Your Wounds Healed

Your imagination fed. Your love educated.

your wounds healed

your apologies accepted

your generosity expanded

your love educated

your desires clarified

your untold stories heard

your insight heightened

your load lightened

your wildness rejuvenated

your courage stoked

your fears dissolved

your imagination fed

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LIVING UPSIDE-DOWN

Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for the person who has the vision to recognize it.

—Henry Miller

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All your life is a fever to be perfected.

—Marina Tsvetaeva

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The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

—Joseph Campbell

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whatever

returns from oblivion returns

to find a voice

– Louise Glück

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The treasure we desire most hides where we would never choose to go on our own.

—Michael Meade

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The moment you come to trust chaos, you see God clearly. Chaos is divine order, versus human order. Change is divine order, versus human order. When the chaos becomes safety to you, then you know you're seeing God clearly.

—Caroline Myss

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The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

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I find myself still softly searching

For my Delinquent Palaces—

– Emily Dickinson

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Every act of genius, Carl Jung said, is an act contra naturam: against nature. Indeed, every effort to achieve psychological integration and union with the divine requires a knack for working against the grain.

The 18th-century mystic Jacob Boehme recommended the same technique. The great secret to becoming enlightened, he said, is "to walk in all things contrary to the world."

Qabalist teacher Paul Foster Case agreed: "The basis of the spiritual approach to life, the foundation of the everyday practice of a person who lives the life of obedience to esoteric law, is the reversal of the more usual ways of thinking, speaking and doing."

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FREE-FORM PRONOIA THERAPY

Experiments and exercises in becoming an aggressively sensitive, thunderously receptive, ethically mischievous Master of Mutant Intimacy

1. In American psychotherapy, the first question many practitioners ask their new clients is essentially, "What did your parents do to you to mess you up so badly?" One of my Japanese friends tells me that in his country, a therapist is more likely to ask, "What did your parents do for you? How did they nurture and support you?"

Without dismissing the possibility that your mom and dad did inflict damage on you, I'll ask you to concentrate on the Japanese-style inquiry for now. What are the best things that happened to you when you were growing up? What did your family and community give you that you've never fully appreciated?

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2. Beauty and Truth Lab researcher Beth had a dream that she and her tribe were living peacefully at the foot of a mountain. Without warning, fiery ash and lava erupted. Everyone fled, desperate to escape. But before she had gone far, Beth heard a voice in her head say, "Run toward the volcano; it's your only safety."

Feeling an inexplicable trust in the voice, she turned around and started heading back, whereupon the dream ended and she woke up.

Soon after getting out of bed, she felt moved to face up to a certain dilemma she'd been ignoring in her waking life. When she solved the problem a day later, she felt gratitude for the dream that had spurred her to do the right thing: Run toward the volcano.

What would be the equivalent in your own life?

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3. Visualize in detail your dream lover. Your ideal soul mate. The embodiment of everything you find attractive.

Imagine that although this person feels the same way about you, there is a very good reason why the two of you can't make love or be together as a couple for a long time. Feel the sweet torment of your unquenched longing for each other, the impossible ache of fiery tenderness.

Picture all the ways you will work on yourself in the coming years to refine your soul and perfect your love, so that when the two of you can finally be united, you will have made yourself into the gorgeous genius you were born to be—a pure blessing and uncanny gift for your beloved.

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4. I hope you can obtain the Avatar Elixir stashed in the golden obelisk in the underground fortress beneath the glass mountain.

It will allow you to produce the "triple-helix" energy that will give you the power to cross freely back and forth through the gateway between universes. Then wild beasts will obey your commands. Rivers will become your allies. Every star in the sky will shine directly on you.

And if for some reason you're not able to get your hands on that Avatar Elixir, you may be able to achieve similar results by drinking a bottle of beer stashed in the lower left rear section of the beverage cooler at a convenience store within five miles of your home.

Magic might be wherever you think it is.

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5. After rejecting proposals from many directors, Bob Dylan finally authorized Oscar-nominated Todd Haynes to make a film about his life, I'm Not There.

Five different actors and one actress portrayed Dylan, including Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, and Christian Bale. "I set out to explode the idea that anybody can be depicted in a single self," Haynes told The Sunday Times.

Name the six actors and actresses you would choose to play you in the movie about your life.

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6. Lewis Thomas was a physician who wrote elegantly about biology in books like The Lives of a Cell. I want to bring your attention to his meditation on warts. "Nothing in the body has so much the look of toughness and permanence as a wart," he wrote.

And yet "they can be made to go away by something that can only be called thinking ... Warts can be ordered off the skin by hypnotic suggestion"

Thomas regarded this phenomenon as "absolutely astonishing, more of a surprise than cloning or recombinant DNA."

Using your mind power, go ahead and shrink, dissolve, or banish a wart or wart-like vexation.

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7. "I am a devout atheist," writes Tom of Ohio, "but I have to explain to my atheist friends that I do pray to the 'GodIdontbelievein.'

"My first direct contact with this Divinity arrived when I was coming out of anesthesia after surgery. I was somehow aware of my existence but totally sensory-deprived. As I emerged from total unconsciousness, a tiny flickering Tinkerbell-like creature in the form of a shimmering globe of light fluttered into my consciousness and hovered irresistibly before my internal eyes. I was in love with it and it loved me.

"In fact it was me, or at least the manifestation of cosmic energy that settles in me and is my being. It gave me a blessing of good will, then went about its business of operating my body. In parting, it gave me the assurance that it would always be there for me and with me, and would join me after it shut the body down for the last time.

"Since that first encounter, I commune with the little sparkling wonder every so often. I thank it for its presence and it thanks me for mine, though we are actually one and the same. I find myself praying to it, though there's really no need to—it knows me better than I do, and guides me toward my goals, though I know not what they are."

Inspired by Tom's report, write a love note or an expression of appreciation for the shimmering globe of wonder that animates your life.

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8. Meditation teacher Wes Nisker helps students learn to calm the frenetic chatter of their minds. As earnest as he is in this heroic work, though, he also appreciates the importance of not trying too hard.

As you pursue your pronoia practice, call on his influence now and then. It'll keep you honest and prevent your anal sphincter from getting too high-strung.

Here's a blurb for one of his workshops. "This day will be of absolutely no use to you. Nothing will be furthered or accomplished by coming. Expect a time of effortlessness, relaxation, and poetry, hanging out, maybe a little mindfulness meditation—all for nothing.

"Some might understand this as a protest against our culture's speedy, goal-driven nature, but we know it won't amount to a hill of beans. Good intentions and purposefulness must be checked at the door."

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9. "I usually solve problems by letting them devour me," wrote Franz Kafka. That's an interesting approach, I guess, and though it might work for a tiny minority of introverted, melancholy, hypersensitive artists, it's probably not a wise policy for you.

It may be better to fervently resist any temptation you might have to allow your problems to gobble you up.

Instead, why not be like a gargantuan sea monster in the midst of a perfect storm? Rise up as high as the dark sky and growl back at the thunder. Shoot flames from your mouth at the lightning. Become too big and ancient and wild to ever be devoured.

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10. At New York's Museum of Modern Art, I brought my face to within a few inches of Vincent van Gogh's painting The Starry Night.

It looked delicious. I wanted to kiss it. I wanted to eat it. Its stars were throbbing and voluptuous. The night sky shimmered with spiral currents. In the foreground, the cypress tree flared like a shadowy flame.

I could also see that the artist had been less than thorough in applying his paint. Especially on the edges, but also in the middle of the painting, slivers of untouched canvas showed through. Fierce, innocent, nourishing, reckless, unfinished, this priceless work drank my attention for a long time, constantly refreshing my eyes with its ceaseless movement.

Can you be at peace with the fact that your masterpiece may always be unfinished?

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MAYBE ANGELS ARE REAL

Most modern intellectuals scoff at angels, dismissing them as superstitious hallucinations or New Age goofiness.

But not all deep thinkers have shared their scorn. John Milton and William Blake regarded angels as real and as fully worthy of their explorations.

Celestial beings have also received serious treatment by literary heavyweights like Saul Bellow, E. M. Forster, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Leo Tolstoy.

Of course, just because smart people have considered the possibility that angels can have actual effects on the material world doesn't mean they do. Still, it might be interesting to keep an open mind.

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For much of his career, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Merrill was renowned for work that was well-grounded, lucidly crafted, and formal in style.

But from 1976 to 1982, while assembling his sprawling mystical epic The Changing Light of Sandover, he used a Ouija board to solicit the input of disembodied beings, including several archangels and the spirits of dead writers W. H. Auden and Gertrude Stein.

It was a brave—some said foolish—career move. He pushed beyond what had worked for him in the past, capitalizing on the risks his success had earned him.

The Changing Light of Sandover won a National Book Critics Circle Award. Some critics compared it to the masterpieces of Dante, Homer, and Blake.

"James Merrill was one of the central American poets of the 20th century," wrote Harold Bloom in a retrospective analysis of his work after his death in 1995.

"He had profound affinities with the great artists in verse: Milton, Pope, Tennyson, and Auden. Like them, he was an absolute master of diction, metrics, and cognitive music."

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GIFTS

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

1. 1. Visit my Gift Page — https://paypal.me/GiftsForRob — and contribute to me via the "Send to someone you trust" option.

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 https://RealAstrology.com

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

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

5. 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: Newsletter.FreeWillAstrology.com

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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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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:

Johns Hopkins Gets First Federal Grant for Psychedelic Treatments Research –And It’s For Tobacco Addiction. https://tinyurl.com/4tw7uxb2

France’s First Public Official with Down Syndrome Helps Everyone See Disability Differently. https://tinyurl.com/446337jb

New Sustainable Makeup Line Produces Cosmetics From Plants Instead of Fossil Fuels. https://tinyurl.com/2jbs4th8

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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 BlessingsP

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 November 4

Copyright 2021 by Rob Brezsny

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): To encourage young people to come to its shows, the English National Opera has offered a lot of cheap tickets. Here's another incentive: Actors sing in English, not Italian or French or German. Maybe most enticing for audiences is that they are encouraged to boo the villains. The intention is to make attendees feel relaxed and free to express themselves. I'd love to give you Scorpios permission to boo the bad guys in your life during the coming weeks. In fact, I would love it if you were extra eloquent and energetic about showing your true feelings. In my view, this is prime time for you to show the world exactly who you are.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "If we’re not careful, we are apt to grant ultimate value to something we’ve just made up in our heads," said Zen priest Kosho Uchiyama. In my opinion, that's a problem all of us should always be alert for. As I survey my own past, I'm embarrassed and amused as I remember the countless times I committed this faux pas. For instance, during one six-month period, I devoted myself to courting a woman who had zero interest in a romantic relationship with me. I bring this to your attention, Sagittarius, because I'm concerned that right now, you're more susceptible than usual to making this mistake. But since I've warned you, maybe you'll avoid it!

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorn author Asha Sanaker writes, "There is a running joke about us Capricorns that we age backwards. Having been born as burdened, cranky old people, we become lighter and more joyful as we age because we have gained so much practice in wielding responsibility. And in this way we learn, over time, about what are our proper burdens to carry—and what are not. We develop clear boundaries around how to hold our obligations with grace." Sanaker's thoughts will serve as an excellent meditation for you in the coming weeks. You're entering into a ripe new phase of embodying the skills she articulates.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): As author Denise Linn reminded us, "The way you treat yourself sends a very clear message to others about how they should treat you." With that advice as your inspiration, I will ask you to deepen your devotion to self-care in the coming weeks. I will encourage you to shower yourself with more tenderness and generosity than you have ever done in your life. I will also urge you to make sure these efforts are apparent to everyone in your life. I am hoping for you to accomplish a permanent upgrade in your love for yourself, which should lead to a similar upgrade in the kindness you receive from others.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You have at your disposal a prodigiously potent creative tool: your imagination. If there's a specific experience or object you want to bring into your world, the first thing you do is visualize it. The practical actions you take to live the life you want to live always refer back to the scenes in your mind's eye. And so every goal you fulfill, every quest you carry out, every liberation you achieve, begins as an inner vision. Your imagination is the engine of your destiny. It's the catalyst with which you design your future. I bring these ideas to your attention, dear Pisces, because November is Celebrate Your Imagination month.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Are you still hoping to heal from psychological wounds that you rarely speak about? May I suggest that you consider speaking about them in the coming weeks? Not to just anyone and everyone, of course, but rather to allies who might be able to help you generate at least a partial remedy. The moment is ripe, in my opinion: Now is a favorable time for you to become more actively involved in seeking cures, fixes, and solace. Life will be more responsive than usual to such efforts.

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YOU ALWAYS HAVE MORE HELP THAN YOU IMAGINE

Both people whom you know and people you don't know could very well come to your assistance and offer their support if you meet two conditions:

1. you believe you deserve their assistance and support;

2. you seek out and ask for their assistance and support.

There's a higher part of your brain that will also provide you with insight and guidance if you turn to it in humility and seek its input.

Whether or not you actually believe in spiritual beings, they, too, are ready to offer unexpected help, support, blessings and resources. If you don't believe in their existence, I invite you to pretend you do for a while and see what happens. If you do believe in them, formulate clear requests for what you'd like them to offer you.

I may also be able to provide you with compassionate guidance, both through the written horoscopes I provide in this newsletter and the Expanded Audio Horoscopes I offer online and via telephone.

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.)

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"Your Expanded Audio Horoscopes seem to have the effect of activating my inner teacher. Thanks!"

—Eleanor Axelrod, Toronto

"When I listen to your audio horoscopes, I feel like I'm tuning in to what a friend has to say about the current state of my life."

—Arnella Simpson, Seattle

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Image: Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams on the TV show The Addams Family

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TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "The delights of self-discovery are always available," writes author Gail Sheehy. I will add that those delights will be especially available for you in the next few weeks. In my view, you're in a phase of super-learning about yourself. You will attract help and support if you make it your quest to explore mysteries that have eluded your understanding. Have fun surprising and entertaining yourself, Taurus Make it your goal to catch a new glimpse of your hidden depths every day.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Gemini novelist and philosopher Muriel Barbery says, "I find this a fascinating phenomenon: the ability we have to manipulate ourselves so that the foundation of our beliefs is never shaken." In the coming weeks, I hope you will overcome any tendency you have to manipulate yourself in such a way. In my view, it's crucial for your mental and spiritual health that you at least question your belief system—and perhaps even risk shaking its foundation. Don't worry: Even if doing so ushers in a period of uncertainty, you'll be much stronger for it in the long run. New, more robust and complete beliefs are on the way.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In her book Mathilda, novelist Mary Shelley (1797–1851) has the main character ask, "What had I to love?" And the answer? "Oh, many things: there was the moonshine, and the bright stars; the breezes and the refreshing rains; there was the whole earth and the sky that covers it." I bring this to your attention in the hope of inspiring you to make your own tally of all the wonders you love. I trust your inventory will be at least ten times as long as Mathilda's. Now is a favorable time for you to gather all the healing that can come from feeling waves of gratitude, even adoration, for the people, animals, experiences, situations, and places that rouse your interest and affection and devotion.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Our memories are always changing. Whenever we call up a specific remembrance, it's different from the last time we visited that same remembrance—colored by all the new memories we have accumulated in the meantime. Over time, an event we recall from when we were ten years old has gone through a great deal of shape-shifting in our memory—so much so that it may have little resemblance to the first time we remembered it. Is this a thing to be mourned or celebrated? Maybe some of both. Right now, though, it's to be celebrated. You have extra power to declare your independence from any memories that don't make you feel good. Why hold onto them if you can't even be sure they're accurate?

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in a spacecraft. His flight happened to be the first time that NASA, the agency in charge of spaceflight, had ever used electronic computers. Glenn, who was also an engineer, wanted the very best person to verify the calculations, and that was Virgo mathematician Katherine Johnson. In fact, Glenn said he wouldn't fly without her involvement. I bring this to your attention, Virgo, because I believe the coming months will be a favorable time for you to garner the respect and rewards that Katherine Johnson got from John Glenn. Make sure everyone who needs to know does indeed know about your special aptitudes and skills.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): According to an Apache proverb, “It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.” If you act on that counsel in the coming weeks, you will succeed in doing what needs to be done. There is only one potential downfall you could be susceptible to, in my view, and that is talking and thinking too much about the matter you want to accomplish before you actually take action to accomplish it. All the power you need will arise as you resolutely wield the lightning in your hands.

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Homework: Describe what actions you'll take in the next six months to make your world a funner, holier place. https://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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