FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, October 10, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Jungian analyst Arnold Mindell is a pioneer in exploring the relationship between mind and body. He believes you can achieve optimum physical health if you’re devoted to shedding outworn and rigid self-images. Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw, agrees. Raised as a male, she later changed into a female, but ultimately renounced gender altogether. “It gives me a lot of room to play around,” she says. Few of us can manage this level of commitment to staying fresh, but we have phases when it’s easier to come close. That’s exactly where you are now, Aries. For inspiration, read Break the Mirror, a book of poems by a wandering fool with no worldly goods, Nanao Sakaki.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest invites good writers to compete in creating awful prose. This year Rephah Berg won with this passage: “Angela perceived that her relationship with Tom had always been rocky, not quite a roller-coaster ride but more like when the toilet-paper roll gets squashed so it hangs crooked and every time you pull some off you can hear the rest going bumpity-bumpity in its holder until you go nuts and push it back into shape, a degree of annoyance that Angela had now almost attained.” If you can perform a similar goofy desecration of the thing you do or love best, with a tender intention to take yourself less seriously, you’ll awaken dormant power in the thing you do or love best.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): According to music critic Jon Pareles, “A great rock song is a good tune plus some inspired irritant — a shout, a noise, an enigmatic line, a raucous solo.” Let that theme be your guide in the coming week, Gemini. You’re at the peak of your ability to create catalytic beauty, but you’re most likely to get the responses you crave only if you add a feisty bite to your self-expression.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): What are you waiting for? The perfect moment? The last straw? The hand of fate? I don’t want to hurt your feelings, Cancerian, but I must tell you that all your waiting is in vain. The magic intervention you are sitting around hoping for, that would do your work for you, will never happen. The minute you take your destiny in your own hands, you’ll realize exactly what you need to do in order to succeed without the perfect moment, last straw, or hand of fate.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You’ve probably seen the bumper sticker that says, “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” But it won’t be of use to you in the coming months, Leo. You’re not going to die, and besides, your toys won’t be a good measure of your success. What will be? Your determination to keep ruthlessly editing your to-do list so that it contains only the few things that are truly important and fun. Here’s your official slogan, courtesy of motivational specialist Barbara Sher: “She who lives with the shortest to-do list, wins.”

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The other night I met a Navajo medicine woman who showed me the “squat of power” practiced by the Pleiadean star people. She said it would free me of any urge to watch tv, and it did. She also gave me a karma-free spell to unbind me from my enemies (it worked!), and slipped me some hot financial tips she’d gleaned from a departed spirit that used to work at Goldman Sachs. Sorry I can’t reveal any of these useful hints to you, Virgo; the medicine woman swore me to secrecy. Don’t feel deprived, though: You’ll soon tap into equally exotic sources that will provide you with equally practical advice.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): As delicious as the soup will be, it might have a fly floating in it. Though the new paint job will for the most part be expertly done, I bet there’ll be a flaw in the perfect sheen. Well-laid plans may proceed with alacrity right up to the moment when a key player hiccups during a critical course-correction. Do not, however, misread the overall omens, Libra. They’re mostly pretty sweet. A smudge in the halo is not a sign of evil incarnate, but of goodness pushing for more wildness.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Omigod. How much longer can you wrestle with the confounding angel? How much more melodrama can you wade through without becoming a daytime tv junkie, your curtains drawn and empty cookie packages piling up? Will there ever be an end to the soul-boggling, gut-jiggling education? Rather than guessing at the answers, Scorpio, I’ll remind you of the vow you took before you were born: “My elixir of life will never taste like sugar water, but will always be a blend of at least 77 mouth-watering, high-potency, profanely sacred ingredients!”

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarian Janos Bolyai was born in Transylvania in 1802. By age 20 he was an accomplished violinist, mathematical prodigy, skilled linguist, and the best swordsman and dancer in the Austrian Imperial army. At that time, he wrote a 26-page paper that was tacked on as an appendix to a long mathematical textbook penned by his father. The contribution turned out to be revolutionary. Long after his dad’s tome was forgotten, Janos’ short treatise helped lay the foundations for a complete system of non-Euclidian geometry. I’d like to make him your patron saint for the next six weeks. I believe that you, too, are primed to create a landmark that’ll turn out to be more influential than what seems important now.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Maybe you have faithfully acted on my counsel for years, and yet have still not become rich, married a gorgeous genius, or been profiled for your brilliance by The New York Times. Is it time for you to move on to a more useful prophet? If those are your most cherished aspirations, I do suggest you re-evaluate your relationship with me. If on the other hand you’d like to master the art of being happy no matter what your external circumstances, stick around. The opportunities to do that will be especially good this week.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Is there anything you can do to attract heavenly grace? Can you coax God into granting you sweet favors by being a really nice person who follows all the rules? Some theologians say, “no way.” In their view, the gift of grace is a product of divine whim and can neither be cultivated nor predicted. Others timidly suggest there is a possibility that good works can stimulate the Creator’s generosity. I suspect, Aquarius, that you’ll soon be visited by an act of mercy that looks suspiciously like supernatural kindness. So you tell me: Have you earned it, or are you simply a random beneficiary?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You should now have your sixth sense trained on the corrupt entity you want to overthrow. Your spies should have fully infiltrated the inner circle. Your intelligence reports, I hope, are streaming in. Soon it’ll be time to gather your top allies for one last pep talk and strategy session. I suggest you plan the coup for sometime between Oct. 11 and 18. Add this counsel to your data: Listen to what has not been said. Watch what has not been done. In absence and silence you will find out the rest of what you need to know.

Homework: We all have a war going on inside ourselves. What’s yours? Is it a just and fruitful war or a senseless and wasteful war? Tell all at

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