WHERE DOES RELIABLE GUIDANCE COME FROM? BY ROB BREZSNY #ASTROLOGY

WHERE DOES RELIABLE GUIDANCE COME FROM? BY ROB BREZSNY #ASTROLOGY

Good morning, everyone.
I hope this post finds you doing well.
Here, I’m sitting at my desk with my first cup, while Blue dozes on my bed.
I love this time of morning, because it gives me time to plunder through some of the pleasure email I get. I love newsletters, am addicted to blogs, so when Blue is in slow mode in the early AM and I’ve slept well the night before, this is a blessed time of day.
Below is a newsletter I love to read. In the main article, you will find lots of food for thought. I’ll wait until you’ve had a chance to read before sharing my thoughts. I’d love to know yours.
After the main article are your horoscopes.
The newsletter is heading navigable for screen readers which makes it easy to skip anything you don’t want to read.
The horoscopes are not heading navigable, but you can use your reading keys to scroll through any you don’t wish to read.
Enjoy and have a fun day.

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Where Does Reliable Guidance Come From?
How Do We Evaluate What Advice Is Useful?
ROB BREZSNY

APR 30

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Dear Readers —
Thanks for your many interesting suggestions in response to my request for advice in last week’s newsletter. I’m still pondering it all, and will have a report later.

Is there a Central Bureau of Acceptable Life Information?
People who deride astrology may assert that consulting a horoscope column or getting a reading from a professional astrologer is an unsound approach to making judicious decisions abut one’s life.
The haters never follow up that assurance with a detailed revelation of what ARE valid ways to gather the data and insights and ideas so as to make good decisions about one’s life.
Do they know about a Bureau of Acceptable Life Information that can help us determine what is and what is not worth considering as we chart the course of our destiny?
I don’t mean to be glib. I am honestly puzzled by the apparent certainty that there are unambiguous methods.
Would the astrology haters approve of the guidance and inspiration we have gleaned from our high school teachers? From our parents and relatives? From our friends and colleagues? None of them are entirely reliable narrators. They are not to be trusted to deliver 100% accurate and wise counsel on how best to conduct our lives.
And how about the lyrics of Missy Elliott, and the poetry of Nobel Prize-winner Louise Glück, and the movies of Akira Kurosawa? Is it a brilliant move for us to eagerly take on influences from them, allowing their art to infiltrate our subconscious minds and skew and shift our attitudes? Or might we make foolish moves and bad decisions if we regard them as unfailing sources of smart guidance?
Or how about the philosophy of the Upanishads or Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel or Susan Sontag? Or the psychological ideas of Carl Jung or Clarissa Pinkola Estés or Erik Erikson? Or the writing of Joan Didion or Pema Chodron or Ta-Nehisi Coates? Or the social science of Malcolm Gladwell? Or the economic theories of Paul Krugman?
Are they all foolproof, unimpeachable sources of sage tutelage that we can unconditionally rely on to steer our personal lives in a righteous direction?
Or should we be ruthlessly careful to draw our direction and inspiration only from paragons of rationalism and science?
Should our night tables be stacked with books by Stephen Hawking and Charles Darwin and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov and mathematician Terence Tao?
Should we read passages from their teachings every night in the expectation that they will shape us into paragons of reason and science? That they will unfailingly lead us to make prudent decisions about how to live?
I don’t think so. It’s fine if those tomes and others like it constitute a part of our own personal Bureau of Acceptable Life Information. But we need to get education from a variety of other sources, as well—each of which, like Hawking and Darwin and Kasparov and Tao, is imperfect and incomplete.
It’s perfectly sensible to look to astrology as one of our sources, because astrology is a branch of psychology, as well as an art form—a mode of storytelling.
It’s designed to stimulate our imaginations as we ruminate on what it means to be a human.
It’s an evocative mythopoetic system that helps us identify and transform our subconscious patterns and have fun speculating about the big picture of our destinies.

Some self-anointed “debunkers” rail against astrologers’ predictions, acting as if speculating about the future is a crime against levelheaded thought.
Meanwhile, economists, meteorologists, sportscasters, trend analysts, and political pundits are out there regularly making mediocre or even bad prognostications based on dubious data.
They spread far more delusions and cost people more money than those of us who divine cosmic omens. In the case of errant weather forecasts, they can even be responsible for the deaths of people who are in the paths of extreme events.
Cliff Mass, a meteorologist and professor of atmospheric sciences, analyzed how badly the National Hurricane Center botched its forecasts for Hurricane Patricia in 2015 and Hurricanes Matthew in 2016. Mass presented his critiques as evidence of a systemic pattern of incompetence by official sources.
Matthew killed 603 people. Has any astrological prognostication been as lethal?
On the other hand, there are documented examples of astrologers preventing lethal disasters. In 1226, Mongol astrologer Yelu Chucai saved over 100,000 lives. His boss, Genghis Khan, had ordered a massacre of the Tangut people, but the sage insisted that a heavenly sign—a colossal planetary conjunction in Capricorn—was a clear omen not to proceed with the plan. Amazingly, Khan agreed.
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How about doctors? Are they skilled at offering forecasts? Systematic research addressing one aspect of this subject appeared in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal.
The report studied the accuracy of physicians who give predictions to terminally ill patients about how long they will live. That information can be crucial for families as well as the patients. How will they spend their final days? How much time is there to do all they want to do before they die?
The research included 42 studies covering 30 years of research and over 12,000 prognostic estimates. Its conclusion: “Clinicians’ predictions are frequently inaccurate.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27560380/
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As for predicting financial futures, public finance journalist Liza Farmer wrote an article with a headline that sums up a consensus: “Why Economists’ Predictions Are Usually Wrong.” Read it here: https://tinyurl.com/WrongPredictions.
Writing in The Guardian, journalist Adam Shaw added another nuance, discussing the fine points of “Why Economic Forecasting Has Always Been a Flawed Science.”
Macroeconomist Prakash Loungani of the International Monetary Fund found that his fellow economists whiffed on predicting 148 out of 150 recessions. “The record of failure to predict recessions is virtually unblemished,” he said. https://tinyurl.com/AlwaysGetItWrong
More: Why economists get so many of their predictions wrong. https://tinyurl.com/BadEconomics
Why economists can’t forecast. https://tinyurl.com/PoorProphecy
Why economic models are always wrong. https://tinyurl.com/MistakenPredictions
Shall I hazard a guess about how many human lives have been misdirected and damaged, sometimes catastrophically, by the erroneous advice of financial forecasters?
Now excuse me while I go read Nobel Prize-winning James M. Buchanan’s book, Economics: Between Predictive Science and Moral Philosophy. I have important decisions to make about the future of my family and the arc of my work, and I’m sure he will provide excellent counsel.

The words above were uttered by Calamity Jane on the TV show Deadwood
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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY Week of May 2
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I don’t casually invoke the terms “marvels,” “splendors,” and “miracles.” Though I am a mystic, I also place a high value on rational thinking and skeptical proof. If someone tells me a marvel, splendor, or miracle has occurred, I will thoroughly analyze the evidence. Having said that, though, I want you to know that during the coming weeks, marvels, splendors, and miracles are far more likely than usual to occur in your vicinity—even more so if you have faith that they will. I will make a similar prediction about magnificence, sublimity, and resplendence. They are headed your way. Are you ready for blessed excess? For best results, welcome them all generously and share them lavishly.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In accordance with astrological omens, I recommend you enjoy a celebratory purge sometime soon. You could call it a Cleansing Jubilee, or a Gleeful Festival of Purification, or a Jamboree of Cathartic Healing. This would be a fun holiday that lasted for at least a day and maybe as long as two weeks. During this liberating revel, you would discard anything associated with histories you want to stop repeating. You’d get rid of garbage and excess. You may even thrive by jettisoning perfectly good stuff that you no longer have any use for.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Graduation day will soon arrive. Congrats, Cancerian! You have mostly excelled in navigating through a labyrinthine system that once upon a time discombobulated you. With panache and skill, you have wrangled chaos into submission and gathered a useful set of resources. So are you ready to welcome your big rewards? Prepared to collect your graduation presents? I hope so. Don’t allow lingering fears of success to cheat you out of your well-deserved harvest. Don’t let shyness prevent you from beaming like a champion in the winner’s circle. PS: I encourage you to meditate on the likelihood that your new bounty will transform your life almost as much as did your struggle to earn it.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Ritualist and author Sobonfu Somé was born in Burkina Faso but spent many years teaching around the world. According to her philosophy, we should periodically ask ourselves two questions: 1. “What masks have been imposed on us by our culture and loved ones?” 2. “What masks have we chosen for ourselves to wear?” According to my astrological projections, the coming months will be an excellent time for you to ruminate on these inquiries—and take action in response. Are you willing to remove your disguises to reveal the hidden or unappreciated beauty that lies beneath? Can you visualize how your life may change if you will intensify your devotion to expressing your deepest, most authentic self?
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): If human culture were organized according to my principles, there would be over eight billion religions—one for every person alive. Eight billion altars. Eight billion saviors. If anyone wanted to enlist priestesses, gurus, and other spiritual intermediaries to help them out in their worship, they would be encouraged. And we would all borrow beliefs and rituals from each other. There would be an extensive trade of clues and tricks about the art of achieving ecstatic union with the Great Mystery. I bring this up, Virgo, because the coming weeks will be an ideal time for you to craft your own personalized and idiosyncratic religious path.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Hidden agendas and simmering secrets will soon leak into view. Intimate mysteries will become even more intimate and more mysterious. Questions that have been half-suppressed will become pressing and productive. Can you handle this much intrigue, Libra? Are you willing to wander through the amazing maze of emotional teases to gather clues about the provocative riddles? I think you will have the poise and grace to do these things. If I’m right, you can expect deep revelations to appear and long-lost connections to re-emerge. Intriguing new connections are also possible. Be on high alert for subtle revelations and nuanced intuitions.

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SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It’s fun and easy to love people for their magnificent qualities and the pleasure you feel when they’re nice to you. What’s more challenging is to love the way they disappoint you. Now pause a moment and make sure you register what I just said. I didn’t assert that you should love them *even if* they disappoint you. Rather, I invited you to love them BECAUSE they disappoint you. In other words, use your disappointment to expand your understanding of who they really are, and thereby develop a more inclusive and realistic love for them. Regard your disappointment as an opportunity to deepen your compassion—and as a motivation to become wiser and more patient. (PS: In general, now is a time when so-called “negative” feelings can lead to creative breakthroughs and a deepening of love.)
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I assure you that you don’t need “allies” who encourage you to indulge in delusions or excesses. Nor do I recommend that you seek counsel from people who think you’re perfect. But you could benefit from colleagues who offer you judicious feedback. Do you know any respectful and perceptive observers who can provide advice about possible course corrections you could make? If not, I will fill the role as best as I can. Here’s one suggestion: Consider phasing out a mild pleasure and a small goal so you can better pursue an extra fine pleasure and a major goal.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I invite you to take an inventory of what gives you pleasure, bliss, and rapture. It’s an excellent time to identify the thrills that you love most. When you have made a master list of the fun and games that enhance your intelligence and drive you half-wild with joy, devise a master plan to ensure you will experience them as much as you need to—not just in the coming weeks, but forever. As you do, experiment with this theory: By stimulating delight and glee, you boost your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquarian author Lewis Carroll said, “You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants some magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” In my astrological opinion, this won’t be an operative theme for you in the coming weeks, Aquarius. I suspect you will be inclined to believe fervently in magic, which will ensure that you attract and create a magical solution to at least one of your problems—and probably more.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Which would you prefer in the coming weeks: lots of itches, prickles, twitches, and stings? Or, instead, lots of tingles, quivers, shimmers, and soothings? To ensure the latter types of experiences predominate, all you need to do is cultivate moods of surrender, relaxation, welcome, and forgiveness. You will be plagued with the aggravating sensations only if you resist, hinder, impede, and engage in combat. Your assignment is to explore new frontiers of elegant and graceful receptivity.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): The world’s record for jumping rope in six inches of mud is held by an Aries. Are you surprised? I’m not. So is the world’s record for consecutive wallops administered to a plastic inflatable punching doll. Other top accomplishments performed by Aries people: longest distance walking on one’s hands; number of curse words uttered in two minutes; and most push-ups with three bulldogs sitting on one’s back. As impressive as these feats are, I hope you will channel your drive for excellence in more constructive directions during the coming weeks. Astrologically speaking, you are primed to be a star wherever you focus your ambition on high-minded goals. Be as intense as you want to be while having maximum fun giving your best gifts.
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