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Week of March 4th, 2021

The Supreme Pleasure of Not Taking Things Too Seriously or Personally

I'm working on more completely incorporating this good advice from Don Ruiz: "There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally."

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A Facebook friend asked the question, "Why do so many people believe in God but don't believe in faeries?"

Here's my response: Most people in Western culture don't have much of a relationship, let alone an intimate relationship, with what I call The Other Real World: Dreamtime, astral plane, realm of the ancestors, the-place-we-all-come-from-and-to-where-we-will-return. Those who do have such a relationship tend to be on good terms with the faeries and other denizens of The Other Real World.

Another factor in the loss of communion between humans and faeries is the fact that so many humans spend so little time in the natural world, where The Other Real World tends to be especially accessible to our waking awareness.

A third factor is the rationalists' inability to fully appreciate the mysterious intelligence of animals and plants. They can't apprehend the aspects of creature intelligence that draw from The Other Real World.

On the other hand, for most people, God is an abstract concept they took on through parental and social conditioning rather than through visceral connection with the live and in-person Divine Intelligence with whom they COULD have an intimate link. (But they don't have a visceral connection with the real God because the abstract concept obstructs it.)

The astrological month of Pisces—now!—is a good time to cultivate a more active relationship with The Other Real World.


PS: Having relationships with fairy-like beings has always been very common among indigenous people. For example, the Nunnehi are a race of immortal spirit creatures for Cherokees, and Yunwi Tsundi' are small humanoid nature spirits.

What the "little people" or fairies" are called by some other Native American people:
• Chaneque — Aztec
• Ircinraq — Yup'ik
• Ishigaq — Inuit
• Jogahoh — Iroquois
• Mannegishi — Cree
• Memegwesi/Memegawensi — Anishinaabe
• Nimerigar — Shoshone
• Nirumbee or Awwakkulé — Crow
• Nunnupi — Comanche
• Pukwudgie — Wampanoag
• Yehasuri — Catawba
• Yunwi Tsundi — Cherokee
• Canotila — Lakota
• Popo-li or Kowi Anukasha — Choctaw
• Mikumwess — Wabanaki
• Puckwudgie — Algonquian
• Apci'lnic — Innu
• Atosee — Alabama
• Gahongas — Iroquois
• Kiwolatomuhsis — Maliseet
• Kowi Anukasha — Choctaw
• Lampeqin — Maliseet-Passamaquoddy
• Makiawisug — Mohegan
• Mialuka — Omaha
• Nagumwasuk — Passamaquoddy
• Nibiinaabe — Ojibway
• Paisa — Miami
• Tonop — Tunica
• Wematekan'is — Lenape
• Wiklatmuj — Mi'kmaq


And then there are cats and faeries: The Celts believed that cats had their own fairy court, and their own magical powers. Cats were also commonly the familiar spirits of witches, which is to say they were sent by one of the fairy courts to act as a mediator between that court and the witch.


Most modern intellectuals scoff at angels, dismissing them as superstitious hallucinations or New Age goofiness. But not all deep thinkers have shared their scorn. John Milton and William Blake regarded angels as real and as fully worthy of their explorations.

Celestial beings have also received serious treatment by literary heavyweights like Saul Bellow, E. M. Forster, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Leo Tolstoy.

And then there was Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet and author and occultist William Butler Yeats believed in and wrote about faeries.


"Indigenous and ancestral shamans know that we are all connected to the world of the animal powers, and that by recognizing and nurturing our relation with animal spirits, we find and follow the natural path of our energies.

"Yet many of us have lost this primal connection, or know it only as a superficial wannabe symbolic thing that we look up in books and medicine cards without feeding and living every day."

—Robert Moss

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A reader asked me: "If we go@live on Mars we need to have a Martian horoscope that has Earth as a moving body. What qualities would Earth represent?"

Here's my response: Earth would give us clues about how to suffer intelligently;

about how to experience the limitations of being in a body with an eye to providing useful lessons for our immortal souls;

about how to engage with our pain in such a way that it liberates us from illusion and brings us into harmony with our soul's code.

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David Byrne writes: "I sense the world might be more dreamlike, metaphorical, and poetic than we currently believe—but just as irrational as sympathetic magic when looked at in a typically scientific way.

"I wouldn't be surprised if poetry—poetry in the broadest sense, in the sense of a world filled with metaphor, rhyme, and recurring patterns, shapes, and designs—is how the world works. The world isn't logical, it's a song."

Do you know about David Byrne's pronoaic website?

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Elizabeth Warren, Rebecca Solnit, and I say the following:

We want all trans and non-binary people to know you are valued, you are loved, and that we will keep fighting to make sure you can live freely, safely, and openly exactly as you are.



We don't need science to tell us that transgender people are real. We already know they are. But it's good to know that science does indeed tell us that transgender people are real.

The trolls who try to claim that biology recognizes only two genders are just plain wrong.

Here's the science.

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Maybe my Free Will Astrology horoscopes will help liberate you from some of the suffering that you're finished with — that you've learned from but are now ready to leave behind.

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The two-dose Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer is protecting recipients as well in wide actual use as it did in clinical trials, according to a new large-scale study from Israel that was published in *The New England Journal of Medicine*.

The study found that the vaccine reduced symptomatic cases by 94 percent a week after the second dose, and reduced severe disease by 92 percent.

The study is the first large-scale, peer-reviewed examination of the vaccine’s performance in general use. It included more than a million people aged 16 and over, nearly 600,000 of whom had been vaccinated, and an equally large, carefully matched control group of unvaccinated individuals.

Good news.

More good news.

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"The first poet who ever blew my little teenage suburban mind was Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He was also my gateway drug into Allen Ginsberg, Diane di Prima, Anne Waldman, Jack Kerouac, Michael McClure and other excellent troublemakers. Thank you for your life, Lawrence!

A great quote from Ferlinghetti: "We’d like to just write nothing but lyric poetry. The trouble is, the individual is going along intent on his own personal gratifications and love affairs and financial affairs and everything else. But loping alongside him is this fascist lout who keeps trying to take over.

"And if you keep ignoring him, he gets bigger and bigger, so every once in a while the free individual has to turn away from his private pursuits and give this fascist lout a few clouts, and beat him down to size."

More on his life.

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A person must break with the illusion that her life has already been written and her path already determined.
—Marc-Alain Ouaknin


Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.
—Dr. Mae C. Jemison

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The inexplicable thing about "scientists" who deride astrology as being a "pseudo-science" is that they haven't engaged in the most fundamental principle of science, which is to actually investigate the subject they aspire to understand.

If these faux scientists took the trouble to research the subject, they would know that Western astrology's best practitioners don't claim that astrology is a science—which means that it can't be a pseudo-science!

The lyrical and practical truth is that astrology is a blend of psychology, story-telling, and mythology. In the words of Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology, astrology "is the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity."

In my words, astrology is a symbol system that when used with integrity, engenders soulful approaches for deepening our connection to life's great mysteries—not predictions of literal events.

Psychologist James Hillman spoke of the joyous work of learning our soul's code—the blueprint of our destiny. That's what astrology does best. To imagine that this can be done in a scientific way is irrelevant and delusional.

Astrology is meant to open our minds to the mythic patterns that underlie the surface-level interpretations of what we're all about. It's not meant to compete with scientists' rational, logical analyses of how the world works.

And of course we need both: the mytho-poetic and the logically analytical. I can't imagine any truly intelligent person who would think that one or the other is better or more important.


To be consistent, the "scientists" who say that astrology is a pseudo-science should also say that psychologist Carl Jung, mythologist Joseph Campbell, and storyteller Ursula K Le Guin were practicing pseudo-science.


It's usually not productive to engage in a conversation with people who long ago decided that astrology is superstitious nonsense. Their minds are as irrevocably and self-satisfyingly closed as an evangelical Christian who already knows forever that there's no such thing as human-caused climate change.

So I usually expect that any rational ideas I serve up to self-styled skeptics about astrology will have the same impact as if I were explaining the nuances of abortion rights at a convention of political conservatives.

But here's a start: Many people who dismiss astrology with kneejerk derision have done no actual research on the subject! They don't know that four of history's greatest astronomers were practicing astrologers: Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Tycho Brahe, and Pierre Gassendi.

Most of the deriders haven't read smart astrological philosophers like Dane Rudhyar and Alice O. Howell and Steven Arroyo and Liz Greene and Richard Tarnas. They aren't aware that pioneering psychologist Carl Jung cast horoscopes and used astrology extensively.

The deriders don't know that astronomer Martha Maiden, who was a program executive at NASA for years and achieved such prominence that she now has an award named after her, is an excellent astrologer. (I know because I went to Duke University with her and we studied astrology together.)

The closest approach that fraudulent "skeptics" usually make to exploring the ancient art of astrology is to glance at a newspaper or internet horoscope column. To match their carelessness, I might make a drive-by of a strip mall and declare that the profession of architecture is shallow and debased.

THAT'S NOT HOW TO DO SCIENCE! To do science you don't casually gather anecdotal evidence from your random personal experiences. You make a point to investigate a subject with rigor and vigor, going to primary sources.

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Yes, there are many mediocre and incompetent and irresponsible astrologers out there—just as there are mediocre and incompetent and irresponsible practitioners in every field of human endeavor.

Here's Brezsny's Pseudo-Scientific Maxim: In any occupation, 70% of the practitioners are average to mediocre, 15% are bad, and 15% are excellent.

The lazy scientists who ignorantly criticize astrology focus on the worst of the astrologers.

If I chose to focus on the work of bad scientists, my opinion of science would be very low.

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Many of the lazy "scientists" don't even know that constellations have no bearing or place in Western astrology.

Many don't know, therefore, that their argument about the "signs being wrong" and there being a 13th sign, Ophiuchus, are not based on even a shred of truth about what astrology is.

Read more about this subject.

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Science can play a valuable role in checking the excesses of astrologers and other magical thinkers. For example, I've been grateful for those times when patient astronomers have refuted the irresponsible prophets who claim that some upcoming planetary configuration will somehow detonate natural disasters on Earth.

On the other hand, many scientists critique astrology in equally careless ways, making groundless assertions.

I prefer to take a middle path between the two extremes, borrowing from the best of both the rational and mystical approach and avoiding the worst.

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The ill-informed "skeptics" often say that astrologers think the stars and planets emit invisible beams that affect people's lives.

But in his book Cosmos and Psyche, brilliant astrologer Richard Tarnas (who is also a renowned cultural historian) says the planets don't emit invisible forces that shape our destinies as if we were puppets. Rather, they are symbols of the unfolding evolutionary pattern. Just as clocks tell time but don't create it, the heavenly bodies show us the big picture but don't cause it.

Quoting Greek philosopher Plotinus, Tarnas writes, "The stars are like letters that inscribe themselves at every moment in the sky. Everything in the world is full of signs. All events are coordinated. All things depend on each other. Everything breathes together."

Which prompts me to say: So it's not just the distant globes whose movements and relationships serve as divinatory clues.

If you're sufficiently attuned to the gestalt of creation and pay close enough attention to its unfolding details, you can read the current mood of the universe in the arrangement of red onions in the grocery store bin or the fluttering of sunlight and shadow on the mimosa tree or the scatter of soap suds in your sink after you've finished washing the dishes.

Can you do it? Discern the signature of creation at this or any other perfect moment? Peer into the secret heart of the collective unconscious? Guess what the Goddess is thinking?

Hint: You will have to switch on a dormant capacity, transforming your imagination from a mere fantasy-generator into an organ of perception.

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According to the Western Hermetic tradition, which is my spiritual path, there are aspects of each planet within us. So for example, Mars, the heavenly body in the sky way out there, is the visible manifestation of an archetype that permeates the Great Everywhereness, including human beings.

The rocky planet Mars doesn't beam out vibes that manipulate our behavior. But we can analyze the movements of the planet Mars to speculate on how the Mars archetype is at work at any particular time and in any particular person.

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A fellow astrologer asked me why I even care about what science thinks about astrology. Here's what I said:

Because I love science and its methodology and because a lot of people who pay attention to what I write also love science and its methodology. I want to talk to them about the excesses and distortions of science, in the hope that this will help in some small way to shore up the integrity of science and its capacity to accept other modes of intelligence and knowing as valid.

In the US, science is under threat from fascist and paranoid and delusional views of the world. We need science to be as strong and vital as possible in the face of that danger.


The scientific method is a fantastic way of learning about the world, and I eagerly use it daily. But it's not the only valid way to learn about the world. To dismiss other ways of learning about the world as "pseudo-scientific" is reductionist and fundamentalist.


Astrology doesn't use—can't use—the scientific method. The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century.

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Some people believe unquestioningly in the truth and power of astrology. They imagine it's an exact science that can unfailingly discern character and predict the future. Other people believe all astrology is nonsense. They think that everyone who uses it is deluded or stupid.

I say that both of these groups are wrong. Both have a simplistic, uninformed perspective. The more correct view is that some astrology is nonsense and some is a potent psychological tool. Some of it's based on superstition and some is rooted in a robust mythopoetic understanding of archetypes.

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If you'd like to read more of my thoughts about astrology, check out this interview with me.

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Four books about Carl Jung's writings on astrology:

Jung and Astrology 1
Jung and Astrology 2
Jung and Astrology 3
Jung and Astrology 4

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Today I am Master of the Obvious. I am a Simpleton Stating the Prosaic Truth. I am telling anyone who cares to listen that of course Western medicine and Big Pharma do bad and self-serving things.

You know who else does bad and self-serving things? Every system and organization on earth: corporations, religions, governments, the media, academia, publishing, the film and art and music industries, the big tech companies, the college football industry and all the other professional sports industries . . . and many, many more.

Toward all these bad and self-serving institutions, we develop a discerning skepticism, based on accurate evidence. We criticize them. We do what we can to reform them. And we acknowledge that they also do some good and helpful things that we're grateful for.

So we go forward, holding in our minds a poised understanding of their contradictions, as intelligent people do. We cultivate an awareness that everything is flawed and imperfect, and that many imperfect and flawed things (not all) also have value and beneficence.

We meditate on the psychological concept of co-emergence, which postulates that every beautiful, useful thing is intertwined with some challenging problem; that every challenging problem has some inspiration and education to offer us.

We meditate on what my daughter said when she was five years old, "There's nothing in the world that is either all good or all bad."


PS: Of course scientists who develop vaccines are motivated in part by money and ego and personal bias, like everyone else on the planet.

Of course there are problems with things that are created by people under the influence of money and ego and personal bias.

But that's universally true. NOTHING ever created or offered is perfect. Everything and everyone is cracked or broken in some way. And we wander on, doing our best to cultivate equanimity, summoning as much grace and courage as we can under the influence of the Universal Blemish.


To specifically apply this line of thought to the covid vaccines: No, they are not PERFECTLY safe and effective. Nothing is! Nothing on earth is perfectly safe and effective!

But the vast preponderance of evidence from knowledgeable scientists all over the world is that the covid vaccines are very safe and very effective.

Furthermore, they are our best hope for emerging from the pandemic. Again, the vast preponderance of scientific evidence supports that conclusion.

Here's some of that evidence: Pfizer vaccine sharply reduces symptomatic Covid-19 in the real world, Israeli researchers say.


PS: There's a lot about Big Pharma I dislike. And in general, the US health system, despite being marginally better in recent years thanks to Obamacare, is still an abomination compared to the health systems of virtually all other Western nations.

Bottom line: I passionately want universal single-payer health coverage for all in the US. Anything less than that is a travesty.


On the other hand, I am also extremely grateful for Big Pharma and the US medical system as it is and has been. I would not be here if it weren't for them. I'd literally be gone from the earth. They saved me. Thank you!

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