Horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
I love and respect your rational mind, but it's rather arrogant in its presumption that it can know all there is to know. Will you consider suspending its tyranny long enough to receive help from the Great Beyond? I'd like you to stretch your fantasy muscles around the following tall-but-true tale, Aries: This week your future self will try to contact you in order to provide panoramic views of the far horizon. Your encounters with the Riper You may be brief and strange, or they may appear in a matter-of-fact guise in the midst of your daily routine. Either way, you will be offered pithy pointers about how to shape your life's mission in the coming years.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
While walking in the deep, dark forest of symbols, you encountered a savvy old crone camouflaged as a wolf. But your fear, already swarming because of the unfamiliarity of your surroundings, kicked instantly into high gear, causing you to flee before you could see through the disguise. That, at least, is the metaphorical view of recent events according to your soul. Now that you know the truth, Taurus, go back and find the crone again. She has much to teach you about harvesting the treasure that comes from aging. It's a wisdom that can only come from a mature female with a well-grounded and deeply felt understanding of cycles.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
A few years ago, members of the Barbie Liberation Organization sneaked into stores and swapped the voice boxes of hundreds of GI Joe and Barbie dolls. Boys who later purchased the plastic soldiers were surprised to hear them make comments like "I like to go shopping with you," while the girls who came into possession of the mutated Barbies heard terse barks of "To the front lines, men!" Given your current astrological needs, Gemini, I suggest you pull off an analogous switcheroo or two. Your world is too polarized into opposing extremes. What makes your balancing efforts even more urgent is that each extreme has become a lopsided caricature of itself. The cure is to make the yang a little more yin and vice versa.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22)
You will experience unprecedented expansion in 2002. During the coming weeks, though, you may encounter resistance to your beautiful blooming. For advice on how to handle it, read an excerpt from Richard Wilhelm's translation of the oldest book in the world, the Chinese I Ching: "The struggle with evil must not be carried on directly by force. If we do it the favor of fighting against it blow by blow, we lose in the end because thus we ourselves get entangled in hatred. For the same reason we should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them, they continue victorious. The best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good."

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
What is sexy? Some would have you believe it's best exemplified by a pouty, anorexic supermodel, shaved of all her body hair, frowning coldly at a steroid-sculpted, macho, dumb hunk. Others might say it's your playful voice and unpredictable face as you describe a surprising insight to a mysterious character who is thrilled by the challenges of intimacy. Whatever your personal definition might be, Leo, it's time to deepen and tone it. The cosmos is conspiring to animate your erotic sense with a surge of uncanny intelligence.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Given the heart-tugging, roots-deepening, foundation-vibrating influences that are coming to bear on you now, you might be inclined to mope around the house and bask in self-pity for What Might Have Been. Or perhaps you'll go out and buy Andy Griffith's Comedy Classics CD, on which the former sheriff of Mayberry reveals his charm as a storyteller in "Flop-Eared Mule" and "The Fishin' Hole." But if you 'd consider making a more stimulating use of all the earthy energy, let me suggest these three actions instead: Take aggressive measures to build up your physical health, stop talking about and start manifesting a postponed dream, and get as bawdy and funky as you dare.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Most scientists despise astrology, even though it once had great credibility and was instrumental in the development of mathematics, medicine, chemistry, and biology. Science writer Isaac Asimov says, "Mathematics supplied the tools for understanding the movements of heavenly bodies upon which astrological forecasts were based. Observations and experiments in medicine and the life sciences were spurred by astrological predictions concerning life, death, and health." Let's look for an analogous pattern in your own evolution, Libra. Were there events in your past that seem immature or embarrassing to you now but which had a seminal impact in making you who you are? This is the perfect astrological moment to revise your views of your personal history.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Going back to sleep might be tempting. Weeks have passed since your initiation into the brave new world. You may wonder whether you have the patience and discipline to keep dealing with the explosion of novelty. You could be in danger of becoming numb to the revelations that not so long ago changed everything forever. But I'm here to urge you to do whatever's necessary to stay awake. Pinch yourself, spank yourself, whisper spontaneous poems to the mirror, scrawl sacred vows on your bedroom walls. Just don't lose the primal motivating power of those supernova moments when you were reborn.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Let's cut to the chase, sweetheart. It's a whole new ball game. All bets are off. Know what I'm saying? You're back at square one. It's time to get a new bottom line. Get it? You must put your cards on the table if you expect to put the pedal to the metal. You've got to make no bones if you want to pull no punches. In other words, babe, your ship won't come if you use any of the tired clichés I've just demonstrated.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
There have been a few problems with the Pentagon's program of air-dropping emergency food into famine-ridden areas of Afghanistan. One of the biggest: In the early weeks, the "humanitarian daily ration" packets were yellow, just like the small cluster bombs that don't always explode upon first hitting the ground. Human rights groups warned that civilians might not be able to tell the two deliveries apart. Let this scenario serve as a symbol for you in the coming weeks, Capricorn. Of course your situation won't be anywhere near as extreme. And yet it'll be crucial for you to exercise great discrimination in distinguishing between two offerings, one of which would ultimately bring health and wealth, the other of which would drain you and pain you.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
"Many great artists remain in relative obscurity because of their resistance to formula efforts," writes journalist Alan Cabal. "Mediocrities latch onto whatever hits and repeat it endlessly in pursuit of cash or celebrity or both." I couldn't agree more. Cabal's thesis explains why there is about as much superbly unique music these days as there are Greenpeace bumper stickers on oil executives' SUVs. Having said that, I'm pleased to announce that there is currently a window of opportunity for Aquarian creators with high integrity to get their work seen by more people than usual. The astrological aspects are conducive, in fact, to the success of any project that avoids pedestrian trendiness and celebrates soulful originality.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Rambunctious singer Tom Waits is not known for his scientific research, but a few years ago he made a valuable contribution in the quest to measure sadness. Holding a spoon to his cheek during an especially blue period of his life, he found that it takes 121 teardrops to fill a teaspoon. Building on his work, I've discovered that crying for joy causes a spoon to overflow after only 98 tears, suggesting that they're bigger. I urge you to do further studies on this subject in the coming week, Pisces. You're likely to be tapping into watery breakthroughs of several varieties, ranging from the relatively poignant to the outrageously sublime.


Homework: Tell about a time you were searching far and wide for the solution to a big problem, but on the way discovered a much more interesting and useful problem. beautyandtruth@freewillastrology.com.

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