FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, May 22, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): My friendís uncle, an Aries entrepreneur, is now in Iraq, investigating the possibility of building a Disneyland-like theme park in Baghdad by 2007. My masseuseís Aries cousin is hoping to become the first full-time clown in Antarctica; he has a patron who works for a British survey team there. Another Aries I know is a psychotherapist whoís seeking to donate his services in the civil-war-torn Congo. I nominate them all to be your role models. Itís time for you to consider plying your best skills in places youíve never imagined might need them.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Ancient Hawaiians liked to dive off cliffs into the ocean. A certain tall volcanic cinder cone in West Maui was a perfect place from which to jump, but everyone avoided it. Legend said it was taboo: ďthe leaping place of the soul,Ē where the recently dead ascended into the spirit world. But that all changed one day in the 19th century when a great warrior climbed to the top and plunged into the sea, shattering the taboo and mutating the myth. Since then, hundreds of other divers have tried it. You now have the courage and daring to make a comparable shift in the way things have always been done. Ready to shatter a taboo and mutate a myth?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Mokuola, a small island near the big island of Hawaii, was once reputed to have curative powers. Seekers in quest of healing had to help make the magic, though; they couldnít just lie back and expect the spirits of the place to do all the work. One way a visitor could ensure a long life, said the legend, was to swim underwater around the island three times. This emphasis on a participatory style of healing parallels a situation in your life. Although youíre now within reach of a rejuvenating influence, youíll have to collaborate with it aggressively to coax out its full benefits.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): On a gorgeous day a few weeks ago, my companion left her purse beneath the Western worldís biggest Buddha statue at a serene mission on Maui. Whoever found it chose not to return it. In contrast, on a chilly night last January, I lost my wallet on a litter-strewn street in a San Francisco slum. The woman who found it tracked me down by phone then drove 20 miles to deliver it to me. The moral of the story, as far as it applies to you in the coming week: Itís preferable to lose something of value in a poor, homely place than in a rich, beautiful place.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Even on Hawaiiís most elegant beaches, the water can be wild. Rip currents and rogue waves come out of nowhere, sweeping swimmers out to sea. Local inhabitants echo the travel guides: Never turn your back on the ocean. In general, itís wise to observe similar caution when dealing with any elemental force of nature. Nonetheless, this is one of those rare times when you Leos could actually get away with turning your back on the ocean, metaphorically speaking. Maybe thatís because you yourself are, for now, an elemental force of nature.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your sense of mission should be heating up. Your tribe needs you more than usual. Your potential is ripening just as it is becoming most useful to your cohorts. But wait: That does not mean your path will be effortless in the coming weeks. There will be adversaries and agents of confusion to outwit. In order to be a radiant instigator of beauty and truth for your allies and a cagey master of strategy with your competitors, I recommend the paradoxical approach Jesus described: Be as pure and harmless as a dove and as wise as a serpent.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I have fallen in love with the Hawaiian language. It doesnít matter that I donít understand the literal meaning of the words. The melodious, magical rhythms both soothe and stimulate. While listening to a native speaker, I perceive my surroundings more vividly. My defense mechanisms subside, my heart opens, and I relax into a more receptive relationship with the whole world. I predict that a similar mood will soon bless you, even if you donít hear Hawaiian. Expect a long surge of alert, empathetic curiosity.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A sailor on a submarine that bombed Iraq last March said that, in the days leading up to the attacks, the crewís entertainment was a steady diet of porn videos authorized by the top brass. He felt terribly conflicted about it. He believes that the war on Iraq was the right thing to do, but he hated this pathological approach to psyching up the troops. He refused to watch the porn and tried to talk other sailors into boycotting it. In the spirit of his integrity, I urge you to renounce the philosophy that the end justifies the means. You canít afford to do bad things in the name of following your heart.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Many of you Sagittarians have a tortured relationship with discipline. You know you need it to fill your life with epic adventure. But you sometimes resist planning ahead and marshalling your resources, feeling that would interfere with more immediate, short-term fun. Trouble is, without planning and marshalling, the short-term fun you get caught up in is often trivial and unsatisfying. The good news is, youíre in a phase when you can make a dramatic shift in your relationship to discipline, rendering most of what I just said irrelevant.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Suggested reading for the coming weeks: Dealing with People You Canít Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst, by Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner; Never Be Lied To Again, by David Lieberman; Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff, by Lori Baird; Everything You Know Is Wrong, by Russ Kick; Youíre a Genius ó And I Can Prove It! by Kimberly Kassner; and any journal entries or notes you wrote to yourself between March and May 2001.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Youíre entering puberty again! Congrats! Itíll be on a higher octave this time, so youíll have more savvy to deal with the hormonal rush. To ease this foray into serious goofiness, Iím happy to share the wisdom of sixth-grade girls, based on whatís scrawled on their backpacks and binders. Enjoy. Understand the groove. Wake up ó but not too fast, or you might hurt yourself. Question authority, including the authority that told you to question authority. Itís all so funny ó how can you not be laughing? When you shout ďhalaluya,Ē never spell it right. Live the freakiest truth. Give me chocolate or Iíll scream.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A German woman who recently died bequeathed her nephew $275,000. Trouble is, heís a homeless man who wanders around a lot. Executors of the womanís will have not yet been able to locate him. This resembles a situation in your own life, Pisces. Even now, a rich source of blessings is trying to track you down and attract your attention. So far youíve been oblivious. Letís hope you wake up to the presence of the gift very soon.

Homework: Make a list of your five top pleasures, then go out and find a brand-new one to be number six. Testify at

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