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Week of March 29th, 2018

What We Can Do to Help Each Other?

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.

Sign up here for your free subscription.

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In response to our culture's ever-rising levels of noise and frenzy, rites of purification have become more popular. Many people now recognize the value of taking periodic retreats. Withdrawing from their usual compulsions, they go on fasts, avoid mass media, practice celibacy, or even abstain from speaking. While we applaud cleansing ceremonies like this, we recommend balancing them with periodic outbreaks of an equal and opposite custom: the Bliss Blitz.

During this celebration, you tune out the numbing banality of the daily grind. But instead of shrinking into asceticism, you indulge in uninhibited explorations of joy, release, and expansion. Turning away from the mildly stimulating distractions you seek out when you're bored or worried, you become inexhaustibly resourceful as you search for unsurpassable sources of cathartic pleasure. Try it for a day or a week: the Bliss Blitz.

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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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One of life's great bounties is its changeableness, which ensures that boredom will never last very long. You may underestimate the intensity of your longing for continual transformation, but the universe doesn't.

That's why it provides you with the boundless entertainment of your ever-shifting story. That's why it is always revising the challenges it sends your way, providing your curious soul with a rich variety of unpredictable teachings.

Neuroscientists have turned up evidence that suggests you love this aspect of the universe's behavior. They say that you are literally addicted to learning. At the moment when you grasp a lesson you've been grappling with, your brain experiences a rush of a natural opium-like chemical, boosting your pleasure levels. You crave this experience. You thrive on it.

So the universe is built in such a way as to discourage boredom. It does this not just by generating an endless stream of interesting novelty, and not only by giving you an instinctive lust to keep learning, but also by making available an abundance of ways to break free of your habitual thoughts.

You can go to school, travel, read, listen to experts, converse with people who think differently from you, and absorb the works of creative artists. You can replenish and stretch your mind through exercise, sex, psychotherapy, spiritual practices, and self-expression. You can take drugs and medicines that alter your perspectives.

And here's the best part of this excellent news: Every method that exists for expanding your consciousness is more lavishly available right now than it has been at any previous time in history.

Never before have there been so many schools, educational programs, workshops, and enrichment courses. Virtually any subject or skill you want to study, you can. You don't even have to leave your home to do it. The number of online classes is steadily mounting . . . .

Read the rest of this essay here.

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The preceding blips are excerpts from my book
Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia. It's available at Amazon and Powells.

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You: "What do you talk about when you want to activate the imagination of someone you care for?"

Me: "I talk about the beauty they possess but don't know much about."

You: "How do you become smarter in the way you love?"

Me: "Before I ask anyone to consider changing their attitude or behavior, I first change myself in that exact way."

You: "What's the skill that you may be destined to become a master of, even though it's difficult for you to learn?"

Me: "Knowing the difference between ego-driven obsession and compassionate passion."

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1. Sunny, breezy ripples on your special day

2. A wild dream not quite hidden inside a safe dream

3. Time's gifts harvested at a moment of fierce weakness

4. Riddles and help from the Princess of Cups

5. Unexpected celebration; don't resist

6. You meet an alchemist disguised as a biologist

7. Waves of joyous chanting in the distance

8. Inspiration dissipates fear -- pink dawn

9. Song of the weird, sweet healers

10. Message written in disappearing ink reappears

11. The valuable illusions of youth

12. Clarity in all of its shocking splendor

13. Green earth basks in blue moonlight

14. A whisper in the dark frees you from loss

15. Are your ready for your close-up?

16. Meeting the Guest on an island you love

17. A lily and a rose on your doorstep

18. A birch tree tells you a joke

19. A memory recreated out of the thick air

20. What renegade light reaches the ocean's floor

21. A forgotten bell rings, announcing your victory

22. Hummingbird swarm, delight or agitation

23. What comes next






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

Do you find that you're getting more skillful at minimizing your suffering? Are you turning out to be the hero of your own life?

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Ken Burns says one of the things that alarms him most at this moment in culture is that so many people are eager to express their opinions and so few are interested in telling stories.

So tell me a story! We'll talk about opinions later.

Here's one of my stories.

Send yours to me at

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Ondinnonk is a Haudenosaunee word with two related meanings: 1. a secret wish of the soul, especially as revealed in dreams; 2. the spiritual part of our nature that longs to do good deeds.

How's your ondinnonk doing?

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You taste delicious
Animals understand you
Your importance is unusual

The funny faces you make are interesting to look at
You fight for power in all the right ways

Ecstatic gratitude is pouring out of you
I see the best in you
Your divine attitude

You have strong feet and a pioneer heart

No one can overflow as well as you can

You are famous with God
You are famous with me
You are famous with the snakes and birds
and roses and pines
and oceans and earth and sky

A lost tribe salutes you from the other side of the veil

You remind me of a star

Hear the song.

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Question: What are the lifestyle choices that enhance your awareness and intelligence?

I invite you to send your answers to me.

Go to
and click on "Email Rob" at the bottom of the page.

Below are some of my answers.

I take good care of my body, emotional life, soul, spirit, and imagination.

Cultivate love as my primary orientation. Treat people well.

Listen to other kinds of intelligence besides humans'.

Listen listen listen. Be influence-able. Be willing to transform.

Relish and wrestle with and honor my nightly dreams.

Meditate 24/7.

Practice reverence for all of creation.

Understand the universe as divine play.

Consult Goddess on every decision.

Identify the best gifts I have to give and give them on a regular basis.

Figure out practical ways to express my compassion and lust for social justice.

Trust desire.

Feel gratitude for all I'm given.

Celebrate being alive even when I'm fearful or hurt.

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Of the many things that have gone right for you during your time on Earth, the most crucial was your birth. As you crossed over the threshold, trading the warm dark sanctuary for the bright noisy enigma, you didn't die!

It was a difficult act of high magic that involved many people who worked very hard in your behalf. The skills they provided in helping you navigate your rite of passage were in turn made possible by previous generations of threshold-tenders who bequeathed their expertise.

Months before that initiation, a more secret miracle bloomed: Your life began as a single cell, spawned by the explosive fusion of two highly specialized bundles of chromosomes. How could that tiny package of raw material have possibly grown a brain and liver and heart and stomach over a period of a few months? What inscrutable genius guided and oversaw the emergence of your fully formed infant body, that virtuoso creation, from the slimmest of clues?

P.S. You have continued to grow since your birth, with millions of new cells continually blooming to replace the old ones that are always dying. At this moment, you're host to about 50 trillion cells, and each of them is really a sentient being in its own right. They all act together as a community, implementing the monumental collaboration you call your body.

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"May a good vision catch me
May a benevolent vision take hold of me, and move me
May a deep and full vision come over me, and burst open around me

May a luminous vision inform me, enfold me.
May I awaken into the story that surrounds,
May I awaken into the beautiful story.

May the wondrous story find me;
May the wildness that makes beauty arise between two lovers
arise beautifully between my body and the body of this land,
between my flesh and the flesh of this earth,
here and now,
on this day,

May I taste something sacred."

?David Abram

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The preceding blips are excerpts from my book
Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia. It's available at Amazon and Powells.

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In years past I've done numerous live shows and public appearances, but these days I'm hermetically sealed into my Cancerian sanctuary, working cheerfully and doggedly on new books.

I reckon I'll have a coming out party in the latter part of 2018 or the first part of 2019, with maybe a tour of North America and a run of my pagan revival show, "Sacred Uproar."

For now, here's a video of my show at Symbiosis.

Here's a video of an interview with me by an Italian journalist.

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

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"Something unknown is doing we don't know what," said astrophysicist Arthur Eddington about the universe. And we are the beneficiaries.

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The New York Times has finally buckled under my relentless pronoiac pressure, and is now offering a weekly GOOD NEWS section. Check it out.

Here are some headlines from recent stories:

A new national park system in Chile will be three times the size of Yosemite and Yellowstone combined.

Shade-grown coffee beans are good for birds.

Mr. Rogers will be immortalized on a postage stamp.

Two drugs could delay the spread of prostate cancer for years.

Some animals can count better than you.

India wants to give half a billion people free health care.

Tens of thousands of ancient Maya structures were revealed by lasers.

A special police force in the Netherlands helps animals in trouble.

American teenagers are smoking fewer cigarettes.

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I invite you to nurture a goal that stretches your possibilities and opens your mind . . . a wild hope whose pursuit makes you smarter and stronger even if you never fully accomplish it.

I invite you to have an improbable quest playing at the edge of your imagination: a heroic task that provokes deep thoughts and noble passions even if it incites smoldering torment . . . an extravagant dream that's a bit farfetched but not entirely insane.

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Using our fears and superstitions and delusions as fuel, our monkey minds are churning out fake news about ourselves all the time.

One possible remedy: Treat our monkey mind's fake news with the same healthy, exuberant skepticism we do toward politicians' and media's fake news.

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"I've found a nice balance," writes EarthMover, "between living like someone who has overdosed on delusional optimism and someone who thinks everything and everyone sucks. I can see things as they really are instead of through either rose-colored glasses or crap-colored glasses.

"That means I can cultivate true objectivity, not the fake cynical kind. I free myself from negative emotional biases that used to cloud my ability to see the partially hidden beauty all around me.

"At the same time, I'm not addicted to the idea that I should be eternally happy and blithe and sweet. When the dark moods descend on me, I trust them. I know they are openings into equally sacred perceptions and insights."

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Welcome to the Beauty and Truth Lab. We're coming to you live from your repressed memories of paradise, reminding you that you can have anything you need if you will just ask for it in an unselfish way.

Welcome to the end of your nightmares, beauty and truth fans!

The world is young, your soul is free, and a naked celebrity is dying to talk to you about your most intimate secrets right now.

Just kidding.

In fact, the world is young, your soul is free, and at any moment you will feel a flood of ecstatic compassion for salamanders, oak trees, clouds, toasters, convenience store clerks, and even the ocean itself.

I'm your host. My name is the Sacred Janitor at the Edge of Time, and I'm proud to announce that this is a perfect moment.

It's a perfect moment for many reasons, but especially because you are on the verge of finally figuring out exactly what it is you really want more than anything else.

Bravo! Viva! Whoopee! Oooo Eureka! Hallelujah! Abracadabra!
Bravo! Viva! Whoopee! Oooo Eureka! Hallelujah! Abracadabra!

The Beauty and Truth Lab's experiments are brought to you by the pine trees whose seeds are so tightly compacted within their protective covering that only the intense heat of a forest fire can free them and allow them to sprout.


Hear this welcome message as a song

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"Dear Rob: I sure don't like so much God stuff mixed into my horoscopes. Can you cut it out, please? I understand it's common for the desperate masses to believe in an Ultra Being, but you? Pul-lease. You're smarter than that. I just can't abide all the 'Divine Wow' and 'Cackling Goddess' nonsense that you dispense; it doesn't jibe with the practical, sensible, unsuperstitious, non-mushy world that I hold dear -- and that I see represented mostly accurately in your horoscopes. -Sally Skeptic."

Dear Sally: I can't accommodate you. You will have to keep dealing with the cognitive dissonance that arises from reading the oracles of a "smart" person who also has an intimate relationship with the Amazing Everything.

Just so you're clear about how I perceive the Living Intelligent Consciousness That Pervades Every Cubic Inch of the Universe: It is the interplay of the Supernal Hermaphrodites: the Divine Wow mistakenly called "God" and the Blooming HaHa mistakenly called "Goddess."

More precisely, it is the Torrential and Torturous Ecstasy spawned anew every nanosecond by the glide of the Divine Wow's virile eternity against the Blooming HaHa's voluptuous infinity. It is the Cosmic F*** that recreates the universe again and again in every nanosecond.

Here's my place in that mystery: I aspire to locate myself in the crux of the flux of the Cosmic F***.

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If you want your personal 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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The quirky and elegant Conduit did a ten-page interview with me in its recent issue. Here are excerpts:

CONDUIT MAGAZINE: Rob, can you guide us in ways we might get more in touch with our creativity via some of your approach to the world?

ROB BREZSNY: The most important thing that I can do as someone who aspires to be a creative person is to listen and to be receptive. And that entails cultivating the skill to tune in to all the different kinds of intelligence there are around us, not just the human intelligence, although that?s crucial, but also all the non-human intelligences: the animals, the plants, the elemental intelligences. The wind, the rain, the sun. The critters that live within us. The cells, the bacteria.

I regard the entire world as crammed with all these kinds of intelligences. As a creator, my job is to be eternally curious, to be alert, to tune into what all these intelligences are telling me. It?s overwhelming if you take this practice seriously, so there?s certainly some aspect of being a creator that involves discernment and the formulation of intention: "What is it that I need to learn now?"

For instance, I?m working on a book about how the collapse of the ecosystem is impacting us personally ? on a psychological level, on a psycho-spiritual level, not just how it?s causing changes in weather and shifts in climate. As I do the research and writing for this book, there are lots of different questions that come up, and I formulate those questions and I present them to the creatures of the world, and I ask, "What do you have to say?" It?s this blend of formulating intuition and being a good listener that?s at the heart of my creative practice.


CONDUIT: Can you give an example or two of our psychological reactions to climate change?

BREZSNY: The one that I will say impacts me most directly is the fact that we?re in the middle of the sixth mass extinction, that we are losing species at a rate that?s unprecedented since the dinosaurs disappeared. It means we?re losing all of the intelligences they have and their power to inform us about the truth of reality.

And, of course, it also means we?re losing biodiversity. The biologist E. O. Wilson says that this is the most damaging thing that?s occurring, the loss of biodiversity, because the loss of any particular species in any particular ecosphere sends ripples across the entire ecosphere and shrinks the way that the entire ecosphere works. So for me there is a constant awareness of the death of long-term life-forms on this planet that is devastating to me.

There?s a kind of constant funeral ? I don?t mean to say that I?m depressed and demoralized all the time ? but I do tune into this on a regular basis, and the parade of death that?s going on in the natural world is very sad to me.

I think people don?t realize that they?re experiencing the same thing that I am. They don?t understand that the sadness in their life has to do with these extinctions. They think it?s something more personal. It helps to know that there?s this collective grief that we?re not fully tuned into that?s interfering with our ability to enjoy life.


BREZSNY: To return to the issue of mass extinction: I?m interested in a hypothesis articulated by Jonathan Zap and Daniel Pinchbeck.

They propose that being on the verge of an ecocidal catastrophe may be a disguised opportunity for the human race to expedite the evolution of consciousness in ways that would not otherwise happen. With the possibility of doom hanging over us, we must get smarter faster in order to ensure our collective survival.

Zap and Pinchbeck invoke the ancient Roman legend of the Sword of Damocles, which they interpret to mean that when we are in great danger, and therefore our motivation to solve our predicament is heightened, as is our power to outgrow the habits that got us into this pickle.

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CONDUIT: Can you talk about your relationship with intuition?

ROB BREZSNY: One reliable source of intuition is formulating good questions and having an intention behind the questions: "What is it that I need to learn today?", "What is it that I need to learn today?", "What is it that I need to learn to live my life better?", "What is it that I need next to write my book?"

My sense is that intuition often reveals what you need to do next, although not necessarily the big picture. And if we're content with not pressuring intuition to always give us a mountaintop perspective, but rather just to answer for us, "What happens next? What do I need to do next?", I think that's a better relationship with intuition.

Four more things I'll mention about intuition: Working with dreams is fraught with the possibility of descending into chaos, but with practice and the development of skills, it can become a crucial source of intuition. I really value my ability to do one of the primary Jungian practices, which is shadow work -- dealing with those aspects of me that are unripe and dumb. Dreams have been crucial in helping me unlock the magic of dealing with my shadow and transforming my shadow.

Another good practice for intuition is to ask the question, "What does my death say?" On one's deathbed, what does one want to look back at and say, "That was important. That was important. That was important. No, that wasn't so important." So one's death can be a tonic informant that helps intuition really focus and come into maximum usefulness.

The other thing is that intuition is aided immeasurably by moving, by walking. I don't know if that's true for everybody. Walks and nature are important for me being able to tune into intuition that turns out to be useful and enduring. So often I'll take a notebook with me, or a recorder with me, to capture those intuitions that come to me while I'm walking.

There's one other thing. The practice of intuition takes place best when you have gone as far as you can with your intellect. In other words, I can't skip the stage of the process of research, of thinking hard, of using my logic, of being reasonable. That's crucial for generating intuition that's accurate and useful.

And once I've done the research, once I've tried to think my way to being as objective as possible -- and that involves using the scientific method -- then I hand it over to intuition and say, "Well, what more can you tell me, given that I've come this far with all this analysis? What can you add to it?"

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Here's more of the interview that Conduit magazine did with me.

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

ROB BREZSNY: My approach to astrology is quite different from a lot of mainstream astrologers. I'm not alone in that. There are a few colleagues who share what I might call an allergy to how traditional astrology is practiced. I already had that allergy when I was young, when I first began writing the column many years ago.

Back then, 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.

I didn't like astrology columns, because they were watered-down versions of the complex art of astrology, which was practiced, after all, by seminal psychologist Carl Jung.

So when I first got the opportunity to write an astrology column -- I was dirt poor and didn't have a job -- I decided if somebody's going to do it, it might as well be me, someone who's trained in poetry, loves language, 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, dissolving, and becoming active in our lives. That can instruct us on how to use our free will to best activate the best versions of those archetypal forces as they coalesce and dissolve.

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

My aspiration is not to condemn my readers to a particular fate that they 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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For more of my description on how I got started writing my column "Free Will Astrology," go here.

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For more of my views on the difference between fearful fantasies and accurate intuitions, go here.

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