FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, April 3, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): America’s invasion of Iraq will unleash far-reaching consequences that profoundly affect each of our personal lives. In the coming months, we’ll encounter events that require us to revise our understandings about the very nature of reality. Our imaginations will have to be ingenious and our hearts alert in order to keep up with the exotic changes. To locate truth amidst waves of propaganda, we’ll have to be disciplined and hate-free. To avoid being infected by popular delusions, we’ll have to cultivate compassionate lucidity, humble courage, and a determination to rouse beauty everywhere we go. You are the logical choice to serve as role model for this approach.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The ancient Egyptian creator god Ptah was regarded as a miracle worker, though he used unconventional means to accomplish his amazing feats. For example, he defeated a legion of Assyrian marauders with an army of rats. Waiting till the enemy soldiers were asleep, Ptah sent the rats into their camp to gnaw through their bowstrings and shield handles, rendering them defenseless. How can you draw inspiration from the Egyptian god’s methods, Taurus? How could you win a great victory by summoning the help of an influence you usually regard as a pest?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Self-anointed “debunkers” rail against astrologers’ predictions, as if speculating about the future was a crime against rational thought. Meanwhile, economists, meteorologists, sportscasters, and trend analysts regularly make bad prognostications based on dubious data. In my opinion, they spread more delusion and cost more money than we who divine cosmic omens. The National Weather Service’s forecasts fail to anticipate more than half of all tornadoes and flash floods. Are they denounced as quacks? Never. Sorry for the rant, but I have a prophetic point to make: Every hypothesis about the future that you are aware of now and that you hear about in the next four weeks will be wrong — except, of course, this one.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): It’s Freethinkers Week, a holiday created especially for you Cancerians. To celebrate this liberating grace period, indulge in any of these festive acts: 1. Declare independence from anyone who tries to tell you, subliminally or directly, who you are or how you should live your life. 2. Declare independence from your past, especially memories that oppress your sense of possibility and self-images that inhibit your urge to explore. 3. Declare independence from peer pressure, groupthink, and conventional wisdom. 4. Declare independence from your previous conceptions of freedom so you’ll be free to come to a completely fresh understanding of it.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): It’s prime time for you to acquire a pair of “lucky pants.” How will you know they’re lucky? Because they’ll endow you with an intuitive sense of where to walk for adventures that’ll inspire you to see the big picture. It’s also a favorable week to rummage around in thrift stores for a pair of magic X-ray specs that’ll give you the power to perceive the secret motives of everyone you gaze upon. Wait! There’s one more piece of spooky good news. I predict you’ll soon have a vivid dream in which you explore what’s hidden below the tip of the iceberg.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I love it when I’m so energized and purified from riding my bike up Mt. Tamalpais that I experience a lightning bolt of realization about some crucial truth I’ve been hiding from myself. Or when I’m walking through the trash-spattered concrete jungle and am suddenly blessed with the fresh smell of dirt from a renegade garden. I love it when the pathological decisions of bad leaders inspire my tribe to redouble its commitment to fight for peace, ingenious love, and wild understanding. What about you, Virgo? Where do you look for breakthroughs and redemptions? It’s time to be on high alert.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Your idealism is one of your greatest assets, but it can also be a liability. Driven to seek beauty and harmony, you sometimes become blind to the messy truth. I got the following oracle when I consulted the ancient Chinese book of divination, the I Ching, for you: “It is only when you have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events by which the path to success may be recognized.” I interpret this to mean you are about to temporarily suspend your idealism and see the messy truth, leading you to an opportunity to practice your idealism on a higher level.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In their book An Incomplete Education, Judy Jones and William Wilson list the favorite colors of famous poets. T.S. Eliot loved eggplant, sable, and mustard. Wallace Stevens preferred vermilion, chartreuse, and wine. Ezra Pound liked ivory and jade. As current omens are nudging you toward greater subtlety and precision, you should draw inspiration from their lyrical tastes. Refine your definitions of your favorite everything: colors, smells, feelings, tastes, tones of voice, types of wind, qualities of light — everything.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): During a 15-month period in 1888 and 1889, Vincent Van Gogh churned out more than 200 works of art. In one 10-week stretch he produced an average of a picture a day. I predict that you will soon slip into a comparable phase. Original ideas will surge up into your awareness with such relentless exuberance that it’ll be hard to catch them all. Quick: Decide where you want to channel all that prolific creativity; don’t let it leak out wastefully.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Prize-winning gardener R.J. Harris has no interest in astrology or New Age notions. And yet he carefully monitors lunar cycles. Practical observation has proved to him that certain parts of the cultivation process go best when done during certain phases of the moon. In his book, R.J. Harris’s Moon Gardening, he suggests sowing the seeds of below-ground crops right after the new moon. (Like now, for instance.) In the early days of the second quarter, he advises, plant seedlings and above-ground crops. At the outset of the fourth quarter, add fertilizer. Prune later in the fourth quarter. I believe these same principles apply to your own growth.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I’ve been following the progress of a patch of ground near where I live. A year ago it was a grubby gully, a no-man’s land between two suburban McMansions. A ruined shack was imprisoned by thick underbrush. Six months ago, bulldozers arrived to clear away the thickets and raze the rotting structure. Another crew came to contour the land and create a level spot. Metaphorically speaking, that’s where you are in your life right now. Your next step is to do the equivalent of what happened this past week, when the foundation was poured for a new home on the land that was once a grubby gully.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In accordance with the omens, I have selected two words that convey the role you’re best suited for in the coming week. The first is the Yiddish term tummler, from tumlen, “to make a racket.” A tummler stirs up a commotion and incites people to action through affectionate agitation. Clowning and pranks may be part of a tummler’s repertoire. Your second word of power is the Iroquoian ondinnonk. It has two related meanings: a secret wish of the soul and the angelic part of our nature that longs to do good deeds. Now here’s the punch line: Let your ondinnonk guide you as you carry out your mission as a tummler.

Send your visions and prophecies about the best imaginable outcome of the predicament we’re in to

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