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Horoscopes for week of October 3, 2013

Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
Are you good at haggling? Do you maybe even enjoy the challenge of negotiating for a better price, of angling for a fairer deal? The coming week will be a favorable time to make extensive use of this skill. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you will thrive on having friendly arguments with just about everyone, from your buddies to your significant other to your mommy to God Herself. Everywhere you go, I encourage you to engage in lively discussions as you hammer out compromises that will serve you well. Be cheerful and adaptable and forceful.


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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May you eat an unfamiliar dessert in a strange land at least once every three years.

May you wake up to salsa music one summer morning and start dancing while you're still half-≠asleep.

May you spray-paint Rilke poems as graffiti on highway overpasses.

May you mix stripes with plaids, floral patterns with checks, and yellowish-green with brownish-purple.

May you learn to identify by name 20 flowers, 15 trees, 10 clouds and one extrasolar planet.

May you put a bumper sticker on your car or bike that says, "My god can kick your god's ass!"

If you bury your face in your tear-stained pillow and beg God to please send you your soul mate, may you not slur your words in such a way that they sound like "cell mate."

May you dream of taking a trip to the moon in a gondola powered by firecrackers and wild swans.

May you actually kiss the earth now and then.

May you find many good excuses to say, as physicist Niels Bohr once did, "Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true."



 
  Verticle Oracle card Taurus (April 20-May 20)
In David Markson's experimental novel Wittgenstein's Mistress, the protagonist fantasizes about the winter she lived at the Louvre Museum in Paris. She says that to keep warm she made big fires and burned some of the museum's precious artifacts. I'm hoping you won't do anything remotely resembling that mythic event in the coming week, Taurus. I understand that you may be going through a cold spell -- a time when you're longing for more heat and light. But I beg you not to sacrifice enduring beauty in order to ameliorate your temporary discomfort. This, too, shall pass.


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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Have you ever been loved? I bet you have been loved so much and so deeply that you have become blasť about the enormity of the grace it confers. So let me remind you: To be loved is a privilege and prize equivalent to being born. If you're smart, you pause regularly to bask in the astonishing knowledge that there are many people out there who care for you and want you to thrive and hold you in their thoughts with fondness.

Animals, too: You have been the recipient of their boundless affection. The spirits of allies who've left this world continue to send their tender regards, as well. Do you "believe" in angels and other divine beings? Whether or not you do, I can assure you that there are hordes of them beaming their uncanny consecrations your way. You are awash in torrents of love.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Gemini (May 21-June 20)
"Donít say you want love," writes San Francisco author Stephen Sparks. "Say you want the morning light through a paint-flecked window; say you want a gust of wind scraping leaves along the pavement and hills rolling toward the sea; say you want to notice, in a tree you walk past every day, the ruins of a nest exposed as the leaves fall away; a slow afternoon of conversation in a shadowy bar; the smell of bread baking." That's exactly the oracle I want to give you, Gemini. In my opinion, you can't afford to be generic or blank in your requests for love. You must be highly specific. You've got to ask for the exact feelings and experiences that will boost the intensity of your lust for life. (Here's Sparks' Tumblr page.)


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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Imagine you're with a team of explorers in Antarctica. You're climbing the 2,000-foot granite spire called Rakekniven that thrusts up out of the ice in Queen Maud Land. The temperature is 10 degrees below zero. There's not a plant or animal in sight. The blinding white emptiness of the wasteland beneath you fills you with desolate reverence, alienated awe, and soaring gratitude. You are far from everything that normally gives you comfort.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Cancer (June 21-July 22)
"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are stronger in the broken places," wrote Cancerian writer Ernest Hemingway. By my estimation, my fellow Crabs, we are now entering a phase of our astrological cycle when we can make dramatic progress in healing the broken places in ourselves. But even better than that: As we deal dynamically with the touchy issues that caused our wounds, we will become stronger than we were before we got broken.


"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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Breathe more like a wild boar and less like a parakeet. Act more like an unfathomable game with no time limit and less like a puzzle with just a few last pieces missing. Shimmer more like the aurora borealis in the early morning sky and less like a furnace heating a mansion. See more like a panther sees and less like your first teacher. Write more fat messages in the mist on the glass, and speak less about the skinny facts you know by heart. Eat more magic cookies and less brain candy.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Leo (July 23-August 22)
Let's hope you have given deep thought to understanding who you are at this moment of your life. Let's also hope that you have developed a clear vision of the person you would like to become in, say, three years. How do you feel about the gap between the current YOU and the future YOU? Does it oppress you? Does it motivate you? Maybe a little of both? I'll offer you the perspective of actress Tracee Ellis Ross. "I am learning every day," she told Uptown Magazine, "to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me."


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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Try this meditation: Imagine that you are the wood and the fire that consumes the wood.

First, focus your awareness on the part of you that is the wood. You may tremble or gasp, feeling the jolt of your solidity disintegrating, your form changing. As you shift your attention to the part of you that is the fire, you may exult in the wild joy of power and liberation.

It may be tempting to favor the fire over the wood, to love the burning more than the being burned. But if you'd like to understand pronoia in its fullness, you've got to appreciate them equally. Can you imagine yourself being the fire and wood simultaneously? Is it possible for you to experience the deep pleasure of their collaboration?


 
  Verticle Oracle card Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Do the words "purity" and "purify" have any useful purpose? Or have they been so twisted by religious fundamentalists and mocked by decadent cynics that they're mostly just farcical? I propose that you take them seriously in the coming week. Give them your own spin. For instance, you could decide to purify yourself of petty attitudes and trivial desires that aren't in alignment with your highest values. You might purify yourself of self-deceptions that have gotten you into trouble and purify yourself of resentments that have blocked your creative energy. At the very least, Virgo, cleanse your body with extra-healthy food, good sleep, massage, exercise, and sacred sex.


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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One of life's bounties is its changeableness, which ensures that boredom will never last very long. You may underestimate the intensity of your longing for continual transformation, but the universe doesn't. That's why it provides you with the boundless entertainment of your ever-shifting story. That's why it is always revising the challenges it sends your way, providing your curious soul with a rich variety of unpredictable teachings.

Neuroscientists have turned up evidence that suggests you love this aspect of the universe's behavior. They say that you are literally addicted to learning. At the moment when you grasp a lesson you've been grappling with, your brain experiences a rush of a natural opium-like chemical, boosting your pleasure levels. You crave this experience. You thrive on it.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Libra (September 23-October 22)
I periodically hike alone into the serene hills north of San Francisco and perform a set of my songs for the birds, insects, squirrels, and trees. Recently I discovered that British comedian Milton Jones tried a similar experiment. He did his stand-up act for a herd of cows on a farm in Hertfordshire. I can't speak for Jones' motivations, but one of the reasons I do my nature shows is because they bring out my wild, innocent, generous spirit. Now is a good time for you to do something similar for yourself, Libra. What adventures can you undertake that will fully activate your wild, innocent, generous spirit?


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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The phrase "new roses" can serve as an antidote to neurosis -- as a kind of magical spell. You might invoke it when you're in danger of getting undermined by either your own neurosis or someone else's.

If you notice, for instance, that your subconscious mind is spiraling down into a sour fantasy stirred up by one of your habitual fears, you could mutter a cheerful round of "new roses, new roses, new roses."

If your allies slip into the same compulsive behavior that they tend to get stuck in whenever stress overflows, you could chant "new roses, new roses, new roses" in a tuneful, affectionate tone.


 
  Verticle Oracle card Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Are you anxious and agitated, afraid that you're careening out of control? Is there a flustered voice in your head moaning, "Stop the insanity!"? Well, relax, dear Scorpio. I promise you that you no longer have to worry about going cray-cray. Why? Because you have already gone cray-cray, my friend. That is correct. You slipped over the threshold a few days ago, and have been living in Bonkersville ever since. And since you are obviously still alive and functioning, I think it's obvious that the danger has passed. Here's the new truth: If you surrender to the uproar, if you let it teach you all it has to teach you, you will find a lively and intriguing kind of peace.


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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Thousands of things go right for you every day, beginning the moment you wake up. Through some magic you don't fully understand, you're still breathing and your heart is beating, even though you've been unconscious for many hours. The air is a mix of gases that's just right for your body's needs, as it was before you fell asleep.

You can see! Light of many colors floods into your eyes, registered by nerves that took God or evolution or some process millions of years to perfect. The interesting gift of these vivid hues is made possible by an unimaginably immense globe of fire, the sun, which continually detonates nuclear reactions in order to convert its own body into light and heat and energy for your personal use.



 
  Verticle Oracle card Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
To give you the oracle that best matches your current astrological omens, I've borrowed from "Sweetness," a poem by Stephen Dunn. I urge you to memorize it or write it on a piece of paper that you will carry around with you everywhere you go. Say Dunn's words as if they were your own: "Often a sweetness comes / as if on loan, stays just long enough // to make sense of what it means to be alive, / then returns to its dark / source. As for me, I donít care // where itís been, or what bitter road / itís traveled / to come so far, to taste so good."


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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Dear Beauty and Truth Lab: I was wondering if you had any information about Beyonders, people who were born under no star and who are therefore not ruled by the stars. - Wannabe Beyonder

Dear Wannabe: It's impossible to be born under no star. However, we all go through periods when we're relatively free from the authority of the stars we were born under and therefore immune from cosmic compulsion. During these times, we're less susceptible to the whims of fate and the demands of the past and the inertia of karma. Our willpower has more breathing room, and we're more likely to fulfill Einstein's dictum, "Imagination is more important than knowledge.


 
  Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
In her book Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard apologizes to God and Santa Claus and a nice but eccentric older woman named Miss White, whom she knew as a child. "I am sorry I ran from you," she writes to them. "I am still running from that knowledge, that eye, that love from which there is no refuge. For you meant only love, and love, and I felt only fear, and pain." Judging from your current astrological omens, Capricorn, I'd say that now would be a good time for you to do something similar: Take an inventory of the beauty and love and power you have sought to escape and may still be trying to avoid. You're finally ready to stop running and embrace at least some of that good stuff.


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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Of the many things that have gone right for you during your time on Earth, the most crucial was your birth. As you crossed over the threshold, trading the warm dark sanctuary for the bright noisy enigma, you didn't die! It was a difficult act of high magic that involved many people who worked very hard in your behalf. The skills they provided in helping you navigate your rite of passage were in turn made possible by previous generations of threshold-tenders who bequeathed their expertise.

Months before that initiation, a more secret miracle bloomed: Your life began as a single cell, spawned by the explosive fusion of two highly specialized bundles of chromosomes. How could that tiny package of raw material have possibly grown a brain and liver and heart and stomach over a period of a few months? What inscrutable genius guided and oversaw the emergence of your fully formed infant body, that virtuoso creation, from the slimmest of clues?



 
  Verticle Oracle card Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
The Dragon Lives Again is a 1977 film that tells the story of martial arts legend Bruce Lee fighting bad guys in the underworld. Among the villains he defeats are Dracula, James Bond, the Godfather, Clint Eastwood, and the Exorcist. I urge you to use this as inspiration, Aquarius. Create an imaginary movie in your mind's eye. You're the hero, of course. Give yourself a few superpowers, and assemble a cast of scoundrels from your past -- anyone who has done you wrong. Then watch the epic tale unfold as you do with them what Bruce Lee did to Dracula and company. Yes, it's only pretend. But you may be surprised at how much this helps you put your past behind you. Think of it as a purgative meditation that will free you to move in the direction of the best possible future.


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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You can drink a glass of water. You can spread butter on a slice of toast. You can wash your hair and prune your plants and draw infinity signs on a piece of paper. Your hands work wonderfully well! Their intricate force and sustained grace are amply supported by your heart, which circulates your blood all the way out to replenish the energy of the muscles and nerves in your fingers and palms and wrists. After your blood has delivered its blessings, it finds its way back to your heart to be refreshed. This masterful mystery repeats itself over and over again without you ever having to think about it.


 
  Verticle Oracle card Pisces (February 19-March 18)
After studying the myths and stories of many cultures throughout history, Joseph Campbell arrived at a few conclusions about the nature of the human quest. Here's one that's apropos for you right now: "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." He came up with several variations on this idea, including this one: "The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for." I urge you to consider making this your operative hypothesis for the coming weeks, Pisces.


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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Your imagination may be the best gift you've been given. It's the source of your creative power. If there's a particular experience or object you want to bring into your life, the first thing you've got to do is visualize it. The practical actions you take to manifest your dreams always refer back to the pictures in your mind's eye. And so every goal you fulfill, every quest you carry out, begins as an inner vision. Your imagination is the engine of your destiny. It's the catalyst with which you design your future. Do you know where it comes from? Do you have any idea how powerful it is?



 
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