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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

Week of August 16

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Dear Rob: Have your apprentices been composing your column lately? Or have you outsourced the writing to Vedic fortune-tellers in Calcutta? The horoscopes just don't sound like you. They're, I don't know, goofier or something. Have you been smoking more dope than usual? - Lonely for the Old Rob." Dear Lonely: I always write every horoscope, and I never take drugs. In fact, I think it's YOU that have changed. Many of you Aries have been so deeply immersed in mutation lately that you don't realize how much you've mutated. You assume everyone around you is different only because you don't know how different you've become.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "I am in continuous pursuit of the color red," says artist Andy Goldsworthy, whose specialty is creating large outdoor sculptures made of natural objects. "As I approach the source of the color red, the more I understand it." That's why he's so fond of red rocks, whose hue comes from iron, the same element that makes our blood red. Your next assignment, Taurus, is to develop a more intimate and expansive relationship with red. Color therapists say that it inspires vigor, zeal, determination, and primordial longing. But don't just let the experts define your connection with red. Find your own meanings, too.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In his poem "The Two Trees," William Butler Yeats says that one tree is holy and grows within the heart. Its branches and trembling flowers thrive on joy. The changing colors of its fruit please the stars, and its leaves give the waves their melody. The second tree has broken boughs and blackened leaves, and is full of "the ravens of unresting thought." I bring this to your attention, Gemini, because in the coming week it really is up to you and your free will which of these two trees you spend most of your time with. The astrological configurations have nothing to say on that matter.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you cooperate with the cosmic rhythms in the coming weeks, they will stimulate some interesting changes in the way your brain works. Here are a few of the developments you can expect: a five-point rise in your IQ; a boost in your ability to solve puzzles; a growing knack for heading off bad moods before they even erupt; a sixth sense for distinguishing between what people say they're doing and what they're actually doing; and a dramatic improvement in your ability to know what you don't want.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Leo writer J.K. Rowling is the second-richest woman entertainer in the world because of her seven best-selling novels about Harry Potter. It wasn't easy for her in the beginning, however. Her first book in the series was rejected by eight publishers before Bloomsbury decided to risk it. I nominate Rowling to be your inspirational role model for the rest of 2007, Leo. According to my analysis of the omens, you should be working (and playing) hard to produce an enduring creation that may take a while to make its mark.

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