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Free Will Astrology
horoscopes for week of August 11, 2011

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Dr. Larry Dossey thinks we shouldn't just automatically dismiss the voices that speak to us in the privacy of our own heads. Some of them may actually have wise counsel, or at least interesting evidence about the state of our inner world. Besides, says Dossey, "it is vital for our mental health to keep the channels open, because when the voices of the gods are shut out, the devils often take up residence." This would be good advice for you to observe in the coming days, Aries. Don't let the nagging, blustering, or unhinged murmurs in your head drown out the still, small voice of lucid intuition. (Dossey's book is The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things: Fourteen Natural Steps.)


Take inventory of the extent that "No" dominates your life. Notice how often you say or think: 1. "That's not right." 2. "I don't like that." 3. "I don't agree with that." 4. "They don't like me." 5. "I'm not very good." 6. "That should be different from what it is." For help in retraining yourself to say "Yes!" at least 51% of the time, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Here's one of the Beauty and Truth Laboratory's favorite rules for evaluating the information that comes our way: Assume that it's a blend of truth and falsehood and every shade of half-truth in between. That applies equally to stories in The New York Times and to the raving spiels of the homeless Gulf War vet who hangs out at the local post office.

While I suspect that the Times has a much higher proportion of accurate data, I can never be sure what distortions are embedded in its reports. Its unconscious devotion to pop nihilism means that it routinely ignores vast realms of human experience. And there are odd days when the homeless guy's rants spit out gems of poetic wisdom that give me the chills and change the way I understand the world.

Moral of the story: Useful messages may come from anywhere. I'm more likely to recognize them if I'm simultaneously curious and discriminating.
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

What are you going to do to attract or induce the phenomena I name in the list below? At least three of them could come your way in the days ahead: 1. a "limitation" that leads to more freedom; 2. an imaginative surrender that empowers you to make a seemingly impossible breakthrough; 3. a healthy shock to the system that tenderizes your emotions; 4. a tough task that clarifies and fine-tunes your ambition; 5. a seemingly lost chance that leads to a fresh promise through the vigorous intervention of your creative willpower.


How's your fight for freedom going? Are you making progress in liberating yourself from your unconscious obsessions, bad habits, and conditioned responses? For assistance and inspiration, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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To achieve what the Zen Buddhists call "beginner's mind," you dispense with all preconceptions and enter each situation as if seeing it for the first time. "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities," wrote Shunryu Suzuki in his book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, "but in the expert's there are few."

As much as I love beginner's mind, though, I advocate an additional discipline: cultivating a beginner's heart. That means approaching every encounter imbued with a freshly invoked wave of love that is as pure as if you're feeling it for the first time.
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Thirteen will be your lucky number for the foreseeable future. In fact, a host of things for which the average person has an irrational aversion could be helpful to you. For that matter, influences that you yourself may have considered in the past to be unsympathetic or uncongenial could very well be on your side, and may even conspire to enlighten and delight you. At least temporarily, I urge you to shed your superstitions, suspend your iffy biases, and dismiss your outworn fears.


Assume that your drive to experience pleasure isn't a barrier to your spiritual growth, but is in fact essential to it. Proceed on the hypothesis that cultivating joy can make you a more ethical and compassionate person. Imagine that feeling good has something important to teach you every day. For inspiration in practicing this approach, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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To be the best pronoiac explorer you can be, I suggest you adopt an outlook that combines the rigorous objectivity of a scientist, the "beginner's mind" of Zen Buddhism, the "beginner's heart" of pronoia, and the compassionate friendliness of the Dalai Lama. Blend a scrupulously dispassionate curiosity with a skepticism driven by expansiveness, not spleen.

To pull this off, you'll have to be willing to regularly suspend your brilliant theories about the way the world works. Accept with good humor the possibility that what you've learned in the past may not be a reliable guide to understanding the fresh phenomenon that's right in front of you. Be suspicious of your biases, even the rational and benevolent ones. Open your heart as you strip away the interpretations that your emotions might be inclined to impose.

"Before we can receive the unbiased truth about anything," wrote my teacher Ann Davies, "we have to be ready to ignore what we would like to be true."

At the same time, don't turn into a hard-ass, poker-faced robot. Keep your feelings moist and receptive. Remember your natural affection for all of creation. Enjoy the power of tender sympathy as it drives you to probe for the unimaginable revelations of every new moment. "Before we can receive the entire truth about anything," said Ann Davies, "we have to love it."
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Anne Cushman wrote a book called Enlightenment for Idiots. It wasn't a how-to book, but rather a novel about a spiritual truth-seeker wandering through India. As far as I know, no one has written an actual instructional manual with the theme she named in her title. If anyone could do it, though, it would be you right now. Lately, you've been getting smarter by doing the most ordinary things. You've been drawing life-enhancing lessons from events that others might regard as inconsequential or unsophisticated. I suspect that this trend will continue in the coming days. Through the power of simplicity and directness, you will succeed at tasks that might have defeated you if you had allowed yourself to get lost in complicated theories and overly-thought-out approaches. Congrats!


"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show." So begins Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield. I'd like to inspire you to write a story of your own that begins like that. For help, tune into your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Receptivity is not a passive state. Nor is it a blank emptiness, waiting around for whatever happens to come along. In urging you to cultivate receptivity, I don't mean you should become a lazy do-nothing bereft of goals, reacting blindly to whatever life throws in front of you.

Receptivity is a robust readiness to be surprised and moved, a vigorous intention to be awake to everything you can't control. When you're receptive in the pronoiac style, you have strong ideas and a powerful will and an eagerness to disseminate your unique blessings, but you're also animated by the humble certainty that you have a lot to learn.
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

For 34 years, a diligent Californian named Scott Weaver worked on creating a scale model of San Francisco using toothpicks. Meanwhile, Eric Miklos, of New Brunswick, Canada, was assembling a 40-foot-long chain of bottle caps. And in 2006, a team of artists constructed a 67-foot-tall gingerbread house, the world's largest, inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. These are not the kinds of stupendous feats I advise you to get started on in the coming weeks, Leo. The astrological omens suggest that you'll attract blessings into your life if you launch deeply meaningful masterpieces, not trivial or silly ones.


I invite you to keep a running list of all the ways life delights you and helps you and energizes you. Describe everyday miracles you take for granted . . . the uncanny powers you possess . . . the small joys that occur so routinely you forget how much they mean to you . . . the steady flow of benefits bestowed on you by people you know and don't know. What works for you? What makes you feel at home in the world? For inspiration in this noble effort, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Most people associate innocence with naivete. 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 Lab 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 keep clearing one's imagination of all preconceptions.

"Ignorance is not knowing anything and being attracted to the good," wrote Clarissa Pinkola EstÚs 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 book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estes loves life's natural rhythms just as they are. She says we can avoid a lot of suffering if we understand how those rhythms work. "The cycles are birth, light, and energy, and then depletion, decline, and death," she told Radiance magazine. In other words, everything thrives and fades, thrives and fades. After each phase of dissipation, new vitality incubates and blooms again. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Virgo, you are currently going through a period of dwindling and dismantling. The light is dimmer than usual, and the juice is sparser. But already, in the secret depths, a new dispensation is stirring.


All of creation loves you very much. Even now, people you know and people you don't know are collaborating to make sure you have all you need to make your next smart move. But are you willing to start loving life back with an equal intensity? The adoration it offers you has not exactly been unrequited, but there is room for you to be more demonstrative. For help in cultivating this approach, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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"Objection, evasion, joyous distrust, and love of irony are signs of health. Everything absolute belongs to pathology." So proclaimed Friedrich Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil. Note well that he used the adjective "joyous" to describe distrust, not "cynical" or "grumbling" or "sour." The key to remaining vital and strong while questioning every so-called absolute is to cultivate a cheerful, buoyant mood as you do it.
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Where do you want to be at this time next year? What do you want to be doing? I encourage you to fantasize and scheme about these questions, and be alert for clues about possible prospects. Here's my reasoning, Libra: Some foreshadowings of your future life may soon float into view, including a far-off whisper or a glimpse of the horizon that will awaken some of your dormant yearnings. Don't make the mistake of thinking that these visions must be acted upon instantly. Instead, ruminate leisurely on them, regarding them as the early hints of potential long-range developments.


What is the obvious secret you can't quite see? How could you turn your challenges into daily gifts for yourself? For clues to mysteries like these, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Here are three of our deepest spiritual aspirations, which we invite you to steal for your own use: 1. to develop the capacity to thrive in the midst of raging contradictions; 2. to be discerning as we protect ourselves from people's flaws while at the same time being generous as we celebrate their beauty; 3. to refrain from dividing the world into two groups, those who help and agree with us and those who don't.
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that you can't get The Most Beautiful Thing. It's out of reach forever. You simply don't have the connections or wherewithal to bring it into your life. Could you accept that disappointment with a full heart, and move on? Would you be able to forgive life for not providing you with your number one heart's desire, and then make your way into the future with no hard feelings? If so, Scorpio, I bet you would be well-primed to cultivate a relationship with The Second Most Beautiful Thing.


Grace emerges in the ebb and flow, not just the flow. The waning reveals a different blessing than the waxing. Where are you in the great cycle of your life? For inspiration in figuring it all out, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Visualize yourself being able to recognize the raw truth about the people you care about. Imagine that you can see how they already embody the beauty their souls' codes have promised as well as how they still fall short of embodying that beauty.

Picture yourself being able to make them feel appreciated even as you inspire them to risk changes that will activate more of their souls' codes.
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

What images would be most helpful for you to fill your imagination up with? What scenes would heal and activate your subconscious mind, inspiring you in just the right ways? I invite you to make a list of at least five of these, and then visualize them often in the coming days. Here are a few possibilities to get you warmed up: peach trees filled with ripe fruit; the planet Jupiter as seen through a powerful telescope; a magnificent suspension bridge at dawn or dusk; a large chorus animatedly singing a song you love; the blissful face of a person you love.


Whether it's your time to ferment in the shadows or sing in the sun, fresh power to transform yourself is on the way. Life always delivers the creative energy you need to change into the new thing you must become. For more help in understanding it all, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Plant orchids on a strip-mined hill.

Imagine you have a guardian angel who looks like Malcolm X.

Teach an animal to dance.

Hire a puppet troupe to reenact your life story using marionettes in Renaissance costumes.

Make believe you are the ocean king or thunder queen.

Improvise a fresh bedtime story for someone you love.

Put on an inflatable sumo wrestler costume and play a bagpipe as badly as possible.

Watch TV with your third eye.

Sip holy water blessed by a smart teenage girl.

Bear in mind that you are the Chosen One, and so is everyone else.
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Scientists have proved beyond a doubt that heavenly bodies cannot possibly exert forces that affect events on earth, right? Well, no, actually, according to research reported in the December 24, 2009 edition of the science journal Nature. It turns out that the gravitational tug of the sun and moon sends significant tremors through California's San Andreas Fault, and could potentially trigger full-blown earthquakes. Speaking as a poet, not a scientist, I speculate that those two luminaries, the sun and moon, may also generate a lurching but medicinal effect on you sometime soon. Are you ready for a healing jolt? It will relieve the tension that has been building up between two of your "tectonic plates."


You can learn to be lucky. It's not a mystical force you're born with, but a habit you can develop. How? For starters, be open to new experiences, trust your gut wisdom, expect good fortune, see the bright side of challenging events, and master the art of maximizing serendipitous opportunities. For more help, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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The dangers of excessive politeness are perfectly exemplified in the medieval legend of Parzival, Arthur's purest knight. His quest for the Holy Grail leads him to a castle where he is welcomed by a wounded lord. At dinner, a mysterious bowl captivates Parzival's attention. He's dying to know more about it, but he holds his tongue. His training as a knight has taught him that it's uncourteous to express too much curiosity.

Tragically, he doesn't realize that he has arrived at the very place where his quest could be satisfied. The wounded lord is actually the Fisher King, the marvelous bowl is the Grail, and he is being presented with a magical test. The test consists of a simple task: to ask about the bowl. Because Parzival fails to do so, the king does not reveal the secret and does not give him the Grail.

The next morning, Parzival wakes up to find the castle empty, and he leaves having missed the very opportunity he wanted most.
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

"Follow your dreams," read the headline on some random blog I stumbled upon, "except for the one in which you're giving a speech in your underwear." In the comments section, someone named "Mystic Fool" had posted a dissenting view: "I would much rather have a dream of giving a speech in my underwear than of being naked and drunk and inarticulate at a cocktail party, trying to hide behind the furniture." Mystic Fool's attitude would serve you well in the coming week, Aquarius. Expressing yourself in a public way, even if you don't feel fully prepared, will actually be a pretty good course of action -- especially as compared to keeping silent and hiding.


Somewhere there's a treasure that has no value to anyone but you, and a secret that's meaningless to everyone except you, and a frontier that harbors a revelation only you would know how to exploit. Why not go in search of those things? For inspiration, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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"I've been practicing radical authenticity lately," my friend Brandon told me. "I'm revealing the blunt truth about unmentionable subjects to everyone I know. It's been pretty hellish -- no one likes having the social masks stripped away -- but it's been ultimately rewarding."

"I admire your boldness in naming the currents flowing beneath the surface," I replied, "but I'm curious as to why you imply they're all negative. To practice radical authenticity, shouldn't you also express the raw truth about what's right, good, and beautiful? Shouldn't you unleash the praise and gratitude that normally go unspoken?"
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Some substances that seem to be rock solid are in fact fluids that move verrrryyy slowly. Bitumen is one example. It's a form of petroleum also known as pitch. In a famous experiment, an Australian researcher set up an apparatus that allowed a blob of pitch to gradually drip into a container below it. Since the experiment began in 1927, eight drops have fallen. I like to think you're engaged in a similar long-term process, Pisces. And from what I can tell, a new drop is about to drip.


When they say "Be yourself," which self do they mean? Certainly not the self that wants to win every game and use up every resource and stand alone at the end of time on a mountain of pretty garbage. So which self is it? For guidance, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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In Tibetan Buddhism's "Four Dignities of the Warrior's Path," courage and ferocity are absent. In fact, the qualities regarded as essential for being a warrior have nothing in common with the training regimens of Marines or football players or lobbyists.

The first dignity is often translated in English as meekness, but that word doesn't convey its full meaning. "Relaxed confidence" is a more precise formulation -- a humble feeling of being at home in one's body.

Perkiness, or irrepressible joy, is the second dignity. To develop it, a warrior cultivates the habit of seeing the best in everything and works diligently to avoid the self-indulgence of cynicism.

The third is outrageousness. The warrior who embodies this dignity loves to experiment, is not addicted to strategies that have been successful in the past, and has a passionate objectivity that's free of the irrelevant emotions of hope and fear.

The fourth dignity is inscrutability, or a skill at evading the pigeonholes and simplistic definitions that might limit the warrior's inventiveness while fighting for his or her moral vision.
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The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

© 1995-2013 -- Rob Brezsny. All rights reserved