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Week of September 13th, 2018

What works for you? What makes you feel at home in the world?

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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I invite you to keep a running list of all the ways life delights you and helps you and energizes you. Describe everyday miracles you take for granted . . . the uncanny powers you possess . . . the small joys that occur so routinely you forget how much they mean to you . . . the steady flow of benefits bestowed on you by people you know and don't know.

What works for you? What makes you feel at home in the world?

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"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do."
—Georgia O'Keeffe

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Pessimism is enshrined as a hallmark of worldliness. Compulsive skepticism masquerades as perceptiveness. Mean-spirited irony is chic. Stories about treachery and degradation provoke a visceral thrill in millions of people who think of themselves as reasonable and smart. Beautiful truths are suspect and ugly truths are readily believed.

So it's hard work to be lovers of life -- taboo, against-the-grain work. We've got to be both wrathful insurrectionaries and crafty optimists. We've got to cultivate cheerful buoyancy even as we resist the temptation to swallow thousands of delusions that have been carefully forged and seductively packaged by those among us who have bravely volunteered to play the role of know-it-all deceivers.

We have to learn how to stay in a good yet unruly mood as we overthrow the sour, puckered mass hallucination that is mistakenly referred to as "reality."

Maybe most importantly, we have to be dedicated to the cause of beauty and truth and love even as we keep our imaginations wild and hungry and free. We have to be both disciplined and rowdy.

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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. Here website is here.

Ro utilizes a blend of well-trained intuition, emotional warmth, and 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. She integrates psychological insight with astrology's cosmological perspective.

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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Remember that at any given moment there are a thousand things you can love.

—David Levithan

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As long as you can go on creating new roles for yourself, you are not vanquished.

―Gail Godwin

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Sergei Diaghilev was a Russian ballet impresario who founded Ballets Russes, one of the 20th century's great dance companies. At one point in his career he met French playwright Jean Cocteau. Diaghilev dared Cocteau to write a piece for a future Ballets Russes production. "Astonish me!" he said.

It took seven years, but Cocteau met the challenge. He created Parade, a ballet that also featured music by Eric Satie and sets by Pablo Picasso.

Now let's imagine I'm Diaghilev and you're Cocteau. I've just told you, "Astonish me!" How will you respond? What surprising beauty will you come up with? What marvels will you unleash?

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Cosmic Joke Alert: Long-term luck may initially be disguised as short-term upheaval.


All your adult life, the universe has played tricks on you. Some of them have been so convoluted and enigmatic that you didn't even get the joke. But lately the universe's pranks have become more comprehensible, and have even seemed to display a touch of kindness.

What's going on? Have you finally paid off your ancient karmic debt? Has your sense of humor expanded so much that you can now laugh at what once made you cringe?

Maybe you're simply beginning to cash in on the strength and smarts you've been forced to cultivate over the years in order to deal with all of God's mischief.

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I love your pilgrim soul and I love your ever-deepening eyes.

I love how unflinchingly you peer into the heart of your own darkness.

I love how you're making yourself more and more receptive to truths in their wild states.

I love how you can lose yourself in passion but never shirk your commitment to the good and the true.

I admire the way you never bear a grudge against the mountains that are in your way, but rather just set to work getting around them.

I love your commitment to deciphering the code you left for yourself before you came into this life.

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Gertrude Stein said love thrives through "the skillful audacity to share an inner life."

It suggests that expressing the truth about who you are is not something that amateurs do well. Disciplined practice and ingenuity are required. It also implies that courage is an essential element of successful intimacy. You may have to be adventurous if you want to weave your life together with another's.

Comments? Refutations? Action steps?

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Assume that your drive to experience pleasure isn't a barrier to your spiritual growth, but is in fact essential to it. Proceed on the hypothesis that cultivating joy can make you a more ethical and compassionate person. Imagine that feeling good has something important to teach you every day.

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( Listen to me speak the essay below.)

Your imagination is the single most important asset you possess. It's your power to create mental pictures of things that don't exist yet and that you want to bring into being. It's the magic wand you use to shape your future.

And so in your own way, you are a prophet. You generate countless predictions every day. Your imagination is the source, tirelessly churning out images of what you will be doing later.

The featured prophecy of the moment may be as simple as a psychic impression of yourself eating a fudge brownie at lunch or as monumental as a daydream of some year building your dream home by a lake or sea.

Your imagination is a treasure when it spins out scenarios that are aligned with your deepest desires. In fact, it's an indispensable tool in creating the life you want; it's what you use to form images of the conditions you'd like to inhabit and the objects you hope to wield. Nothing manifests on this planet unless it first exists as a mental picture.

But for most of us, the imagination is as much a curse as a blessing. We're often just as likely to use it to conjure up premonitions that are at odds with our conscious values. That's the result of having absorbed toxic programming from the media and from our parents at an early age and from other influential people in our past.

Fearful fantasies regularly pop up into our awareness, many disguising themselves as rational thoughts and genuine intuitions. Those fearful fantasies may hijack our psychic energy, directing it to exhaust itself in dead-end meditations.

Every time we entertain a vision of being rejected or hurt or frustrated, every time we rouse and dwell on a memory of a painful experience, we're blasting ourselves with a hex.

Meanwhile, ill-suited longings are also lurking in our unconscious mind, impelling us to want things that aren't good for us and that we don't really need. Anytime we surrender to the allure of these false and trivial and counterproductive desires, our imagination is practicing a form of black magic.

This is the unsavory aspect of the imagination that the Zen Buddhists deride as the "monkey mind." It's the part of our mental apparatus that endlessly spins out pictures that zip around with the energy of an agitated animal. If we can stop locating our sense of self in the relentless surge of the monkey mind's slapdash chatter, we can be fully attuned to the life that's right in front of us. Only then are we able to want what we actually have.

But whether our imagination is in service to our noble desires or in the thrall of compulsive fears and inappropriate yearnings, there is one constant: The prophecies of our imagination tend to be accurate. Many of our visions of the future do come to pass. The situations we expect to occur and the experiences we rehearse and dwell on are all-too-often reflected back to us as events that confirm our expectations.

Does that mean our mental projections create the future? Let's consider that possibility. What if it's at least partially true that what we expect will happen does tend to materialize?

Here's the logical conclusion: It's downright stupid and self-destructive to keep infecting our imaginations with pictures of loss and failure, doom and gloom, fear and loathing. The far more sensible approach is to expect blessings.

That's one reason why I'm reverent in composing my messages for you. If I'm to be one of the influences you invite into the intimate sanctuary where you hatch your self-fulfilling prophecies, I want to conspire with you to disperse fear and invoke relaxation and joy.

Listen to me speak the above essay .

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( Listen to me speak a version of the essay below.)

Thousands of things go right for you every day, beginning the moment you wake up. Through some hocus-pocus you don't fully understand, you are still breathing and your heart is beating, even though you have been unconscious for many hours. The air is a mix of gases that's just right for your body's needs, as it was before you fell asleep.

Glory Glory Hallelujah

You can see! Light of many colors and shapes floods into your eyes, registered and transmitted to your brain by a complex web of neurons that took Goddess or evolution billions of years to perfect.

Glory Glory Hallelujah

The interesting gift of these vivid colors and shapes is made possible by an unimaginably immense globe of fire, the sun, which ceaselessly detonates nuclear explosions in order to convert its own body into light and heat and energy for your personal use.

Glory Glory Hallelujah

You can raise a glass of water to your lips. You can button your shirt. You can wash your hair and beat on a drum and draw infinity signs on a piece of paper. Your hands work wonderfully well. Your heart circulates your blood all the way out to replenish the energy of the muscles and nerves in your fingers and palms and wrists. And after your blood has delivered its blessings, it finds its way back to your heart to be refreshed. This astonishing mystery recurs over and over again without stopping every minute of your life.

Glory Glory Hallelujah

Language is another stupendous marvel. Millions of souls have cooperated intricately for untold centuries to cultivate a system of communication that you understand very well. Your ability to speak and read and write makes you feel strong and dynamic. It provides you with a crucial resource to make sense of the riotous cavalcade that always surrounds you. It enables you to indulge in one of your favorite pleasures, which is to hear and tell stories.

Glory Glory Hallelujah

According to my inside sources, you have personal possession of the universe's most monumental and mysterious accomplishment.
We take it for granted and refer to it with the pedestrian term "consciousness" . . . but this mercurial flash and dazzle that whirls around inside your head is outlandishly spectacular. You can think thoughts any time you want to -- soaring, luminescent, flamboyant thoughts or shriveled, rusty, burrowing thoughts . . . thoughts that can invent or destroy, corrupt or redeem, bless or curse.

Glory Glory Hallelujah

But wait. There's more. You can revel and wallow in great oceans of emotion. Whether they are poignant or intoxicating or somewhere in between, you relish the fact that you can harbor so much intensity. You cherish the privilege of commanding such extravagant life force.

Glory Glory Hallelujah

The best part of being in possession of the universe's most monumental and mysterious accomplishment is this: You have at your disposal a prodigiously potent creative tool. It's called your imagination. If there's a specific experience or object you want to bring into your world, the first thing you do is visualize it. The practical actions you take to live the life you want to live always refer back to the pictures in your mind's eye.

And so every goal you fulfill, every quest you carry out, every liberation you achieve, begins as an inner vision. Your imagination is the engine of your destiny. It's the catalyst with which you design your future.

I've got to ask you: How is any of this even possible? What colossal secret intelligence or improbable series of fabulous accidents conspired to bestow upon you all these superpowers?

Glory Glory Hallelujah

Of the millions of things that have gone right for you during your time on Earth, the first was your birth. It was a difficult miracle that involved many people who worked very hard on your behalf. No less amazing is the fact that you have continued to bloom ever since then, with new cells being born within you all the time to replace the old cells that are dying.

At this very moment, there are 50 trillion cells in your body, and each of them is really a sentient being in its own right. They all act together as a community, consecrating you with their breathtaking collaboration. It's just like magic.

Glory Glory Hallelujah

To celebrate our extreme good fortune, I invite you to sing praises and exaltations. Please repeat after me.

Everywhere we look: glory

Every time we move: glory

Every step we take: soaring glory

Every breath we take: roaring glory

Soaring roaring uproarious glory
is our story

Soaring roaring uproarious glory
is our story

( Listen to me speak a version of the above essay.)

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