Collateral Damage

Dear Friend and Reader:

With Mercury stationing retrograde, a Full Moon passing through town and Venus getting ready to station direct, it’s been a rough week in the public sphere.

Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam in 2013. She was the first black woman to serve on New York State’s highest court. She was found floating in the Hudson River Wednesday. Photo by Mike Groll.

Let’s see: there was Sean Spicer, Trump’s spokesman, claiming — during Passover — that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons. Then he bungled his various “apologies,” at one point calling the concentration camps “Holocaust centers.”

He added that he did not want his comments on Hitler to distract from Trump’s attempts “to destabilize the region.” Hey, at least this shows he’s capable of telling the truth.

United Airlines dragged one of its bumped passengers screaming from an overbooked plane, because he was picked by a computer to give up his seat and refused to do so, explaining that he was a doctor who had to get back to see his patients.

The first Muslim and African American woman judge on New York State’s highest court was found Wednesday floating in the Hudson River. Police are saying there’s no evidence of a crime. The chart suggests we may never know the cause of death. The New York Times is now reporting that it was suicide.

Turnarond on Syria — and Supposedly Russia

And in a policy turnaround that’s been likened to inducing whiplash, Trump ordered an attack on a Syrian air base, purportedly in reprisal for Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad allegedly gassing civilians with sarin nerve gas. (I have not seen the fact of sarin independently verified; that is, by results of controlled sampling at the scene, and we have reasons to question its veracity.)

Because Russia is an ally of al-Assad, the White House and news reports are claiming that this has thrown a wedge into U.S.-Russian relations, which the Donald says have never been worse. This supposed foreign policy achievement does not square with how the White House says it contacted the Kremlin in advance, warning them to get their airplanes out of the way of incoming American cruise missiles.

To me this whole incident looks more like pyrotechnics to distract attention from the ties between the Russian government and nearly every official in the Trump administration. It’s an established fact that the Trump campaign had numerous contracts with the Russians before and during the election process, that the Russians manipulated both the primaries and the general election, and that Trump openly called for the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s email (which they did).

Planet Waves
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said of his comments favorably comparing Hitler to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria: “I made a mistake; there’s no other way to say it. I got into a topic that I shouldn’t have, and I screwed up.” Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick.

It’s now an open secret that the Trump campaign was involved: we’re merely waiting for confirmation on paper that there was collusion between the campaign and the Kremlin, or we were until Trump became a war president and Russia became the enemy.

What’s so outrageous is that anyone at all is falling for this 1984-style ruse, with the enemy changing mid-sentence during a newscast.

Meanwhile Trump has an aircraft carrier strike group heading for the Korean peninsula, just in case he needs to explain things to Kim Jong-Un, whom he is threatening out loud in televised statements. It’s now accepted that North Korea has developed a working nuclear bomb, and is testing ballistic missiles. (We’d be safer if he went back to his old hobby of early-morning tweeting.)

SCOTUS Game Over: Neil Gorsuch Confirmation

However, I am verging on livid at the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as a justice on the Supreme Court. The chart for his confirmation describes what’s going on, in case anyone has missed the point. The 9th house, which rules the higher courts, is loaded with many planets, beginning with Nessus in Pisces on the South Node. It would be charitable to describe this as ancient values promoting abusive conduct coming home to roost in a new era.

Neptune in Pisces is even more troubling. Placed in the 9th, this describes how the Supreme Court is now a safe-haven for delusional fundamentalist Christian values. We’re looking right at the full-on merger of religion and the state, which includes the values that the Dominionists are attempting (and largely succeeding) to foist on the rest of us; as well as the religion of corporatism, which means capitalism, which (in Gorsuch’s own words) all translates to “fascism forever.”

But with Neptune, you can look right at something and not see it. People rarely see or want to acknowledge the obvious, especially something so blatantly wicked. It’s easier to get away with big lies than small ones.

Planet Waves
Wreckage of Syrian military jet, ostensibly bombed by Trump. The missile strike served no useful military objective, and the Russians were warned to move their airplanes out of harm’s way.

Finally, Venus occupies the 10th house cusp, and is retrograde moving toward Chiron. In this context that tells us two things: women will pay for this; and women need to wake up, so their daughters are not imprisoned for miscarriages.

Trump has openly said that women should be punished for having abortions. What any woman knows is that miscarriages happen, more often than most men know; but what they don’t seem to understand is that any one of those miscarriages could instantly become a crime scene.

This is an instance where the failure to honestly address sex is being used as a political lever to shut down what little protection women have. The discussion might happen, if not for shame.

To have this discussion, women would need to openly claim their sexuality as a positive thing, not merely as a “reproductive right.” Here’s perhaps the boldest instance of how the personal is political and, conversely, how the lack of a personal discussion leads to the failure of a political discussion.

An important purpose of abortion (and of birth control in any form) is to recognize that sex has a purpose other than reproduction. And what life would that be? Relating and pleasure. It would also be the life of the woman herself: her choice to live her chosen destiny, instead of being at the mercy of biology.

Female Equality = Control Over Reproduction

In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir explains that there is no feminism or female equality without women having control of their own fertility. “Conservatives” all understand this, and use it as a weapon; most “liberals” do not, or they act like they don’t, or don’t care.

Planet Waves
Suffragists march in New York City, early 20th century.

First-wave feminism of the early 20th century vindicated itself by being puritanical: women should be entitled to vote, but only if they dignified themselves by being anti-libertine (meaning anti-sex and masturbation) and prohibitionist (against the serving or selling of beverage alcohol, which in turn translated into being anti-dancing, anti-jazz and so forth).

Second-wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s was also built on a political foundation with its own form of Puritanism. Exceedingly few of its leaders openly claimed their sexuality in a sexual rather than political context; the only one I can think of is Betty Dodson. The big achievement was Roe v. Wade, followed by a backlash: the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Third-wave feminism, emerging in the 1990s, has a split: some of its leaders more openly speak about sexuality (Tristan Taormino, for example) while others (particularly many academic feminists) are obsessed with rape, sexual transgression and defeating pornography.

Yet there has been some gradual progress: woman-centered sex shops are now understood to exist, and do a brisk business. There are many women porn directors. Female masturbation is (at least many places) considered normal and moral. (Some feminists complain that it’s been “fetishized” for men.) Yet those focused on pleasure-centered feminism seem to be drowned out by those who politicize sexual transgression and porn.

It seems to me that this latest version of political feminism is more about the issue of rape and rapists, and much less about women in general healing from centuries of oppression, and individual women healing from what they’ve experienced. This in turn provides cover for shame, pain and the lingering results of injury that, together, are politically paralyzing.

Planet Waves
Pioneering third-wave feminist Tristan Taormino.

And notably, I’ve heard very little discussion about what to actually do about the problem of rape, which is both personal and cultural.

Who exactly are these rapists, how did they get to be that way, and what are we going to do about them? The silence is deafening.

The result, basically, is a frozen conversation that allows the “conservative” agenda to proliferate. By replacing sex education with abstinence-only indoctrination, the “conservative” movement has bullied, cheated, shamed and abused its way to victory.

And the impeccably charming Neil Gorsuch is the grand prize, the gold medal and the trifecta all at once. The Republicans pulled the plug on the supermajority for SCOTUS judges, approving Gorsuch by fewer than 60 votes, because they know they won the game.

With Gorsuch, there’s still a 5-4 “conservative” majority on the court, just like under Antonin Scalia, but it’s more than that. Gorsuch, who is just 47, buys a lot of time to build up a more solid “conservative” majority, which may come down to one or two token “liberal” judges on the court before long.

It’s Time to Personalize the Political

If the personal has been politicized, the political must be personalized: claimed back, and taken on the individual level. Our society and nearly everyone in it has a profound healing need for an ongoing genuine conversation about sex in its many dimensions.

If rape is a problem, we need to talk about trust, situational awareness and negotiation of consent. And not to sound too prohibitionist, but there’s not much negotiation or consent possible when the parties to the discussion are both drunk — so they can avoid having a discussion.

With legal abortion on the way out in many states, and criminalized miscarriage on the way in, we need to have a long conversation about pregnancy prevention.

But even these two subjects miss the primary point, that what we’re really talking about are pleasure, intimacy and honest relating to one another. In its final form, this is all about what humans do when they’re alone behind a closed door. We need places where both women and men can go to talk about what they’ve experienced, how they feel about it; and what they want, and how they feel about it.

We need to devote ourselves to pleasure, love and healing.

The way things are going, there’ll be an app for that any time now.

with love,

Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, by Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Special Project Designer: Lizanne Webb. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Eric’s Assistant: Ellen Dockery. Client Services: Amy Elliott. Media Consultant: Andrew Ellis Marshall McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Amy Jacobs, Cindy Ragusa and Carol van Strum.

Feeling Your Way Into a Softer Revolution

By Amanda Painter

By now, you’ve heard about (and likely watched a video of) the man getting forcibly hauled off a United Airlines flight, as well as the public outrage surrounding it and United’s initial defense of the action. You could say that this incident, and the mass awareness of it, is one way that the Sun passing through the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries is being reflected. But it’s not the only way this astrology can manifest; and indeed, it’s related to another important current astrological event.

Planet Waves
Dahlia, blue vase and salt lamp; photo by Amanda Painter.

Since Uranus is separating from Eris, the Sun made its exact conjunction to Eris on Wednesday, and will make its exact conjunction to Uranus on Friday at 1:30 am EDT. Yet the aspect is still in force.

For sure, the Sun (which represents consciousness) seems to be heightening collective awareness of the current environment in this country: one marked by a kind of militancy.

We see it in reactions to the launching of tomahawk missiles in retribution for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. We see it in how eager everyone is to jump into attacking or defending of almost any event on social media.

With Uranus often representing revolution and Eris often representing a subversive element, this can have its constructive side. Historically, consumer actions such as boycotts of a company needed significant time to have an effect, if they had any effect at all. These days, “we the people” seem to wield more power than ever thanks to social media. When a corporate misstep is brought to attention online, backlash can snowball at astonishing speeds.

Does that backlash have an effect on the company in question? Frequently yes; but how deep does the reform go? An apology is great; monetary compensation to an injured or aggrieved party is helpful. But once that happens and makes the news, how often does it lead to systemic reforms, or to a sustained, multi-level, intersectional movement?

Continue reading →

Planet Waves

Dear Friend of Planet Waves:

I’m ready to begin work on the spring 2017 reading.

Revolution is in the air, but a little something seems to be missing: introspection. World events are certifiably insane. The electronic environment is sucking our time, our souls and our relationships down the digital drain.

Yet the same aspect that describes this — the rare and rebellious Uranus-Eris conjunction — also describes the potential for profound personal reinvention.

And that’s what the 2017 spring reading is about: how to dial that in; how to create a vision for who you want to be; how to uncover who you are despite the massive distractions and anti-social conditioning of the digital environment.

Until a widespread social movement becomes the tide that raises all ships, those who are awakening must actively engage in inner exploration, self-understanding and relationship-for-truth.

The theme of this year’s spring reading:

Planet Waves

The revolution is within, and INVOLUTION is your guide. Consisting of 12 individual sign readings, recorded in studio-quality audio/video, you will love these readings. They will be available as YouTube presentations as well as downloadable audio for listening on your Ipod, tablet or as you drive.

Read more…

Planet Waves

Dear Planet Waves Subscriber:

Here’s an email I’ve been wanting to write nearly forever: as a Planet Waves subscriber, you may opt-in for free delivery of my daily horoscope.

Here are the specifics. I began writing New York Daily News horoscope this past Tuesday. I’ll be writing seven days a week. The length is 50 words per sign, per day. It’s a hand-crafted miniature, more like a poem than an essay.

Planet Waves
The Daily Planet of Superman fame is based on the N.Y. Daily News.

Per my agreement with the News, we will email to you daily at 7 am Eastern Time. Please sign up using the email associated with your Planet Waves account so that we’re already whitelisted.

Each daily edition also will go into our horoscope vault — the Intelligent Archive, which you may not know has also been upgraded. I’ll send a letter soon describing how you use the Intelligent Archive as a divination tool. Note that the result you get when you type a question is related, not to the text, but rather the time you press the Oracle button.

You can also use the separate research tools (located above the Intelligent Archive) and look up by keyword or date. For example, you can look up all my references to Chiron or any other word.

I’ll continue this letter series every few days with a description of another Planet Waves feature and benefit of membership. The emails will always be from me, without the [Planet Waves] slug, so you can distinguish them from other Planet Waves emails.

I’ll also let you know when I’m working on a new reading.

Thank you for being part of Planet Waves. It’s good to be with you.

with love,


Planet Waves

Charlie Peck, pre-Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT; left) and nine months into HRT (right), sings “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes in his video. “There are many ways to transition and to find yourself,” Peck says. “This was my way.”

Coming “Home” To Yourself

By Amanda Painter

Perhaps Venus, as it prepares to station direct conjunct Chiron in Pisces Saturday, is bringing you into contact with some deep feelings about yourself and what you need to heal within. This might feel like a beautiful revelation. Or, if you’re like a friend of mine, you might be facing one of the deepest and scariest healing crises of your life thus far.

If that’s true for you, it might be helpful in some small way to remember that being faced with what hurts is an indication that there must be a way to heal it and feel better. Not everyone will go about it the same way. Yet no matter the situation, at its core the process holds a seed of love — love for the beautiful truth of who you are; love for existence.

With Venus ruling the throat and voice, Pisces strongly associated with music, and Chiron adding the healing element, this is a perfect moment to check out Charlie Peck’s beautiful duet with himself.

Peck, who is a transgendered singer, came up with the idea of recording himself singing in his higher register and then in his post-HRT lower register after seeing other people’s voice comparison videos.

“I was first and foremost hoping for a voice that I could identify with,” Peck told The Huffington Post. “In contact with other humans, the filter through which everything you say is perceived is your voice. I was also really scared that I would not be able to sing any more. With these thoughts in my head an idea about singing as a way to show others my journey started to form. When I contacted my very talented friend, André Åhl Persson, who is also a musician, and he was willing and thrilled to do this project with me this seed of an idea started to grow.”

Peck sings both parts of the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, with some personalized lyric modifications in the bridge. He describes it as his gift to the trans community, his “heart medicine for those in need.” Even if you’re not transgender yourself, you might find the message of finding “home” within yourself heartening, indeed.

Planet Waves
Still from the Florence + The Machine music video for Spectrum. Watch the video here.

This Week on Planet Waves FM
Venus, Chiron and the Divine Feminine

Dear Friend and Listener:

With the approaching end of Venus retrograde, and Venus conjunct Chiron, this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM [play episode here] is about the Divine Feminine. This means something different to everyone. What it means to me is a healing and creative source at the core of both cosmos and psyche, that’s available to us all the time.

I look at both current events and current astrology — Mercury retrograde, the Sun passing through the Uranus-Eris alignment, and the end of Venus retrograde; and some corresponding events: Trump as a war president, the aggressive actions of United Airlines removing a passenger from a plane, and the natal chart and confirmation chart of Neil Gorsuch.

Our musical accompaniment is provided by Florence + The Machine. I play some selections of her music, and devote Tantra Corner to a reading of her natal chart.

Planet Waves FM is part of the Pacifica Radio Network, presented without commercial interruption or corporate sponsorship.

If you’re not already a member of Planet Waves, please sign up today.

Thanks for listening.

With love,


Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

We published your extended monthly horoscopes for April on Thursday, March 23. Your extended monthly horoscopes for March were published on Thursday, Feb. 23. Your Moonshine horoscope for the Aries New Moon were published on Thursday, March 30. We published your Moonshine horoscope for the Virgo Full Moon on Thursday, March 9. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Weekly Horoscope for April 13, 2017 #1147 | By Amy Elliott

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You seem to be undergoing something of a renewal or rebirthing process. This is especially likely to center around your relationships, but in any case looks to be a major step for you — on the scale of a rite of passage, much like leaving your parents’ home for the first time. While it might seem impulsive to outsiders, this is in fact something you’ve been preparing for gradually. You’ve gained sufficient knowledge of the general environment; at this stage, it’s worth doing some final checks and taking a steady pace. You’ve come too far along to rush things now. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

Aries Birthdays 2017 — and a Gift for You
Wondering How You Got Here, Aries?

Dear Reader with Aries Sun, Moon or Rising,

Are you looking around at your personal life and trying to connect the dots leading to right now? Would a look backwards help you to plot your next steps forward?

You’re invited to listen to last year’s Aries Reading as a gift from Planet Waves.

Planet Waves

Check Eric’s accuracy, remind yourself how far you’ve come in the last 12 months, and get fired up for the months to come.

Then pre-order the 2017 Aries Birthday Reading here. I anticipate Eric will be recording it soon — and once it publishes, the price will increase.

“It’s like Eric was talking directly to me. Everything he said is what has been happening. The last year has been a tremendous challenge in pretty much all areas of my life, but the birthday reading gives me hope that I really am on the right track. Thank you for such a great birthday reading Eric!”

— S.R.

Your 2017 Aries reading comprises two segments of astrology (at least 30 minutes each), plus a tarot reading for the year and extended written sign description — and will offer you inspiration, motivation, support and perspective you can actually use.

Wishing you a dynamic year,

Amanda Painter


Taurus (April 19-May 20) — There’s been a quiet revolution taking place in the depths of your psyche; the tectonic plates in your mental landscape appear to have shifted. You have now hopefully reached a point at which you are ready to apply those changes externally, as the next phase of development. This is especially true on the career front. Don’t be afraid to go public with your new ideas: you are likely to receive a response that, whether ostensibly positive or not, will be affirming. Continued reflection will assist you now only if it is focused and directed. The time for action has arrived. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Love and creativity are linked in astrology. Eric has said more than once that relationships need a job. The key word here is passion. You might use this Mercury retrograde phase to consider how that’s working for you in your major relationships; it’s probable that to a certain extent you’ve been doing precisely that. It could be worth discussing collaborative projects with a partner; they may already have ideas. Use your intelligence, plan ahead, and be prepared to fine-tune and tweak those plans until your ruling planet gets back up to speed. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — How much has changed in your life within the last year? Externally, it might seem like a lot, especially where your public status is concerned. In reality, you know this is because you’ve been working consistently and diligently. Now is probably a good time to step back and really take in the results of your labor, especially if you’re having trouble seeing them clearly. A lover or close friend who knows you well may be able to provide some perspective. Be open and trusting in communicating with them, and allow yourself to receive the refreshment they offer. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — A breakthrough on your current project appears to be imminent, though there seems to be at least one issue remaining to tackle. This can be done, though it will likely require time and patience, as well as devotion to the task for its own sake. Keep in mind your initial vision regarding the public service element of this work. Ultimately, it’s this alone that will carry you through when you feel you’re at a sticking point. Don’t dwell on personal accolades or rewards: these will come at the right moment. It’s vital that you leave this dish in the oven till it’s done. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You’ve been working pretty much non-stop on a healing process that involves building (or rebuilding) your self-esteem on your own terms. Your independence seems to have increased substantially. Now you’re almost ready to share these changes with others, and to explore your newfound desires in a more open setting. There may be a little more digging to do before you find the well. Keep at it; you’re almost certainly on the right track. Remember, true validation comes solely from within: avoid any temptation to seek it elsewhere. You’ve made it this far. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — It might seem as if you’re facing a difficult challenge in a close relationship. Actually, you’re probably moving forward. This is a growth process for both you and your partner(s). Keep practicing total honesty and openness in communications. This is no time for fears or mistrust. Speak the truth and listen intently to what you hear in response. The more effort you put in, the more transformative the healing is likely to be. One other thing: make sure as far as possible that your living space is adequately conducive to everyone’s comfort, including your own. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Which habits are beginning to hamper your path? There’s often a fine line between maintaining your rhythm and getting in your own way, and it’s not always easy to realize when the limit has been crossed. Check your memory for signs of boredom and a desire for greater spontaneity in your daily life. A sincere discussion with loved ones could produce some ideas for change, or serve to remind you of ideas you’ve forgotten or suppressed. You might be surprised at how approachable someone is in terms of injecting freshness into your routine. Be open and bold. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Your ongoing project seems really to be taking shape, and you’re starting to see the finish line. A little cooperation just now will likely go a long way. Don’t balk at either asking for help or lending it. People need one another. The presence of a suitable support network can only enrich your work as it develops, especially in terms of bouncing ideas around. What you’re doing certainly has great personal significance and is perhaps almost cathartic for you; but it has also expanded beyond that. Take appropriate precautions by all means, but you need to let someone in. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may feel inclined, lately, to spend more time than usual in the place you consider to be your home. This can include any actual venue; the point is that you feel comfortable and relaxed, and refreshed in the same way as a good night’s sleep nourishes the body and fosters recuperation. Just like with sleep, you also need enough time in your home space that you feel properly equipped to step outside it at the right moment. You may find that allowing yourself that time helps you feel stronger and firmer as a person, better able to stand your ground. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Changes in your immediate environment may be pushing you to adapt quickly. To all appearances you’re managing well, and your success is judiciously bolstering your self-belief. What you’re learning will likely be useful for the future: you’re acquiring some skills for life. Only be sure to keep in mind the cause for which you set out in the beginning. Eventually you should once again be free to rededicate yourself to your usual daily work, supported by the more rounded perspective you’re gaining now. For the moment, keep your eyes peeled and your ears pricked. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — The transformative process now underway sees you viewing yourself and your relationships — and in some way almost every aspect of your life — with new eyes. This is a part of your human inheritance that’s been a long time coming. As you emerge from the chrysalis, be sure to keep your generous spirit at the forefront of your thoughts and actions: there are people who need what you can provide. You can learn a good deal from how your gifts are received. You might also gain a few insights by noticing your feelings and responses when someone is kind to you. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.

The Book of Your Life, many months in the making, is now available for instant access. This includes extended readings for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs. You can get access to all 12 signs here, or you can get your individual sign here.
Planet Waves

13 thoughts on “Collateral Damage

  1. Andrea Fisher

    Amanda, Thank you for -Coming “Home” To Yourself and the gift of discovering Charlie Peck. It is such a beautiful message, truly ‘heart medicine’.

  2. Lizzy

    Thank you for talking about Judge Sheila Abdus Salaam, dear Eric. Am deeply shocked by the death of this remarkable woman. Looking forward to reading your wonderful piece with more care and time.

  3. Geoff Marsh

    Excellent leader, Eric. Thank you. If Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s death was suicide, it doesn’t bear thinking about what personal and professional pressures she may have been under. A tragic loss in any event.

  4. Lizzy

    Have to disagree with your take on suicide on your FB page, dear Eric (“There’s a pattern of suicide in her family. This always points to a deeper pattern of problems”). Too personal to write about there, so hope you don’t mind if I comment on it here. I grew up in a family where two of my siblings tried to take their lives (one twice, the other was pulled back from the brink), and a mother who constantly talked about wanting to end her life. Although I went through deep depression, and sometimes felt like ending it all, I never contemplated taking my life. A woman like Sheila Abdus Salaam, who was devoted to defending the weak and vulnerable, would be keenly aware of the intense pain the taking of her life would cause others. And from what I’ve understood, she married very recently? Having said all this, I can’t presume to know what this woman lived through and suffered – so there’s always the doubt.

    1. Eric Francis

      When someone is bipolar, depressed or suicidal, their usual values evade access. That’s the whole problem. I am not doing a psych eval of her. I’m looking at the known fact pattern as presented. We are told:

      1. She was depressed and recently increased her meds (many of which bear a suicide warning)
      2. She was not able to spend time with her new husband due to work pressures (work in Albany, living in NYC area)
      3. There were two suicides in her family at this time of year, of close relatives.

      Given this, a person can feel like their life is useless, and they need an out.

      Including these and other facts made public, everything fits. I do not, personally, discount a story on a hunch. I discount on the basis that the fact pattern does not add up to the stated conclusion. Additionally, I have the chart. Neptune Pisces 8th says “look at drugs” and “isolation” for probable cause of death. That, too, fits the known fact pattern, and I said this before having any facts other than they had found her body.

      1. Lizzy

        Many thanks for your reply, dear Eric. “When someone is bipolar, depressed or suicidal, their usual values evade access.” Yes – very true – and very interesting what you say about her chart. I still feel that this woman must have had such a strong emotional core – that even if she was suffering from depression, she would have met this as she met other challenges and griefs in her life. The part you say abut her chart is very convincing, while the other aspects don’t add up for me.

  5. Amanda Painter

    So, this article about “sex before dating” just crossed my path:

    It’s an interesting approach… if you’re up for that much energetic/karmic sharing before having a clue who someone is. And I’m a little wary of the central role alcohol has in the whole procedure. I mean, if you need to be drunk to hook up, what is the drinking numbing out? And how do you negotiate a safer sex/STD conversation? At the same time, I think “Gemma” is right on the money with this quote:

    “I don’t know why people in other countries think women aren’t horny,” says Gemma. “They are. I know I am! I’m not ashamed. Men are just intimidated by female sexuality. In Iceland, we learn to silence that fear by telling men exactly how they can please us so they’re not scared of us — they like to know how we work so they can “master” us in their own minds. We ask for what we want in bed because we’re in touch with ourselves sexually. It’s half because we have more sexual experience to know what we want, and half because we’re taught that exploring our bodies to find out what feels good is normal and healthy.”

    I mean, it’s interesting to me that “normal and healthy and not ashamed” is part of the equation, yet “everybody gets drunk first” is, too. Fascinating. Maybe Icelanders are little more at the mercy of Western inhibitions than they like to think? Or is it just that modern culture has no other framework for releasing inhibitions other than mind-altering substances?

    (Note, further down in the article, the subject of loneliness and lack of connection does appear.)

    1. Amy Elliott

      They’re doing very well at being liberal in Iceland as far as I can see, but the inhibition issue is the downside to their Lutheran cultural heritage. Then again, I think just about everyone living in modern civilisation is having to deal with the decline of Christian social mores, in the sense of growing up and finding our way in the world.

      The loneliness factor points to a problem we’re having adjusting quite aside from the sexual element. One of the ‘pulls’ of an old-fashioned social environment is the sense of community and of duty, especially towards family members. There was a big security element in family, because the fact of belonging was permanent. Marriage meant being permanently settled. Families stayed together.

      Flawed, patchy, dangerous and bigoted as that system is, we don’t have that security any more, and nothing has replaced it: there is no social incentive to support one’s neighbours or community. This may be why the right wingnuts have beaten the rest of us on cohesion, and why they’re such an effective voting group.

      1. Amanda Painter

        Excellent points, Amy.

        And I think some of what you mention is why I seem to be seeing certain creative communities (such as my local dance community) and some “old fashioned” events (such as contra dances and community potlucks) seeing a resurgence among younger crowds. At least, where I live. People are starting to realize/remember how to form and sustain other forms of community relating that don’t depend on the marriage bond or on going to church. I hope the trend continues, because we social animals need that community and bonding and support, even if we don’t truly “need” marriage.

  6. Lizzy

    Eric, it occurred to me on waking this morning on how years of unprocessed grief could have hit her around this time. especially if her whole life was focused on being the good, strong one in the family. The jury’s still out, but…. xxxx

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