Dear Friend and Reader:
Sunday’s Aquarius New Moon is the next event highlighting a centaur planet — there have been several the past few weeks. Many others are on the way over the next week or so, and from what I can tell, many people are feeling something but they don’t know what.
Someone walking in the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem at night. Guillaume Paumier / Wikimedia Commons.
The edginess, the sense of a critical personal turning point, the feeling of material coming up for healing — all of these are on the centaur wavelength.
You may be noticing a need to address the things you or others typically avoid; subjects you’ve tried to work through many times may be coming up for attention yet again.
White there is a tendency to pathologize or have negative associations with these planets, they often manifest as extra depth, passion or intensity. The common sensation is a kind of edgy unfamiliarity to the territory — great for creative expression, if you can focus.
Centaur awareness can be a little overwhelming — it can seem like there’s so much to do, you’ll never get it done. But if you set your intentions and devote yourself, eventually you will.
The moment you notice you want to take action or make a change is the time to start, or to re-dedicate yourself, to something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, or have been delayed in doing. This New Moon is like a crossroads and for many reasons, what you set into action now has a good chance of gaining momentum. I would however offer one caution: If you’re feeling any negative impact from this astrology, do your best not to identify with your sense of loss or of being hurt. Identify rather with the healer, the creator, the initiator. Shifting from one side of the equation to the other may be that simple.
Before I describe the astrology in more detail, here’s some background on the centaurs: what makes them centaurs is that they’re small bodies in our solar system that cross the orbits of the major planets. Think of these strange orbits where the centaurs lead us as back alleys of the psyche, slipping between the more familiar avenues. Anyone who has traveled outside the United States knows that when you leave the main boulevards, that’s where you find the truly interesting places and people — tucked in amongst the shadows.
For example, Chiron weaves inside the orbit of Saturn, and extends almost out to Uranus. As such it helps us negotiate between stability and change, between the old and the new. Pholus at its closest comes closer to the Sun than Saturn, and at its most distant goes beyond Pluto. Nessus at its closest comes closer to the Sun than Uranus, and at its most distant goes well past Neptune. These second two centaurs have a way of bringing what is usually invisible into plain view.
Centaurs take astrology deeper than the level of personality, into the realm of the soul. Chiron was the first in this group, discovered orbiting our Sun in 1977. It became associated with the healing process, raising awareness and what some call ‘human potential’. Note that since its discovery, there has been a proliferation of hands-on healing, a healthy food movement and other forms of holistic thinking. Many astrologers still don’t use Chiron, though the entire field has been advanced by those who write about it. It is largely thanks to Chiron that astrology is now even vaguely considered to be among the healing arts.
Side alley, Mykonos, Greece. Photo by Eric Francis.
The second-discovered centaur was Pholus, in 1992. This brought in the themes of multigenerational experiences, the ‘small cause with the big effect’, and the runaway reaction. Pholus addresses alcohol and addiction as well. The third was Nessus, discovered in 1993, which deals with the cycles of karma and the place where one person takes responsibility for something wrong that has gone on for a long time. Nessus covers potentially inappropriate sexual contact, its legacy and what to do about these things.
Once you enter centaur territory, you leave the astrological tourists to their personality-level sightseeing and encounter the strange, compelling, at times necessary spaces of the mind. They live in the zones in the psyche where we carry ancestral, karmic and early-life issues.
There can be material present with overlapping themes — power and sex, injuries that result from a mix of intent, ignorance and neglect, or struggles that involve both social pressures and self-esteem. Centaurs can embody persistently difficult aspects of our lives; they can represent places where you put the most emphasis, and as a result, often concentrate awareness, talent and a sense of purpose — even though you might feel like you’ve made the least progress in those areas.
When using centaur planets, you reach the deeper levels of injury, struggle and therefore potential healing. It takes courage to go there, unless of course you discover you have no choice, which is right about where we are now. Part of the reason for that is because smaller, faster-moving planets such as the Sun and Mars are making contact with centaurs, which brings them into focus.
There’s a reason these planets are not especially popular in astrology, and why you’re not reading about them in most (or any) other places. Once the centaurs go into the chart, it’s easy for the astrologer to get in over his or her head. However, there are currently transits developing involving all three of the first centaurs, Chiron, Nessus and Pholus. In this article I’ll cover Chiron and Nessus and leave Pholus for another time.
Many Nessus Events in Early 2013
Nessus takes a bit over 121 years to go around the Sun, so it’s a slow mover, and for now it’s in Aquarius (where it’s been since around 2005). If you recall, two weeks ago Mars was conjunct Nessus, and last weekend Mercury was conjunct Nessus. We covered this in a series of subscriber editions and blog posts, and several editions of Planet Waves FM, if you want to go back and research what was happening with these events.
An old street in Yangmei, a traditional town located on the Yong River in Nanning, Guangxi, China. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Sunday at 2:20 am EST, there is an unusual New Moon in Aquarius. The Sun and Moon are close to Nessus for this event, which is the first salient point. The New Moon is also square the lunar nodes — those things that point to the eclipses. The square means that we’re halfway between the eclipses of last (Northern Hemisphere) autumn and the ones of spring.
One image of the square to the nodes is seeing something that’s so obvious, it’s usually invisible. Another is a kind of spiritual toll booth through which you have to pass in order to get where you’re going. These properties also give the New Moon the feeling of an eclipse — a point of no return. This one may feel like a tipping point.
Given that it’s in Aquarius, it may involve the ways in which you respond to social pressure, including that of your family, your friends, the company you work for or any version of the public with which your life intersects.
Aquarius holds the often-challenging tension between conformity and individuality, though typically that tension is resolved by going along with the crowd. Nessus in Aquarius is presenting an ongoing point of crisis, as we figure out how dangerous it is to think along with the mob. It may work as a self-serving way of life for a while, but ultimately it contaminates everything. However, to care about this, you would need to access the part of yourself that’s not strictly self-serving.
The extent to which personal interest can cause problems for everyone was described in a new article in Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi. He was reviewing a new book on the scandals of the bank bailouts, and how the Washington mentality led to a state of total corruption.
He wrote, “It’s a bizarre, almost tribal mentality that rules our capital city — a kind of groupthink that makes extreme myopia and a willingness to ignore the tribe’s ostensible connection to the people who elected them a condition for social advancement within.” In other words, to succeed, it’s necessary to show your bosses and colleagues that in order to fit in, you’re willing to betray the public you were elected or appointed to serve.
The bottom of Rue Mouffetard, set in one of the oldest neighborhoods of Paris. Photo by Eric Francis.
“Most normal people don’t get to see what that place is like, because most of the rearview-mirror accounts of that world are written by people who somewhere along the line became infected by the Beltway disease,” Taibbi continued. “Only a few true outsiders make it out alive, and only a few of those write books.” In other words, the situation is so bad and the brainwashing so thorough that we don’t even hear about it.
To some extent, we all must confront this. It’s the individual surrendering power to the group, and the group taking power over everyone else. If you want an explanation for how the Nazis or Monsanto have influenced so many people, now you have a model. And if you’re looking to break free from this, you may have some distinct opportunities; you’ve been having them for a while.
There are three more Nessus events coming up — the Moon exactly conjunct Nessus on Sunday, the Sun exactly conjunct Nessus on Feb. 14, and then Venus conjunct Nessus on Feb. 22.
Conjunctions to Chiron
Chiron, the first centaur, is in early Pisces. This is providing both a spiritual crisis (in the style of Pisces) and a point of grounding (in the spirit of Chiron). Chiron in Pisces is a time to focus your inner orientation. Pisces is a reminder to balance the extroversion and activity of daily life with respect for your inner space, and your inner source of strength.
Our lives are usually so other-centered, activity-focused and socially involved that it’s possible to forget that you have an inner life. Many people have not even discovered this fact, or have momentarily but are afraid to return. Chiron in Pisces is presenting a constant, dependable call to look and feel within. It’s a reminder to have some solitary time every day if possible, and to honor your creative process.
An old street with arches, near Agiou Fanouriou street, in Rhodes, Greece. Photo: Wikimedia.
If you don’t have one — if there is not something you can dependably do that helps you focus inwardly, process your experience and create something new — I suggest you find something that suits you.
As planets pass through late Aquarius, they enter Pisces, so each of these bodies that makes a conjunction to Nessus is now about to make one to Chiron. Neptune is also in the neighborhood, which is adding a mix of inspiration and denial. Chiron’s role is to focus inspiration into action and the denial into awareness.
At the moment of Sunday’s New Moon, Mercury and Mars are both very close to Chiron, as this triple conjunction comes into focus. One peak is on Monday, Feb. 11, when the Moon passes through early Pisces. Then Mars makes its exact conjunction to Chiron on Tuesday. When inner planets such as Mars and Mercury make contact with something more distant or subtle like Chiron, the result can bring whatever Chiron represents out of the background and into the forefront.
On the most basic level, this astrology is going to stir up emotional material; these are deep-feeling days, and depending on how they influence your chart, you will be called to pay attention to your actual needs rather than immediate gratification.
To some, this will feel like a spiritual crisis: that is, something relating to existence itself. Because Mars is involved, this can be a struggle to figure out what you want. You might be experiencing some movement related to your sexuality, as Mars-Chiron can indicate this potential. The question will likely surround your relationship to your desire nature.
While this is happening, Mercury conjunct Chiron implies seeing your relationship to your self-doubt. Mercury to Chiron can be the feeling of ‘knowing but not knowing’ or ‘being certain but not really sure’. This really is about your relationship to your intuition, your instincts and how they influence your mind. Pisces is calling you to focus inwardly for long enough to know what is really true for you. The message is to identify with your feelings and your body as much as your ‘self-image’ and your thoughts. In fact this group of Chiron aspects may present a serious challenge to your whole concept of ‘self-image’.
The questions being raised by these aspects take you beyond the ordinary and the familiar — as will the answers and the solutions. Remember that; and remember that the energy, love and focus that you invest now are worth more, because they will reach a deeper place within you.
PS, If you’re on Facebook (we know that some of you despise the thing) would you please ‘like’ the new Planet Waves company page? There are excellent discussions, frequent news updates and generally a fun experience of microblogging.
Valentine’s Day Gift Offer from Planet Waves
It’s just shy of a week from Valentine’s Day. You may have noticed that Planet Waves doesn’t do this holiday in a traditional way, but we like to acknowledge and affirm any chance we have to spread love. So, in honor of the upcoming holiday, we’d like to extend a special offer for you to share Planet Waves with the people you love. We’ll be sending a separate email about this soon, but for a limited time you can give a year membership to Eric’s weekly and monthly astrology for only $49. Or you can order a three month gift membership for only $19.95.
Your Weekend Almanac
At the time of this publishing, the Moon is in late Capricorn. It enters Aquarius at 2:16 pm EST today (Friday) and then conjoins the Sun at 2:20 am EST Sunday for the Aquarius New Moon.
Chart section for the Aquarius New Moon conjunct Nessus (aqua ‘N’), with Venus in early Aquarius. Also shown: Neptune, Mars, Mercury and Chiron, all in Pisces. See glyph key here.
The Moon’s conjunction to Nessus is exact shortly after the New Moon at 8:27 am EST Sunday; the Sun’s conjunction to Nessus is exact at 1:12 am EST on Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day).
The Moon enters Pisces at 4:19 pm EST Sunday, setting an intuitive, compassionate, creative tone for the end of the weekend and the beginning of the workweek. The Moon will conjoin Neptune, Mars, Chiron and Mercury fairly quickly once it enters Pisces, emphasizing many of the themes discussed in the article above as it slowly begins waxing again.
Mercury will conjoin Chiron in Pisces at 9:53 am EST on Sunday, Feb. 10. Mars does the same at 11:52 am EST on Tuesday, Feb. 12. (Mercury and Mars form a conjunction to each other in Pisces today at 12:57 pm EST.)
Also notable this weekend and beginning the week is Mercury’s square to Jupiter in Gemini at 7:07 am EST on Saturday, Feb. 9. This could equal an active mind trying to think in too many directions at once. Chiron will assist in keeping focus, though it’s likely to be most effective if you stay aware of your inner world rather than getting caught up in external distractions (especially where money is involved).
Mars will square Jupiter at 3:12 am EST on Sunday, Feb. 10. Again, external ambitions will benefit from keeping close tabs on inner desires. What do you really want, and is what you’re doing to get it actually helping or is your assertiveness crossing the line into aggressiveness?
Finally, Venus squares Saturn at 1:42 am EST Monday, Feb. 11. Watch out for selfish urges in money, love and sex. The goddess of love is a little cool and aloof in Aquarius right now, and Saturn is digging out the muck that’s been clogging up deep, erotic Scorpio. If you want a hand with Saturn’s digging, you won’t get it by keeping all the shovels to yourself. Give love to receive love — whether to another, or to yourself.
Must We Keep Droning On?
NBC News this week published a secret Justice Department memo outlining the Obama administration’s legal rationale for assassinating U.S. citizens overseas, as well as who may take authority in making those decisions and the use of drone aircraft. The news could significantly shape the debates over Obama’s foreign policy as the confirmations process for his incoming cabinet unfolds.
“The report, by Michael Isikoff of NBC News, reveals that the Obama administration believes that high-level administration officials — not just the president — may order the killing of ‘senior operational leaders’ of al Qaeda or an associated force even without evidence they are actively plotting against the U.S.,” writes Sam Stein in a Huffington Post story.
“A lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination,” states the Justice Department white paper quoted by Isikoff. That’s a broad definition of “self defense.” If you suspect your neighbor across the street of owning a gun, is it “self defense” for you to shoot him when he step out to get the morning paper, just to make sure he doesn’t shoot you at some point in the future?
This mindset was echoed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney after he was asked about the U.S. assassination program:
“We have acknowledged, the United States, that sometimes we use remotely piloted aircraft to conduct targeted strikes against specific al-Qaeda terrorists in order to prevent attacks on the United States and to save American lives. We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats, to stop plots, prevent future attacks, and, again, save American lives. These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise.”
Legal, ethical and wise? What would the International Criminal Court have to say about that?
In related news, The New York Times reported that the United States has a secret drone base inside Saudi Arabia, first used by the CIA in 2011 to kill the Muslim cleric and U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Democracy Now! noted that the report came just two days before the Senate confirmation hearing of John Brennan as CIA director. As CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, Brennan reportedly worked closely with the Saudis to get the drone base approved.
Finally, some good news: Charlottesville, Virginia, has become the first U.S. city to formally pass an anti-drone resolution. The resolution, though mainly symbolic, “calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia to adopt legislation prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court,” among other provisions.
Advocates for the resolution know that it has no real ‘teeth’ — but the idea is to inspire enough other municipalities and states to do the same until a critical mass is reached that might actually carry political weight. That can’t happen too soon.
Need it Saturday? Have it Mailed in a Box
In what the LA Times has described as death “by 1000 cuts, and a GOP stab in the back,” the United States Postal Service has decided to stop Saturday mail delivery — although packages and Priority and Express mail will still be delivered. The change is scheduled to go into effect in August. The move will reportedly save $2 billion annually.
‘Back when I was your age…’ Running pony logo used by the U.S. Post Office Department before the creation of the USPS.
While many people have stopped mailing checks and writing ‘real’ letters, and UPS and FedEx have taken a share of time-sensitive shipping, technology and competition are not the biggest culprits.
That dubious honor goes to Republicans in Congress who, in 2006, passed a bill requiring the Postal Service to fully fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years. And it had to happen within a 10-year period.
Under the guise of making the USPS run ‘like a good capitalist business’, Congress intentionally saddled it with a fiscal mandate no business could sustain.
“With all those unionized employees working for a quasi-governmental operation that competes with private sector enterprises, the Postal Service is an affront to those who hate government, hate unions and hate to think that there is anything that government can do better than the private sector,” writes David Horsey.
Luckily, there are still many U.S. citizens living in rural areas — no one but the USPS wants to serve them. Unfortunately, cutting six-day delivery — one of the Postal Service’s advantages — may only be another nail in the coffin. And even in many rural areas, Post Office hours have been cut in half (leaving employees without benefits) or ended entirely — leaving rural delivery contracted out to private carriers, and making package-sending an 80-mile round trip for residents.
Path to Citizenship or Gridlock?
Despite the fact that a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday found that 56 percent of voters think undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States and eventually apply for citizenship, and despite the so-called Republican Senate’s “gang of eight” supporting a path to citizenship to be part of the immigration reform being hammered out right now, some lead Republicans are determined to block the path.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), considered one of the more pro-reform Republicans in the House, warned on Thursday that he won’t vote for a way for undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship, and neither will his fellow House Republicans. But not all are being so hard-headed.
“We have to remember the 11 million people who are here are people,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to reporters on Wednesday. Issa supports the “gang of eight” framework.
Asking for Time Off? Play the Climate Card
Work less, play more — what could be better? Turns out, it’s not only better for us, it’s better for the environment, according to a new study released Monday.
These horses have the right idea. Photo: 4028mdk09/Wikimedia Commons.
The study’s findings hinge mostly on the actions of the developing world — where most labor growth will occur in this century. If it adopts the “European” work model — working shorter hours and taking more vacation — instead of the “American” model, with its longer hours and shorter vacations, there could be a real reduction in global warming.
The “European” model could prevent as much as half of the expected global temperature rise by 2100, according to the Center for Economic Policy and Research, a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C. The reduction is attributed to lower carbon emissions.
As for the United States, “we can get a similar amount of work done as productivity and technology improve,” said economist David Rosnick, author of the study. “It’s something we have to decide as a country — there are economic models in which individuals get to decide their hours and are still similarly productive as they are now.”
However, he pointed out that the analysis is flawed: the study didn’t take into account the rise in telecommuting, or what a person does with all those free hours. Driving or flying to a vacation spot will still use carbon. But maybe if we’re less stressed out by work on a regular basis, the need to ‘get away’ will be less strong — and we can focus our extra personal energy into living in better harmony with the Earth.
What to Wear on Valentine’s Day
If you dare to wear your heart on your sleeve, soon there’ll be a dress to match: the “Intimacy 2.0.” The fabric of this dress, still in prototype stage, goes transparent when the wearer becomes sexually aroused. It is made of leather ribbons and opaque “e-foils”, which change their opacity in response to heart rate.
“Intimacy 2.0 is a fashion project exploring the relation between intimacy and technology,” said Daan Roosegaarde, the dress’s designer. “Technology is used here not merely functionally but also as a tool to create intimacy as well as privacy on a direct, personal level, which in our contemporary tech society is becoming increasingly important.”
It’s not clear how anyone interested in genuine intimacy is more likely to find it by wearing this dress — rather than, say, initiating a frank and honest conversation about their desires. And the notion of true ‘privacy’ is losing its street cred the further we get into the digital age. But Intimacy 2.0 certainly gets points for upping the vulnerability factor — anyone wearing it better be ready to admit what’s going on for them.
If it’s the “irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired” (as Robert Frost once described love) that’s triggering the dress — and not, say, nervousness at being out in public in transparent clothing — being seen without one’s usual masks might do us all some good.
Almost Equal: British Gay Marriage Gets Closer
Lawmakers in the U.K. voted to legalize gay marriage by a wide margin on Tuesday, though the bill still has several legislative hurdles to clear before it’s a done deal, including another vote in the House of Commons and a vote in the House of Lords.
“Today is an important day. I’m a strong believer in marriage. It helps people commit to each other, and I think it’s right that gay people should be able to get married, too,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron before Tuesday’s vote. He continued, “This is, yes, about equality. But it’s also about making our society stronger. I know there are strong views on both sides of the argument; I respect that. But I think this is an important step forward for our country.”
Whether or not marriage makes society stronger is up for grabs — though it certainly keeps certain industries healthy, from gown designers and wedding planners to divorce lawyers. (Although, interestingly, the British divorce rate has dropped over the last couple years.)
And the idea that marriage “helps people commit to each other” is questionable, at best; there’s a difference between being ‘devoted’ versus being ‘comfortable’ or ‘stuck’, though surely some people do find strength in their marriage vows to continue growing together through challenges as a couple. Either way, allowing people of all genders and orientations the option for their union to be legally recognized is a step toward social parity – especially in the areas of health and health care costs.
Monsanto Ordered to Clean Up Dioxin Mess
A state judge has approved a $93 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit brought against Monsanto by thousands of residents of Nitro, West Virginia, and surrounding areas. The lawsuit accused Monsanto of dioxin contamination stemming from a 1949 incident at its former chemical plant in Nitro.
The settlement, however, is a pittance compared to the company’s profits. And Monsanto seems to have followed a strategy that has worked well for it in the past: keep litigating until the people suing them eventually die. That’s a useful strategy, given the life-shortening properties of Monsanto products and byproducts.
What became known as the “Nitro incident” involved a runaway reaction in a pressurized vessel used to make the Vietnam-era defoliant Agent Orange. The explosion caused a massive release of dioxin into the plant and the surrounding environment.
Monsanto’s chemical plant in Nitro, WV, scene of a 1949 accident that led to the discovery of dioxin. Photo: Wikimedia.
It has a special place in Monsanto history for at least three reasons: first, in the aftermath of this event, dioxin and its stunning toxicity were first discovered. Second, Monsanto conducted experiments on Nitro workers, i.e., humans, in an attempt to understand its toxicity.
Last, three fraudulent retrospective studies were done by scientists controlled by Monsanto, which planted into the scientific literature the notion that dioxin is less toxic than industry previously thought. Those studies, which came out between 1978 and 1984, have never been withdrawn from the scientific record as flawed, even though this has been established by the courts and the EPA. These studies have appeared in such journals as Environmental Science Research and The Journal of the American Medical Association.
After the 1949 explosion, not only did dioxin contaminate fish in the area’s Kanawha River, but the lawsuit also alleged that contaminated dust “was carried by prevailing winds over the town of Nitro, surrounding communities and the plaintiffs’ homes and businesses.”
The approval by Circuit Judge Derek Swope makes the plaintiffs eligible for medical monitoring and property cleanup.
Dioxin, a chemical byproduct of the production of defoliant Agent Orange, has been linked to hormone disruption, immune system damage, birth defects, learning disabilities, endometriosis, infertility and suppressed immune functions. It’s the most potent cancer promoter known to science. Dioxin builds up in tissue over time, so even small amounts can lead to dangerous (and what are called cascading) effects.
Last February, Monsanto agreed to a 30-year medical monitoring program as part of the settlement, with a primary fund of $21 million for initial testing and up to $63 million more, depending on what levels of dioxin are found in residents, according to a local newspaper.
Monsanto also agreed to spend $9 million cleaning 4,500 homes in the area to rid them of dioxin-contaminated dust, notably, 63 years after the original incident. From observing many dioxin situations, though, it’s highly unlikely that “contaminated dust” can be removed from a structure.
The residents retain their right to future personal injury lawsuits if they develop illnesses that can be traced back to dioxin contamination, for as long as they’re on the planet to sue — and assuming they have a few decades and the money they would need to fight.
“These settlements allow the citizens of Nitro and the surrounding area to turn the page on this chapter of their history,” Swope wrote, gushing with optimism. “These settlements are in the public interest because a potentially hazardous situation can be addressed.”
To read more about the Nitro incident and its aftermath, read this article by Eric.
It’s All in the Timing — and the DNA: King Richard’s Remains
After months of investigating a skeleton excavated in central England and testing its DNA, archeologists at the University of Leicester have confirmed that remains found in August are in fact those of King Richard III, “beyond reasonable doubt.” The results will undoubtedly get a peer review, but in the meantime history buffs and Shakespearean scholars face reconsidering how the last Plantagenet king of England, killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field, has been portrayed for over 500 years.
Archeologists had already matched up the curvature of the skeleton’s spine to Richard III’s scoliosis, and the wounds (some to the head, likely fatal, plus several “humiliation injuries” incurred after death) fit written descriptions of the body’s mistreatment before being laid to rest. The skeleton was discovered in what had once been Leicester’s Greyfriars friary, the exact location of the grave having been lost after centuries of demolition and rebuilding on the site.
Perhaps most arresting is that scientists were within a generation of never being able to confirm the skeleton’s identity. The two people used for the DNA testing — Canadian cabinetmaker Michael Ibsen, who is a direct descendant of Richard III’s sister, Anne of York, and another who wishes to remain anonymous — are both the last of their family lines.
On Monday, researchers announced that the remains would be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral, the closest church to the original gravesite. The memorial service will likely be held early next year.
Supporters of the fabled king, including the Richard III Society, hope the discovery will prompt scholars to reconsider the way he has been portrayed.
“Shakespeare paints a picture of Richard as a scheming, plotting villain always aiming for the throne, but if that was the case, why didn’t he kill the king?” asks historian John Ashdown Hill, author of The Last Days of Richard III. “That would have been the easiest way, but he served his brother loyally for over 20 years.”
Richard III might have offered his kingdom for a horse in his last moments on the battlefield; had his skeleton not been found for another 20 years, archeologists would have been offering the same for a single strand of hair to match it to — and facing many winters of discontent.
Interview on the Centaurs with Melanie Reinhart
Melanie Reinhart is my guest in this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM. We cover Nessus in Aquarius, the discovery of the centaurs and the healing messages of these planets. We will be talking about the centaur planets and in particular Nessus in Aquarius, which has been big news the past few weeks. This is a breakthrough discussion on the understanding of the centaurs.
Melanie is the author of Chiron and the Healing Journey, the most comprehensive book on Chiron, as well as Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs: To the Edge and Beyond and Incarnation: The Four Angles and the Moon’s Nodes. She is a leading figure in contemporary astrology, and people travel from around the world to attend her classes and seminars. She’s a good friend of mine and has offered many interviews.
Chiron and the Healing Journey is now available as an eBook for kindle and other formats. Melanie is offering Planet Waves a substantial discount. Entering the coupon MM28X will give readers a 30% discount. The coupon is valid until the next Full Moon (Feb. 25).
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
The February monthly horoscope was published Friday, Jan. 25. Inner Space for February was published Tuesday, Jan. 29. We published the Moonshine Horoscope for the Aquarius New Moon on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Please note that Moonshine horoscopes by Genevieve will now occur twice per month, for each Full and New Moon. I recommend reviewing the monthly horoscope at the end of the month. Please note that the longer monthly horoscope is being incorporated into the Friday issue after the Sun has entered a new sign; a new Inner Space is still emailed on the following Tuesday.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 #937 | By Eric Francis
Aquarius Birthdays This Week
If you have a birthday anywhere in the vicinity, you know this is a tipping-point moment for you, a point of no return. You may be reconsidering very nearly everything — including the direction of your life and where you want to go from here. Do not be distracted by any dark or fearful ideas you may have about yourself.
They are not actually you, and their deeper source is more like ancestral baggage than it is some active experience or behavior. Access your passion and your desire for beauty in all its forms and you will provide yourself with a new basis for living, a new point of contact with yourself and the experience of authentic meaning. You are, in truth, being drawn to a much larger idea of who you are, and being invited to participate in the world in much deeper ways than you ever have before.
I recognize from your charts that you may have your moments of doubt and insecurity — just like children, just like the greatest artists, just like everyone. They may manifest in a form that seems larger than life, though that’s merely a reflection of your true creative power. Go past the doubt; go beyond needing a reason not to doubt, and simply dare to be who you are.
Note to Aquarius and Aquarius rising readers: Your 2013 birthday reading is ready. In every way this is different from your LISTEN reading (there is always so much to comment on in the astrology). It’s priced to be affordable — $19.95 for an hour of astrology and a tarot reading. Get instant access here.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — In the cosmic scheme, your sign is the one designed to be about assertion and action. With Mars currently in Pisces, life may not be presenting you with clear direction; you seem to be lacking a tangible sense of where you are at the moment. This is an invitation inward. Yes, there are other influences that are heightening your desire for social contact, though I suggest you ask yourself whether these are offering you what you want, or presenting a distraction or worse, a source of needless drama. You may have the sense that you’ll find someone you want, someone you’ve been looking for, ‘out there somewhere’, though I suggest you question that theory at least long enough to see whether the one you’re looking for isn’t right inside you. One other point to consider this week: this is a time of completions rather than of beginnings. Yes, there’s a New Moon coming up — which you could say initiates a time of closure and resolution that extends from now until your birthday.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may be wondering how you’re going to handle all this responsibility; your astrology answers that in two words: organization and cooperation. The first word implies the second — an organization is a cooperative enterprise. If you feel like you’re pushing against something immovable, it will help if you invoke the collective mind and develop new ideas. This may not be straightforward, and you will need to be in a coordinating role. What you need to be doing is keeping track of all of the ideas and variables surrounding a particular seemingly intractable situation, and see the whole picture in composite rather than fixating on any small piece of it. From there, it will become clear that certain ideas are more useful than others. Make sure you evaluate the impact of every option. The law of unintended consequences is in full force and effect. Therefore, you need to think in multiple dimensions and anticipate the problems that any potential solution might create — and change course sooner rather than later.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Many factors are trying to call your attention to the ways in which it’s time to take control of your life. This is not going to be instantaneous, nor should it take ‘forever’. While you may be inclined to think you want to get your career in order, the matter at hand is much larger. This is about taking back authority over all of your affairs, though to do that, you will need to see the places where you’ve given up that authority, or had it taken from you — beginning with your parents. Along the way, you may vacillate between thinking you’re a force to be reckoned with and fearing that you have no power whatsoever. Both are distortions. You tend to think in absolutes; in this instance, seeing shades of gray and different hues of color will help you. I suggest you plan for a rethinking process as you make each decision. You will not be arriving at final destinations; stop first and see where you are and how it feels to be there. Then decide what to do next.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — There are those days when we seem to live in a world of the self-centered and superficial. It’s frustrating if you’re one of those people who practices self-awareness, because a little goes a long way, though it comes at a cost. And what cost would that be? Well, self-awareness is the antidote for hypocrisy, and not being a hypocrite puts one at a voluntary disadvantage. Anyway, for the moment, you will be encountering some people who cannot see past their own self-interest, and it will help immensely if you recognize them for who they are. You should have the information you need to sort this out fairly quickly after you meet someone. You then will have the option to forget what you discovered, or put the information to work. If someone is not interested in anyone or anything besides themselves, as evidenced primarily by their actions, then you cannot logically expect them to be of any help to you. This is not an accident; it’s a way of life, and I’m here to tell you that you have a different agenda.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — This weekend’s New Moon is encouraging you to see the widest possible picture; to think systemically. I suggest you do this as you solve every seemingly small, separate problem. Look up from what you’re doing and consider the total circumstance — the human as well as the technical; the psychological as well as the emotional. If you are noticing a world in crisis, it’s about the lack of faith in love, and the expectation of betrayal. The people around you need more emotional contact, though they may seem to be indicating otherwise. That contact doesn’t need to drain you, though there are several distinct stresses on your energy at the moment. Contact is just that — it starts with hello; with a basic acknowledgment of existence. It includes being somewhat consistent, even a bit persistent, making sure that others know that you care and that you have their best interests at heart. They may not seem appreciative, though I assure you that they are.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Certain relationship situations seem to be at a boiling point, and you may feel like people are transgressing your boundaries left, right and center. It’s up to you, therefore, to be the gatekeeper in your own life. The challenge here is about your emotional investment in those who might cross some line that you may not have clearly articulated. To speak up may feel like you’re betraying someone. This is a form of codependency not often called what it is, mainly because it’s considered normal behavior. It may be normal but it’s not helpful, particularly to you. I suggest that you get clear with yourself about what you want and don’t want. Then make sure that others know your position before they act on some other assumption. The key is before, not after, so I suggest that — though it might seem difficult — you get your situation sorted out. As for the betrayal piece, it’s not true — it’s a holdover from another era of your life. The only person you have to worry about betraying is yourself.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — In our society at our time in history, there is no aspect of sex that’s not touched or compromised by the abuse of trust or power. This is one reason why sexual situations typically become so complicated so fast. We can find ourselves involved with abuse survivors; we might find ourselves involved with perpetrators. Yet one of the core hypocrisies is that most of the time, we tend to see ourselves as neither. You can safely assume you’re somewhere in the system because you grew up in the midst of all of this. The typical way to deal with this situation is to ignore it, but you’re at the point where that’s no longer possible. The thing you may be feeling is that to confront this web of psychological and sexual intrigue, you have to take a chance — and if so, I would agree with that. All progress requires taking a chance. In this case, the chance is akin to H.G. Wells’ metaphor of how the one-eyed man in the land of the blind is considered crazy — because he can tell light from dark and night from day. It’s worth the risk.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Often the most interesting aspects of people can be found in the places they’ve been hurt. This is true whether they’ve dealt with the injury or not; it’s more convenient for everyone if they have. Hey, it’s more convenient for everyone if you have as well, and apropos of Scorpio, the question of the moment is where some aspect of ‘sexual’ intersects with some aspect of ‘spiritual’. Or more accurately, you’ll find it in the place where sexual has been ripped apart from spiritual. There is more in this split than you may recognize, since it’s actually about severing you from your creative power. It’s also about whether you have an inherent respect for life. Sex is not something to be consumed, tolerated or used as a bargaining chip. It’s the creative core of existence — and how you feel about sex is exactly how you feel about life. Therefore, I suggest you consider carefully how you feel about sex and why. This includes what you say and do not say, and why; what you do and don’t do, and why.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Sagittarius has one of the coolest and grooviest reputations of all the signs, though secretly, I believe this is one of the most reserved and even conservative signs of the zodiac. Part of this is how you tend to think — in fixed patterns and abstract ways rather than the tangible and the concrete. And those patterns and abstractions can easily get hung up on themselves. Every now and then you reach a point where you simply have to flex your mind in new directions. You might have to make a decision you’ve been avoiding until the last possible moment. You might have to face some unpleasant fact and then deal with it — and when these times come, you can be bold and decisive. That’s about where you are today. Sunday’s New Moon will help you go even deeper — you can address what we could call a systemic issue, some quality of how you tend to think all the time that you may not have given a name to yet. Now, it’s likely to be visible and in clear focus, to the point of being obvious.
Note to Capricorn and Capricorn rising readers: Your birthday reading is ready. It’s a whole new thing, separate from LISTEN, covering different subject matter. It includes two sessions of astrology, a tarot reading, an extended description of your astrological sign, the charts and spreads used in the creation of the work, as well as access to last year’s reading so you can check for accuracy. You can order that here.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — For both of the Saturn-ruled signs (yours and Aquarius), self-esteem is the issue of the season, though there are subtle shades of distinction in how that will manifest. For you, there seems to be a titanic struggle to let go of an idea about yourself that is not true, and which is not working to further the course of your life. You need to know what that idea is, so you can change your mind about it. It’s likely to be something that you’ve always taken for granted, and which was supported, or implanted, by the people who were around you when you were much younger. There is some element of what you had to say or do in order to have their approval, which may have included going along with things that violated your conscience. You’ve reached the place in your growth where you cannot persist in thinking or doing anything that goes against your ethics, and that seems to be the focus of the moment — and it may feel like a kind of squeeze point.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Have your persistent self-doubt and self-questioning actually gotten you anywhere? They may have, though not as far as you think, and even if so, whatever purpose it had now seems to be served. Get used to the idea that self-improvement doesn’t necessarily improve you. What does? Let’s see — it looks like your passion for beauty is both helpful and in full bloom right now. Beauty might come in any form of art or music, talents I would be surprised if you would hear any astrologer ascribe to your sign. However, we both know you deeply value them, though you may not have come as far as counting yourself in. I suggest you do that. There are spiritual and psychological approaches to growth and healing, and if you ask me most of them are getting pretty old. And then there is the creative approach, which is always new, and which is designed to get your whole brain thinking, feeling and growing.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This is a moment of passion, drive and clarity for you. Yet on a deeper level, it’s a moment of authentic alchemy and some truly mysterious transitions. Mars and so many other planets in your sign might be a caution not to overdo things, though I would say you would be better advised to use this moment to focus your intentions and your plans and get into action — now. You know what you need to know, including about yourself; you’ve done all the sorting out you need to do. Therefore, act on what you want. Make the changes you need, and don’t let anyone stop you. You have some unusual mojo going at the moment. I would, however, remind you of its real source — your inner life. As I emphasized extensively in your annual reading, the two fish of Pisces are the introvert and the extravert. This is a moment of contact with the world, of asserting yourself and figuring out that there is room for you here. The other side of this is honoring your interior space, the space where nobody else can really meet you. That is the real source of your inspiration and momentum. If you want the best guidance and the real facts, meet yourself there regularly.