Dear Friend and Reader:
We’re now in the last week of Mercury retrograde, and what a tangled web it’s weaving. This won’t last forever, though it needs to be handled carefully now.
Because I’m writing a daily horoscope, I’ve had these aspects under a microscope, watching them go by day by day. It’s been interesting to observe.
Today, retrograde Mercury is conjunct Uranus. That combination, particularly in Aries, is what’s best describing the high-pitch and chaotic stress of the moment. I described a strategy for handling this in Monday’s edition. I won’t repeat that material here.
This is a formula for all kinds of chaos, and it will help if you lay low and be cool. The less you say the better, particularly about matters of deep personal importance. I am not usually one to counsel reserve and retreat, though the astrology calls for it — in all aspects of life except the creative ones, where there’s more room for error.
Even in the most ordinary social activities, though, it will help if you’re cautious and keep your wits about you at all times. This is an occasion to have a designated driver and a designated co-pilot.
Mercury will backtrack over Uranus, and then station direct right in the crevice of the Uranus-Eris conjunction on Wednesday. This is like a tap into the chaos of our times. I would say we may see some unusual things happen over the next week, but that’s become a pointless concept. What used to be interesting and weird is now just getting monotonous and even painful.
I am concerned about the level of despair that I see and feel in the world. I’ve had a few moments of my own, feeling like I’m a little kid in a world full of adults preoccupied with their problems. Only these adults include most young people, whom one cannot really blame for feeling so grouchy and alienated.
Mercury conjunct Uranus-Eris is a bold caution about what digital technology is doing to people. We become like the tools we use, and the entire digital sphere is a robot. We’re becoming like it faster than it’s becoming like us. Long before computers are said to have any artificial emotional capacity, humans will be depleted of theirs.
This is manifesting in the form of everything needing to be pushed or dragged to an extreme, with little room between the zeros and ones for gradient, color, hue or shade.
Fractal. Image by Barbara Lane.
Eventually, this will drive us all insane. And this is not even factoring in the content of what we see, which also has an emotional impact, amplified by the environment itself.
By content, I mean the ongoing exposure to narratives of unfairness, exploitation and warfare: we have a problem on our hands.
And I’ve been pondering, with all my heart and soul, what exactly we might do about it. I think the single most helpful thing will be treating one another as people.
That is to say, slowing down, even pausing; listening to what your fellow beings are saying; and noticing what they’re feeling. Heck, even noticing what you’re feeling would be a fantastic start.
I think we must do what we can to make one another’s lives easier. What I mean by that is stopping every now and then to notice when someone is struggling, and doing what you can, whether you “know” the person, or not. When you find someone who is helpful, do your best not to exploit them: and pass the goodwill forward.
Get time with people away from devices, and even away from activity. I’m one of those humans who is still bothered by the fact that most places people are expected to socialize are too dark and too loud to have a conversation.
I get that we’re all feeling the stress, feeling like we have precious little time to do the things we love, and even less time to just stop and replenish the well.
When we finally get around to doing this, we’ll see, feel and remember what we were missing.
From Universal Lover to Love Warrior
By Amanda Painter
What does it look like when the ‘universal lover’ becomes a ‘love warrior’ amidst the chaos of this world? As Venus moves from Pisces to the first degree of Aries tomorrow, we may find out.
Dawn at the East End cargo ferry launch. Photo by Amanda Painter.
Venus makes this transition — again — at 9:13 am EDT (13:13 UTC) on Friday.
It had previously crossed from the last sign of the zodiac (Pisces) to the first sign of the zodiac (Aries) back on Feb. 3, prior to stationing retrograde.
Venus is now in direct motion, having had a rendezvous with Chiron in Pisces earlier this month.
On the most personal level, Venus might be prompting you to notice what facets of your inner healing process — especially with regard to emotions or sexuality — you’re now ready to act upon. Another interpretation could be to notice how (or where, or whether) you locate ‘the divine feminine’ in your identity — keeping in mind that using the astrological model, people of all genders have a ‘female side’ and a ‘male side’.
Is it a hidden facet of you? Does this ‘divine feminine’ come through in your creativity, in your empathy, in your sexuality or in your natural receptivity?
Or is it present most strongly when you are taking action in some radical, paradigm-busting, patriarchy-inverting social or political event?
Dear Friend of Planet Waves:
I don’t say this out loud often, but the world is a scary place right now. While many spiritual traditions say that fear is never an appropriate response to life, it’s certainly understandable. It’s so intense that I have to talk myself down from the tree every now and then, and put myself back on solid ground.
Here’s what I think is the most frightening thing: the dim recognition that we cannot really do anything about the world’s problems. Even when you get to a place where you feel somewhat confident and stable, the crises of the planet — psychological, environmental, political, economic, all of it — are always right outside the front door. And people seem frozen, struggling even for the concept of solutions.
Uranus, the planet of revolution.
Think of it. Aware, sensitive people know there are problems, and we also feel the seeming paralysis. Not only that, we’re inundated with influences to shut down our awareness and sensitivity; and consciousness-raising tools are difficult to find, and they’re not usually so world-savvy: that is, they’re rarely grounded in actual experience.
Really, I’m amazed anyone finds any peace of mind at all. It is a struggle if not impossible, and it takes experience. And as Lou Reed said, a busload of faith.
My job these days is to fashion tools. Using astrology, spiritual paths, and everything I’ve learned both in therapy and working with people, I make resources that will help you learn, seek self-understanding, and meet the world around you eye to eye. I don’t provide answers. I’m good at something much better, and more relevant: which is helping you to ask the right questions.
I reckon that with the world as overly complicated and insane as it is, astrology is one of the few tools capable of embracing both problem and solution, both private and collective. This is the gift we have, which we need like never before.
My approach to astrology is designed to point you inward, in a way that feels safe, sane and loving. Right now I’m working on a new project, timed for spring 2017: INVOLUTION: The Revolution is Within.
As far as I can tell, our only option is to grow. That means that the revolution won’t be in the streets — or at least it won’t start there. For us, in our time, the revolution must be within. That’s the thing that’s been lacking — and it’s the cause of most of the problem.
In this 12-sign reading (which covers your Sun, Moon and rising signs, and those of your loved ones), I will look at the last seasons of Chiron in Pisces and Uranus in Aries. We’ll tap into Uranus conjunct Eris in a whole new way.
Yet the most helpful thing in this reading will be my first interpretation of the Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017 — which will streak across the entire United States from coast to coast. That eclipse will change life as we know it in the United States, and you’ll want to have your surf board positioned correctly when the wave comes in.
Meeting the Goddess, Meeting Our Home
By Amanda Painter
Approaching next week’s Beltane holiday, what could be better than immersing oneself in some form of communion with the Earth itself, and with its pulsing, fecund life force? Not much. But if you care to gild the lily, the film As She Is: Bringing Life Into Balance looks like an excellent place to start.
Meryl Marshall-Daniels, former chair and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, says of As She Is, “This film is a meditation on the feminine with stunning images, contemplative conversations beautifully supported by a fine score. Many of us are seeking to understand the feminine and what it means in our lives. As She Is makes it clear that we are not alone.”
The intention of As She Is, as described on its website, is in part, “to help us remember that there is another way of being, knowing and relating that is equally important as our externally focused, drive-oriented culture. We want to inspire a reconnection with and respect for the feminine aspect of ourselves so we can bring much-needed balance into the world.”
As one woman interviewed in the film says, “There’s almost a necessary evolutionary impulse. I think the domination paradigm can’t really go on. And so if you’re not going to do domination, what are you going to do?”
You can watch a beautiful trailer for the film here. It can be rented online, and there are resources at the website to facilitate organizing your own community screening. Happy Beltane!
This Week on Planet Waves FM
Taurus New Moon, and Room to Explore
Dear Friend and Listener:
Who was Robert M. Pirsig? This week’s Planet Waves FM [play episode here] offers an interview (republished from NPR more than 43 years ago) with the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, who died Monday in Maine. [We have found the whole book on PDF here.]
This book was to the 1970s what On The Road was to the 1950s and 1960s, only it’s the square version: about the teaching of writing, and the healing of mental illness (rather than wallowing in it).
Before I go there, I explore the current astrology and the Taurus New Moon, including a look at Mars square Nessus and some of its implications; Venus in the last degrees of Pisces; and Mercury stationing direct conjunct Uranus-Eris.
Planet Waves FM is sponsored by your memberships and reading purchases. We publish without corporate sponsorship or commercial advertising, and are proudly part of the Pacifica Radio Network.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
We published your extended monthly horoscopes for May on Thursday, April 20. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for April on Thursday, March 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 Thursday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — At this time you may need to focus on communicating efficiently and honestly with loved ones. It’s important that you measure your words and actions carefully and with a reasonable idea of how they might be received. It’s equally necessary that you understand yourself. Dealing with something from your past now may be an act of personal growth; and a sincere exploration of your feelings relating to it could be especially beneficial. If possible, bring someone in on that — discussions of this kind can help you foster lasting intimacy. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You seem to be feeling the need to withdraw inside yourself. Reflection is a useful thing, and you’ve recently discovered the creative source hiding within your depths. You would almost certainly gain, in terms of wellbeing at least, from setting aside a space to nurture that gift. However, you also need to put the results out there, in the public sphere. As long as you don’t expect instant accolades, all should go smoothly. It’s likely that once you make the initial effort, you’ll receive support from friends or peers, and everything will start to flow more naturally. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Keep the faith. You are gradually learning to feel more comfortable within yourself, and less buffeted by circumstance. It’s not been easy, but you are finally seizing control of your life, and have a better idea of who or what has been getting in your way. It might help to exercise a little patience as you emerge into the improved life awaiting you; patience, however, is not the same as passivity. Make the most of your new understanding of yourself and your environment, particularly your social circle. Do what you need to nurture and strengthen yourself. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Asserting your independence could help you, especially in close relationships — though you may be inclined to keep the peace by any means necessary. Make sure you duly honor your aspirations and gifts, and take note if there seem to be unreasonable or unnecessary hindrances to their development. This includes being able to express what you feel honestly and openly. Afford both yourself and others appropriate respect. Be courteous; don’t overstep the bounds of good manners; but at the same time see that you have the autonomy you need. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — There’s a Buddhist parable that illustrates how we don’t see things as they really are in the darkness (presumably, of a non-enlightened state). Without suggesting you’re about to become the next bodhisattva, you appear to have found a torch that allows you to see reality more clearly, at least to an extent. You’ll know this is occurring when you feel a sense of relief, or of appreciation. It’s easy to tie oneself in knots over a problem that’s relatively minor. Once you start to look past that, you’ll realize you don’t need to worry quite so much. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You might have rather more on your plate than you’d like just now, but that’s no reason not to take care of yourself. You have the right to make sure that your food is nutritionally healthy, that your body receives sufficient exercise, and that you have at least a little peace and quiet every day. It’s easy to ignore physical needs, and tempting to lose oneself in cerebral realms — particularly for those with a strong Virgo. The flaw in this equation is that our minds and bodies are inextricably joined, and we must serve one to support the other. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Be open with your significant other(s) this week. It might seem easier to conceal a specific matter, especially if you’re worried about a proverbial can of worms. Yet in fact being completely honest now could turn out to relieve you on that score. Loved ones will appreciate it, even if there are points of disagreement, and even if those points happen to be momentous. What’s more likely is that the response will be unexpectedly supportive. Act on the principle that everyone has the right to make fully informed choices. That includes you, by the way. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Eric has suggested before that the ideal job is doing what you love. Many people seem to measure advancement by the expansion of their wallet, or of their prestige. You’re made of finer stuff, and you know better than to allow the mercenary spirit to narrow your field of vision. You work best, and live best, when you’re doing it from the heart. It’s also likely that expressing yourself through creativity at present could be immensely cathartic for you. Focusing on activities into which you can bring the full force of your devotional energy is an important key. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You seem to be at a breakthrough stage of your personal development, and are beginning to feel more at home amid all the changes that have taken place. A part of you that may have been concealed or internalized is now gradually emerging into the light. There is still some progress to be made, but you can see the outline. If you feel ready, now might be a good time to involve someone you trust; or perhaps you may just enjoy spending time with a partner and having a bit of fun. Doing that might inspire you further, as well. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — It’s time for you to escape the confines of the past and reach for your potential. You may think this is easier said than done; but freedom has been a long time coming, as every day has made you a little better acquainted with yourself. You are now as familiar with your internal world as many people are with their physical home. This phase of your life was necessary: you had a lot to process. You have every reason to be proud of what you’ve achieved in getting this far, however inclined you might feel to dismiss it. Now you can look to the future. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Remember that duty and pleasure need not conflict. Life may feel a little topsy-turvy just now, but that will pass. If you’re getting bored with your present routines, you can always experiment with switching them up. It’s important, however, that you avoid situations in which having fun feels like yet another task. Draw on the support of friends if you need to. Those who care about you most are aware of your devotion to your cause. That’s equally true of the people you are serving. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, or to step back and breathe every so often. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve grown and strengthened as a person lately. For the present, understanding how you have evolved may be as important as the changes themselves. Put some energy into fostering your self-esteem; not only because it’s deserved, but because it will help you in your onward journey, much like laying a firm foundation so that the rest of the construction will remain stable. Keep in mind that your merit belongs to you alone; it does not depend on the recognition or the praise of others. The same goes for your achievements. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.