Free will astrology

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LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): As I was mulling over your astrological omens, I came across a short poem that aptly embodies the meaning of this moment for you. It's by Richard Wright, and goes like this: "Coming from the woods / A bull has a lilac sprig / Dangling from a horn." Here's one way to interpret this symbolic scene: primal power is emerging into a clearing from out of the deep darkness. It is bringing with it a touch of lithe and blithe beauty -- a happy accident.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): As I see it, you have one potential enemy in the coming weeks: a manic longing for perfection. It's OK to feel that longing as a mild ache. But if you allow it to grow into a burning obsession, you will probably undo yourself at every turn. You may even sabotage some of the good work you've done. My recommendation, then, is to give yourself the luxury of welcoming partial success, limited results, and useful mistakes. Paradoxically, cultivating that approach will give you the best chance at getting lots of things done. Here's your motto for the week, courtesy of Theodore Roosevelt: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): When I was nine years old, one of my favorite jokes went like this: "What's worse than biting into an apple and finding a worm? Give up? Biting into an apple and finding half a worm." According to my reading of the astrological omens, Libra, that's a good piece of information for you to keep in mind right now. If and when a serpent offers you an apple, I hope you will sink your teeth into it with cautious nibbles. I'm not saying you shouldn't bite, just that you should proceed warily.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Normally we think of a garbage dump as a spot where we go to get rid of trash and outworn stuff we no longer need. It emits a stench that wafts a great distance, and it's a not a place where you wear your finery. But there is a dump in northern Idaho that diverges slightly from that description. It has the usual acres of rubbish, but also features a bonus area that the locals call "The Mall." This is where people dispose of junk that might not actually be junk. It has no use for them any more, but they recognize that others might find value in it. It was at The Mall where my friend Peter found a perfectly good chainsaw that had a minor glitch he easily fixed. I suspect that life may be like that dump for you in the coming week: a wasteland with perks.

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