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Free Will Astrology
horoscopes for week of August 25, 2005

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Minnesota radio station KNUJ came up with a unique proposal for how the governor and top legislators could deal with their intractable conflict: They would have a wrestling match in a large vat filled with sauerkraut. I think you should adopt this idea for your own use, Aries--though I suggest that maybe you and your adversary conduct your grapple in a sweeter-smelling substance than fermented cabbage. How about jell-o or pudding, for instance? One way or another, find a constructive way to resolve disagreements or hostilities by using a half-playful, half-serious approach.


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To become a master of desire, keep talking yourself out of being attached to trivial goals and keep talking yourself into being thrilled about the precious few goals that are really important. Here's another way to say it: Wean yourself from ego-driven desires and pour your libido into a longing for beauty, truth, goodness, justice, integrity, creativity, love, and an intimate relationship with the Wild Divine.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Surveys show that many parents in England cut away the crusts before serving bread to their children. Responding to this need, a baking company has begun marketing bread without crusts. I mention this, Taurus, because pre-made crustless bread is a good metaphor for the experiences you'll soon be offered in abundance: soft, spongy sweetness that you can freely access without having to break through any hard outer layers. I won't be surprised if you get tired of it after a while, though, and start seeking out adventures with more crunch. But in the short run you might find it very relaxing.


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Life is a vast and intricate conspiracy designed to keep us well supplied with blessings. What kind of blessings? Palatial homes, attractive lovers, lottery winnings, career success? Maybe. But just as likely: interesting surprises, unexpected challenges, gifts we hardly know what to do with, conundrums that force us to get smarter. Novelist William Vollman referred to the latter types of blessings when he said that "the most important and enjoyable thing in life is doing something that's a complicated, tricky problem for you that you don't know how to solve."
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

"If you dig a hole deep enough into the earth," the grandmother of my friend Carlos used to tell him when he was a kid, "you can see the sun rise at night." From a metaphorical perspective, that's good advice for you right now, Gemini. In order to get to the highest place possible, you might have to dive down deeper than you ever have before. To find the illumination you need, you should probably explore the densest darkness.


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Many people believe that happiness is a rare commodity attainable only through dumb luck. "One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness," said novelist Willa Cather. "One only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere." I disagree. My perspective is the same as the Buddhist researchers Rick Foster and Greg Hicks. In their book How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People, they reveal that the number one trait of happy people is a serious determination to be happy. Bliss is a habit you can cultivate, in other words, not an accident that you stumble upon by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere.
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The preceding love letter comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

In his horoscope column in The Onion, retired machinist Lloyd Schumner told those of us born under the sign of Cancer, "You lack initiative, which means that you usually wait until someone yells 'Get funky!' before you get funky." The coming week will be the perfect time for us to prove him wrong, my fellow Crabs. Our initiative will be overflowing, especially in regards to tasks that involve getting funky.


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Meditate naked under a waterfall.
Relive the last day of your childhood.
Sip the tears of someone you love.
Rebel against your horoscope.
Create a luxurious orphanage in Romania.
Pick blackberries in the rain.
Feel sorry for a devious lawyer.
See how far you can spit a mouthful of beer.
Give yourself another chance.
Dream of stealing the peaches of immortality from a dragon guarding Plato's cave.
Write a love letter to your evil twin during a lunar eclipse.
Sing the first song you ever heard.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

According to the legends of many cultures, every one of us has a doppelganger somewhere on the planet: a person who looks exactly like us. The modern sciences of genetics and statistics go further, saying that there are at least 80 people worldwide who are our spitting image. If you're ever going to meet one of these doubles, Leo, it will probably be in the coming weeks. But even if you don't, I predict that the whole world will become a giant mirror, reflecting back to you visions of yourself that you haven't been able to see before.


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Robin Norwood's self-help book Women Who Love Too Much deals with a theme that has gotten a lot of play in recent decades: If you're too generous to someone who doesn't appreciate it and at the expense of your own needs, you can make yourself sick.

An alternative perspective comes from Blaise Pascal, who said, "When one does not love too much, one does not love enough." He was primarily addressing psychologically healthy altruists, but it's a good ideal for pronoia lovers to keep in mind.

Decide whether you need to move more in the direction of Norwood's or Pascal's advice. Develop a game plan to carry out your resolve, then take action.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Who did you start out to be, Virgo? It's time to remember that. I urge you to muse about the ways you could benefit from renewing a connection to your origins. Revisit your earliest sources of truth. Think about whether you're still on track to become the person you knew you could be when your vision was still fresh and innocent. Here's a good way to anchor your explorations in concrete reality: Meditate on the scientifically verified fact that with each breath, you re-inhale at least one molecule you first took in during the minutes after you were born.


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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.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Physicist Jonathan Huebner says scientists are running out of bright ideas. "We are approaching the point when the rate of innovation is the same as it was during the Dark Ages," he wrote in New Scientist magazine. That argument seems wrong to me. Everyone I know is awash in the changes unleashed by new technology. But just in case his theory has any merit, I call on Libran inventors to begin reversing the trend. After all, you're now at the height of your ability to generate constructive novelty. So are all the rest of you Librans, for that matter. Get out there and unleash a flurry of good changes.


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Some people argue that life is strife and suffering is normal. Others swear we're born sinful and only heaven can provide us with the peace that passes understanding. But pronoia says that being alive on the rough green and brown earth is the highest honor and privilege. It's an invitation to work wonders and perform miracles that aren't possible in any nirvana, promised land, or afterlife.

I'm not exaggerating or indulging in poetic metaphor when I tell you that we are already living in paradise. Visualize it if you dare. The sweet stuff that quenches all of our longing is not far away in some other time and place. It's right here and right now.

Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning knew the truth: "Earth's crammed with heaven."
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Located north of the Arctic Circle, the Northwest Passage is a body of water that joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Large parts of it are frozen over most of the year, though, so it's not a practical way for ships to travel. The U.S. regards the Northwest Passage as international territory, but Canada recently claimed it as its own sovereign territory. Canadian Defense Minister Bill Graham foresees a time when global warming will have melted so much ice that it will become a viable sea route of great value to his country. Be like Graham this week, Scorpio. Peer into the future and scan for potential resources that are as yet unrecognized or unready. Make them yours now, while they're still cheap and available.


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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.
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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?

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

I live six miles from one of the world's most notorious penitentiaries, San Quentin. Both Charlie Manson and Sirhan Sirhan have spent time there, and a recent riot injured 42 inmates. Though I've never had a major itch to visit the place, I felt differently after hearing about a gift store within the prison walls. I corralled a friend and the two of us made an impulsive field trip there. As we grazed amidst the prisoners' handiwork, including birdhouses fashioned out of cigar boxes, paintings of clowns on velvet, and banjos made from bedpans, I had a psychic epiphany. I realized that my situation was similar to your imminent future: You, too, will find weird little treasures while just visiting a place where other people are trapped.


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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.
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Let's discuss the differences between dumb, unproductive pain and smart, useful pain. The former is the kind you keep being drawn back to out of habit. It's familiar, and therefore perversely comfortable. The latter is the kind of pain that surprises you with valuable teachings and inspires you to see the world with new eyes. While stupid pain is often born of fear, wise pain is stirred up by love. The dumb, unproductive stuff comes from allowing yourself to be controlled by your early conditioning and from doing things that are out of harmony with your essence. The smart, useful variety arises out of a willingness to live passionately and with a sense of adventure. Can you guess which type I'm urging you to gravitate toward right now, Capricorn?


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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.
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The preceding spell comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

To promote my new book, Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia, I've tried to set up lectures at bookstores. One place I contacted was A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books in San Francisco. It turned me down. Ironically, I was later able to score a gig at a spot called A Dirty Poorly-Lighted Place for Books. It's a seedy dive in a rundown neighborhood. My audience was a handful of rowdies instead of the well-heeled crowd that might have seen me at the other store, and I sold just one book. But I enjoyed my time thoroughly, as my uninhibited congregation joined me in my favorite rituals, like kicking our own asses, burning money, throwing imaginary stones at heaven, and dancing in slow-motion on tabletops. Would audience members at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books have done that? I think not. The moral of the story, Aquarius: It'll be very lucky if you, like me, have to settle for your second choice in the coming week.


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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?
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

You don't need to know how your computer and car work in order to use them. Their inner workings may be unfathomable, but that doesn't matter as long as you benefit from what they do for you. Let's apply that same principle to a certain relationship that is perplexing you. You obviously get something out of your alliance with this person, since you've chosen not to leave it. Yet you seem bothered by the fact that you can't figure out what you are to each other and where you're supposed to go next. My advice? For now, stop trying to understand it. Just surrender to the fruitful mystery. Simply let your connection perform its enigmatic magic.


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How Pronoia Works

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."
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The preceding oracle comes from my new book. It's called PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, and is available on the Web at Amazon and Powells.

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