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Read more in Solstice Fire and the Art of Service, by Eric Francis.
Dear Friend and Reader:
Wednesday, July 8, was a strange day in world news. It was also the day that Mercury changed signs, ingressing Cancer after spending more than two months in Gemini due to the recent retrograde. (Normally, Mercury goes through a sign in about three weeks.) Remember that whole thing? That crazy psychic and emotional bog, featuring the extended Mercury square Neptune in Pisces?
The one I would not stop writing about, so I wouldn’t fall asleep in the middle of it? Neptune can cast a spell of amnesia, so you may have forgotten by now.
That scenario finally resolved yesterday when Mercury left Gemini and entered the next sign of the zodiac — a water sign — but not before a sequence of rather unusual events clustered within a few hours. It was as if Mercury was saving the very best for last.
By Wednesday morning, the week’s news had already been dominated by the more than $3 trillion loss in China’s stock market, and the ongoing financial crisis in Greece, plus the resulting geopolitical crisis in the European Union. Banks in Greece remain closed, and a massive game of political and economic chicken is now unfolding.
As for the common folk, ATMs are limited to distributing 50 euros a day per customer. It was previously 60 euros but Greece ran out of 20 euro notes, so the daily limit had to be lowered to one 50 euro note. (Moral of that story: keep some cash on hand.)
Meanwhile in China, the stock markets were closed for days to staunch the ongoing loss as stock prices fell. Part of the problem in China is how many mom and pop investors there are, who are involved in the crisis. The Communists were urging their citizens to invest what precious little money they had into the stock market, and now many very small investors are out much of their savings. (Moral of that story: only invest in the stock market what you’re consciously willing to lose.)
So for the past few days, the entire news cycle was already devoted to matters involving money, money and more money (or is it less money?). Since the global financial meltdown that began in 2007 as the so-called sub-prime mortgage crisis, the world has been on notice that problems at a single entity, such as a major bank, could send shockwaves through financial systems and cause serious problems.
Was there an attack on these friendly people at the New York Stock Exchange, was it a software problem, or was it something else?
Suddenly we were looking at one of the world’s foremost economic powers, China, having major systemic economic issues, with the Eurozone simultaneously thrown into chaos by the debt crisis of one of its smaller members.
Watching the news early Wednesday morning would have left anyone longing for one of those horrendous sports roundups on the BBC.
Then at 11:32 am, the New York Stock Exchange shut down. Just like that. Officials at the exchange said that a software update overnight Tuesday to Wednesday resulted in the shutdown. Officials were also quick to refute the possibility that computer hacking had caused the problem, referring to it as a software glitch. Lasting three-and-a-half hours, this turned out to be the longest ever shutdown of the exchange based on a technical issue. The previous record was 90 minutes.
Nearly simultaneously, we were told that United Airlines had a computer problem that resulted in the cancellation of 60 flights and delays to 800 more, sending ripples through the air transportation system. Then the Wall Street Journal‘s website went down.
Was this a coincidence or is there some relationship between these problems? And was hacking involved? And if so, who was the hacker?
If nothing else, the mere possibility that someone who didn’t belong there got into the New York Stock Exchange’s system is a wake-up call. We have seen all kinds of impressive hacking incidents unfold in recent years.
Oh really! It looks like someone knew in advance about some traffic problems on Wall Street, or they took a lucky guess. This is a tweet from the hacker group Anonymous, posted Tuesday night.
Yet suspicions were stoked by a tweet from the group Anonymous that said, “Wonder if tomorrow is going to be bad for Wall Street…we can only hope.” That was reported by Time magazine’s website, which wrote, “While the tweet from the hackers’ collective may seem prophetic at first glance, the New York Stock Exchange has stated firmly that the halt in trading was the result of an internal error and not a malicious attack — an assertion echoed by the federal government.”
In case you found that kind of reassurance reassuring, consider this: On her program on MSNBC Wednesday night, Rachel Maddow told the story of Vladimir Drinkman, a somewhat famous hacker who was extradited from Russia this past February, who happened to make the news briefly Wednesday. He and his Ukranian colleagues had hacked into the computer system of Nasdaq, a stock exchange focused on technology firms, in late 2010. At the time, it was widely reported as some kind of technical problem. Remember that bit, as it’s meaningful.
The Wall Street Journal exposed this incident as hacking in an unusual late-night report posted just past midnight on Feb. 5, 2011. The next day The New York Times expanded the story and reported that at the time of the incident a few months earlier, the Nasdaq and federal authorities were aware that the disruption was caused by hacking, but the Department of Justice had forbidden officials of the stock exchange from admitting this publicly.
In other words, the press release about the technical glitch was a blatant lie. So there is a precedent for issuing a deceptive denial of what was known to be hostile infiltration of the Nasdaq computer system.
The Wall Street Journal’s website went down for a while yesterday, while United Airlines and the New York Stock Exchange were having issues. The print edition still functioned normally, being paper and ink.
So this could have been hacking, despite what Time magazine says the government says.
Then there is the little clue from the Tuesday tweet from Anonymous (hinting at “a bad day for Wall Street”). Then there are the coincidental shutdowns at United Airlines and The Wall Street Journal which recall the adage: two is a coincidence and three is a pattern.
What does the astrology have to say about this?
Rather than just giving my opinion or conclusion, I will walk you through the chart. That requires referencing astrology. I risk going over the heads of some readers not familiar with the terminology or logic, but following the steps is how you learn, and how you get involved in reading a chart rather than merely accepting the pronouncements of astrologers. I’m also putting my process out in the open for my colleagues and students to critique.
Said another way, I am trying to turn you on to astrology — the real thing. So let’s take a look at the chart. I’m going to start following certain strict rules of classical astrology, then I’m going to expand to a wider palette. On the web version of this article, I will answer your questions.
Our chart is set for when the New York Stock Exchange shut down, which was 11:32 am, as close as we could tell. That gives the chart Virgo rising. Virgo is ruled by Mercury, which makes that one of the most important planets in the chart, knowing nothing else. So that tells us to look to Mercury for more information, and when we do, we find something stunning.
Mercury is the highest planet in the chart. That gives it prominence. It’s right next to the 10th house cusp, which in the syntax of astrology says “this is big.”
A very interesting chart indeed, for the closing of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. Note Mercury, in green, at the top of the chart. Note its degree value — 29 degrees and 45 arc minutes, just hours away from entering Cancer, after two months in Gemini. The black line is the 10th house cusp. To the right is the Part of Fortune, which can represent a fortune. Points from lower left to upper right are, in order: the North Node in Libra, the Virgo ascendant (dark line), Venus and Jupiter in Leo, the Sun and Mars in Cancer, Mercury in Gemini, the 10th house cusp in Gemini, and the Part of Fortune in Gemini.
The 10th is the house of government, large corporations and any form of official authority (except for the church, which is the 9th house). When I was working out the astrology for the Titanic disaster, I developed the delineation for the 10th house, “All the way to the top.”
Mercury is also in Gemini, the other sign that it rules, so that makes it a delegate or representative of whatever the 1st house is about and whatever the 10th house is about. In its sign of rulership, Mercury is the most influential planet in this chart. The worm turns on Mercury.
One thing is clear — we are looking at a question that involves the conduct of corporations and the government.
Incredibly, Mercury is just one-quarter of a degree (15 arc minutes) away from the end of Gemini. In a little over three hours after this event, Mercury will be in the next sign, Cancer. Mercury is the trickster and this is a very tricky Mercury placement.
There’s one other thing up at the top of the chart that we need to remember — the Part of Fortune, lurking just behind the 10th house cusp, tucked into the 9th house. I consider that little zone a hidden area of the 10th, showing what is right behind the curtain. I’ve seen this indicate unseen influences, hidden psychological influences, or some matter that someone wants to hide. It can also describe ‘the power behind the throne’.
Let’s keep using classical astrology and suss out some other facets of the chart. Testing the theory that there is a potential hacker of some kind, since that’s plausible, we would check out what’s going on with the 12th house. The 12th is the house of secret enemies, overwhelming institutions, dreams, and various shades of delusion and denial. It’s by far the weirdest and most interesting house.
The 12th house cusp intersects Leo. The Sun rules Leo, so we look to the Sun for more information. We find the Sun in Cancer, also high in the chart. Depending on what rule you use, the Sun is either in the 10th house (by modern houses; more corporate/government stuff) or the 11th house (by whole sign houses; in a public chart like this, monetary gain from the activities of corporations and government).
The whole gestalt — this is the full chart for the stock market shutting down. Notice the Moon on the right, shaped like a gray crescent, and how many planets it’s aspecting — especially Pluto, the Sun and Uranus.
Leo and Sun are about the king, which is to say, that thing that rules the empire. This is from traditional astrology, and we find it in history and also in folklore. The Sun in the sign Cancer (astrological shorthand for ‘home’) suggests some kind of domestic activity, not the work of a foreign entity of any kind. China did not do this. Russia did not do this. Cuba certainly did not do it. What we have is a nice bag of home-grown activity.
We now have multiple factors in this chart speaking about domestic activity by our own government, some corporate entity, or most likely, a combination of the two. To me, this does not look like the work of an ordinary hacker.
One last house to check out — the 8th house, which involves finances, shared resources, secrets and empty but it certainly is not. All of Aries counts as the 8th house — if we use whole-sign houses (where each sign counts as a whole house, regardless where the cusp lines are) there’s a lot happening in this house. There’s a crazy party going on, with Uranus and Eris there. The Moon is also there, in the sign Aries, which is a big ‘look here’.
The Moon in its current position makes a series of aspects. Note that its most recent aspect was a square to Mars. Then we have Moon square Pluto (this is very close); Moon square Sun; Moon conjunct Uranus; Moon trine Jupiter and finally Moon trine Venus. The Moon then goes void of course and does not ingress Taurus till Thursday. Before it does that, though, the Aries Moon trines Venus — the last aspect with the Moon in Aries — which says ‘this ends very well’ (for someone). Aries Moon trine Jupiter and Venus in Leo is a happy ending if there ever was one.
How and why would a software glitch, or a hacking incident, end well for someone? It’s not like the hacker got famous, or collected a lot of money. Aah, but it looks like someone did, or they will.
Two Subtle Points from Modern Astrology
Last week I referenced an article called Here at the Edge of the World, wherein I identified a degree of the zodiac associated with what appear to be false flag events. That degree is 28+ Gemini, what I call the Atlantis Degree. I’ve also seen the very next degree of Gemini get into the mix (29+ Gemini, properly called degree 30, the last in that sign).
Flashback to Sept. 11, 2001 — note the position of the Moon, at 28+ Gemini. Strange things happen when planets occupy that degree, and the one next to it. There’s a fixed star there, called Betelgeuse (an actual star, not a planet), which is in Gemini at 28 degrees and 57 minutes. This is one heck of a star.
That’s where we find Mercury. To me this degree says that what you think is happening is not really the thing that’s happening. As described in the above-referenced article, this degree has described the activities of a kind of covert war being waged around us.
When something appears right in, or in this case millimeters away, from this degree, I am on notice of some kind of potential flimflam disguised as a mishap of some kind. In other words, when I see a strong placement in this part of the zodiac, I take note of a potential false flag incident — i.e., a lie about what happened, who did it and what it means.
One other thing. The Sun is conjunct asteroid Eros, which is shaped like a heart with an arrow through it. I don’t usually use asteroids in this kind of astrological analysis, but this is too funny to ignore. Eros is associated with love, passion and cardiac issues. I’ve had to think about this all day; however, I get this as referring to a ‘sweetheart deal.’
Remember the Part of Fortune tucked behind the 10th house cusp? It appears as if someone you cannot see, high up in government or the corporate structure, profited handsomely from this incident.
My proposed conclusion is that this was some kind of cyber-warfare readiness exercise, disguised as a computer glitch, which everyone would then assume was hacking.
Note that there is a fixed star in that part of the zodiac, called Betelgeuse. In our chart, Mercury is conjunct that fixed star. William Lilly, one of the great astrologers of the modern era, wrote in 1647 that this star is about “rare engines of war.”
The Sun, highlighted in blue, is conjunct Eros in Cancer. Eros, drawn as a heart with an arrow through it, is about all things amorous and cardiac. The Sun is also conjunct two points that describe an ambush or something happening ‘out of the blue’ — Cyllarus and Hopi. Minor planets cast by Serennu.com — the best thing ever.
In my article Here at the Edge of the World, I wrote, “When I read the phrase rare engines of war, I suddenly felt like I was sitting in the middle of someone else’s war.”
What about that tweet from Anonymous? Often mishaps occur during readiness exercises, such as occurred on 7/7 in London or 9/11 in New York and Washington DC.
I was watching with my ears and eyes open on 7/7/15 wondering what would happen on the 10th anniversary of the London bombings. I checked the Daily Mail and did not even see the anniversary mentioned.
Anonymous may well have been aware of a readiness exercise of some kind. Or there was a hacking incident planned for the day of the readiness exercise. What I can say is that as best I can read this chart is that this was not a software glitch and it was not some kind of ordinary hacking. To me this looks and feels entirely staged. Yes, I know that the hacking version the story is convincing. But I cannot find it in the astrology. Note as well that the last time there was hacking of the stock exchange, the government directly intervened and made the NASDAQ change the story. But I don’t think that happened here.
Next week on Planet Waves FM, I’ll tell you the story of dropping in on a formal ball held for the top officers of the United States Cyber Command. They were all very pretty in their full-dress uniforms, with captains and colonels and generals wandering about, and me chatting them up. The Cyber Command: there is such a thing — a branch of the Army that deals exclusively with computer warfare. If that exists, and it most certainly does, they will need to have some kind of real-time exercises, and that’s what this looks like to me.
Since this incident was, in part, about the New York Stock Exchange, it also looks like someone who knew what was going to happen made a whole bunch of money in the process. Based on factors I have not mentioned, I do mean a very big bunch. And heck, why not? It’s the American Way.
Your faithful astrologer,
– Additional Research: Anthony Ayiomamitis, Fe Bongolan, Amy Elliott, Kathi Linehan, Michael Mayes, Amanda Painter, Len Wallick and Lizanne Webb.
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in Kingston, New York, by Planet Waves, Inc. Annual basic subscription rate: $97/year. Core community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Office Manager: Lauren Gdovin. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Client Services: Amy Elliott, Lisa Gatto. Media Consultant: Andrew Marshall McLuhan. Research, Writing and Editing: In addition to those listed above, Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick, Lizanne Webb and Chad Woodward.
We are now offering for pre-order the 2015 Midyear Report — The Art of Living / Astrology for Artists. The theme is how to live artfully; how to turn your life into a creative project; and how best to integrate conscious creation into your life, as a way of life. This is a 12-sign audio reading plus an introduction which will move elegantly through the astrology of the second half of the year — Venus retrograde, the two additional Venus-Mars conjunctions, the two additional Venus-Jupiter conjunctions, and Jupiter ingressing Virgo. You may pre-order here. Note, this fantastic project is a fundraiser for Planet Waves. Thank you for signing up. You will love it. By the way, I describe the project in detail, along with my personal commitment to the subject matter, in the last segment of this week’s Planet Waves FM.
Raymond Merriman: Living From One Crisis to the Next
Before the New York Stock Exchange shut down, I was curious about the financial crisis in Greece and the stock market crisis in China. Who better to call than Raymond Merriman, one of the world’s foremost financial astrologers.
Looking at the chart for this week, I noticed that Venus in Leo is square Saturn; Jupiter in Leo is also square Saturn; and Venus is about to be retrograde.
Raymond Merriman, one of the world’s foremost financial astrologers. You can visit his website.
All of this describes a pinching of resources, at least on some levels, and also a get-real wakeup call. Merriman said yes, true enough. But he had some other astrology to point out.
“The Sun and Mars are conjunct in Cancer, and they’re coming into a T-square with Uranus and Pluto — that’s the astrological thing,” he said. In other words, as we speak, The Sun and Mars are passing through the Uranus-Pluto square.
He also said that Saturn is aspecting Uranus and Pluto — by little-used but important aspects.
“Go back to the Saturn, Uranus, Pluto T-square in 2008-2010,” he said. At that time, Saturn was in Libra, making an opposition to Uranus and a square to Pluto. That is some very energetic astrology, and it coincided with the peak of the world financial meltdown that manifested in the summer of 2007.
That was the bottoming-out point.
“Saturn is now semi square Pluto and sesquisquare Uranus [these are aspects similar to the square]. So all those issues are coming back. We’re getting a mini-cardinal climax again; a lot of those issues were present, and we’re having to deal with them again.”
What he’s saying is that Saturn is in a position similar to what it was doing in 2008-2010, though instead of doing it from Libra, it’s doing it from late Scorpio.
“We have to go back and settle this stuff with Greece. It’s about spending, and too much austerity and taxes. Once Saturn is back in Sagittarius and gets out of that aspect to Uranus and Pluto, all those things are gone by the end of October. We will have different issues. What we’re going through now is a rehash, karma if you will, of what was going on between 2008 and 2011.”
“They will probably kick the can down the road and come across with another agreement. This phase now will come up with a temporary solution.”
Then, he said, we have Saturn square Neptune to look forward to — those are the “different issues” he was referencing that would arise in the near future. The forthcoming aspect, Saturn square Neptune (late 2015 and into 2016), happens every 36 years. Interest rates make a huge longterm change with Saturn square Neptune. For example, there was the peak in interest rates in the late 1970s.
“Every 36-37 years you get major changes that shake up the banking community and the financial structure. Interest rates will go up. The Fed will raise rates under the forthcoming Saturn square Neptune,” he said.
“The financial scenario will be volatile until 2020, when Jupiter is conjunct Saturn. We will live from one crisis to another, just like we’ve been doing,” he added. That sounds about right, from all the available facts.
– By Eric Francis Coppolino
A Stitch in Time Saves…Time, Actually
Just over one week ago, on June 30, experts at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory officially added a ‘leap second’ to U.K. time, according to The Telegraph. Airlines, trading floors and technology companies (really, virtually anything running technology, which is everything these days) must ensure their operating systems account for this slight but oh-so-critical shift.
Big Ben, aka the Parliament Clock at Westminster, London, runs on old-fashioned gears, not atomic time; photo by Aldaron / Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Twenty-six times since 1972, when the first leap second was added, this has occurred to make up for the gradually slowing rotation of planet Earth — compared to the highly precise atomic time, which governs electronic technology.
In other words, the Earth’s rotation has slowed 26 times since the early ’70s.
Not everything has gone well each time. For example, when the 2012 leap second was added, Mozilla, Reddit, Foursquare, Yelp, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Linux all reported crashes or other major problems; a crashed Qantas check-in system grounded 400 flights in Australia.
While the eight days between the leap second’s addition and yesterday’s NYSE crash (and other odd large-scale tech glitches) suggests that it is unrelated to this week’s events, it’s worth noting the possible ‘mini Y2K’-type errors that can occur. A quick check on the Internet did not show any systems crashes associated with last week’s leap second.
As might be expected, not everyone wants to keep hassling with leap seconds. In what might be considered hubris befitting a character from ancient Greece or Shakespeare, the U.S. (whatever association of groups or official organization “the U.S.” refers to here) wants to stop using leap seconds, because they’re “too disruptive to precision systems used for navigation and communication.”
According to the Telegraph article, “Britain opposes the change, saying that it would forever break the link between our concept of time and the rising and setting of the Sun.”
Now that sounds sensible — grounded, even, in ‘real life’ outside of the robot within which we all now live much of our lives. Rory McEvoy, Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, commented that, “Since antiquity the Earth’s rotation has provided us with our timescale — it is the Earth’s rotation that gives us our most basic unit of time, the solar day.”
While it would take hundreds of years for people to notice any difference, if not corrected, eventually clocks would be showing noon in the middle of the night. But by that time there might not even be such a thing as global stock exchanges, airplanes or the Internet.
– By Amanda Painter
California Carnivores: Moooove Over, Hygiene!
By Amanda Painter
The drought in California is no laughing matter. Restrictions to personal water use there are increasing — a necessary measure, sure. But individual consumers make up only 20% of the state’s total water use, an amount dwarfed by Big Agriculture, including the beef industry.
Kiki gets clean — and earns a burger!
Enter Skip Showers for Beef: a convincing campaign that’s been amusing and confusing Californians through its earnest videos, professional website, and hooves-on-the-ground tactics, such as street teams of activists dressed as cows who talk to passers-by.
What are they all talking about? Well, theoretically it takes the equivalent of 37 showers’-worth of water to produce just four ounces of beef. Some people might think the easy solution is to give up eating beef — such as California Governor Jerry Brown, who at the start of the July 8 “Water in the West” symposium said, “If you ask me, I think you should be eating veggie burgers.”
Skip Showers for Beef has another idea: you could give up showering! Not all the time. Just, you know, a lot of the time — depending, of course, on the severity of your personal attachment to consuming beef.
Skip Showers for Beef has even made a handy chart to help you calculate just how many showers you need to skip to offset that juicy ribeye. And in this helpful video, you can find plenty of tips for bathing options and more ways to save water and still eat beef (also download the PDF of waterless hygiene tips from the main website). Even Grammy-winning recording artist Moby has donated his presence to the effort of convincing Californians to stop showering.
What’s that? You think something besides the unwashed masses of the Left Coast smells here? Okay, you’re right: the campaign is the stinky, funny brainchild of environmental performance hoax team extraordinaire, the Yes Men — pulled off in collaboration with the Courage Campaign, Funny or Die’s clever prank squad the Merkin Bros., and the aforementioned Moby. (Gov. Brown was not in on the joke — his veggie burger statement was just a stroke of beautiful synchronicity after the Yes Men eluded security to hijack the symposium’s start.)
Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum get dirty for the planet. Did you know that their most recent movie was released last month?
As usual with the Yes Men’s actions, a few media outlets (including ThinkProgress) ran with the story, complete with email interviews with Moby and others, thinking it to be “typical corporate ‘astroturf’ efforts,” according to a Yes Men press release, oblivious to its wink.
“The idea that individual consumers should carefully monitor their 20% of the water-use pie, while major industries do whatever they want with the rest, is the real joke here,” said Yes Man Mike Bonanno.
“We don’t really have to skip showers, but we do have to hold industry accountable,” added Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum.
While it seems that Food & Water Watch has taken down its action item to tell Gov. Jerry Brown to limit water use by factory farms, you can still make your voice heard; it simply might take a little more initiative on your part. With the Sun, Mars and Mercury all in Cancer, the timing could not be better to shower California officials with activism.
Trey Anastasio, Philip Lesh and Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead performing at Soldier Field in Chicago this past weekend. Photo by Jay Blakesberg / Invision / AP.
An American Musical Tradition Lives On,
Mercury in Cancer and the Cancer New Moon
This week’s Planet Waves FM features all the activity in Cancer, an introduction to Venus retrograde, and another look at Saturn in Scorpio. There’s lots of excellent music (vintage 1970) and a close look at the current truly exciting sky.
I begin with a story of meeting someone named John Hance at a Grateful Dead concert on July 4, 1986. He was an old-time Deadhead and a taper, and, it turned out, an advanced student of yoga philosophy.
For several years we went to Dead shows and compared notes on A Course in Miracles, the yoga path and other approaches to life. When I think of the Grateful Dead, that’s the kind of journey that comes to mind.
All in all, lots of great astrology, music, stories to share and good vibes.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscopes for July were published Thursday, June 25.
We published your extended monthly horoscopes for June on Thursday, May 21. Your Moonshine horoscopes for the Capricorn Full Moon were published Tuesday, June 30. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Doors will open for you, if only you would actually express what you’re feeling. You have plenty going on in there, and it’s an unusual blend of confidence, fear and desire. But feeling is not enough. Emoting is not enough. What you need is actual expression. The way you know you’re doing that is you feel like you’re taking a chance — and as a result you feel good. Sex is involved. You might be inclined to convert all of your hormonal impulses into some form of sentimentality, nesting instinct or a drive for security. That has next to nothing to do with what I’m describing; indeed it may directly contradict, in that currently embracing the feeling of taking a risk is essential to your happiness. I don’t mean bungee jumping or parasailing. I mean expressing something you ordinarily would never say or otherwise offer to the world, in a way you would never typically do it. Note how much of what we do these days is designed to be free of any risk, including a moment of going off script. Start there — burn your script and feel the heat.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may be in a tight emotional squeeze of some kind, or feel as if some authority is cramping your style. This is an old story, however, I suspect you’re onto it. Astrology offers the following clues: Some factor out of the past may be masquerading as a presence in your life currently. For example, your mother’s tendencies might be showing up in the form of a partner who doesn’t even remind you of your mother. That points to an internal situation, though it’s one that you’re not only ready to address — you have already done so to a significant degree. I suggest you feel this squeeze consciously and get a sense of its emotional contours. Notice how you’re affected; for example, what exactly do you hesitate doing, or do you feel constrained from doing? This scenario does not affect every aspect of your life. Some things are immune, some things are especially vulnerable. Get a handle on this. You can, and you’ll be happy you did, as more interesting astrology offers you more productive challenges to meet.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury has spent more than two months in your sign. It’s now ingressed Cancer, bringing a welcome change of emphasis. It’s as if you can now get on with what really matters. But what exactly were you busy doing all these weeks, especially during the Mercury retrograde of May and June? I suggest you go back over that and see if you can, at least, get a look inside what may seem like a time capsule and determine what you were so concerned about. That will help you order your priorities and claim what you’ve learned. At the moment the emphasis is on the money angle of your chart, and I suggest you catch up with anything related to your finances. You’re in an excellent position to strategize, turn up the energy on some money-making projects and squeeze some extra profits out of your efforts. This is not just an option — it’s essential that you take this opportunity to be especially clever with money and your other personal resources (such as your talent), which count for more than cash.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Mercury has entered your sign after spending many weeks in a blind spot in your chart. If you’ve come through the challenges of the past two months with any clarity at all, count yourself fortunate, and give yourself credit for your persistence. You now need to be realistic about every issue, question and subject that seemed to evade your understanding. If you hesitated or struggled for directness, now is the time to be confident and straightforward. Matters of relationship and partnership are building to a head, associated with next week’s New Moon in your sign. You’re in a much stronger position than you may imagine, which means you can afford to take care of your own interests and also be fair and generous with others. As you go through the next week or so, remember this: understate your case, your point of view and your needs. Others are not nearly as powerful as they seem, and you don’t need to give them any undue influence over you. Be true to yourself and you will be true to your entire circumstance.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Your astrology is describing the necessities and requirements of your life. And it’s describing your abundant talent and resourcefulness. Wherever you encounter the necessity side of the equation, open your mind and you will discover the needed resources to meet that need. It’s true that this is my guiding principle when I write this column; astrology never describes a problem without also describing the solution. It’s just that you’re in an unusual situation to discover just how much you have, in contrast to what you may seem to need. Make sure that you’re extremely realistic about your professional obligations. There’s no getting around this. Just remember that if you feel pushed into a corner or like there is something unfair going on, you have plenty of energy to make it right. It’s you, however, who must rise to the situation, not the other way around. At this point, your reputation is something you must build rather than something you can bank on.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — It’s clear that your professional life has been in some chaos, as you’ve dealt with slippery floors, slippery people and way too much unreliable information. You may need to cut your losses on plans you’ve determined will not come to fruition. You also need to distance yourself from, or cut loose, others who have proven to be in any way deceptive. I know there have been some hard lessons here, and some annoying ones. Yet it makes sense to surround yourself with trustworthy and reliable people as the first order of your life. Those would also be the people around whom you can be real and say what’s on your mind without fear of judgment. So the moment you start feeling like you may be judged, or like you have to shut up, you know you’re not among friends. By the way, in my opinion, blood relatives are not granted an exemption. They must be held to the same standards as others. That may be a challenge, but you’re up to it.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You may be wondering if the deck has been stacked against you, or if you’re embarking on a fantastic winning streak. As for the first, I don’t think so. What you’re being confronted by is the need to tidy up certain emotional and financial matters so that you’re free to live your life your way. Unresolved business from the past will surely deter your progress, but you’re the one who has the power to get that right. As for the winning streak you suspect may be coming, this is entirely a matter of how you position yourself. You must collaborate with others; indeed, with everyone in your environment, and build a winning team. You’re the one with the strategy, however; don’t count on anyone else for that. You’re the one who must set the goal and you’re the one who must make the plan for how to get there, although others will offer some brilliant ideas that you must fit into the plan. Note that certain people who feel erratic or a bit odd may in fact be the ones who will come through the most reliably, even if just this once.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Notice your own tendency to resist — whether that be progress, your own desires, your own feelings, or your own needs. Resistance is the result of thought forms that are specifically designed to mess with progress, desires, feelings and needs. In essence, resistance is denial. It’s the denial of yourself, and the denial of certain obvious facts about your existence and existence as a whole. So what’s this about? You may have come through a long period wherein you thought you addressed this. You may have decided you’re loose and chill and easygoing — though if you find yourself saying that, I suggest you question whether it’s true. To be easygoing you need to be easy with others and with yourself. If you put others in a position to push against you, where they must somehow struggle for what’s simply theirs, or for what you promised them, I suggest you pause and ask yourself why that has to be. By the way, it doesn’t.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Today Amanda Painter dug a quote out of an old astrology book I love, which offered this image: a grand fire trine is like having a million dollars stuck up on a shelf in your closet, but which you don’t use. Currently there’s an astonishing grand fire trine in the sky — Uranus and Eris in Aries, Venus and Jupiter in Leo and centaur Pholus in your own sign. That is quite a setup. If you want to take some of that million dollars off the shelf, here’s how to work with it: You are the activating agent of your life. First, remember that all the time. Pholus in your sign suggests that you’re the small cause that can have a big effect. Therefore, you don’t need to do much — though what you do must be intentional and directed carefully. For example, choose one project that you believe in or just simply love and get it going. Choose that one person you’re really, really interested in and introduce yourself. Your influence is potent right now, and you only need to use it in measured amounts — but you must do at least that much.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Your strength is in your clarity. Your integrity is in your honesty with yourself. Your love is proportional to your transparency with others. You seem to be caught in some kind of time warp, confronted by what you thought you had resolved long ago. Rather than struggle against that, notice what you need to resolve and get busy doing so. Instead of seeing yourself as being at odds with others, consider that they’re your friends and allies who want only to help you be who you really are. Just remember that you will see them as you think they are, or perhaps closer to the point, as you think you are. You may have a tendency to overestimate your own power or influence and then underestimate theirs. Rather than estimating, I suggest you be genuinely realistic, which means saying what you mean, and taking others at their word. I can assure you that any problem, issue or challenge you face can be resolved quickly and efficiently by practicing this essential version of the Golden Rule.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may feel like you need to regain authority or a position in your professional life that you somehow lost due to circumstances outside your control. Yet it would make much more sense to work in the moment, with your new opportunities, rather than referencing your idea of success in the past. You must have figured out that the past is nothing to aspire to. You’ve come through many struggles that you really need to leave behind. The one point of resolution, the one thing it would really help if you do, is to claim authority over yourself. This is not about others. If anything, people around you are holding out many opportunities and forms of support that you actually have available to you. But if you’re not your own master (which translates to, if you’re not the one making your own decisions on your own terms), then what you’re being offered won’t amount to much of anything. Live day to day, taking each stretch of road as it comes. What is available will manifest for you clearly and visibly. Then, open up to receive.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — There are so many planets moving in your favor that you have nearly every option open to you. You would go a long way toward fulfilling your desires by keeping your promise not to doubt yourself. Others may be hesitating; others may be unsure; others may not see the potential in their own lives, or be frightened of it. Don’t let them influence your opinion of what is possible for you. Rise above that kind of herd mentality for which humanity is so famous — especially now that anything and everything is used as an excuse for fear. You’re on a path of growth and self-realization that few others around you understand. Put yourself in the presence of those few, and set the example of being fearless about your own potential. Set the example for yourself of being willing to work for what you want, and to live well. Each verges on meaningless without the other. Be bold and saucy in your personal life. Be clever and strategic in your professional life. Remember: as David Bowie once said, small moves mean a lot.