Free Will Astrology (Aug. 4-10) 

JAMES NOELLERT
  • James Noellert

ARIES: March 21 – April 19: Filmmaker Federico Fellini had an unexpected definition of happiness. He said it was "being able to speak the truth without hurting anyone." I suspect you will have abundant access to that kind of happiness in the coming weeks, Aries. I'll go even further: You will have extra power to speak the truth in ways that heal and uplift people. My advice to you, therefore, is to celebrate and indulge your ability. Be bold in expressing the fullness of what's interesting to you.

TAURUS: April 20 – May 20: "Look for a long time at what pleases you, and longer still at what pains you," wrote the novelist Colette. What?! Was she making a perverse joke? That's wicked advice, and I hope you adopt it only on rare occasions. In fact, the exact opposite is the healthy way to live — especially for you in the coming weeks. Look at what pains you, yes. Don't lose sight of what your problems and wounds are. But please, for the sake of your dreams, for the benefit of your spiritual and psychological health, look longer at what pleases you, energizes you, and inspires you.

GEMINI: May 21 – June 20: If you deepen your affection for butterflies and hummingbirds, I will love it. If you decide you want the dragonfly or bumblebee or lark to be your spirit creature, I will approve. You almost always benefit from cultivating relationships with swift, nimble, and lively influences — and that's especially true these days. So give yourself full permission to experiment with the superpower of playful curiosity. You're most likely to thrive when you're zipping around in quest of zesty ripples and sprightly rhythms.

CANCER: June 21 – July 22: Life is showing you truths about what you are not, what you don't need, and what you shouldn't strive for. That's auspicious, although it may initially feel unsettling. I urge you to welcome these revelations with gratitude. They will help you tune in to the nuances of what it means to be radically authentic. They will boost your confidence in the rightness of the path you've chosen for yourself. I'm hoping they may even show you which of your fears are irrelevant. Be hungry for these extraordinary teachings.

LEO: July 23 – August 22: The next two months will be a propitious time for you and your intimate allies to grow closer by harnessing the power of your imaginations. I urge you to be inventive in dreaming up ways to educate and entertain each other. Seek frisky adventures together that will delight you. Here's a poem by Vyacheslav Ivanov that I hope will stimulate you: "We are two flames in a midnight forest. We are two meteors that fly at night, a two-pointed arrow of one fate. We are two steeds whose bridle is held by one hand. We are two eyes of a single gaze, two quivering wings of one dream, two-voiced lips of single mysteries. We are two arms of a single cross."

VIRGO: August 23 – Sept. 22: Virgo spiritual author Don Miguel Ruiz urges us not to take anything personally. He says that if someone treats us disrespectfully, it's almost certainly because they are suffering from psychological wounds that make them act in vulgar, insensitive ways. Their attacks have little to do with what's true about us. I agree with him, and will add this important caveat: Even if you refrain from taking such abuses personally, it doesn't mean you should tolerate them. It doesn't mean you should keep that person in your life or allow them to bully you in the future. I suspect these are important themes for you to contemplate right now.

LIBRA: Sept. 23 – Oct. 22: "People who feel deeply, live deeply, and love deeply are destined to suffer deeply," writes poet Juansen Dizon. To that romanticized, juvenile nonsense, I say: NO! WRONG! People who feel and live and love deeply are more emotionally intelligent than folks who live on the surface — and are therefore less fragile. The deep ones are likely to be psychologically adept; they have skills at liberating themselves from the smothering crush of their problems. The deep ones also have access to rich spiritual resources that ensure their suffering is a source of transformative teaching — and rarely a cause of defeat. Have you guessed that I'm describing you as you will be in the coming weeks?

SCORPIO: Oct. 23 – Nov. 21: Professor of psychology Ethan Kross tells us there can be healthy, creative forms of envy. "Just as hunger tells us we need to eat," he writes, "the feeling of envy could show us what is missing from our lives that really matters to us." The trick is to not interpret envy as a negative emotion, but to see it as useful information that shows us what we want. In my astrological opinion, that's a valuable practice for you to deploy in the coming days. So pay close attention to the twinges of envy that pop into your awareness. Harness that volatile stuff to motivate yourself as you make plans to get the very experience or reward you envy.

SAGITTARIUS: Nov. 22 – Dec. 21: Poet Walt Whitman bragged that he was "large." He said, "I contain multitudes." One critic compared him to "a whole continent with its waters, with its trees, with its animals." Responding to Whitman, Sagittarian poet Gertrud Kolmar uttered an equally grandiose boast. "I too am a continent," she wrote. "I contain mountains never-reached, scrubland unpenetrated, pond bay, river-delta, salt-licking coast-tongue." That's how I'm imagining you these days, dear Sagittarius: as unexplored territory, as frontier land teeming with undiscovered mysteries. I love how expansive you are as you open your mind and heart to new self-definitions. I love how you're willing to risk being unknowable for a while as you wander out in the direction of the future.

CAPRICORN: Dec. 22 – Jan. 19: Poet Ezra Pound wrote a letter to novelist James Joyce that included the following passage: "You are fucking with my head, and so far I've been enjoying it. Where is the crime?" I bring this up, Capricorn, because I believe the coming weeks will be prime time for you to engage with interesting souls who fuck with your head in enjoyable ways. You need a friendly jolt or two: a series of galvanizing prods; dialogs that catalyze you to try new ways of thinking and seeing; lively exchanges that inspire you to experiment.

AQUARIUS: Jan. 20 – Feb. 18: Blogger Mandukhai Munkhbaatar offers advice on the arts of intimate communion. "Do not fall in love only with a body or with a face," she tells us. "Do not fall in love with the idea of being in love." She also wants you to know that it's best for your long-term health and happiness if you don't seek cozy involvement with a person who is afraid of your madness, or with someone who, after you fight, disappears and refuses to talk. I approve of all these suggestions. Any others you would add? It's a favorable phase to get clearer about the qualities of people you want and don't want as your allies.

PISCES: Feb.19 – March 20: I gave my readers homework, asking them to answer the question "What is your favorite rule to break?" In response, Laura Grolla sent these thoughts: "My favorite rule to break is an unwritten one: that we must all stress and strive for excellence. I have come up with a stress-busting mantra, ‹It is OK to be OK.' In my OKness, I have discovered the subtle frontier of contentment, which is vast and largely unexplored. OKness allows me not to compete for attention, but rather to pay attention to others. I love OKness for the humor and deep, renewing sleep it has generated. Best of all, OKness allows me to be happily aging rather than anxiously hot." I bring this to your attention, Pisces, because I think the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to investigate and embody the relaxing mysteries of OKness.

This week's homework: Tell me what subtle or not-so-subtle victories you plan to accomplish by January 1, 2022. Newsletter@freewillastrology.com

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