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Week of July 11th, 2019

Your Interesting Story


I've created Expanded Audio Horoscopes that explore themes I suspect will be important for you during the coming months.

What transformations would you like to bless yourself with in the coming months?

Could you use some inspiration as you mobilize your higher powers and deeper understandings?

Are there new ways of looking at your destiny that I might provide?

To listen to your BIG PICTURE horoscopes online, GO HERE. Register and/or log in through the main page, and then click on the link "Long Term Forecast for Second Half of 2019."

How can you dream and scheme to move yourself further in the direction of your heart's desires?

What actions could you take to dissolve your suffering and foster liberation?

How might you shift your attitudes and expectations so as to bring more joy and gratification into your daily rhythm?

Call on me! Let me help.

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I'm re-posting these wise ideas from Amanda Yates Garcia.

To-Do List while Mercury is in Retrograde from July 5 - July 31:

* Finish a creative project that you'd set aside.

* Tell a truth that's been crying out to he spoken.

* Shower adoration on something you've neglected.

* Try something you've never had the courage to try —but have always wanted to do.

* Practice increasing personal magnetism. For instance, practice describing the beauty instead of complaining.

* Turn self-criticism into celebration. For instance, don't like your hair? Step up your flamboyant hat game.

* Practice assuming the best of your friends and loved ones.

* Enjoy yourself!

Amanda Yates Garcia is on Facebook
and Instagram.

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Here's a link to my free weekly email newsletter, featuring the Free Will Astrology horoscopes, plus a bunch of other stuff, including good news, lucky advice, and tender rants. It arrives every Tuesday morning.

Read past issues of the newsletter.

Sign up here for your free subscription.

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Artist Richard Kehl tells the story of a teenage girl who got the chance to ask a question of renowned psychologist Carl Jung.

"Professor, you are so clever. Could you please tell me the shortest path to my life's goal?"

Without hesitation Jung replied, "The detour!"

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If you want your personal chart done, I recommend a colleague whose approach to reading astrology charts closely matches my own. She's my wife, RO LOUGHRAN. Her website is here.

Ro utilizes a blend of well-trained intuition, emotional warmth, and technical proficiency in horoscope interpretation. She is skilled at exploring the mysteries of your life's purpose and nurturing your connection with your own inner wisdom.

In addition to over 30 years of astrological experience, Ro has been a licensed psychotherapist for 17 years. She integrates psychological insight with astrology's cosmological perspective.

Ro is based in California, but can do phone consultations and otherwise work with you regardless of geographic boundaries.

Check out Ro's website.

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I'm all about the gradual, slow-simmering approach to just about everything.

My aspiration is to be reverential and devotional toward the cumulative effects of small minute-by-minute meditations in the midst of "ordinary" life and the manageable day-to-day self-transformations that are hard but not too hard.

When I was young I loved to cultivate senses-reeling ecstatic breakthrough, but now I'm more inclined to commune with the chronic, low-level ecstatic union that thrives on opening to every little experience I encounter. Neither is "better," of course. I'm just talking about what has been right for me in recent years.

I would love to practice tantra 24/7, worshiping and drawing inspiration from each small gift the daily rhythm brings.

An important prod that led me in this direction was my 18+ years as a householder—when I transitioned from being a rock and roll singer leading ecstatic magick-based communal rituals to being a writer and living with my partner and our child.

I don't recommend that for everyone, but it worked for me. Learning to communicate with a child and be fully alive in an intimate relationship were crucial in me learning to expand and deepen my capacity to communicate with a wide variety of beings.

Another way to think about my work as an oracle is that my Qabalistic studies and magickal work have, more and more, been grounded in the challenges of daily life. I'm more qualified than I used to be to speak about the tests and trials of being a human being, and that has rendered the wild, transcendent aspects of my knowing more useful.

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When I dream you, I dream everything I'm afraid of losing—the shadowy shimmer of the reef-building elkhorn corals in the Caribbean, the croaks of the precious few Sehuenca water frogs fading in their Bolivian freshwater marshes, the aroma of longleaf pine trees dying out in the southern Appalachians, the precious mud of the Los Cerritos wetlands encroached by seeping oil spills.

I call you by their names. I hear them in your songs. I pray to them through your ears. "Dear Earth I love as much as my birth, please resurrect our lives together."

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Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it's not a problem for you personally.

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Rebecca Solnit writes: "We are in an age when people think they should have opinions about everything, and they rush past the facts to get there, pass judgment without basis, and then spread the judgment as fact when the facts have never been uncovered or sifted through or verified.

"A lot of times you can't reach a firm conclusion from an action or connection or statement or association, and you shouldn't try to.

"We don't need to have opinions about everything, and every opinion we do have needs to be on a solid foundation of fact. "I don't know" is a really good position to take, and it's often the most honest and accurate one available.

"And we need to recognize the difference between an opinion and a fact, an inkling (or prejudice) and a settled truth, &etc.

"One thing that I recognize more and more is that public falsehoods (aka fake news) are not something foisted on us; they are something we must be active collaborators with, by accepting and repeating the unchecked lie / rumor / over-intepretation.

"Or we can be their enemy, refusing to accept and repeat unless we know, and accepting that often we do not know."

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"The criteria for success: you are free, you live in the present moment, you are useful to the people around you, and you feel love for all humanity."

—Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Here are the long-term, big-picture horoscopes I wrote for you at the beginning of 2019. How are they working for you?

Here are the Free Will Astrology horoscopes from a year ago.

Here are the long-term, big-picture horoscopes I wrote for you at the beginning of 2018. How did they work for you?

Here are the long-term, big-picture horoscopes I wrote for you at the beginning of 2017. How did they work for you?

Here are the Free Will Astrology archives for the last 15 years.

You can read my column in French and Italian:
Free Will Astrology in the French publicationCourrier International.

Free Will Astrology in the Italian publication Internazionale.

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Hypothesis: All omens should be interpreted favorably.

All omens should be regarded as revelations about what can be done to successfully wrangle with our problems, perpetrate liberation, ameliorate suffering, find redemption, avoid trouble, and perform the tricky maneuvers and ingenious tweaks that enable us to slip free of our mind-forged manacles and discover the deeper meanings behind and beneath our experiences.

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PSA: There is no shame in admitting that you were previously speaking from a less informed place. There’s a lot of info in the world. No one has all of it. We do our best, and at your best, we help each other learn.

—Kelly M. Hayes

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God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

- Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows

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We change everything we look at by looking at and forming ideas about it. So why not work as makers of meaning as much as understanders of meaning? Why not proceed on the hypothesis that our highest expression, our way of participating with the Divine Intelligence, is to create?

We could regard spiritual practice to be as much about play as about worship—changing what we're given even more than figuring out what we're given; artistry more than piety.

Since we can't possibly know what's ultimately true, why don't we create love and beauty and enchantment as much as possible?

Inspired by my old teacher Norman O. Brown, I aspire to find "words used not to interpret the world but to change it; not to advertise this world but to find another. To pass from this world to the next; from ordinary to extraordinary language."

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To all I care about, here’s a friendly tip: enlightenment is gaffe upon error upon blooper.

— Ikkyu

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by Mohja Kahf

All women speak two languages:
the language of men
and the language of silent suffering.
Some women speak a third,
the language of queens.
They are marvelous
and they are my friends.

My friends give me poetry.
If it were not for them
I’d be a seamstress out of work.
They send me their dresses
and I sew together poems,
enormous sails for ocean journeys.

My marvelous friends, these women
who are elegant and fix engines,
who teach gynecology and literacy,
and work in jails and sing and sculpt
and paint the ninety-nine names,
who keep each other’s secrets
and pass on each other’s spirits
like small packets of leavening,

it is from you I fashion poetry.
I scoop up, in handfuls, glittering
sequins that fall from your bodies
as you fall in love, marry, divorce,
get custody, get cats, enter
supreme courts of justice,
argue with God.

You rescuers on galloping steeds
of the weak and the wounded–
Creatures of beauty and passion,
powerful workers in love–
you are the poems.
I am only your stenographer.
I am the hungry transcriber
of the conjuring recipes you hoard
in the chests of your great-grandmothers.

My marvelous friends—the women
of brilliance in my life,
who levitate my daughters,
you are a coat of many colors
in silk tie-dye so gossamer
it can be crumpled in one hand.
You houris, you mermaids, swimmers
in dangerous waters, defiers of sharks–

My marvelous friends,
thirsty Hagars and laughing Sarahs,
you eloquent radio Aishas,
Marys drinking the secret
milkshakes of heaven,
slinky Zuleikas of desire,
gay Walladas, Harriets
parting the sea, Esthers in the palace,
Penelopes of patient scheming,

you are the last hope of the shrinking women.
You are the last hand to the fallen knights
You are the only epics left in the world

Come with me, come with poetry
Jump on this wild chariot, hurry–

by Mohja Kahf

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According to Noble Prize-winning economic historian Robert Fogel, human biology has changed dramatically in the past three centuries, and especially in the last 100 years. People in the developed world live twice as long as they used to. They weigh more and grow taller. They're far hardier and healthier and smarter. When sickness comes, they're better at defeating it than their ancestors were, and they're not as likely to contract diseases in the first place.

"We're just not falling apart like we used to," Fogel says. "Even our internal organs are stronger and better formed." What has occurred is "not only unique to humankind, but unique among the 7,000 or so generations of human beings who have inhabited the earth."

We're talking about a revolution. In the mid-19th century, Americans of all ages were much sicker than they are now. Child mortality was almost 25 percent, and of those kids lucky enough to survive into adolescence, 15 percent more expired before age 15. Chronic malnutrition was a horrendous curse, compromising immune systems from birth.

During the Civil War, one-sixth of the teenagers who applied to serve in the Union army were rejected because of chronic ailments like malaria, tuberculosis, arthritis, cardiovascular problems, and hernias. As for the older folks, the average ex-soldier in his 60s had at least six health problems, four more than a sexagenarian is likely to have today.

What happened between then and now? First, we harnessed electricity, made it universally available, and used it in a myriad ways to improve our lot. All of the other boons I'm about to name—improvements in our diet, medicine, sanitation, and workload—were organized around this fantastic, unprophesied new resource.

Our relationship with food has changed dramatically in the last century and a half. We discovered more accurate information about our nutritional needs and gained access to a greater variety and abundance of food.

The perfection of the science of refrigeration and the eventual universal availability of refrigerators made a big difference, too. Victory over widespread malnutrition meant that infants got a better start on building strong bodies, making them less susceptible to sickness throughout the course of their lives.

The drastic upgrade in the state of the human body was also made possible by steadily growing medical expertise, including the discovery of the germ theory of disease and radical new treatments like antibiotics and vaccination.

Physicians got better training, large numbers of new hospitals opened, and more people made medicine their career. Among the diseases that were wiped out were diphtheria, typhoid, cholera, whooping cough, tetanus, tuberculosis, smallpox, and polio.

Innovations in sanitation have been key to the upgrades in the way our bodies work. Everything and everyone are far cleaner than they used to be. People bathe more frequently and devote more attention to their hygiene.

Among the most important developments in this triumph were two practical miracles: indoor plumbing and the installation of municipal sewer systems. It took a while. As late as 1920, only one in 100 American homes had a toilet or even a bathroom—outhouses were standard—and toilet paper was a luxury.

For those few with bathtubs, a full-body cleanse was often a once-a-week ritual, and entire families might use the same bathwater. Fogel says that even into the early 1900s, "Chicago exported a lot of typhoid down to St. Louis," by disposing wastewater in the Illinois River.

Garbage disposal used to be a hit-and-miss proposition until the 20th century. Private citizens might bury their refuse in their backyards, take it to public incinerators, or offer it to pigs at local farms. But eventually, local governments took over the task. During my lifetime, every city where I've lived has done a stellar job of hauling my trash away.

In the middle of the 19th century, the average American worked 78 hours a week, often at exhausting manual labor and without the help of machines. As work became easier and of shorter duration, our health soared. Technological aids like washing machines and automatic heating systems also contributed to the rising tide of physical well-being.

All of the improvements I've mentioned have flourished because of the most important change of all: greater wealth and more available resources. Despite periodic economic downturns, per capita income in the developing nations has grown enormously in the last 150 years.

Elsewhere, too: Wealth in India and China has doubled since 1989, according to The Economist magazine. As a result, more of us have been able to afford to take better care of ourselves. And more of us have been able to do the research and experimentation and development that advance the common good.

Even poor people are better off than they used to be. During the 17+ years when my annual income was less than $10,000, well below the official poverty line, I had many amenities the average American didn't have in 1900: electricity, telephone, bathtub, toilet, hot running water, refrigerator, radio, electric hotplate, space heater, TV, cassette player, shampoo, public transportation, asthma medicine, access to a laundromat, garbage collection, and sewer system.

—excerpted from Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings

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I invite you to meditate on the relentlessness of your yearning for love. Recognize the fact that your eternal longing will never leave you in peace. Accept that it will forever delight you, torment you, inspire you, and bewilder you — whether you are alone or in the throes of a complicated relationship.

Understand that your desire for love will just keep coming and coming and coming, keeping you slightly off-balance and pushing you to constantly revise your ideas about who you are.

Now read this declaration from the poet Rilke and claim it as your own: "My blood is alive with many voices that tell me I am made of longing."

Anything you want to add?

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There is no steady path,
no unwavering way forward,
no clear strong signal from the future
guiding us home.

Or is there?
And we just haven't learned yet
how to request new passwords
and decipher the trick questions?

Even the polestar is obscured by pretty clouds,
surplus eclipses,
flocks of night birds,
aurora borealis,
beloved and torturous memories
firing in our neurons.

Or maybe not:
if we could figure out
how to fool
the foolers.

What's the difference
between a maze and a labyrinth?
We can't tell.
We wander in the mess
of overlapping convolutions.
Forgetting to sing
the Escape Song.

—by me

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Remember that at any given moment there are a thousand things you can love.

—author David Levithan

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