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Horoscopes for week of August 15, 2013

Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
Normally, International CAPS LOCK DAY happens only once a year, on June 28. But in alignment with your current astrological omens, you have been granted the right to observe the next seven days as your own personal International CAPS LOCK DAYS. That means you will probably be forgiven and tolerated if use OVERHEATED ORATORY and leap to THUNDEROUS CONCLUSIONS and engage in MELODRAMATIC GESTURES. You may even be thanked -- although it's important to note that the gratitude you receive may only come later, AFTER THE DUST HAS SETTLED.


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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At New York's Museum of Modern Art, I brought my face to within a few inches of Vincent van Gogh's painting The Starry Night. It looked delicious. I wanted to kiss it. I wanted to eat it. Its stars were throbbing and voluptuous. The night sky shimmered with spiral currents. In the foreground, the cypress tree flared like a shadowy flame.

I could also see that the artist had been less than thorough in applying his paint. Especially on the edges, but also in the middle of the painting, slivers of untouched canvas showed through. Fierce, innocent, nourishing, reckless, unfinished, this priceless work drank my attention for a long time, constantly refreshing my eyes with its ceaseless movement.

Can you be at peace with the fact that your masterpiece may always be unfinished?
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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.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Taurus (April 20-May 20)
William Turner was a 19th-century English landscape painter born under the sign of Taurus. His aim was not to capture scenes in realistic detail but rather to convey the emotional impact they made on him. He testified that on one occasion he had himself tied to the mast of a ship during a snowstorm so that he could experience its full effects firsthand. The result was "Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbor's Mouth," a painting composed mostly of tempestuous swirls. What would be the equivalent for you, Taurus? I'm trying to think of a way you could be perfectly safe as you treated yourself to an up-close encounter with elemental energies.


"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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"I usually solve problems by letting them devour me," wrote Franz Kafka. That's an interesting approach, I guess, and though it might work for a tiny minority of introverted, melancholy, hypersensitive artists, it's probably not a wise policy for you. It may be better to fervently resist any temptation you might have to allow your problems to gobble you up.

Instead, why not be like a gargantuan sea monster in the midst of a perfect storm? Rise up as high as the dark sky and growl back at the thunder. Shoot flames from your mouth at the lightning. Become too big and ancient and wild to ever be devoured.
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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.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Some years back, the Greek government launched a huge anti-smoking campaign. In response, cigarette sales spiked dramatically. When my daughter was six years old, I initiated a crusade to ban Barbie dolls from our home forever. Soon she was ripping out pictures of the accursed anti-feminist icon from toy catalogs and leaving them on my desk. With these events in mind, I'm feeling cautious about trying to talk you into formulating a five-year master plan. Maybe instead I should encourage you to think small and obsess on transitory wishes.


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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In the film Fight Club, the character played by Brad Pitt storms into a convenience store with a gun, then herds the clerk out back and threatens to execute him. While the poor man quivers in terror, Pitt asks him questions about himself, extracting the confession that he'd once wanted to be a veterinarian but dropped out of school. After a few minutes, Pitt frees the clerk without harming him, but says that unless he takes steps to return to veterinary school in the next six weeks, he will hunt him down and kill him.

In my opinion, that's an overly extreme way to motivate someone to do what's good for him. I wish I could come up with a less shocking approach to coax you into resuming the quest for your deferred dreams. Can you think of anything?
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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.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Cancer (June 21-July 22)
"Wings are a constraint that makes it possible to fly," the Canadian poet Robert Bringhurst reminds us. That will be a good principle for you to keep in mind during your own adventures during the coming weeks. I suspect that any liberation you are able to achieve will come as the result of intense discipline. To the degree that you cultivate the very finest limitations, you will earn the right and the power to transcend inhibitions that have been holding you down.


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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"The important thing," said French critic Charles Du Bos, "is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become."

Did he really mean at any moment? Like while we're in a convenience store buying a magazine? While we're lying in bed ready for sleep and reviewing the events of the day? While we're adrift in apathetic melancholy, watching too much TV and neglecting our friends? At any moment?! I say yes. At all times and in all places be ready to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.
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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.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Leo (July 23-August 22)
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." When I came across that quote while surfing the Web, I felt that it jibed perfectly with the astrological omens that are currently in play for you. Every website I consulted agreed that the speaker of this wisdom was Socrates, but I thought the language sounded too contemporary to have been uttered by a Greek philosopher who died 2,400 years ago. After a bit of research, I found the real source: a character named Socrates in Way of the Peaceful Warrior, a New Age self-help book by Dan Millman. I hope this doesn't dilute the impact of the quote for you, Leo. For now, it is crucial that you not get bogged down in quarreling and brawling. You need to devote all your energy to creating the future.


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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Lie on your back with your arms outstretched and have a friend measure the distance from the tip of one middle finger to the other. Do you have a wingspan similar to that of a hawk? Eagle? Osprey? The mythical thunderbird? Pterodactyl? Close your eyes and visualize yourself hovering and swooping above the treetops. What do you see below 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.


 
  Verticle Oracle card Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Do you know that you are a host for more than 10,000 different species of microorganisms? Many of them are bacteria that perform functions essential to your health. So the stunning fact of the matter is that a large number of life forms share your body and constantly help you in ways about which you have no conscious awareness. Might there be other examples of you collecting benefits from unknown sources? Well, do you know who is responsible for providing you with the water and electricity you use? Who sewed your clothes and made your medicine? Who built the roads and buildings you use? This is an excellent time to take inventory of all the assistance, much of it anonymous, that you are so fortunate to receive.


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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Russian scientists have discovered gold deposits in the dust of decayed tree stumps. The phenomenon occurs in forests growing in ground where there is gold ore. Over the course of centuries, the trees' roots suck in minute quantities of the precious metal, eventually accumulating nuggets.

Describe a metaphorically comparable process you could carry out in your own life over the course of the next 20 years. What invisible part of you is like a tree's roots? What's the gold you'd like to suck up?
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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.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Libra (September 23-October 22)
More often than not, your fine mind does a competent job of defining the problems that need solving. It comes up with concise questions that lead you in the right direction to find useful clues. It gathers evidence crisply and it makes smart adjustments as the situation evolves. But after studying the astrological factors currently at work, I'm a little concerned that your usually fine mind might temporarily be prone to suffering from the dreaded malady known as paralysis through over-analysis. To steer yourself away from that possibility, keep checking in with your body and your feelings to see what alternate truths they may have to tell you.


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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Visualize in detail your dream lover . . . your ideal soul mate . . . the embodiment of everything you find attractive.

Imagine that although this person feels the same way about you, there is a very good reason why the two of you can't make love or be together as a couple for a long time. Feel the sweet torment of your unquenched longing for each other, the impossible ache of fiery ≠tenderness.

Picture all the ways you will work on yourself in the coming years to refine your soul and perfect your love, so that when the two of you can finally be united, you will have made yourself into the gorgeous genius you were born to be -- a pure blessing and uncanny gift for your beloved.
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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.


 
  Verticle Oracle card Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
By the standards of people who don't know you well, the triumph you achieve in the coming days might seem modest. But I think it will actually be pretty dramatic. Here's my only concern: There's a slight danger you will get grandiose or even a bit arrogant in the aftermath of your victory. You could also get peeved at those who don't see it for the major achievement it is. Now that I've given you this warning, though, I'm hoping you will avoid that fate. Instead you will celebrate your win with humble grace, feeling gratitude for all the help you got long the way.


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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I hope you can obtain the Avatar Elixir stashed in the golden obelisk in the underground fortress beneath the glass mountain. It will allow you to produce the "triple-helix" energy that will give you the power to cross freely back and forth through the gateway between universes. Then wild beasts will obey your commands. Rivers will become your allies. Every star in the sky will shine directly on you. And if for some reason you're not able to get your hands on that Avatar Elixir, you may be able to achieve similar results by drinking a bottle of beer stashed in the lower left rear section of the beverage cooler at a convenience store within five miles of your home.

Magic might be wherever you think it is.
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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.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
"All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name." So said French writer Andrť Breton. I suspect that many of us feel the same way, which is kind of depressing. But the good news for you, Sagittarius, is that there will be times in the coming months when you will get as close to naming that mysterious thing as you have ever gotten. On more than a few occasions, you may be able to get a clear glimpse of its true nature. Now and then you might even be fully united with it. One of those moments could come soon.


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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After rejecting proposals from many directors, Bob Dylan finally authorized Oscar-nominated Todd Haynes to make a film about his life, I'm Not There. Five different actors and one actress portrayed Dylan, including Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, and Christian Bale. "I set out to explode the idea that anybody can be depicted in a single self," Haynes told The Sunday Times.

Name the six actors and actresses you would choose to play you in the movie about your life.
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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.


 
  Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
The Paris Review interviewed novelist William Gass. "If someone asks me, 'Why do you write?'," he said, "I can reply by pointing out that it is a very dumb question. Nevertheless, there is an answer. I write because I hate. A lot. Hard." In other words, Gass's primary motivations for expressing himself creatively were loathing, malice, and hostility. I beg you not to use him as your role model, Capricorn. Not now. Not ever. But especially now. It is essential to your long-term health and wealth that you not be driven by hate in the coming weeks. Just the opposite, in fact: The more you are driven by love and generosity, the better chance you will have of launching a lucky streak that will last quite a while.


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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Lewis Thomas was a physician who wrote elegantly about biology in books like The Lives of a Cell. I want to bring your attention to his meditation on warts. "Nothing in the body has so much the look of toughness and permanence as a wart," he wrote. And yet "they can be made to go away by something that can only be called thinking ... Warts can be ordered off the skin by hypnotic suggestion." Thomas regarded this phenomenon as "absolutely astonishing, more of a surprise than cloning or recombinant DNA."

Using your mind power, go ahead and shrink, dissolve, or banish a wart or wart-like vexation.
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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.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
"Until we have seen someone's darkness, we donít really know who they are," said author Marianne Williamson. "Until we have forgiven someone's darkness, we donít really know what love is." Your assignment, Aquarius, is to seek out the deepest possible understanding of these truths. To do that, you will have to identify the unripe, shadowy qualities of the people who are most important to you. And then you will have to find it in your smart heart to love them for their unripe, shadowy qualities almost as much as you do for their shiny, beautiful qualities.


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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"I am a devout atheist," writes Tom of Ohio, "but I have to explain to my atheist friends that I do pray to the 'GodIdontbelievein.'

"My first direct contact with this Divinity arrived when I was coming out of anesthesia after surgery. I was somehow aware of my existence but totally ≠sensory-deprived. As I emerged from total unconsciousness, a tiny flickering Tinkerbell-like creature in the form of a shimmering globe of light fluttered into my consciousness and hovered irresistibly before my internal eyes. I was in love with it and it loved me.

"In fact it was me, or at least the manifestation of cosmic energy that settles in me and is my being. It gave me a blessing of good will, then went about its business of operating my body. In parting, it gave me the assurance that it would always be there for me and with me, and would join me after it shut the body down for the last time.

"Since that first encounter, I commune with the little sparkling wonder every so often. I thank it for its presence and it thanks me for mine, though we are actually one and the same. I find myself praying to it, though there's really no need to -- it knows me better than I do, and guides me toward my goals, though I know not what they are."

Inspired by Tom's report, write a love note or an expression of appreciation for the shimmering globe of wonder that animates your life.
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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.


 
  Verticle Oracle card Pisces (February 19-March 18)
Aldous Huxley was the renowned 20th-century intellectual who wrote the book Brave New World, a dystopian vision of the future. Later in his life he came to regret one thing: how "preposterously serious" he had been when he was younger. "There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet," he ruminated, "trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. Thatís why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling . . . Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though youíre feeling deeply." I would love for you to put this counsel at the top of your priority list for the next ten months, darling Pisces. Maybe even write it out on a piece of paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror.


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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Meditation teacher Wes Nisker helps students learn to calm the frenetic chatter of their minds. As earnest as he is in this heroic work, though, he also appreciates the importance of not trying too hard. As you pursue your pronoia practice, call on his influence now and then. It'll keep you honest and prevent your anal sphincter from getting too high-strung.

Here's a blurb for one of his workshops. "This day will be of absolutely no use to you. Nothing will be furthered or accomplished by coming. Expect a time of effortlessness, relaxation, and poetry, hanging out, maybe a little mindfulness meditation -- all for nothing. Some might understand this as a protest against our culture's speedy, goal-driven nature, but we know it won't amount to a hill of beans. Good intentions and purposefulness must be checked at the 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.



 
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