Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter
November 16, 2016
Some readers seem surprised by the fact that I'm heartbroken and outraged about Trump's victory. "It's not pronoiac to be so sad and angry," one person said.
To correct that misunderstanding, here's a relevant passage from my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia:
Pronoia is fueled by a drive to cultivate happiness and a determination to practice an aggressive form of gratitude that systematically identifies the things that are working well. But it is not a soothing diversion meant for timid Pollyannas strung out on optimistic delusions.
It's not a feel-good New Age fantasy used to deny the harsh facts about existence. Those of us who perceive the world pronoiacally refuse to be polite shills for sentimental hopefulness.
On the contrary, we build our optimism not through a repression of
difficulty, but rather a vigorous engagement with it. We understand that the best way to attract blessings is to grapple with the knottiest enigmas.
Each fresh puzzle is a potential source of future bliss -- an exciting
teaching that may usher us to our next breakthrough.
Do you want to be a pronoiac player? Blend anarchistic rebelliousness with open-hearted exuberance. Root your insurrectionary fervor in expansive joy instead of withering hatred. Enjoy saying "no!" but don't make it the wellspring of your vitality. Be fueled by blood-red yeses that rip against the grain of comfortable ugliness.
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“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
― Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light
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The wise Charles Eisenstein writes: "We are exiting an old story that explained to us the way of the world and our place in it. Some may cling to it all the more desperately as it dissolves, looking perhaps to Donald Trump to restore it, but their savior has not the power to bring back the dead.
"Neither would Clinton have been able to preserve America as we’d known it for too much longer. We as a society are entering a space between stories, in which everything that had seemed so real, true, right, and permanent comes into doubt.
"For a while, segments of society have remained insulated from this breakdown (whether by fortune, talent, or privilege), living in a bubble as the containing economic and ecological systems deteriorate. But not for much longer.
"Not even the elites are immune to this doubt. They grasp at straws of past glories and obsolete strategies; they create perfunctory and unconvincing shibboleths (Putin!), wandering aimlessly from 'doctrine' to 'doctrine' – and they have no idea what to do.
Their haplessness and half-heartedness was plain to see in this election, their disbelief in their own propaganda, their cynicism.
When even the custodians of the story no longer believe the story, you know its days are numbered. It is a shell with no engine, running on habit and momentum."
Read Charles Eisenstein's whole piece:
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I'm not naïve. In my years on the planet, I have witnessed and experienced the atrocities of racism, misogyny, homophobia, militarism, nativism, plutocracy, hate-mongering, and bigotry of many stripes.
Since I was 16 years old, I have fought these evils. That's why I have had knives brandished at me by bigots -- bottles thrown at me and insults hurled at me. While participating in political protests, I have been tear-gassed and clubbed by police. I have felt the barrel of a cop's gun against my head, and have been strip-searched and harassed by law enforcement officers.
And much, much more. I won't mention here all the abuses I've seen directed at gay, female, black, Hispanic, or impoverished people I care about.
And yet I am finding it a challenge to fully integrate the fact that 60 million Americans just voted for a person whose own wods have revealed him to be a racist, misogynist, homophobic, militaristic, plutocratic hate-mongerer. I'm heartbroken. My grief and anger are deep.
I'm open to the possibility that some redemption will ultimately emerge from this tragedy, even it takes decades. I will search for and work to create that redemption.
But for now it's my duty to explore the teachings of this pain.
One thing that's important to my process is to ask whether my perceptions of Trump's dangerous intentions are real. Am I projecting my fears onto him? Have I been fooled into exaggerating his terror? So far, my answers to those questions is "No." I invite you to send me good evidence to the contrary.
Here are compilations of the evidence Trump himself has provided:
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A voice in my dream said to me: “I believe redemption will come from this disaster -- that the Trump election is a desperation move to preserve a dying paradigm. And I affirm that the work to birth the new paradigm requires me to steadfastly practice the seemingly impossible discipline of love.”
Here’s how I replied to the voice in my dream: I agree. But we also need the fuel of our anger. Which is why I'm meditating on these questions:
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?
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A reader who is upset about my outrage at the election results sent me this meme: "Believe there is good in the world."
Here's my response: For more than a decade, I have been a tireless advocate for the importance of believing there is good in the world. But if we believers in the world's wonder and glory fail to identify and acknowledge the world's suffering, our advocacy is empty and feeble; our credibility is zero.
To celebrate the good -- indeed, to create and cultivate the good -- we must deal regularly with the darkness.
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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:
In the California race to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer, Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian & Jamaican immigrants, was voted the nation's first Indian-American and second black female Senator.
In Oregon, Kate Brown was the first openly LGBT person to be elected to a US governorship.
Lisa Blunt Rochester earned Delaware’s sole seat in the House of Representatives, becoming both the first woman and the first African-American to represent Delaware in Congress.
In Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, a former refugee, is the first Somali-American Muslim woman elected to a state legislature.
Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is the first Latina elected to the Senate.
Tammy Duckworth took back Obama's Senate seat in Illinois.
In Florida, Stephanie Murphy was the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to Congress, defeating a 23-year Republican incumbent.
Pramila Jayapal will be the first female Indian-American Congressional Representative. An immigrant from India at 16, she was elected to represent the Seattle area on a Bernie-Sanders-style platform.
In NJ, Josh Gottheimer, first time Democratic candidate, beat Representative Scott Garrett, seven-term Republican incumbent and one of the most conservative Tea-Party-aligned members of Congress.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio was ousted in Arizona.
A woman handily won the popular vote for President of the United States.
(Note: I endorse these because I like them. They aren’t advertisements, and I get no kickbacks.)
Please tell me your own nominations for PRONOIA RESOURCES: Truthrooster@gmail.com.
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
Week beginning November 17
Copyright 2016 by Rob Brezsny
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
Does the word "revolution" have any useful meaning? Or has it been invoked by so many fanatics with such melodramatic agendas that it has lost its value? In accordance with your astrological omens, I suggest we give it another chance. I think it deserves a cozy spot in your life during the next few months. As for what exactly that entails, let's call on author Rebecca Solnit for inspiration. She says, "I still think the [real] revolution is to make the world safe for poetry, meandering, for the frail and vulnerable, the rare and obscure, the impractical and local and small."
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
"We all have ghosts inside us, and it's better when they speak than when they don't," wrote author Siri Hustvedt. The good news, Sagittarius, is that in recent weeks your personal ghosts have been discoursing at length. They have offered their interpretation of your life's central mysteries and have provided twists on old stories you thought you had all figured out. The bad news is that they don't seem to want to shut up. Also, less than 25% of what they have been asserting is actually true or useful. But here's the fantastic news: Those ghosts have delivered everything you need to know for now, and will obey if you tell them to take an extended vacation.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
In the film Bruce Almighty, Morgan Freeman plays the role of God, and Capricorn actor Jim Carrey is a frustrated reporter named Bruce Nolan. After Nolan bemoans his rocky fate and blames it on God's ineptitude, the Supreme Being reaches out by phone. (His number is 716-776-2323.) A series of conversations and negotiations ensues, leading Nolan on roller-coaster adventures that ultimately result in a mostly happy ending. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you Capricorns will have an unusually high chance of making fruitful contact with a Higher Power or Illuminating Source in the coming weeks. I doubt that 716-776-2323 is the right contact information. But if you trust your intuition, I bet you'll make the connection.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
Some spiders are both construction workers and artists. The webs they spin are not just strong and functional, but also feature decorative elements called "stabilimenta." These may be as simple as zigzags or as complex as spiral whorls. Biologists say the stabilimenta draw prey to specific locations, help the spider hide, and render the overall stability of the web more robust. As you enter the web-building phase of your cycle, Aquarius, I suggest that you include your own version of attractive stabilimenta. Your purpose, of course, is not to catch prey, but to bolster your network and invigorate your support system. Be artful as well as practical. (Thanks to Mother Nature Network's Jaymi Heimbuch for info on stabilimenta.)
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
"Aren't there parts of ourselves that are just better left unfed?" asked Piscean author David Foster Wallace. I propose that we make that one of your two keynotes during the next four weeks. Here's a second keynote: As you become more and more skilled at not fueling the parts of yourself that are better left unfed, you will have a growing knack for identifying the parts of yourself that should be well-fed. Feed them with care and artistry!
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
There is a 97 percent chance that you will NOT engage in the following activities within the next 30 days: naked skydiving, tight-rope walking between two skyscrapers, getting drunk on a mountaintop, taking ayahuasca with Peruvian shamans in a remote rural hut, or dancing ecstatically in a muddy pit of snakes. However, I suspect that you will be involved in almost equally exotic exploits -- although less risky ones -- that will require you to summon more pluck and improvisational skill than you knew you had.
YOU NEED MAGIC EVERY DAY
Every day, you have to wade through a relentless surge of soul-less facts. The experience tends to shut down your sense of wonder.
Every day, you're over-exposed to cynical narratives that have been sucked free of delight and mystery. That's why you have to make such strenuous efforts to keep your world enchanted.
I like to think I can contribute to the sacred cause of feeding your sense of wonder and enchantment. In fact, that's one of my prime motivations for offering you the free weekly horoscopes you read in this newsletter.
If you ever want more of that good stuff, and think it's worth paying for, please consider trying out my EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPES. They're four-to-five-minute meditations on the current state of your destiny.
To listen to your Expanded Audio Horoscope online, go to RealAstrology.com.
Register and/or log in through the main page.
You can also listen over the phone by calling 1-877-873-4888.
The cost is $6 per sign on the Web (discounts available for bulk purchases), or $1.99 per minute by phone.
The Expanded Audio Horoscopes work on most smart phones and tablets.
"I don't much believe in astrology. But that doesn't seem to get in the way of me deriving a whole lot of benefits from your expanded audio horoscopes."
- A. Arrosto, Indianapolis
"You have an amazing aptitude for cutting through the lies I tell myself. Thanks for the gentle shocks."
- T. Preneris, Toronto
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
The Onion, my favorite news source, reported that "It's perfectly natural for people to fantasize about sandwiches other than the one currently in their hands." You shouldn't feel shame, the article said, if you're enjoying a hoagie but suddenly feel an inexplicable yearning for a BLT or pastrami on rye. While I appreciate this reassuring counsel, I don't think it applies to you in the coming weeks. In my opinion, you have a sacred duty to be unwaveringly faithful, both in your imagination and your actual behavior -- as much for your own sake as for others'. I advise you to cultivate an up-to-date affection for and commitment to what you actually have, and not indulge in obsessive fantasies about "what ifs."
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
I hesitate to deliver the contents of this horoscope without a disclaimer. Unless you are an extremely ethical person with a vivid streak of empathy, you might be prone to abuse the information I'm about to present. So please ignore it unless you can responsibly employ the concepts of benevolent mischief and tricky blessings and cathartic shenanigans. Ready? Here's your oracle: Now is a favorable time for grayer truths, wilder leaps of the imagination, more useful bullshit, funnier enigmas, and more outlandish stories seasoned with crazy wisdom.
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
Kavachi is an underwater volcano in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. It erupts periodically, and in general makes the surrounding water so hot and acidic that human divers must avoid it. And yet some hardy species live there, including crabs, jellyfish, stingrays, and sharks. What adaptations and strategies enable them to thrive in such an extreme environment? Scientists don't know. I'm going to draw a comparison between you and the resourceful creatures living near Kavachi. In the coming weeks, I bet you'll flourish in circumstances that normal people might find daunting.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
Seventeenth-century British people used the now-obsolete word firktytoodle. It meant "cuddling and snuggling accompanied by leisurely experiments in smooching, fondling, licking, and sweet dirty talk." The coming weeks will be prime time for you to carry out extensive experiments in this activity. But here's an interesting question: Will the near future also be a favorable phase for record levels of orgasmic release? The answer: maybe, but IF AND ONLY if you pursue firkytoodle as an end in itself; IF AND ONLY IF you relish the teasing and playing as if they were ultimate rewards, and don't relegate them to being merely preliminary acts for pleasures that are supposedly bigger and better. P.S. These same principles apply not just to your intimate connections, but to everything else in your life, as well. Enjoying the journey is as important as reaching a destination.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Here's an experiment worth trying: Reach back into the past to find a remedy for what's bugging you now. In other words, seek out on an old, perhaps even partially forgotten influence to resolve a current dilemma that has resisted your efforts to master it. This is one time when it may make good sense to temporarily resurrect a lost dream. You could energize your future by drawing inspiration from possibilities that might have been but never were.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
By the time he died at the age of 87 in 1983, free thinker Buckminster Fuller had licensed his inventions to more than 100 companies. But along the way, he often had to be patient as he waited for the world to be ready for his visionary creations. He was ahead of his time, dreaming up things that would be needed before anyone knew they'd be needed. I encourage you to be like him in the coming weeks, Libra. Try to anticipate the future. Generate possibilities that people are not yet ripe to accept, but will eventually be ready to embrace.
Though sometimes it's impossible to do the right thing, doing the half-right thing may be a viable option. Give an example from your life: FreeWillAstrology.com
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Contents of the Free Will Astrology Newsletter are Copyright 2016 Rob Brezsny