Blessed Imbolc

Sep 28, 2010

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

What is a Shaman?

What is a shaman? Host and shaman, Christina Pratt, freshly inspired by the diversity and community synergy of the UK Shamanic Conference, will explore this most interesting question. It is not true that every energy practitioner today is a shaman because not every altered state is a shamanic altered state. And something isn't shamanic just because you don't understand it or have a name for it. In this time when anyone can call themselves a shaman, what is a shaman? A shaman is a particular type of practitioner who works in an induced shamanic trance state with invisible and reliable energy beings. With the assistance of these invisible beings the shaman makes changes in the invisible world that create the desired changes here in the physical world. And the shaman does this work in response to the need to set things; people, communities, earth energies, what have you, into right relationship with the Greater Flow of life force energy. Shamans are called by Spirit and initiated through that relationship. And, traditionally shamans have worked with other types of healers in their communities. This week we will explore what this definition actually means in the past and the present, how you might select a shaman, and why even shamans argue about who is a shaman.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Sep 27, 2010

Horoscope for September 27 - October 3

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

Aries (March 21st - April 20th)
Last week began a new personal life cycle for you, Aries. This week, the Moon moves you through issues of money and personal values, followed by ideas and communication, then home and your foundational beliefs, and ending with creativity and romance. Aries is a self-directed, self-assured fire sign, but being on the relationship axis of Aries/Libra/first house of self/seventh house of the other keeps you from a solitary life. Your leadership skills can only come out when you connect with others and your path to self awareness lies in your relationships. This week, both intimate and business relationships are in focus. Some Rams may be building an at-home business with a mate. Other Rams may be bringing an understanding of human behavior to the business table. You may find yourself drawn to a spiritual organization or a mental self improvement method, which helps you relieve the stresses of work and expands your faith in your own ability to create your world. Applying what you are learning may have a surprising effect. When you change your attitude and behavior, the people and situations around you may not know how to respond. Your new mindset can make your work situation uncomfortable until things catch up to the new vibration you’ve set.

Taurus (April 21st - May 20th)
Work that creates beauty or brings equality or valuable services to everyone could be your primary concern this week, Taurus. Of secondary concern is adequate financial compensation for your ideas and creativity. Taureans who work for a large company may have the most difficulty this week when they ask for what they rightly deserve. You tend to plod quietly and happily along, so when you have a complaint or demand, the powers that be may be surprised to hear it. Don’t be surprised if they would prefer to not acknowledge your personal efforts – they may know exactly how valuable your work is to them, but they would like to keep getting it at the current discount rate! If this is you, be prepared to justify your request with proof of performance. Self employed Bulls may fear losing some customers by overhauling their fee structure, but increasing prices is a necessary action to bring balance back into your business. A romantic or business partner can help you see that you are worthy and deserving of more abundance in your life.

Trends for September 27 - October 3

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

A peaceful start to the week begins on Monday, September 27th, when the gentle, patient Taurus Moon is in harmony with Mercury in practical Virgo. This is an excellent influence for implementing plans and attending to the details of a project. Your day should progress calmly and predictably until the Moon makes a square to foggy Neptune in unpredictable Aquarius late in the day. Fortunately, the possible stressful effects of challenging square energy may be tempered by a fortunate sextile of the Moon to Jupiter/Uranus conjunct in Pisces. It is likely that you may become emotionally caught up in something extravagant and absurd. You may be disappointed to find that what you are desiring is just too far fetched and out of your reach. Venus is the planetary ruler of both the earth sign of Taurus and the air sign of Libra. Venus bestows beauty, softness, gentle refinement, and pleasure. With the Sun now in the sign of Libra, joined by serious Saturn and the Moon in Taurus, today is a wonderful day to work at decorating and beautifying your home or garden for the fall season. It is a fruitful, favorable Moon cycle for planting fall bulbs and chrysanthemums. Spend some time outside today appreciating the early fall season.

Tuesday, September 28th, has a lively feel to it with the Moon now in the mentally active and curious air sign of Gemini. Several favorable aspects are activated between the Moon and other planets today, which should keep you active and most likely juggling, or thinking about, multiple things at any given time. In the morning, the Moon engaging controlling Pluto in Capricorn adds intensity to emotional exchanges and may cause you to argue for your point of view. The Moon also trines the Sun and Saturn in Libra. Both Gemini and Libra are dual air signs that are usually able to see both sides of a situation. Factoring in the rigidity of Saturn and the potency of Pluto, however, turns air into a stiff breeze, if not hurricane force winds, appearing as strong mental convictions. This can be excellent for you if you have a task which requires a sharp mind or firm speech. The one possible caution is a square between Sun/Saturn and Pluto. If you find yourself having to choose a side or make a mental assessment of a situation, this square energy has an important lesson. The only option this challenging energy allows you is truth or the highest good, even if it means your own opinions or agenda must step down. As the day progresses and the Moon/Sun/Saturn aspect eases, the Moon connects in a positive manner with Venus and Mars conjunct in the passionate water sign of Scorpio. When passion and intellect mix, expect some flirting and stimulating conversation. Gemini loves to tease and play and Scorpio likes to uncover, disarm, and merge. I can think of many ways you can use tonight’s energy – can’t you?

Sep 21, 2010

A Look at Stephen King’s Natal Chart

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro



Every day, I like to look at celebrity birthdays and post a few on Facebook and Twitter. We all love to look for aspects of ourselves in the personality of a celebrity who shares our birthday, don’t we? Today, September 21st, I happened to note a trend of excellence in thinking and communication skills. Next, I pulled one of my favorite books off the shelf, Love Cards by Robert Camp, and looked up the card for September 21st. Camp assigns a title to each card, which I’ve found to be uncannily accurate in summarizing the personality for each card. I had to chuckle when I saw that September 21st is the three of clubs – the card Camp calls “The Writer’s Card.”

A wildly popular and successful writer who happens to be born today is an excellent example of the three of clubs. In Camp’s Destiny Card system, the threes are highly creative and imaginative and clubs rule communication. Stephen King is truly a king in his chosen field. I must admit that although I am a voracious reader, I have only read a small slice of his prolific literary offerings because his writing makes me bite my nails and sit on the edge of my seat. It can take me a few days to shake off the unease that reading his novels creates in me. When I looked at his birth chart today, many things jumped out at me immediately that made me think, “Oh, of course,” and I’ll share a few with you. So much jumps out to indicate his unique talent and notable career that it is hard to know where to begin!

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Ubuntu Means Humanity

John Lockley, a senior shaman in the Xhosa lineage of South Africa is our guest this week. John is one of the first white men in recent history to become a fully initiated Xhosa Sangoma, meaning seers, dreamers or prophets - they are the traditional healers of South Africa. John explains, "My journey is about reconciliation and part of my job is to help heal the past. When people are more connected with their own spirits, there is less of a desire to destroy or put down another. I don't intend to bring Xhosa or South African shamanic culture to the West as such, but rather to use its essence - the techniques of prayer, dream work and connection to nature - to help people connect with their own ancestors and spiritual traditions." John joins host, Christina Pratt, for the first of our series of Society of Shamanic Practitioners sponsored shows. Through these monthly shows we explore how contemporary shamans are meeting the challenge of their world where the relations of things-the living and the dead, the humans and nature, and Western Way and the spirit world-are profoundly out of balance. It is the ancient role of the shaman in all cultures to tend the balance of things. How are these shaman meeting this extraordinary need today?

This week's guest:
John Lockley


John Lockley is a senior shaman in the Xhosa lineage of South Africa. South African shamans are known as Sangomas, meaning seers, dreamers or prophets - they are the traditional healers of Africa.

Following a prophetic dream calling, John suffered from the thwasa, a severe period of ill-health that is inherent in all ancient shamanic cultures. Through many difficulties, he served a 10-year apprenticeship with Mum Gwevu, a well-known Sangoma medicine woman in one of the poorest townships in South Africa. John is one of the first white men in recent history to become a fully initiated Xhosa Sangoma.

John's initiated name, Ucingolwendaba, means messenger or connector between people and cultures, reflecting the bridge his work creates between the cultures and teachings of his African, English and Irish ancestral lineages. John is based in South Africa, although his work takes him around Europe and the US.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Sep 20, 2010

Horoscope for September 20-26

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

Aries (March 21st - April 20th)
A personal revolution may be taking place for you at an unconscious level, Aries. Whether you have a co-pilot or fly solo, you are reaching out to share your passions with both individual people and the world. Perhaps you have an unusual skill or healing talent that can be of benefit to others if you open up and share it. The full Moon facilitates self awareness and the opportunity to release fears and inhibitions that may be holding you back in personal or business relationships. Union with your Higher Self or a partner may bring rock solid support that helps you launch your own endeavor. Possible interests for you now may be metaphysical, paranormal, or sexual in nature while the planets are helping you enjoy mystery, intrigue, and intimacy. This week marks the beginning of a new lifestyle cycle for you, so choose what you wish to begin wisely.

Taurus (April 21st - May 20th)
Romance and creativity are still happy areas of life for you, Taurus. If you are single and looking, I suggest you take a class on an art or hobby interest to meet a potential mate. Established couples may also benefit from taking or teaching a class together. What begins as a shared interest may blossom into a shared profession. What could be better than living and working with your mate? Potential difficulty or awkwardness with a friend, group, or organization may present itself this week. The planets indicate there may be a temporary misalignment of energy. The full Moon gives you time to absorb the nuances of the situation and reflect upon them before taking action. Ultimately, you will not allow your personal values to be compromised, but first you must determine what is truth and what is hearsay or exaggeration.

Astrological Trends for September 20-26

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

The Moon is in the humanitarian, thinking air sign of Aquarius on Monday, September 20th, where it joins Neptune and Chiron and is in harmony with the Sun in Virgo and Jupiter/Uranus, both retrograde, in Pisces. At the same time, the Sun is opposed by Jupiter/Uranus. With the Moon in a future-oriented, impersonal sign and most of the dominant planetary aspects involving outer, transpersonal planets, I feel that your day may be more focused on current events and global concerns than usual. You are primarily concerned about your own life as it fits into the bigger picture of the economy and your relationships in business and your community. Mercury in problem-solving Virgo, Saturn in truth-finding Libra, and Pluto in determined Capricorn all form weak, yet supportive, aspects to the blended energies of Venus and Mars in perceptive, intuitive Scorpio. You can use this configuration of planetary energy to discover ways you can make a positive difference in the world through your choices and actions. The Sun/Neptune aspect encourages dreamers and healers to present plans now while the opposition between the Sun and retrograde Jupiter/Uranus indicates a lack of backing, faith, and support or a resistance to more socially conscious changes. That is a natural human reaction, but it may seem more pronounced while this opposition is in effect. Scorpio is an emotional water sign that feels both light and dark, high and low strongly. In your own personal life during the Venus/Mars transit in Scorpio, you may frequently find yourself swinging from high to low emotionally or being in situations where you must choose between something easier, but shady, or something more challenging, but of greater integrity.

A choice between rational thinking and emotional knowing may begin the day on Tuesday, September 21st. The Moon in psychic Pisces opposes Mercury in logical Virgo, triggering the conflict between the mind and gut instinct. With the Moon supporting Venus/Mars in intuitive Scorpio and Saturn in circumspect Libra, when it comes time to decide, your feelings will prevail over thoughts. The Moon in sentimental Neptune exchanging favorable energy with Saturn in Libra, the sign ruling relationship, may have you taking love and romance seriously. The sexy Venus/Mars combo in passionate Scorpio gets a dose of planetary Viagra from Pluto, the planetary ruler of Scorpio. Mars/Pluto aspects are about sex and power – if someone has captured your attention, it may be difficult to keep your thoughts purely platonic now. With Mercury in Virgo also lending energy to Venus/Mars, it is likely you will be thinking or talking about sex, too. Venus parallel Pluto and Mars parallel Neptune just add more fuel to the bonfire of desire the Moon has ignited. You may survive today’s potent seductive pull best by yielding to love, lust, and romance rather than arguing against it. If you find yourself behaving out of character or skipping over your own self-imposed rules, chalk it up to a momentary lapse of planetary control.

Sep 13, 2010

Horoscope for September 13-19

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

Aries (March 21st - April 20th)
The theme of interconnection with others continues for you this week, Aries. As you’ve become more receptive to the needs of others and more aware of the problems and struggles people are facing, you may have become something of an expert at solving problems or finding ways to assist others. Some Rams may have joined an organization that helps the earth, people, or animals. Whatever the situation, it seems you’ve become a leader or expert who is in high demand. While this is not a bad thing, it may be that you are doing more work for which you receive little or no pay and the rest of your life is suffering from a lack of time and attention. The needs of the world and your own life seem never ending and the demand greater than you can physically handle. You may feel like you are bailing a sinking boat with a thimble when it requires a bucket. The planets currently make you extremely empathetic and nebulous. Boundaries are rarely an Aries issue. Most people sense the fire nature and would never consider imposing on Aries – and if they do, Aries is never one to be quiet about an imposition! Some strong water is subduing that fire now and it will require conscious effort on your part to draw the lines of demarcation that limit how much of your time someone can receive. Strange as it may sound to an action-oriented person like yourself, you can accomplish more good deeds for humankind and the planet now on the inner planes through prayer and meditation than by physical doing. The more you take time to go within, the more in control you feel.

Taurus (April 21st - May 20th)
Love can be a powerful creative force, Taurus. Whether your passion is a person or a project, it looks like love is lifting you to higher thoughts and pumping up your risk-taking muscle. I know you Bulls look before you leap and usually want a guarantee and extended warranty before venturing forth, but right now intuition and passion have more weight than cold logic when it comes to your decisions. The flow you are moving in now benefits a business, large group, or organization. You are so content to be creating and sharing that you may not be protecting your work properly. Make sure you get credit where it is due and keep clear records, copies, etc. The work you do now may not seem so valuable in the moment, but it can be a leveraging tool for your career in the future. Be sure you can list it in your resume. The relationship with your lover or your project is at the fascinating, mutually intimate stage of unveiling and sharing secrets and similarities.

Astrological Trends for September 13-19

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

The relief is nearly palpable as you begin this Monday, September 13th, under the auspices of a direct Mercury. Keep in mind it can take a day or two to adjust to the shift of energy, but for the most part, you are safe to begin new projects, sign contracts, and generally trust that communication and transportation will go as planned. The Moon in the optimistic fire sign of Sagittarius may have you bounding out of bed early this morning, eager to take on a new week. Your plans conceived during last week’s new Moon energy are now germinating and you are ready to give them the attention they need to flourish. The Moon behaves a bit like lighter fluid on coals this morning, igniting the following planets to positive expression and action: Jupiter conjunct Uranus in Pisces, Pluto in Capricorn, and Venus in Scorpio. At the same time, Mercury in Virgo is encouraging Venus, Pluto, and Saturn in Libra. Mars, the planet of action, supports Jupiter/Uranus and Neptune/Chiron in Aquarius. To sum up all these aspects, I would suggest that you have constructive, expansive plans and ideas along with the necessary passion and blind faith to achieve your objectives. You know that what you want to do is good for not just you, but everyone because when you are successful, your success is both an example for others to emulate and it enables you to share more abundance and positive energy with the world. There is no “no” now. If you can’t find a way through, you will go over, under, or around to advance your cause.

Yesterday, you left the starting block and on Tuesday, September 14th, you continue the race. The Moon is still in forward- and upward-looking Sagittarius, but without as many handshakes to other planets. Using momentum from yesterday and simply returning to the tasks you’ve already begun is the best use of your energy. In fact, you won’t even have to be fully present emotionally as you enjoy a benign and detached mood throughout most of the day. A feeling of rightness may slip in as masculine Mars moves from Libra to Scorpio. Feminine Venus recently did the same, but for a short time the pairing of Venus/Mars split into the two elements of air and water, which are not naturally harmonious elements. On the subconscious level, there may have been a niggling irritation from this, akin to not being able to tie both laces of your shoes with equal tightness. Now that Mars has returned to sharing the same sign and element as Venus, everything just feels better. Your relationships may intensify or deepen as these two planets of relating begin to swim in the ocean of emotional Scorpio. Thoughts of security, vulnerability, and trust may arise now and in the month to come. In the early evening, the Moon touches off some challenging energy with the Sun in Virgo. The Moon in Sagittarius likes to be flamboyant, spontaneous, and goofy. The Sun in Virgo leans toward prim, proper, and practical. At its worst, this aspect may predispose you to dressing inappropriately for an occasion, making social gaffes, or feeling at odds over desiring to do something outrageous, but thinking you must adhere to the conventional. You can avert difficulty by avoiding social scenes or decision making this evening – unless you want to watch Comedy Central and your partner wants to watch CNN!

Sep 8, 2010

The Virgo New Moon

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro



A gentle rain is falling outside my window. The field is full of tall grasses, goldenrod, and just a few white Queen Anne’s Lace – the rest have died, but their dark brown shriveled heads add an autumnal beauty and texture to the scene. The trees beyond the field look tired. In yesterday’s sun and heat, they still looked summery to me. Now the leaves on the branches seem to have thinned overnight and I can see touches of yellow and red. We are now in the Virgo season of harvest and attending to the details of hearth and home that ready us for the arrival of cooler weather.

Virgo rules the sixth house of service, service-related work, duty, health, hygiene, and dietary and exercise habits. Every year when the Sun enters Virgo, children return to school, parents must adjust their lives to the needs of the child. School supplies, school clothes must be purchased, schedules for after-school care and extra-curricular activities are made. For form haters like myself, the stream of paperwork that the school requires me to read and sign always gets me slightly frazzled – not to mention the demands for money that come trickling in – fundraisers, class pictures, etc. And then the shared classroom germs can begin to take their toll at home, despite the tissues and hand sanitizer the school now requires parents supply for the classroom. As I write this I am sipping a cold season herbal tea blend, intending to thwack some minor head cold symptoms.

Sep 7, 2010

Robert Bauval on King Tut's DNA

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.



In this Red Ice Radio interview, Robert Bauval weighs in the controversy over Tutankhamun's possible Western European ancestry.

Despite the refusal of the Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, to release any DNA results which might indicate the racial ancestry of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, the leaked results reveal that King Tut’s DNA is a 99.6 percent match with Western European Y chromosomes.

The DNA test results were inadvertently revealed on a Discovery Channel TV documentary filmed with Hawass’s permission — but it seems as if the Egyptian failed to spot the giveaway part of the documentary which revealed the test results.

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Small Sacred Things

"That which is sacred possesses within it The Mystery," explains host and shaman, Christina Pratt. While what we find sacred in a religious sense varies, that which is sacred in life touches all of us equally. These everyday sacred things, acts, or moments are the things, acts, or moments that contain The Great Mystery, no matter how large or small, no matter your religious focus or lack of a spiritual life. This week we explore the shamanic and Taoist teaching that we all need to tend the sacred to nourish our souls. Your soul is not a given. It is shaped by the choices you make in this life. Like all aspects of who you are, your soul needs nourishment. It needs exercise. It needs rest and restoration. To feed the sacred through small acts each day is to feed Spirit, which is to feed your spirit, which nourishes your soul. These are small ways of noticing and offering gratitude, yet each act connects us to that which abides. When we notice and honor the sacred, we turn our attention to the real energies. When we do this-right in the middle of a busy day, after sending the kids to school, or before we check out at night into the electronic media of choice-we are not lost in the infinite distractions of the day. We can step back from our state of perpetual overwhelm and step into the calm in the eye of the storm of our lives.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Sep 6, 2010

Horoscope for September 6-12

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

Aries (March 21st - April 20th)
Every sign has an expression that condenses the nature of the sign down to a two-word sentence. “I am,” is your statement to the world, Aries. The astrological challenges of the last few months have helped you to define who you really are. You may be someone entirely new and different than you were this time last year. Now that you have come to a personal growth plateau, an interesting thing will take place. The lens through which you see your world – the “I am” lens, which views everyone and everything as it relates to you and your opinions and beliefs – has changed. You are entering a selfless phase where you are more concerned with what is important to other individuals, friends and groups, and humanity as a whole. The everyday challenges of work and relationships haven’t really changed, but your perception of them has. As you move toward an increase in being of service and considering the needs and motivations of others before judging or acting, your inner spiritual view of life expands. You may find that you are concerned with making the world a better place by being a good example. Sensing the interconnection of everyone and everything can trigger a quiet revolution in how you choose to navigate life. Your possibilities seem bigger than they were before and you spend more time in being who you would like to be rather than trying to be an image of who you would like to be.

Taurus (April 21st - May 20th)
Connecting with friends, old and new, is important for you this week, Taurus. You will be inspired by the input of fresh ideas that come to you when listening to others talk about what they’ve been up to. A divine discontent in the work arena may be pressuring you to take some kind of action. Either you are ready to change how things are being done or, if procedures are outside of your control, then you may be ready to move on to something that is more in harmony with how you think and feel. You will only gather resentment and ill health if you remain with a job just to keep collecting paychecks. One of your friends may be the means to a new position. Passion and intimacy can deepen in your love relationship. If you are single and longing for a partner, it is possible you may meet an ideal match in social settings where people are gathered to learn something. Attend a DIY class at Home Depot, a cooking demo at the health food store, or check the community announcements in the local paper for classes and free events.

Astrological Trends for September 6-12

Cross-posted from Aloha Astro

Passion launches the week on Monday, September 6th, when the Moon is in the ardent fire sign of Leo. Late in the day, the Moon will be enhanced by Mars, the planet of action, prompting you to pursue the person or object of your desire. Romance and love are definitely in the air with Venus and Mars in relationship-minded Libra exchanging harmonious energy with Neptune/Chiron and Jupiter/Uranus. Venus rules the affectionate nature and the things we find pleasurable or comfortable. Mars is a planet which rules the physical aspect of love. Neptune joined with Chiron creates the happily-ever-after yearning, which leads to marriage and a family. Jupiter represents growth and expansion and Uranus seeks stimulation and change. Often, Uranus plays Cupid when two people meet, causing an instant and highly exciting attraction, which can be strongly romantic or sexual if Venus or Mars are exchanging energy with Uranus by transit or between two charts. Leo rules the fifth house of love affairs. With all the potential for romance and sex today, it would be a great loss if you tried to keep your mind on anything less than love. But wait – there’s more! The Sun is parallel Mercury, assisting the flow of easy conversation. Mercury and the Sun are both contra-parallel Chiron, which indicates your thoughts are on creating or enhancing a secure, long-term relationship rather than a short-term Uranian fling. It is easier now to speak clearly and honestly about your desires and be heard. Sex and romance are not your only options for this passionate Moon phase. You may direct the energy toward anyone or anything you love, such as your children, pets, or hobbies. The solar-ruled sign of Leo governs the heart, so as long as you stay in your heart space you will have an extraordinary day.

Logic and practicality step into the picture on Tuesday, September 7th. The larger love aspects are still in effect, but now the Moon in analytical Virgo steps back to see what’s really going on and how much long-term potential truly exists. The conjunction of the Moon to the retrograde Mercury indicates you may be making an emotional inventory list and checking it twice. The Moon activates Jupiter in Aries, Saturn in Libra, and Pluto in Capricorn. Memories of past relationship difficulties may remind you that you promised yourself to be more circumspect and to be sure you and your potential partner are right for each other before becoming serious. Now is the time to discuss the things that matter most to you. It is also the time to listen – and take seriously – everything the other person says. Make your lists of peeves and pleasures both large and small and share them. In matters of love and in any other area of life, the planets advise you leave no rock unturned and nothing dangling or unfinished before you embark on something new.

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