Free Will Astrology: September 17 to 23

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Believe it or not, whatever has been limiting your movement has also been expanding your capacities. It's true: The pinching sensation you've had to endure has been covertly generating psychic fuel that you will soon be able to access. Therefore, Aries, I say unto you: Praise your squelchers and constrictors! They have primed you for the arrival of a luminous boon.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] "An uninterpreted dream is like an unopened letter," says the Talmud. But professional dream researcher Stephen LaBerge thinks that's too broad. In his book Lucid Dreaming, he says dreams are more like poems than letters: If you try to extract a literal meaning in the service of your ego, they may reveal nothing. But if you're willing to find lyrical, unexpected information that could aerate your imagination and dislodge you from habit, dreams are more likely to be useful. Keeping in mind everything I've said, Taurus, treat the events of your waking life in the coming week as though they were poems coming from a dreamy part of your psyche that's enticing you to change your life.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] As you navigate your way through the challenges ahead, should you rely on what you know or what you don't know? That's a good question, Gemini. I'm inclined to advise you to go with what you know when it concerns your security, and with what you don't know when you're pursuing pleasure. So if you're trying to come to a decision about what will make you feel at home, trust what the past has taught you. But as you seek creative inspiration and effervescent adventure, shed all precedents.


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CANCER [June 21–July 22] Her brush with sublime wisdom has done wonders for Paris Hilton. "Kabbalah helps you confront your fears," she told Us magazine. "Like if a girl borrowed my clothes and never gave them back, and I saw her wearing them months later, I would confront her." You can snicker if you like, but Paris's testimony exemplifies my main point for you: It's crucial to get practical use out of your religion or spirituality. So please take measures to infuse your highest ideals into your everyday actions. What would it mean, for example, to invite God to inhabit your lips as you kiss someone, or to speak every word as if it were a well-crafted prayer?

LEO [July 23–August 22] What you're about to leave behind is helpful but dull; it's fortifying but old-fashioned, comforting but homely. What you're headed toward, on the other hand, is invigorating but slightly disruptive; futuristic and interesting, but also a real test of your flexibility. The transition may happen faster than you think. Congratulations in advance on being a good-natured transformer.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22)] I hate to lay a sports metaphor on you, Virgo, but it's such an apt description of what will work best for you in the coming week that I had to bring it to your attention: "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been," quoth Wayne Gretzky. Apple's Steve Jobs liked those words so much, he made them his own when he introduced the iPhone to the public back in January 2007. Now I hope you'll find a way to apply them in your own sphere.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Delfin Vigil interviewed the band Social Studies in the San Francisco Chronicle. He asked guitarist Aaron Weiss: "What is the meaning of life?" Here's what Weiss said: "Wearing a big name tag, having something stuck in your teeth, walking around with toilet paper stuck to your shoe while awkwardly trying to hit on girls. Living on this planet is worthless without the proper amount of humility." While I think that's close to what the meaning of life has been for you recently, Libra, the definition will soon change to something like this: You come onstage to greet an adoring audience, do a riveting song and dance, then announce you won't be doing any more shows for a while because you're about to go off and create your next big splash.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Three enlightened teenagers I know have formed a gang called the Disciples. It's dedicated to plying the dangerous arts of humility, curiosity, and optimism. Here's their motto, which reveals how far they're willing to go: "We have no issues and no problems, but only questions." I urge you to start your own branch of the Disciples, Scorpio—or at least work on cultivating their approach.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] A poet friend of mine hatched a scheme for writing a book in record time. He bought a round-trip ticket for a Greyhound bus from Oakland, California, to New York City and back. He vowed that over the course of those nine grueling days and 6,000 miles, as he ate stale sandwiches from vending machines and slept sitting up surrounded by strangers, he would churn out an epic-length poem about traveling cross-country on a Greyhound bus. The experiment worked: His book was witty, shocking, and entertaining. I urge you to give yourself a comparable assignment, Sagittarius. Invoke the magic of a strict deadline to create something beautiful that will last a long time.

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] I would love to place an elegant gold crown on your head. I have the urge to declare you monarch of the expanding realm, maker of new laws, and reshaper of the collective vision. Are you up for wielding that much power? Or would you prefer to preside over a smaller domain, content merely to keep the daily grind from erupting into chaos every now and then? It's mostly up to you, Capricorn. What do you want?

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Unable to control his appetite for prostitutes, New York governor Eliot Spitzer destroyed his career. Many observers were aghast at the incomprehensibility of his action. But Phillip Weiss, writing in New York, said he understood. Spitzer desperately "wanted some 'strange' "—novelty that's hard to get when you make love with just one person for many years. That's not the kind of variety I advise you to consider in the coming weeks, Aquarius, but according to my reading of the omens, it will be prime time for you to seek out some "strange." By which I mean: embark on travels outside your usual haunts, entertain surprising ideas unlike any you've been willing to think about before, and pursue unpredictable encounters with people who have a lot to teach you.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] In a story about author Gore Vidal in The Independent, Archie Bland reported on an event that happened just after Vidal's parents, Eugene Luther Vidal and Nina S. Gore, were married. While traveling on their honeymoon, Eugene told Nina: "There's something very important I want you to know." Nina grew radiantly expectant, imagining he was about to profess his love with a thrilling intensity. But Gene had something else on his mind: "I have three balls," he confessed. In the coming week, Pisces, I suspect that one of your expectations will meet a similar fate. But don't fret: In the long run, the revelations that come are likely to be more interesting and valuable to you than the "I have three balls" variety.

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