Free Will Astrology for the week of August 8th 

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): "You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings," says author Elizabeth Gilbert. I recommend that you experiment with this subversive idea, Aries. Just for a week, see what happens if you devote yourself to making yourself feel really good. I mean risk going to extremes as you pursue happiness with focused zeal. Try this: Draw up a list of experiences that you know will give you intense pleasure, and indulge in them all without apology. And please don't fret about the possible consequences of getting crazed with joy. Be assured that the cosmos is providing you with more slack than usual.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits," writes Taurus author Annie Dillard, "but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air." I recommend you try on her perspective for size. For now, just forget about scrambling after perfection. At least temporarily, surrender any longing you might have for smooth propriety. Be willing to live without neat containment and polite decorum. Instead, be easy and breezy. Feel a generous acceptance for the messy beauty you're embedded in. Love your life exactly as it is, with all of its paradoxes and mysteries.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Studies show that when you're driving a car, your safest speed is five miles per hour higher than the average rate of traffic. Faster than that, though, and the danger level rises. Travelling more slowly than everyone else on the road also increases your risk of having an accident. Applying these ideas metaphorically, I'd like to suggest you take a similar approach as you weave your way through life's challenges in the coming week. Don't dawdle and plod. Move a little swifter than everyone else, but don't race along at a breakneck pace.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The key theme this week is relaxed intensification. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to heighten and strengthen your devotion to things that are important to you — but in ways that make you feel more serene and self-possessed. To accomplish this, you will have to ignore the conventional wisdom, which falsely asserts that going deeper and giving more of yourself require you to increase your stress levels. You do indeed have a great potential for going deeper and giving more of yourself, but only if you also become more at peace with yourself and more at home in the world.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Last year a young Nebraskan entrepreneur changed his name from Tyler Gold to Tyrannosaurus Rex Gold. He said it was a way of giving him greater name recognition as he worked to build his career. Do you have any interest in making a bold move like that, Leo? The coming weeks would be a good time for you to think about adding a new twist to your nickname or title or self-image. But I recommend something less sensationalistic and more in line with the qualities you'd actually like to cultivate in the future. I'm thinking of something like Laughing Tiger or Lucky Lion or Wily Wildcat.

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