your intuition provides. And remember: The capacities that make you a great lover have only marginally to do with physical techniques, more to do with emotional intelligence and spiritual ingenuity.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The astrological factors coming to bear on you now are uproarious yet profound — mischievous, intense, and catalytic. So I’ve composed your horoscope by channeling appropriate bumper-sticker slogans. Repeat these affirmations frequently or print them out and tape them to your back.

“Don’t follow me; I’m following my bliss.”

“I’m not tense — just terribly alert.”

“I’m talking to myself — please don’t eavesdrop.”

“Don’t worry — it only seems kinky the first time.”

“Warning: I have an Attitude and I know how to use it.”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): How to be the best Gemini you can be? A reader named Shimmering Elf wrote eloquently about that topic. His words might help as you face this week: “Be amazed with and in awe of yourself. Keep doing new things to justify your amazement and awe. Be like the Native American heyoka who rode his horse backward, wearing only an apron in a blizzard, sweat running down his chest. Talk to yourself; people can join in if they want to. Be like Grandmother Spider who created the world by imagining it. Be like Pygmalion and fall in love with your creation. Never imitate. No one will ever solve the Sphinx’s precious riddle if she doesn’t know the answer herself.”

CANCER (June 21-July 22): It’s time to go straight to the source. Eliminate the middlemen — and middlewomen, too. Don’t believe anyone who claims that he alone can connect you with the valuable stuff you need. As much as possible, wean yourself from translators, agents, and brokers. And don’t worry: You won’t become lonely and isolated. I predict that, whenever you shed a relationship with someone who uses and exploits you, you’ll open the way for a new link with a person who respects your gifts.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Madonna recently spoke contritely about why she published the controversial book Sex in 1992: “I was just being an ego-driven nutcase.” This impressed me. Everyone makes bad decisions motivated by out-of-control egotism, but few of us have the courage to admit it — let alone a Leo celebrity oft regarded as a megalomaniac. Draw inspiration from her example in the next few days. If you cop to a past outbreak of unseemly arrogance, you’ll unleash magic that will ultimately spawn fresh accomplishments of which you can be righteously proud.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Famed producer Sherwood Schwartz had a hand in making more than 700 tv shows and co-authored theme songs for the sitcoms Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch. Every year he collects about $60,000 in royalties for those tunes, written so long ago. I’d like to alert you to the fact that you’re now in a phase similar to the one Schwartz was in when he got inspired to compose those long-term moneymakers. It’s time to create a legacy for yourself.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In his book, Crying: A Natural and Cultural History of Tears, Tom Lutz asserts that people don’t cry as much as they used to. The supposedly stuffy English of the Victorian era put us to shame with their abundant outpouring of tears. So what’s our excuse? There’s as much, if not more, to be mournful about nowadays, no lack of events to spur our cathartic joy and empathy. Would you like to do something about the modern weeping deficit? You’ll soon have rich opportunities to unleash tears of breakthrough and release.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I direct your attention to Dawn Baumann Brunke’s book, Animal Voices: Telepathic Communication in the Web of Life. There she champions the value of communing clairvoyantly with other species. Learning this skill, she says, is not only helpful for becoming closer to beloved pets — it can also be useful for pest control. She gives examples of people who rid their homes of ants and spider mites by telepathic conversations. I think this same approach can be applied to pests in human form — especially by you in the coming week. Rev up your considerable mental powers and psychically ask jerks, annoyances, and bores to stop bugging you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): A major label spent $180,000 recording my band at a state-of-the-art studio. The resulting c.d. was exciting, but sales were paltry due to the company’s inept marketing strategy. The new album I’m working on with my friend George is low-tech and self-financed. The experience is humbling but exhilarating. I’m free of my old rock star fantasies. There’s no danger of having to deal with the alienating influences of fame and travel. I have the relaxing luxury of creating music just because it’s fun. I recommend you make a comparable transition. Which of your aptitudes and inclinations would you enjoy more if they weren’t hemmed in by unrealistic dreams and the stultifying pressures of careerism?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your horoscope this week consists of the words of poet Mary Oliver, whose “White Pine” describes an experience analogous to one you’ll soon have: “I have read that, in Africa, when the body of an antelope, which all its life ate only leaves and grass and drank nothing but wildwater, is first opened, the fragrance is almost too sweet, too delicate, too beautiful to be borne. It is a moment which hunters must pass through carefully, with concentrated and even religious attention, if they are to reach the other side, and go on with their individual lives.”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Out on a walk, I laughed with incredulity and derision at a yard where gorgeous poppies and tulips were in full bloom — surrounded by an 8-foot-tall cage of chicken wire. Once my instinctive response subsided, I realized there was probably some reason for the apparent lunacy. Maybe it kept the flowers from being devoured by marauding deer. My next thought leapt to you, Aquarius. I knew the fortress protecting the delicate blooms was a perfect metaphor for what you should create for yourself in the coming week.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Bereft because of the war, I longed to connect with sources of inspiration that have fueled me over the years. I looked for power objects from every period of my life. They included C. G. Jung’s Psychology and Alchemy, photos of my daughter and the woman I love, my favorite baseball card from childhood, and other treasures. In the ensuing days, I made the freaky discovery that five other people I know had independently undertaken a similar gathering. Such a ritual would be perfect for you right now. I suggest you assemble 22 of your most important symbols and create a sanctuary to protect you from the world’s chaos.

Homework: Get your curative dose of brazen peace-mongering at

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