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Free Will Astrology
horoscopes for week of November 3, 2011

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Here's Malcolm Gladwell, writing in The Tipping Point: "We need to prepare ourselves for the possibility that sometimes big changes follow from small events, and that sometimes these changes can happen quickly . . . Look at the world around you. It may seem an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push -- in just the right place -- it can be tipped." You are now within shouting distance of your own personal tipping point, Aries. Follow your gut wisdom as you decide where to give a firm little push.


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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The German religious reformer Martin Luther was fond of referring to the faculty of reason as a "damned whore." He believed it gave itself in service to any old theory, often propping up specious arguments rooted in hidden emotional agendas.

Though I regard my ability to reason as a prized asset, I confess to having some of Luther's mistrust. Like most of us, I have corrupted my logical mind by sometimes using it to disguise and rationalize my subjective biases.

Can you imagine having so much self-awareness that you never turn your reasoning ability into a whore? Are you willing to probe with merciless honesty for the unconscious feelings that drive you to believe what you do, and to analyze the ways you mask your subjective biases as "objective fact"? Could you suspend all your preconceptions and greet every situation with a scrupulously open mind? Try to live up to that high standard for a period of three days.
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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)

Welcome to the autumnal garden of earthly delights, Taurus. It's a brooding, fermenting paradise, full of the kind of dark beauty that wouldn't be caught dead in a spring garden. There's smoldering joy to be found amidst this riotous flowering of moody colors, but you won't appreciate it if you're too intent on seeking bright serenity and pristine comfort. Be willing to dirty your hands and even your mind. Feel the moss on your back, the leaves in your hair, and the mist on your bare legs. (P.S. If you like, you can take what I just said as an elaborate metaphor.)


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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To the ancient Chinese, pigs were sacred because they could eat anything and turn it into energy. The creatures were regarded as masters of transmutation. Nothing, not even garbage, was unusable to them. The Chinese aspired to be like pigs in the sense of being able to learn from and derive benefit from every experience, not just the tidy, tasteful ones.

Borrowing this strategy, name two garbage-like experiences that you could turn into fuel for your growing urge to be a pronoiac co-conspirator.
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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)

Here's a vignette described by columnist Thomas Friedman: "Ludwig Wittgenstein once remarked that if you ask a man how much is 2 plus 2 and he tells you 5, that is a mistake. But if you ask a man how much is 2 plus 2 and he tells you 97, that is no longer a mistake. The man you are talking with is operating with a wholly different logic from your own." I'd like to suggest, Gemini, that for you right now the whole world is like the man who swears 2 plus 2 is 97. At least temporarily, you are on a very different wavelength from your surroundings. In order to understand what's coming toward you, you will have to do the equivalent of standing on your head, crossing your eyes, and opening your mind as wide as it'll stretch.


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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"You may enjoy this movie if you shut down enough brain cells. I turned off all except the ones needed to remember where I parked my car." This observation comes from a critic's evaluation of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, but I've read similar comments in many reviews of other films and entertainment. Indeed, it's an approach that many intelligent people employ routinely in response to the shiny slop our culture offers up.

What about you? Do you assume you have to make yourself dumber in order to have fun? Has the well-crafted inanity of the world caused you to shut down your sensitivity? Work to reverse this trend. You'll receive help from unexpected sources if you do.
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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)

If you want to grow vanilla beans, you have to pollinate the plant's flowers within 12 hours after they bloom. In nature, the only insect that can do the job is the Melipona, a Mexican bee. Luckily, humans can also serve as pollinators, which they do on commercial vanilla farms. They use thin wood splinters or stems of grass to perform the delicate magic. I'm thinking that you resemble a vanilla bean right now, Cancerian. It is the season when you're extra receptive to fertilization, but all the conditions have to be just right for the process to be successful. Here's my advice: Figure out exactly what those conditions are, then call on all your resourcefulness to create them.


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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Send out a big "Hey!" and "What's up?" to all the little voices in your head. Start with the still, small voice that's always ready to provide concise responses to the ingenious questions you come up with. But also acknowledge the others as well -- even the crabby, reactive naysayer that's forever on the lookout for insults to your dignity, however tiny or unintentional; even the worrywart that wakes you up in the middle of the night to pester you with doubts and fears.

Love all the little voices in your head. Celebrate their vitality, their persistence, their attentiveness. Consider the possibility that you're lucky to have such a zealous group of advisors, even if all but one of them are off the mark a lot of the 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.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

Even our most sophisticated drilling machines have barely made pinpricks in the earth's surface. The deepest hole ever dug was 40,000 feet, which is just 0.2 percent of the planet's 20-million-foot radius. I offer this up as a spur to your imagination, Leo. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to plumb further into the depths of anyplace or anything you're intrigued by -- whether that's a subject you've always wondered about, a person you care for, the mysteries of life, or the secrets of your own psyche. You could reach the equivalent of five million feet into the Earth's innards.


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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There is a proverb from the American culture of the 21st century that I'd like to run by you: "Never reveal all you know, confess everything you feel, show how much you care, or give all you have."

Prove this proverb wrong. Cultivate power by revealing all you know, confessing everything you feel, showing how much you care, and giving all you have.
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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)

National Geographic speculates that most of the species on Earth are still unknown and unnamed. While 1.2 million life forms have been identified by science, there may be as many as 7.5 million that are not, or 86 percent of the total. I suspect that this breakdown is similar to the situation in your life, Virgo. You know about 14 percent of what you need to know, but there's still a big frontier to explore. The coming months should be prime time for you to cover a lot of new ground -- and now would be a perfect moment to set the stage for that grand experiment.


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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If you're a left-winger, you may think right-wingers are stupid or evil or both. If you're a right-winger, you probably hold the same attitudes about left-wingers. A similar pattern prevails between most other groups that hold opposing views. You're a rare person if you've never looked at a certain group of people and thought to yourself, "They are all sick idiots."

But I'm asking you to find out what it's like to dispense with judgments like that. In fact, try living without any scapegoats whatsoever. If even for an hour per week, visualize the possibility that those with whom you disagree might be sincere and well meaning.

I'm not suggesting this exercise merely because it's a nice thing to do. It will also have the effect of giving you access to parts of your own intelligence that have been closed off to you.
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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)

I suspect that you will have a minor form of good luck going for you this week. It probably won't be enough to score you a winning lottery ticket or earn you a chance to get the answer to your most fervent prayers. But it might bring you into close proximity with a financial opportunity, a pretty good helper, or a resource that could subtly boost your stability over the long haul. For best results, don't invoke your mild blessings to assist in trivial matters like finding parking places or avoiding long lines at check-out lines. Use them for important stuff.


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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Oceans are not exactly teeming with life. In fact, they're mostly barren, and could rightly be called "wet deserts." Likewise, not all your emotions, even those that come in floods, are fertile. Some are automatic reactions that have discharged thousands of times since they were first programmed into you many years ago. They're often negative, and are not organic but mechanical, being inappropriate to the events that seem to stimulate them. They became fixtures when you were a very different person than you are now. Identify these.
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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)

"Try to be surprised by something every day," advises Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. That's an inspirational idea for everyone all the time, but especially for you Scorpios right now. This is the week of all weeks when you have the best chance of tinkering with your rhythm so that it will thrive on delightful unpredictability. Are you brave enough to capitalize on the opportunity? I think you are. Concentrate your attention on cultivating changes that feel exciting and life-enhancing.


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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Many of us don't always know what we feel. We may have a vivid sense that we feel something, but we're not sure what it is. That's why musicians, writers, actors, and other creative people play such a crucial role in our emotional lives. Their work can help us articulate the enigmas fermenting within us.

But here's the problem: A majority of the artists who are easiest for us to find aren't exceptionally smart or original; they specialize in expressing hackneyed feelings. Many of the very best creators "remain in relative obscurity because of their resistance to formula efforts," writes journalist Alan Cabal. "Mediocrities latch onto whatever hits and repeat it endlessly in pursuit of cash or celebrity or both." If we look to the latter for illumination, we're cheated.

Your assignments: Get tough with the lazy or wounded part of you that is drawn to the mediocrities. Compile a roster of virtuosos who have developed a high level of proficiency in extracting esthetically exciting meaning from the fascinating chaos around us. Expose yourself exclusively to their work, devotedly avoiding the mediocrities' stuff, for a given period, say 100 days. Describe how this transforms you.
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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)

"Dear Rob: I was born on November 30, and am quite attached to having it as a birthdate. But there's a complication. While in Iraq in 2006, I was half-blown up by a bomb, and had a near-death experience. When I returned from my excursion to the land of the dead, I felt I'd been born anew. Which is why I now also celebrate September 24, the date of the bombing, as my second birthday. What do you think? Two-Way Tamara." Dear Two-Way: I believe we'd all benefit from having at least one dramatic rebirth in the course of our lives, though hopefully not in such a wrenching fashion as yours. In fact, a fresh rebirth every few years or so would be quite healthy. If it means adding additional astrological identities to our repertoire, so much the better. Thanks for bringing up the subject, as it's an excellent time for Sagittarians everywhere to seek out an exhilarating renewal.


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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The bumper sticker I saw said, "Having abandoned my search for the truth, I'm now looking for a good fantasy." Though it's meant to be sarcastic, it's a useful piece of advice.

Consider this hypothesis: The truth is so complicated and ever-shifting that it's impossible to pin down. Why try to understand the nature of reality when it's more productive and interesting to aggressively create the nature of reality? Why be preoccupied with conjuring up concepts to approximate the structure of the universe when the point is that we change everything we observe merely by looking at it?

As another bumper sticker says, "Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself."
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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)

Social climbers are people who are focused on gaining higher status in whatever circle of people they regard as cool, even to the point of engaging in fawning or ingratiating behavior. Soul climbers, on the other hand, are those who foster the power of their imagination, keep deepening their connection with life's intriguing enigmas, and explore the intersection of self-interest and generosity toward others. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you could go far in either of those directions during the coming weeks, Capricorn -- but not both. Which will you choose?


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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"The reality of love is mutilated when it is removed from all its unreality." So said the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard in his book The Poetics of Reverie.

He meant that realism alone is not enough for human beings to live on, especially in our most intimate relationships. We need fantasy to augment the merely factual perspective. We require poetic truths to keep the rational approach honest.

Without the play of the imagination, in fact, our understanding of the world is impoverished and ­distorted.

(P.S. Nietzsche said: "We have art in order not to perish of truth.")
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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)

An Australian man named Daniel Fowler has more giraffe tattoos on his shoulders than any other human being on the planet. So says the Universal Record Database at Recordsetter.com. Meanwhile, Darryl Learie is now the only person to ever be able to insert three steak knives into an inflated balloon, and Billy Disney managed to inject a world-record 31 sexual innuendoes into a rap song about potatoes. What could or should be your claim to fame, Aquarius? This would an excellent time to try to establish your reputation as the best at your specific talent.


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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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)

"You have to know how far to go too far," said poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. I reckon that's good advice for you right now. You're at a phase of your astrological cycle when you really can't afford to keep playing by all the rules and staying inside the proper boundaries. For the sake of your physical and psychological and spiritual health, you need to wander out beyond the limits that you've been so faithfully respecting. And yet, on the other hand, it would be a mistake to claim you have a right to stop at nothing. Know how far to go too far.


"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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The factor most likely to drive us to addiction or illness is a lack of intimate contact with spirit. We all need a daily dose of vastness. Paradoxically, many of us would also benefit from more microscopic vision. Because we're so deprived of divine connection, we're half-dreaming all the time; our unconscious pining for the eternal source distracts us from the vivid little glories that are splayed out around us. And so we miss the Divine Wow from both directions.

Try this: Prime your connection with spirit by focusing your attention on tones and shapes you usually miss: reflections in windows, the sky between the oak tree's branches, the shadows on the water, the two different emotions in a friend's eyes and mouth.
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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.

© 1995-2014 -- Rob Brezsny. All rights reserved