Week of September 8

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When I was 19, a masked gunman pumped a load of buckshot into my hip after a student demonstration. To this day, I have 43 pieces of metal in my body. What kind of metal? That's an important question. Until I find out the answer, I can never get an MRI. Medical technicians tell me that unless they're sure the shards in me aren't the kind of metal that could be moved by the MRI's strong magnetic field, they can't risk it. In a worst-case scenario, the shards might move so much they'd cause internal bleeding. And that's the story of how unknown factors from a past event are still affecting my life today. I believe you're now facing a comparable situation, Aries, though in a more metaphorical way. Go get the answers you need.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): From the window of my office I look down on a blackberry bush whose berries are now ripening. In the last 20 minutes, I've watched a sparrow figure out the best way to feast. At first the bird tried to land on the flimsy branches of the bush, but after a few tries it realized they couldn't hold its weight. Its revised strategy was to grab a single berry in mid-swoop and alight on the branch of a nearby apple tree so it could relax with its meal. It did this ten times. I recommend a similar approach to you, Taurus. According to my astrological analysis, you won't be able to enjoy your treats in the place where you find them. You'll have to pluck them, fly away, and savor them at a distance. Like the sparrow, you should keep returning for refills.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): America's first President George Bush, a Gemini who reigned from 1988 to 1992, had almost as quirky and paradoxical a mind as his son, who is the current leader of the free world. "I have strong opinions of my own," Bush the First once said, "but I don't always agree with them." Let that quizzical gem be your watchword in the coming days, Gemini. Disavow three strong opinions you've been proud of in the past, but which you no longer agree with. Try to get it through your beautiful head that you're not the person you were when you first acquired those old beliefs, and it's time to leave them behind.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A lot of the teens I know have tattoos, but not my neighbor's 16-year-old daughter Lucretia. Fear of boredom is the main reason. "If I got a tattoo today, I'd be tired of it in six months," she explained to me. "And then what would I do? Undergo the torture of having it erased? I just can't deal with anything that would be a permanent part of me." Make her your role model this week, Cancerian. You're in the most transitory phase of your astrological cycle. For best results, revel in the parade of flashy beauty and captivating diversions, but don't get too attached to any single one.

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