FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, August 8, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): To ease yourself into alignment with the astrological rhythms, give each of your two closest companions a gift — something to fire up their ambitions, not appeal to their urge for comfort. It shouldn’t be a practical necessity or ho-hum consumer fetish, but rather an adult toy or provocative tool. It should be an extravagantly beautiful thing that expands their self-image, a surprising intervention that says, “I love the way you change me.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Close your eyes and visualize yourself taking a walk in nature. Feel the resilient strength of your leg muscles, the air on your face, the rhythmic swing of your arms. Gaze slightly upward, taking in the far horizon and the sweep of the sky. Now imagine that at a certain point, the wind becomes noticeably stronger. Tree branches begin to wave and whoosh. Instinctively, your pulse quickens, your flesh prickles with alertness. But of course there’s no danger. What you’re experiencing is a primal excitement at the growing energy around you, a heightened awareness of the sheer aliveness of the world. This is a perfect metaphor for the turning point that will arrive this week.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Many Geminis are almost too multi-talented for their own good. One of my friends is a fine actress, singer, dancer, and poet. Another has expertise in forestry, medieval music, city planning, and graphic arts. Finding it difficult to concentrate on just one field of endeavor, they never get really polished at any one thing and have trouble earning a wage commensurate with their talent. If this describes, you, Gemini, you’ll find it far less painful — possibly even pleasurable — in coming months to commit to a single path.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Production should have already begun for the new crop of dramas to be unveiled in September. To my chagrin, though, you haven’t even decided on the scripts yet! Better make your choices soon, Cancerian. Personally, I hope you pass up the story about the bright light who prostitutes her talent for fear of failing in her quest for her real dream. Ditto the show about the moody innocent who turns down a whirlwind journey to stay in his safe little cave. The best script, in my opinion, is the reality show in which the hero bravely struggles to balance her security needs with her longings for adventure.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I foresee a future when women will fill half of all leadership roles instead of 10 percent, when their earnings and time spent doing child care will equal men’s, when women’s orgasms are as frequent as men’s, and when a majority of guys understand that misogyny is hazardous to their own health. Until that glorious day, I urge all of you Leos, regardless of gender, to work with tender ingenuity to stir up and flesh out female power. To do so will be especially rewarding in the coming weeks. Your intelligence, sex appeal, and happiness will flourish in direct proportion.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Looks like the Season of a Million Emotions hasn’t wiped you out completely. Though it may be hard to tell because of the puddles of tears by your bed and the piles of ashes from your burnt offerings, you’ve managed to maintain a modicum of poise. I mean, for once you’re not spitting into the wind and throwing stones at heaven while trying to dance naked on the roof with a hangover, right? If you can just hold on to your sanity for another eight days or so, you’ll finally graduate from the University of Senseless Pain, where you’ve been matriculating for way too long.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You’re climaxing a phase of development that’s been unfolding for many moons. By October, you’ll have tied up loose ends and launched a whole new cycle. Now, while you’re basking here in the glow of your full bloom, you’d be wise to wrap things up with a flourish. What beauty do you want to leave behind as you depart from this era? What blessings will you bequeath to express your gratitude for the experiences that have shaped you?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I predict you will soon win at least one of the following: a MacArthur “genius award,” a blue ribbon from a local fair, a Nobel Prize, an all-A’s report card, an honorary degree from a major university, a plaque commemorating your service beyond the call of duty. If for some reason my prediction doesn’t come true, you have cosmic permission to forge homemade versions of any of the above. Or, buy yourself the biggest, shiniest item in the trophy store and get it engraved with a title like “Supreme Champion Love God/Goddess” or “Deepest Feeler of the Year.”

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): One of the advantages of being an astrologer is that when I’m tired of being myself, I can easily take a vacation. My knowledge of the zodiac allows me to slip away from the claustrophobic confines of my own horoscope and impersonate other astrological configurations. Inevitably, I return from this sabbatical with a renewed love for the unique puzzle that is my innate personality. I recommend that you take a similar break in the coming week, Sagittarius. To get started, I dare you to follow the advice in at least three of the other signs’ horoscopes.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Where two tributaries of a river blend into one: That’s one of your power spots this week. Where the tree meets the ground is another magic symbol, along with the shared boundary of cloud and sky, the double darkness where your shadow overlaps a friend’s, and the sweet spiral time when night gives way to the dawn. In conclusion, Capricorn, you will find your ripest inspiration in liminal areas; you’ll find the truths you need most wherever one web of mystery merges with another.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In second grade I got the best grades in my class and was extremely polite and well behaved. So my fellow students were shocked when I perfected the art of making farting noises by cupping my hand in my underarm and rapidly squeezing. I could do it so sneakily that my teacher never guessed the source. In retrospect, I regard this as a sign of great wisdom, a recognition that being good all the time can be dangerous to one’s mental health — we all have a dark side that needs to be exercised now and then. Learn from my example, Aquarius. In coming weeks, find or create a safe place for your evil twin to get its yayas out: something resembling a gym or playpen.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Further signs that the apocalypse may have already occurred: 1. An environmental organization sent me five free Jennifer Lopez-themed refrigerator magnets to promote a new ecological initiative. 2. A blind German psychic has announced that he can divine the future by fondling people’s naked butts. 3. Recent polls report that most Americans find vacations exhausting and debilitating. 4. My mother just got her first toe ring and my dad announced he believes that “everyone is a performance artist.” 5. The Piscean tribe is finally ready to discover why there is rowdy, regenerative power in proclaiming to the world, “I am empty of all hope and I don’t know anything!”

Homework: What’s the title of the book you’d like to write? What’s the name of the rock band you’d be in? What do you call your guardian angel? Testify at

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