FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, November 14, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If you are an unevolved Aries, there’s a chance you will gravitate toward the archetype of the hot-tempered, street-fighting hooligan in coming weeks. If you are an evolved Ram, on the other hand, you’ll probably smash a mental block, topple a rotting idol, or destroy a parasitical hallucination. And what if you’re somewhere in between? Whether you take the ignoble or noble path will all depend on what you really want to do.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You won’t have a nervous breakdown in the coming week, Taurus. What happens may have the intensity of that experience, but in reverse. Expect something like an eruption of profound gratification or a rapid-fire series of insights that lead you to a cathartic integration. Or maybe a sudden confluence of several beneficent trends, resulting in a beautiful healing. Can you handle this much blessing?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the wake of the alienating experiences you’ve had recently, Gemini, I think you need to reunify yourself. Here are a few ideas, drawn from an anonymous author’s unpublished manual called “Self-Love without Apology.” 1. Have two trusted companions simultaneously whisper sweet praise, one in each of your ears. 2. Surround yourself with mirrors and kiss yourself on the lips 11 times while singing your favorite lullaby. 3. Visualize two versions of yourself, one male and one female, holding hands as they gaze into a reflection of the moon on a river.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In the centuries after Christ died, several varieties of Christianity competed for ascendancy. One ultimately triumphed, and its followers got to decide which of his teachings would be included in the orthodox canon, and which wouldn’t. “If you bring forth what is within you,” said Jesus in one of the gems the church fathers excluded as heretical, “what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” This blend of sweet potion and kick-ass medicine is your perfect food for thought this week, Cancerian. I’ll add this corollary: To bring forth what’s within you, you’ll almost certainly have to be a bit heretical.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I’m a big fan of regular purification. I believe every one of us should periodically shake ourselves free from the grip of stale habits and rotting karma. My method does not, however, revolve around ordeals of self-denial. Instead, I prefer to instigate purification through rituals of liberation. If you consider this approach, Leo, close yourself to influences that demean you and lower your energy, even as you open yourself up to people and adventures that stoke your excitement about being alive. Nothing will cleanse you more efficiently.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “Dear Dr. Brezsny: What’s a good way to get rid of gophers? They’re constantly ripping holes in my backyard, which keeps me chronically pissed off, and that makes it pretty hard to concentrate on carrying out the uplifting suggestions you give in your horoscopes. — Seething Virgo in Iowa.”

Dear Seething: Go out in your backyard and act like a gopher. Dig in the dirt like you were born to do it. Rip up a hundred holes. I guarantee the gophers will leave. And if there are any other kinds of pests you want to banish from your life, try a similar approach. Learn their ways. Empathize with them. Their power over you will magically fade.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Scavenger hunt time, Libra! The first items on your list: a lampshade painted with poker-playing dogs, an astrology book that quotes Goethe and T.S. Eliot, and a jigsaw puzzle of the Shroud of Turin. Once you exercise your intuition muscles scrounging around for that stuff (even if you don’t find any of it), you’ll be ready to search out items on a second, more important, metaphorical list: one of your valuable assets that has fallen into disuse, a neglected talent that needs more training, and a clue about how to resurrect a pleasure that has gone to seed.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I believe the golden rule is not just a virtuous guide for life, but also the best tool for attaining your selfish goals. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is potent magic equaling any lesson from shamanic initiation or books of wizardry. I urge you to use this truth as your secret weapon, Scorpio. Just to cover all your bases, you might also want to mess around with the silver rule, formulated by my reader Liza L: Do unto others as you would do unto your new convertible sports car that you bought at the apex of your mid-life crisis to attract an innocent who shares your sexual orientation.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): When my girlfriend and I broke up, the luxurious bed I had bought for us became an unwanted symbol of love gone bad. Alas, no charitable organization wanted it — it was too damn big — so I hauled it to the dump. As I idled in a line of cars at the entrance, a guy knocked on my pickup truck window, and asked if he could take the bed off my hands. He and his pregnant wife had managed to rent a home after being homeless for a year, and my bed would be their first piece of furniture. Overjoyed, I drove it to their new digs. And that’s how I turned my sad old baggage into a bright, beautiful gift. I predict that you, Sagittarius, will soon have a similar opportunity.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you keep a diary, you’ll have good reasons to pack it with five times as much testimony as usual in the coming weeks. To set the tone, put this poem by L.S. Asekoff at the top of the first page: “Flying solo above the flames, I see the future fan out before me as one by one I discard the cards in my hand.” And what if you don’t have a diary? Please find some other way to express the surge of liberatingly lonely, creatively destructive novelty that’ll be roaring through you.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Still afraid that life is a random hodgepodge of meaningless events that are unresponsive to your deepest desires? Perhaps the divine interventions coming your way this week will help me talk you out of that little delusion. I doubt you’ll be able to sustain your skepticism about life’s inherent goodness in the face of so much catalytic help. You may even make progress on another project I hope to interest you in: learning how much fun it is to change yourself in order to cash in on good luck.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I invite men drenched in Time to recover themselves and come out of time, and taste their native immortal air.” I pass on to you this wisdom from essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, just in time for your season of transcendence. In coming weeks, Pisces, you’ll be inspired to rise above situations that might have dragged you down at other times. Lowest common denominators won’t seduce you, inferior motivations won’t distract you. A parting tip, courtesy of the poet Rumi: “What I want is to leap out of this personality / And then sit apart from the leaping — / I’ve lived too long where I can be reached.”

Homework: What’s the last place on earth you’d ever want to visit? Visualize a scenario in which you’re having fun there. Tell me about it at

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