Free Will Astrology


Horoscopes by Rob Brezsny


Week of August 23rd, 2012

♈ ARIES

(March 21-April 19)
Do you know what a controlled burn is? Firefighters start small, manageable fires on purpose so as to eradicate brush that has accumulated too close to wooded areas. With less fuel around, bigger fires are not as likely to ignite accidentally and turn into conflagrations. I encourage you to use this as a metaphor for your own life, Aries. How? First, identify a big potential problem that may be looming on the horizon. Then, in the coming weeks, get rid of all the small messes that might tend to feed that big problem. Make sure it'll never happen.


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
Here's Caroline Myss' explanation of faith: "Faith is the power to stand up to the madness and chaos of the physical world while holding the position that nothing external has any authority over what heaven has in mind for you."

If you don't like the word "heaven" in Myss' statement, substitute a term that works for you, like "your higher self" or "your destiny" or "your soul's code." Modify anything else in it that's not right for your needs, as well. When you're finished tinkering, I hope you'll have created a definition of faith that motivates you with as much primal power as you feel when you're in love.
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♉ TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)
Jungian storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estes advises us to take good care of the untamed aspects of our nature. "The wild life must be kept ordered on a regular basis," she writes. One way to do this is to keep our uncommon and unruly ideas clear and organized. It's also important to give them respect, and understand that they're crucial to our spiritual and psychological health. How are you doing in this regard, Taurus? What's your relationship with the untamed aspects of your nature? According to my reading of the omens, now is prime time for you honor and nurture and cultivate them.


"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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
The New York Times ran a story about philosopher Nick Bostrom, who believes there's a significant chance our world is actually a computer simulation. In his scenario, you and I are living in a version of The Matrix. Our "brains" are merely webs of computer circuits created by our post-human descendants, who are studying "ancestor simulations" of their past. I bring this to your attention because I'd like to invite you to find out, one way or another, whether Bostrom is correct.

Make it your intention to cultivate a talent for knowing what's real and what's not. Develop a knack for escaping what's illusory and gravitating toward what's authentic. If you do these simple things, I bet you will earn a big reward: a chronic, low-key, blissful sense of union with pretty much everything that's appealing to you.

Bonus: Even if you do find out that we're living in The Matrix, you could become a messiah with resemblances to the character that Keanu Reeves played in the film trilogy. He could fly.
*
The preceding oracle comes from my new book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♊ GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)
By my astrological reckoning, you're not nearly wet enough right now. I recommend that you take immediate and intensive steps to remedy the situation. There should not be anything about you that is high and dry; you need to soak up the benefits that come from being slippery and dripping. If you're suffering from even a hint of emotional dehydration, you should submerse yourself in the nearest pool of primal feelings. For extra credit, drink deeply from the sacred cup that never empties.


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
While loitering on a sidewalk outside a nightclub in San Francisco on a September night in 1994, I found the cover of a booklet lying in the gutter. Written by Marilena Silbey and Paul Ramana Das, it was called "How to Survive Passionate Intimacy with a Dreamy Partner While Making a Fortune on the Path to Enlightenment." Sadly, the rest of the text was missing. Ever since, hungry for its wisdom, I've tried to hunt down a copy of the whole thing, but to no avail.

I'm hoping that maybe you will consider writing your own version of the subject. If you do, please send it to me.
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♋ CANCERIAN

(June 21-July 22)
In the 16th century, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V ruled over a vast swath of land that included 12 modern European nations. According to some historians, he once said, "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse." This is the kind of attitude I recommend that you adopt in the coming weeks, Cancerian. Tailor your language to the people and creatures you're speaking to. Address them on their own level of consciousness, respecting their limitations and appealing to their particular kind of intelligence. Of course this is always a good policy, but it's especially important for you to observe now. Fluency and flexibility will be rewarded in ways you can't imagine.


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
"Picture the Grand Canyon," says Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. "Every hundred years, a child comes by and throws a mustard seed into it. In the time it takes to fill the hole in the earth with mustard seeds, one maha­kal­pa will have passed. To perfect the virtuous heart -- the joy of integrity -- takes a thousand mahakalpas."

If that's true, then you've still got a lot of work to do. The good news is that civilization is in the midst of a critical turning point that could tremendously expedite your ripening. So you could make unusually great progress toward the goal of perfecting the virtuous heart in the next 40 years.

For best results, meditate often on the phrase "the joy of integrity." Get familiar with the pleasurable emotion that comes from acting with impeccability. And try out this idea from Gandhi: Integrity is the royal road to your inner freedom.

P.S. Oddly enough, the work of perfecting the virtuous heart is very effective in helping you master the art of cultivating everyday ecstasy. Meditate on the connection.
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♌ LEO

(July 23-August 22)
Would you like to enhance your relationship with money? If so, do you have any specific ideas about how to do it? The coming weeks will be an excellent time to identify and implement those ideas. Let me make an initial suggestion: Keep your magical thinking to a minimum, but don't stamp it out entirely; a small amount of frisky fantasizing will actually boost the likelihood that your more practical intentions will achieve critical mass. Here's another tip: Imagine the presents you'd get for people if you had some extra cash. Stimulating your generous urges may help motivate the universe to be generous to you.


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
Alice finds her way to Wonderland by falling down a rabbit hole. Dorothy rides to Oz on a tornado. In C. S. Lewis's >i>The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy stumbles into the magical land of Narnia via a portal in the back of a large clothes cabinet.

In the sequels to all these adventures, however, the heroines must find different ways to access their exotic dreamlands. Alice slips through a mirror next time. Dorothy uses a Magic Belt. Lucy leaps into a painting of a schooner that becomes real.

Take heed of these precedents. The next time a threshold opens into an alternative reality you've enjoyed in the past, it may not resemble the doorways you've used before.
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♍ VIRGO

(August 23-September 22)
A guy I know was invited to hang one of his paintings in a New York gallery -- on one condition. It had to be a piece he created on the spot, in the gallery, on the day the show opened. That would be way too much pressure for me to handle. I need to spend a long time on the stuff I make, whether it's music or writing. I've got to fuss over every little detail as I constantly edit and refine and add layers. What about you, Virgo? Could you quickly come up with some new wrinkle or fresh creation that would show the world who you really are? I'm guessing we will soon find out.


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
"Keep exploring what it takes to be the opposite of who you are," suggests psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of the book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. This advice is one of his ideas about how to get into attunement with the Tao, also known as being in the zone.

How would you go about being the opposite of who you are? Try it and see if it drives you into a state of euphoria.
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♎ LIBRA

(September 23-October 22)
If you've been reading my horoscopes for a while, you know I'm not a decadent cynic who thinks "no pain, no gain" is the supreme formula for success. On the contrary. I think it's quite possible to enjoy tremendous growth spurts when you're happy and healthy. Pleasurable events can be great learning experiences. Joy and freedom may activate potentials that would otherwise remain dormant. Having said that, I want to make a suggestion that may seem at odds with my usual approach, even though it's not. For the next two weeks, I encourage you to explore the necessary power of decay. Harness the archetypes of breakdown and dissolution as you put an end to things whose time is up. This work is key to your future rejuvenation and renaissance.


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
Check out this excerpt from "Those Who Do Not Dance," by Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral: "God asked from on high, / 'How do I come down from this blueness?' / We told Him: / come dance with us in the light."

I love this passage because it reminds me that nothing is ever set in stone; everything is always up for grabs. Even God needs to be open to change and eager for fresh truths. Furthermore, even we puny humans may on occasion need to be God's teacher and helper. Likewise, we can never be sure about what lowly or unexpected sources might bring us the influences we require.

What do Mistral's words mean to you? Imagine you're the "God" referenced in the poem. What blueness are you ready to come down from, and who might invite you to dance in their light?
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♏ SCORPIO

(October 23-November 21)
I'm going to ignore the Urban Dictionary's more modern definitions of the word "yeast," and stick to the original meaning: an agent of fermentation that brews alcoholic drinks and makes bread dough rise. Metaphorically speaking, Scorpio, you should be like that for your gang or crew or tribe. I urge you to stir up group morale. Provoke deeper thought and stronger feelings. Instigate some bubbly new trends and effervescent interactions. Be yeasty!


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
Confounding lessons and delightful shocks have been increasing in frequency during the recent past and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. In light of that fact, you may want to find some new ways to express your amazement. Clichés like "Jesus H. Christ!" or "Holy crap!" or "What the fuck?!" may not be sufficient to capture the full impact of the aha! moments.

To get you launched in the right direction, I'll suggest a few fresh exclamations. They're not designed to become tried-and-true replacements for the lazy phrases you're using now, but are rather meant to jog your imagination and inspire you to conjure up a constantly changing variety of ever-fresh invocations. Now see how these roll off your tongue: "Great Odin's raven!" "Radical lymphocytes!" "Cackling whacks of jibber-jabber!" "Frosty heat waves!" "Panoramic serpentine!"
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♐ SAGITTARIUS

(November 22-December 21)
Sussex is a county in southeast England. Its official motto is "We wunt be druv," which is Sussex dialect for "We won't be pushed around." It's not bad as mottoes go, I guess. There's power in announcing to the world that you're not going to allow anyone to manipulate you or bully you. But I'd like to see you come up with a more robust battle cry for yourself, Sagittarius -- one that doesn't focus on what you won't do, but rather on what you will do. It's an ideal astrological moment to articulate your driving purpose in a pithy formula that will give you strength whenever you invoke it.


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
A friend gave me a live rosebush in a planter for my birthday last June. After a few weeks, its five red flowers withered and turned brown but didn't fall off their stems. I left them there, perversely fascinated by the dead blooms that wouldn't let go. Months later, in late November, five new flowers blossomed. Then the bush displayed a mix of the living and the dead.

Would you have plucked off the dried-up old blooms, or would you find it more beautiful with both the living and the dead together?
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♑ CAPRICORN

(December 22-January 19)
"Most people consider global warming somewhat of a mixed blessing," wrote Aaron Sankin on Huffington Post. "On one hand, there's ocean acidification, deserts gobbling up wide swaths of farmland and the massive die-off of the innumerable species unable to cope with the effects of the world's rapidly rising temperature. But, on the other hand, you'll be able to wear shorts for literally the entire year." Sankin is being deeply sarcastic, of course. Let's make his satire a jumping-off point as we consider some sincerely worthwhile trade-offs you might want to implement in your own sphere. Would you be willing to sacrifice a trivial comfort for a new privilege? Would you shed a small pleasure to gain a much bigger pleasure? Might you divest yourself of a pocket of resentment if in doing so you'd attract a cleansing epiphany?


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
In his book Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud, historian Thomas Laquer suggests that the clitoris may have been unknown to male anatomists until 1559. In that year, Renaldus Columbus, a professor at the University of Padua in Italy, announced his discovery of the "seat of woman's delight," and declared his right to name it the "sweetness of Venus."

Is there a sublime pleasure whose existence you haven't discovered? Where is it? How can you find it?
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♒ AQUARIUS

(January 20- February 18)
I don't expect your travels in the coming weeks to be like a smooth luxury cruise in a stretch limousine. Your route is not likely to be a straight shot through breathtaking scenery with expansive views. No, my dear Aquarius, your journeys will be more complicated than that, more snakey and labyrinthine. Some of the narrow passages and weedy detours you'll need to navigate may not even resemble paths, let alone highways. And your metaphorical vehicle may resemble a funky old 1967 Chevy pick-up truck or a forklift bedecked with flowers. It should be pretty fun, though. Keep in mind that your maps may only be partially useful.


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
If you're reading this, you're probably not a Cambodian orphan who grew up as a slave in a brothel or a Sudanese man kidnapped by a militia and forced to do heavy labor 18 hours a day or one of the millions of other victims of human trafficking around the world. But you may be yoked and subjugated in a less literal way, perhaps to a debilitating drug or an abusive relationship or a job that brings out the worst in you or a fearful fantasy about the looming collapse of civilization's infrastructure.

The good news is that you have the power to escape your bondage. Maybe it'll help you muster the strength you need if I remind you that your freedom won't be anywhere near as difficult to achieve as that of the Pakistani boy tied to a carpet loom in a dark room around the clock or the Nigerian woman who's beaten daily as she toils in the sugar cane fields for no pay.

Try this: When you feel overwhelmed by the sadness of your problems or the addiction of your compulsions, put on your best clothes and clean toilets at a homeless shelter, or give foot massages to workers at a sewage disposal plant, or sing songs, sip champagne, and play card games with patients at a psychiatric hospital. Be ready to get hit upside the soul with exotic varieties of ecstasy, which such acts will unleash.
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

♓ PISCES

(February 19-March 20)
In medieval times, you didn't need a priest to get married, nor did you have to be in a church or recite a set of vows. You didn't even have to round up witnesses. All that was required was that the two people who wanted to be wed said "I marry you" to each other. Those three words had great power! In the coming days, Pisces, I'd love to see you draw inspiration from that lost tradition. Your assignment is to dream up three potent declarations that, while not legally binding, express the deepest and most loving intentions you promise to be faithful to in the coming years. (More info on medieval marriage.)


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.

*

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
It's possible there's still enough oil buried in the earth to sustain our civilization's exorbitant appetite for material comforts for another 100 years. Or it may be true, as some researchers suggest, that global reserves of black gold are rapidly dwindling, and 20 years from now we'll all be farmers and hunters sitting around campfires at night telling stories.

Whichever scenario comes to pass, you may be happiest and smartest and healthiest if you cultivate a simple and earthy relationship with luxury—something akin to poet Omar Khayyám's notion, which was "a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou beside me singing in the wilderness." Comments? Questions? Celebrations?

P.S. The amount of oil left in the world has no bearing whatsoever on your ability to cultivate ecstasy.
*
The preceding oracle comes from my book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

© Rob Brezsny 1995-2019