Free Will Astrology: July 29 through August 4


ARIES [March 21–April 19] Are you a gelatinous pool of longing yet? Are you throbbing and gooey and half-nauseous with that sickness some people called love? If not, I don’t know what to tell you. By all astrological reckoning, your gut should be swarming with drunk butterflies, and the clouds should be taking on the shapes of mating horses. If you’re not half-drowning in these symptoms, I implore you to find a way to pry open the floodgates.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] You’re primed to cancel a jinx in the coming days, Taurus. You could help someone escape a bewitchment, and you might be able to soothe a wound that has been festering for a long time. I’m playing with the fantasy that you are now the living embodiment of a lucky charm. At no other time in recent memory have you had so much power to reverse the effects of perverse karma, bad habits, and negative vibes. Your hands and eyes are charged with good medicine. Other parts of you are, too, which means sexual healing could be in the works. But as you embark on your mission to cure everyone you love, remember the first law of the soul doctor: “Physician, heal thyself.”

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] The Norwegians had a concept called svoermere, which meant something sweetly futile or deliciously unprofitable. While I can see the appeal that your version of svoermere has had for you, Gemini, I think it’s time to think about moving on. You have both a right and a duty to seek out more constructive pleasures that not only make you feel really good but also serve your long-term goals.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] It’s Freedom From Want Week! For Cancerians only! During this grace period, you might actually feel contented. It’s quite possible that you’ll be free from the obsession to acquire security, love, proof of your greatness, tchotchkes, more everything. You may even make the shocking discovery that you don’t need nearly as much as you thought you did in order to be happy—that maybe you have a lot to learn about getting more out of what you already have.

LEO [July 23–August 22] Would you like to spend the next 30 years working your assets off to make your bosses rich? If not, I suggest you start formulating Plan B. The time is not ripe to extricate yourself from the wicked game, but it’s ripe to begin scheming and dreaming about how to extricate yourself. Assume that there’s some validity in the meme that Joseph Campbell articulated: “Follow your bliss, and the money will come.” Then ask yourself, “Do I even know what my bliss is? Not my mild joy or diversionary fun, but my unadulterated bliss?” Once you know that, you can follow it. And then the money will follow.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] As the season of riddles and paradoxes kicks into high gear, I present you with a two-part quiz. 1) Since it has taken you your whole life to become the person you are today, is it reasonable to expect that you can transform yourself in a flash? and 2) On the other hand, since you are more creative than you give yourself credit for, and are also in an astrological phase when your ability to change is greater than usual, is it reasonable to assume that you must remain utterly stuck in your old ways of doing things?

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] So much to say and do. So little time. Is it OK if I pepper you with pithy hints? Here goes: There’s strength in numbers, Libra, so travel in packs. Round up support and whip up group fervor. Add at least one new friend and bolster at least one old friendship. Think before you act, but always act instead of watching from afar. To court luck, do charity work. To ensure that favors will come your way later this year, do extra favors now.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] The book of Isaiah prophesies a future time of undreamed-of harmony. “The wolf will romp with the lamb,” reads one translation. “Cow and bear will graze in the same pasture, their calves and cubs will grow up together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.” You’re now eligible for a preview of this paradisiacal state. To receive your free introductory offer, you need only meet one condition: You must vow not to harm any living thing—not even a cockroach. Not even the person you love best.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] You Sagittarians are famous for filling your cups too full. Sometimes, this is cute. Sometimes, it’s a problem for those who don’t like Cabernet Sauvignon sloshed on their handwoven Persian rugs. This week, however, I predict there will be little or no hell to pay for overflowing. So go ahead and transcend your containers, you beautiful exaggerators. Feel free to express yourself like a fire hose. Now enjoy a few gems from your fellow Sagittarius, the extravagant poet and painter William Blake. 1) “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom”; 2) “Exuberance is beauty”; 3) “The lust of the goat is the bounty of God”; and 4) “You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Constant vigilance, my friend. That’s what I advise. Be attentive to details you gloss over. Wake up a little earlier and prepare for each encounter with forethought. Stare a little harder into the hearts of all those whose motivations might detour your destiny. Monitor every communication for hints that all is not as it seems. Guard against the possibility that you may be overlooking a gift or blessing that’s being offered to you in an indirect way.

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] “Keep exploring what it takes to be the opposite of who you are,” suggests psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of the book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. This advice is one of his ideas about how to get into attunement with the Tao, also known as being “in the zone” or “getting in the groove” or “being aligned with the great cosmic flow.” How would you go about being the opposite of who you are, Aquarius? According to my reading of the omens, that will be an excellent question for you to muse in the coming weeks. As you stretch yourself to embody the secret parts of you, I think you’ll be pleased with how much more thoroughly that allows you to be in synch with the rhythms of life.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] In early 2009, psychologists in the Shandong province began offering an alleged cure to Internet addiction that involved electroshock therapy. Parents of 3,000 young people paid Dr. Yang Yongxin more than $800 a month to hook their anesthetized teens up to machines that sent electricity through their brains to induce artificial seizures. After four months, the Chinese government intervened and halted the treatment, noting there was no evidence it worked. This practice might sound comically barbaric to you, but I think it has a certain resemblance to the way you have been dealing with your own flaws and excesses: with inordinate force. I really think it’s important not to punish yourself for any reason, even if it’s in a supposedly good cause. The lesson of this experiment is: Not only is it overkill, but it doesn’t even have the desired effect.

Homework: Is there something about you that’s too tame? If so, do you think it’s time to untame yourself? Testify at