Free Will Astrology
Free Will Astrology for the week of Aug. 1
ARIES (March 21-April 19): The astrological omens suggest that you now have a lot in common with the legendary Most Interesting Man in the World—adventurous, unpredictable, interesting, lucky, one-of-a-kind. To create your horoscope, I have therefore borrowed a few selected details from his ad campaign's descriptions of him. Here we go: In the coming weeks, you will be the life of parties you don't even attend. Astronauts will be able to see your charisma from outer space. Up to one-third of your body weight will be gravitas. Your cell phone will always have good reception, even in a subway 100 feet underground. Panhandlers will give you money. You could challenge your reflection to a staring contest—and win. You'll be able to keep one eye on the past while looking into the future. When you sneeze, God will say "God bless you."
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim said the dreams we have at night are "the result of inner pressures which have found no relief, of problems which beset a person to which he knows no solution and to which the dream finds none." That sounds bleak, doesn't it? If it's true, why even bother to remember our dreams? Well, because we are often not consciously aware of the feelings they reveal to us. By portraying our buried psychic material in story form, dreams give us insight into what we've been missing. So even though they may not provide a solution, they educate us. Take heed, Taurus! Your upcoming dreams will provide useful information you can use to fix one of your longstanding dilemmas.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When French composer Georges Auric scored the soundtrack for Jean Cocteau's movie Blood of a Poet, he produced "love music for love scenes, game music for game scenes, and funeral music for funeral scenes." But Cocteau himself had a different idea about how to use Auric's work. For the love scenes he decided to use the funeral music, for the game scenes the love music, and for the funeral scenes the game music. In accordance with the current astrological omens, Gemini, I recommend that you experiment with that style of mixing and matching. Have fun! (Source: A Ned Rorem Reader, by Ned Rorem.)
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Piglet was so excited at the idea of being useful that he forgot to be frightened any more," wrote A.A. Milne in his kids' story Winnie-the-Pooh. That's my prescription for how to evade the worrisome fantasies that are nipping at you, Cancerian. If no one has invited you to do some engaging and important labor of love, invite yourself. You need to be needed—even more than usual. P.S. Here's what Rumi advises: "Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You've been making pretty good progress in the School of Life. By my estimates, you're now the equivalent of a sophomore. You've mastered enough lessons so that you can no longer be considered a freshman, and yet you've got a lot more to learn. Are you familiar with the etymology of the word "sophomore"? It comes from two Greek words meaning "wise" and "fool." That'll be a healthy way to think about yourself in the coming weeks. Be smart enough to know what you don't know. Cultivate the voracious curiosity necessary to lead you to the next rich teachings.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A few years ago, a Malaysian man named Lim Boon Hwa arranged to have himself "cooked." For 30 minutes, he sat on a board covering a pan full of simmering dumplings and corn. The fact that no harm came to him was proof, he said, that Taoist devotees like him are protected by their religion's deities. I advise you not to try a stunt like that, Virgo—including metaphorical versions. This is no time to stew in your own juices. Or boil in your tormented fantasies. Or broil in your nagging doubts. Or be grilled in your self-accusations. You need to be free from the parts of your mind that try to cook you.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): On a spring day in 1973, an engineer named Martin Cooper debuted the world's first cell phone. He placed a call as he walked along a New York City street. The phone weighed two and half pounds and resembled a brick. Later he joked that no one would be able to talk very long on his invention, since it took a lot of strength to hold it against one's ear. Think of how far that amazing device has come since then, Libra. Now imagine some important aspect of your own life that is in a rather primitive state at this moment but could one day be as natural and fully developed as cell phones have become. Are you willing to work hard to make that happen? Now's a good time to intensify your commitment.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the coming week, you will lose some clout and self-command if you're too hungry for power. Likewise, if you act too brazenly intelligent, you may alienate potential helpers who are not as mentally well-endowed as you. One other warning, Scorpio: Don't be so fiercely reasonable that you miss the emotional richness that's available. In saying these things, I don't mean to sound as if I'm advising you to dumb yourself down and downplay your strengths. Not at all. Rather, I'm trying to let you know that the best way to get what you really need is to tailor your self-expression to the unique circumstances you find yourself in.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): For a while, French writer Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was very poor. He lived in a place that had no heat and almost no furniture. To enhance his environment, he resorted to the use of fantasy. On one of his bare walls, he wrote the words, "rosewood paneling with ornamental cabinet." On another, he wrote "Gobelin tapestry with Venetian mirror." Over the empty fireplace he declared, "Picture by Raphael." That's the level of imaginative power I encourage you to summon in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. So much of what you'll need will come from that simple magic.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It's an excellent time to overthrow false gods and topple small-minded authorities and expose fraudulent claims. Anyone and anything in your environment that do not fully deserve the power they claim should get the brunt of your exuberant skepticism. When you're done cleaning up those messes, turn your attention to your own inner realms. There might be some good work to be done there. Can you think of any hypocrisy that needs fixing? Any excessive self-importance that could use some tamping down? Any pretending that would benefit from a counter dose of authenticity?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In old China, people used to cool themselves by sipping hot drinks. After taking a bath, they buffed the excess water from their skin by using a wet towel. When greeting a friend, they shook their own hand instead of the friend's. To erect a new house, they built the roof first. You're currently in a phase of your astrological cycle when this kind of behavior makes sense. In fact, I suspect you're most likely to have a successful week if you're ready to reverse your usual way of doing things on a regular basis.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I'm really tired of you not getting all of the appreciation and acknowledgment and rewards you deserve. Is there even a small possibility that you might be harboring some resistance to that good stuff? Could you be giving off a vibe that subtly influences people to withhold the full blessings they might otherwise confer upon you? According to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to work on correcting this problem. Do everything you can to make it easy for people to offer you their love and gifts.
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