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Free Will Astrology
horoscopes for week of August 1, 2013

Aries (March 21-April 19)

To add zest to mealtime, you might choose food that has been seasoned with red chili peppers, cumin, or other piquant flavors. Some chimpanzees have a similar inclination, which is why they like to snack on red fire ants. Judging from the astrological omens, I'm guessing you are currently in a phase when your attraction to spicy things is at a peak -- not just for dinner but in other areas of your life, as well. I have a suggestion: Pursue rowdy fun with adventures that have metaphorical resemblances to red chili peppers, but stay away from those that are like red fire ants.


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

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A reader named Michael McCarthy wrote to say he plans to start a new religion, the "First Church of the Rude Awakening." It will be based on the principle that having a pleasant life cannot serve as a motivation to seek enlightenment and salvation. McCarthy believes that no one ever bolts up out of bed one morning and says, "I'm so happy, I think I'll go meditate and pray and make myself into a better person for as long as it takes, so I can find God and say thanks."

Disprove this theory. Detonate an epiphany precisely because you're in an excellent mood.
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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)

The 19th-century English artist John Constable specialized in painting landscapes. The countryside near his home especially excited him. He said, "The sound of water escaping from mill dams, willows, old rotten planks, slimy posts, and brickwork, I love such things. They made me a painter, and I am grateful." Take a cue from Constable, Taurus. Spend quality time appreciating the simple scenes and earthy pleasures that nourish your creative spirit. Give your senses the joy of getting filled up with vivid impressions. Immerse yourself in experiences that thrill your animal intelligence.


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

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In Frederick Buechner's book On the Road with the Archangel, the star is the archangel Raphael. This supernatural helper has a tough gig: gathering the prayers of human beings and delivering them to God. Here's how he describes the range of pleas he hears: "There are prayers of such power that you might say they carry me rather than the other way around. There are prayers so apologetic and shamefaced and half-hearted that they all but melt away in my grasp like sad little flakes of snow. Some prayers are very boring."

Compose a prayer that's so powerful and entertaining that it could thrill an archangel.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

This is Grand Unification Week for you Geminis. If your left hand has been at war with your right hand, it's a perfect moment to declare a truce. If your head and heart have not been seeing eye to eye, they are ready to find common ground and start conspiring together for your greater glory. Are there any rips or rifts in your life? You will generate good fortune for yourself if you get to work on healing them. Have you been alienated from an ally or at odds with a beloved dream or separated from a valuable resource? You have a lot of power to fix glitches like those.


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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The German word selig can mean "ecstatic," "blessed," or "holy." It implies that profound bliss can be a divine gift; that deep pleasure may generate or come from spiritual inspiration.

The English language doesn't have a term comparable to selig, maybe because our culture regards ecstasy with suspicion. Religious people tend to believe that the blessed are those who are good and kind, certainly not those who are skilled at cultivating rapturous states. People who worship rationality, on the other hand, like intellectuals and scientists, often think of ecstasy as at best an irrelevant state, and at worst a nonproductive or deluded indulgence.

What would you have to do to place yourself in intimate alignment with the values embodied by the word selig?
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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)

In an episode of the TV show Twin Peaks, special agent Dale Cooper gives the following advice to his colleague Harry: "I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it, don't wait for it, just let it happen." Now I'm passing on this advice to you, Cancerian. It's a perfect time for you to try out this fun game. You are in a phase of your astrological cycle when you'll be wise to intensify your commitment to self-care . . . and deepen your devotion to making yourself feel good . . . and increase your artistry at providing yourself with everything you need to thrive.


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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Is there really such a thing as free will, or are our destinies shaped by forces beyond our control?

Here's one way to think about that question: Maybe some people actually have more free will than others. Not because they have more money. (Many rich folks are under the spell of their instincts, after all.) Not because they have high-status positions. (A boss may have power over others but little power over himself.)

Rather, those with a lot of free will have earned that privilege by taking strong measures to dissolve the conditioning they absorbed while growing up. They've acted on the advice of psychologist Carl Jung: "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."
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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)

Sergei Diaghilev was a Russian ballet impresario who founded Ballets Russes, one of the 20th century's great ballet companies. At one point in his career he met French playwright Jean Cocteau. Diaghilev dared Cocteau to write a piece for a future Ballets Russes production. "Astonish me!" he said. It took seven years, but Cocteau met the challenge. He created Parade, a ballet that also featured music by Eric Satie and sets by Pablo Picasso. Now let's pretend I'm Diaghilev and you're Cocteau. Imagine that I've just told you, "Astonish me!" How will you respond? What surprising beauty will you come up with? What marvels will you unleash?


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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In her book Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes suggests that we all need to periodically go cheerfully and enthusiastically out of our minds. Make sure, she says, that at least one part of you always remains untamed, uncategorizable, and unsubjugated by routine. Be adamant in your determination to stay intimately connected to all that's inexplicable and mysterious about your life.

At the same time, though, Estes believes you need to keep your unusual urges clear and ordered. Discipline your wildness, in other words, and don't let it degenerate into careless disorder.
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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)

Since 1948, the chemical known as warfarin has been used as a pesticide to poison rats. Beginning in 1954, it also became a medicine prescribed to treat thrombosis and other blood ailments in humans. Is there anything in your own life that resembles warfarin? A person or an asset or an activity that can either be destructive or constructive, depending on the situation? The time will soon be right for you to employ that metaphorical version of warfarin in both capacities. Make sure you're very clear about which is which.


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

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The seeds of the lodgepole pine and jack pine trees are so tightly compacted within their protective cones that they need flames to free them. It's only through the help of periodic conflagrations, then, that they're able to reproduce. Fire-dependent and fire-resistant, they can tolerate temperatures of 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit.
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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)

"My heart was a hysterical, unreliable organ," wrote Vladimir Nabokov in his novel Lolita. We have all gone through phases when we could have uttered a similar statement. But I doubt that this is one of those times for you, Libra. On the contrary. I suspect your heart is very smart right now -- poised and lucid and gracious. In fact, I suggest you regard the messages coming from your heart as more trustworthy than any other part of you -- wiser than your head and your gut and your genitals put together.


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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Philosopher Robert Anton Wilson proposed that the single greatest contribution to world peace would come from there being over seven billion different religions -- a unique spiritual path for each person on the planet. The Beauty and Truth Lab urges you to get started on doing your part to make this happen. What will your religion be called? What rituals will you perform? Write down your three core tenets.
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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)

The Holy Grail of skateboarding tricks is called the 1080. To pull it off, a skateboarder has to do three complete 360-degree revolutions in mid-air and land cleanly. No one had ever pulled it off until 12-year-old Tom Schaar did it in 2012. Since then, two other teenage boys have managed the same feat. But I predict that a Scorpio skateboarder will break the record sometime soon, managing a 1260, or three and a half full revolutions. Why? First, because your tribe is unusually geared to accomplish peak performances right now. And second, you have a knack for doing complex maneuvers that require a lot of concentration.


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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"Believing" in God is like "believing" in the taste of fresh-baked bread without ever having tasted actual fresh-baked bread. But what if you could commune with the Divine Wow through up-close, personal encounters that are as vivid as eating fresh-baked bread? Some people have. You could, too. Formulate the intention to do so.
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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)

Can you think of ways that you have been colonized? Have any powerful institutions filled up your brain with ideas and desires that aren't in alignment with your highest values? For instance, has your imagination gotten imprinted with conditioning that makes you worry that your body's not beautiful enough or your bank account's not big enough or your style isn't cool enough? If so, Sagittarius, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to get uncolonized. There has rarely been a better time than now to purge any brainwashing that puts you at odds with your deepest self.


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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In Judeo-Christian cultures, many people associate the sky with the masculine form of God. According to this bias, the Supreme Father rules us all from on high -- up, away, far from here. But if you were an ancient Egyptian, the sky was the goddess Nuit, her body its very substance. She was a loving mother whose tender touch could be felt with each new breath.

For one day, act as if you and the sky goddess are in constant contact.
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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)

An old Chinese poem tells us that "the true measure of a mountain's greatness is not its height but whether it is charming enough to attract dragons." You and I know there are no such things as dragons, so we can't take this literally. But what if we treat it as we might a fairy tale? I suggest we draw a metaphorical meaning from it and apply it to your life. Let's say that you shouldn't be impressed with how big and strong anything is; you shouldn't give your mojo to people or institutions simply because they have worldly power. Rather, you will be best served by aligning yourself with what's mysterious and fabulous. You're more likely to have fun and generate good fortune for yourself by seeking out stories that appeal to your soul instead of your ego.


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

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In some ancient Greek dramas, a god showed up out of nowhere to cause a miraculous twist at a crucial point in the tale. This divine intrusion was referred to as theos ek mechanes, literally "god from a machine," because the symbolic figure of the god was lowered onto the stage by a crane. In modern usage, the term is Latin -- deus ex machina -- and refers to a story in which a sudden event unexpectedly brings about a resolution to a baffling problem.

Write a tale in which you're the beneficiary of such an intervention.
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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)

The questions you have been asking aren't terrible. But they could be formulated better. They might be framed in such a way as to encourage life to give you crisp insights you can really use rather than what you've been getting lately, which are fuzzy conjectures that are only partially relevant. Would you like some inspiration? See if any of these inquiries help hone your spirit of inquiry. 1. What kind of teacher or teaching do you need the most right now? 2. What part of you is too tame, and what can you do about it? 3. What could you do to make yourself even more attractive and interesting to people than you already are? 4. What is the pain that potentially has the most power to awaken your dormant intelligence?


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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Neither God nor the gods are dead, but they seem to be disappearing because so few of us are capable of carrying on authentic relationships with them anymore. The materialist delusion rules: Millions believe that nothing's real unless it can be perceived by the senses. Churches and temples are full of ethical people, but many of them have no clue about how to know or feel or converse with the divine intelligences.

What can the deities do, having been banished from our conscious knowing? Jung said they have no recourse but to worm their way into our lives as sickness and pathology. Repressed, they come in the back door.

Which of your maladies or pains might be gods in disguise? How might you get them to take off their masks and begin knocking on the front door?
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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)

"There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method." So says Ishmael, the hero of Herman Melville's 19th-century novel Moby Dick. He is ostensibly referring to whale hunting, which is his job, but some modern critics suggest he's also talking about the art of storytelling. I suspect his statement applies to a certain enterprise you are currently engaged in, as well. Can you wrap your mind and heart around the phrase "careful disorderliness," Pisces? I hope so, because I think it's the true method. Here are some other terms to describe it: benevolent chaos; strategic messiness; purposeful improvisation; playful experiments.


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 Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke urged an aspiring bard to change the way he imagined the Supreme Being. "Why don't you conceive of God as an ally who is coming," Rilke said, "who has been approaching since time began, the one who will someday arrive, the fruit of a tree whose leaves we are? Why not project his birth into the future, and live your life as an excruciating and lyrical moment in the history of a prodigious pregnancy?"

How would your life change if you made this idea your working hypothesis?
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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.

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