Cultivating Excellent Desires

Fresh Power to Transform Yourself Is On the Way

Whether it's your time to gather your strength in the shadows or exude your lust for life in the sun, fresh power to transform yourself is on the way.

Life always delivers the creative energy you need to change into the new thing you must become. You can count on it! So be alert for it. Be receptive to it.

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Our own personal happiness is impossible and hollow unless we are also in service to others. With this in mind, I propose an extension of the Bodhisattva's Vow.

The Bodhisattva Vow: "My own personal quest for illumination is incomplete, and my own personal enlightenment is meaningless, unless I am also in some specific way devoted to easing the suffering of others."

I suggest we take this Vow a step further and say, "My quest for illumination is incomplete, and my enlightenment meaningless, unless I am also in some specific way devoted to the goals of easing the suffering of others and helping them experience joy and pleasure and liberation and meaningfulness."

A cornerstone of this Extended Version of the Bodhisattva's Vow is that we are committed to providing the fundamental needs of all humans beings—their food, shelter, medical care, money—so that they have the ability to expand into joy and pleasure and liberation and abundance.

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Meme is from

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Some religious traditions preach the value of banishing or renouncing your desires. I do not subscribe to those traditions, so I will never urge you to banish or renounce your desires.

I prefer to encourage you to cultivate excellent desires. Here are a few I highly recommend:

• a desire for interesting riddles and fascinating challenges that excite both your mind and your heart;

• a desire for comrades who enjoy your specific idiosyncrasies and eccentricities;

• a desire to attract ongoing encounters with nonstandard beauty so as to always ensure a part of you remains untamed;

• a desire to help create a world in which everyone gets the food, housing, and health care they need;

• a desire for good surprises and unpredictable fun;

• a desire for group collaborations that enhance the intelligence of everyone in the group;

• a desire to keep outgrowing what worked for you in the past and a desire to ceaselessly explore and invent new approaches to being yourself;

• a desire to be playful and creative with your libidinous energy;

• a desire to help cultivate the health and beauty of the natural world;

• a desire for revelations and experiences that steer you away from thinking and acting like the machines you interact with so much;

• a desire to keep reinventing and reinvigorating your relationships with those you love;

• a desire to keep refining and expanding your ability to learn from non-human intelligences;

• a desire to keep refreshing your quest for freedom and deepening your capacity to be free;

• a desire to move your body in ways that delight your soul;

• a desire to help eliminate bigotry, misogyny, plutocracy, racism, and militarism.

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CONDUIT MAGAZINE: Can you say what you mean by "Free Will Astrology"? It sounds like an oxymoron.

ROB BREZSNY: My approach to astrology is different from some mainstream astrologers. when I first began writing the column many years ago, I didn't like astrology columns, and I didn't like a lot of the ways astrology was practiced.

Then as now, astrology in the hands of many practitioners tends to make people afraid of the future, fills them with ideas about there being some sort of fixed destiny that they're being pulled toward and that they're helpless to resist. This kind of thinking was and still is repulsive to me.

I didn't like astrology columns, because they were watered-down versions of the complex art of astrology, which was practiced, after all, by groundbreaking psychologist Carl Jung.

So when I first got the opportunity to write an astrology column, I decided that if somebody was going to do it, it might as well be me—someone who was trained in poetry, loves language, and respects the free will of the people who might read my work.

The bedrock of my practice has always been the idea that the planets may impel, but they don't compel. A study of the configurations of planets shows us the archetypal forces that are coalescing, dissolving, and becoming active in our lives. That can instruct us on how to use our free will to best activate the best versions of those archetypal forces as they coalesce and dissolve.

So for me, "Free Will Astrology" conveys the notion that we have far more power than we might imagine over the way that we express the bigger forces at work in our lives.

My aspiration is not to condemn my readers to a particular fate that they can't avoid, but rather to show them the options that are available: the higher level, the mid-level, and the low-level ways in which they might express the archetypal forces, and to nudge them in the direction of finding where the highest-level expression of those forces might be.

Read more of this interview:

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"I see that the life of this place is always emerging beyond expectation or prediction or typicality, that it is unique, given to the world minute by minute, only once, never to be repeated. And this is when I see that this life is a miracle, absolutely worth having, absolutely worth saving.

"We are alive within mystery, by miracle."

– Wendell Berry, "Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition"

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Want to learn more about the difference between your fearful fantasies & your authentic, accurate intuitions? Listen to my podcast:

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

—Arthur C. Clarke

The supernatural is only the natural of which the laws are not yet understood.

—Agatha Christie

Any technology that does not appear magical is insufficiently advanced.

—Barry Gehm

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Reverence is one of the most useful emotions. When you respectfully acknowledge the sublime beauty of something greater than yourself, you do yourself a big favor. You generate authentic humility and sincere gratitude, which are healthy for your body as well as your soul.

Please note that reverence is not solely the province of religious people. A biologist may venerate the scientific method. An atheist might experience a devout sense of awe toward geniuses who have bequeathed to us their brilliant ideas.

What about you? What excites your reverence? I invite you to explore the deeper mysteries of this altered state of consciousness.

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If you'd like to donate to my well-being:

1. Visit my Gift Page and donate:

2. You can also contribute by buying the Expanded Audio Horoscopes I create every week. These forecasts are different from the written horoscopes I provide here.

They're my four- to five-minute-long ruminations about the current chapter of your life story. They're available at

3. I also write daily horoscopes, available as text messages sent to your phone. They're shorter than the weekly 'scopes, but more frequent. You can get these regular bursts of inspiration for 67 cents a day if you sign up for a subscription.

Go to . Register or log in. On the new page, click on "Subscribe / Renew" under "Daily Text Message Horoscopes" in the right-hand column.

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6. Finally, 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.

Sign up here:


P.S.: No pressure, though! I understand that some of you don't have enough money yourself, and it wouldn't make sense for you to give some to me.

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A Certain Kind of Smiling Can Repair Relationships that Have Been Damaged by Mistrust.

Dogs Know When You’re Acting Intentionally.

4-year-old Learns Piano in Lockdown, Wins Elite Competition But Can’t Play Carnegie Hall as She’s Too Young for Vaccination.


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

Available at Powells:

Available at Barnes & Noble:

Available at Amazon:

A free preview of the book is available here:


Please tell me your own nominations for PRONOIA RESOURCES:

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Week beginning October 7

Copyright 2021 by Rob Brezsny

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Some people are crazy drunk on rotgut sobriety," wrote aphorist Daniel Liebert. I trust you're not one of them. But if you are, I beg you to change your habits during the next three weeks. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you have a heavenly mandate to seek more than the usual amounts of whimsical ebullience, sweet diversions, uplifting obsessions, and holy amusements. Your health and success in the coming months require you to enjoy a period of concentrated joy and fun now. Be imaginative and innovative in your quest for zest.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scottish Poet Laureate Jackie Kay, born under the sign of Scorpio, writes, "It used to be that privacy came naturally to everybody and that we understood implicitly what kind of things a person might like to keep private. Now somebody has torn up the rule book on privacy and there's a kind of free fall and free for all and few people naturally know how to guard this precious thing, privacy." The coming weeks will be a good time for you to investigate this subject, Scorpio—to take it more seriously than you have before. In the process, I hope you will identify what's truly important for you to keep confidential and protected, and then initiate the necessary adjustments. (PS: Please feel no guilt or embarrassment about your desire to have secrets!)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "All our Western thought is founded on this repulsive pretense that pain is the proper price of any good thing," wrote feisty author Rebecca West (1892–1983). I am very happy to report that your current torrent of good things will NOT require you to pay the price of pain. On the contrary, I expect that your phase of grace and luck will teach you how to cultivate even more grace and luck; it will inspire you to be generous in ways that bring generosity coming back your way. As articulated by ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, here's the operative principle: "Opportunities multiply as they are seized."

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "If you don't ask, the answer is always no," declares author Nora Roberts. In that spirit and in accordance with astrological omens, I urge you to be bold and lucid about asking for what you want in the coming weeks. In addition, I encourage you to ask many probing questions so as to ferret out the best ways to get what you want. If you are skilled in carrying out this strategy, you will be a winsome blend of receptivity and aggressiveness, innocent humility and understated confidence. And that will be crucial in your campaign to get exactly what you want.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Few persons enjoy real liberty," wrote poet Alfred de Musset. "We are all slaves to ideas or habits." That's the bad news. The good news is that October is Supercharge Your Freedom Month for you Aquarians. I invite you to use all your ingenuity to deepen, augment, and refine your drive for liberation. What could you do to escape the numbness of the routine? How might you diminish the hold of limiting beliefs and inhibiting patterns? What shrunken expectations are impinging on your motivational verve? Life is blessing you with the opportunity to celebrate and cultivate what novelist Tim Tharp calls "the spectacular now." Be a cheerful, magnanimous freedom fighter.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The brilliant Piscean composer Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849) wrote, "I wish I could throw off the thoughts that poison my happiness, but I take a kind of pleasure in indulging them." What?! That's crazy! If he had been brave enough and willful enough to stop taking pleasure in indulging his toxic thoughts, they might have lost their power to demoralize him. With this in mind, I'm asking you to investigate whether you, like Chopin, ever get a bit of secret excitement from undermining your own joy and success. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to dissolve that bad habit.

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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 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 To listen to your Expanded Audio Horoscope online, go to

Register and/or log in through the main page.


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


"I always feel like I know myself better after listening to your audio 'scopes."

—June Roseville, Austin, TX

"Your audio horoscopes calm me down when I'm too manic and pep me up when I'm down."

—Arthur Trachten, Cleveland, OH

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries poet Anna Kamieńska said her soul didn't emanate light. It was filled with "bright darkness." I suspect that description may apply to you in the coming weeks. Bright darkness will be one of your primary qualities. And that's a good thing! You may not be a beacon of shiny cheer, but you will illuminate the shadows and secrets. You will bring deeper awareness to hidden agendas and sins of omission. You will see, and help others to see, what has been missing in situations that lack transparency. Congratulations in advance!

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "There is something truly restorative, finally comforting, in coming to the end of an illusion—a false hope." So declared author Sue Miller, and now I'm sharing it with you, Taurus—just in time for the end of at least one of your illusions. (Could be two, even three.) I hope your misconceptions or misaligned fantasies will serve you well as they decay and dissolve. I trust they will be excellent fertilizer, helping you grow inspired visions that guide your future success. My prediction: You will soon know more about what isn't real, which will boost your ability to evaluate what is real.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Afghan-American novelist Khaled Hosseini writes, "People mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really what guides them is what they're afraid of—what they don't want." Is that true for you, Gemini? The coming weeks will be an excellent time to meditate on that question. And if you find you're motivated to live your life more out of fear than out of love, I urge you to take strenuous action to change that situation! Make sure love is at least 51 percent and fear no more than 49 percent. I believe you can do much better than that, though. Aim for 75 percent love!

CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking." Oglala Lakota medicine man Black Elk said that, and now I'm passing it on to you. It's not always the case that dreams are wiser than waking, of course, but I suspect they will be for you in the coming weeks. The adventures you experience while you're sleeping could provide crucial clues to inform your waking-life decisions. They should help you tune into resources and influences that will guide you during the coming months. And now I will make a bold prediction: that your dreams will change your brain chemistry in ways that enable you to see truths that until now have been invisible or unavailable. (PS: I encourage you to also be alert for intriguing insights and fantasies that well up when you're tired or lounging around.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Don't hope more than you're willing to work," advises author Rita Mae Brown. So let me ask you, Leo: How hard are you willing to work to make your dreams come true, create your ideal life, and become the person you'd love to be? When you answer that question honestly, you'll know exactly how much hope you have earned the right to foster. I'm pleased to inform you that the coming weeks will be a favorable time to upgrade your commitment to the work and therefore deepen your right to hope.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "To be truly visionary, we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality." This shrewd advice comes from author bell hooks (who doesn't capitalize her name). I think it should be at the heart of your process in the coming days. Why? Because you now have an extraordinary potential to dream up creative innovations that acknowledge your limitations but also transcend those limitations. You have extra power available to harness your fantasies and instigate practical changes.

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Homework. Hold your own hand and tell yourself what you will do to end a nagging discomfort in your life.

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To join or leave the email list for this newsletter, or to change the address where you receive it, go to:

If my newsletters don't reach your inbox, look in your "Bulk Mail" or "Junk Mail" folder.

P.S. I totally respect your privacy. I'll never sell or give away your address to anyone.

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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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