What is Real and What is Not

Photographer Gregory Crewdson, who was one year ahead of me at John Dewey High School, working on one of his elaborate images on a sound stage in Massachusetts.

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Dear Friend and Reader:

Saturday’s Full Moon — the Pisces Moon opposite the Virgo Sun — is overlaid on another aspect — Jupiter opposite Neptune.

Though the Sun and Moon pass through the territory quickly, the Full Moon raises the energy like a tidal surge, offering a unique event in space and time. This event, the Full Moon, calls attention to the slower-moving astrology in the background — Jupiter opposite Neptune. So while the Jupiter-Neptune opposition is not exact until Sept. 17, this weekend’s full Moon is one of its peak moments.

Laurie Anderson performs “Delusions” at EMPAC in Oct. 2010.

The Jupiter-Neptune opposition happens about every 13 years (the last one began on Sept. 11, 2002 and ended on June 2, 2003; and the next one will be on Sept. 28, 2028). The current event is a one-pass opposition, meaning that the alignment happens just once and Jupiter keeps going. (Due to Jupiter’s retrograde, it’s possible for such an alignment to happen up to three times within a few months, under some circumstances.)

In this cycle, we get our exact one-time opposition close to the Libra equinox, on Sept. 23, though an event like this has a wide influence; we’ve already been feeling it for a while, and it will remain an influence for much of the year. Notably, it will be part of the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune T-square that I’ll be writing about soon and basing the 2016 annual readings on.

If you look up the Jupiter-Neptune opposition in an astrology book, you’ll likely get interpretations like the bubble bursts, unrealistic hopes and dreams, lack of clarity, getting lost in illusions and so on. It could manifest as the dreamer who doesn’t bother to manifest his or her dreams. There would be some questioning over what is real and what is not, though real is, of course, a relative term.

This is why I ignore astrology books a little more with each passing year. I am more interested in what artists have to say about life. Yes, all of these energetic states you’ll read about are possible, along with other potentials that require somewhat more imagination to discern or conjure up.

Traditional interpretations may indeed have validity, on one level of experience. For example, the great bubble known as China certainly seems to be bursting, or at least deflating. Its currency and its stock market are being devalued at the moment, which is taking American markets for a ride. Unless you’re a stock or currency trader, this is not especially interesting; you can’t do much with that.

Planet Waves
Seattle artist Baso Fibonacci, photographed in his studio in Pioneer Square by Kelly O / The Stranger.

It’s not surprising that we’re hearing that the seemingly endless bull market (a stock market that keeps growing) seems to have reached its maximum swing in one direction. But who knows, maybe not. Jupiter opposite Neptune is not merely an aspect of shrinking, however.

Jupiter-Neptune has other properties. There’s plenty in this opposition and you can do a lot with it, and with the Full Moon that’s highlighting it right now. I would propose the full immersion in anything in the nature of Pisces — anything dreamy, visual, auditory, sensuous; anything about sharing empathy or passion. Leave yourself a lot of space and time. There is no rushing this journey, whatever journey you’re on.

As for working effectively with the qualities described by the aspect, I would say that essential ingredients are having modest expectations and going with the flow. Typically people have high expectations of the things they plan and do, and take a more controlling posture than this aspect pattern will support.

For this astrology, you would benefit from going in the other direction — improvisation rather than formulaic composition, for example; or dancing to the music rather than to the choreography.

The signs involved are Virgo and Pisces. So we have the two planets most often associated with Pisces in an opposition involving Pisces itself.

That makes the potential scenarios more interesting, and involves Pisces on both sides of the equation. The modern ruler of Pisces — Neptune — is now in Pisces (on a longterm visit). The classical ruler of Pisces — Jupiter — just arrived in the sign opposite Pisces, Virgo (for a one-year visit).

In one placement, Jupiter in Virgo, we have a clue about the riddle of creativity. Astrologers familiar with the classical rules will recognize that Jupiter is in its detriment in Virgo. That means that whatever it represents must work harder to be itself — and in the process you can get some unusual results.

Here’s how I’m seeing this: Neptune in Pisces is a vast well of inspiration. But it takes special skill to gather whatever that represents. If you’re thirsty and it’s raining, that does not help you much — you need some kind of a cistern to gather the water. Most people experience Neptune as vague, difficult to grasp or even ponder, and as best addressed by idle fantasy or getting drunk.

Planet Waves
David Lynch working with Trent Reznor on the video for “Come Back Haunted.” Photo by Rob Sheridan.

I think it’s true that most beauty is bypassed or missed by most people most of the time. (You could substitute those ‘mosts’ with almost always.) It’s also true that this isn’t necessary, but noticing beauty is a matter of habit, and it calls for some openness or vulnerability.

So the first key to Neptune in Pisces is to notice — what you feel, what you’re imagining, what your fantasies are doing; observe what your senses are delivering. You might see the light differently. You might observe something you’ve never seen before. You might feel your own mind emanating ideas.

Now imagine a cosmic mirror, where Neptune in Pisces is represented by a kind of opposite concept, Jupiter in Virgo. Here we have a planet associated with Pisces in its opposite sign. This is the image of all that Pisces water soaking into the earth of Virgo. Just like the actual earth is activated by physical water, the qualities of Virgo can be brought to life by the spiritual water of Pisces.

Remember that Jupiter is also associated with Sagittarius, so we have an image of alchemy here. It’s as if the cosmic energy of both Sagittarius and Pisces is quickening and infusing the matter of Virgo. That sounds a little like art. Or rather a lot like art.

It takes great intelligence to fabricate and formulate the materials that artists use. All those paints, pigments, brushes, solvents and other cool things took centuries to develop and perfect. Before there was canvas there was weaving. Imagine all the combined intelligence needed to create everything in a basic art supply store. When you pick up a bottle of India ink you are holding thousands of years of experience in your hands. Think of this as representing the applied science of Virgo.

But all those materials can’t do anything on their own. They require a vision, intention, an idea, a plan or at least the desire to experiment. Then you would need some persistence. This is called “the creative process.”

Planet Waves
This is me working with Zoe West in 2008 or so, Book of Blue.

What is most challenging about the creative process seems to be the persistence that it requires. This is often clouded by the belief that creativity requires talent, or is for special people. Most people you regard as talented would not agree with that. They know that they really go on persistence. When you see what you think of as art — the product of the creative process — you’re only seeing a final result, such as a concert or a painting.

You’re not privy to all the training and practice and experimentation that it took to get to that result. If you want to respect an artist for something relevant, something that they will relate to, honor their refusal to give up.

It’s through this process that an easy-to-miss, wispy, volatile, barely-in-existence idea becomes something real, that then shapes the world around it.

Jupiter in Virgo is a nice description of the ‘creative process’ being initiated. By that, I mean it must be initiated if it is to start at all, and that begins with noticing. Then there is the seemingly huge leap of taking action — such as reaching for your notebook, flipping on the amp, or getting up and sitting down at your computer.

Creativity is not merely about making something artful or decorative, or spiritually meaningful. The creative process is something you put to work every time you make a decision and act on it. This is true whether you’re making dinner or writing a play. Using this idea, it’s possible to demystify the creative process and see it as something ordinary or practical.

Planet Waves
Caterina, or Catharina van Hemessen (1528-after 1587). This self-portrait may be the first self-portrait of an artist at work at the easel, regardless of gender.

However, it’s still worth respecting; this is nothing to minimize. In reality what is happening is that something ethereal, elusive or intangible is being put into tangible form; something imaginary is being made real.

This requires attention and the willingness to take one step at a time. To facilitate this, patience is necessary. But there’s something else that’s not often mentioned, which is the willingness to change. Materializing something from thought seems to be about changing the world in some way, but anything created in the seemingly external world alters the mind of the one doing it. This calls for flexibility and the willingness to learn.

Doing anything in the external or physical world requires making many alterations to one’s interior space. This is especially true when creating something for which there is not a pre-existing formula.

In such instances, the approach must be developed as well as the method. We are talking about an inventive process rather than a creative one. There are problems to be solved, things to be acquired, methods to be worked out.

It helps to work in a spirit of trial and error. It’s also helpful to follow those happy accidents that might lead you to a new or unexpected place. In the current astrological equation, the signs involved are both mutable, which implies flexibility and changeability. Applying yourself to the creative process calls forth many of the best attributes that you may be trying to cultivate in yourself — mindfulness, adaptability, the willingness to learn, patience and recognizing your freedom to express an idea.

Now, the difference between ‘creative activity’ and ‘regular life’ seems to hinge on one thing — intention. Usually what distinguishes that which is supposedly art from that which is supposedly not art is the intent of the person making the thing. What we think of as art is not a contrivance, but neither is it a haphazard process.

Planet Waves
Famous LIFE magazine image of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) drawing with light. He was also pretty good at working with paint and clay.

There is some contriving that goes into it, and there are some unexpected veers along the way that someone skilled and flexible can put to work. Yet applying creative intent really happens in the wide space between the two.

It is this wide space that you can spend your life in. Yet as you begin to connect with that aspect of your being that processes thought into substance, your approach to existence changes.

In a sense you take ownership of the world, and everything becomes potential fodder for your creative process. So the thing you really create in the process living this way is a wider and deeper concept of who you are and what your purpose is.

You are no longer merely subject to the world; you become one of its catalysts, one of its activating agents of change, however subtle that may be.

By the way, Mercury has just entered Libra. It’s now past Virgo, in territory that is itself about expression and the creation of beauty. Here’s my take on that. The message of art can be inadvertent. The message of art often grows out of the process as an afterthought. You don’t need to focus on it. Follow your emotional, mental and aesthetic flow — then decide what it means, if anything.


— Additional photo research by Amy Elliott, Len Wallick and Lizanne Webb.

Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in Kingston, New York, by Planet Waves, Inc. Core community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Office Manager: Lauren Gdovin. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Client Services: Amy Elliott. Media Consultant: Andrew Marshall McLuhan. Research, Writing and Editing: In addition to those listed above, Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick, Lizanne Webb and Chad Woodward.

Planet Waves

Planet Waves

Kathryn Serra and William Jr. of the USA, painted by Orly Faya in Dominical, Costa Rica.

A Timely Reminder: You and Earth Are Not Separate

By Amanda Painter

When the Sun’s in Virgo, as it has been since Sunday, themes of honoring the Earth’s bounty, healing and service become more present in our consciousness. With this weekend’s Pisces Full Moon, the idea of working your creative vision into something tangible — a key theme of the Virgo-Pisces axis — is fully illuminated.

For professional body painter and self-described traveling gypsy Orly Faya from Australia, these ideas are a way of life that have fueled her Gaia Project. The Gaia Project has entailed trekking around the world, painting women and men so that they merge with the natural landscape in a process that is part hymn to the natural beauty of the planet, and part healing ritual for the participants.

Planet Waves
Orly Faya at work and play.

It’s about merging with the Earth — not simply cool body painting. You can listen to Faya describe her project and philosophy in a rhyming Seussian video on her website; I found her art though this short documentary video by Jayne Saunders, which shows Faya at work and describing her process (minus the rhyming).

Within the larger Gaia Project, Faya has embarked upon Painting the Spirit of Oz, which she describes as, “a framework for teaching and learning about our sacred connection to nature and how we can live sustainably and harmoniously over the course of our lives and those of our children’s children.”

She adds, “The intention of this project is to create a book that presents the rainbow plethora of people who call themselves Australian and delve into the question; “What does it mean to be Australian in respect to the land we live on and from?”

You might broaden that question to ask, “What does it mean to be a human being with creative potential in respect to the land we live on and from?” If you’re feeling stumped, perhaps Faya herself can help:

“So find your art and share your heart; spread the message that we all resonate. This is the time to express yourself. There’s no ‘later’, there’s just ‘too late’.”

Planet Waves

Apropos of Virgo: Why Are Young Women ‘Controversial’?

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM [PLAY PROGRAM], I ask the question: Why are young women so controversial? Back to that in a moment. First, I tell the story of a blackout in my neighborhood, which is why this week’s program was delayed. This is my revelation about how my community was freed for a few moments from the slavery of electricity — an example of how ‘the medium is the message’.

Planet Waves
Zoe West, who began her modeling career working for me in Book of Blue, in police custody for being painted and nude in Times Square. The charges were dismissed — it was legal conduct. The City of New York had to pay her $15,000 damages. Photo by Harry Von Rittern.

As for young women. I begin by reading a New York Times editorial from this past Saturday about the political havoc being caused in New York City by painted topless women who pose for tips with tourists.

City officials and the tabloid press are falling all over themselves to address the ‘threat’ of the female nipple, in Times Square of all places.

This, even though it’s perfectly legal in New York State (which includes the city) for women to go topless anywhere that men can.

So, what is the controversy, really? What is the fuss? Why should a female nipple require a citywide task force more suited to combating terrorism? How is this even possible with all the problems in the world? I try to answer that question.

In the second half of the program I read the chart for the Pisces Full Moon, which happens Saturday afternoon. The Full Moon (chart below) reaches across the Jupiter-Neptune opposition — the Sun is conjunct Jupiter in Virgo, and the Moon is conjunct Neptune in Pisces. The Full Moon rings in this rare opposition between two slow-moving planets.

Planet Waves
Pisces Full Moon, during the day Saturday in the United States, the UK and Europe. The Full Moon reaches across the opposition of Jupiter in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces, welcoming that rare and new aspect into existence.

I also go over the minor planet pattern that’s behind the scenes, describing the many asteroids and Kuiper objects that are back there. I reference an article about 1992 QB1.

In the last segment I read a chapter about how women have been treated historically, in different countries including recently in Europe, from a book called The Sex Chronicles by Lance Rancier.

As difficult as it is for women in contemporary society — prejudice and discrimination are still rampant — things are a lot better than they were at just about any other time in history.

We can and must keep improving things, but it’s also wise to recognize where we’ve been and where we are. For example, women in the United States have had the right to vote for less than 100 years.

My musical guest is the brilliant, talented, should-be-legendary Sasha Pearl, making her second appearance on Planet Waves FM. Here is her bandcamp page, and here is her homepage.

Listen to Last Year’s Virgo Reading — On Us

Your Complimentary Virgo Review, Courtesy of Jupiter

Dear Virgo Sun, Moon or Rising:

Planet Waves would like to help you to see your progress as your birthday approaches, by offering you complimentary access to last year’s Virgo Birthday Reading here. Think of it like a pre-meditation to prepare you with the fullest possible context for this year’s insights, questions, challenges and breakthroughs.
APlanet Wavess you make better sense of last year, this potential of the solar year beginning now may open wide. Your story is evolving surprisingly quickly, but do you have a clear sense of how Jupiter in your sign — a focal point of your 2015 Virgo Birthday Reading by Eric Francis — will be advancing the story indicated last year?

Your 2015 birthday reading will not predict the future, but it will get you excited to apply all that you’ve learned in the last year, and all you have become, to engage with your world like never before. As a reader named Somer who lives in Virginia remarked about a recent reading:

“The purpose of all of this profound, innovative and tremendous energy is more clear to me now, and I feel better and stronger because of it. Thank you for that.”

If you love someone with a Virgo Sun, rising sign or Moon, you’ll want to pre-order the 2015 Virgo Birthday Reading now, for only $24.95. These best-selling readings make a thoughtful, useful and valued gift. In addition to two full segments of astrology, you’ll receive a third section with Eric’s unique, intuitive tarot reading for your sign, using the Voyager Tarot by James Wanless.

Note that the price will increase after the reading publishes; if you pre-order now, you’ll lock in the lowest price.

So listen to last year’s Virgo Reading now, on us — and get the wheels turning for this year’s plan, serendipitous surprises included.

Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter

Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for September are published below in this issue. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for August  on Thursday, July 23. Your Moonshine horoscopes for the Pisces Full Moon were published Tuesday, Aug. 25 Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for Sept. 2015, #1064 | By Eric Francis


Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You may not make sense to others, and this is something that you’ll need to get used to. What you want, how you think of yourself, how you explain yourself — indeed, the essence of who you are — are all changing. This is happening while others may be expecting you to fit their idea of what is reasonable. It’s easy to fall for this. Being different, and going through a process of change that reaches to your roots, are vulnerable places to be. Often others who are intent on conforming and doing things the supposedly right way will try to make others hold the line. The key to doing this successfully will be choosing to not worry about what others think. Get accustomed to doing this now, and then get better at it — you’re going to need this skill the next few years. It’s not your job to live up to anyone else’s presumptions or expectations. You can go through five years of therapy or you can embrace this simple fact. This remains true no matter how much authority anyone exerts, or tries to claim. Look for any hint of religion or religiosity as the basis of the head-trip. Such rationales are almost always rooted in hypocrisy. Part of what you will learn over the next two years, beginning now, is to never, ever put up with that kind of bullshit.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Venus finally stations direct on Sept. 7, which signals that you will soon be seeking broader horizons — especially at home. On one level you need more emotional space. You need the space to change and grow; to stretch into different feelings than the ones you’re so accustomed to. To what extent does your domestic space, and your relationship space, allow you this? If you get a change of scenery, you will get a good basis for comparison. Yet this also extends into the aspect of life that you might think of as creative and expressive. You are ready to take greater chances in whatever you think of as your true art or craft. You may be finally giving yourself permission to embark on this at all, or for the first time in a very long time. Be aware of your tendency to be cautious. It’s one thing to exercise restraint when you’re driving through the rain on a dark highway. It’s another matter entirely to contain yourself when you’re encountering a blank page or canvas. You don’t need to overthink any of that; in truth, when you want to express yourself, the less thinking you do, the better. Trust what you’re feeling, and connect that to what you say and what you express. Being this real with yourself might make you nervous at first, but it’s also great fun.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Saturn enters your opposite sign Sagittarius — which reveals the quality of your relationships; it’ll be there, working the territory, for the next two years. This is an extended get-real, get-serious moment. Relationships that belong in your life will go through a series of transformations and become stronger. Those that do not will likely be cleared from your energy field. It’s in the nature of Saturn to favor action taken voluntarily, and honoring the boundaries of time. This is where you will need the maturity to know what’s appropriate for you and what is not, or said another way, to honor what you may have known for a long time. Every situation in your life must support your emotional growth and nourishment. Notice when you have an exchange with someone that leaves you feeling fulfilled. Notice when an encounter leaves you feeling depleted. These contrasts will encourage you to continually improve your situation.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Most people make the majority of their decisions on emotional grounds. They do what they think feels right; that allows for a diversity of unwholesome motives to enter the environment. It’s essential now that you do what is right, rather than what temporarily seems to feel right. Open your mind to embrace all of the facts, and the viewpoint of every person who has a stake in whatever decision you have to make. Ultimately you must do right by yourself, and you have the choice to ignore the interests of everyone else. I would propose, however, that it’s entirely in your interest to make sure you understand where everyone else is coming from. For one thing, their feelings are likely to reflect something that’s true for you, which you may not have considered. For another, there is a diversity of common interests involved, and you’re in a position to honor the greatest good for all concerned. There is actually such a thing, especially for you now, and the only way you’re going to get there is to observe the facts and take the known data into account. There is one situation underlying everything in your environment: the emotional needs that everyone has in common. On some level everyone is longing for their mother, perhaps the mother they never had. If you remember that, it will be easier to figure out what to do.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Venus retrograde in your sign for the past six weeks has been a bold reminder that it’s necessary to embody your purpose if you’re going to have one at all. Purpose is something you must eat like food that nourishes your blood, rather than wear like clothing or a mask. Yet this calls for a different kind of commitment than is currently fashionable. Most anything that’s worthwhile takes a long-range plan, and persisting through many ups and downs and unexpected twists in the plot. Your vision of ‘self’ must expand to embrace yourself and everything and everyone you influence. You must take on a higher level of responsibility, which means accountability; the buck stops with you. At the outset, and often for many years into the journey, you may question whether this process will be worth the effort, with no ready answer. Yet the reward is knowing that you are indeed engaging with this plane of reality on the level of what is meaningful to you, and what has relevance in the world around you. That, in truth, is the expression of the larger self-concept that means you’re a living part of the world and that it’s a living part of you. As I said, this is not in high fashion, though over the next year it will become an increasingly important value for you — and something you will want to honor. Begin — or continue — in earnest.

Make the most of Venus’ continuing journey through your sign — and the Venus-Mars conjunction now forming there. Order your 2015 Birthday Reading here.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — What does it mean to truly embrace another person? That question could also translate to: what does it mean to be fully in the world, rather than observing or allowing it to act on you? You may have noticed a tendency that humans have, which is to cut themselves off from their surroundings, including physical places, people, the weather, how a room smells, or the sounds coming in through the window. Jupiter in your birth sign means that you will be far more sensitive to your environment; in a sense it describes you merging with everything you see, touch and become aware of. As this happens, you will feel numb places come back to life. You will ‘re-member’ in the sense of reattaching what you may have cut off, and allowing certain facts to percolate out of your memory and into full awareness. Given the prevailing chaos of the world, and the extent of the struggles that so many are facing, you might well question whether that’s the best approach to life. But there’s a bigger question, which is: can you do anything else, and still count yourself as alive? You came here to be involved with this dimension of reality: to allow it to change you, and for you to change it. You now have many new opportunities to do that in the most creative and constructive ways. It’s about time.

The Virgo birthday reading is still available for pre-order at the lowest price. This will be an authentic astrology reading, in two sections about 35 minutes long, plus a tarot reading. I plan to do it next week. You may pre-order here.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You must check your logic carefully, at every opportunity. In order to do this, you’ll have to slow down and observe your own thought process. If you do this, you might discover places you have not taken certain facts into account, or ways you’ve jumped to conclusions without taking steps you can retrace or explain to someone else. This will be especially meaningful if you find yourself exerting effort that’s not resulting in progress. Step away from the idea that things must be difficult for the sake of paying dues, or because ‘that’s the way things are’. To a real degree you get to choose the difficulty level of your life, which differs from other factors such as success and achievement. If you apply reasoning and intelligence, you will come up with another analysis. To this end, you need to be mindful of the logical steps you take toward any conclusion. Notice the way you collect observations of your environment to prove or disprove any theory you may have. While many people can get away with making assumptions or taking guesses most of the time, you need to do better. You’re accountable for what you know and for what you don’t know. You are responsible for how you assemble the facts into a theory or a conclusion. Take each step consciously, and take notes.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Saturn leaves your sign this month, after being with you from late 2012 through late 2014, and for three months this year. This is a good time for a review, which I can sum up in one question: have you discovered that there’s no point in being anything but real? It is, of course, easy to play things off, to pretend, to remain silent, to look the other way, to believe what’s convenient. Saturn has made that more difficult, and revealed this approach to existence as the folly that it is. In the process, you may have been squashed a few times, as if to squeeze out a few drops of truth. You may have run head-on into authority figures, and into your own resentment. When you finally did the emotional calculus, you’re likely to have discovered that this is the result of being something other than the master of your own affairs. If you got Saturn’s message, you came into your strength and committed to living with consciousness and awareness, mostly of who you are. This month Saturn enters Sagittarius, which is calling on you to be realistic rather than idealistic. This may seem to be a high price, though your Saturn journey continues into the phase of engaging with the world on the level of what you know is true, rather than what you wish was true. This will be easier and more productive, to be sure.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Have you ever had a splinter or shard of glass that took a few years to work through to the surface of your skin, and when it did, that little rip and removing the foreign object was delightful? That’s the feeling of your current astrology, only on the level of an emotional rebirth. Your recent astrology describes you embracing some dark elements of yourself — deep fears, feelings of alienation, and encountering a few moments of being totally lost. Now it’s as if all of that melts away like a dream, though one that you should write down so you remember what happened. The challenge of the coming two years will be to focus your identity and to merge that with a clear vision for your life, based in action. It’s as if who you are morphs into who you want to be, which is connected to a sense of mission unlike anything you’ve ever felt. Indeed, the combination of planetary forces influencing you has not aligned this way in your lifetime. You are in wholly new territory, though it will take you some time to get your bearings. To that end, the first thing you can do would be to take total ownership of everything in your life — and begin a deliberate, vital process of sorting what you want from what you don’t.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Your attention is now being drawn inward; you are on an inner quest, and you will be on this journey for the foreseeable future. Yet you clearly have plenty else going on; you won’t be living in a cave in India (though you may visit one). It is therefore essential that you harmonize your inner life and your supposedly outer one. The way you would do this is by making sure that you have the confidence of people who are tuned into your deeply personal journey. It’s true that not every aspect of this can be shared, or understood. There is plenty that will be yours alone to consider and experience. Yet it’s possible to engage with others who understand the concept of the introspective quest. The ones who do will honor your sensitive interior space. They may also offer some clue about the territory you’re entering, which is as much transpersonal as it is personal. In other words, this is about you, but it’s not strictly about you, because your deepest interior space is a collective one, where many people, places and ideas are connected. Most of all, though, you and the people around you must respect your solitude. Don’t be afraid to simply take the space you need, when you need it. Your true friends will understand and support you on that mission.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — There’s plenty of talk in the world about right livelihood, and even some that’s sincere. You’re now fully engaging the challenges of doing what is right for you, as a participant in society. The compromises of the past, and of past generations, are behind you. You can no longer divide your life or your character in half; you are deep into the work of integrating your entire reality. This can consume plenty of energy at first, as you’ve been seeing. You’re being compelled by your choices and your circumstances to stand fully in who you are, right now, rather than pretending that you’ll be something in the future. I suggest you do this gently, persistently and a little at a time. Small, steady steps count more than attempts at major changes. As you experience this process, remember how much of the world’s ideas are negotiated on the basis of belief. You have an idea what is true for you, though most others merely believe what they want to believe without regard for verification. You would be wise to avoid controversies that play into this difference. Work with what others believe, and don’t attempt to prove your point. Rather, demonstrate what’s true for you, and let that serve as a practical expression of what is possible. This is a universe apart from proof, and indeed sidesteps the whole issue rather neatly.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — By all indications (mostly, Jupiter and Saturn changing signs in the past few weeks) it’s time to stretch your potential. By that I mean it’s time to widen your conduits for emotional exchange, for productivity and for relating to the world in all modes that involve love and work. Everything is in the right place; you will soon discover that the sometimes-meandering journey you’ve taken to get here led you to the right place at the right time. For you now, there is one thing you must do above all else: be yourself. This may seem like the most obvious idea in the world, and it is. But it’s also the idea most easily forsaken, or denied or resented. It’s typically seen as the thing that’s ‘impossible’ to do, because it’s seemingly so difficult, or because it will allegedly blow up on you. Here’s the thing: Nothing else will work. You cannot afford to veil yourself, or to compromise your actual reality in any way. That means: be true to your goals, to your feelings, to the necessities of your environment, to your ethics and most of all to what you want. Notice and track even minor compromises of your reality, and tidy up as you go. Truly great achievements are possible for you now and well into the foreseeable future. Give yourself every advantage.

Planet Waves offers a diversity of readings, astrology classes and other excellent, one-of-a-kind tools. Visit Shape Your World: Planet Waves Readings and Classes

4 thoughts on “What is Real and What is Not

  1. Len Wallick

    Thank you, Eric for nailing an important difference between Jupiter in Leo (over-expectation) and Jupiter in Virgo (modest expectation) and blending in a constructive side of creative Neptune’s proclivities (the potential of and imperative for improvisation). For that and so much more, i am repeatedly and gratefully in awe of you as one of the greatest and most artistic astrologers in the world. Dye-no-might!

  2. Eskimobee

    I echo Len’s words – and in addition I cannot express how captivated I am by the self-portrait by Catharina van Hemessen. The clear and open ‘looking’ that the portrait expresses for me is astounding and communicates the idea that in order to see, there must be inner openness – which echoes with your words about “the willingness to change. Materializing something from thought seems to be about changing the world in some way, but anything created in the seemingly external world alters the mind of the one doing it. This calls for flexibility and the willingness to learn.” The openness of seeing and looking (and the potential for change that implies) are beautifully evinced by the portrait. And I’ve never heard of her! Thank you for bringing this to our attention

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