Dear Friend and Reader:
Tomorrow (Friday), we’ll experience the last of the three exact contacts in the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries, at 2:44 am EDT (6:44 UTC). Uranus-Eris is the overarching event that we can look to as representative of much of the surprise, chaos (political chaos and identity chaos) and upheaval we’re currently experiencing in our digital age.
So what does it mean to have the third and final exact conjunction between these two unpredictable planets?
On one level, it’s yet another reminder to expect the unexpected. That has been the theme of the last year-plus, and it’s clear we’ll need to stay on our toes as this astrology ripples out and its repercussions take new shape.
So one mission, should you choose to accept it, is to keep striving to adapt to what the world throws at you, without getting jaded, exhausting yourself or going numb. Because once you give in to total cynicism, burn out or simply tune out entirely, you also lose touch with the passion and awareness necessary to create something new and vital with your life.
Some days, “new and vital” might simply be the ability to get up in the morning and do what must be done. Other days, “new and vital” could very well be something that refreshes your commitment to serving the highest good of humanity, or something that brings joy and inspiration to others.
Along with Uranus-Eris, tomorrow the Pisces Sun makes a square to Saturn and the Galactic Core (GC) in Sagittarius (just like Mercury did last week). The Sun equates to ‘conscious awareness’, which is a close cousin to the ‘intellect’ that Mercury represents. So I suspect that the Sun-Saturn-GC configuration plays a similar role in this week’s astrology.
That role is to remind you to get your facts straight in the face of all that’s happening around you — especially as you encounter it via online environments. Or perhaps more accurately, get your focus straight. Understand where your awareness gets drawn to; notice how you situate yourself (and your ego) in relation to the world around you. Own your perceptions, biases, blind spots and projections as best you can — and be open to how new information might necessitate a shift in any of those factors.
The presence of the Galactic Core emphasizes the message — both the message of the Sun-Saturn square, and the message of the Uranus-Eris conjunction. It would seem there are universal truths available, despite the distractions. Or maybe the universal truth coming through is about the distractions themselves? Could it be that we’re living in this plane of existence specifically to experience the ‘distraction’ of being human, and to learn from it?
Perhaps. After all, consider for a moment the Sabian symbol for the degree where Uranus and Eris make their last exact meeting: 23 Aries. The Sabian symbols are a system of channeled images that correspond to each of the 360 degrees of the zodiac, the most famous of which were interpreted by Dane Rudhyar. The symbol for 23 Aries is, “A pregnant woman in light summer dress.” Its keynote is “Fecundity.”
“Fecundity” by Susan Singer, part of her Birth Affirmations project.
Without getting into Rudhyar’s full explanation of this degree’s symbol, just think about the word “fecundity.” It suggests that this moment is rich and fertile for creating new life; that this new life is coming from an integration of masculine and feminine, but that it’s the archetypal feminine energy that is carrying this potential into the open.
The Jan. 21 Women’s March seems to be just one indicator of a growing vitality and recognition of ‘the Divine Feminine’ in our everyday presence; recognition of the power it has to shape public discourse, and to shape new ways of engaging with each other that subvert the age-old ‘power-over’ model we’re so accustomed to.
Does this mean the masculine goes away or is weakened? Far from it. Maybe it just means that in shifting power dynamics and dialogue closer to an equilibrium, masculine and feminine can be integrated in a way that allows polarity to engender harmony and synthesis, rather than simply setting us up for conflict when we meet the ‘other’.
Consider, for a moment, that Venus is currently in Mars’ home sign of Aries; and Mars is in Venus’ home sign of Taurus. These personal planets that represent the feminine principle and the masculine principle, respectively, are currently expressing in their opposite mode. It’s a picture of synthesis, though it has its challenges.
Venus (which is retrograde) conjoins Mercury in Aries Saturday. Will the result be like a typical Mercury-Venus conjunction (refined and artistic mind, optimistic, charming)? Or will it be more like a typical Mercury-Mars conjunction (aggressive, mechanically inclined, courageous), since Mars rules Aries?
I suspect it may be a blend of both. Whether it’s the best of both or the worst of both depends highly on your personal circumstances, values, temper, attitude and worldview. But I like to think that the recent experience of a friend of mine offers an ideal model of how it can work.
This friend, named Bess, had an in-person appointment with an aide at the office of one of our U.S. senators. She was nervous, and she’s angry about a great deal that is happening politically on the national stage.
Elliot Hart shortly after arriving to her mom, Kayla, who is one of the editors at Daily Mom. According to Patsy Rodenburg, all babies are born in “Second Circle” energy: absolute presence.
So she spent a full week thinking about what to say and how.
And Bess asked herself to step into what Patsy Rodenburg, a voice coach and theater director, calls The Second Circle: “a place where real communication can happen; an open, unguarded, vulnerable yet strong and grounded place,” and promised herself she would not step into the Senator’s office as an adversary.
Rather than going in with both guns blazing and a list of grievances, she decided to connect with the aide on a personal level first — and to tell personal stories that related directly to four specific areas of concern. She asked how much time she had, and found out that the aide needed to check in with her school-age daughter in about half an hour.
And then my friend talked. The aide listened and took notes. The aide remarked that, “none of us ever expected we would be where we are.”
Bess says she expects some people will think that she went too easy on the aide. But, the aide invited her back to discuss more issues. More importantly, my friend made a connection: “human to human, woman to woman, mom to mom,” as she described it.
This woman harnessed her receptivity to her courage. She integrated her determination to make a difference with her determination to be open. She took initiative, yet she also allowed the unknown to unfold in ways far more beautiful — and probably far more effective — than if she’d let her fear get channeled into aggression. No matter what your gender identification, this is an option available to you.
Bess created a space both within her and with this other person where something new could be birthed, even if just for those moments when she was in the office. I suspect, however, that space did not close up when she left — at least, not within her. What will you birth with the gift of your full presence?
Yours & truly,
What do you mean when you say, “I am”?
In this week’s Planet Waves TV, I look at last Sunday’s Virgo Full Moon that took place in aspect with Chiron and Pallas. But mostly, I look at the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries that is exact on Friday, March 17 — the aspect that’s defining our era of history. In this short YouTube video, I sum up how beautiful this aspect is.
Planet Waves has been subscriber-supported since 2002. We have built this beautiful project with your help. Keep us growing and serving humanity at this positively weird, beautiful time in history. This week we are running a membership drive. Many people have responded. Thank you for supporting advertising-free astrology for the people.
PS, this letter describes the relationship between astrology and journalism. It’s an interesting read.
The Gender Gap? Not a Work of Fiction.
By Amanda Painter
On March 1, for the start of Women’s History Month, Loganberry Books in Cleveland, Ohio, turned around all the books authored by men — leaving the spines of only women-authored books visible. The resulting near-whiteout speaks volumes about the huge gender disparity in published fiction.
“I have been bookselling for over 20 years, and every year I have taken the time and effort to highlight women’s works for Women’s History Month in March,” Harriet Logan, the founder and owner of the bookstore, told BuzzFeed earlier this month. “This year, I wanted to do something different, something that would highlight not just the good works by women, but also the disparity in the industry. As someone who tries to carry female authors, the effect is shocking.”
According to Buzzfeed, the store turned the experiment into a live performance-art event, during which approximately 10,000 volumes written by men were flipped around, leaving only the page edges showing.
Even with Logan’s ongoing efforts year-round, she estimates that only 37% of the titles in her store were penned by women. Which brings up some important questions. It’s hard to believe that fewer women are actually writing fiction. Women are certainly not less creative, so what are the barriers — raising families? Income disparity? Greater social pressure not to? Or is the greatest barrier the publishing industry itself? Is it still such an old boys’ club that biases against women rule decisions more than literary merit? Are there other factors?
Logan hopes more people ask similar questions, including, “What does my personal library look like? What can be done to change this imbalance?” She adds, “And then go find a title by a female author you may or may not be familiar with — it’s easy to find them — and give it a try.”
This Week on Planet Waves FM
Interview with Ward B. Stone, American environmental hero
Dear Friend of Planet Waves:
Before I describe this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I want to thank you for taking part in our membership drive. With your love, kindness and generosity, we’re days away from our goal of an additional $25,000. Borrowing an idea from The Young Turks, I’m here to ask your help with an additional goal: hiring a news writer.
Dr. Ward B. Stone in his days as NYS Wildlife Pathologist. Photo by Eric.
Tuesday morning I sent out my Horoscope as Journalism letter. Then there’s the other bit: journalism as journalism, informed by our multi-layer perspective, and years of experience covering complex issues.
We have some excellent writers at Planet Waves, though it will be helpful to have someone on board who is specifically here to help research and write news articles.
This can be a part-time freelance person, though the main thing is the ability to handle an assignment, with me as the editor, and turn the work around quickly. These people still exist, though they’re getting difficult to find. We will find someone brillant and energetic, who sees the potential in this opportunity.
A lot is happening in the world, and we do our best to keep up. This will give us extra leverage, and take some pressure off our existing writers when big news happens. A modest goal of $10,000 to pay this prospective writer for a while would give us a tremendous advantage in keeping you informed about the affairs of the world. Here’s the link to renew, restart or upgrade your subscription — or to make a donation.
We do what we do without corporate sponsors or commercial interruption. We do it for you — and we do it with you.
This week’s Edition of Planet Waves FM
As for this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM [play episode here]: Shortly after finishing The Book of Your Life, I drove up to Troy, NY, to meet my old friend and mentor Dr. Ward B. Stone. You may know that I have some years in as an environmental investigative reporter, and Ward was one of the people who helped me.
Pisces Beatle George Harrison and a Fender guitar.
In his capacity as wildlife pathologist for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Ward played many roles, including citizen advocate.
Starting at 1:22 of this week’s program, Ward and I talk about the history of the environmental movement, from an angle that’s almost banned from the news: chemicals. We’re all so soaked in “better living through chemistry” that the whole matter of what these chemicals are and what they actually do gets lost in the sauce.
In the first segment of the program, I offer my last thoughts on Uranus conjunct Eris prior to Friday’s conjunction.
I also read the chart of our musical guest, George Harrison, and play some of the music of this sublime Pisces artist, as our farewell to Pisces time. You can see his chart on the program page for tonight’s show. Some selections are from the Concert for Bangladesh (Amazon | iTunes), and others can be found on the compilation Let It Roll (Amazon | iTunes).
Planet Waves FM is presented without commercial interruption as part of the nonprofit Pacifica Radio Network.
Thank you for tuning in. It’s good to be with you.
PS — In cased you missed an early letter in this series, here it is: A Note from your Personal Journalist.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscopes for March were published on Thursday, Feb. 23. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for February on Thursday, Jan. 26. We published your Moonshine horoscope for the Virgo Full Moon on Thursday, March 9. Your Moonshine horoscope for the Cancer Full Moon published Thursday, Jan. 12. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — When we anticipate an approaching event, there can be a temptation to try to predict the outcome. Any feeling of disappointment that can follow from this, while it might be poignant at the time, is usually unfounded. If you’re experiencing something similar now, have faith. Life often has unexpected ways of coming through with exactly what is needed, if not precisely at the moment we desire it. Remember also that surprises can take many shapes: some are more pleasant than others, and some require time to appear in their full beauty. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — What you currently seem to be working through might be described as clearing out your emotional basement. You have sufficient detachment just now to carry out this task with superlative efficiency. What you find could lead to a reassessment of certain ambitions, or perhaps a clearer understanding of your true capabilities. If you feel any doubt on either point, someone you trust can help. One possible avenue might involve a calling to do something specific for your community. That could prove to be a source of deep healing. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The heavens appear to have bestowed on you a delightful charm and playfulness; possibly with a bit of mystery thrown in, just for larks. People you meet will want to tag along for the ride. Let them: the sacredness of play and pleasure are all too often unrecognized, and many people are in need of a good frolic. The only constraint you seem to have is time. If this is so, do what you can to set aside a few hours purely for fun, relaxing activities and connecting with as many as possible of those who are irresistibly drawn to you. — By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — A connection or close relationship may be growing deeper; possibly also more passionate. This is likely to awaken your senses and your creative powers to an extent you might not previously have known they could reach. If you feel a little overwhelmed by these changes to begin with, have patience while things find a more manageable tempo. Further, don’t constrain yourself by rigid measures of success. Go with the flow, and allow your gifts to flourish at their own pace. So long as you continue to stoke the fires of your enthusiasm, nothing can prevent you from making your energy work. — By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Your dreams and aspirations could take out a new lease on life very soon. When inspiration strikes, it helps to follow up with hard work, commitment and determination. Strategy and planning are useful tools as well. In the current environment, carrying a long-term project through to completion is more challenging than ever, due to all the potential distractions. Be wary and shrewd about avoiding those that might appeal to you. You’re a fixed sign and you have all the natural tenacity you need to persist; however, it’s easy to be drawn in. Stay alert. — By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You will do just fine if you keep in mind that healing is rarely instantaneous. Becoming comfortable in your own skin is a process, especially when you feel buffeted by the ghosts of past memories. You need to pace yourself, and take it easy, particularly if you’re feeling tense or nervous. Doing what you enjoy may be part of that; doing what relaxes you at a deep level, emphatically so. If you have concerns about practical or financial circumstances, first ensure that you are organized: knowing where you are at could be half the battle, at least. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — It seems that recent developments on the career front are bringing a welcome boost to your self-esteem. With the help of loved ones, you are gradually breaking down old self-critical notions and forming a more just and appreciative view of your character. It may be useful to notice the steps in this process and record them for future reference. You have every reason to feel pride in your achievements. By the way, if anyone in your social circle displays envy at your success, that’s their problem: I’d advise bestowing your precious time elsewhere. — By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Your closest relationships could now benefit from a fresh burst of passion and energy, providing you with rich inner nourishment. It’s important that you stay present and enjoy these moments thoroughly, remembering that life events do not occur purely to be documented on Facebook. You could certainly be inspired to make actual art of some kind, however. You appear to be neatly tuned in to some potent spiritual source, almost as if you are channeling directly. Keep a record of your dreams, particularly if they move you emotionally. — By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — It looks as if something (or someone) has kindled your enthusiasm or curiosity to a high degree. I suggest you go along for the ride and see where you end up. The pressure on your emotional life of late has probably not been easy to handle, and a holiday from all that could do much for your wellbeing. If certain past events have contributed to the tension, you may be able to view them now from a different perspective, and with any luck your heart will be substantially lighter. For now, I hope you will thoroughly enjoy your newfound pleasures. — By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — The pace of change might seem perplexing and not so easy to deal with. A part of you is probably scoping out the nearest available storm shelter, where you can safely wait out the turbulence and then carry on with your usual routine. Yet these are changes for the better, and you are now beginning to see your efforts bear fruit. Don’t let any former confidence issues get to you now — persist doggedly, grudgingly if you must, but keep going. As renowned guerrilla artist Banksy put it: “If you get tired learn to rest, not to quit.” – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — There is something neat and elegant in the ancient doctrine known as the “music of the spheres” — the idea that the planets in their dance create mutual harmonies. Your chart now is fairly ringing with its own melody. This may well be an invitation to cultivate your musical or other creative gifts, or perhaps to stimulate your mind through hearing a well-written composition. Either way, it will likely do you good to develop and use a skill that holds your interest. One other thing: listen to constructive criticism by all means; yet naysayers you can safely ignore. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — The idea you are drawn to just now seems to be the next step in the long process of evolution you have undertaken. This is an opportunity to make use of the skills you’ve already learned; and also, potentially, to resolve some challenging feelings from the past. You are finally seeing that it’s possible to be comfortable with who you really are, which in itself is a big leap. Now it seems you are learning to be at peace with expressing that genuine self in all its uniqueness, and in all its rich variety. Keep that devotion to your truth burning bright. – By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.