Tag Archives: centaur planets

The Orius New Moon

Dear Friend and Reader:

This past Monday, the Sagittarius New Moon was conjunct a newly discovered centaur planet called Orius. The Moon-Sun conjunction was to the exact degree, which is usually a good moment to suss out some clues regarding what the new point is about. Technically called (330836) Orius, it was discovered on April 25, 2009, and named only recently.

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A centaur is a Chiron-like planet, distinct for being smallish, and with an inclined path that crosses the orbits of other planets. They are much further from the Sun than asteroids, but are still inner Solar System objects, many with orbits going inside Saturn’s realm and only rarely extending beyond Neptune. All centaurs focus or intensify experience, are related to healing processes and bring what Carl Jung called shadow material to the surface. If used consciously, they are some of the best creative fuel available.

Orius was discovered at 3+ Scorpio, exactly opposite the Chiron discovery degree. It has an orbit of just over 100 years, so it has another close resonance with Chiron, whose orbit is just over 50 years. I prefer to publish something about these points before a potentially once-in-a-lifetime event such as a New Moon conjunct the new discovery, but this time I got going on my research the weekend before it happened. [To read an article on how newly-discovered minor planets are delineated, check this PDF.]

I had some excellent help on the project. At one end of Europe, in Wales, Tracy Delaney, the programmer and author of Serennu.com (recently rated the best astrology secret on the web), went to work researching the charts in which this point appears, and helping come up with a delineation. At the other end of Europe, in Finland, Kirsti Melto, a minor planet researcher and Planet Waves blogger, began searching for personal and event charts connected to Orius.

Orius turned up as a prominent influence in the charts of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (who both have it conjunct Eris and the Moon), Pablo Picasso, James Dean, French surrealist poet Arthur Rimbaud, American rock star and surrealist poet Jim Morrison (who said he was the reincarnation of Rimbaud), Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. In many ways their lives have defined eras of history, taking their professional lives to the level of profound cultural contribution.

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All of these men are or were unusually influential people — bold innovators, each of whom changed the world in some significant way, all of whom as young men. Note, no women came up on our rapid survey, but that sometimes happens because astrology birth databases often have far fewer women than men. That is an issue that needs to be addressed.

This new centaur planet is also prominent in the life history of Malcolm X, and one of my very favorite Supreme Court decisions, the one that bans politicians from suing newspapers for libel, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. Orius seems to have an affinity for top-notch iconoclastic art, social justice and activists who don’t take any bullshit.

Orius also turned up in the chart of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, who reunified the country after many decades under the Apartheid regime. Orius seems to have an affinity for the Moon and Jupiter in the charts of influential people; in Mandela’s chart Jupiter is opposing it (accurate to a tiny fraction of a degree) and many other planets are in aspect to it.

The forced separation of blacks and whites in South Africa was one of the great blights on the world, and one of the most important political issues of the 1970s and early 1980s. Apartheid was largely brought down by activists who demanded that one institution after the next — banks, universities, corporations, pension funds, cities, towns, states, countries, whatever — divest their funds from anyone doing business with South Africa.

After being enriched for decades by numerous capitalist entities, Apartheid was, under public pressure, finally starved of money and died not a day too soon.

Through all of this, South Africa’s most compelling leader, Nelson Mandela, was in prison, first on Robben Island, then Pollsmoor Prison, then Victor Verster Prison. Under global pressure he was finally released in 1990. He served as president of the African National Congress from 1991 to 1997, and as president of South Africa from May 1994 through June 1999.

It is fair to say that he has become one of the most respected men of our extended era of history, for his contribution to peace, for his wisdom and compassion and for his willingness to endure hardship and oppression. First arrested in 1962, he served nearly a third of his long life in prison, much of it doing hard labor and in solitary confinement. While at Robben Island, he was permitted one letter and one visitor every six months.

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Throughout that time, he and his fellow inmates took part in work and hunger strikes as part of the anti-Apartheid struggle.

Planet Waves copy editor and horoscope coordinator Jessica Keet grew up in South Africa until she was 23. “I for sure knew nothing of the apartheid struggle or not in depth anyway,” she said Thursday — something I had not considered, that young caucasian people were not told what was going on around them.

But still as a schoolgirl she remembers writing FREE MANDELA on her pencil case. She admired Mandela in part because “he came out of 27 years in jail with no trace of bitterness whatsoever.”

“In a way I had never quite comprehended before, I realized the role I could play in court and the possibilities before me as a defendant,” he said in 1994, describing how he handled his trial.

“I was the symbol of justice in the court of the oppressor, the representative of the great ideals of freedom, fairness and democracy in a society that dishonoured those virtues. I realized then and there that I could carry on the fight even in the fortress of the enemy.”

In his inaugural speech the same year, he said, “The task at hand will not be easy. But you have mandated us to change South Africa from a country in which the majority lived with little hope, to one in which they can live and work with dignity, with a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the future.”

Nelson Mandela’s natal chart is noteworthy mostly for its sensitivity. He was born with the Sun in Cancer, the Moon in Scorpio and Eris in late Pisces. There are not a lot of people left on the planet who have Eris in Pisces (nearly everyone has it in Aries, where it still is today).

Also in Cancer is a conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto, one of my favorite pairings, which I call the Golden Thread aspect. It gives a thirst for social justice as well as the ability to translate fluently among and between any spiritual or religious paths. Jupiter and Pluto were opposed by Orius, which distinguished Mandela as an innovator. Mars in Libra square that alignment illustrates a fighting spirit, but done in a beautiful way, in the spirit of Libra.

In the mix (also in Libra, very closely square Jupiter and Orius) is one of the first-discovered centaurs, called Asbolus, which I describe as the survivor. Its name means carbon dust, and people with strong Asbolus in their charts seem able to withstand very nearly any adversity, dust themselves off and get on with their lives.

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Nelson Mandela, with his wife, Winnie, walks to freedom after 27 years in prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Cape Town.

This arrangement, finally, is squared by a Chiron-Nessus conjunction, in Aries, right near the Aries Point. Mandela had a lot of centaurs working with his Mars, Jupiter and Pluto. No wonder he was a powerhouse, and one who seemed to understand everyone and everything.

He also has clusters of planets in Gemini and Leo, which describe how articulate, self-aware and strong he was — and which hint that his wisdom was coming from someplace long ago and far away.

We might say that the world has lost a beautiful soul in Nelson Mandela, though it’s more appropriate to say that such a person came here, and was not afraid to do his bit.

At some point in the 1990s, a quotation from Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love was incorrectly attributed to Mandela, supposedly as part of his inaugural address. Williamson has said she has no idea where the story came from, though in the end, these words always seem to evoke the spirit of Nelson Mandela and I think they always will.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So be it.


Note to Sagittarians and Sagg Rising — I have completed your birthday reading. It’s now available for instant access.

Writing and Editing Credits: News items below are written and edited by a team consisting of Anne Craig, Eric Francis, Elizabeth Michaud, Amanda Painter, Susan Scheck, Chad Woodward and Carol van Strum. Page assembled and coded by Anatoly Ryzhenko. Special thanks to the Fact Checkers List, which goes over each edition on Thursday night — and to our main astrology fact-checker Alex Miller, and Amanda, who goes over all their suggestions. Our editions are also proofread and fact-checked by Jessica Keet.


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Jupiter Trine Saturn: Putting Emotional Stability to Use

Note, I covered in some detail the current sign changes of Mercury and Mars as well as the Jupiter-Saturn trine in Wednesday’s blog entry. — efc

Amidst the excitement of Mercury finally leaving Scorpio for Sagittarius this past Wednesday, and Mars entering Libra on Saturday, a cooperative trine aspect has been building between Jupiter and Saturn, and is offering some incredibly useful emotional stability.

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Photo by Amanda Painter.

If life in recent months has been at turns exciting, confusing or simply moving too fast to comprehend, it could be easy to take something like emotional stability for granted. By all means, enjoy it; but we do not live in an era when we can rest on our laurels — or the astrology — for long.

In fact, this trine between retrograde Jupiter in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio is about more than just ease in the more fluid parts of ourselves. Jupiter trine Saturn is an aspect to put to work for you. It represents judgment and practicality, inner and outer, working together in a way that can allow you to project into the future your goals and desires, and then work toward them with genuine willingness — and to measurable effect.

In water signs, which represent our emotional bodies, this translates into the ideal time to focus on whatever therapy/counseling/healing goals you have. Especially with Cancer and Scorpio involved, consider issues around how you feel about your home, nurturing others, your mother, being a mother, sex, death, surrender, transformation and any blocks or resistance you have around money. That’s a pretty broad net; there’s a good chance at least one of those topics is ringing a bell or raising your hackles.

The Jupiter-Saturn trine is exact just before 7:31 pm EST on Dec. 12. It will still be in effect a good while after that, but then Jupiter and Saturn will not trine each other again until late May. After that, Jupiter and Saturn will not be trine in a water sign until 2034, when Jupiter is in Pisces and Saturn is in Cancer.

So for the next week or two, see what you can do to get clear on your top one to three goals for emotional/therapeutic exploration, domestic restructuring, sexual evolution (whatever that means to you) or gaining better financial control in your life. These are all high-trigger areas for many people. And while there is distinct benefit to allowing ourselves to be present in our most extreme and unstable (and therefore frightening) emotions, there’s something to be said for the inner work that can get done when you’re not constantly in reaction mode or crisis mode or fear.

Interestingly, at the moment that Jupiter-Saturn is exact next week, the Sun is conjunct Pholus in Sagittarius and approaching the core of our galaxy. Sometimes setting off a ‘chain reaction’ or a ‘big effect with a small cause’ can have its rewards. Putting therapeutic projects in motion in a context of emotional stability is one of those times — especially with a Sagittarius Sun and the Galactic Core drawing our consciousness toward levels beyond ‘normal’.

Written by Amanda Painter.


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Worse Than Slavery?* Eh, Not So Much

Last Sunday marked the administration’s self-imposed deadline for repairing the Healthcare.gov website, an effort that seems to have largely succeeded. In the first two days after the repairs were declared complete, the site saw roughly 29,000 new enrollments — about 2,000 more than took place during the entire month of November.

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At a Virginia health fair earlier this fall, a woman inquires about Obamacare. Photo: Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters.

This comes amid a backdrop of emergent truth: the website and the law itself may not be the sensible single-payer plan most progressives would prefer, but many of the worst horror stories associated with its introduction have been revealed to be lies, exaggerations, or the results of underhanded dealings not by the Obama administration but by insurance companies.

In the initial weeks following the launch, site crashes and slow-loading pages caused considerable annoyance to friends and foes alike. Even this, however, has come to look tarnished as a right-wing talking point following revelations that the site experienced 16 cyber-attacks, many conducted with a software attack tool entitled “Destroy Obama Care” that was passed around among right-wingers.

In other horror tales, many people received cancellation notices of their existing insurance plans and were told that higher-priced substitutes were their only options. Some of these stories were discredited when it was revealed that the prospective enrollees could actually get better coverage under the Affordable Care Act; it also became clear that the policies being cancelled did not meet all ACA requirements.

The whole issue was somewhat defused by Obama’s announcement that those who wanted to keep such plans could do so for another year. “We’re not going back,” the president declared on Tuesday, doubling down on an effort to switch the dialogue from tales of woe to success stories.

Insurance companies and conservatives have come to look just a bit silly in their mass freak-out over a law that, progressives point out, they themselves helped to craft.

*Dr. Ben Carson, a conservative African-American neurosurgeon and contributor to FOX News, actually compared the ACA to slavery in October.

Ukrainian Protests Grow Amid Increasing Support

Many thousands of Ukrainians have been demonstrating in Kiev’s Independence Square, in protest of their government’s decision not to sign an open trade agreement with the European Union. Ukrainian special police forces have attempted to crush the uprising with violence — most recently on Sunday, landing dozens of demonstrators and some journalists in the hospital, but demonstrators soon took the square back, employing mace and even a bulldozer in their resistance.

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Protesters pack a square in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo: AP.

The Kiev uprising is the largest of a wave of protests across the country, leading some to speculate about a second Orange Revolution, referring to the 2004 protests that deposed a prime minister. Three post-Soviet Russian presidents have come out in support of the protesters, and on Wednesday they were visited by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who told them that “the gates of the European Union are still open.”

The situation highlights the struggle over the allegiance of the Ukraine, which was the second-largest economy of the Soviet Union before that nation’s dissolution. Ukraine has a strong heavy-industry sector but imports most of its oil and natural gas; the struggle to control those imports, which currently come from Russia, is key to the current conflict.

The Russian government has urged Western countries to stay out of the conflict, which the pro-Moscow Ukrainian government has characterized as a “coup attempt.” Russian president Vladimir Putin has gone farther and styled the dissent as a “pogrom.” So far, all the attempts at suppression have brought still more Ukrainians into the streets. Ukrainian expatriates and their allies are planning solidarity actions in St. Paul, Minnesota, this weekend.


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Mystery Surrounding Cause of Arafat’s Death Continues

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s widow said on Tuesday a secret French medical report found that her husband died of natural causes nine years ago, contradicting Swiss findings last month that said he had been poisoned by radioactive polonium-201. However, an intelligence source told Planet Waves that the newer report could be a diversion and was not necessarily true.

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Dec. 3, 2013: Suha Arafat, left, flanked by her French lawyer Pierre Olivier Sur, attend a press conference in Paris, France, on Tuesday. Photo: AP.

The report, part of a French investigation, found evidence of above-average levels of the poison, but said this can be explained by a natural source in the environment contaminating the body, Suha Arafat told a news conference.

Her attorney said even though the report is secret, she was at liberty to announce what she was told about it.

Planet Waves reported last month on the findings from Switzerland’s University Center for Legal Medicine, which suggested strongly that Arafat had died from ingesting polonium. The Swiss team acknowledged that their work was hindered by the lack of biological samples from Arafat and the corruption of some evidence over the past nine years, but they stand by their findings, according to a spokesperson.


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GM Study Retracted Amid Questionable Practices

Late last month, the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted the controversial University of Caen rat study article, published in November 2012, wherein rats fed NK603 maize and Roundup displayed toxic effects, higher mortality and increased tumor rates. It was one of the most critical studies to date of the effects of GM products.

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One of Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini’s rats, which grew tumors after a Roundup and GMO corn diet. Photo: GMO Seralini.

The journal cited a “legitimate cause for concern” with both the low number of animals used and the particular strain of rat selected. It deemed the results inconclusive, and beneath the threshold of publication for the journal.

This came after an orchestrated campaign to discredit the study in the media and persuade the journal to retract it, GreenMedInfo.com reported.

Turns out, however, that Monsanto used the very same number of animals and strain of rat in an attempt to prove the safety of NK603 maize and Roundup in their studies, some of which were published in FCT, according to a statement by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, the head of the University of Caen study.

“A factual comparative analysis of the rat feeding trial by the Seralini group and the Monsanto trials clearly reveals that if the Seralini experiments are considered to be insufficient to demonstrate harm, logically, it must be the same for those carried out by Monsanto to prove safety,” Seralini said.

“Basically, all previous studies finding adverse effects of GE crops have been treated by regulators with the attitude: only those studies showing adverse effects receive a rigorous evaluation of their experimental and statistical methods, while those that claim proof of safety are taken at face value. All studies that reported no adverse effects were accepted as proof of safety regardless of these manifest (but deemed irrelevant) deficiencies of their methods.”

As if this particular rat didn’t smell bad enough, FCT hired earlier this year an ex-Monsanto employee, Richard E. Goodman, to fill a new editorial position reviewing biotech papers. Goodman, a professor at the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, University of Nebraska, worked at Monsanto from 1997 to 2004, where he assessed the allerginicity and safety of GM crops and published papers on its behalf.

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Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini in 2009 with some Roundup, which he fed to rats and which is made by Monsanto. Photo: M. Daniau.

“Goodman had no documented connection to the journal until February 2013,” the GreenMedInfo.com article states. “His fast-tracked appointment, directly onto the upper editorial board, raises urgent questions. Does Monsanto now effectively decide which papers on biotechnology are published in FCT? And is this part of an attempt by Monsanto and the life science industry to seize control of science?”

It would not be the first attempt. In the film The World According to Monsanto, Marie-Monique Robin showed how Dr. Arpad Pusztai’s career ended when he revealed on British TV that the GM potato caused organ damage and precancerous cell growth in rats.

How many more attempts will it take before those in the scientific ivory tower reject Monsanto’s strategy of planting former employees in influential positions to advance its interests? Science used rightly is a tremendous tool for improving our lives; used wrongly it has the same capacity to destroy. A discussion on scientific ethics is long overdue and desperately needed; our food supply hangs in the balance.


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In Japan, the Solution to Pollution is Censorship

Freedom of press may soon be a thing of the past in Japan. The Designated Secrets Bill was passed by the influential lower house of Parliament last Tuesday, and is expected to glide through the upper house later this month.

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In Tokyo, a spectator at a special Parliamentary hearing in which legislation was voted on that would impose stiffer penalties on those who leak information and journalists who seek it. The sign says, “Information is for people. It is rough-and-ready to deliberate at the Diet.” Photo: Kyodo News.

The bill enables the government to declare information secret when touching on topics of national security, such as defense and anti-terrorism policy. It mandates a severe 10-year prison sentence on journalists found guilty of defying these restrictions, and it also allows police to raid media organizations and seize content.

Japan says it’s passing the law to honor the demands of the United States, which wants to share more secrets with Japan — in the era of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

The proposed law would ensure that Japanese officials have unchecked authority to prevent the release of vital information. Considering their refusal to disclose pertinent radiation data in the past two years, the pending law could legalize a system of bureaucratic propaganda.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to strengthen Japan’s state secrets law to tighten control and persuade the U.S. to share military intelligence. Abe’s goal is to revise Japan’s anti-war constitution and to move toward a more fully developed military.

Critics argue that the definition of “secrets” is too vague, and will threaten the constitutional rights of the Japanese people. The bill lacks any provisions for checks and balances — for example, no committee or review board to determine what is deemed secret. In a country where information is often already far from transparent, people fear this could be a move toward dictatorship.

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Protestor against secrecy law is removed from the lower house of Parliament. Photo: Toru Hanai/Reuters.

In a recent Reuters report, Sophia University political science professor Koichi Nakano states that governmental cover-up may be the real purpose of Abe’s bill. Japanese officials are embarrassed by the mishandling of Fukushima Daiichi, and do not want this information clouding the country’s image.

“As things stand, the state gets a more or less free hand in deciding what constitutes a state secret and it can potentially keep things secret forever,” Nakano said.

This poses an imminent threat to public safety, particularly in regard to nuclear fallout from Fukushima. The government has already been reticent in releasing data on radiation pollution since the March 2011 disaster. This bill gives the government a monopoly on relevant information, taking away people’s rights to protect themselves.

During the Fukushima disaster, residents blindly fled straight into the path of the radioactive plume, due to the government’s failure to disclose the forecast of that material. Mayor Tamotsu Baba, of the evacuated town Namie, refers to the negligence of prompt prediction by SPEEDI (System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information) resulting in failed efforts to protect their people.

At the General Meeting of the International Olympic Committee, Abe claimed that the Fukushima accident was under control. Soon it was revealed that the situation was far from controlled, and hundreds of tons of radioactive water continued to flow into the ocean each day.


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TEPCO: All is Ducky with Fukushima Unit 4 Fuel Removal

Removal of fuel from the Unit 4 building of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan has so far not encountered any serious problems, the utility that owns the plant says.
According to TEPCO, 44 out of 1,533 assemblies have been successfully removed from the fuel pool on the 5th floor of the earthquake-damaged building.

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Several weeks ago, Planet Waves described the unprecedented fuel removal process, which is one of the most dangerous maneuvers in the history of nuclear power. One small mishap could result in the fuel reaching critical mass, or burning, spreading the contamination globally and rendering the entire facility unreachable by humans for millennia.

Twenty-two out of 202 unused fuel assemblies and 22 out of 1,331 used assemblies have been safely transferred to fuel racks in the common pool, an on-site storage facility. The transfer of the second set of 22 assemblies was completed last Saturday at 5 pm JST.

Because the fuel removal is so dangerous, and presents many engineering challenges, it could be well over a year before the rest of the fuel is out of the storage pond. Full decommissioning of the plant could take 40 years. A major quake could cause the whole building to collapse.

Media coverage and details on the fuel removal have been sparse, both in the United States and Japan.

Elsewhere on the facility, seemingly endless problems and obstacles have persisted with a hydrochloric acid leak in a pipe joint from one of the three Advanced Liquid Processing Systems — water treatment systems used to filter radiation from the water accumulating at the plant.

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TEPCO’s low-tech solution was to wrap a vinyl bag over it and call it good. The system was in trial operation and was scheduled to go into full swing Sunday, but the leak prompted the shutdown of the entire system instead.

However, the acid leak may be the least of concerns. The supposed nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), recently spent 10 days at the nuclear facility to assess TEPCO’s progress. The IAEA team praised the progress so far, but admitted the complexity of the situation and the long road ahead.

They also concluded that more toxic water should be dumped into the Pacific Ocean, on top of the 300 tons per day of contaminated groundwater leaking into the ocean, according to Juan Carlos Lentijo, who led the IAEA team.

“Controlled discharge is a regular practice in all the nuclear facilities in the world. And what we are trying to say here … is to consider this as one of the options to contribute to a good balance of risks and to stabilize the facility for the long term.”

Nuclear experts agree that eventually such controlled discharges will be inevitable, as the on-site storage of contaminated water [thousands of tons, stored on-site in shoddy containers] becomes increasingly unsustainable. But the idea has come up against strong opposition from local fisherman, other countries and environmental groups.

The IAEA stated that the water must be decontaminated and released in compliance with authorized limits. However, the treatment of the water fails to remove tritium, a radionuclide considered less dangerous than cesium or strontium. The IAEA’s full report of the inspection and assessment will be released by the end of January 2014.

Graphics above are by an anonymous Japanese street artist raising awareness of the environmental impact of Fukushima radiation. His artwork is transferred onto stickers and placed throughout Tokyo. To see the full gallery, visit this link. Reuters recently published an article on the artist.

Fracking Resistance Growing

Protests against shale gas exploration and fracking in New Brunswick were literally on fire as of last Monday, as a resistance movement spearheaded by indigenous Mi’kMaq leaders squared off with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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Leonard Higgins, a climate justice activist, locks his arms around part of a tar sands “megaload” transport vehicle. Photo courtesy Portland Rising Tide.

The protests against Houston-based SWN Resources Canada have resulted in multiple arrests and increasing popular support from a wide cross section of New Brunswick residents.

Liberals in the Canadian parliament are pushing for a fracking ban, but New Brunswick courts have taken the side of SWN. Protesters have responded by blockading a section of highway, burning tires and dancing and singing as they repeatedly inform the media that they’re not going anywhere. Demonstrations in solidarity took place across Canada on Monday.

In Oregon, indigenous activists from the Umatilla Reservation working with members of 350.org and Rising Tide have been blockading their highway against “megaloads” of Canadian tar sands extraction equipment.

And in Romania, police have had to forcibly remove dozens of villagers who camped for two months in peaceful protest on a field slated for fracking exploration by U.S. energy mega-corporation Chevron.


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HIV Laws: When Not Telling Is a Crime, But Not Knowing Is Normal

Did you know that 35 U.S. states have laws on the books making it illegal to expose another person to HIV if you are infected, even if there was no transmission of the virus? And that doing so is a felony in 29 states? Or that a person can take active steps to protect a partner from HIV, and still be sentenced to more jail time than many murderers and rapists?

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At least 35 states have criminal laws that punish HIV-positive people for exposing others to the virus, even if they take precautions. See a summary of each state’s laws and responses.

ProPublica, in collaboration with Buzzfeed, this week published an extensive investigative article on the existence of what many believe to be outdated (and even counterproductive) laws surrounding HIV transmission and disclosure, including the history of such laws, how they get misused.

The investigation included an in-depth profile of Nick Rhoades — an Iowa man originally sentenced to 25 years in prison for not disclosing his status to a partner; the sentence was reduced to five years’ probation. Rhoades must remain registered as a sex offender. (Adam Plendl, the partner, did not contract HIV, and both men claim a condom was used.)

Beginning in 1987, shortly after AIDS and HIV were named and brought into public awareness, the first law against intentionally exposing a person to HIV without their “knowing and lawful consent” hit the books in Louisiana. Georgia followed suit the next year, with no mention of “intent.”

At the time, there was a problem with people who had tested HIV positive proceeding to have unprotected sex with others. One study published in the American Journal of Public Health documented as many as one in three such people had unprotected sex even after getting their test results and having the transmission issues explained.

From there, HIV/AIDS criminalization efforts appeared in federal lawmaking discussions. ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council — a conservative non-profit group that drafts draconian legislation for states (for example, ‘stand your ground’ laws) — published prototype statutes in 1989 on HIV/AIDS issues. Among the model legislation was a bill called “HIV Assault Act,” which a number of states used in drafting laws still on the books.

In the 500 cases of people pleading guilty to or being convicted with HIV-specific laws since 2003 that ProPublica collected in its research, only four were aimed at protecting blood and organ supplies. That was the original concern in passing most such laws in the first place.

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Nick Rhoades talks at a PITCH meeting in Waterloo, Iowa, in November. PITCH (Positive Iowans Taking Charge) is a support group for people living with HIV. Rhoades is currently on probation for criminal transmission of HIV. Photo: Stephen Mally.

Focus seems to have shifted, however, in how law enforcement and the courts use the laws. That shift has been creating another layer in the atmosphere of fear that already surrounds HIV — and contributes to ignorance and silence around knowing one’s status.

HIV is no longer the immanent death sentence it once was, but the stigma and fear continue — now aided by social media and exacerbated by law enforcement officials taking over the role perhaps best handled by public health authorities, who argue that criminalization laws as worded and as used only serve to undermine their efforts to convince people to get tested. If you know your status, you can be held legally culpable for not disclosing it.

As one astute commenter stated on the ProPublica site, “What we’ve learned in 30 years of this epidemic is that NOT talking is what spreads HIV. Those of you advocating punishment are advocating the spread of HIV.

“Ultimately what has to be said is that everyone who is not HIV positive is responsible for their own health, because you can’t know if the next person you’re having sex with is positive or not — because they don’t know! This is not ‘blame the victim’ but it is a letting-go of the victim-consciousness that rules our legal system. As long as we think there are ‘blameless victims’ we are not assigning responsibility for ending the epidemic where it belongs.”


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Motor City Stalls Out, Bankruptcy Sets Precedent for Cutting Pensions

Detroit, Michigan — once the fourth-largest city in the United States and now 18th — was declared by a federal judge Tuesday to be eligible for bankruptcy. Known as the Motor City, its automobile industry once birthed the middle class; now it faces approximately $18 billion in debt, including $3.5 billion in pension obligations and $6 billion in health care costs.

Unions are big in Detroit, but they may not be big enough to stave off cuts to those pensions as the city figures out how to restructure itself. An average Detroit pensioner receives $19,000, which doesn’t leave much wiggle room for cuts. The problem here is not local. Detroit, rather, is seen as a test project for many other cities facing budget issues and the ongoing burden of pensions.

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Protesters in Detroit point out that slashing pensions is a giveaway to the city and to the banks. Photo: James Fassinger.

Another part of the plan to regain solvency could involve selling off assets such as public utilities and the Detroit Institute of Arts collection to private bidders, but that would raise only chump change in contrast with the city’s problems. Meanwhile, plans to build a nearly half-billion dollar hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings, at the taxpayers’ expense, are going forward.

Detroit was already struggling financially when the 2008 recession struck a devastating blow to its housing market. At this point, about one third of the city’s 700,000 residents live in poverty, amidst insufficient services and record levels of violent crime.

However, most news outlets are not covering the role of state government in Detroit’s current situation.

In an interview Wednesday on Democracy Now! Wallace Turbeville, senior fellow at Demos and a former Goldman Sachs executive who worked in 1990 to help prevent the city’s credit rating from getting downgraded, explained more.
Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, was appointed against the wishes of the popular vote after the Michigan state legislature and the office of the governor swung far to the right politically in 2010, and passed a law allowing the state to appoint an emergency manager for a city.

An emergency manager is allowed to “basically become a dictator in that city for the duration of any financial crisis,” according to Turbeville.

Turbeville describes tension between the large urban cities in Michigan — which are predominantly African-American, Democrat and high in trade union membership — and the more conservative areas of the rest of the state as a factor in the motives of the largely Tea Party government.

“From a political standpoint, it serves the interest of Governor Snyder and his party to actually undercut the role of trade unions, because they’re the ones that are institutions opposed to his political viewpoint,” says Turbeville.

Whatever the motivations, the people of Detroit have a long, hard road ahead of them — and other large U.S. cities struggling with their revenue now know that the door is open to slash pensions.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

The Beauty of Data: Surprising Time-Lapse of Protests

Anyone really getting into the global manifestations of the Uranus-Pluto square and other astrological events linked to activism, citizen unrest and political protest, take note: Penn State doctoral candidate John Beieler created a time-lapse animated visualization of every protest on the planet since 1979. You know how the 1970s are categorized as highly charged, politically? Just wait till the map really gets going in the late 1990s with protests against globalization — and then in the last couple years with the Occupy Movement, environmental actions and more.


Planet Waves

Orius New Moon, Mercury and Mars change signs

Link to program.

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I talk about the New Moon conjunct the newly discovered centaur planet Orius, which appears prominently in the charts of many innovators, including Steve Jobs, Ed Snowden and Julian Assange. I also cover Mercury ingressing Sagittarius and Mars ingressing Libra. Additionally, I give a rant on Obamacare and talk about the chart of the Metro-North train wreck. My musical guest is Hudson Valley-based Sasha Pearl, an extraordinary artist whose work you can explore on her website. For additional resources and the chart, please see the full post.


Planet Waves

We are happy to offer once again one of our most popular products: the Planet Waves All-Access Pass for 2014. The All-Access Pass is for members who want access to everything we offer in a calendar year. In recent years our product line has grown considerably, and the response from our All-Access subscribers has been overwhelmingly positive. You can read about everything that’s included with an All-Access pass here. For those who can’t get enough Planet Waves astrology, it’s an unbeatable value.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

We published the extended monthly horoscope for December Friday, Nov. 29. Inner Space for November was published Friday, Nov. 1. We published Moonshine for the Taurus Full Moon Tuesday, Nov. 12. Moonshine for the Sagittarius New Moon was published Tuesday, Nov. 26. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign; Inner Space usually publishes the following Tuesday.


Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, #978 | By Eric Francis

This is an Oracle edition of the horoscope — the sign readings have been selected from the archives by our Oracle program, one of the favorite subscriber features we offer. Regular horoscopes will resume next week.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You are experiencing far too much anxiety for your own good. Worrying will not get the job done, besides which, you cannot rightly expect anything much to resolve itself with the planets in their current state. So please stop worrying. You are only wasting precious energy you could be allocating to sitting under a tree or hiding in the back of your favorite cafe scribbling in your notebook. I can assure you that as the next four weeks progress, each issue you are dealing with will resolve itself one by one. This will not be by magic, but miracles that arise from love, not fear.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Ideas, revelations, solutions and numerous projects are flying circles around your head like jetliners around LAX. I suggest you let them land one at a time. No matter what you feel, you can’t actually do more than one thing at once. But you can do one thing at a time extremely effectively, and you can do it with a level of mastery quite beyond your years or experience. In fact the current moment is an opportunity to do some of the best work of your life. So keep burning the midnight oil.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — When my grandfather was working as a letter carrier in New York City, he was approached by a colleague with an idea: each would put up about $50 and they would have a pushcart where they would sell bagels with cream cheese, filled with crushed nuts. My grandfather thought it was too risky to get involved. The business became Chock Full o’ Nuts, and unfortunately, I am not one of its heirs. There really is no telling what’s a potentially lucrative venture in our time in history, but for your part, it needs to be more than a good idea. You must set out to make your fortunes not just in something you think will work, but in what you know will serve the community in a vital way that depends on your unique constellation of talents. You know it’s possible.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — There are two potent influences working in your solar chart this week. One is giving you a profound sense of certainty; the other, a troubling sense of doubt. You may wonder how these two factors can coexist simultaneously. You may wonder which to listen to; indeed, which is the truth. But I suggest you not rush or push for an answer. You need to look at the alternatives you face. Moreover, you need to understand the source of your doubts about yourself. When you catch a glimpse of that factor, a lot of things will make a lot more sense.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — A relationship is looking for some extra space within your household or living space. This may account for the pressure you’re feeling. It’s not enough to clear things up on the mental or emotional levels; the physical plane needs a lot of attention these days, and in your life right now that means freeing up a room or finding a space to spend time where there is enough room to have some freedom and uninterrupted time. The emotional challenges still persist — but will be easier in a clean, well-lighted place.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — In Western culture only rarely do we seem to get beyond the equation “you are what you do.” But how far from the truth is that? Yes, doing can exist on several levels, for example, as affirmation of what you know, or denial of it. You seem intent to make your reputation in the world and you are poised to succeed in a very big way. You have likely heard hints or seen glimpses of what is possible, and you may be wondering whether you deserve the recognition, the privilege and the authority that you feel coming. There is no question here. Remember what you’ve endured, stay close to the raw emotional vulnerability that unleashed your potential, and remember that you’ve managed to keep your faith up till the moment it needs you most.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There are certain people who when some worldly power is vested in them immediately strive to establish their position and make all kinds of changes. That would be ill advised right now. I suggest you take an approach that combines “wait and see” with the kind of leadership that stays focused on maintaining some continuity for a while. As recent events have demonstrated you don’t know everything and people are not going to tell you everything. Eventually you’ll find out everything you need to know but the operative word is eventually. So take your time to find out who your real allies are and solve important problems as they arise.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Mercury recently making its way across Scorpio while so much else was currently happening in that sign is offering you a chance to learn quite a lot about the people closest to you, and to serve a function in their healing process. But healing is always a mutual experience, and a mutual reward. The law of grace demonstrates (among other things) that we can actually give what we don’t have, and yet it’s always a good idea to receive that very gift while we’re passing it on. What you have to offer these days is a measure of solidity, clarity and fullness that may have proven elusive in recent days. You’re in a great position to learn something from yourself.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.



Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Imagine you’re standing between two mirrors. You want to see the front of you and the back of you at the same time. But you’re in the way, no matter how you do it, and you’re starting to get frustrated. What would happen if you got out of the way and allowed the mirrors to reflect one another? That would open up a seemingly infinite space, into which you could see in two distinct directions. Now, observe that this is all a metaphor. The ‘body’ is your ego consciousness; your sense of ‘I’. The mirrors may be two philosophies, two situations, two people, or most likely of all, your ongoing confrontation between the past and the future. If you get out of the way, they can have an authentic dialog. You’ll be able to make subtle adjustments and see their perspectives accurately. You’ll be able to feel your way down the two time tunnels, and sense which is the most authentically you.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — When the rewards for all your hard work the past couple of years arrive they’re unlikely to be quite what you were expecting. Often the personal benefit of being in service is the opportunity to be of even greater service. So get used to it. Is this not exactly what you’ve been asking the universe for? What’s worth noting is that you’re being called upon to help in ways that only you can. You’ve built a reputation to a great extent on this fact alone. Success is no longer a matter of whether you fit in; it’s a matter of being entirely willing to play your precise role on the great stage of life. As such you can indulge fully in the experience; you can take every advantage that comes to you; you can afford to take a few risks.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Aquarians share a reputation, whether deserved or not, for being some of the most revolutionary people in the world, though also some of the most practical. I would encourage you not to compromise and think you have to be one way or the other right now. It turns out that the most innovative choice you can make or idea you can create has enormous practical value that will only increase with time. Yet it’s true that you need to cast aside all your brittle beliefs about what is possible or impossible, and go straight for what you know you want, or better still, what you know must be. Then, make it so.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — People are watching, and noticing. Let’s just say that invisible is the last word I would use to describe your condition right now. So make your comments, your actions and your decisions count. The main risk you face is burning out on your own energy, so pace yourself, and before you do anything, ask if it really needs to be done, and what else might be more important. It may well be impossible to balance what seem to be personal needs against professional ones, but at the moment, professional is very, very personal.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


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The Nature of the Beast

Planet Waves
Protest in New York City on Thursday night, walking from Foley Square toward the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo by Miah Artola for Planet Waves. Thank you to the many Planet Waves readers who faithfully called with field reports or sent in photos and reportage of the N-17 protests Thursday and overnight.


“The future’s here. We are it.” — John Perry Barlow

Dear Friend and Reader:

There is a kind of combat happening on the streets of New York City, and many cities across the United States. Evicting the calm, sedate protest from Zuccotti Park Tuesday morning caused the Occupy Wall Street movement’s two-month celebration, long planned for November 17, to cascade into a massive event that New York City officials could not control. There are more people than police in New York City and every city in the world. Nearly everyone is affected by the economic issues that the Occupy protesters are organizing around, and crackdowns are only having the effect of bringing more people into the movement.

Planet Waves
Dorli Rainey, age 84, was pepper sprayed this week by Seattle Police. She would have been trampled after the police started a stampede by plunging their bicycles into the crowd, but she was saved by an Iraq veteran who got her to safety. Image: Screen shot from Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

We’re now witnessing a standoff on the streets of the United States that has been brewing for decades, as wealth condensed into the hands of a very few people and one war after the next was fought for profit. Many of the wealthiest 1% have made their money profiting from the national security state that has emerged since Sept. 11, 2001. Now, the economy is so top-heavy that it’s toppling over.

As I write Thursday, I’m watching live video of a doctor with the organization PNHP.org talk about how the number one reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States is medical costs — even among those who have health insurance. He described a patient who came in with a broken leg with the bone sticking out who told him, “Do as little as possible. I cannot afford this.”

When people with legitimate concerns rise up exercising their constitutional right to peaceful protest and are pushed down by armed police, who broadcast pepper spray into a crowd or plunge bicycles into groups of people, that is not civil society; it’s a combat situation. It’s a coordinated assault on human beings and on civil rights. I believe that this week’s multi-city eviction of Occupy movements was part of an organized effort to deny people their constitutional right to protest.

Yet it’s more than that. When police shoot videographers, arrest accredited journalists and inflict critical injuries on military veterans, that is open combat on a free society, and that is exactly what we’ve been witnessing in recent weeks.

When the powers that be react to political speech with a show of absolute power, responding to unarmed people with violence and aggression, you can be sure they feel threatened. They are outnumbered, and they know they are the less popular side, when it comes to hearts and minds. And they know more than we do. We’re experiencing massive, nearly nationwide protests with the banks open, funds moving and food available in stores. I am sure they dread to think what might happen were that to change.

Planet Waves
New York City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez, who represents northern Manhattan, was arrested by the NYPD Tuesday morning as he observed the eviction of Zuccotti Park. He was held for 17 hours without access to an attorney. Photo: Video screen shot.

As I write on Thursday afternoon, the NYPD has barricaded hundreds of people into Zuccotti Park. There are police with helmets in every direction. Let’s remember that this is not a student protest. It’s a statement by people of all ages and many backgrounds demanding redress from the ripoff of the economy by bankers, the corporate money that controls politics and government, the untold thousands of jobs that have been converted to slavery in Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Thousands of people have figured out they have nothing to lose. And they are under psychological pressure they experience mainly as fear, and then that bursts through and comes out as energy. That is the Occupy movement: an economic civil rights movement. What historians don’t know when they question why this is happening now is that the astrology is right. The confluence of oppressive events in the economy and the rest of society is meeting with the astrology of revolution.

There are always mass uprisings, revolutions and unprecedented cultural breakthroughs when Uranus and Pluto get together. That’s what we’ve been seeing all year. (Incredibly, Arab Spring was just a few months ago, even though it seems to be in the distant past.) As I have written many times, this is only the beginning; the first exact square of Uranus and Pluto is not until June, and the last one isn’t until late 2015. I know I keep saying this. We won’t really have a clear picture of what this energy is going to bring until the first square next spring. That is when the real acceleration begins.

What we’re witnessing now is a process of polarization. People are being radicalized, coming to terms with the nature of existence, and taking a stand, many for the first time in their lives. In the process we’re realizing we’re neither alone in what we feel or what we’re experiencing. Then the power structure is responding with unrestrained brute force, and rage that almost seems personal in nature. Years ago, Mike Frisch, my American Studies professor, explained that the purpose of a protest is to bring out the nature of the beast. By that, he meant that the nature of the power structure, its agenda and its conduct are latent until they are challenged. Then they show their true colors.

Planet Waves
Riot squads arrive Thursday at Occupy Los Angeles. Photo by Kyle C.

That’s what you’re seeing when you see Iraq or Afghanistan veterans being clobbered by the cops, young women being pepper sprayed and people being corralled someplace they would never go and arrested by the hundreds. Then others respond to this, and the protests grow. City officials and police feel more desperate, fearing they’re going to lose control, and they act more aggressively, which only feeds the protests and raises awareness of the issues.

Thursday, you had to produce corporate ID or proof of local residency to walk down a street in lower Manhattan. At Brooklyn College, there was an incident where an Occupy general assembly being held in a campus building was interrupted by police, who demanded student ID and would not give them back to the students until they left. Students were then pushed by campus security down a hall, down a flight of stairs and out into the rain. We don’t even need to ask whether this is necessary. It’s not, but it’s telling us something about the people who are responding this way. We can gather a clue that they fear this is going to get larger.

As this goes on, we are seeing just how much firepower the civilian police actually have: the kinds of weapons and tactics, the sheer numbers, all of which is being brought to bear on protesters. Someone just told me they were concerned that the NYPD might bring out the Hercules Teams, which New York magazine describes as “elite, heavily armed, Special Forces–type police units that pop up daily around the city. It can be at the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, or the stock exchange, wherever the day’s intelligence reports suggest they could be needed. These small teams arrive in black Suburbans, sheathed in armor-plated vests and carrying 9-mm submachine guns — sometimes with air or sea support. Their purpose is to intimidate and to very publicly mount a show of force.”

Actually that would be worth something: let’s see what power they are willing to bring out in the face of little kids riding piggyback on their parents’ shoulders, young people with their dogs and pet rats, unemployed nurses protesting the lack of jobs, people playing drums and young women holding placards about peace and love.

Centaurs, Personal Planets and the Great Attractor

On Tuesday, I summed up the astrology that blended the personal planets (Venus, Mars and Mercury) with highly potent planets called centaurs (at the moment, Chiron, Pholus, Nessus and others). These in turn are aligning with the Great Attractor, and the mixture is illustrating a kind of rapid acceleration and transformative alchemy. My impression from this astrology was that we would witness events that would have impact far into the future; that this would be a week of both history precipitated, and catalysts of future developments.

Planet Waves
Protesters in New York City. Photo by Sherry Mazzocchi.

Yet this kind of energy movement can raise the sense of fear and conflict in many people. How you feel under potent astrology depends on your density level. The more fearful and contracted your energy, the more panicky you’re likely to feel. The more open you are, the more exciting and momentous it’s likely to feel. This is not a time to be caught in ideology, in denial or even in anger. It’s time to hang loose and pay attention.

In January 2010 I wrote that the next few years would make the 1960s seem like a walk in the park, in the same article proposing: “When the energy rises like this, many people feel it as something passionate. Yet for those who are struggling with obstacles, it can be extremely frustrating. We can find ourselves at a moment of awesome potential with nothing but chores to take care of. I suggest we remember that we’re in a moment of quickening. There are no shortcuts to growth, but there are moments of rapid acceleration, and we’re about to stroll into one of them.”

That was nearly two years ago, and we’ve been through this over and over again. This week, some of the most emotional planets, the ones that are closest to the core of how it feels to be human, have been (and still are being) catapulted through the realm of the centaurs — energies which for many people are the most uncomfortable. For most people, centaur energy is so far beyond the edge they would never go there voluntarily. Centaurs can represent the emergence of subject matter that (at times) is no more pleasant than the pus coming out of an infection.

In the midst of this acceleration, there is something extremely personal developing: the Penn State child rape scandal. This may seem entirely removed from the Occupy protests, but I would say they are aspects of the same thing, developing under the same astrology. The common thread can be summed up in one word: power. There is another common theme: group dynamics.

The difference between rape and voluntary sex is precisely the exercise of power as opposed to choice. That power can take many forms, and in the case of Jerry Sandusky, the coach accused of 40 counts of sex crimes, it took many different forms. By that, I mean within the one-to-one relationships he had with the boys he raped.

Planet Waves
Hundreds of police surrounded protesters as they marched through nearly constant rain and rapidly falling temperatures in New York City on Thursday. By most accounts, police were hostile but restrained; there were relatively few arrests and only isolated incidents of violence against protesters. Image is from video by Tim Pool.

Yet there was part of his power that came from beyond him, which was the vast, decade-long conspiracy to cover up what he was doing. It extended through the ranks of the Penn State athletic program and administration and straight into the judicial system.

The cover-up included an active, aggressive and persistent form of denial, and lots of seemingly passive but equally toxic looking the other way. From testimony we’ve heard so far, Sandusky apparently had the active cooperation of university officials in committing his crimes, which is why the president and many other campus officials have been prosecuted or fired in recent weeks. I described this Tuesday as an aspect of the centaur Nessus in Aquarius, the sign of groups. Nessus is a focal point of the Uranus-Pluto square, and it’s calling group dynamics into focus. This can reflect how otherwise ‘good’ people can surrender their power and become a group that perpetuates evil. It’s almost as if many people have two identities — the one they show to people one on one, and the the other that emerges when in some form of collective. I believe this is a dangerous form of psychic fragmentation, responsible for much pain in the world.

Now that this is spilling out, we’re hearing on TV that there are many, many Jerry Sanduskys in the world. Actually, the Jerry Sanduskys, that is, the serial pedophiles of non-related children, are fairly rare. The vast majority of child sexual abuse happens inside households.

Planet Waves
Photo by Wesley Middleton.

Yet in terms of the denial element, and the power element, what happened at Penn State — up to the revelations of the crimes, that is — is the same thing that happens in many households where the children are sexually abused by adult caregivers right under everyone’s gaze. That is the more common setup and it’s in many ways worse, because the betrayal is so intimate.

I am aware as an absolute fact that many of my readers have been harmed this way, and many others have been stricken indirectly (for example, they’re aware of or unconsciously struggling with what has happened to their parents, siblings or cousins), and the repeated exposure to this story is likely to be stirring up old wounds and unresolved anger. So too is the current astrology (please see ERO section below).

All of this is happening in a sexual environment where there is constant feigning of care and concern for underage people, whether this involves federal regulation of sexual imagery on the Internet or the potential suspicion of anyone who takes care of kids. Today, two 14-year-old girls who voluntarily choose to have sex with one another can be charged with statutory rape. Yes, it’s rare that they would be charged, but the laws are in place, and prosecutions do happen, despite the lifelong pain this can cause to kids who simply do not deserve it.

Now we find out what was going on, and being suppressed, in one of the most famous university athletic programs in the world, and how many well-placed, influential people had to cooperate in order for it to continue as long as it did.

The positive side is that this takedown is providing some healing for the many people who were raped by Sandusky, they will have access to civil damages, people will go to jail, and some future attacks may be prevented. There may be a sense of poetic justice and some healing for those who have suffered at the hands of others. Yet this whole incident also offers evidence of how much work we have to do on the personal level, even if we succeed in creating economic or political reforms. I suspect, however, that engaging in actual inner personal reform is the prerequisite for any meaningful changes in society as a whole.

The negative side is that any sex scandal is bad for all sex. Publicly associating attack, grief, shame and humiliation with any form of sex, no matter how evil, may evoke a sense of justice, but it also chills the entire emotional and erotic environment. Even as the toxins are cleansed from that one situation, they enter the total environment, adding to the pain that is already there.

Planet Waves
Photo by Eric Francis — Book of Blue, New York.

This verges on impossible to see because the background level of guilt and the feeling of wrongness about sex is so pervasive even in those who have done nothing to intentionally harm or abuse others. The feeling of betrayal of emotional trust is so pervasive. The dishonesty that surrounds sex is so ubiquitous, and many respond with an attitude of sanctimonious purity — despite whatever they may actually do behind supposedly closed doors.

What are we going to do about this? I am pretty sure there’s a sexual revolution on its way. I can’t exactly tell you what kind, but sexual mores have become so restrictive on the one hand and so ridiculously unbridled on the other, that they are due for the kind of revolt that Uranus-Pluto events are famous for. Has anyone read the story about the Egyptian woman who decided to protest against macho by undressing on her blog? She nearly caused the Internet to explode. We might think, oh, that’s a Muslim country. But Westerners carry most of the same inhibitions as everyone else, rooted just as deeply. And we’re at a huge disadvantage for thinking we’re so free.

During the last sexual revolution, the thing that didn’t happen was an actual renegotiation of relationships. Sex became more available, but the terms largely remained unconscious and rooted in the economic discrepancies between men and women. If power relationships changed, much of the change was superficial. One starting point is learning to openly negotiate the terms of our relationships, and to be able to communicate our own point of view clearly enough for someone to understand it. We have to make room for one another, but closer to home, we have to make room for ourselves in our own lives. If you ask me, the next sexual revolution will start in the mirror and expand outward from there.

It’s truly beautiful and exciting that people are rising up in the face of economic injustice and political corruption. What we need just as much is to go inside, and begin to make peace with ourselves, and then to reach out to the people around us.


Eric Francis

Publishing Schedule Note to Readers: Planet Waves will be on a Thanksgiving holiday schedule next week. There will (most likely) be just one horoscope — the December monthly edition, with its month-ahead introduction. I’ll also do a basic guide to Mercury retrograde. I have not settled on the dates of these mailings. Please watch your inbox for more information. — efc


Something to Try: Infrequently Asked Questions

Patricia Thomas of London, a friend of Planet Waves (and Eric’s former editor at The Ecologist), has created two virtual decks of questions designed for anyone who would like to challenge their assumptions and shift their thinking — and anyone who already feels this process occurring and would like to engage with it proactively.

Planet Waves

Questions have a way of creating momentum, of moving us forward. They make the mind active rather than passive, make us attentive to new ideas, open up new worlds and possibilities. Questions define and refine our thinking and our philosophy of life; they are the basis of our search for the truth of things. Questions are a manifestation of curiosity — and curiosity helps build awareness, appreciation and understanding.

What started as a way to remember the questions that were most important to her personally and in her work as a journalist — questions that often get forgotten under pressure of life and deadlines — evolved into two rough decks of cards, and eventually into a web-based project, Infrequently Asked Questions. The website features two virtual decks of cards with more than 100 questions each. The CultureShift and InnerQuest decks prompt the user with the kind of questions each of us needs to ask when we find ourselves on the threshold of a new challenge — whether personal, cultural, technological or philosophical. They work like Tarot in that we often draw the cards to us that we need — even if their meaning is not always immediately apparent. It’s a game — but it also has a serious purpose. Have fun with it and feel free to help it evolve further by providing your feedback.


Planet Waves

Today is the last quarter Moon, which is when the waning Moon makes a square to the Sun — in this case, from Leo to Scorpio. The Moon then enters Virgo just before 5:19 pm EST this evening, and continues through that sign until Monday evening, when it enters Libra. Mercury is about two-thirds of the way through its shadow (or echo) phase, as it continues to slow down in Sagittarius. It will station retrograde on Nov. 24, and continue retrograde until Dec. 13. Right now Mercury is still close on the heels of Venus, also in Sagittarius. Venus, moving a little faster, makes a sextile to the centaur planet Nessus today. Currently Mercury is quincunx (or inconjunct) Jupiter in Taurus, and Saturday it will make a sextile to Vesta in Aquarius. The major news in the sky this weekend is the Scorpio Sun making a square to Neptune in Aquarius. That aspect is exact Sunday, but we are feeling it now. Both the Sun and Neptune are very late in their signs; the Sun ingresses Sagittarius Tuesday.


Planet Waves

Sun square Neptune, exact Sunday but with a long time orb, offers a caution that you might not know what you’re feeling, or that you might keep forgetting what it is or changing your mind. I suggest you let this pass like a wave rather than trying to fight the sensation. Friday as the Leo Moon passes through last quarter phase, it also makes an opposition to Neptune and a square to the asteroid Ophelia, which is conjunct the Sun. The natural turning point (or stress point) of the quarter Moon can trigger just the kinds of paranoia and sense of betrayal that the astrology is warning against. As the Moon moves into more pensive, analytical Virgo (making aspects to both Chiron and Mars), that’s the perfect setting for excessive self-critique — so you might want to find a creative alternative to that.


Planet Waves

This is the weekend to discuss and indeed to embark upon authentic sexual healing. Both Venus and Mercury in Sagittarius make sextiles to Nessus in Aquarius. That’s a way of saying that Venus (female desire nature, deeply-held values) and Mercury (androgynous, communication tools, reasoning ability) are in a position to negotiate with the wounding/healing power of the centaur Nessus. Despite a strong sense of potential, you may have the feeling of wading through uncertain territory. That is exactly the sensation you want in any form of a therapeutic situation: a sense of certainty is usually counterproductive. Remember that healing is usually something that happens in layers, and it takes many forms. This astrology is suggesting you go for another layer or two deeper, and that one form the process will take is being able to share with intimate partners what has been bothering you. Putting things into words is more significant and helpful than most people realize. As you do, notice the emotions that come up, be they anger, a sense of powerlessness, a sense of empowerment, pain, desire or pleasure. If you choose to focus on this aspect of your life, you may experience a mix of feelings. Mercury slowing down toward its retrograde suggests that the conversation may be an extended one, which takes you far deeper into the past than you were expecting to go.


Planet Waves

Centaurs in the Fog

A new edition of Planet Waves FM is ready. Our current astrology is happening in two dimensions — many planets aspecting centaurs (Pholus, Chiron, Nessus) and then the Sun square Neptune. One is a wake-up influence, the other is a fog-over influence. Which one will win the day? There are other clues. Mars in Virgo is also saying pay attention to the details. Mars will be retrograde in Virgo fairly soon.

Planet Waves

In this edition, I also decode some current news events, including the Penn State scandal. The fans (including students) are experiencing a deep struggle in coming to grips with the truth about the coaching staff there; the centaur planets are working to shift us to another level of consciousness.

I also get into the apparent low IQ Republican requirement from its presidential candidates, a kind of ignorance test; and a catch-up on the Occupy movement. Over 200 people were arrested Tuesday when police broke up the New York Occupy encampment. Said NY mayor Bloomberg, “There is no ambiguity in the law here — the First Amendment protects speech — it does not protect the use of tents and sleeping bags to take over a public space. Protesters have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.” We’ll see what the astrology has to say about that.

Here you’ll find the full archives and a downloadable zip file. They’re also available on iTunes.


Planet Waves

Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. Weekly Horoscope #882. | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Are you feeling like you’re about to explode? That’s what it looks like from your chart, more or less. There is indeed something in you that’s pushing to be reborn into the world, which is a version of yourself that has faith in your own confidence. You keep going through this, and every time you hope you’ll get it right. Try this visualization. You’re standing face to face with a being you perceive as much greater than yourself: taller than you, enormous on a scale different than human, and the essence of creative power. Now imagine this being morphs into someone who resembles you, before your eyes. It is you, and you can ‘become’ this seemingly separate entity — and then you remember. You’ve made a promise to yourself. It feels more like a sacred vow, and you know that the time has arrived to honor that commitment. But how? I am sure you know.

Aries, your birth sign or rising sign, is getting a transit from the planet Uranus — which is a wild wakeup call, and a bold creative influence. I’ve recorded an hour of astrology and a tarot card reading for you. Learn more by visiting this page.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may feel like you’re out of place, in over your head or that too much is expected of you. Yet at the same time, you’re a determined, persistent person, who loves a challenge and who has some real ambitions to do the right thing in the world, and for the world. How can both conditions be true at the same time? Well, they can be, though the meeting point is making peace with being called to live up to your potential. Yet called by whom? If it feels like you’re being called by someone or something outside yourself, you may be projecting the matter. But then, that’s often how ‘callings’ arrive in our lives. We are presented with opportunities, and the means to explore them. What is presenting itself directly to you, in your immediate environment or your mental environment? What are you doing in response?

I’ve recorded an hour of astrology and done a tarot reading especially for you. It’s information that will help with your relationships, your professional life and your personal growth. Visit this page to find out more.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — When we admire someone, the question is, are we seeing something in them, or seeing something about ourselves that we identify with in them? And is one more legitimate than the other? These are questions you have to ask for yourself, with regard to one particular relationship. Both conditions may turn out to be true. This would also be worth inquiring about if the situation is a negative attachment of any kind, which might be a judgment or the perception of someone as egotistical, self-serving or arrogant. I know that first impressions mean a lot; if that is the case, go back to your very first impression for more information. In the meantime, I suggest you give this involvement the rest of the year to work itself out, and make careful observations before you take any action or make any commitments. In the world of personality, anything can be a mirror, so use your discernment.

Gemini is one of the most misunderstood signs — and as someone born under this sign, part of your role is to hold a mirror to the world. I’ve recorded an hour of audio for you, plus a 20-minute tarot reading. You can get access to these by visiting this page.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This may feel like a particularly messy or alienated time where your relationship commitments are concerned, but what if those mattered far less than being true to yourself? You may think that you’ve lost your way, but your astrology suggests that your true quest has just begun. It’s far less about your relationships and more about a soul journey that you’ve been preparing to embark upon. Most of the time, this gets confused with having a ‘soul mate’, which is a distraction from the elemental truth that your journey through the world is an experience unique to you. The intimacy you’re seeking is a state of spiritual harmony with yourself. This is something you can share with others; and the more in tune you are with yourself, the more meaning their self-presence will have for you. I would just remind you that this is not about relationships, it’s about being in tune with your own existence.

I’ve recorded an hour of astrology and done a tarot reading especially for you. It’s information that will help with your relationships, your professional life and your personal growth. Visit this page to find out more.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The next few days you may feel like you’re walking through a fog. It’s likely you’ve driven through a fog, and you know what to do: slow down, increase your mental focus, and relax at the same time. The problem with this fog is that it has a psychic charge to it, and the charge is a kind of reactivity. If you have any sensation of mistrusting others, or the feeling of lurking betrayal, slow down. I don’t know the source of these thoughts, but a careful reading of your solar chart advises caution about believing your own fears. Once the Sun enters your fellow fire sign Sagittarius next week, you will proceed with new confidence, but I suggest you be vigilant any time you feel your confidence falter. You’re stronger than you think, and your awareness gives you more information than you know. Proceed with care rather than caution, and faith rather than hope.

The 2011 Leo birthday report is 70 minutes of in-depth astrology plus a 20-minute tarot reading for you, exploring relationships, personal growth and your professional life. Visit this page for additional information.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Be careful what promises you make for the next few months; make sure you’re fully prepared to come through immediately when you offer something to someone. I also suggest you conduct an inventory of promises you’ve made but have not kept. You don’t have to fulfill all your old commitments at once, though I suggest you keep them in mind, and get in contact with anyone you feel you’ve neglected and let them know you’re aware of that fact. You’re doing this more for your own sake than for anyone else’s. The chances are that you’ve injured people far less than you may fear, if at all. Yet the way things go in our particular world, people are always grateful when someone voluntarily makes amends. Often the result is a greater overall gain than if the whole thing had not happened, coming with the subtle but authentic feeling of faith in humanity being restored.

The 2011 Virgo birthday report is ready! I’ve recorded 70 minutes of astrology plus a tarot reading for you, exploring how you’re working through family material, your use of spirituality, some new energy in your relationships and your professional goals. Visit this page for additional information.

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You’ve had an unusual week, that’s for sure. I suggest you write some diary notes about what you experienced, thought, felt, heard and said — because it’s going to come in handy. The beauty of it all is you’ve had a chance to assert yourself in some unusual ways, but this is not the moment to stop: rather, it’s your jumping-off point. You may not at this moment recognize the influence you’ve had, or the strength of your ideas; you may not know the power of what you’ve discovered or indeed that you’ve discovered anything at all. This is why I’m suggesting you put some notes in your journal, take some photos of yourself, save a few artifacts and bookmark the whole thing. What you’ve created is a formula that blends freedom and responsibility, neither of which is meaningful without the other.

Your Libra birthday audio for 2011 is finished. I’ve prepared a comprehensive reading for you, covering the astrology for your sign in about 70 minutes (in two segments) and offering a tarot reading of just under half an hour. Visit this link for additional information.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — As the Sun moves through the final degrees of your sign, it’s making an aspect to Neptune in Aquarius — a square, which implies tension, emotional conflict and the sensation of not knowing what’s true. This looks like a playback of confusion you’ve experienced many times before, particularly around your birthday. If you’ve never quite arrived at the point where the confusion became your teacher, now is a great moment to let it be just that. The space of not knowing is a vital one to enter fully. Usually we react with denial, which often comes in the form of false certainty. The thing you want to watch out for these days is false uncertainty. You know you’re pushing certain issues a little more than some people who say they like you would prefer. Don’t worry about being popular. Don’t argue for your cause. Pause and walk away before you respond or react in an emphatic way. You may think that others challenge you at their own risk, but if you overreact, the peril is yours and yours alone.

Hello Scorpios! Your 2011 Birthday Report is ready. It’s about an hour of astrology, plus a 20-minute tarot reading. Prepared with the Sun in still in Scorpio, it’s hot with transformational energy. I focus on your ruling planet Mars, your imagination and desire nature, and a phase of solid achievement. Please check this page for more information.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — If our culture is infused with narcissism, how can we distinguish it from anything else? We live in a society that confuses self-esteem with arrogance, self-love with vanity, creativity with self-obsession and self-awareness with having a big ego. Yet there’s another layer as well. Having grown up in such an environment, many people lack any sense of who they are or what they want, since that rarely mattered to their early caregivers. Being raised by narcissistic people means their goals became your goals, and their fears became yours — another way of saying that you didn’t exist in your own right. In the midst of a sea of narcissism, the first step is often to come back to — or find for the first time — what we value and desire. Be aware of that, and take the next step and encourage others to discover what matters the most to them.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Sagittarius, please go to this link.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Someone close to you may be offering intuitive or common sense guidance, but you may still have your doubts. I suggest you take a look at why you feel that way. It may be reluctance to take any guidance at all, or it may be that you’re questioning their motives. You may be concerned that you’ll have to rearrange your life if you change your mind about something. But most likely you’re resisting information that comes from this elusive thing known as intuition. Fear may be getting in the way of your own subtle senses, and you may think you’re getting conflicting information. Anyone who is offering their viewpoint is likely to have a lot deeper information than they’re letting on. If you want to know more, ask. In the end, you’re responsible for any decisions you make, but decisions are best made having considered several points of view.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Capricorn, please go to this link.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may feel like you’re under some unusual pressure that you have no idea how to respond to. It’s like the air is getting heavier and the walls are growing closer in, but I suggest you pause and ask how much of this is some combined effect of your mind and your feelings. This is adding up to a sensation that feels like it’s coming from your environment. I suspect this is true, though you’ll have confirmation (and some relief) soon enough, when the Sun changes signs to Sagittarius next week. Meanwhile, Neptune has just stationed direct in your sign, about to exit after a 12-year journey. There’s some natural advice that comes with this: you have a window of a few months to tidy up any matters of self-deception that have afflicted you going as far back as you can remember. The pressure you may be feeling is the need to be real with yourself, something that’s best done gently.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Aquarius, please go to this link.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — I suggest you do a little study of the times when taking care of your own needs was used against you. This can include anything from being responsive to your own feelings to taking care of your dietary needs. Start with your parents and other dominant adults who were present when you were a child. One result, especially for you, can be a guilt complex around taking care of yourself, which many try to assuage with self-neglect. It doesn’t work. But neither does fighting for the ‘right’ to look after your own basic interests. You can go a long way by noticing when you’re having either response — guilt, or fighting. You may have the impulse to run from either. I suggest you hang out with the feeling and see if you can map it out, and learn something from it. Then, observe how you feel as you focus on basic self-care with a clear conscience. I know, it can be a little strange.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Pisces, please go to this link.

Deep Sky Survey, and The Week of the Centaurs


Dear Friend and Reader:

It was excellent to have a week to dive into the 2012 charts full-on, in preparation for writing Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. I’ve been studying these horoscopes for years, looking for clues, writing many articles along the way and putting my discoveries together into a coherent theory. (Those articles are gathered together in an e-book called Light Bridge: The 25-Year Span). This time around I burrowed into the minor planets, using the full set available from the Serennu.com ephemeris. Note: I will probably lighten my schedule at least two more times through the end of the year to facilitate completing the annual edition on time.

Nessus, Deianira and Heracles photographed from a Pompeiian fresco, captured in an albumen print, circa 1865. Photo courtesy of Theresa Luttenegger.

Month by month, I carefully tracked the entire year, looking in detail at the moment the Sun entered each of the 12 signs of the zodiac, concluding with the winter solstice of 2012 — the day the Mayan calendar turns over. One of the challenges of astrology is organizing a lot of data into something coherent. That requires some focus.

My next step was to do a recording focusing on the events within each sign, which is my starting point for each of the Reality Check readings. I’m sure you’re aware that what happens in any one sign affects every other one. In order to keep my focus on the most personal experiences as a starting point, I stuck close to home, which provided a reading of the 2012 movements on the most immediate spiritual/psychological level.

I’ve said a few times that the Uranus-Pluto square (two slow-moving planets meeting at a right angle) is the most potent focal point of 2012, extending until the end of 2015 with effects well beyond. When you look closely at the square, a theme pops out: group dynamics and how we respond to them.

Here is how this works: When Uranus and Pluto are exactly 90 degrees apart (which they will be through most of the decade), you can divide that angle in half and find what’s called the midpoint. Both planets focus into the midpoint like a laser. It is in Aquarius, the sign where individuality and groups take turns as the dominant themes. This forms a dynamic, where group consciousness intersects with the individual will of people. Group dynamics are one of those slightly hidden facts of life that we have to deal with all the time, whether in families, the office or the friends we might go out with.

Do you ever notice how you feel like a different person when you’re in a group, and how that changes depending on who else is there, the purpose of the group and other factors? This experience is one of the main places where we gamble our integrity: where we stand out, or sell out.

Now, here is the catch: Right at the midpoint, there is a slow-moving planet called Nessus (expressed in astrological notation as Uranus/Pluto = Nessus). Nessus is a centaur, which means that it stands right at the line between wounding and healing. It pushes events, emotions and thoughts to the edge, where we can get really uncomfortable. All centaurs have the quality of bringing the truth to the surface.

On the most basic level, Nessus is a factor in the psychological environment. You could think of it as an intimidation factor, and in Aquarius it’s going to show up as some extreme pressure to conform — or the fear of what might happen if you refuse to do so. It might also represent the experience of the group itself, such as when a number of people who are reasonably nice individuals can turn into a caustic group. A particularly horrific demonstration of this is the Penn State coverup of child sexual abuse. The values of the group (‘protect Penn State football’) became the values of each of the individuals within the group. In this case the group included the district attorney who apparently buried the issue, right up to the judge who let the accused coach out on ridiculously low bail.

While the 2012 astrology is progressive and revolutionary, there is a catch: standing up to group dynamics as an individual, and participating in healthy groups in a productive way. There will be no escaping this — one way or the other, we will have to confront this issue. One key theme of the 2012 readings is understanding how this works for each of the signs: where it is most likely to express itself, and what you can do about it. Given that we really are in a position where we have to get together to solve our problems, we must know how to work with this energy.

The Week of Pholus

Another centaur planet is in the news right now — Pholus. I’ve adapted the following from Monday night’s daily edition of Planet Waves. I am aware that early Tuesday morning, this astrology began to manifest (among other ways) as the police clearing Occupy Wall Street out of Zuccotti Park in New York City. (Occupations in Oakland and Portland, Oregon were also cleared out this week.) Apart from the certified miracle that the occupation/protest lasted two months, this is a turning point for the worldwide movement that will have far-reaching effects as this extremely persistent movement is radicalized even more, and adapts new tactics. I will have more to say about this in Friday’s edition.

Heracles & the centaur Pholus, Athenian red-figure kylix from the 5th century BCE, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig, Basel.

This week, all week, the astrology is dominated by the centaur planet Pholus. You may have never heard of Pholus, but you’ve felt its effects many times. It’s the thing at work when a small decision or action has an unexplainable, cascading effect where one thing leads to another to some unexpected — and large — result. When Pholus is in the picture, it’s vital to use the energy in your favor rather than have it work against you. As with all the centaur planets (the first of which was Chiron), the key to this is awareness.

Awareness — that elusive thing. Every spiritual or therapy tradition has a name for it: mindfulness, raising consciousness, focus, paying attention, coming out of a trance. Then there is real life. We live in a world where it’s considered okay to drive a car through a crowded city while simultaneously listening to the radio, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone. Nearly everything around us is designed to distract us or put us in a hypnotic state.

This is the week to drive (and only drive) while you’re driving, eat when you’re eating and read when you’re reading. Even if you’re an extremely talented multitasker, keep things down to a dull roar and really pay attention, because this week your actions will have effects. You can prevent things from going in unwholesome directions if you know this, and you can remind yourself that small moves mean a lot.

It’s also the week to proceed with intention. Either work on developing your vision, or stick to the one you’ve got. Sagittarius, where most of this astrology takes place, is a visionary sign, and the aspects are calling for clear focus and making conscious choices, as if what you decide actually matters. The chances are it matters far more than you think.

Chiron, left, instructs Achilles in the arts of warfare in this undated classical image.

In a moment we’ll provide the technicalities about this astrology, in case you’re curious. Two more points first. One is that on many accounts, the sky is lit up with centaur energy. For different reasons, Chiron, Pholus and Nessus are all activated right now. Centaur energy is edgy; it can have us feeling on edge, which is sometimes a double edge. There can be confusion between healing and wounding; there can be unusual fear or psychological material coming to the surface. Situations can be unusually reactive. Prepare for this in yourself, and expect it in the people around you.

Second point: one of the planets involved in the setup describes the absence of moral or ethical boundaries. Be especially cautious of anyone who professes that there is no difference between right and wrong, that ethics are inconvenient or that it doesn’t matter if this thing we’re doing hurts someone. We are in an extended moment when things really do matter, and matter a lot more than we may think.

The technical description of this astrology involves Venus and Mercury reaching the middle of Sagittarius. At the moment there are many slow-moving planets and points right there. These include Pholus, to which both Venus and Mercury will be making conjunctions; the North Node of the Moon, which has a feeling of amplifying karma; and the Great Attractor, which amplifies everything that comes into contact with it. So if Pholus is reactive, Pholus together with the North Node and the Great Attractor is several orders of magnitude more potent. I covered an earlier version of this alignment in the article The Chaos Generator.

Then add one last thing — a slow-moving Pluto-like planet called Ixion is in the planetary picture this week, big time. What’s especially interesting is that Ixion is the common ancestor of all the centaurs except for Chiron and Pholus, but this week he shows up directly in planetary form. That’s the piece cautioning about suspending morality and warning that you or others might be tempted to do so. One not-so-little problem we face on this plane of reality is not understanding karma. That is to say, we don’t tend to understand the relationship between cause and effect. Our actions have effects and what happens in the world has a cause. But most people pretend this connection does not exist. If there was ever a week to consider the reality of karma, this is the one.

For Planet Waves subscribers, I will see you Friday with a regular edition including my weekly astrology forecasts.


P.S. For those with Scorpio Sun or rising — your birthday/rising sign report is done and available. We sent out a mailing last night — in case you missed it, here is a direct link.

Whatever That Thing Is

Dear Friend and Reader:

I recently mentioned a conjunction developing in mid-Sagittarius, aligned with a body called the Great Attractor. The alignment was precise to the arc minute this week, which I trust opened a door to its meaning. I associate it with a kind of toxic spirituality that is on the loose lately. The conjunction involves centaur planets, which can manifest as the desire for healing, or if they’re taken unconsciously, as some inflamed, weird behavior. The alignment also involves a little Pluto-like planet called Ixion, which I associate with the curious lack of moral or ethical consciousness in public discourse, and also in individuals.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

We’re seeing this blatantly in modern politics; the campaign of 2012 has begun, and it’s all about who you can screw over the worst. I know you may not watch the news, and if that is true, I can tell you that the political environment would qualify as unconscious, inflamed and weird lately. I am as disgusted by politics as anyone right now. But as I was watching one of these “jobs creation” discussions today, peering through the language and the deception, it occurred to me that politicians get away with what they do because most people don’t understand politics — that is, how the game is played, and who influences it from backstage.

Most people don’t even know that it’s a show. It takes time to get there (you have to participate directly or watch from the first few rows to notice that). It requires some experience to see the Democrat/Republican game for what it really is, and what it has become. Though the parties have different outward positions, they’re about as meaningful as dividing the summer camp into the Blue and Gold teams for the mock Olympics.

The summer camp is capitalism itself. Wall Street sets the most basic terms of our society, which you can tell (in part) because there is a stock ticker on every TV station’s news ticker rather than, say, the voting record of our representatives. Political campaigns are now all about the money invested by people who purchase influence, and the supposed issues are a total ruse. The flow of cash, lots of cash, determines nearly every decision. The ongoing debate over eliminating Social Security — I cannot believe I’m even typing those words — is about who gets their hands on that huge fund. The ‘social policy’ angle, I believe, is a kind of game.

In order to convince us that we need to take away benefits that people have paid for their whole lives, and that every employer pours money into every week, we have to be convinced that it’s a bad thing, and to do that, we need to chill down the emotional temperature of society. We all have to be turned a little colder and desensitized to one another’s needs. Usually this is done indirectly.

Photo by Eric Francis.

You may have seen video of the discussion during the Republican candidates debate when eternal presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Ron Paul was asked what society should do if someone who was healthy and didn’t think he needed health insurance (and didn’t want to pay the $300 a month) ended up in a coma. Should society keep him alive? The audience cheered at the possibility that he should be allowed to die.

This was not at some homespun yahoo political rally — it was at a Politico/CNN event, and the questioner was Wolf Blitzer. At the prior debate, something even weirder happened. Brian Williams, the anchor and managing editor of NBC News, asked candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “Your state has executed 234 death row inmates, more than any governor in modern times. Have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent?”

The weird thing was, at the mention of the executions, the audience sent up a cheer, Williams paused, and then he finished his sentence. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised, but the little kid in me feels nauseous that people would cheer about executions. Of course, we’ve all seen the ‘pro death’ rallies in dark prison parking lots as someone receives the lethal injection.

Perry replied, “No sir. I’ve never struggled with that at all. The state of Texas has a very thoughtful, very clear process in place of which when someone commits the most heinous of crimes against our citizens, they get a fair hearing, they go through an appellate process, they go up to the Supreme Court of the United States if that’s required. But in the state of Texas, if you come into our state and you kill one of our children, you kill a police officer, you’re involved with another crime and you kill one of our citizens, you will face the ultimate justice in the state of Texas, and that is you will be executed.”

Photo by Eric Francis.

A thoughtful, clear process? That would be the same one, mandated by the Supreme Court’s Furman decision, that resulted in at least 13 false convictions in Illinois, which as a result stopped its death penalty in 2003. I cannot imagine not struggling with something like the potential execution of an innocent person at all. And if he’s appeasing himself that there is Supreme Court review of each case, he’s kidding himself. That review is strictly at the court’s option. It is he who has the power of executive clemency.

He cannot, or will not, admit that he’s struggled even a little bit. By its advocates, the death penalty is always presumed right, no matter who is declared innocent after they were killed (at least 24 executed people were later declared innocent in the United States prior to the temporary suspension of the death penalty in 1967). For the population, the death penalty is about blood lust. For politicians, it’s about demonstrating who is boss, and I believe that it’s a form of modern-day human sacrifice. Note that if economic conditions persist and the unemployment rate stays where it is or gets worse, Rick Perry is the person we’re most likely to have as our next president.

This does not worry me as much as the spiritually vapid social environment we’re living in, evidenced by all those people who raise a cheer about lethal injection or letting a patient die. It does not worry me as much as the people who consider themselves spiritual who think they are going to meditate away the bad people — that’s as ridiculous as Perry’s plan to pray for the federal budget deficit to go away, and I think we need to recognize that fact. I don’t think the solution to the problems we face will be a political one. But I think that along the way we will have to understand politics.

That is not the final destination. The final destination is understanding ourselves. And we might start with understanding the disconnect that is allowing all of this to happen, and the way it’s being exploited by a kind of opportunistic infection. Choosing not to participate in politics does not make one immune. This is particularly true given that we’re experiencing an artificially created economic crisis concurrently with the same forces wanting to remove the social safety net that is the only thing between what we have right now and an actual depression. Most working people curse the poor and not the wealthy for their problems, but they have a lot more in common with the people they look down on. And this whole mental complex has developed into a kind of sadistic mania.

Photo by Eric Francis.

We have to ask ourselves how this can be happening. I think we need to cultivate an understanding of what is happening within humanity, and I mean that on an individual level, then multiplied out by however many people there are. What we think of as ‘the media’ is prohibited from discussing this issue as a matter of personal ethics, and it’s not a small matter. Politics is currently all pumped full of religious rhetoric, which is a ruse for something that’s essentially a spiritual problem.

Let’s revisit the conjunction happening in Sagittarius for a picture of how that looks. Sagittarius is the sign associated with the spiritual quest, or quests of any kind for that matter. I like Alice Bailey’s description the best: the arrow represents the one-pointed direction of the soul determined to be conscious, free, and most important, determined to travel on its path of initiation or discipleship. Sagittarius is on one level about the centaur (who shows up there in some representations of the sign, because it’s in the constellation Centaurus), and this describes the spiritual question of, ‘Am I a man, or am I an animal?’ The whole war against sex that politics is currently so drunk on plays off of that very conflict, and it’s a septic conflict at the moment: it’s infected. But if we take Sagittarius on what you might think of as a more evolved level, it’s about the quest of making contact with one’s soul. And here, our society and many people in it have a little problem.

The way most people are trying to handle the infection factor, and many other attributes of the issue, is with painkillers. This is represented by Pholus, which is about intoxicants; those include everything from alcohol to video games. One of the mental states of Pholus is being so drugged that you’re out of control.

Hylonome is the next factor — a female centaur about grief and how we deal with it, extending from the most personal response to mass eruptions in society. It’s about ‘the cry of the poor’ (a cry growing louder by the day) and how we respond to it. Hylonome can have a suicidal or ‘senseless’ quality. We must suppress an enormous amount of grief just to get through the day. We do so every time we turn away from pain and suffering, every time we walk past someone we could afford to help, every time we train ourselves to be insensitive. We might dress this up as ‘having boundaries’, or we could say that to be alive right now, many think it’s necessary to live behind walls.

Photo by Eric Francis.

You can think of people who cheer about a patient dying, or inmates dying, as a wall. What is behind that wall? The answer is a world of pain. This would be better served in a therapy room, and is safe enough in one’s living room, but when it becomes expressed as public policy, we all have to be concerned.

I have also mentioned Ixion, the small planet hanging out in this neighborhood, the one that’s about lack of morals and ethics; in a word, depravity, disguised as religion (nothing new, I know). Ixion is less precisely aligned in this mix (it’s about two degrees from Pholus and Hylonome) — but it’s been working over the Great Attractor for several recent years, evangelizing the weak with the idea that there is no difference between right and wrong.

As for the Great Attractor itself. What we know is that it’s a supermassive, pumped-up radioactive deep-space point that even astronomers have a hard time understanding. It’s not what you would call human. Nobody has ever seen it. Its existence is inferred by many clues, such as all the galaxies rushing in its direction — more than a million of them. But it’s rushing away at the same time. If Sagittarius has anything to do with our soul’s quest, this is an extremely tense situation — and to some degree we are all in it.

We might start to work out our situation with a basic understanding of cause and effect. Every effect has a cause, every cause has an effect, and the two cannot be separated, no matter how fast we run, or how blotto we try to make our awareness. In a word, this is the law of karma.

Much of what we seem to struggle with is free will. If we have free will, then we need karma as a governing agency. We currently live as if cause and effect have no relationship. We don’t need to prove the point one way or the other — we just need to look at what is so.


Planet Waves FM: Venus in Libra, 9/11 and the Gardasil Girls

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I look at Venus entering Libra, which is the chart I used for the horoscope in today’s edition of Planet Waves. Venus is making a lot of aspects as she moves through the first few degrees of Libra, including a conjunction to Typhon (the planet named for the god of storms), an opposition to Uranus and a square to Pluto. That’s a lot of aspects for sensitive, complex Venus.

This involves Uranus square Pluto, the 2012 aspect. We’re going to keep getting new experiences of this all the time; Venus making an opposition to Uranus and then a square to Pluto over the next few days is a good example. Venus opposite Uranus feels like a relationship experience, and then the subsequent square to Pluto feels deep and introspective. I also previewed the aspect that is the subject of the article above — Pholus conjunct Hylonome. Speaking of that kind of deep cultural stuff, I wrap up my discussion of 9/11 for now. This includes a visit from Dick Cheney, who was portrayed brilliantly last night on The Daily Show. This is must-see, if you have any fetish at all for Mr. Evil. If you are a student of Jon Stewart’s pregnant pause approach to comedy, there are some juicy ones.

This short segment is featured on the cover of The Daily Show site at the moment (you may have to look for it now that it’s Friday, but the segment is called The Humanization of Dick Cheney). Note a correction, Cheney did appear as a guest on MSNBC, on Morning Joe.

One last topic, that I think takes about half an hour — HPV and Gardasil. This is just an introduction to an issue I’ve been following for more than 20 years, but it’s timely now because Michele Bachmann claimed that the vaccination caused mental retardation in one of her out-of-district constituents. Bachmann came under fire from both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ for her position, which was apparently anti-corporate and anti-science at the same time. However, she is right, if not specifically correct in this instance. I reference two webpages in this discussion: The Truth About Gardasil site (don’t miss the video at the bottom), and then an editorial that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009 — the best thing I’ve ever read about HPV or the vaccine.

I will come back to this issue, sooner if I hear from my listeners with their personal experiences. HPV is a significant issue in that it will affect from half to 90% of all sexually active people at least once. Yet the medical information is all over the map, contradictory and driven by marketing and profits. If you’re curious about how this relates to politics, CNN actually covered the issue yesterday. Amazing.

Here is your program in the old player and a downloadable archive.



Photo by Eric. This is from slide film — now I remember what it looks like.


Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Sept. 16, 2011, #875 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Revised and Updated! Click for Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Aries (March 20-April 19) — The past six weeks have been a challenging time in your home life, and you seem determined to resolve certain family or personal issues once and for all. However, I strongly suggest you check carefully and make sure that you’re solving the right problems. Your solar chart suggests that the main thing you’re struggling with is confidence. This started in early August disguised as an emotional issue, leading to all kinds of conflict and mischief. However, recent developments indicate that the actual matter involves the deepest level of faith. You may not be able to see this; matters of faith have a way of rendering themselves invisible. We more often see the results. Faith in this instance translates to faith in yourself, though that in turn connects to your sense of connection (or lack thereof) to something larger than you. The next few days may feel edgy, as if you’ve reached the limit of how far you can work with these themes; stay close to the edge and you will learn a lot.

Aries, your birth sign or rising sign, is getting some of the most potent transits of them all right now. I’ve recorded an hour of astrology and a tarot card reading for you. Learn more by visiting this page.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may be confronted with so much opportunity you don’t even recognize it as such — you may just feel overwhelmed. I suggest you do what you can to shift from an emotional orientation to a mental one. Think of your various life situations in a logical way, using words rather than impressions. You’ll not only feel better if you do; you will also be able to make some clear decisions that can free up your time and energy for what matters the most. Clearly you have a lot happening on the work front, and this is where I suggest you focus your energy — though this is going to require that same mental clarity I just described. Your emphasis on projects and responsibilities is not happening in a compartment. In truth it connects to every other aspect of your life; what you call ‘work’ is a doorway to many points of contact with yourself. Think of it as an organizing principle or point of integration rather than someplace you go every day — or would go, if you had the chance.

I’ve recorded an hour of astrology and done a tarot reading especially for you. It’s information that will help with your relationships, your professional life and your personal growth. Visit this page to find out more.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Life is not a game of how little consciousness you can get away with, but rather how much you can stand. You seem to keep drifting into a kind of slumber, then waking back up in the nick of time. This is partly because you’re using your mind for what you need to be doing with your senses. Let your mind process the information coming in through your senses, and you’ve got the formula for staying awake and alert: that’s a fancy way of saying paying attention. That is likely to lead you directly to creative mode. For you at the moment, the opposite of dullness is not alertness but passion, and you will know it’s passion because it comes with a blast of impulsive curiosity and the desire to dare. There is still part of your psyche that wants to lull you back to sleep, but once you catch the energy wave that’s building inside you, you will love where it’s taking you.

Gemini is one of the most misunderstood signs — and as someone born under this sign, part of your role is to hold a mirror to the world. I’ve recorded an hour of audio for you, plus a 20-minute tarot reading. You can get access to these by visiting this page.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Someone you meet this weekend will give the impression that they’re important — and may be very important in your life. I suggest you not trust this on its face, but rather treat the person respectfully as your equal and see what develops. You’re at the end of a challenging cycle of experience, and are apt to be looking for a sense of authority. Tune into that within yourself. You know enough; you’ve been through enough. At this point authority translates to knowing what you want, and nobody else can tell you that. Others can keep you busy as you make your decisions about your own desires, and they may be able to point you in the general direction of yourself. That, however, is the limit that I suggest you allow others to have on you, no matter how enchanting, charming or all-knowing they may seem. Resist the temptation to think so — but make sure you listen carefully for grains of truth and wisdom. They are equally likely to come from you as from anyone else.

I’ve recorded an hour of astrology and done a tarot reading especially for you. It’s information that will help with your relationships, your professional life and your personal growth. Visit this page to find out more.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Have you ever had the experience of a splinter or shard of metal embedding in your skin, then healing over? Gradually it works its way toward the surface, and then finally one day pierces through. It’s an amazing feeling, and it reminds you that the body’s healing process works gradually but dependably. You’re experiencing something like this on the psychic level. It’s as if a fear got embedded in your mind, and disappeared beneath the surface. It’s presence down there was not exactly benign — it caused its share of chaos until it finally settled into place. Now it’s working its way upward, and it’s about to break the surface and set itself free. You may be experiencing this as the expectation of getting injured in some way, and in a sense that is true — there will be a little tear as it emerges fully into your awareness. But you’ll be a lot happier that it’s ended up where you can see and feel it, and where it cannot do any more damage.

Hello Leo! Your birthday report is now available. I’ve recorded 70 minutes of in-depth astrology plus a 20-minute tarot reading for you, exploring relationships, personal growth and your professional life. Visit this page for additional information.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — The Sun is now making its way through the last degrees of your sign. It’s been a long month, but you’re about to be the recipient of one last surge of summer energy, motivation and drive. You will, that is, if you don’t allow a partnership situation to sap your energy. I suggest you keep your focus on yourself, as challenging as that may be. The main distraction is likely to be emotional turbulence, and you may want to go deeper into the relationship in order to ‘work that out’ or ‘resolve it’. This is more like a temptation than a reality; the more you extract yourself from the situation and get some perspective, the easier it will be to see it for what it is. I recognize that you may have the sensation of descending into an uncomfortable kind of self-judgment, but your release from that feeling arrives shortly after you’re directly honest with yourself about it.

Eric is working on your birthday audio — we plan to have it available shortly — sorry for the delay. Please stay tuned!

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You have come to a point where you must discard your antiquated ideas about relationships. The people around you may not be on the path that is right for you, but they’ve certainly been providing enough provocation to wake you up. Finding your way is likely to fit a ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ model of thought, and this may come on like a storm. It’s essential that you recognize that your environment has become too confining for you. Yet everything in your surroundings serves a purpose — and you’ll have to redefine those purposes or how you engage with them, if you’re going to make any progress. Said another way, you have to get your needs met. But many of those needs are no longer valid or useful, and the best thing you can do for yourself is take this opportunity to figure out what is what. Allow yourself a moment of everything being transient. Imagine your life with no attachments, and consider what you would do.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Libra, please go to this link.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Taking authority has been a huge theme in your life this year. It’s been more like a dance with leadership, with power, and with ego drama. As Mars crosses the midheaven angle of your chart, you’re about to begin a whole new round of the game. Don’t let the temporary sensation that you’re standing on quicksand trick you into doubting your confidence. In a short while you will be fully engaged in a scenario that calls for your competence, leadership and restraint. How you handle yourself will either stir people to rebellion or command their loyalty. What makes the difference is how much confidence you inspire in them — and this really is up to you. Part of that ability to inspire will come from being undeterred from your goals, which I suggest you know well enough to recite in your sleep. Part will come from your ability to relate to people in a way that transcends the game level of reality. Connect with the idea that you’re in service to something larger, then carefully demonstrate this to others so they can do the same thing.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Scorpio, please go to this link.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You are running on your instincts, to say the very least. I don’t just mean guiding yourself by them but rather caught in a torrent of inner guidance that may be taking over your mind. This goes deeper than intuition. I’m talking about something that feels more like surfing: being driven by the actual power of your thoughts and emotions. Intuition would be how you guide yourself within that stream. You may continually reach the point where your mind (or someone close to you) tries to intervene, and tells you you’re doing the wrong thing or don’t have the facts. Rather than getting into a pissing match, I suggest you enter into a dialog and do some fact checking. You then have a clear basis to accept or toss any idea that goes contrary to your inner flow. You’ve experienced plenty of examples where your logic was wrong, and I’m sure you wish you had tested it rather than merely taking its word for things.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Sagittarius, please go to this link.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Be careful in your financial dealings with others the next few days — there may be a predator in your midst, and if so, their behavior will not be obvious at first. You will need to be extremely sensitive to your boundaries and your sense of when your principles are being violated. That is the time to take notice. This in turn will help you notice what your principles are. If you maintain a continuous analysis of what is right and what is wrong for you, your sense of potential will open up. This is not the time to bend your ethics in the direction of what is most convenient, though I recognize that this is a prevailing theme of the times in which we live. Rather, subject everything you encounter to actual scrutiny, including your own thoughts. There is a line between this and not trusting anything at all; you’ll be able to see it if you look and feel. On one side of the line, everyone is suspect. On the other, everything appears in a shade of gray.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Capricorn, please go to this link.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — I’m sure you would be grateful to know just what is bothering you. It seems to come into your awareness then sink beneath the surface. You may have the idea that it’s something specific, however I think that you’re responding to your environment. You’re more sensitive to your surroundings than you think, and the past five or six weeks have come with a diversity of twists and turns that have taken their toll on you. You may be tired of what some call passive aggression; you wish people would give you straight talk and reveal their motives. But deeper down, there is a question brewing about your philosophy of relationships. You know you need commitment and stability, and you know you need your freedom. This seeming contradiction is perhaps more evident in the lives of Aquarians than any other sign. At the moment, I would remind you that it has an abstract quality, based on the past. Treat your relationships individually, and size up how each one plays off of this theme.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Aquarius, please go to this link.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Your faith in relationships may be at low tide, though I suggest you invest that faith in individual people rather than an abstraction or idea. Most people don’t know the difference. There is a difference — one is a thought in your mind, and the other is a person with whom you can have a real exchange. Such a person may well be in your environment right now. Their presence may be a little stronger or assertive than your usual tastes would prefer, though there is a real point of contact between you. I suggest you allow yourself to be provoked. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. The beauty of this encounter is that someone’s strength can make contact with an aspect of your psyche that you rarely allow anyone to see. Allowing that vulnerability is about you — not the other person. You’re the one making the choice, you know it, and that’s the ultimate turn-on.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Pisces, please go to this link.

The Heart of the Matter

Before we get into this week’s article, check out this solar ejection yesterday — the biggest one ever recorded. You can watch the stunningly beautiful video here. If an ejection like this pointed toward the Earth, it could wipe out our power grid. Here is an associated article from National Geographic.


Dear Friend and Reader:

All week long, I’ve been watching pundits — particularly the women — impale themselves over the question, what would make Anthony Weiner, an influential congressman from New York City, have online relationships that could easily turn out to be so dangerous to his career? What is it about men?

Official publicity photo of Larry Flynt, the inventor of hardcore pornography, in the 1970s.

Notably I have not heard any of them question the sexual or relational choices that women make, which might give us a clue that we’re looking at a humanity-wide issue here. Nobody has questioned why female politicians seem inoculated against sex scandals (true, the occasional high school teacher gets snagged, but that’s different). So far as TV is concerned, I didn’t hear anything that made sense until Rachel Maddow had Larry Flynt on as a guest Wednesday night. (This segment is really worth watching, but please excuse or dissect the Orwellian ad for fracking that sometimes runs on her website.)

Flynt is of course the publisher of Hustler magazine, and in my view he’s one of the greatest Americans of our lifetimes because of how passionately he has enforced, protected and defended the First Amendment, before the Supreme Court and a lot of other courts. Flynt has also done his part exposing the hypocrisy of certain prominent American politicians who on the one hand run their careers on purity campaigns and on the other, engage prostitutes, have affairs and tap their feet in airport men’s rooms.

During his interview with Maddow Wednesday, Flynt said, “Something that no one has pointed out here, [is that] other than the drive for survival, the strongest single drive we have, is that for sex. So the one medium we use to communicate with more than anything else, we understand it the least.”

My response: Wow! What a perfect description of Asbolus!

Of what?

Asbolus is one of the centaur planets, in fact the fourth one ever discovered (that was back in 1995). Let’s see if I can bring you up to speed in three paragraphs. You’ve probably heard of Chiron, a passionate, edgy little planet associated with healing. It was discovered in our era of history — in 1977, and it’s the first of the centaurs. There are now many bodies in this class, which are small, asteroid-like or comet-like critters that cross the orbits of other planets. That’s the important part — they bridge together different levels of awareness and integrate seemingly separate psychological processes. Asbolus, like most centaurs, has an elongated orbit. It intersects with the orbits of Saturn and Uranus and it goes right out as far as Neptune, without crossing Neptune’s orbit.

Pieces from a chess set at a sexual art museum in Miami. The white pawns are masturbating women. The black pawns (not shown) are masturbating men. We would not be such pawns if we followed the advice of this chess set. Photo by Eric Francis.

The centaurs all address issues of healing, transformation and what you might call soul retrieval. If the astrology you are doing, or want to do, has any aspirations to being part of a healing process, or conscious evolution, you will love the centaurs. They all have something in common with Chiron, but each has a different feeling and theme.

Asbolus seems to be about survival. His name means carbon dust. That was my first clue to the theme: the things that all known life have in common are carbon and the need to survive. But then I started to see Asbolus show up prominently in the charts of people who had survived truly intense childhoods — the ones who sat behind the couch as thrown objects sailed overhead and crashed into the walls, escaping more or less unscathed. At first I thought, these people have had uncommonly nasty family of origin situations. Then after a while I realized when I was on the phone with them that they were alert, caring people who could take care of themselves — they made it. Their early situations had not broken them. While this does have a Chiron feeling of ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, Asbolus brings a particularly concentrated version of that message. These clients seemed not to notice how close to the edge they had been, but rather went through this stuff relatively calmly.

Asbolus is truly primal, going deeper than the human level of experience. It’s about what all life has in common. Hold that thought.

The centaur discovered right before Asbolus was Nessus. I’ve mentioned this one more often. Nessus crosses the orbits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the first three outer planets. It was also the first planet in the history of science ever named based on the recommendation of astrologers.

Sexual art is the next oldest thing to sex. Humans have, throughout history, illustrated sex and sexuality. Photo at an erotic art museum in Miami by Eric Francis.

It’s about the cycles of karma. Nessus speaks directly to themes of betrayal and deception. Looking at Nessus, you can see the predisposition to psychological abuse in a chart. It provides valuable clues about themes associated with both potentially inappropriate sexual contact and sexually transmitted infections. And it can be a pointer to toxic sexual issues. Nessus made stunning appearances, conjunct the Sun, in the charts of both Gabrielle Giffords and Jared Loughner — the shooter and the person he shot. They had different roles but many eerily common chart features, and Nessus was prominent in both their natal charts and for the shooting itself.

Everything Nessus represents emerges from the demented world of human psychology and interpersonal poltics. It addresses the need to heal tendencies in the psyche that may spring from deep-seated instinct but are twisted into something else by human experience. Humans are subjected to certain kinds of social conditioning, power imbalances, obsessions and mistrust that make the dramas of Nessus possible. And, notably, nearly all humans have some need to heal these issues, which makes the astrological influence of Nessus useful.

When you think of the properties of Asbolus, remember that it applies to anything that’s alive. When you think of Nessus, think of what is distinctly and perversely human. They represent two different kinds of forces in the psyche. Asbolus brings in the theme of instinct and Nessus brings in the issue of intent, and a related issue of guilt. And in the functional sense, with Nessus we have the notion that the buck stops here: people who work consciously with Nessus are gifted at breaking the cycle of abuse. You could say the ones who are unconscious of Nessus perpetuate that cycle, and the ones who are paying attention are able to stop the cycle.

The Nessus-Asbolus Square

This week I went searching in the planets to find something that told the story of these numerous sex scandals that have been popping up all spring. While the US media is always eager to embarrass someone, this seems to be happening at an unusual pace right now. I noticed an aspect I’ve seen before but rediscovered, and which was exact Thursday — Nessus square Asbolus. That means they are meeting at 90-degrees. Nessus and Asbolus are slow-moving objects and make aspects only rarely. The current square takes a long time — it is slowly unfolding between 2009 and 2013, though one of the exact points of contact was June 9, 2011, and that tells us something about this very moment of history. (Note — I covered this in my podcast Wednesday, including an interview with Melanie Reinhart.)

ACT-UP poster from the 1980s, calling attention to how the Catholic Church would not allow the teaching of safer sex practices. Image from Stephen A. Schwarzman Building / Manuscripts and Archives Division.

A square is usually regarded as an internal dynamic in the psyche. Of course squares have manifestations in the world, but for the most part they play out from the inner world into the outer world. As I suggested in an article on sex scandals two weeks ago, these things are about us — not the people they purport to be about. They are about our negative, morbid and otherwise uncreative fixations on our own sexuality, projected onto the world. As far as the media is concerned, they make good copy when you don’t want to talk about the implications of nuclear meltdowns, the entire Middle East at war and various economic crises brewing. Sex scandals are the perfect distraction and in pure Nessus style, they both feed and draw upon our own sense of shame.

The square of Nessus and Asbolus pits against one another two deep forces in the psyche. One is the drive to survive. As Larry Flynt put it, “Other than the drive for survival, the strongest single drive we have, is that for sex. So the one medium we use to communicate with more than anything else, we understand it the least.” That would be Asbolus.

Then there is Nessus — that whole complex of abuse/revenge/betrayal/shame that is always involved in a sex scandal of any kind. None of this would have any emotional or intellectual currency were it not in some way present in our minds; were we not feeling in some way unclean about our sexuality. As A Course in Miracles explains it rather elegantly, the guilt within gets so intense the only thing we can do with it is to project it outward.

And apparently it does not take much to set off a fuss. Anthony Weiner, a gutsy, outspoken liberal, is accused only of having what amount to online flirtations with other adults. (He also happens to be one of the hardest working members of Congress, keeping his staff busy with things like fact-checking late into the night.) Unlike getting sex in men’s bathrooms in airports or paying high-priced prostitutes while making speeches about family values, Weiner was doing something that just about everyone does — play on the Internet. I understand the risks are higher if you’re a famous, bombastic congressman, but he still was doing something that many of us have done at some time, or do regularly. Okay, then he denied it and made up an excuse. This is supposed to be a big deal? Now we’re really in well-trodden territory. I assure you that there is nobody on the planet who has not, at some time, told a lie about sex.

Let’s consider the square between Asbolus (the vital force) and Nessus (the impulse to scandal and the opportunity to heal the psychology behind it). It’s as if these two planets are always in a square (they are not), however this moment is one where we can work out the conflict between what is entirely natural and unstoppable, and what is laced with betrayal, doubt and shame. One way not to work it out is hypocrisy. In fact, the hypocrisy of family values people condemning the same behavior they participate in is a way of turning that energy into abusive power.

Fresco from ancient Pompeii. Much of the art in Pompeii had erotic themes, which were preserved when the city was buried under ash and pumice from an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. Most of the art was confiscated by the Brits, a gesture which helped create the notion of ‘pornography’ as opposed to the mere depiction of love and eroticism; the notion of ‘pornography’ is a social construction.

It’s as if hypocrisy has this special metaphysical property of focusing power over people. Its message is: “watch out, I don’t have any ethics. My mind doesn’t regulate itself. I don’t have boundaries. In fact, I get off on inflicting this kind of pain and coming out smelling like a bouquet of roses.” (The crowd then bursts into wild cheers, apparently wishing it had the guts to do the same thing.) Politics in particular seems to run on this power. We expect politicians to be hypocrites, and indeed our own impossible-to-meet moral standards in effect force them to choose between being liars about what is perfectly natural, or not having jobs.

One sure thing you can say about this process is that nobody heals as a result of it. The cycle of shame, attack and victimization is only compounded. The healing process begins when we admit our own shame and tendency to either being a victim or attacker. This would take us off of the political level and onto the personal level. The political level is merely a kind of shadow dance. The personal level is the form that is casting the shadow, or to quote Jesus, casting the first stone.

One thing we really need to understand is that our society has done quite a fine job of making sure every form of sex, sexual feeling, sexual expression and even erotic fantasy — no matter how ‘normal’ — is at least potentially inappropriate and at worst potentially criminal. There is so much guilt, shame and victimization packed around sex that many people are at the point of verging on insanity and some are right there. This primal force has to go somewhere, and where it’s going at the moment — for most people — is that it’s getting caught in shame (which manifests many invisible ways: as rules, games, self-limitations, denial, deception and so on). The people who can shame themselves into submission are considered the ‘normal’ ones and those who express themselves often get pelted. We need, therefore, a way out of this mess. Usually it’s a few brave individuals who open the way for everyone else. Here is one example of that kind of person.

Nessus and Asbolus in the Natal Chart of Larry Flynt

Let’s give a big shout out to Larry Flynt for providing us with an excellent concept to understand Asbolus and by extension, the current Nessus-Asbolus square. Naturally after seeing him on Maddow last night, I was curious about his chart, and we have accurate data as certified with an AA rating (the highest) by the late Lois Rodden. When I looked at the chart, I wanted to test my understanding of both Asbolus and of Nessus. I will show you both in his chart.

Natal chart of Larry Flynt. This is one of those charts that looks like it was custom made for its owner: notice the triple conjunction in Scorpio (Mars, Venus, Sun). Asbolus, the archetype of the survivor, is rising in Gemini. Nessus is in pale blue toward the top left.

What we have in Flynt is a man who cannot stand this kind of hypocrisy in the political realm. Personally, he refuses to knuckle down to shame. As you will see from the segment of the Maddow show, he’s willing to put himself personally on the line to make this point. He may seem like an extreme case; his porno is not high class, and many find it degrading to women. But there is a higher principle involved: our coveted right to free expression; and an even higher one — he refuses to be a sexual hypocrite. Many who extol purity and the virtue of women are busy taking away their rights, including a new movement that is gathering momentum to roll back the right to birth control. That is what I said. Not only is Roe v. Wade under attack, so too is a ruling from 1965. That is Griswold v. Connecticut, which verifies both the right to contraception and the right to privacy. More on that another time soon.

Here is his chart above and to the right, and here is a larger version. True to form, he is a triple Scorpio — Sun, Venus and Mars. That’s the kind of thing that makes you believe in astrology. It makes so much sense that it’s funny. His Moon is in Leo; he is a showman, or as he once said, “a smut peddler who cares.” (He may be a lot more than that — he has the Galactic Center exactly on his relationship angle. To me this says he has direct contact with some of the deepest facets of existence, this thing that people long for when they say the word ‘spiritual’).

The 5th house from Larry Flynt’s chart. Here, you can see Mercury in the house of playful sexuality, followed by Mars, Venus and the Sun. Nessus is not shown, but it’s located at 3+ Taurus, exactly opposite Venus and Mars. Think of it as observing and mediating the relationship between his inner male and female energies, which helps him understand how they work in the world. Notably, Nessus in Flynt’s chart is in the discovery degree of Chiron, which is a lot like having honorary Nessus conjunct Chiron, amplifying the healing energy of the setup.

He has Gemini rising. That makes perfect sense, since he is a professional communicator. He is also a bit of a trickster. And that Gemini dualism gives us the sinner who comes off more like a saint. Asbolus is right in the ascendant; it is rising in his chart. This angular placement — on the horizon — is consistent with my earlier research: Asbolus shows up powerfully in the charts of survivors. Flynt would qualify. Not only has he survived the death of his beloved wife to AIDS and many long spells of litigation defending his constitutional right to be in business, he also survived an assassination attempt in 1978 wherein he and his attorney were shot by a sniper.

He was paralyzed from the waist down and spent years in excruciating pain. He then became addicted to painkillers and suffered a stroke, which is why his speech is slurred. Still, he presses on, and has had amazing success in business, in the political realm and the courts. Love him or hate him, he has made the world safer for both sex and for freedom of expression.

Let’s look at one house in his chart — the 5th house, which tells us a lot. Sex in the 5th is something we do for fun, for experimentation or out of curiosity: a form of play, and that is the business that Flynt is in. Porn is not about deep, meaningful commitment — it’s about feeling good. It’s about doing in your imagination what you may not have the courage to dare in physical life. Porn is about ideas. Those are particularly dangerous ideas these days, because once they’re expressed, these same things that many people crave on the cellular level tend to run into all of the rules and obstructions that have been put in the way by religion, government and social convention. And we see that collision most often in the form of scandal.

The first thing we find in that 5th house is Mercury. Can you see it there? It’s the green thing with horns. Mercury rules Flynt’s Gemini ascendant; in the 5th house we have the expression of sexuality as a communication device. It’s trine Asbolus, which in part represents the unstoppable biological force of sexual energy. Mercury trine Asbolus gives it a means of expression — the trine opens up the flow. It also bestows Flynt with the charm and derring-do for which so many love him so well. Flynt is the shameless spokesman for what we all have in common. And while I’m there, Mercury is in Libra, which is represented by the scales of justice: Flynt has spent a lot of time in court and for the most part he has done well. In true Libra style he has even befriended his former enemies, particularly toward the end of his life, religious huckster/political organizer Jerry Falwell. (Of Mr. Falwell, Flynt said, “I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling.”)

Now for Nessus. Do you see Mars and Venus? Mars is at 00+ Scorpio and Venus is at 5+ Scorpio. Nessus (not shown in the smaller diagram) is precisely opposite the point between them, across the wheel in Taurus, in Chiron’s discovery degree. His Nessus is observing Venus and Mars from afar. And it’s as if he has this healing force, a kind of Chiron of sex and relationships, mediating between his inner male and inner female energies. He understands the antipathy between Venus and Mars, between men and women — and he understands the drive to connect. And when he says, “The one medium we use to communicate with more than anything else, we understand it the least,” he knows what he’s talking about.

Yours & truly,

Additional Research: Tracy Delaney, Kirsti Melto, Melanie Reinhart.


Aries, Taurus, Gemini 2011 Birthday Reports Available

Dear Friend and Reader:

I’m happy to let you know that birthday readings (also called solar return charts) are available for Aries, Taurus and Gemini. These are approximately one-hour readings that cover the astrology of 2011 and into early 2012 in depth. These are entirely different readings from those you may have read in Light Bridge, but they build on some of the themes I introduced in the 2011 annual.

Then each sign gets a tarot reading, which gives an alternate take on the information, speaks a more intuitive language and provides a cross-check with the information that came out of the astrology. These are spiritually rich, practical, easy-to-grasp readings that offer the best of my astrology knowledge in a personal format.

Here are brief descriptions of the three signs:

ARIES — This is the first full solar year with Uranus in your birth sign. With this you have some amazing opportunities for personal reinvention, as well as special challenges in your relationships. You may be growing faster than the people around you; certainly you feel more restless and eager to meet the challenges of life. Also at the time of your birthday there was an astonishing alignment of planets in your sign. All of this speaks to unusual new potential — and a lot of energy. This reading offers suggestions for how to be in your relationships, whether personal or working, with all of this energy charging up in you like a battery. Purchasing information is here.

TAURUS — Jupiter has entered your sign and will be there through mid-2012. This is big news for Taurus, allowing you to broaden your perspective, providing many fresh ideas and opportunities. Jupiter is making contact with many planets, which gives you the ability to access those energies and bring them into your consciousness. The Taurus New Moon around your birthday was on fire, one of those events that spun the world on its finger. Between such a potent solar return chart and the presence of Jupiter, you have the ability to create anything you sincerely desire. This reading guides you to a depth of understanding of your potential, and offers suggestions for how to manifest it in reality. Purchasing information is here.

GEMINI — Eclipses have moved into the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, which is about you and the people close to you. Eclipses in your sign and opposite sign present special challenges, opportunities and the need for balance. This is an unusual time in your life wherein you can resolve old karma, let go of old patterns of thought, heal any inner divisions that have been slowing you down, and come into balance with those you love. An eclipse in your opposite sign, Sagittarius, allows you to let go of what some call ‘ego’ or personality baggage and be especially clear in your relationships, as well as in harmony with yourself. Purchasing information is here.

Taurus tarot spread using the Voyager deck by James Wanless.

Each comes with a photograph of the tarot spread, using the Voyager Tarot by James Wanless. These tarot readings were one of the most popular features of the birthday audio series last year, and I love doing them — a rare opportunity for me to do tarot at Planet Waves. James, by the way, is a friend of Planet Waves and will soon be a guest on my podcast. He will be introducing his new deck — it’s called the “Sustain Yourself” deck and handbook. You can read about it on his homepage. In addition, in each of the birthday reports there are links to discounted offers for Light Bridge (the 2011 personal readings from Planet Waves, all 12 signs), as well as discounted links to last year’s solar return in case you missed that.

I trust that you will find this information helpful and useful. I recognize these are not personal readings, but I bring the best of my talent and communication ability to tell the story of your sign in a way that is personally relevant: a kind of mythical fiction that weaves a story I trust you will relate to and draw nourishment from.

Thank you for doing your metaphysical shopping at Planet Waves.


PS: Each report comes with a copy of Light Bridge: The 25-Year Span, an e-book collection of my favorite articles since 1987.


This is a busy weekend astrologically. There are many aspects and an eclipse on the way. Read more in today’s edition of Daily Astrology & Adventure.

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, June 10, 2011, #863 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Revised and Updated! Click for Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Go easy on people, especially the ones you want. You are pumping more energy than you think, and it’s not all positive. Most of it is, but at the moment I suggest you observe carefully what is included within your desire nature. It’s not one simple emotion — there are many sub-topics and feelings within the feeling. Monitor these as carefully as you can. I’m not proposing that you be (or act) pure in any way, but rather that you be mindful of the contents of your emotions. Certain factors make it really easy to speak, and you may not be in the mood to censor yourself. You’ll avoid hurting anyone if you listen to what you’re saying. Don’t make promises you cannot keep, and remember how vulnerable people are. Your environment is delightfully social at the moment, but there are risks involved, and it would really be best to take them consciously. If any past emotional material is triggered, stop and listen to yourself. If you open your mouth and utter a judgment that sounds more like something your grandparents would say, pause and review.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Aries, please go to this link.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — I suggest you put your emphasis on coming up with new ideas for creating and developing resources rather than spending money. You have excellent ideas now, but that doesn’t translate to being wise with your finances. Therefore, focus on the future. Focus on what is important to you but be conservative with your cash. If you do spend money, pause before you make the final decision and stick to what has lasting value (you may be tempted to spend on what seems glittery and glamorous but that is going to fade pretty fast). When in doubt, wait. The time has arrived to think of your longterm plans for building your wealth. Mostly this is about the value you see yourself as having, value that I suggest you demonstrate every chance you get. Give yourself the sensation of doing your work well, and maximizing your role in the lives of others who you care about. In other words, value is not ephemeral, it’s tangible and can be easily observed.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Taurus, please go to this link.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Venus enters your sign Friday, which makes you the belle or beau of the ball. The attraction power of Venus works for just about everyone. Be aware that people may be making up fantasy stories about you; the only thing you can really do about this is be aware, and make sure you either work within the context of that fantasy or be clear of what your agenda is. That said, you can have a lot of fun as the current aspects in your chart develop. Your impulse is clearly to feel good, and your solar chart tells me you will spare neither expense nor risk to do that. I would offer the following suggestions; choose them as they may apply. Stay three drinks behind the crowd. Only take drugs you’ve taken before. Plan your ‘safer sex’ routine in advance and stick to it. And remember, one hot night or weekend does not equal ‘true love’. This would be a fantastic time to leave that concept in your jewelry box and wear something more practical, better suited for the hot weather. One last: use your intuition. It probably does not yell, so you have to listen.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Gemini, please go to this link.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The Moon is on course for a total eclipse in the angle of your chart associated with healing and wellbeing. The eclipse is in about five days — that would be next week, so we are under its spell at the moment. As I’ve mentioned, it’s conjunct the Galactic Core, which will help you make contact with some of the deepest impulses that influence human consciousness. Two come to mind. One is the irresistible pull of Spirit, Source, Love, God or the Cosmos, however you think of it. Allow this to influence everything you do — and if you notice there are some situations in your life where this doesn’t matter, then you can be sure the situation does not offer you much. Along with this is what we might describe as the anxiety of nonexistence. Ego consciousness actually stands on very little; some say it has no foundation. In order to draw the most energy from Source, it’s necessary to dance with that sensation of nonexistence. This will feel a bit daring, though you can fly through the turbulence and get to an unusually placid, loving and creative space.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Cancer, please go to this link.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Take a realistic approach to your professional goals and you will make them real. Realistic means thinking a little bigger than you normally might, because your potential is a little bigger than usual. So err on the side of aiming not just high but for what you specifically want to do. Jupiter has begun a one-year journey across your house of reputation and achievement, and this house rewards focus and putting yourself where people can see what you’re doing. The early part of this Jupiter transit includes some of the most spectacular aspects that we’ve seen in a long time, so you can afford to have faith in yourself. Part of your leadership ability involves focusing on the place where resources meet ideas. You have access to some unusual flow of wealth, though only on the condition that it be part of a larger building process, a specific mission or service project. What you bring to the equation (in abundance) is a sense of vision and mission that many people around you cannot quite muster.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Leo, please go to this link.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — On our planet, at our moment, it doesn’t work so well to construct walls so that we can have a feeling of safety. I would suggest that it’s vulnerability that will lead to your deepest sense of vitality and freedom. While you’re doing that, use your expanded perception to set some new goals. Most of the objectives we set for ourselves are based on what would supposedly be right, predictable, dependable and would therefore pass muster with various authority figures in our minds. What you want is a little weird, it’s innovative, and at the same time it would qualify as an old idea that nobody has thought of lately. As you expand your vision into the future, listen to what the naysaying voices tell you. I don’t suggest you try to squash them — rather, listen and figure out who they represent. These are the fearful impulses that you simply must — and truly can — transcend if you’re going to live as your own person. The good news is, they are merely effects of a cause that is long since gone.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Virgo, please go to this link.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Venus has slipped into Gemini, a sign harmonious with your own, and a region of your chart that reminds you to expand your horizons. Now is the time to encourage your imagination to run away with you. Don’t worry if you think something you want is impossible to attain, too far away to reach or exists far in the future. Make contact with it now. By imagination, I mean the power of conscious imagery. Literally see what you want, see who you want to be, and better yet, be who you want to become. You may feel like you’re faking; don’t worry about it. Fairly soon you will encounter an occasion to manifest something that a moment ago was merely an idea (and remember, everything starts as an idea). The opportunity may feel like a stretch, a pleasant shock or a total immersion of some kind — that’s the feeling you’re looking for. This is not merely a fleeting experience; you’re mapping out emotional territory, and experimenting with a new sensation of existence. Be bold but gentle.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Libra, please go to this link.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Once again, a partner seems to be finding it easier to make changes than you do, but that’s one reason he or she is in your life. You need that kind of example, guiding you out of your usual frame of reference, your habits and your routines. Welcome any such change; there is plenty brewing on the horizon, including one of the most unusual kinds for you — changing how you feel. You often experience feeling as a passive experience. It’s nothing of the kind. To the contrary, feeling is something that happens as a dynamic — that is, in a fast-moving process embracing you and what you experience. There is an element of the past that is likely to arise in the midst of this. You may not recognize it as ‘the past’ at first, but anything that has the least hint of prejudice or betrayal is an opportunity for you to consciously forgive, release any leftover struggle and set yourself just a little more free.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Scorpio, please go to this link.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Take care that you don’t mix up a new love interest, erotic play partner or fantasy scenario with your need for security. They’re not the same, and confusing them has a way of negating both. Indeed, the whole quest for permanence and stability detracts from the fleeting, spontaneous quality of erotic energy. I say this recognizing that we’re told over and over again that the only ‘mature’ relationships are the ones that are supposed to head directly toward a mortgage and investment portfolio. Then when we get into those relationships we so often wonder where the passion went. If you think of security as something you give yourself, based on your specific needs and longterm history, you will leave erotic pleasure to be something you’re capable of sharing. But remember that this, too, comes from you; the people you attract are drawn to something about you, and you can only share what you already have. Bring a spirit of giving to every encounter and those encounters will be happier.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Sagittarius, please go to this link.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — If there are patterns in your life that you want to shift, now is the time. You may be experiencing some unusual anxiety these days; you don’t need it, and you can start your list with that. One thing to be aware of is that you may be experiencing some form of psychic or psychological trauma from too much pressure, too many changes too fast, or a lack of stability that seems to have entered your life some time in the past 10 years. I know that seems like a long time, but anyway if it’s true you have an opening to let go of that pattern. It’s likely to be influencing you in ways you don’t recognize; fear of any kind would be the first clue, as would any narrowing of your perception, shrinking your expectations of life or persistent struggle in relationships. These things — if they exist — have a cause, and you can now get a sense of what it is and grow into something else. You can accomplish great things at this time in your life. Indeed, you can build your future on the foundation you lay in this moment. Make it a joyful one.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Capricorn, please go to this link.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Something is connecting within you and that is making contact with the world around you. It’s as if there’s electricity running through your body and that flow of current wants to make contact with your environment. The same flow of energy is also about awareness. I suggest you be bold about what you perceive. Look and listen as if the world was created to be a feast for your senses. Now, there is a growth element to all of this, or what you might call an evolutionary element. Immersing yourself in your awareness has a kind of alchemical power right now. In a sense, you change what you perceive, and your perception changes you. Think of yourself not as merely witnessing the world but as mixing your elements with its elements, forming an entirely new compound. That includes the people you encounter during the next week or so, who are no doubt noticing you.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Aquarius, please go to this link.

Pisces(Feb. 19-March 20) — You have some astonishing manifesting power at the moment; the important thing is therefore to be aware of what you want, and focus on that. This will save you the time and energy of unmanifesting what you don’t want that happened to show up because you were not sure. If you find yourself thinking of something negative, move onto something more pleasant. I will suggest here that you don’t have to go far to experience some of the best that life has to offer; just about everything that will truly nourish you will be close to home. Indeed, there is something coming up in the cycles of life that suggests focusing on the space immediately around you, and on the familiar activities at hand. I suggest this because it’s the most direct path to what is new and unusual. You don’t need to chase anyone or anything. Be present within your current time and space and you will quickly figure out how much is there.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Pisces, please go to this link.