FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Aug. 12-18 | Free Will Astrology | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY: Aug. 12-18

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
According to Leo author Guy de Maupassant, "We are in the habit of using our eyes only with the memory of what people before us have thought about the things we are looking at." That's too bad. It causes us to miss a lot of life's richness. In fact, said de Maupassant, "There is an element of the unexplored in everything. The smallest thing contains a little of what is unknown." Your assignment in the next two weeks, Leo, is to take his thoughts to heart. In every experience, engage "with enough attention to find an aspect of it that no one has ever seen or spoken of." You are in a phase when you could discover and enjoy record-breaking levels of novelty.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Poet Brigit Pegeen Kelly wrote a poem I want you to know about. She described how, when she was a child, she stayed up all night picking peaches from her father's orchard by starlight. For hours, she climbed up and down the ladder. Her hands "twisted fruit" as if she "were entering a thousand doors." When the stars faded and morning arrived, her insides felt like "the stillness a bell possesses just after it has been rung." That's the kind of experience I wish for you in the coming days, Virgo. I know it can't be exactly the same. Can you imagine what the nearest equivalent might be? Make it happen!

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Ancient Greek philosopher Plato mistrusted laughter, poetry, bright colors, and artists who used bright colors. All those soulful activities influenced people to be emotional, Plato thought, and therefore represented a threat to rational, orderly society. Wow! I'm glad I don't live in a culture descended from Plato! Oh, wait, I do. His writing is foundational to Western thought. One modern philosopher declared, "The European philosophical tradition consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." Anyway, I'm counseling you to rebel against Plato in the coming weeks. You especially need experiences that awaken and please and highlight your feelings. Contrary to Plato's fears, doing this will boost your intelligence and enhance your decision-making powers.


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
A biography of Nobel Prize-winning Scorpio author Albert Camus noted that he had two modes. They are summed up in the French words solidaire ("unity") and solitaire ("solitary"). When Camus was in a solidaire phase, he immersed himself in convivial engagement, enjoying the pleasures of socializing. But when he decided it was time to work hard on writing his books, he retreated into a monastic routine to marshal intense creativity. According to my astrological analysis, you Scorpios are currently in the solidaire phase of your rhythm. Enjoy it to the max! When might the next solitaire phase come? October could be such a time.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
During the 76 years since the end of World War II, Italy has had 69 different governments. That's a great deal of turnover! Is it a strength or weakness to have so many changes in leadership? On the one hand, such flexibility could be an asset; it might be wise to keep reinventing the power structure as circumstances shift. On the other hand, having so little continuity and stability may undermine confidence and generate stressful uncertainty. I bring this to your attention, Sagittarius, because you're entering a phase when you could be as changeable as Italy. Is that what you want? Would it serve you or undermine you? Make a conscious choice.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
Capricorn actor Nicholas Browne testifies, "My heart is too full; it overflows onto everything I see. I am drowning in my own heart. I've plunged into the deepness of emotion, and I don't see any way back up. Still, I pray no one comes to save me." I'm guessing that his profound capacity to feel and express emotions serves Browne well in his craft. While I don't recommend such a deep immersion for you 24/7/365, I suspect you'll be wise to embark on such an excursion during the next three weeks. Have fun diving! How deep can you go?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
In accordance with current astrological omens, I'm calling on author Byron Katie to offer you a message. Is it infused with tough love or sweet encouragement? Both! Here's Katie: "When you realize that suffering and discomfort are the call to inquiry, you may actually begin to look forward to uncomfortable feelings. You may even experience them as friends coming to show you what you have not yet investigated thoroughly enough." Get ready to dive deeper than you've dared to go before, Aquarius. I guarantee you it will ultimately become fun and educational.


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
In August 1922, author Nikos Kazantzakis wrote this triumphant declaration: "All day today I've had the most gentle, quivering joy, because I'm beginning to heal. Consciously, happily, I feel that I am being born anew, that I am beginning once again to take possession of the light." On behalf of the cosmic powers-that-be, I authorize you to use these words as your own in the coming weeks. They capture transformations that are in the works for you. By speaking Kazantzakis's declarations aloud several times every day, you will ensure that his experience will be yours, too.

ARIES (March 21-April 19):
"Consecrate" isn't a word you often encounter in intellectual circles. In my home country of America, many otherwise smart people spurn the possibility that we might want to make things sacred. And a lot of art aspires to do the opposite of consecration: strip the world of holiness and mock the urge to commune with sanctified experiences. But filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975) expressed a contradictory view. He wrote, "I am not interested in deconsecrating: that's a fashion I hate. I want to reconsecrate things as much as possible, I want to re-mythicize them." In accordance with astrological omens, Aries, I invite you to look for opportunities to do the same.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
Anaïs Nin wrote, "I don't want worship. I want understanding." George Orwell said, "Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood." Poet Marina Tsvetaeva declared, "For as long as I can remember, I thought I wanted to be loved. Now I know: I don't need love, I need understanding." Here's what I'll add, Taurus: If you ask for understanding and seek it out, a wealth of it will be available to you in the coming weeks.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
The English idiom "playing hard to get" means "pretending to be unavailable or uninterested so as to make oneself more attractive or desirable." Psychologists say this strategy often works, although it's crucial not to go too far and make your pursuer lose interest. Seventeenth-century philosopher Baltasar Gracián expressed the concept more philosophically. He said, "Leave people hungry. Even with physical thirst, good taste's trick is to stimulate it, not quench it. What's good, if sparse, is twice as good. A surfeit of pleasure is dangerous, for it occasions disdain even towards what's undisputedly excellent. Hard-won happiness is twice as enjoyable." I suggest you consider deploying these strategies, Gemini.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):
Painter John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) sometimes worked alongside painter Claude Monet (1840–1926) at Monet's home. He sought the older man's guidance. Before their first session, Sargent realized there was no black among the paint colors Monet gave him to work with. What?! Monet didn't use black? Sargent was shocked. He couldn't imagine painting without it. And yet, he did fine without it. In fact, the apparent limitation compelled him to be creative in ways he hadn't previously imagined. What would be your metaphorical equivalent, Cancerian: a limitation that inspires?

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