2008: A Moment to Remember


Planet Waves

Dear Friend and Reader:

In today’s edition, let’s take a look back at the past four seasons, which seem to have whipped by like time-lapse photography. This was a year that Pluto changed signs: we will not forget it. We will remember for any number of reasons, personal and cultural. It was the year of the banking collapse, and of Barack Obama getting elected; it was the last year of the Bush administration. Yet when you take an interior view of life, you get a different perspective: the relationships that changed, or which began or ended; how our kids were doing, and those close by; what we’ve been learning and how we’ve been growing.


Planet Waves

Pluto changing signs represents a turning point for all of us: looked at one way, a contraction; looked at another way, the grounding of a vision that we have for ourselves. By grounding, I mean the process of making real; of taking idealistic visions and turning them into organized realities. I don’t suggest you let the supposed bad economic news get under your skin. And if you find yourself in a position where you need to “survive” (which is condition normal on the planet, though some days are definitely better than others), figure out how to do it in a more meaningful way.


Planet Waves

Between now and 2012, three outer planets change signs (Neptune, Uranus and Chiron, close on the heels of Pluto). Saturn and Uranus make four more oppositions to one another, the next being Feb 5. at 5:55 am EST. In the midst of this, Saturn moves into Libra, squaring Pluto (next autumn). Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune make a very compelling conjunction in Aquarius, a process that works out over two years (with a big peak in May). Many of these developments have an influence on the Aries Point, meaning the news will be big, and it will be personal. But as interesting and strange as this will be, the real excitement does not start till June 2012, when Uranus squares Pluto and the revolution begins. I’m up to my cerebral cortex in all of this astrology as I prepare your extended length horoscope in Next World Stories.


Planet Waves

Astrology’s job is to look forward. For a moment, let’s look back. Rachel picked out her favorite pieces from 2008, which are below. Without making more work for Anatoly (who does our web design) here are a few of my personal favorites from 2008. One thing I did was devote a lot of energy to Eris, the planet that was classified and named in 2006. One article is below; here is another: Calling Home the Castaway Woman. This covers several of the more controversial feminine archetypes that are swept to the side of our society, including Lilith.


Planet Waves

Speaking of ladies on the edge, I did yet another astrological tribute to my sex mentor, the High Priestess, Dr. Betty Dodson. It’s a really cool demonstration of how to take apart an astrology chart as well. There is a lot of good stuff here about the asteroids and Chiron.


On the subject of Chiron and Centaur astrology, here’s a piece called Crossing the Borders and Boundaries of Time. And apropos of astrology as process work, here is one called In Canada, They Call it Therapy. Following up this theme, I paid a visit back to the channeled classic The Starseed Transmissions, with a piece called A Psychological Process.


Planet Waves

Last but definitely not least among my favorites for 2008, there was the Emotoscope — my  parody on a Sun-sign horoscope, based on emoticons. The rest, as you will read below, is history.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

PS, if you’re not a subscriber and you think this is a really cool way to cover astrology, you may sign up for Planet Waves Astrology News by visiting this link. We don’t depend on advertising — we depend on you, using another kind of business model than you’re used to. If you are a subscriber, thank you. Please feel free to send this edition to whomever you like. You can send this link.


Taurus: What is the Question?

Planet Waves
Planet Waves reader Deb Silverman of San Francisco dreamed for years of being an acupuncturist, and with much work achieved her goal.

I went through a phase early in my astrology career when I got into conversations with young tarot card readers. Maybe there were just two or three such conversations, but they seem to stand out as a distinct phase of gaining an understanding of life. Anyway, one of them would say to me, “I don’t feel right about charging for my work. It’s not right to charge people to help them.”

One day I parsed the logic and replied: “Well, do you think it’s better to charge to hurt them?”

This pretty much obviated the issue. In truth, however, it usually works out that it’s easier, more efficient and more profitable to hurt people rather than to help them. A quick scan of the history of industrialization — including PCBs, asbestos, cigarettes and the Ford Pinto — establish this pretty quickly.


Eris Notebook: Dancing with Discord

Planet Waves
Eris. Illustration: www.ravendusk.com.

How do you decipher the effect of a newly discovered planet? One way is you look at when a planet in question made a conjunction to another planet, and study the events of that era. This has an odd way of making things transparent.

I like to use Chiron for this kind of experiment because it tends to bring things into awareness. Chiron is not exactly neutral or inert, but it can faithfully raise awareness of whatever it is making contact with; it can reveal the essential strength or crisis of the other planet in question. This is one reason why I recommend that astrologers check several past Chiron transits before they attempt to read an astrological chart.

Between 1971 and 1972, Chiron in Aries made a series of conjunctions to Eris, so we have a phase of time we can use to test the theory of Eris’s effects. The conjunctions were exact May 30, 1971, Sept. 8, 1971 and March 19, 1972.

Many things occurred during that era, but for sure it was the watershed of modern feminism. Feminism is not just about women’s rights. It is about deconstructing the known order of the world, which tends to largely be based on gender roles. When you suspend or even question gender roles, you basically get a form of chaos. It’s impossible to see the extent to which people cling to those roles until you take them away for a moment or two.


The Country of Our Dreams

Planet Waves
American flag in a field of milo, Kansas, autumn 1998. Photo by Eric Francis.

In honor of an issue on July 4, I thought I would take a look at the chart for the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Independence Day is considered by most people to be the birthday of our country — the moment when the 13 colonies joined together against the King of England and declared themselves free and independent states.

Have you ever read the thing? It’s short, it’s very sweet and it sets an example for the world. The Declaration is the document from our history that sets the goal of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for our nation. It states in part, “When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.”

Gee whiz. We need this thing today. Has it expired? It continues, “Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”


Bucky Fuller: This Is The Future

Planet Waves
Buckminster Fuller developed and refined the geodesic dome during the summers of 1948 and 1949, when he worked at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Image from BMC.

Earlier this week I was writing Daily Astrology & Adventure, describing the helpless feeling that I think most of us have when we’re considering how serious the world situation is. Some names came to mind of people who were not scared or paralyzed, but rather who viewed the future as an opportunity to do things better.

One man who saw what was coming and was unfazed by the looming crisis of too-rapid growth, dwindling resources and overcrowding was Buckminster Fuller. I linked to his Wiki page, and for the next couple of days, I mentioned his name around my neighborhood. I could only find one or two people who had even heard of him — and neither knew who he was or what he contributed.

Imagine if a scientist from late in the 21st century dropped in on our lives today, and could see our current ecological and economic problems clearly, with the wisdom and sense of perspective of the future. Imagine that he knew the solutions as if they had already been worked out, and had withstood the test of time. That was Bucky Fuller.


The Ultimate Opportunity to Get Unstuck

Planet Waves
Illustration by Danielle Voirin.

Lately I have been hearing a lot of the word stuck. This feels positively strange to say, but there seems to be a trend of admitting you’re not going anywhere in life, or like you feel like you’re not going anywhere. Every other email I get from a reader is about how stuck they feel. I guess all these years of voting Republican and having lattes for lunch are finally starting to catch up with us.

This is not the ever-popular “Bugger off, I’m proud to be stuck” energy; it is not the eminently distinguished “Who, me? Stuck?” posture, either. This is, “Wow, I’m like really stuck. I want to be an artist, but the only thing I’ve used a pencil for in the past six years is to scratch inside my ear. I’ve had these paints in my closet since 1998, and the lids are stuck. Even the gas cap on my Ford Explorer is stuck. I hate my job and my bed feels like fly paper.”

Eclipses, which are coming soon, tend to move stuck energy, stuck people and stuck things. That is to say, they move it (that is, us) whether we like it or not, and it’s actually possible to have a lot of fun during this time of acceleration and adventure.


The Atlantis Factor

Planet Waves
Professor Peter Higgs. Photograph © Peter Tuffy, The University of Edinburgh.

The other night exploring the astrology of the Large Hadron Collider — a particle smasher that scientists will use to study the formation of the universe — I joked that the lead scientist, Prof. Peter Higgs, namesake of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle, was a holdover from Atlantis. It went well with the story of a multibillion dollar machine supposedly designed to have some kind of spiritual outcome and a chart that looked a little like a runaway train.

I am careful what I joke about; there’s this odd spell that follows me around, under which my jokes come true. Then looking at his face for a while, as he peered out from beneath his dashing green hardhat, I started to recognize him. You know that odd feeling of having met someone before, but it wasn’t any time in the past few thousand years?


The Chart that Sold the World

Planet Waves
President Bush addresses the nation, calling for widespread panic. Details in The Onion.

I just want to make sure we’ve all tuned into the underlying reality of what people like Bush are saying when they glibly inform us that “this sucker could go down,” meaning the economy. Which he actually said a couple of weeks ago, in a cabinet meeting. He means you may not be able to buy groceries or pay rent despite working 40 or 60 or however many hours a week.

Here is what he didn’t say but clearly meant, as quoted in The Onion’s recent article, Bush Calls for Panic: “My fellow Americans, the time for running aimlessly through the streets while shrieking and waving our arms above our heads is now. I understand that many of you are worried about your economic future and our situation overseas, and you have every right to be. Yet there is only one thing we as a nation can do in times like these: give up all hope and devolve into a lawless, post-apocalyptic, every-man-for-himself society.”


Barack Obama and the Sword of Damocles

Planet Waves
In Richard Westall’s Sword of Damocles, 1812, the boys of Cicero’s anecdote have been changed to maidens for a neoclassical patron, Thomas Hope. Still, the infamous sword hangs over him as the king watches. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A couple of weeks ago, someone introduced me to Gerald Celente, the internationally renowned trends analyst. Celente has an office around the corner from my studio in uptown Kingston, NY. “His job [is] to see the future and understand how the issues and events of today will determine the trends of tomorrow,” according to his bio on Coast to Coast AM, the former Art Bell Show.

I’ve known of his work for years, but somehow managed not to meet him till that day. I seized the moment and asked him if he would do a quick interview, and he told me to come by in 15 minutes. I bought a quart of currant juice from Ray the Bee Guy to bring as a gift, packed my camera and digital recorder and walked to Celente’s office. He works out of a magnificent old market building with bay windows, hardwood floors and dozens of thriving plants.

We started with a discussion of the horrid state of the American government and economy. He expressed his extreme distaste with both major presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, saying he wouldn’t trust either of them to “lead him across the street, much less lead the country.” But, he said, Obama supporters are the biggest hypocrites of all.

Why would that be? Obama has stated his position in favor of escalating the war in Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan if the government doesn’t cooperate with the war on terrorism. Obama supports “clean coal technology” and the use of nuclear power. I also know he claims to be in favor of the death penalty. Celente asked me which of these issues I agree with, and I said none of them. And he asked me why I would possibly support Barack Obama for president. Backed into a corner, I struggled for an answer.

“I know what you’re going to say,” he said. Celente’s job is to make predictions; he happened to be right this time. “You’re thinking, he’s saying this stuff to get elected.”

“Right,” I said.

“So you’re saying you’re hoping he’s lying.”


Abandon Hope. Start the Revolution.

Planet Waves
Cormorant Island Penguins, Antarctica, 1988. Things have not got better for these guys in 20 years. Photo by George Mobley.

I forgot to mention that the local Republicans moved in downstairs from my erotic art studio. All summer long it was supposed to become a sports bar, but thankfully that didn’t quite work out. About a week later, the space was rented to a bunch of people running for county office on the Republican ticket, so it became the de facto McCain/Palin headquarters for my region.

In honor of this fact, I moved my favorite nude art piece out to the display space in the front of my lobby. Now, a Belgian model named Iris greets me and my neighbors every day as we come and go from work. We all get to share in the the glory of the Goddess, beauty of nature and the majesty of the First Amendment.

That is the good news. When people ask me what I think is going to happen on Tuesday, I tell them to prepare for a fight. I get a long face from everyone. I know, we just want this to be over; politics is exhausting, it’s not really fun (even though it’s currently more gripping than the World Series), and many of us doubt whether it’s even meaningful. Most people I know are crossing their fingers and hoping it’s all going to be okay.

Personally, I think hope is a thinly veiled form of fear. Any rational assessment of our national and global situation confirms that we do indeed have a few worrisome items on the agenda (the ice caps melting, the Supreme Court slipping toward a solid conservative majority, and so on). And, as the energy heats up and certain elements of the past begin to crumble away, we have a lot of potential to create the next world.


The History of the World, And of You

Planet Waves
Seattle Protests: The police were guarding the freeway – earlier, a group of anarchists had closed down a busy highway.

We owe ourselves a retrospective of the Pluto in Sagittarius era on a cultural level, and this is planned for Next World Stories. It has all gone by so much, so fast, and seemingly without lasting meaning. Everything that has occurred in the outer life of the culture seemed profoundly important in its moment, but so much seemed to come to nothing.

Yet underneath all that movement was a process that, much in the style of Pluto, has often remained unconscious. Remember that Pluto the god wears a helmet that renders him invisible to mortals. To me this process represented a spiritualizing process; an actual experience of mass-scale individual ensoulment, working deep beneath all the “isms” that have driven us nuts the past 12 to 14 years. Seeing and understanding the Pluto process is particularly meaningful for you, who are trying to understand the mysterious growth process unfolding underneath what you think of as your life.


To unsubscribe, click here
Copyright © 2008 by Planet Waves, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply