Free Will Astrology: July 15 through 21

ARIES [March 21–April 19] I fear you're on the verge of slipping into a state of mind that wants everything and is therefore in danger of getting nothing. I worry that you'll be lusting for such total control over sweetness that you won't formulate a plan to commune with even a pinch of that sweetness. Let's see if you can overthrow this state of mind.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Cuckoo birds build no nests of their own; instead, they rely on trickery to raise their young. The female cuckoo lays her eggs in the nest of a host whose eggs are similar in size and color. The host cares for the cuckoo's eggs as her own and rears the hatchlings until they mature. I suspect that something analogous is unfolding in your world. I'm alerting you to the situation so that you will be informed as you decide how to proceed.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] I hate to admit it, but love is not always enough to solve every problem. You also need clever insights, strategic maneuvers, and fierce determination. This is one of those times. Take a moment right now to shush the grumbling dialogue you keep having with yourself about what you deserve. Save all that energy for fighting for the share you deserve. Oh, and while you're fighting like hell, don't forget to be as strategic as Gandhi, as loving as Einstein, and as fiercely determined as Jack Black, Ben Stiller, and Sarah Silverman combined.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] I invite you to write down descriptions of the five most pleasurable moments you've ever experienced. Let your imagination dwell on these memories for, say, 20 minutes. And keep them close to the surface of your awareness in the week ahead. If you catch yourself slipping into a negative train of thought, interrupt it immediately and fantasize about those Five Big, Ecstatic Moments. This will be an excellent way to prime yourself for a New Age of Unhurried Bliss and Gentle Beauty, which I predict is just ahead for you. If you can keep the morose part of your mind quiet, you will stir up a new, ecstatic experience that will belong near the top of your all-time list.

LEO [July 23–August 22] Welcome to your aromatherapy workshop, Leo. We'll be using imaginary scents because, frankly, sometimes fantasy yields better results than the real thing. For your first exercise, imagine the aromas of eucalyptus and vinegar. That'll clear your head of static, creating a nice big, empty space for your fresh assignment to come pouring in from the future. Next, imagine the fragrance of hot buttered popcorn. It will make you more receptive to the outside help that has been trying and trying and trying to attract your attention. Have you ever taken a new computer out of the box? Remember that smell? Simulate it now. In your subconscious mind, it will awaken the expectation that the next chapter of your life story is about to begin.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] O ye of little faith: Do ye not understand that the events of mid-July through mid-August of 2009 are but the fruition of seeds ye planted in September, October, and November of last year? Do not thank the gods, but only thyself, for thy destiny that is upon ye. Prepare to assume thy new goodies and perks, as well as thy new temptations and headaches, with full knowledge that ye are receiving the exact rewards and responsibilities ye earned many months ago.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Sometimes, this job of mine grinds me down with a heavy sense of responsibility. Am I doing the right thing by divulging so many cosmic secrets? Do people use my advice in good ways? This week, I'm especially tormented. Would it be ethical of me to reveal that you could dig a hot tip out of a wastebasket, or that you could prosper because of someone else's foolishness? Or how about if I disclosed that you've temporarily acquired a dicey edge over a competitor who has previously kicked your butt? And would it be mean of me to suggest that you shouldn't share a vast idea with a half-vast person? I guess I'll just have to trust that you'll show maximum integrity in using all of this inside dope.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] There goes your exaggerated respect for warped chunks of complications. Here comes an opportunity to make a break for bubbly freedom. To take advantage, Scorpio, you'll need to travel much lighter. So please peel off your armor. Wipe that 40-pound sneer of doubt off your face. Bury your broken-down theories by the side of the path, and donate all your unnecessary props to the birds and the bees. Strip down, in other words, to the bare minimum. Where you're going, all you'll need are your good looks and a big, fresh attitude.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Don't leave me hanging, Sagittarius. What happens next? How could you even imagine you've wrapped the whole thing up? According to my analysis, you've got at least one more riddle to solve, one more gift to negotiate, one more scar to wish upon. (Yes, that says "scar," not "star.") To stop pushing for more adventure at this pregnant moment would be a crime against nature and a whole chapter short of a bestseller. Get out there and bring this story home.

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