Free Will Astrology: August 13 to 19

ARIES [March 2–April 19] The celebrated actress Dame Edith Evans had some advice for actors just coming into their full power: "Don't indulge yourself by showing off; the moment that you begin to find that you can do something well, you must control it and do it more selectively." This recommendation will serve you well in the coming week, Aries, no matter what your line of work is. You have achieved a high degree of mastery in a skill you once struggled to learn. Now it's time to practice it with enhanced discernment and discipline.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] By the time Cal was seven years old, he was lit up with a desire to know how things worked. Sometimes that caused problems: When he dismantled the toaster to examine its innards, for instance, his parents reprimanded him; a working-class family with 12 kids couldn't afford to lose a valued appliance. But Cal kept taking things apart to understand them better, and in time he also learned to put things back together again, often in better shape than they were before. As an adult, Cal creates interactive robots that perform in shows all over the world; he's a master builder. I hope you'll try this yourself in the coming week, Taurus: disassembling stuff in order to ultimately make it work even better.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus advises his disciples to be "as wise as serpents" and "as innocent as doves." That's the two-toned attitude I suggest you embody in the coming week, Gemini. Evaluate every situation with all the cunning at your disposal, but then don't act like a scheming strategist. Rather, be open-hearted and humble, almost childlike in your willingness to see with fresh eyes. Mastering this combination will allow you to avoid the pitfalls and reap the blessings of the paradoxes you encounter.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] A teacher in a Japanese all-girl elementary school decided that her class would put on a performance of Snow White. But when she chose a student to play the heroine, the parents of the other 24 kids went ballistic. They bullied the teacher into changing the script so that there would be 25 Snow Whites, no Seven Dwarves, and no Wicked Witch. In my opinion, that's the wrong way to apply democratic principles. I'm more anti-hierarchical than anyone I know, yet even I would draw the line at, say, five Snow Whites. In the coming week, Cancer, don't let a similar misapplication of egalitarianism take place in your personal sphere. Make sure there's at least one dwarf.

LEO [July 23–August 22] Douglas Engelbart got the idea for the computer mouse in 1950 and actually invented it in 1964. But it was slow to be recognized as the brilliant innovation it was and didn't begin to reach a mass audience for another 20 years. Luckily, Engelbart was persistent, never losing faith in his vision. I suspect you're on the cusp of a comparable experience, Leo. One of your good ideas is either ahead of its time or beyond the capacity of your cohorts to imagine. Let's see how dogged and determined you can be.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Do you believe in invisible things? No? Then what's your position on radio waves, electricity, and X-rays? Do you believe in them even though your senses can't perceive them whatsoever? It's true that scientists have developed instruments that can detect those invisible things—but what if there are other hidden forces and secret energies that scientists have yet to develop the technology to find? Let these thoughts be the starting point for your meditations in the coming week, Virgo. It's prime time to recognize, engage with, and benefit from what has been concealed from you up until now.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Twenty years ago, I ran for the city council in Santa Cruz, California. As one of my campaign promises, I told voters that I would regularly consult with the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, with whom I'd established a telepathic rapport. I fell a few hundred votes short of winning a council seat, but I kept my pledge anyway: I've been communing with Jefferson ever since. Last night, I told him you're in an astrological phase that's favorable for seeking out new teachers and teachings. He suggested that you do just as I've done: have conversations, either in your dreams or fantasies, with a historical figure you deeply respect.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] The most striking feature on the planet Jupiter is the Great Red Spot, a storm that resembles a giant unblinking eye. It's lasted over 300 years and is wider than the planet Earth. I invite you to regard it as your symbol of power in the coming week. Think of it whenever you'd like to use your eyes to see in bigger and better ways, or whenever you want to draw on the inspirational power of a beautiful storm, or whenever you'd like to transform some disturbance in your life into a long-lived source of dazzling energy.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] For over a decade, members of the worldwide Garden Gnome Liberation Front have been stealing garden gnomes from the yards of people's homes and relocating them to the forests. While I admire their prankish style, I can't in good conscience advise you to join their ranks. Your instinct for freedom is exceptionally high these days, true, but it would be a shame to waste it on "liberating" inanimate objects. Instead, please devote your tremendous emancipatory energies to practical causes and living beings.

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