Free Will Astrology: September 16 through 22

ARIES [March 21–April 19] To the thug who stole my Chevy Malibu from its parking place while I was recording an album in San Francisco back in 1991: I forgive you. To the lovely and talented Artemisia, who couldn't bring herself to fall in love with me as we partied at the Burning Man festival back in 2001: I forgive you. To any Aries readers who hate it when I refer to my personal life in their horoscopes, and would much rather I confine myself to talking about them: I forgive you—and recommend that you engage in a more thorough and profound version of the cleansing I just illustrated.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] The saying "You can't have your cake and eat it, too" suggests that it's not a good idea to go out on dates with many lovers while engaged to be married. Nostradamus scholar John Hogue has created a variation on this that I think applies to you right now, Taurus. "You can't have your past and your future, too," he says. In other words, you cannot fully embrace the exciting and daunting possibilities that loom ahead of you if you also insist on immersing yourself in the pleasures of the past. You can either have the old ways or the new ways—but not both.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] You currently have a certain resemblance to a vacuum cleaner or a mini black hole. Every time I've turned my meditations to the Gemini tribe, I've been hearing a psychic version of a giant sucking sound. I sense that you're especially voracious right now, almost insatiable—as if you're inclined to absorb any old thing that you happen to find in front of you. Are my speculations true? If so, I hope and pray that all the things you're finding in front of you are healthy for you. But just in case some of them are not: Would you consider exercising some discrimination about what you allow to enter into the sacred temple of your body and mind?

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] These days, your gods can kick the butts of everyone else's gods. Likewise, your lawyers and agents and sidekicks can most likely outwit and out-wrestle everyone else's. But note that if you try to work alone, you will not be able to kick other people's butts, let alone the butts of their gods, lawyers, agents, and sidekicks. The skills of your allies will be indispensable. The way I see it, your test in the coming days will be to overcome any tendency you might have to indulge in pathological levels of self-sufficiency as you cultivate a greater capacity to ask for and receive help.

LEO [July 23–August 22] "We're all mutants," is the headline of a report on genetic research. It turns out that, like everyone else, you have between 100 and 200 mutations in your DNA—absolutely new characteristics that were not passed down to you by your parents. To get evidence for this, scientists had to sort through huge amounts of data; there are thousands of genes, but only few mutations. A member of the research team said that "finding this tiny number of mutations was more difficult than finding an ant's egg in an emperor's rice store." I predict that you will have a comparable experience, Leo: From an overwhelming array of choices, you'll be able to locate the rare catalysts you need.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] There's a device on the market that claims to age wine very quickly. The makers of "Clef du Vin" say that you can "accelerate the aromatic development of the wine's flavor and soften its structure." So dramatic is the effect that "one second of the device in the wine is equal to one year's age." I believe that you now have the metaphorical equivalent of this marvel, Virgo. This temporary talent won't work on wine, but it could perform wonders with other processes that would benefit from having their evolution expedited.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] "The soft-minded person always fears change," said Martin Luther King Jr. "For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea." The corollary to King's pronouncement is that changes are less likely to be painful if you're not afraid of them. None of that stuff will be an issue for you in the coming weeks. As you slip into a phase of riotous growth, I expect you will have abundant access to previously dormant reserves of courage and tough-mindedness.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Studies show that many people believe their attendance at a sports event has an impact on the game. They are obviously suffering from a ridiculous delusion, right? Normally, I'd say yes, but not right now—not for you Scorpios. For a limited time, your presence at events where people congregate may exert an influence far beyond the power of logic to explain. Your opinions will carry more weight than usual, and your power to shape group dynamics will be at a peak.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, you're now ensconced in a smooth groove and not even close to being stuck in a cluttered rut. You're making the right moves for the best reasons, and never trying to get ahead at the expense of others. During a grace period like this, I think you'd be wise to convene what I call a problem team. A problem team is a posse of smart allies whose task it is to dream up every possible glitch that could threaten to undermine your efforts in the coming weeks. They lead you through dry runs that test your reflexes and prime your resourcefulness, thereby making those glitches unlikely to occur.

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