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Week of February 24th, 2022

You Have More Freedom Than You Realize

"The people of future generations will win many a liberty of which we do not yet even feel the want," said German philosopher Max Stirner.

See if you can become aware of an interesting freedom that has not previously been on your radar screen.

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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.

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"We cannot live securely in a world which is not our own, in a world which is interpreted for us by others.

"An interpreted world is not a home.

"Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to put our ears to our own inner voices, to see our own light, which is our birthright, and comes to us in silence."

—Elaine Bellezza

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Three tasks that are among the hardest any human being can attempt:

1. Interrupt and overthrow negative trains of thought right in the middle of their flow through your brain.

2. Negotiate partial solutions to complex problems. In other words, do the half-right thing when it's impossible to do the totally right thing.

3. Understand that in order to graduate from a certain batch of weird karma that has persisted, you must completely accept the situation as it is, acknowledge your role in precipitating and prolonging it, and feel gratitude for all that it has taught you.

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Here's a link to my free weekly email newsletter, featuring the Free Will Astrology horoscopes, plus a celebratory array of tender rants, lyrical excitements, poetic philosophy, and joyous adventures in consciousness. It arrives every Tuesday morning by 7:30 am.

Read past issues of the newsletter since May 12.

Read past issues of the newsletter from before May 12.

Sign up here for your free subscription.

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Throw a party for all the people you've ever been and all the different selves who live within you. Invite the teenager who once seethed with frustrated potential and the four-year-old who loved nothing more than to play.

Include the hopeful complainer who stands in the shadows and dares you to ask for more, as well as the brave hero who comes out every now and then to attempt seemingly impossible feats of happiness.

Don't forget any of the various personalities who have contributed to making you who you are, even the "bad" ones. Celebrate your internal diversity. Marvel at how good you are at changing.

(For extra credit, you could also invite all the characters you've been in past incarnations, like the Balinese puppet-maker and the Nigerian herbalist and the Chinese midwife and the African savannah elephant.)

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The Beauty and Truth Lab is coming to you live from your repressed memory of paradise, reminding you that all of creation loves you very much.

Even now, secret allies are cooking up mysteries that will excite you and incite you for years to come.

Even now, the Earth, moon, and sun are collaborating to make sure you have all you need to make your next smart move.

But here's the loaded question: Are you willing to love life back with an equal intensity? The adoration it offers you has not exactly been unrequited, but there is room for you to be more demonstrative.

Half of the art of pronoia is about being improvisationally receptive to life's elaborate scheme to shower you with blessings. The other half is about learning to be a co-conspirator who assists life in doling out blessings—to help everyone else get exactly what they need, exactly when they need it.

Visualize yourself being able to recognize the raw truth about the people you care about. Imagine that you can see how they already embody the beauty their souls' codes have promised as well as how they still fall short of embodying that beauty.

Picture yourself being able to make them feel appreciated even as you inspire them to risk changes that will activate more of their souls' codes.

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Do you have an unconscious belief that the forces of evil are loud, vigorous, and strong, while good is quiet, gentle, and passive?

Gather evidence that contradicts this irrational prejudice.

Are you secretly suspicious of joy because you think it's inevitably rooted in wishful thinking and a willful ignorance about the true nature of reality?

Expose these suspicions as superstitions that aren't grounded in any objective data you can actually prove.

Do you fear that when you're in the presence of love and beauty you tend to become softheaded, whereas you're likely to feel smart and powerful when you're sneering at the ugliness around you?

As an antidote, for a given amount of time, say a week or a month or a year, act as if the following hypothesis were true: that you're more likely to grow smarter when you're in the presence of love and beauty.

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"I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillaries."

—William James, "The Will to Believe"


"The great lessons from the true mystics, from the Zen monks, is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbors, friends, and family, in one's back yard, and that travel may be a flight from confronting the sacred. To be looking everywhere for miracles is a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous."

—Abraham H. Maslow, Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences


"If you love the sacred and despise the ordinary, you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion."

—Lin-­Chi, The Taoist Classics, translated by Thomas Cleary


"The lesson that life constantly enforces is 'Look underfoot.' You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think.

"The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Don't despise your own place and hour. Every place is the center of the world."

—Naturalist John Burroughs


"We want to be God in all the ways that are not the ways of God, in what we hope is indestructible or unmoving.

"But God is fragile, a bare smear of pollen, that scatter of yellow dust from the tree that tumbled over in a storm of grief and planted itself again."

—Deena Metzger, Prayers for a Thousand Years. edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon


"Nature exults in abounding radicality, extremism, anarchy. If we were to judge nature by its common sense or likelihood, we wouldn't believe the world existed.

"In nature, improbabilities are the one stock in trade. The whole creation is one lunatic fringe . . . No claims of any and all revelations could be so far-fetched as a single giraffe."

—Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


"What we want from poetry is to be moved from where we now stand. We don't just want to have our ideas or emotions confirmed.

"Or if we do, we turn to lesser poems, poems that are happy to tell you that killing children is bad, chopping down the rain forest is bad, dying is sad.

"A good poet would agree with those sentiments, but would also strive for an understanding beyond those givens."

—James Tate, American Poetry Review

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My daughter Zoe Brezsny and her partner Mario Miron run Gern en Regalia, an art gallery on New York's Lower East Side. The new show features artists Marlon Kroll and Bryce Kroll.

The gallery is open from 12 to 7 at 246 East 4th Street.

More info

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I've written my astrology column every week for years. Never missed a week. I am a tenacious Cancerian. My number one rule in regularly creating 12 oracles of philosophical poetry: Have fun.


News: An entrepreneur approached me with a proposal: "Your work should be getting out to a bigger audience. People are starving for the message you're putting out. That's why you need me. With my marketing machine, your name could become as recognizable as Deepak Chopra's. Let's build an entertainment conglomerate and hawk a hundred Rob Brezsny-style products."

"Nah," I said. "People come to me seeking sanctuary from hype. They know I won't smack them upside the head with relentless sales pitches."

Meanwhile, I regularly get inquiries from marketers who want to pay me money for putting advertisements on my website or advertorials on my social media sites. I always say no. I have turned down tens of thousands of dollars in ad revenue.

I'm going on 27 years of maintaining this attitude. I launched my website in 1995, and have never had a paid ad on it. I've offered over 1,400 of my weekly Free Will Astrology columns for free on that site.

I freely give away two hours' worth of my music on Soundcloud. I don't make any money from my Youtube videos. I freely give away large sections of my books The Televisionary Oracle and Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia.

I've never bought an ad on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, although I'm considering doing so when my new books come out.

Have I been naïve? Idiotic? Overly idealistic? Too pure? Self-sabotaging? Woefully unrealistic?

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Do you know about all of my FREE STUFF? Here's a list:

My free weekly newsletter

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More free music

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P.S.: No pressure, though! I understand that some of you don't have enough money yourself, and it wouldn't make sense for you to give some to me.

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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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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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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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