You Know What You Want

You Know What You Don't Want

My first invitation: Weed out the wishy-washy wishes and lukewarm longings that keep you distracted from your burning desires.

My second invitation: Refuse to think that anyone else knows better than you what dreams will keep your life energy humming with maximum efficiency and grace.

Third invitation: Say this out loud to see how it feels: "I know exactly what I want. I know exactly what I don't want. I know exactly what I kind of want but I won't waste my time on it because it sidetracks me from working on what I really want."

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REJOICING IN ORDINARY THINGS

Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.

— Pema Chodron

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YOU'RE A LUCKY, PLUCKY GENIUS

You are constitutionally incapable of adapting nicely to the sour and crippled mass hallucination that is mistakenly called "reality." You're too amazingly, blazingly insane for that.

You're too crazy smart to lust after the stupidest secrets of the game of life. You're too seriously delirious to wander sobbing through the sterile, perfumed labyrinth looking in vain for the most ultra-perfect mirror. Thank the Goddess that you are a fiercely tender throb of sublimely berserk abracadabra.

You'll never get crammed in a neat little niche in the middle of the road at the end of a nightmare. You refuse to allow your soul's bones to get ground down into dust and used to fertilize the killing fields that proudly dot the ice cream empire of monumentally demeaning luxuries.

You're too brilliantly cracked for that. You're too ingeniously whacked. You're too ineffably godsmacked.

This is an excerpt from a longer piece: Read or listen to it here:

https://bit.ly/ReGeniusYourself

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MY WRITING PROCESS, Part 7

For me, writing includes manual labor. Lots of paper has to be cut and pasted, sorted and resorted, rearranged and recombined. Standing up and walking around my tables is a good balance for all the sitting.

Creativity requires heroic levels of organization! Inspiration flows when dogged discipline has prepared the way!

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It's not good enough, at least for me, to see the texts on computer monitors. I can edit my writing with more clarity if I see it on paper. I seem to see the words more deeply and truly.

Also, when I'm working on my memoirs/novels, as I am now, I need to view the order of the chapters lined up on the tables. I get a better feel for the lyrical logic of how they should proceed.

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Here's the current tally:

Number of books published: 9

Number of columns published:  2,236

Number of new books currently being worked on: 14

Here's a photo of me in my office:

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HOW TO BE RICH

John Waters said in a speech to a graduating class: "I’m rich! I don’t mean money-wise. I mean that I have figured out how to never be around assholes at any time in my personal and professional life. That’s rich. And not being around assholes should be the goal of every graduate here today.

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Anthony Bourdain also had a “No Asshole” rule: "It is truly a privilege to live by what I call the ‘no asshole’ rule. I don’t do business with assholes. I don’t care how much money they are offering me, or what project. Life is too short. Quality of life is important. I’m fortunate to collaborate with a lot of people who I respect and like, and I’d like to keep it that way."

In an earlier interview, Anthony Bourdain said it even more succinctly: "I want to keep the assholes in my life to an absolute minimum, if not zero. That’s worth real, real money — to not have assholes in your life."

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WHERE THE SPIRITUAL MEETS THE PRACTICAL

"How does my spiritual practice and daily life serve the earth? How does my spiritual practice and daily life affect the poorest third of humanity? How will my spiritual practice and daily life affect the generations to come in the future?"

~ Starhawk

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THE 80% RULE

Readers of my horoscope column "Free Will Astrology" are sometimes surprised when I say I only believe in astrology about 80 percent. "You're a quack?!" they cry.

Not at all, I explain. I've been a passionate student of the ancient art for decades. About the time my over-educated young brain was on the verge of desertification, crazy wisdom showed up in the guise of astrology, lyricizing my soul just in time to save it.

"But what about the other 20 percent?" they press on. "Are you saying your horoscopes are only partially true?"

I assure them that my doubt proves my love. By cultivating a tender, cheerful skepticism, I inoculate myself against the virus of fanaticism. This ensures that astrology will be a supple tool in my hands, an adaptable art form, and not a rigid, explain-it-all dogma that over-literalizes and distorts the mysteries it seeks to illuminate.

P.S.: I use the same 80-20 approach with every belief system I love and benefit from: science, psychology, feminism, and various spiritual traditions like Qabalah, Buddhism, paganism, and magick.

I take what's useful from each, but am not so deluded as to think that any single system is the holy grail that the physicists call the "Theory of Everything."

Unconditional, unskeptical faith is the path of the fanatic and fundamentalist, and I aspire to be a rowdy philosophical anarchist, aflame with objectivity and committed to the truth that the truth is always evolving.

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NO, LIFE ISN'T SUFFERING

Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes: "You've probably heard the rumor that 'Life is suffering' is Buddhism's first principle, the Buddha's first noble truth. It's a rumor with good credentials, spread by well-respected academics and Dharma teachers alike, but a rumor nonetheless.

"The truth about the noble truths is far more interesting. The Buddha taught four truths — not one — about life: 1. There is suffering. 2. There is a cause for suffering. 3. There is an end of suffering. 4. There is a path of practice that puts an end to suffering.

"These truths, taken as a whole, are far from pessimistic. They're a practical, problem-solving approach — the way a doctor approaches an illness, or a mechanic a faulty engine. You identify a problem and look for its cause. You then put an end to the problem by eliminating the cause."

Read more: https://tinyurl.com/645an6dz

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YOUR ILLUSIONS

Some of your illusions seeped into you before you learned to talk. Others sneaked into you later, while you were busy figuring out how to become yourself. Eventually, you even made conscious choices to adopt certain illusions because they provided you with comfort and consolation.

There's no need to be ashamed of this. It's a natural part of being a human being.

Now here's the good news: You have the power to shed at least some of your illusions in ways that don't shatter your foundations.

To begin the process, declare this intention at noon every Sunday for the next six months: "I am calling on all the power I have at my disposal, both conscious and unconscious, to dissolve my illusions."

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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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ONE OF MY GREAT JOYS

One of my great joys in life is to watch White people and Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color gather together to sing joyfully about the Divine Intelligence. here's an example: https://tinyurl.com/ytuyxame

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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:

Policing Without Cops Finds Its Way from Oregon to New York. https://tinyurl.com/eyrbdbk8

“Menstruation Vacations: Adapting Work for Women’s Health. "Stay at home, take it easy, cancel all your appointments, or come in and work as usual." https://tinyurl.com/p635jy8

Vet Successfully Sews One Stitch in Tiny Tree Frog Whose Lung Was Exposed, Loving all Creatures Great and Small. https://tinyurl.com/ss76puew

The US Halts Old-Growth Timber Sales in World’s Largest Remaining Temperate Rainforest. https://tinyurl.com/a4b96xs3

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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/59hsxv7v

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 August 5

Copyright 2021 by Rob Brezsny

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The next two months will be a propitious time for you and your intimate allies to grow closer by harnessing the power of your imaginations. I urge you to be inventive in dreaming up ways to educate and entertain each other. Seek frisky adventures together that will delight you. Here's a poem by Vyacheslav Ivanov that I hope will stimulate you: "We are two flames in a midnight forest. We are two meteors that fly at night, a two-pointed arrow of one fate. We are two steeds whose bridle is held by one hand. We are two eyes of a single gaze, two quivering wings of one dream, two-voiced lips of single mysteries. We are two arms of a single cross."

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo spiritual author Don Miguel Ruiz urges us not to take anything personally. He says that if someone treats us disrespectfully, it's almost certainly because they are suffering from psychological wounds that make them act in vulgar, insensitive ways. Their attacks have little to do with what's true about us. I agree with him, and will add this important caveat. Even if you refrain from taking such abuses personally, it doesn't mean you should tolerate them. It doesn't mean you should keep that person in your life or allow them to bully you in the future. I suspect these are important themes for you to contemplate right now.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "People who feel deeply, live deeply, and love deeply are destined to suffer deeply," writes poet Juansen Dizon. To that romanticized, juvenile nonsense, I say: NO! WRONG! People who feel and live and love deeply are more emotionally intelligent than folks who live on the surface—and are therefore less fragile. The deep ones are likely to be psychologically adept; they have skills at liberating themselves from the smothering crush of their problems. The deep ones also have access to rich spiritual resources that ensure their suffering is a source of transformative teaching—and rarely a cause of defeat. Have you guessed that I'm describing you as you will be in the coming weeks?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Professor of psychology Ethan Kross tells us there can be healthy, creative forms of envy. “Just as hunger tells us we need to eat," he writes, "the feeling of envy could show us what is missing from our lives that really matters to us." The trick is to not interpret envy as a negative emotion, but to see it as useful information that shows us what we want. In my astrological opinion, that's a valuable practice for you to deploy in the coming days. So pay close attention to the twinges of envy that pop into your awareness. Harness that volatile stuff to motivate yourself as you make plans to get the very experience or reward you envy.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Poet Walt Whitman bragged that he was "large." He said, "I contain multitudes." One critic compared him to "a whole continent with its waters, with its trees, with its animals." Responding to Whitman, Sagittarian poet Gertrud Kolmar uttered an equally grandiose boast. "I too am a continent," she wrote. "I contain mountains never-reached, scrubland unpenetrated, pond bay, river-delta, salt-licking coast-tongue." That's how I'm imagining you these days, dear Sagittarius: as unexplored territory: as frontier land teeming with undiscovered mysteries. I love how expansive you are as you open your mind and heart to new self-definitions. I love how you're willing to risk being unknowable for a while as you wander out in the direction of the future.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Poet Ezra Pound wrote a letter to novelist James Joyce that included the following passage: "You are fucking with my head, and so far I’ve been enjoying it. Where is the crime?" I bring this up, Capricorn, because I believe the coming weeks will be prime time for you to engage with interesting souls who fuck with your head in enjoyable ways. You need a friendly jolt or two: a series of galvanizing prods; dialogs that catalyze you to try new ways of thinking and seeing; lively exchanges that inspire you to experiment.

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LOVE YOUR LIFE!

How's your fight for freedom going? Are you making progress in liberating yourself from your unconscious obsessions, bad habits, and conditioned responses? Are you turning out to be the hero of your own life?

For assistance and inspiration, tune in to my EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPES.

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.

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 access them by phone at 1-877-873-4888. The cost is $1.99 per minute. Each forecast is 4-5 minutes long.

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"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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AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Blogger Mandukhai Munkhbaatar offers advice on the arts of intimate communion. "Do not fall in love only with a body or with a face," she tells us. "Do not fall in love with the idea of being in love." She also wants you to know that it's best for your long-term health and happiness if you don't seek cozy involvement with a person who is afraid of your madness, or with someone who, after you fight, disappears and refuses to talk. I approve of all these suggestions. Any others you would add? It's a favorable phase to get clearer about the qualities of people you want and don't want as your allies.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I gave my readers homework, asking them to answer the question, "What is your favorite rule to break?" In response, Laura Grolla sent these thoughts: "My favorite rule to break is an unwritten one: that we must all stress and strive for excellence. I have come up with a stress-busting mantra, 'It is OK to be OK.' In my OKness, I have discovered the subtle frontier of contentment, which is vast and largely unexplored. OKness allows me not to compete for attention, but rather to pay attention to others. I love OKness for the humor and deep, renewing sleep it has generated. Best of all, OKness allows me to be happily aging rather than anxiously hot." I bring this to your attention, Pisces, because I think the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to investigate and embody the relaxing mysteries of OKness.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Filmmaker Federico Fellini had an unexpected definition of happiness. He said it was "being able to speak the truth without hurting anyone." I suspect you will have abundant access to that kind of happiness in the coming weeks, Aries. I'll go even further: You will have extra power to speak the truth in ways that heal and uplift people. My advice to you, therefore, is to celebrate and indulge your ability. Be bold in expressing the fullness of what's interesting to you.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Look for a long time at what pleases you, and longer still at what pains you," wrote the novelist Colette. What?! Was she making a perverse joke? That's wicked advice, and I hope you adopt it only on rare occasions. In fact, the exact opposite is the healthy way to live—especially for you in the coming weeks. Look at what pains you, yes. Don't lose sight of what your problems and wounds are. But please, for the sake of your dreams, for the benefit of your spiritual and psychological health, look longer at what pleases you, energizes you, and inspires you.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you deepen your affection for butterflies and hummingbirds, I will love it. If you decide you want the dragonfly or bumblebee or lark to be your spirit creature, I will approve. You almost always benefit from cultivating relationships with swift, nimble, and lively influences—and that's especially true these days. So give yourself full permission to experiment with the superpower of playful curiosity. You're most likely to thrive when you're zipping around in quest of zesty ripples and sprightly rhythms.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Life is showing you truths about what you are not, what you don't need, and what you shouldn't strive for. That's auspicious, although it may initially feel unsettling. I urge you to welcome these revelations with gratitude. They will help you tune in to the nuances of what it means to be radically authentic. They will boost your confidence in the rightness of the path you've chosen for yourself. I'm hoping they may even show you which of your fears are irrelevant. Be hungry for these extraordinary teachings.

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Homework. Tell me what subtle or not-so-subtle victories you plan to accomplish by January 1, 2022. Newsletter@freewillastrology.com

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NEED TO CHANGE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS?

To join or leave the email list for this newsletter, or to change the address where you receive it, go to: https://freewillastrology.substack.com

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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