FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Wednesday, February 27, 2003

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Is hope overrated? While hope can provide consolation when life is painful, the Sufi poet Rumi suggested that it may not be a help in finding a cure. “When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,” he wrote, “dig a way out through the bottom to the ocean. There is a secret medicine given only to those who hurt so hard they cannot hope. The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.” I advise you, Aries, to let hopelessness be your guide in the coming week.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Some astrologers theorize that there’s an undiscovered planet called Vulcan, whose orbit is inside that of Mercury, undetected by scientists because of the sun’s obliterating blaze. In Roman mythology, Vulcan, the god of metalworking, created useful and beautiful tools for himself and the other gods, from his forge beneath the earth. The astrologers who propose the existence of Vulcan say the planet is the ruler of Taurus. I bring this to your attention because it so happens that you’re poised to channel its influence with maximum strength in the coming weeks. Try this meditation: Visualize yourself wielding controlled fire to forge beautiful and useful things for you and your powerful allies.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Each year the science magazine, Annals of Improbable Research, awards “Ig Nobel Prizes” to imaginative eccentrics. A prize in chemistry was once given to researchers who discovered that romantic infatuation is biochemically indistinguishable from obsessive-compulsive disorder; other prizes have gone to the “Stalin World” amusement park, software that can detect a cat walking on a computer keyboard, and a report on “Courtship Behavior of Ostriches Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions.” If it were up to me, Gemini, I’d give you an Ig Nobel Prize for what you’re about to do: pulling off an entertaining feat that first makes people laugh, then makes them think.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Do you have a lucky number? Many people do. Some decide on theirs by choosing a number that figured prominently in one of their life’s turning points. Others arrive at it by adding the digits of their birthdate, or by taking the numerological value of their names. So-called “master numbers” like 22, 33, and 55 are favorites, too. Personally, I have two special numbers: 23 zillion and 3.1415926, the value of pi. I hope this whets your imagination, Cancerian. Your fortunes are changing, and it would be a good time to pick a new lucky number — as well as a new power animal, initiation name, and talismanic symbol.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The most dangerous frame of mind for you in the next six weeks would be utter certainty. Your long-term interests will suffer if you act the know- it-all, fixated on seemingly foolproof theories. On the other hand, if you’re willing to question everything you think you know, robust health and emotional wealth will surely be yours. A ritual to set the mood: Put angel food cake and devil’s food cake on a plate, then take five bites of each while intoning the affirmation, “I am hungry for the kaleidoscopic, chameleon-like, unimaginable truth.”

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): My Aquarian and Sagittarian friends are the best laughers I know. By that I mean that they laugh longer and more frequently than most. They also tend to chortle at ironies that others take way too seriously. Best of all, their laughs are works of art: sudden, explosive, and wild. I mention this, Virgo, because I believe you’re entering a phase when you’ll have the potential to mutate into an Aquarian- or Sagittarian-style laugher. Please take full advantage of this hilarious opportunity. Give your laughter the chance to dramatically increase its power to heal both you and everyone who is sprayed with the saliva flung out during your paroxysms of primal amusement.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Last year the Boston Globe ran 901 corrections — or about 17.3 acknowledged mistakes per week. Even though your blooper rate will be higher than usual in coming days, it won’t come anywhere near the Globe’s. There’ll be no need to berate yourself or succumb to massive outbreaks of guilt, then. Even at your most flub-prone, you’ll still be closer to perfect than one of America’s most well-respected newspapers. I suggest, though, that, like the newspaper, you minimize flak with this approach: You can get away with a lot if “I confess” or “I’m sorry” is always on the tip of your tongue.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Arunothai Sriaran is Thailand’s new “Miss Drunk.” She won the title in a contest after gulping down too much wine and navigating her way through an obstacle course while wearing a heavy silk dress and golden headgear. In the insouciant spirit of this wicked fun, and in accordance with your current astrological omens, I hereby name you “Ms. (or Mr.) Drunk-on-Life.” Your carefree, mischievous, and benevolent reign will last for either three weeks or until you stop learning new tricks about the art of being intelligently wild.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You’re progressing nicely in your efforts to master life’s most complicated skills: You’re making better mistakes all the time. You’re getting pretty good at being three places at once. And you’re learning more about using your fears to motivate rather than paralyze you. What you need most right now, though, is a refresher on the simplest fundamentals, like how to sleep and eat and breathe. For that matter, Sagittarius, you’re not exactly a PhD in the art of happiness. I suggest you sniff around to see if there are any crafty elders offering workshops on how to regard everything that comes your way as a blessing.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Well you’ve about got the 900-pound gorilla problem neutralized for now, Capricorn. Time to turn your attention to the three-gram hummingbird dilemma: you know, the beautiful little bundle of nonstop energy darting around like neon fire. Please keep in mind that the brave forcefulness you summoned to deal with the gorilla may not be of much help in this fresh challenge. A suggestion: Try tuning in to your own inner hummingbird.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “The elephant never gets tired of carrying its tusks,” says a proverb of Liberia’s Vai tribe. I suggest you make that a central meditation in the coming week, Aquarius. Maybe it’ll inspire you to intensify your commitment to the duties that make you unique and beautiful. Do not, however, interpret the proverb to mean you should keep hauling around toxic emotions generated while you were neurotically slaving away at obnoxious duties in the past. They weaken you, make you ugly, and they’re unnecessary. Dump them.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The average Pisces catches 147 colds in a lifetime, endures a serious case of hurt feelings three times a month, and fantasizes about the end of the world once every 6.2 days. I predict that you will experience one of the above during the coming weeks, because you’re slipping into a grace period of shocking ease, beauty, and abundance. It will be a time when your innocence regenerates; a seed time when your determination to feel good will trump your habitual tendencies to expect the worst; when your perceptions will deepen and expand even as the world is created anew in front of you.

Homework: Want to know more about my book, The Televisionary Oracle? Check out this page on my website:

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