Free Will Astrology: Sly Guidance 

Horoscopes for August 11-17

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LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Let's assume, for the sake of fun argument, that you do indeed have a guardian angel. Even if you have steadfastly ignored this divine helper in the past, I'm asking you to strike up a close alliance in the coming weeks. If you need to engage in an elaborate game of imaginative pretending to make it happen, so be it. Now let me offer a few tips about your guardian angel's potential purposes in your life: providing sly guidance about how to take good care of yourself, quietly reminding you where your next liberation might lie, keeping you on track to consistently shed the past and head toward the future, and kicking your ass so as to steer you away from questionable influences. OK? Now go claim your sublime assistance!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Although you might not yet be fully aware of your good fortune, your "rescue" is already underway. Furthermore, the so-called hardship you've been lamenting will soon lead you to a trick you can use to overcome one of your limitations. Maybe best of all, Virgo, a painful memory you have coddled for a long time has so thoroughly decayed that there's almost nothing left to cling to. Time to release it! So what comes next? Here's what I recommend: Throw a going-away party for everything you no longer need. Give thanks to the secret intelligence within you that has guided you to this turning point.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Here comes a special occasion—a radical exemption that is so rare as to be almost impossible. Are you ready to explore a blessing you have perhaps never experienced? For a brief grace period, you can be free from your pressing obsessions. Your habitual attachments and unquenchable desires will leave you in peace. You will be relieved of the drive to acquire more possessions or gather further proof of your attractiveness. You might even arrive at the relaxing realization that you don't require as many props and accessories as you imagined you needed to be happy and whole. Is enlightenment nigh? At the very least, you will learn how to derive more joy out of what you already have.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
In the coming weeks, I suspect that life will attempt to move you away from any influences that interfere with your ability to discern and express your soul's code. You know what I'm talking about when I use that term "soul's code," right? It's your sacred calling, the blueprint of your destiny, the mission you came to earth to fulfill. So what does it mean if higher powers and mysterious forces are clearing away obstacles that have been preventing you from a more complete embodiment of your soul's code? Expect a breakthrough that initially resembles a breakdown.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Maybe you know people who flee from the kind of Big Bold Blankness that's visiting you, but I hope you won't be tempted to do that. Here's my counsel: Welcome your temporary engagement with emptiness. Celebrate this opening into the unknown. Ease into the absence. Commune with the vacuum. Ask the nothingness to be your teacher. What's the payoff? This is an opportunity to access valuable secrets about the meaning of your life that aren't available when you're feeling full. Be gratefully receptive to what you don't understand and can't control.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
I placed a wager down at the astrology pool. I bet that sometime in the next three weeks, you Capricorns will shed at least some of the heavy emotional baggage that you've been lugging around; you will transition from ponderous plodding to curious-hearted sauntering. Why am I so sure this will occur? Because I have detected a shift in attitude by one of the most talkative little voices in your head. It seems ready to stop tormenting you with cranky reminders of all the chores you should be doing but aren't—and start motivating you with sunny prompts about all the fun adventures you could be pursuing.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
What you are most afraid of right now could become what fuels you this fall. Please note that I used the word "could." In the style of astrology I employ, there is no such thing as predestination. So if you prefer, you may refuse to access the rich fuel that's available. You can keep your scary feelings tucked inside your secret hiding place, where they will continue to fester. You are not obligated to deal with them squarely, let alone find a way to use them as motivation. But if you are intrigued by the possibility that those murky worries might become a source of inspiration, dive in and investigate.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Are you ready for your mid-term exam? Luckily I'm here to help get you into the proper frame of mind to do well. Now study the following incitements with an air of amused rebelliousness. 1. You might have to act a bit wild or unruly in order to do the right thing. 2. Loving your enemies could motivate your allies to give you more of what you need. 3. Are you sufficiently audacious to explore the quirky happiness that can come from cultivating intriguing problems? 4. If you want people to change, try this: Change yourself in the precise way you want them to change.

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Using scissors, snip off a strand of your hair. As you do, sing a beloved song with uplifting lyrics. Seal the hair in an envelope on which you have written the following: "I am attracting divine prods and unpredictable nudges that will enlighten me about a personal puzzle that I am ready to solve." On each of the next five nights, kiss this package five times and place it beneath your pillow as you sing a beloved song with uplifting lyrics. Then observe your dreams closely. Keep a pen and notebook or audio recorder near your bed to capture any clues that might arrive. On the morning after the fifth night, go to your kitchen sink and burn the envelope and hair in the flame of a white candle. Chant the words of power: "Catalytic revelations and insights are arriving." The magic you need will appear within 15 days.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
This would be a good time to have a master craftsperson decorate your headquarters with stained glass windows that depict the creation stories of your favorite indigenous culture. You might also benefit from hiring a feng shui consultant to help you design a more harmonious home environment. Here are some cheaper but equally effective ways to promote domestic bliss: Put images of your heroes on your walls. Throw out stuff that makes you feel cramped. Add new potted plants to calm your eyes and nurture your lungs. If you're feeling especially experimental, build a shrine devoted to the Goddess of Ecstatic Nesting.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
You Geminis are as full of longings as any other sign, but you have a tendency to downplay their intensity. How often do you use your charm and wit to cloak your burning, churning yearnings? Please don't misunderstand me: I appreciate your refined expressions of deep feelings—as long as that's not a way to hide your deep feelings from yourself. This will be an especially fun and useful issue for you to meditate on in the coming weeks. I advise you to be in very close touch with your primal urges.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Be vulnerable and sensitive as well as insatiable and irreverent. Cultivate your rigorous skepticism, but expect the arrival of at least two miracles. Be extra nurturing to allies who help you and sustain you, but also be alert for those moments when they might benefit from your rebellious provocations. Don't take anything too personally or literally or seriously, even as you treat the world as a bountiful source of gifts and blessings. Be sure to regard love as your highest law, and laugh at fear at least three times every day.

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