Every Act Is an Act of Magick

Do You Know How to Be Kind to Yourself?

Butterflies can't see their wings. They can't see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.

—Naya Rivera

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I've been asking my allies whether they have discovered any of the 13 Useful and Soulful Secrets about the Real Reality — as opposed to the 13 Obvious and Sentimental Secrets about the Fake Reality. Below are among the best so far. I'd love to hear yours.

• Every act is an act of magick.

• You will find beauty in everything when you look for it. Conversely, you can ignore beauty if you really want to. But who wants to?

• In the long run, it's healthiest to side with those who tell the most truth.

• Confucius said, "All wisdom is rooted in learning to call things by their right names."

• Don't stop learning just because you know it all.

• Truth is sneaky and mischievous, often hiding in unexpected places.

• Ssshhhh — Communication doesn't solve everything.

• William James said, "I will act as if what I do makes a difference."

• Don't let yourself be trapped into being who you used to be if that's not who you are anymore.

• Question your ego, and you will know when to question others.

• No one is ever able to tell the whole truth. That is a package of facts known only to the Eternal Intelligence formerly known as "God."

• Be kind to yourself. That is not the same as indulging yourself or spoiling yourself. It means to conduct your inner monologue as though you were counseling a friend whom you dearly love.

• Look for an oracle who will ask you the right questions.

• Whatever your problems are, someone has it far worse and someone has it far better

• Applaud creativity, even when it bothers you.

• Pretending you don't feel how you feel doesn't make you feel different.

• Thoughts are inevitable, but believing them is optional.

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How do you get yourself into a sacred state that rejuvenates your emotional life and expands your mind beyond its monkey chatter and customary habits and same-old-same-old beliefs?

Some people go to church, synagogue, temple, or mosque. Some wander out into nature. (Very few hop onto Facebook to get into arguments.)

One of my reliable ways to slip into the holy dimension is to sing songs that stir me with righteous passion. (The lyrics must be exalting; can't be trivializing or dumb.)

Another is to feel the joy of my body exerting itself while I walk alone up hills.

The best is to sing righteous songs while walking up hills.

And you?

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Mythologist Michael Meade says that the essential nature of every human soul is gifted, noble, and wounded.

I agree. Cynics who exaggerate how messed-up we all are, ignoring our beauty, are just as unrealistic as naive optimists.

But because the cynics have a disproportionately potent influence on the zeitgeist, they make it harder for us to evaluate our problems with a wise and balanced perspective.

Many of us feel cursed by the apparent incurability of our wounds, while others, rebelling against the curse, underestimate how wounded they are.

Meade says: "Those who think they are not wounded in ways that need conscious attention and careful healing are usually the most wounded of all."

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"One must think with the body and the soul or not think at all," wrote historian Hannah Arendt.

She implied that thinking only with the head can spawn monsters and demons. Mere conceptualization is arid and sterile if not interwoven with the wisdom of the soul and the body's earthy intuitions. Ideas that are untempered by feelings and physical awareness can produce poor maps of reality.

I invite you to incorporate these empowering suggestions into your life strategy. As you seek understanding of what's going on, draw on all your different kinds of intelligence.

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The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the threshold where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.

— Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks


There is some kiss we want with

our whole lives, the touch of

spirit on the body. Seawater

begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately

it needs some wild darling! At

night, I open the window and ask

the moon to come and press its

face against mine. Breathe into

me. Close the language-door and

open the love window. The moon

won’t use the door, only the window.

— Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks


When I see your face, the stones start spinning! Water turns pearly. Fire dies down and doesn't destroy. In your presence I don't want what I thought I wanted.



We are pain and what cures pain, both. We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours. I want to hold you close like a lute, so that we can cry out with loving.

Would you rather throw stones at a mirror? I am your mirror and here are the stones.



Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.

Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning/ long enough.

rom now on, I'll be mad.



Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo

You might say, "The world outside is vast and intricate. There are wheat fields and mountain passes and orchards in bloom. At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding."

You ask the embryo why he or she stays cooped up in the dark with eyes closed. Listen to the answer: There is no other world.



"You've been walking the ocean's edge, holding up your robes to keep them dry," writes Barks in his translation of Rumi.

What he means is that you've been too tentative and inhibited in your relationship with the tidal forces of love; you've been holding back from giving your total devotion to the primal power that fuels the universe.

"You must dive naked under and deeper under," Barks and Rumi continue, "a thousand times deeper!"


You are the sky my spirit circles in, the love inside love, the resurrection-place.



A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.



Our defects are the ways that glory gets manifested. Keep looking at the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you.



Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle.



The 13th-century Sufi mystic poet Rumi is known mostly through the "translations" of poet Coleman Barks. The scholars I know say Barks takes EXTREME liberties with Rumi's texts, to the point that he should considered a collaborator, not a translator. But it's still great stuff, in my opinion.


PS: Shams-i Tabrīzī, Rumi's best buddy and mentor, was sometimes a stand-in for The Friend, aka "God." Rumi wrote 3,000 poems for Shams, expressing his love and devotion for his guide whom he referred to as the bird and the sun who showed him the right path.


In 1977, English professor Coleman Barks had a dream that changed his life. In the dream, he was relaxing on a riverbank near his childhood home in Georgia.

A ball of light floated towards him. It contained a man with his head bowed and eyes closed, sitting cross-legged and wearing a white shawl. The man raised his head, opened his eyes, and said, "I love you," and Barks answered, "I love you, too."

Some time after this dream, he met the same mysterious figure in waking life. It was a Sri Lankan holy man, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, who ultimately set Barks on the path to becoming a translator of the dead mystic poet Rumi.

Today Rumi's books are bestsellers, largely due to Barks.

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My dreams are messages from my soul. Why are they sometimes so incomprehensible? Well, because my soul is trying is communicate from a place that is outside of time, a place where my soul is aware of multiple levels of reality, many of which are not consciously available to the me that is portraying the "Rob Brezsny" personality in this lifetime.

My soul is doing its best to convey the essence of the raw truths I need to know at any particular moment, but they are far more complex and eternal and from-many-different-levels than is possible to convey literally in the material zone.

So my dreams are often odd, disjointed, and alien not because there's a strange, unintegrated part of me that has little to do with the conscious ego in me (as per the book I've been reading); but rather because it's trying to break down impossibly rich messages from eternity; trying to create three dimensions messages that originate in a 26-dimension reality.

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The entire object of prayer is to exalt the mind to an indissoluble unity with God. It must lift the mind on the wings of ardent aspiration — thus the phrase "inflame thyself with prayer" — in an unrestrained flight of love to a sense of kinship and unity with the whole of life.

—Israel Regardie

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If you'd like to donate to my cause:

1. Visit my Gift Page — https://paypal.me/GiftsForRob — and contribute to me via the "Friends and Family" option.

2. Commit to offering me a regular donation through my Patreon page at https://Patreon.com/FreeWillAstrology

3. Send checks or cash to me at P.O. Box 4400, San Rafael, CA 94913.

4. Buy my Expanded Audio Horoscopes and/or Daily Text Message Horoscopes. Go here: https://RealAstrology.com

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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Week beginning November 25

Copyright 2021 by Rob Brezsny

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Poet Renée Ashley describes what she's attracted to: "I'm drawn to what flutters nebulously at the edges, at the corner of my eye—just outside my certain sight. I want to share in what I am routinely denied or only suspect exists. I long for a glimpse of what is beginning to occur." Although I don't think that's a suitable perspective for you to cultivate all the time, Sagittarius, I suspect it might be appealing and useful for you in the coming weeks. Fresh possibilities will be coalescing. New storylines will be incubating. Be alert for the oncoming delights of the unknown.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): What could you do to diminish your suffering? Your next assignment is to take two specific steps to begin that process. You're in a phase of your astrological cycle when you're more likely than usual to see what's necessary to salve your wounds and fix what's broken. Take maximum advantage of this opportunity! I proclaim this next chapter of your life to be titled "In Quest of the Maximum Cure." Have fun with this project, dear Capricorn. Treat it as a mandate to be imaginative and explore interesting possibilities.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves," wrote my favorite Aquarian philosopher, Simone Weil. I agree. It's advice I regularly use myself. If you want to be seen and appreciated for who you really are, you should make it your priority to see and appreciate yourself for who you really are. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to make progress in this noble project. Start this way: Write a list of the five qualities about yourself that you love best.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Nigerian author Ben Okri, born under the sign of Pisces, praises our heroic instinct to rise above the forces of chaos. He writes, "The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering." You've been doing a lot of that excellent work throughout 2021, dear Pisces. And I expect that you'll be climaxing this chapter of your life story sometime soon. Thanks for being such a resourceful and resilient champion. You have bravely faced but also risen above the sometimes-messy challenges of plain old everyday life. You have inspired many of us to stay devoted to our heart's desires.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries author Chris Brogan says, "Don't settle. Don't finish crappy books. If you don't like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you're not on the right path, get off it." That's the best possible counsel for you to hear, in my astrological opinion. As an Aries, you're already inclined to live by that philosophy. But now and then, like now, you need a forceful nudge in that direction. So please, Aries, go in pursuit of what you want, not what you partially want. Associate with the very best, most invigorating influences, not the mediocre kind.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Author Kurt Vonnegut wrote wistfully, "I still catch myself feeling sad about things that don't matter anymore." If similar things are running wild in your head, dear Taurus, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to banish them. You will have extra power to purge outdated emotions and reclaim at least some of the wild innocence that is your birthright. PS: There's nothing wrong with feeling sad. In fact, feeling sad can be healthy. But it's important to feel sad for the right reasons. Getting clear about that is your second assignment.

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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.

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 To listen to your Expanded Audio Horoscope online, go to https://RealAstrology.com

Register and/or log in through the main page.


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


"Your audio horoscopes encourage me to think bigger about my life. As I listen, I can feel my shrunken expectations melting away."

—Therese Pembroke, San Diego

"I love the way your audio horoscopes make me see my life differently while at the same time they give me support for how hard I'm trying to live my best life."

—Shanice Bryant

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GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "I'll walk forever with stories inside me that the people I love the most can never hear." So says the main character in Gemini author Michelle Hodkin's novel The Evolution of Mara Dyer. If that heart-rending statement has resonance with your own personal experience, I have good news: The coming weeks will be a favorable time to transform the situation. I believe you can figure out how to share key stories and feelings that have been hard to reveal before now. Be alert for unexpected opportunities and not-at-all-obvious breakthroughs.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A study of people in 24 countries concluded that during the pandemic, over 80 percent of the population have taken action to improve their health. Are you in that group? Whether or not you are, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to go further in establishing robust self-care. The astrological omens suggest you'll find it easier than usual to commit to good new habits. Rather than trying to do too much, I suggest you take no more than three steps. Even starting with just one might be wise. Top three: eating excellent food, having fun while exercising right, and getting all the deep sleep you need.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Leo-born scholar Edith Hamilton loved to study ancient Greek civilization. She wrote, "To rejoice in life, to find the world beautiful and delightful to live in, was a mark of the Greek spirit which distinguished it from all that had gone before." One sign of Greece's devotion to joie de vivre was its love of play. "The Greeks were the first people in the world to play," Hamilton exulted, "and they played on a great scale. All over Greece, there were games"—for athletes, dancers, musicians, and other performers. Spirited competition was an essential element of their celebration of play, as was the pursuit of fun for its own sake. In resonance with your astrological omens, Leo, I propose you regard ancient Greece as your spiritual home for the next five weeks.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo singer-songwriter Florence Welch of the band Florence and the Machine told an interviewer why she wrote "Hunger." She said, "I looked for love in things that were not love." What were those things? According to her song, they included taking drugs and performing on stage. Earlier in Florence's life, as a teenager, "love was a kind of emptiness" she experienced through her eating disorder. What about you, Virgo? Have you looked for love in things that weren't love? Are you doing that right now? The coming weeks will be a good time to get straight with yourself about this issue. I suggest you ask for help from your higher self. Formulate a strong intention that in the future, you will look for love in things that can genuinely offer you love.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): There's a Grateful Dead song, with lyrics written by John Perry Barlow, that says, "You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know." I propose you make that your featured advice for the next two weeks. I hope you will be inspired by it to figure out what truths you might be trying hard not to know. In so doing, you will make yourself available to learn those truths. As a result, you'll be led on a healing journey you didn't know you needed to take. The process might sound uncomfortable, but I suspect it will ultimately be pleasurable.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio author and philosopher Albert Camus was a good thinker. At age 44, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature—the second-youngest recipient ever. And yet he made this curious statement: "Thoughts are never honest. Emotions are." He regarded thoughts as "refined and muddy"—the result of people continually tinkering with their inner dialog so as to come up with partially true statements designed to serve their self-image rather than reflect authentic ideas. Emotions, on the other hand, emerge spontaneously and are hard to hide, according to Camus. They come straight from the depths. In accordance with astrological potentials, Scorpio, I urge you to keep these meditations at the forefront of your awareness in the coming weeks. See if you can be more skeptical about your thoughts and more trusting in your emotions.

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Homework. Gratitude is the featured emotion. See how amazing you can make yourself feel by stretching it to its limits. 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.

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Contents of the Free Will Astrology Newsletter are Copyright 2021 Rob Brezsny

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