FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, February 6, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries Actress Lara Flynn Boyle was a presenter at the Golden Globes Awards ceremony on Jan. 19. She wore a pink ballerina outfit, complete with tutu, that was appropriate for an 8-year-old girl doing a dance recital. Despite her comical get-up, Boyle never cracked a hint of a smile while on camera. Her expression was at best piercing, at worst glowering. There seemed, in other words, a huge discrepancy between the desire for fun, as suggested by her costume, and her almost scary intensity. In contrast to Boyle’s inability to synthesize the two sides of her Aries nature, I hope you will find the perfect blend of ferocious concentration and cheerful friskiness in the coming week.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Many college football bowl games now include their corporate sponsors in their names: the FedEx Orange Bowl and Nokia Sugar Bowl, for instance. Some financially strapped public schools in my area may soon go the same route, becoming Toyota Heritage High School and Washington Middle School Sponsored by Nike. This is an excellent time for you Tauruses to look for a comparable branding opportunity. Maybe you could get a playground or park bench or bridge named after you. The power to stamp your identity on your environment is at a peak.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “Dear Dr. Brezsny: I’ve been told by astrologers that I’m a natural money magnet. So why am I still poor? I pray constantly to the Almighty for financial help, and twice a week I buy lottery tickets. But no luck has come my way! Please tell me whether I will win the lottery. Better yet, give me the magic winning numbers. — Gemini Who’s Crazy for Green.” Dear Crazy: You’ll never win the lottery with your current approach. The only chance you have to generate luck of that magnitude will be if you work your ass off for the next two years to create your dream job.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Biologists have long believed that if a species accidentally develops a new characteristic but then fails to incorporate it as a vital feature, it loses it. Recently, however, researchers have begun to question this tenet. They’ve found evidence that the “walking stick” insects known as phasmids have, over the last 300 million years, lost their wings because of disuse but then re-evolved them. I bring this up in the hope that it will encourage you, Cancerian, to recognize a similar improbability in your own life: The omens say you’re about to get a second chance to capitalize on an advantage you allowed to atrophy in the past.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Have you ever felt a tension between your drive to be yourself and your longing to be in love? I’m guessing you did last September, when Jupiter and Neptune were opposite each other in the sky. But when the same planetary scenario recurs in the coming days, I suspect you’ll be shown a way to resolve that tension. And in early June, when Jupiter and Neptune take on the same configuration a third and last time, I predict you’ll have a breakthrough in which you dramatically harmonize your drive to express your unique beauty and your urge to blend your life with another’s.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Perfumes to avoid in the coming week if you’re female: Addict by Christian Dior; Envy by Gucci; Baby Doll by Yves Saint Laurent. Perfumes that will bring luck and intelligence: Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden; Intuition by Estee Lauder; Vivid by Liz Claiborne. Colognes to avoid if you’re male: Obsession by Calvin Klein; Mania by Giorgio Armani; Egoiste by Chanel. Colognes that will inspire good fortune and insight: Truth by Calvin Klein; Wings by Giorgio Beverly Hills; Safari by Ralph Lauren; Horizon by Guy Laroche. (P.S. All the scent names listed should also be regarded as metaphors.)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In ancient Rome, it was compulsory for everyone to learn how to gamble and throw dice from a young age. The ancient Greek legal system made it a criminal offense to remain sober during the yearly festival of Dionysus. In this tradition, I’m issuing the following cosmic mandate: You must enjoy sexual pleasure in abundance during the coming week. Two corollaries: Your quest for erotic joy must be free of compulsive behavior. And you must use all your Libran ingenuity to do this with a spirit of love, fun, and generosity.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It’s not easy to become yourself. Most people never figure out the trick. That’s usually because they have an unreliable connection with the one source that offers unfailing guidance: the still, small voice within. They’re distracted by the din of mildly interesting but useless information that overflows our culture. You, on the other hand, are always pretty hot on the trail of your real identity. That’s one of the perks of being born a Scorpio. In coming weeks you’ll be able to fine-tune your personal homing beacon. Prepare to receive instructions on how to become yourself twice as fast.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I suspect that in most professions, from astrology to medicine to engineering to poetry, practitioners are similarly distributed among the bad, below-average, mediocre, good and master categories. You shouldn’t assume that just because a doctor has 15 years’ experience, he’ll be able to help you; nor should you hand over your fate to the first astrologer whose ad attracts you. This principle will be especially important to observe in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. Temper your native optimism with a robust dose of discrimination. Don’t just question authority; question every assumption, façade, spin, and official stance.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “You’re a flash-in-the-pan, Brezsny. I’ll still be here inspiring readers with my astrological advice long after you’re gone.” A competitor flung that curse at me more than two decades ago. It angered me, and motivated me to make sure that his hateful remark would never come true. My detractor died in the early 1990s, never having fulfilled his vow. I felt no joy in his demise; on the contrary, I’ve always been grateful that he helped inspire my tenacity. This week, Capricorn, think of a comparable curse laid upon you at some point. What have you done to neutralize it, and what spectacular magic can you pull off to escape it forever in the coming days?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Chances are good you’ll dream of being naked in public sometime soon. This will be a relatively bad omen if it involves shame, but a very good omen if your predominant emotion in the dream is fun-loving pride. In either case, the dream will signify your readiness — and urgent need — to reveal more of who you really are in waking life. P.S. For those of you with an ability to induce lucid dreams, here are two recommendations: Dream of being gleefully naked while delivering a stirring report on eagles to your high school class; dream of being naked and wearing a crown of roses as you do what you do best in front of an equally naked audience.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): According to my reading of the cosmic omens, you should take your inspiration from France’s King Louis XIV (1638-1715), who often conducted court business while seated on his toilet, which he regarded as his alternate throne. I’m not suggesting that you literally imitate the royal custom, Pisces, but I do recommend you carry out an approximate metaphorical equivalent: As you carry on your business and social affairs in the coming week, eliminate waste and toxins.

Homework: Send your tricks for cultivating non-sappy happiness and unsentimental sublimity to me at

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