Free Will Astrology: August 10-16, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Dr. Larry Dossey thinks we shouldn't just automatically dismiss the voices that speak to us in the privacy of our own heads. Some of them may actually have wise counsel, or at least interesting evidence about the state of our inner world. Besides, says Dossey, "it is vital for our mental health to keep the channels open, because when the voices of the gods are shut out, the devils often take up residence." This would be good advice for you to observe in the coming days, Aries. Don't let the nagging, blustering, or unhinged murmurs in your head drown out the still, small voice of lucid intuition. (Dossey's book is The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things: Fourteen Natural Steps to Health and Happiness.)

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) What are you going to do to attract or induce the phenomena I name in the list below? At least three of them could come your way in the days ahead: (1) a "limitation" that leads to more freedom; (2) an imaginative surrender that empowers you to make a seemingly impossible breakthrough; (3) a healthy shock to the system that tenderizes your emotions; (4) a tough task that clarifies and fine-tunes your ambition; (5) a seemingly lost chance that leads to a fresh promise through the vigorous intervention of your creative willpower.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Thirteen will be your lucky number for the foreseeable future. In fact, a host of things for which the average person has an irrational aversion could be helpful to you. For that matter, influences that you yourself may have considered in the past to be unsympathetic or uncongenial could very well be on your side, and may even conspire to enlighten and delight you. At least temporarily, I urge you to shed your superstitions, suspend your iffy biases, and dismiss your outworn fears.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22)Anne Cushman wrote a book called Enlightenment for Idiots. It wasn't a how-to book, but rather a novel about a spiritual truth-seeker wandering through India. As far as I know, no one has written an actual instructional manual with the theme she named in her title. If anyone could do it, though, it would be you right now. Lately, you've been getting smarter by doing the most ordinary things. You've been drawing life-enhancing lessons from events that others might regard as inconsequential or unsophisticated. I suspect that this trend will continue in the coming days. Through the power of simplicity and directness, you will succeed at tasks that might have defeated you if you had allowed yourself to get lost in complicated theories and overly-thought-out approaches. Congrats!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) For 34 years, a diligent Californian named Scott Weaver worked on creating a scale model of San Francisco using toothpicks. Meanwhile, Eric Miklos, of New Brunswick, Canada, was assembling a 40-foot-long chain of bottle caps. And in 2006, a team of artists constructed a 67-foot-tall gingerbread house, the world's largest, inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. These are not the kinds of stupendous feats I advise you to get started on in the coming weeks, Leo. The astrological omens suggest that you'll attract blessings into your life if you launch deeply meaningful masterpieces, not trivial or silly ones.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)Storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estés loves life's natural rhythms just as they are. She says we can avoid a lot of suffering if we understand how those rhythms work. "The cycles are birth, light, and energy, and then depletion, decline, and death," she told Radiance magazine. In other words, everything thrives and fades, thrives and fades. After each phase of dissipation, new vitality incubates and blooms again. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Virgo, you are currently going through a period of dwindling and dismantling. The light is dimmer than usual, and the juice is sparser. But already, in the secret depths, a new dispensation is stirring.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Where do you want to be at this time next year? What do you want to be doing? I encourage you to fantasize and scheme about these questions, and be alert for clues about possible prospects. Here's my reasoning, Libra: Some foreshadowings of your future life may soon float into view, including a far-off whisper or a glimpse of the horizon that will awaken some of your dormant yearnings. Don't make the mistake of thinking that these visions must be acted upon instantly. Instead, ruminate leisurely on them, regarding them as the early hints of potential long-range developments.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that you can't get The Most Beautiful Thing. It's out of reach forever. You simply don't have the connections or wherewithal to bring it into your life. Could you accept that disappointment with a full heart, and move on? Would you be able to forgive life for not providing you with your number-one heart's desire, and then make your way into the future with no hard feelings? If so, Scorpio, I bet you would be well-primed to cultivate a relationship with The Second Most Beautiful Thing.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) What images would be most helpful for you to fill your imagination up with? What scenes would heal and activate your subconscious mind, inspiring you in just the right ways? I invite you to make a list of at least five of these, and then visualize them often in the coming days. Here are a few possibilities to get you warmed up: peach trees filled with ripe fruit; the planet Jupiter as seen through a powerful telescope; a magnificent suspension bridge at dawn or dusk; a large chorus animatedly singing a song you love; the blissful face of a person you love.

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