Free Will Astrology: August 8-14, 2012

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Apollo astronaut Russell Schweickart had a vision of loveliness while flying through outer space in his lunar module. "One of the most beautiful sights is a urine dump at sunset," he testified. He said it resembles a "spray of sparklers," as 10 million little ice crystals shoot out into the void at high velocity. As you feed your quest for a lusty life, Aries, I urge you to be as quirky and resourceful as Schweickart. Come up with your own definitions about what's gorgeous.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] At the heart of this horoscope is a quote from Maya Angelou. Although it might seem schmaltzy, I assure you that its counsel will be essential to your success in the coming weeks. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel," Angelou said. Can you see how valuable this principle might be for you, Taurus? If you hope to get what you desire, you should turn your empathy on full blast.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] The coming week will be prime time to celebrate your eccentricities and cultivate your idiosyncrasies. Do you like ketchup on your bananas? I really think you should make note of all the qualities that make you odd or unique and express those qualities with extra intensity. That might grate on some people, true, but it should have a potent healing effect on you.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] Here are my questions: Will you thrust your foot across that imaginary line, or will you back away from it, scouting around for an escape route? Will you risk causing a commotion in order to scratch the itch in your ambition? Or will you shuffle on back to your comfort zone and caress your perfect daydreams? Personally, Cancerian, I'm hoping you will elect to do what's a bit unsettling. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should. If you make a bold move, make sure you're not angling to please or impress me—or anyone else. Do it as a way to express your respect for yourself—or don't do it.

LEO [July 23–August 22] When Tchaikovsky wrote the musical score for his famous 1812 Overture, it included 16 cannon shots. Literally. These blasts weren't supposed to be made by, say, a sledgehammer pounded against a wooden mallet, but rather by the detonation of an actual cannon. As crazy as that is, you've got to admire Tchaikovsky's creative gall. In accordance with the astrological omens, I invite you to be inspired by his example. In your own field, mess with the rules about how to play.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "And if nothing is repeated in the same way," says poet Antonio Porchia, "all things are last things." That's a good principle to adapt for your own purposes, Virgo. A few weeks from now, I bet you'll be enmeshed in an orgy of novelty, creating yourself from scratch and exploring experiences you've never heard of before. But in the meantime, as you bring this cycle to a close, be equally inventive about how you finish things off. Don't imitate the approach you used in tying up loose ends in the past.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] All of us feel bad sometimes—sad, discouraged, helpless, unloved. It's a natural part of being human. Here's the good news: I am not predicting you will go through a phase like that anytime soon. Here's the even better news: The coming week will be an excellent time to come up with effective strategies for what to do in the future when you go through a rough period. For example, instead of wallowing in self-pity or berating yourself for your weakness, maybe you can resolve, next time, to amble aimlessly out in nature.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] When a domesticated weasel captures some treasure or beats out a competitor for food, it performs a celebratory dance that's referred to as the "weasel war dance." During this triumphant display, it might hiss, arch its back, fluff out its tail, and hop around madly. I encourage you to come up with your own private version of this ritual, Scorpio. It can be more dignified if you like: snapping your fingers, singing a magical phrase, or raising your arms in a V-for-victory gesture. Whatever you choose, do it after every accomplishment, no matter how small.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] One out of every four of us is afraid that we have missed our calling—that we have misread our soul's code and failed to identify the labor of love that would provide our ultimate fuel. If you're among this deprived group, I have good news: The next six weeks will be an excellent time to fix the problem—to leave the niche where you don't belong and go off to create a new power spot. And if you are among the 75 percent of us who are confident you've found your vocation, the next six weeks will be prime time to boost your efforts to a higher level.

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