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Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): What a crushing bore it was to overthrow the status quo in 2000. Rarely has a righteous wrestle with the details been more excruciating. You had to work for radical change by agonizing over the fine print, investigating fossilized remains with microscopic care and unraveling intricately entangled threads. In 2001, thank goddess, your rebellious liberation will require a more spacious approach. You'll have to be a big thinker, high flyer, daring visionary and long-range planner. The telescope should be your symbolic tool.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I asked the gods to send me a dream that would symbolize 2001 for you Tauruses. I dreamt I rode a black bull into a china shop. We rambled boldly through the aisles, uninhibitedly expressing our exuberant vigor. A shelf bearing antique Wedgwood teapots crashed to the floor. Vases tipped and fell. Porcelain bells rang one last time as we toppled their cases. Then I spied a sign on the far wall: "Holy Grail:

Not 10 percent off ... not 50 percent off ... a full 100 percent off. Tauruses only." Below the sign was a silver chalice. "I guess it's free for you," I said to the bull. He snagged it in his mouth and we strode out. Here's my interpretation: No matter where you go in 2001, be your robust, no-apologies self. Spiritual gifts will become available in places where you let the chips fall where they may.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In 1964, a destitute Hector Salizar fled his native Mexico, escaping to Australia as a stowaway on a ship. His first job in his new country was that of cabin boy. Soon he began to rise in the ranks of the shipping business. Thirty years later, having stockpiled a tremendous fortune, Salizar bought the very vessel that had first brought him Down Under. I don't know if the reversal you'll pull off in 2001 will be quite as dramatic as his, Gemini, but I bet you'll garner vindication.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I predict that in 2001 a rock star with a brain transplant who just happens to be wearing pink boxer shorts on the outside of an Armani suit will glide up to you in the middle of nowhere and offer you a lifetime supply of bikini wax if you will change a monkey's diaper on national TV. Just kidding, Cancerian. Sort of. Though I won't be surprised to see you encounter scenarios that rival the surrealistic glory of the one I described. Fortunately, many of the coming year's initially wacky and confusing developments will ultimately prove to be useful and meaningful. You've heard of shaggy dog stories? Expect an onslaught of shaggy God stories.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Many movie critics say that the 2000 crop was crap. Nothing but "sloppy scripts, pallid sequels and shameless rip-offs," said Andy Seiler of USA Today. With actors' and writers' strikes looming in 2001, and many studios rushing to put hastily thrown-together scripts into slapdash production, film artistry isn't likely to rise. That bodes ill for folks who have puny imaginations: They rely on Hollywood to provide their lives with meaning. Not you Leos, though. In the coming year, your very existence will be a first-rate drama, complete with stirring plotlines, fine acting and smart catharses. A dearth of good movies won't bother you because you'll be too busy creating your own heroic journeys.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Back to the Blanket is a monthly journal created by two Cherokees hoping to revitalize their tribe's traditional culture. Their publication's name comes from an epithet applied to Native Americans who return to the old ways after trying on the newfangled habits of Western civilization. I suggest that you conjure up your own personal version of the Back to the Blanket spirit in 2001, Virgo. Study and learn from the lives of your biological ancestors. Seek inspiration from the stories of your mythic ancestors, the world's indigenous people. Consult a past-life therapist to delve into memories of your previous incarnations. Or do all three, armed with a reverent drive to dig up buried riches.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A phantasm resembling supermodel Laetitia Casta appeared next to my bed in the middle of the night. When I gasped a muffled shriek, she barked, "Shhhh! I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to deliver an oracle for all your beautiful and brilliant but repressed Libra readers. Now copy this down!" I grabbed my notebook from the nightstand and started transcribing. "Be tough with them in 2001," she dictated as she danced around like a graceful loon. "Order them to barge into the frontiers and off-limits areas. Tell them to ignore all 'No Trespassing' signs. Warn them that they'd better wander free — or else the goddess'll be really pissed! I can no longer let them indulge their unnecessary taboos!"

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio-born Pablo Picasso was not only the wealthiest artist who has ever lived, but also among the most well-to-do Communists in history. The dude figured out how to wildly prosper despite inhabiting two roles that have traditionally been among the most difficult to exploit financially. I'm making him your patron saint in 2001, dear Scorpio. With the invigorating planet Mars powering through your astrological House of Money for a record six-and-a-half months, you've got a freaking mandate to get richer quicker.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Like all of us, you have blah days when you're not operating at peak efficiency. But I expect that in 2001 there will be relatively few of these down times. We will be seeing much more of you at your best: the generous catalyst whose influence both blesses and challenges, the visionary explorer who opens doors for your allies that they can't open by themselves. I will do all I can to coax this playful revealer into making regular appearances. One of my strategies will be to inspire you to very discriminating in giving your gifts. That way you won't get enmeshed with people who waste your resources; you won't suffer the demoralization that lulls you into mediocrity.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): An amazing thing happened as I spied on hummingbirds feeding from plum flowers on a spring dawn many years ago; I lost my reflex to blame other people for my pain. A similar breakthrough occurred as I watched eagles wheel slowly over Puget Sound at twilight in early autumn; I shed all my lingering resentment toward the first woman who dumped me. A third miracle hatched as I sailed from Italy to Greece on a summer solstice. The delirious light of the Mediterranean Sea flooded me with such blinding clarity that I shed the anger that still festered in me because of my childhood wounds. May you reap the same rich healing in 2001, Capricorn. The planetary omens say you will have the best chance to do so whenever you're moved to awe and reverence in the presence of natural beauty.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Dear Aquarius, I've taken the liberty of ghostwriting a personal ad for you to use as your own. Given your hotshot prospects for love in the coming year, chances are you won't need it. But here it is. Out-of- this-world Aquarius is looking for a cheerfully lost seeker. You make your own maps and have emotional baggage no bigger than a lunchbox. I am an entertaining magician with X- ray vision and the most responsive funny bone in town. My astrologer tells me I'll be the zodiac's top-ranked lover in 2001. Whaddya say we go hunt down wake-up calls together?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I agree with author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who said, "The only thing that can save humanity in the 21st century is for women to take over the management of the world." It so happens that you Fishes are the sensitive powerhouses best qualified to expedite this revolution. That's why I summon all Piscean women to make a big push for more authority during the coming months, when Jupiter will be charging up your astrological House of Command. Guys, all you have to do to join the fun is to liberate your own inner female and let her lead you to greater power and glory. Make a list of your anti-resolutions. What weird habits do you promise to cultivate in 2001?

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