Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter
October 31, 2018
I invite you to speak these vows out loud:
"As long as I live, I vow to die and be reborn, die and be reborn, die and be reborn, over and over again, forever reinventing myself.
"I promise to be stronger than hate, wetter than water, deeper than the abyss, and wilder than the sun.
"I pledge to remember that I am not only a sweating, half-asleep, excitable, bumbling jumble of desires, but that I am also an immortal four-dimensional messiah in continuous telepathic touch with all of creation.
"I vow to love and honor my highs and my lows my yeses and noes, my give and my take, the life I wish I had and the life I actually have.
"I promise to push hard to get better and smarter, grow my devotion to the truth, fuel my commitment to beauty, refine my emotions, hone my dreams, wrestle with my shadow, purge my ignorance, and soften my heart -- even as I always accept myself for exactly who I am, with all of my so-called foibles and wobbles."
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Civilization may be unraveling in a lot of areas; some of its structures may be collapsing; but it is also in the midst of a tremendous upheaval of creativity -- a flood of innovation and genius and love pouring out of millions upon millions of people -- a Great Awakening that is far louder and stronger and more interesting than the sleepy resignation and corrosive maliciousness and ignominious decline that the media loves to obsess on.
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Aldous Huxley was the renowned 20th-century intellectual who wrote the book Brave New World, a dystopian vision of the future. Later in his life he came to regret one thing: how "preposterously serious" he had been when he was younger. "There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet," he ruminated, "trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling . . . Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply."
"When Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh was invited to the San Francisco Zen Center, the students asked him what they could do to improve their practice. He had entered a monastery at age sixteen, was an ordained monk, and had endured the horrors of the war in Vietnam. I imagine they expected some rigorous prescription for deepening their spiritual life.
"Thich Nhat Han's response: 'You guys get up too early for one thing; you should get up a little later. And your practice is too grim. I have just two instructions for you. One is to breathe, and one is to smile.'"
- from True Refuge, by Tara Brach.
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A conversation between two of the characters in my book The Televisionary Oracle bit.ly/Televisionary:
"Remember, there is a difference between grateful anger and dehumanizing hatred," he shouted above the din.
"What do you mean?" I yelled back.
"Grateful anger is good darkness. Dehumanizing hatred is bad darkness."
"More clues, please."
"Grateful anger flows when you have engaged and studied your shadow. Dehumanizing hatred flows when you have ignored and denied your shadow. One is fertile, the other hysterical."
A mathematical formula: I liked that. I assumed he meant the shadow that Carl Jung described. The unripe and unillumined corners of the soul.
He continued: "Grateful anger is when you feel thankful for the irritating people and sickening situations that have spurred you to clarity and righteous action. Dehumanizing hatred is when you are so in love with your terrible emotion that you forget what needs to be changed and turn yourself into your enemy."
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There is no God. God is dead. God is a drug for people who aren't very smart. God is an illusion sold to dupes by money-hungry religions. God is a right-wing conspiracy. God is an infantile fantasy favored by superstitious cowards who can't face life's existential meaninglessness.
JUST KIDDING! The truth is, anyone who says he knows what God is or isn't, doesn't really know.
Now read Adolfo Quezada's prayer, then confess what you don't know about God. "God of the Wild, you are different from what I expected. I cannot predict you. You are too free to be captured for the sake of my understanding. I can't find you in the sentimentalism of religion. You are everywhere I least expect to find you. You are not the force that saves me from the pain of living; you are the force that brings me life even in the midst of pain."
What if the Creator is like the poet Rainer Maria Rilke's God: "like a webbing made of a hundred roots, that drink in silence"? What if the Source of All Life inhabits both the dark and the light, heals with strange splendor as much as with sweet insight, is hermaphroditic and omnisexual?
What if the Source loves to give you riddles that push you past the boundaries of your understanding, forcing you to change the ways you think about everything? What if, as Rusty Morrison speculates in Poetry Flash, "the sublime can only be glimpsed by pressing through fear's boundary, beyond one's previous conceptions of the beautiful"?
Close your eyes and imagine you can sense the presence of this tender, marvelous, difficult, entertaining intelligence.
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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:
All the Pronoiac resources below come from the wonderful site, Celebrate Small Victories:
A judge threw out key provisions of Missouri’s voter ID law, making this the ninth consecutive win for Priorities USA in their fight against state voter suppression laws.
With help from volunteers from BGTX, Texas saw nearly 400,000 people register to vote since March, a record four times the average yearly number.
Uber is joining Lyft in offering free rides to voters on November 6th. If you or anyone you know needs help getting to the polls, click here or here.
Seattle is dismissing over 500 misdemeanor marijuana convictions after a court ruled that they unfairly impacted people of color.
Washington became the 20th state to abolish the death penalty, following a unanimous ruling by the state’s Supreme Court.
A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration from terminating TPS protections, allowing roughly 300,000 immigrants from Nicaragua, Sudan, Haiti, and El Salvador to live and work in the U.S.
In response to a petition brought by environmental and public health groups, seven synthetic food additives that were found to cause cancer have been banned by the FDA.
Rev. William J. Barber was awarded a MacArthur Genius grant… the same day he was arrested while demonstrating with workers in Chicago to demand higher wages and union rights.
The minimum wage for 40,000 airport workers in New York City will rise to $19 per hour over the next five years, becoming the country’s highest minimum wage set by a public agency.
And after years of organizing by workers, and months of pressure from Bernie Sanders, Amazon announced it is raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for more than 250,0000 workers. While this is good news, just a day later, Amazon pulled this shady move, so there’s still more work to be done.
Following pressure from the Rainforest Action Network and Sum of Us, PepsiCo and Nestlé are cutting ties with palm oil supplier IndoFood due to ongoing environmental and labor violations.
Publicly traded companies in California will now be required to have at least one woman on their board of directors of directors by next year.
A group of Latina women have created an underground network to protect immigrant women from domestic violence.
The ban on uranium mining in the Grand Canyon will be preserved, now that the Supreme Court refused to hear a case brought by the mining industry.
(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 1
Copyright 2018 by Rob Brezsny
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
"Penetralia" is a word that means the innermost or most private parts, the most secret and mysterious places. It's derived from the same Latin term that evolved into the word "penetrate." You Scorpios are of course the zodiac's masters of penetralia. More than any other sign, you're likely to know where the penetralia are, as well as how to get to them and what to do when you get to them. I suspect that this tricky skill will come in extra handy during the coming weeks. I bet your intimate adeptness with penetralia will bring you power, fun, and knowledge.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
Sagittarian poet Rainer Maria Rilke suggested that we cultivate an alertness for the ever-present possibility of germination and gestation. On a regular basis, he advised, we should send probes down into the darkness, into our unconscious minds, to explore for early signs of awakening. And when we discover the forces of renewal stirring there in the depths, we should be humble and reverent toward them, understanding that they are as-yet beyond the reach of our ability to understand. We shouldn't seek to explain and define them at first, but simply devote ourselves to nurturing them. Everything I just said is your top assignment in the coming weeks.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
You're in a phase of your cycle when your influence is at a peak. People are more receptive than usual to your ideas and more likely to want the same things you do. Given these conditions, I think the best information I can offer you is the following meditation by Capricorn activist Martin Luther King Jr. "Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
Aquarian environmentalist Edward Abbey spent much of his life rambling around in the great outdoors. He was an emancipated spirit who regarded the natural world as the only church he needed. In an eruption of ecstatic appreciation, he once testified that "Life is a joyous dance through daffodils beneath cerulean blue skies and then, then what? I forget what happens next." And yet the truth is, Abbey was more than a wild-hearted Dionysian explorer in the wilderness. He found the discipline and diligence to write 23 books! I mention this, Aquarius, because now is a perfect time for you to be like the disciplined and diligent and productive version of Abbey.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
For renowned Piscean visual artist Anne Truitt (1921–2004), creating her work was high adventure. She testified that artists like her had "to catapult themselves wholly, without holding back one bit, into a course of action without having any idea where they will end up. They are like riders who gallop into the night, eagerly leaning on their horse's neck, peering into a blinding rain." Whether or not you're an artist, Pisces, I suspect your life in the coming weeks may feel like the process she described. And that's a good thing! A fun thing! Enjoy your ride.
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
You have officially arrived at the heart of the most therapeutic phase of your cycle. Congratulations! It's an excellent time to fix what's wrong, hurt, or distorted. You will attract more help than you can imagine if you summon an aggressive approach toward finding antidotes and cures. A good way to set the tone for your aggressive determination to feel better is to heed this advice from poet Maya Angelou: "Take a day to heal from the lies you've told yourself and the ones that have been told to you."
Some people regard me as more of a cheerleader and motivator than an impartial reporter. They think I downplay the pain and embellish the gain that awaits you.
There's a grain of truth in that. Now and then I may imply that paradise is nigh when in fact the suburbs of paradise are a more realistic goal. But I view my optimism as a healing counterbalance to the absurdly exaggerated doses of discouraging news you hear almost everywhere else you go.
I you ever want more of that good stuff, beyond the horoscopes you're reading here, keep in mind that evey week I also create EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPES for you. They're four-to-five-minute meditations on the current state of your destiny.
These forecasts are different in tone and format from the written horoscopes you read here in the newsletter. They're longer and more leisurely in tone. They tend to bring out more of the patient counselor in me, and have a bit less of the poet.
To listen to your Expanded Audio Horoscope online, go to freewillastrology.sparkns.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.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
U2's singer Bono, born under the sign of Taurus, says that all of us suffer from the sense that something's missing from our lives. We imagine that we lack an essential quality or experience, and its absence makes us feel sad and insufficient. French philosopher Blaise Pascal referred to this emptiness as "a God-shaped hole." Bono adds that "you can never completely fill that hole," but you may find partial fixes through love and sex, creative expression, family, meaningful work, parenting, activism, and spiritual devotion. I bring this to your attention, Taurus, because I have a strong suspicion that in the coming weeks you will have more power to fill your God-shaped hole than you've had in a long time.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
"Most of our desires are clichés, right? Ready to wear, one size fits all. I doubt if it's even possible to have an original desire anymore." So says a character in Gemini author Tobias Wolff's short story "Sanity." Your assignment in the coming weeks, Gemini, is to refute and rebel against this notion. The cosmic rhythms will work in your favor to the degree that you cultivate innovative yearnings and unique urges. I hope you'll make it your goal to have the experiences necessary to stir up an outbreak of original desires.
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
If you're a typical member of the Cancerian tribe, you're skilled at responding constructively when things go wrong. Your intelligence rises up hot and strong when you get sick or rejected or burned. But if you're a classic Crab, you have less savvy in dealing with triumphs. You may sputter when faced with splashy joy, smart praise, or lucky breaks. But everything I just said is meant to be a challenge, not a curse. One of the best reasons to study astrology is to be aware of the potential shortcomings of your sign so you can outwit and overcome them. That's why I think that eventually you'll evolve to the point where you won't be a bit flustered when blessings arrive. And the immediate future will bring you excellent opportunities to upgrade your response to good fortune.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
"Each of us needs something of an island in her life," said poet John Keats. "If not an actual island, at least some place, or space in time, in which to be herself, free to cultivate her differences from others." According to my reading of the astrological omens, Leo, you'll be wise to spend extra time on your own island in the next two weeks. Solitude is unlikely to breed unpleasant loneliness, but will instead inspire creative power and evoke inner strength. If you don't have an island yet, go in search! (P.S.: I translated Keats' pronouns into the feminine gender.)
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
I'm rooting for you to engage in experimental intimacy, Virgo. I hope you'll have an affinity for sweet blends and incandescent mixtures and arousing juxtapositions. To get in the right mood for this playful work, you could read love poetry and listen to uplifting songs that potentize your urge to merge. Here are a few lyrical passages to get you warmed up. 1. "Your flesh quivers against mine like moonlight on the sea." —Julio Cortázar 2. "When she smiles like that she is as beautiful as all my secrets. —Anne Carson 3. "My soul is alight with your infinitude of stars . . . The flowers of your garden blossom in my body." —Rabindranath Tagore 4. "I can only find you by looking deeper, that's how love leads us into the world." —Anne Michaels
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Of course I want you to have more money. I'd love for you to buy experiences that expand your mind, deepen your emotional intelligence, and foster your ability to create inspiring forms of togetherness. My soul would celebrate if you got access to new wealth that enabled you to go in quest of spiritual fun and educational adventures. On the other hand, I wouldn't be thrilled about you spending extra cash on trivial desires or fancy junk you don't really need. Here's why I feel this way: to the extent that you seek more money to pursue your most righteous cravings, you're likely to get more money.
What gifts and blessings do you want? Express your outrageous demands and humble requests. FreewillAstrology.com.
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Contents of the Free Will Astrology Newsletter are Copyright 2018 Rob Brezsny