By Marc Lallanilla | Link to original
The appeal of the original Earth Day resonated far beyond its beginnings
Earth Day was born in 1970, into a world torn by political strife and emboldened by free-spirited activism. The times were a-changin’, and an unlikely confluence of people and events led to the first Earth Day celebration on April 22, 1970.
But the seed of Earth Day was planted many years earlier, when a handful of scientists and conservationists became aware that the phenomenal post-war growth of American industry — and its attendant air and water pollution — was destroying much of the natural world.
The Environmental Movement and Earth Day
In 1962, Rachel Carson, a quiet loner from a Pennsylvania farm who became a renowned biologist and nature writer, published Silent Spring, a jeremiad against the spraying of DDT and other pesticides. By blaming their use for the widespread decimation of bird and animal populations, she is credited for giving the environmental movement its robust scientific underpinnings.
Other events in the 1960s galvanized public awareness of environmental destruction. Air pollution in Los Angeles, New York City and other urban areas had reached such dangerously high levels that human health impacts were immediate and undeniable.
Population growth, the impetus for Paul Ehrlich’s seminal 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, was blamed for bulldozing fields and forests to create sprawling suburbs. And in what may be the most famous man-made disaster of the decade, Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, which flowed through Cleveland and other industrial cities, caught fire in 1969 from all the hazardous wastes that were regularly dumped into it.
Gaylord Nelson and the First Earth Day
It was during this era that Senator Gaylord Nelson, a conservation-minded Democrat from Wisconsin, first proposed making environmental protection a national priority. Though in 1963 he convinced President Kennedy to go on a national “conservation tour,” little came of it politically.
That same year, Nelson introduced legislation to ban DDT: not one single member of Congress joined him.
Gaylord Nelson was an American politician from Wisconsin who served as a United States senator and governor. A Democrat, he was the founder of Earth Day, which launched a new wave of environmental activism.
Nelson, undeterred, noticed that a number of small organizations had achieved some success in promoting environmental issues locally. Inspired by these events, and by the growing number of antiwar protests and “teach-ins” that had sprung up across the country, Nelson decided in 1969 that a single day devoted to an environmental teach-in might be the perfect way to put pollution, deforestation and other green issues at the top of the nation’s political agenda.
Speaking at a conference in Seattle in September of 1969, Nelson proposed that in the spring of 1970 there would be a coast-to-coast grassroots demonstration on behalf of environmental concerns — and in Nelson’s words, “The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters.”
People across the country had apparently been looking for an outlet to express their growing environmental consciousness. Nelson also took out a full-page ad in The New York Times in January of 1970, announcing that Earth Day would take place on Wednesday, April 22. The date was chosen because of its timing with student class schedules, warmer weather and no competing holidays.
Local Activities for Earth Day
Though Nelson helped to set up an independent organization — Environmental Teach-In, Inc., led by Denis Hayes, a student activist — to handle the flood of requests for information, the senator insisted that Earth Day be organized on the local level. This proved to be an inspired idea, as people were far more invested in issues affecting their communities and families.
Over 20 million people took part in the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, a tenth of the population of the United States. It was the largest demonstration in U.S. history.
April 22, 1970, dawned fair and mild, with blue skies throughout most of the country. By most estimates, some 20 million people took to the streets, vastly exceeding even the most optimistic expectations. Republicans, Democrats, school children, college students, labor unions, housewives, doctors, religious leaders, bankers, retirees, farmers and everyone in between participated in thousands of local marches, rallies, parades, protests and other “happenings.”
The History of Earth Day Resonates
The first Earth Day was deemed a blazing success. The event was front-page news almost everywhere, and coverage was overwhelmingly positive. The event cemented in people’s minds the importance of environmental issues as a community concern and an international political priority. For many participants, Earth Day marked a turning point in their lives, when reckless consumption and unfettered industrial waste suddenly came under harsh scrutiny.
Earth Day has resonated, on a personal and political level, for over 40 years. In the months following that first grassroots event, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and dozens of other landmark pieces of legislation were passed. To a remarkable degree, Earth Day institutionalized protection for the land, air and water. And when, in 1990, Earth Day went global as an international event, the world embraced it with the same enthusiasm as Americans did in 1970.
For his unceasing devotion to the green movement and other social and environmental causes, Sen. Nelson — who passed away in 2005 — was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
10 Fascinating Facts About Earth Day
By Matt Stofsky | Link to original
Every year on April 22, trees are planted, litter is cleaned up, and awareness for the issues plaguing the planet are raised. In honor of the holiday, now in its 48th year, we’ve gathered together 10 fascinating facts about Earth Day.
1. EARTH DAY WAS CREATED THROUGH THE TIRELESS EFFORTS OF WISCONSIN SENATOR GAYLORD NELSON. Senator Gaylord Nelson arrived in Washington in 1963 looking to make the fledgling conservation movement, sparked in part by Rachel Carson’s New York Times Bestseller Silent Spring, a part of the national discourse. After witnessing the aftermath of an oil spill in California in 1969, Nelson doubled down on his commitment to raising environmental awareness. Drawing inspiration from the energetic anti-war movement of the time, he enlisted support from both sides of the political spectrum, and on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was born.
United States President John F, Kennedy with Earth Day founder US Senator Gaylord Nelson on the first ever nationwide environmental awareness tour speaking in Lake Superior, Ashland, Wisconsin, 1963.
2. JOHN F. KENNEDY PLAYED A ROLE IN EARLY EFFORTS TO PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION. In 1963, Gaylord Nelson proposed a “conservation tour” to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Arthur Schlesinger, a member of President Kennedy’s “Best and Brightest” cabinet. Schlesinger privately endorsed the idea to the President, while Nelson wrote a direct memo to Kennedy, a bold move for a freshman senator from Wisconsin. Kennedy, however, was incredibly receptive, and on September 24, 1963, JFK embarked on a conservation-themed multi-state tour. The President, accompanied by Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, as well as Nelson and a few additional senators, visited 11 states in five days. Nelson was disappointed in the President’s speeches, saying they “didn’t have much sweep or drama to them.” In addition, members of the press ignored environmental issues and instead focused their questions on the tense nuclear situation with the Soviet Union. It would be another seven years until Earth Day became a reality.
3. THE FIRST EARTH DAY SAW 20 MILLION AMERICANS TAKE TO THE STREETS. The first Earth Day marked a strange combination of boisterous rallies and sober reflection on the state of the planet. Protests, demonstrations, fundraisers, nature walks, speeches, concerts, and every sort of civic gathering imaginable took place at colleges, VFW halls, public squares, and parks across the United States on April 22, 1970. Environmental crusaders found themselves thrust into the limelight, and pop culture icons like poet Allen Ginsberg were asked to speak on behalf of Mother Earth. Some of the more colorful displays of the day included mock trials for polluting objects, like an old Chevrolet, which was sentenced to death by sledgehammer. (The car ultimately survived the beating and was donated to an art class.) In New York City, Earth Day celebrations effectively shut down parts of the city. Twenty thousand people packed into Union Square to see Paul Newman and hear a speech by Mayor John Lindsay, who arrived on an electric bus.
The official national poster for the first Earth Day in 1970 warned of pollution and congestion, and left the scheduling of events up to local groups all over the country.
4. THE DATE OF EARTH DAY WAS SPECIFICALLY SELECTED TO MOBILIZE COLLEGE STUDENTS. To head up the Earth Day project, Senator Nelson enlisted Denis Hayes, then a graduate student at Harvard University. As national coordinator, Hayes recruited a staff of 85 energetic young environmental crusaders and grassroots organizers, along with thousands of field volunteers, in order to promote the fledgling holiday across the nation. The team knew that in order to gain the most traction, college students would need to play a central role, as they did in the Vietnam protests of the era. The date that Hayes selected for the first Earth Day was a calculated choice: April 22 on most college campuses falls right between Spring Break and Final Exams.
5. EARTH DAY FACED CRITICISM FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. According to Grist, the first Earth Day faced staunch opposition from conservative groups like the John Birch Society, who claimed that the event was a thinly veiled attempt to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin. In addition to detractors on the far right of the political spectrum, bleeding-heart environmental crusaders weren’t satisfied either. Earth Day, they claimed, simply served as a distraction from the more pressing social issues of the day. Journalist I.F. Stone said, “The country is slipping into a wider war in Southeast Asia and we’re sitting here talking about litterbugs.” Critics of the holiday also point to the trend of “greenwashing,” an attempt by corporations with poor environmental track records to appear conscientious if only once a year.
6. EARTH DAY SPARKED AN UNPRECEDENTED SLATE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION. With bipartisan support in Congress and thousands of civic demonstrations across the country, support for environmental reform in 1970 was undeniable. According to the EPA, “Public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970. When polled in May 1971, 25 percent of the U.S. public declared protecting the environment to be an important goal, a 2500 percent increase over 1969.” The 1970s saw the passage of the most comprehensive environmental legislation in U.S. history, including the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. In addition, just 8 months after the first Earth Day, Richard Nixon approved the creation of a new organization tasked with monitoring the nation’s natural assets: the Environmental Protection Agency.
7. ALTHOUGH IT BEGAN AS AN AMERICAN MOVEMENT, EARTH DAY IS NOW AN INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON … In 1990, Earth Day expanded to include countries and peoples across the globe, with 200 million people in 141 nations getting involved. A decade later, at the turn of the new millennium, Earth Day shed light on the emerging Clean Energy movement and expanded its reach, spreading to 184 countries with the help of 5000 environmental organizations. Global activities included a massive traveling drum chain in Gabon, Africa and an unprecedented gathering of hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. According to Earth Day Network, after 40 years, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.
A second-generation Sycamore ‘moon’ tree was newly planted in celebration of Earth Day 2009 and the 40th Anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing at the National Arboretum. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
8. INTERNATIONALLY, IT’S KNOWN AS INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY. Earth Day is now observed around the world, albeit under a different name: In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly decided to designate April 22 as International Mother Earth Day. The symbol of Mother Earth serves as a common metaphor and representation of our planet in many countries and cultures. In the United States, the holiday is still commonly referred to as Earth Day.
9. IN 2009, NASA PLANTED A HISTORIC “MOON TREE” TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY. During the Apollo 14 moon mission in 1971, astronaut Stuart Roosa brought with him hundreds of tree seeds including Loblolly Pine, Sycamore, Sweetgum, Redwood, and Douglas Fir. Roosa was a former smokejumper for the U.S. Forest Service, and he transported the seeds in his personal effects as a tribute to his former employer. Roosa and his seeds orbited the Moon 34 times in the command module Kitty Hawk. Scientists were curious whether or not exposure to the microgravity of space would impact the growth of these seeds when returned to Earth.
The experiment seemed like a lost cause when, during the post-mission decontamination process, the seed canisters broke open and the seeds were thought to be useless. However, most of the tree seeds were still fit for germination and were successfully planted and cultivated. These trees were planted around National Monuments, as well as in sites all over the world. After decades of growing side-by-side with their Earth cousins, the Moon Trees showed no differences at all. On Earth Day 2009, NASA, in partnership with the United States National Arboretum and American Forests, planted a second-generation Moon Sycamore on the arboretum’s grounds in Washington, D.C.
10. IN PREPARATION FOR EARTH DAY’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2020, A NEW ENVIRONMENTAL THEME WILL BE ANNOUNCED EVERY YEAR FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. For Earth Day 2016, the environmental theme of choice was trees. The Earth Day Network has announced the ambitious plan to plant 7.8 billion trees over the next five years. Trees are essential tools in the fight for a cleaner, sustainable environment. According to the Earth Day Network, in one year a single acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide produced by driving the average consumer car 26,000 miles. Nearly 8 billion may seem like a daunting number, but similarly ambitious plantings have been undertaken in the past. Earth Day 2011 saw the planting of over a million new trees in Afghanistan.
The theme for Earth Day 2017 is Environmental and Climate Literacy and seeks to increase knowledge amongst voters and work to advocate for climate laws and policies that will accelerate green technology, jobs, and environmental protection.
Hurry Up and Wait
Dear friend and Reader:
I don’t know about you, but these days I’m finding it difficult even to listen to the headlines on my preferred news program. Between events like increasing tension between the U.S. and North Korea, immigration officials aggressively seeking out immigrants to detain and deport, more sexual harassment news at Fox, and just the sound of Trump’s voice, I get edgy. I’m grateful for spaces like Planet Waves — just as you might be if you’re feeling fed up or downright frightened.
Snail at dawn; photo by Amanda Painter.
Astrologically, these next few days look like they could have a “push/pull” or “hurry up and wait” feel to them. With the Sun, retrograde Mercury and Mars all changing signs within three days, you may find that it pays to move slowly, consciously and with as much awareness of your decision-making processes (and impulses) as possible.
The Sun was the first of the three to change signs, which it did yesterday (Wednesday) when it left Aries and entered Taurus. This puts us in the heart of the season: spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, with the days noticeably longer and warmer finally — and tree buds, flowers and allergies popping up all over.
Yet one of the main benefits of having the Sun in earthy, sensual, don’t-even-think-about-rushing-me Taurus is that it may offer some needed grounding for the movements of Mercury and Mars. This is not about getting stubborn. It’s about being able to feel both of your feet (or all four of your hooves) on the solid earth, and letting that sensory contact help you to stay present, focused and in your body.
This physical grounding can feel especially helpful when Mercury is in a particularly “quick” sign, or when it’s in retrograde motion. Both are key factors as we head into the weekend.
Mercury is currently in Taurus, but it’s about to slip backwards into late Aries. Before it does so, it makes a conjunction to the Sun in the first degree of Taurus (exact at 1:54 am EDT / 5:54 UTC April 20 April 20 — today).
This is the so-called “inferior” or “interior” conjunction of the Sun and Mercury, and it marks the midpoint of the current Mercury retrograde. Traditionally many astrologers have suggested that if one absolutely must conduct major business during Mercury retrograde (such as signing a contract or making a major purchase), the day that the Sun and Mercury conjoin is the day to do it. However, there seems to be an indication that the window for this might be quite narrow today. Or, perhaps, that there is little room for error.
Chart section showing this morning’s Sun-Mercury conjunction in the first degree of Taurus; Mercury’s about to backtrack into Aries. Just above is the separating (but still close) Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries. To the right are Ceres and Mars, in late Taurus; Mars enters Gemini tomorrow. View glyph key here.
Hypothetical point Transpluto is making a supportive aspect from Virgo; it would seem that taking advantage of this support means being super-careful about triple checking all the details, and being very mindful of your timing. If that’s not feasible, see if you can put off the business in question until after the first few days of May. (Mercury stations direct May 3, but things could still be choppy for several days after that — which just means stay focused on what you’re doing.)
Within 12 hours of the Sun-Mercury conjunction, Mercury retrogrades back into late Aries (that happened at 1:37 pm EDT / 17:37 UTC today). With this shift, the squirrelly manifestations of Mercury retrograde could take on a more impetuous, impulsive feel. Or, rather, your reactions to things not going as planned could get more impulsive or irritable.
The more aware you can stay of the mantras, “Go with the flow,” “It’s not all about me,” and “Take a breath and count to ten first,” the easier this shift may go for you. Mercury retrograde is not the gods and goddesses trying to make you miserable. It is, however, an excellent time to notice mental habits you’ve never noticed before and get a better handle on them. But doing so takes some patience — and getting one’s ego out of the way.
Remembering not to over-identify with your ego could be a little tougher with the Sun so close to Mercury. But the patience part could get a hand from the Sun hanging out in Taurus while Mercury makes its move. Yes, bulls can be known for really losing their temper, but it tends to build slowly. It’s a good reminder to hang out in the field of daisies rather than in the china shop for the next week or so.
Really feeling into the earthy influence of Taurus becomes especially helpful once Mars makes its own move: it enters Gemini at 6:32 am EDT tomorrow (Friday). Mars in Gemini tends to be alert, energetic and witty — which can translate into too much energy directed toward the tongue, according to one of my astrology books (and communication might already be tricky right now). This Mars placement is also a reminder to conserve energy so you can direct it more wisely, and a reminder to follow through on what you start.
Another snail at dawn; photo by Amanda.
If you start feeling restless, figure out a way to channel the energy productively. This might mean shifting tasks or taking an exercise/stretch break.
Interestingly, Mars ingressing Gemini also means that before we even reach the weekend, Mercury will be in a sign Mars rules, and Mars will be in a sign Mercury rules. This situation is called “mutual reception,” and it indicates that the planets involved can seem to “switch places” or act like each other.
Given the planets and signs involved, this looks like a lot of busy and combustive mental and physical (including sexual) energy. Yet Mercury is retrograde.
This is where the “push/pull” or “hurry up and wait” ideas come in that I first mentioned. The mind and the drive want to get going immediately and at high speeds, but doing so could be problematic if you don’t stay grounded in your body, stay fully aware of your surroundings and senses, and step back from letting your ego run the show.
True, the Taurus Sun has its shadow side (stubbornness, possessiveness, being materialistic). But if you can lean on its kinder, gentler qualities for the next couple weeks — and especially the next couple days as you adjust to the shifts in energy — you might save yourself some frustration in the long run. Take time cooking and eating a good meal. Take a nap in a field or your flower garden. Get a massage. Refuse to be rushed simply for the sake of keeping up with your Facebook or Twitter feed (though there are times when picking up the pace in an activity will be necessary).
Most importantly, remember that when something does go wrong, and your attention gets turned back onto yourself and your hand in the mishap, it’s an opportunity to learn from it. Easier said than done, I know. But you’ll find yourself standing on firmer ground for those next forward steps that you’re so eager to take.
Dear Friend of Planet Waves:
I’m ready to begin work on the spring 2017 reading.
Revolution is in the air, but a little something seems to be missing: introspection. World events are certifiably insane. The electronic environment is sucking our time, our souls and our relationships down the digital drain.
Yet the same aspect that describes this — the rare and rebellious Uranus-Eris conjunction — also describes the potential for profound personal reinvention.
And that’s what the 2017 spring reading is about: how to dial that in; how to create a vision for who you want to be; how to uncover who you are despite the massive distractions and anti-social conditioning of the digital environment.
Until a widespread social movement becomes the tide that raises all ships, those who are awakening must actively engage in inner exploration, self-understanding and relationship-for-truth.
The theme of this year’s spring reading:
The revolution is within, and INVOLUTION is your guide. Consisting of 12 individual sign readings, recorded in studio-quality audio/video, you will love these readings. They will be available as YouTube presentations as well as downloadable audio for listening on your Ipod, tablet or as you drive.
Dear Planet Waves Subscriber:
Here’s an email I’ve been wanting to write nearly forever: as a Planet Waves subscriber, you may opt-in for free delivery of my daily horoscope.
Here are the specifics. I began writing New York Daily News horoscope this past Tuesday. I’ll be writing seven days a week. The length is 50 words per sign, per day. It’s a hand-crafted miniature, more like a poem than an essay.
The Daily Planet of Superman fame is based on the N.Y. Daily News.
Per my agreement with the News, we will email to you daily at 7 am Eastern Time. Please sign up using the email associated with your Planet Waves account so that we’re already whitelisted.
Each daily edition also will go into our horoscope vault — the Intelligent Archive, which you may not know has also been upgraded. I’ll send a letter soon describing how you use the Intelligent Archive as a divination tool. Note that the result you get when you type a question is related, not to the text, but rather the time you press the Oracle button.
You can also use the separate research tools (located above the Intelligent Archive) and look up by keyword or date. For example, you can look up all my references to Chiron or any other word.
I’ll continue this letter series every few days with a description of another Planet Waves feature and benefit of membership. The emails will always be from me, without the [Planet Waves] slug, so you can distinguish them from other Planet Waves emails.
I’ll also let you know when I’m working on a new reading.
Thank you for being part of Planet Waves. It’s good to be with you.
A Song for All Days — Not Just Tomorrow
By Amanda Painter
One week in June of last year, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise set off from the Netherlands carrying “a very special load,” according to the Greenpeace website: “the voices of eight million people. Messages from around the globe calling for governments to save the Arctic from threats such as oil drilling and destructive fishing.”
“As the ship stopped in Svalbard, Norway, Europe’s gateway to the Arctic, it welcomed aboard a very special guest: renowned pianist and composer, Ludovico Einaudi. With him a grand piano, to undertake his most challenging performance yet, in the Arctic surrounded by ice.”
Greenpeace staged the event just prior to the OSPAR Commission meeting in Tenerife, Spain, where delegates were considering a proposal that sought to safeguard 10% of the Arctic ocean, an area roughly the size of the UK. (OSPAR is the mechanism by which 15 Governments & the EU cooperate to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.) Norway, Denmark and Iceland blocked the proposal from passing.
As a result, the Arctic “remains the least protected ocean in the world and is already facing the consequences of climate change as the ice melts at an unprecedented rate,” according to a Greenpeace recap of last year’s OSPAR Commission.
Earth Day is a wonderfully feel-good celebration, but many of us forget to live as though every day is Earth Day — which, as long as we live on this planet, it should be. We have a lot of work to do to keep Einaudi’s elegy from being a true lament for the dead.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscope for May is published below in this issue. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for April on Thursday, March 23. Your Moonshine horoscope for the Aries New Moon were published on Thursday, March 30. We published your Moonshine horoscope for the Virgo Full Moon on Thursday, March 9. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Thursday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — The world cannot run on the basis of anarchy. There must be a guiding principle, and if it does not come from inside of us, it will be imposed (far less pleasantly) from outside. Saturn in Sagittarius conjunct the Galactic Core is reminding you, in ways large and small, that you must have and live by actual ethical principles. Sagittarius is your house of spirituality and what you might think of as ‘higher being’, and what this translates to is how you run your life, how you treat people, and the code you live by. The stakes are high, because what you work out now will lay the foundation for your future success when Saturn enters Capricorn, your house of responsibility and success, later in the year. Now is the time to do your cleanup work; to make amends for any past transgressions; and to practice using the power that you have in a fair-minded way. Your current astrology is exciting and bursting with innovation. It could have you in a freewheeling mood, especially where your use of words or your attitude toward work are concerned. Yet now is the time to be precise, to be clear in your reasoning, and to honor your promises. The next few weeks will challenge your commitment to truth and to impeccability. This is not a test. It’s real life, with consequences. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Venus was retrograde through much of the spring, and the process is still developing. The essence of this process, if we could call it that, is about determining where you begin and where the world ends. Normal human consciousness tends to exclude others. This thing we call the self perceives its being as the center of the universe, and to a point, that is true. Without your consciousness, the world would not exist, to you. Yet that’s a point of beginning, because were that all there is, life would be incredibly lonely — and it is, for many people. Venus retrograde, ending in a conjunction to Chiron in Pisces, brought some lesson about vulnerability and availability. To relate to others, you must be open and you must be vulnerable, or no exchange is possible. Now, Venus is back in Aries, pulling your focus back into yourself. The question is, can you center your awareness on yourself, and still be open to empathy, sharing and receiving what others offer you? You’ve had some practice shifting your point of view. That in itself contains information: your perspective must be mobile in order to serve you. Hang loose and constantly challenge yourself to see the world from the viewpoint of others. Ask, rather than imagine, where people are coming from. If you are the center of the universe, then declare it a friendly and loving one. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mars in your sign is granting you powers of language, charisma and moxie. There’s nothing like the god of war visiting one’s sign to pluck up one’s courage, and this you have. Yet there’s an important word of caution, and a balancing factor. Mars will be square Neptune for much of the month. This suggests that people will believe anything you say, whether it’s true or not — and that you might believe anything you say, whether it’s true or not. In fact the more you believe what you say, the more others will. So the message of this transit, which peaks on May 11 and then trails off for weeks, is that honesty is the only policy. You may get a thrill when your words are taken on authority. You have excellent ideas, particularly with your ruling planet Mercury so close to the great conjunction of our era, Uranus conjunct Eris. You are, as the expression goes, in tune with the times. However, one bit of the zeitgeist is that there’s no such thing as true; and that deception is as good as honesty. You are being held to a higher standard than that. Measure your words carefully, and check your facts before you speak. If you discover that you’re in error, or have played a little fast and loose with the truth, make the corrections yourself before you’re called out. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Track your fear level carefully this month. That’s to say, before responding or reacting to any anxiety you may feel, notice that you’re feeling it. On our whole planet, the level of fear and aggression seems to be rising toward some nondescript boiling point. In a sense, it’s the essence of the times we’re living in, and an undisputable part of our environment. You have a useful periscope into this now, and what you learn about yourself and the methods that you develop can help you and many others. It would seem that this is part of your professional calling, which might mean that it’s an aspect of your current job, or something you want to do in the near future. In any such event, you seem to be a first-responder and on the front lines of making the world a better place. One thing to notice is that society is losing an important boundary, which is the difference between true and not-true. Even as we race ahead on advanced technology, we’re losing the one distinction that really matters, because implicit in it are all other boundaries. You might say that the whole message of your solar chart right now is about the cultivation of trust. You’re being called upon to live this lesson every day, all the time. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Of the many, many things it’s possible for you to do, you must narrow your possibilities down — so that you can do any of them. Right now your mind is teeming with ideas, which are not just about what you can do, but also who you want to be. You might focus on the relationship between doing and being: what do you do that inspires you to live the way you want to live? If you were exactly who you wanted to be, what would you do? You might want to narrow the possibilities by choosing the one thing that feels most intuitively right, and do that for a while. One clue that you’re conducting a valid experiment is that you may feel like you’re too narrowly focused. It’s a little like new shoes: you need enough room to wiggle your toes, but you don’t want them to be loose. You want them just a little snug, so they have some space to break in. From there, you can stretch and expand. You can branch out and open up. Many of the ‘great possibilities’ are a distraction and are based on image: that is, your concept of how you’re seen. That is The One Thing to forget. This is not about your image; you will build your reputation by the honest work of your heart, hands and mind. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Your life may be a maze of financial concerns, joint partnership issues, and you wanting to be free of the whole mess. Be assured that what is happening is indeed designed to liberate you from all that complexity, though this may take a radical solution of some kind. You simply must look at the numbers in an orderly way, such as in a spreadsheet that describes who is paying how much for what, and how often. Use your analytical mind to ascertain the most basic facts, and then you can decide how you feel and what you want to do. Your life is more solid than you may think, and any feeling of being on shaky ground is directly rooted in what information you’re lacking about your own reality. If things keep going a little crazy, who exactly is involved? There may be something in the relationship that you have to examine closely, first on the basis of truth, and second, on the basis of motive. Like a good reporter, you must be willing to question everything you see and hear, crosscheck everything, and get the facts and figures. Where none are forthcoming, then you know you have a suspect. As you do this, you’re likely to make a series of other discoveries that both enlighten you and lay out important tasks for the months ahead. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Society puts enormous pressure on people to be in a certain kind of relationship, without which one does not feel like a person. Think of this as a kind of predatory lending: for example, sending someone a credit card with a high limit, and ensnaring them in debt. Like advertising, this drive to be in a certain kind of relationship plays on people’s insecurities and their deepest needs, which it then purports to fulfill. You don’t need that kind of relationship; you need the real thing. Any disruption or shakeup of your current partnership life is designed to help you distinguish the difference, and guide you closer to what you actually need. When you do all the calculus on what society calls relating, much of it turns out to be projection. That’s to say, we’re largely relating to images and feelings that are shining out of our own mind, showing us something about who we are. It can take considerable growth and discipline to actually see another person for who they are rather than who we want them to be, or dream them to be. Your solar chart describes one very useful way to get there, which is to know yourself, as you are. You need to be real with yourself before you can be real with anyone else. This is neither easy nor convenient, but it’s worth the effort. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — This is good news for many Scorpios: the sex angles of your chart could power a major metropolitan area. The bad news is that in 2017, about half the population thinks that’s just a terrible thing; it’s just that sex is so real and challenging and makes you confront yourself and your feelings. And it’s risky and then things go crazy and nobody knows what to do. Two problems underlie all of this. Number one is, it verges on impossible for most people to speak honestly about desire. Number two is guilt. You have some beautiful potential open, for every kind of relating: emotional, erotic, experimental and whatever else you might call it, though it’ll be impossible to get there unless you can be honest about desire and understand that guilt is merely a social control tool that has nothing whatsoever to do with being wrong. You might know that intellectually, though you need to actually take the risk of hellfire and brimstone and check it out for yourself, if you want to make it real to yourself. This is not a matter of scientific theory. It’s about your happiness and wellbeing. It’s about making contact with your potential, since how you feel about your body and what you do with it is the thing that defines your creativity. You came to this planet to express yourself and for no other reason. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Saturn’s presence in your birth sign (or perhaps your Moon sign) describes this as one of the most important times in your life. This is the transit that’s about fundamentally coming to terms with yourself. It may seem like someone is imposing limits on you, but that’s the Saturn principle: what you don’t structure in your own life gets structured for you (i.e., criminals who cannot control themselves run the risk of prison, which is a rather structured life). Right now your chart is exploding with creativity and, thankfully, at the same time, Saturn is making itself known. These two things are not only happening conveniently at the right time: it’s a miracle of karma that they are; or rather, a perfectly paired combination of factors to cultivate you into a fully functioning artist, musician, writer, healer or whatever form of mature adult you want to be. Make no mistake: this is about maturity, something that’s in exceedingly short supply these days, and is not especially rewarded in our outlaw-loving culture. But this is not about them, it’s about you. ‘They’ can break all the rules they want; ‘they’ can lie, cheat and fake their way to the world record or a big income or stroll down the red carpet. You have another mission. You’re here to do things the real way, which may indeed be the hard way. So be it. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — From the look of your solar chart, family or household matters have recently come to a head — and you’re wondering what to do. The question is, whose business is this? Is it really yours? Or are you haplessly being drawn into someone else’s drama? And if this has happened before, how hapless can it be? I recognize that the notion of false security is alluring, especially if you think it’s the only security there is. Emotional independence may seem frightening. Closer to the point, though, is that craziness and chaos serves a purpose, which is to distract you from your purpose. Why would you want that? Well, to some, success is terrifying. After all, you can fail. But does that make any sense at all? You seem to be a hostage of a situation that’s nothing more than a distraction. Meanwhile, you have work to do. How do you feel when you do that work? Do you feel like you’re abandoning anyone? There’s fun you want to have. How do you feel when you aspire to recreation and pleasure? If the answer is guilty, it’s time to start snipping apron strings, and if they grow back, snip them again. If you need your own bed to sleep in, and your own fridge to eat from, then that’s the thing to do. Life, the real thing, is calling you. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Your mind is on fire these days, and you might want to cool it off by a few degrees. Just a little air conditioning for the high-tech equipment that is your inner creative shop. Here’s the thing to remember: Your productivity and creativity are not actually mental. Or, rather, you would be more productive and creative if you diverted some of your energy into emotional intelligence. This has a distinction: it’s about listening and feeling rather than brainstorming. It’s a holistic and integrated approach to thought. It’s slower, it’s deeper and it works better. The Sun moving through Taurus is summoning you to do this: to get in contact with the inner ground of your own being and approach life from that perspective. It’s difficult to do while you’re plugged into a computer, phone or TV. You will think different thoughts and have different ideas when you’re sitting in the woods or even a park, or when you have a musical instrument or drawing pencils in your hand. If you’re trying to figure something out, put down the screen or the mouse, and try sketching or sculpting. You’re not a superficial person but under the current astrology, you run the risk of losing access to your deepest levels of talent and sensitivity — and you have just as much potential to cultivate a whole new kind of depth and sensitivity. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Planets are once again gathering in Aries, your house of resources, including fast-movers Mercury and Venus, along with mighty slow-movers Uranus and Eris. Then there’s Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom and strategy. This is the time to engineer your financial independence. You have everything you need: the talent, the motivation and the ideas. The astrology is describing you pushed to the point of having momentary flashes of actual genius. You merely need to pluck up some confidence in yourself, and do a bold assessment of your talents and what you can do with them. This will partly be based on a review and evaluation of what you’ve done in the past, mostly to remind yourself what’s possible. And it will mostly be based on an entirely new concept that sparks your imagination, and takes advantage of an opening where your preparation meets an opportunity that few other people are looking at. However, confidence: that’s the thing. If we look closely at the semantic roots of that word, it means, “firmly trusting, bold” or “to have full trust and reliance.” This is about faith in yourself. You’ll have a lot more of that if you discard your habit of talking yourself out of your own goals. And if you’re younger, the habit of believing there’s no future. There is a future, and it includes you, if you include yourself. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.