Your Wise and Affectionate Attention

See the World with Loving Eyes!

You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.

—Jon Kabat-Zinn

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EXPLORE THE BIG PICTURE OF YOUR LIFE with my Expanded Audio Horoscopes for the Second Half of 2021. This is the last week they will be available.

How can you exert your free will to create the adventures that will bring out the best in you, even as you find graceful ways to cooperate with the tides of destiny?

To listen to my IN-DEPTH, LONG-TERM AUDIO FORECAST for YOUR LIFE during the next six months, go here, then register and/or sign in:

https://RealAstrology.com

After you log in through the main page, click on the link "Long Term Forecast for Second Half of 2021."

The horoscopes cost $6 apiece. Discounts are available for multiple purchases.

You can also listen to your short-term forecast for the coming week by clicking on "This week (July 20, 2021)."

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15% REBELLIOUS RAGE, 85% COMPASSION AND CELEBRATION

Tending to my sanity and being in compassionate service to the world require me to be in a chronic state of rebellion.

But here's an important caveat: While the rebellion can and should be partially fueled by anger at the consensual mass hallucination that's mistakenly referred to as "reality," it must be primarily motivated by love and joy and the desire to bestow blessings.

A healthy proportion, at least for me, seems to be 15% rage, indignation, and complaint, and 85% compassion, celebration, and lust for life.

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Art by Aramara

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SEEK OUT THE LOWER REACHES

The alchemists said the magic formula for enlightenment was Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem, or "Seek out the lower reaches of the earth, perfect them, and you will find the hidden stone"—the treasured philosopher's stone.

Jungian psychologists might describe the process this way: Engage in a relationship with the wounded and sickly parts of yourself, refine them, and you will awaken your hidden divinity.

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"The great epochs in our lives are at the points when we gain the courage to rebaptize our badness as the best in us." —Friedrich Nietzsche

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Jung: "Whoever loves the earth and its glory, and forgets the 'dark realm,' or confuses the two (which is mostly what happens), has spirit for his enemy; and whoever flees from the earth and falls into the 'eternal arms' has life for an enemy."

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The Bible quotes the radical first-century religious activist Jesus Christ as follows: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Sounds like he had a good strategy for working with his shadow.

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In the New Earth, it won't be your material wealth that will win you the most bragging points. Nor will it be the important people you know or the deals you've swung or the knowledge you've amassed or your mate's attractiveness.

What will bring you most prestige and praise in the civilization to come will be your success in transmuting lead into gold—how thoroughly you have integrated your shadow and tapped into its

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"Suffering can't be avoided," James Broughton told Jack Foley. "The way to happiness is to go into the darkness of yourself. That's the place the seed is nourished, takes its roots and grows up, and becomes ultimately the plant and the flower. You can only go upward by first going downward." —James Broughton, as told to interviewer Jack Foley, All: A James Broughton Reader

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"It is by going down into the abyss that you recover the treasures of life," wrote Joseph Campbell. "Where you stumble, there lies your treasure."

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In her book Zen Miracles, Brenda Shoshanna defines the shadow as the unacceptable aspects of ourselves that we dump into our unconscious minds. As we avoid looking at that hidden stuff, it festers. Meanwhile, we project it onto people we know, imagining that they possess the qualities we're repressing.

The antidote to the predicament, says Shoshanna, is to "eat our shadow"—haul it up from out of the pit and develop a conscious connection with it. Doing so not only prevents our unacknowledged darkness from haunting our thoughts and distorting our relationships; it also liberates tremendous psychic energy.

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The goddess Hecate lives in the underworld. According to poet Robert Graves, she is the mistress of sorcery, "the goddess of ghosts and night-terrors, of phantoms and fearful monsters." On the other hand, he notes, Hecate "presides at seed time and childbirth; she grants prosperity, victory, plentiful harvests to the farmer and rich catches to the fisherman."

How can a single deity embody such seemingly contradictory archetypes? Graves: She symbolizes "the unconscious in which beasts and monsters swarm. This is not the living hell of the psychotic, but a reservoir of energy to be brought under control, just as Chaos was brought to cosmic order under the influence of the spirit."

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Robert A. Johnson writes: "It is also astonishing to find that some very good characteristics turn up in the shadow. Generally, the ordinary, mundane characteristics are the norm. Anything less than this goes into the shadow. But anything better also goes into the shadow! Some of the pure gold of our personality is relegated to the shadow because it can find no place in that great leveling process that is culture.

"Curiously, people resist the noble aspects of their shadow more strenuously than they hide the dark sides. To draw the skeletons out of the closet is relatively easy, but to own the gold in the shadow is terrifying. It is more disrupting to find that you have a profound nobility of character than to find out you are a bum. Of course you are both; but one does not discover these two elements at the same time.

"The gold is related to our higher calling and this can be hard to accept at certain stages of life. Ignoring the gold can be as damaging as ignoring the dark side of the psyche, and some people may suffer a severe shock or illness before they learn how to let the gold out."

—Robert A. Johnson

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HOW TO BE YOUR OWN PROPHET

I suspect that none of us has the capacity to foretell the future of the human race. No one -- not psychics, not doomsayers, not intelligent optimists, indigenous shamans, no one.

There is a strong case to be made that this is the worst of times, and an equally strong case that this is the best of times; a strong case that everything will collapse into a miserable dystopia and a strong case that we are on the verge of a golden age. It’s impossible to know in any “objective way” which is “truer.”

Anyone who asserts they do know is just cherry-picking evidence that rationalizes their emotional bent. The variables are chaotic and abundant and beyond our ken.

In the meantime, I'm doing what I can to create a golden age.

PS: The best way to prepare for the unpredictable is to cultivate mental and emotional states that ripen us to be ready for anything:

* a commitment to not getting lost inside our own heads;

* a strategy to avoid being enthralled with the hypnotic lure of painful emotions, past events, and worries about the future;

* a trust in empirical evidence over our time-worn beliefs and old habits;

* a talent for turning up our curiosity full blast and tuning in to the raw truth of every moment with our beginner's mind fully engaged;

* and an eagerness to dwell gracefully in the midst of all the interesting questions that tease and teach us.

Everything I just described also happens to be an excellent way to prime yourself for a chronic, low-grade, always-on, simmering-at-low-heat brand of ecstasy -- a state of being more-or-less permanently in the Tao, in the groove, in the zone.

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LOVE IS BEING STUPID TOGETHER?

"Love is being stupid together," said French poet Paul Valéry. While there's a grain of truth to that, it's too corny and decadent for my tastes.

I prefer to focus on a more interesting truth, which is this: Real love is being smart together. If you weave your destiny together with another's, he or she should catalyze your sleeping potentials, sharpen your perceptions, and boost both your emotional and analytical intelligence. Your relationship becomes a crucible in which you deepen your understanding of the way the world works.

Think of an example of your closest approach to this model in your own life. Then formulate a vow in which you promise you'll do what's necessary to more fully embody the principle "Love is being smart together."

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YOUR THIRD

Imagine that the merger of you and your best ally has created a third thing that hovers near you, protecting and guiding the two of you.

Call this third thing an angel. Or call it the soul of your connection or the inspirational force of your relationship.

Or call it the special work the two of you can accomplish together.

And let this magical presence be the third point of your love triangle.

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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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17 GOALS TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD

by Jason Beaubien

1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.

11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Read more: https://tinyurl.com/penvjl4

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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:

Trash Wheel Gobbles Up 15 Tons of Trash Every Day From Harbors—And More Cities Are Adopting. https://tinyurl.com/4unh4nn6

Bees Have a New, Lifesaving Vaccine to Make Them Immune to Pesti-Side Effects. https://tinyurl.com/92hkhhdb

Farmers Now Use Floating Gardens To Keep Crops Alive When it Floods — A Climate Crisis Lesson. https://tinyurl.com/mapjms67

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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 July 15

Copyright 2021 by Rob Brezsny

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cancerian poet Linda Hogan says she doesn't like to be parched. She wants to be like "a tree drinking the rain." I think every Cancerian has similar dreams: to be steadily immersed in engrossing feelings, awash with intimate longings, flowing along in rhythm with the soul's songs. The coming weeks will be prime time for you to relish these primal pleasures. It's probably best to avoid an outright flood, but I think it's wise to invite a cascade.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Actor Lupita Nyong’o had a starring role in Steve McQueen's film 12 Years a Slave. She praised his directorial skills. She loved the fact that he told her, “Fail, and then fail better.” Why? "That kind of environment, where failure is an option, is magical," she said. It allowed her to experiment freely, push herself beyond her previous limits, and focus on being true to the character she was playing rather than trying to be a "good actor." I think these are excellent principles for you to keep in mind during the coming weeks.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo-born Wayne Shorter is a legendary jazz composer and saxophonist. He has been making music for over 60 years, often with other legendary creators like Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. The New York Times described Shorter as "jazz's greatest living small-group composer and a contender for greatest living improviser." Bass prodigy Tal Wilkenfeld, who is 53 years younger than Shorter, tells the story of a show she performed with him. Just before going on stage, Shorter came up to her, sensing she was nervous, and whispered some advice: "Play eternity." Now I'm offering that same counsel to you as you carry out your tasks in the coming days. Be as timeless as you dare to be. Immerse yourself in the most expansive feelings you can imagine. Authorize your immortal soul to be in charge of everything you do.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran author Paula McLain says the word "paradise" is derived from the ancient Persian word pairidaeza, meaning "walled garden." For her, this association suggests that making promises and being faithful to our intentions are keys to creating happiness with those we care for. Paradise requires walls! To scrupulously cultivate freedom, we need discipline. If we hope to thrive in joyous self-expression, we must focus on specific goals. I bring these thoughts to your attention because now is a pivotal time to work on building, refining, and bolstering your own personal version of paradise.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Thousands of 28-pound bars of 24-carat gold are stored in the Bank of England's underground vault. To gain entry to the treasure trove, bankers use metal keys that are three feet long. They must also utter a secret password into a microphone. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you Scorpios can now gain access to a more metaphorical but nevertheless substantial source of riches. How? The key is a particular scene in your imagination that has recently begun to coalesce. It is an emblem of a future triumph or breakthrough that you will accomplish. As for the password, which you will also need, it's *vigorous rigor*.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Somehow, I have lived all these years without ever coming across the rare English word "selcouth." Today, as I meditated on the exotic astrological portents coming up for you, that word appeared—arriving on my phone via text message from my Sagittarius friend Lila. She told me, "I have a feeling that life is about to get intensely SELCOUTH for us Sagittarians." I looked up the unfamiliar word and found these synonyms: unusual, marvelous, strange, magnificent, scarce, wondrous, weird, rare, and exotic. Those terms do indeed coincide with my interpretation of your immediate future. So Happy Selcouth to you, dear Centaur! Celebrate with awed appreciation!

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BRAINSTORM ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE OF YOUR LIFE

with my Expanded Audio Horoscopes for the Second Half of 2021:

https://RealAstrology.com

What will be the story of your life during the rest of 2021? How can you exert your free will to create the adventures that will bring out the best in you, even as you find graceful ways to cooperate with the tides of destiny?

If you'd like a high-octane boost of inspiration to fuel your quest to create your most interesting and meaningful destiny, tune in to my meditations on your long-term outlook.

Go here: https://RealAstrology. Then register and/or log in and click on this link:

"Long Term Forecast for Second Half of 2021"

You can also listen to your short-term forecast for the coming week by clicking on "This week (July 20, 2021)."

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"Your long-range audio horoscopes encouraged me to think bigger about my life. As I listened, I could feel my shrunken expectations melting away."

—Therese Pembroke, San Diego

"I love the soothing kindness of your long-range audio horoscopes. I also love their invigorating encouragement and surprising inspiration!" —Franny Kaiser, Minneapolis

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The horoscopes cost $6 apiece. Discounts are available for multiple purchases.

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CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Lexicographer Jonathon Green provides us with the following 19th-century slang words for the sex act: horizontal refreshment, strumming, playing at romps, cully-shangie, taking a turn at Mount Pleasant, dancing the blanket hornpipe, honeyfugle, giving a hot poultice for the Irish toothache, and—my favorite—fandango de pokum. In accordance with astrological potentials, I recommend that you consider trying them all out in the next four weeks. In other words, experiment with shifting your approach to belly-bumping and libido-gratifying. If you don't have a human partner, do it alone or with an angel or in your fantasy life.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): If a lover or spouse is perpetually churning out fantasies of you in their imagination, they may be less than totally tuned in to the real you. Instead, they may be focused on the images they have of you—maybe so much so that they lose sight of who you genuinely are and what you are actually doing. The same possibility exists for other allies, not only lovers and spouses. They may be so entranced by their stories about you that they are out of touch with the ever-changing marvel that you are always evolving. That's the bad news, Aquarius. Here's the good news: The coming weeks will be a decisive time to correct such distortions—and revel in the raw truth about you.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): If a lover or spouse is perpetually churning out fantasies of you in their imagination, they may be less than totally tuned in to the real you. Instead, they may be focused on the images they have of you—maybe so much so that they lose sight of who you genuinely are and what you are actually doing. The same possibility exists for other allies, not only lovers and spouses. They may be so entranced by their stories about you that they are out of touch with the ever-changing marvel you are. That's the bad news, Aquarius. Here's the good news: The coming weeks will be a decisive time to correct such distortions—and revel in the raw truth about you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Here's how art critic Walter Pater characterized the work of Piscean artist Michelangelo: "sweetness and strength, pleasure with surprise, an energy of conception which seems to break through all the conditions of comely form, recovering, touch by touch, a loveliness found usually only in the simplest natural things." I've been waiting for the arrival of astrological aspects that would mean you'd be an embodiment of that description. And now they are here. Congrats! For the next 13 days, I will visualize you as a fount of ever-refreshing grace—as a fluid treasure that emanates refined beauty and wild innocence.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In his poem "Litany," Aries poet Billy Collins testifies that he is "the sound of rain on the roof." He also claims to be "the moon in the trees, the paper blowing down an alley, the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table, and the shooting star." He does make it clear, however, that he is not "the bread and the knife" on the table, nor the "crystal goblet and the wine." What about you, Aries? What are all the earthy and fiery phenomena that you are? Are you, as Billy Collins suggests, "the dew on the morning grass and the burning wheel of the sun and the marsh birds suddenly in flight"? Now would be an excellent time to dream up your own version of such colorful biographical details.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Why else keep a journal, if not to examine your own filth?” wrote poet Anne Sexton. And yes, Sexton did have a lot of filth to explore, including the physical abuse of her daughters. But most of us don't need to focus so obsessively on our unlovely aspects. Keeping a journal can also be about identifying our ripening potentials and unused riches. This approach would be especially fun and wise for you Tauruses right now. The coming weeks will be an auspicious time for deep introspection that frees capacities and powers you have only partially activated up until now.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Journalist Sam Anderson marvels at his young daughter's project: a small plastic dome-like structure that houses a community of ladybugs. All they need to consume, for weeks at a time, are "two water-soaked raisins." I don't think you'll need to be forever as efficient and hardy as those ladybugs, Gemini, but you may have to be like that temporarily. My advice? Don't regard it as a hardship. Instead, see it as an opportunity to find out how exquisitely resourceful and resilient you can be. The skills you learn and refine now will be priceless in the long run.

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Homework: Tell me how you like it the best. Write to 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:

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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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