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Week of November 12th, 2020

Seek Teachings Everywhere

As a bee seeks nectar from all kind of flowers, seek teachings everywhere. Like a deer that finds a quiet place to graze, seek seclusion to digest all that you have gathered. Like a madman beyond all limits, go wherever you please and live like a lion completely free of all fear.

—ancient Tibetan text

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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. It arrives every Tuesday morning.

Read past issues of the newsletter.

Sign up here for your free subscription.

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Would you like to make yourself smarter and more beautiful? Are you interested in increasing your capacity for ecstasy and improving your health? Consider the possibility of celebrating regular Gratitude Fests.

During these celebrations of appreciation, you could confer praise and respect on the creatures, both human and otherwise, that have played seminal roles in inspiring you to become yourself. You would devote yourself to invoking and expressing thanks.

Who teaches and helps you? Who sees you for who you really are? Who nudges you in the direction of your fuller destiny and awakens you to your signature truths? Who loves you brilliantly?

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Imagine it's 30 years from now. You're looking back at the history of your relationship with desire. There was a certain watershed moment when you clearly saw that some of your desires were mediocre, inferior, and wasteful, while others were pure, righteous, and invigorating.

Beginning then, you made it a life goal to purge the former and cultivate the latter.

Thereafter, you occasionally wandered down dead ends trying to gratify yearnings that weren't worthy of you, but usually you wielded your passions with discrimination, dedicating them to serve the highest and most interesting good.

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The poet Muriel Rukeyser said the universe is composed of stories, not of atoms. The physicist Werner Heisenberg declared that the universe is made of music, not of matter.

And we believe that if you habitually expose yourself to toxic stories and music, you could wind up living in the wrong universe, where it's impossible to become the gorgeous genius you were born to be.

That's why we implore you to nourish yourself with delicious, nutritious tales and tunes that inspire you to exercise your willpower for your highest good.

Listen to this as a spoken-word piece.

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There is a Chinese character that means "Double Happiness." It's my emblem right now.

First happiness: Joe Biden won the presidency, earning more than 75 million votes—4.4 million more votes than the departing tyrant. That's by far the most in history, and will be even greater when the count is finished.


Second Happiness: I am absolutely ecstatic that we Americans have elected our first Black and Asian Woman Vice-President: Kamala Harris.

Let's keep in mind that as a Senator, Harris's "Lifetime Progressive Score" rating has been a gloriously high 95.83%, just one percentage point less than Bernie Sanders' rating.

See "Progressive Score" ratings for Senators here.

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A Third Happiness will arrive if the people of Georgia elect two Democratic Senators in the state's run-off election on January 5: Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

I think this should be our top priority. When Ossoff and Warnock are sworn in, the Senate will have 50 Senators who vote with Democrats and 50 who vote with Republicans. Vice-President Kamala Harris will have the tie-breaking vote in any deadlocks.

Mitch McConnell will then NOT have the power to block President Biden's agenda, as he worked so hard to do against President Obama.


What can we do to help ensure this Third Happiness happens?

We can donate money to the Democratic Senate candidates:

Raphael Warnock

Jon Ossoff

Another good place to donate to help Georgia's Democratic Senate candidates is to Stacey Abrams' FairFight


If you're interested in writing postcards to Georgia voters for the runoff election on January 5, check out They give good guidance on how to proceed.

Here's another postcard-writing website.


Author Asha Sanaker tells me this:

The voter registration cut-off for the Georgia run-off election is December 7th. Which means all of the amazing Black women who were responsible for flipping Georgia for Biden are going to be due our unending thanks AGAIN. They are:

Stacey Abrams of Fair Fight

Tamieka Atkins of ProGeorgia

Helen Bulter of the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda

Deborah Scott of Georgia Stand-Up

Nsé Ufot of New Georgia Project

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Over 71 million Americans voted for a misogynist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-immigrant bully—a vile, pathologically lying thug who is the worst human being to have ever played a role in American life. And I am genuinely dismayed, angry, and grief-stricken.

I seek consolation in the theory that a majority of the people who voted for this loathsome character are themselves decent human beings.

But why did so many decent human beings endorse a dreadful, hate-filled human being? I won't suppress my feelings about that heinous truth. It's important that I acknowledge my feelings and make them part of the reservoir of motivations from which I draw inspiration.

So no, I won't suppress my rage and anguish, but neither will I allow them to dominate or obsess me. Rather, I will use them to redouble my devotion to creating a culture built on progressive values.

Two quotes I use as guidance:

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
—Dan Millman.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
—Buckminster Fuller


Bright spot: The 71+ million people who voted for Trump are just 29% of the registered voters in the US, and only 21.3% of the total US population.

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Emotional intelligence is the single most underrated superpower in the world.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to begin cultivating emotional intelligence is to learn to communicate using “I” statements.

More info about that.


A reader asked me: "Do you think that cultivating emotional intelligence increases our ability to communicate with community members who don’t feel like 'our people'?"

Here's my response: Sure—if those people want to be communicated with and aren't so hostile that they're not available for real conversation.

All my adult life, I've been open and welcoming to talk with and listen to everyone and anyone, including people who don't share my political and spiritual beliefs and who don't value psychological wisdom as being key to living a good life.

That openness and welcome aren't always returned, though. And I don't try to force an interaction with anyone who is closed to me.

Also: When someone's first comment to me is hostile and derisive, I withdraw my openness and welcome.

The good news: I never take their rejection personally.


Some Trump supporters assume that I have been "brainwashed by the mainstream media."

Here's the truth: I have been pointedly critiquing the mainstream media since 1981, when I came of age as a thinker and an artist. In fact, analyzing the flaws of the mainstream media has been central to my work as a philosopher and artist.

An important resource in my critique was Noam Chomsky's book, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.


Furthermore, I have always made it a point to read rightwing media. There's no echo chamber in my world.

I don't read every conservative publication every day, but I rotate through the conservative media listed at this source.

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What exactly does it mean to "love" someone who condones and enables tyranny and cruelty? Of what does the love consist? How is it expressed?

A few people are telling me that we should love Trump supporters despite the fact that they sanction his execrable words and actions.

I have always been careful never to wish ill on anyone, even those who do cruel and destructive things and who collaborate with people who do cruel and destructive things. I am not the administrator of Karma, and I can't see the long-term, big-picture plans of Goddess. So I don't hate anyone. I aspire to feel and express love.

On the other hand, that loving perspective doesn't mean that I allow haters to have a negative impact in my life. I protect myself from them.

And I won't tell them it's OK to do cruel and destructive things or help others do cruel and destructive things.

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Bernie Sanders Tweets: I want to thank progressive grassroots organizations for their extraordinary efforts in helping to make Biden's victory possible. Together, you built widespread support for Biden among young people, people of color and the working class. Congratulations. Let's keep going forward.

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Some readers are still writing to me to demand that I never again write about politics. So I will restate my perspective: That ain't going to happen!

Being a politically progressive activist has been an important part of my life and work since I came of age. I wouldn't be my authentic self if I hid my political views.

In addition, my spiritual values are deeply interwoven and aligned with my political principles. The two are impossible to separate. Every political view I express is a direct and specific reflection of my deepest spiritual understandings.

My spirituality IS political and my politics ARE spiritual.

Readers who tell me not to express my political ideas might as well tell me not to express my spiritual ideas.

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If you'd like to donate to me:

1. Visit my Gift Page — and contribute to me now and then via the "Friends and Family" option.

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

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

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

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"Election" — a poem by Alfred K. LaMotte:

I voted.

I voted for the rainbow.

I voted for the cry of a loon.

I voted for my grandfather’s bones
that feed beetles now.

I voted for a singing brook that sparkles
under a North Dakota bean field.

I voted for salty air through which the whimbrel flies
South along the shores of two continents.

I voted for melting snow that returns to the wellspring
of darkness, where the sky is born from the earth.

I voted for daemonic mushrooms in the loam,
and the old democracy of worms.

I voted for the wordless treaty that cannot be broken
by white men or brown, because it is made of star semen,
thistle sap, hieroglyphs of the weevil in prairie oak.

I voted for the local, the small, the brim
that does not spill over, the abolition of waste,
the luxury of enough.

I voted for the commonwealth of the ancient forest,
a larva for every beak, a wing-tinted flower
for every moth’s disguise, a well-fed mammal’s corpse
for every colony of maggots.

I voted for open borders between death and birth.

I voted on the ballot of a fallen leaf of sycamore
that cannot be erased, for it becomes the dust and rain,
and then a tree again.

I voted for more fallow time to cultivate wild flowers,
more recess in schools to cultivate play,
more leisure, tax free, more space between days.

I voted to increase the profit of evening silence
and the price of a thrush song.
I voted for ten million stars in your next inhalation.

—Alfred K. LaMotte

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We really are at war right now. It's a war of the liberated imagination versus the shackled imagination.

It's a war of empathy and compassion against bigotry and proud selfishness.

It's a war of love and beauty against the ugly forces of grotesque, vacuous heartlessness—against the dismal, stupefied enemies of empathy.

There's a time for everything, as the ancient Chinese book of oracles, the *I Ching*, would say. And now is the time to fight and struggle with practical fervor in behalf of LOVE.

But in the midst of the conflict, it's our sacred duty to invoke the spirit of celebration. For our own sake and the sake of those we want to help and serve, we should express joy and excitement and curiosity and tenderness. We should cultivate an ecstatic sense of connection with all of creation — which, after all, fuels our passionate commitment to the powers of love.


"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All other wars are subsumed in it." So said poet Diane di Prima.

That idea has been a cornerstone of my creative, spiritual, and political work for decades.

Read Diane di Prima's whole poem.


You can listen to or read more of my meditations on the holiness of the imagination here:

You Are a Prophet

Fear Versus Intuition

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"I rejoice to live in such a splendidly disturbing time!" said Helen Keller. She was a smart activist who worked hard in behalf of women's equality, labor rights, anti-militarism, and a fair and just economic system.

Was she being sarcastic or satirical in saying she loved being alive during a time of upheaval? Not at all. She derived excitement and vigor from critiquing injustice. Her lust for life soared as she lent her considerable energy to making life on earth more sustainable and enjoyable for more people.

I invite you to consider adopting her attitude: Generate personal power by taking practical action in behalf of your high ideals.

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You're a gorgeous mystery with a wild heart and a lofty purpose. But like all of us, you also have a dark side -- a part of your psyche that snarls and bites, that's unconscious and irrational, that is motivated by ill will or twisted passions or instinctual fears.

It's your own personal portion of the world's sickness: a mess of repressed longings, enervating wounds, ignorant delusions, and unripe powers. You'd prefer to ignore it because it's unflattering or uncomfortable or very different from what you imagine yourself to be.

If you acknowledge its existence at all (many of us don't), you might call it the devil, your evil twin, your inner monster, or your personal demon. Psychologist Carl Jung referred to it as the shadow. He regarded it as the lead that the authentic alchemists of the Middle Ages sought to transmute into gold.


Astrologer Steven Forrest has a different name for the shadow: stuff. "Work on your stuff," he says, "or your stuff will work on you." He means that it will sabotage you if you're not aggressive about identifying, negotiating with, and transforming it.


The shadow is not inherently evil. If it is ignored or denied, it may become monstrous to compensate. Only then is it likely to "demonically possess" its owner, leading to compulsive, exaggerated, "evil" behavior.


"The shadow, which is in conflict with the acknowledged values, cannot be accepted as a negative part of one's own psyche and is therefore projected -- that is, it is transferred to the outside world and experienced as an outside object. It is combated, punished, and exterminated as 'the alien out there' instead of being dealt with as one's own inner problem."

—Erich Neumann, Depth Psychology and a New Ethic


The qualities in ourselves that we deny or dislike are often the very qualities that we most bitterly complain about in other people.

So for instance, an old friend of mine named Mark had a special disgust for friends who were unavailable to him when he really needed them. But I was witness to him engaging in the same behavior three different times, disappearing from the lives of his friends just when they needed him most.


"Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event," said Jung. If you disown a part of your personality, it'll materialize as an unexpected detour.

Everyone who believes in the devil is the devil.



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Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another.

Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is a supreme creative act.

—Ram Dass

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What do you need to kill off in yourself in order to tune in to the beauty that's hidden from you? What worn-out shticks are blinding you to the blessings that life is conspiring to give you?

Which of your theories may have been useful and even brilliant in the past but are now keeping you from becoming aware of the ever-fresh creation that unfolds before you?

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What if there's no contradiction between being your idiosyncratic self in love with your life and serving others with the best gifts you have to give?

What if exploring your inner world to activate your personal genius dovetails perfectly with fighting to recreate the soulless culture we're embedded in?

What if working on your own salvation makes you a more effective force in liberating others from their suffering?

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