Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter
August 16, 2017
My book PRONOIA IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR PARANOIA
is available at Amazon: bit.ly/Pronoia
or Powells: bit.ly/PronoiaPowells
Below are excerpts.
I'm imagining the possibility of helping to establish a tradition of uplifting gossip, full of praise and gratitude. What about, if instead of naming the shadowy aspects of our friends and acquaintances behind their backs, we identified, celebrated, and propitiated their divine glory and shining wonder?
Vow: I name the most beautiful truths about everyone I meet. I extol and congratulate. Cherish and cultivate. Quicken and animate.
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WHAT PART OF YOUR LIFE DO YOU NEED TO SHED?
Here's a letter we wrote to America's richest woman, Oprah Winfrey.
"Dear Oprah," we began. "Please buy up all the Pizza Huts and convert them into a network of Menstrual Huts. Create 10,000 or 100,000 local neighborhood sanctuaries where women can retreat while they're in the throes of their monthly appointment with dying and purification -- or any time they need a break from the tyranny of the clock.
"Let the men come, too. They need sabbaticals. We're all desperate for a regular chance to drop out of the crazy-making grind, to find respite from civilizations' crimes against the rhythms of sleep and love and play.
"Men may actually need the Menstrual Huts even more than women. They mistakenly imagine that they can drive themselves on and on and on. Their poor bodies don't have a built-in menstrual mechanism to cyclically slow them down. And so they mostly never stop to peer into the heart of their own darkness. Which is why so many of them tend to find evil everywhere else except in themselves, and fight it everywhere else except in themselves.
"Just a theory to consider: If men got a chance to have periodic breakdowns and negotiate in a safe place with the toxic feelings that just naturally build up inside everyone over time, maybe they wouldn't wreak so much havoc out in the world. Maybe Menstrual Huts would save the world."
Our letter to Oprah went on for two more pages, but you get the gist. She has not yet responded to our plea.
In the meantime, we suggest that anyone who's interested create their own local Moon Lodges and Menstrual Huts. Here's a list of self-inquiries that could help to guide the time in the sanctuary
1. What feelings and intuitions have you been trying to ignore lately?
2. Which parts of your life are overdue for death?
3. What messages has life been trying to convey to you but which you've chosen to ignore?
4. What red herrings, straw men, and scapegoats have you chased after obsessively in order to avoid dissolving your most well-rationalized delusions?
5. What unripe parts of yourself are you most ashamed or fearful of? How can you give those parts more ingenious love?
6. What parts of yourself have the least integrity and don't act in harmony with what you regard as your highest values? How can you bring them into alignment with your true desires?
7. Is it possible that in repressing things about yourself that you don't like, you have also disowned potentially strong and beautiful aspects of yourself? What are they?
8. Are those really flaws that are bugging you about the people whose destinies are entwined with yours, or just incompletely developed talents? Are those really flaws that are bugging you about yourself, or merely incompletely developed talents?
9. Some people try to deny their portion of the world's darkness and project it onto individuals or groups they dislike. Others acknowledge its power so readily that they allow themselves to be overwhelmed by it. We believe in taking an in-between position, accepting it as an unworked gift that can serve our liberation. Where do you stand?
10. It's easy to see fanaticism, rigidity, and intolerance in other people, but harder to acknowledge them in yourself. Do you dare?
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YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION AND FOLLY
"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.“
Experiment: Memorize the lines above, which were written by George Bernard Shaw, and deliver them to the one with whom you’d most like to weave your fortunes more closely together. If there is no human you feel moved to address so tenderly, speak them to a favorite muse or angel.
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TRACK DOWN THE SPIRIT IN ITS LAIR
"The goal is to break through the machinery of cultural conditioning, in the same way that the shaman does, and to attempt to discover something authentic—something authentic outside the self-generated language cloud. And what this authentic thing is, is that the universal mind is alive, is sentient, is perceiving, is there to meet you when you come through from the other side.
"So we're not talking about psychedelics as a spotlight to be turned on to reveal the detritus of our own personal unconscious. It is not a spotlight. It is not shining from behind you; it is shining ahead of you. The same organizational principles that called us forth into self-reflection has called forth self-reflection out of the planet itself.
"And the problem then is for us to suspect this, act on our suspicion, and be good detectives and track down the spirit in its lair. And this is what shamans are doing. They are hunters of spirit."
- Terence McKenna
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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:
Eleven Essential Native American Films You Can Watch Online
Wyoming embraces wind energy, and the jobs that come with it. Wind turbine jobs are expected to be the fastest growing jobs in America between now and 2024, growing 108%.
A New Zealand River Has Human Rights.
(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 August 17
Copyright 2017 by Rob Brezsny
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
"If you love someone, set them free," said New Age author Richard Bach. "If they come back, they're yours; if they don't, they never were." By using my well-educated intellect to transmute this hippy-dippy thought into practical advice, I came up with a wise strategy for you to consider as you re-evaluate your relationships with allies. Try this: Temporarily suspend any compulsion you might have to change or fix these people; do your best to like them and even love them exactly as they are. Ironically, granting them this freedom to be themselves may motivate them to modify, or at least tone down, the very behavior in themselves that you're semi-allergic to.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
In 1892, workers began building the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. But as of August 2017, it is still under construction. Renovation has been and continues to be extensive. At one point in its history, designers even changed its architectural style from Neo-Byzantine and Neo-Romanesque to Gothic Revival. I hope this serves as a pep talk in the coming weeks, which will be an excellent time to evaluate your own progress, Virgo. As you keep toiling away in behalf of your dreams, there's no rush. In fact, my sense is that you're proceeding at precisely the right rate.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
In accordance with the astrological omens, I hereby declare the next two weeks to be your own personal Amnesty Holiday. To celebrate, ask for and dole out forgiveness. Purge and flush away any non-essential guilt and remorse that are festering inside you. If there truly are hurtful sins that you still haven't atoned for, make a grand effort to atone for them -- with gifts and heart-felt messages if necessary. At the same time, I urge you to identify accusations that others have wrongly projected onto you and that you have carried around as a burden even though they are not accurate or fair. Expunge them.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
How many countries has the United States bombed since the end of World War II? Twenty-five, to be exact. But if America's intention has been to prod these nations into forming more free and egalitarian governments, the efforts have been mostly fruitless. Few of the attacked nations have become substantially more democratic. I suggest you regard this as a valuable lesson to apply to your own life in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Metaphorical bombing campaigns wouldn't accomplish even 10 percent of your goals, and would also be expensive in more ways than one. So I recommend using the "killing with kindness" approach. Be wily and generous. Cloak your coaxing in compassion.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
You know about the Ten Commandments, a code of ethics and behavior that's central to Christianity and Judaism. You may not be familiar with my Ten Suggestions, which begin with "Thou Shall Not Bore God" and "Thou Shall Not Bore Thyself." Then there are the Ten Indian Commandments proposed by the Bird Clan of East Central Alabama. They include "Give assistance and kindness whenever needed" and "Look after the well-being of your mind and body." I bring these to your attention, Sagittarius, because now is an excellent time to formally formulate and declare your own covenant with life. What are the essential principles that guide you to the highest good?
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
Here's a definition of "fantasizing" as articulated by writer Jon Carroll. It's "a sort of 'in-brain' television, where individuals create their own 'shows' -- imaginary narratives that may or may not include real people." As you Capricorns enter the High Fantasy Season, you might enjoy this amusing way of describing the activity that you should cultivate and intensify. Would you consider cutting back on your consumption of movies and TV shows? That might inspire you to devote more time and energy to watching the stories you can generate in your mind's eye.
MAYBE JOY AND PLEASURE ARE ESSENTIAL SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES
Assume that your drive to experience pleasure and happiness isn't a barrier to your spiritual growth, but is in fact essential to it. Proceed on the hypothesis that cultivating joy can make you a more ethical and compassionate person. Imagine that feeling good has something important to teach you every day.
For inspiration in practicing this approach, tune in to your 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.
"Your expanded horoscopes get more personal and intimate with me than some of my closest friends. Thanks for the loving reflections."
- Ari S., Ann Arbor, MI
"When I listen to your audio 'scopes, my free will lights up." - Alex D., Los Angeles
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
In 43 cartoon stories, the coyote named Wile E. Coyote has tried to kill and devour the swift-running flightless bird known as the Road Runner. Every single time, Wile E. has failed to achieve his goal. It's apparent to astute observers that his lack of success is partly due to the fact that he doesn't rely on his natural predatory instincts. Instead, he concocts elaborate, overly-complicated schemes. In one episode, he camouflages himself as a cactus, buys artificial lightning bolts, and tries to shoot himself from a bow as if he were an arrow. All these plans end badly. The moral of the story, as far as you're concerned: To reach your next goal, trust your instincts.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
You temporarily have cosmic permission to loiter and goof off and shirk your duties. To be a lazy bum and meander aimlessly and avoid tough decisions. To sing off-key and draw stick figures and write bad poems. To run slowly and flirt awkwardly and dress like a slob. Take advantage of this opportunity, because it's only available for a limited time. It's equivalent to pushing the reset button. It's meant to re-establish your default settings. But don't worry about that now. Simply enjoy the break in the action.
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
"To disobey in order to take action is the byword of all creative spirits," said philosopher Gaston Bachelard. This mischievous advice is perfect for your use right now, Aries. I believe you'll thrive through the practice of ingenious rebellion -- never in service to your pride, but always to feed your soul's lust for deeper, wilder life. Here's more from Bachelard: "Autonomy comes through many small disobediences, at once clever, well thought-out, and patiently pursued, so subtle at times as to avoid punishment entirely."
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
Congratulations! I expect that during the next three weeks, you will be immune to what psychoanalyst Joan Chodorow calls "the void of sadness, the abyss of fear, the chaos of anger, and the alienation of contempt and shame." I realize that what I just said might sound like an exaggeration. Aren't all of us subject to regular encounters with those states? How could you possibly go so long without brushing up against them? I stand by my prediction, and push even further. For at least the next three weeks, I suspect you will also be available for an inordinate amount of what Chodorow calls "the light of focused insight" and "the playful, blissful, all-embracing experience of joy."
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
The coming days would an excellent time to celebrate (even brag about) the amusing idiosyncrasies and endearing quirks that make you lovable. To get you inspired, read this testimony from my triple Gemini friend Alyssa: "I have beauty marks that form the constellation Pegasus on my belly. I own my own ant farm. I'm a champion laugher. I teach sign language to squirrels. Late at night when I'm horny and overtired I may channel the spirit of a lion goddess named Sekhmet. I can whistle the national anthems of eight different countries. I collect spoons from the future. I can play the piano with my nose and my toes. I have forever banished the green-eyed monster to my closet."
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
Your education may take unusual forms during the coming weeks. For example, you could receive crunchy lessons from velvety sources, or tender instructions from exacting challenges. Your curiosity might expand to enormous proportions in the face of a noble and elegant tease. And chances are good that you'll find a new teacher in an unlikely setting, or be prodded and tricked into asking crucial questions you've been neglecting to ask. Even if you haven't been particularly street smart up until now, Cancerian, I bet your ability to learn from uncategorizable experiences will blossom.
What thing do you yearn for that would also benefit other people? Testify at Truthrooster@gmail.com.
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Contents of the Free Will Astrology Newsletter are Copyright 2017 Rob Brezsny