FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, September 12, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Before we can receive the unbiased truth about anything,” wrote my teacher Ann Davies, “we have to be ready to ignore what we would like to be true.” Are you prepared to do that, Aries? Nothing will heal your frustration or dissolve your tension better than getting to the bottom of the enigmas that are pressing up against you. But you can’t earn that deliverance unless you set aside your fantasies and theories about what this is all about.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Please repeat the following health-giving affirmations until you are totally committed to carrying them out: “In the next seven days, I will wash no dishes, do no laundry, and make no beds. I’ll devote myself to exploring every clue, throb, and blip that captivates my imagination. I’ll lower the barrier between my conscious and unconscious minds. I’ll follow the smells I like. I’ll listen closely to my body. I’ll be kind to nobodies. I’ll actually kiss the earth. I’ll listen to music that awakens unfamiliar emotions. And unless I can give my whole heart, I won’t offer it at all.”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): One of these days I hope you’ll try on the idea that’s at the core of my life: pronoia. The opposite of paranoia, pronoia is the unshakable conviction that life is a vast conspiracy to liberate you from suffering, make you really smart, and shower you with blessings. It’s not as simple as it might initially appear, however. For instance, the blessings you receive may not be the exact ones you imagine you want. They might even annoy or confuse you at first. But if you welcome the blessings you’re actually given, they will ultimately serve you better than any you’d expected. Soon, Gemini, you’ll be offered a kind of grace that fits this description.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): As you grow older, you will become less enslaved by the negative imprints of your early childhood. At the same time, your advancing years will bring a wonderful perk: You’ll be able to harvest ever-greater amounts of the valuable gifts bequeathed to you by your relatives, both those with whom you shared your early years and those who died before you were born. In other words, Cancerian, as you age you will gradually cast off your family’s bad stuff and become better able to exploit its good stuff. And I bet the next five weeks will be a turning point in this process.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If your life had a title this week, it might be something like, “The Correlation Between the Quasi-Newton-Kantovich Methods for the Multiple Solutions of the Nonlinear Operator Equations and the Quadratic Convergence of Primal-Dual Interior Point Degenerate Linear Programming Algorithms.” Then again, a more apt title might be, “The Correlation between Patiently Plowing through a Bunch of Boring Nonsense and Getting to the Juicy Reward Hidden on the Other Side.” As you read through the first title, Leo, did your attention wane so badly that you wanted to stop reading? If so, you’ve got to build up your patience muscles. Your imminent future will resemble the structure of this horoscope.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It’s one of your inalienable rights as a human being to receive a mysteriously useful omen every day. Logic alone isn’t sufficient to guide you through life’s labyrinths. You need and deserve regular deliveries of divine revelation. Unfortunately, our culture is so hostile to the sense of wonder that it’s hard for any of us to get our minimum daily dosage of magic. The good news is that in the coming weeks your path will bring you into the vicinity of more such mysteriously useful signs than usual; expect one each day.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): One of my favorite hiking trails takes me past an area hard-hit by a disease that ravages oak trees. While a number of the trees in this graveyard are clearly dead, a few are in a curious limbo, sprouting straggling bits of green at the ends of large rotting branches. I wonder if this might serve as a metaphor for the dead part of your life, Libra? Are you being fooled into holding onto false hope by a last gasp of feeble growth? I suggest it’s time to accept the truth.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Dear Pioneer: In the coming weeks, you’ll be invited to explore moods and states of awareness that are new to you. You may need to enlarge your vocabulary in order to understand what’s happening. Here are a few terms that may help: 1. chantepleure: to sing and weep simultaneously. 2. chiaroscurofy: to find a comfortable place where you are partially in darkness and partially illuminated. 3. ahahawhaw: to laugh uproariously and exclaim “aha!” simultaneously. 4. wowallelujah: a surge of uncanny intuition that comes while waking up from sleep or ignorance.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): British poet Donna McLean has tried to patent herself. She did so in response to biotechnology companies that are buying up exclusive rights to certain sequences of human DNA. “It has taken 30 years of hard labor for me to discover and invent myself,” McLean wrote, “and now I wish to protect my invention from unauthorized exploitation, genetic or otherwise.” You may not need to go that far, Sagittarius, but it’s time for a comparable ritual. How about creating a document in which you swear an oath like this: “I am in full possession of all my natural and supernatural rights; my destiny is completely in my hands; I own my own life.” (Please feel free to create more clauses to add to this pledge.)

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): When we hear someone described as having a good imagination, most of us assume that person must be in the arts. But in fact, some of the world’s most creative visualizers are architects, inventors, city-planners, engineers, and bridge-makers — nuts-and-bolts master-builders who design functional things. You Capricorns make up a disproportionate percentage of that group. It seems that your tribe is unusually imaginative when it comes to transforming practical matters and vivifying concrete details. In the coming weeks, that’ll be true in spades.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Rhonda Jones, a reader from Augusta, Ga., sent me one of the greatest toasts I’ve ever been honored with: “May you get what you want and still want it.” Now, Aquarius, I relay this toast to you — just in time for your Season of Gratified Desire, when you’re more likely to get what you want than at any other time this year. I pray and predict that you’ll soon have the answer to your dreams and will be more excited than ever as you bask in the afterglow.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The art of listening gets no respect and has few masters. Who has the time and energy, the humility and sensitivity, to be fully receptive to someone else’s narratives? Most people prefer to talk about their own amazing ideas and fascinating lives. That’s why I regularly pay an expert $85 an hour to listen to me. She gives me her undivided attention, asks great questions, keeps track of the ongoing plotlines, and even gives me thought-provoking feedback. Such an ally is especially important for you right now, Pisces. You need the healing inspiration that only an intelligent listener can provide.

Homework: Did the events of last Sept, 11 lead to any permanent changes in the way you deal with people in your day-to-day life? Testify at

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