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Week of June 11th, 2020

Pronoia for Everyone

I hereby renounce and dissolve any denunciations that I may have inadvertently or carelessly hurled toward this Beautiful World when I was under the sway of bad ideas, delusional attitudes, or unloving influences.

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By aligning my passion with the protests, I'm expressing rage and grief about decades of police brutality toward African Americans—as well as White America's centuries-long harm against black lives and black culture.

What also animates me is my love for African Americans and my longing for them to be free to live their lives in peace, prosperity, and grace. I am inspired by joyous gratitude and celebration for their gifts and the blessings they offer.

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I have begun publishing on Here's a piece I recently posted, "Calling Forth Our Deepest Longings to Care for Each Other"

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I pray to the ancestors with their medicine stories
I pray to the descendants with their elixir stories
I pray to the tale-tellers alive now
who subterfuge their way free
of the dead stories that numb and pound and sicken

I pray that they will reforge me
into a magnet
for visions of unbuyable wonder
and dreams of pregnant rapture
and fables from beyond the brain

May they craft me
into a sweet vessel for creation myths
that are alive with mist and smoke and whispers
unknown to the Internet

May they massage me
into a blissful mess of receptivity
so I can always detect
the dramas and comedies and parables
owned by the solar system
and copyrighted by eternity


I pray to the chroniclers
who rebirth killed history
I pray to the narrators
who remember stolen memories

I pray to the journalists
who track down
the taboo conversations
that women and children
have explored
in the middle of the night
for the last four thousand years

I pray to the compassionate liars
who disinter insurrectionary enchantments
and restore their dazzling dark joy

May those agitators
and awakeners
and animators
mark me with signs
that my creature teachers
will recognize
in the propaganda-free future

May they infuse me
with resurrected confusions
that sensitize me
to the prematurely solved mysteries
that I need to crack open again

May they make it easy
for the medicine beasts,
the talking animals,
the earth's real gods,
to welcome me
as one of their own

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"You Can’t Kill Light, You Can’t Kill Love" by Monica Pasqual

"Lions" by Skip Marley

"Resilient" by Rising Appalachia



“When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.”

—Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times



Recently I wrote about the pleasures that can come from cultivating a robust relationship with one’s primal longing. "What is a 'primal longing' exactly?" a reader asked me.

I replied: Your primal longing is the deepest yearning you have; the essential desire that brought you here to earth; the reason why you're alive; the goal that's most important for you to strive for this lifetime; your core driving force.



To all that is chaotic
in you,
let there come silence.

Let there be
a calming
of the clamoring,
a stilling
of the voices that
have laid their claim
on you,
that have made their
home in you,

that go with you
even to the
holy places
but will not
let you rest,
will not let you
hear your life
with wholeness
or feel the grace
that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you
Let what divides you
Let there come an end
to what diminishes
and demeans,
and let depart
all that keeps you
in its cage.

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

—Jan L. Richardson, "Blessing in the Chaos"


Things white people can do in behalf of racial justice, part 1

Things white people can do in behalf of racial justice, part 2



A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history.

On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness and rooted in divine truth, wisdom, and compassion will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions.

When, however, the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic and social institutions, a holy force - the power of wisdom and love in action - is born.

This force I define as Sacred Activism.

― Andrew Harvey, The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism



“God calls you to the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,” writes theologian Frederick Buechner.

You’re free to ignore that call, of course. You can pretend that you don’t really know what brings you deep gladness, and you can act as if the world’s deep hunger is of no concern to you.

But if you hope to be proud of the life you have lived when, many years from now, you shed your mortal coil, you’ll probably at least experiment with using Buechner’s formula as a working hypothesis.



Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos—the trees, the clouds, everything.

―Thich Nhat Hanh



"No one can give you the lightning-medicine."

—the people who cannot give the lightning-medicine



Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold.
Death’s great black wing scrapes the air,
Misery gnaws to the bone.
Why then do we not despair?

By day, from the surrounding woods,
cherries blow summer into town;
at night the deep transparent skies
glitter with new galaxies.

And the miraculous comes so close
to the ruined dirty houses—
something not known to anyone at all
But wild in our breast for centuries.

—Anna Akhmatova, “Everything is Plundered, Betrayed, Sold"
(translated by Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward)


(Listen to the song)

I want to be free
in the mystery of love
I want to be wild
when the world begins again
I want to wake up and listen
Be in love with my life and death
and I want you to be there with me

I want all the children
to have enough to eat
I want all the angry men
to destroy their own pain
I want us all to be happy
and crazy and safe and real
I want everybody to be loved


Lots more of my music



In some ways, our current world situation seems to be not at all conducive for any of us to be cultivating and nurturing our ambitions. In some ways, now doesn't feel like the right time for us to be naming exactly what it is that we want from life and pushing forward with plans to experience exactly what it is we want out of life.

Because of the global pandemic, we are in an extended period of deep uncertainty. We are on our way to a new way of being and living, but no one knows what it will be.

So how can we realistically cultivate and nurture our ambitions in a time like this?

How can we even know what will be possible for us to achieve in the coming months and years?

How can we anticipate which of our personal goals will even make sense as the unknown transformations unfold?

These are all valid questions. They are essential to ponder.

At the same time, I propose that it's a favorable time for you to feed your desires to be the best you can be—at whatever tasks and roles you might end up carrying out in the coming months and years.

I propose that it's a favorable time for you to renew your love of being alive, and to fuel your yearnings to give back to life in return for all that life has given to you.

I propose that it's a favorable time for you to identify the unique talents and gifts you have to offer the world, and to re-consecrate your commitment to using those talents and gifts to create a beautiful life for yourself and find specific ways to offer them to the world.



Dear Rob: I follow your writing, and like a lot of it. But you seem to have gone off the rails and jumped the shark in your support of the dumb experts who advocate the lockdowns as a way to allegedly foil the spread of the coronavirus. I thought you supported freedom. I thought your concept of "pronoia" was about liberating us from control and manipulation. Why do you support the government telling us what to do? —Confused in Tampa

Dear Confused: My approach to freedom derives its inspiration from the freedom to love and care for and protect and help other people and all the creatures of the earth. The lockdowns serve the cause of cherishing life—thereby honoring and celebrating my freedom.

I don't mean to minimize the challenges of the lockdowns. Many of us are separated from loved ones and have lost our jobs or had our incomes reduced. Many of us feel alone and have faced dilemmas in our efforts to remedy non-COVID-19 health concerns.

But those are different issues from the minor inconvenience of having to wear protective masks in public and being careful to keep sufficient distance between ourselves and others. They're different from the very small problems of not being able to gather in groups at parks, salons, and tattoo parlors.

Those modest constraints on our freedom enable us to express a far-more robust kind of freedom, which is the freedom to take care of each other, to ensure we do no harm.



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

Here's the back story: In my last newsletter, I told you about how the alternative weekly newspapers have been suffering financially from the pandemic. I described how I've been allowing them to publish my horoscopes for free, hoping that will help them survive.

This means, of course, that none of those newspapers have been paying me, as they have done for so many years.

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

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

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


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.



we will not reveal
our conclusions until
the End of Times, which has
been scheduled repeatedly

and then canceled because
no one can imagine
what we would do
without each other

without these comings and
goings and the little gasp
of recognition that is all
we are allowed to leave behind

—excerpted from Eleanor Lerman's poem, "The Marfa Lights," from her book Strange Life

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