Free Will Astrology: August 4 through 10, 2010

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Dionysus did not encourage people to get sloppy drunk, lose control, and do stupid things. His preference was that they free themselves from their inhibitions by imbibing alcohol. With this medicinal spur, they might get unstuck from their worn-out old behavior patterns and invite refreshing doses of wildness into their lives. It is true that if someone was not willing to escape their rigidity, Dionysus might lure them into reckless inebriation. Keep these thoughts in mind in the coming weeks, Aries.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] In "This Bitter Earth," Dinah Washington sings, "If my life is like the dust that hides the glow of a rose/What good am I, heaven only knows." I bring this to your attention because you now have the power to prove once and for all that your life is NOT like the dust that hides the glow of a rose. So please get out there and reveal the glory of the world you inhabit. By week's end, you may be able to say, as Washington does in the final line of the song, "This bitter earth may not be so bitter after all."

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] More than one-third of adults under 35 confess that right after making love, they Tweet or text-message or check their Facebook pages. In the coming week, I strongly advise you not to do that or anything remotely like that. You should give your best, brightest, most focused attention to every phase of every adventure you have. The foreplay and the aftermath are just as important to the total revelation as the height of the action. This is a time in your long-term cycle when you can't afford to scrimp on completion and closure and resolution.


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CANCER [June 21–July 22] August is Banish Your Superstitions Month, Cancerian. To celebrate this auspicious festival, purge yourself of every irrational belief and unfounded fear you can stand to live without. But also keep in mind that you may have to keep a crazy delusion or two, at least for a while. So proceed, casting off one false belief today and another quaint fallacy tomorrow and a third rotten figment of your imagination next week. By September 1, you may be surprised to see how high you've ratcheted up your level of fearlessness.

LEO [July 23–August 22] For a special episode of her TV talk show, Oprah Winfrey wanted a stage set that was fabricated out of chocolate. It took workers 1,400 hours to construct it. When the day came to unveil the decadent monument, Oprah offered her audience members the chance to tear it apart, eat it, and take it home as plunder. They dismantled it in half an hour. Let this be a cautionary tale, Leo. I dearly hope that the creation you're beginning to work on will endure for a long time and continue to provide meaning and pleasure far past the time it makes its initial splash. Build your baby to last.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Bob Frissell wrote a book called Nothing in This Book Is True, But It's Exactly How Things Are. It contains a host of seemingly far-fetched theories about UFOs, crop circles, ascended masters, Earth changes, and monuments on Mars, all of which adds up to a beguiling Theory of Everything about the hidden nature of reality. I see your life right now as having resemblances to this curious tome. If I had to give a title to the next chapter of your story, it might be Nothing That's Happening Will Make Much Sense Until It Has Finished Happening, Whereupon It Will Yield a Burst of Insight About the Big Picture of Your Destiny.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] One of the best ways to cultivate your own radiant brilliance or native talent is to look for excellence in other people. So if you suspect there's some partially dormant reservoir of genius within you—a mother lode of intelligence that you have not been fully successful in tapping into—I suggest you make it a point to identify the genius in everyone you know. Whether it's your cousin's knack for flower arrangement or your co-worker's telepathic capacity to read the moods of people she wants something from, you can fuel your own luminosity by noticing and appreciating others'.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Imagine you and I and a bunch of our friends are seven years old. We're playing "King of the Mountain" on a pile of dirt. Since there are some girls among us, we've changed the name of the game to "Awesome Magic Boss of the Mountain." Today, you're the strongest one, warding off all challenges to your authority, pushing away everyone who tries to knock you off your place at the top. It's like you have extra power you've never displayed before. I believe this is a metaphorically accurate portrayal of your actual life right now.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] My Sagittarius friend Lisa dreamed she was at a party with Jon Carroll, a writer she admires. In the dream, she managed to join a circle of people with whom he was conversing. Twice, she tried to insinuate her way into the conversation with comments she thought were flattering to Jon. But he ignored her. Finally, she opened an oversize picture book she had with her and showed him a striking photo of a huge nest containing a speckled, glittery dragon's egg. This caught his eye. He took her by the arm to a table where they pored over this fascinating image together. Learn from Lisa's dream, Sagittarius. To captivate the attention of the people you're interested in, appeal not to their vanity but to their imagination.

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