CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): "If you make people think they're thinking," said author Don Marquis, "they'll love you, but if you *really* make them think, they'll hate you." My objective in this week's horoscope is to prove him wrong: I want you to love me for making you really think. In the hope of accomplishing this goal, I'm giving you the assignment of revising two of your long-standing opinions or theories about the way the world works. As you aggressively seek out the information that will help you change your mind, try to feel tender compassion for me, the wise guy who's asking you to undertake such an arduous and potentially rewarding task.


well, mr. brezsny, you've done it again. although i must say that i already love you for making me really think. i love you more than i love you. why else would i dedicate my wednesday blogs to you? i've rearranged my entire life according to you, the televisionary oracle, and pronoia. are you kidding? i'm a bootylicious pronoiac getting down with my inner Funktastic Jive! the Divine Wow is alive and well, and making horrific puns inside my head.

but i get what you're saying, mr. brezsny. and, i know, there are a few things i still need to work on. but for you, i will choose two. in fact, i'll choose the two most difficult, the two that get in my way the most often. the two that, lately in my life, are clamoring for me to remember them and retreat while there's still time.

1.) the world is filled with rabid wolves, and they'll always be nipping at your heels
2.) the moment you come within the grasp of Something Truly Good, it's going to be taken away

you might remember once upon a time i mentioned a certain shakespearean sonnet i worked on for a high school english class. i shall endeavor to approach this project with the same method which i used for that sonnet.

first comes the definition, without bias, without wearing my drama-colored glasses. the world is filled with rabid wolves, and they'll always be nipping at your heels.

what is the world? is it simply the planet earth? is it smaller than that, and only the united states? is it the world in which i live, meaning portland? or even simply everything within a two-mile radius? what is the world? do i really presume to be an expert on the entire world now? i've never been anywhere further than a few miles north or south of my country's borders. i've never been across the atlantic. i've never visited the lands of my ancestors, walked their temples or hiked in their tropical mountains, found others who looked like me with the brown skin, barrel chests, mayan noses and round faces.

and yet i have the audacity to claim to know what fills "the world." pfft! okay, delena, whatever you say. how's the weather there on planet delena, anyway? so obviously my claim is already filled with fallacy. the world is nothing more than the path my life had taken thus far. i should have said "my experiences," not "the world."

and rabid wolves? wolves are very loyal pack animals. when one of theirs is sick, they slow the pace of the pack so the ill or injured one can keep up. unless it's just too sick or too badly injured, then the laws of the wild take precedent. wolves are loyal to the end, however. they are loving parents, vigilant nursemaids, fiercely protective brothers and sisters, loyal mates for life. dangerous predators, yes, but only if you're young or weak prey separated from your herd.

in which case, the laws of the wild take precedent. perhaps i was simply young, or weak, and separated from my herd? there are predators out there, yes, and i've met my fair share. especially when i was eighteen. however, the universe is secretly conspiring to shower me with blessings. the universe is fundamentally friendly, always giving me exactly what i need exactly when i need it. love is an act of heroic genius, and pleasure is my birthright.

this doesn't sound like a pack of predators separating me from the herd and hamstringing me.

perhaps i had only hamstrung myself, over and over again. i remember the day i figured out that's what i should do. i'd been hit again, this time for...not getting perfect A's on a report card in gradeschool, i think. i'd spent an entire evening trying to point out what i'd done right and downplaying what i'd done wrong, but all the bio-dad wanted to talk about was what i'd done wrong. perfection in all my other subjects was merely expected and not important enough to be mentioned. i decided that night, as i lay throbbing and sore in my bed, that i would point out my flaws before anyone else could. i would wear them so all could see, and when anyone wanted to beat or berate me, i could hold up a hand and say, "already took care of it, thanks." i'd beat myself harder than any of them ever could.

so i hamstrung myownself, back when i was a child. i did it to myself. there were no wolves, just me. it wasn't the world. it was just me.

and what of the belief in disappointment as a full-bodied, conscious thing waiting in the wings to devour any happiness i might have?

y'know, the other day i realized that all my life, i'd been so desperate to get out of the House of Oppression, away from my bio-dad, that i created handsome princes and happily-ever-afters from the mirages waving in the distance. big *c* is (lovingly) called my knight error errant. and *j*? i wanted to get handfasted, not because i really loved him, but because i wanted the white dress and a big party. i was tired of waiting and was going to force the happily ever after, gods damn it all, if it was the last thing i did.

and it all slipped through my fingers, even at the last when i was trying desperately to hold it all together and it fell apart even harder. i was searching for false happiness, for those items of vanity and ego i thought would sustain me. i'd arrived to the place of the mirage and, finding no water, drank the sand and tried to will it into water.

then i learned how to give up my longing for control over those things i can't control. i learned to be brave, be nervy, and to have fun. i learned to kill the apocalypse within myself by transforming my shadow self into constructive expressions of the MultiVersal Jiggy Snake (who said, "Wee!"), to banish my inner flaming narcissist by breaking it up into its most basic elements so that i may then use those materials to construct myself into my own funkiest groovemate. i learned to transform my life, my body, and my spirit into manifestations of the Divine Funk, which created the universe, which is a fundamentally friendly place.

so what does this mean?

it means, esoterically, no one was responsible for my downfalls except myself. or, at least, i was as equally responsible as all those who put me beneath their heels. and i've taken responsibility for my part. i'm over it. the world isn't filled with wolves, rabid or otherwise. it's filled with humans; fallible, imperfect humans just trying to do the best they can with what they've got. some just do better than others. and Disappointment is no solid and tangible thing just waiting for me to be almost happy so it can ruin things for me. i was just reaching for the wrong things ad, the universe in its infinite, funky wisdom was giving me what i needed right when i needed it.

and perhaps now, as then, i'm being given exactly what i need exactly when i need it...if i but reach for it. i've been somewhat recalcitrant about it, mainly because i've been afraid of that disappointment. i've been bracing myself for it, bolstering up my strength so that "when" it came, i wouldn't be as hurt as i possibly would be otherwise.

not very pronoiac of me, was it? i should've been joyfully surrendering to the uniquely bombastic, phenominal and funkalicious Supreme Jive within my buddhalicious self. and if that means taking someone's affection and not being afraid to voice my own in return, then so the fuck be it. if it means letting go of the supreme irritation at the stress and physical challenge at work and simply accepting the fact that i'm building a phenominal reputation and high expectations, then so mote it be. if it means writing the heartbreaking work of staggering genius as only i can, then why am i racing against myself?

my body and spirit are a temple, and i should be manifesting the Funky Ya-Ya every day, in some way or another. in little ways, in big ways. in weird and mysterious, hidden ways that will never be overtly noticed, but they will be there. and so, mr. brezsny, this week i shall endeavor to search out those things in my life that will help change my mind and make these new beliefs not simply head-thoughts, but heart-beliefs.

may the Funk be with you.

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