Free Will Astrology: August 20 through 26


ARIES [March 21–April 19] Your next assignment is to inject more fun into your job—or into anything that feels like work, for that matter. You need to reinvent your approach to activities that push you to the limits of your patience or test your resolve. For best results, be open to the possibility that you really don’t have to keep being cranky and bored in places where you’ve assumed you will always be cranky and bored.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] After studying your astrological omens, I closed my eyes and received a vision: I saw a pair of toddlers dressed in fine purple satin garments and wearing golden hats. They looked like a prince and princess, and were wandering around inside a ritual circle about 10 yards in diameter, drawn with white chalk in a green meadow. Vases of cut flowers and statues of gods and goddesses ringed the circle. So what does my vision mean? Maybe this: Two magnificent possibilities have recently been born (or will soon be). You should cast a protective spell around them, letting them amble and dally within a proscribed area as their magic ripens.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Some spas are now offering their clients “butt facials.” The cost for smoothing and toning your skin in the lower realms can range up to $800 per session. At that steep price, I can’t in good conscience mandate the procedure for you. But the astrological omens are favorable for you to take special care of things at the bottom of your life, even if they are more metaphorical in nature. So please brainstorm ways you could upgrade your ballast, strengthen your foundation, and give your center of gravity a boost.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] Studies show that 58 percent of us think our IQs are higher than average. That can’t be true, of course, but maybe one sign of a person with a below-average IQ is the delusion that he’s pretty intelligent. Having said that, however, I confidently predict that at least 58 percent of all Cancerians will exceed the norm in the coming weeks. The astrological omens suggest you have the potential to be smarter than you’ve ever been. Use your acuity constructively!

LEO [July 23–August 22] Was there a dream you abandoned some time ago? A power you recklessly gave up? A knack or skill that withered away because you stopped wielding it with the regularity and excellence it demanded? It’s time to revisit defeats like these, Leo. You’re in very good shape to reimagine the original experiences in ways that could help you recover what was lost.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] “The advantage of the incomprehensible is that it never loses its freshness,” wrote French poet Paul Valery. From that perspective, Virgo, I bet you’ll be sparkling and brisk in the coming days. There will be so much delightfully hard-to-understand novelty flowing your way that you’ll be awakened again and again and again, rising each time to a higher level of awareness.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] The 19th-century American philosopher Henry David Thoreau accomplished a lot. Among his best-known works is “Civil Disobedience,” an essay that inspired Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. But Thoreau also knew how to relax and how to free himself from the anxiety of living up to other people’s standards of success. One passage in his journal reads: “For many years I was a self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms and did my duty faithfully, though I never received payment for it.” He’s your role model for the rest of 2008, Libra. May he inspire you to give yourself the slack you need as you become more of the unique work of art you were born to be.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] You’ve been on a hero’s journey, Scorpio, ever since you first realized that your destiny is unlike anyone else’s, and that you have specific tasks to master as you pursue the long-term dreams that are uniquely meaningful to you. But like the rest of us, you sometimes lose sight of the big picture for months at a time. You may even be fairly happy as you focus on the daily details without any thought of where you’ll be years from now. If that’s the rhythm you’ve been in lately—and I suspect it is—it’s about to change. Your immersion in the next major phase of your hero’s journey will soon begin.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Michelangelo never finished two-thirds of the sculptures he started. Basketball superstar Michael Jordan failed on 26 different occasions when he was given the ball to try the game-winning shot as time ran out. Of Bob Dylan’s 57 albums, maybe only 15 of them are masterpieces. I bring these facts to your attention, Sagittarius, in the hope that they’ll give you perspective on the down times in your own track record. More importantly, I want to let you know that in the coming weeks, you should have access to the same kind of energy that Michelangelo, Michael Jordan, and Dylan had when they were creating their own legends.

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] “The bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes,” wrote Plato in The Republic, “either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind’s eye quite as much as of the bodily eye.” Plato goes on to elaborate: When a person leaves the light and enters the shadows, his vision is perplexed, since he’s unaccustomed to the dark. Likewise, when a person moves from the dark into brightness, it takes a while for his sight to adjust to the dazzle. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Capricorn, you’ve had to deal with the first kind of temporary blindness about three weeks ago, and you’ll begin experiencing the second kind any day now.

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] In addition to food, air, water, sleep, and love, every human being needs stories. No one can psychically survive without the continuous flow of narrative through the imagination. And just as there’s a big difference between the nourishment provided by a salad and a candy bar, so there’s a wide range of quality in the stories you expose yourself to. Soaking up the adventures of Hugh Hefner and his three girlfriends on The Girls Next Door will probably deplete your energy and lower your intelligence, while reading Tom Robbins’s Jitterbug Perfume may enhance your mental hygiene and sharpen your perceptions. What I’m saying here is always true, of course, but it’s especially important for right now, when you’re ravenous for beautiful, uncanny, uplifting stories.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] “The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions,” said British writer Antony Jay. If you’d like to be in closer alignment with the cosmic rhythms, Pisces, you’ll keep that meditation in mind. Your imagination will be extraordinarily active in the coming week, and I can’t think of a better way to deploy it than to smoke out and lovingly annihilate the lazy, useless, and just plain bad questions that are threatening to lead you astray.

HOMEWORK Do you remember the last time you loved yourself with consummate artfulness and grace? See if you can re-create that golden age. Testify at

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