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Free Will Astrology

Week of Aug. 26, 2021

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries mythologist Joseph Campbell advised us to love our fate. He said we should tell ourselves, "Whatever my fate is, this is what I need." Even if an event seems inconvenient or disruptive, we treat it as an opportunity, as an interesting challenge. "If you bring love to that moment, not discouragement," Campbell said, "you will find the strength." Campbell concludes that any detour or disarray you can learn from "is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!" Few signs of the zodiac are inclined to enthusiastically adopt such an approach, but you Aries folks are most likely to do so. Now is an especially favorable time to use it.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The brilliant Taurus dancer and choreographer Martha Graham spoke of "a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action," adding that "there is only one of you in all time." She added, "It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open." But even if you do this very well, Graham said, you will nevertheless always feel "a divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest" that will fuel you. This is the perfect message for you Tauruses to embrace in the coming weeks.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): There's growing scientific evidence that we make ourselves stupid by complaining too much—or even by listening to other people complain a lot. Excessive negative thoughts drain energy from our hippocampus, a part of our brain that's essential to problem-solving. This doesn't mean, of course, that we should avoid dealing with difficult issues. But it does suggest we should be discerning about how many disturbing and depressing ideas we entertain. According to my reading of the omens, all this will be especially useful advice for you in the coming weeks.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your brain contains one hundred billion nerve cells. Each cell has the potential to be linked with tens of thousands of others. And they are always busy. Typically, your grey matter makes a million new connections every second. But I suspect your number of connections will increase even beyond that in the coming weeks. Your most complex organ will be working with greater intensity than usual. Will that be a bad thing or a good thing? It depends on whether you formulate an intention to channel your intelligence into wise analysis about important matters—and not waste it in careless fussing about trivial details.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "You should have a sticky soul," counsels author Elizabeth Berg. "The act of continually taking things in should be as much a part of you as your hair color." I especially endorse that attitude for you during the next four weeks, Leo. Your task is to make yourself extra magnetic for all the perceptions, experiences, ideas, connections, and resources you need most. By September 23, I suspect you will have gained an infusion of extra ballast and gravitas.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "I sing like the nightingale whose melody is crowded in the too narrow passage of her throat," wrote author Virginia Woolf. That was an insulting curse for her to fling at herself. I disapprove of such behavior—especially for you in the coming weeks. If you hope to be in alignment with cosmic rhythms, don't you dare say nasty things about yourself, even in the privacy of your own thoughts. In fact, please focus on the exact opposite: flinging praise and appreciation and compliments at yourself.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The blogger at www-wlw.tumblr.com says the following are the top tender actions. 1. Fastening clothes or jewelry for your companion. 2. Letting them rest their head on your shoulder. 3. Idly playing with their hands. 4. Brushing a leaf out of their hair. 5. Locking pinkies. 6. Rubbing their back when you embrace. 7. Both of you wearing an item that belongs to the other. Dear Libra, I hope you will employ these tender actions with greater frequency than usual in the coming weeks, Libra. Why? In my astrological opinion, it's a ripe time to boost your Affection Quotient with the allies you care for the most.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Naturalist Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal, "I feel slightly complimented when nature condescends to make use of me without my knowledge—as when I help scatter her seeds in my walk—or carry burs and cockles on my clothes from field to field. I feel as though I had done something for the commonweal." I mention this, Scorpio, because the coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to carry out good deeds and helpful transformations in nature's behalf. Your ability to collaborate benevolently with plants and animals and elemental forces will be at a peak. So will your knack for creating interesting connections between yourself and all wild things.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You may have never heard of Sagittarian artist Baya Mahieddine (1931–1998). At age 16, she experienced a splash of acclaim with a show in Paris. Famous artists Pablo Picasso, Henry Matisse, and George Braques came. They drew inspiration from Mahieddine's innovative use of color, elements from her Algerian heritage, and her dream-like images. Picasso even invited her to work with him, exulting in the fresh perspectives she ignited. But her art never received the full credit it warranted. In accordance with astrological omens, this horoscope is a small way of providing her with the recognition and appreciation she deserves. It also authorizes you to go out and get the recognition and appreciation you deserve but have not yet fully received.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Who knows what is unfolding on the other side of each hour?" asked Capricorn poet Juan Ramón Jiménez (translated by Capricorn poet Robert Bly). "How many times the sunrise was there, behind a mountain. How many times the brilliant cloud piling up far off was already a golden body full of thunder!" Your assignment, Capricorn, is to imagine what is unfolding just beyond your perception and understanding. But here's the twist: You must steer your mind away from inclinations to indulge in fear. You must imagine that the events in the works are beautiful, interesting, or redemptive. If you're not willing to do that, skip the exercise altogether.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup," wrote author Wendell Berry. I mostly agree with that sentiment, although I will also put in a good word for certain kinds of arguments. There are moments when it's crucial for your psychological and spiritual health that you initiate a conversation about delicate issues that might lead to a dispute. However, I don't think this is one of those times, Aquarius. In my astrological opinion, picking dew-wet red berries is far more sensible than any argument. For further inspiration, read this testimony from actor Natasha Lyonne: "I definitely would rather take a nap than get angry."

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): For painter Vincent van Gogh, love wasn't primarily a sentimental feeling. Nor was it an unfocused generalized wish for health and happiness in those he cared for. Rather, he wrote, "You must love with a high, serious, intimate sympathy, with a will, with intelligence." His love was alert, acute, active, and energized. It was animated with a determination to be resourceful and ingenious in nurturing the beloved. For van Gogh, love was always in action, forever moving toward ever-fresh engagement. In service to intimacy, he said, "you must always seek to know more thoroughly, better, and more." I hope you'll make these meditations a top priority during the next seven weeks.

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