Week of April 25th, 2019

You Are a Source of Beauty

What you may need is a more curious and mysterious sweetness. A wilder, stronger sweetness. A sweetness that shatters illusions.


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HOMEWORK

Homework: Diminish any predilection you have for shuffling, drooping, mumbling, wallowing, pigeonholing, and pussyfooting.

Practice your gliding, flowing, leaping, skipping, twirling, undulating, reverberating, galloping, and rub-a-dub-dubbing.

Become an expert at rumbling, romping, rollicking, cavorting, and zip-a-dap-doodling.


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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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Your soul's code is your sacred calling; the blueprint of your destiny; the mission you came to earth to fulfill.

Now and then life pushes you away from influences that might be interfering with your ability to discern and express your soul’s code.

Higher powers and mysterious forces purge obstacles that have been preventing you from achieving a more complete embodiment of who you were born to be.

When that happens, it's time to celebrate.


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A GOOD COURSE OF STUDY

A good course of study: how to find and attract the challenges and difficulties that best serve your quest for liberation and build your compassionate intelligence.


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MANIFESTO

We are dissident bodhisattvas rebelling against all those forces that feed fear and ignore love.

We are spiritual freedom fighters rising up to protect nature and foment peace and demand justice.

We are subversive mystics stoking the cool blue fires of poetry and lobbying for the liberated imagination.

We are militant ecstatics invoking the transformative powers of pleasure to sanctify and beautify our one and only Earth.

We are mutinous purveyors of grace who redistribute the wealth so that all creatures may have the means to thrive.


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GROUNDED SPIRITUALITY

Authors of new books periodically ask me to write blurbs endorsing their work. Since my own schedule is so busy, I rarely have time to oblige. But I made an exception for Jeff Brown and his new book Grounded Spirituality. Here’s what I wrote:

Jeff Brown is an iconoclastic visionary about intimate matters. There aren't many of those around, since most modern geniuses seem devoted to seemingly more glamorous and critical matters like artificial intelligence, 3-D printers, and smart chips implanted in our brains.

But the truth is—at least in my view—revolutionizing the ways we do our inner work and craft our intimate relationships are among the most important actions we can take to transform the world. And Jeff provides potent ideas to help us do just that.

His rigorous imagination is in service to creating a more emotionally intelligent culture. When I read his words, I get riled up in all the best ways. He disrupts my habitual thought grooves, which inevitably leads to unexpected healings and inspirations.

These days the word "soul" gets carelessly bandied around by many lazy and sloppy thinkers, but Jeff is not one of them. He is reverent and impeccable, an astute connoisseur of the soul and its needs.


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ACTUALLY, AMERICANS ARE NOT DUMB ABOUT SCIENCE

"Hey, didja hear about those scientifically illiterate Americans? People so dumb, they think the sun revolves around the Earth? People who are getting dumber and whose lack of knowledge leads them to have misguided opinions about science policy?"

Not true, according to three sets of data — Pew’s, Miller’s and the National Science Foundation — that suggest our national grasp of scientific fact isn’t too shabby. In reality, Americans have pretty decent scientific literacy.

Read the article.


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HARNESSING DAYDREAMS?

In his book The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall muses on the crucial role that imagination plays in our lives.

"The average daydream is about fourteen seconds long and we have about two thousand of them per day," he says. "In other words, we spend about half of our waking hours—one-third of our lives on earth—spinning fantasies."

I have a theory that to the extent that we are aware of these facts, and to the degree that we formulate intentions in response to them, we can harness our daydreams to enhance our creativity, productivity, and usefulness.

Maybe you could become aware of some of those times when you are semi-consciously spinning out tales and scenarios, and redirect all that colorful energy into visualizing a successful outcome for a project you're working on; or into visualizing the resources you would like to attract to help you accomplish a treasured goal.


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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:

What has been going right in the world:

For the first time ever in 2018, developing countries added more clean power capacity than fossil fuel. Out of the 186 gigawatts of new power capacity that was built in developing nations, over half of it was wind and solar power.

Mexico is selling its $218.7 million presidential plane to use funds for poor communities

South Korea closed its largest dog meat slaughterhouse

Ireland voted and repealed its abortion ban

Scotland became the first country to back teaching LGBTI issues in schools

A growing number of Americans now believe climate change is happening

A record number of minority and openly gay athletes competed in the Olympics

Research suggested that migrants are integrating well in Germany.
Germany released figures showing that more than 300,000 refugees have now found jobs, and the share of MPs with migrant backgrounds has risen from 3 per cent to 9 per cent in the last two elections.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a grand jury report that, after an 18-month investigation, revealed more than 300 Catholic priests who had abused children over seven decades. The revelations prompted resignations, sparked other states to undertake their own inquiries and raised hopes that the Catholic Church might finally face its history and reform.


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THE QUESTION OF MIRACLES

INTERVIEWER: You confuse me in the way that you praise rational thought and the scientific method, yet reserve the right to believe in astrology, angels, miracles, and other woo-woo.

Rob Brezsny: Thousands of amazing, inexplicable, and even supernatural events occur every day. And yet most are unreported by the media. The few that are cited are ridiculed.

Why? Here's one possible reason: The people most likely to believe in wonders and marvels may be superstitious, uneducated, or prone to having a blind, literalist faith in their religions' myths.

Those who are least likely to believe in wonders and marvels are skilled at analytical thought, well-educated, and yet prone to having a blind, literalist faith in the ideology of materialism, which dogmatically asserts that the universe consists entirely of things that can be perceived by the five human senses or detected by instruments that scientists have thus far invented.

The media is largely composed of people from the second group. It's virtually impossible for them to admit to the possibility of events that elude the rational mind's explanations, let alone experience them.

If anyone from this group manages to escape peer pressure and cultivate a receptivity to the miraculous, it's because they have successfully fought against being demoralized by the unsophisticated way wonders and marvels are framed by the first group.

I try to be immune to the double-barreled ignorance. When I behold astonishing synchronicities and numinous breakthroughs that seem to violate natural law, I'm willing to consider the possibility that my understanding of natural law is too narrow.

And yet I also refrain from lapsing into irrational gullibility; I actively seek mundane explanations for apparent miracles.


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MY SANCTUARIES

My social media accounts are not free-for-alls where anyone can disgorge whatever abuse and sneers and insults and rancor they have an urge to.

My Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are my sanctuaries where I welcome people I trust. They're salons where people I'm interested in gather to discuss subjects of mutual interest.

It’s fine if some of those people I trust disagree with me, but when they do, they must do so with kindness and respect.

If you don’t meet those standards, I at least delete your comments and may block you from making further comments.

You can call that “censorship,” as some do. But that's a misuse of the word. If you write a nasty letter to the editor of a newspaper and magazine or website, and they don’t publish it, does that constitute censorship? No, it does not.

If I invite you into my home, and you hurl bad vibes in my direction, my asking you to leave doesn't constitute censorship.

If I'm hosting a public ritual or doing a public performance and you heckle me, I'll have my bouncer usher you out. I am not "censoring" you.

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P.S. People disagree with me ALL the time.

I have a total of 147,000+ readers on my American FB pages and 329,000+ readers on my Italian FB page. If even just 1% of those people find problems with any of the two posts I average every day (and I've been on FB nine years), that's a lot of disagreements I am asked to deal with.

The majority of those disagreements are fine, offered in a spirit of respectfully seeking to correct my errors and looking for common ground in collegial collaboration.

But for that small percentage of disagreements that are jarring, distasteful, contemptuous, and accusing, I don't abide them. To be a social justice warrior for the long haul, I must take good care of myself.

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To access my various SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS, GO HERE.


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GOING OUT OF OUR MINDS

In her book Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estés suggests that we all need to periodically go cheerfully and enthusiastically out of our minds. Make sure, she says, that at least one part of you always remains untamed, uncategorizable, and unsubjugated by routine. Be adamant in your determination to stay intimately connected to all that's inexplicable and mysterious about your life.

At the same time, though, Estés believes you need to keep your unusual urges clear and ordered. Discipline your wildness, in other words, and don't let it degenerate into careless disorder.


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GIFTS!

Since 1995, I've been offering my written horoscopes on the Internet for free. I love doing that. It's relaxing to be able to offer you my oracles without asking for anything in return. It's healthy for my soul and yours.

But I also don't mind earning money from doing what I love to do. That's why I make it possible for you to bless me with donations. If you would like to contribute to me and my well-being, please visit my Gift Page


Give your gift via the "Friends and Family" option.

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In addition to the free written horoscopes I provide in this newsletter, I also offer two other sources of astrological information that cost money: my Expanded Audio Horoscopes and Daily Text Message Horoscopes.

I love you just as much if you don't buy my extra stuff as if you do! No pressure! But if you would like the extra stuff, here's how to get it:

Go to my Expanded Audio Horoscopes page. Register or log in. On the new page, you have two choices: Expanded Audio Horoscopes or Daily Text Message Horoscopes.

If you have any questions about how to access them, write to my tech support team at freewillcs@gmail.com.


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CHOCTAW GENEROSITY

Choctaw historian Judy Allen writes: The Choctaw people have a history of helping others. Only 16 years after they began their long, sad march along the Trail of Tears, the Choctaws learned of people starving to death in Ireland.

With great empathy, in 1847 Choctaw individuals made donations totaling $170, the equivalent of several thousand dollars today, to assist the Irish people during the famine.

It was an amazing gesture. Though they had meager resources, they gave on behalf of others in greater need.

More about the story.


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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:

Current elected female heads of state or government

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca: Malta — President

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović: Croatia — President

Saara Kuugongelwa: Namibia — Prime Minister

Tsai Ing-wen: Taiwan — President

Doris Bures: Austria — Co-Acting President

Kersti Kaljulaid: President of the Republic of Estonia

Ana Brnabić: Serbia — Prime Minister

Halimah Yacob: Singapore — President

Erna Solberg:Norway—Prime Minister

Angela Merkel: Germany—Chancellor

Jacinda Ardern: New Zealand — Prime Minister

Evelyn Wever-Croes: Aruba — Prime Minister

Katrín Jakobsdóttir: Iceland — Prime Minister

Leona Marlin-Rome: Sint Maarten — Prime Minister

Viorica Dăncilă: Romania — Prime Minister

Paula-Mae Weekes: Trinidad and Tobago — President

Mia Mottley: Barbados — Prime Minister

Sahle-Work Zewde: Ethiopia — President

Salome Zurabishvili: Georgia — President

Karin Keller-Sutter: Switzerland — Member of the Swiss Federal Council (the collective head of state and government)

Viola Amherd: Switzerland — Member of the Swiss Federal Council (the collective head of state and government)

Zuzana Čaputová: Slovakia — President


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How’s your fight for freedom going? Are you making progress in liberating yourself from your unconscious obsessions, bad habits, conditioned responses, and oppressive memories?


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UNUSUAL AND UNEXPECTED JOY

Guidelines to celebrate "Loving the Luxurious Hole at the Heart of Luminous Nothingness," a six-hour jubilee to be performed once every season for as long as you live.

• Empty yourself out completely, and do it gladly.

• With impish daring, lower your expectations all the way down to zero.

• Surrender every remnant of hope you might be tempted to cling to.

• With a jaunty nonchalance, pretend you have nothing to lose.

• Open an enormous welcome in your heart for the messy, unpredictable sweetness of life exactly as it is.

• Say yes to the hilarious beauty of ambiguity and paradox.

• Free yourself to accept every person and every situation on their own terms.


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THE MORE ACCIDENTAL, THE MORE TRUE

"The more accidental, the more true," wrote Boris Pasternak. Scholar Mikhail Epstein expanded this observation: "The more accidental the phenomenon, the more divine its nature, for the divine is what has not been envisioned, what cannot be deduced from general rules, nor irreducible to them."

If we pursue this line of thought to its logical conclusion, we may decide that the most useful sources of illumination are not always holy books, revered dogma, and great truths that everyone has heard. They might also be serendipitous anomalies that erupt into the daily routine and break the trance of ordinary awareness.

"The tiny spark," Epstein writes, "is the precise measure of the holiness of the world."

(Source: Mikhail Epstein, "Judaic Spiritual Traditions in the Poetry of Pasternak and Mandel'shtam." Translated from Russian by Ruth Rischin.)


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DREAMWORK AS A FOUNDATION FOR ACTIVISM

Some people imagine I'm an unruly drug-user with a deranged view of reality. They don't seem cognizant of the fact that parts of reality are deranged, not me.

I assume that maybe they also can't tell the difference between the impact of taking drugs and the influence of doing dreamwork. The latter has been instrumental in shaping my unusual perspectives. I've remembered and recorded and learned from my dreams virtually every single night since I was 19 years old. They've been creative disruptors and rigorous educators.

I'm certainly not a perfect master of transmuting the unripe and less beautiful aspects of my psyche, but I have developed some skill—and working with my dreams has been crucial in that quest.

I am eternally perplexed by how few people draw on the challenging wisdom of their own dreams. More and more of us seem to have come to appreciate the value of meditation and mindfulness, but a comparable embrace of dreamwork hasn’t happened.

(Meditation is a wonderful tool for clearing away the monkey mind's chatter and tuning in to interesting modes of consciousness beyond our default everyday awareness. Dreamwork, on the other hand, helps us work with and transform what's painful and unripe in our own make-up.)

This cultural blindspot, the neglect of our dreams, seems like an unrecognized form of insanity to me. I'm convinced that if dreamwork were a more regular practice—if people were constantly working on wrestling with their shadows and redeeming the toxins in their souls—some of our massive collective problems would dramatically diminish.

Here's my hypothesis: To the degree that we stop projecting evil onto others and face it and deal with it in ourselves, we are far more likely to act with moral equanimity toward everyone else.

So yes, I recommend dreamwork as a foundation for effective activism. Our effort to wrangle compassionately with the shadow within us is an effective ground-level way to purify and strengthen our efforts to help and redeem the outer world.

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"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


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A Charm Against the Language of Politics
by Veronica Patterson

Say over and over the names of things,
the clean nouns: weeping birch, bloodstone, tanager,
Banshee damask rose. Read field guides, atlases,
gravestones.

At the store, bless each apple by kind:
McIntosh, Winesap, Delicious, Jonathan.
Enunciate the vegetables and herbs: okra, calendula.

Go deeper into the terms of some small landscape:
spiders, for example. Then, after a speech on
compromising the environment for technology,
recite the tough, silky structure of webs:

tropical stick, ladder web, mesh web, filmy dome, funnel,
trap door. When you have compared the candidates’ slippery
platforms, chant the spiders: comb footed, round headed,
garden cross, feather legged, ogre faced, black widow.

Remember that most short verbs are ethical: hatch, grow,
spin, trap, eat. Dig deep, pronounce clearly, pull the words
in over your head. Hole up
for the duration.


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SOUL AND SPIRIT

"I call the high and light aspects of my being spirit," says Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, "and the dark and heavy aspects soul."

To his formula I would add my notion that the spirit is about rising above and seeking what's most noble, while the soul is about diving in and wrestling with exactly what is.

Neither realm is better or more important than the other.

Synergize!

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My book
Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia is available at Amazon and Powells.

Below are excerpts.

Love thrives when neither partner takes things personally, so cultivate a devotion to forgiveness and divest yourself of the urge to blame.

Love is a game in which the rules keep changing, so be crafty and improvisational as you stay alert for each unexpected twist of fate.

Love enmeshes you in your partner's unique set of karmic complications, so make sure you're very interested in his or her problems.

Love is a laboratory where you can uncover secrets about yourself that have previously been hidden, so be ravenously curious.

Love is never a perfect match of totally compatible saints, so don't let sterile fantasies seduce you away from flawed but fecund realities.

Love is not a low-maintenance machine, so work hard on cultivating its unpredictable organic wonders.

Love is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of DreamWorks or Disney, so don't let your romantic story be infected by the entertainment industry's simplistic, sentimental myths about intimate relationships.

Anything you'd like to add?


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YOU'RE HEREBY RELIEVED

You’re hereby relieved of any responsibility you think you have to keep everyone's illusions afloat (including your own).

See how much fun you can have by telling the lush, pulsating, up-to-the-minute truth with kindness and elegance.


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YOUR HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL

According to the esoteric spiritual tradition of Western hermeticism, you have a personal Holy Guardian Angel who's always ready to give you help, as well as to lovingly kick your ass.

Some modern people snort derisively at this notion. They're fundamentalist materialists, denying the possibility that something can exist if it's not perceptible by our five senses or by instruments that humans have invented.

If your temperament and training align you with the materialists' ideology, I'll ask you to temporarily suspend your skepticism so that you might try the following experiment:

Act as if you have a personal Holy Guardian Angel whose job it is to help you lose your illusions, liberate you from suffering, and make you smarter.

What clarifying questions will you ask the HGA? What precise assistance will you request?


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YOU NEED MAGIC EVERY DAY

Every day, you have to wade through a relentless surge of soul-less facts. The experience tends to shut down your sense of wonder.

Every day, you're over-exposed to cynical narratives that have been sucked free of delight and mystery.

But here's the news: YOU NEED MAGIC EVERY DAY.

That's why you have to make such strenuous efforts to keep your world enchanted.

How do you do it? If you feel moved to tell me, please do at Truthrooster@gmail.com.

P.S. Is it possible that you will eventually develop beautiful capacities and sublime understandings that you can't even imagine right now?


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WHAT DO YOU WANT?

I invite you to write the following on a piece of paper and keep it under your pillow.

"I, [put your name here], do solemnly swear on this day [put date here] that I will devote myself for a period of seven days to learning my most important desire. No other thought will be more uppermost in my mind. No other concern will divert me from tracking down every clue that might assist me in my drive to ascertain the one experience in this world that deserves my brilliant passion above all others."


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ADMIRE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!

"Admire as much as you can. Most people do not admire enough."
- Vincent van Gogh


Admiring people who are worthy of our admiration doesn't cost us anything. Same with admiring animals and plants and natural phenomena: no pain involved. Same with admiring great accomplishments by our fellow humans: no agony or agitation required.


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WANT TO GET YOUR PERSONAL CHART READ?

Do I give personal astrology readings? Although I love to, I'm not doing them these days. In addition to writing "Free Will Astrology" and my expanded audio horoscopes, I'm also working on new books and attending to that high art referred to as "having a life." There's no time left over!

If you want your chart done, I recommend a colleague whose approach to reading astrology charts closely matches my own. She's my wife, RO LOUGHRAN. We've been enjoying regular conversations about astrology since 1989! Her website's here.

Ro utilizes a blend of well-trained intuition, emotional warmth, and a high degree of 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. This enables her to integrate psychological insight with the cosmological perspective that astrology offers.

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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"If the Angel comes, it will be because you have convinced her, not by tears, but by your humble resolve to always be a beginner."

- Rainer Maria Rilke


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"There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one." So says a character in Kazuo Ishiguro's novel *The Unconsoled.*


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