FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, June 25, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Buddhism’s holiest objects are ringsel, pearly deposits left behind by dead saints who’ve been cremated. I recently visited a collection of these. There I read, “The ringsel are of unimaginable benefit for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Their power does not depend on the viewer having faith in them.” Though I am not a Buddhist and was skeptical, I soon changed my mind. As I sat in the presence of the ringsel, I was flooded with useful insights, including a solution to my longest-running problem. I predict a similar experience for you, Aries. You’ll soon receive a blessing from a visitation whose magic you don’t believe in.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If an infinite number of monkeys typed for an infinite number of days on an infinite number of typewriters, they might produce all the works of Shakespeare, as well as the following apt advice for you in the coming week: You could let your monkey mind jabber on forever; you could allow it to spew out a million options about how to deal with your most pressing dilemma, hoping that one will be the answer you desperately need. But there is a better option: Dive down into your deep eternal self and open yourself gladly to its clear, simple wisdom about what to do.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don’t bother looking for help from great minds and deep thoughts this week. You’re in a “folk wisdom” phase, when the only counsel of any use will be the goofy brilliance that now and then gurgles up out of that vast compost heap known as mass culture. Here, for instance, are the bumper-sticker slogans most in alignment with your astrological needs: “I will not obsess. I will not obsess. I will not obsess.” “We all have problems. Mine are just more important than yours.” “If all the world’s a stage, I’ll be needing more wardrobe.” “Excuse me. I’m off to see the wizard.”

CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you choose to take the following prescription seriously, consider regarding it as a metaphor, not as a call for concrete action. Or if you do decide to treat it as a call for concrete action, do not carry it out in such a way that would scare people or destroy property belonging to anyone but yourself. Got all that? OK. Here we go: My reading of the astrological omens tells me that the most empowering ritual you could perform in the coming week is to kick in a locked door.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): A few months ago there was an awkward situation at the San Francisco Zoo. Two tigers were completely psyched out by an oil painting of another tiger. They seemed to regard the 8-foot piece of art on the wall of their home as a giant, ghostly competitor. Whenever they came close to it, their eyes bulged, their mouths gaped, and their ears retracted. Sadly, this reminds me of you lately, Leo. A mere picture that exists only in your mind’s eye has you all messed up. It’s high time to reclaim your regal authority over it and any other images that intimidate you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The World Health Organization says a good diet should consist of no more than 10 percent sugar. Lobbyists for the sugar industry maintain that you’ll be fine if 25 percent of your food and drink contains their favorite product. In regard to your current needs, Virgo, I disagree with both assessments. Since you’re in a phase when you need to toughen up, strengthen your will, and think leaner and meaner, I believe you should temporarily limit your sugar intake to 3 percent or less.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): This is the right astrological moment to raise the bar and up the ante, to throw your weight around and kick some butt, to call in favors and claim your rewards, to make everything official and seal the deal, to assume a new title and create your own rite of passage. Don’t wait around for VIPs or authorities to initiate any of this; don’t fantasize about what “fate” intends or whether you should prepare a little longer. The time is now. The place is here.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): At an outdoor party, the host’s German shepherd dropped something at my feet. It was a tiny twig. It dawned on me that the dog wanted to play fetch. I plucked the twig off the ground and threw it as far as I could—only about two feet; it wasn’t heavy enough to go far. The dog moseyed over, delicately snagged it in his teeth, and returned to me for another round. I was mystified. Why didn’t he bring me a decent-sized stick so we could have more fun ? I pose an analogous question to you: Isn’t it time to expand the parameters of your favorite game?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In his book, On the Road to Baghdad: A Picaresque Novel of Magical Adventures, Guneli Gun analyzes what’s wrong with everything. “The world is run by those who can’t make love,” one of his characters says, “or those who do it badly. That’s why the world is in trouble.” I agree. People who want to become better leaders would be smart to purge their negative imprints about sex and improve their lovemaking skills. You’ve already gone pretty far in that work, but there’s room for improvement. This is a perfect astrological moment to boost your political and social authority by enhancing your mastery of the erotic arts.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Kary Mullis is the only Nobel Prize-winning scientist ever to assert that astrology is valid. He’s also the most distinguished Capricorn in history to describe a close encounter with a UFO. When he’s not doing pioneering research on the human genome, he enjoys life as a surfer, lover, and shamanic adventurer. His autobiography, Dancing Naked in a Mind Field, reveals his open mind and skepticism. I suggest you make Mullis your role model for now. Imitate everything about his spirit, including the way he blends intellectual discipline and curiosity.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It’s time once again to evaluate the quality of your emotional pain. Every year, I ask you to take inventory, to determine how you’re progressing in your efforts to cultivate useful suffering and avoid the useless stuff. So how have you been doing? Are you getting better at steering clear of boring torments you’ve repeated a thousand times? Have you made yourself less susceptible to being hurt by ignorant, careless people? Can you shake off the effects of relatively trivial trouble? Do you find yourself drawn to fascinating angst that compels you to become smarter and more resourceful?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Fertility clinics in the U.S. are filled to the brim with frozen human embryos. Forty thousand would-be fetuses are now on ice, waiting for a go-ahead from the couples that spawned them. This backlog of potential life in limbo reminds me of you, Pisces. If you could get access to the parts of your imagination that are immobilized by fear, you’d become a powerhouse of focused creativity. I’m happy to tell you that this is a perfect time to do just that.

Homework: Imagine your future self has sent you a message through time. What does it say?

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