Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter
March 22, 2017
Every week since 2001, I have offered my Free Will Astrology horoscopes for free here in my newsletter. If you would like to support my work, please visit my Virtual Tip Jar at Paypal. It's here: paypal.me/FreeWillAstrology
My book PRONOIA IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR PARANOIA
is available at Amazon: bit.ly/Pronoia
or Powells: bit.ly/PronoiaPowells
Below are excerpts.
LETTERS TO THE BEAUTY AND TRUTH LAB,
We who are devoted to pronoia created the Beauty and Truth Lab and not the Beauty and Truth Think Tank because we want to put our ideas to the test in the field -- to apply them in unpredictable situations beyond our control and see whether they're useful to people who aren't necessarily steeped in the mystique of pronoia.
One way we've gone about that is to encourage the public to testify and ask questions about their practical experiences with pronoia. Below is a collection of exchanges that have unfolded since we began discussing pronoiac themes on the BeautyandTruth.com website and in the weekly astrology newsletter.
DEAR BEAUTY AND TRUTH LAB: I'm a very analytical person, with a doctorate in nuclear physics and a high-tech job. All my training and business savvy tell me that Rob Brezsny's astrology column is superstitious mumbo jumbo, yet every time I've faced a crisis in the last 10 years, his horoscopes have provided accurate wisdom and counsel when things seemed darkest.
The same is true about the book Pronoia. The scientist in me knows that you Beauty and Truth Lab people are utopian nutcases. It's absolutely demented to regard the universe as friendly and to fantasize that there's some vast, invisible conspiracy of blessing-bestowers. And yet I have to confess that whenever I try the pronoiac strategies you describe, my life veers in the direction of synchronicity and delight.
On the one hand, none of this makes any sense. On the other hand, I don't care that it doesn't make any sense. Somehow I'm able to draw sustenance from something whose power I don't understand or even believe in. In any case, thank you! - Humble Genius
DEAR HUMBLE GENIUS: You've described a quality that we aspire to in our efforts to cultivate pronoia: the ability to be helped by powers that are beyond our understanding.
DEAR BEAUTY AND TRUTH LAB: Does pronoia make you feel like you're falling in love? Not just with a person but with life itself? And can that be scary? Is it possible that you might feel a chord of gorgeous terror resound in your gut when you entertain the thought that every person and even every animal and plant and rock in the world is ganging up to make your life interesting -- almost more brilliantly interesting than you can bear? Does pronoia threaten to cause all perceptions, all sensations, all interactions to verge on being orgasmic?
I've been heading in this direction lately and it's freaking me out. Can extreme happiness be dangerous to my well-being? - Butchtastic
DEAR BUTCHTASTIC: First thing we'll say is that while pronoia inevitably feeds the soul, it doesn't necessarily further the agendas of the ego. The anxiety that's welling up may be the result of your old self-image clinging to the shrunken expectations it had gotten used to thinking of as essential to its identity.
The second thing is that when people invite pronoia to take over their perceptual filters, they often feel as if they're falling in love with a Scary Yet Friendly Vastness that kicks their butts until they wake up to the secret beauty they've been ignoring.
DEAR BEAUTY AND TRUTH LAB: I'm battling mixed emotions. On the one hand, I have frequent surges of intense compassion that make me want to build houses for poor folks. On the other hand, I'm beset by flashes of vanity that make me want to spend my money on Prada shoes and expensive jewelry rather than on trips to Third World countries to help Habitat for Humanity. Is it crazy and self-defeating to want both things? - Torn and Guilty
DEAR TORN AND GUILTY: Try honoring both your urge to express beauty and your desire to aid your fellow humans. We have a vision of you wearing a gold tiara and Prada's Sculpted d'Orsay pumps as you wield your hammer, framing a wall for a new house in Haiti.
DEAR BEAUTY AND TRUTH LAB: In your book Pronoia, you say, 'The universe always gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.' I have a different view. I often find that I disagree with what the Universe decides is best for me. But that usually turns out to be a good thing. It's fun for me to always be arguing with God! I learn a lot and generate a lot of high energy from trying to outmaneuver the divine will. What do you think about that? - Cagey Dissident
DEAR CAGEY: Congratulations! You are the thousandth dissident to testify that pronoia is not, in fact, the One Truth and the Only Way -- thereby proving to our satisfaction that we have successfully prevented our beloved Beauty and Truth Lab from being a shill for a fundamentalist ideology. Please accept our most fantastic thanks. Your prize will be on its way to you soon!
DEAR BEAUTY AND TRUTH LAB: The chemo treatments burned out all the math skills in my brain, which were already pretty meager. On the other hand, they awakened my ability to feel perfectly at ease while in the midst of paradoxical situations that everyone else finds maddening and uncomfortable.
The chemo also made me ridiculously tolerant of people's contradictions, sometimes even their hypocrisies, and freed me to enjoy life as an entertaining movie with lots of interesting plot twists rather than as a pitched battle between everything I like and everything I don't like. I guess I could say that my cancer helped turn me into a pronoiac! - The Chaos Artist Formerly Known as Risa Kline
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ASKING FOR YOUR INPUT!
I'd love to hear you riff on how it feels and what it's like for you to be the astrological sign that you are. Send your descriptions to me at Truthrooster@gmail.com.
Here are some examples: readers' thoughts on "How to Be a Sagittarius."
"Know how to have fun even when life sucks." - Mandy O.
"Embrace optimism for both its beauty and its tactical advantages." - Sam Austin, Staten Island
"Be a pompous ass, then laugh at yourself for being a pompous ass." - Peter Yates-Hodshon and Mare Hodshon-Yates, Tucson
"Give names like 'Stinky' and 'Cubby' to your fears." - Joanne Helfrid, Upper Darby, PA
"The best way to be like me, is not try to be like me at all, but to be true to yourself." - Catherine King, Greenfield, MA
Here's an example of a Gemini who told me how she went about being the best Gemini he could possibly be:
"Be amazed with and in awe of yourself. And try to keep doing new things to justify your amazement and awe.
"Be like the Native American heyoka who rode his horse backward, wearing only an apron in a blizzard, with sweat running down his chest.
"Talk to yourself; people can join in if they want to. Have a large papier maché ego; redecorate it often.
"Be like Grandmother Spider who created the world by imagining it. Be like Pygmalion and fall in love with your creation.
"Never imitate. Be a tricky, sticky tickler. No one will ever solve the Sphinx's precious riddle if she doesn't know the answer herself."
- Shimmering Elf
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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:
In a Rust Belt Town Where Tuition Is Covered, Economy Begins to Revive. After Kalamazoo, Michigan, offered college tuition for nearly all high school graduates, dropout rates declined and the city’s population began to rebound.
How to Resist From a Place of Love: Self-Care for the Long Haul. If you want to sustain yourself for the work ahead, here’s some advice: It doesn’t matter whether the other side “deserves” anger.
This Is the Real Success Story of the Affordable Care Act
Government-sponsored Medicaid and its twin Medicare are efficient and reliable—and already cover 36 percent of Americans.
(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 March 23
Copyright 2017 by Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
Of course you want to get the best of everything. But that doesn't mean you should disdain cheap thrills that are more interesting and gratifying than the expensive kind. And of course you enjoy taking risks. But there's a big difference between gambling that's spurred by superstitious hunches and gambling rooted in smart research. And of course you're galvanized by competition. But why fritter away your competitive fire on efforts to impress people? A better use of that fire is to use it to hone your talents and integrity.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
If you own an untamable animal like a bull, the best way to manage it is to provide a fenced but spacious meadow where it can roam freely. So said famous Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, using a metaphor to address how we might deal with the unruly beasts in our own psyches. This is excellent advice for you right now, Taurus. I'd hate to see you try to quash or punish your inner wild thing. You need its boisterous power! It will be a fine ally if you can both keep it happy and make it work for you.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
If I were to provide a strict interpretation of the astrological omens, I'd advise you to PARTY HARDY AND ROWDY AND STRONG AND OFTEN! I'd suggest that you attend a raging bash or convivial festivity once every day. And if that were logistically impossible, I'd advise you to stage your own daily celebrations, hopefully stocked with the most vivacious and stimulating people you can find. But I recognize that this counsel may be too extreme for you to honor. So I will simply invite you to PARTY HARDY AND ROWDY AND STRONG at least twice a week for the next four weeks. It's the medicine you need.
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
You are on the verge of achieving a sly victory over the part of you that is unduly meek and passive. I believe that in the coming weeks you will rise up like a resourceful hero and at least half-conquer a chronic fear. A rumbling streak of warrior luck will flow through you, enabling you to kill off any temptation you might have to take the easy way out. Congratulations in advance, my fellow Cancerian! I have rarely seen our tribe have so much power to triumph over our unconscious attraction to the victim role.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
Leo journal entry, Thursday: Am too settled and stale and entrenched. Feeling urges to get cheeky and tousled. Friday: So what if I slept a little longer and arrived late? Who cares if the dishes are piling up in the sink? I hereby *refuse* law and order. Saturday: I'm fantasizing about doing dirty deeds. I'm thinking about breaking the taboos. Sunday: Found the strangest freshness in a place I didn't expect to. Sometimes chaos is kind of cute and friendly. Monday: The nagging voice of the taskmaster in my head is gone. Ding-dong. Let freedom ring!
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
William Boyd writes novels, which require him to do copious research about the real-world milieus he wants his fictional characters to inhabit. For example, to ensure the authenticity of his book Waiting for Sunrise, he found out what it was like to live in Vienna in 1913. He compares his process of searching for juicy facts to the feeding habits of a blue whale: engorging huge amounts of seawater to strain out the plankton that are good to eat. Ninety percent of the information he wades through is irrelevant, but the rest is tasty and nourishing. I suspect you'll thrive on a similar approach in the coming weeks, Virgo. Be patient as you search for what's useful.
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!
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.
Need more help in figuring out the questions life is asking you? Crave more support in your efforts to build your courage? Check out the EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPES.
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.
"The best part about your audio horoscopes is that they pat me on the head and kick me in the ass at the same time." - Rita L., San Diego
"Your audio oracles go beyond helping me find the truth -- they inspire me to find the WILD truth." - Patrick K., Montreal
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Here's a new word for you: enantiodromia. It's what happens when something turns into its opposite. It's nature's attempt to create equilibrium where there has been imbalance. Too much NO becomes YES, for example. A superabundance of yin mutates into yang, or an overemphasis on control generates chaos. Flip-flops like these tend to be messy if we resist them, but interesting if we cooperate. I figure that's your choice right now. Which will it be? The latter, I hope. P.S.: The reversals that you consciously co-create may not be perfect. But even if they are baffling, I bet they will also be amusing and magnificent.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
When I was 24, I lived in rural North Carolina and had a job washing dishes in a city four miles away. I was too poor to own a bicycle, let alone a car. To get to work I had to trudge down backroads where hostile dogs and drunk men in pick-up trucks roamed freely. Luckily, I discovered the art of psychic protection. At first I simply envisioned a golden force field surrounding me. Later I added visualizations of guardian animals to accompany me: two friendly lions and two sheltering wolves. Maybe it was just the placebo effect, but the experiment worked. My allies made me brave and kept me safe. You're welcome to borrow them, Scorpio, or conjure up your own version of spirit protectors. You're not in physical danger, but I suspect you need an extra layer of protection against other people's bad moods, manipulative ploys, and unconscious agendas.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
I'm not suggesting you should listen to your heart with rapt attention every waking minute for the next four weeks. I don't expect you to neglect the insights your mind has to offer. But I would love to see you boost your attunement to the intelligent organ at the center of your chest. You're going to need its specific type of guidance more than ever in the coming months. And at this particular moment, it is beginning to overflow with wisdom that's so rich and raw that it could unleash a series of spiritual orgasms.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
The empty space at the end of this sentence has intentionally been left blank.
The serene hiatus you just glided through comes to you courtesy of Healing Silence, an ancient form of do-it-yourself therapy. Healing Silence is based on the underappreciated truth that now and then it's restorative to just SHUT UP and abstain from activity for a while. (As you know, the world is crammed with so much noise and frenzy that it can be hard to hear yourself think -- or even feel.) With Healing Silence, you bask in a sanctuary of sweet nothingness for as long as you need to. Please try it sometime soon. Wrap yourself in the luxurious void of Healing Silence.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
I hope you won't feel the need to say any of these things: 1. "I'm sorry I gave you everything I had without making sure you wanted it." 2. "Will you please just stop asking me to be so real." 3. "I long for the part of you that you'll never give me." Now here are things I hope you will say sometime soon: 1. "I thrived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me." (This declaration is lifted from novelist Joshua Graham.) 2. "I'm having fun, even though it's not the same kind of fun everyone else is having." (Borrowed from author C.S. Lewis.) 3. "I'm not searching for who I am. I'm searching for the person I aspire to be." (Stolen from author Robert Brault.)
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
Are you fantasizing more about what you don't have and can't do than what you do have and can do? If so, please raise the "do have" and "can do" up to at least 51 percent. (Eighty percent would be better.) Have you been harshly critiquing yourself more than you have been gently taking care of yourself? If so, get your self-care level up to at least 51 percent. (Eight-five percent is better.) Are you flirting with a backward type of courage that makes you nervous about what everyone thinks of you and expects from you? If so, I invite you to cultivate a different kind of courage at least 51 percent of the time: courage to do what's right for you no matter what anyone thinks or expects. (Ninety percent is better.)
What's the part of you that you trust the least? Could you come to trust it more? 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 2017 Rob Brezsny