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Horoscopes for week of February 9, 2017

Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
Your reputation is in a state of fermentation. Will this process ultimately produce the metaphorical equivalent of fine wine or else something more like pungent cheese? The answer to that question will depend on how much integrity you express as you wield your clout. Be as charismatic as you dare, yes, but always in service to the greater good rather than to self-aggrandizement. You can accomplish wonders if you are saucy and classy, but you'll spawn blunders if you're saucy and bossy.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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"The real secret of magic is that the world is made of words," said Terence McKenna in Alien Dreamtime, "and that if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish." Here's my version of that hypothesis: What world you end up living in depends at least in part on your use of language.

Do you want to move and breathe amidst infertile chaos where nothing makes sense and no one really loves anyone? Then speak with unconscious carelessness, expressing yourself lazily. Constantly materialize and entertain angry thoughts in the privacy of your own imagination, beaming silent curses out into eternity.

Or would you prefer to live in a realm that's rich with fluid epiphanies and intriguing coincidences and mysterious harmonies? Then be discerning and inventive in how you speak, primed to name the unexpected codes that are always being born right in front of your eyes. Turn your imagination into an ebullient laboratory where the somethings you create out of nothings are tinctured with the secret light you see in your dreams of invisible fire.









 
  Verticle Oracle card Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Using a blend of warfare and diplomacy, Napoleon extended French control over much of Western Europe. In 1804, he decided to formalize his growing sovereignty with a coronation ceremony. He departed from tradition, however. For many centuries, French kings had been crowned by the Pope. But on this occasion, Napoleon took the imperial crown from Pope Pius VII and placed it on his own head. Historian David J. Markham writes that he "was simply symbolizing that he was becoming emperor based on his own merits and the will of the people, not because of some religious consecration." According to my reading of the astrological omens, Taurus, you have the right to perform a comparable gesture. Donít wait for some authority to crown you. Crown yourself.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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As a boy, renowned Spanish matador Manolete was a sissy. He rarely played outside, preferring to be near his mother as he read books and painted pictures.

Psychologist James Hillman explains this by suggesting that the youthful Manolete had already sensed his destiny, intuiting that one day he would be alone in the ring facing down angry 2,000-pound bulls. His childhood behavior was a way of marshaling his strength and shielding him from the enormity of the challenges he would seek out one day.

Is it possible that what you have considered a weakness or vulnerability has actually been preparing you to express a signature strength?









 
  Verticle Oracle card Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Have you heard the fable about the four blind men who come upon an elephant for the first time? The first man feels the tail and declares that the thing they've encountered must be a rope. The second touches one of the elephant's legs and says that they are in the presence of a tree. The third strokes the trunk and assumes it's a snake. Putting his hand on a tusk, the fourth man asserts that it's a spear. I predict that this fable will NOT apply to you in the coming weeks, Gemini. You won't focus on just one aspect of the whole and think it's the whole. Other people in your sphere may get fooled by shortsightedness, but you will see the big picture.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Sometimes we have a strong sense of what our destiny is calling us to do, but we don't feel quite ready or brave enough to answer the call. We need a push, an intervention, a serendipitous stroke -- what you might call "fate bait." It's a person or event that awakens our dormant willpower and draws us inexorably toward our necessary destiny; it's a thunderbolt or siren song or stage whisper that gives us a good excuse to go do what we know we should do.

Do you have any ideas about how to put yourself in the vicinity of your fate bait?









 
  Verticle Oracle card Cancer (June 21-July 22)
For now, at least, your brain is your primary erogenous zone. I suspect it will be generating some of your sexiest thoughts ever. To be clear, not all of these erupting streams of bliss will directly involve the sweet, snaky mysteries of wrapping your physical body around another's. Some of the erotic pleasure will come in the form of epiphanies that awaken sleeping parts of your soul. Others might arrive as revelations that chase away months' worth of confusion. Still others could be creative breakthroughs that liberate you from a form of bondage you've wrongly accepted as necessary.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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During my years in college, I enjoyed watching the evolution of Richard, a shy geek in my creative writing classes. Long before he penned a single good poem, he was a bohemian art poseur. On his backpack there was a button with the image of rock poet Patti Smith. He often wore a T-shirt bearing a quote from poetry icon Allen Ginsberg, and he was never without his book of Rimbaud poems. Everywhere I went I saw him scribbling ostentatiously in his journal as he chain-smoked clove cigarettes.

To my surprise, Richard's work gradually began to match his persona. By sophomore year he'd spawned some evocative poems, and soon after he graduated, he published a fine chapbook. In his development I witnessed a perfect example of the saying, "You become what you pretend to be."

Your assignment: Decide what you want to become, and start pretending to be that thing. Or else: Be careful what you're unconsciously pretending to be, because you just might become it.









 
  Verticle Oracle card Leo (July 23-August 22)
Human beings upload 300 hours of videos to Youtube every minute of every day. Among that swirling flow is a hefty amount of footage devoted exclusively to the amusing behavior of cats. Researchers estimate there are now more than two million clips of feline shenanigans. Despite the stiff competition, I suspect there's a much better chance than usual that your cat video will go viral if you upload it in the coming weeks. Why? In general, you Leos now have a sixth sense about how to get noticed. You know what you need to do to express yourself confidently and attract attention -- not just in regards to your cats, but anything that's important to you.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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In his book Starbucked, Taylor Clark says there's a woman who goes to a Seattle Starbucks every morning and orders a "decaf single grande extra vanilla two-percent extra caramel 185-degrees with whipped cream caramel macchiato."

Maybe her request seems overly fussy and demanding, but it could be a good act for you to mimic. Try this: For a given time, say 12 days, be equally as exacting in asking for what you want. Assume that you have a poetic license to be extremely specific as you go about your quest for fulfillment.








 
  Verticle Oracle card Virgo (August 23-September 22)
I know you haven't literally been wrestling and wrangling with a sweaty angel. But if I were going to tell a fairy tale about your life lately, I'd be tempted to say this: Your rumble with the sweaty angel is not finished. In fact, the best and holiest part is still to come. But right now you have cosmic permission to take a short break and rest a while. During the lull, ratchet up your determination to learn all you can from your friendly "struggle." Try to figure out what you've been missing about the true nature of the sweaty angel. Vow to become a stronger advocate for yourself and a more rigorous revealer of the wild truth.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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"Why, I don't even respect myself, I tell ya," said comedian Rodney Dangerfield. "When I make love, I have to fantasize that I am somebody else!"

Experiment with just the second half of that formulation. While you're making love, fantasize that you're somebody else. But do it because you care deeply about yourself -- so deeply that you want to transcend your customary reactions and expand your identity. Do it because you dare to awaken to previously unknown possibilities of who you might be.









 
  Verticle Oracle card Libra (September 23-October 22)
Even if you're not an occult wizard or pagan priestess, I suspect you now have the power to conjure benevolent love spells. There's a caveat, however: They will only work if you cast them on yourself. Flinging them at other people would backfire. But if you do accept that limitation, you'll be able to invoke a big dose of romantic mojo from both your lower depths and your higher self. Inspiration will be abundantly available as you work to reinvigorate your approach to intimacy and togetherness.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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There was an indignant uproar after revelations in 2006 that James Frey's best-selling "memoir" A Million Little Pieces contains fabrications. He hadn't actually lived all of the experiences he depicted therein.

Hearing about it prompted me to ruminate on whether there's any such thing as a completely accurate account of any person's life. My conclusion: no.

In every autobiography and biography ever written, the author imaginatively strings together selectively chosen details to conjure up artificially coherent narratives rather than depicting the crazy-quilt ambiguity that actually characterizes everyone's journey.

If you and nine writers set out to tell your life story, you'd produce 10 wildly different tales, each rife with subjective interpretation, misplaced emphasis, unintentional distortions, and exorbitant extrapolations from insufficient data.

Celebrate the malleability of reality. Regale listeners with stories about the time you worked as a pirate in the Indian Ocean, or rode the rails through Kansas as a hobo, or gave a down-on-his-luck CIA agent sage advice in an elevator. When you call to get pizza delivered and the clerk who takes your order asks your name, say you're Brad Pitt or Paris Hilton. When someone you're meeting is annoyed because you're late, say you couldn't help it because you were smoking crack in the bus station bathroom with your mom's guru and lost track of time. If asked how much education you have, say you have three PhDs, one each in astrobiology, Russian literature, and whale songs.








 
  Verticle Oracle card Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Here's some advice from Scorpio writer Norman Rush: "The main effort of arranging your life should be to progressively reduce the amount of time required to decently maintain yourself so that you can have all the time you want for reading." It's understandable that a language specialist like Rush would make the final word of the previous sentence "reading." But you might choose a different word. And I invite you to do just that. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to devotedly carve out more time to do The Most Important Thing in Your Life.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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George III was King of England from 1760 to 1820. During the last years of his reign, he gradually became more and more detached from reality, talking to himself for hours on end and addressing trees as if they were people. When he first began losing his mind, his servants and assistants made a conscious decision to help him feel more comfortable by acting eccentric themselves.

Their collusion with George's pathology is an extreme example of a situation that all of us are at risk of. Our associates and loved ones may fall into a rhythm of going along with our odd ideas and bad habits, encouraging us to continue doing what we probably shouldn't do.

Are your allies refraining from busting you or calling your bluff, when they probably should? Bust yourself. Call your own bluff.









 
  Verticle Oracle card Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Sixteenth-century Italian painter Titian was renowned for his brilliant use of color. He was also prolific, versatile, and influential. In 2011, one of his paintings sold for $16.9 million. But one of his contemporaries, the incomparable Michelangelo, said that Titian could have been an even greater artist if he had ever mastered the art of drawing. It seems that Titian skipped a step in his early development. Is there any way that your path resembles Titian's, Sagittarius? Did you neglect to cultivate a basic skill that has subtly (or not so subtly) handicapped your growth ever since? If so, the coming weeks and months will be an excellent time to fix the glitch.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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If a cow is given a name by her owner, she generates more milk than a cow that's treated as an anonymous member of the herd. That's the conclusion of a study done by researchers at Newcastle University in the UK. "Placing more importance on knowing the individual animals and calling them by name," said Dr. Catherine Douglas, "can significantly increase milk production."

Building on that principle, I suggest that you give everything in your world names, including (but not limited to) houseplants, insects, cars, appliances, and trees. It will help you get more up-close and personal with all of creation, which is an effective way to cultivate pronoia.








 
  Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Our obsessive use of digital devices has diminished our power to focus. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span has shrunk to eight seconds -- one second less than that of a typical goldfish. I'm guessing, though, that you Capricorns will buck this trend in the coming weeks. Your ability to concentrate may be exceptional even by pre-Internet standards. I hope you'll take opportunity of this fortunate anomaly to get a lot of important work and play done.

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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Sometimes the best gift you can give your ego is to tell it you're not going to be its slave anymore. You say to it, "I'm tired of being whipped around by every one of your ever-shifting little needs, and I'm sick of having to kowtow to your inexhaustible demands. I want to be free of your insatiable craving to be appreciated, recognized, and adored. Go away and leave me alone. I'm just going to be who I am without worrying about you at all."

Delivering this message may stimulate a healing crisis. Your ego could be temporarily rendered numb and irrelevant by its near death experience, and you'll get to go off and do what your soul wants to do.

Tell your ego you won't be its slave for a period of three days.









 
  Verticle Oracle card Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
The time is now, Brave Aquarius. Be audacious about improving the big little things in your life. (That's not a typo. I did indeed use the term "big little things.") For example: Seek out or demand more engaging responsibilities. Bring your penetrating questions to sphinx-like authorities. Go in search of more useful riddles. Redesign the daily rhythm to better meet your unique needs. Refuse "necessary" boredom that's not truly necessary. Trust what actually works, not what's merely attractive. Does all that seem too bold and brazen for you to pull off? I assure you that it's not. You have more clout than you imagine. You also have a growing faith in your own power to make subtle fundamental shifts. (That's not a typo. I did indeed use the term "subtle fundamental shifts.")

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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In American psychotherapy, the first question many practitioners ask their new clients is essentially, "What did your parents do to you to mess you up so badly?" One of my Japanese friends tells me that in his country, a therapist is more likely to ask, "What did your parents do for you? How did they nurture and support you?"

Without dismissing the possibility that your mom and dad did inflict damage on you, I'll ask you to concentrate on the Japanese-style inquiry for now. What are the best things that happened to you when you were growing up? What did your family and community give you that you've never fully appreciated?








 
  Verticle Oracle card Pisces (February 19-March 18)
"Love does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person," wrote the poet Rilke, "for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent?" That's an excellent meditation for you to entertain during the Valentine season, Pisces. You're in the right frame of mind to think about how you could change and educate yourself so as to get the most out of your intimate alliances. Love "is a high inducement for the individual to ripen," Rilke said, "to become something, to become a world for the sake of another person." (Thanks to Stephen Mitchell for much of this translation.)

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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 from my book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.
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