The Shifting Ground of So-Called Reality

Posted by Eric F Coppolino


Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States. I only know one person who not only believed it was possible, but said it would happen. Many are looking and listening in astonishment. How was this even possible?

Dear Friend and Reader:

Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States. I only know one person who not only believed it was possible, but said it would happen. Many are looking and listening in astonishment. How was this even possible?

Warped railroad tracks beneath shifting ground, following the 2011 quake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo via The Daily Telegraph.

It’s now worth asking: could he become president? Lots of seemingly educated, ‘well meaning’ people are supporting him, a reminder about how the road to hell got paved.

Meanwhile, it looks like Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee, even as the FBI is investigating what crimes may have been committed with her choice to use a private email server located in her home bathroom, rather than an official government system. We might ask, why exactly did she do that? Any investigative or even municipal reporter knows the answer: to keep the data secret, and as far from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as possible.

Bernie Sanders, for his part, made it further than just about anyone imagined. It’s annoying to some people that he refuses to drop out of the race; they cannot imagine why he’s staying in. The obvious reason is, when you’re running a close second place, you keep going.

He has raised a small fortune through direct fundraising, proving that the Citizens’ United decision, which allows infinite political spending by wealthy people and corporations, has a workaround: lots and lots of $20 donations. He also knows that many people don’t really like or trust Clinton; they merely think she’s the only viable alternative.

If the race comes down to Clinton versus Trump, we have the apotheosis of a TEA Party Republican versus that of a sell-out, opportunistic Democrat. It really would be the perfect example of what the political parties have become. Hillary may be pro-choice (and that may be the single most important domestic issue), and we also know she’s pro-WalMart, pro-Monsanto, pro-Goldman Sachs and a pro in general.

Planet Waves
Fourth Ave. in Anchorage, Alaska, became a split-level street after the infamous 9.2 earthquake of March 1964. We think we stand on solid ground, but the earth does indeed move, and it can move quickly. This was the second-largest quake ever recorded, after a 9.5 in Chile in 1960.

Trump is giving a voice to pure greed, bigotry and the hatred of women, promising to dislocate 12 million Mexicans and ban Muslims from entering the country, and talking about what bad people journalists are.

Few are calling him to task: he’s running on a platform of genocide (not merely racism) and of dismantling First Amendment protections of free speech and religion, the cornerstones of American society.

I have not heard anyone mention that dislocating an entire subpopulation is indeed a form of genocide. I know this because all around Paris are monuments to the dislocation of the Jews during the Holocaust. Would we really tolerate the police going door to door, and restaurant to restaurant, hauling off any Spanish-speaking person? How would someone prove they are not Muslim? Speaking of Spanish, would there be an inquisition?

Clinton presents herself as a woman of the people, though that’s not really possible for someone with her friends, and her ambitions, who generates $27 million in annual income. Trump presents himself as a conservative, but conservatism is about preserving the structure of society rather than dismantling it. In this sense, Clinton is the true conservative: she wants to use and work within the existing system. Trump is a revolutionary; he wants to undo the American revolution.

Clinton represents the status quo, not especially interesting as such. The contrast between Trump and Sanders is more revealing. They are promising change and have clear ideas about it. There are many comparisons being made between these two dark horse candidates, both of whom have done better than anyone expected.

Most of the comparisons (including the ones I’ve made so far) involve the figures — what is Trump saying? What is Sanders saying? However I think that what they reveal about the background of society is more telling.

Planet Waves
This is an illustration of the Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment, wherein the cat is both alive and dead simultaneously. While most people don’t understand the concept, this and other ideas from quantum physics have served to undermine our previous sense of dependable linear reality.

By background, I mean our culture itself, the political environment, and the state of mind people are in. While I think that both men are interesting phenomena, what they say about our collective state of mind is much more valuable. There are reasons that these candidates are gaining so much traction.

We might say that Trump is succeeding because he is such a master publicist and knows how to keep the press focused. But the opposite complaint is being made about Sanders: compared to Trump, he’s getting much less attention in the media. My unscientific method is, every time I turn on the TV randomly, someone is talking about Trump. So it’s not just that.

First let’s look at some quotes by both candidates, and then size up what they say about the underlying ground on which they are standing.

Sanders: “Balancing the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children and the poor is not only immoral, it is bad economic policy. It is something that must be vigorously opposed.”

Trump: “You know the funny thing, I don’t get along with rich people. I get along with the middle class and the poor people better than I get along with the rich people.”

Trump makes everything about himself right from the start. It’s true that as a political candidate one is always trying to get attention. Politicians are usually masters of this; however, Trump is particularly unvarnished about it.

Planet Waves
Illustration of figure-ground contrast. Figures and backgrounds define one another. In this illustration they are approximately equal, with the figure and background changing places easily. Notice that it’s difficult to see it both ways at the same time. Most thought and observation focuses on the figure, not the background.

Sanders, in the quote above, is sticking to a pretty standard New Deal Democrat talking point — how balancing a budget on the backs of the poor is immoral. He makes the discussion about other people.

Trump contrasts this with one of his many statements built around I, me, mine. In doing so, he appeals to anyone who cannot think about anyone but themselves. That, apparently, is a significant portion of the population. He is giving people permission to do what they normally do.

Sanders is tapping into an underlying sense of unfairness that affects people generally. He too is giving people permission to feel a certain way, though it’s clearly a different feeling. He may be appealing to idealism in some, and for some he is appealing to what is sometimes called white guilt, or people with modest privilege feeling guilty about it (rather than sharing what they have).

Let’s contrast two comments related to race and equality:

Sanders: “An America where every person, no matter their race, their disability or their sexual orientation realizes the full promise of equality that is our birthright as Americans.”

Trump: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Skipping ahead a little, he added, “Some, I assume, are good people.”

These statements reflect different visions of society, and they appeal to different self-concepts. Sanders’ statement is what I would call a classically American ideal. Most people know that it doesn’t work that way, but gradually over the past 250 years we have moved in that direction.

Sanders is appealing to a literate person’s understanding of our cultural ethos, or one version of it. He is reflecting on something that is structured into the American psyche mainly by way of schoolbooks; though still, in all, it’s enlightened thinking oriented on progress.

Planet Waves
The illusion of movement can be created by figure-ground contrast. The visual effect of the dots moving is created by contrast between the colors. The mind is perceiving everything; seeing may be believing, but that doesn’t make it true. View larger image here for the full effect.

He is saying we are all in this together, and apparently many people feel that way or they would not be voting for him, or sending in donations.

Trump makes it personal: those people over there are the cause of your problems. This is the oldest tactic of tyrants through the aeons.

Further, he is consciously appealing to a dark, racist streak in the American psyche, the one still pissed off about the South losing the Civil War. He is also tapping into something much older, which is the fear of seeming outsiders, and the ease with which politicians can blame all our ills on them. This is called projection. Crime, rape and drugs? Do we know where he’s personally coming from on those behaviors?

He again makes it about himself: “Some, I assume are good people.” He places himself in the role of personal judge. This is de facto permission to do the same thing. It’s just that most humans have enough conscience to check that part of themselves. What Trump is appealing to is the desire to suspend conscience, and doing so boldly. Trump is not really egotistical. He embodies what Freud called the id: unconditioned, totally amoral instinct.

My take is that Trump is working with the ongoing collapse of the distinction of right and wrong as ground society stands on. Something is only right or wrong because we agree it is so (which varies from culture to culture, era to era and in many ways individual to individual). It’s a kind of unspoken contract. If we pretend there is no such thing as right and wrong (this has been going around for a while, from the preemptive strike’s revival of ‘might makes right’, to the groovy notion of ‘it’s all good’) then anyone free to do or say anything, and many people will do, well, anything. Have you imagined how long before mayhen would ensure if the traffic lights all went out?

It’s true that right and wrong are social constructs. Society is based on a set of agreements and grounded expectations. If you get a job, you agree to come to work and you expect to get paid. If your house is on fire and you dial 911, you expect the Fire Department to come. If someone is arrested for a crime, they have the expectation of certain legal rights.

Planet Waves
Another example of figure-ground contrast is an aquarium. If you want to determine the health or probable health of the fish, you test the water. The water is considered a living thing (it is, really) and its chemistry (such as pH, temperature, ammonia level, phosphate level, etc.) indicates that of the fish. This allows you to test the fish without harming them.

Yet this is in many ways being undermined by our knowledge that the system is rigged, contemporary issues of basic work ethic and what we learn from the old Public Enemy song, 911 is a Joke.

The 9-1-1 joke extends to people dialing in to report cold french fries or the wrong number of McNuggets in their box, a whole genre on the Internet.

What I am getting at here is that there is a dual failure of the 911 system: of the government to respond in many places, and of people to understand what it is. You could assess this as a figure-ground interaction.

Many other cultural scripts are being burned, and along the way a presidential candidate can now campaign on the claim that Mexicans are rapists, and it doesn’t hurt him.

It would have in the past, but not today. Trump’s claim may seem outrageous, but it’s the lack of interest by the public that is more relevant. To me this may indicate that he’s speaking to a widely-held belief rather than trying to propagate one.

Sanders: “I believe that climate change is the great global crisis that we face, environmental crisis. I believe that if you’re serious about climate change, you don’t encourage the excavation and transportation of very dirty oil.”

Trump: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

Does anyone remember the famous Karl Rove quote about the reality-based community? Rove told New York Times reporter Ron Suskind that people like Suskind were part of “what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality,” adding, “That’s not the way the world really works anymore.”

Sanders is depending on science (an agreed method of reasoning) repeated so many times it’s amazing anyone could doubt it — unless of course they have a motive (cigarette manufacturers know that cigarettes are safe).

What Rove called ‘discernible reality’ is based on the precept that it’s possible to understand and document something factually, to the point of being able to make some decisions based on what you know.

Trump is basing his statement on his awareness of a perceived collapse in discernible reality. True, he also wants to give everyone a pass for burning all the oil that they do. Rove’s statement is not honest, of course. It’s still possible to perform an experiment, or to do research, and come up with a supportable conclusion or at least a useful observation that might describe a path of action.

Planet Waves

To deny that fact, or to make a statement based on that denial, favors just one side of the discussion. Yet many people really do believe that it’s ‘impossible to tell what is true anymore’.

This represents a profound shift in the background, or underlying ground, of our society and our collective consciousness. This has a long history.

In the most esoteric sense it’s based on the Uncertainty Principle of quantum physics, and related ideas. While few understand this principle (devised by a physicist named Heisenberg), it’s had a way of undermining our previously solid notion of reality.

There is a growing understanding that what we see as the world is a kind of metaphysical illusion. Most people who have taken LSD emerge from the experience more respectful of the world based on this idea. Yet it can also be corrupted into ideas like ‘there’s no such thing as the truth’, particularly if someone is a liar. How can you lie if there is no truth? This would also conveniently make hypocrisy impossible, since there would be no such thing as a contradiction.

In that world, for sure, climate change could easily be a hoax foisted on us by the Chinese as part of a trade war.

Yet the fact that so many people believe the climate change ‘hoax’ and related frauds suggests that the intellectual ground of reality is what’s shifting beneath us. This favors some viewpoints more than others. For example, if there is no ability to discern objective truth, how can anyone claim to know anything, or to keep an agreement?

Sanders is certainly a kind of idealist, leading people toward what today seems like some kind of utopia, but which was possible just a short time ago (such as free tuition at public colleges). Yet to take that viewpoint he must tap into an underlying idealism in society or he would get nowhere.

Trump is a kind of nihilist. He’s saying nothing really matters, except, of course, for him. Hey we all know the world is going to hell anyway, right? So he may as well have a good time and make a lot of money even if sea levels and temperatures are rising rapidly.

Next week I plan to describe the astrology underlying this collapse in what we think of as reality, and what we might do with it. Clues: Neptune in Pisces, and Pluto in Capricorn.



Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, by Planet Waves, Inc. Core community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Designer: Lizanne Webb. Finance: Victoria Pomante. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Outreach Co-ordinator: Victoria Bodge. Client Services: Amy Elliott. 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 and Carol van Strum.

Planet Waves
This week’s Planet Waves TV [play video here] looks at the Gemini New Moon and the rare grand square aspect that spans from Gemini to Virgo to Sagittarius to Pisces — and which influences everyone in the process. How do you use your mind? That’s the question. This leads into the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries, which is influencing how you think about who you are.



Gemini New Moon: At a Crossroads

Saturday we have a New Moon — a conjunction of the Sun and Moon, this time in Gemini, just before 11:00 pm EDT (02:59 UTC Sunday). It’s part of a larger, slower-moving aspect pattern that might have you feeling like you’re at some kind of crossroads.

Planet Waves
View from the Manhattan Bridge; photo by Amanda Painter.

For some people, crossroads can be exciting. All those options and possibilities! For others, it’s pure torture — hard to make a decision, to trust that you’ll make the ‘right’ choice.

Either way, this New Moon represents an opportunity to see (and feel) a new side to an issue or situation, and then approach it differently from how you have been.

The astrological ‘crossroads’ is a grand cross in the mutable signs. Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces have been moving into position for a while now (making a T-square). When the Sun and Moon join Venus in mid-Gemini for the New Moon, they fill in the fourth sign to make the grand cross.

All of that square energy can feel like a lot of internal pressure to make a decision and do something already, even if you’re not sure what or how. Some people will be able to use the Gemini planets to think their way there.

Is the mental level where you get stuck? Perhaps look to retrograde Mars in Scorpio and see what the ‘feeling’ quality of that sign tells you. For example:

How do I feel? I feel angry because I am too cold with the window open.

What can I do about it? I can close the window or put on a sweater. I can complain about it and hope that somebody else does something about it for me.

What do I want to do about it? I want to close the window.

The passive choice is still a choice. But does it make you feel better about yourself in the long run? Choices that empower you with authority over your life do not always look attractive or ‘easy’ at first.

Note that the Uranus-Eris conjunction, exact for the first time since 1928 on June 9, is at full strength — an opportunity to wake from the distraction of technology and notice who you’re becoming. See all your options, evaluate them, gauge how you feel — and remember that ‘mutable’ can mean ‘flexible’.

Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter

Planet Waves Astrology Editor



A ‘before and after’ shot of one of Sonia Singh’s re-made dolls; her mother sews and knits clothes for the dolls. Sonia writes on her website, “I am encouraging people to upcycle their own dolls and I hope to remain creative, to collaborate with other creative people, to help get children involved in making their own toys and to work towards helping everybody to look again with fresh eyes at the things we buy and the things we throw out without thinking twice.” Image: Tree Change Dolls.

Getting Beneath the Glamour

By Amanda Painter

Sonia Singh of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, says she didn’t set out to “make a statement” when she began removing the overly made-up and ‘adult’ faces off of second-hand Bratz dolls, and painting them to have ‘average girl’ faces. Yet a statement is being made, and people are echoing it, as you can hear in this SBS2Australia video.

What began as something to do with her time after Sonia was laid off from her job as a science communicator took off beyond her and her partner John’s wildest expectations. He thought the doll photos she posted to her friends on Facebook might get 200 or so followers.

Sonia says, “It just started snowballing,” particularly after someone posted it to Reddit. Before long, the dolls had gone ‘viral’, and newspapers from all over the world were doing stories on what has become her new business: Tree Change Dolls.

Says John, “She’s accidentally sort of tapped into this debate around the hyper-sexualization of dolls and children’s toys, and marketing towards children.”

As one of the young girls in the video remarks, “You can sort of pretend they’re the same age as you.” Another girl says, “This one kind of looks like my friend Maggie.”

Eric has remarked numerous times on the ‘glamour factor’ or Uranus conjunct Eris in Aries; how easy it is to fall under its spell. Not everyone has, and it’s possible to choose differently — as Sonia has shown with Tree Change Dolls and the girls who love them.


This Week on Planet Waves FM

Gemini Square Dancing, and the Uranus Eris Conjunction

Dear Friend and Reader:

Saturday the Gemini New Moon takes shape, amidst a rare grand cross aspect. Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn in Sagittarius, Neptune in Pisces and the New Moon plus Venus in Gemini align all around us.

Planet Waves
Laurie Anderson in her studio in Manhattan. She has Gemini Sun and rising, and turns 69 next week. Photo by Jennifer S. Altman.

In this week’s Planet Waves FM [play episode here], I take these placements one at a time and describe how they relate to one another. I describe the mental quality of this pattern, and what it might provoke — and what options are available.

In the second segment I move on to the Uranus-Eris conjunction, which peaks for the first time on Thursday, June 9, and I make a discovery while on the air: Eris in Aries coincides with the rise of commercial radio in the United States. The “chaos identity” of Eris in Aries runs in parallel with the dominance of a new kind of medium available to the public: the broadcasting of sound.

My musical guest is Laurie Anderson, who turns 69 on June 5. I discovered that she once mentioned to an astrologer that she has Gemini rising, so I read that chart, which is great fun. I play several selections from Mister Heartbreak, her second album, presented symmetrically as two pairs of twin compositions (one pair of which features her twin soul Peter Gabriel).

Planet Waves is sponsored by your patronage of our business. Thank you kindly.

With love,


Find Yourself! A New Class by Eric Francis

Astrology: A Study in Figure and Background

Dear Friend and Reader:

Astrology (or most astrology) has it backwards. First, astrologers begin with the “official” model of the solar system. Then they bring in rules, regulations and stories written by other people. Usually this is based on a reading of your most distant past, the moment of your birth. Only certain factors count (generally, the old ones).

I start from a different premise. The photo at the top of the page — that circular swarm of objects — is a more honest representation of the solar system, as we now understand it to be. This cyclone of planets knows of no laws (outside of astrophysics), it’s changing constantly, and ancient philosophers have never gone near it. It cannot be reduced to personality formulas, and it’s in a constant state of flux and discovery.

Which more accurately represents your life?

Find Yourself: The Astrology of Now is my new class premiering Saturday, June 18. It’s the latest in a series of classes designed to bring astrology up to date, and make its relevance obvious.

Read more…

Planet Waves

Image by bluejewel24.

A World of Choice: The Planet Waves Boutique

Thank you for all you and your team do! I can’t remember what life was like before I discovered Planet Waves. — Cheryl Corson

The Planet Waves Boutique is a testament to the versatility and thoroughness that makes Eric’s work unique.

The stunning array of readings, from individually-tailored birthday readings to the gorgeous Vision Quest project, is designed to ensure you can find exactly what you need — and these readings make perfect gifts for your loved ones too.

In addition, we have all our current memberships listed in one handy place; plus, you can sign up for Eric’s brand-new astrology class or access past ones.

The Boutique gets regular updates, and you’re welcome to visit at any time. If you’re looking for a product you can’t see, please feel free to email We’ll be happy to help.

Get Your Hand-Painted Journal Today

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Our journals are available in many styles, shapes and types; for the hand-painted ones Eric is taking custom orders.

Eric is offering hand-painted journals in different sizes when you upgrade to — or extend — your Backstage Pass membership.

Eric has been experimenting with different types of paints, textures and journals to bring all of you a wonderful gift of passion and creativity right from his fingertips.

When you sign up for or extend a Core Community membership for one year, you can receive one of the Planet Waves custom-branded, embossed journals. You have your choice of red, black, blue and purple. Eric will even add a splash of paint on these, if you’d like.

Emerge and Grow with Your Gemini Reading

“Thank you for this moment of clarity Eric – just one of so many really.”

— Beth Reineke

Dear Gemini (and those who love them):

As Eric describes in this week’s Planet Waves FM, this is a big year for anyone with Gemini Sun, rising or Moon. The Gemini New Moon on the mutable grand cross this weekend is just one of the energetic peaks speaking to you and influencing your world — and it’s a strong one.

Planet Waves
Gemini art by Lizanne Webb.

A New Moon is a ‘seed moment': a signal to emerge and grow in some way. As Eric wrote to Geminis recently, “It seems time to get things moving.”

But where to start? Why not listen to last year’s Gemini reading, on us, to help you get perspective on the last 12 months.

“Listening to an Eric Francis reading is very much like having an intimate conversation with a valued friend and mentor.”

— Nora Connaughton

The 2016-17 Gemini Birthday Reading will be a mix of video and audio segments, and will include Eric’s one-of-a-kind tarot reading for your sign (shown in video). You can listen and watch as many times as you like — and this reading will make an incredible gift for any Gemini loved ones who are seeking their true path.

“I loved the video format — seeing you in your lovely studio, with chart in hand. Everything, as always, was totally spot on. And I truly enjoyed watching you, instead of just hearing a disembodied voice.”

— Liz Glanville

Once the reading publishes, the price will increase. Gemini might be famous for the whole ‘twin’ thing, but there’s no two ways about it: pre-ordering your Gemini reading now is a clear step to give yourself the tools you need to move your relationships, career, creativity, spiritual healing and more forward in a holistic, inspirational and unified way.

Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter


Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

We published your extended monthly horoscope for June on Thursday, May 26. We published your extended monthly horoscope for May on Thursday, April 21. We published your Moonshine horoscope for the Taurus New Moon, by Len Wallick, on Thursday, May 5. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Short Monthly Horoscope for June 2016, #1103 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You are becoming someone you never expected to be. That is welcome news, as the change you’re going through will help you find a place in the world that is all your own. Be humble about this fact, but recognize that only you possess the distinctive combination of skills, talents and creativity that you offer. What you do flows from who you are. What you do is an expression of your distinct gifts. Give them to the world gently, without trying to prove anything. Observe carefully who notices you, who recognizes you and who receives what you offer.


Taurus (April 19-May 20) — The world we live in was built on reading and writing. The pen is so much mightier than the sword that there’s no competition at all. While you may not call yourself a writer, your solar chart is reminding you to appreciate and indulge the beauty and influence of the written word. If you have something to say, put it on paper, and share it with others. This holds a key to any form of success, whether you’re talking about business, friendship or love. Reread a few of your favorite books and you will infuse your soul with a rare sensation of beauty.


Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Feel your own presence anywhere you go. Just the fact of your being somewhere has an influence in your environment, and by all indications a positive one. Imagine yourself holding the space open for the right thing to happen. You don’t need to say anything; the most important thing you can do is be aware of who and what is in your environment, and what the purpose of any meeting or project is. Say less than you might normally, though speak your mind when you know your contribution is likely to make a difference. Then, be sure to listen and learn.


Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Put your feelings, your needs and your desires into words. So much may be moving and developing within you that you might think it’s impossible to get it into some clear form. Yet if you want to be understood and have harmony in your relationships, it will help immensely if you describe what evades description and explain what resists easy explanation. There will be rich rewards for doing so, which include the experience of contact, warmth and the thing you live for, which is the feeling of being home. And you will discover how much the people around you really care.


Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Know where you stand with people, particularly financially. Make sure that you understand the details of any arrangement, and that you enter any agreement with a conscious agenda. Contracts work because they describe a mutual set of needs and intentions, and you can only participate in a constructive way if you know where you stand, what you want, and what you have to offer. You may need to be a little less trusting, ask more questions and seek the input of people who know more than you. When in doubt, read the fine print and ask the difficult questions.


Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — This may not be a psychologically comfortable time for you, though that’s necessary if you want to manifest your incredible potential. Instead of searching for who you are, you are plunging into the truth of your own reality, and this means you need to stretch. Seen one way, your solar chart is describing you becoming the exact opposite of who you thought you were. Talents, skills and ambitions you may have never dreamed of are available, though you will need to work for them consistently. There is no end goal here; transformation is a process that occupies every hour of every day.


Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Imagine that your life is the perfect blend of logic and dancing. There is logic to dance, though it’s different from that of chemistry. It begins with feeling the music and then allowing yourself to be moved. Rather than worry about how you look, stay with the music and keep flowing. This is the story of your professional life right now. There is a goal calling you, something you need to accomplish. You will get there through flexibility, elegance and sharing your beauty rather than concealing it. Keep your heart open as you aspire to great things. That alone can change the world.


Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Draw yourself out of your shell, and engage with the world around you. You may feel like you need to pull yourself inward and conserve your energy. Do that for a little while every day, or for a few days at a time. Yet, once you’ve focused inwardly for a while, test out what you’ve learned in social situations, creative projects and collaborations. Be bold and consider what you want for yourself in the long-term, such as imagining where you might be five years from now. You have a rare perspective to see clearly into the distance.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Practice living like you’re the most beloved, wealthiest and most successful person in the world. Open your heart and mind and allow the energy to flow through you. Yet, as you do this, step lightly over the Earth. See everything as an opportunity for both giving and receiving. The principle of exchange is so strong in your solar chart right now that anything is possible. That means you can afford to be generous with your knowledge, time and talent. Be generous with yourself, and keep the mantra going that no goal is too difficult or out of reach.


Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You’re an independent, cautious person, though at the moment it will help if you leave yourself open to the assistance and affection of others. This will call for authentic emotional vulnerability, and requires some real measure of trust. These may be the last things you want to dare right now, yet they will be the most helpful. People care deeply about you. But they cannot express that care and affection if you don’t allow the feelings in. So relax, be a sponge and absorb the nourishing water that others are offering. You will free yourself from the past, and make your world a happier place.


Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — This will be an enormously productive month, leading to an equally abundant summer. The key to this is making sure you love the work that you’re doing. If you have the power to choose your projects, emphasize the ones you like the very best. If you don’t have that option, then find the thing about every task that is engaging and fun, even if you can only find that in the people you’re working with. These relationships may develop into some brilliant collaborations. Keep your mind open to the possibilities. If someone says, “I have an idea,” perk up and pay attention.


Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Keep aiming high. This is one of your most ambitious times in many years, though you are the one who chooses the goals. You set the agenda. You must be the CEO of your own life. If you can get the hang of this now, you will learn a skill that you take with you for all your days. The challenges include seeing your options clearly, making conscious decisions and proceeding with firm commitment. You must also see the financial angle of anything you do. The potential is enormous, if you take charge and run your life with a bold and courageous heart.

9 thoughts on “The Shifting Ground of So-Called Reality

  1. Len WallickLen Wallick

    Eric: Your lead piece for this week (“The Shifting Ground of So-Called Reality”) feels as fresh as the morning dew. Yet, interestingly, it also seems to have been a long time coming. It is as though all of your efforts and achievements on both the personal and professional levels as an astrologer, journalist, artist, and studious observer are coming together to foment some sort of breakthrough to be witnessed by those of us fortunate enough to be reading your words. Looking forward to your next installment in what appears to be a journey well worth taking with you. Looks like this will be one for the proverbial books.

    And, of course, thanks for those unerring and uncanny horoscopes.

  2. Len WallickLen Wallick

    Amanda: Many thanks to you as well for both your “Sky” and “Create” contributions this week: both absolute jewels beyond price.

  3. Mary

    Hillary may be pro-choice (and that may be the single most important domestic issue), and we also know she’s pro-WalMart, pro-Monsanto, pro-Goldman Sachs and a pro in general.

    Might I add: Hillary is also pro-military. While I would never vote for or support Trump in any way, I’m loathe to vote for anyone so openly hawk. I want to support one of my own (as in democrat :) but that ability of hers to resist authenticity, attach herself to less than morally rigorous men who fight her battles with whatever it takes, leads me to Bernie. Where Bernie goes with this, I don’t know. But in my mind Bernie will not wage war and he is able to speak truth — this matters to me.

    Thank you, Eric. I applaud your piece.

  4. Amy Elliott

    IMO there’s a showdown taking place between those who wish to preserve the remnants of past privilege, and those who want to move on to a more egalitarian future. The appeal of Sanders and the Drumpf would seem largely to derive from their taking on the archetypal characteristics for each side.

    If Clinton gets the Dem nomination, she’ll be forced to take on some of the Sanders glamour. If she doesn’t succeed in that, we’re at risk of a fascist occupying the White House. :/

  5. KittyJ

    The thing about Sanders’ “glamour” is that it’s neither artificial nor superficial. The reason people are resonating with him so much is that he is reflecting and giving voice to something that was already inside us. So another person, such as H, could mouth some of the things he says or indicate support for some of his policies. But they won’t — can’t — take on the glamour, because what they do would not be the “real thing”. We would know that instinctively, even if we couldn’t say why. It wouldn’t resonate with us.

    I’ve been sensing all along, as I’ve observed the evolution of the Bernie movement (and participated in it, such as with the Washington State caucus): “magic is afoot”. The reason is that it’s not just Bernie. What Bernie represents is the future; the collective paradigm shift. The future is like an enormous tsunami bearing down on us. What is happening now seems to be magic, because it is the future, and the energy, the seed, the [i]satya[/i], of the future, expressing itself and creating itself through us.

    The past is over and done with. That’s understandably a tough thing for a lot of people to grasp and accept, especially if they’re mentally and emotionally attached to the ways things have been. We’re collectively being booted out of comfort zone, and there will be no going back. The astrology of the moment bears this out, as does a clear look around with all senses open and a willingness to be open and see what’s there.

  6. Barbara Koehler

    Thank you Eric and thank you KittyJ. Thank you Mary and Amy Elliott. To me this particular zeitgeist we are living through has taken on the air of a puppet show and the 3 main puppets are expressing the 3 main faces of the American Public’s choices for electing a President of this country.

    The segment of the populace that instinctively gravitates to Trump has no more idea about what’s going on in the world beyond what they see on entertainment television. The segment of U.S. society that gravitates toward Clinton is largely afraid of change unless it is a change regarding the value of women-in-authority which, heretofore, had been a strictly patriarchal space. The segment of people in the U.S. who gravitate to Sanders see beyond the veil of puppetry and know that only a move toward a new start-over in government will begin to return a sense of equality, fairness and belief in the way this country is governed.

    You can see this portrayed in the cycle between the outer planets Uranus and Pluto who began their journey in a sextile with Neptune. A cycle that began in the middle of Virgo, is a sign that seeks to perfect that which is imperfect. The energies of Uranus and Pluto together are usually expressed as harsh or ruthless or uncaring. By putting Neptune into an aspect with these two in their long cycle of perfecting the human race, he could inject feeling, beauty, dreams, escape, dissolving, deceiving, longing and blend them with the harshness and pain of Uranus and Pluto.

    Even now the three outer planets we are aware of, those ambassadors of the galaxies beyond our own, and even during the height of the seven squares between Uranus and Pluto, Neptune stayed in contact with one or the other or both at the same time. Utilizing minor aspects like the 40 degree novile, and the 51 and 3/7’s degree septile, Neptune was able to adjust the pressure on humanity created by the 7 Uranus-Pluto squares; always modulating the pressure, the frequency and the intensity of their delivery to Humanity’s delicate systems.

    Now Neptune’s supportive role has morphed into a leading role. His squares with Saturn aren’t kidding around and those symbols of steadfastness and longevity, protection and trustworthiness, support and familiarity are collapsing, dissolving or disappearing before our eyes. Some will see it as a blessing, others faint from fear of the unknown called change.

    One other thing that Neptune does is open our hearts to trust in ourselves and a greater power and a greater future. Some who don’t understand that yet see it as hallucinating or fantasizing or worse, just plain crazy. Neptune can be all that too, but that’s not what it was for Martin Luther King, Jr. He saw what the future could be; equality. Senator Sanders sees a similar future and that’s what makes him attractive for those under the Neptune spell.

    There is another group of people who watch the puppet show and shudder. They can’t bring themselves to believe that their world has come to this and declare they will have no part of it. They will sit out this election and try to convince themselves that they are blameless for whatever happens. I didn’t vote for her or him; it’s not my fault. This too is a Neptune effect. A very negative one that seeks to escape reality. In any case, we the People of the U.S. will find out just what we are made of.

    Which part will win out, the people who leave it to someone else to take charge and make it all better for them, the play it safe people who see the logic in experience to make steady if slow progress, the people who want to start the change to equality and fairness and are willing to put forth the effort? Or will the people who don’t want to recognize what is really happening and turn their backs on the right and privilege their ancestors fought so hard for just so their grandchildren could participate in their own future.

    We shall see how it turns out, although don’t think for a minute that the Universe will give up on us and leave us to our own devices. No, no, there will be many twists of fate and turns of luck between now and November 8th that will make us wonder how it all could happen without some magic or maybe some Alice-through-the-looking glass trick. What you see is not necessarily what is real. Take those puppets for example.

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