Deeper than Confetti: An Introspective Year

Dear Friend and Reader:

I’ve been watching the news the past few weeks for signs and symbols of Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, which ended Monday. This and the surrounding astrology (covered in Tuesday’s edition featuring Twin Peaks) caps off a deeply introspective year. I feel confident saying everyone learned a lot about themselves. Yet it was also a truly intriguing moment for personal-meets-political.

Planet Waves
Portable podcasting gear set up in Montauk, NY, earlier in 2012 (probably for the Spring Report). Photo by Eric Francis.

My personal favorite story from the time of the retrograde — maybe my favorite Mercury retrograde story ever, except for the yak butter incident — happened Thanksgiving Day in New York City. Some of the confetti distributed by Macy’s for the famous parade consisted of shredded Nassau County (Long Island) police documents. This is not supposed to happen. Macy’s claims to use only commercially produced confetti.

By whatever miracle, some of what was actually used included shredded confidential police reports, with names of undercover officers, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and account information, according to a variety of press reports. Confidential documents are supposed to be shredded vertically, but these were shredded horizontally, so the information was legible.

Best of all, details of Mitt Romney’s motorcade to the last debate (held in Nassau County) made it into the mix. This was after the debate happened, but it’s still useful information to some.

The news reports were full of exclamations and inquiries about how this happened, and there is an investigation in the works. They need an astrologer on the panel, so they don’t miss the biggest clue — Mercury was retrograde in Scorpio, the sign of all things secret, concealed or otherwise on the down-low. Hence, these secrets were liberally sprinkled, in legible form, all over the public.

The confidential confetti metaphor works on every level I can think of. It describes the current state of privacy, with the perfect non-Internet incident. Some have remarked that privacy is being reduced to just another commodity, available to those who can afford it. I would say we have evidence that it barely exists at all.

Planet Waves
Is there any such thing as privacy? Here is one description. Photo: Eric and Sarah, Blue Studio.

We have, at least, enough information to put us on notice that the notion of ‘private’ is a bit behind us — though there remains the question how we’re supposed to respond. Most people still cling to the idea that certain things about them are unknown to most people, and the idea of them getting out, even if nothing illegal was done, is a bit mortifying. Indeed, it is evocative of death, where so much about us becomes known — it’s just that we’re not around to experience the benefits.

The benefits? Yes! The benefits of feeling all that pressure taken off. The benefits of no longer wondering what everyone will think, and projecting judgment onto others with negative self-talk.

Yet as far as I can tell, the secrecy issue really has two sides: the information that we deny to others, and what we deny to ourselves.

The resounding message of this year’s astrology has been: come out to yourself. Reveal all of your inner secrets — to you. Explore inwardly; shine the light within and know yourself for who you are. I know that the fear in the way of that is deciding that you are going to encounter more self-judgment. While it’s true that we have to pass through some shadowy territory, I believe that most of it involves dealing with the effects of previous judgments and self-criticism, rather than encountering pain about who we are. In other words, what we’re dealing with is past emotional patterning affecting us now. This is good news; it lets us off the hook, as long as we don’t climb back on by replaying old scenes over and over.

In any event, to unravel this shadowy stuff subverts all kinds of ego games, obsession with image and problems we have relating to others. Liars lie to themselves, and someone who is honest with herself or himself is more likely to be honest with others. Part of that honesty means establishing a relationship with the truth and its value, as a primary focus of existence. Once you do that, many other values and ethics fall into place. The fog lifts over obvious distinctions between right and wrong.

One of the sticky spots does seem to be sex. This is the one place where nearly everyone grants themselves a pass to deceive others or deceive themselves, on some level. It’s one reason why I think it’s the place to begin, and why I suggest being honest with yourself about what you want, what you’ve done and what has been done to you. If you hang out in that space for a while, you can collect a lot of your scattered energy, find some relief or even peace of mind, and then open up to others in a way that isn’t terrifying.

Planet Waves
Studio setup for Internet privacy photo in Blue Studio. We started with a complex setup and progressively removed elements to get a photo simple enough to be visually appealing.

Part of why it’s less scary is because you don’t have to worry about what anyone is going to find out. I have no way to quantify the energy that’s held in worrying what will happen if others discover something, but we all know that it’s agonizing.

Our introspective year has included retrogrades of Venus and Mars, plus the Venus transit of the Sun, which no person alive today (barring some technology that doubles the length of a human lifetime) will see again.
The retrogrades took us in, in, in — and Venus revealing herself against the backdrop of the Sun, in broad daylight, seems to have awakened something in the feminine spirit.

Though my viewpoint is limited, and biased by a special interest in the topic, I have seen how Mercury retrograde in Scorpio has led to an impressive sexual and emotional awakening: people making decisions, coming to realizations, coming out of denial and into themselves, and the desire to express this in words.

We now head for the one remaining landmark event of this year — the Northern Hemisphere winter solstice of 2012, which is day of the Mayan calendar. I read that chart for you last week in the article Something About Juno, and my not-so-surprising discovery is that the solstice chart mainly presents a deeply personal message about self-relating and relating to others.

Speaking of Introspective: Personal Astrology

This is the time of year that I dive into the personal astrology for all 12 signs, in the creation of the Planet Waves annual edition. Each January, I release a set of readings that covers the entire zodiac, applicable to Sun sign, rising sign, Moon sign and special topics such as relationship partners. This year the annual is called LISTEN.

In my reading of the world and of the planetary movements, this is the next step in saving the world — learning to listen: to ourselves, to our environment, to our children, to our partners: listening and paying attention to what we learn. The astrology is providing rich information about how we may do this — especially the part about going past the fear and the mental chatter and listening on the soul level.

Planet Waves
Eric, working in Yum-Yum Noodles of Kingston, photo by Sarah.

I’ve been developing this work since July, casting more than 100 charts and studying the positions of dozens of minor planets as they move through the zodiac, dancing amidst the well-known bodies. The project is well underway, and completing it is something I will associate with this time of year for the rest of my life.

The annual is always a deep journey for me. Setting aside the production details, the art, the music and the articles by other contributors (most of which is now handled by the talented people around me), I essentially have to re-learn astrology every time I do it, then express what I have learned in empathic language that makes sense to you.

The annual now consists of a written and audio portion for each sign. I go to a depth that most astrologers would say is impossible for “Sun sign” astrology, which may be true — I use many techniques not employed by Sun sign writers, including a solid understanding of the houses, some ancient techniques and modern planets that speak to the human condition at this time in history.

Mainly, I pour myself into the work. At a certain point, the need to provide something original for everyone catches fire, and the whole thing becomes a discovery process. The charts never stop speaking. Once I start the audio, I can go on for hours — it is astonishing how much information the charts provide. I have to set a word limit on the text so I can stop and move on to the next sign.

The result is something that changes my life, and is designed to help you change yours, in the ways that you want. You bring that willingness and that motivation; I provide some information about themes and timing. I offer a way through the noise, and an interpretation of the aspects that you won’t read anywhere else. I work with the foundational idea that astrology does not describe a problem to which it does not also offer a solution. What good would it be otherwise?

Planet Waves
Horary chart for LISTEN in my kitchen recording studio. The chart has Pisces rising, with Neptune, Chiron and the Moon in the ascendant. Pholus is on the midheaven. Chart’s data is July 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm, Kingston, NY.

I also work with the idea that the main quest we are on is healing, creativity and growth, which are aspects of the same thing.

For subscribers who have a little difficulty keeping up with how we offer products, the annual is a separate purchase from a regular subscription or any other product. It’s priced to be affordable and worth many times the price. Pre-ordering information is here.

[Note, you may now order all 12 signs (recommended, so that you can read your rising sign, Moon sign and learn about your significant others) at the subscriber discount. Soon, the signs will only be available individually.]

This year, I am making some space to do this work a little more comfortably. The Planet Waves edition you’re reading will pause for the holidays, so that we can all catch our breath and spend some time off of deadline. I’ll be sending out a special schedule notice about that later Friday or Saturday morning. Please check your email.

Today it occurred to me that it would be helpful to get some of this information to you by the winter solstice. In terms of the 2012 readings for LISTEN, I may be able to finish the audio by the winter solstice. I am not promising that — but it seems possible. The written portion would come out sometime in January, as usual.

Meanwhile, I highly recommend that you review the 2012 annual, Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. (If you were a customer of that edition, please revisit it; if you need your login information, please write to us.) If you have not signed up for it, we will be offering that next week at a special price for current subscribers. Reality Check was the culmination of four years of work researching and reading many charts leading up to 2012.

Each annual edition builds on the prior one, and is designed to have a shelf life of two to five years. It is relevant now, and so too are the past several annuals. We will make the last three editions available as a package offer (Next World Stories, Light Bridge and Reality Check).

Basically, what you see in Planet Waves annuals fulfills the dream of many astrologers who came before me — making available individually relevant astrology, affordably, in a beautiful presentation. The voice you hear and that you read is my own, and I view our relationship as a bond of trust.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

With love,

Planet Waves


Planet Waves

Next Stop: Deep Sagittarius

Mercury retrograde — the famous one, that began on Election Day — ended Monday, with Mercury stationing direct in Scorpio. There was an eclipse of the Moon on Wednesday morning, and much other interesting astrology clustered in.

Planet Waves
Chart for Sun opposite Jupiter on Dec. 2. See glyph legend here.

For Mercury hawks — Mercury will return to Sagittarius on Dec. 10 (Dec. 11 in Europe), making a square to Neptune. It will leave shadow phase a few days later, and then make a square to Chiron, when we may learn something a little extra about the American presidential election that everyone has fortunately forgotten.

The Moon is now in waning phase, and arrived in the sign Cancer Friday at 8:55 am EST. It makes a conjunction to Ceres, a reminder that nourishment on the emotional level is as important as food. It’s also a reminder to eat more wholesomely, remembering that everything you put into your body influences how you feel. This food-feeling relationship is often overlooked, but with the Moon conjunct Ceres in Cancer it’s impossible to miss.

Over the next few weeks, we get some clear weather, after a turbulent year of astrology that seems mainly to have pushed an inner confrontation rather than a political or social one. The general trend of the astrology continues to be more introspective than expressive. There is an interesting contrast between 2011 and this year, as last year was noted mainly for protests, uprisings and stunning disasters (one of which is still unfolding: that would be Fukushima).

We do have an expressive moment approaching, though, in the form of the Sun opposing Jupiter. This is an alignment across 11+ degrees of Gemini-Sagittarius. Imagine the Sun and Jupiter, the largest planet, in an alignment with the Earth in the middle, the approximate size of a pea compared to a beach ball (only hotter, the Sun) and a softball (but less dense, Jupiter). This is a powerful polarity that may feel a little like a Full Moon.

The Sun then makes a conjunction to the Great Attractor, a deep-space point, on Dec. 5. This is a kind of Sagittarian head rush, an event I think is partly responsible for the outrageous sense of time acceleration this time of year (forgetting the fact that it gets dark at 4:30 pm up here in the Northern Hemisphere).

We’re also headed for a significant public event: the winter solstice of 2012. This is the end of the 13th baktun of the Mayan long count. Part of its public resonance involves its occurrence on one of the solstice points. I have written many times that I don’t know the significance of this event; it’s a kind of x-factor. In a recent issue, I give my interpretation of the chart, and in that issue’s monthly horoscope for December I describe how it will influence the 12 signs and rising signs.

Apropos of much other astrology we’ve encountered through 2012, the planets seem to be describing what we need to change about ourselves and how we relate to others. One of the central questions, as I read the aspects, involves what we experience inwardly as contrasted with what we present to others (I cover this in the link above).

There is too much tension between these two poles of consciousness — who you really are, versus your public relations position. I suggest you notice when you’re saying one thing and feeling something else, acting one way but knowing that you really have another agenda.

For the rest of the year, the astrology is sending the message: your primary relationship is with yourself. I know this is an invitation to authentic sincerity, which can be as repelling to some as it is charming to others. So if you choose to take up that inner relationship, and then make yourself available to others, get ready for some mixed reactions — and notice who is nodding in your direction and saying ‘yes’.


Planet Waves

Florida Republicans ‘Fess Up, Mercury-Style

Planet Waves

Yet again, the 2012 U.S. presidential election is showing its Mercury retrograde stripes to great effect. Coinciding with Mercury’s station direct — an event known for letting the truth out — former Republican officials in Florida have admitted that their goal all along was to block Democratic votes, not to ‘prevent voter fraud’. Of course, everybody knew this already.

“I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves,” said an anonymous Republican consultant to The Palm Beach Post. Other Florida GOP members, including former Florida governor Charlie Crist, have confirmed the tactic was pure marketing bullshit. Former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer, currently under indictment for embezzling from the party, chimed in, saying “[Republican strategists] firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates.” President Obama ultimately won the battleground state of Florida.

Senators Propose Ban in Indefinite Detention Under NDAA

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would protect American citizens from being indefinitely detained. The amendment, which is cosponsored by several other Republican and Democratic senators, uses essentially the same language as the Due Process Guarantee Act, which Feinstein and Lee introduced last year.

NDAA, which turns the whole United States into a ‘battlefield’ in the War on Terror, was passed by Congress last year, and signed into law by Pres. Obama, while he was in Hawaii on Dec. 31. [The chart data is 12/31/2011, 10:03 am, Honolulu.]

The language of the amendment assures that no authorization to use military force, war declaration, or any similar authority would allow an American apprehended in the United States to be held without charge or trial.
During a discussion of their amendment on the Senate floor today, Sen. Lee said, “Senator Feinstein and I have worked closely together over the course of the past year to craft what we believe represents a very prudent course in protecting both our nation and our liberties at the same time. Security is important, and precisely because it’s important, it must not be acquired at the expense of our individual liberty.

“It may well be said that government’s most important basic responsibility is to protect the liberties of its citizens. Our nation has fought wars on American soil and around the world in defense of individual liberty. And we must not sacrifice this most fundamental right in pursuit of greater security, especially when we can achieve security without compromising liberty.”

Read more on Reader Supported News.


Planet Waves

Gunning for Iran? (And: Palestine Recognized as Existing)

Much has been written about Saturn in Scorpio and its relation to sexual themes, but what about governmentally designed death? (Saturn rules Capricorn, which represents governments, institutions and structure.)

In the wake of the tenuous ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, speculation emerged that Israel might be using the conflict as “something of a practice run for any future armed confrontation with Iran, featuring improved rockets that can reach Jerusalem and new antimissile systems to counter them,” The New York Times reported.

“I know there are citizens expecting a more severe military action, and perhaps we shall need to do so, but at this time the right thing for the State of Israel is to use this opportunity to achieve a long-lasting ceasefire,” said Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

The news broke while Mercury was retrograde and Mars, planet of war and aggression, was moving into a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, a potentially volatile aspect. No armed conflict that indiscriminately kills children — up to 34 were reportedly killed in Gaza in this latest conflict, to say nothing of the thousands traumatized — can be casually called a “practice run.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations has voted overwhelmingly this week to recognize a Palestinian state, against the objections of the United States and Israel. But the Palestinians still face enormous limitations. They don’t control their borders, airspace or trade, they have separate and competing governments in Gaza and the West Bank, and they have no unified army or police.

The chart for the UN’s vote has all four mutable signs on the angles (ascendant/descendant and MC/IC axis), indicating that the move isn’t rooted in anything solid. (To get an anchor into physical space, it helps a lot to have a cardinal sign such as Aries, or a fixed sign such as Taurus, on the angles.) The Sun and Moon are also in mutable signs, and the Moon was void of course, saying basically the same thing.

The UN vote seems to be a token gesture, though it gets bonus points for pissing off the U.S. and Israel. And it’s a scant admission that Palestine was in the spot that Israel now occupies for thousands of years prior to Israel’s creation by the allies after World War II.


Planet Waves

A Brighter Black Friday?

Whether the numbers are minimized by Walmart or inflated by activists, the anti-Walmart protests on Thanksgiving and Black Friday still count as significant.

Organized by disgruntled workers in a group called Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), the protests were a way to get around the seeming impossibility of unionizing and get heard on issues of low wages and unfair labor practices.

The company claims that fewer than 50 employees participated in the protest nationwide. But a protest in Dallas reported that 40 workers showed up, and one in Miami claimed 70 workers.

The bulk of the protesters were not Walmart employees; when you’re scraping by and fear for your job, it’s incredibly difficult to jeopardize it — especially once the holiday season starts. But nearly 1,000 supporters took part in a Paramount, California protest and about 400 at a Maryland location, with smaller events throughout the country.

Many more people waged a kind of silent protest by observing Buy Nothing Day. Last weekend’s protesting workers, and those who staged a rolling series of one-day strikes in October, have made some history, whatever the numbers. And on the other side of the globe, survivors of a factory fire that killed at least 120 Bangladeshi workers have been protesting the working conditions they face while making clothes for — you guessed it — such companies as Walmart.


Planet Waves

MFA, MBA or BDSM? Or Just More Ignorance and Abuse?

Completely in tune with this week’s Venus-Saturn conjunction in Scorpio, which suggested consciously playing with power exchanges in sex, a story emerged in The New York Observer (see Alternet reprint here) noting that ‘S&M clubs’ are sprouting up on Ivy League campuses. But nestled in among the ultimate Frisbee clubs and chess clubs, these alternate sex clubs are running into difficulties with clear consent, coercion and accusations of rape — despite the claims of most of these clubs that they stress negotiating clear boundaries and consent. (Eric interviewed a professional dom last week in the Blue Studio Sessions).

Planet Waves
Photo of Zoe West by Eric Francis.

One reason we’re skeptical of the story is because there is already so much sexual abuse on campuses, nearly all of it covered up by administrators to ensure that the campus does not look undesirable to new students. Sports programs, fraternity and sorority houses and other venerated campus institutions have all been repeatedly implicated. Serial rapes are covered up, many times not reported to town police. So to say there is a special problem in s/m clubs is to miss the point.

If there is a problem, part of its basis is that young college students are being presented with the option for advanced sex when many have not had the most basic sex education — a fact borne out by recent findings that cases of HIV are on the rise among youth, especially young gay men.

“We have to correct a lot of myths and misconceptions,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commenting on the rise of HIV. “It is astonishing the level of ignorance about basic physiology that many high school and middle school students have.” They are then expected to negotiate their way through the alcohol- and hormone-drenched world of a university campus, far from their friends or anyone familiar.

Both issues are obvious casualties of abstinence-only indoctrination, which assumes that as long as you practice ‘just saying no’ (till wedding night arrives), you don’t have to worry about knowing your body, the biology of men and women, the facts about STI transmission, pregnancy, what constitutes a clear boundary (and by extension, a violation of one), and the lines between ‘consensual’, ‘coerced’ and ‘forced’. Heck, even ‘yes’ and ‘no’ get obscured if you step beyond ‘no intercourse’ into the real world of sex.

Abstinence-only was begun in the early 1980s, so its first victims are now in middle age. Many in these generations know much of what they know about sex from TV talk shows and Internet porn. Fortunately, some have found their way to useful resources such as and

Even in the adult world, learning to negotiate the realm of BDSM (indeed, all sex) takes care and awareness, and sexual assault and abuse of boundaries do occur. The emerging BDSM clubs on Ivy League campuses bring the issue of boundary negotiation and consent front and center, which is great; but the Antioch Rules, which all of these schools adopted years ago, do the same. These rules state that all sexual consent must be “(a) verbal, (b) mutual, and (c) reiterated for every new level of sexual behavior.” It’s well known to be difficult to address campus rape successfully with administrators. It can be even harder — in the real world as well as in ivory towers — to get a prosecutor to touch a case of BDSM rape, where the handing over of power makes the waters murkier than most legal-types want to wade through.


Planet Waves

British Press Very Naughty, According to Long Report

In the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal that shook up England, fractured the News Corp empire and resulted in numerous arrests, a British commission officially declared the press in that country over-the-top corrupt. [We covered this in an article called The World in a Grain of Pholus.]

The Brits have a tabloid media that nobody who hasn’t experienced it can really appreciate. A dozen color tabloid newspapers scream for attention every day, with ever more lurid headlines, scandals, fake scandals and paparazzi photos of celebs, politicians and sports figures. In the most famous case to date, they hacked the cell phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, playing voice mail messages that her parents left for her, and deleting the old ones so that the parents had room to leave new ones.

Planet Waves
Now-defunct British tabloid News of the World hacked the phone of dead teenager Milly Dowler, deleting phone messages so that her parents could record new ones, which they reported on — and led her parents to believe she was alive.

To keep up with the competition, editors at many of these ‘newspapers’ employ private investigators, bribe the police for information, take vacations with top politicians and generally engage in conduct far more scandalous than that which they report on. (Each newspaper also has its own horoscope columnist, which is a lot of fun. The horoscope is the most accurate section.)

“Too many stories in too many newspapers were the subject of complaints from too many people with too little in the way of titles taking responsibility, or considering the consequences for the individuals involved,” the head of the inquiry, Lord Justice Sir Brian Leveson, said in a 46-page summary of the findings in his long-awaited, 1,987-page report published in four volumes, The New York Times reported Thursday.

“It was said that The News of the World had lost its way in relation to phone hacking,” the summary said. “Its casual attitude to privacy and the lip service it paid to consent demonstrated a far more general loss of direction.” The same can be said of many British papers; even the Times of London came close to being implicated, and many other papers guilty of the same conduct escaped prosecution.

The report calls for a special commission to regulate the media. But why not just follow existing privacy, cyber-hacking, libel and bribery laws? That would be a good start, though it’s not illegal for top editors and political leaders to take exotic vacations together. So maybe it’s a good idea if someone is watching. Old habits die hard, the profits are incredible and there are always better hackers and private-eyes. Let’s see what happens.


Planet Waves

BP Banned by Feds, But for How Long?

In the latest strike — however symbolic — against Big Oil, The United States has banned oil giant BP from obtaining new federal contracts and leases, citing its “lack of business integrity” during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, which killed 11 people. BP will, however, be allowed to keep its current leases.

Planet Waves
Satellite image of sunlight illuminating the BP Deepwater Horizon spill off the Mississippi Delta on May 24, 2010. Read detailed description here. Image: NASA.

BP immediately assured its shareholders that negotiations to lift the ban are already in the works with the EPA — which is apparently already drafting an agreement to do so.

Two BP rig supervisors are now facing manslaughter charges, and a former executive has been charged with hiding information about the spill from Congress. News of these charges and the ban on contracts broke the same day the U.S. government auctioned off 20 million acres, mostly deepwater, in offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, the Inupiat (north-Alaskan Inuit) citizens of Point Hope, Alaska, are conflicted over Shell Oil’s recent permission to begin exploratory drilling off their coastline — potentially disrupting the migratory routes of the whales and other marine animals they have depended upon for food for thousands of years. Many in the community are desperate for the jobs, but fear their cyclical way of life could be destroyed. Shell was unable to begin drilling before ice set in for the winter, but plans to try again in the spring.

In related news, the Unis’tot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia, Canada, seized equipment and established a roadblock to prevent construction on the Pacific Trails Pipeline last week, and this Tuesday called for a day of solidarity protests. Activist groups across Canada and as far away as Houston, Texas, (headquarters of the company planning the pipeline) participated.

And it turns out that beleaguered U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, who recently faced criticism of her knowledge of the Benghazi Consulate attack that has slowed her nomination to be Secretary of State, apparently holds $600,000 worth of stock in TransCanada, the firm behind the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. If confirmed, Rice could play a role in determining whether the pipeline is approved.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves
Engineering prodigy Kelvin Doe and his radio transmitter. Image: video still from THNKR TV.

MR/DC: Mercury Retrograde Direct Current

Mercury’s recent retrograde may have been annoying, but imagine living where the lights only come on one day per week or per month. Fifteen-year-old Kelvin Doe is a completely self-taught engineering prodigy living in Sierra Leone, where electricity is intermittent. M.I.T.’s Visiting Practitioner’s Program recently brought him to the U.S. for two weeks — making him the youngest person to receive such an invitation. In Sierra Leone, Kelvin digs through trash cans for discarded, broken electronic components, which he uses to build batteries, generators, transmitters and other digital equipment, reassembling the cast-off into something beautifully useful. He’s even created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the handle DJ Focus — since he believes that if you focus, you can create anything. His goal? To share the knowledge and experience he gained in the U.S. to continue to improve life for his community. With or without electricity, his light is bright.


Planet Waves

Tantra kids Patricia and Mark are back

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I recap the Scorpio astrology and discuss the lunar eclipse we had on Wednesday. Then I welcome tantra teachers Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels back to the show for another one of our super duper frank conversations. We talk about the core reality of sex (you), being guided by your sense of smell, and other fun topics. You can find their book on their website — TantraPM. My musical guest is Seth Davis.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The December monthly horoscope was published Friday, Nov. 23. Inner Space for December was published Tuesday, Nov. 27.
The November Monthly Horoscope was published Friday, Oct. 26. I recommend reviewing the monthly horoscope at the end of the month. The November Moonshine Horoscope was published Tuesday, Nov. 20. Please note that the longer monthly horoscope is being incorporated into the Friday issue after the Sun has entered a new sign; Inner Space still publishes on Tuesdays.


Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 #928 | By Eric Francis

Sagittarius Birthdays This Week

You can finally set yourself free of the expectations of others, or what you perceive their expectations to be. There is a difference, and it’s an important one. You still run the risk of getting lost in your relationships, though not if you pay attention. Sometimes it seems like you compensate for trust issues by throwing yourself into situations you’re unsure of (or have reasons to question) and hoping for the best. I know that at the other extreme, it’s possible for you to put all your energy into avoiding allowing anyone close to you, but that’s been getting tired, and you’ve figured out that despite being a visitor from a faraway galaxy, you like human contact. I suggest that on the way to getting that contact, you engage people in a conversation till you understand them, and allow them closer incrementally until you ave a real basis for trust. There is such a thing, and it will help you create relationships that are easier to be in, and easier to move on from should you discover that you need to. Note to Sagittarius and Sagg rising — the second-ever birthday reading for your sign is completed and available. It includes two sections of astrology, astrological afterthoughts and a reading with the Voyager Tarot. Charts and the spread are included, as is access to last year’s birthday report so you can check for accuracy. These reports are excellent for one’s rising sign as well. Lots of great astrology!! — efc

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — There is ambition, and there is aspiration. Ambition is associated with hubris — the tragic flaw. It’s about gaining advantage at any cost, including one’s integrity. Aspiration is about the desire to grow, to excel and to succeed. Now is the time in your life when you have the opportunity to sort out the difference, which is not so well understood. While this has been developing as a theoretical issue for a while, now the ‘what ifs’ are starting to manifest, and you can examine the results of your choices and your actions. The key difference between ambition and aspiration is that one requires suspending personal growth and the other requires that you involve yourself fully in it. It is easy enough to push people into doing what they don’t want to do; they are used to being taken advantage of. It is challenging to think ethically, and to consider the greater good in every decision you make. I suggest you pause and do just that, because you are entering a moment of instant karma, where it all comes back to you.

Hello Aries — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). If you would like to hear your Aries birthday reading, please visit this link.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Belief is the central theme of your life — what you believe, why you believe it, and the origins of your point of view. Ideally, it would help to go ‘beyond belief’ entirely, because the concept is so flimsy. But at first it helps to sort out what you think is true, and why you think so. Once you get there, an investigation of what’s actually true is the next step. This is partly a matter of learning, and partly a matter of direct experience. Information or an idea is obviously not wrong by default when it comes from someone else, though you can go deeper into the truth when you have your own experience to illustrate or modify your perception. This is another way of saying that meaning is only truly meaningful in context, and one context you now have is a relationship or close interpersonal situation. You seem to be in a situation where someone else’s beliefs are good as far as they go. Be grateful when you reach that limit, because that’s the point when your deeper learning begins.

Hello Taurus — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). If you would like to hear your Taurus birthday reading, please visit this link.


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — It is often said that the truth hurts, though it’s much better at healing. The issue that often arises, though, is what you do with your fear of hurting someone because you tell them what you really need, feel or want. If you’re in a position where you need to do this, I have a few suggestions. One is remember that ultimately, you don’t need anyone’s permission or understanding. However, the benefit of a consensus is that it protects the integrity of the relationship. Real consensus is reached by a meeting on the level of the underlying values, not just the matter at hand. Also, I suggest you factor in the social conformity piece of the puzzle, which may be a central influence within the situation. The idea of ‘hurt’ may involve the fear of not being accepted. Yet there is a deeper layer: I suggest you be keenly aware of the unresolved pain that others may be carrying, even as you embark on your own commitment to a new level of healing. You don’t have to be a slave to that pain, or fix anyone — just be aware of your environment.

Hello Gemini — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). Have you listened to your birthday reading? Click here for an hour of astrology plus a tarot reading by Eric.


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The recent eclipse in the most sensitive angle of your solar chart looks like it stirred up some, well, I was going to say energy, but what I really mean is information. Secrets do not stay secrets forever, and I suggest you celebrate this cosmic truth. The beauty held for you in things being revealed — within yourself, by others or to others — is about being a unified critter. Concealed information splits you into pieces. Divisions within your life and those of the people around you tend to pit you against yourself. In a time when relationships matter to you more than ever, you need to be your own best friend, which means operating with one agenda that is tuned to your own best interests. The eclipse comes with the lasting message that you cannot keep secrets from yourself. You cannot divide your character, and you cannot be anyone other than who you truly are. I think from now on, this learning agenda will be a lot easier.

Hello Cancer — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Your charts describe a creative explosion on the one hand, combined with the productivity of Stephen King on the other. The thing is, you will need to put these two seemingly different elements together. This is good astrology if you’re someone who tends to live a split life, for example, between your creative passions and your work responsibilities, or between your career and your kids. You have the energy and the focusing power to get it all done. So I suggest that you invest your time and energy into what matters to you the most, since the ability to work so much and so well, having so much fun, does not arrive every day. You will be better guided in your choices for where to direct your energy by using your intuition rather than following a preconceived agenda. In fact, part of what you will discover is the ways that you can change your work patterns to increase your efficiency. Under this kind of setup, seeming mistakes can count as happy accidents that teach you a better way to do things.

Hello Leo — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.

Planet Waves



Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You finally seem to be making some progress on the whole “too cautious to be a passionate lover” thing. Bit by bit you are dismantling the structure that contained your desire, your curiosity and your vital force. You’ve come far enough in the process of setting yourself free to feel that it’s possible and you know how good it feels. It looks as if what you’re doing is cutting yourself loose from the persistent guilt that always seems to have lurked around your sexual exploration. That has not stopped you from doing it, but it has slowed you down and mainly it’s compromised your pleasure. The problem with guilt is that it makes a person feel as if they are wrong, which seems to validate the emotion. This is the basic con job involved, and once you know the game it’s a little easier to subvert. Remember that guilt is always inserted into a person by others as a control device. I would remind you that your ancestors, right down to your parents, are entitled to a grand total of zero influence over what you do, who you do, what you like and most of all what you want.

Hello Virgo — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You seem to be making up your mind how you feel about yourself. It’s a complex matter, isn’t it? I assure you, despite war, famine and strife, this is one of the most challenging situations that humanity faces — how we feel about ourselves. It’s made more complex when everyone from your cousin to your mother to the Audi marketing department wants to get in on the game. Having misgivings about yourself makes you weak and susceptible to manipulation by any of those parties. Here is the thing: in getting strong and clear about this, you run the risk of being a little too harsh on yourself, or putting up a kind of emotional barricade to keep out certain people and to block yourself against feelings that don’t contribute to your happiness. If you do that, you might get the feeling that you’re trapped in a relationship with yourself. While it’s true that your relationship to yourself is the one affair you cannot leave, feeling trapped in there is no consolation. I suggest you open the door, just a little, and let in some light and sunshine.

Hello Libra — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link .


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — I can barely begin to imagine the ways the current astrology is manifesting for you, though the sense I have from your solar chart is that you’ve never felt stronger or more determined to participate in the world as a functional adult. That’s just fine, as long as you keep your sense of humor. That is your key to the humility that will remind you that you’re human, and keep your Scorpio water moist and humid rather than having it all evaporate. I suggest you spend as much time as possible on The Onion’s website and make sure you catch a few episodes of Stephen Colbert, someone capable of raising sarcasm to the level of inspiration. There is another side to humor, pointed out by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who notes that humor means taking things lightly rather than with a heavy heart. I think that these days, cultivating both forms would serve you well, particularly in writing. I always consider a bit of well-wrought comic relief, irony or a satirical eye evidence that the author was actually awake whilst typing.

Hello Scorpio — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.


Planet Waves



Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The Sun’s upcoming opposition to your ruling planet Jupiter is a moment of reckoning for you. It represents you breaking a kind of deadlock or loggerheads with yourself, and will allow a confrontation with the notion that you are somehow bound by the expectations of others. The only thing you can really be bound by are your expectations of yourself, so in one gesture you’re setting free yourself and the people you care about. The thing is, you seem to be taking to heart what others say, and you’re unusually susceptible to their influences at the moment. Part of what happens over the next few days is that you actually see and feel the ways in which you may have allowed yourself to be herded into a corner. Despite your persistent quest for freedom and your love for having space around you, this happens more often than you may care to admit. The first step on the way to getting out is figuring out that you’re there. Then, if you can do that, the next steps may be obvious.

Hello Sagittarius — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You don’t need to push yourself, anyone or anything as hard as you may think. There is plenty of momentum carrying you, and your boundaries are working well enough that you have no need to be defensive. In fact, you could let your guard down at the same time you ease off on the push energy, just a little. Just enough to see that you feel good relaxing into an environment that you have every reason to trust. One thing you may want to be aware of is that over the next week or two, your fantasy world (yes, your rather exotic erotic one) is about to set itself on fire, as the Sun in Sagittarius makes a series of aspects and Venus and Mars continue to dance around your chart. Your imagination may even take on a life of its own, and seem so vivid as to be real (this, I call phantasy). This is sometimes a form of astral contact and it may be that you are actually communicating with some of the people who enter your mind. I suggest you stand way back from judging anything you imagine; just let it work its wonders on you.

Hello Capricorn — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — How are you doing with your fear of deep contact? You seem to have passed through a series of gateways recently, which have led you both closer to others and more significantly, to yourself. You cannot really yield to anyone, or yourself, if you’re experiencing fear — neither physically nor emotionally. Or said another way, if you pass through your fear and self-judgment, you can emerge surprisingly intact as yourself. What you are doing is dismantling inner barriers that have blocked you from your inner awareness, and trapped certain aspects of yourself within compartments that are built of what you can think of as shadow material: guilt, shame, anxiety and the fear of not being good enough. One by one these are bursting, and what’s being released into your environment are little jolts of the creative and loving energy that they were containing. After a while, these bursts will give way to a steady stream of light which will not only be abundant, it will be infinite. The best thing you can do now to demonstrate this fact is to be generous with yourself and with others.

Hello Aquarius — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

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