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Week of October 15th, 2020

May You Feel All You Need to Feel in Order to Heal

Healing mantra for the day: May I feel all I need to feel in order to heal; may I heal all I need to heal in order to feel.

—Marguerite Rigoglioso

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MERCURY IS RETROGRADE from late on October 13 through November 3. One of my favorite astrologers, William Sebrans, gives ten reasons why we can appreciate the glitchy tweaks that this astrological configuration allegedly spawns:

1. Misunderstandings are now attributable to impersonal forces or gods in vacation mode. That is, we are for the time being in the clear and temporarily off the hook.

2. We expect things to not work, so when they do, we are happier than before, when we expected them to.

3. We can spend hours tossing out crap, purging mail sludge, organizing our micro-universes, and are entitled to call it all productive work. No need to rush forward, when it is salutary to shuffle backward for a spell.

4. We are forgiven in advance for impatience and frustration, but as well we are given extra permission to blow off the pressure and be calmly accepting of what we are usually supposed to get upset with. Think: customer service.

5. For a few weeks, we get to hear less New Age murmurings about the Divine Flow, the power of creative visualization, and the power of surrender to Shakti -- and are allowed to focus on getting the job done any damned way we can figure it out.

6. If we are believers, we can find proof of the retrograde effect; if we are non-believers, we can find proof of the non-retrograde effect. Either way, we are vindicated.

7. We can watch more Merchant Ivory-period films and feel good about ourselves.

8. We can hand-write letters and craft arty post cards, while justifying the less efficient retro-fit communication as coming by Divine Decree.

9. We can slow down.

10. We can slow down and repeat ourselves

~William Sebrans

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It's a dark and chaotic moment in our culture, but my discerning hope for the future is abundant.


"It is not in the least superstitious, it is even a counsel of realism, to look for the unforeseeable and unpredictable, to be prepared for and to expect 'miracles' in the political realm."

—Hannah Arendt


See an image of hope

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Now here's some additional commentary from me about Mercury Retrograde:

Mercury retrogrades are always heading our way -- an average of three per year. Also heading our way -- always, always -- are numerous astrological configurations that traditional astrologers interpret as malefic, miserable, and menacing.

As just one of many examples, some regard moon void-of-course with the same fear and loathing that they do Mercury retrograde, and the moon void-of-course is a regular and frequent occurrence.

For my sanity, I can't afford to be super extra careful around these aspects. There are simply too damn many of them. I don't want to constantly be in a state of red-alert alarm.

And as for the Mercury Retrograde itself:

Traditional astrologers regard each Mercury retrograde phenomenon to consist of eight phases:

Pre-Shadow phase

Pre-Shadow phase intensified

Mercury Retrograde Station

Mercury Retrograde Phase intensified

Mercury Retrograde Phase

Mercury Direct Station

Post-Shadow phase intensified

Post-Shadow phase

Every complete Mercury retrograde cycle lasts an average of 55 days. Since there is an average of three Mercury retrogrades per year, we are in some part of the Mercury retrograde phenomenon for at least 165 days per year -- about 45% of the time.

That's a lot of time to be on guard.


I am aware that my views are not shared by many astrologers, but they reflect my observation and experiences. Here's a brief version:

Mercury retrograde does not mean communication snafus are inevitable. Rather, it tells you this is a propitious time to refine the ways you exchange information . . . and to concentrate harder on saying what you mean and meaning what you say . . . and to meditate on how to improve the ways you connect yourself to the people and resources you need and like.

Some people say that when Mercury is retrograde, it's a bad time to begin anything new. During one such period a few ago, an acquaintance of mine decided to delay accepting a dream job offer as editor of a magazine. By the time Mercury returned to "normal," the magazine had hired another applicant. I wish I'd have known, because I would have told her what I'll tell you: Some of America's biggest, most enduring Fortune 500 companies began when Mercury was retrograde, including Disney, Goodyear, and Boeing.

My deep skepticism about big corporations notwithstanding, the fact that their founders had great success in launching them during Mercury retrograde is a telling statement about Mercury retrograde.

In my understanding of astrology, there's no such thing as a bad astrological aspect. It's true that some may be more challenging than others, but every one of them presents an opportunity.

Having said that, I don't regard Mercury retrograde as being dauntingly challenging. If you fear and expect it to be, you may tend to be slightly more attractive to disruptive events. But then that's true about how every superstition works.

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Here is a new spiritual practice: Don't take your thoughts too seriously.

—Eckhart Tolle


Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness.

—Eckhart Tolle

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"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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"In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin like old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can.

"The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms."

—Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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Freedom is in the unknown. If you believe there is an unknown everywhere, in your own body, in your relationships with other people, in political institutions, in the universe, then you have maximum freedom.

—philosopher John C. Lilly

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Sometime in the next 24 hours, try saying this to someone (but only if you really mean it): "Thanks for making my life better."

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To My Fellow Americans:


I am extremely grateful for the activists and politicians who are now working to ensure the integrity of the vote. They're heroes.

My personal task is to visualize and advocate for the desirable outcome: a new President Biden with strong Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and a cabinet full of progressives carrying out a progressive agenda.

Wherever you live in America, here's how to vote in the election.

More info on how to vote.

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100 reasons to vote for Biden and Harris:

1.) $15.00 federal minimum wage

2.) Reinstate DACA – allowing new applicants to apply

3.) 12 Weeks federal paid family leave

4.) Universal Pre-Kindergarten/Childcare for ages 3 and 4

5.) Tuition free college for those with household income less than $125,000.00

6.) Allow student loans to be relieved in bankruptcy

7.) LGBTQ+ Equality Act in the first 100 days in office

8.) Rejoin the Paris Climate Accords

9.) Decriminalize cannabis use and expunge convictions

10.) Eliminate cash bail system

11.) Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences

12.) Outlaw all online firearm and munition sales

13.) Restore the voting rights act

14.) Create a new $20 billion competitive grant program to spur states to shift from incarceration to prevention.

15.) He’ll triple funding for Title I Programs

16.) Appoint the first Black woman to the Supreme Court of the United States

17.) Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

18.) Ensure the US achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050

19.) Protecting Biodiversity, slowing extinction rates and helping leverage natural climate solutions

20.) Develop a plan to ensure that America has the cleanest, safest and fastest rail system in the world, for both passengers and freight

21.) Expand the safety net for survivors

22.) Confront online harassment, abuse and stalking

23.) End the rape kit backlog

24.) Address the deadly combination of guns and domestic violence

25.) Change the culture that enables domestic violence

Read the other 75 reasons why it's a noble idea to Vote for Biden and Harris.

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We're all family. You have at least a million relatives as close as tenth cousin, and no one on Earth is any further removed than your fiftieth cousin.

With each breath, you take into your body 10 sextillion atoms, and, owing to the wind's circulation, every year you have intimate relations with oxygen molecules exhaled by every person alive, as well as by everyone who ever lived. (Source: Guy Murchie, *The Seven Mysteries of Life*)

Right now you may be carrying atoms that were once inside the lungs of Malcolm X, William Shakespeare, Joan of Arc, and Cleopatra.


Your body contains about four octillion atoms. That's four with 27 zeroes after it. Believe it or not, 200 billion of that total were once inside the body of Martin Luther King, Jr. For that matter, an average of 200 billion atoms of everyone who has ever lived and died is part of you. I am not making this up.

See the mathematical analysis here,


Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson told The Washington Post the following fun facts: "There are more molecules of water in a cup of water than cups of water in all the world's oceans. This means that some molecules in every cup of water you drink passed through the kidneys of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Abe Lincoln, or any other historical person of your choosing."

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"Imaginal hygiene is the inner art of self-managing the imagination, to defend it from forces that compromise, pollute, colonize, shrink, and sterilize it, and to cultivate those that illuminate, expand, and nourish it."

The above is an excerpt from a wonderful piece by M. T. Xen, which I highly recommend.

Listen to my six-minute take on the power of your imagination.

Or read my piece here.

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Dumb pain is the kind of pain you're compulsively drawn back to out of habit. It's familiar, and thus perversely comfortable.

Smart pain is the kind of pain that surprises you with valuable teachings and inspires you to see the world with new eyes.

While stupid pain is often born of fear, wise pain is typically stirred up by love.

The dumb, unproductive stuff comes from allowing yourself to be controlled by your early conditioning and from doing things that are out of harmony with your essence.

The smart, useful variety arises out of an intention to approach life as a beautiful, interesting game that's worthy of your curiosity.

I invite you to come up with more definitions about the difference between dumb pain and smart pain.

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Your opinion, please: When you are waging a righteous battle, is it better to be constantly feeding off your anger about the situation you're trying to change?

Or are you more likely to be an effective fighter if you're relatively clear and calm, holding a vision of the new reality you want to create?

Or neither? Other choices? Your thoughts?

Write to

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All of creation is alive and conscious, and all of creation deserves our burning, churning, yearning love. All of it. Not just the people and creatures and things that we personally find beautiful and helpful and interesting. But everything. All of creation.

If we want to become the gorgeous geniuses we were born to be, if we want to give back as many blessings as we are given, we've got to be in love with every single part of the Goddess's extravagant masterpiece.

And so we can't possibly be mere heterosexuals. We can't possibly be mere homosexuals or bisexuals.

If we want to commune with the world the way the Goddess does, we've got to be Pantheosexuals -- we've got to be experts in the art of Polymorphous Perverse Omnidirectional Goddess Cuddling. Anything less is a lie, an obscene limitation.

Hear this as a song.

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