Good Evening on Planet Waves:
I’m going to lay low this week and let my colleagues handle most writing duties today. I’m planning to prep our class on Saturday — It’s All in the Houses. We’ll email out another round of subscriber discount codes. Read more about the class here.
If you’re trying to read a chart, the houses provide the context and the setting for the narrative. That’s why, as Patric Walker said, “It’s all in the houses.”
I am planning to resume my election coverage on Tuesday on Planet Waves FM with some astonishing information I discovered this week about Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence.
More About Hillary Clinton’s Ambiguous Time of Birth
Below is a news item about the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s birth time, which was covered by The Wall Street Journal last week, and which then became a sensation in the astrology world. ISAR, the International Society for Astrological Research, could have handled this better by saying that they had a new clue about Clinton’s birth data rather than incorrectly claiming that they had “breaking news” double-accurate data.
As I mentioned in my recent piece about Hillary Clinton’s chart, she has multiple birth times (approximately six so far: 1:18 am, 2:08 am, 2:18 am, 8:02 am, 8 pm and 8:02 pm, plus a famous rectification for 7:58 pm). Yes, I think this is really weird. As in really, really weird.
That story gets its own item in this edition below Amanda’s article, reprinted from The Mountain Astrologer, a magazine I love that is part of the culture of American astrology. You can read that version here (with comments from TMA’s readers).
Your Zodiac Sign is Definitely Not Wrong
It seems like the “your sign is wrong” and “there is a 13th sign” hoax has resurfaced. This has been going on so long that I was making fun of it in 1998, but really it goes back about 20 years earlier. I’ve made a YouTube video about this, which I would encourage you to send to anyone who is staying up late nights worrying. I also covered this extensively in 2011 when it popped up and became a national news story. That article is called You Are Who You Are.
Coverage of the Oct. 16 Full Moon
Coverage of the Oct. 16 Full Moon in Aries, conjunct Uranus-Eris, will continue in the Four Winds Report daily almanac. You might love this new publication we’re doing — it’s compact and practical, and has things like a quick daily astrology wrap-up. You can sign up here.
OK — with that, I leave you in the capable hands of my colleagues.
Thanks for tuning in.
Urge to Purge: Sun-Pluto and Self-Aware Self-Expression
Dear Friend and Reader:
Free at last! That is, we’re free from Mercury’s post-retrograde shadow phase as of this afternoon. If you’ve been working through the lingering reverberations of recent glitches, you should notice that easing up considerably. The timing couldn’t be better, too, as other factors in the sky are urging self-expression and action.
The major current aspect is the Sun in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn, exact Friday at 3:33 pm EDT (19:33 UTC).
Photo by Amanda Painter.
It’s possible you’re feeling this as an urge to purge: either materially, removing ‘stuff that’s always been there’ from your home or work-space and making your surroundings more beautiful or harmonious; or even more likely, in terms of behavior patterns that have long gotten in your way, including attitudes toward authority figures.
Yet there’s a third kind of ‘purging’ that might come even more easily and be just as beneficial: simply getting something off your chest that’s overdue to be put out there. Chances are you know what that thing is; if not, Pluto adds a deeply introspective tone. You may feel compelled to listen to yourself more closely as the weekend nears.
On Wednesday, Eric wrote of this aspect, “Pluto focuses the Sun, and a square represents an inner impulse or drive. This is about independent self-expression. Independent means not dependent on the permission of others. You are the one who must give yourself consent to be who you are, and to express your soul’s intentions. This is your journey.”
I would add that the fact that this is your journey means you have more influence over how self-expression happens than you might like to imagine some days. It’s easy to get drawn into fantasies of big, dramatic displays of ‘telling your truth’ to someone in authority, especially if you’re the type to shy away from that in actual reality. As the inner tension of a square builds, sometimes the image of really letting things rip feels cathartic, satisfying or downright justified.
Sometimes it is. The vast majority of the time, however, it’s not truly necessary. What’s more, it can inflict collateral damage, both to yourself and to important relationships.
A simultaneous square (which was exact on Wednesday) underscores this idea. Mars in Capricorn is square Jupiter in Libra. All squares are about action, but Mars-Jupiter in cardinal signs is pushing the ‘Do it now!’ button particularly clearly. This can be an ambitious aspect, so remember: a little will go a long way. And working for the sake of doing good work beautifully — as opposed to doing it for the glory — will be rewarded.
Partial chart for Sun square Pluto, showing selected points. Clockwise from left: Pluto and Mars in Capricorn; the Moon, Pholus and Saturn in Sagittarius; Juno, Venus and Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio; the Sun, Jupiter and Mercury in Libra. View glyph key here.
Luckily Libra is a strong factor right now. The Sun and Jupiter are there, and Mercury arrives on Friday at 3:55 am EDT (7:55 UTC), about 12-and-a-half hours before Sun-Pluto is exact.
Mercury in Libra can sometimes be an indecisive placement; but Saturn’s ‘exalted’ influence over Libra adds some stabilization to the mental environment, even though Saturn is over in Sagittarius currently.
Let’s not forget Libra’s desire for harmony and fairness. It was recently pointed out to me that the shadow expression of Libra can manifest as manipulative, controlling or secretive tendencies, thanks to placing too much importance on superficial harmony and making situations ‘look good’ — that is, avoiding at all costs the friction or confrontation that can come with honesty. But without going to that extreme, the harmony-and-fairness urge can guide you quite well.
Think of it this way: there’s a huge difference between yelling and slamming doors to make your point, and pretending everything is okay while going behind someone’s back. In the middle there’s a sizable swath of terrain where you can experiment with genuine, independently driven, soul-level self-expression that respects your desires, respects anyone to whom you might direct this expression, and also respects your other relationships and shared environments.
Were this the easiest option, just imagine what a different world this would be. Yet it’s also not the hardest thing to do, either. You can live your soul’s intentions and purge some karma without creating more. The first step is the choice to do so.
Yours & truly,
Planet Waves Astrology Editor
It’s October 2016 And We’re Still Speculating About Hillary Clinton’s Missing Birth Data
By Eric Francis | Reprinted from The Mountain Astrologer
It’s been an interesting week to be an astrologer. It all started when The Wall Street Journal published an article on September 29, Who’s Demanding to See Hillary Clinton’s Birth Certificate? Baffled Astrologers.
That would be us. Astrologers are the new birthers.
Enigmatic Hillary; at least we know her Moon’s in Pisces no matter what.
As if on cue, The Wall Street Journal did its once-per-11-year front-page article on astrology.
The last time was their piece on how astrologers were responding to the demotion of Pluto and the naming of Eris (that was in August 2006).
While the rest of the political dialog swirled around Donald Trump’s $900 million write-off, his tax returns, and his comments about an allegedly zaftig Miss Universe, the astrology world was abuzz with a newly revived discussion about Clinton’s missing data, thanks in part to Dow Jones and Company.
Why exactly is WSJ the only mainstream news outlet that takes astrology seriously enough to write a real article every now and then? Maybe they have fond memories of Evangeline Adams counseling J. P. Morgan about how to be a billionaire.
“There is one crucial detail Hillary Clinton hasn’t divulged to the American people, and it’s driving Michael O’Reilly bonkers,” the article by Yogita Patel begins. O’Reilly, from Bend, OR, has loads of other birth data on major political candidates, but he’s got nothing substantial on Clinton.
“Mrs. Clinton was born Oct. 26, 1947, at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, Ill., according to the Cook County Clerk. After that, astrologers must play gumshoe to get any closer. There’s decent historical evidence for two times at either end of the day. The Clinton campaign declined to answer questions, ensuring the mystery will continue,” Patel writes. (quotes from WSJ article linked above)
This must be a running joke at both Clinton headquarters and Cook County Vital Records.
The article goes through the litany of birth times and various sources for them. Phoenix-based astrologer Patrick Watson provided the Journal with Clinton’s widely used 8:02 a.m. chart, which the newspaper published in the web edition. Watson used a whole-sign house version of the chart. Score one for Hellenistic astrology.
Although Watson provided the Journal with Clinton’s 8:02 a.m. chart, based on the Journal’s research, it would seem that the 8:00 p.m. time is better documented. With the 8:00 p.m. chart, Clinton would have the last degree of Gemini rising; at 8:00 p.m. and 47 seconds, it would be the first degree of Cancer rising. There are moments when the exact birth time matters, and this is one of them.
Hillary Clinton’s natal chart, by Patrick Watson.
“The resulting evening chart, astrologers say, shows strong Gemini-Uranus influences, suggesting an erratic or unpredictable nature. Yet fast-forward the chart to 47 seconds after 8:00, and that could indicate a nurturing disposition,” the Journal informed its incredulous readers.
“There are two disappointing things about this article,” one reader commented. “One, that the WSJ published and printed it.? Two, I learned that I share the same sign as HRC. Keep me away from sharp knives and tall bridges!”
“In an era where the internet rules political discourse, and things which are demonstrably and empirically untrue can alter the thoughts of voters so dramatically, pandering to nonsense astrology is stupefying,” wrote another commenter. “Nowhere in the article is the premise of these ‘astrologers’ questioned as they should be. You write their ‘conclusions’ without questioning their basis in empirical fact. This article contributes to the disarray in our political discussions. One cannot have rational discussion about irrational beliefs.”
You can say that again.
Adding to a week of intrigue, on September 25th, ISAR (the International Society for Astrological Research) announced that it would be revealing Clinton’s true birth data at its conference in California next weekend.
ISAR’s press release said that data collector Marc Penfield “will reveal the Democratic contender’s time of birth then, and the process he went through to find this KEY missing astrological link for forecasting the 2016 USA presidential election.”
Notably, this revelation was planned for the end of the conference, which would have kept the data concealed for all of the preceding discussions of the forthcoming election.
Other astrologers, not afraid to point out that this looked like a way to get people to come to the conference, put the pressure on ISAR and Penfield to reveal the data sooner. ISAR responded by releasing a video on Sunday, October 1st, in which Raymond Merriman and Shelley Ackerman interviewed Penfield.
Both are well-known astrologers: Ackerman is reputed for having obtained Bill Clinton’s birth time from his mother in 1992. Merriman is a noted financial astrologer whose work is actually read by traders.
The late, great Lois Rodden, data collector extraordinaire.
Introducing Penfield, Merriman said, “Marc has rocked the astrology world with the revelation of a new birth time for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the time that we’ve been seeking for so many years as astrologers.” Merriman said that this would be AA (double accurate) data based on a birth record.
Penfield, in the interview, said that this was actually old data, first published in March 2008 in the AFA Journal. He started with the story of how 2:18 a.m. data purportedly originated with an unnamed cousin of Hillary Clinton, who, in turn, got it from Clinton’s mother.
However, he added that he got the same data from Zayin Cohen, who claimed to have got it from the Court Clerk of Cook County, Illinois. (Other versions of this legend have him getting the data from an unnamed source in “Israeli intelligence.”) Several political astrologers I spoke to said that over the years, Cohen has given out three different times for Clinton’s birth (1:18 a.m., 2:08 a.m. and 2:18 a.m.).
Penfield said, “I called the records office in Springfield, the state capitol, and I asked the gal there to verify this birth time for me. I knew that she could not give me the information verbally over the phone. So we worked out a deal which a lot of reporters do whereby if I’m wrong, you tell me so, and if I’m right, say nothing.”
Using this method, he determined it was a morning birth, thus eliminating 8:00 p.m. and 8:02 p.m. Then, he said, they went through a number of questions: “We worked around a couple of other times and I got down to 2:18, at which point she said nothing.”
“We saw that in All The President’s Men. Woodward and Bernstein used that device as well,” Ackerman said.
“This is a trick that reporters use all the time!” Penfield added. However, Penfield did not claim to have recorded the discussion, which would be required by most fact-checkers and editors. Many apps make this easy from a cell phone. He does not have anything on paper.
Patrick Watson, the Phoenix-based astrologer, said this scenario seems implausible, because revealing private records in the State of Illinois is a felony carrying jail time and a $25,000 fine.
So, it would seem that something intended to resolve the controversy over Clinton’s birth time has only added to it.
Gary Greff in front of his 40-foot-high pheasant family. Ironically the oil industry — from which Greff reclaims metal tanks to make his creations — is currently putting North Dakota in the spotlight for a different reason, as it tries to build a pipeline through part of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and under the Missouri River, putting that waterway at risk and disturbing ancient burial grounds.
No Enchantment Necessary: All You Need Is You
By Amanda Painter
Gary Greff saw where Regent, North Dakota, was headed: ghost town status (its 2010 Census population was 160). Beginning in 1989, he set about trying to figure out how to get people to travel off the interstate, down 30 miles of desolate highway, to visit.
“I said, if someone doesn’t do something, this community will be a dead community,” says Greff in this Great Big Story video.
“Then it dawned on me: nobody’s going to drive 30 miles for normal sculptures. But they might drive for the world’s largest.”
Greff started in 1989, learning how to weld from local ranchers. It takes him roughly 4-5 years for each piece; he uses flattened out, reclaimed oil well tanks for 90% of his metal. Beginning with the Tin Family, he’s moved on to such subjects as pheasants, grasshoppers, anglers and their fish, and a flock of geese in flight that’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for largest scrap-metal sculpture.
“I want people to see that this guy who didn’t know how to weld, didn’t have an art class; if he can create something like this, I can do most anything.”
As Eric has described, Friday’s Sun-Pluto square indicates independent self-expression of your soul’s journey. With Libra and Capricorn involved, that expression could easily be something artistic that endures — even if it’s not very large.
This Week on Planet Waves FM
What If This Whole Trump Thing is a Joke?
Dear Friend and Reader:
In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM [play episode here], I begin by considering whether the whole Donald Trump candidacy is a joke that won’t end. We learned a couple of months ago that it was Bill Clinton who reportedly put Donald Trump up to running, which may have seemed like a good idea at the time.
I mean, he’s bigoted and doesn’t like women; he’s ultra politically incorrect and can’t shut up. He’s the perfect candidate to beat.
So let’s pretend that Bill Clinton and his buddy James Carville really did put him up to this for a joke, and they’re working with a former writer for The Daily Show, the wickedly funny one who wrote all of Jon Stewart’s best lines the last five years he was on the air.
They give Trump all this bullshit to spew, and he does it, tweeting at 5 am and admitting he doesn’t pay taxes and all — but nothing can stop him. He’s the fire that won’t go out. He’s captured the public’s imagination.
In this show I also look closely at the Hillary Clinton birth data controversy. Here’s the Wall Street Journal article that I mention, and here’s the ISAR press release, and the video that ISAR put out Sunday evening featuring my friends: merry Ray Merriman and sunny Shelley Ackerman.
My musical guest is Thom Yorke, with selections from his solo work. You can order The Eraser [Amazon or iTunes], or Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes [Amazon or iTunes]. Thom’s chart is on the Planet Waves FM page.
Thanks for tuning in and thanks for your membership support. We can’t do this without our members! Thanks for being, or becoming, one of them.
It’s All In the Houses: A Live Class with Eric Francis
12 Noon to 4 pm EDT, Saturday, October 8, 2016
“Technology is a wonderful thing when it connects people together to follow their passion. Eric is a great teacher as he empowers people to think creatively. Bless.”
— Pauline Jones
Do you wish you could get the chart to give up its secrets, or do you have a feeling there’s more you’re not seeing? Do you want to be a more articulate astrologer? We have a class for you, called It’s All In the Houses. If there’s one secret to astrology, this is it.
If you understand the houses as environments and groups of themes, you can read a chart.
This live audio class (with a video introduction) will be recorded — so whether you join us for all four hours (plus a break), or just a couple, or prefer to catch up with the recording later, you’re covered.
“Eric is a gifted teacher, fascinating storyteller, with a incredible base of both knowledge and experience that draws one in. Combined with patience and a gift for translating subject matter into very understandable terms, the class was great.”
— Sally Crawford
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
We published your extended monthly horoscope for October on Thursday, Sept. 22. Your extended monthly horoscope for September was published on Thursday, Aug. 25. We published the Moonshine horoscope for the Libra New Moon, by Len Wallick, on Thursday, Sept. 29. Your Moonshine horoscope for the Pisces Full Moon was published on Thursday, Sept. 15.
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) — Nothing is predictable, nor do you want it to be – especially relationships. Leave yourself room for adventure and for surprises, and set this tone with friends and partners. All the good that’s entering your life is doing so through spontaneity. So practice that as yoga. Change up your schedule any way you can. Take different routes to and from places. Meet people you might ordinarily pass by, and hear their story. All of this will feed into your current extravaganza of self-discovery, though one other thing is certain: there’s opportunity in the air, and to get access you must assert yourself.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You’re getting to know yourself through another person. The beautiful thing is that you seem to be discovering what you already knew, which is called confirmation. You might be concerned that you’re losing yourself in someone else. You may have moments when you fear that you’re overpowered by someone’s will. I suggest that you cast off those concerns and let this scenario play out, because it’s heading somewhere interesting and you are getting ready to open up wings you didn’t even know you had. You can afford to be bold and courageous. There’s nothing to avoid; dive into your feelings.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You’re experiencing a creative burst like you’ve rarely ever felt. Celebrate, explore and give yourself some extra freedom to find out what you want to do. You have more potential than you think. It’s a matter of focus, and that is coming. You might feel you have to give up some things to focus on one or two priorities. Let this happen organically. Remember, you’re not really giving anything up. You will take every talent, passion and idea with you, and these will combine into new forms, new projects and new gigs. Have faith in this process, and in yourself.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This is potentially a brilliant time for you professionally. Yet you will need to be courageous in everything you do, every time you do something. Bring out some true element of spark, light or genius with each task. Ask yourself what’s the best, most inventive way to do whatever you’re doing. Burst through boredom with the vengeance it deserves. Remember that in any authentic career, exceedingly little follows the ‘established’ ways of doing things. You must break some rules in order to do things better or to succeed in innovative ways. Be smooth, persistent and as naughty as you please.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You must make a special effort to say what you mean and mean what you say. This is less about absolute truth and more about sincerity. Your words count for more than you know right now, so don’t waste them on gossip, on trivia or on negativity. Rather, use words and ideas like the valuable resources they are, and remember that for you honor counts. So too does presentation. Being well-spoken, presenting the written word with care and respect, and keeping things beautiful will be surprisingly helpful in whatever you’re doing or creating.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You may be inclined to focus on money; and if you do, you will get results. Yet you need to think bigger than that, in considering what resources you have available. There’s way too much emphasis placed on monetary value, and way too little on what people often have in abundance: creativity, passion, a sense of mission and the love of beauty. All of your talents count. All of your personal gifts count. And you bring to every situation something that transcends them all, which is that distinctive, beautiful personal quality only you have and only you can offer.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Those born under your sign often avoid controversy and confrontation. Yet you might consider the value they have. You will thrive on a little friction and polarity. That does not mean hostility or any form of negative vibes. Rather, you need the kind of contact that allows you to assert who you are in a sportsman-like way. You can trust saying what’s not included in the script, and say things you were not planning to say, and listen to what others say that pushes your buttons a little. From this, you’ll get ideas you never would have dreamed of otherwise.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — This has been an unusual year for you: many self-discoveries, many necessary changes, and discovering something about your deep personal strength. That seems to be rooted in what you want. Yet now, it’s coming from what you want to say. You actually have ideas and, more than that, you have the capacity to change your mind. And this you are seeing the beauty of. Simply put, the actual strength of the mind is its ability to adapt. For you this has gone from being a struggle to a blessing. A discovery that’s on the horizon will help you take your life to a new level.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — There is more to life than what you believe. What you have personally verified, and what has stood the test of time, are more important teachers. One gift of this phase of your life is the discovery of your authentic values. That means priorities, or core principles. They’re your rudder that goes deep into the water, or a foundation reaching into the earth. Yet from time to time, even those change and evolve in surprising ways; and that is what seems to be happening. Cooperate fully with this process. You are tapping into deep knowledge extending way beyond the usual scope.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — This month, you have the power to make any change you want. I don’t use the word ‘power’ lightly, but there really is no other. By change, I mean on a structural level: a deep rearranging of your mentality. It’s as if a force beyond normal desire or intention is working through you. It’s an evolutionary impulse combined with true need that’s moving you to make a decision you might never have predicted. You can trust this process, because it’s entirely natural and coming from within you. Though it might not have made sense a year ago, it makes perfect sense now.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — One of your great strengths is your ability to work with others, and this is gleaming out of your solar chart right now. You’ve had to go it alone for a while, or perhaps with less cooperation or resources than are ideal. Yet now your wisdom and leadership are becoming obvious to the people around you. You are stepping into your authority and embracing the knowledge you possess. You have one other gift, which is the ability to be undaunted by fear. That is the true essence of your leadership ability. And it’s rare to find.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Life is about an exchange. Trees absorb what humans exhale, and turn it into wood. Dogs and people have followed one another around for tens of thousands of years, to great mutual benefit. Cats protect our food supplies by eating the vermin that threaten our health. Your existence is now the very model of this quality, which is called symbiosis. Your relationships have the potential to be mutually profitable, more so than ever. Offer yourself fully to them, and accept and embrace the gifts that the people around you are offering. This is a rare moment that will nourish you for many years.