FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, February 20, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Before he died in late 2001, ex-Beatle George Harrison recorded the album Brainwashed. Reviewers at People magazine found it exceptional. “Rollicking, jaunty and wry,” they wrote. “Harrison looked death in the eye and took out his ukulele.” While you won’t have to deal with an adversary anywhere near as daunting as the Grim Reaper in the coming week, Aries, you will have to face down a pest of some sort. The best recipe for victory is a rollicking, jaunty, and wry attitude. When you look the skunk or jerk in the eye, pull out a kazoo.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Mojo can refer to magic power, fertility spells, or sexual magnetism. Cat Yronwode, scholar of indigenous African-American religions, believes that “mojo” is most likely derived from the West African word “mojuba,” for a prayer of praise and homage. In voodoo, a mojo bag is a cloth pouch filled with supernatural charms. “Mojo” is also invoked as the unpredictable benevolence of a mysterious force beyond our comprehension or the skill of a person who has stolen a boon from the gods. I hope these definitions will help you make the most of the fact that your relationship with mojo is now ripening nicely, Taurus.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When pollsters asked a thousand kids ages 3-6 which they liked better, daddy or tv, 54 percent said tv. But even if your own inner child might be inclined to vote with the majority on this question, Gemini, I beg you to go in the other direction in the coming weeks. Why? Because you could really use the inspiration of a father figure: a benevolent older male who can inspire you to activate your latent reserves of willpower and confidence.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Yesterday, while moving some things to make room for my laptop on a shelf, I temporarily placed it on the floor. “Please take note, Rob,” I said pointedly to myself, “that the computer is now on the floor. Do not step on the computer. Do not step on the computer.” A minute later, I ambled off to another part of the house. When I returned, lost in thought, you guessed it — my right shoe soon landed directly on the laptop. Repairs cost me $125. The moral of the story, as far as it concerns your imminent future, Cancerian: Don’t put the laptop on the floor in the first place.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the premise of the tv reality show, Joe Millionaire, 20 women vied for the heart of a suave young rich dude, not knowing he was actually an average construction worker in disguise. The aspiring consorts were asked what they would do if chosen to help the guy spend his $50 million. One said, “I’d travel to a poor Third World country and bathe the suffering children.” While that sentiment might be a little extreme for you, Leo, I urge you to envision your own altruistic generosity. How would you help others if you got a windfall? Believe it or not, carrying out this exercise will enhance your ability to attract money. And it’s the perfect astrological moment to do just that.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Many of us fantasize about how wonderful our lives would be if only they were different from what they are. Here’s a corollary to the curse: No matter what the current state of our relationship to love may be, we always imagine that it should be better. If we don’t have a romantic partner, we think we should have one. If we do have a romantic partner, we wish he or she would change, or we wonder what it would be like with another partner. That’s the bad news, Virgo. Here’s the good news: In the coming days, I predict you will find a way to feel perfectly at peace with the way your love life actually is.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Coming weeks will test your ability to think with your heart and feel with your mind. Be acutely vigilant even as you stay sweetly relaxed. Your luck will grow to the degree that you open the doors of perception wider and close down the vulnerabilities that make it easy for mean people to hurt you. Fortunately, Libra, the cosmos will conspire to help extend your expertise in these exact capacities. I predict that by March 20 you will have earned the right to be called a master of contradictions.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You know what you remind me of lately, Scorpio? You’re like gourmet sea salt that has been hand-harvested on a warm, breezy afternoon in late summer from a pristine marsh in Brittany. You are, in other words, raw and elegant; primal and pure, a basic — but unique — necessity. I trust that you will share your funky sublimity only with those who treat you as both a valuable spice and an essential condiment.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Astronomers gather information by observing the heavens through telescopes. However, they also work on “cloudy night problems,” interpreting and massaging their data when the skies are overcast. I think you’re in an analogous phase, Sagittarius. At least for the moment, you can’t glean any more crucial clues from peering outward into the glittering sprawl around you. Everything you need to know is in the information that you’ve already registered.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): How many times have you wondered what your life would be like if your imagination hadn’t been squelched by the educational system? What great happiness and marvelous feats might you have already claimed if your natural love of learning hadn’t been crushed by inept teachers? It’s the right time for a quest to undo the damage, Capricorn. Imagine I’ve just handed you an undiploma: your official permission to heal from the oppression and wounds perpetrated on you by your early schooling.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): If you were out walking and spied a penny on the sidewalk, would you scoop it up? Probably not. How about a more valuable coin? Or is it your policy to never compromise your dignity for anything less than a dollar? If so, Aquarius, I encourage you to suspend your usual rule in the next two weeks. Metaphorically speaking, bending down to snatch a penny will unleash a series of events that will lead you to a hundred-dollar bill. In other words, only by taking advantage of tiny, unexpected rewards will you be in position to harvest the bigger kind.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “Three times my life has opened,” begins Jane Hirshfield’s poem by the same name. “Once, into darkness and rain. Once, into what the body carries at all times within it and starts to remember each time it enters the act of love. Once, to the fire that holds all.” Now that you’ve had your imagination piqued by Hirshfield’s testimony, Pisces, I’d like you to survey your memories and identify the magic moments when your own life opened. Jot down a few notes about them, please. That should prime you to recognize and be ready for the next big window of opportunity, which will arrive any day now.

Homework: Philosopher William James proposed that we need a moral equivalent to war. Do you have any ideas what it might be? Tell all at

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