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Free Will Astrology
horoscopes for week of November 5, 2015

Aries (March 21-April 19)

In 1978, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield began selling their new ice cream out of a refurbished gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Thirty-seven years later, Ben & Jerry's is among the world's best-selling ice cream brands. Its success stems in part from its willingness to keep transforming the way it does business. "My mantra is 'Change is a wonderful thing,'" says the current CEO. As evidence of the company's intention to keep re-evaluating its approach, there's a "Flavor Graveyard" on its website, where it lists flavors it has tried to sell but ultimately abandoned. "Wavy Gravy," "Tennessee Mud," and "Turtle Soup" are among the departed. Now is a favorable time for you to engage in a purge of your own, Aries. What parts of your life don't work any more? What personal changes would be wonderful things?

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Novel intuitions are erupting from your smart heart, awakening you from any trance you've been ensnared in. You're breaking and escaping obstructions that have suppressed your brilliance. Your soul's code is unleashing itself, revealing in explosive precision why you're a miraculous work of art, proving with intricate artistry why you're a masterpiece unlike any other ever created in the history of the world.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Before he helped launch Apple Computer in the 1970s, tech pioneer Steve Wozniak ran a dial-a-joke service. Most of the time, people who called got an automated recording, but now and then Wozniak answered himself. That's how he met Alice Robertson, the woman who later became his wife. I'm guessing you will have comparable experiences in the coming weeks, Taurus. Future allies may come into your life in unexpected ways. It's as if mysterious forces will be conspiring to connect you with people you need to know.

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Your imagination is the single most important asset you possess. It's your power to create mental pictures of things that don't exist yet and that you want to bring into being. It's the magic wand you use to shape your future.

And so in your own way, you are a prophet. You generate countless predictions every day. Your imagination is the source, tirelessly churning out images of what you will be doing later.

The featured prophecy of the moment may be as simple as a psychic impression of yourself eating a fudge brownie at lunch or as monumental as a daydream of some year building your dream home by a lake or sea.

Your imagination is a treasure when it spins out scenarios that are aligned with your deepest desires. In fact, it's an indispensable tool in creating the life you want; it's what you use to form images of the conditions you'd like to inhabit and the objects you hope to wield. Nothing manifests on this planet unless it first exists as a mental picture.

But for most of us, the imagination is as much a curse as a blessing. We're often just as likely to use it to conjure up premonitions that are at odds with our conscious values. That's the result of having absorbed toxic programming from the media and from our parents at an early age and from other influential people in our past.

Fearful fantasies regularly pop up into our awareness, many disguising themselves as rational thoughts and genuine intuitions. Those fearful fantasies may hijack our psychic energy, directing it to exhaust itself in dead-end meditations.

Every time we entertain a vision of being rejected or hurt or frustrated, every time we rouse and dwell on a memory of a painful experience, we're blasting ourselves with a hex . . . .

Read or hear the rest of "You Are a Prophet."

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Small, nondestructive earthquakes are common. Our planet has an average of 1,400 of them every day. This subtle underground mayhem has been going on steadily for millions of years. According to recent research, it has been responsible for creating 80 percent of the world's gold. I suspect that the next six or seven months will feature a metaphorically analogous process in your life. You will experience deep-seated quivering and grinding that won't bring major disruptions even as it generates the equivalent of gold deposits. Make it your goal to welcome and even thrive on the subterranean friction!

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Where exactly does happiness come from? That's the riddle posed by David Meyers and Ed Diener in their article, "The Science of Happiness," published in The Futurist magazine.

I invite you to write your own answers to their question. Map out the foundations of your own science of happiness. Get serious about defining what makes you feel good.

What specific experiences arouse your deepest gratification? Physical pleasure? Seeking the truth? Being a good person? Contemplating the meaning of life? Enjoying the fruits of your accomplishments? Purging pent-up emotion?

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Here's the process I went through to create your horoscope. First I drew up a chart of your astrological aspects. Using my analytical skills, I pondered their meaning. Next, I called on my intuitive powers, asking my unconscious mind to provide symbols that would be useful to you. The response I got from my deeper mind was surprising: It informed me that I should go to a new cafe that had just opened downtown. Ten minutes later, I was there, gazing at a menu packed with exotic treats: Banana Flirty Milk . . . Champagne Coconut Mango Slushy . . . Honey Dew Jelly Juice . . . Creamy Wild Berry Blitz . . . Sweet Dreamy Ginger Snow. I suspect these are metaphors for experiences that are coming your way.

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Philosopher William James proposed that if our culture ever hoped to shed the deeply ingrained habit of going to war, we'd have to create a moral equivalent. It's not enough to preach the value of peace, he said. We have to find other ways to channel our aggressive instincts in order to accomplish what war does, like stimulate political unity and build civic virtue.

Astrology provides a complementary perspective. Each of us has the warrior energy of the planet Mars in our psychological make-up. We can't simply repress it, but must find a positive way to express it. How you might go about this project?

Leo (July 23-August 22)

The Beatles' song "You Never Give Me Your Money" has this poignant lyric: "Oh, that magic feeling, nowhere to go." I suggest you make it your motto for now. And if you have not yet begun to feel the allure of that sentiment, initiate the necessary shifts to get yourself in the mood. Why? Because it's time to recharge your spiritual battery, and the best way to do that is to immerse yourself in the mystery of having nothing to do and nowhere to go. Put your faith in the pregnant silence, Leo. Let emptiness teach you what you need to know next.

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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How Pronoia Works, from an old Taoist folk tale

There was once a poor farmer who could afford to own just one horse. He cared well for the animal, but one summer night, it escaped through a weak fence and ran away.

When his neighbors discovered what had happened, they visited to offer their condolences. "What bad luck!" they exclaimed. The farmer replied, "Maybe. Maybe not."

A week later, the fugitive horse sauntered back to the homestead, accompanied by six wild horses. The farmer and his son managed to corral all of them. Again the neighbors descended. "What great luck!" they exclaimed. "Maybe," the farmer replied. "Maybe not."

Soon the farmer's son began the work of taming the new arrivals. While attempting to ride the roan stallion, he was thrown to the ground and half-trampled. His leg was badly broken. The neighbors came to investigate. "What terrible luck!" they exclaimed. The farmer replied, "Maybe. Maybe not."

The next day, soldiers visited the farmer's village. Strife had recently broken out between two warlords, and one of them had come to conscript all the local young men. Though every other son was commandeered, the farmer's boy was exempted because of his injury. The neighbors gathered again. "What fantastic luck!" they exclaimed. "Maybe," the farmer said. "Maybe not."

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Should a professional singer be criticized for her lack of skill in laying bricks? Is it reasonable to chide a kindergarten teacher for his ineptitude as an airplane pilot? Does it make sense to complain about a cat's inability to bark? Of course not. There are many other unwarranted comparisons that are almost as irrational but not as obviously unfair. Is it right for you to wish your current lover or best friend could have the same *je ne sais quoi* as a previous lover or best friend? Should you try to manipulate the future so that it's more like the past? Are you justified in demanding that your head and your heart come to identical conclusions? No, no, and no. Allow the differences to be differences. And more than that: Celebrate them!

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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DEFINITION: Pronoia is the antidote for paranoia. It's the understanding that the universe is fundamentally friendly. It's a mode of training your senses and intellect so you're able to perceive the fact that life always gives you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

OBJECTIVE OF PRONOIA: To explore the secrets of becoming a wildly disciplined, fiercely tender, ironically sincere, scrupulously curious, aggressively sensitive, blasphemously reverent, lyrically logical, lustfully compassionate Master of Rowdy Bliss.

HYPOTHESES: Evil is boring. Cynicism is idiotic. Fear is a bad habit. Despair is lazy. Joy is fascinating. Love is an act of heroic genius. Pleasure is your birthright. Receptivity is a superpower.

PROCEDURE: Act as if the universe is a prodigious miracle created for your amusement and illumination. Assume that secret helpers are working behind the scenes to assist you in turning into the gorgeous masterpiece you were born to be. Join the conspiracy to shower all of creation with blessings.

GUIDING QUESTION: "The secret of life," said sculptor Henry Moore to poet Donald Hall, "is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is -- it must be something you cannot possibly do." What is that task for you?

Go here to read or hear the rest of "The Experiment."

Libra (September 23-October 22)

In the mid-19th century, an American named Cyrus McCormick patented a breakthrough that had the potential to revolutionize agriculture. It was a mechanical reaper that harvested crops with far more ease and efficiency than hand-held sickles and scythes. But his innovation didn't enter into mainstream use for 20 years. In part that was because many farmers were skeptical of trying a new technology, and feared it would eliminate jobs. I don't foresee you having to wait nearly as long for acceptance of your new wrinkles, Libra. But you may have to be patient.

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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A Spell to Commit Pronoia, by psychotherapist Jennifer Welwood:

Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I am given unimaginable gifts;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.

Each condition I flee from pursues me.
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed
Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so,
Who has crafted this Master Game;
To play it is pure delight,
To honor it is true devotion.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Is it possible to express a benevolent form of vanity? I say yes. In the coming weeks, your boasts may be quite lyrical and therapeutic. They may even uplift and motivate those who hear them. Acts of self-aggrandizement that would normally cast long shadows might instead produce generous results. That's why I'm giving you a go-ahead to embody the following attitude from Nikki Giovanni's poem "Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)": "I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal / I cannot be comprehended except by my permission."

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"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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Notice how you feel as you speak the following: "The strong, independent part of me resisted the embarrassing truth for a long time, but I finally came to accept that I'm someone who craves vast amounts of love. Ever since I surrendered to this need, it doesn't nag me all the time, as it used to. In fact, it feels comforting, like a source of sweetness that doesn't go away. I never thought I'd say this, but I've come to treasure the feeling of having a voracious yearning to be loved."

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Regard the current tensions and detours as camouflaged gifts from the gods of growth. You're being offered a potent opportunity to counteract the effects of a self-sabotage you committed once upon a time. You're getting an excellent chance to develop the strength of character that can blossom from dealing with soul-bending riddles. In fact, I think you'd be wise to feel a surge of gratitude right now. To do so will empower you to take maximum advantage of the disguised blessings.

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Review in painstaking detail the history of your life, honoring every moment as if you were conducting a benevolent Judgment Day.

Forgive yourself of every mistake except one.

Create a royal crown for yourself out of a shower cap, rubber bands, and light bulbs.

Think of the last place on earth you'd ever want to visit, and visualize yourself having fun there.

Test to see if people are really listening to you by asserting that Karl Marx was one of the Marx Brothers.

Track down people who are impossible to love, and love them defiantly without expecting anything in return.

Steal lint from dryers in laundromats and use it to make animal sculptures for someone you admire.

Fantasize you're the child of divine parents who abandoned you when you were two days old, but who will soon be coming back to reunite with you.

Once a year, say these words into a mirror: "It's bad luck to be superstitious."

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

You are slipping into a phase when new teachers are likely to appear. That's excellent news, because the coming weeks will also be a time when you especially need new teachings. Your good fortune doesn't end there. I suspect that you will have an enhanced capacity to learn quickly and deeply. With all these factors conspiring in your favor, Capricorn, I predict that by January 1, you will be smarter, humbler, more flexible, and better prepared to get what you want in 2016.

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Imagine it's 30 years from now. You're looking back at the history of your relationship with desire. There was a certain watershed moment when you clearly saw that some of your desires were mediocre, inferior, and wasteful, while others were pure, righteous, and invigorating.

Beginning then, you made it a life goal to purge the former and cultivate the latter. Thereafter, you occasionally wandered down dead ends trying to gratify yearnings that weren't worthy of you, but usually you wielded your passions with discrimination, dedicating them to serve the highest and most interesting good.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

American author Mark Twain seemed to enjoy his disgust with the novels of Jane Austen, who died 18 years before he was born. "Her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy," he said, even as he confessed that he had perused some of her work multiple times. "Every time I read *Pride and Prejudice,*" he wrote to a friend about Austen's most famous story, "I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone." We might ask why he repetitively sought an experience that bothered him. I am posing a similar question to you, Aquarius. According to my analysis, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to renounce, once and for all, your association with anything or anyone you are addicted to disliking.

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What are the obvious secrets 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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Many of us are essentially asleep, even as we walk around in broad daylight. We're so focused on the restless narratives and repetitive fantasies unfurling in our heads that we only dimly perceive the larger story raging in all of its chaotic beauty around us.

To have any hope of permanently breaking out of our fuzzy trance, we require regular shocks. A single jolt might cause us to briefly come to attention and see the miracle of creation for what it is, but once the red alert has passed, we relax back into our fixation on the dreamy tales our mind never stops telling us.

In the course of its conspiracy to shower us with blessings, life does its best to provide us with a steady flow of healing shocks. But because it tends to err on the side of tenderness, its prods may be too gentle, allowing us to ignore them. Gradually, life will up the ante, trying to find the right mix of toughness and love, as it encourages us to WAKE UP!

But our addiction to the phantasmagoria is tenacious. The stream-of-conscious narratives and ever-bubbling fantasies, even when they're racked with torment and terror, are perversely entertaining. And so we may avoid responding to the kind shocks for so long that life finally has to resort to stronger medicine. Then we might get sick or lose our job or muck up our closest relationship.

It doesn't have to be that way. We could cultivate in ourselves a sixth sense for the wake-up calls life sends us. We might develop a knack for responding with agile grace to the early, gentler ones so that we wouldn't have to be visited by the more stringent measures . . . .

Go here to read or hear the rest of "Healing Shocks."

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

The Sahara in Northern Africa is the largest hot desert on the planet. It's almost the size of the United States. Cloud cover is rare, the humidity is low, and the temperature of the sand can easily exceed 170 F. (80 C.). That's why it was so surprising when snow fell there in February of 1979 for the first time in memory. This once-in-a-lifetime visitation happened again 33 years later. I'm expecting a similar anomaly in your world, Pisces. Like the desert snow, your version should be mostly interesting and only slightly inconvenient. It may even have an upside. Saharan locals testified that the storm helped the palm trees because it killed off the parasites feeding on them.

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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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SACRED ADVERTISEMENT. The oracle below is excerpted from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Whatever you choose to focus your attention on, you will get more of it. If you often think of everything you lack and how sad you are that you don't have it, you will tend to receive prolific evidence of how true that is. As you obsess on all the ways your life is different from what you wish it would be, you will become an expert in rousing feelings of frustration and you will attract experiences that assist you in rousing frustration.

If, on the other hand, you dwell on the good things you have already had the privilege to experience, you will expand your appreciation for their blessings, which in turn will amplify their beneficent impact on your life. You will also magnetize yourself to receive further good things, making it more likely that they will be attracted into your sphere. At the very least, you will get in the habit of enjoying yourself no matter what the outward circumstances are.

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