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Free Will Astrology
horoscopes for week of July 28, 2005

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Have you been dreaming of frogs, worms, and potted plants? Researchers have found that pregnant women have an inordinate number of encounters with those three things during their sleep-time adventures. And while you may not technically be carrying a developing baby inside you, you are at least gestating a brainchild. Like a woman who will give birth in the not-too-distant future, you're both delicate and strong, a bit lumbering but radiantly graceful, sometimes out of sorts but often wiser than you've ever been.


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Most people associate innocence with naiveté. Conventional wisdom regards it as belonging to children and fools and rookies who lack the sophistication or experience to know the tough truths about life. But the Beauty and Truth Laboratory recognizes a different kind of innocence. It's based on an understanding that the world is always changing, and therefore deserves to be seen fresh every day. This alternative brand of innocence is fueled by an aggressive determination to empty one's imagination of all preconceptions. "Ignorance is not knowing anything and being attracted to the good," wrote Clarissa Pinkola-Estes in Women Who Run With the Wolves. "Innocence is knowing everything and still being attracted to the good."
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

As Deputy Defense Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz was a key part of the team that planned America's invasion of Iraq in 2003. These days he's got a new gig, President of the World Bank, and prefers not to be distracted by the Downing Street memo and other ever-growing evidence that the war was built on faulty and deceitful assumptions. "There will be a time and place to talk about history," he has said, "but I really don't believe it's now." Wolfowitz should be your anti-role model in the coming week, Taurus. This is the time and this is the place for you to talk and think about your own personal history in exhaustive detail.


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Mirabilia is a word that refers to events that inspire wonder, marvelous phenomena, small miracles; it's from the Latin mirabilia, "marvels." Here's your mirabilia report for the coming week: The average river requires a million years to move a grain of sand 100 miles. Kind people are more likely than mean people to yawn when someone near them does. There are always so many fragments of spider legs floating in the air that you are constantly inhaling them wherever you go. Gregorian chants can cure dyslexia. Bob Hope donated half a million jokes to the Library of Congress. Bees perform a valuable service for the flowers from which they steal. The moon smells like exploded firecrackers. Physicists in Tennessee coaxed electric signals to travel through coaxial cable at four times the speed of light, even though the equipment they used was cheap stuff from Radio Shack. Revlon makes 177 different shades of lipstick.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

According to author Truman Capote, "It's a scientific fact that if you stay in California, you lose one point of IQ for every year." I hope he was wrong, since it would mean my IQ has already declined 28 points since I moved to the West Coast in 1977. But even if his theory is correct, and you're a Gemini who lives in California, you'll be able to recover some of your lost intelligence in the coming weeks. That's because the current astrological configurations virtually guarantee that you'll be getting smarter, and probably wiser as well. As for you Twins living outside of California, you can expect to soar as close to the genius level as you ever have.


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Go to the ugliest or most forlorn place you know—a drugstore parking lot, the front porch of a crack house, a toxic waste dump, or the place that symbolizes your secret shame—and build a shrine devoted to beauty, truth, and love.

Here are some suggestions about what to put in your shrine: a silk scarf; a smooth rock on which you've inscribed a haiku or joke with a felt-tip pen; coconut cookies or ginger candy; pumpkin seeds and an origami crane; a green kite shaped like a dragon; a music CD you love; a photo of your hero; a votive candle carved with your word of power; a rubber ducky; a bouquet of fresh beets; a print of Van Gogh's Starry Night.
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The preceding suggestion comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Emily Dickinson had a boundless imagination and an intense craving for privacy. She wrote nearly 1800 poems, but kept them to herself, stashing most of them in a trunk belonging to her maid. Only seven of them were published while she was alive. Why did she hide the brilliant and prolific outpouring of her soul? No one really knows. Let's make sure you don't follow her example, Cancerian. In my astrological opinion, it's high time for you to begin revealing at least some of the incredible beauty that you conceal from the world. When you look back at this period of your life 40 years from now, maybe you'll say, "That was the turning point, when I stopped being such a closely guarded secret."


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When many people talk about their childhoods, they emphasize the alienating, traumatic experiences they had. It has become fashionable to avoid reporting memories of the good times in one's past. This seems dishonest—a testament to the popularity of cynicism rather than a reflection of objective truth.

I don't mean to downplay the way your early encounters with pain demoralized your spirit. But as you reconnoiter the promise of pronoia, it's crucial for you to extol the gifts you were given in your early years: all the helpful encounters, kind teachings, and simple acts of grace that helped you bloom. Remember them now, please.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

"The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses," wrote Carl Sagan. "They laughed at Columbus and they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." I bring this to your attention, Leo, because your bright ideas may be met with skeptical amusement in the coming week. Is that because they're in the Wright brothers' category or more like Bozo's? I suspect they'll actually be a mix of both--half-ingenious and half-cracked. Your job is to be ruthlessly honest as you figure out which are which.


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The primary meaning of the word "healing" is "to cure what's diseased or broken." Medical practitioners focus on sick people. Psychotherapists wrestle with their clients' traumas and neuroses. Philanthropists donate their money and social workers contribute their time to helping the underprivileged. I am in awe of them all. The level of one's spiritual enlightenment, I believe, is more accurately measured by helping people in need than by meditation skills, shamanic shapeshifting, supernatural powers, or religious knowledge.

But I also believe in a second kind of healing that is largely unrecognized: to supercharge what is already healthy; to lift up what's merely sufficient to a sublime state. Using this definition, describe two acts of healing: one you would enjoy performing on yourself and another you'd like to provide for someone you love.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Last June in Ethiopia, seven men kidnapped a 12-year-old girl and held her in a remote wilderness for seven days. Then a miracle occurred. Three lions sprang out of nowhere and chased the abductors away. They protected the girl until a search team arrived, then slipped away. "The lions stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest," said one of the rescuers. I've told you this story, Virgo, because I believe it has metaphorical resemblances to an adventure you're in the middle of.


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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
Is the world a dangerous, chaotic place with no inherent purpose, running on automatic like a malfunctioning machine and fundamentally inimical to your happiness? Or are you surrounded by helpers in a friendly universe that gives you challenges in order to make you smarter and wilder and kinder? Trick questions! The answers may depend, at least to some degree, on what you believe is true.

Formulate a series of experiments that will allow you to objectively test the hypothesis that the universe is conspiring to help you.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

There would be no apples if it weren't for the bees that pollinate apple blossoms. Likewise, chocolate wouldn't exist without the flies that pollinate the flowers of the cacao tree. In the coming week, Libra, I encourage you to imagine you're analogous to those bees and flies--a social pollinator who spreads good influences from group to group and connects people who should be allies. In addition, I'd like you to imagine you're cooking up metaphorical versions of chocolate mousse and apple pie. In other words, make it your goal to generate delicious effects that are both gourmet and down to earth. You might also want to be like another pollinator, bats. They ensure the fruitfulness of agave plants and hence are responsible for tequila.


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Congratulations. Every cell in your perfect animal body is beginning to purr with luminous gratitude for the enormity of the riches you endlessly receive. You are becoming aware that each of your heart's beats originates as a gift of love directly from the Goddess herself. Any residues of hatred that had been tainting your libido are leaving you for good. You are becoming telepathically linked to the world's entire host of secret teachers, pacifist warriors, philosopher clowns, and bodhisattvas disguised as convenience store clerks.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Pioneer cartoonist Walt Disney had no doubts about what inspired his greatest ardor. "I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I've ever known," he said. My sculptor friend Rachel has a similar relationship with her art. "I don't have time for boyfriends," she told me. "Men just distract me from my work, which is the only thing that gives me unconditional joy." I suggest that in the coming weeks you make Walt and Rachel your role models, Scorpio. What form of creative self-expression inspires as much of your passion as your drive for romantic intimacy? Feed it with the same fervor you summon when you're infatuated with a new lover.


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A thousand years from today, everyone you know will be long dead and forgotten. There'll be nothing left of the life you love, no evidence that you ever walked this planet. That, at least, is what the fundamentalist materialists would have you believe. But suppose the truth is very different? What if in fact every little thing you do subtly alters the course of world history? What if your day-to-day decisions will actually help determine how the human species navigates its way through the epic turning point we're living through? And finally, what if you will be alive in a thousand years, reincarnated into a fresh body and in possession of the memories of the person you were back in this era? These are my hypotheses. These are my prophecies. Which is why I say: Live as if your soul is eternal.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

A few weeks ago I went to the Warped Tour, an outdoor music festival featuring 80 hard-core rock and punk bands on ten different stages. Pummeled nonstop in mosh pits full of flailing dancers in the 100-degree heat, basking in the blasts of guitars, drums, and vocals roaring at jet-engine volumes, showered by saliva and sweat from the frenzied musicians, I had a religious experience. On the one hand, unbridled chaos seemed to be raging all around me. On the other hand, I felt perfectly safe and thoroughly entertained. I was also serenely amused by the knowledge that everyone was there primarily to play and have fun. That's what I wish for you in the coming days, Sagittarius: a knack for putting yourself in the enjoyable eye of the human hurricane.


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Psychologist Carl Jung believed that all desires have a sacred origin, no matter how odd they may seem. Frustration and ignorance may contort them into distorted caricatures, but it is always possible to locate the divine source from which they arose. In describing one of his addictive patients, Jung said: "His craving for alcohol was the equivalent on a low level of the spiritual thirst for wholeness, or as expressed in medieval language: the union with God."

Therapist James Hillman echoes the theme: "Psychology regards all symptoms to be expressing the right thing in the wrong way." A preoccupation with porn or romance novels, for instance, may come to dominate a passionate person whose quest for love has degenerated into an obsession with images of love. "Follow the lead of your symptoms," Hillman suggests, "for there's usually a myth in the mess, and a mess is an expression of soul."
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

There are at least 20 different kinds of kisses, and the ancient Indian book Kama Sutra describes ten of them. Loving gazes and caresses come in an almost infinite variety, and the 2600-year-old book identifies a few of each. As for sexual positions, the Kama Sutra provides insight into how to perform 84. In the coming weeks, I suggest you explore the Kama Sutra or a text like it, Capricorn, because your astrological assignment is to be ingenious and experimental as you push past the frontiers of your sexual wisdom.


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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
Like all of us, you have desires for things that you don't really need and aren't good for you. But you shouldn't disparage yourself for having them, nor should you conclude that every desire is tainted. Rather, think of your misguided longings as the bumbling, amateur expressions of a faculty that will one day be far more expert. They're how you practice as you work toward the goal of becoming a master of desire. It may take a while, but eventually you will get the hang of wanting things that are really good for you, and good for everyone else, too.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

My brother Tom is a real estate agent. Lately he's been noticing that a lot of people are suffering from what he calls IDD--Intention Deficit Disorder. They act as if they really want to buy or sell a house, but then never get past the first few fledgling steps toward that end. Their good intentions get derailed by modest challenges. I want to make sure that you Aquarians don't develop a case of IDD in the coming weeks. The astrological omens suggest that you could fall prey to wandering around aimlessly unless you add a large dose of steel to your will.


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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
To become a master of desire, keep talking yourself out of being attached to trivial goals and keep talking yourself into being thrilled about the precious few goals that are really important. Here's another way to say it: Wean yourself from ego-driven desires and pour your libido into a longing for beauty, truth, goodness, justice, integrity, creativity, love, and an intimate relationship with the Wild Divine.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

In the 19th century, ketchup was sold as a medicine. Physicians prescribed "Dr. Miles Compound Extract of Tomato" and similar potions to cure a variety of maladies, including liver disease, baldness, athlete's foot, and depression. In this wacky tradition, I'm recommending that you eat lots of ketchup to cure what ails you. There's actually nothing wrong with you at all, of course. But you have been feeding a tiny delusion with so much worried attention that it has bloomed into a big bad hallucination. One of the best medicines might be ketchup, whose healing power is as imaginary as your fake problem, and which is therefore a likely cure for it.


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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
In Homer's epic tale, The Odyssey, he described nepenthe, a mythical drug that induced the forgetfulness of pain and trouble. Modern culture has turned the myth into reality: There are now many stimuli serving that purpose.

If Homer were alive today, we wonder if he'd write about a potion that stirs up memories of delight, serenity, and fulfillment? Imagine that you have taken such a tonic. Spend an hour or two remembering the glorious moments from your past.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.

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