Free Will Astrology | July 17-23 

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ARIES
(March 21-April 19)
After studying your astrological omens for the upcoming weeks, I got really excited. There was so much I wanted to tell you. I popped a chunk of organic, fair-trade, cruelty-free, espresso-tinctured chocolate in my mouth and sat down to type an extravagant message. Maybe it was because I was overly pumped up, but in the next moment I accidentally swallowed the candy whole. What a waste! I’d gotten none of the bliss of sliding it around my tongue and mouth. But I recognized this apparent bad luck as a sign of what I needed to tell you: Don’t get so worked up about the oncoming pleasures that you engorge them whole without even tasting them.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
In his book In My Other Life, Paul Theroux imagines another version of himself — the “story of a life I could have lived had things been different.” I think you’d benefit from carrying out a similar exercise, Taurus. Daydream about the inner potentials you’ve never developed, the inviting destinations you’ve never actually sought out, the initial interests that never grew into full-fledged relationships — and then fantasize that you are in fact doing those things. Aside from being fun, this experiment could lead you to actually try out some possibilities that maybe you should have considered long ago. And it might at least free up energy that has been trapped inside feelings of remorse.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Kate Knapp Johnson’s poem “Meadow” begins like this: “Half the day lost, staring/ at this window. I wanted to know/ just one true thing// about the soul.” She goes on to imply that she wasn’t successful in her meditation. You, on the other hand, will enjoy a boom time if you go in quest of such insight. By next week, you could discover at least five true things about the soul. Here’s one possible truth now: The soul needs nourishing stories in the same way the body needs healthy food.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I really do feel that you’re here with me as I create these horoscopes. In a sense, you’re my assistant. Our telepathic connection is utterly palpable and practical. The hopes and questions you project my way stream into my higher mind, coloring my psychic environment and enriching my desire to give you exactly what you need. Now, in accordance with the astrological omens, I’m asking you to give our collaboration more conscious intention. It’s time for you to be aggressive about seeking help and inspiration — not just from me, but from everyone. Try this for starters: Once a day for five minutes, visualize that you and I are sitting face-to-face and discussing the issues that feed your longing to be brave and free and authentic and smart and loving and creative.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free,” said the sculptor Michelangelo about a statue he made. Let that approach be your guide in the coming weeks, Leo. Proceed according to the hypothesis that the beautiful thing you want to create is embedded in stuff that’s hiding its true nature, and your job is simply to liberate it from what’s extraneous.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
“Dear Rob ‘Fat-Burner’ Brezsny: I used the Sweet & Sassy Toner video and lost only two pounds in five weeks. I tried the No More Love Handles program and actually gained weight. The only thing that really worked was your column. Reading your horoscopes has, I’m convinced, been responsible for bringing me much closer to having my dream body. You’ve helped me jettison a ton of psychic fat, not to mention a wad of guilt, a load of concern about what other people think of me, and a mass of remorse about the past. I never realized how much of my extra weight had to do with psychological burdens I was carrying. This is the lightest I’ve ever been! Grateful Virgo.” Dear Grateful: Give yourself credit, too. It has been courageous of you to get rid of your unnecessary buffers. By the way, this week will be the climax of the shedding process. Celebrate your success by emptying out even more.

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