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Free Will Astrology (8/14/19)

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LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Moray eels have two sets of jaws. The front set does their chewing. The second set, normally located behind the first, can be launched forward to snag prey they want to eat. In invoking this aggressive strategy to serve as a metaphor for you in the coming weeks, I want to suggest that you be very dynamic and enterprising as you go after what you want and need. Don't be rude and invasive, of course, but consider the possibility of being audacious and zealous.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It's relatively rare, but now and then people receive money or gifts from donors they don't know. Relatives they've never met may bequeath them diamond tiaras or alpaca farms or bundles of cash. I don't think that's exactly what will occur for you in the coming weeks, but I do suspect that you'll garner blessings or help from unexpected sources. To help ensure the best possible versions of these acts of grace, I suggest that you be as generous as possible in the kindness and attention you offer. Remember this verse from the Bible: "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."



LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libra-born Ronald McNair was an African American who grew up in a racist town in South Carolina in the 1950s. The bigotry cramped his freedom, but he rebelled. When he was 9 years old, he refused to leave a segregated library, which prompted authorities to summon the police. Years later, McNair earned a PhD in Physics from MIT and became renowned for his research on laser physics. Eventually, NASA chose him to be an astronaut from a pool of 10,000 candidates. That library in South Carolina? It's now named after him. I suspect that you, too, will soon receive some vindication, Libra: a reward or blessing or consecration that will reconfigure your past.

SCORPIO (Oct. 3-Nov. 21): Scorpio author Zadie Smith wrote, "In the end, your past is not my past and your truth is not my truth and your solution — is not my solution." I think it will be perfectly fine if sometime soon you speak those words to a person you care about. In delivering such a message, you won't be angry or dismissive. Rather, you will be establishing good boundaries between you and your ally; you will be acknowledging the fact that the two of you are different people with different approaches to life. And I bet that will ultimately make you closer.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Nothing fruitful ever comes when plants are forced to flower in the wrong season," wrote author and activist Bette Lord. That's not entirely true. For example, skilled and meticulous gardeners can compel tulip and hyacinth bulbs to flower before they would naturally be able to. But as a metaphor, Lord's insight is largely accurate. And I think you'll be wise to keep it in mind during the coming weeks. So my advice is: Don't try to make people and processes ripen before they are ready. But here's a caveat: You might have modest success working to render them a bit more ready.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "For though we often need to be restored to the small, concrete, limited, and certain, we as often need to be reminded of the large, vague, unlimited, unknown." Poet A.R. Ammons formulated that shiny burst of wisdom, and now I'm passing it on to you. As I think you know, you tend to have more skill at and a greater inclination toward the small, concrete, limited and certain. That's why, in my opinion, it's rejuvenating for you to periodically exult in and explore what's large, vague, unlimited, unknown. Now is one of those times.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Look into my eyes. Kiss me, and you will see how important I am." Poet Sylvia Plath wrote that, and now, in accordance with astrological omens, I'm authorizing you to say something similar to anyone who is interested in you but would benefit from gazing more deeply into your soul and entering into a more profound relationship with your mysteries. In other words, you have cosmic permission to be more forthcoming in showing people your beauty and value.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In his Anti-Memoirs, author André Malraux quotes a tough-minded priest who served in the French Resistance during World War II. He spent his adult life hearing his parishioners' confessions. "The fundamental fact is that there's no such thing as a grown-up person," the priest declared. Even if that's mostly true, Pisces, my sense is that it is less true about you right now than it has ever been. In the past months, you have been doing good work to become more of a fully realized version of yourself. I expect that the deepening and maturation process is reaching a culmination. Don't underestimate your success! Celebrate it!

ARIES (March 21-April 19): How did sound technicians create the signature roar of the fictional monster Godzilla? They slathered pine-tar resin on a leather glove and stroked it against the strings of a double bass. How about the famous howl of the fictional character Tarzan? Sonic artists blended a hyena's screech played backward, a dog's growl, a soprano singer's fluttered intonation slowed down and an actor's yell. Karen O, lead singer of the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, periodically unleashes very long screams that may make the hair stand up on the back of her listeners' necks. In accordance with astrological omens, I'd love to see you experiment with creating your own personal Yowl or Laugh or Whisper of Power in the coming weeks: a unique sound that would boost your wild confidence and help give you full access to your primal lust for life.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough," said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ex-president of Liberia. In accordance with astrological imperatives, I propose that we make that your watchword for the foreseeable future. From what I can tell, you're due to upgrade your long-term goals. You have the courage and vision necessary to dare yourself toward an even more fulfilling destiny than you've been willing or ready to imagine up until now.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): How did our ancestors ever figure out that the calendula flower can be used as healing medicine for irritated and inflamed skin? It must have been a very long process of trial and error. (Or did the plant somehow "communicate" to indigenous herbalists, informing them of its use?) In any case, this curative herb is only one of hundreds of plants that people somehow came to adjudge as having healing properties. "Miraculous" is not too strong a word to describe such discoveries. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Gemini, you now have the patience and perspicacity to engage in a comparable process: to find useful resources through experiment and close observation — with a hardy assist from your intuition.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Today the city of Timbuktu in Mali is poor and in the throes of desertification. But from the 14th to 17th centuries, it was one of the great cultural centers of the world. Its libraries filled up with thousands of influential books, which remained intact until fairly recently. In 2012, Al-Qaeda jihadists conceived a plan to destroy the vast trove of learning and scholarship. One man foiled them. Abba al-Hadi, an illiterate guard who had worked at one of the libraries, smuggled out many of the books in empty rice sacks. By the time the jihadists started burning, most of the treasure had been relocated. I don't think the problem in your sphere is anywhere near as dire as this, Cancerian. But I do hope you will be proactive about saving and preserving valuable resources before they're at risk of being diluted, compromised or neglected.

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