Free Will Astrology: July 22 through 28

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Storm chasers are people who love traveling around the continent in pursuit of wild weather. Nothing feeds their lust for life more than getting close to a tornado or supercell thunderstorm. Many of them are meteorologists who are curious about the way storms work; they're not motivated solely by bravado. I mention this because the coming weeks will be prime time for Aries storm chasers to load up on thrills.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Let's say that you lost a treasured object a while ago. What do you think the odds are you'll find it this week? Or let's say that a companion walked out of your life many moons ago. How much do you want to bet that your paths will cross again soon? According to my reading of the omens, events like these could be common between now and August 15. That's because the past is cycling back to you for another look. What has been old may become new again. Are you ready to experience something resembling time travel?

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] The seductive torments of desires are leaving you in peace, at least for now. That means you're free to concentrate on the easier gratification of more satiable desires. I hope you're open to that, Gemini; I hope you haven't fallen for the illusion that hard-to-get pleasures are deeper and finer. Please believe me when I tell you that you're ready to exult and bask in the simple joys.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] The coming week may be one big Ethical Test for you. Maybe today, the cashier at the café will accidentally give you $10 too much in change. Tomorrow, you could be baited with a chance to gain personal advantage by betraying a friend. The next day, you may have to decide between doing the right thing and doing the kind thing. It has been a long time since your integrity has been pushed and probed and pricked like this. As you wend your way through the gray areas, Cancerian, remember that sometimes being moral is not about saying no, but saying yes. In fact, one of the most high-minded acts you could make is to open your heart to a righteous temptation.

LEO [July 23–August 22] Did life feel meaningless last week? Was your destiny a random sequence of events shepherding you to a series of nowheres? Even worse, were you convinced that human beings are toxic scum? If so, Leo, get ready for your mood to shift drastically. The whims of fate are mutating. Soon, a source of curses may be a fount of blessings. Enticing leads will rise up out of the midst of boredom. Human beings will fascinate and teach you, and every day will bring new signs to draw you deeper into delicious mysteries.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] You're hereby relieved of your responsibility to keep everyone's illusions afloat. (You might want to sink your own illusions, as well.) Consider yourself armed with Ernest Hemingway's "built-in, shock-resistant bulls--- detector." Beginning immediately, be an elegant, but in-your-face, Reality Check. Don't just tell the truth. Tell the lush, pulsating, up-to-the-minute truth. And be aware that even the dry facts may be evolving pretty fast. What seems like incontrovertible evidence today may be puny propaganda tomorrow.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] I usually applaud your inclination to remain above the fray and churn out astute observations. But this week is different. For the foreseeable future, I'd like it very much if you dive into the pit with the other diehards and fight with hard-nosed audacity for what you believe is the beautiful truth. At least temporarily, Libra, forget about your graceful talent for tactful compromise. I think it's time for you to be a warrior who is ferociously devoted to a just cause.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] On behalf of all of the other signs, I'd like to express our gratitude for the jump-starts you Scorpios give us. The jolts aren't always bliss-inducing, true, but in retrospect, we often say, "Thanks, I really needed that." Our gratitude also goes out to you for those times you help us lose our excessive self-importance. It's hard to cling to our pretensions with you around, and it's easier to get to the root of the truth. Continue to be your warm, prickly self even in the face of protests from faint hearts. Know that at least some of your fans out here respect the way you push us and trick us and inspire us to go places we don't even realize we'll benefit from going.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] During his time in hiding, the prophet Elijah was kept alive by ravens who brought him food. John the Baptist survived on honey and locusts when he was roaming the wilderness. And I'm sure that some unexpected source of comfort and sustenance will likewise turn up during your wanderings, Sagittarius. It may not be what you're used to—you might even have to cultivate a taste for nourishment that seems foreign—but stick with it. You could learn to love it and, in the process, become less dependent on stuff you thought you couldn't do without.

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