Free Will Astrology: July 4-10, 2012

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Members of the Nevada Republican Party have concocted a bizarre version of family values. A large majority of them are opposed to gay marriage and yet are all in favor of legal brothels. Their wacky approach to morality is as weird as that of the family values crowd in Texas, which thinks it's wrong to teach adolescents about birth control even though this has led to a high rate of teen pregnancies. My question is, why do we let people with screwed-up priorities claim to be the prime caretakers of "family values"? In accordance with the astrological omens, I urge you to reject the conventional wisdom as you clarify what that term means to you.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] There's a term for people who have the ardor of a nymphomaniac in their efforts to gather useful information: infomaniac. That's exactly what I think you should be in the coming week. You need data and evidence, and you need them in abundance. What you don't know would definitely hurt you, so make sure you find out everything you need to know. Be as thorough as a spy, as relentless as a muckraking journalist, and as curious as a child. PS: See if you can set aside as many of your strong opinions and emotional biases as possible.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Of all the signs of the zodiac, you're the best at discovering shortcuts. No one is more talented than you at the art of avoiding boredom. And you could teach a master course in how to weasel out of strenuous work without looking like a weasel. None of those virtues will come in handy during the coming week. The way I see it, you should concentrate on not skipping any steps. You should follow the rules, stick to the plan, and dedicate yourself to the basics. Finish what you start.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] The epic breadth of your imagination is legendary. Is there anyone else who can wander around the world without ever once leaving your home? Is there anyone else who can reincarnate twice in the span of a few weeks without having to go through the hassle of actually dying? Yet now and then there do come times when your fantasies should be set aside so that you may soak up the teachings that flow your way when you physically venture outside of your comfort zone. Now is such a moment, my fellow Cancerian. Please don't take a merely virtual break in the action. Get yourself away from it all, even if it's only to the marvelous diversion or magic sanctuary on the other side of town.

LEO [July 23–August 22] In Norse mythology, Fenrir was a big bad wolf that the gods were eager to keep tied up. In the beginning, they tried to do it with metal chains, but the beast broke free. Then they commissioned the dwarves to weave a shackle out of six impossible things: a bear's sinews, a bird's spit, a fish's breath, a mountain's root, a woman's beard, and the sound a cat's paws made as it walked. This magic fetter was no thicker than a silk ribbon, but it worked. Fenrir couldn't escape from it. I invite you to take inspiration from this story, Leo. As you deal with your current dilemma, don't try to fight strength with strength. Instead, use art, craft, subtlety, and even trickery. I doubt you'll need to gather as many as six impossible things.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] This is a time when your personal actions will have more power than usual to affect the world around you. The ripples you set in motion could ultimately touch people you don't even know and transform situations you're not part of. That's a lot of responsibility! I suggest, therefore, that you be on your best behavior. Not necessarily your mildest, most polite behavior, mind you. Rather, be brave, impeccable, full of integrity, and a little wild.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Goldfish that are confined in small aquariums stay small. Those that spend their lives in ponds get much bigger. What can we conclude from these facts? The size and growth rate of goldfish are directly related to their environment. I'd like to suggest that a similar principle will apply to you Librans in the next 10 months. If you want to take maximum advantage of your potential, you will be wise to put yourself in spacious situations that encourage you to expand. For an extra boost, surround yourself with broad-minded, uninhibited people who have worked hard to heal their wounds.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Over the years, you've explored some pretty exotic, even strange ideas about what characterizes a good time. In the coming days, I'm guessing you will add to your colorful tradition with some rather unprecedented variations on the definition of "pleasure" and "happiness." I don't mean to imply that this is a problem. Not at all. To paraphrase the Wiccan credo, as long as it harms no one (including yourself), anything goes.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] There come times in your life when you have a sacred duty to be open to interesting tangents and creative diversions; times when it makes sense to wander around aimlessly with wonder in your eyes and be alert for unexpected clues that grab your attention. But this is not one of those times. Rather, you really do need to stay focused on what you promised yourself you would concentrate on. The temptation might be high to send out sprays of arrows at several different targets. But I hope that instead you stick to one target and take careful aim with your best shots.

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