Tag Archives: Pluto in Capricorn

The Day of the Idealist: Birthdays and Planet News

If Your Birthday is April 2
The Day of the Idealist | Pre-order Your 2019-20 Aries Reading | All Other Signs

Be bold about showing who you really are. You have intrinsic power and depth in abundance, and you are also full of unique ideas, which deserve to see the light of day. You are under no obligation to conceal these qualities for the comfort or convenience of others; you have a right to express the fundamental essence of your being. Those around you might also learn a thing or two from your courage.
— By Amy Elliott

Written in the Planets

What holds more influence in your life: your drive to evolve as a person (such as on a deep or soul level), or your need for attention, recognition or power? That might be one way to think of today’s square between Pluto in Capricorn and Eris in Aries. Squares represent energy that needs to be expressed — preferably consciously. When we try to suppress square energy — such as by ignoring our frustration or tension, or through the denial of the urge to take action — it can come back to bite us in some way.

With Pluto and Eris also in contact with the lunar nodes (in Cancer and Capricorn) and the asteroid Pallas (in Libra), you may even be at some kind of karmic/dharmic tipping point. Which of your options to take action feels like a step into real growth, and which one has the markings of feeding your ego or insecurities? Although refusing to choose is a form of choice, it’s not the choice that’s likely to express this energy constructively.

Bear in mind that also exact today is Mercury’s conjunction to Neptune in Pisces, the third conjunction in a series related to its recent retrograde. The Pisces Moon will join them (and a couple other objects that are making contact) briefly today, amping up the emotional and/or unconscious ripples. There’s some potential here to overreact to what you’re perceiving, making it extra important to hang loose with whatever it is you think you know. A sense of clarity might not be fully trustworthy right now.

Can you trace a path between what you were thinking about (and how you were thinking about it) on or around Feb. 19, March 24 and now? What seemed to get confirmed, and what has been disproved? If you wiggle around to consider it from a new vantage point, does everything still line up clearly, or does the shape or emphasis change? If information is still missing, what have you learned about how you tend to account for that, process it, or move ahead without it? By all means listen to your higher guidance, but perhaps save final conclusions for down the road.
— By Amanda Painter

Have you tried the Astrology Readings Channel?

Planet Waves offers readings for all the signs and rising signs. These readings are must-haves among a core group of people who love them, though perhaps you have not heard what Eric is doing. We’ve taken many readings from 2018 and put them on a 24-hour audio stream, which anyone can tune into. Whatever your sign, you will find it interesting no matter when you tune in. If you’re up late and want something soothing and informative to listen to, or if you’re curious about astrology, tune in here. No login is required.

Pluto in Capricorn: Fiddler on a Roof

Dear Friend and Reader:

Growing up an honorary Jew in New York City, my favorite musical was Fiddler on the Roof. My mom took me to see the first Broadway revival with Zero Mostel, who performed in the original 1964 production. I learned the song “Sabbath Prayer” in piano lessons. And I thought a lot about the message of the play, which involves the relationship between tradition and change.

Planet Waves
Promotional image for the play Fiddler on the Roof.

Reb Tevye, the play’s leading man, explains why there are so many customs among orthodox Jews that must be followed exactly. “Here in Anatevka,” he says, “we have traditions for everything. How to sleep. How to eat. How to work. How to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered and always wear a little prayer shawl. This shows our constant devotion to God.”

“You may ask, how did this tradition get started? I’ll tell you. [He pauses for a moment.] I don’t know. But it’s a tradition. And because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do.”

And then there is the famous line: “Without tradition, our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on a roof.”

And that is about where our society is today. After writing last week’s article on the cardinal grand cross and grand water trine, I got the feeling that I needed to go deeper into the Pluto in Capricorn leg of the grand cross. You can think of that as the deepest root of the whole arrangement. Pluto goes deep in any event, and in this configuration (counting both the cross and the trine) Pluto arrived in its sign first, dipping into Capricorn before Pres. Obama was elected.

Pluto then slipped back into Sagittarius for the election, and by the time Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, Pluto was in Capricorn to stay, until it first touches Aquarius in March 2023.

Capricorn is the sign of tradition. In worldly terms, it’s the sign that represents society’s institutions, such as governments, corporations, large churches and other power-wielding organizations. Those have been shaking and quaking during the Pluto in Capricorn era, starting with the banking system collapse of 2008.

Many other things have seemed to crumble; there have been scandals throughout the military command, the Secret Service (which went on a bender in Amsterdam this week) and the usual litany of malfeasance by politicians.

Planet Waves
Topol as Tevye in the 1971 film production of Fiddlier on the Roof.

We’re also in an obsessive era of power grabs by companies, churches, political organizations and the government. Plenty of this involves seizing power over women, most of whom are oblivious to what is happening.

Other forms of power concentration involve concentrations of wealth higher up on the economic food chain, ever-larger mergers, concentration of who controls the information that flows to you (ever fewer gatekeepers), and the ways in which we are being suffocated by charges of pennies, nickels and dimes up to $50 and an interest rate hike for a late credit card payment. Basically we live in the age of “we do it because we can,” where many people and nearly all institutions do whatever they can to get over on people.

The government’s combined refusal and inability to take care of returning war veterans is one of the most disgusting emblems of the era we live in. These things, too, are all well-represented by Pluto in Capricorn.

Then of course there is the NSA, which thinks it has us surrounded and is gluttonous for unchecked power. Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and others are exposing and undermining what would otherwise be an unmitigated concentration of influence, going on behind our backs.

And looking at one example where traditions are being reshaped and reformed, the movement to include same-sex couples in the ‘institution’ of marriage is an attribute of Pluto in Capricorn.

Our Relationship to Tradition

We could go on and on with Pluto in Capricorn metaphors in the outer world, the one that surrounds us. They are identifiable because we can construct images using the combination of Pluto + Capricorn.

Yet while you may be observing these outer manifestations, there is the more significant inner level of Pluto in Capricorn. Think of Capricorn as representing the solid ground on which consciousness stands. It’s a level even deeper than our life patterns or social patterns, which are usually illustrated by Aquarius. You might say that it’s the foundations on which those life patterns are built: concepts like family, trust in society, faith that there will be an economy and a food supply, faith that there is sufficient knowledge to solve a problem, should one arise.

Planet Waves
The catastrophic failure of Washington Mutual was one of many, many thousands of bank failures that are still unfolding today. When most of us were younger, a bank was considered something solid and stable. But your great-grandparents might not believe that.

You might think of Capricorn as representing all the ways we have faith in ‘the establishment’ and that it will be there when we need it. And needless to say, that faith is being shaken. There are external factors doing this (for example, the constant attack on various social safety nets, and some politicians who make a career out of convincing others that some people don’t deserve medical care).

Yet much closer to home, our ideas about intimacy are being shaken up. Family structure has been in a gradual decline since the end of World War II. There are still some solid families and some extended families left, but more and more we live with the feeling that we’re on our own. It is a fact that many more people are being left out in the cold, and that translates on the inner level to the fear that you may be left out in the cold. Everyone knows everyone deserves food and a safe place to sleep; to convince oneself otherwise is only weakening.

Going deeper, Pluto in Capricorn represents a shattering of or disconnect from tradition, so vital to humans. Looked at another way, it’s about a reactionary response to ground-in tradition. This is part of what is inspiring many people to be so viciously against same-sex couples getting married.

The war to defend tradition, be it heterosexuality or the subjugation of women, is motivated by a deep, inner and very personal response to the fear that there is no more tradition, or that the changes in society are running out of control.

I think that it’s essential in times like we’re living in to return to healthy experiences that you might think of as human traditions. This could take many forms, all of them cooling off our cultural obsession with the concept of ‘new’. That includes older ways of doing things, eating foods that are more closely harmonized with our ancestral heritage. Heck, eating actual food rather than junk food and processed food would feel a lot better. A few years back I wrote an article with some ideas about this called Everything Old is New Again.

Planet Waves
When traditions change, some people resist violently. Reactionary movement is often the result of the feeling of instability that comes with change. In this photo, students are kissing in front of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church at Oberlin College, May 2000.

Actually getting together with people would help ground the feeling of inevitable and inescapable change. Honoring friendship, looking up old friends, and taking necessary time to build friendship, would all help grant a feeling of stability and belonging.

If family is changing so fast as to be disappearing in many places, making a point of collecting a family of choice would be helpful — something that many people do naturally and that others have never considered.

Pluto in Capricorn is not just about the death of old traditions; it can just as much be about their healthy revival. And as my teacher, the late Arthur Joseph Kushner, was fond of reminding me, any tradition that does not change is not alive. Tradition is not about nostalgia or doing things the way they were done in the past in the spirit of purism. Adapting old traditions to current times can be productive, healthy and fun.

What remains constant is that humans need traditions. We need to honor the passage of time. We need to experience a sense of belonging on the planet. That includes a sense of place, a relationship to the landscape around us, and a relationship to the environment that reminds us we are indeed supported by our environment.

I think that each of us, personally, needs a code to live by. In a world where both ethics and morals are becoming meaningless, it’s necessary to have an inner commitment to doing what is right. Yes, that includes doing what is right for you, but what I am talking about here is doing what is right as a member of society.

The Oso, Washington, Mountainside Collapse

When the relationship to the environment goes out of balance, the results can be catastrophic. It’s true that humans have always lived in dangerous places — on seashores subject to tsunamis, at the bases of volcanoes, in earthquake zones and other places where nature acts up.

Planet Waves
Here is the chart for the Oso landslide. Note the green glyph on the far right — that is Pholus, the second centaur. Nessus, the first centaur, is just to the left of the diagonal dark line, right into the 10th house. This is a chart signature that reminds me of a mass shooting-type incident. Also note that the chart is Gemini rising. Mercury, the ruler of the ascendant, is about to complete a conjunction to Neptune in Pisces — the image of something subject to change (Gemini, Mercury) about to experience the effects of a lot of water. But this was not an accident.

I realized just how passionately people are devoted to where they live during a volcanic eruption in Sicily a few years ago that led to a mass evacuation. On a car window in the evacuation zone, written with someone’s finger in volcanic ash, someone wrote, “We love you Etna” — addressed to the volcano that was erupting.”

Sometimes it’s human activity that makes a place dangerous. This past Saturday, there was a massive landslide in an unincorporated area about 4 miles east of the town of Oso in Snohomish County, Wash. A portion of a hillside collapsed, sending mud and debris across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, taking many homes and their inhabitants with it. As of Thursday, there have been 25 confirmed deaths and 90 more people are reported missing and presumed dead.

When I cast the chart soon after the event, my first thought was: this looks like the chart of a mass shooting. One marker I’ve noticed for when someone seems to lose control but was really acting with intent are the centaurs Pholus and Nessus on the angles of the chart. Pholus is right on the western horizon and Nessus is on the midheaven, high overhead. (The ‘angles’ in a chart are the horizon and the meridian; the angular houses are the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th).

To me, when I see this kind of placement, whatever happened looks like an intentional act. But we’re talking about a landslide here. That’s supposed to be a natural disaster.

The chart definitely looks like what happened. One feature is the conjunction of Mercury and Neptune in Pisces. That is a lot of water; it was rainwater that precipitated the event. Another feature is Pluto in Capricorn in the 8th house, the one that tells us the nature and cause of death. As I described above, Pluto in Capricorn is about the sense of the ground moving beneath us, and in the literal sense of things, that is exactly what happened to the people of Oso.

Finally, there is an exact square between the Moon and Chiron — a very, very exact square. You might think of that as representing what happens when belief, or denial, meets reality. It also looks like something happening to people’s homes (the Moon).

Planet Waves
Google Earth image of Oso, Wash., hillside before the land flaked off.

But the concept of intent coming from Pholus and Nessus was irking me. So, our environmental research team looked into the issue of what was known about this hillside in advance. I figured that this kind of event did not just come out of nowhere, but I was stunned at the depth and extent of prior knowledge about this very problem in this very place.

Lawyers will be sorting out exactly who knew what, when they knew it, and what they represented to others. There will be all kinds of insurance-related questions. But one thing is clear: the community and the government knew bout this issue and did nothing about it. Even as evidence of a problem mounted over the decades, development was allowed to proceed, as was the cutting of timber that only made the problem worse.

For example, after landslides in 1949 and 1951, the state commissioned a report on the situation. Maybe that’s why the place was known as Slide Hill. There was another catastrophic landslide that damaged many cabins in 1967. But still, extensive development was permitted in the area.

In an article published Monday, March 24, The Yakima Herald described a 1969 State Department of Natural Resources memorandum. The author of the memo, Gerald Torsen, wrote, “Aerial photographs taken as far back as 1932 show the river has cut at this clay bank for many years,” thereby destabilizing the hillside.

So, short of figuring out what the local Indians knew before Lewis and Clark arrived, knowledge of a potential problem goes back at least 82 years.

Planet Waves
Image of Oso hillside after the land gave way. This was not a mudslide, as TV people are calling it. It was the collapse of a mountainside. Photo by Ted Warren.

In 1997, a geomorphologist named Daniel Miller wrote a report for the Washington Department of Ecology and the local Tulalip Tribes, describing the hill’s potential risk for landslides. He has collected memos, slides, maps, models, drawings and reports as far back as the 1950s showing the hill’s potential risk for a landslide.

Then in 1999, the Army Corps of Engineers assessed the hillside and warned of “the potential for a large catastrophic failure.” But the state allowed building to continue — and also clearcutting of forests, including into restricted areas that were holding the mountain together.

In 2006, yet another landslide occurred, plugging the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and creating a new channel that threatened the homes on Steelhead Drive. Instead of people being evacuated from their homes, contractors were allowed to build new ones. Miller, the geomorphologist, said, “Frankly, I was shocked that the county permitted any building across from the river. We’ve known that it’s been failing.”

Even with all of this foreknowledge, developers were finishing luxury homes as late as this year — that is, in 2014.

After the landslide happened Saturday, John Pennington, who currently heads the county emergency management agency where this happened, said that the hillside “was considered very safe. This was a completely unforeseen slide. This came out of nowhere.”

Yes, just like the “grandmother quote” in just about every newspaper story about a murder — “my grandson is a very nice boy.”

Planet Waves
Photo from Zillow listing for home at 31325 E. Steelhead Dr. in Arlington, Wash., just a few feet from the river — no doubt one of the homes that was taken by the mountainside collapse. The luxury home just sold for $179,000 less than two weeks ago.

Does all of this rise to the level of intent? I define intent not as desire for an outcome but as “knew or should have known” about a likely outcome. Clearly, a lot of people knew or should have known about this. And that, I believe, is why this chart looked like the chart of a mass shooting. There is an element of intent — apparently, a significant one.

So, this leads us to another question: what do you know, and what do you bother to find out? What do you do with what you know? Many people consciously avoid information, just so they don’t have to know.

Many others choose to ignore what they know. I for one remain shocked at the number of people who still smoke cigarettes, contaminating every cell in their bodies with carcinogens even in the midst of the cancer and cancer-phobia epidemic.

We are now in a time when we have to use what we know, because the consequences of doing so are real and present. Yes, they always were — but we know so much more than we did in the past, and it matters so much more.

One message of the astrology of spring 2014 is to pay attention. Many factors will be moving quickly, and the only thing standing between you and something you don’t want to happen may be your own awareness, and what you do with it.


Research, Writing and Editing Credits: Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Hillary Conary, Eric Francis, Elizabeth Michaud, Amanda Painter, Susan Starr, Carol van Strum and Chad Woodward. 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.
Planet Waves

Aries New Moon: Beyond Obsessive Insecurity

I’ve covered the Aries New Moon (and how to read a T-square) in the current edition of Planet Waves FM.

First a comment on Mercury retrograde, the one that supposedly ended on Feb. 26 (the shadow phase of which ended last week). It seems like neither of those two things happened. The Mercury retrograde effect seems to be going strong, or by many reports, it has been till now.

Planet Waves
It may feel like Mercury’s doing double duty or has a mischievous twin, but it’s just the lingering effect of its conjunction to Neptune. Images by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft.

Looking at the current positions of the planets, there are a few possible reasons for this. Both involve Pisces, where Mercury originally went retrograde and where it still is now. Under the rules of classical astrology, Mercury is said to be “in fall” in Pisces. That makes it imaginative and intuitive, but to harness these qualities takes more discipline than is usually available.

Complicating matters somewhat, on March 22, Mercury made an exact conjunction to Neptune in Pisces. That ramped up the watery, foggy, imaginative sensation of Mercury in this sign. Neptune has the widest orb of all the planets (that I’ve ever seen, anyway). So even with Mercury seven or so degrees past Neptune (as it is today) it will still be picking up those mystical vibes and may be symbolic of some of the confusion.

This weekend Mercury will make a conjunction to Chiron (very close now, exact Saturday at 1:08 am EDT), which will apply some focusing power and discernment. If Mercury and/or Neptune in Pisces is about belief, Mercury conjunct Chiron is about focusing on the facts and the data. Chiron cuts through the fog like a special kind of light that does not refract on the water particles. Mercury conjunct Chiron is about focusing on solutions.

Later in the weekend (Sunday morning EDT) Mercury will be conjunct an unusual point called Borasisi. I would sum this up as, “Be aware of what you believe, and why” and also, “Be aware of the power of belief.”

As for the Aries New Moon (exact Sunday at 2:45 pm EDT), this event is an extension of the vernal equinox, as the first solar-lunar event of the year. This is an anchor point into any beginnings that you are trying to ground or establish. Nothing says “beginning” like the Aries New Moon. Nothing says “endings” like the days before the New Moon.

Planet Waves
New Moon over Sounion, Greece. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Aries at the moment is rife with the theme of identity crisis, and this is in some way influencing everyone. With Juno, Uranus and Eris in Aries, many attributes of identity are up for question or subject to some element of confusion. The chart describes a potential cause and therefore a potential solution.

The New Moon is separating in a conjunction from asteroid Ophelia, which describes a blend of emotional insecurity and reactivity. Martha Lang-Wescott delineates this point as being about “over-reaction and counterproductive reactions (linked to mistrust of one’s value to others and concern about deception).”

Sounds like life, many days. Consider though that the New Moon is separating from Ophelia — that is, whatever Ophelia represents is described as being in the past. So the question is, to what extent are you bringing past negative expectations into your present situation?

The other interesting bit is that Ophelia is in aspect to Hidalgo, which is the reminder not to engage in pointless rebellion based on your own insecurity — but the rebellion is described as stoking the insecurity.

Often insecurity is not just a factor but an obsession. Really, it’s the perfect paralyzing agent. We get a clue about this with asteroid Achilles in Libra, in the aspect pattern: notice when you may be feeling a false lack of confidence.

In the days following the New Moon, the Sun will pass through the Jupiter-Uranus-Pluto configuration. This is likely to come with more “signs of the times” kinds of results in the world. Emotionally, it’s likely to be a restless week and I suggest you harness your energy and put it to work for you in constructive ways. Sun-Uranus can be erratic and that will take some discipline. A little goes a long way.



Planet Waves

Aries New Moon, and How to Read a T-Square

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I read the chart for the Aries New Moon, look at the chart for the Washington State landslide, and talk about how to read a T-square in a chart. I also introduce my Aries birthday reading, which is available for $29.95. For additional resources please see the full post. If you are using an iOS device, please use this link.

Spring 2014 Special Report for All 12 signs and Rising Signs: Intimacy, Trust & the Cardinal Grand Cross

Here is an introduction to the Spring 2014 Special Report, which explores the grand cross, the grand trine and two eclipses that happen in April. This astrology is like a dimensional opening that will take you from one space of life to another. The theme of the charts, as I am reading them, is about intimacy and trust. The reading covers all 12 signs in audio format. For purchasing information, the resources I mention in the recording and other good stuff, please see the full post. Pricing information is now available. We offer incentives for early purchase! Once the Spring Report is published, all 12 signs will sell for $59.95. The first (and current) pre-order, however, is for half price at $29.95. This will last through the end of the day Monday, March 31, when the price goes up to $39.95. Once the report is published it will immediately go to full price at $59.95.



Planet Waves

Well in time for the Spring 2014 grand cross (Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto) I’ll be publishing a 12-sign reading focusing on intimacy and trust. The readings will focus on the influence of Mars in the grand cross as well as the lunar and solar eclipses. All of this happens in April. Each sign will get a 20- to 30-minute reading, the signs will cross-reference (each being a special point of focus), and everyone will have access to all 12 signs.

I’ve recorded an informative and authentically interesting audio preview of the project (worth listening just to hear our original theme music). As usual we offer incentive for early purchase. The final price will be $59.95 but we are offering it through the weekend at the first pre-order price of $29.95. Get it while it’s hot!


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for April were published Friday, March 21. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for March Friday, Feb. 21. Moonshine horoscopes for the Pisces New Moon published Tuesday, Feb. 25. Moonshine horoscopes for the Virgo Full Moon were published Tuesday, March 11. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.


Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, March 28, 2014, #992 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — The beauty of your astrology right now is that it allows you to see yourself in others and to feel them within you. Another perspective on the same aspects illustrates you self-actualizing through your relationships. This concept used to be understood a lot better than it is now in our era when the prevailing theory of relationships is to use people. Self-actualizing through an intimate bond is a special, subtle kind of using. It is perhaps the most humane kind there is, because the idea is about becoming increasingly aware of yourself as you interrelate with others. I would take the concept of ‘others’ and extend it to your whole environment. Consider that you are part of your environment and it is part of you. Feel how you influence your surroundings with your feelings, and how you can pick up feelings and experience influences just by being in a place or around others. The moral of the story is you are part of the world and the world is part of you.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You’re not in as tight of a corner as it may seem. In fact to the extent that you feel you’re under someone’s shadow, under their thumb or under their authority, you have the ability to focus and turn this into a productive situation. The main quality that’s being demanded of you is integrity. Such would include sincerity, the use of logic, and making sure that all of the basic minimums for which you may be responsible are covered. You can add to that consulting with those who are influenced by your movements and your choices, making sure they have a clue what to expect from you next. Take the time to enter a dialog and leave behind any reticence you may have to commit to a position by saying anything at all. You’re in a position of much greater influence than you may imagine, by which I mean the potential to effect positive change. Step out of the shadow and you will see that.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Stick to the truth and admit when you find yourself believing something that may not be true, or that is not true. Notice when you ‘believe’ something because someone in a position of authority ‘believes’ it; notice if you bend things a bit to focus your own authority. In short, your solar chart right now is a study in the power of false belief and deception for the purpose of gaining power. That could include power gained over you, which is the main reason why I suggest you be vigilant. It’s the main reason why I suggest you make no compromises about the nature of reality. The best way to handle any situation where you’re lacking knowledge is to admit at least that much. If you’re in a position where you have to conduct yourself a certain way for political purposes (such as getting ahead), admit at least that much. Do everything you can to eliminate deception from your life in any form, and happily forfeit the power of denial in place of the greater power of truth.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Leave your insecurity behind you and strive to do your best work. Your fears of inadequacy can indeed be behind you, in the past, if you want them to be. The only way you will establish that is to actually live as if it’s true. That may seem bold, but it’s not as bold as you might think. I will tell you that it’s probably a lot braver than your parents were; it’s gutsier than most of your friends or associates would likely be; it will take more courage than downloading a new app for your Droid. Those are not particularly meaningful comparisons because the standard is a lot lower than actual achievement — and lower than your actual potential. The main thing you’re likely to struggle with is your own consistency, though you have more influence over this than you might think. And even if you’re not exactly consistent, now is the time to focus your mind and reach for one particular goal, no matter how ‘impossible’ it may have seemed in the past.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — There’s no such thing as perfect faith, but there is such a thing as very powerful old-fashioned ordinary faith. And that, you have plenty of. Here is the thing: Faith might work so well that it would shock you. It might compel you to reorganize your whole belief system around what is actually possible that you didn’t think was possible. Note that you may find yourself in some kind of dialog or interchange with someone close to you about whether something is possible. The image glaring out of your chart is of you doing what is right for you no matter what anyone else believes or refuses to believe. So you don’t need to lose any sleep over that small matter, nor do you need to distract yourself with anyone else’s doubts. Nor do you need to convince anyone of anything — just act on the best intuition that you have. Then when your environment starts to provide feedback, adjust your beliefs accordingly. Then be ready to adjust them again.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — It’s necessary that you keep a handle on who you are, what you want and what you’re doing. I say this because of the vast amount of activity in your relationship angle (Aquarius, Pisces and Aries) and so little happening in your own sign. Your ruling planet Mercury is deep in the mix of your relationship stuff, which may be describing a real challenge finding yourself in the midst of lots of movement and excitement in your environment. The planets are describing no specific or direct way to do this, that I can see. The best idea I can offer you is to know what you think, despite what anyone else might think. It would be supremely easy to lose yourself in the viewpoint of others, so if you are aware of and strive to focus your own point of view, you have the easiest possible means of tracking who you are. So yes: the path to individuality starts with knowing your own opinion. (It always did.)

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You may feel like you live in the hall of mirrors. But if you look closely at what seems to be your reflection, you might notice that it doesn’t vaguely resemble who you know yourself to be. Indeed, the whole mirroring thing seems to be an illusion that is only real to the extent that you believe it. Your solar chart describes where you will find yourself — in the zone of consciousness where you’re willing to take a risk. Where you feel the potential, the calling or the need to dare, that is where you’re the most likely to find yourself, as in discover something new about yourself. You will know you’re in that space because it feels distinctly different than the mirror chamber or echo chamber that you were in before. You will know you’re there because it has the distinct sensation of something to gain and something to lose. Note that your ruling planet Venus is in Aquarius. That is a reminder to be yourself and not buckle under the pressure or low standards of any group in which you’re involved.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You may be having panic attacks over some potential change in your work environment or work assignment. That kind of response is not exactly the key to success. I suggest you remove from your thinking any need to ‘feel appreciated’ and replace it with the need to focus your mind, your efforts and your intentions on what actually matters. Focus on the nature of commitments being made to you, and asked of you. Once the changes you’re going through gather actual momentum, there will be the moment where you have to give up control over the outcome. But that does not mean giving up awareness of where you are at any moment, or the words that come out of your mouth, or listening and hearing the words that are said to you. Said another way, lack of control over the outcome is a thing apart from maintaining your presence and awareness and using what you know to make moment-to-moment assessments and decisions.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — If you subtract the drama from the sex, the sex will be a lot more interesting. I know that for most people this is like decaffeinated instant coffee with Splenda and Cremora, or trying to get drunk on a Shirley Temple. There exists a kind of conditioned association between drama and sex, in particular, drama based on insecurity. I would propose that you don’t need that. I also suggest you subtract the “does he/she love me?” question from your erotic encounters, along with “what will happen to us in the future?” and “will we do this again?” Let basic trust and being turned on be enough for now. Have your experiences in the moment you’re having them, giving and receiving love in real time. The insecurity factor to me looks like a ruse. By ruse, I mean to use a polite word for bullshit. You might try treating it as such, just for an experiment. The other part of the experiment will involve not treating anyone else’s insecurity as if it’s valid for you.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — If you’re going to rebel, focus on what makes no sense, and then wage the rebellion by making sense. Rather than object to what is ridiculous, propose the alternative. The posture of rebellion I am suggesting is not waged in the negative but rather in the affirmative. That leaves a lot more room for creativity, actual innovation and sense of humor. It also disguises the rebellion as something else, such as an invention or a party or art or something that is just interesting. There are a lot of stupid customs in the world, ridiculous beliefs, pointless social rituals and absurd expectations. You seem to be aware of this now more than ever, and determined to do something about it. As the next few days unfold, that may grow to the point of having revolution in your heart. So be it — and Remember The Onion.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may be in an emotional dilemma, going back and forth about what you really believe, or what course of action is correct. This is compounded by the potential feeling that you have to do something, or make a decision, before time runs out. The problem is that each potential choice is so compelling you don’t know which is more valid. If this describes some aspect of your life, I have two ideas. One is: consider the potential that both are true at once, no matter how different they may seem (they are more closely related than they seem by the way). Then work out the math and figure out how the situation would seem in that case. Two is: consider the possibility that you’re dealing with a false dilemma. (I have a personal philosophy to consider the potential for any dilemma being a false dilemma). A false dilemma, in case you’re not familiar with the concept, is a pair of options, choices, potentials or outcomes where neither of the two is actually valid or meaningful. The solution to that is simple — come up with more possibilities.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Claim your genius with money. I mean take hold of it, take ownership and put it to work. Get your mind going, and start sketching out possibilities. Remember that your most valuable resource is what you know. In our economy, you have the options to sell your time, your labor or your knowledge, and you probably proffer a mix of these options. But the most valuable one is your knowledge. It’s also one of the most challenging to convert into actual cash value, though you can apply your knowledge to that puzzle. The only thing that stands in your way is a particular kind of self-esteem crisis that might, in the past, have left you feeling like nobody cares about you. That’s not true, but I would remind you that for this particular project, you don’t need anyone to care about you — you need to care about yourself, and you need to take advantage of the self-interest of others. Ultimately what you’re doing has nothing at all to do with self-interest; that is a means to a much larger and more meaningful goal.

Are you ready for a change? The astrology of this season offers a new opening to intimacy and trust in your relationships. Pre-order your Spring Report by Eric Francis now. You’ll get all twelve signs for $29.95 if you order by Monday. That’s half-off of the published price! Listen to the free audio preview.

To unsubscribe, click here

e Wiki | Friends | Editors | Contact Us

Copyright © 2014 by Planet Waves, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Other copyrights may apply.

Some images used under Fair Use or Share Alike attribution.

Astrological Hurricane Season (and monthly forecasts)

Planet Waves

Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300. Photo by NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team.

Dear Friend and Reader:

It’s now hurricane season, a time of year when the conditions are correct for the formation of big, cyclonic storms. Hurricanes get their energy from the ocean’s warmth, and as the oceans have increased in temperature, more energy is available. You might describe the positions of the planets this way as well: the hotter they get, the more energy is available here on Earth.

The short version of the story is that the Sun is now moving through the Uranus-Pluto square — what I call the 2012-era aspect. We are also about to experience two powerful eclipses concurrent with Mercury retrograde in Scorpio. The combined result will be a sustained phase of planetary energy that will make itself known many ways.

In one sense the whole year has led to this moment — the extended moment of autumn 2013. In reality the setup goes back a lot further; let’s see if I can bring you up to date. (If you want further background, search for an article called The Road to Xibalba in the Planet Waves archives.)

Planet Waves
Hurricane Earl, from 2010, was a long-lived and powerful tropical cyclone which became the first major hurricane to threaten New England since Hurricane Bob in 1991. Photo: NOAA.

Around 2008, an aspect pattern started forming, which involved Pluto ingressing Capricorn. If you were following the astrology blogs at the time, it was just about the only topic going. Pluto is a slow-mover (the slowest-moving planet used by most astrologers, who will be catching up to the Kuiper Belt and Eris in their next lifetimes). Slow means influential; slow means that Pluto events last a while. Pluto means that nothing is the same after he’s come through town.

Speculation about Pluto in Capricorn goes back many years; it was perceived in advance as one of those really ominous transits, and now we are in the midst of it. Pluto in a sign helps define a whole era of time, concentrating and focusing change in the topic areas associated with the sign in question. Depending on where Pluto is in its orbit, it can take between 12 and 30 years to make it through one sign. It will be in Capricorn until 2023-2024.

The subject area of Capricorn is the structure of society. Corporations, governments, families and traditions all are covered by Capricorn.

Pluto is both creative and destructive. It brings change, and in the path of those changes there can be considerable progress. Yet the door can also open up for some serious negativity. One example was the Saturn-Pluto opposition of 2001-2002. A few astrologers predicted terrorism for this era; none that I am aware of predicted a world war lasting 12 years and counting.

The first year that Pluto touched the foothills of Capricorn, we experienced the financial collapse of 2008. I can still see the smirk on Henry Paulson’s face as he announced that the bailouts would begin, trying so hard to suppress his glee. I remember well John McCain suspending his presidential campaign, allegedly to solve the problem with his own bare hands. Financial institutions were collapsing in house-of-cards style, and the money was flowing freely.

Astrologers around the world muttered, “Pluto in Capricorn has begun.” (Banking policy spotters around the world muttered, “yep, I told you so.” They had.)

Planet Waves
One of the momentous institutional failures at the beginning of Pluto in Capricorn was American International Group, a vast insurance company. Many banks were bailed out; many that you have not heard of went under. Photo by Neil Irwin.

In 2011, another (somewhat quicker) slow-mover — Uranus — ingressed Aries. On that very day (March 11, 2011), within hours of the ingress, a tsunami and earthquake took out a chunk of Japan, causing a huge mess at several nuclear power plants, the most famous of which was Fukushima.

Astrologers around the world muttered: “Oh shit. Uranus in Aries. And oh. Uranus square Pluto. Here we go.” Those who follow global astrology no doubt noticed the connections of both transits to the Aries Point — the first degree of Aries, where all things political intersect with all things personal.

Everyone remembers 2011, the year the Uranus-Pluto square really began: the protests that spread through the Middle East and across North Africa; the protests in Wisconsin; and then that autumn, the worldwide Occupy movement began in a private park in New York City. Real people were taking their bodies to the scene of the crime and demanding action.

And you may remember, if you haven’t suppressed it, the agony of that first month after the meltdowns in Japan, as the truth slowly came out. People who understand nuclear power know that it’s perhaps the most personal-as-political thing there is if, for instance, a little strontium-90 lodges in one’s bones.

The Uranus-Pluto square has been working its way across the signs Aries and Capricorn, and will make a total of seven contacts. The next one is on Nov. 1. It is the midpoint of the cycle — the fourth of seven events. There will be another during the next eclipse season, on April 21, 2014; and then another on Dec. 15, 2014. The last will be on March 16, 2015. Then the energy of the aspect will slowly wane, though it can do so with considerable influence, even for another five years.

Every now and then (quite a bit, lately), other planets get into the aspect pattern, and bring its properties out into the open. For example, Jupiter is now in Cancer, making what’s called a T-square with Uranus and Pluto.

Recently Venus and then Mercury passed through Libra, completing a grand cross. Challenging events associated with Mercury’s passage through the aspect were the Colorado floods and the mass shooting at the Navy Yard. When that Libra leg of the cross is filled, it can be intense. Part of that is because the grand cross is the most powerful aspect pattern. Adding to the energy is the fact that there’s a little-known slow-moving planet, similar to Pluto, already in Libra opposite Uranus and square Pluto — Typhon, the namesake of typhoons.

Planet Waves
The Occupy Wall St. movement was a herald of the Uranus-Pluto square. Photo by Eric Francis.

The first thing that happens this autumn is that the Sun in Libra passes through the aspect structure. On Oct. 1, the Sun will square Pluto (that is deep, introspective and compelling changes that can take root on the soul level). On Oct. 3 it will make an opposition to Uranus (surprises, shocking developments, revelations, inventions), and over the next few days, a conjunction to Typhon (exact Oct. 6) (perhaps passing through the eye of the storm). On Oct. 12, the Sun will make a square to Jupiter, which tends to magnify things and also provoke decisions.

Even if these aspects were happening inisolation from each other, we would feel them. That they are happening concentrated within a few days means there is likely to be a global effect. You don’t need a crystal ball to guess what that effect might be — some lunatics in Congress are threatening to hold the United States, and by extension the world financial networks, hostage.

Their issue is that they don’t want the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare, invented by the rightwing Heritage Foundation, enacted by Congress, signed by the president and approved by the Supreme Court) to be any further entrenched. This autumn is the time that the health insurance exchanges open in all 50 states.

If you live in England or Canada or Sweden or someplace civilized like that, this must sound awfully weird — to threaten to push the country into default, and/or to defund and therefore shut down the government, because a small minority of legislators don’t like a law that provides health services for people. I wish I was making this up, then I could edit it and things would be different.

If that happens, we will certainly experience the Uranus-Pluto square full-on, in solar style. Note that the Sun, which is doing all the passing-through, in mundane astrology (the astrology of worldly affairs) represents the head of state. The fact that the head of state is going to have a wild ride for at least the first two weeks of October means that the whole government may be in turmoil.

Speaking of Oct. 1, that’s the day that Mercury enters what’s sometimes called shadow phase — the earliest measure of the Mercury retrograde effect beginning. The retrograde itself — the peak of the event, when Mercury appears to move in reverse longitude through the zodiac — begins on Oct. 21 and ends Nov. 10. The second shadow phase ends Nov. 27. This is definitely something to plan around. Follow the Planet Waves blog and Planet Waves FM and your member editions for ongoing details, which will be useful to keep up with.

Planet Waves
Typhon, the most fearsome monster of Greek mythology, was so terrible that it took Zeus himself to fight him. Now a planet by this name is part of the cardinal grand cross — Typhon, Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto — and in a moment, the Sun.

This is actually pretty good timing for most purposes in the Western world, since we leave Mercury retrograde behind around Thanksgiving, and well before the end-of-the-year madness reaches its peak. However, as this happens, Venus is warming up to one of its relatively rare retrogrades (Venus is retrograde least of all the planets). That takes place Dec. 21 through Jan. 31 (not including shadow phases). I will come back to that one next month.

Right in the mix of Mercury retrograde, making things especially interesting, is a pair of eclipses. Both are impressive in their own right. All eclipses come with a sense of acceleration, concentrated experiences and the feeling that fate is in operation. Eclipses are points of no return — and these two occur in the mix of much other astrology.

As for the eclipses — the first is the Aries Full Moon, which is a penumbral lunar eclipse. The Moon will pass through the outermost edge of the Earth’s shadow on Friday, Oct. 18. One of the most interesting features of the eclipse is that the Moon will be conjunct a major new discovery, Eris (the planet that got Pluto ‘demoted’).

Then as the Moon is waning, the Sun ingresses Scorpio on Oct. 23. About 10 days later on Nov. 3, we experience the corresponding New Moon event — a part-annular, part-total eclipse that is one heck of an impressive chart.

Planet Waves
Eclipse of the Sun in Scorpio on Nov. 3 is a combined total and annular eclipse, notably, conjunct Saturn. It also happens during Mercury retrograde in Scorpio. You can see the eclipse group of planets to the left side of the chart. They include Mercury, the North Node, the Sun, the Moon and Saturn. Juno, square the eclipse group, makes more than a cameo (potentially stealing the show), bringing in eternal themes of relationship and social justice.

The eclipse (a conjunction of the Moon and Sun) will be conjunct Mercury, the North Node and Saturn. That’s a lot of planets concentrated together, during what’s already one of the most profound times of year even when nothing special is going on.

It will be essential, in the midst of all of this, to keep your focus, to maintain emotional grounding, and to stay in balance — all of which will be easier said than done. When the astrology is acting up, a good astrologer can be helpful. Through this whole season, I plan to be working on my 2014 annual readings for all 12 signs and rising signs.

For the past few weeks I’ve been studying and casting charts for the next 12 months, and they are pretty special, even by contemporary standards. What’s interesting about the autumn of 2013 is that it closely resembles what will be happening all through 2014 — the peak year of the Uranus-Pluto square.

My annual will be called The Mars Effect. Having read this article, when I say that Mars will be passing through the Jupiter-Uranus-Pluto-Typhon configuration not once but three times, that will be meaningful — we are about to go on one heck of a ride. We are, as of this moment, embarking on what may be the most profound phase of the extended 2012 era; I would estimate this stretches from October of 2013 through August of 2014.

Confronted with this information, some astrologers will say hold on and some will say let go. I will say: stoke your vision, pay attention and look where you want to be.


This week’s news briefs were written and researched by Amanda Painter, Susan Scheck, Carol van Strum, Anne Craig and your friendly neighborhood news editor, Eric Francis.


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. 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

After the Fake Filibuster, a Game of Chicken

The rightwing fringes of the Republican party have been moaning for the past couple of years that candidates like McCain and Romney, despite unstinting support of big business and blustering on about American exceptionalism, simply weren’t conservative enough. The 2012 election cycle brought in a fresh crop of Tea Party-fancying congressional representatives, including the junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.

Planet Waves
Illustration from the Encyclopedia of Psychiatry under the term “narcissistic personality disorder.” Photo by Jonathan Bernstein.

If you recognize his name, that’s because he increased his visibility considerably this past week with a “filibuster” on the Senate floor lasting more than 21 hours, claiming that his intention was to bravely fight to defund the Affordable Care Act, known to most as Obamacare.

That was the first step in endlessly awaited health care reform designed to make medical coverage more accessible to more people. It’s the one thing that Obama has accomplished, and it seems that no matter how popular it is, Obama’s political enemies want to deny him a positive legacy.

As you may know, the federal government runs out of money in mid-October. To stay in business, it must pass what is called a “continuing resolution” (CR, in Beltway-talk), which extends the nonexistent budget. The federal government no longer uses a budget; it sputters along from CR to CR. The next one expires Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Last week the House of Representatives passed a 45-day CR that includes a condition: at the insistence of the Republican majority, funding the government only if the Affordable Care Act is cut off from resources. In other words, the majority of our representatives are willing to shut down the government if Obamacare is not starved of resources. Forget the fact that it’s been approved by all three branches of government, including a conservative-leaning Supreme Court.

So the Republicans, who now resemble anarchists, are planning a kind of holdup: they say they won’t approve a CR without also killing Obamacare. That in turn could force a government shutdown just as the Sun squares Pluto, setting off the rest of the grand cross — just as Mercury gets ready to station retrograde.

Friday, the Senate is scheduled to take up the House version of the bill, which will fail in the Democrat-controlled Senate. That means the country will still be without a CR, and the money runs out around Oct. 17. Most people are expecting pressure from the business community, meaning banks and financial markets, not the local tailor shop, to dissuade the Tea Partiers to allow the government to function. But that might not work.

Meanwhile, Republicans — eager for any influence they might have, and to do anything to make Obama look bad — have trained their guns on the rapidly approaching debt ceiling deadline. That is the limit on money the government must borrow to pay for things already purchased (wars, etc.).

Planet Waves
How Ted Cruz missed the irony of his choice of ‘fake filibuster’ reading material is a mystery: once the narrator actually tries the green meal, he likes it. Image: MSNBC.

That issue must be resolved by Oct. 17, when the debt ceiling must either be raised — as has been done more than 50 times in recent decades — or the U.S. government will be in default on its current financial obligations. Republicans are offering to avert this crisis provided that Democrats will agree to (among other things) approving the Keystone XL pipeline and delaying the implementation of Obamacare for a year.

In other words, the Republican position is: do it our way or we blow the place up. Default would have many repercussions, including messing with financial markets, banking, thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of employees who depend on federal paychecks; not to mention the millions of people who depend on the government being there.

Will the federal government shut down? At this point, it seems unlikely that Congress will manage to get its collective self together and prevent that eventuality by midnight on Monday. Even if it does shut down, various Obamacare provisions will continue to go into effect.

One thing we can all count on is a bitter fight on the debt ceiling issue as we approach mid-October.

The glaringly obvious fact that emerges from the Cruz performance is that, rather than a good-faith effort to govern, the end game was all about either one guy getting attention, or one guy taking the fall for what a lot of people want to do but don’t want to stand up for.
Planet Waves

Warren Revives Softer Draft Guidance for GMO Labeling

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a staunch consumer-protection advocate, is calling for the Food and Drug Administration to finalize a 12-year-old draft guidance in relation to the labeling of foods containing GMOs.

Planet Waves
Is a little GMO labeling better than none? Elizabeth Warren seems to think so.

GMO labeling supporters are not entirely pleased with this, since the guidance is voluntary and not as tough as the mandatory national labeling requirements they seek.

The guidance calls for food manufacturers, should they choose to identify foods as containing GMOs, to use statements that explain how the food was modified through genetic engineering and avoid the phrase “GMO free” for foods that have not been modified.

“The term ‘GMO free’ may be misleading for most foods, because most foods do not contain organisms (seeds and foods like yogurt that contain microorganisms are exceptions),” the guidance explains. “It would likely be misleading to suggest that a food that ordinarily would not contain entire ‘organisms’ is ‘organism free.'”

However, 85% of corn and 93% of soy grown in the U.S. in 2013 has been genetically modified. These ingredients are added to many processed foods sold here — a leading reason for mandatory labeling.

Cross-contamination — GMO seeds finding their way into non-GMO corn and soy fields — is common, and therefore a wild card in any food product containing corn or soy. Mandatory labeling would eliminate at least some of the mystery in what we are eating.

Update: The Monsanto Protection Act will not be part of a bill to avoid the government shutdown, due to opposition by Senate Democrats Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, as well as strong action against it by the public. Mikulski announced Tuesday evening that it will be stripped from the Senate version of the bill.
Planet Waves

Russia to Prosecute Greenpeace Activists for Piracy

Russia’s top investigative agency, the Investigative Committee, said Tuesday it will prosecute Greenpeace activists on piracy charges for trying to climb onto an Arctic offshore drilling platform owned by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom. Their ship, the Arctic Sunrise, was seized last week by the Russian Coast Guard in Murmansk, a Russian Arctic port.

Planet Waves
Greenpeace ship ‘Arctic Sunrise’ is escorted by a Russian coast guard boat, off the Kola peninsula in Russia, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP.

Piracy carries a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of 500,000 rubles (about $15,500).

Two activists tried to climb onto the Prirazlomnaya platform last Thursday and others assisted from small inflatable boats. The Greenpeace protest was aimed at calling attention to the environmental risks of drilling for oil in Arctic waters.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said the activists posed a danger to operations on the oil platform. “Such activities not only infringe on the sovereignty of a state, but might pose a threat to the environmental security of the whole region.”

Greenpeace insisted that under international law Russia had no right to board its ship and has no grounds to charge its activists with piracy.

Russian president Vladimir Putin weighed in Wednesday at a forum on the Arctic, saying, “It is absolutely evident that they are, of course, not pirates. But formally they were trying to seize this platform … It is evident that those people violated international law.”

A spokesman for the Investigative Committee said the charges might be changed if new evidence emerges.
Planet Waves

Hunger Strikes: Pussy Riot, Guantanamo

Nadia Tolokonnikova, one of two incarcerated members of Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot, has begun a hunger strike in protest of “slavery-like conditions” in a Mordovian penal colony. She is serving a two-year sentence for protesting Russian president Vladimir Putin with her band, who staged a “punk prayer” inside a Moscow cathedral on February 21, 2012.

Planet Waves
Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, prior to being sent to Mordovia’s Gulag-like prison colony No 14. Photo: AP

Tolokonnikova wrote an open letter, published in The Guardian UK, describing how inmates are in charge of giving others beatings and depriving them of rights, under the approval of prison officials; work sewing shifts as long as 17 hours; and endure inconceivable filth in an atmosphere of antagonism, terror and despair.

“A threatening, anxious atmosphere pervades the work zone. Eternally sleep-deprived, overwhelmed by the endless race to fulfill inhumanly large quotas, prisoners are always on the verge of breaking down, screaming at each other, fighting over the smallest things. Just recently, a young woman got stabbed in the head with a pair of scissors because she didn’t turn in a pair of pants on time,” she writes.

According to her husband, Peter Verzilov, Tolokonnikova has also faced death threats in retaliation for a complaint she sent through her lawyer.

In May the other jailed member of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, went on hunger strike for 11 days to protest prison conditions; allegedly many of her demands were met. A Mordovia prison system spokesman has denied Tolokonnikova’s allegations.

Meanwhile in Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. military says it will stop reporting the number of prisoners on hunger strike when the official tally of striking prisoners has dropped below 19. The strike against indefinite detention began in February, with 106 out of the 166 prisoners participating at its peak, prompting Pres. Obama to address his failure to close the prison as promised. At this time, 18 prisoners are listed for force-feeding through inhumane nasal tubes.
Planet Waves

Ego, Sexual Expectations and Viagra: More is Not Merrier

For centuries, human beings have done foolish things to boost their sex appeal, sex drive and sexual ability — often carrying (or thinking they must meet) unrealistically high expectations. Once in a while, the pursuit of sexual prowess has tragic consequences, as two men recently demonstrated with their misuse of Viagra. [Read earlier Planet Waves coverage of Viagra here.]

According to The Daily Mail, which cites the Columbia Reports website, a 65-year-old Colombian man recently underwent the amputation of his penis after intentionally overdosing on Viagra in an attempt to impress his new girlfriend.

Planet Waves
Halloween is coming — but don’t eat a handful of these.

The man, from Gigante, Colombia (no joke), suffered an erection for several days before being forced to seek medical help (Viagra’s label advises seeking medical help for any erection lasting more than four hours). At that point, his penis was showing signs of gangrene; doctors chose to amputate to prevent its spread to other parts of his body.

He is now recovering physically (no word on his ego). A 25-year-old in Yemen was not so lucky last week.

The young man sought to impress his new bride by taking five Viagra pills at once on his wedding day. Upon his arrival home after the ceremony, he collapsed and died despite doctors’ attempts to revive him at a hospital.

By no means is this the first case of a man suffering heart attack or arrhythmia while using Viagra; the same effect the drug has on the nerve activity of the penis can also increase sympathetic nerve activity, which makes blood vessels constrict. And there are numerous other potential side effects.

That the death occurred in a man so young highlights a disturbing trend: young men taking erectile dysfunction drugs when they are not suffering from ED. In fact, one 2012 study found that young men using ED drugs ‘recreationally’ may actually be more likely to develop the condition, by creating a psychological dependence on them.

Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, warns quite specifically that combining Viagra with certain other medications, or using it in the presence of certain health conditions, can be dangerous. Pfizer’s website and labeling also advise that a man’s doctor may prescribe a lower dose if he is over 65.

But do the warnings need to be stronger? Even if they were, is it enough to sway a man who’s so desperate to be ‘enough’ for a woman in today’s world of non-stop sex in the media and Internet porn? People tend to think that ‘if a little is good, more must be better’ about everything from Tylenol to chocolate cake. Will we ever learn?
Planet Waves

We Can Save the USPS — If We Want To

The Carper-Coburn bill (S. 1486), which threatens the viability of the U.S. Postal Service by ending Saturday delivery and door-to-door delivery, plus laying off more than 100,000 workers over several years, has been the subject of congressional hearings this week. It has also inspired legislation meant to counter the brick-by-brick dismantling of the USPS by reimagining how the struggling organization could recapitalize itself through diversifying its services.

Planet Waves
With the sensible Postal Service Modernization Bills, Mr. ZIP could help you with your banking — and fund infrastructure — while keeping the USPS viable.

Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) have brought The Postal Service Modernization Bills, a pair of companion bills, to their respective wings of Congress.

“Needs that the post office might diversify into include (1) funding the rebuilding of our crumbling national infrastructure; (2) servicing the massive market of the “unbanked” and “underbanked” who lack access to basic banking services; and (3) providing a safe place to save our money, in the face of Wall Street’s new ‘bail in’ policies for confiscating depositor funds,” writes Ellen Brown, president of the Public Banking Institute, in a Truthout article.

“All these needs could be met at a stroke by some simple legislation authorizing the post office to revive the banking services it efficiently performed in the past.”

Bipartisan support for founding a national infrastructure bank (NIB) over the last six years keeps meeting opposition to using tax money for such a thing (while never-ending wars get continual funding). But Frederic V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, asks:

“[W]hat if we set up the NIB without using taxpayer funds? What if we allowed Americans to open savings accounts in the nation’s post offices and directed those funds into national infrastructure bonds that would earn interest for depositors and fund job-creating projects to replace and modernize our crumbling infrastructure?

“A post office bank … would not offer commercial loans or mortgages. But it could serve the unbanked and fund infrastructure projects selected by a non-partisan NIB.”

The idea has precedent: currently 1 billion people use the postal sector for savings and deposit accounts worldwide. With about one in four U.S. households counting as “unbanked” or “underbanked,” an NIB could serve as a true alternative to such extortionist options as prepaid debit cards, check cashing services and payday loans that keep people locked into poverty.
Planet Waves

It’s a Dangerous Job but Somebody Has to Do it Well

New York Times staff photographer Tyler Hicks hadn’t planned on working last Saturday morning, Sept. 21. He was picking up some framed wedding photos in a shopping center when the neighboring Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, exploded into screams and shouts and gunfire.

Planet Waves
People who had been watching a movie in the Westgate Mall being evacuated. Photo: Tyler Hicks / The New York Times.

You may know his name because he and three colleagues were held captive for six days by pro-Qaddafi fighters during the Libyan revolution.

Hicks ran toward the scene as everyone else was running away, and entered the mall through a service entrance with Kenyan security forces, photographing chaos with the little camera he had handy until his bride, fellow photojournalist Nichole Sobecki, got there with his Kevlar and pro gear.

By coincidence, then, the world ended up with a view of the attack’s early hours through the lens of a Pulitzer Prize winner. Long before the nearly five-day siege was over, Somali-based hard-liners Al Shabaab (“the youth” in Arabic) claimed credit. In a message released Wednesday, Al Shabaab blamed Kenya’s incursion into Somali and “Western states that supported the Kenyan invasion and are spilling the blood of innocent Muslims in order to pave the way for their mineral companies” for its attack.

The attack was carefully planned — Al Shabaab apparently rented a storefront within Westgate from which to plan and stage its bloodbath. This upended the conventional wisdom that AMISOM, made up of several African nations including Kenya and with substantial Western backing, was close to a decisive victory in the bloody Somalian conflict taking place against a backdrop of devastating famine.

Meanwhile, Kenyan military security forces were woefully unprepared for such an event, which is why it took days to bring under control. Counterterrorism planners said that this particular mall was such an obvious target, it was recently used for terrorism response training exercises.

Planet Waves
Photo by Tyler Hicks / The New York Times.

Al-Shabaab, which grew from a relatively small offshoot of a formerly governing coalition to claim the al Qaeda brand, is reportedly unpopular within Somalia. The hardline political Islamists have plenty of innocent Muslim blood on their own hands. Reports of the mall attack demonstrate an effort to spin the PR fallout in their favor by checking to see if victims were Muslim before shooting them.

Kenya has the largest Somali refugee population in the world. Over half the Kenyan population survives on less than a dollar a day, and youth unemployment is over 75%, creating fertile ground for Al-Shabaab recruiters who work through Saudi-backed Islamic youth centers and offer $500 a month.

Expatriate Somalis living in the United States reject the idea that Al-Shabaab would have any great success recruiting among American youth, despite reports they’ve made it all the way to Minneapolis. Still being sorted out are reports that there were several nationalities among the mostly young attackers; Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for Samantha Lethwaite, the widow of a man who was killed participating in a London terror attack several years ago.

As of Thursday, 67 civilians from a dozen different countries and five militants are confirmed dead, including children as young as five; 61 people are still unaccounted for as forensic teams from several nations sift the rubble. Eleven militants are in custody. Also on Thursday, fighting ramped up along the Somalian/Kenyan border.
Planet Waves

BlackBerry Sells Out, Goes Private, Stays In Business

It’s been a rough couple of years for RIM, makers of the iconic BlackBerry. At least it was rough before this week’s announcement that the company — called BlackBerry, after it’s smartphone product for the past year or so — would accept a $4.7 billion buyout. That offer came from Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Canadian consortium headed by Prem Watsa. The $9 a share proposition came Monday afternoon, following an announcement last Friday of layoffs and poor earnings.

Planet Waves
A tool, not a toy — try selling it to teenagers.

Watsa was a BlackBerry board member until August, when the company announced it was for sale and the “Canadian Warren Buffett” stepped aside to avoid conflict of interest. Fairfax already holds about a tenth of BlackBerry stock, and the deal would make the formerly public company private.

Rumors of a buyout had been swirling around the company since at least 2011, when RIM stock dropped by 80%. In the past year, government agencies including the Department of Defense, the FBI, and the ICE all announced that they were opening up their portable IT bidding — formerly an exclusively BlackBerry niche — to rival companies like Apple and Samsung.

When the Defense Department announcement came last October, BlackBerry’s vice president for government solutions whistled a happy tune to CNET, claiming confidence that BlackBerry would continue dominating the business and government sectors. The device that revolutionized the communications world back around the turn of the century still has diehard fans, who gather on a dedicated forum to talk “Crackberries.” Pres. Obama famously carries one. But even Obama for America, his campaign organization, spent a pile of money on Apple devices for its workforce.

Watsa has said that he believes in the BlackBerry and that taking the company private will allow for retrenchment and healing. On the Crackberry board, they’re not a happy group. Many claim that when it comes to sheer solid functionality, nothing beats a BlackBerry. But the company that’s long marketed its devices as tools, not toys, seems unlikely to survive without some re-visioning going down. Even the Navy wants apps these days.
Planet Waves

Planet Waves

Kaleidolapse moment frozen in time: if you’ve been to Barcelona, do you recognize that tower?

Turning the World Inside Out: Barcelona Kaleidolapse

A walk around Barcelona would be enough eye candy for most of us, but now there’s this: a Kaleidolapse of the city, turning church spires, trees, people and streets into a wild moving mandala.

Kaleidolapse is a visual technique that applies a kaleidoscopic effect to different shots taken with time lapse photography. The multiple moving images are symmetrically multiplied, giving them an abstract look.

The technique was developed by MyLapse, a Barcelona-based production company specializing in time-lapse photography. The creative team set a single mandatory criterion: “At some point in every shot anyone should be able to identify the site of Barcelona that was filmed.” If you need some help with that, click here for a list.
Planet Waves

Planet Waves

Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl — Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger.

Equinox, New Moon and Sean Lennon

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM I cover the Libra Equinox, the Libra New Moon and a Libra rock star — Sean Lennon — and his Leo collaborator, Charlotte Kemp Muhl. I cover the approach of the Sun to the Jupiter-Uranus-Pluto-Typhon alignment on the cardinal cross — something that heats up for real over the weekend. My in-studio guest is Mike Amari, one of the truly bright minds behind attracting talent to BSP. (Read my coverage of BSP on Planet Waves here.) Meanwhile, Sean is playing this week at Backstage Studio Productions here in Kingston, NY. His performance group is called Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger. Planet Waves FM is welcoming him to the neighborhood with an astrological tribute.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The extended monthly horoscopes for October are published below in this issue. Inner Space for October was published Friday, Sept. 20. We published the Moonshine horoscopes for the Pisces Full Moon Tuesday, Sept. 16. Moonshine for the Libra New Moon will publish Tuesday, Oct. 1. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscopes 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.

Planet Waves Monthly for October 2013 #968 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Others will have little choice but to deal with the fact that you cannot be anyone but yourself. Now, from one point of view, is it really possible ever to be anyone but yourself? Yet we all know how much faking so many people do. You’ve even done a little yourself every rare once in a while. You can count on opening your mouth and saying exactly what comes to mind, and trusting that the results will sort themselves out. I suggest you notice what you say to whom. Rather than being far flung and out of control, you’re being more precise than you may think. It just may take you some time to have respect for your own point of view, especially if you manage to send out some ripples or have a few objections sent your way. Pay attention to who says what; notice who is turned on by your outbursts of authenticity. The one thing that nobody can complain about is that you’re getting a lot done. I suggest you engage that fully, and focus an agenda of everything you want to get done for the rest of the year (assuming you’re on such a schedule) and set about doing it sooner rather than later. Get a solid start on every project; get your research and your facts together; make progress while there’s progress to be made.

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) — You could set free an enormous amount of passion, of creativity, of karma — perhaps all three. This is less likely to happen following a conscious plan on your part, but is more likely to follow the path of one thing leads to another. Taurus is often described as a reserved sign, and on the surface it may seem to be that way. Yet right below your exterior is an ocean of energy; you know it and so does everyone around you. In some ways it’s amazing that you manage to keep yourself contained — though for the next few weeks, I don’t suggest you try too hard. Rather, do what you can to sense where you’re experiencing a buildup of energy. Vital force is vital force, though it takes a number of forms, and can be directed many different ways. You might think you’re experiencing anger when you’re really feeling the drive to connect. You might think you’re experiencing fear when you’re experiencing desire. If you can pay attention to the content of your feelings below the form they seem to be taking, it’ll be easier for you to use your energy productively and avoid a mishap — such as directing your emotions in a direction that might not be appropriate. You still have the power of choice, and with it the ability to access wisdom — which will become stronger the more you use it.

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) — Maintain your boundaries, especially at work. You may not be able to mind your own business but it will be helpful if you give the impression that you’re doing so. Rather than asking questions, listen to what people say. You’re likely to find that people voluntarily tell you everything you need to know. All you’ll have to do is assemble the pieces, though be aware that on any matter of real significance, this could take until the second week of November. That’s when the forthcoming Mercury retrograde ends. Mercury, as the planet associated with Gemini, has personal relevance to you. Apart from the usual de rigueur stuff about making commitments or major purchases, the movements of Mercury are closely related to information coming to the surface of consciousness. Because this Mercury retrograde is in Scorpio, that relates to what is concealed below the surface. The retrograde is about going deeper, though there will be bursts of revelation both around the 21st of this month and the 11th of next month. I suggest, therefore, that you not finalize decisions, plans or even opinions about pending matters until you’re fully informed. What is brewing looks important enough to take seriously. This astrology could represent an opportunity, the solution to a problem, or an insight about a health matter. Most notably, it represents the emergence of a currently concealed option you will be happy to have available.

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) — Take advantage of unusual developments in your professional life to stake out new territory. Your chart has been pointing you in the direction of new horizons for a long time. By that I don’t mean a change of career but rather the exploration of your talent. I also mean establishing yourself on a new level as a respected member of your profession, and one known and valued for what you do. This is a sensitive phase, and rather than being about guaranteed achievement, it’s a time to preserve what you’ve gained, build on your achievements, and notice the specific opportunities that are available to establish yourself. You may notice some contrast between what you’re capable of and what others are capable of — which is not an invitation to be competitive. Rather, you’re at a phase of your work where teaching and learning are emphasized strongly. Stabilize yourself and build your confidence by both working with a mentor and taking one or two people under your wing. The process of developing your own talent will be greatly enhanced by engaging with the skills, ideals and approach to life that others use. Your professional success depends less on your standing out than it does on making yourself an integral part of what you do — what you might think of as your inner reputation as opposed to your outer one. As you’ll see, the two are related.

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 may think it would be wonderful if you could resolve that tension between dreaming big and wanting a perfect sense of security about the future. At the moment there is plenty of it — the bigger your vision, the less ‘safe’ and stable you may feel. Yet much as an electrical battery depends on those two polarities holding a charge, you are depending on this tension. In physics it’s called potential difference — with voltage. I suggest you work with the seeming contradiction between the way things are and the way things could be; between having your life be good enough and taking a risk to create something better. Much of this is in the realm of developing ideas that may ‘threaten’ your old ideas, or the mental patterns of the people around you. This, too, will present you with a form of tension that you can work with as a source of energy. At the same time, you seem to have no shortage of creativity and drive to move your ideas and plans forward. Here is the thing I would caution about: When you shake things up, that can come back to you as self-doubt, and in a weird way, as guilt. I suggest you proceed with the feeling that you’re entitled to express yourself as you are called to do, and to work with the formula “improvement is a form of necessary change.”

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) — Treat joint finances and ‘permanent’ commitments with more care than usual. I don’t mean hesitancy — I mean scrutiny. Inaccuracies that slip into the mix, whether intentional (deception) or seemingly unintentional (overlooking details) or careless (skipping over due diligence) will cause problems in the future, so there is an added necessity to proceed with impeccability. With Mars soon to be in your sign that would not normally be an issue, though an opposition to Neptune is saying that your mantra needs to be ‘reality check’. Check the facts, investigate your doubts; if everything seems perfect, get another opinion; if you find a problem, solve the problem and then find two others to fix. The heart of the matter, however, is how you handle negotiations with close partners. This is especially true if you don’t know they’re negotiations. However any time there is an agreement on the table, especially if it involves money, pause, remember that you’re actually in a negotiation-commitment process, and then invoke your ‘reality check’ mantra. You need to take your time discerning the motives of the people around you. Even if your intuition gives you good information, make sure that you back it up with evidence collected from observation over time. When you’re dealing with Neptune, which you are at this time in your life, taking careful, dated notes is one of the most useful ways to stay awake.

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.

Planet Waves

Attention Libras (and those with Libra rising or Moon): To get the best price on your 2013 birthday reading by Eric Francis, pre-order now here. Pre-ordering gets you $10 off the published price, and we’ll email the access info to you as soon as it is ready.

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — An eclipse in your opposite sign Aries will give you a new perspective on a relationship. It’s like a veil will be pulled back allowing you to gaze into the unknown. The underlying reality is different than the one you can see under normal circumstances. You have experienced plenty the past couple of years that you don’t fully understand, spread throughout a diversity of situations. They all have something in common, and this is what I suggest you look for when you have those momentary opportunities to peer beyond the facade of existence. What you learn will help you sort out the issue of what you seem to want versus what you seem to get. You will feel better taking even small steps in this direction; I can offer you a clue — what you (really) want is unlikely to be the standard scenario of a comedy ending in suburban marriage. You have something edgier in mind; something more creative; something with more potential. Along the way, I suggest you evaluate your experiences not on whether they add up to your fantasy but rather how you feel about yourself. Each experience you have with another person has a way of influencing your inner relationship. This has nothing to do with the storyboard of expectations — it’s all about the real chemistry that you share with others, which in turn shapes your life and your experience of living.

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) — Consider any and every change you’ve avoided making the past few years. Consider everything that’s stuck in your life, the places you experience boredom, and the ways you want to break free. Make some notes on all the promises you made with yourself about what you would be doing by the time you reached your current age. Astrological influences are gathering that may incline you to catch up on everything, all at once. I don’t recommend that as a method. Saturn is still in your sign; as much as that is reputed by astrologers to represent something that will not move, in fact Saturn never stops moving, and is your most dependable longterm influence when it comes to making real changes. Saturn’s presence is about focusing your energy and directing your passion in a way that’s directly integrated with that elusive thing known as logic. If you set out to accomplish a longterm goal, you need to be willing to take the necessary actions on the days that you don’t feel like doing it; on the days when that particular goal is not high on your priorities. This is a form of discipline that’s not inherent in your emotionally dominated sign — though I suspect it’s a personal goal for you to be able to focus on this. You now have an incentive. I’ll remind you in a month, but please don’t forget.

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) — You seem to be pursuing some recognition or success, which you’re associating with money. Is this a valid connection? What if you considered the participation-visibility aspect of your work as one idea, and the business success as another? I know that the two are often conflated — for example, fame (a form of participation, based on acclaim) is associated with fortune (financial success). They’re not the same thing, on any level. Acknowledgement for what you do, and the opportunities that open up, is its own critter. Along with this you may include the integrity you put into your work, the message, and the ways in which you grow as a result of expressing yourself. Success in business is not assured from any of this, nor is it a matter of luck. It’s a matter of careful planning, conscious decision-making, a learning process and the careful choice of partners. Looked at this way, it’s clear why scrambling up these two kinds of success ladders doesn’t work so well. No matter how well-known a person is, no matter how well respected, that does not ensure or even hint at cleverness when it comes to handling money and business arrangements. And, sadly, skill with money is often associated with lack of integrity — that is not inherently true. Take these two sides of the equation separately and you will make a lot more progress — of the kind known as maturity.

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 will be a good idea to step back from the festivities, the fuss and the fireworks that develop later in the month and into early November. You’re focused on certain specific tasks right now, and you know you’re operating within the constraints of time and resources. Your astrology suggests you have enough of both, but not if you squander them on a drama that, in the end, you will discover had nothing to do with you. There are many ways to use the substantial astrology that’s rapidly approaching — astrology that will grant you visibility, the potential to meet new friends, and most of all, that will focus your sense of purpose. Therefore, start with purpose, which is similar to intent, and then rather brutally, evaluate every situation on whether you think it will advance your cause or work against it. As the next few weeks develop, this will be especially true of social situations, in which I would include parties, partying, going out and mindless diversion on the Internet. Alternately, the environment you’re in is very well suited for establishing your reputation based on real accomplishments, developing working relationships with people and carving out your special niche in the culture. Some of this is subject to serendipity and synchronicity; none of it is casual or haphazard. The temptation to be popular is more likely to work against you than it is to help. Therefore, keep your focus.

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 may be thinking: is this all some kind of test of character, or of my integrity? I don’t know if it’s a test, but you may be experiencing the consequences aspect of life more than you’re experiencing its promise or potential. They are all related. All consequences are results, and what they are results of is, precisely, some form of potential. This works for ‘good’ things and for ‘bad’ things. The law of cause and effect is in action all the time. The difference between a sleeping person and an awake one is consciously using causes (motives, intent, decision) to get an effect (a result of some kind). This implies becoming conscious of all the superstition that is used as a substitute for good, old-fashioned karma. You are moving into a time of increased power of manifestation — what some astrologers might call success, but I think it’s edgier than that. Your choices will get results, though those results are the product of something. You are also living with the effects of what you have created — and the astrology I’m describing will grant you extra power to make adjustments to what currently exists. This will be especially true if you develop your understanding of how things got to be the way they are. And once you arrive at that understanding, consider it a rough draft and go deeper. Cause and effect are never separate, which is an idea that could save the world.

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) — You would be amazed, if you could see the truth, the extent to which your choices today are based on beliefs that are many years or many generations old — and which are no longer applicable to the world in which we live. Some of these may masquerade as traditions, respect for the way things are done, morals, ethics and ‘fundamental values’. I suggest you put the lot of it up for evaluation. It’s impossible to question a belief unless you know you have it, so the first step is knowing what it is you think is true. Then take the next step and evaluate why you think it’s true. Question every assumption until it’s a habit, which may lead you to reject assuming anything at all. The very most important thing you can question is anything — anything and everything — taught to you by your parents. Questioning it does not make it, or them, or you, wrong — rather, it’s that once you start clearing the clutter, you will discover windows and doors, and the light and fresh air they allow into your awareness is known as a vision. I don’t mean this as a metaphor, but rather as a direct idea: what has the strongest potential is what you can actually see, and visualize, down to the details. Visualizations might ‘come to you’ or you might construct them like a draftsman makes a drawing. Either way or both — have at it.

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.

To unsubscribe, click here

e Wiki | Friends | Editors | Contact Us

Copyright © 2013 by Planet Waves, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Other copyrights may apply.

Some images used under Fair Use or Share Alike attribution.


Onward, Inward, and the Unseen Guide

Dear Friend and Reader:

I have been boycotting the news lately, devoting myself entirely to the study of psychological and spiritual astrology for LISTEN, the 2013 annual. I have been studying my annotated 2013 charts, about 100 of them, since early July, and now is when I pull many planets and aspects together into a series of coherent narratives that offer some guidance for growth and living.

Planet Waves
O’Hare International Airport. Photo by Eric Francis.

That’s what I do every autumn, however my change in direction this year involved more than a seasonal project. It started after more than 18 months of tracking the U.S. presidential election, which led directly into the David Petraeus scandal — the story of the CIA chief who resigned allegedly for having an affair. In retrospect, the election seemed like a farce, and the Petraeus story did not add up no matter which way I ran the numbers. As this holy mess unfolded, I kept looking at the TV and reading articles thinking: You. People. Must. Be. Kidding.

I started to feel something verging on cynicism at the end of all of that; the sensation that I had been played. Yet I have no regrets about taking certain issues seriously — one in particular, the threat to women’s reproductive rights, the blatant misogyny and the truly vicious homophobia that were so boldly exhibited in the election cycles of both 2010 and 2012. Election or not, that needed an airing out.

This was, however, political material that pointed us inward, as the astrology has been doing through the past year, particularly the retrogrades of Venus and Mars. In the public arena, what we witnessed was the emergence of political material focused not on actual discussion of right and wrong, or how society should be run, or how to handle global crisis, but the eruption of a dark, controlling, self-serving impulse that basically views the life force, and particularly being female, as inherently immoral. We can’t wage a political campaign against that, but we can do our best to recognize the problem and seek healing. The underlying problem is ultimately personal, not one of policy.

On some level, in order to take the kind of abuse that the political system doles out so generously, it’s necessary to have been conditioned to feel wrong for being alive. What we call spiritual or psychological growth, or healing, is about coming to terms with that conditioning and then doing what we can about it. And there is plenty we can do. The problem is that it’s inconvenient, defying the thought patterns, beliefs and ideas that support a way of life, yet one that doesn’t necessarily support us back. And perhaps most of all, we are conditioned to be dishonest with ourselves, and with others, and often rewarded for being so.

The transits of the next two years are calling us to get beneath that conditioning, and to do what we can to resolve it. The result would be freeing up creative energy to do whatever we want, and there is plenty to do. There’s plenty we’re all saying we want to do.

Transcending the Obstacles

Many obstacles stand in the way, besides mere inconvenience. One is guilt. It is guilt that says, “It’s your fault that you feel this way, and you’re wrong for wanting to claim yourself back.” Make a note: guilt about wanting to heal is evidence that something was done to you, and that you have internalized the oppressor or attacker as a guilt-inducing mental script. This can manifest as many different forms of negative self-talk, self-sabotage and inviting others to do further damage to us, often under the guise of good intentions.

Planet Waves
The Bean, Chicago. Photo by Eric Francis.

There is extra guilt in that much of the injury is located on the sensitive sexual/emotional dimension — where we are so conditioned to think we’re wrong for feeling bad, and for feeling good. The mere thought of exploring sexuality, including the part about healing a deep injury, is enough to send many people into a guilt spasm, which often manifests in the form of fearing moral retribution.

That double bind alone is evidence that a crime has been committed, and among other things, it’s a crime against trust. This can make it difficult to take one of the most important steps in the healing process — learning to trust others enough to allow in some help or guidance. Then there is the double bind, “If I admit something was done to me, then I am a victim, and that’s not allowed.” Under this logic, going for therapy is evidence of being messed up, rather than evidence that you want to feel better.

Another obstacle is the sensation that there is so much to deal with, we’ll never get it done. Another is relationship patterns that pretty much guarantee that the sexual/emotional material is intractable, since the rules of the relationships tend to prevent the discussion, and then often repeat the injury. A diversity of social rules support people in sticking with relationships that don’t work, in part by failing to support us in being autonomous people.

Dr. Wilhelm Reich had a term for this — he called it the emotional plague.

Let’s put it this way. To get out of this loop, you have to really want to. It is possible. It is necessary, even if many don’t get around to it. Yet it takes focus, determination, time, willingness and resources. It takes cultivating selflove and patience. It does not happen ‘by itself’. And it’s not realistic to expect there to be one magical relationship that will come along and save you. That expectation is a big part of the problem we face.

Pluto in Capricorn: Rearranging Reality

The astrological aspects that have developed the past few months — a pattern that will hold in various forms through 2014 and into 2015 — offer a map to the territory I’m describing.

Pluto began its ingress into Capricorn in 2008, signaling an end to the ‘post-9/11’ world (though arriving with another manufactured catastrophe, the banking collapse at the end of the Cheney/Bush administration). That was a news alert that we were embarking on many structural changes that are described by the unstoppable force, Pluto, encountering a form of the immovable object, Capricorn (ruled by Saturn). This was the selling out of the American dream — the home.

Planet Waves
Winter view to the west from my back porch toward Washington Ave., in Kingston, NY. Photo by Eric Francis.

For you, a home is simple: you turn the key, walk in, and you’re in a safe place. For a speculator, mortgages and mortgage-backed securities can be converted into scores of different greed-driven gambling schemes, all of which went bad at once.

Contributing to the problem was that many people signed for mortgages they could not afford, and where the banks lacked the integrity to care. They were moving product. On a much smaller scale, tens of millions of people find themselves in debt they cannot deal with — a complex problem related to real wages going down steadily since the 1970s. (This is one reason why so many people need three jobs. If everyone wants the 99-cent breakfast, you can be sure the people making it aren’t going to be paid much to flip the eggs.)

The energy of Pluto always goes somewhere, and via Capricorn, where it’s going is into changes that reach the patterns we live, the structure of society and the foundations of our beliefs. Pluto in Capricorn can work two ways. One way is the impulse to dive deep into what we are dragging along from the past, recovering what works and transforming what does not.

The other way is the concentration of power, ranging from control drama to blind ambition. To work the healing side of the Pluto-in-Capricorn equation we need to be mindful of the power-oriented side of the equation. The evolutionary impulse of Pluto can quickly turn destructive, especially if one tastes something one thinks of as power, and wants more.

Pluto in Capricorn is a long process (lasting until 2024), and it’s going to leave no stone unturned, no cave unexplored, no mountain unclimbed. This is a journey deep into shadow, into the core of the psyche, entering what you might think of as the collective unconscious. Pluto in Capricorn is not strictly about an individual process. It’s something that’s collective property, collective responsibility and which will require cooperation.

Saturn in Scorpio: Enforced Growth

More recently (in early October 2012), Saturn arrived in a sign associated with Pluto — Scorpio, where it will be into 2015. Scorpio and Pluto are associated; Saturn and Capricorn are associated. Here we have two of the most potent psychological forces in astrology occupying one another’s signs, and for many months to come, dancing in a sextile aspect. Think of the sextile as the option to cooperate, and as entities close enough to reach one another for a common purpose.

Saturn is a maturing influence. It represents the principle of the boundary, the necessity, the limit and the maturing impulse. Saturn represents the passage of time and the time limit, and prior to the discovery of Pluto was considered a significator of death.

Planet Waves
Self-portrait, Baltimore, 2006. Photo by Eric Francis.

Saturn in Scorpio is about establishing a relationship with all of these things on the emotional level. Scorpio includes the sexual / reproductive level, as well as addressing any topic related to shared or exchanged resources (this includes subjects related to debt and investment, including the obsession with credit cards and the stock market).

On a more intimate level, Scorpio is the place where two people meet on the level of an exchange, and also admit the transience of their bond in this world. Saturn in Scorpio is about understanding the nature of the exchange, creating a safe container for it to happen in, and most of all, is a reminder that this is an exchange and not a total merging of interests.

Seen another way, Saturn in Scorpio is about compelling a level of maturity on all of these topics. We can really use it, and we know it. Part of that maturity includes addressing what we fear, which seems to be a morph of sexual shadow and all things related to intimacy. Part of this includes the fear of abandonment and the fear of aloneness, which are integral to the intimacy crisis we face. It does not help that we teach our children dependency rather than autonomy, and often push our peers to be dependent on, rather than independent of, dysfunctional and even dangerous situations.

One reason why abusive relationships are so wildly popular is because they provide a hedge against intimacy. The abuse, the drama, the standoffs and the lack of empathy render intimacy impossible, so in this respect the dramas serve those who are afraid to be close to others. Yet it goes deeper — I am fond of the definition of intimacy offered by my friend, the poet Jason Blickstein — into-me-see. The fear of intimacy is also the fear of seeing into oneself, to address what might be there.

And this is what Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn are inviting us to do. For many, inward looking is terrifying; hence, the persistent emphasis on appearances, on status, on money, on everything but the actual content of who a person is. One resulting shadow side of both of these transits is emotional fear resulting in knee-jerk conservatism, denial and withdrawal. Such is almost always directed at sex and its creative power, and that is much of what Pluto and Scorpio are describing. If the reactionary thinking is recognized for what it is, there will be an obvious invitation to healing.

Planet Waves
Main entrance to the Chironian, in the cement mines near Keator’s Corners in Rosendale, NY. Photo by Eric Francis.

As I mentioned, Saturn and Pluto are occupying one another’s signs, which is a way of occupying one another’s spaces and energy fields. This is called mutual reception (note, I am bending the ancient rule by applying it to Pluto, a modern planet). It’s a situation that points to options, to alternative viewpoints and gaining mutually aware perspective within any relationship.

But when planets occupy one another’s signs and can, therefore, be seen to switch places, that transports in time as well. Pluto in Scorpio takes us back to the dawn of the modern AIDS crisis, when much of the present sexual neurosis took hold — all based on the obsessive connection between sickness, death and sex. This was so persistent that it could only be denied, and denial is what we now live with most of the time.

Saturn in Scorpio takes us to the same era, when religion-based social conservatism was on the march, supported by fear and driven relentlessly into government policy. So, with this setup, we get a chance to visit the late 1980s and early 1990s, and heal what was done then, including the values and attitudes that were put into place, and which most people accepted without questioning. One of those simply must be abstinence-only sex indoctrination in public schools, which I believe has done far more harm than we recognize. This must be replaced with honest, socially tolerant and most of all, science-based sex education.

A Presence Within the Darkness

There is one last detail that I have been observing and dialoging with in the process of doing the 2013 readings. Saturn in Scorpio is making a long conjunction to a point called Poseidon. This is a hypothetical point, one of the eight trans-Neptunian points that were developed in Germany early in the 20th century. Its use is considered controversial outside of Uranian astrology, though from years of observation I have learned to respect these points.

Poseidon is like a super-Neptune, offering the vision and inspiration without the delusional side effects. It is associated with mirrors and windows, and therefore with reflectivity and transparency. It has a psychic quality and can help spread ideas through an etheric conducting medium. Saturn-Poseidon will offer the opportunity to challenge the religious dogma of our times, as well as the persistent image-over-substance crisis that has itself become a form of religion.

On the most personal levels, I think this placement goes deeper. I view Poseidon’s role in this setup as an unseen guide through all of the issues I have described.

Planet Waves
Photo by Eric Francis – Book of Blue, NY.

As we are called to descend into shadow material, and see what we’re dealing with, there is a spiritual presence that accompanies us. Nearly every system of healing, metaphysics and even religion describe this in one way or another. It’s the ‘presence at the threshold’ that helps those on deep healing missions light their way through the dark.

Yet awareness of the spiritual presence manifests in direct proportion to the commitment to healing. If one commits oneself in earnest to understanding and resolving their shadow material, then the guide makes itself known. If one does not, the guide is still there, but one is unlikely to be aware of it.

Said another way, we are not being asked to go through any of this alone. Indeed, the sense of being alone, and even the reality, is a direct consequence of the isolation caused by the initial injury, and not being able to say anything about it. For a time, the company we are offered will manifest as an inner presence rather than as an outer one; it is this inner presence that will make other forms of companionship more meaningful. Indeed, it’s vital that we set aside the company of others who deter us from our mission, once we have committed to it, and invite in only those willing to be supportive. This can require making decisions that seem difficult at first, but obvious in retrospect.

We need to remember this, as the astrology of 2013 is in many ways a deeply introspective journey into the heart of what troubles us the most. This is not a task for the faint of heart. Courage and the cultivation of self-respect are required. If we focus the goals of liberation, resolving the causes of pain, self-knowledge and nourishing pleasure, I believe we will know what to do.

There’s a reminder from A Course in Miracles that I would offer you, which places a lens in front of the astrology we’re experiencing.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false.

“Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes. And the attempt to escape from one illusion into another must fail. If you seek love outside yourself you can be certain that you perceive hatred within, and are afraid of it. Yet peace will never come from the illusion of love, but only from its reality.”


Photo selection by Sarah Bissonnette-Adler.


Planet Waves


Planet Waves

Mercury Square Neptune: Test of Truth

Over the next few days, we experience a reminder that Mercury was indeed retrograde for three weeks in November, and there may be unfinished business that comes up for review now.

Planet Waves
No need to swear on a stack of bibles — something is either true, or it’s not.

As you may have read in this space, Mercury started a retrograde in Sagittarius on Nov. 6, which ended Nov. 26. Yet the weeks following Mercury retrograde help us complete the process. This is particularly true for this Mercury cycle, since Mercury is in the process of making three squares to Neptune — one before the retrograde, one during the retrograde and now one in the weeks after.

Neptune is in very early Pisces; on Monday, Mercury re-enters Sagittarius, and that means the two planets will be in a square aspect (exact Tuesday). One translation is: what is true? What are you denying and why? What is your definition of true, and does it include some denial?

There may be something precise involved, that is to say, this is not a general philosophical question but rather something relating to a specific topic or set of facts. One clue is that you may be feeling self-critical about something, or avoiding certain specific data because you’re not sure what it will reveal.

The chart also suggests that you may have the feeling that if one little bit of the truth gets out, something will give way and there will be no getting control of the situation.

When it comes to talking about family material, alcohol, concerns about sex, or the generally demolished state of personal integrity that many people live with, well, we humans are not so good at getting the conversation going. Yet this is one that may start on its own. I suggest you take the initiative and speak first — acknowledging what’s up for you inwardly, and then initiating the conversation where necessary.

After Mercury squares Neptune, it moves on to square Chiron. That’s a reminder — there is no truth but the whole truth.


Planet Waves

MDMA Returns to its Therapeutic Roots

A small but promising study suggests that the therapeutic use of the party drug MDMA — also known as Ecstasy — may be a highly effective treatment for people suffering with severe PTSD. The condition, which is a common consequence of extreme trauma, is closely associated with war veterans. This study focused on an even more common population with PTSD: long-term survivors of rape.

Planet Waves
MDMA in its party-pill form (rather than pure). Image: Wikipedia.

Dr. Michael Mithoefer got the go-ahead to try using MDMA along with psychotherapy in the early 2000s. He and his wife Ann, a nurse, would administer two doses of MDMA over one intensive eight- to ten-hour therapy session in combination with a week-long series of shorter, non-drug sessions, and then repeat the cycle.

During the MDMA session, patients were asked to focus on their sexual assaults. Dr. Mithoefer found they were able to work through their problems and make progress with much less fear, and in ways they could not before.

The study reinforces something that two Planet Waves FM guests touched on this summer when discussing tantra and healing sexual/emotional pain: to work through it without simply reinforcing the trauma, it’s important to stay present in pleasure. Dr. Mithoefer’s work with MDMA seems to open a space in which some serenity and sense of safety, if not pleasure per se, is available to those with PTSD. For more information on MDMA, visit the Vaults of Erowid.


Planet Waves

Are the Kids All Right?

If you’ve been reading Planet Waves for more than a week, you know that the world does not ‘end’ on Dec. 21, and the Mayans never predicted that it would — that date simply marks their calendar turning over. But do your kids understand this?

Apocalyptic predictions have been around for ages, but with the Internet and other media latching onto the Mayan End-times meme, a lot of kids are genuinely afraid. A post on the U.S. government’s blog (picked up by Huffington Post) is careful to dispel this and other popular doomsday ideas:

Planet Waves
Children are not always savvy to doomsday jokes, and even some adults fear the possibility. The Mayans themselves never predicted the world would end Dec. 21 (or ever).

“At least once a week I get a message from a young person — as young as 11 — who says they are ill and/or contemplating suicide because of the coming doomsday,” said David Morrison, a planetary astronomer and senior scientist for NASA, on USA.gov.

In fact, one Planet Waves staffer says that she has heard similar comments from kids, and just this week heard of a suicide by a middle-aged man that may have been related to this fear.

The misconceptions and hysteria are not limited to children or Americans. Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that Russia is also taking steps to keep people from panicking:

“[Russia’s] minister of emergency situations said Friday that he had access to ‘methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth,’ and that he could say with confidence that the world was not going to end in December. He acknowledged, however, that Russians were still vulnerable to ‘blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply.'”

Speaking of which: our planet faces far greater risk from global warming and various human activities, although the effects are likely to be far more gradual than the turning over of a very long calendar on a single day. Regardless, check in with your kids (and anyone else in your sphere who may be showing subtle signs of distress) on what they have heard about the Mayans, the end of the world or Dec. 21, 2012.

Be ready to hear their concerns with compassion and have some facts at your fingertips so you can reassure them that despite the edge of uncertainty underlying all the Internet joking, the Mayan calendar is simply a feat of early mathematics — and the solstice is mainly a reason to celebrate a little more light and a little less darkness the next day.


Planet Waves

350.org Fuels Up Viral Stock-Divestiture Campaign

Students at a number of U.S. colleges are mounting a campaign to get their schools’ endowments to divest from stocks in fossil fuel companies — and there is an Internet campaign to make sure the story goes viral.

Planet Waves
Bill McKibben (pictured front, center), kicking off his Do The Math tour with a focus on divestment, in Seattle on Nov. 7, 2012. Photo: InsideClimate Change.

“We’ve reached this point of intense urgency that we need to act on climate change now, but the situation is bleaker than it’s ever been from a political perspective,” said William Lawrence, a senior at Swarthmore College, where one student group is leading the charge.

Unity College in Maine has already voted to get rid of fossil fuels, and Hampshire College in Massachusetts has adopted a broader investment policy to do so. It’s easier at small schools such as these; the ‘big kids’, with endowments over $1 billion (Harvard’s is $31 billion), aren’t budging.

The movement echoes the student-led push to divest from South Africa in protest over apartheid in the 1980s; many administrators fear heated boardroom standoffs as happened then. But students see the South Africa divestment as proof it can be done.

Several organizations have been working on the divestment angle for over a year. But it was Bill McKibben’s group, 350.org, and an article he wrote for Rolling Stone magazine this summer, which finally fanned the spark into a flame.

You can add to its momentum by reading The New York Times coverage here, then clicking the ‘Email’ button to send it to your friends. By getting the story on the newspaper’s ‘most emailed list’, you can help send it as far as possible, as fast as possible.


Planet Waves

New Ancient Trees for a New Climate

On Tuesday, members of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive planted two saplings cloned from one of the largest stumps in the world, plus 28 other clones from California’s biggest, oldest coast redwoods and giant sequoias, near the Oregon-California border. The area, a little further north than the trees’ normal range (to hedge against global warming), will eventually be populated with another 248 cloned saplings.

Planet Waves
If this young, cloned coast redwood sapling grows like the original tree did, it will dwarf us humans with a trunk diameter of 20 feet. From a photo essay by Jamie Francis/The Oregonian.

Archangel is attempting to create an old-growth forest from its storehouse of rooted cuttings from the tallest, oldest and largest samples of each species it can find. The theory is that these ‘champion’ trees may have lasted so long partly because of genetic superiority.

David Milarch, co-founder of Archangel, began his quest after a near-death experience, after which he received the message that the big trees were dying, and to “build an ark that will hold the genetics of the greatest trees on Earth.” Redwoods and sequoias are among the best at capturing carbon dioxide.

The Archangel project is neither a sure bet nor a quick fix, but there is enough possibility to make propagating trees that are thousands of years old worth trying.

The Archangel project planted its ancient saplings during the second week of the U.N. climate talks in Doha, Qatar — and in a week in which the most southerly typhoon ever recorded in the western Pacific has claimed the lives of 477 people in the Philippines. Hundreds more are still missing and at least 200,000 have been displaced after the high winds and flooding of Typhoon Bopha destroyed their homes.

The reach of the typhoon underscores that even slightly higher global temperatures are already altering lives with dramatic and tragic effects.


Planet Waves

Kenya Says No to GMOs

In a controversial move, Kenya has become the latest country to ban GMO food imports, until the health effects of such food can be verified. The Kenyan cabinet asked Public Health Minister Beth Mugo to provide scientific proof of the safety of GMOs, and government agencies must immediately comply with the directive to enforce the ban.

Planet Waves

There was a “lack of sufficient information on the public health impact of such foods. The ban will remain in effect until there is sufficient information, data and knowledge demonstrating that GMO foods are not a danger to public health,” the cabinet said in a press statement.

Not everyone in Kenya agrees with the wisdom of the ban. Some scientists believe that the ban will lead to food shortages otherwise mitigated by modern technology and that it will disrupt university biotechnology research.

“The essence of GMO research is to provide a product that can complement efforts towards food security. This ban will discourage research, as the product for which the research is being conducted has been placed on import ban,” said Richard Okoth, a biotechnology scientist at Kenyatta University, Nairobi.

Kenya has joined Ireland, Japan, Egypt and Peru in banning the import or cultivation of all GMO crops. Peru last week began a 10-year moratorium that prevents the import, production, and use of GMOs. Earlier this year, Russia suspended imports of Monsanto’s GMO corn after a French study linked the corn to cancer; France also has a temporary ban on the corn.


Planet Waves

You may be nuts, but you’re no longer a lunatic

The sharply divided Congress has been able to agree on one thing at least — that the word “lunatic” should be purged from federal legislation. The 13th-century word means “affected with periodic insanity, dependent on the changes of the Moon,” which happens to influence millions of people. Just ask any waitress, cop, EMS worker, astrologer or member of the congressional staff.

Planet Waves
“Lunatic” is derived from the Latin word for moon, and the belief that it could affect mental health.

The House of Representatives voted 398-1 on Wednesday to strike the term from all federal legislation, after the Senate did the same in May. Having completed this important work, the House adjourned for a five-day weekend.

The bill will now go to Pres. Obama for his ssignature. Then, if you call up the FBI because the lunatic next door (who gets really weird around the time of the Full Moon) is hoarding 50,000 rounds of Glock 19 ammo in his garage, you will have to use a different term, such as “presumably insane person.”

“Lunatic” still appears in some parts of federal law — a section of financial regulation, for example, addresses the power of a bank to act as a “committee of estates of lunatics.”

The only ‘no’ vote came from Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who said it was lunacy for lawmakers to waste time on such a measure when more high-profile issues loomed, such as the fiscal cliff, which a bunch of zombie-werewolves are pushing the country toward every hour.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves
Just a few clicks out from human-size we start getting our solar system neighbors — but that’s only the beginning. This tool takes you from the subatomic level to the perspective of the observable universe.

The Scale of the Universe: Interactive Art

Prepare to be in awe of how vast and how miniscule our universe is, and where we fit in terms of relative size. Twins Cary and Michael Huang have created a funny, meditative and scientific interactive site called Scale of the Universe 2. By scrolling in and out and clicking on images for more information, you can bend your mind out to the estimated size of the universe and then zoom your awareness down to quantum foam, one of the smallest theorized things. Somewhere in between are those human-scale things (like ourselves, and beach balls) that we take for granted — though you might not after this. Oh — and make sure the sound is on.


Planet Waves

Is There Really a 2012 Alignment?

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I take on the “2012 alignment” on Dec. 21, 2012. Many people have been asking about this, and there are numerous theories as to what really is lining up on this day.

Before I get into that, I cover the astrology of the next week or so, which includes the Sun’s alignment with a deep space point called the Great Attractor, and then subsequently the Galactic Center. These are difficult points to explain…I hope I did it adequately, though if you are curious, I do have some writing on the topic available.

The Great Attractor is one of the biggest things known in the known universe, which is saying a lot. The Great Attractor is called that because it’s vacuuming a million or so galaxies — galaxies — toward it at 24 million miles per day or so. If you find that intriguing, you can read an old article series I did for my Sagittarius buddy Jonathan Cainer — Sagittarius Secrets Revealed act one and act two.

Note to those following the Blue Studio Series — you can find the latest editions here.



Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The December monthly horoscope was published Friday, Nov. 23. Inner Space for December was published Tuesday, Nov. 27.
The November Monthly Horoscope was published Friday, Oct. 26. I recommend reviewing the monthly horoscope at the end of the month. The November Moonshine Horoscope was published Tuesday, Nov. 20. Please note that the longer monthly horoscope is being incorporated into the Friday issue after the Sun has entered a new sign; Inner Space still publishes on Tuesdays.


Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 #929 | By Eric Francis

Sagittarius Birthdays: Integrity Check, Ongoing

The word “factcheck” has become part of the modern lexicon; with Mercury square Neptune in your solar return chart, I suggest you add it to your hourly routine. Check everything you hear, before you repeat it. Check everything, before you believe it. Verify that your parents really did get divorced in such and such a year, and look for evidence of how you really felt about it. Look up the spelling of ‘Tucson’ before you send it in an email. Read the fine print in everything you sign. Take people at their word, then wait for them to offer some proof of what they say, or at least evidence that it’s true. Most important, make sure you’re being honest with yourself about what you feel, since you’re likely to have reason to deny it — if only your idealism. I suggest being cautious of entering into shared domestic situations; if you do, make sure that you leave a back door for yourself, in case you find the person doesn’t turn out to be what you thought. You will know most things in advance — the key will be listening to yourself. If your intuition whispers something twice, stop and pay attention on the spot. Note to Sagittarians and Sagg rising — your birthday reading is ready. You can get instant access at this link.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Just because something is dressed up in ‘spiritual’ terms or spoken by an allegedly holy one, that does not make it true. What is said or written by the Dalai Lama, an eminent scientist or a venerated author is not true just because they said it; it has to be true on its own merits. By the same logic, something spoken by one allegedly stupid or insane is not wrong because that person said it — it too must be subjected to a test that’s more rigorous than whether you believe it. You have the intellectual and intuitive discernment to assess what you hear or read, and I would propose that this is the time to use it. Is a product safe? Is a claim that someone is making actually valid? Does an idea hold water? Your mind and your intuition may disagree at first, but if you subject all incoming information to rigorous scrutiny, it won’t be long before the two are in agreement.

Hello Aries — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). If you would like to hear your Aries birthday reading, please visit this link.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — How much of how you conduct yourself in relationships is a reaction to the past, and how much is a response to what is available in the present moment? To sort out this question, you’ll need to slow down and live from thought to thought — that’s where the information is contained. It may often seem that the story arc of your life bends around the weight of history, and that what happens today is strictly the consequence of what happened in the past. It may seem that the results of prior choices intervene in your life from moment to moment. Yet if this is true, please consider that you’re being reminded of the need to step outside of that reality. This is not merely ‘escaping’ the effects of the past. It’s about an orientation on existence, and an orientation on your journey through time. You may be caught in the perception that time is linear. That is a compelling illusion. If you pay attention over the next few days, you may notice that each moment is a gateway to many dimensions of time, extending in every direction — and offering possibilities you had not considered.

Hello Taurus — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). If you would like to hear your Taurus birthday reading, please visit this link.


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — There are many levels of honesty, though they contain one another. The one to monitor now is emotional honesty. This is to say, are you feeling what you feel, and are you admitting to yourself what you feel? I mention this in connection with a particular relationship situation, which is trying to get your attention — though you may not be hearing the bell through the fog. I suggest you listen, and feel. You need the information that is trying to come through to you now. If you find yourself doubting anything, or pretending it does not matter, that’s the time to pay attention. But this is subtle, as you have to notice when you’re not exactly noticing, which is a form of double mindfulness. In the moment you wake up, you will make a discovery about someone that can change the course of your life merely for being willing to notice, and reveal a potential in you that you have long denied — and will be unlikely to let slip away ever again.

Hello Gemini — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). Have you listened to your birthday reading? Click here for an hour of astrology plus a tarot reading by Eric.


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You can get a lot of work done this week — in fact, you may be able to wrap up everything you have planned for the rest of the year. However, I would encourage you to slow down, prioritize the top most important projects, and focus on quality. That translates to maintaining your intellectual and spiritual impeccability, in a moment when you may be in a minor crisis over doing just that. There’s no irony involved; moving through this territory carefully is the whole point of the astrology you’re under. I can sum it up fairly simply — when in doubt, get real. That is to say, get real about what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling and most of all, what you want. There is a chance that with a little reflection you will see that it has less to do with what you accomplish and more to do with existing with full awareness at the intersection where pleasure meets healing. This is a bold space, and the thing to be bold about is your imagination. Pleasure is healing, and you can allow this idea to soak into everything you touch.

Hello Cancer — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Numerous indicators in the astrology continue to remind you to pick the locks, open the windows and tear down the walls that separate sexuality and mysticism, or what some would call God. If you start from the point of knowing that the division is itself false, and was introduced into thought as a kind of virus, with an agenda, that makes things a lot easier. The division starts with any moral position on sex whatsoever. Let me state this another way: sex is not a moral issue, and anyone who says it is has a control agenda. Sex is an experience of pleasure, a way to learn about yourself, an experiment, a journey, a matter of personal choice, a mode of creative expression, a way to explore your connection to someone, a way to mirror yourself in someone, and an offering of yourself as witness, mirror and container. It is not a moral issue. Morality potentially enters where there is deception and where autonomy is violated, but there are more practical ways to work through these problems, should they arise. Meanwhile, a passionate mystical experiment is calling your name.

Hello Leo — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.

Planet Waves



Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — What is that little voice in your mind telling you? I have a clue: it’s trying to tell you something specific. This is not about a ‘general message’ coming through, or summing up the meaning of life in a platitude or two. It seems like you’re searching for a precise bit of information, like that information is trying to find you, and closer to the point, like there is a predestined meeting. In particular, you’re seeking some information about yourself, mainly to confirm or deny something that you have become aware of in a relationship or partnership situation. I am making an educated guess when I say that this has been puzzling you for at least a month, and you may be wrestling whether you’ve been informed of a limit you cannot bypass, or have been informed of what is your lot in life. You may think you’ve reached the edge of your potential based on conditioned limitations or the expectations of others. The roots of this perception are complex, and they have a long history. The answer you seek, or that is seeking you, will turn out to be relatively simple. Listen carefully. Listen for the obvious.

Hello Virgo — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You seem to have made up your mind about yourself based on some poor treatment, negligence or abuse that happened to you in the past. This point of view may ‘inform’ you at certain points, especially when you want to take a chance on an intimate experience. The chance may seem extra risky due to the potential that someone would abuse your trust. Note also your possible concern about what might get out through a social network or some form of gossip. The question here is: are you trying to hide something? Are you trying to cover a perceived vulnerability, and in doing so, do you block off the kind of experience that you can only have by being vulnerable? Leaving the whole matter unresolved can become a kind of a hedge that you use, much like people use the excuse of having a partner to make sure they don’t meet anyone new — having nothing to do with their existing relationship. Be honest with yourself and get to the bottom of this. You will be much happier.

Hello Libra — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link .


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — To get out of the mental knot you seem to be caught in, you need to think beyond yourself. This may be difficult for a few days, because there is currently a kind of exaggeration effect in your astrology where changing your mind can feel like giving up everything. Or, you may have this idea that once you come to terms with one specific thing about yourself, or a particular fact of your life, there will be a cascade effect and one thing will lead to another as you gradually go out of control. You’re probably right about that. All it takes is one realization about yourself, one moment of truth, to get you to make a series of necessary changes that have in fact been long overdue. This particular psychological configuration is why so many people spend much of their time being ‘stuck’.

Hello Scorpio — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.


Planet Waves



Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The question surrounds the role of a particular relationship in your life, which you seem to be seeing with about as much perspective as looking backwards through opera glasses. However, there is about to come a moment when you flip your perspective and get a clear look at what you’ve been experiencing. You may decide you like it a lot. You may decide that you are in a situation that’s more complex than you realized. Here is a simple way to tell: make a list of everything you have not said to whomever this situation involves. Take some time, for example, an hour or a day, to make sure you’ve thought of everything. How long is this list? And what is on it? What is your reason for not mentioning everything you’ve not mentioned? Now for phase two: what do you think has been left unsaid, coming in your direction? How would this person respond to being asked to do the same inventory? The thing that would make any situation in your life new and different is what you don’t withhold — love, pleasure and what is really true for you.

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


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — There is a lot that seems ready to burst out of you right now. You may wonder if you will set the house on fire by allowing any of whatever that may be out of yourself; there is a lot in there, and it has the approximate constituency of cosmic fire. One of the biggest Capricorn secrets is how passionate you are. I know it’s easy to conceal behind your somewhat formal demeanor and your constant attention to your image, but that does not change the fact of what is behind the veil. If astrology offers any clues, the time is long gone that you need to conceal who you really are. Indeed, it’s verging on impossible for you to do so, and if you pretend that nobody knows, you will just seem silly. Here is an analogy: imagine you’re wearing thin summer clothes, and you get rained on and they become transparent — and you have nothing dry to change into. If you want to feel good, acknowledge everyone can see what you’ve got — because they can.

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


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Remember that public image and self-esteem are two different things. No matter how anyone perceives you (or how you think they do), that only goes so far toward allowing you to feel good about yourself. In a similar way, public recognition does not substitute for being adequately compensated for your time, talent and effort. And having an edgy or spiritual appearance is, of course, not a substitute for what those things are supposed to represent. So, one theme that comes up for the next week or so is the difference between the appearance and the reality. One way you can go right to the heart of the matter is to forget appearances entirely. You are capable of this, though perhaps it will be persuasive if I say that you will make a more vivid impression on people if you don’t care how they perceive you. Also, I would remind you that you have very little influence over the impression you make. You never really know for sure, and you have more influence on focusing your need for affirmation inwardly rather than outside yourself.

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


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You seem to be poised for some advancement in your career, which may come in the form of visibility, notoriety or your reputation spreading rapidly. You have the most spin control before this happens, which will arrive in the form of maintaining a position of impeccable truth at all times. This way, you have nothing to go back on if you’re ever questioned; your story will be simple, because it’s true. It’s worth one sentence of caution on what you could unleash if you deceive anyone intentionally or inadvertently, or deceive yourself, over the next few days. Therefore, the question must always be, ‘Is this true?’ Go word for word, line for line, idea by idea, and ask yourself. I am not saying doubt — I am saying verify. The reputation you want is the one for being fully present, authentic and concerned not with how people perceive you but rather the substance of what you say and do. You have plenty of both image and substance — this is a matter of emphasis.

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


To unsubscribe, click here

e Wiki | Friends | Editors | Contact Us

Copyright © 2012 by Planet Waves, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Other copyrights may apply.

Some images used under Fair Use or Share Alike attribution.

Spring 2012: The Deep Background

Dear Friend and Reader:

By now you may be familiar with some elements of the astrology of the (Northern Hemisphere) spring of 2012 — a pair of eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius, Venus stationing retrograde, and the Venus transit of the Sun on June 5. These events lead us into the first exact meeting of Uranus and Pluto in a square aspect — the Uranus-Pluto square, just past the solstice on June 24.

Planet Waves
Galaxies Colliding. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

These all arrive in a close sequence, and when that happens, the pace of existence picks up. Most of these are eclipse-like events, which emphasizes that sense of acceleration.

Here is a basic rundown of things you’re most likely to read about on the Internet or, who knows, maybe even in a magazine. Venus stations retrograde in Gemini on May 15. Venus is retrograde least of all the planets; this is pretty special. Five days later, the Sun enters Gemini and there’s an annular eclipse of the Sun on May 20. Two weeks later, we experience a partial eclipse of the Moon; that’s on June 4. Then within hours, the Moon makes an eclipse to Pluto (one of many this year).

Very little has been written about this series of Moon-Pluto events — called occultations. Few astrologers are even aware of the data. You have to go looking for it (and thanks to a close friend of mine in Wales, Tracy Delaney, there is a research tool for that at Serennu.com). I will come back to the Moon’s eclipses of Pluto in a few moments in the discussion of Pluto.

As mentioned, on the heels of a lunar eclipse and Pluto eclipse, on June 5 Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. This is called a transit of Venus, which is visible with some basic equipment anywhere you can see the Sun when it’s happening (unfortunately, not most of the continental U.S.). It’s a rare event; they come in pairs. This will be the second of the current pair, and then there won’t be another one until 2117.

Eclipse-like events typically arrive with a sense of acceleration of time and our movement in time. There’s an increase in this thing described as ‘intensity’. Events can have a karmic feeling: everything seems more meaningful, but we don’t necessarily know what that meaning is, or where it comes from.

Planet Waves
By a Thread. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

This, in turn, can come with the sensation that you are at a crux point in your life. ‘Crux’ is an interesting word. It has its origins in the idea of “a point in a text that is impossible to interpret,” which you can take as something like a “crossroads of interpretations” — or something that has many meanings, with an accompanying sensation of importance. The modern meaning is “central point,” and we are indeed at the central point of 2012, when we will start to see why this year has received so much emphasis and prediction.

Once we get past the eclipses and the transit of Venus, we go right into the Uranus-Pluto square. This has been developing for years. It’s part of the ‘cycles of revolution’ series of aspects. This particular cycle has its roots in an event in 1965-1966, which sparked what we call ‘The Sixties’. That was a conjunction between Uranus and Pluto. Now, 47 years later, the planets are at 90 degrees to one another, which is called a square. Aspects between influential, slow-moving planets take many years to develop, and influence everyone in some way.

We’ve been feeling the effects since late 2008, and they have been undeniable beginning with Arab Spring, the Wisconsin protests and the Occupy movement. Activism is often one manifestation of Uranus-Pluto events, and astro-historians have documented that it can go as far as revolution. When we talk about a ‘power to the people’ kind of event, that has a liberal/liberationist flavor (a la Stephen Colbert’s definition, that reality has an inherently liberal bias — which is why there are so many conservatives).

What we’re seeing under this square, though, is a heck of a lot of conservative activism, meaning anti-woman, anti-sex and every new policy designed to cut taxes for the rich even more. Laws are being passed routinely that curtail civil rights; both ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ should be equally concerned. This activism has a ghoulish, militant quality, and there is no way to reckon it with the increasingly elusive concept of ‘ethics’. Much of it is being done as a show of force, and also an unchecked indulgence in narcissism. Currently much of politics is ‘all about me’, and this kind of self-obsession feeds right into the hands of the darker forces that are once again trying to consolidate their grip on what they think of as reality.

Planet Waves
Hopper. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

The militant quality of the equation comes from the Uranus in Aries side of the square. Aries is the ancient Roman god of war, associated with Mars (whose Greek name is Ares). Uranus in this sign is flashy, impressive and extremely distracting. It’s the big show aspect of the news right now, and there are indeed some people who are quite adept at screaming into the echo chamber. Watch them as they start to get cranked up on the astrology of the next eight weeks; you’ll recognize them by the slightly electrified look in their eyes, their hair standing up and this odd feeling that they want to serve you as the main course at a pro-life banquet.

All of this flashy stuff is a kind of cover-up for something else — and that something can be described as Pluto in Capricorn. This is the other side of the Uranus-Pluto square. Pluto in Capricorn is a long transit — spanning from 2008 through 2024. We’re less than four years into this event, though it’s been long enough that we should be seeing some patterns.

Pluto is a potent, nearly invisible force. We feel it as obsession, inevitability, enforced growth, and the deep, urgent need to grow and become. Pluto is associated with Scorpio, and is a prime mover of sexual energy, which spans from the most instinctual level to the most spiritually evolved. It all depends on where you tune in (it’s a good idea to scan the full frequency range that Pluto represents, so you’re familiar with all of the different expressions; themes include sex, death, power and fear). Nothing can stop the movement of Pluto, or its influences in the world. Anyone who has consciously gone through a Pluto transit can tell you this. It’s the kind of thing you have to work with, like a natural force. It’s not possible to stop an earthquake, though it is possible to plan for them.

Speaking of earth, Pluto is in Capricorn. Capricorn contains the patterns of the past. It represents the structure of society, describing business and government, and the relationship between the two. It represents all things old. It’s a fiery earth sign, since it is cardinal — a tense dynamic which helps explain the energy of many people with strong chart elements in this sign.

In consciousness, Capricorn represents what we carry from the past — including with our ancestors (beginning with our parents) and going back for many generations. We rarely notice much of this material; however, it’s often what we feel trapped by. If you have strong Capricorn in your chart, you may be able to notice and work with it a little better, however, much of humanity is trapped in some version of the past.

Planet Waves
Sway. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

Now, Pluto is in Capricorn, which is like a herd of goats getting into a museum. They’re going to take the place apart, munch on the exhibits, and lick the dinosaur bones. Well, it really goes deeper than that. This sense of the Earth shaking that we live with every day — that is Pluto in Capricorn. The feeling that civilization is being crushed under its own weight: Pluto in Capricorn. And the burning sense of urgency, coming from inside and not from any external excitement: also Pluto in Capricorn.

We can look at this transit a few ways. One way is as a subversive movement inside the halls of power. Since not much productive happens there, we can trust that Pluto is helping to free energy. Pluto is a kind of core vital force, working to rejuvenate all that has become too old, brittle and useless. The movement to ban contraception and even outlaw premarital sex can be seen as reactions to the liberating nature of Pluto in Capricorn — these things are inherently reactions against vitality, as are all anti-sex movements. Yet deep beneath everything, something primal and natural is trying to set itself free in the human experience.

Now, I mentioned the occultation of Pluto by the Moon that happens just before the transit of Venus. This is the third of 19 events that started in April. The Moon passes directly over the disk of Pluto, blocking it out. Pluto is invisible unless you have a very good telescope, but we still feel the effects. The last time anything like this happened was between 1919 and 1934, when Pluto was in Cancer. So this series of events gets props for being both weird and rare.

Pluto is strong in Capricorn for many reasons. He is feeling good. But the Moon — the more she tries to resist, the more she finds herself giving in. She tries to deny (occult) him but in that moment they fuse; literally come together. When denying sexual feelings, the more you try the more you are overcome, and inevitably must let go into the beautiful surrender.

The Moon occulting Pluto feels like she’s trying to hide Pluto, which is fine with him. He wears the helmet of invisibility and functions quite well in the underworld — the unconscious, which is the source of all dreams and desires.

Planet Waves
Noise. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

But hide with what? The Capricorn Moon is trying to put a veil of propriety over what is coming from the most instinctual, hormonal level. She thinks it’s better not to admit any of that stuff, and maintain her image as a good girl. At the same time, the relentless quality of the exact conjunction, repeating so many times, feels like something deep is trying to work out and work through one’s emotional body.

Perhaps that includes your mother’s emotional body that was imparted into you — as if some ancient emotional and sexual blockage is finally being softened and released. The Moon has to be ‘out of her element’ (in the sign opposite her native Cancer) in order to experience this. It’s similar to a Chiron effect, where discomfort or inconvenience is used to foster something healing and positive.

In letting go, the pleasure of resistance (which we’re trained to love and worship) is released to another, deeper pleasure. The pleasure of resistance is (if you believe Freud) a product of pleasing other people with our self-control. Now, that whole thought form is being dissolved, or burned through, again and again.

Finally there is penetration, and that is another way of saying transformation — the thing that Pluto is most famous for. This is acting on emotional resistance, or the burden of over-structure, something that humans are most famous for. This can be terrifying to those whose whole notion of existence is about rigid personality armor, but the time is arriving to let it go. This may even seem to happen overnight, but if it does, you can be sure you were working at it for a long time.


Eric Francis

PS — Next week I’ll be distributing the May monthly horoscope on Wednesday evening. There won’t be a Tuesday mailing, and on Friday there will be a short issue consisting of just Genevieve Hathaway’s weekly horoscope.

PPS — My podcast this week goes back over everything I missed in the Titanic charts, and looks at the alternative theories as to what happened. See the item below.

PPPS — If you’re in the Kingston area, I’ll be reading tarot cards Friday evening at the Everette Hodge Community Center at 5:00 pm, 21 Franklin Street. Here is the announcement.

PPPPS — Happy 100th Birthday Fenway Park


Planet Waves

Toro! New Moon in Taurus

The Sun entered Taurus yesterday, and the Moon will be close on its heels — and that means that Saturday we’ll have the Taurus New Moon. This is a New Moon early in its sign, with many other planets early in their signs. That’s another way of saying that this lunation makes a lot of aspects fast, as if it comes charting through the solar system like a bull.

Planet Waves
Remember — you have your choices open. You don’t need to stay on a path someone else put there. Photo by Eric Francis.

Let’s take the planets in order. The New Moon is sextile Neptune in Pisces. That feels like it’s caught a good wave and is surfing with momentum. You could also describe that as a balance of earth and water.

The New Moon is also trine Mars, which is in early Virgo — just recently having been retrograde. That adds more earth energy to the equation; as does Ceres in Taurus, which the New Moon is conjunct as well. So far we’re looking at a lot of earth and water in this chart.

Fortunately, next comes some fire, and plenty of it. As mentioned yesterday, Mercury is in early Aries, approaching a conjunction to Uranus in early Aries — the New Moon makes a close semi-sextile (30-degree aspect) to those planets, which adds not just the feeling of fire but of rapidly accelerating fiery energy. At the same time, the Sun makes a quincunx (150-degree aspect similar to a semi-sextile) to two points in fiery Sagittarius: Juno and the North Node. These aspects happen very early next week.

Then the Sun makes aspects to both Chiron and Pluto; true, that’s a week from now, but the Sun is still going strong, and that definitely counts as powerful — making contact with two extraordinarily potent elements. As the Sun is working its way into the aspect, think of it as picking up a signal that gets stronger and stronger until it’s standing there in the room with you.

So, when this New Moon happens on Saturday, it’s really picking up all of these other planets all at once, and that’s another way of saying we’re standing amidst many choices, some interesting and beautiful potential, and being moved by a lot of water, earth and fire energy.

But what about air? Well, Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is currently in mid-Gemini. The New Moon and Venus are actually in a close aspect: a semi-square. Think of that as a ‘hidden square’, which in turn is a building block, or a keystone in integrity. Venus in Gemini has options and choices, and the Sun and Moon semi-square Venus may feel like pressure to choose. But it’s hidden pressure, something not obvious.

Bide your time and explore your options. You have them, and if you want the benefits of that you will need to choose consciously and carefully.

I’ve written a short article on how to deal with paralyzing fear in the time of the Uranus-Pluto square. You can read that here. — efc


Planet Waves

Moral of the Story: Pay Full Price, and Tip Well

Three Secret Service agents who were part of Pres. Obama’s advance team in Colombia are being forced out of the agency in the wake of a sex scandal this week. Word out is that more resignations will be forthcoming.

Planet Waves
Obama was not there, but his advance team was having lots of fun with the pretty ladies in Colombia. Boys will be boys, but we recommend paying full price and tipping well.

A single mother in Cartagena, Colombia, who says she works as an escort, got into a payment dispute the morning after her services were enjoyed by an allegedly drunk member of the Secret Service, considered one of the most elite law enforcement organizations in the world. She says he agreed to pay $800 the night before (for an overnight visit — that would get you about two hours in New York City); he offered her $30 the morning after.

The disagreement got attention when a friend of hers, a sex worker leaving the room of another member of the Secret Service in the same hotel, tried to intervene on her behalf. As they left the hotel, two Colombian police officers (one English-speaking), returned with the women to help them argue their case.

The women’s stories as told to reporters and reports coming from within the Obama administration indicate the women did not know the men were part of the U.S. government; other reports suggest some men may have boasted they were with Obama. An investigation is underway to determine if the president’s security was undermined, beyond the chaos that you don’t want in such matters. Meanwhile, the woman involved in the dispute says she does not want the man she had sex with to get in trouble — but that she fears retaliation.

This Just In: Portland Man Strips Naked to Protest Airport Screening

A man who stripped naked at an airport security checkpoint in Portland, Oregon, earlier this week said his act was a form of protest against airport screening measures. John Brennan told the Associated Press he was being “nude, but not lewd” and cast his actions as political speech. Brennan was arrested and initially charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after stripping naked at Portland International Airport. Brennan says he decided to strip when he was pulled aside after he had gone through a metal detector and a pat-down. His actions come amid mounting criticism over airport security measures, including concerns over the health impacts of full-body scanners used in many airports.


Planet Waves

EPA Issues First-Ever Curbs on Fracking Air Pollution

For the first time ever, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued regulations to curb rampant air pollution from the gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Planet Waves
Fracking is a disgusting mess. This is the tidy side of things — above the ground. Below the ground, this shit is injected into freshwater wells, and can destroy the water supply for a whole community. This photo is from a recent article in New York Law Journal, which describes the legal nightmare of fracking for mortgage holders. Do not miss this article.

This is a method of extracting natural gas from fresh water wells by injecting them with high-pressure hydraulic fluid. Highly controversial, fracking releases a number of toxic and cancer-causing chemicals into the air and ground water.

These include benzene (a colorless, flammable solvent known to cause leukemia and anemia), hexane (a solvent, also colorless and flammable, causing nerve damage and paralysis if inhaled) and methane — a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide. Widespread complaints of health problems and air pollution from those who live near gas drilling sites have gotten media attention in recent years.

Halliburton is involved in the process, which is so dangerous it can void the mortgages of whole communities under the “no hazardous activity” clause in the contract. Objections from the oil and gas industry over the potential cost of the regulations, have influenced the EPA to give the industry nearly three years to install technology that will allow it to capture some of the worst pollutants. Until then, polluters will be allowed to continue burning or ‘flaring’ methane into the air. Earlier this year, a New York judge ruled that individual towns have the right to ban fracking.


Planet Waves

Yet Another Great Idea From Dr. Strangelove

The recent crash of an unmanned drone aircraft in the Seychelles (an Indian Ocean archipelago) underscores the dangers of one of the latest proposed follies involving nuclear power and the U.S. military: nuclear-powered drone aircraft. The allure of nuclear-powered drones is their ability to fly over remote regions of the world for months at a time without refueling. But what happens when one of these things crashes, spewing radiation that will be carried by wind and water currents? According to an article in The (U.K.) Guardian, the plans have not gotten past a feasibility study and nuclear drones will not be manufactured any time in the near- or mid-term future. But according to professor of journalism Karl Grossman in an article for Common Dreams, “other schemes to use nuclear power overhead­ which also threaten nuclear disaster ­are on the planning table and some are moving ahead.” He outlines several and is under no illusions that we are courting disaster with each one. Eric interviewed Prof. Grossman for Planet Waves FM; you can listen to part one here. A second part to the interview will be forthcoming.


Planet Waves

SUNY Binghamton Bans Fraternity and Sorority Pledging

SUNY Binghamton has blocked all fraternity and sorority pledging this spring. The school cites an “alarmingly high number of serious hazing complaints,” though students and administrators claim it is not out of proportion to what other schools experience. According to an article in The New York Times, “Many fraternity and sorority members say there is no indication that any activity occurred that came close to putting students in danger, like forced drinking, which killed a Cornell student, or beatings, which caused the death of a drum major in the Florida A&M band.”

Planet Waves
Terrorist training camp? No, this is SUNY Binghamton, and hazing — physical indoctrination into social organizations — is considered normal social behavior for college students. Or it was till the administration banned all pledge activities, before a tragedy happened. Photo: New York Times.

The article, by Peter Applebome (who seems to be covering upstate a lot these days), quotes one sorority member: “What you end up with is like brainwashing. It’s a long process where you eventually think the sorority is everything, pledge class is everything, you’ll do anything to please them. You eat, sleep and breathe our sorority, and I think it does become extreme to a certain point.”

“This has all been blown out of proportion based on anonymous reports,” said Samantha Vulpis, a junior from Commack, N.Y., on Long Island, and president of Binghamton’s Panhellenic Council. “It’s like hazing now is considered anything that isn’t optional. The way it’s being enforced is that anything you could ever think of is now considered hazing.”

Kevin Kruger, president of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, commented: “The climate on campuses is such that there’s just much less tolerance for aberrant behavior, particularly anything that can result in violence or injuries to others. Stopping pledging altogether is not so common, but there’s a huge focus on managing liability and sending a very clear message to students and alumni that this kind of behavior will result in removal of the chapter.”


Planet Waves

Julian Assange Starts Program on Russian TV; Announces Senate Run

Julian Assange, founder of whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, has just launched an interview show on Russia Today. Available online, the 12-episode weekly series is titled “The World Tomorrow,” the premier episode of which featured a 30-minute conversation with Hassan Nasrallah, the reclusive leader of Hezbollah who hasn’t given an interview to the Western media in almost six years. According to RTE (Irish national public television), the show is being produced by Quick Roll Productions, a company established by Assange, and the main production partner is Dartmouth Films, a British producer of independent films.

Said the 40-year-old Australian former hacker, who in March announced he would run for a seat in the Australian Senate, “My own work with WikiLeaks hasn’t exactly made my life easier, but it has given us a platform to broadcast world-shifting ideas.” Assange has been under house arrest in the U.K. for almost 500 days, awaiting possible extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, which he denies. Many of Assange’s supporters fear his extradition to Sweden could open the door to a second extradition to the U.S. to face charges related to his releasing tens of thousands of diplomatic cables about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves Readers Attending UAC — Phone Home

Would Planet Waves readers who plan to attend the United Astrology Conference next month in New Orleans please get in touch? You’re invited to email me at dreams@planetwaves.net.

Planet Waves has a number of plans for the conference. We will be running an Internet radio station and hosting panels and interviews with both faculty and participants. I will be doing two presentations: a half-day pre-conference workshop on astrology writing, and I will be on the media panel alongside other astrologers who have a public angle on their work.


Planet Waves

Levon Helm, Singer for The Band, Returns to the Earth

One of the most memorable voices in rock music is gone — Levon Helm, the Arkansas-born drummer and mandolin player for The Band. He died of throat cancer, which he’d been battling since the late 1990s.

Planet Waves
Levon Helm performing in 2004 on the Village Green in Woodstock, New York. Photo by Jaime Martorano.

Helm was the lead vocalist on some of The Band’s most memorable songs: “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up On Cripple Creek.” Helm was the one American in an otherwise Canadian emsemble.

His wife and daughter said in a statement Tuesday that Helm was “in the final stages of his battle with cancer,” and requested the prayers of his fans. He died early Thursday afternoon in New York City, after a hospital stay in Kingston, NY. He died about two hours after the Sun entered Taurus.

Helm was a Gemini, with a lot of Taurus to back it up. That takes the clear, flexible quality of Gemini and puts substance behind it. He had a chart similar to his former bandmate Bob Dylan. I’ve noticed something about Gemini musicians — they are gifted musical shapeshifters, whether that means playing many instruments, or being able to blend into any style they want. Helm played drums, percussion, mandolin, banjo and harmonica.

When I cast his noon chart — his birth time is not available — it came out with Virgo rising, and Ceres, an agriculture goddess, is rising immediately in the east. He grew up on a farm, and his last two albums were Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt. He sang the famous line, “I swear by the mud below my feet.” Ceres was indeed his goddess. He passed that forward many ways, including by supporting farmers themselves and the 4-H Club.

Helm had an Aquarius Moon, and in many ways his life was about groups. He was in many bands, then for the past 15 years, he held gatherings called Midnight Rambles at his barn in Woodstock, NY. The events were fundraisers to help pay his medical bills. That to me is the best argument for universal health care that I’ve heard all day.

Planet Waves
Noon chart for Levon Helm has Virgo rising with Ceres, a goddess of agriculture, in the ascendant. This describes Helm’s passion for farmers and his love of the Earth.

Helm had Venus, Mars and Chiron in Cancer, giving his voice a warm sensation that went beyond ‘folksy’ into an emotional poignancy that felt like he was singing across the ages. In “The Weight,” he delivers the mysterious lyrics in such a sensitive, straightforward way that you don’t notice anything strange is going on — until you listen carefully. You can hear two renditions of “The Weight” here, and read an article about the song that Planet Waves published in 2009.

One New York Times reader commenting on Helm’s obituary wrote, “The way he sang made me feel he was reporting stories he had witnessed or experienced in some other time and place, but in a way that made them seem to come alive again — he could really transmit an immediacy and vibrancy.”

Singer and friend of Planet Waves Rosanne Cash said she recalls singing “The Weight” with Helm at an American Musical Association event a year or so ago [see video]: “My whole body was tingling throughout the song. I didn’t want it to end. It was like going back in time to revisit some of the searing musical moments that made me want to become a musician. Levon was so sweet, so full of light. … I’m heartbroken he has moved on to ‘find a place where he can lay his head.’ But I hope he found it.”

Rob Fraboni, who worked for 10 years as The Band’s sound engineer, recently gave an interview on Planet Waves, telling many stories from their career. You can listen to that here. Here is a New York Times picture gallery honoring Levon.


Planet Waves

May Monthly Edition Coming Evening of Weds., April 25
This section also includes the upcoming publishing schedule! The April monthly horoscope (long edition) was published Wednesday evening, March 21. Inner Space Monthly was published Tuesday evening, March 27. We published Genevieve Hathaway’s Moonshine Horoscope on Tuesday, April 3. The next monthly horoscope by Eric will be the May edition, to be published the evening of Wednesday, April 25. There will not be a regular edition that week. On Friday, April 27 we will have a short edition with the weekly horoscope written by Genevieve Hathaway.


Planet Waves

Return to Titanic; Meet the Thresholders

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I begin with an overview of the astrology for the rest of the week, particularly Mercury in Aries, jumping into the Uranus-Pluto square.

Planet Waves

Then I return to the scene of (my coverage of) the Titanic and explain how I missed the most obvious thing in the charts. I look at two different alternative narratives of what happened, a discussion that began on these pages over the weekend.

During the program I mention that I’ll be sharing the subscriber edition from last week — Titanic: The Atlantis Connection — so you can see what I’m talking about.

In part two, I cover one of the recently discovered small worlds, 1992 QB1. I associate this planet with people who help others cross thresholds — birth, death and orgasm. I describe the concept of what I call a Thresholder, which I am describing in my fiction, though I’m sharing the idea here since the Sun was conjunct 1992 QB1 this week. For those additionally curious about 1992 QB1, you may read this article about Radharani, this April Fool’s article called Her Name is Radha (with the infamous vegetarian horoscope satire on Jonathan Cainer), and this article about my presentation at the American Psychological Association talking about Book of Blue.

Here is your link to the lyrics to Crazy Fingers.

Please let me know how you like this week’s program. Here is your program in the old player, where you’ll find the full archives and a downloadable zip file.


Planet Waves

Friday, April 20, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #900 | Link to chart used for this edition

Taurus Birthdays This Week

The Sun entered your sign Thursday in grand style, as part of a grand trine in the earth signs. That’s to say, all of the earth signs have significant activity, which influences you — Jupiter is still in your sign; Mars is in Virgo; Pluto is a long-term visitor in Capricorn. Here is how I interpret that. Watch the trends of your life carefully. When you see a trend forming that you don’t like, consciously shift the energy as soon as you can. If you notice a pattern that you appreciate, feed the energy, gently build up the momentum and explore the territory. If you find yourself in a pattern that you cannot shift, you have two options: creative or spiritual. That’s to say, use what you’ve learned from your spiritual path, or dive into art (any form of creative process), or do both. Early Taurus birthdays (and to some extent all Taurus birthdays) this year have a theme of ensuring that your mother’s problems don’t become your problems, and if they have, work out this issue. Note, I will have your audio birthday reading early next week. This will be fun and helpful for Taurus Sun, Moon and rising.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You’re the one who must address your own insecurities. Nobody else can do it for you, and you don’t want them to. This would be a great time to investigate and see just what is stirring up your fears. If we’re using astrology, it looks like you might be having panic attacks or at least experiencing a lot of nervous energy as you feel your own creative potential surge. I trust that you’ve already figured out that you have an alternative, but if not, here is what I suggest. This thing commonly called ‘creativity’ means existing on the edge of your own thoughts. Most people don’t stay there; they cannot, because it’s too nerve-wracking. However, your astrology over the next week is going to have you surfing the wave of time with your mind poking into the future, and to work that edge you must pay attention without getting panicky. Confidence doesn’t feel like a king on his throne. It feels more like riding a bicycle.

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

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — If you’re feeling some unusual tension within yourself, I suggest you consider what will be the central theme of this birthday season for you: making sure you understand your motives. That’s to say, I suggest you constantly refer back to why you want whatever it is you want. What is driving you to make choices, to favor certain people, or to desire certain experiences? Why do you feel about yourself the way that you do? These questions have answers — in fact, they may have two answers each. So the decisions you make are less about the outer expressions of things and more about connecting with what is driving you. Pay special attention to when those motives conflict, and note this as a potential source of any paralysis. A related theme of this spring is taking a trip back to the past, and while you’re there, disconnecting from the values you once acquired that no longer serve you. You’ll find plenty — and you’ll be happier without them.

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

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Over the next few days, you may get the feeling that you understand your fears better than you ever did. These may arrive in waves of psychological insights that shed light on certain factors from the past. When this process is flowing, you’ll be able to make connections to certain elements of your experience and your behavior patterns in this era of your life. Looking at your solar chart, I would propose a few questions. To what extent are you carrying around someone else’s sense of loss, disappointment or grief? Can you see how this has shaped your life? Your life is about what you have to offer. The more you offer what you have, the more you will discover what you possess. One of the few ways to feel safe is to experiment with the feeling and see what happens. I know this may seem like doing things backwards; you might think that one acts safe when one feels safe. Feeling secure is a matter of experience.

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

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This weekend’s Taurus New Moon describes how your financial opportunities are expanding. Taurus is situated in one of the houses in your chart most closely associated with sources of income, and this is an area of your life that has been flowering during the past year — or at least the potential is there. I am aware that money is a huge sticking point for many people, and it’s not any easier when every time you look at a news website there is more economic bad news. If you’re the exception to the rule, it won’t be because you’re lucky — rather, it will be because you know what you want, and you know an opportunity when you see one. When you do, I suggest you act promptly, make a commitment and take action. You have already thought this one through five ways from Friday. You have sorted out the details; you understand the risks; you know what’s required of you.

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

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — If you’ve been feeling unusual potential but don’t feel like you’ve had the ability to manifest it into something real, that is about to open up. In a word, the way to get from here to there is leadership. I can break this down to three ideas as they express themselves in your current solar chart: one is perspective. It’s essential that you have an overview of your environment, including what your colleagues and those ‘above’ and ‘below’ you are doing. Two is values. Make sure that what you’re doing is consistent with what you believe, and what you are willing to stand for. If you do this, you won’t have to worry about your reputation. Third is nourishment. In your current incarnation of leadership, you need to feed the tree without depleting yourself. Fortunately you have a lot to offer, particularly in the way of ideas and inspiration. If you find yourself blocked, pause and invent a solution. There is no limit to the information available, and you will be told everything you need to know.

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

If you have more questions than answers, consider this.

We will soon figure out that it’s actually 2012. The recent retrogrades of Mars and Mercury seemed to create a delay, but really this winter and early spring has been a phase of gestation. Over the next four weeks, the energy starts to pick up pace dramatically, and we will discover where we are and that something unusual, and beautiful, is happening.

Even as we approach the truly beautiful potential of the astrology that’s developing, many people are struggling with their day-to-day lives. There are more questions than answers; the economic and political situations seem hopeless; the pace of existence is going so fast that there seems to be nowhere to get in a little meaning, or seek some peace of mind.

Planet Waves

Here is where astrology can help. Astrology looks at the longer cycles, and the deeper themes — and can help you see your life in context of the present moment, no matter how chaotic it may be. Context means a sense of where you fit in that will help you see your potential and make better choices.

For years, I’ve been helping my clients prepare for making the most of the astrology of the 2012 era. Based on this experience, and many years of study, I’ve prepared a set of readings for all 12 signs (and rising signs, and Moon signs) that guides you through this astrology, step by step. I cover the most challenging and energized developments of this spring, which includes eclipses, Venus retrograde, the Venus transit of the Sun, and then a few days after the Sun ingresses Cancer, the Uranus-Pluto square.

I suggest you get this report in its current form, where you have access to all 12 signs. This way, you will be able to listen to your Sun, Moon and ascendant, and gain added depth. You can listen to your opposite sign and learn something about how this astrology will influence your relationships. Each sign gets a half-hour discussion. These came through loud and clear, with strength and meaning. I spent a week designing and recording them, and I am grateful to be able to offer them to you as a tool to help you guide your decisions, as you seek deeper meaning along your journey.

Spring 2012 is a kind of checkpoint along the way to wherever you are going. But really it’s a calling into the adventure of existence, a bold invitation to go beyond your past limits and explore something truly new about yourself.

All 12 signs are now available for $19.95. Next week they will go on sale for $9.95 each with no discount for multiple signs. The report is getting rave reviews from people who are currently working with it, including these words from a customer named Donna: “OMG — thank you thank you thank you — just spent this morning listening to my [Spring Report] info, and am so blown away by the accuracy (and relief!) in this experience. Thanks so very much for your part in supporting this work and for showing up in the way that you do!”. Here is the link to order.

Individual signs will be available soon — please drop us a note if you want to be notified of when, or if you have any other questions.


Eric Francis


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Mars has stationed direct in your sign, and the Sun has just entered your fellow earth sign Taurus.
Mercury, your ruling planet, is positioned so that you may be able to clarify some issues that have been putting a relationship under some stress. In short, your astrology is a lot happier now than it was a week ago, and I wonder how you’re doing in light of this. If issues that you thought you resolved show up again, I suggest you resolve them using a squeegee and not a shovel. You’re most likely dealing with the residual cleanup, not a recurrence of the central issue. The past few months have been an extremely productive time for some, but have come with more complications than seems necessary. The way to put that behind you is to pause before you assume the worst about anyone or anything. Remember that you have the capacity to solve any problem you can identify, and the talent to develop the many ideas that have come to you this year.

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

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — What seems to be a block is really a question of seeing your options and alternatives for what they are. If you project into the long-term future, there seem to be two paths you can take, and at times you feel the pressure to commit to one of them even before you’re sure where it leads, or what you might be giving up. I don’t think you need to rush any decision that involves finding your true life path. The options you see today are not your real choices. The contradictions and paradoxes that are influencing you now, no matter how subtly, will be replaced by more satisfying questions as the season unfolds. Polarities that today seem to contradict one another will have a way of resolving into something entirely new, and this will shift the way you see yourself and the world. So if things don’t make perfect sense right now, don’t waste your energy stressing, or trying to put together pieces that don’t fit. You will soon see that the edges of reality are more flexible than they seem.

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

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Do you want your relationships to be easy, or do you want them to be real? I suggest that you see things in terms of these two options, at least initially. By real I don’t mean difficult; challenges usually show up in the context of denial or resistance rather than by a conscious embrace of what is so. However, I suggest you notice the way that you tend to make other peoples’ issues into your own problems. Being real also means being real about knowing where the edge is between you and somewhere else, and knowing when it’s appropriate to cross over that line. Clearly you are being drawn into a deep situation of some kind, if only by your curiosity. The place where a warning should go off is when you find yourself adopting problems that simply are not your own, on the excuse that you love someone. The thing to focus on is creative purpose and a kind of calm, centered passion about life itself — not the relationship.

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

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — There is a difference between starry-eyed romance and friendly, creative passion. It’s a distinction I suggest you take note of, because it’s one of the central themes of your life. From one angle of your chart you’ve got this strong pull into the identity as the perfect partner. Yet to do this, you have to ignore or put a veil over some of the more conflicted feelings you have about that role, one of the most significant of which is the way it tends to compromise your independence. You have another option, which is a vibrant kind of creative collaboration, which leaves the portals open to wider possibilities than you can have in a conventional format of relationship. Keep in mind that the pull between what is considered normal and acceptable and what is considered unusual can create plenty of conflict, especially if you involve yourself worrying about the ways that others might judge you. Borrowing from Erica Jong, I’m talking about the difference between being half of a relationship and a whole person.

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

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — If you quiet down what your whirling, rapidly moving mind is saying, you’ll discover that you know something in your gut, and knew it all along. Given that this something is about you, you might wonder how it is that you somehow missed the obvious. That’s always a good question, though the obvious is so bold and has such deep implications that I could see it making you a little restless. You might say that the truth is so large that it’s difficult to see, something that’s often the case. The central theme here is who you are becoming. You’ve been in a transformational process that has been working under the surface layers of awareness. Yet now it’s starting to bubble up to the top. You are seeing the extent of the changes you’re going through, and this in turn is giving you a sense of your trajectory. What you’re getting now is just a little sample of the incoming energy; this will gradually ramp up over the next six weeks until you discover, somehow much to your surprise, that you really are this entirely different person you suspect you’re becoming.

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

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You know something, though I don’t think you know how true it really is. In other words, don’t be surprised when you discover that you were right. Now, being right isn’t everything, and some have gone so far as to say it’s the opposite of being happy. But I’m not talking about righteous — I mean that you have a hunch, a flash of insight or an idea that is actually valid. I suggest that rather than just letting it go, you keep working with it, and take the whole matter deeper. The reason you might not do that is that somehow the truth makes you nervous. You can be sure, in any event, that it will have impact. What good would it be otherwise? We don’t need any more trivial ‘information’ in the world right now. Here is the influence I see this revelation having: you just might feel less isolated. Would it feel good to learn that you’re not alone, that others are going through a similar experience, and that you can learn from one another? That’s what I see in your charts for the next few days.

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

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — What’s developing in your solar chart is about a lot more than money, but let’s at least start with the financial aspect of the discussion. This involves an idea that you’ve been developing, something you probably thought was not worth a lot in economic terms but might be valuable otherwise. Yet there is a substantial economic value, which is rooted in how you’re working with an idea that’s ahead of its time, but right when ‘the time’ is about to catch up. There’s a message about you catching up as well, and by that I mean that there’s finally room in the world for what you’ve got going. Just a few years ago you might have decided it was impossible for that to be true. Then you started to see where you could maybe slip in edgewise. Suddenly there’s a huge opening — but it doesn’t look like people are having one of those Nike sneaker stampedes. Don’t let that fool you. I don’t know what it is, but you’re in possession of something that people not only need — better still, it’s something that they want. Even though you’re not motivated by money, keep your financial strategy in the front of your mind and you’ll do well with this, whatever it might be.

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

Give Peace A Chance

By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

TWO THOUSAND NINE promises to be a year of transition, in more ways than one. The obvious, of course, is a new President and his staff, being handed off to a nation that needs leadership, direction and a big dose of confidence in the worst way. The economic meltdown will probably define much of what can, and cannot, be done. Most economists say they don’t know what comes next.

Planet Waves
Mosaic of Jesus as Christo Sole (Christ the Sun) in Rome. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Each of us will be in a transition phase, as well; what happens outside of us reflects what is within us, and vice versa. While everything is fluid, most of us have a hint about what that might look like by now. Maybe you’re just starting school, or you’re leaving it; perhaps you’re changing your job, your neighborhood, or even your partner. Whatever we’ve called upon ourselves to do next, it will begin a new chapter in our collective life.

Transition always asks us to do what none of us are happy to do: leave behind our comfort zones. Our habitual behaviors and time-worn patterns are sometimes the only things in an increasingly chaotic world that soothe us. Here’s my advice: select a couple of favorites you don’t think you can do without, and allow the rest to fly where they will. We have a choice of how we see the coming year — while we might see it as disruptive and difficult, I think we’d do ourselves a favor if we choose to consider it an adventure that will test our flexibility and provide us growth.

As the collection of year-end editorials come along, we will be looking back at 2008 to see where we’ve been in an effort to get a hint about where we’re going. I think historians will be looking back at this year for decades to come. Something most amazing happened, a shift in consciousness that we’ll be telling our kids and grandkids about. The possibilities ahead of us are still in the wind, swirling like winter snow.

In what I think of as the Post-partisan Blues, members of the Lefty and Righty camps are reverberating like tuning forks, right now. Our traditional process of resistance seems to be losing its energy; the ‘moon bats’ on the Left and the ‘wing nuts’ on the Right are still up in arms for their point of view but it feels like everyone’s screaming into a void now.


Capricorn: Seeing in the Dark of the Moon

Dear Friend and Reader:

We are approaching a Capricorn New Moon Saturday morning that I would classify as a “big chart.” I say this for many reasons, with much experience; the first reason being that we are in our first [Northern Hemisphere winter] solstice season with Pluto at 1 degree of Capricorn. This puts Pluto into contact with something called the Aries Point, where it will remain for the foreseeable future. Click that link for the background.

Planet Waves
Eric Francis in Book of Blue studio. On the monitor are US Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Eric’s old friend Christine and four of her kids in Kingston, New York.

The effect on a personal level might be a higher than usual level of conflict, emotions moving unpredictably, and lapses of consciousness due to overload. You might be feeling incredible, energetic and in the mood to get everything done. I could see Mars-Pluto in Cap being a bit Bacchanalian. We do need that, but please, please, please drive with the attentiveness of an airline pilot when you get behind the wheel. Test how slippery the road is with your shoe. Check the weather. Be professional.

On the collective level, the news is likely to have have a sense of being amplified and personal. This is true for the immediate moment (and for quite a while to come, arriving in peaks as planets move through Capricorn or indeed any of the other cardinal signs, Aries, Cancer and Libra included). The changes of season will arrive with distinct, more noticeable than usual turning points during this era.

Currently (as in starting when the Moon reaches Capricorn on Friday, Dec. 26 at 6:55 pm EST), we are heading for a lot of action in Capricorn. Capricorn is a difficult energy right now because it has been so strangely denatured by puritanical culture. On the public or collective level (not the personal level!) Capricorn has been reduced to discussions of governments, business, obligations, parents, religion and guilt. It is all structure and no release of energy — but the energy is working its way to the surface.

So, with Pluto sitting in early Capricorn, picking up the Aries Point by a tight square, we are about to have Mars arrive there shortly after the Moon overnight Friday, making a conjunction to Pluto all weekend. This will amplify small things and magnify the impact of larger ones. Then on Saturday, the Moon and Sun form a conjunction (the Cap New Moon) during the Mars-Pluto conjunction. Mercury and Jupiter are already in Cap and will be conjunct for this event, which closes a kind of energy loop (Mercury and Jupiter are ‘opposite planets’, as they rule two opposite pairs of signs: Gemini/Sagg and Virgo/Pisces). And in a fourth noteworthy conjunction, Venus is meeting up with Neptune.

Planet Waves
New Moon, Dec. 27, 2008.

This is a very interesting chart. Basically, it’s a wild card. It could literally mean anything to anyone, though we are the wiser for focusing our intentions around such potent energy. Pay attention to who you meet. There is no such thing as an ‘insignificant meeting’ under so many conjunctions. This chart has enormous potential for opportunity and equal potential for destruction. The presence of Saturn in an earthy sign (Virgo) and Vesta about to enter one (it ingresses Taurus late Friday) will keep things relatively stable, but the presence of both Vesta and a strong Virgo planet say: keep busy, keep your focus on service and consider your plans and intentions carefully.

I am understating things here a bit, for the sake of those inclined to read the worst into a chart. This is not an alignment for the faint of heart, though we all get to live through whatever it has to offer. In the event that unusual global news breaks Friday or over the weekend, we will of course resume publishing this series to offer our bit of information and reassurance. If not, we will see you either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Meanwhile, we will be busy with Next World Stories.

Here is a beautiful letter from Fe Bongolan, one of our regular contributors to this space, in the genre of the “true meaning of Christmas.”

For Planet Waves, this is
Eric Francis


The Weirdest Ornament on the Tree

Dear Friend and Reader,

THE HOUSE IS SILENT except for the ticking of the water pipes in the walls. The siamese cat is a dust-colored loaf at the edge of the table. Little birds are going crazy over the suet suspended in an onion bag on the locust tree outside. The house is clean, the floor mopped with rosemary water. One plant holds an ornament from last year. Did I mention how quiet it is? I’m all alone in the house with the cat and a glass of wine. A candle and incense light my bubble as I steal away from the hustle of the rest of the world: a Pagan on Christmas.

Planet Waves
Image by Jude Valentine.

There comes a moment in every holiday where all obligations expire: the food is cooked, the table is set, the glass is half empty. In that space the familiar solitude extends its hand like an old acquaintance whose name you never asked. But after all these years you know when they’ve arrived: the conversations hang on an awkward note. The tree in the middle of the room with all the glass and wire seems almost absurd. For a moment you become aware of the importance of the spell of the holiday as it begins to lapse.

Christmas has always presented a strange combination of emotions for me. After talking to many people, I think I can say with some confidence that it makes us all feel a little weird inside. All of the ceremony, the courtesy, the facade, the thin veneer of civilization that coats our conduct during these times is one of the greatest exciters of individuality we have — other than honesty and unabashedness, that is.

Christmas especially is a time when one realizes just how different they are. Many of us have never gotten past the stage of that little child clinging to the leg of a familiar adult in a crowd of noisy strangers. Just like that child, we long to be accepted and we long for some nice compliments and sweets too. A thirst to be the special child. Isn’t the Christian slant of this holiday about one such special child?

As a born Pagan, I have never fully understood how Christmas became the most popular holiday of the year (I prefer Easter). But as I grow older and the passage of the long nights has begun to gnaw a bit on my calm, I have come to the understanding that it is a way to make the time brighter. This is the festival of lights, right? The time to see things that we otherwise would not be able to, as they are dark, right? Isn’t the Jewish tradition about one such special light? So let it be.

As an outsider to this holiday, I have come to understand that my stance is a blessing. Instead of the pressure the season demands, the emphasis presses itself into why I am different from my family and how my presence in said family adds a flash of color to an otherwise unadorned tree.

Speaking of, my father has a great collection of very old ornaments that go up every year on the blue spruce in the middle of the family room. They are the kind of glass that is so delicate I worry my body heat alone will dissolve the walls. The once bright lacquer of these pieces has tarnished. Red is gold. Yellow is silver. All other colors have become unrecognizable. They have come from his great-grandmother, these ornaments. But what really makes this so special to me, having never known my great-great grandmother, is their funny shapes. A stalk of wheat, a bunch of grapes, a heart and a turkey — little reminders of the harvest to come once the snow melts. And every year, as my father gently pulls the tissue paper away from these heirloom ornaments, my mother says from her place in the recliner: “You’re going to hang those hemmeroids in the tree again?!”

“I am.” My father says, and he doesn’t care what his wife thinks. These are pieces of his past and yeah they look funny, but they make the blue spruce his. He is, and there’s no one who’s going to take that from him. Now that’s a thought I think anyone can use.

Peace to you out there, reading this. May your night be filled with mirth, and your morning bright, and your new days long and rich.

Merry Christmas, Blessed Be.
Genevieve Sophia


An American Jew in Dublin
By Rachel Asher

The following article was written for the first night of Chanukah, on Sunday, Dec. 21. It was published in Daily Astrology and Adventure. An excerpt is available below, but to read the full article, click here.

Planet Waves
The Bretzel Bakery in Portobello, a neighborhood in Dublin, was originally a Jewish bakery. By W. Murphy.

When I landed in Dublin last week, the population of Jews in Ireland went from zero to one. The Jewish bakery, in the Jewish quarter of the city, is run and owned by an Asian couple. The synagogue has been converted into the city’s Jewish museum. No one there knows what a decent bagel tastes like, and if I were to ask for a shmear of cream cheese or describe someone as klutzy, chances are they’ll either not know the word, not know it’s Yiddish, or both.

As my girlfriend’s brother texted to me, I’m “like something different and exotic for Christmas. Like during WW2 when they imported oranges and bananas!” He always puts a smile on my face.

It’s interesting though, because I never thought of myself as exotic before I went to Ireland. Sure, I was a minority, growing up among a Christian majority, but my cultural roots were strong. My extended family — mostly made up of my parent’s friends because my blood-family is quite small — are all Jewish, my earliest sexual experiences were at Temple and I was actively involved in youth group, Jewish summer camp, etc. etc. So I was always part of a strong sub-culture: small in numbers, big in presence.

Like much of my generation, I’ve grown away from religion as I’ve gotten older. Judaism has made that easy for me; there are so many cultural aspects that can be separated from the religious that the term Cultural Judaism is widely recognized: we still eat matzoh on Passover, but we don’t recline and read the Haggadah. For Yom Kippur this year, our Day of Atonement, my mom and I didn’t fast, but we still invited people over for “break fast,” when we stuff our faces with bagels, lox and noodle kugel as if we hadn’t eaten all day.


The Hammer and The Flame: New Moon of Dec. 27, 2008
By Shanna Philipson

Dear Friend and Reader:

On Saturday, the Sun and Moon align in early Capricorn and form the New Moon. This is exact Dec. 27, 7:22 AM EST. For many of us, this will be a life-changing New Moon that calls us to a new (and truer) understanding of selfhood and service. This an extraordinary chart, because Pluto is in Capricorn for the first time during the [Northern Hemisphere] winter solstice season. Mars will be right there, in a conjunction. The two are aligned on the Aries Point, which is a kind of cosmic magnifier that will bring whatever unusual news occurs that day or the days surrounding it, into a deeply personal context.

Planet Waves
Landscape with Vesta temple in Tivoli, Italy, c. 1600. By Adam Elsheimer.

The most potent aspects of the chart make a close trine to Vesta in Taurus. Vesta, for its part, is precisely on the discovery degree of Chiron. So this chart opens up a flow of energy from that Chiron/Vesta dimension.

Not long ago I read about a French woman (let’s call her Vesta) who, for 30 years, lived with and cared for the people in a Cairo trash dump colony. By choice. The community — men, women and kids–tended the burning piles of trash and raised pigs for their meat. No devout Muslim would touch them because they ate pigs and lived in filth. Their kids climbed mountains of other people’s broken furniture, and the stiffest brush couldn’t scrub the smell of burning refuse and pig shit from their little bodies. Even straight from a bath, they were grimy, as if the soil were part of them.

This amazed me, so much so that she lived in my mind for weeks afterward. Whenever I threw out my own trash, I added some detail of what I imagined her life was like. My potato peelings and the onion skins became her dinner. My snotty tissues, her kindling. My foot-high pile of mail order catalogs, a guilty offering of expiation to the recycling gods. “Please, please forgive me: I signed up because I thought the stuff was pretty; I never had an intention to buy it. So sorry…” I offered them to this woman, too, who once tended the flame and smoke of Cairo’s burning trash heaps.


Next World Stories, the 2009 annual from Planet Waves, is coming on Jan. 3, 2009. Click here to learn more.


Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, December 26, 2008, #746 – By GENEVIEVE SALERNO

(March 20-April 19)
The impact you have upon the world is changing because you are changing. In many ways, our career path is the most extroverted part of us. This part of your life has been getting a lot of attention recently as you begin to realize what real power feels like. It is no cake walk. In the realm of the worldly position there are many lessons about responsibility. When it becomes synonymous with “or else,” it can be tempting to make a break for it. Being forced by your own fears into this mentality is the same as being forced into being responsible. The solution? Find the name of your fear. It may rest in a doubt about your own power, a fear of success, or a streak of cynicism.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Yours is the restless mind that has been chomping at the bit to get out and experiment lately. You may have had an idea about what was good or bad for you come into conflict with some evidence that proves otherwise. There are times when it is best to take experiences with a grain of salt and times when it is about feeling through them with the sincerity of a child. How to decide what to do is about deciding what you want to gain and lose. Your impact upon the world is affected by your process of assimilating new lessons into yourself. What would the world be like if you had nothing else to do but grow?

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Exchanges of respect and value are at hand. The question is about the need to control or be controlled. Put another way, you are involved in an interesting power dynamic that may or may not be equal. How do you know? Are you feeling accepted and valued as a complete entity outside of the exchange, or does the matter in question sum up your value as a whole? If the exchange in question is truly going to contain your whole self, it is a good idea to be as active in that process as possible. Communicating and listening, no matter what traditions you happen to fly against, is the name of this game.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Tradition cautions you against going too far in your communications. However, it seems as though you have some burning questions about where you stand in life that can only be answered by an outside source. Strangely enough there are two answers that can come out of the question unasked. Silence from you and the other is one form of an answer, for it provides you with the space necessary to listen to the inner voice. The second answer can come from a semi-related question: why are you afraid to talk? What is the value of a tradition of silence when what you need right now is an exchange of love?

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
What is the nature of your duties? Are they assumed duties or assigned? There is a process of differentiation going on for you that is making you question your line of work. Where will it lead you? When will it end? What is your true purpose? These are big questions that cannot be answered by anyone else’s interior but your own. It seems to me that what this is really about is coming to the recognition that work can be vitalizing, but only if it is a labor of love. Have you set your expectations too high and do you measure your success by how exhausted you are at the end of the day?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
As your relationship to your past changes, finding the balance between being mature and being a child is the question at hand for you today. It’s great that you’ve begun to realize how much power you have over your own pleasure, creativity and decisions. Now it’s time to learn how to live robustly without taking the reckless path of the rebel without a cause. Find your cause! Before you got involved with the forces that preened, primed and pruned you, you had an idea and it was a very good one. I suggest you make some time for yourself to get back in touch with the inner child, who never forgot what it was. The child is waiting for you to ask.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
When do you feel the safest? Is it when you are in familiar situations or is it when your needs as a human being are being met without a struggle? It looks to me as though you are beginning to see the same old emotions, tendencies and reactions play themselves out in new situations. Can you be in the past and in the now at once? What direction will the future come from? The answers to both of these questions lie in your ability to recognize your inner impulse for harmony and peace. Beyond the rigid code of interaction, a place of real creativity beckons just beyond the horizon. The risk is honesty where it might make you and others uncomfortable.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
The capacity to turn things to your advantage comes from the talent to adapt to the situation at hand. While sometimes it is fitting to withdraw into your shell and avoid interactions with things or people you cannot imagine getting any use out of, I would suggest this process is about mental flexibility. A feeling of immovability can be very haunting if you feel like you don’t have a choice in the matter. I would examine this process of stubbornness in the hopes of recognizing the origins of some very old habits regarding the early family. You are in the process of learning how much your mind controls your perceptions and therefore of creating a new home for yourself.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Sometimes the question may arise as to how evenhanded you are. You have a very different set of values than most. At times it is the seeming indescrepancies that leave a person grasping to understand. This in turn can blossom into a tender feeling of loneliness that could result in you withdrawing into an indignant shell. You have much to offer the world and the world has much to offer you, even if at times it feels like a contest between your power and the power of the other. Remember: there is no contest. You know your truth. It cannot be tarnished by misunderstanding and can be nourished by communicative exploration.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Today you have access to the realization that you are a little seed perched on the edge of a fantastic garden. Should you choose to crack your protective outer shell, you will be rewarded, as all seeds are, with cold, wet mud and blinding sunshine. Humble welcome into the world, I know, but it is through this process of rebirth that you are steps away from becoming the mighty tree you’ve always wanted to be. The decomposed matter that is the soil is the experiences from your past — your outer shell is who you think you ought to be. There is a little germ in you craving the sun and wind. Rebirth is risky business, but it seldom goes unrewarded.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Something interesting is cooking in the very back of your mind where the memories that are only impressions are stored. It looks like you are on the brink of making a tremendous discovery about where you come from and this will serve as reinforcement of your identity. You have an intense desire to know what motivates you and where it all comes from — and at the same time you have the capacity to look at your most personal experiences at this point in time as though they had happened to someone else. Being unbiased and acceptant of all angles in a situation is the key to getting the most out of it. Today you have the capacity for this very thing.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The enduring thing about community is that it is compiled of many different people, yet there is one thread that binds them all together. It looks as though what you want from your associates is changing because you yourself are changing. Your friends and the place you have made for yourself in your community are important to you. Moving away from your associates might feel like disloyalty for you and that makes it hard to want to let go. There are many more options than what you envision, however, and one of them is this: you have the capacity to change who you are and yet hang onto the old acquaintances. They may play a different role to you and you them, but you will still be part of it all.

Copyright © 2008 by Planet Waves, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Ten Years of Planet Waves: A Star Shines on the Hour of Our Meeting

There's No Place Like Home
By Judith Gayle | Political WavesREALITY IS back, with a bite. We’ve been on an eight-year holiday from same; some would say even longer. We’ve been journeying Over The Rainbow, in the alternative world provided for us when we so badly bumped our head on the unprecedented Supreme Court decision that installed George Bush in office. He was the perfect Man Behind the Curtain, promising much, demanding compliance and delivering little but chaos. In this amazing light show on planet Terra, there couldn’t have been a more apt Wiz of a Wiz (if ever a Wiz there was.)

Planet Waves
Reflecting. By Rebecca Cleaves.

Our head wound put us in a coma for a long while, and in that strange, surrealistic place we inhabited up was down, right was wrong and black was white. We came to second-guess ourselves, since nothing made sense. We lowered our eyes to our feet and picked our way carefully along that twisty yellow road; finding one another, helping one another, while increasingly aware that there were Flying Monkeys to be battled along the way.

But every story has an ending, and while Obama doesn’t look much like Glenda the Good Witch, he has reminded us of who we are, pointed out the Ruby Slippers that each of us wear and asked us to click them together. We’ve discovered that, despite the smoke and mirrors of confusing ideology and the works of oppressive government that have assaulted us on a daily basis, we have a magnificent brain, an open heart and astounding courage. And while it’s great to be home again, nursing our heads and listening to soothing voices and snatches of common sense, we find ourselves standing in ruins.

I would think that Pluto in Sagittarius approved the story line for this final transformative act, starring Mrs. Bush’s first born. Our long run of religious extremism and philosophical review has reduced much of what was into a pile of rubble. That’s Pluto’s job, after all; and the world has become a good place for a Phoenix to stir, and eventually arise. Still, as the retreating energy takes a bow for its stellar performance, we’re all shaking our heads to clear the cobwebs and looking around to see where we are now.

We’re not in Oz any more, that’s for sure. The tone of the news has me pondering the sudden shift of collective thought; of course, it only appears to be sudden. It’s been pooling for years. This was a Hundredth Monkey political/spiritual shift … its beginnings evidenced in the 2006 elections … that was in place months ago, and is only now making its way into headlines. These things take a while to clarify, as we all look around to see what page our neighbors are on and find, surprisingly, that we have more in common than not.


The Centaur Review: Three Sagittarius Men
By Rahmana Finney

This article, which looks at three Sagittarian men: Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Lee and Richard Pryor, was originally published on Wednesday in Daily Astrology and Adventure. An excerpt is available below, but to read the full article, click here.

With the Moon’s North Node in Leo, and Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Pluto trine or sextile Neptune, I would say that music was always waiting for Jimi Hendrix. He quickly rose to stardom in Europe and literally changed music by revolutionizing the guitar in seven years. Jimi basically broke every rule set for recording techniques and the use of special effects and sound equipment.

Planet Waves
Jimi Hendrix had a Capricorn Moon. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

His Sun, Venus and Juno were all in his 12th house — Jimi was only here in body. A 12th House Sun can make a person feel “outside themselves.” One girlfriend actually recalled that he said to her, “I’m not going to live to 30.” This has been true for many musicians. It’s a tough business — a record contract is akin to getting a loan to create something, paying the money back with interest and realizing that you not only don’t and never will own your product, but that your lenders control your life. This is how record companies work.

At the height of his career, Jimi would still be singled out and harassed at airports because of the way he looked. In interviews with his ex-girlfriends, they expressed what a kind and almost innocent person he was. As he began to drink more alcohol, he became violent and towards the end, wound up alienating a lot of people. What everyone knew though was that his record company was sabotaging him. He was growing musically and became frustrated with the gimmicks that people constantly requested at performances. He began to want to combine what he called “earth” accompaniment with “space.”

This meant funk-driven rhythm, which is an African-American creation, combined with the psychedelic melodic sounds he made on his guitar. Today this is called Funk Rock, and it still doesn’t have a genre on the Billboard Music list. When he started gravitating towards the Black musicians who could play this music, crazy things started happening. The members of his last band, Band of Gypsies, swear that before shows, management slipped him acid without his knowledge. A few months prior to his death, at a show that he was contractually forced to do, Jimi walked off the stage after only two songs saying, “I’ve been dead a long time.” Like fellow Sag Little Richard said, Jimi wanted to take us higher than drugs.


More Proof We Live in Interesting Times: Breaching the Magnetosphere

Which way is north? NASA scientists are bending their minds around this question right now. A space probe, THEMIS, recently delivered some stunning news: the Earth’s magnetosphere doesn’t work like they expected — and it’s allowing a “massive breach” that is letting in the solar wind. This could be a problem because the Earth’s magnetic field orients our understanding of direction, like north, and it protects all our gadgets. The hard drive in your iPod can play Britney Spears because it knows which way is north.

Planet Waves
Illustration of how solar winds impact the Earth’s magnetosphere. Image courtesy of NASA.

The Earth’s magnetic poles supposedly remain static, but the Sun swaps polarities — south becomes north and north become south — every 11 years. Until the THEMIS discovery, scientists believed the greatest exchange of magnetic energy occurred when the Earth and Sun faced one another with opposite polarities, a kind of “69” configuration. Or like two gears moving in opposite directions. But the data from THEMIS proves the opposite is true: solar particles and plasma pour through when the Earth and Sun face each other in parallel orientation, north/north south/south. Imagine trying to catch water from a fountain: you would hold the cup up to collect the water, wouldn’t you? Your cup and the water are opposing one another so you can catch the water. But according to NASA, Earth collects more magnetic energy when its “cup” configuration is upside down. It’s counterintuitive, and much like the discoveries that woke scientists up to quantum mechanics, it’s rockin’ the field of astrophysics.

We’ve just begun a new 11-year cycle of increased solar activity, so scientists will have ample opportunity to study this revelation. Recently, NASA noted increased solar activity — after a long lull — that coincided with the date of the American elections. The metaphysicians among us can’t help but see these counterintuitive revelations as a chance to reorient our world’s concept of “true north,” or “truth.” But we know not everyone will be interested in tossing out their philosophical compasses. What’s obvious to astrologers and astronomers alike, though, is that we’ve begun an 11-year period of intense solar activity flowing into the arms of Earth like a long-lost lover. The union will peak in 2012. What the climax will bring, no one’s sure, but with our land and sky plastered with receptors for this baby, I’m confident someone’s gonna know the Earth, or at least all of its magnetic domains, moved. — Shanna Philipson


Next World Stories, the 2009 annual from Planet Waves, is coming on Jan. 3, 2009. Click here to learn more.


Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, December 19, 2008, #745 – By GENEVIEVE SALERNO

(March 20-April 19)
Do you have ample time and space in your life to shine like you want to? You seem to be experiencing an increase in ego-centered “Me” energy. The advantage of this is being able to truthfully assess whether or not you are happy with how you are progressing in the world. Do you like your job? Does what you do and who you are at home line up? Do you like the people you work with? These questions are important to you because the career of your choice is really the outlet by which you choose to operate with society. Right now you’re experiencing a powerful tug in a new direction. How willing you are to change, and if you feel it’s necessary, are part of this process.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Your energy has been crackling lately. Your need to stand alone and interact with the world as a singular entity has shown itself in your life’s vision. The time is right for you to pick an area of study, an art form to learn about, a place to go: anything that broadens your horizons and gets your juices flowing. Your situation may be a call to honor the self by feeding your mind with as much knowledge and experience of your choice as possible. Luckily, you have more than enough energy to do that right now. On the flip side, you have the ability to become more aware than ever of the things that hold you back or make you hesitate. Take note of them. They are like the little dotted lines around the coupons, telling you exactly where to snip.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Powerfully intimate exchanges are revealing a lot about who you are and what you are made of recently, and at the same time there has been a lot of social activity. It is part of the process of your transformation, as well as the gauge by which you can measure it. You have a lot of energy right now as far as relationships are concerned — it looks as though there is a lot of involvement and a lot of contemplation about the self going on at the same time. Your values, as well as your valuables may be serving as a palpable symbol of where your power is going and coming from. Take note of these things. If you do not like what you see, you have the power to make the changes.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
A test of lowering the ego-drive is developing, and you may be experiencing a feeling of being buried beneath a pile of work and wasting your energy on mundane tasks. This increase of strength and endurance can help you figure out all the kinks in the system you have been operating for some time. There are some resources, exchanges and experiences waiting in line to be sorted out, but are being avoided because of misplaced pride. It is not a question of lowering the self in a demeaning way, but rather by undertaking tasks that take a long time to be done well.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Your creative processes are linked very closely with your health and well-being lately. Have you had enough time to go outside and play? It seems there is a process of self-denial going on in or around you, coupled with a powerful need to let loose and get funky for no one’s gratification but your own. What is stopping you? Perhaps there is something going on where you feel you need to be an adult and that has become equated with being very serious. Usually when a person gets the urge to enjoy themselves, the inner child is trying to make an appointment with the outer adult.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
It seems as though your family, your parents, your heritage are coming to the forefront of your mind, and a specific urge for a base of operations seems to be developing. A search for the best, safest place to carry on your creative self-discovery may be at the base of this feeling for “home.” Issues of independence and the relationships that have/are transforming you may be coming to the surface, enabling you to get a closer look at yourself and your attachments. An important gauge by which you can measure your progress in relationships is how safe you feel within them. Do you feel weighted down by a sense of someone else’s seriousness? Who? Where? Why?

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
It seems there is a lot of emphasis on siblings lately and if you are an only child, on those you have known the longest. There is a specific kind of energy that is transferred between two people who go back a long way. Through these encounters you’ve been having, you may be beginning to understand a specific part of your family’s storyline and how it affects you. Everyone has a different reaction to the same stimuli and when you talk to someone you trust regarding this shared experience, you can begin to understand how you are different from the other. The more you can understand yourself as a singular entity, the more power you have at your disposal.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
A shift in your value system and a new dynamic at home seems to begin a true reassessment of your life’s purpose. Put another way, something is going on that is forcing you to question what you own and what owns you. This includes forces from your past, things you have been taught and patterns you thought were suited for your needs. Perhaps you have found yourself in the same old situation and it seems unfamiliar somehow. Ask yourself at this moment what it was that used to be there and if you can still find it. Do your values fully represent what you are capable of?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
It’s become very obvious to you this week that it is time for some self-assessment. Perhaps you feel the need to take a sweeping look around at your circumstances as well and try to figure out if you are ok with them. Your values seems to be metamorphosing, and with that sweeping change may come a feeling of wanting to block it in the name of duty to your relationships or environment. I know you can handle the honesty, Sagittarius, so I will leave you with this: if you are not good to yourself, it will be very hard for you to be good to others. Now is one time when it’s good to pay closer attention to yourself than at other times, if not for the purposes of action than certainly for the purposes of contemplation.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
I have read that there are two types of signals that occur simultaneously in everything we do as communicative beings. One is the signal of what we are trying to do, the other is the stuff we are not aware of that tells other people what we really want. It seems that most of your energy and your force has been drawn into the realm of the unconscious these days, leaving you with a feeling similar to a kitten in a burlap sack. It is not like you to hesitate from a mere episode of wonder, but perhaps now is the time to change the routine. The more aligned you are with your purposes and desires, the more power is at your command.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
It seems that the challenge of this week is about accepting what others have to offer without getting discouraged about your own ability. For some reason, being receptive has been confused with being needy. This isn’t always the case, and it doesn’t have to be the case this time. Your life is in the process of taking on a new dimension — the things you are feeling now are the things that will be processed tomorrow and the day after. A more encouraging situation for the things you value may be in the offing. You can make it easier on yourself by listening to those around you and seeing if the help they can offer is indeed helpful.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Does it seem like people and opportunities are rushing at you from all directions? Perhaps you are discovering a new way to make an impact on the world. You have what it takes right now to get some serious work done. When the pace picks up it helps to listen to everything around you. Take notice of how you affect those around you. Think of the fox in the desert with its giant ears: it can change direction at an instant, yet it is focused on one goal at a time. Deep within the realm of your subconscious it may occur to you that this is part of a cycle with a meaning and a purpose towards healing and wholeness. You’re right.

Copyright © 2008 by Planet Waves, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

2008: A Moment to Remember


Planet Waves

Dear Friend and Reader:

In today’s edition, let’s take a look back at the past four seasons, which seem to have whipped by like time-lapse photography. This was a year that Pluto changed signs: we will not forget it. We will remember for any number of reasons, personal and cultural. It was the year of the banking collapse, and of Barack Obama getting elected; it was the last year of the Bush administration. Yet when you take an interior view of life, you get a different perspective: the relationships that changed, or which began or ended; how our kids were doing, and those close by; what we’ve been learning and how we’ve been growing.


Planet Waves

Pluto changing signs represents a turning point for all of us: looked at one way, a contraction; looked at another way, the grounding of a vision that we have for ourselves. By grounding, I mean the process of making real; of taking idealistic visions and turning them into organized realities. I don’t suggest you let the supposed bad economic news get under your skin. And if you find yourself in a position where you need to “survive” (which is condition normal on the planet, though some days are definitely better than others), figure out how to do it in a more meaningful way.


Planet Waves

Between now and 2012, three outer planets change signs (Neptune, Uranus and Chiron, close on the heels of Pluto). Saturn and Uranus make four more oppositions to one another, the next being Feb 5. at 5:55 am EST. In the midst of this, Saturn moves into Libra, squaring Pluto (next autumn). Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune make a very compelling conjunction in Aquarius, a process that works out over two years (with a big peak in May). Many of these developments have an influence on the Aries Point, meaning the news will be big, and it will be personal. But as interesting and strange as this will be, the real excitement does not start till June 2012, when Uranus squares Pluto and the revolution begins. I’m up to my cerebral cortex in all of this astrology as I prepare your extended length horoscope in Next World Stories.


Planet Waves

Astrology’s job is to look forward. For a moment, let’s look back. Rachel picked out her favorite pieces from 2008, which are below. Without making more work for Anatoly (who does our web design) here are a few of my personal favorites from 2008. One thing I did was devote a lot of energy to Eris, the planet that was classified and named in 2006. One article is below; here is another: Calling Home the Castaway Woman. This covers several of the more controversial feminine archetypes that are swept to the side of our society, including Lilith.


Planet Waves

Speaking of ladies on the edge, I did yet another astrological tribute to my sex mentor, the High Priestess, Dr. Betty Dodson. It’s a really cool demonstration of how to take apart an astrology chart as well. There is a lot of good stuff here about the asteroids and Chiron.


On the subject of Chiron and Centaur astrology, here’s a piece called Crossing the Borders and Boundaries of Time. And apropos of astrology as process work, here is one called In Canada, They Call it Therapy. Following up this theme, I paid a visit back to the channeled classic The Starseed Transmissions, with a piece called A Psychological Process.


Planet Waves

Last but definitely not least among my favorites for 2008, there was the Emotoscope — my  parody on a Sun-sign horoscope, based on emoticons. The rest, as you will read below, is history.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

PS, if you’re not a subscriber and you think this is a really cool way to cover astrology, you may sign up for Planet Waves Astrology News by visiting this link. We don’t depend on advertising — we depend on you, using another kind of business model than you’re used to. If you are a subscriber, thank you. Please feel free to send this edition to whomever you like. You can send this link.


Taurus: What is the Question?

Planet Waves
Planet Waves reader Deb Silverman of San Francisco dreamed for years of being an acupuncturist, and with much work achieved her goal.

I went through a phase early in my astrology career when I got into conversations with young tarot card readers. Maybe there were just two or three such conversations, but they seem to stand out as a distinct phase of gaining an understanding of life. Anyway, one of them would say to me, “I don’t feel right about charging for my work. It’s not right to charge people to help them.”

One day I parsed the logic and replied: “Well, do you think it’s better to charge to hurt them?”

This pretty much obviated the issue. In truth, however, it usually works out that it’s easier, more efficient and more profitable to hurt people rather than to help them. A quick scan of the history of industrialization — including PCBs, asbestos, cigarettes and the Ford Pinto — establish this pretty quickly.


Eris Notebook: Dancing with Discord

Planet Waves
Eris. Illustration: www.ravendusk.com.

How do you decipher the effect of a newly discovered planet? One way is you look at when a planet in question made a conjunction to another planet, and study the events of that era. This has an odd way of making things transparent.

I like to use Chiron for this kind of experiment because it tends to bring things into awareness. Chiron is not exactly neutral or inert, but it can faithfully raise awareness of whatever it is making contact with; it can reveal the essential strength or crisis of the other planet in question. This is one reason why I recommend that astrologers check several past Chiron transits before they attempt to read an astrological chart.

Between 1971 and 1972, Chiron in Aries made a series of conjunctions to Eris, so we have a phase of time we can use to test the theory of Eris’s effects. The conjunctions were exact May 30, 1971, Sept. 8, 1971 and March 19, 1972.

Many things occurred during that era, but for sure it was the watershed of modern feminism. Feminism is not just about women’s rights. It is about deconstructing the known order of the world, which tends to largely be based on gender roles. When you suspend or even question gender roles, you basically get a form of chaos. It’s impossible to see the extent to which people cling to those roles until you take them away for a moment or two.


The Country of Our Dreams

Planet Waves
American flag in a field of milo, Kansas, autumn 1998. Photo by Eric Francis.

In honor of an issue on July 4, I thought I would take a look at the chart for the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Independence Day is considered by most people to be the birthday of our country — the moment when the 13 colonies joined together against the King of England and declared themselves free and independent states.

Have you ever read the thing? It’s short, it’s very sweet and it sets an example for the world. The Declaration is the document from our history that sets the goal of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for our nation. It states in part, “When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.”

Gee whiz. We need this thing today. Has it expired? It continues, “Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”


Bucky Fuller: This Is The Future

Planet Waves
Buckminster Fuller developed and refined the geodesic dome during the summers of 1948 and 1949, when he worked at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Image from BMC.

Earlier this week I was writing Daily Astrology & Adventure, describing the helpless feeling that I think most of us have when we’re considering how serious the world situation is. Some names came to mind of people who were not scared or paralyzed, but rather who viewed the future as an opportunity to do things better.

One man who saw what was coming and was unfazed by the looming crisis of too-rapid growth, dwindling resources and overcrowding was Buckminster Fuller. I linked to his Wiki page, and for the next couple of days, I mentioned his name around my neighborhood. I could only find one or two people who had even heard of him — and neither knew who he was or what he contributed.

Imagine if a scientist from late in the 21st century dropped in on our lives today, and could see our current ecological and economic problems clearly, with the wisdom and sense of perspective of the future. Imagine that he knew the solutions as if they had already been worked out, and had withstood the test of time. That was Bucky Fuller.


The Ultimate Opportunity to Get Unstuck

Planet Waves
Illustration by Danielle Voirin.

Lately I have been hearing a lot of the word stuck. This feels positively strange to say, but there seems to be a trend of admitting you’re not going anywhere in life, or like you feel like you’re not going anywhere. Every other email I get from a reader is about how stuck they feel. I guess all these years of voting Republican and having lattes for lunch are finally starting to catch up with us.

This is not the ever-popular “Bugger off, I’m proud to be stuck” energy; it is not the eminently distinguished “Who, me? Stuck?” posture, either. This is, “Wow, I’m like really stuck. I want to be an artist, but the only thing I’ve used a pencil for in the past six years is to scratch inside my ear. I’ve had these paints in my closet since 1998, and the lids are stuck. Even the gas cap on my Ford Explorer is stuck. I hate my job and my bed feels like fly paper.”

Eclipses, which are coming soon, tend to move stuck energy, stuck people and stuck things. That is to say, they move it (that is, us) whether we like it or not, and it’s actually possible to have a lot of fun during this time of acceleration and adventure.


The Atlantis Factor

Planet Waves
Professor Peter Higgs. Photograph © Peter Tuffy, The University of Edinburgh.

The other night exploring the astrology of the Large Hadron Collider — a particle smasher that scientists will use to study the formation of the universe — I joked that the lead scientist, Prof. Peter Higgs, namesake of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle, was a holdover from Atlantis. It went well with the story of a multibillion dollar machine supposedly designed to have some kind of spiritual outcome and a chart that looked a little like a runaway train.

I am careful what I joke about; there’s this odd spell that follows me around, under which my jokes come true. Then looking at his face for a while, as he peered out from beneath his dashing green hardhat, I started to recognize him. You know that odd feeling of having met someone before, but it wasn’t any time in the past few thousand years?


The Chart that Sold the World

Planet Waves
President Bush addresses the nation, calling for widespread panic. Details in The Onion.

I just want to make sure we’ve all tuned into the underlying reality of what people like Bush are saying when they glibly inform us that “this sucker could go down,” meaning the economy. Which he actually said a couple of weeks ago, in a cabinet meeting. He means you may not be able to buy groceries or pay rent despite working 40 or 60 or however many hours a week.

Here is what he didn’t say but clearly meant, as quoted in The Onion’s recent article, Bush Calls for Panic: “My fellow Americans, the time for running aimlessly through the streets while shrieking and waving our arms above our heads is now. I understand that many of you are worried about your economic future and our situation overseas, and you have every right to be. Yet there is only one thing we as a nation can do in times like these: give up all hope and devolve into a lawless, post-apocalyptic, every-man-for-himself society.”


Barack Obama and the Sword of Damocles

Planet Waves
In Richard Westall’s Sword of Damocles, 1812, the boys of Cicero’s anecdote have been changed to maidens for a neoclassical patron, Thomas Hope. Still, the infamous sword hangs over him as the king watches. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A couple of weeks ago, someone introduced me to Gerald Celente, the internationally renowned trends analyst. Celente has an office around the corner from my studio in uptown Kingston, NY. “His job [is] to see the future and understand how the issues and events of today will determine the trends of tomorrow,” according to his bio on Coast to Coast AM, the former Art Bell Show.

I’ve known of his work for years, but somehow managed not to meet him till that day. I seized the moment and asked him if he would do a quick interview, and he told me to come by in 15 minutes. I bought a quart of currant juice from Ray the Bee Guy to bring as a gift, packed my camera and digital recorder and walked to Celente’s office. He works out of a magnificent old market building with bay windows, hardwood floors and dozens of thriving plants.

We started with a discussion of the horrid state of the American government and economy. He expressed his extreme distaste with both major presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, saying he wouldn’t trust either of them to “lead him across the street, much less lead the country.” But, he said, Obama supporters are the biggest hypocrites of all.

Why would that be? Obama has stated his position in favor of escalating the war in Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan if the government doesn’t cooperate with the war on terrorism. Obama supports “clean coal technology” and the use of nuclear power. I also know he claims to be in favor of the death penalty. Celente asked me which of these issues I agree with, and I said none of them. And he asked me why I would possibly support Barack Obama for president. Backed into a corner, I struggled for an answer.

“I know what you’re going to say,” he said. Celente’s job is to make predictions; he happened to be right this time. “You’re thinking, he’s saying this stuff to get elected.”

“Right,” I said.

“So you’re saying you’re hoping he’s lying.”


Abandon Hope. Start the Revolution.

Planet Waves
Cormorant Island Penguins, Antarctica, 1988. Things have not got better for these guys in 20 years. Photo by George Mobley.

I forgot to mention that the local Republicans moved in downstairs from my erotic art studio. All summer long it was supposed to become a sports bar, but thankfully that didn’t quite work out. About a week later, the space was rented to a bunch of people running for county office on the Republican ticket, so it became the de facto McCain/Palin headquarters for my region.

In honor of this fact, I moved my favorite nude art piece out to the display space in the front of my lobby. Now, a Belgian model named Iris greets me and my neighbors every day as we come and go from work. We all get to share in the the glory of the Goddess, beauty of nature and the majesty of the First Amendment.

That is the good news. When people ask me what I think is going to happen on Tuesday, I tell them to prepare for a fight. I get a long face from everyone. I know, we just want this to be over; politics is exhausting, it’s not really fun (even though it’s currently more gripping than the World Series), and many of us doubt whether it’s even meaningful. Most people I know are crossing their fingers and hoping it’s all going to be okay.

Personally, I think hope is a thinly veiled form of fear. Any rational assessment of our national and global situation confirms that we do indeed have a few worrisome items on the agenda (the ice caps melting, the Supreme Court slipping toward a solid conservative majority, and so on). And, as the energy heats up and certain elements of the past begin to crumble away, we have a lot of potential to create the next world.


The History of the World, And of You

Planet Waves
Seattle Protests: The police were guarding the freeway – earlier, a group of anarchists had closed down a busy highway.

We owe ourselves a retrospective of the Pluto in Sagittarius era on a cultural level, and this is planned for Next World Stories. It has all gone by so much, so fast, and seemingly without lasting meaning. Everything that has occurred in the outer life of the culture seemed profoundly important in its moment, but so much seemed to come to nothing.

Yet underneath all that movement was a process that, much in the style of Pluto, has often remained unconscious. Remember that Pluto the god wears a helmet that renders him invisible to mortals. To me this process represented a spiritualizing process; an actual experience of mass-scale individual ensoulment, working deep beneath all the “isms” that have driven us nuts the past 12 to 14 years. Seeing and understanding the Pluto process is particularly meaningful for you, who are trying to understand the mysterious growth process unfolding underneath what you think of as your life.


To unsubscribe, click here
Copyright © 2008 by Planet Waves, Inc. All Rights Reserved.