Tag Archives: Mercury trine Neptune

Mercury Direct and News from Japan

Dear Friend and Reader:

Mercury stations direct on Sunday, arriving with several days of extraordinary and rare astrology — a kind of once-in-a-lifetime event as Mercury in Scorpio holds a long trine to Neptune in Pisces, covered in greater detail below.

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On Sunday, we had a rare hybrid solar eclipse similar to this one that happened in 2009. The astronomy is illustrated above. The total eclipse on the left was photographed by Fred Espenak aboard a ship 2,200 km west of the Galapagos; Stephan Heinsius photographed an annular eclipse, positioned in Panama for the same event.

On the most basic level of this astrology, many aspects of life that were caught in weird entanglements or confusion may already be working themselves out. You may discover the missing information that you need to make some progress on matters that have seemed stuck. The ‘truth revealed’ aspect of Mercury stationing will be in full force this weekend as well.

These past few weeks of Mercury retrograde in Scorpio have arrived with a kaleidoscope of news that reminds me of the occasional headline summaries in Robert Heinlein’s novel Stranger in a Strange Land — the story of the Martian who came to visit the Earth, which scenario unfolds while all kinds of other weird stuff is going on. Reduced to a synopsis, the news starts to sound like a description of some wild future, when in fact it’s our present moment, right now, even if right now feels like shooting the rapids without a paddle or a life vest and in some cases, without the canoe.

It’s been humorous to watch how the top story during Mercury retrograde has been a $300 million website that did not (and apparently still does not) work. It’s charming how they launched the site just as Mercury entered shadow phase and the issues only got worse. The fact that just 248 people were able to register by the third day is a good reason to pay attention to astrology.

Along the way certain other facts have emerged (in harmony with ‘the truth revealed’ quality of Mercury retrograde), such as what a scam the individual health insurance market is, and how it’s possibly becoming an even bigger scam in the changing environment of the insurance business — especially as participation becomes mandatory.

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Current issue of The New Yorker spoofs the Obama Administration’s attempt to fix the Healthcare.gov website. But they seem to have got the idea from The Onion.

Pres. Obama’s often-repeated assertion that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” came unraveled as many people got cancellation notices, and some got fake cancellations from their insurance carriers designed to get them to upgrade to much more expensive insurance.

Lurking under all of these questions of high finance, huge profits and who is going to pay for $20 Tylenol capsules is the question of what we need to do to actually be healthier. I’m not seeing this question being asked, in all this talk of supposed health care.

How much disease in the United States is the result of just a few factors — genetically modified crops, high fructose corn syrup (pure GMO corn by the way), hydrogenated fats, processed meats, artificial sweeteners, diets based on simple carbs (such as bleached flour) and, as a result, rampant malnutrition?

What would addressing the vitamin D deficiency do to knock down the epidemics of cardiac disease and cancer? (Apparently quite a lot, for very little expense.)

As some look to the government to save them from themselves, the question of one’s health is deeply personal. While everyone should have access to the medical system when they need it, that bears little resemblance to what prevents illness and helps us to be healthy.

What we are seeing is not exactly a national movement for wellness. So far, it’s been little other than a vast corporate (not government) takeover of the medical system with a lot of faux political controversy mixed in.

For example, what has been termed Obamacare was engineered not by the ‘left’ but rather by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. It’s not the progressive solution (the government actually intervenes, or single-payer) but rather the fascist solution (government turns control over to the corporations, which are vested with government power).

Next, in News from Inner Space

Whatever has been going on within the confines of your personal cosmos in these weeks may have had the sensation of swirling events that may still feel unresolved. You may feel like you’re in the midst of a surrealist film, the kind without a script.

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Saturn with auroras visible on the south pole seen by the Cassini Space Probe in 2010. At the time, Space.com reported: “Saturn’s aurora, a ghostly ultraviolet glow that illuminates the gas giant’s upper atmosphere near the poles, has a heartbeat that pulses in tandem with the planet’s radio emissions, scientists have discovered.”

There’s the sensation of ongoing reorientation, and the message that your transitions are happening whether you feel you’re ready for them or not.

Apropos of transitions, one week ago we arrived at the midpoint of the Uranus-Pluto square, the seven-stage aspect spanning from 2012-2015 (with a wide margin on either side) that has been defining what I’ve been describing as the 2012 era. This is an urgent, tense aspect between the planet of revolution and upheaval (Uranus) and that of evolution (Pluto), which is putting everything it touches under some strain and the necessity to reconsider its entire existence.

The fourth of seven squares happened Nov. 1, which has the feeling of a tipping point in the long experiment of social progress and the attempt to set things right that (from one point of view) characterizes our phase of history. Looked at differently, many are asking themselves what will wake up the population. The real question is what will get you out of your comfort zone and out onto the edge of personal progress, learning and challenging experience.

This past Sunday’s rare, combined annular-total solar eclipse in Scorpio vented some pressure, kind of like when your ears pop from the altitude, only reaching down to your soul and equalizing the pressure between levels of yourself you may have had no idea existed.

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The largest-known volcano in the solar system — the Olympus Mons, three times higher than Mt. Everest — is located on Mars. Photo: NASA.

The eclipse conjunct Saturn was and remains a reminder that while we are in physical bodies, time is a limited resource. What are you doing with the time that you have? What limits on banality are you setting for yourself?

Along the way, Mars and Chiron came to full opposition on Oct. 31, and because Mars has been slowing down a bit (just ahead of a monumental retrograde that takes place early next year in Libra), the opposition has lasted a while.

This is an aspect illustrating and calling for clarity and contrast; it represents the full expression of both Mars and Chiron, which work beautifully together, as both are in the warrior spirit. I could summarize its message as: get over yourself and do what you have to do. If you’re going to play the game, play it to win. Make your seeming disadvantages work for you.

Events of the past few weeks have represented one of the peak moments of our grand water trine, which consists of Jupiter in Cancer, Mercury, the Sun and Saturn in Scorpio, and Chiron and Neptune in Pisces. Water is that beautiful Sun-drenched stuff that surrounds your sailboat or extends along the beach, in which you can drown in a matter of seconds.

Mars in Virgo has provided the remedy to all this water: keep your focus. Make decisions based on real information. Work with precision. Use your energy wisely.

Then, Mercury Stations Direct

The next major event on the horizon takes place as part of the water trine, and it is impressive. This weekend, Mercury slows to a station in early Scorpio, making an exact trine to Neptune. Actually, there are two exact trines, one on each side of the station direct, with the three events each separated by about 24 hours.

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Sholem Aleichem crater on Mercury. Photo by MESSENGER spacecraft, 2008.

Mercury trine Neptune is one of the most clairvoyant aspects, particularly when Pisces and Scorpio are involved. Intuition is worth more now than ever. There can be a miraculous flow of creativity, intuition and empathic contact with others, including those in realms besides this one. Remember we are still in the ‘thin veil’ territory of Scorpio; Mercury trine Neptune is about as thin as it gets.

The first exact trine is Saturday, Nov. 9 at 4:35 pm EST. Then the station direct happens about 24 hours later, on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4:12 pm EST. Then the second exact trine happens 24 hours after that, on Monday, Nov. 11 at 3:46 pm EST.

The overall result is an unusually long experience of an exact Mercury trine Neptune aspect, blended with the shifting perspective of the station direct. Normally this would last for a day or so; but due to Mercury’s minuscule daily motion as the station direct happens, we will have access to it for about six days, which began Thursday or so and lasts until Wednesday.

Then Mercury makes the last of three trines to Chiron — just as good, not as long-lasting. To sum up, in the ‘truth revealed’ tradition of Mercury retrograde and especially Mercury stationing direct, there is a hearty message of ‘seek the truth and you will indeed find it’. It’s not the unavailability of truth that makes it seem so elusive — it’s the unpopularity.

And Finally, News from Japan’s East Coast

Now for the freaky, surrealist story you may not have heard about. The problems persist at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.
As everyone knows, there was a massive quake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 that caused a series of catastrophic failures in nuclear reactors. [Note, we have compiled a list of articles, resources and astrology charts related to Fukushima.]

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Photo of the tsunami striking the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The wall designed to hold back the sea was crumbled as the huge wave washed in. Photo: US EPA.

The three plants that were operating — units 1, 2 and 3, all experienced total meltdowns. That is, the reactors ran out of control, overheated and the blend of uranium, plutonium and many other toxic radioactive isotopes melted through the containment structure and have disappeared into the ground.

Yes, three massive nuclear reactor cores melted into the Earth, never to be recovered. If those cores keep melting, they have the potential to reach the deep aquifers that provide water to the 40 million people in the greater Tokyo area.

It is astounding to think that an electric utility lost three reactor cores, which are gradually boring a hole in the Earth on the way down to the water table.

This, however, is the lesser of the two problems. The more serious problem involves Unit 4, which was closed for inspection at the time of the incident and therefore did not melt down. But the containment structure was severely damaged by the explosion in a nearby reactor.

Each of these plants has something called a spent fuel pool. Nuclear fuel, whether new or spent, must be kept immersed in water at all times, so that’s where the old fuel is placed and, in the case of Unit 4 (because it was being inspected), where the new fuel was being kept.

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Fukushima Unit 4 was damaged by an explosion in an adjacent reactor. Offline at the time of the tsunami, a vast amount of fuel in its reactor pool is vulnerable to another earthquake.

There are more than 1,500 fuel assemblies in the Unit 4 pool, which is so fragile it cannot withstand another serious earthquake — and earthquakes happen frequently in that part of the world. These rods must be removed, one by one, by manually controlled robots.

TEPCO, in cooperation with U.S. engineers, are about to begin the process of removing the fuel from Unit 4’s pool. This is an extremely risky process, by which I mean that if it goes wrong (if the fuel assemblies are not immersed in water, if they touch, or if there is another earthquake), there is the potential for a far worse situation than we’ve already had at Fukushima.

Even spent fuel can reach criticality (the fission process can begin). This is similar to what happens when a nuclear plant is functioning, with one difference — a working nuclear core has control rods that can slow down the reaction. The spent fuel pool is like a reactor core without the control rods. If a reaction starts, it can run out of control.

The scene could become so radioactive that it cannot be entered by workers ever again, and also be emitting so much radiation and heat that even robots cannot function there. A mishap could quickly soak the West Coast of the United States and eventually all of North America in nuclear fallout.

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View into the the spent fuel pool of Unit 4, suspended in a fragile building 100 feet above the ground. All the fuel must be removed by manually controlled robots, which could take years.

The fuel is covered in zirconium alloy cladding, which is flammable and explosive. One small mishap can set off the entire pool, which could spread to a nearby common fuel pool, where 6,375 more spent fuel assemblies are kept.

Removal of fuel from Unit 4’s pool was originally scheduled for this month, after many months of preparation. It may still begin in November and is expected to take well over a year to complete, if it goes well. Decommissioning the entire site will take decades, if it’s ever complete.

Now, here’s a question. Have you read about this anywhere, or seen it mentioned on cable news, or network news? I have not. It’s as if the whole thing is not happening, except if you go looking for the information. On one level it’s available, and on another, the gatekeepers who could inform many people what’s happening are not doing so.

Instead, we got a propaganda film shown on CNN on Thursday night, called Pandora’s Promise, about how nuclear power might be the only thing that can save the environment.

They must be talking about some other planet.


Additional research on Fukushima: Chad Woodward, Elizabeth Michaud and Susan Scheck. Their work is collected here.


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We’ll be back after a word from our nuclear propagandists

Just as engineers at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima nuclear plant get ready to move 1,524 fuel assemblies from the spent fuel pool, CNN aired a 2013 “documentary” called Pandora’s Promise by Robert Stone.

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The premise of the film is how alleged ecological activists have thought about it for a while and have come to the conclusion that nuclear power is good for the environment.

Its takeoff point is that we have to do something about global warming — and that something is to build a lot of nuclear power plants, so that we can power up every place from New Jersey to Namibia (spreading the gospel of cheap electricity to the developing world).

The “documentary” had so many problems (or rather, innovative design features) I am having trouble deciding where to begin analyzing them. I think, however, that the most serious was the point of view of its director, stated in a panel discussion hosted by Anderson Cooper, that as a result of nuclear power, “Nobody has died, nobody has gotten sick and according to the best science in the world, nobody ever will.”

Nobody? Ever? Right. He tried to make the case that everyone who responded to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is fine (well, except for a few who are not, who don’t matter that much), and everyone who responded to Fukushima are all doing great. The American nuclear industry has an impeccably perfect record.

To put it politely, everything in this movie is a lie or delusion told by people who are seduced by the seemingly supernatural power of nuclear technology and who have succumbed to the dark side. Physicists explain how it’s fantastic in theory, skipping over what can go wrong.

Like the rest of the nuclear industry, the documentary does not address any worst-case scenarios, which must be ignored if the agenda is to persist. For example, what happens if there is a power grid outage with the plants shut down, and there’s no electricity to run the cooling systems?

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Three Mile Island, near Harrisburg, PA, became the visual symbol for all that was wrong with nuclear power. Unit One to the left is still operating; Unit 2 melted down and has not been used since the accident. Photo: Atomic Archive.

Nuclear power plants make energy when they’re on and draw power when they’re off. An energy ejection from the Sun could knock out a huge swath of the power grid. Then what? Not discussed; not mentioned.

What about a meltdown near a big city? You cannot evacuate Tokyo or the metro New York area; there are no plans to do so. Not mentioned.

The idea that the potential for a low-probability but catastrophic event has to be ignored is a central argument of my nuclear power mentor Karl Grossman, who documents how the atomic bomb and nuclear power are the same thing — a fact that the film went to some length to dismiss.

Among those featured were Stewart Brand, devoted pro-nuclear founder of the Whole Earth Catalog; Mark Lynas (a British climate change author and activist), Richard Rhodes (journalist and historian, and author of the Pulitzer-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb) and Michael Shellenberger (alleged environmental policy expert), all of whom came to the conclusion that nuclear power is the only thing that can save us from global warming.

Helen Caldicott, a doctor and anti-nuclear activist, makes a cameo. Actual environmental advocates were portrayed as fear mongers who are the real problem. This is the ‘blame the messenger’ / An Enemy of the People argument that is getting so old I am surprised anyone falls for it, but hey, we’re talking about humans.

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What could possibly go wrong? Aftermath of 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine.

Anderson Cooper’s panel, aired several times through the night, included Ralph Nader, whom Shellenberger accused of being the problem. He said that frantic ’60s- and ’70s-styled Earth Day-types — not radiation — were to blame for unfair public perception of the industry as dangerous. That, in turn, shut down development of new nuclear plants after the 1979 Three Mile Island accident (therefore, the industry could not be given a fair chance).

Watching Pandora’s Poison reminded me of my teenage conversations with my father, who was on the public relations team that tried to clean up after the Three Mile Island accident. Prof. Coppolino went on to be a nuclear power industry communications consultant. What I learned from my father is that the nuclear industry believes that its product is absolutely, perfectly, unquestionably safe.

“We don’t know what to do with the nuclear waste,” I once said.

“I’ll give you that,” he replied. Turns out that was extremely generous of him.

Pandora’s Promise would not go that far — they argued that the problem of nuclear waste was solved perfectly by above-ground, dry cask storage. All the waste generated by all the nuclear power plants in the U.S. so far would merely cover a football field. And hey, it’ll be perfect after a few millennia — except of course for the plutonium, which takes a little longer. Unless the fuel in some storage facility reaches criticality and an uncontrolled fire starts. Or unless someone bombs the place, or if there is a quake and the casks break or…

— Eric Francis


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Mercury direct; Jupiter retrograde

Mercury, which has been retrograde in Scorpio since Oct. 21, finally stations direct this Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4:12 pm EST. This means we’re entering the ‘storm’ phase now: the two or three days on either side of a Mercury station, when communication, travel and electronics can be especially problematic. Notice when you’re not fully focused on the task at hand.

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Jordan Pond in the mist, Acadia National Park, Maine. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Planets do not actually change directions — retrogrades are a trick of perception, giving the illusion of reverse movement relative to our position here on Earth. Astrologically, however, the days around a station carry some tension as Mercury, the fastest of planets, seems to slow down to a stop. It takes a while to pick up speed after its station; so should you, through at least the beginning of next week.

Imagine a large ship throwing its engines in reverse to stop and back up (or vice versa): the water churns. With Mercury in Scorpio, a water sign, that churning could very well stir up all kinds of surprising insights from our darker depths. There is often a sense of ‘the truth comes out’ when Mercury stations direct — as though after a three-week journey of introspection, the planet representing our minds finally releases its discoveries into full consciousness.

Mercury’s retrograde in Scorpio has likely focused you on themes regarding your sexual history; the role of denial in your intimate life or in how you handle your resources (including but not limited to money); secrets regarding sex or death; and what factors determine when you do or do not communicate these things to your partner(s).

If you have not been tracking these themes in your life over the last couple weeks, consider taking a few moments to think back to spot any patterns or trends. Doing so might help you notice subtler “a-ha” moments during the station direct.

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Chart showing the moment Mercury stations direct in Scorpio. Planets in aspect to Mercury include: Pluto and Venus in Capricorn (top of chart), in a loose sextile to Mercury; and Neptune in Pisces (far left), exactly trine Mercury. See glyph legend here.

Eric has described Mercury stations as “bring[ing] out a layer of awareness or understanding that can feel like pulling back a curtain on the obvious.” That pretty much sums up coming out of denial, a theme of recent weeks.

Mercury will station direct in a trine (aspect of ease) to Neptune in Pisces. A Mercury-Neptune trine emphasizes creativity, psychic awareness, and a poetic but practical type of idealism. Sounds like whatever truth is revealed to you Sunday can be used toward inspired or visionary purposes; pay attention to your dreams over the next few days.

Finally, it is worth noting that Jupiter stationed retrograde in Cancer Thursday — “trading places” with Mercury in a sense. Jupiter is the planet of expansion, and in Cancer, that quality is being applied to all things domestic and nurturing, and our emotions. Jupiter’s retrograde is long — lasting until March 6 — so we’re in for a four-month review of how we’ve been handling the things and people we’re charged with nurturing and caring for, including our material success.

Jupiter stationing retrograde is a caution against getting stingy (with money and with intangibles) for the next few months. First, however, the Mercury storm: be focused and careful with financial transactions and emotionally charged communication over the next several days.

— Amanda Painter
Note to Readers: News items below are written and edited by a team consisting of Anne Craig, Eric Francis, Amanda Painter, Susan Scheck and Carol van Strum, with research assistance by the Planet Waves staff. 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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Hardcore Conservatives Not Celebrating Much These Days

New York City voters elected public advocate Bill de Blasio, the first Democratic mayor since David Dinkins left office in 1993, by a record-breaking 49 point spread. The race was widely considered a referendum on the past two decades of Republican leadership.

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Bill de Blasio and family at the Park Slope Armory YMCA after winning the New York City mayoral election. Photo: James Keivom / New York Daily News.

Outgoing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was perceived as a standard-bearer for the city’s wealthiest, and continued his predecessor Rudy Giuliani’s uber-authoritarian law enforcement tactics, such as stop-and-frisk, where pedestrians are detained, frisked and asked to empty their pockets. They are then arrested if they have a small amount of marijuana, which would have been legal had it remained in their pocket.

De Blasio campaigned against stop-and-frisk, and has promised a tax on residents making over half a million dollars a year that will fund universal pre-kindergarten.

Virginia residents chose the lesser of two evils and elected former Democratic National Committee chair and Clinton intimate Terry McAuliffe over Ken Cuccinelli by a two percent margin. Cuccinelli’s loathing for women and sexuality — he supported “personhood” bills that would have criminalized not just abortion but birth control, and had a curious obsession with Virginia’s anti-sodomy law — helped Virginians overcome any distaste for political insiders or lingering doubts about the Affordable Care Act, which the Cuccinelli campaign had hoped would swing votes their way.

And in an outcome that surprised no one, New Jersey’s governor won a second term over Democrat Barbara Buono. While hardly a progressive darling, Republican Chris Christie sounds moderate enough (and was seen in photos with Pres. Obama) to have aggravated the far right on numerous occasions. His win adds to speculation that he may be a contender for a spot on the 2016 Republican ticket — but he has problems in his past that could make that unlikely.

Numerous races that didn’t make it onto the national radar turned out well for progressive candidates and causes. Among other cheering tidbits, three out of four anti-fracking measures passed in Colorado, liberals swept city council races in Missoula, Montana, and the small town of Coralville, Iowa, resoundingly rejected a well-funded takeover attempt by Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity candidates.


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SCOTUS Refuses Attempt to Preserve Sodomy Law

Ken Cuccinelli II, Virginia’s attorney general and Republican candidate for governor defeated in Tuesday’s election, apparently shot his campaign in the foot with his effort to preserve an outdated sodomy statute. Virginia’s “crimes against nature” law — which bans oral and anal sex — became a tipping point for voters in his race with Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe, who won.

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“Open wide and take it like a…” Virginia is for lovers after all. AP photo of Ken Cuccinelli.

All state laws of this sort, known as sodomy laws, were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2003 ruling Lawrence v. Texas, which decided that private sexual conduct by consenting adult civilians is protected by the U.S. Constitution under the due process clause. Before 2003, 47 states, Washington D.C. and four territories had repealed their sodomy laws on their own, despite their being legal.

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Cuccinelli’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling that had struck down Virginia’s anti-sodomy law in March 2013. That decision had focused on a 2005 case convicting a 47-year-old man who had solicited oral sex from a minor. Cuccinelli and his supporters claimed the law was necessary to protect children from sexual predators.

However, the Virginia General Assembly has had 10 years to update the law so that it could be used to prosecute predators without conflicting with the 2003 SCOTUS ruling and the Constitution.

A claim by Cuccinelli that the anti-sodomy law “is not — and cannot be — used against consenting adults acting in private” is belied by a 2009 statement suggesting his true agenda: that “homosexual acts are wrong and should not be accommodated in government policy.” Said another way, he’s trying to reestablish the old assertion that homosexual = child molester.

Perhaps given the history of Virginia’s sodomy law, the lag in fixing the wording should be no surprise: in 1778, Thomas Jefferson drafted a law (rejected by the Virginia State Legislature) mandating castration as the punishment for men committing the act — intended as a ‘softer’ punishment than the death penalty.


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Pussy Riot Update: Siberian Silence

News that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of two jailed members of Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, is being transferred to a new penal colony has been a mixed blessing — at least her loved ones know she’s alive. Two weeks of silence from prison officials about the 23-year-old had been raising fears of the worst among her supporters.

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Three members of Pussy Riot were originally arrested: (L to R) Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Aliokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich. Samutsevich was acquitted. Photo: Sergei Chirikov /EPA.

Tolokonnikova and another member of Pussy Riot were jailed after they participated in a February 2012 protest against Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral.

In September, she penned an open letter in The Guardian UK detailing the horrific treatment of prisoners in her Mordovian penal colony — considered one of the worst in Russia — and announcing her decision to wage a hunger strike in protest (see Planet Waves coverage here).

Tolokonnikova’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov, announced on Twitter Tuesday that a reliable source had confirmed she is being moved to a penal colony in a region of Siberia four time zones away from Moscow. He wrote that she is being transferred “as punishment for the resonance of her letter.”

Russia still transfers prisoners in secret, often by train and with an unknown destination. Depending on the number of stops at “transit prisons,” a transfer can take anywhere from two weeks to two months — all the while keeping a prisoner’s family in the dark. (Prisoner transfer is also often secretive in the U.S., but takes less time.)

According to Russia’s rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin (as reported by Huffington Post via Interfax), prison officials claim her health is acceptable after having been put on an IV drip while on hunger strike; she is eating; and she is being accompanied by a doctor during the transfer. Tolokonnikova is set to be released in March.


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Washington GMO Labeling Law Referendum Still Uncertain

Most news outlets are saying the Washington State measure to adopt mandatory GMO labeling on food failed to pass in Tuesday’s election. Supporters are saying: Not so fast. If passed, it would become the second state to have a GMO law on the books, after Connecticut — which seeks to turn labeling into a regional affair.


Initial reports from the Washington Secretary of State said the initiative is trailing with 45 percent of the vote (55 percent opposed) with about 60% of the vote counted. However, Washington is a mail-in vote state, and final results may not be known for a week or more, with an official number due by Nov. 26. According to an email from Food Democracy Now, about 600,000 votes remain to be counted.

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State Senator Maralyn Chase shows the first election results of I-522 to Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap CEO David Bronner CQ during the Yes on I-522 campaign party in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. Photo: Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times.

The Yes on I-522 campaign is still optimistic. Those who live in Seattle and surrounding counties, who have supported the measure in polling, tend to mail their ballots at the last minute, and so election results are often late, said a spokesperson. They believe that these late votes will be enough to pass the initiative.

The initiative was first submitted in February 2013 by grassroots labeling advocates who had collected more than 320,000 signatures, enough to place it before the legislature. Since there had been no resolution in the legislature by April, when the session ended, the measure was placed on the ballot. A similar measure in California was defeated in the November 2012 election.

As in California, the initiative was hotly contested, with opponents — led by Monsanto, DuPont and the Grocery Manufacturers Association — throwing $22 million into the ring, three times the amount as did proponents Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Mercola.com and others. A complete list of supporters can be found here, and previous Planet Waves coverage here and here.

Connecticut’s governor signed the nation’s first mandatory GMO labeling law in June 2013, but it contains some conditions that must be met before it can go into effect: four other states must enact similar legislation, one of which must share a border with Connecticut, and the combined population of the Northeastern states that enact GMO-labeling laws must total more than 20 million in population based on the 2010 census.

The conditions were set to protect “local farming by ensuring that the regional agriculture market has adopted the new labeling system before placing an undue and disproportionate burden on Connecticut farmers that requires them to analyze and label products,” according to a press release from the Connecticut Governor’s Office.

In 2013 nearly half of U.S. states have introduced bills requiring labeling or prohibiting GMO foods, according to the Center for Food Safety. CFS has several model bills for those wishing to get an initiative started in their state. Contact them at office@centerforfoodsafety.org.


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You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets

The allied nations and the American body politic have been dragged kicking and screaming into some family therapy, with 30-year-old Edward Snowden in the role of the courageous problem child — or rather the chess prodigy — who makes the family rethink everything.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel shows her displeasure over the alleged tapping of her very official-looking cell phone by the NSA. Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / AP.

If you’re German Chancellor Angela Merkel, you can call Obama on the phone and tell him to quit listening to your phone calls. Ordinary folk lack that option, but a consensus seems to have emerged in the wake of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden’s disclosures about NSA practices: the agency overstepped.

Some of the mind-boggling breadth of the snooping-in-progress is simply the result of there being just so much more data out there to collect in the information age. Spying itself is nothing new.

From Merkel’s phone call to Obama to the about-face of Patriot Act authors (who are now sponsoring the “Freedom Act” in an effort to restrict warrantless wiretaps and mass data collection and increase transparency), a lot that was under the table is now squarely on top of it.

Last weekend featured much discussion of whether Snowden, currently granted “limited asylum” in Russia, should be granted clemency; not on the table, say U.S. officials. Snowden hasn’t requested it, although he has asked for the support of the worldwide community and, in a manifesto published in Germany on Sunday, says that the debate taking place proves he did the right thing.

Snowden reportedly took some 50,000 files when he left the NSA, and has released only about 1 percent of the information so far. A former NSA director told The New York Times recently that spymasters should lay all of their cards on the table and ‘fess up to everything Snowden could possibly say.

What’s unclear is whether any reform imaginable can ever fully restore the level of individual or international privacy presumed and taken for granted before the era of Homeland Security forming an alliance with the age of info-tech. Private corporations routinely partner with public agencies in “fusion centers” where the mission has shifted from counterterrorism to protection against “all hazards.” Apparently, we’re all “hazards” now.


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Planet Waves

Porno Sex Versus Real Sex: The Foodie Version

Much has been written recently about how easy it is to view Internet porn, and to what extent it is influencing the way people think sex is supposed to happen. Finally, here’s the perfect video (posted by Egotastic!) to put the super-human body parts and skills in porn into better perspective… using food. Laugh at the imagery, and take comfort in the statistics: chances are, you and your partners are perfectly normal. And tasty.


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Mercury direct, Sun conjunct Saturn and Monogold

Link to program.

As the Scorpio sky continues to deepen, Planet Waves FM explores the themes coming along with that — a conjunction of the Sun and Saturn Wednesday, introspective Mercury turning direct on Sunday and a recap of the eclipse cycle we just experienced.

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The incredible Monogold, musical guest on Planet Waves FM.

Closing up the first set, I look at the issues the world is facing at the Fukushima nuclear power station in Japan.

My musical guest is the magnificent, incomparable Monogold, who I saw play at BSP last Friday evening.

In Act 2, I continue my sexual advocacy rant, pulling back the veils one by one and getting a look at what is back in the shadows. Note to Scorpios — on Tuesday I recorded your astrology reading for the 2013-2014 solar year.
The reading consists of two sections of astrology and one of tarot, presented in patient, clear detail, light on the astro-talk and rich in psychological insight.

By the way — there’s now a second podcast on Planet Waves FM, featuring indie music. It’s centered at Backstage Studio Productions but you hear about all kinds of great stuff you might not discover otherwise. This week I host with my guitar teacher Dan Sternstein. Here is a direct link.

Behind the Veils of Scorpio – Reading by Eric Francis

Listen to 15 minute preview — and order.

This year has brought the most interesting Scorpio astrology that I ever remember. An unusual eclipse, Mercury retrograde and Saturn all in your sign — plus Pluto in the spotlight of history — I cover all of this and more in your birthday reading.

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Topically, I guide you through the process of aligning with your environment, creating clear agreements with others and the use of time as an ally rather than as something you might struggle with.

In the second section, I take the journey inward and guide you through the process of getting to know the most intimate aspects of who you are, and revealing your innermost secrets to yourself.

While that will be happening for you with or without an astrology reading, being in tune with your planets and knowing something about their message for you will make the process easier and open up the potential for greater creativity in your growth and evolution.

I also include a 30-minute tarot reading using the Voyager tarot by James Wanless, photos of your cards and the chart that I’ve used, access to prior years’ readings and a few other things as well.

Listen to 15 minute preview — and order.
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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. Plus, if you order now, we’ll include the rest of the readings that come out in 2013, and you’ll save $100.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The extended monthly horoscope for November  was published Friday, Oct. 25. Inner Space for November was published Friday, Nov. 1. We published Moonshine for the Aries Full Moon  Tuesday, Oct. 15. Moonshine for the Scorpio New Moon was published Tuesday, Oct. 29. 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 but for now it’s substituting for one Friday horoscope a month.


Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 #974 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — If you have something to say, then say it. I understand you may be hesitating, but I suggest you not miss this opportunity, and that in support of that, you not give yourself excuses to chicken out. Yes, this is one of those situations where you don’t know the effect that revealing something intimate may have on a personal relationship. But you can surmise the effect of not doing so, which is to remain stuck or feeling like there’s no space for you to be yourself. In fact there is space, and you can test that out by being clear, straightforward and explicit, and not holding back any aspect of what you think, what you feel, or what you want. You risk flipping the whole situation from something that feels stagnant to something that actually turns you on.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — The ongoing revelation known as your life is about to teach you something about yourself. This is likely to fall into the ‘what you’ve known all along’ category but somehow missed or failed to take conscious note of. With Saturn making its way across your relationship angle, it’s essential to keep your eye on the bottom line, whatever that is for you. You know that stability and commitment are your basic foundations. What the stars are now saying is that in any structured relationship, there must be room to change, grow and exchange ideas that can actually influence the situation. You have a safe container. Now, the question is how far you will go to use it in a creative and evolutionary way. In other words: you have selected your relationship style for a purpose. Now is the time to put that purpose to use.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Any health issues you’re facing are likely to be stress related. Those are the ones that don’t show up on X-rays, blood work, urine tests, CAT scans or dog scans. They’re the ones that most doctors miss or cannot quite identify. If you’ve recently sought medical advice, you might want to seek a second opinion from someone who specializes in the mind-body connection; but more to the point, I suggest you personally look at the connection between what you are feeling and what you’re experiencing physically. This may involve your role in a sexual relationship. You may be over-exerting yourself in some way — that is, trying to impose your will on someone, or alternately, someone may be trying to exert their will on you. Time management could be a question; it’s become clear, if nothing else, that you must pace yourself, and that others must support you in that.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Your life will not spin out of control if you give yourself a little room to experiment. It may seem like existence has been denying you some of the deeper pleasures you desire, though it’s also true that on some level you’ve been avoiding them. This may be because you’re not in the mood to take risks, or because you’ve been pursuing what you regard as more practical matters. In any event, the weather and the tides are shifting, and you’ve been seeing signs of this on your personal horizons for a week or so now, perhaps longer. This is a deeper re-evaluation than it may seem on the surface, involving harmonizing your personal needs and desires, your desire to play and express yourself, and a spiritual dimension. As for the latter, Jupiter in your birth sign is reminding you that the whole concept of ‘spiritual’ is useless unless it leads to happiness and pleasure.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You seem to be doing a pretty good job at avoiding being emotionally overwhelmed, despite having a number of excuses to feel that way. You have the ability to withdraw part of yourself into a secret location. I suggest you avoid that tendency, though, and move in the opposite direction — that is, stay close to the surface of your awareness. Be present for yourself and the people around you. Maintain some equilibrium between your inner life and your immediate environment. Said simply, you’re better off if you reveal to others how you feel, which may not involve explaining it in detail but rather with a simple statement and allowing yourself the space to be exactly as you are. This is not about there being no place to hide; it’s about opening the windows and allowing in fresh air and sunshine.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — There is little point trying to organize the mental details, an exact plan or trying to get control by collecting all of the information that’s out there. You’re probably feeling the inclination to exert your power that way, an impulse that can be better directed. There’s a very good point to knowing where you stand with yourself at all times, even if you don’t have words for it. In other words, the most vital information you can have is your own opinion, and what your intuition is telling you. You don’t need to know what everyone else thinks or what is motivating them; you merely need to know what is motivating you, and put that information to work. While you’re sometimes reluctant to trust your intuition if you don’t have some other form of data, you’re now in territory where your hunches can trump what seem like hard and cold facts. That’s the problem with them — their inflexibility. Notice that your intuition will keep you responsive to your feelings and your environment from moment to moment, updating you constantly.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — I suggest you respond to a burning desire rather than denying it or trying to pretend it’s not affecting you. You may have tried to compartmentalize this one many times, and it hasn’t worked. Now you get to burst out of those compartments, and it’s probably going to feel awesome. It could be awesome in that orgasmic way, or like when a shard of glass that got embedded in your skin years ago finally makes its way to the surface, tearing the skin to get out but it feels awesome because it’s finally getting out. Or as is most likely, a deep inner truth that you’re finally coming to terms with, which is arriving with an awesome sense of relief. It’s a beautiful thing to actually feel committed and passionate, and to put the two together. It’s awesome when you allow yourself to acknowledge the love that you feel.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.



Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) –Think of this moment as a focal point where numerous themes, issues and story lines both intersect and diverge. Everything you’ve done has led you to this point, and you can take your life many different directions from here. You may know this on one level, yet you seem poised to discover it on another. There is an image in your chart about bringing these two levels of awareness together — and stepping fully into what you know, including what you know about where you’ve been. There are some experiences you don’t want to repeat, and others that you want to explore more deeply; you’re also becoming aware of what you’ve never done before that you simply must experiment with. Most significantly, there are places you want to go, by which I mean with every cell of your DNA sending the same message, and I suggest you make plans to visit at least one of them within the next six months.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — At a certain point, you’re going to have to think of yourself as being something other than emotionally wounded. It’s true that you’ve suffered some injuries; everyone has, and you have a few that stand out in comparison to the people you know. It’s just that carrying around that idea makes something that happened in the past realer than it is, and realer than it needs to be. You may not be able to directly address the past situation; you may not be able to resolve it. But information is becoming available from another part of your consciousness which may show you two things: one is how you’ve put what happened in the past to good use, and I do mean very good use. The other is that while you may have some memory or personality matrix organized around this past event, you have in fact moved beyond it, and no longer need to define your personality or the trajectory of your life around this thing.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) –It’s not easy to take even a single step outside of the reasoning that love is good and lust is bad, which reasoning is based on the notion that there is some actual distinction to be made. Sure, checking out someone’s ass as they walk down the street is different from deep and abiding friendship. Yet that fact alone does not make one bad and the other good, or one fake and the other real. Both are natural, and for your purposes, what is natural is healthy and related to everything else that’s a fact of nature. At the moment your tendency is likely to be running in the direction of lusty passion, a sensation that’s going to grow stronger over the next few days. This is more likely to put you into the company of people you’re in harmony with.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You can finally divorce your parents. It’s about time. The thing about some divorces (if not all) is they make it easier to move on and be friends. The thing about divorcing your parents is that this makes it possible for the kid who is grafted to them, or to an idea of who they are (or were), to step up and be an adult. It’s not easy to see the influence that unhealthy bonding with mother and father has, especially if that influence is everywhere. You have reached the point in your life when you know it’s time to be your own authority. That’s the only way to get over what some call ‘authority issues’. It’s not necessary to project authority onto others, then rebel against it. I would say that if you want to be happy, it’s necessary to claim the right to run your own life. It’s not easy but it is possible — now.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — If you knew how protected you are, you would worry a lot less. Yet you still have a layer of learning, or programming, that says you have to be vigilant every minute, and to discern, in advance, the influence that something will have on you. I would point out that vigilance and fear are two different things, and that you’re now at a different level of learning. You have mastered, or at least reached, an advanced level on certain skills, including problem-solving. While at one time you may have learned that it’s not a good idea to use your ability to get out of trouble as an excuse to be careless, you can now count on it a little more. Yet something else is working for you, which is a guidance system that it’s taken you years to cultivate. This is a form of vigilance operating beyond normal awareness, working in the background, and with considerable support from what you might think of as spiritual agency. You can trust it; events in the coming days will show you that.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.



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