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Week of February 17th, 2022

Love Our "Blemishes" and "Mistakes"

It turns out that the "blemish" is actually essential to the beauty. The "deviation" is at the core of the strength. The "wrong turn" was crucial to you getting onto the path with heart.

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I've gathered together all of the Long-Range, Big-Picture Horoscopes I wrote for you in the past few weeks, and bundled them in one place. Go here to read a compendium of your forecasts for 2022.


In addition to these, I've created EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPES that go even further in Exploring Your Long-Term Destiny in 2022.

What will be the story of your life in the coming months? What new influences will be headed your way? What fresh resources will you be able to draw on? How can you conspire with life to create the best possible future for yourself?

To listen to these three-part, in-depth reports, go here.

Register and/or log in through the main page, and then access the horoscopes by clicking on "Long Range Prediction." Choose from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Each part is a standalone report, not dependent on the other two.

If you'd like a boost of inspiration to fuel you in your quest for beauty and truth and love and meaning, tune in to my meditations on your Big-Picture outlook.


Each of the three-part reports is seven to nine minutes long. The cost is $6 per report. There are discounts for the purchase of multiple reports.

P.S. You can also listen to a short-term Expanded Audio Horoscope for the coming week.

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Most of us have heard the exhortation "Follow your bliss!" It was popularized by mythologist Joseph Campbell. After studying the archetypal stories of many cultures throughout history, he concluded that it was the most important principle driving the success of most heroes.

Here's another way to say it: Identify the job or activity that deeply excites you, and find a way to make it the center of your life. Do what you love. Honor the strong drives of your heart.

But in his later years, Campbell worried that too many people had misinterpreted "Follow your bliss" to mean "Do what comes easily."

That's all wrong, he said. Anything worth doing takes work and struggle. "Maybe I should have said, 'Follow your blisters,'" he laughed.

Although many people believed Campbell's original quote was, "Follow your bliss and the money will come," he didn't actually say that.

In the days before fact-checking quotes on the internet became easy and routine, I was one of those who was under that misimpression.

I used "follow your bliss and the money will come" as a primary hypothesis for many years as I cooked my twice-a-day rice and beans and veggies on a hot plate in my one-room shack; as I rode my bike everywhere since I couldn't afford a car or insurance; as I neglected my dental care because I had no money to pay for it, and Medi-Cal, the California state government's insurance program. financed only the most meager and mediocre treatments.

After a while, when it was clear the money wasn't coming anytime soon, I amended Campbell's motto to read, "Follow your bliss and your blisters, and the money may come—although long past the time when you wish it would have."

I faithfully wrote my astrology column for 18 years before the money came. The process of getting it syndicated was brutally slow and gradual.

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For people who believe in such things, it’s interesting to note that there is not a single planet retrograde right now. That’s unusual.

How should we respond? Here's one possible answer: Indulge in drinking the lushest, most luxuriant water; avoid the low-fat H20 whenever possible. Likewise, inhale the kind of oxygen that's high in good cholesterol, and feast your eyes on creamy, full-bodied landscapes and other calorie-rich sights.

Also highly recommended: erotic encounters with the sky, wind, trees, mist, fog, rivers, lakes, and mountains.

First planet to go retrograde again is Pluto, on April 29. So almost two and a half months of no retrogrades.

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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?


David Whyte writes: “ANGER is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt.

“Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger is the purest form of care; the internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for.

“What we usually call anger is only what is left of its essence when we are overwhelmed by its accompanying vulnerability, when it reaches the lost surface of our mind or our body’s incapacity to hold it, or when it touches the limits of our understanding.

“What we name as anger is actually only the incoherent physical incapacity to sustain this deep form of care in our outer daily life; the unwillingness to be large enough and generous enough to hold what we love helplessly in our bodies or our mind with the clarity and breadth of our whole being.”

- From David Whyte’s book, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

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Some rightwingers fling the clichéd term "virtue signaling" as if it were a bad thing. Personally, I am all in favor of virtue-signaling.

I love to see people making full-bodied expressions of how much they care and what they want to do to make the world a better place. It's even fine with me if a part of their motivation is the desire to be loved by the rest of us do-gooders.

So yes, please feel free to flaunt your virtue-signaling in front of me. I will applaud and appreciate. Maybe you talk the do-good talk 70% of the time and walk the do-good walk 30% of the time. In my eyes, that's WAY preferable to those who walk the do-good walk 0% of the time.

If for some reason anyone doesn't like my virtue-signaling, they have my authorization to go in search of people who prefer to engage in vice-signaling and selfishness-signaling and I've-got-mine-and-fuck-the-rest-of-you signaling.


Virtue signaling is one of the ways I offer teaching. I express what I think is moral behavior, and tell how I myself embody that moral behavior, in the hope of inspiring people to do good works.

We all work for a better world in the ways that are suitable for our unique constellation of interests and skills, and that may change over time.

When I was young, I protested in the streets and worked on action committees and educated myself about the issues so I could educate others.

In recent years, my activism has been expressed mostly through my words, music, and performances. I'm a teacher and influencer.

Serving in political offices is one way, but not the only way, of accomplishing practical activism. Very few of us are called to serve in political offices.

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Technically, the Los Angeles Rams racked up three more points than the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl. They were the stronger team. But due to the exigencies of the Electoral College, the Bengals have been declared the winner.

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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.

PS: My body is my teacher, my boon ally, my initiator, my redeemer. Its presence and influence imprint themselves on my eternal soul.

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Among human beings, a pleasure-prone personality rarely displays violence or aggressive behaviors, and a violent personality has little ability to tolerate, experience, or enjoy sensuously pleasing activities. As either violence or pleasure goes up, the other goes down.

—James W. Prescott, "Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence"

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Gertrude Stein defined love as "the skillful audacity required to share an inner life." It suggests that expressing the truth about who you are is not something that amateurs do very well. Practice and ingenuity are required.

It also implies that courage is an essential element of successful intimacy. You've got to be adventurous if you want to weave your life together with another's.

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For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining.

—James Hillman

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"Why is it so hard to find a soulmate?" asks psychologist Carolyn Godschild Miller in her book Soulmates: Following Inner Guidance to the Relationship of Your Dreams.

Her answer: "Because most of us are actually searching for egomates instead. We place the most limited and unloving aspect of our minds in charge of our search for love, and then wonder why we aren't succeeding.

"To the degree that we identify with this false sense of self, and operate on the basis of its limited point of view, we aren't looking for someone to love so much as recruiting fellow actors to take on supporting roles in a favorite melodrama."

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I invite you to act like a person who's in love.

Even if you're not currently in the throes of passion for a special someone, pretend you are.

Everywhere you go, exude that charismatic blend of shell-shocked contentment and blissful turmoil that comes over you when you're infatuated.

Let everyone you meet soak up the delicious wisdom you exude.

Dispense free blessings and extra slack like a rich saint high on natural endorphins.

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Imagine that the merger of you and your best ally has created a third thing that hovers near you, protecting and guiding the two of you.

Call this third thing an angel.

Or call it the soul of your connection or the inspirational force of your relationship.

Or call it the special work the two of you can accomplish together.

And let this magical presence be the third point of your love triangle.

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Whenever I write about romance and togetherness, I attract a storm of complaints from readers who are solitary. "How dare you imply that everyone has or should have a partner!?" is a typical protest. "I'm quite content being alone!" is another.

Let it be known that I do not believe your happiness depends on having a spouse or lover. What I do suspect, though, is that your soul needs some sacred relationship in order to thrive, whether it's with a good friend, a beloved animal, a beautiful patch of earth, the Divine Wow, or anything that's not you.

Whenever I invite you to seek deeper, wilder communion, feel free to interpret it as a call to explore any kind of intimacy that draws you closer to the secret heart of the world.

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"The Orgasmic Roots of Pronoia" is one of the few NC-17-rated pieces in my book. For those of you over 18, here's the link: here's the link.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION! This material has graphic references to love, lust, tenderness, bliss, and rapture.

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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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Are you in quest of a Soul Friend or a Freaky Consort? A Wild Confidante? A Master of Curiosity who listens better than anyone ever or a Lucid Dreamer with whom you can practice the Art of Liberation?

The Beauty and Truth Lab's rapturists have formulated a batch of personal ads for you to borrow. They have been designed to attract allies who are committed to the art of compassionate lust and blasphemous reverence.

If you're a Crafty Optimist or Mystical Activist or Ceremonial Teaser who aspires to put the elation back in relationship, you're invited to plagiarize any part of them for your own use.

Here's the link.

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You understand that you can never own love, right? No matter how much someone adores you today, no matter how much you adore someone, you can't force that unique state of grace to keep its shape forever.

It will inevitably evolve or mutate, perhaps into a different version of tender caring, but maybe not.

From there it will continue to change, into either yet another version of interesting affection, or who knows what else?

Are you making any progress in getting the hang of this tricky wisdom?

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You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day's wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallionly fellow vagabond, my tempter and star. I want you.

—George Bernard Shaw

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In Joseph Campbell's vision of myth, the hero is typically a solitary male who renounces intimate companionship to pursue his glorious, arduous quest. Along the way, sporadic help may arrive from an ineffable muse or deity.

There are alternative scenarios for the hero's journey, but Campbell underplayed them. In the tantric tradition, for instance, a seeker's connection with a beloved human companion is essential to his or her spiritual inquiry.

Some early Christians described Jesus and Mary Magdalene as equal collaborators. Sufi mystic poet Rumi may not have actually made love with his teacher Shams (then again, he might have), but it's clear the two men sought divine communion together, not through lonely solo work.

Some modern teachers have broken from Campbell's narrow perspective. The quest for illumination, they say, can thrive on the challenges of loving and living with an actual person. In John Welwood's Love and Awakening, the author re­imagines relationship as an "alliance of warriors" devoted to awakening each other's "holy longing."

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Early in his career, Robert Bly rarely wrote love poetry, though he studied the work of others who did.

As he aged, he stopped reading the angst-ridden ruminations of modern poets and sought out the ecstatic love poetry of mystics like Rumi and Kabir. Increasingly, forgiveness and compassion became central aspects of Bly's emotional repertoire.

His rage about his own past romantic disappointments dissipated. In his mid­40s, he wrote Loving a Woman in Two Worlds, his first collection of love poetry.

Critiquing it for The New York Times Book Review, Fred Chappell said it wasn't a real book of love poems, because there wasn't enough hatred and anger in it.

On Bly's behalf, we offer a response to Mr. Chappell: We love you, goddamnit.

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"The psychic health of an individual resides in the capacity to recognize and welcome the 'Other,'" writes poet and translator Rosanna Warren in The Art of Translation.

"Our word 'idiot' comes from the Greek idiotes, whose primary sense is of privacy or isolation."

With this warning, Warren builds her case for the virtues of reading literature that has been translated from its native tongue.

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by Steve Penny

"Why is sex the most fun people have without laughing or smiling? Think about it. When enjoying most other physical pleasures, you smile and laugh.

"It may be because we have millions of years of evolutionary history with sex being closely linked to aggression and dominance—especially for men, who feel a big push to beat out their competitors and get their genes into the next generation.

"Another reason most people don't smile or laugh during sex is that desire has an edge to it. You know how hard it is to tell sometimes if animals are fighting or mating?

"Many human relationships have a similar quality. It's hard to tell if the couple is actually in love or strangely addicted to tormenting each other.

"This difference in how we experience sexual pleasure compared to other types of joy may be one reason so many people end up in relationships where the sex is fantastic but everything else is screwed.

"Biologists classify all living things by their reproductive habits because, from an evolutionary standpoint, it's the slowest behavior to change.

"Laughter, on the other hand, is fairly recent in an evolutionary sense. While several primates smile (although not necessarily from joy), and chimpanzees and gorillas chuckle and tickle, humans are the only species that truly laughs from joy.

"Maybe sex is the most fun people have without laughing because our slow-to-change reproductive behavior hasn't caught up with the more recent development in evolution—laughter."

—Steve Penny, How to Have Great Laughing Sex,

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A pig's orgasm can last for 30 minutes.

Orangutans and macaques masturbate with sex toys made of leaves and twigs.

The ladybird beetle can copulate for up to nine hours at a time, and males are capable of three orgasms in one session, each an hour and a half long.

The male members of the fruit fly species Drosophila bifurca are one-eighth of an inch long, but their sperm can be up to 2.3 inches long.

About eight percent of domestic rams prefer other males as sexual partners.

As soon as the male praying mantis begins coitus with the female, she bites off his head and eats it.

An adult female elephant's clitoris is between six and twelve inches long, and the spotted hyena female has such a large clitoris that she is frequently mistaken for a male.

An oyster is usually ambisexual; it begins life as a male, then becomes a female, then changes back to being a male, then back to being female.

A whale's penis is called a dork.

Some dolphins try to have intercourse with turtles, sharks, and seals.

Slugs are hermaphrodites with penises on their heads. Asian stick insects sometimes indulge in coitus for ten weeks straight.

The slime mold comes in 500 genders, and at least 13 of these have to collaborate in order to reproduce.

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To achieve what the Zen Buddhists call “beginner’s mind,” you dispense with all preconceptions and enter each situation as if seeing it for the first time. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities,” wrote Shunryu Suzuki. “but in the expert’s there are few.”

As much as I love beginner’s mind, though, I advocate an additional discipline: cultivating a beginner’s heart. That means approaching every encounter imbued with a freshly invoked wave of love that is as pure as if you’re feeling it for the first time.

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