FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednedday, June 13, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Have you had any productive fantasies about faraway places, exotic sanctuaries, or mercurial X-factors lately? Have you sent messages to freedom fighters, remote beauties, or high-flying networkers? Have you been monitoring the progress of unsung helpers, dark horses, or unification specialists flying under the radar? I’m hinting, Aries, that in the near future everything will come in threes — except when they come in twos, and that’ll mean you should track down the missing third. There are no other general rules, except this: Don’t make the call of the wild wait and wait and wait.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It looks like the war in heaven has been downgraded to a mere skirmish in your mind. And even that may soon be winding down into a kind of pillow fight. Already I can envision the lonely bull and sacred cow striking up a hot bargain over a soundtrack of futuristic love songs. Already I foresee the red-eyed angel apologizing for the rude oversights and coming to fling a few blessings on anyone who’s alert enough to grab them.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The Amish’s strict customs dramatically set them apart from the rest of us. In a quest for simplicity, they refrain from driving cars or using electricity, alcohol, or drugs. Even battery-operated tv’s are taboo, since they’d allow Amish households to be invaded by our culture’s vulgarity. Yet these understated folks also have a tradition called rumspringa, or “running around.” At age 16, every member of the community is given the opportunity to try on the values of the outside world. If after a period of carousing they decide they prefer the quiet life, they’re welcomed back. I encourage you to consider going on your own version of rumspringa in coming weeks, Gemini. Escape from familiar customs and try on beliefs and styles you’ve always wondered about.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Writing for, Christian Rudder asserts that, besides 34 words for snow, Eskimos have 47 terms meaning, “This sucks.” I hope this serves as inspiration for your new assignment, Cancerian: Set aside an hour when you will perform a Ritual of Arrrrgggghhhhh. Express every last drop of disgust, resentment, self-pity, irritation, and anger that is infecting your beautiful organism. Come up with 47 ways to express the sentiment, “This sucks.” By thoroughly disgorging the backlog of toxic psychic waste, you will create a clean, empty space into which sweet blessings can flow in coming weeks.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Now in his 80s, Jim Bellows served as an editor for several influential American newspapers. Recently he published a book about his legendary career. It’s ambitiously called The Last Editor: How I Saved the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times from Dullness and Complacency. Please borrow the spirit of Bellows’ subtitle, Leo. For a while, name your own life something like How I Saved Everyone I Like — and Even Some People Who Annoy Me — from Dullness, Complacency, Mediocrity, and Apathy.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “My house is stuck in fast forward,” begins a sixth-grade student’s essay. “The moment you walk in, you are sucked into another dimension. It reeks with sound and motion. Stillness does not exist. TVs are babbling without being watched. Music is blaring without being heard. Tomorrow night’s dinner is cooking. Schedules on the wall shout deadlines through 2004.” I present this testimony, Virgo, in the hope that it will move you to undo anything in your own sphere that resembles the mood it describes. You can’t be even mildly successful in the coming weeks unless you slowwwww wwwwway down.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I love how undignified some spectators allow themselves to be at professional sports events. With no concern for others’ opinions of them, they wear giant foam rubber hats resembling cheese wedges. They paint their bellies with the home team’s insignia, scream nonsense words, and wave their arms in frantic salutes. I suspect that some of these folks might be bodhisattvas in disguise — wise tricksters modeling the beauty and power of being oblivious to appearing foolish. Because you’re in a phase of your astrological cycle when it’s crucial not to take anything too seriously, Libra, I recommend this approach to you for now.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Believing in things you can’t see may sometimes be hazardous to your intelligence, but then so is a fanatical faith in the infallibility of the scientific method. This theme will be especially apropos for you in the coming week, Scorpio, when superstitious spouters of mumbo-jumbo will fight it out with know-it-alls who try to cloak their irrationality and emotional biases in reasonable language. As a truth-lover, Scorpio, you should take the middle path between frothy believers and dogmatic skeptics. Be both a practical mystic and a lover of supple objectivity.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If I hung out with you this week, Sagittarius, I’d probably feel a mix of fascination, agitation, sweetness, and confusion. It might be like lounging in a hot tub while hassling on the phone with a friend whose feelings I’d hurt. Or like dancing all night around a beach bonfire with my tribe, knowing that my landlord had given me notice and I had to start looking for a new place to live. Being with you in the coming days might resemble eating pizza-flavored ice cream or watching “Fear Factor” on tv with the sound off while listening to a New Age meditation c.d. No, my dear, you definitely won’t be boring.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I’m here today to read you your rights, Capricorn: 1. You have the right to prove you’re not chicken without actually playing chicken. 2. You have the right to put fewer hours into building other people’s fantasies and more hours into building your own. 3. You have the right to stop trying to meet the right people in the wrong places. 4. You have the right to remain silent, but I wouldn’t advise it. 5. You have the right to ignore the flavor of the week so you’ll be fully available when the tough love opportunity of the year comes along.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The brilliant San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll recently corrected some misinformation he’d provided in an earlier piece. “My dreamy view of the dissent during the Civil War was perhaps just a tiny bit completely wrong,” he noted, then went on to admit that President Lincoln had ruthlessly quashed dissidents. “My apologies to the truth,” Carroll concluded. I love that line. It suggests the truth is a living entity with which one can have a relationship. I urge you, Aquarius, to have a long conversation with the truth about recent developments. You could start with something like, “I never knew how gorgeous and sexy you are.”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I’ve noticed an uncanny uniformity of theme arising in the Piscean experience lately. Many members of the Fish tribe have been seeking my help in addressing what they have variously called “an ambition deficiency,” “a missing rung on the ladder of success,” and “a lagging fire in the belly.” Here’s my counsel: Tune in intensely to your feeling of alarm about the deficit. It’s the best possible way to activate your sleeping reserves of ingenuity and passion. In other words, the best cure for your lack of motivation is to get upset about it.

Homework: Compare the person you are now with the person you were two years ago today. Make a list of the five most important differences between the two. Testify at

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