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Free Will Astrology
horoscopes for week of December 18, 2014

Aries (March 21-April 19)

"Too much happiness can make you unhappy," reported journalist Marta Zaraska in the Washington Post. Citing research by psychologists, she concluded that being super-extra cheerful can make you selfish, gullible, and more prone to stereotyped thinking. On the other hand, she said, maintaining merely moderate levels of happiness is pretty damn good for your mental and physical health. So here's the takeaway, Aries: The astrological omens suggest you're due for a surge of joy and pleasure. Just be careful it doesn't spill over into rash, delirious excess. Here's your watchword: well-grounded delight.

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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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The ancient Greek word klimax had several meanings. Here's the Beauty and Truth Lab's favorite definition: a ladder to heaven by which a dreamer's soul ascends to have an erotic tryst with a divine being who imparts fascinating secrets. Before you go to bed on the next five nights, tell your subconscious mind that you want to get yourself a klimax like that.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

In the 19th century, the Grimm brothers gathered over 200 old fairy tales from a variety of sources and published them in an unprecedented collection. Many of their stories are still popular, including "Cinderella," "Snow White," "Hansel and Gretel," and "Rapunzel." Around the same time they did their work, a storyteller named Franz Xaver von Schönwerth assembled his own compendium of fantastic myths, fables, and folklore. Unlike the Grimm brothers' book, his work faded into obscurity. But it was rediscovered in 2011, and 500 lost fairy tales are now finding their way into newly published books. I foresee a comparable phenomenon happening for you in 2015, Taurus. Forgotten stories will return. Raw material from the depths will resurface. Interesting news from the past will come flowing into the present.

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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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In the Beauty and Truth Lab parlance, "Uber-Fun" (always capitalized) refers to righteous delight that inspires you to shed limiting beliefs, thereby making you trickier, smarter, kinder, and wilder. Go out and have some Uber-Fun.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Your first task is to ascertain the half-truth, the whole half-truth, and nothing but the whole half-truth. Only then will you be able to find the other half of the truth. I realize it may be frustrating to use this approach. You'd probably prefer to avoid wrangling with the deceptions and misdirections. But I think it's the only way to jostle loose the hidden or missing information. For best results, be a cunning and unsentimental detective who's eager to solve the mystery. Don't focus on finding fault or assigning blame.

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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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ARGUMENTS WITH GOD is the only organization on the planet that specializes in the art of debating with the Creator. Our trained Prayer Warriors are standing by, ready to deliver the protests and complaints that you want to convey. Send your mad, rebellious, poignant appeals to uaregod@comcast.net, and we will relay them directly to the Cosmic Trickster with persuasive eloquence. Write your first draft.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

One of the ingredients that makes yoga mats so soft and springy is the chemical azodicarbonamide. The same stuff is added to the soles of shoes. There's a third place where it's used, too: in the burger buns sold by McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and other fast food joints. I'm not suggesting that you order a big supply of azodicarbonamide and ingest it. But I do hope you will consider the metaphorical equivalent: doing whatever's necessary to make yourself bouncy and fluffy and pliable and supple and resilient.

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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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The Mystic Chaos Wizard Helper says: Close one eye. Tap your forehead twice with your left palm. Think of a memory in which you found something you'd lost. Lick your lips and murmur the words "Love Whisperer." Insert your middle finger in the "Delight-O-Meter" slot. Keep your finger there until the "Passion Lamp" turns on. Flash. Flash. Flash. Thank you. Now write the first thing that comes into your heart's mind.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

"There are two kinds of light," said author James Thurber, "the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures." Lately you have been an abundant source of that first kind of light, Leo. The fire in your heart and the gleam in your eyes have not only brightened the mood wherever you've gone. They have also clarified confusing situations, warmed chilly attitudes, and healed dispirited allies. Thank you! In the coming weeks, I'd love to see you continue on your hot streak. To help ensure that you do, keep your ego under control. Don't let it pretend that it owns the light you're emitting. With a little introspection, you will continue to generate illumination, not glare.

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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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Naturalist John Burroughs may have been addressing your current needs when he wrote the following: "The lesson which life constantly enforces is 'Look underfoot.' You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Every place is the center of the world."

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Studies suggest that 57 percent of all people with access to the Internet have engaged in the practice known as ego-surfing. This modern art form consists of searching Google for mentions of one's own name. This is a suspiciously low figure unless we factor in the data uncovered by my own research -- which is that a disproportionately small amount of Virgos go ego-surfing: only 21 percent. If you are one of the 79 percent of your tribe who does not indulge, I invite you to remedy the situation. It's an excellent time to risk exploring the potential benefits of increased self-interest and self-regard.

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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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You're hereby invited to join the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee Devoted to the Ingenious Liberation of All Sentient Beings. To signify your desire to sign up, simply perform an act of crafty compassion that reduces someone's suffering.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

When I started writing horoscopes many years ago, I was a good astrologer but an unexceptional writer. Eventually, the practice of composing 12 packets of pithy prose every week allowed me to improve my authorial skills. The stuff I composed in the early years wasn't bad, but I wouldn't want to present it as my work any more. So should I feel guilty that I got paid and appreciated for those old efforts even though I was less than perfect? Did I get away with something I shouldn't have gotten away with? I don't think so. I was doing the best I could at the time. And even my unpolished astrological musings were helpful to many people. Now, Libra, I invite you to apply these meditations to you own unfolding destiny.

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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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Where exactly is Hell in relation to Heaven, anyway? Is it the equivalent of a billion light-years away? Or are they located within shouting distance of each other? Lots of ancient religious texts suggest the latter. Yalkut Koheleth, a Jewish commentary on the Biblical book Ecclesiastes, claimed the two domains were just "a hand-breadth apart." In Greek myth, the blessed Elysian Fields were situated right next door to Hades. "The doors to heaven and hell are adjacent and identical," wrote Nikos Kazantzakis, "both green, both beautiful."

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

You may already know what I'm about to tell you. It's a core principle at the root of your Scorpio heritage. But I want to focus your attention on it. In the coming months, you'll be wise to keep it at the forefront of your conscious awareness. Here it is, courtesy of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: "You have it in your power to invest everything you have lived through -- your experiments, false starts, errors, delusions, passions, your love and your hope -- into your goal, with nothing left over."

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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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The alchemists said the magic formula for enlightenment was Visita Inferiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem, or "Seek out the lower reaches of the earth, perfect them, and you will find the hidden stone" -- the treasured philosopher's stone. Jungian psychologists might describe the process this way: Engage in a relationship with the blind and sickly parts of yourself, perfect them, and you will awaken your hidden divinity.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

"A savage desire for strong emotions and sensations burns inside me: a rage against this soft-tinted, shallow, standardized and sterilized life." So says Harry Haller, the protagonist of Herman Hesse's novel Steppenwolf. His declaration could serve as an interesting point of reference for you in the coming months, Sagittarius -- not as a mood for everyday use, but as a poetic inspiration that you periodically call on to invigorate your lust for life. My invitation has a caveat, however. I advise you not to adopt the rest of Harry Haller's rant, in which he says that he also has "a mad craving to smash something up, a department store, or a cathedral, or myself."

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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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"Objection, evasion, joyous distrust, and love of irony are signs of health. Everything absolute belongs to pathology." So proclaimed Friedrich Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil. Note well that he used the adjective "joyous" to describe distrust, not "cynical" or "grumbling" or "sour." The key to remaining vital and strong while questioning every so-called absolute is to cultivate a cheerful, buoyant mood as you do it.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

I have lived near an open space preserve for five years. Up until the last two months, it has been a peaceful, quiet place. But then the coyotes moved in. Just after dusk every evening, a pack of them start yipping and yowling in the distance. At first I found the racket to be eerie and unsettling. It activated some primal unease in me. And yet the coyotes have never actually been a problem. They don't roam into my neighborhood and try to bite people or prey on pets. So now I've come to relish the situation: The wild things are close and exciting, but not dangerous. I'm guessing this has a metaphorical resemblance to what your life will be like in the next six months, Capricorn.

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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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You know about the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who discovered the conditioned reflex. In his famous experiment, he trained laboratory dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell.

You may not have heard, though, about the story's surprise ending. The dogs were programmed for weeks with such rigor that their behavior became as predictable as machines. Then one day a flood inundated the lab. In the confusion, the dogs forgot all their training instantly. (Source: Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life)

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

Stanstead, Quebec and Derby Line, Vermont are really a single town that straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada. Many of the people who live there have dual citizenship, but they're still supposed to carry their passports with them at all times. I suspect you may experience a metaphorical version of this split in the coming months, Aquarius. You will be in a situation that has a split down the middle or a seemingly unnatural division. Whether it turns out to be a problem or an opportunity will depend on your adaptability and flexibility.

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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 that the whole world belongs to you. The birch trees in New Hampshire's White Mountains are yours, and so are the cirrus clouds in the western sky at dusk and the black sand on the beaches of Hawaii's Big Island. You own everything, my dear sovereign -- the paintings in all the museums of the world, as well as the Internet and the wild horses and the eight-lane highways.

Please take good care of it all, OK? Be an enlightened monarch who treats your domain with reverent responsibility. And make sure you also enjoy the full measure of fun that comes with such mastery. Glide through life as if all of creation is yearning to honor and entertain you.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

When a dead tree topples over in the woods, its withered branches may get entangled with the branches of a living tree that's standing nearby. As years go by, the living tree must grow the best it can with the decaying wood trapped in its midst. Has something like that ever happened to you? Are you still carrying the rot that other people have burdened you with? If so, the coming months will be an excellent time to get disentangled. A tree isn't capable of freeing itself from the dead weight of the past, but you are -- especially in the first half of 2015.

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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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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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Even if you don't call yourself an artist, you have the potential to be a dynamic creator who is always hatching new plans, coming up with fresh ideas, and shifting your approach to everything you do as you adjust to life's ceaseless invitation to change.

It's to this part of you -- the restless, inventive spirit -- that I address the following: Unleash yourself! Don't be satisfied with the world the way it is; don't sit back passively and blankly complain about the dead weight of the mediocre status quo. Instead, call on your curiosity and charisma and expressiveness and lust for life as you tinker with and rebuild everything you see so that it's in greater harmony with the laws of love and more hospitable to your soul's code.

© 1995-2014 -- Rob Brezsny. All rights reserved