The Pulse of Life

Planet Waves
Photo from Green Earth Village. “A community developed for the planet’s future. It begs the question, why didn’t we build this way sooner?”

Dear Friend and Reader:

We’re now at the southern solstice — the beginning of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. Measured by the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn, this takes place Friday, Dec. 21 at 5:23 pm EST [for a detailed reading of the chart, please see Monday’s edition, or Amanda’s article below].

There are times when I can physically feel the movement of the planets. That is one of the things that awakened me to astrology.

I once experienced the solstice happening. I was on the ferry dock heading back to Vashon Island in Washington State when the Sun entered Capricorn. Just as this happened, the cosmos felt like a huge machine that slowed down, came to a halt, started back up, and began moving in the other direction. It was a little like being on an enormous carnival ride.

My first thought was: OK, this is about the angle of the Sun to the Earth, though it feels a lot bigger. It felt like more than the Sun-Earth relationship, though when you consider that, it’s pretty large from the standpoint of an individual body or consciousness on Earth. It might just feel like everything, and it did, kind of like the teacup ride feels like everything when you’re riding on it.

Our whole astrology is based on the seasons. Every now and then I get a letter from someone who is surprised to find out that there are constellations behind the signs, which don’t really align. Some of the constellations take up 15 degrees of the sky and some stretch across 45 — whereas all the signs are equal divisions of 30 degrees. Many wonder if maybe those odd divisions are the “real” astrology.

That notion is based on the idea that there’s really a bull in Taurus, fishes in Pisces or a guy with a snake in Ophiuchus. Those are figures of the imagination, or symbols that the mind can use any way it pleases. What’s more tangible is that we live on a planet; we’re part of the planet; and we experience the seasons changing in our bodies, as connected to the natural rhythm of our lives.

Our concept of time and of growth is based on cycles related to the seasons. These are actual events both in concept and in physical reality. Astrologer-historian Rob Hand offers a beautiful image of how this looks:

Planet Waves

“As the Earth moves about the Sun the seasons change,” he wrote in an article from a few years back. “If you could speed up this motion and look at the Earth from space, you would see on the continents a movement of green (from vegetation) moving up and down. At the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere’s spring (beginning of Sun in Aries) you would see it moving up to the north of the equator, reaching its greatest development in the north at the beginning of the northern hemisphere’s summer (Sun in Cancer).

“Then it would begin to move south until at the beginning of the northern autumn, the southern hemisphere’s spring (Sun in Libra) it reached the most southerly part at the beginning of the southern summer (Sun in Capricorn). After that the belt of green begins to move north again.

“This is the ‘pulse of life’ that the late Dane Rudhyar referred to in his book of the same name. We believe that the origin of the qualities that astrologers associate with the signs comes from this movement of life’s energy on Earth. In the last analysis, the zodiac may not be so much due to the astronomy by itself as it is to the Earth’s biosphere. The signs are simply a measure of where we are in the year and the flow of life on Earth as it relates to the heavens.”

Where we are now, here in the Northern part of the globe, is that the Sun has all but disappeared beneath the horizon, nighttime is at its ongest, and after tomorrow, the Sun will begin to return in its brief journey toward our hemisphere.

Tomorrow is the 20th birthday of the Planet Waves project [read my article here]. I know that some of you have been with me from the days when I wrote for Mystic Gardens on AOL-UK (“keyword mystic”), from when I was a writer featured on or on, or from the first day I offered subscriptions. Many of you know me from when I stood in for Jonathan Cainer.

Maybe I met you at a psychic fair, or somewhere along the trail of my environmental journalism career. Maybe we’re old friends from SUNY Buffalo or John Dewey High School.

I know some of you from the poly/tantra scene in California, from Vashon Island in Washington State, or from trains in France and the Netherlands. Maybe you met me in Mykonos, or first read my column in the Daily News. Many of you have come on board more recently, connecting with us through the wonders of social media.

However we met, thank you for being part of our publishing experiment, and coming to us for your astrology, news and thoughts about life.

Thank you for helping take care of us all this time, for participating, for being our customers and clients, and for using our services. We love doing this work for you every day.

It’s good to be with you.

With love,


Planet Waves
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric F. Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Quartermaster: Josie Coppolino. Client Services: Amy Elliott, Victoria Emory and Jason Michaels. Finance: Andrew Slater. Technical Assistant: Emily Thing. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Yuko Katori, Cindy Tice Ragusa, and Carol van Strum.

A Full-Moon Pholus on the Solstice

By Amanda Painter

As you likely already know, late tomorrow the Sun enters Capricorn for the solstice. The next day, we get a potent-looking Cancer Full Moon. So we’re about to enter a moment of (possibly) heightened emotions, layered on top of cultural holiday busy-ness, layered on top of a seasonal point of contraction and interiority, all nestled into the personal-is-political Aries Point — with a twist.

Planet Waves
Photo by Amanda Painter.

These are days to keep a finger on the pulse of how you’re feeling.

What catches your attention as a possible synchronicity or as having meaning, and what (or who) starts to trigger your reactivity? Are you going along with the crowd because it’s expected or you’ve ‘always done this’, or is a small, inner voice whispering something about needing to spend a little time differently this year?

To help you get your bearings, here’s the timing of the main astro events: on Friday, Dec. 21, the Sun enters Capricorn at 5:23 pm EST (22:22:37 UTC), immediately making a conjunction to the centaur Pholus (technically exact the next day). That’s the “twist” I mentioned, and I’ll come back to it in a moment.

At 11:28 am EST (16:27:54 UTC) on Saturday, Dec. 22, the Moon ingresses Cancer. Then, just over an hour later at 12:48 pm EST (17:48:29 UTC), the Cancer Moon and Capricorn Sun oppose each other.

With a Full Moon in the very first degree of Cancer, we’re ringing the bell of the Aries Point pretty strongly (the Aries Point is the first degree of Aries, which resonates with the first degree of all the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Cap). I know many people don’t pay as much attention to the news on the weekends, though with social media interaction it still may enter your awareness. Even so, you might want to pay attention to it over the next few days.

Continue reading…

Planet Waves

Single Signs Now Available for Pre-sale

Envisioning Your Future: INTELLIGENCE 2019-2020

Dear Friend and Reader:

It’s difficult to see the future these days. I don’t mean to predict; I mean to see out to the horizon, and imagine something new.

Planet Waves
iPhone selfie at my desk in The Place of the Way, where I’m recording and writing INTELLIGENCE.

There’s a lot in the way: the challenges we face every day, the sense of uncertainty that we live with, and the chaos churned up by the digital environment; let’s pause there for a second. This has thrown into chaos the “sense of self” that many people once possessed.

Add to that economic uncertainty and the sensation that the whole world is on the edge — it’s difficult to see the future these days. It seems risky to trust that things will be OK. It can feel impossible to imagine anything different from what we have now, much less something better.

Here is where astrology comes in. There is a future, and you are included. I use my gift as an astrologer to open up your perception of time, and give you access to time as a resource. This can be done with the power of human thought, if only we can get out of our own way.

INTELLIGENCE is your 2019-2020 reading, and it’s all about lighting up your mind, letting go of the past, and envisioning your future. Then, you will see some possible destinations begin to arise.

We are now in one of those “whole new reality” series of transits: Chiron in Aries. Uranus in Taurus. Many other long-range events that will shape our lives — and that we can use as points of orientation.

Planet Waves
Astonishing Capricorn stellium on Jan. 12, 2020, featuring a five-way conjunction of Mercury, Saturn, Pluto, Ceres and the Sun.

There are two major factors on what I call the “event horizon” — Saturn conjunct Pluto on Jan. 12, 2020, and Jupiter conjunct Saturn on Dec. 21, 2020.

On their own, each these would be a significant development; but soon we will get them in the same year.

It is for this reason that I’m covering 2019 and 2020 in one project — next year in audio (for fast delivery) and then 2020 in writing (equally detailed, though writing takes longer).

This is carefully done, thoughtful, accessible astrology like nobody else can do it. Though I am reluctant to use the word, I am a master of the solar house system, allowing me to put more detail into your reading than most other astrologers can do with your natal chart. (The solar chart is the archetypal chart for your birth sign).

I am on track to have the RESET 2019 readings (INTELLIGENCE part one) ready for your ears on Monday, Dec. 31. These are 75- to 80-minute readings in four segments, divided by custom music that I’m writing for each sign.

I begin each reading by doing a review of the recent Venus and Mars retrogrades, which have up-ended the lives of many people, and shaken up a good few more.

Planet Waves
Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on Dec. 21, 2020, a few hours after the winter solstice. The conjunction is in the first degree of Aquarius (marked by 00s), on the top left.

Then, orienting on late 2020, I take the audio readings out to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction 1/12/20.

The written readings are scheduled for delivery about eight weeks later, in late February. These will begin with Jupiter conjunct Saturn on 12/21/20 and work their way backwards into the present.

The world will be facing many challenges during this time, though nothing that we cannot rise to meet — if we use our most valuable human gift: OUR INTELLIGENCE.

Single signs are now available! Includes audio and written from $33 per sign until Friday, Dec. 21; then from $44 until publication, when they will be $55.

Or, you may get all 12 signs of both RESET 2019 and INTELLIGENCE 2020 as a combined package for the pre-order price of $122, or RESET 2019 (all 12) as a stand-alone for $88.

Backstage Pass and Galaxy Pass holders (past and present) — please call us at (845) 481-5616 for the best price.

INTELLIGENCE is my 21st time doing the Planet Waves annual edition. You may read and listen to past editions here.

Thank you for trusting me as your astrologer.

With love,


PS — RESET 2019 comes with two resource areas — an audio resource, which will be short Q&A-type pieces, and a written resource, with what we consider essential reading and our best work from 2018.

Capricorn Birthdays and Rising 2019:

What Part of Yourself Will You Rediscover This Year?

“Today I was listening to last year’s reading and I kept feeling that I needed to get this year’s reading; I’m so glad I did. It answered everything, or at least helped me to realize I’m okay and actually very excited. The past few years have really been building up for us goats and my life has been a pure reflection of it all throughout the years…this reading is so inspiring.”

— Rhonda Benson, Capricorn

Dear Capricorn Sun, Rising or Moon Reader:

When the Sun enters your sign on Dec. 21, it does so under some rather ‘energetic’ conditions. For one thing, there will be a Full Moon in your relationship sign the next day.

Planet Waves
Eric Francis Coppolino at his work desk.

Also, the Sun will be conjunct the ‘small cause big effect’ centaur planet Pholus. Pholus signifies the runaway reaction, or that sense that the genie has been let out of the bottle.

In other words, whatever you begin as your solar year gets started is likely to have some real legs. And that’s not all: with your ruling planet, Saturn, at ‘home’ in your sign, and Uranus about to move into your zone of creative risk-taking, play and sex for fun, it looks like you’ll have both the discipline and structure to get things done and plenty of surprises to keep you engaged and curious over the next 12 months.

Eric will be covering all this and more in your 2019 Capricorn Astrology Studio. Comprising two audio astrology segments and a tarot reading for the year (plus an extended description of your sign, and photos of the chart and tarot spread), this reading makes a wonderful ‘of the moment’ complement to your upcoming INTELLIGENCE annual readings. They are two distinctly different readings, covering the material in different styles.

“Incredible! As a Capricorn who has been demolished by Pluto and searching for myself for a long time, I cried so many times reading this. I feel like I have found a long-lost piece of myself through your writings.”

— Amy Welchez

When you pre-order your 2019 Capricorn Astrology Studio (previously called the Birthday Reading), you lock in the lowest price we offer — just $33 — for all three audio segments and the supporting materials. As the portions of the reading get published, the price increases.

Eric brings the best of his 20 years of astrology experience, his therapy training, investigative skills and motivational speaking chops to these readings, offering practical insights you can put to use right away in your relationships, career, healing path, art and more. What will you discover about yourself this year?

Wishing you all the blessings of the season,

Amanda Painter

P.S. Is there a Capricorn close to you who sometimes feels a little forgotten this time of year? Honor their birthday with a gift of the 2019 Capricorn Astrology Studio.


This Week on Planet Waves FM:

The Great Wave: Cancer Full Moon Opposite Pholus

Dear Friend and Listener:

We’re approaching a turning point in the year and maybe in contemporary history, about to experience a Full Moon on the Northern winter solstice with the minor planet Pholus involved. I described that in Monday night’s subscriber edition as well as in this week’s Planet Waves FM [play program here].

When a new or newish minor planet is involved in this kind of one-degree event, we get what I call a proving moment, where we see what this influence is made of: what it does when the energy is turned up.

Planet Waves
Andrew McLuhan.

The solstice is Friday and the Full Moon is Saturday, so the energy will build rapidly this week.

There are two other features to the program — my summary of where we’re at in the Mueller investigation, and the Johnson & Johnson coverup of asbestos in its baby powder (read the Reuters investigative report here).

For the last hour, I bring Andrew McLuhan onto the program, and we discuss the Trump phenomenon from the standpoint of media analysis. Is Trump a product of television or the internet? He seemed to rise to power on the net (his endless tweets, various Russian Facebook campaigns, there being no such thing as logic, and so on), but now that he’s actually in the presidency, internet consciousness is unraveling him.

Everything is documented. There is no privacy. Everything and everyone is subject to scrutiny. These are the kinds of things we discuss. Andrew mentions his new organization, the McLuhan Institute. Here is the Patreon page.

Planet Waves FM is published by Chiron Return, Inc., the nonprofit arm of Planet Waves. We are supported by your monthly contributions. If you would like to become a supporter, please visit this link.

Thanks for tuning in.

With love,


Planet Waves
Today the Sun enters Capricorn at 5:23 pm EST (22:22:37 UTC), marking the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice (summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere). This is when the Sun reaches its southernmost declination in planet Earth’s sky. “Declination” refers to the angle an object makes to the celestial equator; the “celestial equator” is the Earth’s equator if we were to project it out into space. This composite photo, made up of 43 separate and beautifully planned exposures, follows the Sun’s path through the December solstice day of 2005, looking down the Tyrrhenian Sea coast toward Fiumicino, Italy. Photo by Danilo Pivato via APOD.

On behalf of the Planet Waves team, I wish you a peaceful and insightful solstice. — Amanda Painter

Planet Waves

Listen to Vision Quest on Live Stream

Planet Waves has an in-house music ensemble, called Vision Quest. We have a 38-hour loop of our music, which you can listen to any time. Included are finished pieces, rehearsals, live concerts, drum grooves, and spoken word recordings. I consider it a kind of musical divination. Click in randomly at different times of day and see what you discover.

Our Gifts to You: A Little Something Extra

Dear Friend and Reader:

It took me a long time to figure out what kind of gift to offer for new and returning subscribers. Tee shirts seemed too complicated; you need at least six sizes to get started, and not everyone wants a shirt. Tote bags are useful but kind of boring.

So I thought: journals. I love notebooks, and just about everything I write starts scribbled down on paper. I know my readers are a little old-fashioned, so this seemed like the perfect thing.

Planet Waves
Black smaller, pink larger, embossed with the Planet Waves logo. There are a few hand painted sketchbooks left, with heavy, acid-free paper.

Then…I researched embossed journals for about six months. That’s how long it took. I requested or purchased samples of the best that suppliers had, and all kinds of stuff came floating in the door. It was more challenging than I imagined to find a nice one, though finally I did.

Everything had to be right: the paper, the lines, and how the book feels in your hands.

However, the one I selected was being discontinued. I ordered as many as we could reasonably afford. We now have two main options: small black ones, and larger pink ones (these are new).

Together, they are the approximate color of Good & Plenty candy. I am one of these people who loves anything pink (sweatshirts, nail polish, headbands, a hot pink Squier guitar that I gave to Zosha a few years ago). We also have a few hand-painted notebooks left, which are acid-free sketchbooks.

You can get an embossed notebook with any monthly, quarterly or yearly membership to Planet Waves. If, by the way, there’s a calling for hand-painted ones, I will make one more-or-less to your preferences (for those who sign up for a full-year Backstage Pass).

Continue reading this letter here.

Planet Waves

Sign up free for your comprehensive guide to daily astrology, calendar, birthdays and more.


Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for December were published on Thursday, Dec. 6. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for November on Thursday, Nov. 8. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Dec. 20, 2018 (#1230) | By Amy Elliott

Aries (March 20-April 19) — With the emphasis turning toward your house of career and status, and a powerful Full Moon about to take place right across that axis of your chart, you may well be at least beginning to feel — to borrow from Terry Pratchett — as if your get-up-and-go has got up and come. That’s likely to be a good deal more obvious in the New Year, once your ruler Mars is in your sign. Just remember all the things you’ve learned about yourself recently, especially where you’ve gotten in touch with your sensitivity and empathy. Keep close to your sense of fairness. Get your full Aries reading by Eric here.


Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may be experiencing some tension regarding specifically the question of what holds most meaning for you, and your general philosophy. These are profound questions, which we are in a sense compelled to answer with every decision we make and every action we take. The responses we give can change as we go through life and encounter new situations, though sometimes we stumble upon fundamental principles of such importance that they stay with us for many years. If there is turbulence around you, concepts of that sort are usually a very good anchor. Get your full Taurus reading by Eric here.


Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury, your ruler, finally leaves shadow phase on Monday, meaning it will enter new zodiacal territory for the first time since its retrograde. If you’ve been feeling as if you’ve yet to shake off the sensation of slowing down and of a reflective state of being, there may be more information to emerge on your present path of self-discovery before you’re ready to move back into the active realm. Be as patient as you can, and keep going until you see fit to take a different route. At some point any uncertainty you may feel will most likely wane, and clarity fill the gap. Get your full Gemini reading by Eric here.


Cancer (June 21-July 22) — In part thanks to the heavy emphasis on the nuclear family, around this time of year there is a culturally driven wave of sentimentality involving relationships and the imperative to Not Be Alone — regardless of whether the available company is worth keeping or not. Thanks to the Full Moon this week, you might be experiencing the urge to commit to a specific arrangement, which you would otherwise probably take your time in deciding. However, there’s no reason to rush anything; use your discernment, and weigh out all the details carefully, before coming to a decision. Get your full Cancer reading by Eric here.


Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The solstices are among the pivotal turning points in the year, around which festivals tend to congregate, and which are globally significant. When they’ve passed, we tend to go back to our routine lives. That said, there is something particularly interesting about tomorrow’s solstice, namely a sense that some of its magic can be carried forward into the workaday world, if we so wish it. There is beauty and meaning and power in every day, though sometimes finding it takes a bit of digging. You seem to possess the key, at present, to doing just that. Get your full Leo reading by Eric here.


Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — On the face of it, the astrology looks as if you’re about to turn into the creativity-related version of a perpetual motion machine. Yet it’s also possible that what you’re feeling right now is more akin to stress and overwhelm, or confusion regarding what to do next. Keep an eye out if you’re prone at the moment to wanting to push the river, or expecting too much of yourself. You cannot shoulder a level of pressure on the order of having to turn into Picasso overnight. You’re only human, and perhaps could do with remembering that it’s okay to need downtime occasionally. Get your full Virgo reading by Eric here.


Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Pay close attention to your body and emotions during the festive season, especially in social and other interactive situations. This time of year can pile on the stress as well as offering relaxation and general cheer. Take it easy, and don’t feel obliged to participate in any activity you’d rather not. Many people enjoy the parties and celebratory atmosphere; if you prefer a quiet, homely gathering or not much at all, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Stay alert and aware of your instincts, and try to avoid too many excesses, particularly of alcohol. Get your full Libra reading by Eric here.


Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You’ve probably heard that riddle on what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object. Nothing in our lived reality, fortunately, is quite so absolute; yet there are times when something has to give. When a matter feels important to us, we are apt to let our emotions sway our judgment; yet it can be enormously helpful to take a step back, analyze the situation and ensure there isn’t a factor we’re overlooking. At any rate, if there seems to be an inflexible barrier in the path, it’s probably sensible to pause and try to figure out a way round it. Get your full Scorpio reading by Eric here.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Awareness is thankfully growing regarding the impact of single-use items on the environment. It seems far too many things are made to be disposable in short order. This can impact our thinking as well; it can be ridiculously easy to decide that a project or an interest isn’t working, and to throw it over for something new without further analysis. Yet what might seem like a blind alley can often have hidden doors. If you think you’ve arrived at an impasse, look around carefully for a way through that you haven’t yet spotted. Chances are there’ll be at least a few. Get your full Sagittarius reading by Eric here.


Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — The focus of the planets is shifting onto your sign, and it would seem you’re about to get a foretaste of what the incredible 2020 astrology might feel like for you. If you’re experiencing apprehension at the idea of being more central in the grand scheme of things, you can acknowledge this and sit with it for a while. To embrace that situation will require confidence — in yourself, and in the various beliefs you hold dear. What you possibly need to realize more than anything else is that there is every reason why said confidence is perfectly justified. Get your full Capricorn reading by Eric here.


Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may feel as if you’re currently paying a visit to Wonderland, or a parallel universe in which everything is upside down or exists in ten different dimensions. There are certainly enough Mad Hatters operating on the current world stage, after all. Yet if you listen carefully, you will find the strain of truth running beneath the cacophony like a deep bass line, maintaining a rhythm of solid, reliable tones. Hold that sound in your mind, and allow it to drown out the noise when things seem like they’re getting to be too much. You know who you are, and you can lean on that feeling. Get your full Aquarius reading by Eric here.


Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — The astrological spotlight is currently on your zones of public visibility, suggesting that you’ll have opportunities to stand out more palpably over the mass of your fellow humans. Small moves in the right direction could cause a surprisingly dynamic response, propelling you into a broader realm of influence. Just remember to keep your sense of perspective; it’s all too easy to let that slip away when the world is changing around us, but you’ve grown immeasurably, and sacrificed far too much to let go of your roots and of the person you’ve spent years becoming. Get your full Pisces reading by Eric here.

3 thoughts on “The Pulse of Life

  1. Heather

    “The Pulse of Life” and thanks to you Eric angel and the crew at Planet Waves, we can navigate through its many variations on a theme.

    On that note, Happy 20th Birthday Planet Waves with many more Happy Returns to follow.

  2. Daniel

    Thank you Eric, Amanda and all the Planet Waves team. I’ve been with you 9 years off and on, I always appreciate coming here and reading such wonderful loving content. A deep heartfelt thank you.
    Love Daniel

    1. Amanda Painter

      Daniel and Heather: always heartening to know people keep coming back because they find value in what we’re offering here. Thank you! Wishing you both — and everyone else reading — all the best for the coming year.

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