Week of October 1st, 2020

Don't Forget to Bless Yourself

You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.

— Elizabeth Gilbert


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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. It arrives every Tuesday morning.

Read past issues of the newsletter.

Sign up here for your free subscription.


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Dear Readers

You've been so extraordinarily kind to me lately! Thank you for your generous donations and beautiful notes!

Here's the back story: Last week I spoke of how the alternative weekly newspapers have been paying me to publish "Free Will Astrology" for many years. That has been my main way of earning a living.

But since the pandemic began, many of those newspapers have suffering financially.

In response, I allowed them to publish my horoscopes for free for three months, and then, since July, have given them the option of paying what they could afford.

About one-third of the papers have returned to paying me at their previous level; about a third have paid half; about a third are still publishing the column for free.

This means, of course, that my income has been substantially reduced.

In response, many of you readers stepped forward to send me actual money. I've been amazed at your largesse! So many of you have also written me messages to express how much you love my work. I've been touched by the deep feelings you've conveyed.

At the risk of asking too much, I will remind you of the ways you can contribute to me:

1. Visit my Gift Page — and contribute to me now and then via the "Friends and Family" option.

2. Buy my Expanded Audio Horoscopes and/or Sunbursts, my Daily Text Message Horoscopes

3. Commit to offering me a regular donation through my Patreon page.

4. Send checks or cash to me at P.O. Box 4400, San Rafael, CA 94913.

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P.S.: No pressure, though! I understand that some of you don't have enough money yourself, and it wouldn't make sense for you to give some to me.


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THE DOOR YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO OPEN

If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through," writes novelist Anne Lamott, "you must. Otherwise, you'll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you've already been in."

Is it perhaps your time to slip through that forbidden door? The experiences that await you on the other side may not be everything you have always needed, but they could at least be everything you need next.

Besides, it's not like the taboo against penetrating into the unknown place makes much sense any more. The biggest risk you take by breaking the spell is the possibility of losing a fear you've grown addicted to.


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VOWS

I invite you to speak these vows out loud:

"As long as I live, I vow to die and be reborn, die and be reborn, die and be reborn, over and over again, forever reinventing myself.

"I promise to be stronger than hate, wetter than water, deeper than the abyss, and wilder than the sun.

"I pledge to remember that I am not only a sweating, half-asleep, excitable, bumbling jumble of desires, but that I am also an immortal four-dimensional messiah in continuous telepathic touch with all of creation.

"I vow to love and honor my highs and my lows my yeses and noes, my give and my take, the life I wish I had and the life I actually have.

"I promise to push hard to get better and smarter, grow my devotion to the truth, fuel my commitment to beauty, refine my emotions, hone my dreams, wrestle with my shadow, purge my ignorance, and soften my heart -- even as I always accept myself for exactly who I am, with all of my so-called foibles and wobbles."

"I pledge to wake myself up, never hold back, have nothing to lose, go all the way, kiss the stormy sky, be the hero of my own story, ask for everything I need and give everything I have, take myself to the river when it's time to go to the river, and take myself to the mountaintop when it's time to go to the mountaintop."


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RECEPTIVITY REMEDIES

Alert, relaxed listening is the radical act at the heart of our pronoiac practice.

Curiosity is our primal state of awareness.

Wise innocence is a trick we aspire to master.

Open-hearted skepticism is the light in our eyes.

MORE


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GOOD PROBLEMS

Conventional wisdom implies that the best problems are those that place you under duress. There's supposedly no gain without pain. Stress is allegedly an incomparable spur for calling on resources that have been previously unavailable or dormant. Nietzsche's aphorism, "That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger," has achieved the status of a maxim.

There's a bit of truth in that perspective. But it's clear that stress also accompanies many mediocre problems that have little power to make us smarter. Pain frequently generates no gain. We're all prone to become habituated, even addicted, to nagging vexations that go on and on without rousing any of our sleeping genius.

There is, furthermore, another class of difficulty—let's call it the delightful dilemma—that neither feeds on angst nor generates it. On the contrary, it's fun and invigorating, and usually blooms when you're feeling a profound sense of being at home in the world. The problem of writing my books is a good example. I have abundant fun handling the perplexing challenges with which they confront me.

Imagine a life in which at least half of your quandaries match this profile. Act as if you're most likely to attract useful problems when joy is your predominant mood. Consider the possibility that being in unsettling circumstances may shrink your capacity to dream up the riddles you need most; that maybe it's hard to ask the best questions when you're preoccupied fighting rearguard battles against boring or demeaning annoyances that have plagued you for many moons.

Prediction: As an aspiring lover of pronoia, you will have a growing knack for gravitating toward wilder, wetter, more interesting problems. More and more, you will be drawn to the kind of gain that doesn't require pain. You'll be so alive and awake that you'll cheerfully push yourself out of your comfort zone in the direction of your personal frontier well before you're forced to do so by fate's kicks in the ass.


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WHERE THE SPIRITUAL MEETS THE PRACTICAL

"How does my spiritual practice and daily life serve the earth? How does my spiritual practice and daily life affect the poorest third of humanity? How will my spiritual practice and daily life affect the generations to come in the future?"

~ Starhawk


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IN SERVICE TO THE LIBERATED IMAGINATION

My horoscopes are not rooted in or justified by any belief system, doctrine, fairy tale, authoritative teacher, elaborate secret joke, mystical wishing, well-rationalized bias, or rebellion against science. My horoscopes are fueled by poetry and in service to the liberated imagination.


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THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL EDITION OF MY BOOK PRONOIA AND THE REVISED EDITION

I published the original version of MY BOOK Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings in 2005. For my next big writing project, I might have chosen to write a sequel. But instead I opted to fatten up the first edition.

The Revised and Expanded edition of Pronoia, which came out four years later, is MUCH fatter. It has 55% brand new extra material, or 92 more pages and 63,000 additional words -- the size of a whole new book.

There are 17 totally new pieces. It also has amplified and intensified versions of many of the central pieces of the original book, including "This Is a Perfect Moment," "Glory in the Highest," "World Kiss," and "I Me Wed," the ceremony for you to use if you want to marry yourself.

I got especially pumped up and carried away while revising "Glory in the Highest," which is a manifesto celebrating the everyday miracles we take for granted, the uncanny powers we possess, the small joys that occur so routinely we forget how much they mean to us, and the steady flow of benefits bestowed on us by people we know and don’t know.

In the new edition of the book, "Glory in the Highest" is eight times longer than in the original. Read it. Hear a short version of it.

The Revised and Expanded edition of Pronoia also has 14 brand new Sacred Advertisements. Don't worry -- if you're new to Pronoia -- the Sacred Ads aren't real ads. Here's an example:

"This perfect moment is brought to you by the imaginary lightning bolts you can shoot out the ends of your fingers anytime you want to."

Like the 2005 edition, the revised and expanded Pronoia has an abundance of space for you to write and scrawl and draw your responses to what you read. It's designed to make you my collaborator as we conspire together to incite the Great Awakening.

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The book is available at Barnes & Noble

Also available at Amazon

A free preview of the book is available here

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MY DAILY HOROSCOPES

Some people don't know that I write daily horoscopes, available as text messages sent to your cell or smart phone.

They're shorter than the weekly 'scopes, but on the other hand they're more frequent -- every day of the week.

My weekly horoscopes are free, but the dailies cost about 67 cents a day if you sign up for a subscription.

If you think you might enjoy getting regular bursts of inspiration from me to illuminate your adventures, check them out.

Go to RealAstrology.com. Register or log in. On the new page, click on "Subscribe / Renew" under "Daily Text Message Horoscopes" in the right-hand column.


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ALL I EVER WANTED

All I ever wanted in life was to make a difference, conquer the universe, travel the world, meet interesting people, find the missing link, fight the good fight, live for the moment, seize each day, make a fortune, know what really matters, end world hunger, vanquish the dragon, be super popular but too cool to care, be master of my own fate, embrace my destiny, feel as much as I can feel, give too much, and love everything.

—Tatsuya Ishida


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NOVEL INTUITIONS ARE ERUPTING FROM YOUR SMART HEART

As an experiment, I invite you to say this twice a day for the next ten days: "Novel intuitions are now erupting from my smart heart, awakening me from any trance I've been ensnared in. I am hereby breaking and escaping obstructions that have hindered my ability to express my soul's code. My unique capacities are being liberated, my potentials activated."


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WHAT CAUSES HAPPINESS?

What causes happiness? Brainstorm about it. Map out the foundations of your personal science of joy. Get serious about defining what makes you feel good. To get you started,

I'll name some experiences that might rouse your gratification: engaging in sensual pleasure; seeking the truth; being kind and moral; contemplating the meaning of life; escaping your routine; purging pent-up emotions, doing practical work that helps others or that serves your high ideals.

Do any of these work for you? Name at least ten more.


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HOW CAN THERE BE ANY SUCH THING AS "FREE WILL ASTROLOGY"?

CONDUIT magazine: Can you say what you mean by "Free Will Astrology"? It sounds like an oxymoron.

ROB BREZSNY: When I first began writing my column many years ago, I didn't like astrology columns, and I didn't like a lot of the ways astrology was practiced. Then as now, astrology in the hands of many practitioners tends to make people afraid of the future, fills them with ideas about there being some sort of fixed destiny that they're being pulled toward and that they're helpless to resist. That kind of thinking was and still is repulsive to me.

So when I first got the opportunity to write an astrology column, I decided that if somebody's going to do it, it might as well be me—an optimistic astrologer who's trained in using interesting language, is motivated primarily by love, and respects the free will of the people who might be my audience.

The bedrock of my practice has always been the idea that the planets may impel, but they don't compel. A study of the configurations of planets shows us the archetypal forces that are coalescing and becoming active in our lives. That can instruct us on how to use our free will to activate the best versions of those archetypal forces as they coalesce.

So for me, "free will astrology" conveys the notion that we have far more power than we might imagine over the way that we harness and express the bigger forces that are at work in our lives.

My aspiration is not to consign my readers to a particular fate that they supposedly can't avoid, but rather to show them the options that are available: the higher level, the mid-level, and the low-level ways in which they might express the archetypal forces—and to nudge them in the direction of finding where the highest-level expression of those forces might be.


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MYSTIC AND MILITANT

The greatest religious problem today is how to be both a mystic and a militant; in other words how to combine the search for an expansion of inner awareness with effective social action, and how to feel one's true identity in both.

—Ursula K. Le Guin


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BECOMING TOO WILD FOR YOUR FEARS

"I usually solve problems by letting them devour me," wrote Franz Kafka.

That's an interesting approach, I guess, and though it might work for a tiny minority of introverted, melancholy, hypersensitive artists, it may not be a wise policy for you. You might find it better to fervently resist any temptation to allow your problems to gobble you up.

Instead, why not be like a gargantuan sea monster in the midst of a perfect storm? Rise up as high as the dark sky and growl back at the thunder. Shoot flames from your mouth at the lightning. Become too big and ancient and wild to ever be devoured.


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IT'S ALWAYS THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD

It's always the beginning of the world.

Even if you don't call yourself an artist, you have the potential to be a dynamic creator who is always hatching new plans, coming up with fresh ideas, and shifting your approach to everything you do as you adjust to life's ceaseless invitation to change.

It's to this part of you -- the restless, inventive spirit -- that I address the following: Unleash yourself! Don't be satisfied with the world the way it is; don't sit back passively and blankly complain about the dead weight of the mediocre status quo.

Instead, call on your curiosity and charisma and expressiveness and lust for life as you tinker with and rebuild everything you see so that it's in greater harmony with the laws of love and more hospitable to your soul's code.


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HEALTHY STATES OF MIND

RADICAL CURIOSITY. Characterized by the following traits: an enthusiasm for the mystery embedded in the mundane; a preference for questions over answers; an aversion to stereotyping, generalizations, and jumping to conclusions; a belief that people are unsolvable puzzles; an inclination to be unafraid of both change and absence of change; a strong drive to avoid boredom; a lack of interest in possessing or dominating what you are curious about.

WILD DISCIPLINE. Possessing a talent for creating a kind of organization that's liberating; knowing how to introduce limitations into a situation in such a way that everyone involved is empowered to express his or her unique genius; having an ability to discern hidden order within a seemingly chaotic mess.

VISIONS OF THRILLING EXPLOITS. Experiencing an eruption of intuition that clearly reveals you will attempt a certain adventure in the future, as when you spy a particular mountain for the first time and know you'll climb it one day.

UNTWEAKABILITY. Having a composed, blame-­free readiness to correct false impressions when your actions have been misunderstood and have led to awkward consequences.

SELF-ACCEPTANCE UNDER PRESSURE. The state achieved upon leaving a room filled with people who know you, and not worrying about what anyone will say about you. (Suggested by Shannen Davis.)

SELF-HONORING. Having an unwillingness to disparage, belittle, or hurt yourself; includes a taboo against speaking phrases like, "I'm such an idiot!" and "What's wrong with me?" (Suggested by Julie Levin.)

SLY TRUST. Having a discerning faith that the integrity of your efforts will inevitably lead to a result that's exactly what you need; being skillful in the art of never trying too hard.

UNSELFCONSCIOUSNESS. Doing what you're doing and being who you're being without thinking about it at all. Being happy by virtue of not worrying about whether or not you're happy; enjoying a unified state in which you are not split between the you who acts and the you who observes. (Suggested by Valerie Keller.)

More healthy states of mind

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The above is excerpted from my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings

The book is available at Barnes & Noble

Also available at Amazon

A free preview of the book is available here


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