“Today I don’t want to live for, I want to live.”
— Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself: My Struggle to Become a Person
Dear Friend and Reader:
These days I have Mars on my mind: Mars retrograde, coming up in a little over a week; the impressive astrology in Aries (now featuring Venus); and where the two meet. This is exciting astrology because Mars and Aries so beautifully describe the quest for selfhood and what I call personhood that motivates a well-lived life.
The mandala of the zodiac is revealing many interesting patterns, including a study in fire and water (Aries and Pisces are working together, as are Sagittarius and Scorpio), all woven together through the movements of Mars, the planet of desire and initiative. Without the many things that Mars represents, nothing goes anywhere. With too much Mars, there’s nothing but conflict. The idea is to find a balance, which in contemporary terms you might describe as consciously wielded intention.
I’ve been on this beat full time lately, and this week I have for you a video presentation, and an edition of Planet Waves FM that looks patiently at this astrology (Mars calls for careful reflectivity).
I’ve also been working on your Aries birthday reading and your Mars retrograde reading (the Planet Waves spring report). It’s often said that proper astrology requires the natal chart and birth time. Learning from the very best Sun sign astrologers (including Patric Walker and Linda Goodman), I’ve figured out how to go fully into the matrix of astrology using just transits.
Astrology is a creative art, and it’s also holographic. To do astrology well takes having something to say, as well as imagination. Yet if you’re really doing astrology, once you’re into its inner matrix, you’re in — and much of the same information is available.
The beauty of working this way is that the results are both excellent and affordable. Now that you’ve been reading about all of these astrological elements, you will get a lot from these readings.
Into the World of Video
With these projects, I’m expanding into video astrology. I resisted doing this, until I discovered how well it works. Video is visual, and video allows eye contact. The Aries birthday reading will be the first
of this six-year series to incorporate video, blending the old-format audio and music with the new format of informally-presented homemade TV.
Video still from the Cancer Mars retrograde spring reading.
The Aries reading is designed for those with the Sun in Aries (it’s a solar return reading) as well as Moon, rising sign, Saturn or Chiron in this sign.
Saturn was last in Aries: 1996-1999, 1966-1969 and 1937-1940. Chiron was last in Aries from 1969 to 1977, and from 1919 to 1927.
This reading includes interpretation of the astrology I’ve been writing about for many weeks: the rare, culture-bearing Uranus-Eris conjunction; the upcoming retrograde of Mars, which begins in Sagittarius and ends up in Mars’ other sign, Scorpio; the influence of Saturn in Sagittarius; and other factors that help tell the story of our lives.
The Vision Quest ensemble has composed new music for this, which we’ll include with your reading (the full pieces, not just as intro music).
I am planning to have this for you by the weekend. You may get it for the discounted, pre-order price here.
An Inner Quest of Fire and Water
For all 12 signs, I’m also working on the 2016 spring reading. I’m working with the same basic astrological elements, interpreted for all 12 signs. Each sign’s reading is about 30 minutes, presented exclusively in video.
As usual I speak in plain talk, with easy-to-follow visuals. I take an optimistic approach to the work, viewing Mars retrograde as a genuine inner quest for identity and personal mission, and I use the astrology to help you get to where you want to go.
This is an exciting reading, oriented on a kind of personal growth that many people reach for every day. I explore your astrology from many viewpoints. The project includes all the signs, so you may consider any of your chart elements — or those of loved ones.
One of the subtle points of this event is the blending of fire and water; of passion and emotion; of expression and feeling. Activity in the fire signs involved (Aries and Sagittarius) favors expression, while that in the water signs currently active favors receptivity (Scorpio and Pisces).
These various shades, feeling tones and colors provide plenty of creative fodder, ways to consider your life situation, and ideas for how to envision who you want to be. I have ideas, and I share them with you.
I recognize that I am entering your mind as an invited guest, and that I have an influence on your thoughts. My intention is to give you the information and ideas you need, as well as leave you feeling positive about yourself and your life.
One bottom line of Mars is how to assert yourself. I’m all about that and I share my secrets with you.
I’m planning to have this for you by the time Mars stations retrograde, and you may get the pre-order price here.
The Internet and Personhood
One of the issues I’ve been exploring lately, as part of this astrology, is the relationship between personhood and the Internet. The work of Marshall McLuhan described the ways that each new medium that grabs society comes with a redefinition of sense of self, or what I call personhood.
Photo by Eric Francis.
I’m here to ask you your thoughts about this. I am especially interested in hearing from parents about what they perceive as the impact of the devices on their children. This is an important conversation, based on what I’ve heard so far. Parents are concerned that they have to regulate the use of devices to keep kids grounded in the actual world.
I’m also interested in how you feel you’ve changed since you started on the Internet, and since you got a smart phone. It may be challenging to describe how your self-concept has evolved, but I would ask you to have a go at it.
What about your social relationships, and how you relate to close partners?
Have you read any books that address these issues? If so, what are your impressions of what you’ve read and learned?
Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put the word “personhood” in the subject header so we can sort your mail.
Thank you for your participation. I’ve learned a lot about life and about astrology from my readers and clients, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
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. Designer: Lizanne Webb. Finance: Victoria Pomante. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Client Services: Robert Barnhill, Amy Elliott. Media Consultant: Andrew Marshall McLuhan. Research, Writing and Editing: In addition to those listed above, Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick.
Signs O’ the Times and the Aries New Moon
Dear Friend and Reader:
This morning is the Aries New Moon at 7:24 am EDT (11:24 UTC). As the first New Moon after last month’s eclipses, it marks a threshold into a new phase or beginning. But a beginning of what?
Wheat-paste mural of children painting a building in downtown Dewey, Isla de Culebra, Puerto Rico. Photo by Amanda Painter.
On a personal level, only you can say what kind of initiative you’re feeling called to enact — perhaps an exploration, reinvention or expression of identity; maybe a tangible project (artistic, domestic, political, work-related or other).
It could be some other kind of step you feel compelled to take in your life. Chances are it won’t take much thought for you to identify something, and you might already be making it happen. Whatever it is, it’s likely something only you can get going, at least in the way that you imagine or desire it.
Yet our current astrology is also emphasizing global-scale, collective or generational activity — despite the fact that Aries, the sign of ‘I am’, is the locus of the heat we’re feeling. You see, this morning as the Sun and Moon conjoin in Aries (the New Moon), they’re square Pluto in Capricorn (the push to change). At the same time, the Sun and Moon are nearly conjunct Uranus and Eris in Aries (two revolutionary, unpredictable planets).
That is, the Sun and Moon — which represent your consciousness/ego and unconscious/emotions, respectively — are drawing the larger-scale, social vibrations of Pluto, Uranus and Eris into your personal awareness. The process will continue through early next week, as the Sun exactly conjoins Uranus Saturday (5:27 pm EDT / 21:27 UTC) and Eris Tuesday (6:41 am EDT / 10:41 UTC).
The separating-but-still-effective Uranus-Pluto square defines this era of institutional upheaval and social evolution that we’ve been engaged with since around 2010 or so. (Think Occupy movement, Arab Spring revolutions, activist organizing around global warming, and so on.)
An empowered fist walks by in the September 2014 People’s Climate March in Manhattan. Photo by Amanda Painter.
The conjunction between Uranus and Eris, exact in June, is something the world has not seen since the mid-1920s. We can take clues from that period, but a lot has changed since; most notably, the complete reconfiguration of communication and entertainment technology, and the ways that our lives (and very sense of self) have become enmeshed with it. Uranus seems to represent that process. Eric has described Eris in Aries as our collective post-modern identity crisis and ways of individuating.
The Sun and Moon today are bridging the gap between Uranus-Pluto and Uranus-Eris. One way to get a handle on that is to stop and look at what is going on in the world. These aspects are ‘signs of the times’ in astrology; as such, global news events can clue us in to what is shaking loose, what is coalescing, and where each of us stands in relation to it all.
A quick survey of recent news includes:
— Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz staging upsets in the Wisconsin primary, in a race that has brought into glaring relief the polarization of the American public, and the desperate desire to belong to some movement for radical change;
— The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously standing behind the one person / one vote principle in a recent ruling that rebuffed redistricting efforts that would have discounted unregistered or ineligible voters;
— The leak of the Panama Papers revealed at least 200 U.S. citizens who used the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca to hide assets and evade taxes; Iceland’s Prime Minister just resigned due to his own hidden offshore investments being exposed by the leak;
— California and New York passing $15 minimum wage laws;
— San Francisco passing a paid six-week parental leave policy that also applies to same-sex and adoptive parents;
Motivational meme by WeKnowMemes.
— Thousands protesting in Poland to defend female reproductive rights in the face of a proposed outright abortion ban;
— Mississippi and North Carolina passing laws that enable discrimination of LGBT citizens;
— The EU’s controversial plan to deport all newly arriving refugees back to Turkey, already being enacted in Greece.
— Puerto Rico’s Senate and House of Representatives authorize the governor to suspend payments on $72 billion in public debt to hedge funds; University of Puerto Rico students lead anti-austerity protests.
There’s plenty more news out there for you to consider as context, both productive and destructive, polarizing and unifying. See if you can watch for trends, and look for how you fit into the story. What can you do?
Hint: you are neither as central to the universe as your Facebook feed might seem to imply, nor as insignificant as your feelings of helplessness in the face of world events might suggest. Somewhere between those two poles is a space where you can do that thing you feel compelled to do. Be it small or large, the Aries planets have your back — so get started.
Yours & truly,
The stars certainly were dancing when Shakespeare was born, though we’ll never know for sure if April 23 truly is his birth date and the date of his death. And to think that when he wrote “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players,” he could never have imagined just how literal the Internet would make that idea. Image: one of a set of eight stamps released this week by the Royal Mail of the U.K., featuring famous Shakespearean quotations in honor of the 400th anniversary of his death.
400 Years Later, All the World Is a Stage
By Amanda Painter
As we approach the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, anglophiles, literary scholars, thespians and fans of all kinds around the world are celebrating in various creative ways. In my own city of Portland, Maine, our public library recently hosted one of the copies of the First Folio sent on tour of all 50 states of the U.S. by the Folger Shakespeare Library (out of the 83 copies held there) — a centerpiece flanked by several productions of The Bard’s plays.
The First Folio was the first complete collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1623, seven years after his death. Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors in the King’s Men — John Heminges and Henry Condell — compiled the volume. It preserves 36 of his plays; without it, we would not have 18 of them at all — including such masterpieces as Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, The Tempest and Antony and Cleopatra.
Out of the 750 copies of the First Folio believed to be printed originally, 233 are known to survive today. Thanks to Heminges and Condell, all 36 plays will likely survive as long as the human race reads and performs. Whatever Shakespeare’s natal chart might have looked like, the stars seemed to have aligned for him to channel something profound and ineffable in its ability to keep speaking to our hearts, minds and souls all these centuries later. May we continue to listen.
This Week on Planet Waves FM
Aries New Moon + Uranus-Eris Conjunction, and…
How To Be An Astrology Student and Not Hate Yourself
Dear Friend and Listener:
In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM [play episode here], I discuss an issue that has confronted me for some time, and which caused me to go full fire-breathing dragon: how astrology is used against people, and how not to have that happen. And how not to do it. It’s easy.
This dragon has a lot to say!
First I cover the Aries New Moon that happens Thursday. That is an event that brings together the Uranus-Pluto square (our old friend from the 2012 era) and the Uranus-Eris conjunction.
The New Moon is tucked into a square to Pluto, and a conjunction to Uranus and Eris, basically serving as a blend between these two era-defining aspects.
I then pick up the discussion of how astrology is used against people, and how astrologers would better serve the world if they did something more creative and humane with their skills.
Our profession was making some progress here, with the Humanistic movement, and the new planet movement — and then classical astrology came along and stole the spotlight. But something suited for answering questions in 1612 is not necessarily suited for answering questions in the 21st century.
As part of this, I talk about the ancient dignities known as ‘detriment’ and ‘fall’ — rarely used, except until recently — and use my own chart as an example of why you don’t need to worry about these things; you merely need to put them to work for you.
This week’s music is something of an ambient classic, from An Endless Searching for Substance by 23 Degrees. Like all ambient music, and my programs, it’s as interesting to ignore as it is to listen to.
Catch you next week! Don’t miss our other features below, and the new Planet Waves TV.
Miracle Hour Episode 8: Revelation, Time and Miracles
Dear Friend and Listener:
In this week’s edition of The Miracle Hour [play episode here], I return to the introductory text of A Course in Miracles, focusing particularly on Chapter 1, Section II, which lends its title to this show.
This text deals with the nature of revelation, and its connection to how we relate to the Divine and one another. This is not the apocalyptic “Revelation” of the Bible, but something much more pleasant. Here is an excerpt from the lesson:
Revelation is intensely personal and cannot be meaningfully translated. That is why any attempt to describe it in words is impossible. Revelation induces only experience. Miracles, on the other hand, induce action. They are more useful now because of their interpersonal nature. In this phase of learning, working miracles is important because freedom from fear cannot be thrust upon you. Revelation is literally unspeakable because it is an experience of unspeakable love.
I also talk about my own experiences of revelation, which to a certain extent bears out what is written in ACIM. In the final segment, I move on to section VI, The Illusion of Needs.
Aries Reading: Introducing Video Astrology!
Hey Aries — need some guidance after the recent lunar eclipse across your horizon? Your 2016-17 video-audio birthday reading by Eric will help. Find out how to surf the Uranus-Eris wave and be at the forefront of the identity revolution. You may pre-order your reading today for just $19.97.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscope for April was published on Thursday, March 24. We published your extended monthly horoscope for March on Thursday, Feb. 25. Your Aries New Moon Moonshine horoscope is published below in this issue. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Thursday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Know what works for you. Filter all your options through that knowledge, and your decisions will be properly informed. Simple though the protocol may be, it will be easy to forget. That’s because your life looks as though it might gain considerable stimulation in the coming weeks. A lot of good things and interesting people are likely to be drawn to you. Your power to attract is very strong right now. Unless you exercise discretion and set some boundaries, however, the real gems may get lost in the sheer volume of people and things moving in your direction, through no apparent effort of your own. Be selective. Additionally, prioritize what you want to go after over what or who is coming after you. – By Len Wallick.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — It is as if you are a musician or actor who has finally mastered your art to the point where you can improvise with confidence whenever and wherever you see fit. This is especially true for situations where your personal needs are in actual or potential conflict with your personal obligations. Yet you are still a human being, neither omnipotent nor infallible. Fortunately for you there is one reliable guideline to keep you in clover and out of error at this time: You need to be clear about what you don’t know. Therefore, in any circumstance that finds you in possession of all the pertinent data, proceed to succeed. Where vital information is missing, simply remember to be a detective first, and an executive second. – By Len Wallick.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Time to update the reputation that precedes you. You know you are not the person you were five years ago. You are better. You are more. Fortunately, there is no rush to refresh your social profiles, or even to replace your publicly available photos. Take the time to develop a strategy before you employ any tactics. Get grounded in who you are now, and get clear on who you aim to become. Then, sort out all the ways in which what you see in yourself and envision of yourself differs from how you exist in the minds of others. Finally, think on how to most convincingly change the minds of those who think they know you, so that they can both see and support you in a new and more authentic way. – By Len Wallick.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — It’s very possible you don’t know your own strength when it comes to getting what you want from the world right now. Therefore, apply your efforts gently until you get a sense of how much they are being multiplied on the other end. It should go without saying that you will not need to knock any doors down. Instead, seek to persuade others to open up to you by showing you understand their needs. That way, their needs and your wants can both be fulfilled, so that the process of exchange you are seeking to consummate feels easy for everybody involved. Once you do get what you want, it would also be wise to follow up and establish a relationship that will last longer than the yield of any transaction. – By Len Wallick.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Make hay while the Sun shines. There are evidently some things that need your fullest attention now, because they will not wait. Other things can safely be put off. Discerning between the two will do more than just make you efficient and effective. People will notice how you combine diligence with discretion, and will support you in your aspirations to extend your horizons and expand your opportunities for advancement. This is no game. Part of the picture for every person who would like to be a future reference on your resume is their own reputation. Hence, be aware that every time you come through for yourself will also feather the cap of those who are cheering you on with enlightened self-interest. – By Len Wallick.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Your most cherished values have validity. You have proven and vindicated your core verities, especially over the last ten or eleven years — leaving you both justified and empowered to speak your personal truth. Others, however, have their own values and truths, which have also been justly earned and hard won. Hence your choice at this time: You could elect to circle the proverbial wagons and declare war on any beliefs not your own, but that would only leave you confined within a circumference of your own making. The other option is to be open and present to everybody’s most essential and authentic values, so as to find and integrate the common thread you follow to freedom. – By Len Wallick.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — While climbing a tree, it’s usually a good idea to stay close to the trunk where the footholds are strong and there is nearly always a way to pull yourself up further. Going out on a limb is usually understood to be the equivalent of taking a risk. You know from your own experience that the safest, surest way works best most of the time. Even so, there are times when a carefully calculated risk is your best bet. Look around and consider whether now might be one of those times to branch off. In order to evaluate whether that’s true for you, ask yourself two questions. First, is the metaphorical trunk solid or rotted at the core? Next, will the symbolic limb ultimately take you to somewhere besides thin air?. – By Len Wallick.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Love your feelings. Give your emotional qualities a hug. This is no time to deny or discredit your passionate and intuitive nature. While there is a proper time and place to be solid and objective, it would not become you to pretend that’s all there is to you. Your gut and heart are as much a part of you as your head; it is almost as if you have a team within you to manage and coach. The trick is to embrace every member of the team and bring them all with you all the time, while also being able to choose which of your multiple assets is most appropriate to apply in any given situation. If you can simply do that, you will always be giving yourself a chance to win. – By Len Wallick.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — If molecular biologists have it right, all the people on Earth are family. If musical anthropologists are correct, an integral part of your human family history is rock-and-roll. What distinguishes rock-and-roll at its best is that it’s fun. The main reason rock is fun evidently has to do with its correlation to one of the most gratifying and enjoyable activities of all: sex. That’s why the people who are at war with sex are nearly always the same folks who want to ban raucous music and dancing. It’s also how you can most safely and surely address anything cramping your style right now. One way or another, give yourself permission to rock with abandon even if it means dancing alone in a chair. It will bust you out and bring you back home. – By Len Wallick.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — If you haven’t recently moved from one abode to another, at least be open to a chance to improve your circumstances by doing so. If a change of residence simply is not in the cards for your foreseeable future, think about what you can do to make changes where you sleep. You know what simply opening a window can sometimes do to make an interior space suddenly more comfortable and restful. In your case, at this time, there are indications that a similarly easy addition or removal at what you call ‘home’ could yield something of the same results. If you need a clue regarding how to make it happen, look around where you live and either add something that says ‘you’, or purge something that doesn’t. Repeat as needed. – By Len Wallick.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Doing the right thing for others is an expression of love. So, however, is doing the right thing for yourself. It should currently be possible for you to love both yourself and others at the same time. To get started, review your life for any habits that do not seem to be doing you or those you care for any real good. Then take some actual written notes whenever you indulge those predilections. Note especially your motivations for continuing what (at least on the surface) seems to be an indulgence that costs more than it pays. That way, you will either discover a heretofore-unrealized benefit of these particular customs or gain insight into how to better know and practice what love can be. – By Len Wallick.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — In some way, you hold the key to the entire theater of your life — which means you have more power than nearly anybody (perhaps even you) can readily see. Yet all that influence will not make you happy by itself. One important factor that will determine whether your power will ultimately serve to please you is whether or not you can delegate when you need to. If you are currently expected to be both star and producer (or even if you think you need or desire to be both), you may need to decide whether you have a preference, or whether some of your tasks can be shifted. This will help you maintain a healthy workload, so that you can shine with your full brightness and beauty. – By Len Wallick.