Free Will Astrology: Aug 17, 2017

Aug. 17-23

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “If you love someone, set them free,” said New Age author Richard Bach. “If they come back, they’re yours; if they don’t, they never were.” By using my well-educated intellect to transmute this hippy-dippy thought into practical advice, I came up with a wise strategy for you to consider as you re-evaluate your relationships with allies. Try this: Temporarily suspend any compulsion you might have to change or fix these people; do your best to like them and even love them exactly as they are. Ironically, granting them this freedom to be themselves may motivate them to modify, or at least tone down, the very behavior in themselves that you’re semi-allergic to.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In 1892, workers began building the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. But as of August 2017, it is still under construction. Renovation has been and continues to be extensive. At one point in its history, designers even changed its architectural style from Neo-Byzantine and Neo-Romanesque to Gothic Revival. I hope this serves as a pep talk in the coming weeks, which will be an excellent time to evaluate your own progress, Virgo. As you keep toiling away in behalf of your dreams, there’s no rush. In fact, my sense is that you’re proceeding at precisely the right rate.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In accordance with the astrological omens, I hereby declare the next two weeks to be your own personal Amnesty Holiday. To celebrate, ask for and dole out forgiveness. Purge and flush away any non-essential guilt and remorse that are festering inside you. If there truly are hurtful sins that you still haven’t atoned for, make a grand effort to atone for them with gifts and heart-felt messages if necessary. At the same time, I urge you to identify accusations that others have wrongly projected onto you and that you have carried around as a burden even though they are not accurate or fair. Expunge them.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): How many countries has the United States bombed since the end of World War II? Twenty-five, to be exact. But if America’s intention has been to prod these nations into forming more free and egalitarian governments, the efforts have been mostly fruitless. Few of the attacked nations have become substantially more democratic. I suggest you regard this as a valuable lesson to apply to your own life in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Metaphorical bombing campaigns wouldn’t accomplish even 10 percent of your goals, and would also be expensive in more ways than one. So I recommend using the “killing with kindness” approach. Be wily and generous. Cloak your coaxing in compassion.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You know about the Ten Commandments, a code of ethics and behavior that’s central to Christianity and Judaism. You may not be familiar with my Ten Suggestions, which begin with “Thou Shall Not Bore God” and “Thou Shall Not Bore Thyself.” Then there are the Ten Indian Commandments proposed by the Bird Clan of East Central Alabama. They include “Give assistance and kindness whenever needed” and “Look after the well-being of your mind and body.” I bring these to your attention, Sagittarius, because now is an excellent time to formally formulate and declare your own covenant with life. What are the essential principles that guide you to the highest good?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Here’s a definition of “fantasizing” as articulated by writer Jon Carroll. It’s “a sort of ‘in-brain’ television, where individuals create their own ‘shows’ imaginary narratives that may or may not include real people.” As you Capricorns enter the High Fantasy Season, you might enjoy this amusing way of describing the activity that you should cultivate and intensify. Would you consider cutting back on your consumption of movies and TV shows? That might inspire you to devote more time and energy to watching the stories you can generate in your mind’s eye.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In 43 cartoon stories, the coyote named Wile E. Coyote has tried to kill and devour the swift-running flightless bird known as the Road Runner. Every single time, Wile E. has failed to achieve his goal. It’s apparent to astute observers that his lack of success is partly due to the fact that he doesn’t rely on his natural predatory instincts. Instead, he concocts elaborate, overly-complicated schemes. In one episode, he camouflages himself as a cactus, buys artificial lightning bolts, and tries to shoot himself from a bow as if he were an arrow. All these plans end badly. The moral of the story, as far as you’re concerned: To reach your next goal, trust your instincts.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You temporarily have cosmic permission to loiter and goof off and shirk your duties. To be a lazy bum and meander aimlessly and avoid tough decisions. To sing off-key and draw stick figures and write bad poems. To run slowly and flirt awkwardly and dress like a slob. Take advantage of this opportunity, because it’s only available for a limited time. It’s equivalent to pushing the reset button. It’s meant to re-establish your default settings. But don’t worry about that now. Simply enjoy the break in the action.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “To disobey in order to take action is the byword of all creative spirits,” said philosopher Gaston Bachelard. This mischievous advice is perfect for your use right now, Aries. I believe you’ll thrive through the practice of ingenious rebellion never in service to your pride, but always to feed your soul’s lust for deeper, wilder life. Here’s more from Bachelard: “Autonomy comes through many small disobediences, at once clever, well thought-out, and patiently pursued, so subtle at times as to avoid punishment entirely.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Congratulations! I expect that during the next three weeks, you will be immune to what psychoanalyst Joan Chodorow calls “the void of sadness, the abyss of fear, the chaos of anger, and the alienation of contempt and shame.” I realize that what I just said might sound like an exaggeration. Aren’t all of us subject to regular encounters with those states? How could you possibly go so long without brushing up against them? I stand by my prediction, and push even further. For at least the next three weeks, I suspect you will also be available for an inordinate amount of what Chodorow calls “the light of focused insight” and “the playful, blissful, all-embracing experience of joy.”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The coming days would an excellent time to celebrate (even brag about) the amusing idiosyncrasies and endearing quirks that make you lovable. To get you inspired, read this testimony from my triple Gemini friend Alyssa: “I have beauty marks that form the constellation Pegasus on my belly. I own my own ant farm. I’m a champion laugher. I teach sign language to squirrels. Late at night when I’m horny and overtired I may channel the spirit of a lion goddess named Sekhmet. I can whistle the national anthems of eight different countries. I collect spoons from the future. I can play the piano with my nose and my toes. I have forever banished the green-eyed monster to my closet.”

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your education may take unusual forms during the coming weeks. For example, you could receive crunchy lessons from velvety sources, or tender instructions from exacting challenges. Your curiosity might expand to enormous proportions in the face of a noble and elegant tease. And chances are good that you’ll find a new teacher in an unlikely setting, or be prodded and tricked into asking crucial questions you’ve been neglecting to ask. Even if you haven’t been particularly street smart up until now, Cancerian, I bet your ability to learn from uncategorizable experiences will blossom.