Editor’s note: this is the full PW members’ edition, featuring your weekly horoscopes, the Create feature, and more.
Dear Friend and Reader:
With each new natural disaster that has swept through the news recently (hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes…) it feels as though the planet is trying to get our attention: no matter how much technological ‘progress’ we make, it won’t matter until we face the damage we do to the Earth, commit to changing harmful behavior patterns, and act to heal the environment — our home. By healing the environment we can heal ourselves; and the process can also work in reverse.
Interestingly, the astrology now and through the weekend speaks to this dynamic.
And although it may seem to be speaking on an entirely personal level, extrapolating the message to the macro level and applying it to the planet (both environmentally and socially) makes sense. But let’s start with the personal.
Tomorrow (Friday), Mercury in Virgo opposes the centaur planet Nessus in Pisces. I wrote this week on Planet Waves that this aspect “looks like a reminder: no matter how logical and rational you think you are, emotionally dysfunctional patterns from the past (including those you’ve inherited from your parents or grandparents) need to be faced and seen for what they are, and for what they to do to you. Once you can see them, you can begin addressing and disarming them.”
It’s worth noting that just yesterday, on Wednesday, Mars in Virgo made its own opposition to Nessus. And on Saturday, Mercury and Mars form a conjunction. So this Mercury-Nessus conjunction also has the firepower of Mars behind it.
I mention this because it suggests that reactivity could be something to watch out for — especially reactivity that has old (including karmic or intergenerational) roots; and even more especially reactivity that finds expression through cutting words, a sarcastic tone, or a blunt or particularly critical attack. That said, the rational, grounded earthiness of Virgo could help to temper the Martian force. If you feel provoked — or like someone is getting provoked by you and you don’t know why — keep your energy grounded. Pausing to really breathe deeply before responding can help.
Notice the situations in which your old emotional patterns tend to get in your way, or undermine your ability to stay focused and get work done toward what you say you want. You can stop that proverbial buck (a Nessus theme), but it requires that you see the situation for what it is and understand why you keep letting it happen. This is not always easy, but it’s possible.
You can see the exact Mercury and Mars conjunction in the top-right section of this chart (the red and green glyphs); Ceres is in Cancer on the right, making a square to Uranus in Aries in the lower right. Nessus is in Pisces next to Neptune (lower left). You may view the glyph key here.
As Mercury and Mars separate from Nessus, they make their own exact conjunction. This occurs at 3:01 pm EDT on Sept. 16, in Virgo.
I mention this again because this is the second of two Mercury-Mars conjunctions, thanks to Mercury’s recent retrograde. The first conjunction happened in (drumroll…) the exact degree where the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse occurred. So, not only does Saturday’s conjunction serve as a kind of ‘second try’ in opening the Mercury-Mars conversation, it carries the energetic signature of the eclipse forward to new ground.
While the need for awareness regarding over-identifying with your ego and possible defensiveness still applies, it also looks like there may be more potential to put this energy into useful service. Heaven knows there are plenty of people, animals, communities and ecosystems in need right now of some focused work by people with some stamina. If you see someplace that could use your efforts, dive in.
At the same time, you may be in a place (emotionally or geographically) to use this energy on a more personal level. In a natal chart, Mercury conjunct Mars can indicate a “mechanically inclined mind.” What do you need to put together — or take apart and then put back together — in your life, literally or metaphorically?
Another major aspect this weekend indicates one of the many possible areas that could ask for your attention: food (including where it comes from). On Sunday, Sept. 17, Ceres in Cancer squares Uranus in Aries.
This could be a warning about impulsive eating, especially if you’ve been feeling completely overwhelmed by all the chaos and pain in the world, and the way it’s coming at you nonstop through the media. Yet Uranus-Ceres also could indicate this is a great day to try a new, healthy food — or to jump-start a healthy new routine around eating and cooking.
It’s important to remember that food is not love; that equation gets garbled and reversed and made toxic for many people in childhood. Yet, it’s also incredibly important to remember that eating well and making sure those around you are nourished is a way of taking care — of yourself, and of others. It’s a form of dharma, or “acting as if to hold the world together.”
There are many other ways we can demonstrate that caring — from donating to relief charities, to buying a neighbor groceries, to pushing for corporate-level efforts to drastically reduce global warming, to using only organic and sustainable practices in your home garden. Like I said: our healing and that of the planet are part of the same process.
Yours & truly,
Eclipses are astrology we can’t deny. If there is a conjunction between Saturn and Uranus, it’s invisible, and while many people may experience changes, only astrologers and their merry bands of readers and students know what’s happening. Yet when the Sun vanishes, you can be sure that normal activity will come to a stop.
Our busy world will pause, and everyone, from herbicide activists nestled in the hills of Oregon to rock stars in Nashville, will stand in the silent shadow of the cosmic order with the astonishment of small children coursing in their hearts.
This doesn’t happen often, and you can imagine the awesome power of so many people embraced in a kind of simultaneous, captive meditation as everything around them momentarily ceases to be normal. Call it a reality lapse, only it’s one into which the real reality can flow very easily.
In terms of their astrological meaning, eclipses of the Sun follow this image of collective awareness and radical break of continuity. Whether you can see the eclipse does not matter; part of the miracle of astrology is it works anyway. As many of us are discovering personally, eclipses are expanded moments of often uncontrollable, unpredictable change. They also bring the civilization and its communities together, usually through important collective events and the media.
Eclipses are evolutionary gateways, which is another way of saying that when they show up, we do a lot of growing in a short time. Delays are compensated. Old accounts can be wiped clean. While each is unique, eclipses often feel like being shot through a funnel of space-time, and we emerge somewhere different than where we entered. The key to making the best use of them is to move with the energy, not cling to anything or anyone too tightly, and to stay open.
Literally, breathe, communicate, feel, love, observe and receive. Remember your intentions. The sense of panic that sometimes accompanies them yields nicely to awareness and revelation, mental conditions that are more natural than we often realize.
…And Bob’s Your Uncle*
By Amanda Painter
Sometimes you just need a touch of whimsy in your life. This feels like one of those weeks, so here’s some delightful street art by New York artist Tom Bob, via the website Bored Panda.
Bob takes very ordinary outdoor landscape objects and transforms them into whimsical creatures that interact with their surroundings. The first several pieces featured on the Bored Panda site include a side-by-side “before and after” comparison that will leave you wondering how nobody thought of painting these things like that sooner. You can follow Tom Bob on Instagram for all his latest creations and a regular dose of smiles.
*For our non-British readers, a little explanation if needed.
This week on Planet Waves FM
Our American Disasters, and of ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’
Dear Friend and Listener:
In this week’s Planet Waves FM [play program here], I look at the recent disasters in our era of consequences. At the top of the show, I may have over-promised on the astrology, committing to a couple of charts that I don’t read out loud, though which I have in mind.
I look closely at the astrology of our moment, and recent events as an outgrowth or physical representation of the eclipse. In that vein, here’s a link to the Dale O’Brien talk that I mention, about American eclipses.
Walter Becker and Donald Fagen — Steely Dan in a photo from 1993.
In this edition, I give a talk on the concepts “liberal” and “conservative,” and how these notions are completely convoluted and even reversed at this time. Liberal means generous and conservatives are certainly very generous with mega corporations, the military, the police and the war budget.
Our musical guest is once again Steely Dan, with some B-Sides (well, “Deacon Blues” was a big hit). In my comment, I’m not fully grasping the idea of “Deacon Blues”, so here’s a bit from its co-author, Walter Becker, explaining the song:
“Donald had a house that sat on top of a sand dune with a small room with a piano. From the window, you could see the Pacific in between the other houses. ‘Crimson Tide’ didn’t mean anything to us except the exaggerated grandiosity that’s bestowed on winners. ‘Deacon Blues’ was the equivalent for the loser in our song,” who does seem to die in a drunk driving accident.
That’s The Dan, unglamorous as usual, reporting from the seamy side of life. Later in the show, I take off on their song “The Fez” and give a condom rant. Please share that with young people.
Thanks for listening, and thank you for your membership support of Planet Waves and Planet Waves FM. If you get one of our friendly letters asking you to sign up, please do respond. If you’re a student, we can set a monthly for as little as a buck a month. We’ll send one of those letters soon.
Planet Waves FM is published by the nonprofit Chiron Return, Inc.
PS — here’s the chart for Irma’s landfall, even though I forgot to read it.
September Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscopes for September were published on Thursday, Aug. 24. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for August on Thursday, July 27. Your Moonshine Horoscopes for the Aquarius Full Moon were published on Thursday, Aug. 3. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — It’s time you made a thorough review of your daily routines or habits, to ensure they facilitate what you’re trying to achieve. Discontinue any regular action or process that no longer serves you. This isn’t just about efficiency: you’ll want to be clear that nothing you do is holding you back from expressing yourself creatively, or from aspiring to do more of what you’re passionate about. You might also benefit from greater participation in charitable works. If you need to bring yourself out a little more, a partner or close friend could be able to help. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don’t miss this essential guide to life after the Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Your chosen artistic endeavors are of special importance right now. Not only do they possess all the usual benefits that living creatively brings; they are currently serving as a means for you to disconnect from certain restrictions you may have experienced in the past. As this is probably a relatively deep process, some powerful emotions might arise. What’s likely happening is that you’re heading toward a new, fresher, freer state of being. Gradually, you’re discovering more about who you truly are, what you really want, and how you can make that happen. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Are your main living spaces optimal for what you do? Do they contain everything you need to pursue your ambitions and live your life freely? If the answer is no, now would be a good time to rectify that. Be fearless about it, and speak to people who can help if necessary. If you find yourself holding back, you might ask what that’s about. It’s entirely possible that something you learned in early life may be preventing you from doing what you wish to now. Yet your home is where you should be able to be completely and unabashedly yourself; so aim high, and consider practicing total honesty. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Information abounds in this internet age; the difficulty has become sorting the good data from the bad amid the overwhelm. That said, part of learning has always been about discarding the preconceptions of ignorance. This week, you’re likely to gain in understanding of a certain matter through whittling down the possible alternatives until you find the truth, or an approximation. Something a friend says might provide a key to the puzzle, so listen out for that. What you discover could be a means of inspiration or possibly a welcome boost to your self-esteem, or both. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The astrological spotlight has now assuredly moved on from your sign, and is in the realm of your values and possessions. This is probably something of a relief after the intensity of recent experiences, though it may well require you to do some work in terms of bolstering in the outside world the concepts you hold most dear. If you encounter a situation that seems to need your input, practice speaking up as opposed to reticence and silence. Doing this will almost certainly boost your self-esteem and confirm you in the beliefs underpinning your action. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — In recent weeks you’ve likely been obliged to confront some especially challenging material, or a rather stubborn habit that when viewed impartially has clearly done you little good. You must take charge of your life, and stop allowing others to define you. It’s true that you’ve already made progress. Stick with that; be determined, and listen to those who are encouraging you to be fully yourself. One idea in particular you may need to tackle is that of seeing your part as a role in other people’s lives. Discard that thinking whenever you encounter it. You are the hero of your own story. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You’ve probably been conscious for a while, at some level, of a deep internal shift that’s taking place. The next stage is likely to involve bringing this material into the everyday realm; and one way to do this is to share your thoughts with someone else. You might, for example, express a secret, long-held desire, regardless of what ensues. Surrendering to that state of vulnerability may be even a transcendental act of devotion to your dharma. Further, in revealing yourself to others, you will perhaps come to understand yourself in a way that was simply not possible before. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — If you’ve lately been tussling with rather potent internal feelings, you might gain some catharsis from getting more involved in your community. That could be either the actual neighborhood or a more diffuse, widespread group of people with whom you share something in common; or perhaps both. After all, there are important benefits not only in advocating on an issue about which you are passionate, but in getting to know people face-to-face and developing connections. In either scenario you will most likely come to realize that you have a significant contribution to make. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You may have been frustrated by what you perceive as a series of inconveniences or obstacles on the path to your present, possibly long-cherished goals. However, you’ve almost certainly come along further than you think; and now could very well be the moment when you begin to see concrete results. Two things to note: One is that you will likely still need to communicate with the right people in order to steer accurately into port. The other is to be realistic in what you ask for once you start to notice your wishes are being granted; remember, you can aim for the stars, but getting there takes actual rocket science. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may find yourself in conflict with a specific belief, which is now either being shown up as false, or playing an active part in stopping you moving forward. If this particular creed has no obvious merit, at the least you might examine it very carefully, and consider why you’ve held to it for so long. Rules have a tendency to be limited in their application; sometimes it’s better to forget them, and turn directly to your inner compass for guidance. If you keep in mind a spirit of compassion and empathy, and a willingness to act ethically, you can’t really go far wrong. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — If you’ve felt any uncertainty as to what you honestly desire, this week should afford you some answers. It’s likely, however, that you have some clue. You’ve had what’s pretty much a longstanding hotline to your unconscious, and are perhaps used to exploring that link — however familiar or otherwise that might feel. That said, a particular idea coming through now might be decidedly more concrete, especially if you’re listening. You may wish to consider sharing this information with someone in order to get it out in the open, and perhaps gain even further clarity. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You seem to be making strides in your relationships after a good while of things appearing to stagnate or move more slowly than you’d like. To a certain extent, you can simply flow along with the new pace. However, you’ll need to watch carefully how matters progress, and use careful discernment. Make sure your contacts are of a sort to nourish and empower you, first and foremost. Then, don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel a need to move in a particular direction, or to make changes. Honesty is by far the best measure. Let each experience spur your efforts to manifest your truth in the world. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.