Week of February 27th, 2020

Stubborn Gladness

I feel like if I were to get another tattoo, it would probably be "stubborn, stubborn, stubborn gladness."

—Elizabeth Gilbert


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MY GIFT PAGE

If you enjoy reading my free horoscopes and free newsletter, or if you like listening to my free music, I invite you to make a contribution to support my work.

Visit my Gift Page — and contribute via the "Friends and Family" option.

No pressure, though! Whether or not you donate, I will continue to give away free stuff. And 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.

Do you know about all of my free stuff? Here's a list:

My Instagram page

My Twitter page

My music page

More free music

My website

Excerpts from my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranois

My entire book The Televisionary Oracle

Videos of my performances

More videos of my performances

My Tumblr page

At the end of each year, I write a series of —previews of the issues you'll face and the opportunities coming your way

Here's a list of
all the free stuff I give away


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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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FREE YOUR BODY!

Free your body. Don't ruminate and agonize about it. Do it simply and easily. LOVE YOUR BODY!

Be brave and forceful, gentle and graceful. Free your sublimely imperfect, riotously intelligent body. Allow it to be itself in all of its mysterious glory. Love your body exactly as it is.

Praise your body. Thank your body. Tell it you adore its uncanny majesty . . . you yearn to learn more of its secrets . . . you promise to treat it as your beloved ally.

Be in love with your body, no shame, no apology. Be in awe of your body's unfathomable power to endlessly carry out the millions of chemical reactions that keep you alive and thriving.

How can you not be overwhelmed with reverence for your hungry, curious, resourceful, unpredictable body?

Study your body's magic. Exult in the blessings it bestows on you. Celebrate and hone its fierce animal elegance.


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CELEBRATION OF LIFE

My father died recently after a long and successful life. His wife of many decades (my mom), along with his four children and their four daughters, gathered to celebrate his life.

Of the many reasons I am grateful for him: The tender and respectful and generous way he consistently treated my mother—as well as other women—was crucial in influencing me to become a devoted feminist at an early age.

My commitment to healing toxic gender roles and building emotionally intelligent new models of relationship are central to my life, and my dad played a key role in helping me develop that part of my soul's code.

More words and photos about this are here

(In the photo, I'm the one on the far left.)


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BEING KIND IS GOOD FOR YOU

Research shows:

1. Exercising compassion stimulates the same pleasure centers associated with the drive for food, water and sex.

2. Practicing compassion with intention has a positive physiological effect on the body. It can lower blood pressure, boost your immune response and increase your calmness.

3. Not only are we hard-wired to be kind, but it is essential for the survival of our species.

4. Recognizing common fears or vulnerabilities rather than differences -- be it with a difficult friend, an abrasive colleague or a noisy neighbor -- calms the nervous system, boosting feelings of contentment and self worth.

More


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JOYFUL REBELLION. Tending to my sanity and being in service to the world require me to be in a chronic state of rebellion.

But here's an important caveat: While the rebellion can and should be partially fueled by anger at the injustices of misogyny, plutocracy, racism, militarism, jingoism, and transphobia, it must be primarily motivated by love and joy and the desire to bestow blessings.

A healthy proportion, at least for me, seems to be 15% rage, indignation, and complaint, and 85% compassion, celebration, and lust for life.


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YOU FLOWER AND FLEX

Above willow trees healing from false warmth.
under star jelly and floating spiders,
under golden frogs raining from the sky—
who knows how?—
you flash and fly

Amid swollen joys,
exploded hopes,
and night chimes.
amid prayer stones,
amid cloud-scriptures,
with the pregnant mist from the west
and the spree-fucking wind,
you flare and flow

Deeper, older,
between the borrowed morning light
and its protectors,
between the hidden salamanders
that give names to the earth
and the songbirds
that only sing when necessary,
you flicker and flourish

Newer than the bone and sinew
yet to be predicted,
more valuable than the gold
buried too deep to retrieve,
stronger than the blood
that renews itself every winter,
you flower and flex


—by me


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THE MORE SPECIFIC YOUR GOALS, THE BETTER

"Having very broad and abstract goals may maintain and exacerbate depression. Goals that are not specific are more ambiguous and, therefore, harder to visualize. If goals are hard to visualize it may result in reduced expectation of realizing them which in turn results in lower motivation to try and achieve them."

- Researchers at the institute of Health, Psychology, and Society

More


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Congrats if you're having these symptoms:

* spontaneous eruptions of gratitude

* declining fascination with conflict

* mounting inability to tolerate boring influences that resist transformation

* increasing knack for recognizing and receiving the love available to you


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WHAT'S THE STORY YOU WILL CREATE FOR YOURSELF IN 2020?

I've gathered together all of the Long-Range, Big-Picture Horoscopes I wrote for you in the past few weeks, and bundled them in one place. Go here to read a compendium of your forecasts for 2020.

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In addition to these, I've created EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPES that go even further in Exploring Your Long-Term Destiny in 2020.

What will be the story of your life in the coming months? What new influences will be headed your way? What fresh resources will you be able to draw on? How can you conspire with life to create the best possible future for yourself?

To listen to these three-part, in-depth reports, go here.

Register and/or log in through the main page, and then access the horoscopes by clicking on "Long Range Prediction." Choose from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Each part is a standalone report, not dependent on the other two.

If you'd like a boost of inspiration to fuel you in your quest for beauty and truth and love and meaning, tune in to my meditations on your Big-Picture outlook.

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Each of the three-part reports is seven to nine minutes long. The cost is $6 per report. There are discounts for the purchase of multiple reports.

P.S. You can also listen to a short-term Expanded Audio Horoscope for the coming week.




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YOU CREATE AND CHANGE

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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I'm a big fan of the wise astrologer and witch Amanda Yates Garcia


Here's her message for Mercury Retrograde, which is happening now:

WELCOME TO MERCURY RETROGRADE!

I love how the astrology of Mercury in retrograde creates built in review periods for our year.

For me, communication, particularly via technology, can feel like an invasive species. I need to cut it back so my native plant spirit can flourish.

For instance, this Mercury Retrograde I’m most excited to:

* Admit to the Goddess that my email inbox has become unmanageable and that I need Mercury’s help to fix it.

* Get in touch with an old friend who’s seemed upset with me lately but hasn’t shared why. I’m looking forward to clearing that up.

* Finish reading the books I have sitting on my nightstand — and take notes. No new books until I finish these old ones!

* It’s spring, and warmer now, so I want to return to my practice of drinking shots of lemon, ginger, hemp oil and turmeric juice in the morning again.

* No Instagram until after 10am.

* And finally, sorting out all my confusing and unmanageable passwords!

What about you? Which of these are YOU most excited about tackling? What’s your Mercury Retrograde pleasure?

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And check out Amanda Yates Garcia's "6 Pleasures for Mercury Retrograde"


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TWO SECRETS

Always keep 2 pieces of paper in your pockets. One says, "I am a speck of dust;" the other, "The world was created for me."

- Rabbi Bunim


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I INVITE YOU

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.


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CUTTING LOOSE

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose from
all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell you where it is, and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path – but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be
lost, learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.

—William Stafford, “Cutting Loose” in "Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems"


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RECEPTIVITY REMEDIES

To read the entire piece, go here.

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.

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To achieve what the Zen Buddhists call "beginner's mind," you dispense with all preconceptions and enter each situation as if seeing it for the first time.

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities," wrote Shunryu Suzuki in his book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, "but in the expert's there are few."

As much as I love beginner's mind, though, I advocate an additional discipline: cultivating a beginner's heart. That means approaching every encounter imbued with a freshly invoked wave of love that is as pure as if you're feeling it for the first time.

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To be the best pronoiac explorer you can be, I suggest you adopt an outlook that combines the rigorous objectivity of a scientist, the "beginner's mind" of Zen Buddhism, the "beginner's heart" of pronoia, and the compassionate friendliness of the Dalai Lama.

Blend a scrupulously dispassionate curiosity with a skepticism driven by expansiveness, not spleen.

To pull this off, you'll have to be willing to regularly suspend your brilliant theories about the way the world works. Accept with good humor the possibility that what you've learned in the past may not be a reliable guide to understanding the fresh phenomenon that's right in front of you.

Be suspicious of your biases, even the rational and benevolent ones. Open your heart as you strip away the interpretations that your emotions might be inclined to impose.

"Before we can receive the unbiased truth about anything," wrote my teacher Ann Davies, "we have to be ready to ignore what we would like to be true."

At the same time, don't turn into a hard-ass, poker-faced robot. Keep your feelings moist and receptive. Remember your natural affection for all of creation. Enjoy the power of tender sympathy as it drives you to probe for the unimaginable revelations of every new moment.

"Before we can receive the entire truth about anything," said Ann Davies, "we have to love it."


Read the rest of "RECEPTIVITY REMEDIES"


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THE POWER OF PRONOIAC THINKING

"Scientific American" chimes in on the power of pronoiac thinking: "Your thoughts can release abilities beyond normal limits. Better vision, stronger muscles -- expectations can have surprising effects."

Excerpt:
"Thinking that we are limited is itself a limiting factor. There is accumulating evidence that suggests that our thoughts are often capable of extending our cognitive and physical limits."

More.

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I overcame myself, the sufferer; I carried my own ashes to the mountains; I invented a brighter flame for myself.

—Friedrich Nietzsche


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ELATIONSHIP LOVE SPELLS FOR BEAUTY AND TRUTH LAB ALLIES

The Beauty and Truth Lab's rapturists have formulated a batch of personal ads for you to borrow. If you're a Crafty Optimist or Mystical Activist or Ceremonial Teaser who aspires to put the elation back in relationship, check them out here.


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THE ECSTATIC ROOTS OF PRONOIA

"The Ecstatic Roots of Pronoia," a piece from my book, has graphic references to love, tenderness, bliss, and rapture. Don't read it if you're offended by such references. Here's the link.


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CLUES TO YOUR LOVED ONES' MYSTERIES

"Everyone carries with them at least one piece to someone else's puzzle." So wrote Lawrence Kushner in his book, Honey from the Rock.

In other words, you have in your possession certain clues to your loved ones' destinies -- secrets they haven't discovered themselves.

Wouldn't you love to hand over those clues -- to make a gift of the puzzle pieces that are most needed by the people you care about?

Search your depths for insights you've never communicated. Tell truths you haven't found a way to express before now. More than you know, you have the power to mobilize your companions' dreams.


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YOU CAN'T OWN LOVE

You understand that you can never own love, right? No matter how much someone adores you today, no matter how much you adore someone, you can't force that unique state of grace to keep its shape forever. It will inevitably evolve or mutate, perhaps into a different version of tender caring, but maybe not.

From there it will continue to change, into either yet another version of interesting affection, or who knows what else?

Are you making any progress in getting the hang of this tricky wisdom?


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ACT LIKE YOU'RE IN LOVE

I invite you to act like a person who's in love. Even if you're not currently in the throes of passion for a special someone, pretend you are. Everywhere you go, exude that charismatic blend of shell-shocked contentment and blissful turmoil that comes over you when you're infatuated. Let everyone you meet soak up the delicious wisdom you exude. Dispense free blessings and extra slack like a rich saint high on natural endorphins.


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THE ANGEL OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Imagine that the merger of you and your best ally has created a third thing that hovers near you, protecting and guiding the two of you. Call this third thing an angel. Or call it the soul of your connection or the inspirational force of your relationship. Or call it the special work the two of you can accomplish together. And let this magical presence be the third point of your love triangle.


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LOVE NEEDS IMAGINATION

"For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining."

—James Hillman


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SKILLFUL AUDACITY

Gertrude Stein defined love as "the skillful audacity required to share an inner life." It suggests that expressing the truth about who you are is not something that amateurs do very well. Practice and ingenuity are required.

It also implies that courage is an essential element of successful intimacy. You've got to be adventurous if you want to weave your life together with another's.


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"I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out."

—Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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"Love imperfectly. Be a love idiot. Let yourself forget any love ideal."

—Sark

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"You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day’s wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallionly fellow vagabond, my tempter and star. I want you."

—George Bernard Shaw

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"I love you between shadow and soul. I love you as the plant that hasn’t bloomed yet, and carries hidden within itself the light of flowers. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. Because of you, the dense fragrance that rises from the earth lives in my body, rioting with hunger for the eternity of our victorious kisses."

—Pablo Neruda

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"Be my ruckus, my perfect non-sequitur. Be my circuit-breaker, my lengthening shadows at dusk, my nest of pine needles, my second-story window. Be my if-you-stare-long-enough-you’ll-see. Be my subatomic particle. Be my backbeat, my key of C minor, my surly apostle, my scandalous reparté, my maximum payload. Be my simmering, seething, flickering, radiating, shimmering, and undulating."

—Andrew Varnon

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"Love is the only game where two can play and both win."

—Erma Freesman.

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When I think of you,
fireflies in the marsh rise
like the soul's jewels,
lost to eternal longing,
abandoning my body

—Izumi Shikibu

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"Love is a great beautifier."

—Louisa May Alcott

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Fall in love over and over again every day. Love your family, your neighbors, your enemies, and yourself. And don't stop with humans. Love animals, plants, stones, even galaxies.

—Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat

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"The air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy. The merest whisper of your name awakes in me a shuddering sixth sense. I am longing for a kiss that makes time stand still."

—a blend of words from Edgar Allan Poe, Pamela Moore, and John Keats

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"We are pain and what cures pain, both. We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours. I want to hold you close like a lute, so that we can cry out with loving. Would you rather throw stones at a mirror? I am your mirror and here are the stones."

—Rumi

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"I love you more than it’s possible to love anyone. I love you more than love itself. I love you more than you love yourself. I love you more than God loves you. I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone in the history of the universe. In fact, I love you *more* than I love you."

—Me

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"For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining."

—James Hillman

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"Our love is like a well in the wilderness where time watches over the wandering lightning. Our sleep is a secret tunnel that leads to the scent of apples carried on the wind. When I hold you, I hold everything that is–swans, volcanoes, river rocks, maple trees drinking the fragrance of the moon, bread that the fire adores. In your life I see everything that lives."

—Pablo Neruda

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"Your body needs to be held and to hold, to be touched and to touch. None of these needs is to be despised, denied, or repressed. But you have to keep searching for your body’s deeper need, the need for genuine love. Every time you are able to go beyond the body’s superficial desires for love, you are bringing your body home and moving toward integration and unity."

—Henri Nouwen


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"Let’s heat up the night to a boil. Let’s cook every drop of liquid out of our flesh till we sizzle, not a drop of come left. We are pots on too high a flame. Our insides char and flake dark like sinister snow idling down. We breathe out smoke. We die out and sleep covers us in ashes. We lie without dreaming, empty as clean grates. Yet we wake rebuilt, clattering and hungry as waterfalls leaping off, rushing into the day, roaring our bright intentions. It is the old riddle in the Yiddish song, what can burn and not burn up, a passion that gives birth to itself every day."

—Marge Piercy


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SOLO INTIMACY

Whenever I write about romance and togetherness, I attract a storm of complaints from readers who are solitary. "How dare you imply that everyone has or should have a partner!?" is a typical protest. "I'm quite content being alone!" is another.

Let it be known that I do not believe your happiness depends on having a spouse or lover. What I do suspect, though, is that your soul needs some sacred relationship in order to thrive, whether it's with a good friend, a beloved animal, a beautiful patch of earth, the Divine Wow, or anything that's not you.

Whenever I invite you to seek deeper, wilder communion, feel free to interpret it as a call to explore any kind of intimacy that draws you closer to the secret heart of the world.


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