Free Will Astrology: August 17-23, 2011
ARIES [March 21–April 19] Time magazine asked Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough why he started writing a biography of Pablo Picasso but never finished it. McCullough said it was because the famous artist turned out to be boring. He attracted a steady flow of new lovers, and he made hundreds of paintings, but he didn't actually live an interesting life. I'm urging you to be the anti-Picasso in the coming weeks, Aries. Put the emphasis on the quality of your adventures more than on what you produce. Regard your life as your most important work of art.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] "Let's celebrate the first time you cried naked in someone else's bed," is a message on an e-card I found at someecards.com. You might want to send that to yourself, Taurus. It's an excellent time to commemorate the rousing catharses of the past. You may find that revisiting the breakthrough epiphanies of yesteryear will help put you in the right frame of mind (and heart) to conjure up a fresh batch.
GEMINI [May 21-June 20] Why is it so hard for Westerners of the last two centuries to feel the intimate presence of the divine intelligences? Every other culture in the history of the world has had a more vital connection with the realm of spirit. According to poet Gary Snyder, California's Yana Indians explained it this way: The gods have retreated to the volcanic recesses of Mt. Lassen, passing the time playing gambling games with magic sticks. They're simply waiting for such a time when human beings will "reform themselves and become 'real people' that spirits might want to associate with once again." Here's why I'm bringing this up, Gemini: I think that right now is a special time in your life when you have the power to become a "real person" with whom the spirits will want to have closer communion.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] No matter how inclined you might be to opt for excessive self-sufficiency right now, no matter how peeved you are at the human race for being so clumsy and ignorant, I believe you must keep trying to reach out and touch those who are touchable, even if they're barely so. You need what people have to offer you, even if it's sloppy, wimpy, or kooky.
LEO [July 23–August 22] Science writer K.C. Cole asks this question: "How would you hold 100 tons of water in thin air with no visible means of support?" Here's her answer: "Build a cloud." What you have before you right now, Leo, is a comparable scenario. Your assignment is to materialize a phenomenon that from a certain viewpoint may appear to be laughably impossible. And yet, with the proper attitude on your part and nature's help, the project at hand is eminently achievable.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "Dear Astrology Guy: Thank you kindly for your assistance. One of your horoscopes gave me a kick in the butt that propelled me free of a trap I had stupidly agreed to stay stuck in. At the same time, I also have to tell you to go to hell, because as much healing as your words helped bring me, they also stung my pride. Love and hate, Virgo." Dear Virgo: You're welcome and I'm sorry. It's good to hear you're able to appreciate the gifts of paradox. Let's hope that will keep you creatively humble as you slip into an expansive building phase when your ego may be understandably prone to a bit of inflation.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Newsweek reported a fact that few Westerners know about: Nigeria is accustomed to major oil spills. Every year since the 1960s, the Niger Delta has been slammed with a spill as extensive as the Exxon Valdez. My purpose in bringing this to your attention is not to depress you, Libra, but rather to inspire you. I hope you will make it your passion to uncover injustices you've been unaware of, including those close to home. I think you'll be amazed at how much this buoys your spirits. P.S.: You'll get extra credit if you actually take action to address the unfairness.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In the song "Fantasy World," the lead singer of the band Pissed Jeans imagines himself in his happy place. "It's Friday night and Saturday morning in my fantasy world / Sitting near piles of clothes and drinking a soda / with a slice of pizza in my fantasy world." He's not describing some unrealistic paradise where he can fly like an eagle and seduce anyone he wants and find gold bars under his pillow in the morning. Rather, he's content with the simple, familiar pleasures. I urge you to follow his lead as you imagine and create your own fantasy world this week. Love what you've got.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] The highest unclimbed mountain in the world is Gangkhar Puensum, an almost 25,000-foot-tall beauty in Bhutan. It will remain free of human influence indefinitely, as local authorities are keen on preventing the environmental degradation. What's the equivalent in your sphere, Sagittarius? The virgin treasure your quest has not yet won? According to my analysis, you now have the potential to make tangible progress toward that goal. Unlike the case with Gangkhar Puensum, there are no rules or laws preventing you.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] "Mommy, are scientists real?" the boy asked his mother. "Yes, son, they are," she replied. "Do they make stuff that is dangerous?" continued the boy. "Sometimes they do," said the mom. "Then I want to be one when I grow up," concluded the boy. In the coming weeks, Capricorn, I see you as being like the boy. You'll be in the mood to brainstorm about what you might like to evolve into, and your fantasies will tend to move in the direction of what's most adventurous and exciting. It's time to dream really big and really free.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] "I got expelled from college for cheating during my metaphysics final," joked Woody Allen. "I got caught looking into the soul of the guy next to me." Aquarius, I urge you to do a lot of what Allen claimed he did: Gaze into the souls of those around you. It's an excellent time, astrologically speaking, for you to escape the enclosed container of your own inner world and survey the raw truths and deep feelings that other people hold dear.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] "I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine," said pioneering geneticist J.B.S. Haldane. I share that view, and I think it's good to keep in mind whenever we're tempted to rearrange our lives in accordance with the visions of those who predict the future. The future is not set in stone, but is totally up for grabs. The sooner you make that an everyday reminder, the more aggressive you'll become about creating the life you want. Now is an excellent time to get the hang of it.
Oops! We goofed! We mistakenly flip-flopped Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology columns for the past two weeks. Rob knows which week is which; we just had a small karmic conundrum. We sincerely hope that you can forgive us. We're back on track this week! Go here for all of Rob's Voice columns: villagevoice.com/content/result/author:506722/
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.