Free Will Astrology 

Horoscopes for the week of August 13–19.

Aries (March 21–April 19): To ensure the full accuracy of this horoscope, I have been compelled to resurrect an old-fashioned English word that isn't used much any more: "gambol." It means to cavort and frolic in a playful manner, or to romp and skip around with mad glee, as if you are unable to stop yourself from dancing. The astrological omens seem unambiguous in their message: In order to cultivate the state of mind that will enable you to meet all your dates with destiny in the coming weeks, you need to gambol at least once every day.

Taurus (April 20–May 20): Do you remember your first kiss? How about the first time you had sex? Although those events may not have been perfectly smooth and graceful, they were radical breakthroughs that changed your life and altered your consciousness. Since then, there may have been a few other intimate rites of passage that have impacted you with similar intensity. No doubt you will experience others in the future. In fact, I suspect that the next installments are due to arrive in the coming months. Get ready for further initiations in these mysteries.

Gemini (May 21–June 20): Two-thirds of us don't know what our strengths and talents are. That's the conclusion of a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology. One reason for the problem is what the report's co-author Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener calls "strengths blindness," in which we neglect our real powers because we regard them as ordinary or take them for granted. Here's the good news, Gemini: If you suffer from even a partial ignorance about the nature of your potentials, the coming months will be a favorable time to remedy that glitch. Life will conspire to help you see the truth. (Read more: bit.ly/truestrengths.)

Cancer (June 21–July 22): In 1504, Michelangelo finished his sculpture of the Biblical hero David. But he hadn't been the first person to toil on the 17-foot-high block of marble. Forty years earlier, the artist Agostino di Duccio was commissioned to carve David out of the stone. His work was minimal, however. He did little more than create the rough shape of the legs and torso. In 1476, Antonio Rossellino resumed where Agostino had stopped, but he didn't last long, either. By the time Michelangelo launched his effort, the massive slab had languished for 25 years. I see parallels between this story and your own, Cancerian. I suspect that you will be invited to take on a project that has been on hold or gotten delayed. This may require you to complete labors that were begun by others — or maybe instigated by you when you were in a very different frame of mind.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22): Many people harbor the unconscious bias that beauty resides primarily in things that are polished, sleek, and perfect. Celebrities work hard and spend a lot of money to cultivate their immaculate attractiveness, and are often treated as if they have the most pleasing appearance that human beings can have. Art that is displayed in museums has equally flawless packaging. But the current astrological omens suggest that it's important for you to appreciate a different kind of beauty: the crooked, wobbly, eccentric stuff. For the foreseeable future, that's where you'll find the most inspiration.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): "No tree can grow to Heaven unless its roots reach down to Hell," wrote psychologist Carl Jung in his book Aion. My interpretation: We earn the right to experience profound love and brilliant light by becoming familiar with shadows and suffering. Indeed, it may not be possible to ripen into our most radiant beauty without having tangled with life's ugliness. According to my understanding of your long-term cycle, Virgo, you have dutifully completed an extended phase of downward growth. In the next extended phase, however, upward growth will predominate. You did reasonably well on the hellish stuff; now comes the more heavenly rewards.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): The Great Balancing Act of 2015 doesn't demand that you be a wishy-washy, eager-to-please, self-canceling harmony whore. Purge such possibilities from your mind. What the Great Balancing Act asks of you is to express what you stand for with great clarity. It invites you to free yourself, as much as you can, from worrying about what people think of you. It encourages you to be shaped less by the expectations of others and more by what you really want. Do you know what you really want, Libra? Find out! P.S.: Your task is not to work on the surface level, trying to manipulate the appearance of things. Focus your efforts in the depths of yourself.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21): Muslims, Jews, and Christians are collaborating to erect a joint house of worship in Berlin. The building, scheduled to be finished by 2018, will have separate areas for each religion as well as a common space for members of all three to gather. Even if you don't belong to any faith, you may be inspired by this pioneering effort to foster mutual tolerance. I offer it up to you as a vivid symbol of unity. May it help inspire you to take full advantage of your current opportunities to heal schisms, build consensus, and cultivate harmony.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21): In some phases of your life, you have been a wanderer. You've had a fuzzy sense of where you belong. It has been a challenge to know which target you should aim your arrows at. During those times, you may have been forceful but not as productive as you'd like to be; you may have been energetic but a bit too inefficient to accomplish wonders and marvels. From what I can tell, one of those wandering seasons is now coming to a close. In the months ahead, you will have a growing clarity about where your future power spot is located — and may even find the elusive sanctuary called "home." Here's a good way to prepare for this transition: Spend a few hours telling yourself the story of your origins. Remember all the major events of your life as if you were watching a movie.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19): You have been slowing to a crawl as you approach an exciting transition. But I'm here to advise you to resume normal speed. There's no need for excessive caution. You have paid your dues; you have made your meticulous arrangements; you have performed your quiet heroisms. Now it's time to relax into the rewards you have earned. Lighten your mood, Capricorn. Welcome the onrushing peace and start planning how you will capitalize on your new freedom.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18): "Most people reach the top of the ladder of success only to find it's leaning against the wrong wall." Aquarian actor Paul Sorensen said that. It's no coincidence that I'm bringing this theory to your attention right now. The coming months will be a good time to determine whether the ladder you have been climbing is leaning against the right wall or wrong wall. My advice is to question yourself at length. Be as objective as possible. Swear to tell yourself the whole truth. If, after your investigations, you decide it is indeed the wrong wall, climb down from the ladder and haul it over to the right wall. And if you're satisfied that you are where you should be, celebrate!

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20): When he served as Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi denigrated the cuisine of Finland. "Finns don't even know what prosciutto is," he sneered. At best, he said, their food is to be "endured." He mocked the "marinated reindeer" they eat. But Finland fought back against the insults. In an international pizza contest held in New York, their chefs won first prize for their "Pizza Berlusconi," a specialty pizza that featured marinated reindeer. The Italian entry finished second. I foresee you enjoying a comparable reversal in the coming months, Pisces. And it all begins now.

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