FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, September 05, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Maybe you should start preparing now for the 2003 Summer Redneck Games. Held every July in East Dublin, Ga., these alt-Olympics feature competitions in skills such as watermelon-seed spitting, bug-zapper spitball shooting, armpit serenades, and the mud-pit belly flop. With the expansive planet Jupiter in your astrological House of Hog Heaven, you will excel at activities that involve losing your dignity for the sake of having goofy fun; you will thrive whenever you shed your self-importance in order to explore down-to-earth pleasures.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I have cast a judicious and discerning love spell that will be triggered in the heart of anyone who reads the following mantra: blisssavvy. Ha! You read it! Soon youíll be in the grip of a sizzling yet moist vortex of tender devotion. Youíll be moved to commit acts of sagacious lust and horny compassion. Donít worry about the spell leading you to impulses youíll regret later, Taurus. In formulating it, I made sure itíll inspire behavior in strict accordance with your highest ideals and best intentions.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As global warming continues apace, glaciers and ice fields from Alaska to Central Asia are melting. Scientists are excited about gathering all the ancient artifacts and fossils that are being exposed by the thaw. I see an analogous process going on in your own life, Gemini. A deep freeze is losing its grip on parts of your past ó repressed memories are becoming accessible again. Stories from long ago are returning, perhaps for reinterpretation. The historical evidence may have a very different meaning now than it did before.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Itís a favorable time to moonlight for a few days as a cashier at the drive-in window of Jack in the Box or Taco Bell. Doing so would dramatically boost your levels of empathy for people who arenít as fortunate as you, which is exactly what the astrological omens suggest. Such a gig would also increase your humility, which would diminish your false pride and boost your confidence. Finally, wearing a grimy uniform while immersed in greasy air for a short time would make you feel tremendously grateful about the blessings in your life you take for granted. This is one of the godsí primary prescriptions for you right now.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): ďThe strong, independent part of me resisted the embarrassing truth for a long time,Ē my Leo friend Lannie told me, ďbut I finally came to accept that Iím someone who craves overwhelmingly vast amounts of love. Ever since I surrendered to this need, it doesnít nag me all the time, like it used to. In fact, it feels kind of comforting, a source of sweetness that never goes away. ... Iíve come to treasure the feeling of having a voracious yearning for love.Ē Iíve quoted Lannieís testimony at length, Leo, because itís prime time for you to master the skill she now owns.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When I scream ďGet naked!Ē I donít mean you should immediately fling off all your clothes. (Though Iím not opposed to that.) What I mostly mean is: Strip away your defense mechanisms; dismantle the armor around your heart; slip off your boxing gloves before making love; remove the shoes that donít belong to you ó you know, the ones you were going to walk a mile in but have ended up wearing for a million miles; shed knee pads that aid in butt-kissing; lose the chastity belt; get rid of the aluminum foil hat you donned to protect you from telepathic mind-control experiments; take off the blinders and the rose-colored glasses.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The promise-breakers and love-fakers and delusion-makers are no fun, but ultimately youíll thank them for helping clarify your goals. The idea-stealers and reverse healers and greedy feelers are hazardous to your happiness in the short run, but eventually theyíll strip away your dangerous naÔvetť and inspire you to devise smarter protections for your heart, health, and wealth. In conclusion, Libra, itís one of those weird times when mediocre, apathetic, unconscientious people will be your greatest teachers.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): This would be a good time to launch a building project on the scale of Indiaís Taj Mahal or Egyptís Great Pyramid. You should at least begin some magnificent creation, Scorpio. I believe thereís a decent chance you could wangle 20,000 helpers to work for you night and day for the next 20 years. You could probably even corral a team of holy men and wild women to consecrate your quest, as well as a squadron of psychotherapists and masseuses to soothe you as you assemble your masterpiece.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): More than any other sign of the zodiac, you Centaurs have the potential to help people laugh at themselves. Yet this sublime skill is never mentioned as a Sagittarian specialty in the astrological textbooks. Indeed, itís rarely even recognized as a valuable asset for a stellar human being. I, on the other hand, put it at the top of my list of desirable traits. In my view, inducing people to take themselves less seriously is one of the most sacred and healing gifts you can give them. Why mention this now? Our culture may have discouraged you from fully developing this superpower, but itís a perfect moment to make up for lost time.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Iím a little nervous that your pet obsession will turn you into its pet. On the other hand, itís one of the best obsessions youíve ever been possessed by, so for now I wonít try to interfere with the interesting mess youíre making. Thereís another factor to consider: Iíve detected some strange, juicy luck in your vicinity, but it may not become fully available unless you play around a lot, experiment, and maybe even stir up a ruckus. If you ask me, whipping up a bit of chaos is a small price to pay for an entertaining burst of divine assistance.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In the coming weeks, youíll either be a Betweener or Beyonder. Which do you prefer? The Betweener tries to be loyal to both sides but in a pinch plays both sides against the middle. For her, the rules of the game are important, but she reserves the right to ignore them at critical junctures. She values the systemís rewards but refuses to be crushed by its compromises. The Beyonder, on the other hand, operates completely outside the parameters. Sheís immune to the seductions of the inner circle; her magic comes from tinkering at the frontiers. The Beyonder is driven by her signature dreams, not by success as defined by others. Sheís excited by the prospect of finding keys and treasures invisible to those in the thick of the system.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): ďDear Dr. Feelgood: Why you are so relentlessly nice to us hypersensitive Pisceans? Did you fall in love with one, and now youíre secretly trying to woo her? Did you run over a Pisces cat and swear youíd make it up to us human Pisces? Please give me a reason to believe youíre not just coddling us Fishes. ó Forever Drunk with a Thousand Feelings.Ē Dear Drunk: You use your imagination to generate mental pictures of things that donít exist yet. It is, therefore, your single most important asset; itís what you use to shape your future. If I can help keep your imagination teeming with positive visions, youíre more likely to create a life thatís in line with your highest values.

Homework: If you had a little baby clone of yourself to take care of, what would be your child-rearing strategy? Tell all at

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