Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter
June 8, 2016
Here's the beginning of a story on me from the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Rob Brezsny says the apocalypse is now, so let's dance.
"'We are in fact living through the apocalypse,' the astrology columnist-author-musician declares in his radically optimistic self-help bible, Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You With Blessings, a surprise top-1,000 seller on Amazon.com.
"The biblical idea of apocalypse is the terrifying end of things, followed by judgment. Brezsny's version takes away the fear and the finality and redefines apocalypse as a slow, subtle, revolving process of death and rebirth in which we're all invited to take part.
"In the end, according to him, we can't lose.
"But -- and this is the trick -- first we have to be willing to play the game.
"Brezsny argues that the game is stacked in favor not so much of steady happiness as happy accidents -- iridescent streams of fruitful, fulfilling or inspiring moments in the mundane. He wrote the book in order to provide evidence, tips and inspiration for people who sense that theory is right but who find that media and education provide little in the way of guidance.
"'We're not looking for starry-eyed optimism and repressed boosterism,' Brezsny said. 'Pronoia is not boosterism for empty-brained people. I think the media tend to emphasize that part of human experience that doesn't work. There are a lot of people who don't identify that as their primary state of existence.'
"The writer, whose weekly Free Will Astrology column runs in over 100 newspapers, marshals evidence that beyond the daily grind's bland unease unfold alternate states rich with intimacy, hilarity and good luck. 'More wonderful things happen,' he said, 'than anybody seems to be willing to admit.'"
Read the rest of the story from the San Francisco Chronicle: tinyurl.com/jlk7t8r
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
My book PRONOIA IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR PARANOIA
is available at Amazon: bit.ly/Pronoia
or Powells: bit.ly/PronoiaPowells
Below are excerpts.
Congratulations. Every cell in your perfect animal body is beginning to purr with luminous gratitude for the enormity of the riches you endlessly receive.
You are becoming aware that each of your heart's beats originates as a gift of love directly from the Goddess herself.
Any residues of hatred that had been tainting your libido are leaving you for good.
You are becoming telepathically linked to the world's entire host of secret teachers, pacifist warriors, philosopher clowns, and bodhisattvas disguised as convenience store clerks.
In other words, you're on the verge of détente with your evil twin. And you're ready to submit to a multiple-choice test, which goes like this:
How does it make you feel when I urge you to confess profound secrets to people who are not particularly interested? Does it make you want to:
a. cultivate a healthy erotic desire for a person you'd normally never be attracted to in a million years;
b. stop helping your friends glamorize their pain;
c. imitate a hurricane in the act of extinguishing a forest fire;
d. visualize Buddha or Mother Teresa at the moment of orgasm;
e. steal something that's already yours.
The right answer, of course, is any answer you thought was correct. Congratulations. You're even smarter than you knew.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
The sage and her student were standing by a pool discussing longing and ambition.
“What do you want more than anything else?” the sage asked.
“To perfect my ability to love all of creation the way I love myself,” the young man replied.
At that moment, the sage tackled the student and shoved his head beneath the water. Accustomed to letting his teacher shape the unpredictable contours of his education, he did not resist.
One minute went by. Then another. The student began to struggle and kick. His teacher was strong.
Finally she released her grip and the student surfaced, fighting for breath.
“What did you want more than anything else during these last few minutes?” the sage inquired.
“Nothing else was in my mind except the desire for air,” gasped the student.
“Excellent,” beamed the sage. “As soon as you are equally single-minded in your desire to perfect your ability to love all of creation the way you love yourself, you will achieve your goal.”
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Many of us have a superficial notion of the nature of healing, writes Peter Kingsley in his book "In the Dark Places of Wisdom." We think that “healing is what makes us comfortable and eases the pain.” But the truth is, “what we want to be healed of is often what will heal us if we can stand the discomfort and the pain.”
I invite you to work with this theme. See if you can stave off your urge for ease as you marinate longer in the aching confusion. “If we really face our sadness,” says Kingsley, “we find it speaks with the voice of our deepest longing. And if we face it a little longer we find that it teaches us the way to attain what we long for.”
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
EXPERIMENT: Call everyone “mom” or “mommy” for a week. I’m serious. Pretend as if every single person you meet has the potential to give you some mothering. Expect the entire universe and everything in it to treat you with nurturing attention and thoughtful care.
You may experience some disappointments along the way, of course. There’ll be some people who don’t quite understand the game or want to play it. But you may be surprised by how many lively folks do respond to your invitation to treat you as their lovable child, their winsome little babycakes.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:
The company that wants to be the Netflix of lucid dreaming.
Malaysia establishes a 1-million-hectare marine park
"Mammals have an altruistic impulse. They respond to signs of distress in others and feel an urge to improve their situation. To recognize the need of others, and react appropriately, is not the same as a preprogrammed tendency to sacrifice oneself for the genetic good."
- primatologist Frans de Waal.
(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 June 9
Copyright 2016 by Rob Brezsny
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
In his poem "Interrupted Meditation," Robert Hass blurts out the following exclamation: "I give you, here, now, a magic key. What does it open? This key I give you, what exactly does it open?" How would you answer this question, Gemini? What door or lock or heart or treasure box do you most need opened? Decide today. And please don't name five things you need opened. Choose one, and one only. To do so will dissolve a mental block that has up until now kept you from finding the REAL magic key.
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
The following excerpt from Wendell Berry's poem "Woods" captures the essence of your current situation: "I part the out-thrusting branches and come in beneath the blessed and the blessing trees. Though I am silent there is singing around me. Though I am dark there is vision around me. Though I am heavy there is flight around me." Please remember this poem at least three times a day during the next two weeks. It's important for you to know that no matter what murky or maudlin or mysterious mood you might be in, you are surrounded by vitality and generosity.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
A half-dead blast from the past is throttling the free flow of your imagination. Your best possible future will be postponed until you agree to deal more intimately with this crumbled dream, which you have never fully grieved or surrendered. So here's my advice: Summon the bravest, smartest love you're capable of, and lay your sad loss to rest with gentle ferocity. This may take a while, so be patient. Be inspired by the fact that your new supply of brave, smart love will be a crucial resource for the rest of your long life.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Five times every day, devout Muslims face their holiest city, Mecca, and say prayers to Allah. Even if you're not Islamic, I recommend that you carry out your own unique version of this ritual. The next three weeks will be a favorable time to cultivate a closer relationship with the inspirational influence, the high ideal, or the divine being that reigns supreme in your life. Here's how you could do it: Identify a place that excites your imagination and provokes a sense of wonder. Five times a day for the next 21 days, bow in the direction of this treasured spot. Unleash songs, vows, and celebratory expostulations that deepen your fierce and tender commitment to what you trust most and love best.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
"The road reaches every place, the short cut only one," says aphorist James Richardson. In many cases, that's not a problem. Who among us has unlimited time and energy? Why leave all the options open? Short cuts can be valuable. It's often smart to be ruthlessly efficient as we head toward our destination. But here's a caveat: According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you're now in a phase when taking short cuts may be counterproductive. To be as well-seasoned as you will need to be to reach your goal, you should probably take the scenic route. The long way around may, in this instance, be the most efficient and effective.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
"Truth is like the flu," says poet James Richardson. "I fight it off, but it changes in other bodies and returns in a form to which I am not immune." In the coming days, Scorpio, I suspect you will experience that riddle first hand -- and probably on more than one occasion. Obvious secrets and wild understandings that you have fought against finding out will mutate in just the right way to sneak past your defenses. Unwelcome insights you've been trying to ignore will finally wiggle their way into your psyche. Don't worry, though. These new arrivals will be turn out to be good medicine.
PLEASURE IS HOLY?
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 Audio Horoscopes provide me with the Rest of the Story. I'm not necessarily a believer in the scientific accuracy of astrology, but I do think you've got a lot of practical wisdom to impart."
- M. Tennenbaum, New York
"No one knows more about me than me. But you're right up there near the top of the list of people who do understand something about how I tick. How is that possible?"
- R. Goren, Albuquerque
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
According to Guinness World records, the most consecutive hours spent riding on a roller coaster is 405 hours and 40 minutes. But I suspect that during the next 15 months, a Sagittarian daredevil may exceed this mark. I have come to this conclusion because I believe your tribe will be especially adept and relatively comfortable at handling steep rises and sudden dips at high speeds. And that won't be the only rough talent you'll have in abundance. I'm guessing you could also set new personal bests in the categories of most frequent changes of mind, most heroic leaps of faith, and fastest talking.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
Whether we like to admit it or not, all of us have acted like puppets. Bosses and teachers and loved ones can manipulate us even if they're not in our presence. Our conditioned responses and programmed impulses may control our behavior in the present moment even though they were formed long ago. That's the bad news. The good news is that now and then moments of lucidity blossom, revealing the puppet strings. We emerge from our unconsciousness and see that we're under the spell of influential people to whom we have surrendered our power. This is one of those magic times for you, Capricorn.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
A few weeks ago you undertook a new course of study in the art of fun and games. You realized you hadn't been playing hard enough, and took measures to correct the problem. After refamiliarizing yourself with the mysteries of innocent joy, you raised the stakes. You began dabbling with more intensive forms of relief and release. Now you have the chance to go even further: to explore the mysteries of experimental delight. Exuberant escapades may become available to you. Amorous adventures could invite you to explore the frontiers of liberated love. Will you be brave and free enough to meet the challenge of such deeply meaningful gaiety? Meditate on this radical possibility: spiritually adept hedonism.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
Poet Sharon Dolin compares artists to sunflowers. They create "a tall flashy flower that then grows heavy with seeds whose small hard shells you must crack to get to the rich nut meat." As I contemplate the current chapter of your unfolding story, I see you as being engaged in a similar process, even if you're not literally an artist. To be exact, you're at the point when you are producing a tall flashy flower. The seeds have not yet begun to form, but they will soon. Later this year, the rich nut meat inside the small hard shells will be ready to pluck. For now, concentrate on generating your gorgeous, radiant flower.
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
Mythologist Joseph Campbell analyzed fairy tales for clues about how the human psyche works. For example, he said that a fairy tale character who's riding a horse is a representation of our relationship with our instinctual nature. If that character drops the reins and lets the horse gallop without guidance, he or she is symbolically surrendering control to the instincts. I bring this to your attention because I suspect you may soon be tempted to do just that that -- which wouldn't be wise. In my opinion, you'll be best served by going against the flow of what seems natural. Sublimation and transcendence will keep you much stronger than if you followed the line of least resistance. Homework: Visualize yourself, as you ride your horse, keeping a relaxed but firm grasp of the reins.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
I will provide you with two lists of words. One of these lists, but not both, will characterize the nature of your predominant experiences in the coming weeks. It will be mostly up to you which emerges as the winner. Now read the two lists, pick the one you like better, and instruct your subconscious mind to lead you in that direction. List 1: gluttony, bloating, overkill, padding, exorbitance. List 2: mother lode, wellspring, bumper crop, gold mine, cornucopia.
Psychologists say that a good way to eliminate a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Do that! Testify at Freewillastrology.com
Submissions sent to Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter
or in response to "homework assignments" may be
published in a variety of formats at Rob Brezsny's discretion,
including but not limited to newsletters, books, the Free Will
Astrology column, and Free Will Astrology website. We reserve
the right to edit submissions for length, style, and content.
Requests for anonymity will be honored. We are not responsible for unsolicited submission of any creative material.
Contents of the Free Will Astrology Newsletter are Copyright 2016 Rob Brezsny