Bless Your Ego

Give Yourself Permission to Be Sublime

THANK-YOU NOTE TO THE EGO

Dawn Robertson wrote a thank-you note to her ego. She said:

Dear Beloved Ego,

I’m sorry the conscious and spiritual communities have given you such a bad rap.

Thank you for caring how others perceive me.

Thank you for letting me believe I can actually make a difference in the world— whether true or not.

Thank you for not letting me hide beyond humility to make myself small.

Thank you for the selfies and self promotion.

Thank you for pushing me to crave validation through my acts of service.

Thank you for allowing me to be a unique human who can be self-interested at times.

Thank you for delightfully reminding me I have a story during the good times and the bad.

Thank you for the drive to be “successful” and allowing that marker to be fluid.

Thank you for pushing me to take myself seriously.

Thank you for helping guide me to make decisions and revealing my fears.

Thank you for questioning the bullshit around me while others may following along sheeply.

Thank you for letting me be human and messy.

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YOUR FUTURE SELF

Your future self has time-traveled into the past to enlist the spirits of your ancestors in a plot to unlock your sleeping genius.

Art by Lynne Taetzsch

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IMMUNE TO MALEFIC ECSTASY

Somehow I have become immune to one of the most popular emotions of the modern world: malefic ecstasy; also known as exultant malaise; also known as blissful pessimism.

So many people get intense pleasure as they think and talk about horrific events. I don't know how I avoided that curse, but I did.

Care to join me?

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EXCERPT FROM ONE OF MY FUTURE BOOKS

I invite you to conspire with me to perpetrate lucid dreams and intimate empathy and revolutionary fucks and plain old everyday miracles that will overthrow the psychopathic misogynist plutocratic militarism that desecrates the ecosphere?"

I invite you to conspire with me to puncture, fracture, and shred the iron curtain between The Ordinary Real World and The Other Real World? Will you collude and connive with me to thwart the genocide of the imagination? Do you promise to plot and scheme with me to defrock and excommunicate and depose the priests of fundamentalist materialism?

I invite you to be my ever-surprising long-lost friend from Foreverland, a prayer rebel helping me to stay apprised of the ever-present origin of the world, an honest trickster skilled at washing water and burning fire. I invite you to be an alphabet eater who takes really good care of the big secret, and a gamemaster of the cosmic lottery that pays off everyone who doesn't win as well as everyone who wins.

I invite you to be a reverent rascal and discerning intellect and mystical activist and emotional genius who inspires us to bestow an inexhaustible supply of rowdy blessings on every living thing we encounter, regardless of whether they bestow rowdy blessings on us?

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THE GRADUAL, SLOW-SIMMERING APPROACH

I'm all about the gradual, slow-simmering approach to just about everything.

My aspiration is to be reverential and devotional toward the cumulative effects of small minute-by-minute meditations in the midst of "ordinary" life and the manageable day-to-day self-transformations that are hard but not too hard.

When I was young I loved to cultivate senses-reeling ecstatic breakthrough, but now I'm more inclined to commune with the chronic, low-level ecstatic union that thrives on opening to every little experience I encounter. Neither is "better," of course. I'm just talking about what has been right for me in recent years.

I would love to practice tantra 24/7, worshiping and drawing inspiration from each small gift the daily rhythm brings.

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DARE TO BE BORING DAY

Dare to Be Boring Day is coming up soon. I invite you to celebrate it whenever you feel the urge. We all deserve a break from the oppressive demands to appear smart and to be entertaining.

On Dare to Be Boring Day, it will be socially unacceptable to demonstrate your wit and verve. Long­winded, rambling monologues full of obscure details will be mandatory. The more clichés and buzzwords you use, the better.

Tell worn-out stories your friends have already heard many times. Flesh out your disjointed sentences with awkward silences. Discuss at length your plans for switching laundry detergents, the collection of matchbooks you had as a child, and the time you almost traveled to the Walmart in another town, but didn't.

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A TRACE OF GRACE

I'm wishing you "A Trace of Grace" with the help of Azerbaijani mugam singer Alim Qasimov: https://tinyurl.com/ps9j95d4

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FRRREEEEEEE !!!!

I have made it possible for subscribers to my newsletter to pay a subscription fee to me for my newsletter, BUT ONLY IF THEY WANT TO AND CAN AFFORD TO!

I have offered my astrology newsletter free of charge for the past 20 years, and I will continue to do so for the next 20 years at least.

If, however, you are sufficiently prosperous and feel comfortable about donating money to me, I welcome it. Please know, though: I am TOTALLY FINE if you don't donate.

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PS: Your Free Will Astrology horoscopes are rooted in art, poetry, psychology, philosophy, myth, dreams, love, and a quest for social justice. As much as I love and respect science, they are NOT scientific.

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KEEP ABORTION SAFE AND LEGAL AND FUNDED

My ability to become who I aspired to be would have been impossible without the right to legal abortion.

Earlier in my life, my women partners and I had abortions. I am fortunate we weren't forced to bring children into the world that we couldn't properly care for.

Ultimately, my wife and I chose exactly when we did want to bring a new human being into the world—when I had enough money and emotional maturity to do so.

Legal abortion made it possible for me to be a conscious, loving father for the one child I welcomed and helped to raise.

My life is successful, and an important factor contributing to that grace has been legal abortion.

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A male reader said that he supports abortion, but found it mind-boggling that so many women are "careless," get pregnant, and need an abortion. Here's how I responded:

Does he not know about all the women who are bullied and manipulated by men into not practicing safe sex?

I've been married to one woman for years, but before that I encountered numerous women who thanked me profusely for offering to use condoms—because their experience had always been that the men they'd had sex with hated to use condoms and tried to coax them to not use them.

Another important point is that taking birth control pills can wreak havoc on a woman's body and even on her psyche. Some women have a torturous relationship with those drugs as a result.

Plus, with birth control pills, YOU HAVE TO TAKE A PILL EVERY SINGLE DAY. Missing one day could make it possible for you to get pregnant.

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Condoms are mostly effective, but a lot of men don't like them, and resist using them. It's also true that condoms with spermicides, which are the most effective condoms, can be irritating to the vagina and also make women susceptible to infections.

Women who endure the painful procedure of having an IUD implanted may have heaver periods and more intense menstrual cramps. Their periods may be irregular, and they can bleed between periods.

.A diaphragm is at most 88% effective. A sponge is at most 88% effective, usually less. A cervical cap is between 71-86% effective. Spermicide is 71% effective. A birth control implant is 99% effective but can cost as much as $1,500.

An internal condom is 79% effective, and costs no more than $3. Outer condoms, worn by men, are just 85% effective—hardly a foolproof way to avoid pregnancy.

A birth control patch is 91% effective and has to be replaced weekly; can cost up to $150.

A birth control shot is 94% effective and cost up to $100 every three months.

A birth control vaginal ring is 91% effective and can cost up to $100 every month.

All the above comments are meant to address those people who wonder—without having done any research or talked to actual women—why abortion is even necessary given the fact that "there are so many birth control methods."

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I appeal to men who might be reading this to be well-educated about how abortion rights are under attack in the U.S. Be well-educated about why it's so important for women and people with wombs to have the right to decide what happens with their own bodies.

Be well-educated about the various forms of birth control that are available, and about how most of them are imperfect and/or problematic in some way—which is why we need to have abortion to end pregnancies that weren't prevented by birth control.

If you have personally experienced an abortion with a partner, talk about that with your male friends. Also, talk with your male friends about the importance of us being more involved with abortion rights.

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Read about the possible long-term side effects of hormonal birth control for women: https://tinyurl.com/czzrj5nx

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Lance Wilburn writes: To be clear: The irony of all of the abortion bills is the complete lack of male inclusion. Women do not magically become pregnant. There is a man attached to every abortion.

Why are men not being included in the Texas law's jail time for abortion? Because this isn't about abortion, it's about men controlling women.

It's an easy topic for white men to flex their power over to remind the womenfolk that they will always have to kneel to them.

If it were actually about abortion, we would be discussing early and continuing sex education, free birth control, healthcare for all, making childcare financially feasible, mandatory parental leave, increasing WIC, hard sentencing for rape, fixing the foster care system, and making adoption more accessible.

This is not about abortion. Don't fool yourself.

— Lance Wilburn

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Planned Parenthood is the most helpful and inexpensive source of information about various birth control methods, but that organization is being harassed and defunded. So it's getting harder and harder for women to get access to its information.

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Many women tell me that when they hear me talking about my experiences with abortion, it' the first time they have ever heard a man even talk about abortion, let alone advocate for it and describe his experiences with it. That's appalling to me. Men should be fully engaged in every aspect of these issues.

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"If a fetus is a person at 6 weeks pregnant, is that when the child support starts? Is that also when you can't deport the mother because she's carrying a US citizen? Can I insure a 6 week fetus and collect if I miscarry? Just figuring if we're going there, we should go all in."

—Carliss Chatman Law Professor, Washington and Lee University

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A good way to help is by donating to abortion funds, organizations that help people pay for and access abortion care when they don’t have the financial means to afford it on their own. Abortion funds use donations to help cover the procedure costs, transportation, and a place to stay before, during, and after. These funds can also be used to cover time off from work, childcare costs, and other financial barriers people who need abortions may experience. https://abortionfunds.org/about/

Planned Parenthood is an excellent organization to help: https://tinyurl.com/FundPlannedParenthood

Causes like Sister Song, Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, National AsianPacific American Women’s Forum, and Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), to name a few, are doing the vital work of centering on women of color, who are often the most endangered by abortion bans and restrictions to reproductive rights. Links to these groups here: https://tinyurl.com/phtdsz4n

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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:

Gigantic 438-Year-old Coral Discovered in the Great Barrier Reef in Excellent Condition. https://tinyurl.com/sjhd99kw

Afghan All-Girls Robotics Team Offered College Scholarships, Says Oklahoma Mom Who Helped Them Escape Taliban. https://tinyurl.com/3p7sjpxt

Man Spots His Dog on Television That Was Missing For 2 Years – He Knew That Infamous Underbite. https://tinyurl.com/d667nbjk

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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: https://tinyurl.com/548hp8y8

Available at Powells: https://bit.ly/PowellsPronoia

Available at Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/PronoiaBN

Available at Amazon: https://bit.ly/Pronoia

A free preview of the book is available here: https://tinyurl.com/PronoiaPreview

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Please tell me your own nominations for PRONOIA RESOURCES: Truthrooster@gmail.com.

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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

Week beginning September 9

Copyright 2021 by Rob Brezsny

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Between 37 and 41 BCE, Virgo-born Caligula served as third Emperor of Rome. To do so, he had to disprove the prophecy of a renowned astrologer, Thrasyllus of Mendes. Years earlier, Thrasyllus had predicted that Caligula, despite being well-connected, "had no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae"—a distance of two miles. Once in power, Caligula arranged to have a series of pontoon boats arrayed across the bay, enabling him to ride his favorite horse Incitatus from one shore to the other across the Bay of Baiae. I foresee the possibility of a comparable turn of events for you, Virgo. Is there a curse you want to undo? A false prophecy you'd like to cancel? Someone's low expectation you would love to debunk? The coming weeks will be a favorable time.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): College student Amelia Hamrick studied the right panel of Hieronymus Bosch's 15th-century painting The Garden of Earthly Delights. It depicts a hellish scene. Cities are on fire. Weird beasts devour sinful humans. There are demons and torture chambers. Hamrick did what no one in the history of art had ever done: She transcribed the musical score that the artist had written on a man's naked hindquarters. Her work inspired a composer to create a recording entitled "500-Year-Old Butt Song from Hell." In the coming weeks, I invite you to perform feats comparable to Hamrick: 1. Explore the past for useful, overlooked clues. 2. Find or create redemptive transformations out of stressful situations. 3. Have fun telling stories about your past misadventures.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Born on one of the Galapagos Islands, Diego is a giant tortoise who has lived for over 100 years. He's a member of the Hood Island species, which had dwindled to a population of 15 by 1977. That's when he and his tortoise colleague, whose name is E5, became part of a breeding program with 12 female tortoises. E5 was reserved in his behavior, but Diego was a showboat who vocalized loudly as he enjoyed public mating rituals. Together the two males saved their species—producing over 2,000 offspring in subsequent years. According to my astrological analysis, you could be as metaphorically fertile as Diego and E5 in the coming months—even if you prefer to adopt an approach more akin to E5's.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "The meaning of my existence is that life has addressed a question to me," wrote psychologist Carl Jung. "Or, conversely, I myself am a question that is addressed to the world, and I must communicate my answer, for otherwise, I am dependent upon the world's answer." These are superb meditations for you Sagittarians during the coming weeks. Between now and October 1, I invite you to keep a journal where you write about two subjects: 1. What is the main question that life asks you? 2. What is the main question that your life asks the world?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): North Korea's Capricorn leader Kim Jong-un has an amazing résumé. Official reports say he learned to drive at age three and was an accomplished sailor at nine. As an adult, he developed the power to control the weather. He's a skilled musician and artist, as well as a scientist who developed a miracle drug to cure AIDs, Ebola, cancer, heart disease, and the common cold. Most impressively, Kim is an archaeologist who discovered a lair where magical unicorns live. Is it possible you have unexpressed powers like these, Capricorn? If so, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to identify them and start tapping into their potential. It's time to develop your dormant talents.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquarian author Toni Morrison testified, "I think of beauty as an absolute necessity. I don't think it's a privilege or an indulgence. It's almost like knowledge, which is to say, it's what we were born for." I urge you to adopt her perspective during the next four weeks, Aquarius. In my astrological opinion, a devoted quest for beauty will heal exactly what most needs to be healed in you. It will teach you everything you most need to know.

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YOU NEED MAGIC EVERY DAY

Every day, you have to wade through a relentless surge of soul-less facts. The experience tends to shut down your sense of wonder.

Every day, you’re over-exposed to cynical narratives that have been sucked free of delight and mystery.

But here's the news: YOU NEED MAGIC EVERY DAY.

That’s why you have to make such strenuous efforts to keep your world enchanted.

I like to think I can contribute to the sacred cause of feeding your sense of wonder and enchantment. In fact, that's one of my prime motivations for offering you the free weekly horoscopes you read in this newsletter.

If you ever want more of that good stuff, and think it's worth paying for, please consider trying out my 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 https://RealAstrology.com

Register and/or log in through the main page.

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The cost is $6 per sign online. (Discounts are available for bulk purchases.) 

You can also listen over the phone by calling 1-877-873-4888. The cost is $1.99 per minute. Each forecast is 4-5 minutes long.

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Art by Paul Juno

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PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Poet and translator Anne Carson periodically joins with her husband Robert Currie to teach a workshop called "EgoCircus." It's an ironic title, because the subject they teach is the art of collaboration. To develop skills as a collaborator, of course, people must lay aside at least some of their egos' needs and demands. In accordance with current astrological potentials, I encourage you to stage your own version of EgoCircus in the coming weeks. The time is ripe for you to hone your creative togetherness and synergistic intimacy.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "We need to become more unreasonable but in an intelligent way," says Aries politician Jerry Brown. Yes! I agree! And that's especially true for you right now, Aries. To Brown's advice, I will add this message from Aries fashion designer Vivienne Westwood: "Intelligence is composed mostly of imagination, insight—things that have nothing to do with reason." Here's one further suggestion to help you take maximum advantage of cosmic rhythms, courtesy of Aries historian Arnold J. Toynbee: "The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "I have become whole and complete, like a thundering cloudburst in summer," wrote Taurus poet Miklós Radnóti. I love that metaphor for fullness: not an immaculate icon of shiny, sterile perfection, but rather a primal, vigorous force of nature in all of its rumbling glory. I hope you like this symbol as much as I do, and I hope you use it to fuel your creative spirit in the coming weeks. PS: Keep in mind that many indigenous people welcome rainstorms as a source of fertility and growth.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Pandiculation" is a word that refers to when you stretch and yawn at the same time. According to my understanding of the astrological omens, you will benefit from doing a lot of pandiculations in the coming days. I also recommend gazing lazily out the window and looking at the sky a lot. Keep your shoes off as much as possible, get a massage or three, and let yourself sleep more than you customarily do. Did you know that sighing deeply is good for your lungs' health? Here's your homework: Dream up all the things you can do to relax and renew yourself. It's prime time to indulge in generous acts of self-healing.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The ancient Roman author Pliny's ten-volume Natural History, written in the first century, was a monumental encyclopedia of the natural world, unprecedented in its own time and for centuries afterward. It offered compilations of facts about astronomy, geography, zoology, botany, mineralogy, and many other subjects. There was one big problem with it, however. It contained a great deal of erroneous information. For example, Pliny described in detail many non-existent animals, including dragons, flying horses, and giant serpents that swallowed bulls and snatched birds out of the sky. My reason for telling you this is to inspire you to be extra discerning in the coming weeks. Be especially skeptical of authorities, experts, and other know-it-alls who are very confident despite being inaccurate or erroneous. It's time for you to increase your trust in your own authority.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "There are those fortunate hours when the world consents to be made into a poem," writes Leo poet Mark Doty. That's great for a poet. But what about for everyone else? My variation on Doty's comment is this: There are fortunate hours when the world consents to be made into a holy revelation or a lyrical breakthrough or a marvelous feeling that changes our lives forever. I expect events like those to come your way at least twice in the immediate future.

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Homework: Tell me the most important lesson you've learned since 2021 began. Newsletter@FreeWillAstrology.com

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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 2021 Rob Brezsny

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