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Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries actress Sarah Jessica Parker announced recently that she washes her hair with Mane ’N’ Tail shampoo, a product made for horses. I recommend that you consider switching to it, too. It’s time to please your inner thoroughbred, whose animal intelligence and wild vitality will be essential to you in the coming weeks. You’re finally ready enter a bigger race for a better prize.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed movies released in 2003. Yet some of its fervent fans have detailed its many continuity problems. Did you notice that Frodo’s scar migrates from his right cheek in one scene to his left cheek in a later scene? That’s just one of over 30 flaws registered by readers of the moviemistakes.com Web site. I applaud this effort, as the most useful critiques often come from people who deeply appreciate the subject they’re critiquing. This so happens to be your mandate in the coming week, Taurus: Compassionately assess what needs improvement about everything you love.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): My survey of New Year’s resolutions by Geminis reveals some surprising trends. Twenty-one percent of you have vowed to lose weight in 2004, but 26 percent of you hope to gain weight. Thirty-six percent of you plan to launch a new hobby, whereas 58 percent want to get rid of one of your hobbies, leaving more time for the others. While 31 percent of you are plotting to supercharge your ambitions or career, 42 percent of you want to work less and cultivate more leisure. Finally, 16 percent of you want more "espresso sex" — quickies with casual acquaintances — while 69 percent have your hearts set on deep, slow, cozy love-making with emotionally intelligent partners.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The Weekly World News reports that U.S. President George W. Bush, the world’s most famous Cancer, plans to invade the moon and declare it the 51st state. To fill the office of the moon’s live-in governor, Bush intends to appoint his former foe Al Gore, who garnered 540,520 more votes than the President in the election of 2000. In the weeks ahead, I urge you Crabs to come up with an equally nutty and brilliant strategy as you expand your empire to exotic new locales and shake off old adversaries.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Dear Doctor Rob: I’m battling mixed emotions. On the one hand, I have frequent surges of intense compassion that make me want to build houses for poor folks. On the other hand, I’m beset by flashes of vanity that make me want to spend my money on Prada shoes and expensive jewelry rather than on trips to Third World countries to help Habitat for Humanity. Is it crazy and self-defeating to want both things? —Guilty Leo" Dear Guilty Leo: Many Leos are wrestling with this dilemma. My advice? Honor both your urge to express beauty and your desire to aid your fellow humans. I have a vision of you wearing a gold tiara and Prada’s Sculpted d’Orsay pumps as you frame a wall for a new house in Haiti.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I predict that in 2004 at least one of your inhibitions will disappear. Attacks of self-consciousness will diminish in frequency and intensity. You’ll realize how fun it is to rebel against your antiquated image. Because of these explosive improvements in your relationship with brash spontaneity, you may be ready to acquire your porn name. Here are two suggestions about how to generate the new moniker. 1.) Combine the name of your first pet with the name of the street where you lost your virginity. 2.) Go to www.mypornname.com and follow the directions.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): To frame your assignment this week, I’m plundering an old horoscope from The Onion (www.theonion.com). "Even the mighty Ozymandias, king of kings, was brought low by time," the ’scope read. "If possible, live your life without this mysterious phenomenon." To help you carry out this rewarding task, Libra, here are a few tips: 1.) Don’t overdo it at first; spend no more than three days eluding the oppressive grip of time. 2.) Hide all clocks and watches. 3.) Read historical novels and watch movies set in other eras. 4.) Fantasize about your previous incarnations and your future lives. 5.) Meditate on Plato’s idea that "Time is a moving image of eternity."

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "When in a doughnut-eating competition," writes Esquire’s Cal Fussman, "press down hard on each one before biting into it. If you don’t, the air inside will bloat your belly and you’ll get blown out after six." This is your advice to live by in the coming week, Scorpio. Squeeze out all the filler that dilutes your enjoyment of the really killer stuff. Don’t get bogged down in vacant fantasies that wear down your competitive edge.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In Greek myth, Psyche was a pure-hearted young woman whose misadventures with love got her into trouble. She found herself at the mercy of Aphrodite, who commanded her to sort a big heap of mixed millet, wheat and poppy seeds into separate piles. You’re now in a situation like that, Sagittarius. Is there any hope for you to complete a seemingly impossible task? Yes, there is — especially if you get the kind of help that Psyche did. Feeling compassion for her, thousands of ants swarmed to her aid, separating the seeds for her overnight. Can you enlist an equivalent ally?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You now have the power to design a new fate for yourself. This window of opportunity is brief, though, so act with swift decisiveness. To guide you, I offer two observations. The first is from Alan Kay, who conceived the laptop computer: "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." The second is my paraphrase of astrologer Hadley Fitzgerald’s paraphrase of Ram Dass: "On the one hand, everything is preordained. On the other hand you have complete free will. When you truly grasp that paradox, you’re no longer a slave of your conditioning."

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquarian singer Justin Timberlake suffered a temporary blow to his reputation last November. Speaking to ABC-TV’s Diane Sawyer, his ex-lover Britney Spears implied that he is anatomically under-endowed. Timberlake’s grandmother came to his defense. "I helped raise him, and I can assure you that there’s nothing wrong with him physically," 70-year-old Sadie Bomar told the press. I predict you will soon undergo a similar fall and redemption, Aquarius. Start rounding up the allies you will want to testify in your behalf.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "Thinking outside of the box presupposes you were able to think in it." This gem from automotive executive Bob Lutz sets the tone for your new plan of action, Pisces. In the coming week, you should concentrate on understanding your life’s long-term trends from an inside-the-box perspective. Stick closely to what you actually know, as opposed to what you speculate. Confine your analysis to the data you can confirm. Starting next week, it’ll be time to think outside the box. Having a strong foundation ensures that your imagination will provide useful visions when you finally unleash it. Here’s this week’s homework: Name ten items from among your personal possessions that you would put in a time capsule to be dug up by your descendants in 500 years. Tell us at

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