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Week of November 26th, 2020

Your Unique Capacities Are Being Liberated

I invite you to say this:

"Novel intuitions are now erupting from my smart heart, awakening me from any trance I've been ensnared in. I am hereby breaking and escaping obstructions that hinder my ability to express my soul's code. My unique capacities are being liberated, my potentials activated."

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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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Many spiritual teachers, some of whom I respect, say things like "I am not my body" or "This body is not me."

I don't understand that. It's an insult and disparagement. It's dismissive of our bodies' sublime beauty and our bodies' divine role in educating our souls.

I mean, I do agree that we are not ONLY our bodies. I do agree that a big part of us is eternal, lives free of all limitations, and is ecstatically immersed in the interconnected web of life—not just trapped in some solitary boundaried form.

But hell yes, I am my body. It's a glorious aspect of who I am. It's a miraculous creation that has taken millions of years to evolve into the masterpiece it is now.

So for me, yes, I am my body and yes, this body is me. I love my body. I am in awe of it. I am pleased to be united with it.

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How do we summon the right blend of practical love and constructive anger?

How do we refrain from hating other people even as we fight fiercely against the hatred and danger they have helped unleash?

How do we cultivate cheerful buoyancy even as we neutralize the bigoted, autocratic poisons that are on the loose?

How can we be both wrathful insurrectionaries and exuberant lovers of life?

How can we stay in a good yet unruly mood as we overthrow the mass hallucinations that are metastasizing?

In the face of the danger, how do we remain intensely dedicated to building beauty and truth and justice and love even as we keep our imaginations wild and hungry and free?

Can our struggle also be a form of play?

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The greatest gift you can give might be the gift that you yourself were never given. Give that gift.

The most valuable service you have to offer your fellow humans may be the service you have always wished were performed for you. Offer that service.

An experience that wounded you could move you to help people who've been similarly wounded. Heal yourself by healing others.

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That in a person which cannot be domesticated is not his evil but his goodness.

—author Antonio Porchia

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Make the invisible dark force beautiful. Create a song out of your moans. Brag about your wounds. Dance reverently on the graves of your enemies. Sneak a gift to your bad self. Dissolve the ties that bind you to hollow intelligence.

Train yourself in the art of unpredictability. Play forever in time's blessing. Lift up your heart unto the wild sun. Distribute your favors to the little ones who can never pay you back. Fall out of love with fear. Make beautiful messes in the midst of ugly messes.

Anything I missed?

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The ever-evolving truth is far too complicated and fluid and slippery and scrambled and gorgeously abundant for one human being to completely master.

I'm lucky to have gotten my percentage of mastery up to about 3%. On a good day, that’s how much I understand of the Maddening and Delightful Mystery we are embedded in.

Here's a hypothesis that's a cornerstone of my 3%: It's smart and healthy to joyfully rebel against everyone who assuredly tells me that they know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

How well do you understand the Great Mystery? What's your percentage?

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"Lama Surya Das, the “Buddha from Brooklyn,” is one of the handful of Westerners who have been teaching meditation for decades. And yet, he says we’re doing it wrong.

Lama Surya Das says there are other ways to meditate besides those that are currently popular: "So many people seem to be moving narcissistically into self-centered happiness-seeking and quietism, not to mention the use of mindfulness for mere effectiveness," he says. "True meditation generates wisdom and compassion, which may be very disquieting, at least in the short term."

"'Quiet your mind' or 'calm and clear your mind' are instructions I hear way too much," he says. "Some teachers actually encourage people to try to stop thinking, when in fact meditative awareness means being mindful of thoughts and feelings, not simply trying to reduce, alter or white them out and achieve some kind of oblivion."

"The anti-intellectual meditators, thought-swatters and imagination-suppressors have long ruled meditation-oriented circles in the West," he says. "But authentic meditative practices can enhance and even unleash the creativity and imagination.'

You don’t have to quiet the mind to do many of the types of meditation he proposes. They don't involve trying to find a quiet "moment of Zen" apart from the messy, noisy world of work, family and children, but rather inviting all of the noise into meditation.

These thoughts are from an article by Jay Michaelson. More here.

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A little more than 29 years ago—an entire Saturn cycle—my astrology column went from being published in six newspapers to being syndicated in more than 50 newspapers, all within the space of a few months.

Here's the immediate reason why: The United States launched the first Gulf War, illegally and immorally invading and occupying Iraq.

And in response I filled my horoscopes with a steady surge of criticism and satire about that series of atrocities—always, of course, with references to the personal lives of my readers, either as metaphors for psychological factors at work in their destinies or as useful meditations on how the personal and political were interwoven.

So it's no exaggeration to say that my success as an astrology columnist was initially built on my determination to blend bold progressive political perspectives with psychological and spiritual insights.

I've been doing that ever since. Anyone who thinks otherwise about my work simply hasn't been paying attention.

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To be wild is not to be crazy like a criminal or psychotic, says Robert Bly, but rather ”mad as the mist and snow."

It has nothing to do with being childish or primitive, nor does it manifest as manic rebellion or self-damaging alienation.

The marks of wildness, Bly says, are a love of nature, a delight in silence, a voice free to say spontaneous things, and an exuberant curiosity in the face of the unknown.

Here are other marks I’ll add: a passion to find where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet; a determination to serve your highest purpose as you give the world your finest gifts; a commitment to doing what you love as you express your love for all those who have given so much to you.

Do you have others you’d like to add?

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Listen to the free four-and-a-half-minute ceremonial medicine invocation: "Moon Lodge"

Here's how it begins:

Breathe sweetly and deeply. As you inhale, remember that the calcium in your bones and the iron in your blood were originally created at the core of a red giant star that died billions of years ago.

As you exhale, allow your perfect animal body to gentle explode with luminous gratitude. Feel streams of orgiastic compassion flowing out of your wild heart in spiral hallelujahs . . .

Hear the rest.

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Some people don't know that I write daily horoscopes, available as text messages sent to your cell or smart phone.

They're shorter than the weekly 'scopes, but on the other hand they're more frequent -- every day of the week.

My weekly horoscopes are free, but the dailies cost about 67 cents a day if you sign up for a subscription.

If you think you might enjoy getting regular bursts of inspiration from me to illuminate your adventures, check them out.

Go to Register or log in. On the new page, click on "Subscribe / Renew" under "Daily Text Message Horoscopes" in the right-hand column.

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We all have addictive and obsessive tendencies. They are fundamental to being human. So the challenge is not to eliminate them -- that's not possible -- but rather to harness them. If you hope to keep them from dragging you down, you must work hard to channel them into activities that enhance your life.

How are you doing on this score? Are you chronically dependent on drugs, gambling, fearful emotions, sugar, or chaotic relationships?

Or are you, instead, hooked on the courage you summon when you face your fears and the willpower you invoke as you free yourself from your limitations?

Now is an excellent time to upgrade your addictive and obsessive tendencies.


To my thoughts, psychotherapist Jill Marlene adds hers:
"This is totally how I approach therapy. Everything that everyone has ever done to survive their life, has some sort of strength in it, and if we can change behaviors that are maladaptive to ones that are more adaptive, using those same strengths, we can preserve the individual beauty of the person And manage the dysfunction through the strengths."

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"In fairy-tale justice, as in the deep psyche, kindness to that which seems less is rewarded by good, and refusal to do good for one who is not beautiful is reviled and punished. When we enlarge ourselves to touch the not-beautiful, we are rewarded. If we spurn the not-beautiful, we are severed from life and left out in the cold."

—Clarissa Pinkola Estes

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With each breath, you take into your body 10 sextillion atoms, and—owing to the wind's ceaseless circulation—over a year's time you have intimate relations with oxygen molecules exhaled by every person alive, as well as by everyone who ever lived.

—Source: Guy Murchie's book, The Seven Mysteries of Life

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EXPERIMENT: Be scarier than your fears. If an anxious thought pops into your mind, bare your teeth and growl, "Get out of here or I will rip you to shreds!" If a demon visits you in a nightly dream, chase after it with a torch and sword, screaming "Begone, foul spirit, or I will burn your mangy dreck!"

Don't tolerate bullying in any form, whether it comes from a critical little voice in your head or from supposedly nice people who are trying to guilt-trip you. "I am a brave conqueror who cannot be intimidated!" is what you could say, or "I am a monster of love and goodness who will defeat all threats to my integrity!"

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The poet Kabir says:

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think . . . and think . . . while you are alive.
What you call "salvation" belongs to the time
before death.

If you don't break your ropes while you're alive,
do you think ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten --
that is all fantasy.

What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment
in the City of Death.

If you make love with the divine now,
in the next life
you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth,
find out who the Teacher is,
believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this:
When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest
that does all the work.
Look at me,
and you will see a slave of that intensity.

—Kabir, translated and rendered by Robert Bly

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Some of your illusions seeped into you before you learned to talk. Others sneaked into you later, while you were busy figuring out how to become yourself. Eventually, you even made conscious choices to adopt certain illusions because they provided you with comfort and consolation.

There's no need to be ashamed of this. It's a natural part of being a human being.

Now here's the good news: You have the power to shed at least some of your illusions in ways that don't shatter your foundations.

Here's one way you could begin the process, declare this intention at noon every Sunday for the next three months: "I am calling on all the power I have at my disposal, both conscious and unconscious, to dissolve my illusions."

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