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Free Will Astrology
horoscopes for week of November 17, 2011

Aries (March 21-April 19)

If you go into a major art museum that displays Europe's great oil paintings, you'll find that virtually every masterpiece is surrounded by an ornate wooden frame, often painted gold. Why? To me, the enclosure is distracting and unnecessary. Why can't I just enjoy the arresting composition on the naked canvas, unburdened by the overwrought excess? I urge you to take my approach in the coming weeks, Aries. Push and even fight to get the goodies exactly as they are, free of all the irrelevant filler, extraneous buffers, and pretentious puffery.


No one knows you better than you do, but maybe I can help you dig up even more self-knowledge. Listen to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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In her book Vodou Visions, Sallie Ann Glassman argues that Vodou (the preferred spelling among its practitioners) is an authentic religious tradition worthy of respect. She acknowledges that some of its beliefs may seem unusual. For instance, Vodou's calm, gentle, sweet spirits are not always forces for good, while some of its hot, turbulent, revolutionary spirits are not necessarily bad.

Although not a practitioner of Vodou, Raymond Chandler had some related counsel: "The disease of niceness cripples more lives than alcoholism."

Borrow this meme. Monitor the calm, gentle, sweet spirits in your life for the possibility that they may act as agents of deception or passivity. Be inspired by the creator gods and goddesses of ancient myth, who playfully forged millions of beautiful things using wind, mud, tears, and lightning. Tap into the fiery aspect of your nature that drove you out of your mother's womb and into this world in the hour when you were born.
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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)

"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle," said the 13th-century poet Rumi. More prosaically put: Evaluate people according to the nobility and integrity of the desires they're obsessed with. Do you want to hang around with someone whose primary focus is to make too much money or please her parents or build a shrine to his own ego? Or would you prefer to be in a sphere of influence created by a person who longs to make a useful product or help alleviate suffering or make interesting works of art? It's an excellent time to ponder these issues, Taurus -- and then take action to ensure you're surrounded by moths that favor beautiful candles.


Wouldn't you love to learn more about who you really are? What better adventure is there than learning about your soul's code? For more hints, listen to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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"The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something," wrote art critic John Ruskin in his book Modern Painters. "To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, all in one."

Proposed experiment: Lay aside everything you think you know, suspend your reflex to impose your beliefs on every situation you encounter, and behold the world exactly as it is. Assume that by doing so you can change everything you see into a more beautiful version of itself.
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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)

In Santa Cruz there used to be a nightclub that featured live rock bands on a big stage but enforced a strict policy forbidding its patrons from dancing. The one time I went there, the music was loud and infectious, and I naturally felt the urge to move in vigorous rhythm. Moments after I launched into my groove, a bouncer accosted me and forced me to stop. I think this situation has certain resemblances to the one you're in now, Gemini. Some natural response mechanism in you is being unduly inhibited; some organic inclination is being unreasonably restrained or dampened. Why should you continue to accept this?


I hope the oracle above provides you with the inspiration you need to do what you've got to do and change what needs to be changed. But if you need more clues, listen to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE, where I go further in exploring your mysteries.

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Dumb suffering is the kind of suffering you're compulsively drawn back to over and over again out of habit. It's familiar, and thus perversely comfortable. Smart suffering is the kind of pain that surprises you with valuable teachings and inspires you to see the world with new eyes.

While stupid suffering is often born of fear, wise suffering is typically stirred up by love. The dumb, unproductive stuff comes from allowing yourself to be controlled by your early conditioning and from doing things that are out of harmony with your essence. The smart, useful variety arises out of an intention to approach life as an interesting work of art and uncanny game that's worthy of your curiosity.

Come up with two more definitions about the difference between dumb suffering and smart suffering.
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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)

During the time a blue crab is growing to maturity, it is very skilled at transforming itself. It sheds its exoskeleton an average of once every 18 days for an entire year. You're in a phase with some similarities to that period of rapid ripening, Cancerian. Your commitment to change doesn't have to be quite as heroic, but it should be pretty vigorous. Could you manage, say, two moltings over the course of the next 30 days? If done in a spirit of adventure, it will be liberating, not oppressively demanding.


For more help in understanding your relationship with the game of life, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Traditionally, the Seven Deadly Sins -- actions most likely to wound the soul -- are pride, lust, gluttony, anger, envy, sloth, and covetousness.

But we have formulated a fresh set of soul-≠harmers, the Four Foolish Virtues. They are as follows: (1) being analytical to such extremes that you repress your intuition; (2) sacrificing your pleasure through a compulsive attachment to duty; (3) tolerating excessive stress because you assume it helps you accomplish more; (4) being so knowledgeable that you neglect to be curious.

Are you victimized by any of these Four Foolish Virtues? If so, what are you going to do about 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.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

"Progress isn't made by early risers," wrote author Robert Heinlein. "It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." That's exactly the kind of progress you are in an excellent position to stir up in the coming weeks. You don't have to match the stress levels of the Type A people who might seem to have an advantage over you, and you won't help yourself at all by worrying or trying too hard. The single best thing you can do to supercharge your creativity is to think of yourself as a "happy-go-lucky" person while you go around dreaming up ways to have more fun.


Would you like further inspiration as you scheme and dream to make the most of life's sometimes puzzling opportunities? Listen to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Go to a mirror and play with your face until you create the Fabulous Smirk. Not the Arrogant Smirk or the Vengeful Smirk or the Hateful, Whiny, Passive-Aggressive Smirk. Rather, express the Smirk that Passeth All Understanding. The Wise, Charitable, Forbearing Smirk. The Uber-Smirk that says, "I've figured out what everyone's hiding, and I love them anyway."
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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)

"Our elders know you don't find the answer by asking thousands of questions," says an essay on the website of the environmentalist group The Last Tree (thelasttree.net). "The wise way is to ask the right question in the beginning." I recommend this approach for you in the coming weeks, Virgo. Given the sparkly mysteriousness that now confronts you, I know you may be tempted to simultaneously try a lot of different routes to greater clarity. But the more effective strategy in the long run is to cultivate silence and stillness as you wait expectantly for the intuition that will reveal the simple, direct path.


What exactly are you looking for? How would you describe the experiences you want more than anything else? It's possible my EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE could give you additional help in figuring that out.

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Sometimes hope is an irrelevant waste of time, even a stupid self-indulgence. Let's say, for instance, that I'm intently hoping that a certain disagreeable person I've got to communicate with won't answer when I call on the phone. That way I can simply leave a message on his voice mail and avoid an unpleasant exchange. But it doesn't matter what I hope. The guy will either answer or not, regardless of what I hope.

But there is another kind of hope that's potentially invigorating. Let's say I hope that we humans will reverse the environmental catastrophes we're perpetrating. Let's say that my hope motivates me to live more sustainably and to inspire others to live more sustainably. Then my hope is a catalyst.

Give two examples from your life about the two kinds of hope.
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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)

In a review of James Gleick's book The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, The Week magazine reported that "the world now produces more information in 48 hours than it did throughout all human history to 2003." From that dizzying factoid, we can infer that you are more inundated with data than were all of your ancestors put together. And the surge will probably intensify in the coming weeks. You are in a phase of your astrological cycle when you'll be asked to absorb and integrate a voluminous amount of interesting stuff. Don't be hard on yourself if you sometimes need to slow down to digest what you've been taking in.


Want to hear more about the subconscious factors and hidden forces that may be influencing your life? Listen to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Provide evidence proving or disproving the following four hypotheses: 1. If you're not part of the grueling solution, you're probably part of the insidiously comfortable problem. 2. If you're not conspiring to commit smart fun, you're almost certainly colluding with the disingenuous repression. 3. If you're not trying to rally support for a tough investigation, you'll end up assisting the bland cover-up. 4. If you're not mad about how unconstructively you've used your anger in the past, then you won't be motivated to wield it more creatively any time soon.
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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)

In his poem "Ode to the Present," Pablo Neruda tells us how to slip free and clear into the luxuriously potent opportunity of the present moment. The here-and-now is so ripe and willing, he says, so malleable. "Take a saw to its delicious wooden perfume," he continues, and then "build a staircase. Yes, a staircase. Climb into the present, step by step, press your feet onto the resinous wood of this moment, going up, going up, not very high . . . Donít go all the way to heaven. Reach for apples, not the clouds." Such good advice for you, Scorpio! It's a perfect time to learn more about the magic of the present moment as you free yourself from "the unrepairable past." (Read the poem.)


To further explore the ripening blessings and interesting challenges in your life, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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James Hillman and Michael Ventura wrote the book We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse. They propose that resolving our problems may not necessarily come from talking about our deep, private feelings with a trusted counselor. Instead, the best approach might be to go out into the world and do good works like helping the underprivileged or fighting for social justice.

Try their approach as a prescription for one of your personal problems.
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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)

Seminal psychologist Carl Jung wasn't afraid of applying his scholarly analytical skills to the phenomena of pop culture. Late in life, he even wrote a thoughtful book on UFOs called *Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies.* To be as thorough and careful as he could possibly be about such an elusive subject, he wrote an afterword to his main argument, to which he added an epilogue, which in turn was followed by a concluding supplement. I hope that you are as scrupulous in wrapping up loose ends in the coming week, Sagittarius, especially when you're dealing with enigmas and riddles. As you seek resolution and completion, go well beyond the bare minimum.


Need more whacks applied to your mental blocks? More caresses bestowed upon your growing edge? Listen to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Borrowing the words of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I've prepared a love note for you to use as your own. Feel free to give it to the person whose destiny needs to be woven more closely together with yours. "I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out."
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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)

A great deal of land in the Netherlands has been reclaimed from the sea by human effort. But the system of dikes that holds back the primal flow is not a foolproof or permanent guarantee against flooding. That's why more and more people are building homes that can float if they have to. "We are actually trying to move away from fighting against the water," says architect Koen Olthuis. "We are beginning to make friends with the water." I recommend you adopt this as a useful metaphor, Capricorn. During the coming months, you should be doing a lot of foundation work. What can you do to add buoyancy?


Where do you want to go? Who do you want to be? For more clues, tune in to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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In The Book of Embraces, Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano writes, "The fishermen of the Colombian coast must be learned doctors of ethics and morality, for they invented the word sentipensante, or 'feeling-thinking,' to define language that speaks the truth."

Describe a time when you pulled off the feat of thinking with your heart and feeling with your head.
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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)

According to my old philosophy professor Norman O. Brown, "Our real choice is between holy and unholy madness: open your eyes and look around you -- madness is in the saddle anyhow." Let's take this hypothesis as our starting point, Aquarius. I propose that in the coming weeks you make an effort to get more accustomed to and comfortable with the understanding that the entire world is in the throes of utter lunacy. Once you are at peace with that, I hope you will commit yourself to the sacred kind of lunacy -- the kind that bestows wild blessings and perpetrates unreasonable beauty and cultivates the healing power of outlandish pleasure.


Would you like to hear me say some more about your ever-evolving destiny? Check out your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Here's Bruce Chatwin in The Songlines: "Aboriginal creation myths tell of the legendary totemic beings who had wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path -- birds, animals, plants, rocks, waterholes -- and so singing the world into existence. Any species can be a Dreaming. A virus can be a Dreaming. You can have a chickenpox Dreaming, a rain Dreaming, a desert-orange Dreaming, a lice Dreaming."

Close your eyes and tune in to the song of a Dreaming species of your choice. Either that, or else pretend you can tune in the song of a Dreaming species.
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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)

It won't be enough to simply maintain your current levels of strength, clarity, and intelligence in the coming weeks. To stay healthy, to keep up with the rapidly evolving trends swirling in and around you, you will have to actively push to get stronger, clearer, and smarter. No pressure, right? Don't worry, the universe will be conspiring to help you accomplish it all. To trigger the boost you'll need, imagine that you have a reservoir of blue liquid lightning in the place between your heart and gut. Picture yourself drawing judiciously from that high-octane fuel as you need it, bringing it first to your heart and then to your brain.


Need more help deciphering the riddles and enigmas that are fueling your amazing story? Listen to your EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPE.

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Fairy tales are full of characters who suffer loss and hardship for trying to be something they're not. If they ever change their ways and accept the truth about themselves, their luck improves dramatically. It's interesting, then, to contemplate the fact that our culture adores film and TV actors, who get extensive training in pretending to be someone other than who they really are. We nurse a similar obsession with politicians, whose specialty resembles that of actors: Their vocation requires them to dissemble constantly.

Are you one of the enthralled? Do you share our collective entrancement with people who lie about themselves for a living? If so, experiment with what happens if you wean yourself. Try being cautious about exposing yourself to influences that might encourage you to be something you're not.
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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