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Week of November 2nd, 2023

What If Pleasure Is Essential to Spiritual Growth?

My new book is available: ASTROLOGY IS REAL: Revelations from My Life as an Oracle.

It's a blend of a memoir, oracles for readers, and essays about the art of astrology and mythopoetic intelligence. The eclectic tone ranges from pop to literary; from lyrical to philosophical; from searing critiques of hyper-rational, machine-style thinking to a celebration of the scientific method and soulful thinking.

ASTROLOGY IS REAL is a book you don’t have to read sequentially from beginning to end. You can start anywhere and read here and there, trusting your intuition to find exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

AIR front cover

Here’s an excerpt from ASTROLOGY IS REAL

Proposed experiment: Assume your drive to experience pleasure isn’t a hindrance to your spiritual growth, but is essential to it.

Proceed on the hypothesis that cultivating joy can make you a more ethical and compassionate person.

Research the possibility that when you feel good, you’re more generous spirited toward others.

Imagine that delight has an interesting teaching for you every day.


Here’s another excerpt from ASTROLOGY IS REAL

Many scientists deride astrology as being a "pseudoscience." In making such a fallacious claim, they reveal they have shunned the most basic principle of science, which is to actually investigate the subject they aspire to understand.

If they took the trouble to do research, they would have discovered that Western astrology's best practitioners don't claim that astrology is a science—which means that it can't be a pseudoscience!

The lyrical and practical truth is that astrology is a blend of psychology, storytelling, and mythology. As Carl Jung said, it's an aid in understanding and articulating how the psyche works. Like any language, it's both logical and messy; it's useful in making sense of the world, yet full of crazy-making ambiguities.

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. It liberates and fertilizes our imaginations and encourages us to think less literally. It teaches us to visualize our destinies as mythic quests and deepens our connection to life's gorgeous mysteries.

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 NOT A SCIENCE! Nor is storytelling, depth psychology, mythology, dream interpretation, or poetry.

It makes as much sense to criticize astrology for not being scientific as it does to deride Joseph Campbell treatises on the world's mythic traditions or Ursula K. Le Guin's science fiction novels because they don't explicate and illustrate the quantum field theory of physics.

The scientific method is a wonderful method for achieving some understanding of the world. But we can't use it to analyze the Indigenous Bororo people's myth, "The Bird-Nester's Aria." It's not a reliable strategy for uncovering deep truths about how a Beethoven symphony might alter the way we think about a problem we're having at work.

We profoundly need the scientific method and logical deduction and objective perceptions. They are crucial to being human. But we also need mythopoetic storytelling and art that moves us emotionally in mysterious ways and playful fun that frees us from our fixations.

Does it make sense to say that analyzing and working on dreams is "pseudoscience"? Of course not. You can't design a repeatable experiment to test your hypothesis about those slippery marvels. And yet, working with one's dreams, analyzing them to find subconscious patterns that affect our behavior, can be intensely practical.

Astrology is not designed to compete with scientists' logical analyses of why things are the way they are. Rather, it's meant to open our minds to the mythic elements that underlie the surface-level interpretations of what we're all about.

I can't imagine any intelligent person who would believe that the scientific way of knowing is better and more important than the mythopoetic—or vice versa.

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