Dear Friend and Reader:
News out of the Trump administration has moved this week at the speed of Uranus multiplied by Eris in Aries — the light-speed of the internet. The current cascade of events, peaking yesterday with the naming of a special prosecutor to investigate the various Russia affairs, will likely lead to the end of Trump’s presidency.
This cascade began over the weekend of May 6 and 7, when Mercury, slow and powerful after its recent retrograde, was ending its alignment with Uranus conjunct Eris.
The combination of Mercury, Uranus and Eris is a reminder that everything we see happening, and how it’s happening, is an effect of the internet. This effect is created by a nonstop onslaught of disembodied communication, and developments moving faster than anyone can keep track of or understand.
Trump, with his penchant for tweeting and his addiction to toxic chaos, is only amplifying that effect. But don’t mistake that for his being “internet savvy.” He’s actually a product of television, and his mind is stuck in a TV mentality.
Additionally, there’s been a restructuring, or perhaps de-structuring, of the underlying ground of reality; among other changes, this officious thing previously known as ‘the presidency’ no longer seems to exist. Like many of society’s institutions, from home mortgages to Hollywood, the presidency is being shredded into a slag heap. Whether this serves a positive purpose is a question worth asking.
That’s being described by the ongoing movement of Pluto through Capricorn, which has yet to have its most profound influences [see recent article on the U.S. Pluto return]. Over the next few years, into the early 2020s, Pluto will make a series of square aspects to Eris, which will combine the effects of Uranus square Pluto and Uranus conjunct Eris.
For a bonbon-sized preview of what’s coming, here are the latest developments in the news.
Tuesday, May 9, Trump fired FBI director James Comey, later admitting that this was to thwart his investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia. Then it came out that the same day, Trump had revealed state secrets to top Russian officials he was meeting with [see last week’s issue], which had been obtained by the United States from Israel.
Then it came out that in February, weeks after the inauguration, Trump had asked Comey to call off the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security advisor, who had been working as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey, and who also has ties to the Russia situation.
On Wednesday (yesterday, that is), The Washington Post reported that top Republican officials, including Paul Ryan, the speaker of the house, were aware that Trump was allegedly getting payoffs from Putin, though they resolved to keep that information “in the family.”
Robert Mueller served as FBI director from 2001-2013. He really looks like the anti-Trump, the focused, deep-thinking type. His chart largely consists of Leo and Virgo, though his Moon is probably in Pisces.
Initially denying those reports, Republicans who were present at the meeting changed their tune when they found out that Washington Post reporters had a recording of the conversation, at which point they claimed the statements were a joke.
And capping off the week, on Wednesday (again, yesterday), the Department of Justice appointed Robert Mueller III, predecessor to Comey as head of the FBI, to be special prosecutor (properly called special counsel) to investigate connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Mueller has an untarnished public reputation and is respected by both parties. He will have broad powers to investigate Trump’s Russia ties and anything else that may come up along the way. Those links are everywhere. His appointment seems to signal that people behind the scenes are ready to pull the plug on Trump. Even if we get a greatly reduced version of reality from Mueller’s investigation, it will likely be enough to force Trump from office.
While a special counsel cannot be fired by the directly president, the president can try to order a subordinate to do so (a famous and self-destructive stunt that Nixon tried to pull). Yet that would be an impeachable offense because Mueller’s job is exclusively to look into potential crimes committed by Trump and his campaign, which have now reached the level of treason. Trump firing the special prosecutor would be tantamount to admitting everything.
There will also be separate congressional investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia.
Doug Mills is my favorite New York Times photographer. He’s usually assigned to cover Washington, DC. This is his portrayal of the West Wing one evening this week, looking like the haunted mansion that it is.
Mueller’s appointment was made by Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, because Jeff Sessions, currently the attorney general and head of DOJ, has recused himself from all matters involving the Russia investigation.
That’s because Sessions, who worked for the Trump campaign, lied to the Senate during his confirmation hearing (when he was being interviewed as the prospective attorney general) when he denied meeting with Russian officials during the campaign. In fact, he met with them at least twice. So it’s possible or even likely that Mueller’s investigation will extend to the attorney general himself. The last time this happened was under old Dick Nixon. While the attorney general may think he has a phone line to God and is immune from the law, tell that to John Mitchell, who went to jail for crimes he committed on behalf of Nixon.
Many, many people in the Trump campaign have financial and political ties to Russia, including Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state; and Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. So far, it would seem that the only person whose hands are clean from Russian involvement is Michael Pence, the vice president, though that remains to be seen.
Sample of the natal chart (cast for noon) of Robert Mueller III, most of whose planets are concentrated in Leo and Virgo. He seems to be the hard-working, hold-the-solar-system-together kind of Leo, rather than the Madonna kind of Leo. He’s known to have a distaste for people who seek attention for its own sake. See full noon chart here.
Mueller served as director of the FBI between 2001 and 2013. He was famously appointed by George Bush just four days before the Sept. 11 incident, and retained in office by Pres. Obama for three years past the end of his 10-year term.
He had a long career in the Justice Department, rising to the level of assistant U.S. attorney (that is, a federal prosecutor). He quit government employment to go into private practice. But he decided that was too boring, so he returned to the federal government to an entry-level job as a federal homicide prosecutor.
He worked his way back up the ranks and became the U.S. attorney in San Francisco, eventually becoming FBI director.
Mueller, born Aug. 7, 1944, has six planets and points in Leo, including the Sun and Pluto, and five in Virgo, including Jupiter, Mercury, Chiron and Mars. This does not look like the chart of someone who plays politics, and his reputation is specifically that of someone who’s independent of political influence. That said, he would be one among several people who knows exactly what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. That means he also was aware of the false “intelligence” being proffered by Dick Cheney and others, used to start the Iraq war. However, my take is that business was all a lot larger than he was at the time.
The Great American Eclipse in Leo, with Mercury in Virgo. See full chart here.
Mueller’s appointment amounts to the one credible thing that the Trump administration has actually done — and it could easily spell the end of Trump’s presidency. At the time he was sworn in, I suggested that Trump would serve from eight to 13 months, mostly based on his transits, and on the progressed chart of Michael Pence, the vice president.
However, the most significant factor would seem to be the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse in Leo, the shadow of which will be cast from sea to shining sea. That eclipse comes within one degree of Trump’s ascendant. I’ll have more to say about that in a focused article planned for next week’s lead.
I’m aware there will be claims that this is all merely political theater, and that the game is rigged. Even if that’s true, the game seems to be rigged in the direction of getting rid of Trump.
If the astrology tells us anything, this is going to be quite a summer politically. While Washington is burning and the president’s men are shooting at one another, I make a motion to throw in a little of that Summer of Love spirit.
Your friendly neighborhood astrologer,
PS — Rachel Maddow has done an admirable job of describing the history of the special counsel laws and regulations, and describing the potential scope of the investigation. You can watch Wednesday night’s program explaining all of this on the web.
An Invitation to Something New
By Amanda Painter
Do you feel ready for something new? Investing personal energy in world news — especially news events that strain credulity — can be exhausting. Beating one’s head against the same interpersonal dynamics at work or in your intimate relationships can be tiring. Yet the urge for something new can also emerge from a palpable sense of growing creative energy that needs an outlet.
Apple blossom about to bloom. Photo by Amanda Painter.
In astrology, the tail end of a season — or even just the last few days of the Sun in a particular sign — can invoke that sense of being ready for a shift. We’ll get one on Saturday, when the Sun leaves Taurus and enters Gemini at 4:31 pm EDT (20:31 UTC).
Where Taurus is focused on the body, Gemini is all about the mind; Taurus takes its time, Gemini moves on to the next thing quickly. Taurus is represented by earth, Gemini by air. I’ll admit that I have a strong personal bias toward Taurus, since it’s my Sun sign, but all signs of the zodiac have their value and their purpose. Where Taurus helped us to get grounded, Gemini offers us greater (and quicker) flexibility.
Yet this is not the only astrological energy drawing us toward something new. Tomorrow (Friday) Venus in Aries opposes Jupiter in Libra, exact at 10:11 am EDT (14:11 UTC).
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.
Now You, Too, Can Have Your Very Own ‘Garden Spicer’
By Amanda Painter
Remember last week when FBI head James Comey was fired, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer hid “among” some bushes to try and avoid questions from reporters? Well, the online memes poking fun of the situation started flying — and a Canadian professor of geography at the University of Victoria, named Lisa Kadonaga, came up with an even better idea.
As The Washington Post reports, Kadonga “found a headshot of Spicer — taken by photographer Chip Somodevilla for Getty Images — and had it blown up and printed. She placed it in shrubbery at a bank in Victoria, and shared a photo of the display with her Facebook friends.”
Wouldn’t you know it, her post took off — and Kadonga found herself fielding hundreds of requests for the image. So she posted a PDF of the image file to a Dropbox account, which was soon so overwhelmed by traffic that Dropbox temporarily shut down her account. Kadonga then uploaded a second image, in JPEG format.
Since then, Garden Spicers have been popping up everywhere from the District of Colombia to New Zealand, in bushes of all sorts, sidewalk planters and even in front of the Watergate Hotel.
“I think it really struck a chord with people, realizing, ‘Gee, that could be me up there,'” Kadonga said, noting that she thought some people were sharing the image out of sympathy. As she pointed out, who hasn’t been told at least once to go out and do a job without the proper tools or enough information?
To save you the hassle of dealing with Dropbox, Planet Waves is hosting Kadonga’s JPEG of Spicer here on our own servers (it downloads as a zip file). You know what to do — and please, send us a photo of your handiwork.
Brian Eno, center, and U2, doing something — playing with mouse traps, or guitar pedals, or lighting books on fire — I don’t know what, early 1980s. Actually, they’re working on the CD cover. Present left to right are Adam Clayton, designer Steve Averill (who came up with the band name U2, and who designed all of their album covers), Bono (Paul Hewson), and to the right of Eno, The Edge (David Evans).
This Week on Planet Waves FM
Before and After Eno: Bowie, Talking Heads, U2
Dear Planet Waves Listener:
This week’s edition of Planet Waves FM [play episode here] is really a glorified version of my old show, the Music Appreciation Hour. Only today you might say that it’s Record Producer Appreciation Hour, if that producer is Brian Eno and if his clients are some of the most sublime musical artists of our lifetimes.
Brian Eno, who turned 69 yesterday.
More on that in a moment.
I go over the current astrology, including Mercury in Taurus, the continued discussion of Mercury direct splitting open the Uranus-Eris conjunction, and that whole crazy thing where Trump fires the chief of the FBI, while he’s busy chumming around and revealing state secrets to the USSR, er, the Russians. Those people about whom we keep hearing so much.
What’s this got to do with the Great American Eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017? I get into that, too.
Then I look at the charts of Eno, David Bowie, David Byrne and Bono, and show where they connect mainly through the earth signs Taurus and Capricorn, and through Scorpio. Here’s Eno’s chart, and in a separate window, here are the charts of three rather earthy rockers.
In Tantra Corner, I look at one of Wilhelm Reich’s most famous quotes about the appeal of fascism, its relationship to sexual repression, and how self-sex unravels the whole knot.
Planet Waves FM is published by Chiron Return, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, which in turn is part of the Pacifica Radio Network. We are supported exclusively by your memberships, reading purchases and donations. To become a member of Planet Waves, please visit this link.
Here’s a list of the albums featured on this week’s show:
Jonah Kelly Francis and Henrietta Saint Francis on the world’s largest dog bed.
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 horoscopes for the Scorpio Full Moon were published on Thursday, May 11. 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) — Everything would seem to be in place for you to make an ambition reality. But which one? What should you prioritize? To a certain extent, this is a trick question; though there is something to be said for looking into why you have this apparent clash of ideas. If you’re really stuck, the key probably involves examination of your deeper motivations. Somewhere, a desire may have been stifled or set aside. If a hierarchy is required at all, that might be at the top. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — In recent weeks, by necessity, you’ve become better acquainted with the subconscious region of your mind. The next phase of operations likely involves bringing what you’ve learned out into the open. Yet there may also still be some learning to do. Get clear on where you are still unsure, listen out for clues, and dismiss nothing until it’s sufficiently disproved. Be wary of any line of thought that has the effect of draining your self-esteem. The truth is a lot kinder. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You probably need to take some steps to care for your emotional wellbeing, which may be as simple as ensuring you have leisure time and space. Everyone needs this, regardless of how busy you think you ought to be. Keeping an eye on any sentiment that involves an ‘ought’ or a ‘should’ is a useful rule of thumb; this is especially true for you, right now. Aside from considerations of ethics or contractual obligations, give yourself the freedom to do as you please. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This week, you might take as your motto that there is no such thing as knowing too much. True, you’ve recently explored a wide section of your emotions and desires, and how they relate to the past. Yet you still have some unmapped regions to visit. This may be especially the case regarding certain feelings you’ve encountered, possibly sexual, that part of you would rather shrink from. If you go toward them instead, you’ll likely find there was no need for reticence. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The present social, technological and political environment is designed to polarize everyone. Seeing all sides of a complex issue is out of fashion. Yet this is precisely what you’re now being called on to do. Very few situations are as simple as they appear. Make it a point of honor to be diligent in seeking out the truth and communicating clearly; also, keep judgment to a minimum. Know in which situations you hold the conductor’s baton; this is also where you must lead by example. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Your relationships (of all kinds) would benefit a good deal if you open up about what you’re feeling and experiencing. In part, this is true because you seem to be holding back more than usual. If your tendency to self-criticism is running high, consider cutting yourself a generous amount of slack. The tenser you feel, the more you need to relax and to express what you’ve been keeping contained. People care about you, and they need to hear the whole truth. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Whatever our relative means, we all have the capacity to offer generosity in our individual interactions. Those you love best may currently need a share of yours: perhaps they need some space, or perhaps some comfort. If you live together, you could consider the home itself as a potential place of safety. I don’t suggest you should allow anyone to take you for granted. Compassion need not be injudicious. This is simply about opening your heart in ways that will help everyone. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You’re likely to be pretty switched on and experiencing a creative peak. You’ve tapped into some sort of well, sourced from deep within your imaginative spring. How you use it is up to you; however, it’s likely that you’ll get the best results when your ultimate aim serves the general good. It’s worth setting the intention now of sharing your prosperity. Not only will you receive a lot of goodwill from this; you’ll also find your subjective view of life manifestly enriched. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — There are a good many reasonable things that can be said in favor of emotional self-sufficiency. It supports independence. It lessens the risk of disappointment. The problem is this: we’re social animals really, and with rare exceptions can take detachment only so far. Self-respect is one thing; retreating from human warmth is entirely another. Allow for some intimacy in your life; cultivate mutual trust and share the healing power of affection and physical contact. There’s really nothing like it. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Some hard work appears to have paid off, and the recognition you’re receiving now is no more than what you’ve thoroughly merited. Your next project is to accept it. If you’re finding that difficult, it’s likely because you’re afraid of what might happen. You’ve gained confidence! How ghastly! What dreadful thing will you do next?! I strongly suggest you not worry, and that you savor the respect you’ve earned. Let it fill you with sunshine. You’ll still be you. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Though your sign is not usually known for its introspective tendencies, you’re just beginning a process in which you’re likely to be looking within much more for insights, and getting to know and love yourself better as a result. At present, you may be feeling the first impulses toward that. Pay close attention to your emotions, and try to understand where they might be leading. Let things flow naturally; don’t rush yourself. This phase of your life needs to be gentle and steady. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — A source of pressure on your relationships has recently been lifted. You’ll probably need a little time before you can feel the full atmosphere of relief; but you’re starting to sense it now. I suggest you take each day as it comes and don’t rush to fill the gap with burdens of equal weight. Make sure you’re aware of all the different paths before setting off in a new direction. Light and friendly social interactions, or spending time in your community, could be of considerable help. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.