Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter
November 7, 2018
YOUR HOLIEST DESIRE
I invite you to devote five minutes to visualizing the fulfillment of your holiest desire, followed by five minutes of visualizing the fulfillment of a loved one's holiest desire.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
"Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement . . . get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible. Never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, Jewish theologian and civil rights activist
"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."
- Rainer Maria Rilke
"The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to seeing them that we call them ordinary things."
- Hans Christian Anderson
"I will wade out till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers. I will take the sun in my mouth and leap into the ripe air, alive, with closed eyes."
- E. E. Cummings
"The whole existence is celebrating. These trees are not serious, these birds are not serious. The rivers and the oceans are wild, and everywhere there is fun, everywhere there is joy and delight."
- Some guru
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
FREE MIND, WILD HEART
To be the best pronoiac explorer you can be, I suggest you adopt an outlook that combines the rigorous objectivity of a scientist, the "beginner's mind" of Zen Buddhism, the "beginner's heart" of pronoia, and the compassionate friendliness of the Dalai Lama. Blend a scrupulously dispassionate curiosity with a skepticism driven by expansiveness, not spleen.
To pull this off, you'll have to be willing to regularly suspend your brilliant theories about the way the world works. Accept with good humor the possibility that what you've learned in the past may not be a reliable guide to understanding the fresh phenomenon that's right in front of you. Be suspicious of your biases, even the rational and benevolent ones. Open your heart as you strip away the interpretations that your emotions might be inclined to impose.
"Before we can receive the unbiased truth about anything," wrote my teacher Ann Davies, "we have to be ready to ignore what we would like to be true."
At the same time, don't turn into a hard-ass, poker-faced robot. Keep your feelings moist and receptive. Remember your natural affection for all of creation. Enjoy the power of tender sympathy as it drives you to probe for the unimaginable revelations of every new moment. "Before we can receive the entire truth about anything," said Ann Davies, "we have to love it."
To achieve what the Zen Buddhists call "beginner's mind," you dispense with all preconceptions and enter each situation as if seeing it for the first time.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities," wrote Shunryu Suzuki in his book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, "but in the expert's there are few."
As much as I love beginner's mind, though, I advocate an additional discipline: cultivating a beginner's heart. That means approaching every encounter imbued with a freshly invoked wave of love that is as pure as if you're feeling it for the first time.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
THE BEAUTY OF IRREGULAR THINGS
When you're an aspiring master of pronoia, you see the cracks in the facades as opportunities; inspiration erupts as you careen over bumps in the road; you love the enticing magic that flows from situations that other people regard as rough or crooked.
"That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal," wrote poet Charles Baudelaire, "from which it follows that irregularity -- that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment -- is an essential part and characteristic of beauty."
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Even if you don't call yourself an artist, you have the potential to be a dynamic creator who is always hatching new plans, coming up with fresh ideas, and shifting your approach to everything you do as you adjust to life's ceaseless invitation to change.
It's to this part of you -- the restless, inventive spirit -- that I address the following: Unleash yourself! Don't be satisfied with the world the way it is; don't sit back passively and blankly complain about the dead weight of the mediocre status quo.
Instead, call on your curiosity and charisma and expressiveness and lust for life as you tinker with and rebuild everything you see so that it's in greater harmony with the laws of love and more hospitable to your soul's code.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:
23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better.
1) Extreme poverty has fallen
2) Hunger is falling
3) Child labor is on the decline
4) People in developed countries have more leisure time
5) The share of income spent on food has plummeted in the US
6) Life expectancy is rising
7) Child mortality is down
8) Death in childbirth is rarer
9) People have been getting taller for centuries
10) More people have access to malaria bednets
11) Guinea worm is almost eradicated
12) Teen births in the US are down
13) Smoking is down, too
14) In the long term, homicide rates have fallen dramatically
15) In the short term, they’re down in the US, too
16) Violent crime in the US is going down
17) We’ve rapidly reduced the supply of nuclear weapons
18) More people in the world live in a democracy now
19) More people are going to school for longer
20) And literacy is, predictably, up as well
21) Moore’s law isn’t quite over yet
22) Access to the internet is increasing
23) Solar energy is getting cheaper
(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 8
Copyright 2018 by Rob Brezsny
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
I am not currently a wanderer or voyager or entrepreneur or swashbuckler. But at other times in my life, I have had extensive experience with those roles. So I know secrets about how and why to be a wanderer and voyager and entrepreneur and swashbuckler. And it's clear to me that in the coming weeks you could benefit in unforeseen ways from researching and embodying the roles of curious wanderer and brave voyager and savvy entrepreneur and prudent swashbuckler.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
"The best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain." That brilliant formulation came from poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Does it seem so obvious as to not need mentioning? Bear with me while I draw further meaning from it, and suggest you use it as an inspiring metaphor in the coming weeks. When it rains, Sagittarius, let it rain; don't waste time and emotional energy complaining about the rain. Don't indulge in fruitless fantasizing about how you might stop the rain and how you'd love to stop the rain. In fact, please refrain from defining the rain as a negative event, because after all, it is perfectly natural, and is in fact crucial for making the crops grow and replenishing our water supply. (P.S. Your metaphorical "rain" will be equally useful.)
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
"Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation," writes activist and author Elif Shafak. "If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven't loved enough." I bring this to your attention because you're in a phase when your close alliances should be activating healing changes in your life. If for some reason your alliances are not yet awash in the exciting emotions of redemption and reinvention, get started on instigating experimental acts of intimacy.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
I suspect you will be an especially arousing influence in the coming weeks. You may also be inspiring and disorienting, with unpredictable results. How many transformations will you unleash? How many expectations will you dismantle? How many creative disruptions will you induce in the midst of the daily grind? I hesitate to underestimate the messy beauty you'll stir up or the rambunctious gossip you'll provoke. In any case, I plan to be richly amused by your exploits, and I hope everyone else will be, as well. For best results, I will pray to the Goddess of Productive Fun, begging Her to ensure that the commotions and uproars you catalyze will be in service to love and kindness.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson wasn't always a wild and crazy writer. Early in his career he made an effort to compose respectable, measured prose. When he finally gave up on that project and decided he could "get away with" a more uninhibited style, he described it as being "like falling down an elevator shaft and landing in a pool full of mermaids." I foresee a metaphorically comparable development in your future, Pisces.
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
In 1994, Aries pop diva Mariah Carey collaborated with an associate to write the song "All I Want For Christmas Is You." It took them 15 minutes to finish it. Since then it has generated $60 million in royalties. I wish I could unconditionally predict that you, too, will efficiently spawn a valuable creation sometime soon. Current planetary alignments do indeed suggest that such a development is more possible than usual. But because I tend to be conservative in my prophecies, I won't guarantee anything close to the $60-million figure. In fact, your reward may be more spiritual in nature than financial.
PRAYERS FOR YOU
An interviewer once asked me if there's any special ritual I do before writing my weekly horoscopes. I told her that I say a prayer in which I affirm my desire to provide you with these three services:
1. that what I create will be of practical use to you;
2. that it will help you cultivate your relationship with your inner teacher;
3. that it will inspire you to tap into and use the substantial freedom you have to create the life you want.
If you ever want more inspiration generated in that same spirit -- beyond the horoscopes you're reading here -- keep in mind that every week 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.
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):
An interactive post at Reddit.com asked readers to write about "the most underrated feeling of all time." One person said, "When you change the sheets on your bed." Another extolled "the feeling that comes when you pay all your bills and you've still got money in the bank." Others said, "dancing under the rain," "physical contact like a pat on the back when you're really touch starved," and "listening to a song for the first time and it's so good you just can't stop smiling." I bring this to your attention, Taurus, because I suspect that the next two weeks will bring you a flood of these pleasurable underrated feelings.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
"Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer," wrote Gemini author Henry Lawson. Do you have any methods for making yourself feel like you've drunk a few beers that don't involve drinking a few beers? If not, I highly recommend that you find at least one. It will be especially important in the coming weeks for you to have a way to alter, expand, or purify your consciousness without relying on literal intoxicants or drugs. The goal: to leave your groove before it devolves into a rut.
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
Study the following five failed predictions. 1. "There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." —Robert Millikan, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1923. 2. "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." —Western Union internal memo, 1876. 3. "Rail travel at high speeds is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia." –Dionysius Lardner, scientist, 1830. 4. "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." —Ken Olsen, president of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977. 5. "Most Cancerians will never overcome their tendencies toward hypersensitivity, procrastination, and fear of success." —Lanira Kentsler, astrologer, 2018. (P.S. What you do in the next 12 months could go a long way toward permanently refuting the last prediction.)
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
German scientists have created cochlear implants for gerbils that have been genetically modified, enabling the creatures to "listen" to light. The researchers' work is ultimately dedicated to finding ways to improve the lives of people with hearing impairments. What might be the equivalent of you gaining the power to "hear light"? I understand that you might resist thinking this way. "That makes no sense," you may protest, or "There's no practical value in fantasizing about such an impossibility." But I hope you'll make the effort anyway. In my view, stretching your imagination past its limits is the healing you need most right now. I also think that doing so will turn out to be unexpectedly practical.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Here's useful wisdom from the poet Rumi. "Our defects are the ways that glory gets manifested," he said. "Keep looking at the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you." Playwright Harrison David Rivers interprets Rumi's words to mean, "Don't look away from your pain, don't disengage from it, because that pain is the source of your power." I think these perspectives are just what you need to meditate on, Virgo. To promote even more healing in you, I'll add a further clue from poet Anna Kamienska: "Where your pain is, there your heart lies also." (P.S. Rumi is translated by Coleman Barks; Kamienska by Clare Cavanagh.)
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Artist David Hockney is proud of how undemanding he is toward his friends and associates. "People tell me they open my e-mails first," he says, "because they aren't demands and you don't need to reply. They're simply for pleasure." He also enjoys giving regular small gifts. "I draw flowers every day and send them to my friends so they get fresh blooms." Hockney seems to share the perspective expressed by author Gail Godwin, who writes, "How easy it was to make people happy, when you didn't want or need anything from them." In accordance with astrological omens, Libra, I suggest you have fun employing these approaches in the coming weeks.
When they say "Be yourself," which self do they mean? 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 2018 Rob Brezsny