FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, August 29, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I sometimes supplement my astrological analyses with garbage-ological research. Sifting through someone’s rubbish can provide data that enhance the insights gleaned from more heavenly meditations. Knowing how crucial purification is for you Rams right now, I studied your tribe’s debris as I prepared your horoscope. (I got permission to paw through the trashcans of 22 Aries folks.) My conclusion: You’re holding back! You should be throwing away much more: supposedly valuable belongings that you never touch, mementos that keep you enslaved to decaying dreams. ... Please understand that you’re at the heart of the purging and cleansing season.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You now have access to the wonderful abundance of the primal phallus. Before you giggle, let me remind you that while the meaning of “phallus” includes the mere penis, it also goes far beyond. It is a mythic symbol of procreative power; the archetype of nature’s restless urge to regenerate itself; a force both physical and psychic, generous and fierce, protective and demanding. And you, Taurus, are now sitting atop a huge, throbbing source of this vital force.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Even if you are a pampered member of the elite who hasn’t made your own toast in 10 years, I suggest you try the working- class approach to life. That means thinking with your body, being willing to get your hands dirty, and striving to create useful things. This will help ensure that your fine mind won’t lead you astray with sterile theories in the week ahead. If you want to know the bottom-line truth, listen to your physical feelings.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): My daughter Zoe’s fifth-grade teacher once told me that when kids reach the age of 11, they’re likely to fire you as their manager, but if you’re lucky they’ll rehire you as their agent. In other words, children on the verge of adolescence no longer want your controlling direction, but may be interested in your thoughtful advice. Astrological omens suggest, Cancer, that you’re due for a similar transition. It’s time to take back some of the power that certain reliable authorities and experts have over you — and maybe to offer them a new position in which you’re less dependent on them.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The high point of my book tour was at the huge Barnes and Noble store in New York City. Over 200 people showed up. They listened intently, asked great questions, and bought 72 copies of my book, The Televisionary Oracle. The low point of the tour was in Atlanta, where nine folks straggled in to a small store in a strip mall just off the interstate. Total sales there: three. I’m proud to say, though, that I gave my best effort at both gigs. In Atlanta, I acted as if my tiny audience was just as important as the New York crowd. I hope my behavior can serve as an inspiration to you in the coming days, Leo, when you’ll face a similar test.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Now is actually a better time to trot out your New Year’s resolutions than Jan. 1. Here are a few to get you started. 1. Resolve to stop fantasizing about work while you’re making love. (Vice versa is OK, though.) 2. Resolve to learn the difference between puzzles that inspire you to mutate and boring riddles that numb your soul. 3. Resolve to stand on a hilltop and belly laugh in the direction of heaven until you have a spiritual orgasm. 4. Resolve not to let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do. 5. Just in case you are what you eat, resolve to eat chickens only if they’ve spent their lives running free.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Unexpected love songs are welling up within you, Libra — cries of the heart both ancient and fresh. Even if you can’t carry a tune, I urge you to unleash them with glee and ferocity. If they seem monstrous or mortifying at first, trust them to evolve. Surrender to whatever uncanny or clichéd lyrics spill forth from the abyss of your longing. You need this release, my dear. The future of your emotional health and wealth requires you to tap into the unquenchably joyful source of your deepest desires.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): At the bottom of a certain footlocker in a rundown garage at the edge of the city, there lies a fragment of magic that would change everything for you. If you communed with this thing even briefly, it would revolutionize your theories about how the world works. You would understand past events whose enigma has made it impossible to figure out the core purpose of your life. Alas, you will never locate this fragment of magic, Scorpio — not this week, not in a million years. Curiously, though, meditations you carry out in the coming days can achieve the same effect actually finding the thing. Visualize a vivid fantasy in which you track down and open up that footlocker.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Dear Rob Brezsny: I’m curious as to what you’re like in person. Sometimes you seem to have this 1970s Las Vegas detective persona — tinted shades, very charming with the ladies and popular with the men. Other times I get a time-traveler vibe, like you’re visiting from a tantric wizard commune a hundred years in the future. When’s your next public appearance? I want to meet you. -Sagittarian Explorer.”

Dear Sagittarian: I’m glad I’m a mystery to you. If I can avoid getting enmeshed in people’s expectations, I preserve my freedom to be myself and ensure that the gifts I give are inspired more by my desire to serve than by my ego’s tricks. That’s also a good theme for you Centaurs to meditate on now.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I predict this week will be a dicey but ultimately ennobling masterpiece featuring guest appearances by several members of your personal hall of fame — including one future star you don’t fully appreciate yet. The tone will be set when you change your relationship with the one thing that would be hardest to live without. Soon you’ll be invited to explore what’s way under the tip of the iceberg, and then to prove that freedom must be reinvented and reclaimed constantly.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Sworn any sacred oaths lately? Or are you more comfortable with short-term promises and fleeting sensations? Made any brave commitments to go deeper and farther than you’ve ever dared? Or do you prefer the cheap excitement of bouncing along from surprise to surprise without any game plan? Are you still too fidgety to begin your life’s work in earnest and too terrified of maturity to give up the obsessions that have both entertained you and driven you crazy all these years?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): To all of you with McJobs, I proclaim: There’s no excuse for you not getting a real job by next March. Start scheming about how to make it happen. To any of you who suffer from the enervating effect of McAmbitions and therefore aren’t bursting with energy every morning, I declare: Let the McFire in your belly die out. Then hunt down some better fuel and ignite a fresh blaze. To those of you who’ve risen to a position beyond your competence, I say: Don’t tolerate McSkills in yourself. Live up to higher standards, or else find capacities you’ll be more motivated to excel at.

Homework: What do you want to be when you grow up? Tell all at

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