Free Will Astrology: July 6-12, 2011

ARIES [March 21–April 19] It's my observation that women find it easier than men to tune into their natural rhythms. The menstrual cycle helps cultivate that ability. We men experience less dramatic physical shifts, and that seems to give us license to override messages from our bodies for the sake of ambition or convenience. I must also say that I know men who are highly sensitive and responsive to somatic cues, and women who aren't. Whatever gender you are, I believe that it's crucial for you to be aware of what's going on inside your flesh-and-blood vehicle. This is one time when you need to be intimately aligned with its needs.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] One of the greatest kings of the ancient Persian Sassanid Empire was Shapur II. Shortly after his father died, he was made king while still in his mother's womb. Since he could not yet wear his crown, officials set it upon his mother's belly. He ruled from then until the day he died, 70 years later. I'm naming him your patron saint for the second half of 2011. My sense is that the seed of some accomplishment is already germinating within you. It may take a while to be born, but I suggest we consecrate its bright future now.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] I've got no problem with the real world. I spend a lot of time there and take it seriously. But I also consider myself a lobbyist for all the Other Worlds—the domain of everything that's invisible to the naked eye and irrelevant to the schemes of the rational ego. These alternate realities consist of the unconscious, the dreamtime, the spiritual sphere, the intelligence of nature, and the realm of the ancestors. In my astrological opinion, you're due for a major upgrade in your relationship with these dimensions in the next 12 months. Now would be a good time to get started.

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CANCER [June 21–July 22] While listening to the sound collage radio program "Over the Edge" on KPFA, I learned that a new primary color has been detected. Quite different from red, yellow, or blue, it has its own distinct hue. The discoverer of this marvel is Dr. Wohan Squant, who has named the color "squant." I wish I could predict you're about to create or find something equally revolutionary, but I can't go that far. Nevertheless, you've entered a phase when you have the power to tinker with fundamental laws of your universe. So who knows? Maybe you're on the verge of a shift almost as revolutionary as the discovery of squant.

LEO [July 23–August 22] Are you feeling the sting of disappointment, railing at life for reneging on one of its promises to you? Maybe you should consider the possibility that you are simply getting an opportunity to correct a misunderstanding—that life isn't being mean to you and you're not being punished. I'd like to propose that you are, in fact, in the first phase of your healing. Listen to Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore: "We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us."

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "The more one dwells on oneself," says psychoanalyst Adam Phillips in his book Going Sane, "the more one is likely to suffer." He thinks people need encouragement to avoid excessive introspection. "My project as a psychoanalyst," he writes, "is to free them to not have to think about their lives so much." While I feel he overstates the case, I do suspect his message would be good for you to heed in the coming weeks. For maximum success and robust mental health, take a generous portion of your attention off yourself and focus it on living your life with compassion, curiosity, and concern for others.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] "One must choose in life between boredom and suffering," proclaimed Madame de Staël. I beg to differ with her, however. As evidence, I present the course of your life during the next few weeks. After analyzing the astrological omens, I expect you will consistently steer a middle course between boredom and suffering, being able to enjoy some interesting departures from the routine that don't hurt a bit. There may even be pain-free excursions into high adventure mixed in, along with a fascinating riddle that taxes your imagination in rather pleasurable ways.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] I accompanied a friend and his family to a small fairgound where a school was having a fundraiser. Right away we came to a challenging activity that involved climbing a ladder made out of rubber and coated with some slippery substance. One girl, about seven years old, was having a moment of rowdy bliss as she tried to ascend. "It's impossible—but fun!" she cried out to her mom. Your assignment in the coming week is to find an adventure like that: one that's impossible but fun.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] "It is not always needful for truth to take a definite shape," wrote von Goethe. "It is enough if it hovers about us like a spirit and produces harmony; if it is wafted through the air like the sound of a bell, grave and kindly." With this quote, I'm alerting you to the fact that a new truth is now floating into your world, Sagittarius. It'll be misty and sparkly, yet somehow also decisive and lucid. It will comfort you and yours, but also be a bit shocking. It will be sharply tonic, like good, strong medicine that has a pungent yet oddly delicious flavor you've never tasted before.

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