Tag Archives: Barack Obama

These Men Have Issues: Meet the Natal Horoscopes of Obama and Romney

Dear Friend and Reader:

Once I read an article in an astrology magazine about how to figure out who is going to win an American presidential election. “The person with the worst chart wins,” said the author, who had been paying attention for a while. Astrology, a vastly complex subject, often seems best suited for teaching in one-line quips.

I don’t want to predict who will ‘win’ the election, mainly because the process seems so heaped on with agendas, puppetry, muppetry, dishonesty, evasion, paranoia, Big Bird being served for Thanksgiving dinner and, most of all, way too much money, that I doubt there will be an actual winner. After a fuss, someone will take office, and sadly, the public seems to be the party that loses at every turn. That said, it’s now that time in the election season to look at the charts of these candidates. Before we go forward, I would like to give my official astrology disclaimer, paraphrasing our Terms of Service.

Planet Waves
Barack Obama is seen with his step-father Lolo Soetoro (L), his sister Maya Soetoro and his mother Ann Dunham (C) in an undated family snapshot released by his campaign in 2008.

Astrology is not the truth. It is a form of personally applicable mythical fiction. Astrology is a story, which I am basing mostly on the charts of these two men, in accordance with my skills and intuition, and which to a lesser degree I’m basing on my knowledge of them as public figures. These are living people, which entitles them to a measure of respect, and they are public figures seeking vast amounts of power over our lives, which entitles us to examine them with careful scrutiny.

Before I read the charts, let’s do a birth data check. When doing natal astrology, it’s essential to have good data, or to know when you don’t. Such a big deal has been made of Obama’s birth certificate that we know his time better than any candidate, ever. He was not born in Kenya. He was born in Hawaii when it was not only an island but actually a state. His data gets the highest rating: AA (which means birth certificate in hand), even if Donald Trump doesn’t like it.

As for Romeo, his data gets an A rating, the second highest, by our profession’s most respected collector of birth data, the late Lois Rodden. (An A rating can mean ‘from memory’, because either he was wearing a watch when he was born, his mom told Rodden, or it was reported in the newspaper.) So: we have two candidates with good birth times, which helps us do an actual comparison of the charts.

Let’s start with Obama. [View both charts side by side here.] There’s only one thing I respect about him, which is an aspect in his chart. Obama’s regal Leo Sun is opposite a very weird minor planet: Damocles, named after the guy from the Greek legend.

I say weird because this little planet has an elongated (way elliptical) 40-year orbit, and it spends nearly all of its time in Aquarius. It then races through the other signs in a very short time, and then is back in Aquarius for what seems like forever. It was named for a slave (or courtier, in some tellings of the legend) who was envious of the magnificent fortunes of the tyrant he served. So the tyrant said, OK, you want to be king? Have a seat on my throne. Sitting there, he noticed a sword that dangled all the time by a single thread, usually over the king’s head but now his — and the thread could snap at any moment.

Planet Waves
Mitt Romney, his sons Tagg and Matt, and wife Ann in the 1970s. Photo released by the Romney for President campaign.

Obama has his Leo Sun so precisely opposite Damocles that it really does feel like the sword hanging over his head by a thread (the opposition is exact to a quarter of a degree). To me this gives new meaning to the line, “Either his brains or his signature would be on the contract,” from the scene in The Godfather. This is the famous scene where the guy is made an offer he cannot refuse. Obama lives under this pressure all the time, which is why I think he would do something like sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) even if he didn’t want to.

You (as in you) can claim you wouldn’t sign a law that allows U.S. citizens to be arrested as enemy combatants, but then, you’ve never sat underneath that sword. You don’t have to think: I can do something noble, and my kids will grow up without a father. Well, maybe I’m giving him too much credit. He may be serving his role just as he expected to, and just as he promised he would.

Astrology depends on these things called houses, which tell us the environment where certain events happen. One is called the 8th house, important in astrology for many reasons (most often, a map to financial matters), though in part because it sometimes describes the nature and cause of death, and one’s relationship to the topic of death.

Obama has Mars there. He fears and indeed may expect a violent death, and he’s likely to be easily swayed by that idea. He doesn’t need it explained to him. He passes this fear off as a kind of intellectual construct, but it looks like he’s easily manipulated by the silent knowledge that he could end up like so many other politicians who refused the offer.

Obama has had a deeply troubled past — worse than we know about. He was subjected to some kind of extreme psychological cruelty as a child, and it haunts him constantly. The aspect is the Moon in the 4th house, conjunct Nessus, the centaur associated with these kinds of issues. The 4th is the house of emotions, security and family of origin. Obama is the living incarnation of The Drama of the Gifted Child, and he probably thinks he’s our therapist. He is also tapped into some deep, ancestral cruelty — a pattern of abuse that goes back generations, like a family tradition.

Planet Waves
Obama family, official White House portrait by Pete Souza.

There is also a security and comfort factor here. It’s as if he was so often subjected to a morph of psychological and emotional abuse that he feels safe in a danger zone, which I guess should be a prerequisite for any president.

One problem, however, is that the aspect involves his Moon in Gemini, which under such stress has a way of splitting him in half; the psychological word is ‘dissociative’. This is a typical response to extreme abuse. What it does is give him the ability to subvert his feelings and his intuition, and to work with two separate sets of ethics, almost as if he’s two different people. One is obvious to see; the other, you have to look for carefully, going outside the mainstream media for your information.

He is extremely good at cultivating his friendly, neighborly PR image, but the split shows up, for example, in something I read on Alternet this morning: “Perhaps the most damning fact about Barack Obama is that his administration has indicted more than 100 people for distributing medical marijuana — and not prosecuted a single major Wall Street executive for fraud.”

This becomes a serious problem when we consider other aspects to his Sun, and nearby Mercury. Both are square Neptune (tense, 90-degree angle), which is not inherently given to honesty. In fact this is often a situation where the person must do a lifetime of learning and growth to learn what honesty even is, why it matters, what it means to be real with yourself, and why you want to be. There is an integrity problem here. Obama is a talented liar, helped by the fact that he’s the kind of guy who believes his own PR.

Obama was also born in the evening, moments after sunset. This puts many factors of his chart on the relationship side of the wheel, in the west, sometimes called the zone of projection. (He has a Leo Sun with Aquarius rising.)

Charts like this can produce people who will morph into whatever they perceive others need them to be, to get the approval they need. By itself, this can be worked with, but with so many other factors suggesting integrity problems, the bottom line is we have no idea who this person really is. This shows up in shadow form with the conservatives who cling to their ‘birtherism’, trying to claim that Obama is not American, or not loyal to the United States. They are seeing shadows and making up stories.

Planet Waves
Mitt and Ann, on prom night.

Do we ever know who a public figure is, having had no direct personal experience with the person? There are always limits, of course, but some people are more transparent than others. And some are less. Obama is impressively opaque, though he seems transparent.

Let’s consider Mitt Romney. The first thing I see when I look at his chart is that Venus is the highest planet. This is his charm, if you can call it that; he’s charming in that B-rate actor playing a presidential candidate kind of way. This planet is placed right on his ‘presidential angle’ — the 10th house — and it’s what makes him Big Boss Man.

This guy is certain that he was born to be big. He cannot help it; it’s in his karma. He just knows for super duper sure that he’s cut of that old-fashioned presidential timber (and that part of his ‘destiny’ is that women are going to help him get there).

Venus, a planet involved with emotional receptivity and emotional intelligence, is in Aquarius. In her classic work, Secrets from a Stargazer’s Notebook, Debbi Kempton-Smith described this as a person who acts like an $80 robot from Sears. She wrote this in the 70s, I guess back when Sears sold toy robots. (Who knows — they still may.)

Have you ever seen that YouTube video of Romney campaigning for Senate in Massachusetts about 20 years ago? The one where he walks into a diner, and everyone is sitting around eating? “This is terrific! What’s going on here today?” As if he’s never seen people eating, he bumbles around: “Look, a room full of humans. What are they doing? Oh, they are consuming foodstuffs. Hello, consuming humans! I mean ‘fellow humans’ haha. What does your foodstuff taste like? Hello! I am a politician.”

It would be painful to watch, were it not so damned strange. I’ll come back to Venus in Aquarius — his whole chart pivots around this one placement. Note, if you have it, it doesn’t automatically make you a robot; you might just be a little like Mr. Spock. You might be able to feel your feelings; just make sure you can feel those of others, and you’ll be fine.

Romney was born with the Sun in Pisces, along with a cluster of other planets — Mercury, Ceres and Mars among them. Pisces is the sign of illusions; it changes constantly and evades accurate perception. Mercury happened to be retrograde in Pisces when he was born, which is like a long discussion with yourself, where you don’t necessarily tell the truth, and which can break into a full-on convoluted internal argument that nobody seems to win. It’s also about marching to the beat of a drummer that nobody else can hear.

Planet Waves
Natal chart of Barack Obama. Damocles is indicated by the black capital D on the left side of the chart, which is exactly opposite the Leo Sun. He also has Aquarius rising, and a Gemini Moon. One thing that both candidates have in common is Gemini; Mitt Romney has it rising. Nessus is conjunct Obama’s Gemini Moon, in light blue, at the bottom center of the chart. See both charts side by side at this link.

The first thing I think of when I see this Pisces cluster is “pleasure seeking.” I know we think of Romney as “business guy,” but really he is Mr. Lifestyle. He wants you to know it, and he wants it to be visible. He can’t be humbler about his car elevator because he so desperately wants you to know he has one. What good is a car elevator otherwise?

This excess factor is confirmed by his powerful, very exact Scorpio conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter. This describes both sex and money: he can never get enough, no matter how much he has. How he goes about this doesn’t matter; it’s meeting the goal that does. This aspect screams with entitlement, as if he personally inherited the world. Maybe he was a Mormon on another planet, did very well for himself, and got the Earth as his reward.

Now, back to that Venus. I said that it’s the highest planet in his chart — the most elevated in the sky. That gives it a lot of what the old astrologers called ‘accidental dignity’. It makes him an elitist, the kind of guy who can only relate to others he perceives to be of his class. Even though Venus isn’t terribly happy in Aquarius, it’s particularly strong in Romney’s chart.

Strong — and under siege. It’s at one point of a cross — a fairly rare aspect called a grand cross. (This is four planets spread at 90-degree angles to one another.) To one side is the planet of psychological abuse (Nessus, which is also strong in Obama’s chart). For this guy, love is a bitter pill. To another side is Chiron, an aspect structure that I could write a book about, however, we see it demonstrated plain as day in his values about women, which are both conflicted and controlling.

And then Venus is opposed by a rare conjunction of Saturn and Pluto — chilly, detached and yet intense. There is a real drive for power here, and it’s all about him. I think we are looking at a sexual hypocrite to the highest order of magnitude. Washington D.C. is famous for this, though I think that Mitt Romney stands tall in this regard.

He impresses me as a three-hooker kind of guy. At least in his dreams, he needs the three most beautiful, best-dressed and (most of all) most expensive call girls in town. Then he needs them to do all manner of delightfully perverse things to him, simultaneously, for hours on end, till they finally start to get sleepy. That’s when he reminds them to vote for him, and invites them to church the following Sunday.

Planet Waves
Mitt Romney’s natal chart, with Gemini rising, and a Pisces Sun. His Moon-Jupiter in Scorpio conjunction is on the right side of the chart, below the horizontal line. Venus is the blue planet toward the top right of the chart (next to the glyph with the circle and the X, which is the Part of Fortune.) He has Nessus in the 12th house (left side of the chart, above horizontal line, in light blue). It’s square his natal Venus, which illustrates his suspicion of women. Chiron (an orange key) is exactly opposite Nessus. Saturn and Pluto are at the bottom of the chart, skewed to the left. Link to both charts side by side.

Think of this as a consumerist form of polygamy. It’s also not sex for the sake of love, or human contact, or venting steam — which he seems unable to blow off in any event (the pressure just builds and builds). It’s sex for the sake of power, and getting over on people — just like he lives the rest of his life.

Romney gives me the impression of being 100 psi of scandal pumped into a 10 psi tire. He seems on the verge of exploding, and my impression is that sooner or later he will. True, his 8th house Juno in Sagittarius looks like he’s Mr. Monogamous Marriage. It can also say, “My wife is chattel, hence, all women are chattel.”

This looks good from the outside, because the family image he portrays plays right into a scenario most people think they can relate to. It’s vital to remember that politics is as much about image as your average television commercial.

We get a more concise statement of his true spiritual values in his 9th house Pholus in Capricorn (think Rupert Murdoch and News of the World). He can conceal all kinds of unusual things (including psychological distress, which may be medicated) in that Capricorn 9th, while maintaining the appearance of propriety. Mormons, particularly of his age, are conditioned to repress their sexual energy to an extreme degree, and when that happens it can have some strange manifestations. In my perspective, what is happening behind the scenes would actually be shocking to most people. Whether or not he takes office, this will come out in one form or another. If he does not take office, eventually there will be that, “My God, this guy could have been president” moment.

His 10th house Venus in Aquarius, aspected by Nessus, Chiron and the Saturn/Pluto conjunction, has him pulled in four different directions all the time. He ‘doesn’t know who he is’ because he’s split four ways down the middle; it’s like he’s drawn and quartered psychically. But he’s learned how to juggle this, and the man knows how to have fun. Especially in public office, which he wants more than anything in the world, and which in many ways he is simply not compatible with. I don’t think that a Romney presidency would end well, especially for him. This man has enemies, and most of them are Republican.

Which chart is ‘worse’? I think Obama has suffered more and, despite his political and psychological problems, I think he’s closer to his humanity. And I think that most people can feel this, mostly in the form of expecting more humane conduct from him. Just remember: Mercury stations retrograde on election night, so there really are no guarantees, including the outcome of whatever administration takes office on Jan. 20.



Planet Waves

Sun Enters Scorpio Monday; Kisses Saturn Hello

The Sun enters the fixed water sign Scorpio on Monday. The fixed signs are the ones that come at the peak of the season. In Northern Hemisphere spring we have Taurus, in summer, Leo and in winter, Aquarius.

These are the signs that host the cross-quarter days — the high Sabbaths of the Pagan calendar.

Planet Waves
Old drawing of Saturn in 1666, by Robert Hooke.

Scorpio time is a reminder that Halloween is near, which is our contemporary version of Days of the Dead. Costumes and parties are fun. I suggest that you plan to make a trip to a cemetery and visit the graves of your ancestors. Dust off their pictures and remember who they were, and who they are to you today. Call on their support — they may prove to be helpful and will be grateful that you’re paying attention to them.

When the Sun ingresses Scorpio, it will join Saturn, which arrived earlier this month. This will be the first of just three Sun-Saturn conjunctions in Scorpio, before Saturn moves on to Sagittarius in 2015. So these are rare and special events, which will help us better understand the nature of this transit.

To my thinking, Saturn in Scorpio means getting real about the three things that Scorpio represents most prominently. One is sex. Another is death. Last is the exchange of resources and karma between people. These conversations happen in layers, which tend to be layers of increasing honesty, with the intent to heal what you encounter as you go deeper into yourself.

These three topics are among the most important to humanity, and the most taboo. The combination does not go well. When we ignore it, we end up with situations like the suicide of Canadian teenager Amanda Todd, who killed herself last week after being stalked and blackmailed on the Internet. It’s not enough to be ‘against bullying’, or ‘against slut shaming’, both of which led to her death.

There must be a creative and healing angle, and this is what the Sun+Saturn in Scorpio is describing. Existence is not a criminal conspiracy, and you are not a criminal. Therefore you don’t need to feel like one. Yet to get out of the emotional sink of shame and victimhood, it’s necessary to speak out about your truth. Mercury in Scorpio is making that option available. No matter how heavy the topic may seem at first, it will be a lot lighter once you get it out into the open air and daylight.


Planet Waves

Who’s Afraid of a Third-Party Candidate?

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested Tuesday as they tried to enter Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York, for the presidential debate. They were held for eight hours, handcuffed to chairs. The Commission on Presidential Debates, controlled by the Republican and Democratic parties, has barred Stein (and other third-party candidates) from inclusion, despite Stein and Honkala’s presence on the ballot for 85% of U.S. voters.

Planet Waves
Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and vice-presidential candidate Cheri Honkala as they get arrested on the Hofstra University campus just before Tuesday’s Presidential debate. Image: Democracy Now! video still.

“We’re here to stand ground for the American people, who have been systematically locked out of these debates for decades by the Commission on Presidential Debates,” said Stein, as she was confronted by a Hofstra official and police officers. “We think that this commission is entirely illegitimate; that if democracy truly prevailed, there would be no such commission, that the debates would still be run by the League of Women Voters.”

From 1976 through 1984, the League of Women Voters ran fiercely transparent, non-partisan Presidential debates that included qualifying high-polling third-party candidates and rebuffed attempts by Democrats and Republicans to craft secret contracts limiting aspects of the debates, publically announcing when such tactics were being pushed. Debate contracts, which may specify allowed questions and moderators, have become standard practice under the CPD, headed by a pair of partisan lobbyists for large industries.

On Wednesday, Democracy Now! expanded the televised presidential debate to allow Stein, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson to answer the same questions; CNN also aired a debate between Stein and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. One question for Romney and Obama: if you two are so different from each other, why are you so afraid of letting third-party candidates in the room?


Planet Waves

Another Carbon-Credits Scheme Gone Wrong

On Monday, in the midst of a grand water-sign trine linking Saturn in Scorpio, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, and Ceres in Cancer, The Guardian U.K. reported that California businessman Russ George dumped about 100 metric tons of iron sulfate into the ocean off Canada’s western coast. George’s ‘geoengineering’ venture sparked an artificial plankton bloom as part of a risky attempt to create carbon credits for profit that violates two U.N. conventions.

Planet Waves
Yellow and orange areas show relatively high concentrations of chlorophyll in August 2012, after Russ George’s iron sulfate dump. Photo: Giovanni/Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center/NASA.

The bloom, which stretches nearly 10,000 square kilometers, is supposed to absorb carbon dioxide — a controversial technique quaintly called “ocean fertilization,” which scientists warn could irreparably harm ocean life and possibly even speed up global warming.

The head of the local indigenous Haida Nation says the community would have rejected the dump, which occurred in July and had been called a “salmon enhancement project,” had they known of the potential for harm.

The story perfectly illustrates the whirlpool effect that can come with a grand trine. Neptune highlights George’s intentional lies to the Haida Nation (and their willingness to believe them); Chiron in Pisces continues to alert us to the wounds we inflict on our oceans — right down to their very structure (Saturn — which in Scorpio points to the money issue); Ceres illustrates our (threatened) ability to reap nourishment from the sea — an integral part of our home (Cancer).

Coinciding with this news is the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s announcement that September 2012 was the warmest September on record, the 331st month in a row with a global temperature above the 20th-century average.


Planet Waves

Amanda Todd: Worthy of Love, not Shaming

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, 15-year-old Canadian teen Amanda Todd was found dead in her home. Her apparent suicide is receiving widespread attention due to her story of being mercilessly cyber-stalked, bullied online and in school, and physically assaulted by classmates.

Planet Waves
Amanda Todd. Photo: Wikipedia.

About a month before her death, Amanda posted a video to YouTube in which she tells her story via flashcards, hoping to inspire other teens struggling with bullying. Her own life turned inside out when, a year after chatting with a man online with her friends when she was 12, she finally acquiesced to his request for a photo of her breasts. After that, he threatened to show all of her schoolmates and teachers the photo — and he followed through, repeating his actions when she moved schools.

An article on Huffington Post this week eloquently came to Amanda’s defense when Facebook pages and Tweets began appearing that continued to shame her even after her death, calling her a slut and saying she deserved to die.

Amanda’s story is sparking important conversations, but it all needs to go deeper. ‘School bullying’ and ‘cyber-bullying’ only scratch the surface; same with those who ask, “where were the parents?” Technology has far outpaced society’s ability to navigate it with consciousness and empathy, and parents — many of whom are just as brainwashed by social media as their kids — often have no idea how to equip their children with the tools (and boundaries) they need.

On an even more fundamental level, these events point to how ill-equipped most of us are simply to deal with our own ‘stuff’: jealousy, control issues, projection of what we fear onto others, our own emotional/psychic injuries and abuse, and ingrained double standards around women’s sexuality.
Eric wrote on his Facebook page this week:

“The sex/slut piece brings up another dimension, which is that it’s impossible to call someone a slut without that person coming from a place of shame. Shaming someone for allegedly being a slut is the projection of shame.”

Planet Waves
Video still from Amanda’s YouTube message to the world.

Later in the discussion, he wrote: “There’s also something about jealousy and control. I think that the bullies cannot imagine a girl having any fun that they’re not also entitled to. It’s not that Amanda WAS having fun [well, she was trying to, and got in way over her head] — it’s the perception that she has the ability to, and the jealousy/control issues around that potential, inherent in ‘slut’ shaming.”

It is clear that there’s a need for better sex education, and in some places, any sex education at all. This issue is not merely about bullying; it’s about bullying on a topic that is itself festering with untended injury.

On this theme, Eric posted: “Speaking as one who has gone out on a limb to offer different and what I think are humane sexual values, that offer a breath of liberation from shame and shaming oneself, I know how fast it’s possible to get shamed and bulled for doing just that. So if I have to fear for my job or receive angry letters in order to extend a potential for new values, where does that leave someone with less guts?”

Or, imagine being 12 or 15 years old. Everyone has made bad choices at that age, probably since the dawn of time. Until recently, the consequences of those choices were generally localized. Now, the whole world can know about them with a few mouse clicks. What is this doing to kids’ psyches? When do they get a break from the torment once it starts? One mother emailed Eric, saying:”What the hell can we do about this? I’ve seen how teenage girls treat one another these days, they’re like a bunch of psychopaths, and that’s no exaggeration. I’ve also seen that there is literally NO SOLUTION when your child is being bullied, it either stops or it doesn’t, anything you try to do has no effect at best, and usually makes it worse.”

From Enron to Iraq to Mitt Romney, the culture of bullying seems to be growing — as is a culture of sexual ignorance in which Internet porn has taken the place of sex ed for many kids. Porn has its place in adult sexuality, but it’s way too narrow a view of sex to be educationally sound. And when that is the only source of sexual ideas and imagery, it propagates an ‘otherness’ and anonymity that does little to foster inward reflection or empathy, and instead enables tremendous projection (of fears, desires, shame, etc.) onto others.

Planet Waves
One month ago, Amanda wrote, “I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones [sic] future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I’m still here aren’t I?”

Ultimately, both Amanda’s struggle and the conversations around her suicide sadly illustrate last week’s astrology perfectly. Eric wrote on the Planet Waves blog just before her death, that the Sun conjunct Psyche describes “the struggle for soul contact, having faith in oneself, or even acknowledging one’s own existence. … Said in a more complex way, Psyche is the state of mind that might lead you to believe that you’re psychologically injured and that there is no way out.”

Amanda Todd, whose first name means “worthy of love,” found a way out. But there are other ways out of pain, far more creative, productive ways that involve allowing that love in. It can take tremendous support, perhaps from entire communities when things get bad enough. And it means we need to take these conversations out of the shadows long enough and seriously enough to get down to the roots of the multifaceted issues at play here. We can do this, and we need to. If Amanda could go on YouTube to tell her story and stand in her truth, even for just a month, we can continue the conversation she has started.

Stay tuned for a special edition of Planet Waves FM, in which Eric plans to discuss Amanda Todd’s birth and death charts. — Amanda Painter


Planet Waves

Personal Data-mining Aims at Public Shaming

The Western world may be millennia past public stonings (which still occur in parts of the world) and centuries past the Salem witch trials, yet public shaming via social media seems to be the new vogue even in politics.

Planet Waves
…and so do your porn preferences, favorite toohpaste, and gay friends.

A report by Mother Jones reveals that both the Romney and Obama campaigns are going to unprecedented lengths to digitally mine personal data to turn out voters Nov. 6. Building on its interview with Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy, Democracy Now! noted that:”The information collected includes everything from religious ties, interest in pornographic sites, product preferences, financial status, social media affiliations and whether a voter has gay friends.

“That information is then used to shape the approach of unsolicited phone calls from campaign staffers to the voters, based on how they have been analyzed. Some voters will even be pushed to vote by being publicly ‘shamed,’ when the campaign publicly divulges how frequently they and their neighbors have previously voted in the hopes that public disclosure will spur them to action.”

When will we learn that bullying in any form is not okay?


Planet Waves
Planet Waves

This is stuck on the cover of the notebook I used for the 2005 annual edition, during the 2004 election, complete with coffee stains. It’s by one of my favorite political cartoonists, my fellow SUNY Buffalo alumnus Tom Toles of The Washington Post. He worked at the student newspaper, The Spectrum.


Planet Waves

Felix Baumgartner jumps from 24 miles up in the atmosphere.

Planet Waves FM :: Felix Jumps! & the Candidates’ Charts

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I cover Felix Baumgartner jumping from 24 miles high — and compare this to the chart of the Wright Brothers’ first historic flight at Kitty Hawk. Here are charts for both Felix jumping as well as the first flight. I also cover the charts of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, discussed in the above article, though with additional impressions and details. Our musical guest is Sloan Wainwright. You can hear additional music by Sloan at this special edition of PW FM.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Planet Waves monthly horoscopes provide a broader perspective that surveys the themes of the coming month and often, weeks that follow. The November monthly horoscope will be distributed with the edition of Friday, Oct. 26. It’s always worth reviewing the monthly horoscope at the end of the month! The October Monthly horoscope was published Friday, Sept. 28. Inner Space for October was published Tuesday, Oct. 2. The October Moonshine Horoscope was published Tuesday, Oct. 16.

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. A recent weekly horoscope (#918) covered the Libra equinox in detail.


Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 #922 | By Eric Francis

Late Libra Birthdays

If you focus your energy and ambition, you will discover that your self-doubts are not only unfounded, but also that they only cover over your perception of your talent. It’s essential that you offer yourself only to situations where you feel an authentic sense of emotional commitment, proceeding with dedication that is not just an idea, or about some immediate passion, but rather coming from a deep place of contact. That’s your assurance that what you’re doing will be mutually beneficial and nourishing. You may still not be having the easiest time where personal relationships are concerned, though you have developed a skill of being able to do a bit more of the adapting to the quirkiness of others — and for a while that will ease the way. Still, you must learn to make demands on people to respect your needs, your growth process and your individuality. That will be easier as your longterm project of cultivating true self-respect develops, but still, that extra step of holding others to a standard of fair treatment is something that you will have to learn and that may not come naturally to you. Note to Libra and Libra rising readers: I have prepared an extended reading for you, which you may access here.

Early Scorpio Birthdays
The Sun enters the sign Scorpio Monday, making the first of three Sun-Saturn conjunctions (there is another one, next year). This is a roundabout way of saying that Saturn is in your sign, and if you’re born early in Scorpio, it will be making a conjunction to your natal Sun all year. Sun-Saturn is one of those ‘enforced growth’ kind of transits, encouraging you to stabilize your emotions, to come to terms with the past and ultimately, to be your most dependable source of authority. The Saturn principle says, “Run your own life and others will not be able to run it for you.” Living this way requires a commitment, more indeed than most people choose to embrace; they would rather have someone else tell them what to do. (This, by the way, explains most of politics and why people don’t take a greater role in what influences their lives so profoundly.) Many other factors in your chart are encouraging you to deal with the past rather than avoid it, and if you are willing to do that, you will discover that you possess a kind of dissolving power that both allows you to resolve what is no longer serving you, and grants you an unusual creative ability to envision a new life for yourself. This will not happen overnight, but if you devote yourself to it daily, you will get results sooner than you think. Note to Scorpio and Scorpio rising readers: I plan to have your birthday reading done next week.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Why oh why is sex such a secret? I know enough about the history of sex to be aware it’s been this way for a while, and across many cultures. The topic of what people do naked, or think about doing, or want to do, almost always has a taboo over it. Yet the conspiracy, the cover-up, the dishonesty and the impulse to power that we see in our society certainly have a special place in the trophy room of history. Right now it would seem as if you’re trying to contain something about yourself, something you’re concerned others, or someone in particular, might discover. Though this may have an answer that seems obvious, what exactly is your concern? What do you think will happen? I suggest you spend the weekend getting clear about what exactly you’re fearful of. I also suggest you ask how you would respond if someone close to you had a similar concern about your discovering something. Once the Sun changes signs to Scorpio Monday, you will feel how good it is to let the light into dark places.

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) — The Sun ingresses your opposite sign Scorpio on Monday, which indicates a shift of tone in your relationship life. Things could go one of two ways from here: toward greater depth and understanding, or toward separation. My impression is that events will proceed along a path that seems organic; emotions, like water, tend to flow with the psychic landscape. There’s a larger story involved, however, and it involves your longterm needs for clarity in your relationships. Clarity is a form of understanding, and in our current version of the world, it’s natural to experience that as vulnerability. There is also something about the nature of exchange. I believe that many people withhold generosity because to give to someone is to set up the conditions for loving them; I’ve seen over and over that we love who and what we take care of. I know it’s supposed to go the other way, and sometimes it does. The question is no longer what you can get, but what you can give. It’s no longer who belongs in your life, or not; the question is why or why not.

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’s essential to know what you want from your relationship experiences, and what you want to offer. The emphasis is now on exchange. It’s also on taking certain factors seriously that you have neglected before: particularly the essential element of sexual healing that is such a strong theme in your relationships. It’s usually easy to pretend this one doesn’t exist — though not with Saturn in Scorpio pushing this to the point of immediate necessity, particularly since the Sun is about to arrive on Monday. It’s time to note certain facts of existence, and begin making decisions about how to approach them. Until then, I suggest you take advantage of a rare aspect which will help you find people in your environment with whom you’re in affinity. This will work on nearly any subject, though you have an opportunity to put it to use to make contact with others on this singularly avoided topic — the necessity for sexual healing. This theme will extend into your circle of friends as well as your family. If you’re feeling inhibition, get over yourself, and do what you know it’s time to do.

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) — It can take some perspective to figure out how much damage religion has done to you — especially if you don’t think it’s done much damage at all. In my view, the most serious problem with religion is the way that it takes control over the most sensitive matters of the human experience: for instance, sex, death, cosmology, values about money and who is allowed to relate to whom. This is all packaged up as God’s will. The question of the hour is, how would you have your life be, if all of those rules were suspended? What would you believe, if nobody told you what to believe, or tried to enforce your views with guilt? By the way: the presence of guilt in any area of life is clear evidence that religion has been through the territory. That any of these aspects of life could be made into a moral issue is evidence of the same thing. I’m aware it can feel destabilizing to challenge any of this, and often guilt is the first emotion to rush in. This time, however, I suggest you greet it with some healthy skepticism.

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) — It seems like you’re about to discover the truth about a family secret, something that’s potentially eluded you for years. This comes right around when you’ve made the decision to take charge of your personal affairs in a new way. You’ve always been one to assert leadership in your relationships and your ‘tribal’ surroundings, though not like you’re experiencing now. You appear to be making peace with how you’re emotionally motivated, which is at the seat of your ability to make and keep such deep commitments. Yet now, you’re doing something truly admirable, or you can if you want: intervening in the process of the generations going by. You have set a limit on something, with the purpose of opening up a clear space for something else. You know that these two things cannot coexist; just like being functional has a way of contradicting dysfunction. And, behold: truth contradicts secrecy.

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.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Many people have fantasies of writing down their deepest secrets, and a second layer of wanting others to read them. You would be amazed the dance that people do with themselves: writing under fake names, hiding things on their computers, writing things and then burning them, as well as experiencing all kinds of fear about what would happen if [whatever]. The planets are now aligning in such a way that’s facilitating your being unusually honest with yourself about these intriguing aspects of your life. You have room to explore, to go deeper than you ever have before, and to feel the strength of expressing your vivid truth to yourself. If you encounter fears, blockages or apprehension of any kind, I suggest you keep going, because the best stuff is going to be on the other side of those seeming barriers. Then comes the question of sharing. You might fear that if you’re truthful with anyone, a conspiracy against you will erupt. You are right about one thing — there is a conspiracy, and it’s known as LIFE.

Hello Virgo — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). Did you miss your birthday reading? Use this link to order an hour of astrology plus a tarot reading by Eric.


Planet Waves



Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Do you want a relationship, or do you want some opportunities to experiment and explore? Over the past couple of years, circumstances have guided or pushed you in the direction of the unknown. You may be feeling like you’re on an edge of some kind, and I would not be surprised if you’re feeling a little more fear than usual. If so, consider this. There seems to be some aspect of yourself that you’re reluctant to reveal to others, while at the same time you know this is the most meaningful thing about you. It’s also likely to be an attribute of yourself that would help you connect with others in a nourishing way, were you able to be open about it. Consider the last couple of days of the Sun transiting your sign to be a kind of incubation phase, while you make contact with whatever this element of yourself is. Get used to the fact that it’s there. Then once the Sun enters Scorpio on Monday, you will feel the beauty and value of what you possess.

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) — Structure is no more an impediment to your dreams than a car prevents you from driving someplace. Yet to have the freedom that a car offers, it took focus, ingenuity and dedication on the part of inventors and engineers — and the driver had to get access in the form of buying or borrowing one. You’re in approximately the same place with your life right now: you cannot have the freedom of expression you dream of without some structure and discipline around your goals. Daydreaming may feel liberating, but it’s really a distraction, and a form of boredom. Yet it seems that the moment you get close to the point of embracing some firm path or pattern and applying it to what you desire, fear takes over the equation. You may change your point of view when the Sun ingresses your sign Monday. Notice how much you get done next week, and remember how good it feels.

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


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You may be making one discovery after the next about what is going on in the depths of your psyche. This is at once liberating, pleasurable, painful and daunting, or perhaps these sensations are coming in waves and various combinations. Most of all, it’s necessary, particularly in an era when the most powerful psychological force is denial, which is another way of saying ‘keeping secrets from ourselves’. Now, there are a few factors to be aware of at this juncture. One is that the deeper you go, the more you may encounter a new kind of loneliness. As you keep going, you’re then likely to discover a new kind of self-presence, which you have, in the past, had a tendency to cover over by involving yourself with others. Now, no other person can get in the way of your relationship to yourself, and further, I strongly suggest you select people to be with on the basis that they not only ‘support’ but actively encourage you in your relationship to yourself. Here is the catch: there’s a degree to which they must be left out of that very process, which means that jealous people are not your friend. Far from it.

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) — Your charts are rather emotionally potent at the moment (an understatement), and I suggest you ask yourself whether you’re feeding on intensity for its own sake, or you actually have something to express. You seem to be seeking peak experiences, which isn’t unhealthy in and of itself — the question is the content of those experiences, what they offer you, and what their influence is on the environment of your relationships. Are you creating a diversion of some kind, or are you reacting to pressure within you that you don’t know how to handle? It’s possible that there’s an exaggeration effect going on; you’re perceiving others as being overly serious, and they are perceiving you as failing to see the virtue of self-control. If so, there’s some truth to the equation. I would ask, however, what is underneath all of this emotional intensity. What is driving you? What’s the source of your restlessness? You may just be reacting against gaining the emotional discipline you know you need to cultivate.

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) — Is there a mystery to success? There certainly seems so. Intelligence, a good plan and hard work are sometimes enough, though often there’s a necessary missing factor. I suggest you contemplate what that factor might be over the next few days, as the Sun gets ready to cross the midheaven of your solar chart. There is an answer to the riddle, and it’s pretty easy. It will be a lot more meaningful coming from you than from me, so I’m going to wait a week before telling you my theory. I will give you a clue, though — it involves something about the supposedly inherent nature of your zodiac sign, perhaps the quality most often noted by astrologers. Meanwhile, you seem to be confronting some issues about whether you’re a ‘popular’ person or not. There’s some actual fear involved in this equation, and I suggest you keep the discussion with yourself on that level, rather than the popularity level. It’s clear, though, that if you’re in harmony with yourself, others will feel much more in harmony with you — or you will simply move on when they are not.

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)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — It’s time for humanity to stop falling for the toxic lie that there is something ‘unspiritual’ about sexual feelings, and the ways in which we may share them with others. This struggle is the result of moralism, not spirituality, and anything that’s moralistic is far from the realm of healing, spirit or love. You’re someone who is not only naturally inclined to see the organic relationship between what humans think of as eros and what they think of as divine; you are the one who lives this connection, perhaps more readily than anyone you know. Saturn in Scorpio is setting an agenda that it’s now time for many others to enter this territory. On Monday, Saturn will be joined by the Sun, adding light, heat and sanity to a situation that is slowly driving many people insane. On Earth, it’s also one of the most corrupt aspects of life, which accounts for so much death and destruction. Your role is to live steadfastly in the space that sexuality is among the highest orders of spiritual truth. Be bold and sincere. Err on the side of openness and freedom. To do this you will need to access your deepest strength and your commitment to life. In doing so, you will be aligning yourself with a source of energy and wisdom that can and will nourish you for the rest of your days.

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


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