FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, August 20, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Warning! The following statements may pop into your head with annoying frequency in the coming week: “Sooner or later, everyone will find out how I’ve been faking it all these years.” “I’ll never have enough money.” “I’m afraid of change, even good change.” Listen closely, Aries: All those ideas are dirty lies. If I believed in the devil (I don’t), I’d say it was he who planted them in your mind. Fight back with a campaign of positive self-talk. Barrage yourself with uplifting affirmations like: “I face my fears with joyous courage.” “I turn apparent setbacks into juicy opportunities.” “I answer criticism with a vow to be my best.” “I am an amazingly gorgeous genius with great tricks up my sleeve.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I’m not suggesting you need a new soul mate. But if you do, this is the perfect moment to search for one. Hang out in unfamiliar territory where you will be fresh and curious — frontier zones where you’re likely to uncover secrets about who you really are. Or visit the Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet (, a clearinghouse for soul mates at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, Aug. 25-31. It offers “quality name-brand and private-label soul mates at substantially lower prices than can be found through conventional wholesale sources.” P.S. If you’re happy with your existing soul mate, infuse your bond with a concentrated dose of smart, loving creativity; it’s time to propel yourselves into the next phase of your relationship.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Robust singing skill is correlated with a strong immune system in songbirds. Male birds with the most extensive repertoire of tunes also have the largest spleens, a key measure of immune-system health. No one knows if a similar link exists in humans. But if it does, I expect you will be crooning with unrivaled beauty and power in the coming days. You are at the peak of your ability to fight off both physical and psychic “bugs.”

CANCER (June 21-July 22): So begins the information-gathering phase of your yearly cycle, Cancerian. You’ll align yourself with the cosmic flow whenever you engage in activities that excite your love of learning and enhance your skills as a student of life. Here’s a gem from poet Heather McHugh to inspire you: “The knowledge I’m interested in is not something you buy and then have and can be comfortable with. The knowledge I’m interested in keeps opening wider and wider, making me smaller and more amazed, until I see I cannot have it all — and then delight in that as a freedom.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Please muse a minute on the title of a book by Susan Harrow: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul: A Woman’s Guide to Promoting Herself, Her Business, Her Product, or Her Cause with Integrity and Spirit. I suggest you either consult this invigorating set of instructions, which works for men, too, or else create your own version of it. The omens say you’re primed to receive fresh intuitions about how to make money from doing what you love. (P.S. I don’t know Harrow personally and have no financial stake in her book.)

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Question: What lucky break could ensure you won’t keep missing the forest for the trees? Answer: finding a bird’s nest. Question: What soul medicine would be most effective in giving you access to your repressed intuition? Answer: reading mythic tales of resurrection. Question: What is the hardest yet most rewarding lesson you could learn right now? Answer: how to whistle with two fingers. Question: Where can you find a portal to another dimension? Answer: in your bedroom.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “You have to recognize the demons or else they’ll annoy you like mosquitoes,” poet James Broughton told interviewer Jack Foley. “But if you acknowledge their existence, if you say, ‘All right, here’s a cookie, go sit in the corner,’ then you can go about your work and you don’t have to go into depression because of it.” I suggest you follow Broughton’s advice, Libra. Neither ignore nor over-indulge those pesky voices in your head.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The Big Texas Steak Ranch restaurant in Amarillo has a standing offer to its customers: If you can eat its 4 1/2-pound steak in an hour without getting sick, the meal is free. Oh, and that includes the side dishes — salad, shrimp cocktail, baked potato, and roll. Only about one in six brave souls succeeds. Given your tribe’s current astrological omens, however, I think five out of six Scorpios could win the bet this week. Your appetite — for pleasure, wisdom, adventure, and self- transformation — is gargantuan.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): History is littered with the stories of people who didn’t have sufficient funds to manifest their brilliant ideas. Guglielmo Marconi is known as the inventor of the radio, but Mahlon Loomis created a wireless telegraph system two years before Marconi was even born. Unable to get financial backing, however, Loomis could not develop his innovation. I’m hoping, Sagittarius, that this story will prod you into realizing how important it is to feed your own dreams with all the money they deserve. Don’t let them languish as fantasy.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This Saturday I’ll leave for a visit to my version of paradise: the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. For eight utopian days, I’ll need no money and see no advertisements or tv. Exuberant works of art, erected in abundance throughout the seven-square-mile expanse, will feed my imagination. Half-naked dancing revelers who share my political and spiritual views will greet me everywhere I go. I’ll do workshops and performances for people who appreciate my peculiar brand of crazy wisdom. I think you would benefit from a similar pilgrimage, Capricorn, to the place you consider heaven on earth.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” is one of the most highly regarded musical compositions in history. Yet the score was lost for many years after Bach’s death in 1750. In 1829, composer Felix Mendelssohn rediscovered the manuscript being used as wrapping paper in an estate sale. He arranged for a public performance of the piece, and its revival began. In the coming week, Aquarius, I predict you’ll have a taste of the joy Mendelssohn must have experienced. In an unlikely place with seemingly low value, you will find a neglected treasure.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Your thought for the week comes from French writer Alexander Dumas. “If you give the impression that you need something, you will get nothing,” he said. “To make money you have to appear to be rich.” The best way to get what you desire, in other words, is to be confident that you deserve it. Don’t dwell on how needy you are. This doesn’t mean you should water down the intensity of your longing. But make sure you are propelled by a certainty that you will ultimately be fulfilled.

Homework: Be inspired by this wisdom from Picasso: “I am always doing that which I cannot do in order that I may learn how to do it.” Report your findings to

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