Free Will Astrology: July 28 through August 3, 2010

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Success coach Tom Ferry says our ability to pursue our dreams can be damaged by four addictions: 1) An addiction to what other people think of us; 2) An addiction to creating melodrama in a misguided quest for excitement; 3) An addiction to believing we're imprisoned by what happened in the past; and 4) An addiction to negative thoughts that fill us with anxiety. The good news is that in the coming weeks you will find it easier than usual to free yourself from addictions 1, 3, and 4. On the other hand, you may be extra susceptible to addiction 2. So take action to make sure you don't fall victim to it!

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Some of the biggest whales feed on tiny organisms like protozoa, algae, and krill. They swim around with their mouths open, gulping seawater, using filtering structures in their upper jaws to sieve out the stuff they want to eat. Their strategy for getting a meal has resemblances to an approach you may benefit from using: sifting through a lot of superfluous material to get the rich basics you seek. Discernment isn't the only skill you'll need; relaxed patience will be crucial, too.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Do you know about the planet's worst conflict? It was the Second Congo War, involving eight African nations and killing 5.4 million people between 1998 and 2006. You're aware of the oil hemorrhage in the Gulf of Mexico, but have you heard about the horrific catastrophe that an American oil company wreaked on Ecuador from the early 1960s until 1992? I bring these things up because now is an excellent time for you to fill in gaps in your education and learn the rest of any story that you've been missing—not just concerning events in the world but also in regards to your personal history.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] A psychic in Colorado was arrested for bilking her clients. Nancy Marks told people that their money was possessed by spirits, and that the best solution was to hand the money over to her. The cops claim she collected $290,000 before she was nabbed. My message to you is very different from the psychic's warning: Your bank account has a divine blessing on it. At least temporarily, this makes you a kind of cash magnet; you have an unusual power to attract legal tender. Say this mantra: "O monnee gimmee summ."

LEO [July 23–August 22] Can you force things to grow? Is it possible to induce ripening simply by aggressively exerting your willpower? Normally I'd say no, but these days I think it's within your capacity. Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying you could go up to a tomato plant and magically transform mid-size green tomatoes into big orange beauties. But from a metaphorical perspective, you could accomplish something like that. What fragile bud would benefit from bursts of your vitality? What sweet young thing might thrive with your invigorating help?

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] In The Dream and the Underworld, he says something I've heard from other researchers—that the majority of dreams we have each night are unpleasant. But that's not true for me. Way more than 50 percent of mine are educational and entertaining. Most stretch my understanding of how the world works and motivate me to get smarter about what I've been ignorant about. As you enter the Intense Dreaming Phase of your cycle, I suspect your nocturnal adventures will resemble mine. Get ready to encounter intriguing characters who'll have the power to heal you. The wind and rain may play music that dissolves your fear.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] During the Tang Dynasty, educated people didn't use clichéd salutations to begin and end their encounters with each other. Instead, they improvised, composing poetic riffs appropriate for the occasion. "Your face is especially bright today. Are you expecting to see a lucky cloud?" or "I'll bask in your glories again later. In the meantime, may you find a brisk blend of elegance and mischief." I'd love to see you do something like that. Give more to your collaborators, and ask for more, too.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] I admire people who sweat freely and abundantly while they're working hard at what they love to do. Singer James Brown was renowned for his sweltering floods, and so is baseball player Pablo Sandoval. But many unfamous people I've known would also be top candidates for King and Queen of Sacred Sweat, like my friend, Julia, who practices her passion in the garden. I'm hoping you will come into your own as one of this elite group, Scorpio. The omens suggest you'd be wise to raise the heat in your alchemical furnace.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] The wind coming off the creek has picked up in the last half-hour, and so the branches of the lemon tree outside my office window are swaying vehemently in the late-afternoon sun. Is the tree upset? No. Is it worried or offended or angry at the wind? Of course not. From what I can tell, it's enjoying the raucous movement. I can even imagine that it knows how lucky it is: It wouldn't be able to dance so expressively without the help of the gusts. I hope you'll interpret your experiences in the coming week with a similar perspective, Sagittarius.

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] While flying over water, an eagle can spot a fish swimming from 300 feet away. As it prowls through a winter landscape, a coyote can detect the presence of a mouse bustling beneath thick snow. I suspect you'll have a comparable knack for tuning in to things that are of keen interest, even if they are hidden or located at a distance. To maximize your advantage, get clear about what you're hungry for. Build a vivid image in your mind's eye of what you need.

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Lola, a woman I know, has mastered the art of self-contradiction. She makes no apologies for the apparent oppositions she gladly contains. For instance, she's perfectly at ease with the fact that she is not only a lesbian anarchist skater punk who's a prolific graffiti artist, but also a devout Christian who doesn't consume drugs or alcohol, drives a Lexus SUV, and volunteers as a massage therapist at a hospice. Your internal paradoxes may or may not be as extreme as hers, Aquarius, but I urge you to express them with the panache that she does.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] My friend, Erica, went to a Chinese herbalist, seeking help for a skin problem that hadn't been healed by six other doctors. "Very rare condition," the herbalist told her. There was only one thing he knew that would work: Erica would have to travel to the Ruoergai Marshes in Sichuan Province, China, and track down a White-Tailed Eagle, whose fresh droppings she would gather up and apply to the affected areas of her skin. As the prospect of such a pilgrimage was daunting, Erica decided instead to simply imagine herself carrying it out. After a week of such meditations, her skin had improved. In 21 days, she wasn't completely cured, but she was much better. The moral of the story, Pisces: Simply visualizing a heroic healing quest may help fix your glitch.

Homework: What are the conditions you'd need in your world in order to feel like you were living in paradise? Testify at

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