Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter
May 5, 2021
It always makes me proud to love the world; hate’s so easy compared.
The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, the more spiritual the world is.
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IT'S BAD LUCK TO BE SUPERSTITIOUS
Review in painstaking detail the history of your life,
honoring every moment as if you were conducting
a benevolent Judgment Day.
Forgive yourself of every mistake except one.
Create a royal crown for yourself
out of a shower cap, rubber bands, and light bulbs.
Think of the last place on Earth you'd ever want to visit,
and visualize yourself having fun there.
Steal lint from dryers in laundromats
and use it to make animal sculptures for someone you admire.
Fantasize you're the child of divine parents
who abandoned you when you were two days old,
but who will soon be coming back to reunite with you.
Meditate on how one of the symbols of plenitude in Nepal is a mongoose vomiting jewels.
Once a year on the night before your birthday,
say these words into a mirror: "It's bad luck to be superstitious."
Start a club whose purpose is to produce an archive
of controversial jokes and obscene limericks about beauty, truth, and love.
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Grace is a mystery, isn't it? It's not always something we can logically figure out. But I believe there is a way we can cultivate grace, and that is to commune with the Goddess.
We commune with the source of life, and affirm unceasingly that we want to be in close personal association with the source of all life.
We want to be with her. We want to speak with her. We want to be inspired by her. We want to be motivated by her.
We want to be able to channel her ideas of what we can be doing in the world. We want to be able to channel that in the purest way so that we're a vehicle for her.
And we're in alignment with her idea of what our highest destiny should be.
In that sense, we can to a degree at least—although it's always mysterious—we can cultivate grace and blessings that come from the highest source. Beyond our ego, beyond our conscious understanding, beyond what we can perceive with our five senses.
An important part of the request, or the prayer, or the invocation of the Goddess' intimate presence, is to affirm that whatever she chooses to give us will be of good to other people, will be of some use to other people.
That's the missing link: We affirm that we want her energy to fill us and inform us so that we can give our gifts better and to be of greater service to other people. I think that delights her and makes her all the more intensely likely to deliver the exact blessings that are necessary to any particular situation.
These are among my statements from an interview I did with the brilliant Amanda Yates Garcia, author of the book Initiated: Memoir of a Witch. Listen to our conversation here:
Amanda Yates Garcia is here: www.facebook.com/oracle.of.LA
More of my words from the interview with Amanda Yates Garcia:
A lot of people in our culture are smart intellectually, but not very smart emotionally. The emotional intelligence is just not very highly valued.
And it's related to how women are devalued. It's not just of course that women are the only ones who have emotional intelligence, but they're more likely to be emotionally intelligent than men.
So the devaluation of the feminine is related to the devaluation of the power of the emotions, of the wisdom of the emotions.
One of my great crusades is to champion the value of ripening our emotional understanding, of using our emotional understanding to enrich our relationships, and to enrich our understanding of how the world works.
Just one example: It's great to have an intellectual understanding of the Goddess and the source of all life beyond the material world, but it's another thing to have an emotional connection to the Goddess, and to cultivate that intimate up-close deeply felt contact and communion with her.
Luckily for me, I was born under the sign of Cancer, and I think that gives me a predilection for valuing the felt sense and championing the felt sense.
If we look at the history of the God Mars, originally he was a protector of the fields and protector of women and children. This was at a time in ancient Rome when most men were farmers.
But as Rome became an empire and more and more farmers became soldiers, the role of Mars shifted to be more warlike, and militant, and warrior-like.
But the original role of Mars, the central archetype of manliness, was to be a protector of women, and children, and nature.
Mars as a protector of the natural world and women and children: I would like to resurrect that archetype of Mars.
In my felt philosophy of life, Goddess is literally recreating the world every moment. She didn't create the world once upon a time 4.6 billion years ago and stop.
She's here now, recreating it all the time.
So each moment is new and unpredictable. And that can be scary, but it can be a liberation.
Thich Nhat Hanh said, "The bad news is that everything is impermanent. The good news is that everything is impermanent."
What he meant by that: The good news is that we can keep recreating things anew, too. We don't have to be bound by what happened once upon a time or yesterday. We really do at least potentially have the power to be like the Goddess, be like the river, and be ever flowing.
When we talk about happiness, it's about what has meaning to you. Happiness isn't necessarily about having all the money you want, although it can be related to that. In its purest form, happiness is that you're living a life with meaning or you're having experiences that satisfy your quest for meaning.
Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said this clearly: A sense of meaning is the most important thing in life. That's what sustains people throughout their lives: the sense that their life has a meaning or that any particular experience has a meaning.
My happiness comes from the fact that I know my happiness is meaningless unless I'm working in some way to foster the happiness of others.
I also think my happiness thrives to the degree that I'm not just manly, but also womanly; in other words, to the degree that I incorporate what I understand to be the divine feminine principle and bring it into my life in really practical ways.
So that means valuing emotional intelligence, listening well, not being a know-it-all, being willing to be humble and empty, and curious and expressing care and compassion.
And not just thinking those things, but every day questioning how can I do this anew, afresh? How can I do this better than I did it before?
I feel equally manly and womanly. And for those aspects to be working together in me seems to be key to my ability to enjoy life.
All of the above is from an interview I did with Amanda Yates Garcia, author of the book Initiated: Memoir of a Witch. Listen to our conversation here:
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The alchemists said the magic formula for enlightenment was "Visita Inferiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem," or "Seek out the lower reaches of the earth, perfect them, and you will find the hidden stone"—the treasured philosopher's stone.
In other words: Engage the shadowy parts of yourself, refine them, and you'll awaken your dormant divinity.
"If you're really listening, if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold ever-¬more wonders."
"The miracle of the psyche's ways is that even if you are halfhearted, irreverent, didn't mean to, didn't really hope to, don't want to, feel unworthy to, aren't ready for it, you will accidentally stumble upon treasure anyway."
—Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I invite you to write an essay on "What I Swear I'll Never Do Again as Long as I Live—Unless I Can Get Away With It Next Time."
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THANKS by W. S. Merwin
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
in our directions
back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you
with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is
—W. S. Merwin
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SCIENCE AND THE FAIRIES
With science, Mothra, and the fairies together, we are unbeatable:
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MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
Listen to and download the music of my band WORLD ENTERTAINMENT WAR for free: freewillastrology.com/music
The story of the band WORLD ENTERTAINMENT WAR is provided in my book "The Televisionary Oracle": bit.ly/Televisionary
There's a whole lot more of my other music here: soundcloud.com/sacreduproar
Here's a review of my band WORLD ENTERTAINMENT WAR's album on Amazon: "You often hear people refer to 'lost' albums. Albums that were fantastic but were ahead of their time or not properly supported by the record label or was simply missed at their release. 'World Entertainment War' is just such an album.
"WEW were a San Francisco group led by Rob Brezsny, a writer probably best known for his Freewill Astrology column. The band were the cream of the crop of musicians from the Bay Area in the early '90s.
"This album, the band's self titled debut, was released by MCA records. MCA (better known for country artists) obviously had no idea what to do with something this original and unique.
"The best way I can describe 'World Entertainment War' is 'Alternative '90s metaphysical metapolitical tribal dance rock.' Bowie meets Prince meets Talking Heads meets Bootsy Collins at a New Age bookstore Grand Opening party.
"Strong, danceable rhythms, thought provoking lyics, Brezsny trades lead vocals with Darby Gould who wails and purrs throughout with sass, sex and style. The entire band is explosive.
"Even now, almost 27 years (REALLY?!) later the album sounds fresh, vibrant and unique. The best word I've ever heard from someone I've exposed to this album is "Brazen". For a debut album from an unknown band? It's remarkable.
"Producer and Engineer Marc Senasac, who has worked with a diverse group of artists in his career (Digital Underground, En Vogue and heavy metal band Exodus, among others) created a nearly magical soundscape here.
"Layers and layers of sounds that never ceases to give new gifts with each listen. (Faux) Radio transmissions, answering machine messages and loudspeaker announcements all weave throughout the album to great effect.
"The band released the album twice. This was the first release. A few years later it was re-released as "Give Too Much" with a revamped track lineup and a few additional songs.
"FOR ME this original release is tighter and more powerful than the redux but both are powerful statements of intent that make the lack of additional releases quite depressing.
"I've been evangelizing this album for years and I'm shocked I've never thought to review it on Amazon before. If you like dance pop, political rock, social commentary, wry humor and witty lyrics or just want to hear one of the great unsung albums of the 20th Century you should hear this.
"Strong words? Yes, but as a music fan for more than 45 years I mean every word. In a perfect world this would have been a Number 1 album and Rob Brezsny would be a household name. Fork out the pittance this CD costs.
"You won't find it on streaming services and you'll never hear anything this good for this little money again.
The Detroit Metro Times called World Entertainment War, "cheerfully anarchist, socially conscious, warmly humanist, charmingly goofy, and sternly pop,"
Another review of my band on Amazon: "Of all the crimes that record companies have ever been guilty of, their mothballing of World Entertainment War's debut album and career may the worst.
"This is, quite simply, the best CD I've ever listened to. It is a stunning, unified, well-conceived and well-written piece of work performed with phenomenal musicianship.
"Mark Senasac's production and engineering (he was their live sound guy, as well) is wonderful. Bass players especially ought to check out Daniel Lewis' fretless work - yes, it is ALL fretless and he is truly one of the greats."
Another review on Amazon: "I had the pleasure of seeing this band live many times in San Francisco & I still consider them one of the best bands I've ever heard. Or, as I tell my friends, the best band you've never heard of.
"I've been a musician for over 35 years, I've played with a dozen or so rock bands on hundreds of stages & recorded several albums. I've been a record producer & managed an independent record label ... I know amazing talent when I see (& hear) it ... & this band had incredibly amazing talent.
"It was truly a shame that a major label signed them & then released their debut album with no promotion whatsoever. Unfortunately that was what labels were doing at the time, the same thing happened to Psychefunkapus, another great SF band.
"As much as I love a wide variety of other bands & musicians, if I were stuck on a deserted island & could have only one band to listen to, it would be World Entertainment War.
"After the band broke up Darby Gould (their main female singer) went on to sing with Jefferson Starship (or just Starship), taking the place of Grace Slick. Their lead singer, Rob Brezsny, writes Free Will Astrology & has published three books to date."
Here's me and my band on Youtube:
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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:
Researchers Find They Can Weaken Fear Memories, a Discovery That Could Help Treat Trauma
Resurrecting an Ancient Fabric More Precious Than Silk That Hasn’t Been Spun for Centuries tinyurl.com/fds73v35
Female Entrepreneurs Tend Community Gardens While Growing Their Small Businesses, Too
Doctors Thought He Would Never Walk or Talk, Watch His Reaction to Getting Accepted to College
For a lot more pronoiac resources and ideas, read my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings
Available at Bookshop.org: tinyurl.com/548hp8y8
Available at Barnes & Noble: tinyurl.com/PronoiaBN
Available at Amazon: bit.ly/Pronoia
A free preview of the book is available here: tinyurl.com/PronoiaPreview
Please tell me your own nominations for PRONOIA RESOURCES: Truthrooster@gmail.com.
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
Week beginning May 6
Copyright 2021 by Rob Brezsny
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
Taurus poet Vera Pavlova writes, "Why is the word yes so brief? It should be the longest, the hardest, so that you could not decide in an instant to say it, so that upon reflection you could stop in the middle of saying it." I suppose it makes sense for her to express such an attitude, given the fact that she never had a happy experience until she was 20 years old, and that furthermore, this happiness was "unbearable." (She confessed these sad truths in an interview.) But I hope you won't adopt her hard-edged skepticism toward YES anytime soon, Taurus. In my view, it's time for you to become a connoisseur of YES, a brave explorer of the bright mysteries of YES, an exuberant perpetrator of YES.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
In indigenous cultures from West Africa to Finland to China, folklore describes foxes as crafty tricksters with magical powers. Sometimes they're thought of as perpetrators of pranks, but more often they are considered helpful messengers or intelligent allies. I propose that you regard the fox as your spirit creature for the foreseeable future. I think you will benefit from the influence of your inner fox—the wild part of you that is ingenious, cunning, and resourceful.
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
"The universe conspires in your favor," writes author Neale Donald Welsch. "It consistently places before you the right and perfect people, circumstances, and situations with which to answer life’s only question: 'Who are you?'" In my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings, I say much the same thing, although I mention two further questions that life regularly asks, which are: 1. What can you do next to liberate yourself from some of your suffering? 2. What can you do next to reduce the suffering of others, even by a little? As you enter a phase when you'll get ample cosmic help in diminishing suffering and defining who you are, I hope you meditate on these questions every day.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
The poet Anne Sexton wrote a letter to a Benedictine monk whose real identity she kept secret from the rest of us. She told him, "There are a few great souls in my life. They are not many. They are few. You are one.” In this spirit, Leo, and in accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to take an inventory of the great souls in your life: the people you admire and respect and learn from and feel grateful for; people with high integrity and noble intentions; people who are generous with their precious gifts. When you've compiled your list, I encourage you to do as Sexton did: Express your appreciation; perhaps even send no-strings-attached gifts. Doing these things will have a profoundly healing effect on you.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
"It’s a temptation for any intelligent person to try to murder the primitive, emotive, appetitive self," writes author Donna Tartt. "But that is a mistake. Because it is dangerous to ignore the existence of the irrational." I'm sending this message out to you, Virgo, because in the coming weeks it will be crucial for you to honor the parts of your life that can't be managed through rational thought alone. I suggest you have sacred fun as you exult in the mysterious, welcome the numinous, explore the wildness within you, unrepress big feelings you've buried, and marvel adoringly about your deepest yearnings.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Science writer Sharman Apt Russell provides counsel that I think you should consider adopting in the coming days. The psychospiritual healing you require probably won't be available through the normal means, so some version of her proposal may be useful: "We may need to be cured by flowers. We may need to strip naked and let the petals fall on our shoulders, down our bellies, against our thighs. We may need to lie naked in fields of wildflowers. We may need to walk naked through beauty. We may need to walk naked through color. We may need to walk naked through scent."
WHY IS IT CALLED "FREE WILL" ASTROLOGY?
It's called Free Will Astrology because my goal is to create horoscopes that nurture your free will!
Contrary to what some horoscope fans believe, there's no such thing as predestination. Fate is a tricky phenomenon that keeps changing its mind about where it wants to go. The stars may impel, as the astrological saying goes, but they don't compel.
That's why I've never really considered myself a fortuneteller. I prefer to think that my greatest service is as a psychic intelligence agent, helping you expose the hidden patterns and unconscious forces that may be affecting your life without your knowledge.
If I "predict" anything, it's not so much the future as the unknown part of the present.
And if you ever want more than the 'scopes you're reading here, keep in mind that I also create EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPES for you. They're four-to-five-minute meditations on the current state of your destiny.
To listen to your Expanded Audio Horoscope online, go to freewillastrology.sparkns.com
Register and/or log in through the main page.
"I always feel like I know myself better after listening to your audio 'scopes."
—June Roseville, Austin, TX
"Your audio horoscopes calm me down when I'm too manic and pep me up when I'm down."
—Arthur Trachten, Cleveland, OH
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
As Scorpio author Margaret Atwood reminds us, "Water is not a solid wall; it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it." According to my reading of the astrological omens, being like water will be an excellent strategy for you to embrace during the coming weeks. "Water is patient," Atwood continues. "Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
In a letter to a friend in 1856, Sagittarian poet Emily Dickinson confessed she was feeling discombobulated because of a recent move to a new home. She hoped she would soon regain her bearings. "I am out with lanterns, looking for myself," she quipped, adding that she couldn't help laughing at her disorientation. She signed the letter "From your mad Emilie," intentionally misspelling her own name. I'd love it if you approached your current doubt and uncertainty with a similar light-heartedness and poise. (PS: Soon after writing this letter, Dickinson began her career as a poet in earnest, reading extensively and finishing an average of one poem every day for many years.)
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
Now is a favorable time to celebrate both life's changeableness and your own. The way we are all constantly called on to adjust to unceasing transformations can sometimes be a wearying chore, but I suspect it could be at least interesting and possibly even exhilarating for you in the coming weeks. For inspiration, study this message from the "Welcome to Night Vale" podcast: "You are never the same twice, and much of your unhappiness comes from trying to pretend that you are. Accept that you are different each day, and do so joyfully, recognizing it for the gift it is. Work within the desires and goals of the person you are currently, until you aren’t that person anymore."
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
Aquarian author Toni Morrison described two varieties of loneliness. The first "is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up; holding, holding on, this motion smooths and contains the rocker." The second "is a loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive, on its own." Neither kind is better or worse, of course, and both are sometimes necessary as a strategy for self-renewal—as a means for deepening and fine-tuning one's relationship with oneself. I recommend either or both for you in the coming weeks.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
England's Prince Charles requires his valet to iron his shoelaces and put toothpaste on his toothbrush and wash all of his clothes by hand. I could conceivably interpret the current astrological omens to mean that you should pursue similar behavior in the coming weeks. I could, but I won't. Instead, I will suggest that you solicit help about truly important matters, not meaningless trivia like shoelace ironing. For example, I urge you to ask for the support you need as you build bridges, seek harmony, and make interesting connections.
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
Created by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century, the Mona Lisa is one of the world's most famous paintings. It's hanging in the Louvre museum in Paris. In that same museum is a less renowned version of the Mona Lisa. It depicts the same woman, but she's unclothed. Made by da Vinci's student, it was probably inspired by a now-lost nude Mona Lisa painted by the master himself. Renaissance artists commonly created "heavenly" and "vulgar" versions of the same subject. I suggest that in the coming weeks you opt for the "vulgar" Mona Lisa, not the "heavenly" one, as your metaphor of power. Favor what's earthy, raw, and unadorned over what's spectacular, idealized, and polished.
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Contents of the Free Will Astrology Newsletter are Copyright 2021 Rob Brezsny