Select a date (required) and sign (optional) 

Week of May 13th, 2021

How Much Aliveness?

“Everybody is dealing with how much of their own aliveness they can bear and how much they need to anesthetize themselves,” writes psychoanalytic author Adam Phillips.

How are you doing with that challenge?

 photo Picture16-2.png


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.

 photo Picture24-2.png


Dear Readers —

In the past four weeks, my newsletters have been expunged — i.e. censored — by a few big mail servers. Many subscribers haven't received my deliveries.

I'm doing the best I can to fix the problem. I really don't know what words I wrote that were offensive to Outlook, HotMail and others.

If you are one of the thousands of subscribers who has had a giant company decide what you shouldn't see, you can find the last four weeks' newsletters at my archives.

You can also try resubscribing with a different email address.

 photo Picture16-2.png


May you never be the reason why someone who loved to sing, doesn't anymore.

Or why someone who dressed so uniquely, now wears plain clothing.

Or why someone who always spoke so excitedly about their dreams, is now silent about them.

May you never be the reason someone gave up on a part of themselves because you were demotivating, non-appreciative, hypercritical, or even worse—sarcastic about it.

—Mostafa Ibrahim

 photo Picture24-2.png


Although we are all born geniuses, the grind of day-to-day living tends to de-genius us. That's the bad news. The good news is that you have the power to re-genius yourself.

Here's a ritual you can use to jump-start the process.

Here's how the ritual begins:

The Greek philosopher Plato long ago recognized that in addition to eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing, and loving, every creature has an instinctual need to periodically leap up into the air for no other reason than because it feels so good.


 photo Picture16-2.png


Cancer cells are constantly developing in our bodies. Luckily, our immune systems routinely kill them off. Similarly, our minds always harbor pockets of crazy-making misconceptions and faulty imprints. They usually don't rise up and render us insane thanks to the psychic versions of our immune systems.

How can you stay strong in your ability to fight off madness?

You know the drill: Eat healthy food, sleep well, get physical exercise, minimize stress, give and receive love. But as an aspiring pronoiac, you have at your disposal other actions that can provide powerful boosts to your psychic immune system. Here are examples:

Scheme to put yourself in the path of beautiful landscapes, buildings, art, and creatures.

Exercise your imagination regularly. Get in the habit of feeding your mind's eye with images that fill you with wonder and vitality.

Eliminate uhs, you knows, I means, and other junk words from your speech. Avoid saying things you don't really mean and haven't thought out. Stop yourself when tempted to make scornful assertions about people.

Every night before you fall asleep, review the day's activities in your mind's eye. As if watching a movie about yourself, try to be calmly objective as you observe your memories from the previous 16 hours. Be especially alert for moments when you strayed from your purpose and didn't live up to your highest standards.

With a companion, sit in front of a turned-off TV as you make up a pronoiac story that features tricky benevolence, scintillating harmony, and amusing redemption. Speak this tale aloud or write it down.

Take on an additional job title, beautifier. Put it on your business card and do something every day to cultivate your skill. If you're a people person, bring grace and intrigue into your conversations; ask unexpected questions that provoke original thoughts.

If you're an artist, leave samples of your finest work in public places. If you're a psychologist or sociologist, point out the institutions and relationships that are working really well. Whatever you do best, be alert for how you can refine it and offer it up to those who'll benefit from it.

If you're going through a phase when you feel you have nothing especially beautiful to offer, or if you think it would be self-indulgent to inject your own aesthetic into shared environments, turn for help to great artists and thinkers.

Sneak O'Keeffe or Chagall prints onto unadorned walls in public places, for instance. Memorize poems by Emily Dickinson and Hafiz, and slip them into your conversations when appropriate. Use Vivaldi's Stabat Mater in C Minor as your ring tone. Scrawl passages from Annie Dillard's Teaching a Stone to Talk on the walls of public lavatories.

 photo Picture24-2.png


Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins died of typhoid fever after enduring years of health problems. He also had chronic melancholy and a mental illness that today we would call bipolar disorder. Yet his last words before he died were, "I am so happy, I am so happy. I loved my life."


"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."

—Agatha Christie

 photo Picture16-2.png


Senator Ted Cruz tweeted: "The Green New Deal will destroy the American energy industry as we know it."

In response, Edward DeRuiter @edwardderuiter tweeted: "The electric lightbulb will destroy the American whale oil lamp industry as we know it."

Jim Vernier added: "The automobile will destroy the horse and buggy industry as we know it. Airplanes will destroy the steamship and steam train industries as we know them. Comets will destroy the dinosaur industry as we know it. Change will destroy the old thing as we know it — fact."

 photo Picture24-2.png

It always makes me proud to love the world; hate’s so easy compared.

—Jack Kerouac


The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, the more spiritual the world is.

—Jack Kerouac

 photo Picture16-2.png


Review in painstaking detail the history of your life,
honoring every moment as if you were conducting
a benevolent Judgment Day.

Forgive yourself of every mistake except one.

Create a royal crown for yourself
out of a shower cap, rubber bands, and light bulbs.

Think of the last place on Earth you'd ever want to visit,
and visualize yourself having fun there.

Steal lint from dryers in laundromats
and use it to make animal sculptures for someone you admire.

Fantasize you're the child of divine parents
who abandoned you when you were two days old,
but who will soon be coming back to reunite with you.

Meditate on how one of the symbols of plenitude in Nepal is a mongoose vomiting jewels.

Once a year on the night before your birthday,
say these words into a mirror: "It's bad luck to be superstitious."

Start a club whose purpose is to produce an archive
of controversial jokes and obscene limericks about beauty, truth, and love.

 photo Picture16-2.png

Below are excerpts from an interview I did with the brilliant Amanda Yates Garcia, author of the book Initiated: The Wayward Girls' Guide to Becoming a Witch.

Listen to our conversation here.


Grace is a mystery, isn't it? It's not always something we can logically figure out. But I believe there is a way we can cultivate grace, and that is to commune with the Goddess.

We commune with the source of life, and affirm unceasingly that we want to be in close personal association with the source of all life.

We want to be with her. We want to speak with her. We want to be inspired by her. We want to be motivated by her.

We want to be able to channel her ideas of what we can be doing in the world. We want to be able to channel that in the purest way so that we're a vehicle for her.

And we're in alignment with her idea of what our highest destiny should be.

In that sense, we can to a degree at least—although it's always mysterious—we can cultivate grace and blessings that come from the highest source. Beyond our ego, beyond our conscious understanding, beyond what we can perceive with our five senses.


An important part of the request, or the prayer, or the invocation of the Goddess' intimate presence, is to affirm that whatever she chooses to give us will be of good to other people, will be of some use to other people.

That's the missing link: We affirm that we want her energy to fill us and inform us so that we can give our gifts better and to be of greater service to other people. I think that delights her and makes her all the more intensely likely to deliver the exact blessings that are necessary to any particular situation.

These are among my statements from an interview I did with the brilliant Amanda Yates Garcia, author of the book Initiated: Memoir of a Witch

Listen to our conversation here.

Amanda Yates Garcia is here.

Amanda Yates Garcia is also here.


More of my words from the interview with Amanda Yates Garcia:

A lot of people in our culture are smart intellectually, but not very smart emotionally. The emotional intelligence is just not very highly valued.

And it's related to how women are devalued. It's not just of course that women are the only ones who have emotional intelligence, but they're more likely to be emotionally intelligent than men.

So the devaluation of the feminine is related to the devaluation of the power of the emotions, of the wisdom of the emotions.

One of my great crusades is to champion the value of ripening our emotional understanding, of using our emotional understanding to enrich our relationships, and to enrich our understanding of how the world works.

Just one example: It's great to have an intellectual understanding of the Goddess and the source of all life beyond the material world, but it's another thing to have an emotional connection to the Goddess, and to cultivate that intimate up-close deeply felt contact and communion with her.

Luckily for me, I was born under the sign of Cancer, and I think that gives me a predilection for valuing the felt sense and championing the felt sense.


If we look at the history of the God Mars, originally he was a protector of the fields and protector of women and children. This was at a time in ancient Rome when most men were farmers.

But as Rome became an empire and more and more farmers became soldiers, the role of Mars shifted to be more warlike, and militant, and warrior-like.

But the original role of Mars, the central archetype of manliness, was to be a protector of women, and children, and nature.

Mars as a protector of the natural world and women and children: I would like to resurrect that archetype of Mars.


In my felt philosophy of life, Goddess is literally recreating the world every moment. She didn't create the world once upon a time 4.6 billion years ago and stop.

She's here now, recreating it all the time.

So each moment is new and unpredictable. And that can be scary, but it can be a liberation.

Thich Nhat Hanh said, "The bad news is that everything is impermanent. The good news is that everything is impermanent."

What he meant by that: The good news is that we can keep recreating things anew, too. We don't have to be bound by what happened once upon a time or yesterday. We really do at least potentially have the power to be like the Goddess, be like the river, and be ever flowing.


When we talk about happiness, it's about what has meaning to you. Happiness isn't necessarily about having all the money you want, although it can be related to that. In its purest form, happiness is that you're living a life with meaning or you're having experiences that satisfy your quest for meaning.

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said this clearly: A sense of meaning is the most important thing in life. That's what sustains people throughout their lives: the sense that their life has a meaning or that any particular experience has a meaning.


My happiness comes from the fact that I know my happiness is meaningless unless I'm working in some way to foster the happiness of others.

I also think my happiness thrives to the degree that I'm not just manly, but also womanly; in other words, to the degree that I incorporate what I understand to be the divine feminine principle and bring it into my life in really practical ways.

So that means valuing emotional intelligence, listening well, not being a know-it-all, being willing to be humble and empty, and curious and expressing care and compassion.

And not just thinking those things, but every day questioning how can I do this anew, afresh? How can I do this better than I did it before?

I feel equally manly and womanly. And for those aspects to be working together in me seems to be key to my ability to enjoy life.


All of the above is from an interview I did with Amanda Yates Garcia, author of the book Initiated: Memoir of a Witch

Listen to our conversation here.

 photo Picture24-2.png


The alchemists said the magic formula for enlightenment was "Visita Inferiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem," or "Seek out the lower reaches of the earth, perfect them, and you will find the hidden stone"—the treasured philosopher's stone.

In other words: Engage the shadowy parts of yourself, refine them, and you'll awaken your dormant divinity.



"If you're really listening, if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold ever-¬more wonders."

—Andrew Harvey


"The miracle of the psyche's ways is that even if you are halfhearted, irreverent, didn't mean to, didn't really hope to, don't want to, feel unworthy to, aren't ready for it, you will accidentally stumble upon treasure anyway."

—Clarissa Pinkola Estes


I invite you to write an essay on "What I Swear I'll Never Do Again as Long as I Live—Unless I Can Get Away With It Next Time."

 photo Picture16-2.png

THANKS by W. S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings

we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you

we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you

in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you

with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster

with nobody listening we are saying thank you

we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

—W. S. Merwin

 photo Picture24-2.png

Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy Picture 27 copy