FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, September 24, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This is a perfect moment for you to become more receptive. That doesn’t mean you should become a lazy do-nothing, bereft of goals, waiting around passively for whatever happens to come along. The receptivity I’m advocating is ferocious — a robust readiness to be surprised and moved, a vigorous intention to be awake to truths you don’t expect and can’t control. When you’re truly receptive, you have strong ideas, a powerful will, and a passion for disseminating your unique blessings. But you also know you have a lot to learn and that new teaching might come from unimaginable sources.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): At the recent Burning Man festival, I faced a dicey dilemma: what to do with my eyes as I talked with the many women who wore no clothes above the waist? At first I kept my gaze above their necks. Then I decided that was silly; their breasts were on view. But I didn’t want to be sneaky. Ultimately, I asked each woman for permission to indulge in a brief ogle. That way we could get past the issue and conduct our conversations in peace. They all thought this was a sensible approach. I hope this tale will inspire you to deal expeditiously with the 900-pound gorilla in the corner of your world.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “If I keep the green bough in my heart,” says the Chinese proverb, “the singing bird will come.” Have you been cultivating the green bough in your heart, Gemini? Even when the world around you has been a barren wasteland? If so, the singing bird will alight on your inviting perch very soon. If you haven’t, get to work immediately and the singing bird may yet arrive by mid-October.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I predict that in the coming week you will be invited to partake in a mythic feast. While a gourmet meal may be involved, the essence of the experience will be metaphorical food that nourishes your soul. This uncannily satisfying sustenance will, for all intents and purposes, be a gift from eternity — a blessing that comes from outside of time. It will be intimately meaningful for the person you are now, but even more so for the person you are striving to become.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If you’re fascinated by really big secrets, it will be a banner week for digging up suppressed evidence about the lies and deceptions your government is trying to get away with. If mid-sized secrets are more your style, it’ll be a good time to uncover the inner workings of your social circle, place of employment, or local scene. And if you’re turned on by small, subtle secrets, this is a perfect moment to find out what you’ve been hiding from yourself.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Please remember that you are not competing in a sprint, Virgo. You are running a marathon. Pace yourself; do not be overly concerned about the fast-starters who have sped ahead of you. I also advise you to clear your beautiful mind of envy and self-doubt, as well as the pushy expectations of people who don’t know the intricacies of what you’re doing. Most importantly, use your fine mind to figure out how to be motivated by pleasure, not pressure.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Here are tasks you should studiously avoid in the coming week: painting the bathroom, fixing the smoke alarm, changing the light in the hallway, getting an air freshener for the car, and buying new batteries for the remote control. According to my analysis, you should instead seek out the following kinds of experiences: Delight in your sudden access to spiritual resources that have been closed to you, commune with beauty that does not depend on artifice, and capitalize on your new ability to change something about your life that you thought would remain stuck forever.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): On the eve of the American Revolution in 1775, Paul Revere rode from Charlestown to Lexington, warning that British troops were on their way. Last night I dreamed of you as a modern Paul Revere. Instead of yelling “The British are coming!” you were shouting “The smiling agents of confusion are coming!” What could that mean? It could mean that, in your waking life, you should expose the dangers posed by fuzzy-brained catalysts, no matter how well-intentioned they might seem, or that you should watch out for polite manipulators who use sweet charm to get their selfish way.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): My friend Jane Heaven lives by a motto that would be a good tonic for you this week: “the ruthless truth, kindly told.” In other words, it won’t be smart or effective for you merely to expose the sticky subtexts that everyone’s trying to avoid. You’ll have to convey those unsettling revelations with all the tender compassion you can muster. Expressions of tough love will be half-assed unless the love is at least twice as big as the toughness.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Artist Jeff Koons, author Martin Amis, and musician Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs once had a genius for knowing how the times were changing,” wrote Nicholas Blincoe. “They always managed to stay ahead of the curve. Then, suddenly, instead of surfing the waves, they scrambled for dry land. Each tried to conjure up stability and solidity through ... monumental undertakings. They lost their former lightness and fluidity, becoming mired in pomposity.” Think about that. Every successful person has to periodically negotiate that very turning point. We’re tempted to cling to the winning formula, but this is a perfect time to release your dependence on past triumphs and go off in quest of fresh magic.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It’ll be a good week to do the following: play soccer in the kitchen with Barbie doll heads, awaken to salsa music and start dancing while you’re still half-asleep, get the equivalent of a first kiss or a last laugh, seek a mystical sign from an enigmatic saint with a wry smile, upgrade your graffiti-scrawling skills, join the campaign to change the name of the Pentagon to the Emma Goldman World Cathedral of Ecofeminist Goddess Worship, and be a vivid embodiment of Deena Metzger’s idea that “Beauty appears when something is completely and absolutely and openly itself.”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Have you ever played the game of scar secrets? Do it when you want to break through to a deeper level of intimacy. “How’d you get that blotch on your knee?” he or she begins, and you describe the time in childhood when you fell out of a tree onto the sidewalk. Or “Why do you always look so sad when you hear that song on the radio?” And you say it was playing when an old flame broke your heart. This can continue until you unveil the entire history of your hurts, physical and psychic. Treat yourself to this ritual in the coming week, Pisces. The omens suggest you can achieve a miraculous healing in the presence of a good listener who is curious about your mysteries and skilled at helping you find redemption in your wounds.

Homework: Comment on Nietzsche’s belief that “One must have chaos within oneself if one is to be a dancing star.” Testify at

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